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Both Apple and Intel are companies notorious for their bad partnership skills, says tech columnist Rob Enderle. He looks at the various stumbling blocks that will affect that Intel-Apple relationship. These include the fact that "Intel tends to make decisions critical to the success or failure of the OEMs without adequately taking into account the needs of these companies." And a source of aggravation from the Apple camp could come from its refusal to participate in Intel programs like "Intel Inside." And PC makers aren't too happy about the newfound relationship either. Their concerns stem from the prospect of Apple getting deep discounts and early access to next generation processors. "I'd hate to be the person responsible for maintaining the Intel-Apple relationship," writes Enderle. "Whoever that is, my heartfelt prayers are with them this season."
Symantec said it was readying a patch for the security flaw in virtually all versions of its anti-virus software--including Mac OS X--that could allow users to take control of the machine via the internet. PC World provided more details on the Symantec NAV vulnerability, which we noted last week: "To create a heap overflow, a malicious hacker sends large amounts of data that overwhelm a buffer, an area used for temporary data storage. This attack, similar to a buffer overflow, lets attackers overwrite portions of a system's memory in order to run their own malicious code. Symantec users are vulnerable to the attack when their antivirus software scans the RAR files for viruses or worms, Wheeler wrote. The attack can be launched via e-mail without the user having to open the message or click on an attachment, he said." While the company has not released a patch for its software, it has releassed a patch that will detect exploits designed to compromise systems using this vulnerability. Users can also turn off the scanning of RAR files to secure their systems.
Kainjow today released Pod2Go 1.6, a major update to the synchronization enhancement application for iPod owners. Pod2Go allows users to sync various information such as news, weather forecasts, movie show times, driving directions, and more to an iPod for reading on-the-go. The update completely reworks "Lyrics," and improves syncing for apps and news. Version 1.6 handles multiple iPods more gracefully, and "News" imports feeds from other applications. "Music" correctly plays videos from new fifth-generation iPods, and "Backup" uses rsync to produce faster backups. Pod2Go 1.6 is available for $15, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9. The upgrade is free to all registered users.
InterVideo recently introduced InterVideo iVideoToGo, a Microsoft Windows-only application that copies personal videos for playback on Apple's video iPod. Much like DVD to iPod Converter for Mac users, the software allows users to quickly convert existing DVDs and video files to an iPod-compatible format for playback on the portable device. Claiming to be one of the fastest conversion tools on the market, iVideoToGo boasts a simple easy-to-use interface that utilizes a single window for all tasks. Three steps are required to complete the copy process, allowing beginners to successfully use the software immediately. The application supports MPEG 4, H.264, DVD videos, AVI, MPEG , WMV, MOV, MP4, DivX, ASF, DVR-MS, 3GP and other formats. InterVideo iVideoToGo is available for $30, and requires Microsoft Windows 2000/XP.
Hilary Clinton has released a 14-track album containing her "best-of" speeches, senate statements, and press conferences in 2005. Camp Clinton is posting podcasts of Senator Clinton's material on iTunes and other audio-sharing portals, all downloadable to Apple's iPod free of charge. "Now Senator Clinton's constituents and supporters have yet another way of keeping current with her work, by downloading these podcasts right to their 'hPod.' I mean, iPod," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said. Clinton's aides plan to update her iTunes database regularly, adding new speeches in future months, according to the New York Post online edition. Clinton is not joining the podcasting frenzy alone; democratic Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and republican GOP Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota are both reportedly offering podcasts as well.
One software developer has released ReplayToGo, an application to transfer ReplayTV shows to Apple's video iPod. Users can download ReplayTV files with DVArchive--an application that allows a computer to act as a "virtual replay TV"--by either dropping files onto the ReplayToGo icon or by automatically running ReplayToGo through the "Post Download Command" function of DVArchive. The software automatically converts Replay shows from MPEG-2 to H.264 format, and adds the result to iTunes. The application also includes ReplayTV 5K Tools for optionally converting Replay files for use in DVD projects. ReplayToGo requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, DVArchive 3.1, MPEG Streamclip 1.5.1, the MPEG-2 Playback Component, and possibly QuickTime Pro (pricing and version information was unavailable).
Hypergear today introduced its all-new Kangaroo iPod case: the stylish accessory sings with fun patterns and versatility, and features a protective, resilient canvas cover. "With so many cool designs and creative ways to wear the Kangaroo iPod case you'll never have to leave your tunes behind. From leopard strips and bright colors to classic black, the Hypergear Kangaroo iPod case offers more than 30 colors and patterns to suit any fashion and (musical) taste. This new case is as versatile as your play list - it comes with a color coordinated belt loop, short strap, strap extension and armband, allowing you to wear it six different ways. On your belt, purse, arm, or even around your waist - the Kangaroo iPod case let's the music go where you go." The cases are available for both the iPod and iPod mini for $30.
