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Jailbreak for iPhone 1.1.4
Hackers on Wednesday released the first publicly available "jailbreak" solution for version 1.1.4 of the iPhone software. A little more than 24 hours after the release of Apple's latest iPhone software, a group of coders have released iNdependence 1.4b5, a Cocoa-based application for Mac OS X that provides an easy-to-use interface for jailbreak, activation, SSH installation, and ringtone/wallpaper/application installation on the iPhone. The open-source software is available under GNU v2 license. Meanwhile, other reports indicate that at least one other jailbreak hack (with an older firmware) has survived the version 1.1.4 upgrade and yet another hacker has already successfully cracked a part of the latest firmware/software update. Next week, Apple is expected to announced, and likely release, the official SDK at the special iPhone SDK event in Cupertino. [click to read more]
T-Mobile to enter Canada
The ongoing auction for the Canadian 700MHz spectrum may have T-Mobile as a new bidder, representing the German company's first potential interest in a market outside of Europe and the United States. According to MobileInCanada.com, an internal note went around CIBC indicating that it would be a good maneuver for the telecom company, since T-Mobile is reluctant to acquire third-party companies to commence its service.
Razer offers mouse teaser
Premium mouse manufacturer Razer will unveil a new mouse in almost six days time, according to a vague teaser located at Speedofthelight.com. A brief flash of a curvaceous mouse glides across a black background as lights whizz by, briefly illuminating the pointing device. A message that reads "Speed of the Light" - with "the" wedged between the words "of" and "Light" - appears for a moment before fading to "4 March 2008, stay tuned for details", and a small counter, counting down to the aforementioned time.
SlimKey Stand ships
Macessity today began shipping the SlimKey Stand, a slick steel stand powder-coated in aluminum color to match new iMacs and Apple displays. The stand provides a place to tuck away the keyboard, and can provide better ergonomics by raising the monitor up an additional inch. The stand also serves a a cooling platform for Apple's various notebooks, measuring 9-inches deep to create a sturdy structure that supports any size Apple display or iMac. Macessity's SlimKey Stand is priced at $40.
FinderPop 2.1 ($8) updates the software that allows users to easily customize the Finder's contextual menu with custom content. The latest release brings Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility, removes compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3, and includes numerous fixes/enhancements. FinderPop 2.1 also supports Quicklook for any 'FP' menu item, and remembers a user-specified number of items last chosen (up to five).
[Download - 592KB]
DynDNS 2.1 (free) provides users with dynamic (changing) IP addresses a means static hostname that never changes, easing the process of accessing hosts with changing addresses. The latest release adds a problem description dialog ot assist users in generating a diagnostic email, and includes a timestamp to daemon log messages. The update also fixes several bugs and removes excess logging to help make diagnosing problems easier. [Download - 6.5MB]
eOrdering eCommerce 4.0.5 ($65 for Complete, $75 for Gold, $450 for Professional) is a free update to the cross platform applications that create eCommerce websites. eOrdering eCommerce 4.0.5 adds coupons that users can send to customers for redemption at checkout. The new coupon feature is based on Ajax as well as PHP, and accompanies various other minor fixes. [Download - 9.5MB]
FinanceToGo 1.6.3 ($45) is a free update to the small business finance application for Mac OS X. The latest release fixes several bugs, improves performance, and eases the process of importing transactions. FinanceToGo 1.6.3 adds Currencies and Account Owners to the sidebar, rearranges the preferences window, and ensures that the recurring transactions pane shows whether a transaction is active as well as whether it is valid by default. [Download - 5.8MB]
TimeCache 7.0.7 ($60) is a periodic update to the time and expense billing application. Available for free, TimeCache 7.0.7 introduces the option to add graphic objects to report and invoice layouts, as well as a new layout editing mode. The update also significantly improves built-in user activity tracking functionality, and fixes a printing problem under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. [Download - 14.7MB]
Painter's Picker 2.2 ($20) is the latest iteration of the color selection utility that features an updated user interface as well as support for custom color spaces. The update fixes a problem where Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard would not report Painter's Picker's name correctly in the fly-away menu of the color picker, and updates website information stored in the software itself. Painter's Picker 2.2 also fixes an incompatibility bug with GL Golf. [Download - 3MB]
Omni Group updates
The Omni Group has released OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 and OmniOutliner 3.6.5. OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 is the latest beta release of the company's diagram creation software that refines AppleScript support for user data on models as well as graphics. OmniOutliner 3 is an update to the program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. OmniGraffle is priced at $80 for the standard edition and $150 for the professional version, with upgrades starting at $30. OmniOutliner is available in standard and professional versions for $40 and $70, respectively, while upgrades start from $20. OmniGraffle 5.0rc1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and OmniOutliner 3.6.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Time Capsule ready to ship
In brief: MacNN has reviewed PDF2Office Professional, Daylite Productivity Suite, and a look back at Macworld part 2. Pre-orders of Apple's Time Capsule external storage device are "prepared for shipment," Quark has launched a community-based website for designers, Arizona's home listings are set to appear on Apple's iTunes Music Store & Homebuyer's iPods, and IK Multimedia is offering a two-for-one deal on qualifying IK plug-ins.
