Mar 31 2010

Google Defies Apple by Supporting Flash

Apple famously does not support Adobe Flash on its mobile devices. Steve Jobs has spoken out against Flash (the man’s insistent resistance to giving us iPhone users Flash support drives me crazy) rather strongly in the past.

However, Apple is one of the only companies that harbors such a vendetta against Flash. Apple’s recent competitor, Google, has announced that it will support Flash by bundling Adobe Flash Player with downloads of its Google Chrome browser. Chrome is used by only five percent of Internet users, but Google is a big company that has a very large presence as a search engine and as an online advertiser, so its support will be important to Adobe.

A Google spokesperson said that Flash will be integrated seamlessly into Chrome and and “truly feel like a part of the browser.”

In contrast to Google’s support of Flash, Apple has expressed support of HTML 5, which allows users to view video content even if they do not have Flash installed.

Via Wired, image via Google.

Mar 31 2010

Apple Updates iTunes for iPad Release

As expected, Apple released an update for iTunes this week to make the popular music application compatible with the next major product, the iPad. The new version of iTunes, 9.1, supports the iPad, has new Genius features, and has seven security issues fixed. QuickTime 7.6.6 was also released with iTunes 9.1.

According to Apple, the new version of iTunes adds a mere three features:

  • Sync with iPad to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on the go
  • Organize and sync books you’ve downloaded from iBooks on iPad or added to your iTunes library
  • Rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes

The update is 93 megabytes, which is not bad to download if you are on a really fast Internet connection (but it will take forever if your connection is of less than optimal speed).

The update also offers a setting that enables automatic conversion to 128 kbit/s AAC when songs are transferred to iPods or iPhones. The Genius feature, which offered little user control before the update, now offers the ability to rearrange a playlist and use next and previous buttons.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

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Mar 31 2010

Karim Rashid’s Pink Alligator Themed Eee PC 1008P Netbook Collection by ASUS

Asus 1008P-KR Case / Mouse

ASUS UK has put together a new ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P netbook collection with the help of designer Karim Rashid. We heard hints about the thing back in January, but the collection will go on display this weekend in London.

The 1008P netbook, based on the Eee PC 1008HA will be sold alongside a host of matching accessories, including a slim alligator-styled case and colored mouse.

Via NetbookReviews.

Mar 31 2010

Fujitsu Releases Its First Affordable Netbook: The MH330

Fujitsu is releasing the all new MH330 netbook for a price that’s truly earthshattering, by Fujitsu’s high standards: $499.68 USD. It’s a Pine Trail netbook, and its price point is about the same as what you’d expect for the features it comes with, which are listed below.

One interesting aspect of the netbook is its DVD Sharing application, allowing the netbook to access your desktop’s DVD drive. The Fujitsu MH330 netbook also comes with a spill-resistant keyboard.

Fujitsu LifeBook MH330

  • 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 10.1-inch 1,024 x 600 display
  • 250GB
  • Integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet
  • Three USB ports and VGA-out
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Black or red color options
  • You can expect the Fujitsu MH330 netbook to ship in Asia this April, and hopefully in the US soon after.

    Via CNet Asia.

    Mar 30 2010

    Apple Retail Employees Have Not Seen the iPad

    Ordinary Apple customers really want to see the iPad, which is being released this Saturday. But surprisingly, or perhaps not that surprisingly, considering how intense Apple is about secrecy, Apple store employees also have yet to set eyes on the iPad.

    One employee, speaking anonymously, said that Apple store workers never get to see new products before they are released, not even managers. A former employee said that Apple store workers did not get to see or hold an iPhone until an hour before its release.

    Judging by procedures from past releases of important Apple products, the iPad will probably be heavily guarded. A former assistant manager said that he was ordered to remain at the Apple store all night to guard the iPhone before its release.

    Despite all the secrecy, employees have said that Apple stores are fun places to work—which is what I would imagine, especially if you like Apple products a lot.

    Via Reuters.

