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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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R