Spanning Sync 1.2 update
Spanning Sync 1.2 - an app designed to sync Google Calendars with iCal - was unveiled today, offering several performance enhancements, bug fixes, and feature introductions. The developer says that the new version synchronizes up to five times faster than before, due to extensive optimizations of both client- and server-side engines. Spanning Sync is currently selling for new users at $25 for a one-year license, while an optional one-time purchase fee of $65 is also available.
Tim Cook interview
Apple COO Timothy Cook delivered a question and answer presentation at the Goldman Sachs Investment Symposium today, discussing company strategy for the Mac, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV. Saying that at the end of the day Apple is "all about people," Cook proclaimed that while innovation may be one of the most difficult models, its the one that gives you a true competitive differentiation. "We run Apple in a fluid manner, where we move people where we need them. This is why you begin to see things on the phone that were developed for the Mac. You see Cover Flow, developed for the phone, in the Mac OS X. There's some much synergy in those area."
Nuvio sues Garmin GPS
Garmin's Nuvifone is emulating the iPhone in more than just functionality, as business phone service provider Nuvio confronts the GPS Company with a lawsuit over trademark infringement. In a move that resembles the earlier Cisco-Apple iPhone dispute, Nuvio claims that the Nuvifone is a registered trademark, one that Garmin is knowingly and willfully appropriating. Nuvio says that it attempted to reach a mutual arrangement with Garmin before filing, but the efforts failed.
Overlay TV Interview News
As of today, earning ad revenue from web videos is difficult without a large, direct deal. One company, however, is looking to make it possible for anyone to make money -- maybe even turn a profit -- from videos they post on sites like MySpace and YouTube. Electronista recently conducted an interview with Overlay.TV at its offices that reveals a solution which makes it possible to earn money from ads not just from a video blog but potentially your cellphone and your network media hub as well.
Nuvio sues Garmin
Nuvio today announced that is has filed a trademark infringement suit against Garmin International in the U.S. District Court of Kansas. Nuvio claims that Garmin's recently announced Nuvifone infringes upon a prior Nuvio tradmark that the company uses on phones as well as its own telephony services. Nuvio attempted to reach a "mutually satisfactory resolution" with Garmin, but no resolution was reached. That led to Nuvio filing a legal complaint against Garmin to protect its rights.
New Yamaha AV receivers
Taking its own turn after Sony, Yamaha has announced five new AV receivers for 2008. The base model is the RX-V363, which supports 5.1 channels with 100W of audio each. It is 1080p-capable, but has only two HDMI inputs (plus three component ports), and is only compatible with iPods and Bluetooth devices through optional accessories. Pricing is set at $230.
Shuttle barebones gamer PC
Shuttle today unveiled the XPC P2 3500G, a small form-factor barebones gaming system, powered by an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor. According to I4U News, the 3500G features 4GB of DDR2-800 memory, and a 750GB Samsung Serial ATA drive, which comes with 32MB of cache. Shuttle compliments the powerful internal components with an ATI HD 3870 graphics card. The XPC P2 3500G is currently shipping, and is available for €1450 (~$2200 USD)
Dell joins Climate Group
Dell is advertising newfound membership in The Climate Group, a non-profit organization nevertheless composed of major corporations such as Google, BP and Virgin, as well as governments such as those for California, New York City, Ontario and South Australia. The Group is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, while simultaneously minimizing the harm to corporate profits.
Britannica on iPhone
Brittannica engineers have released an application for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch that brings thousands of articles covering all subjects at i.eb.com to the portable devices. The application boasts a look and feel tailored to the iPhone with full-text searching, thousands of high-resolution thumbnails that expand to full-size images, and page layouts optimized for cellphone bandwidth. "It's fully searchable and hot-linked, similar to Britannica's Web editions," Britannica said.