The American Film Institute (AFI) has chosen the French documentary March of The Penguins and the arrival of the video iPod as "Moments of Significance" of this year. "The creation of content for the video iPod and cellular phones was also considered to be a defining moment in the year. ABC Network allowed Lost and Desperate Housewives to be podcast over the iPod and Twentieth Century Fox beamed a one minute 'mobisode' of its hit drama 24 on mobile phones." The report also noted that the plummeting popularity of going to cinemas in the wake of the emergence of DVD's and video games was also anointed an event of significance by the AFI. The coverage of Hurricane Katrina was also mentioned for putting "a spotlight on the contradictions between "what officials were reporting and the images were seeing in their living rooms."
Lava Software is shipping PC-Mac-Net FileShare 5.4, its file sharing and remote movie/music playback controller that operates over local area networks, as well as the internet. The update features remote file and folder searching by name as well as media type, and offers remote media player functions. Playlists containing a variety of media types can be created, and subsequent media playback can be controlled remotely over a wired or wireless LAN, as well as over the internet. The bundled VLC player supports MP3, Ogg, AAC, Avi, DivX 5, MPEG4, QuickTime, WMV2, Sorenson, and H.264 formats. The application is designed to existing hardware into a media center and file server. PC-Mac-Net FileShare standard edition is available for $15, while the upgrade is free to all existing users. The professional edition is priced at $25. All versions are compatible with Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable), Linux, and Microsoft Windows 98/NT/ME/2000/XP.
Apple has displaced Sony as the leader in the electronics world. A new column by the Associated Press says that while Apple was "barely an afterthought" five years ago, but that the iPod success and landmark music and television licensing deals have made it the pacesetter of the industry and ingrained in pop culture like no other tech company. "In the consumer electronics world, there's always talk now about Apple, the way people used to talk about Sony," said analyst Richard Doherty of The Envisioneering Group. "At the water cooler or in boardrooms, they're asking, 'What is Apple doing next?' or 'How do we stay out of their way?'" The column notes that Apple's momentum accelerated in 2005 with the introduction of the iPod shuffle, the Mac mini, the nano, the video-capable iPod, the new iMac with integrated iSight and Front Row software and TV shows for sale at its iTunes Music Store.
Amazon.com today announced that the iPod was among the top three selling electronics items this holiday season. The iPod took the top three spots in the electronics department--the black 4GB iPod nano, the black 30GB iPod video, and the 512 MB iPod shuffle were the top sellers, respectively. The company said it shipped more than 108 million items between November 1 and Christmas Day, noting that the busiest single day was Monday, December 12, when customers ordered 3.6 million items. Amazon's current bestselling list shows the Black 30GB iPod, Black 2GB iPod nano, and 512MB shuffle among the top 5 best selling items. Overall, online sales in the U.S. are expected to jump 24 percent to about $19 billion in November and December as the convenience of Internet shopping and free shipping lures consumers, according to ComScore Networks Inc. The most popular goods on the Web include clothing, electronics and toys.
In Brief: The Apple Store is offering--for a limited time--free-shipping on its top-rated iPod/Mac accessories.... PGP Desktop 9.0.4 is a free update to its desktop encryption solution for security and privacy, bringing a fix for SSL-based messaging services and more... The FastIcon has released a new "iPod Christmas" icon set, which contains 4 freeware icons.... NBC and Apple have posted a holiday gift on the iTunes Music Store, offering a free episode of Saturday Night Live ("Lazy Sunday")... Samsung said Monday it may sell NAND flash memory chips to Japanese electronics maker Sony and others, underpinning expectations for surging demand for the chips.
CrispSofties today released iPod.iTunes 3.0, adding the ability to synchronize songs, videos, playlists, ratings, played dates, and play counts in both directions between iPods and iTunes. Ipod.iTunes is designed to keep songs, videos, and playlists on different Macs and iPods up to date, and can perform a full restore of these items after a hard disk failure. The software updates foreign iPods not linked to your iTunes library without deleting content on the device or touching the link, and can update a linked iPod without deleting content on it as iTunes "auto update" does when tracks on the iPod are no longer in the iTunes library. Ipod.iTunes 3.0 offers numerous small changes to the user interface, and includes various bug fixes. Ipod.iTunes 3.0 is available for $35, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
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Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