Copyright © 2015
Robert X. Cringely says that the new The New Mac Mini is All About Movies in latest column about the marketing hype behind the new Mac and its product evolution: "The Mac Mini is one of Apple's trademark technology repackaging jobs. There ought to be nothing inherently exciting about the little box," noting that there are more powerful, more compact, or more less expsensive machines available: "If Apple hopes to emulate its iPod/iTunes success, what does that mean? It means selling hardware devices and proprietary content to play on those devices. The first such hardware device is probably the Mini. And the proprietary content will be video encoded in AVC H.264, which will be supported first in OS X 10.4, promised for the second quarter of this year. So Apple can't announce that it is in the movie distribution business until 10.4 (code-named Tiger) is available.
In New York City, the ubiquitious iPod has caused "an influx of iPod-related mishaps, some highly amusing, others potentially disastrous. Because unlike the portable CD player before it, the iPod is so light and offers so much continuous music that listeners often forget it's there, freeing them up to accidentally step into traffic (or worse, a throng of tourists)." The New York Times also notes the recent "string of iPod muggings aimed at Stuyvesant students late last year," while another article talks about the emergence of the iPod Loading industry. [free registration required]
iStumbler Release 90 is a free, open-source tool for finding wireless networks and devices with any AirPort or Bluetooth equipped Macintosh. iStumbler combines a compact user interface with a realtime display of signal strength and extensive debugging information. Release 90 introduces the mDNS (Multicast-DNS, AKA Rendezvous) plugin which allows you to browse published services on the local network and connect to them with a single click. The Bluetooth plugin also enables the 'Pair' and 'Browse' features and the preferences have been updated for all plugins. Subscriptions to iStumbler are available for $1 per release. It will be generally available on Monday, January 24.
Now AAPL Stock: The symbol you provided ("AAPL") doesn't appear to be registered
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X