LG deep contrast monitor
Korean giant LG has developed a new LCD monitor, said to have an abnormally high contrast ratio. Many typical monitors have ratios in the hundreds, or in the thousands in the case of high-end displays like Dell's 3008WFP. LG's unnamed, forthcoming model has a ratio of 10,000:1 however, surpassing in some circumstances the performance of dedicated HDTV sets. The monitor is in fact partly intended for watching movies, though its size is unclear from provided photos.
Creative ZEN at 150
Creative has begun aggressive steps to fight against the iPod nano and other low-cost flash players by offering major discounts for all low-end versions of its ZEN media player. The company has dropped the price of its more popular 8GB ZEN to $150, bringing it to the same price as the 4GB Apple player despite the added storage, a larger 2.5-inch screen, and potential expansion through an SD card slot. Other, smaller players have dropped to prices of $80 for a 2GB model and $100 for a 4GB version, which differ only in storage.
Less than 24 hours after their introduction, Apple's new MacBook Pros based on Intel's Penryn Core 2 Duo architecture have been benchmarked using the venerable Geekbench utility. PrimateLabs tested the MacBook Pro (Early 2008) with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 @ 2.50GHz and MacBook Pro (Early 2008) with Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 @ 2.40GHz; comparing them to the MacBook Pro (Mid 2007) with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7800 @ 2.60GHz and MacBook Pro (Mid 2007) with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 @ 2.40GHz. The results show that the old 2.4GHz MacBook Pros are actually faster than the new 2.4GHz models -- a discrepancy explained by the smaller L2 cache on the new models. The 2008 2.5GHz MacBook Pro wasn't able to best the old 2.6GHz T7700-based model.
Upgrades for new MacBooks
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced that it is offering 4GB memory kits for Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo notebooks, which began shipping yesterday. "OWC is providing memory for these new MacBook 13-inch 2.1GHz/2.4GHz Core 2 Duo Models and MacBook Pro 15-inch & 17-inch 2.4GHz/2.5GHz (including 2.6GHz optional configuration) Core 2 Duo models," the company said. "OWC memory is available in modules and kits of up to 4.0GB for these models as well as the previous MacBook Pro models." OWC's 4.0GB Memory Upgrade Kits are available for $100, and include two 2GB modules.
Apple meeting on iPhone
Apple this morning issued invitations for "an iPhone software roadmap" event set to take place next week. The meeting will likely discuss the forthcoming software development kit (SDK) for Apple's cellular handset which the company promised to roll out some time this month. The town hall meeting will take place at Apple's Cupertino campus on Thursday, March 6th at 10:00 a.m. PST. Apple also told invitation recipients to expect "some exciting new enterprise features," hinting that the company is moving toward corporate adoption with future iPhone revisions. [updated]
O2 Faces 3G Fine
British phone carrier O2 could pay as much as £40 million ($79.6 million US) for failing to build out its 3G cellular data network on time, the country's Office of Communications (Ofcom) noted on Wednesday. Despite its role as the single largest provider in the region, O2 is the only one out of five firms granted licenses for 3G access that did not supply at least 80 percent of the UK population with the faster network by the end of 2007.
Dell Precision update
Dell is continuing its Penryn updates with the Precision M6300, its workstation notebook. Buyers now have two extra processor options: a 2.6GHz (T9500) Core 2 Duo, or a 2.8GHz (X9000) Core 2 Extreme. Performance can be boosted in other aspects as well, namely through the option of NVIDIA's new Quadro FX 3600M videocard, which also has twice as much memory as its predecessor.
Softbank 'robot' phone
Japanese carrier Softbank is preparing an unusual addition to its lineup. Toshiba is developing an exclusive phone for the carrier called the 815T PB, meant to help promote a TV drama called Ketai Sousakan 7, directed by Takashi Miike. Owners can attach a set of flexible robot limbs to the phone, enabling various poses; for full effect, the phone also comes installed with an AI personality called "Buddy Talk," which makes various expressions and responds to voice conversation, gradually improving its answers.
Intel GMA X4500 Tests
The integrated graphics that form one of the key improvements to Intel's upcoming Centrino 2 notebook platform may perform twice as well as that in current systems, say new leaked benchmarks as well as specifications. While the chipmaker is already known to be upgrading the built-in graphics option with the GMA X4500 when Centrino 2 (nicknamed Montevina) appears in the spring, new tests point to twice the performance in synthetic 3D tests such as 3DMark06. The increase stems both from a redesign as well as sheer clock speed. On the top-end GM47 Express mainboard, the X4500 will be clocked at 640MHz versus just 500MHz for the X3100 used today.
