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Apple to make movie play?
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.
iPod mishaps, muggings...
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
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.
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