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    Mar 30 2010

    Verizon Stock Rises Due to iPhone Reports

    Verizon’s stock rose today due to reports that the company will most likely be the next carrier for the iPhone. Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the United States and rumors concerning its possible future involvement with Apple have been mentioned for some time now.

    Verizon’s stock rose the most in four months due to the rumor, reported in the Wall Street Journal. Both Verizon and Apple have declined to comment, so at this point nothing is certain concerning Apple-Verizon rumors.

    Verizon could add as many as 3.5 million new contract customers in the first six months of carrying the iPhone, should it decide to do so. There is a lot of demand for the iPhone among Verizon customers, both those who would be upgrading to new phones and those who want iPhones right now but cannot have them because of being on Verizon’s network.

    Verizon’s stock rose 78 cents today, closing at $31.23 at 4:00 pm.

    Via BusinessWeek, image via Verizon.

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    Mar 30 2010

    Sharp and KDDI Announce New Multitouch 3G Sharp IS01 MID

    sharp kddi is01 1 540x312

    Japanese firms KDDI and Sharp are showing off a new pair of Android MIDs, likely to tempt the placement of the moniker ‘smartbook‘ from those with a taste for such language. It’s called the Sharp IS01, and it’s basically a tiny 3G enabled netbook rocking the Qualcomm Snapdragon, a 5-inch 960 x 480 display with multitiouch functionality, QWERTY keyboard, and a host of other features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

    It comes with some Japan-only quirks as well – a 1-Seg TV tuner, IrDA, and a pair of cameras (5.27 megapixel on the back and 0.43 megapixel on the front for video calls). You can use either microSD or the onboards memory allocation of 3 GB.

    The Sharp IS01 will run for 310 minutes of talking or up to 200 hours of standby time. This October, consumers should be getting a taste, and developers will be looking at their own version as early as May 2010.

    Via SlashGear.

    Mar 30 2010

    A Solution To Netbook Keyboard Worries

    Face it: your netbook has a tiny keyboard, and that sucks. It’s just one of those annoying things that comes with the form factor, and you wouldn’t trade it for the world. But does that have to be the case? Behold:

    This tantalizing netbook prototype, first shown at Yanko Design, will allow you to pack a lot more keyboard into a small space, as you can see. An additional layer would definitely add some thickness to the netbook, but this could definitely be a worthwhile tradeoff if you’ve got man-fingers like me.

    Once upon a time I would have doubted that this netbook could ever hit the market, but this is a world where we have dual-screen netbooks and netbooks with removable displays. Nothing’s surprising anymore, is it?

    Mar 29 2010

    Apple Releases Huge Security Update

    If you are using a Mac right now, be sure to get Apple’s latest security update. The update, released today, patches a whopping 92 vulnerabilities, a third of them critical. This security update actually breaks a record established in March 2008—that update patched a mere 90 vulnerabilities.

    The latest update fixed flaws in 42 aspects of the operating system, from QuickTime to AppKit. 18 of the vulnerabilities were Leopard-specific, 29 were Snow Leopard-specific, and the remaining 45 affected both Leopard and Snow Leopard (thanks a lot, Apple, for just leaving us Tiger users out all alone with no security updates).

    More than 40% of the vulnerabilities were critical and could have been used by attackers to hijack a Mac.

    The update did not come as a surprise to many analysts. Apple typically releases updates to iTunes and QuickTime before it releases new products that rely on iTunes. Analysts have also predicted that an iPhone update will be released this week, too.

    Via Computerworld, image via Apple.

    Mar 29 2010

    Rumor: Apple is Preparing Verizon iPhone

    According to some unnamed sources, Apple is preparing to release an iPhone that will be compatible with the Verizon network. One of the companies that builds iPhone software is reportedly working on an iPhone that will run on a CMDA network, which is the network Verizon uses in the United States. The CMDA iPhones are supposed to go into mass production this September, but it is unknown when Apple will release them.