Tri-BACKUP 5.0.0 released
Tri-EDRE has released v5.0.0 of Tri-BACKUP, its dedicated backup utility. The software operates using two main components: "Immediate Actions," which actively launch syncs, backups and restores, or "Programmed Actions," which can schedule both syncs and backups. The program is further able to compress and encrypt backups, or create a bootable copy of a hard disk. The fifth edition of Tri-BACKUP has been converted into a Universal Binary, and runs on both Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.
DreamWorks Stuck in HD DVD
Despite Toshiba's discontinuation of HD DVD, movie studio DreamWorks is still locked into a contract to ship HD movies in the format, company chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said late yesterday. The Hollywood executive noted his company had an "obligation" to fulfill and that the largely necessary switch to Blu-ray was Toshiba's responsbility: the electronics maker will have to give permission to DreamWorks to publish movies in the surviving format until the contract expires or Toshiba releases the studio from terms.
Apple resellers growing
Dedicated Apple resellers experienced a substantial growth during 2007, suggests an annual survey conducted by the Apple Specialist Marketing Co-Op. The group polled 35 "key" dealers and service providers, in both the US and Canada. "Our survey results," notes ASMC president Richard Haddock, "show that Apple Specialists grew their Apple sales business more than 20 percent in 2007." The survey further breaks figures down by saying that while over 60 percent of resellers grew sales over 20 percent, another 30 percent of vendors surpassed the 30 percent growth level. Only 5 percent of those polled did not experience any increase.
LG Glimmer for Alltel Soon
Alltel will be the next US carrier to pick up a media-focused touchscreen phone, according to a post by a source with access to official press materials. Called the Glimmer, the LG-made phone resembles a cross between the phone maker's Shine slider and its Voyager for Verizon: although its front face is dominated exclusively by a 2.8-inch touchscreen that serves as the main control for most of the interface, as with the Voyager, a slider reveals a traditional number pad for making calls. The Glimmer would improve on past LG designs with haptic (vibration) feedback to pressing onscreen buttons and a relatively thin 0.59-inch profile.
iTunes to beat Wal-Mart?
Music sales from the iTunes Store will likely surpass those of budget retailer Wal-Mart by the end of 2008, says the president of NPD Group's Music division. The research firm yesterday released a report indicating that iTunes has already achieved the number-two position in the United States, surpassing even Best Buy and Target. NPD's Russ Crupnick now says, though, Wal-Mart does not pose any serious obstacle in an increasingly digital music market. "Digital sales were up close to 50 percent and CD sales were down 20 percent last year," says Crupnick. "Even at half that growth rate in digital sales, Apple will in all likelihood catch Wal-Mart this year."
Samsung Sony Joint Factory
Samsung is close to negotiating a deal with Sony that would see the two companies establish a joint LCD assembly line, says a source from Samsung. The claim would have an eighth-generation LCD plant built at one of Samsung's main plants just south of Seoul, South Korea and would help both companies produce the larger panels needed for modern HDTVs. The move is likely to help Sony soften the costs of making its own sets, which are often priced higher than some competing models. Sony has not commented on the claim but just yesterday said it would invest in a Sharp plant which is now known to be meant for future 10th-generation LCDs that will be larger and more advanced than current LCDs.
iPhone 1.1.4 & Ireland
Apple's latest iPhone firmware update points to Ireland as the next country to carry the device, according to a new report. Macity claims that in probing the firmware's latest list of supported carriers, references have been added for both T-Mobile Austria and O2 Ireland. No announcements have been made for Ireland, but T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan has himself confirmed the iPhone's arrival in Austria during the first half of 2008.
EC Fines MS 1.4B
Microsoft will have to pay a fine equal to $1.35 billion for allegedly violating already existing antitrust sanctions, the European Commission said today. The demand comes after a follow-up investigation by the regulatory body which reported that Microsoft had held back on code necessary to let rival firms develop more explicitly compatible software, particularly for workgroup server programs. The amount far exceeds the original $330 million fine imposed in 2004 for the original violation and is characterized as punishment for Microsoft's reluctance to obey the ruling -- a resistance which is unprecedented for the EC, according to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
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