    There have been many rumors about a Verizon-compatible iPhone for some time now. Most of them seem to be wishful thinking (Verizon people, I feel your pain–I had Sprint for a year after the iPhone first came out). Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T appears to preclude the possibility of there being iPhones compatible with other carriers, but it is unknown how long the AT&T contract is supposed to last. In other countries, the iPhone does have multiple carriers.

    Via CNET, image via CNET.

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    Mar 29 2010

    ASUS Crams a Netbook and iPad into One Sexy Eee PC T101MT

    ASUS is trying to make iPad and netbook lovers alike drop cash on its new Eee PC T101MT netbook instead. Set to ship this April at $500, ASUS’ new netbook delivers on a bunch of metrics that might have Apple lovers crossing the aisle.

    The Eee PC T101MT has a swiveling 10-inch touchscreen, Intel Atom N450 processor, built-in GPU, 1 GB of RAM, 160 GB of HDD space, as well as a slew of features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and SDHC card reader, webcam, and Windows 7.

    You can upgrade to better RAM, better HDD space, and get Windows 7 Premium instead of Starter for an extra fee.

    Via Dvice.

    Mar 29 2010

    US Consumers Prefer a Netbook to an iPad, Says Survey

    According to an NPD survey, it looks like the majority of US consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 would take a netbook over an iPad any day of the week. The majority is a slim one, ranking in at 51%. Furthermore, 44% of Apple product owners would take a MacBook over either.

    Nevertheless, 27% of 18-34 year olds show interest in the purchase of an iPad, though 57% of the age group say the high price of the device is the reason they wouldn’t purchase one. Apple product owners were less put off, with only 43% saying the price was too high.

    9% of all respondents of the survey were “extremely likely” or “very likely” to buy an iPad within the next six months.

    Via StrategyEye.

    Mar 28 2010

    Steve Jobs Named Valuable CEO

    Jobs in his trademark black turtleneck

    Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, has been named the most valuable CEO from a list of thirty respected chief executives created by Barron’s. The list, released annually, put Steve Jobs at the top, followed by such people as Amazon’s Jeffrey Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet, and Hewlett-Packard’s Mark Hurd.

    Jobs was named most valuable partly because of the stock dips Apple suffered when Jobs’ medical problems were made public. Jobs also returned to Apple years after he founded to save it from the “brink of death.” The Mac is but one of many successful Apple products: the iPod and iTunes helped save Apple and make it what it is today, and the iPhone and App Store have also been revolutionary. Apple’s latest product, the iPad, could be just as revolutionary.

    Jobs is often praised for the work he has done as Apple’s CEO. Harvard Business Review named him the best-performing CEO this past December.

    Via AppleInsider, image via Wikipedia.

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    Mar 28 2010

    Apple Online Store Goes Down

    Earlier today, the unthinkable happened to the online Apple store: it went down, probably for maintenance.

    No one is sure what sort of maintenance the store needed (assuming that the reason for its going down was maintenance). The iPad is going to be released in less than a week now and there is speculation that Apple was updating its site in preparation for the launch. There have also been rumors (unconfirmed, of course) that Apple is going to update its MacBook and MacBook Pro computer lines.

    There was also speculation that Apple was updating its site in preparation for the launch of a new product, but this is unlikely, since the weekend is not the optimal time to announce something new. Apple most likely was updating the website with iPad-related information.

    At the time of this writing, the store is currently online and appears to be working properly.

    Via TopNews, image via Apple.

    Mar 28 2010

    Netbooks For Kids

    For those of us who were kids during the late 90’s, the computer was a pretty fascinating device, but it didn’t really play too much of a role in our lives. It was there when the first videos were around and when most of us had to wait roughly ten minutes for our dreaded dial-up internet to finish loading something. However, computer usage is playing an ever growing role in young people’s lives, both at home and at school. Hell, there are plenty of eight year olds out there who are more computer savvy than some adults.  However, some kid-friendly computer programs are still a good tool for helping to get children acclimated to computer usage while maintaining some parental control.

    Fortunately for parents, PeeWee PC is there to help them. PeeWee PC makes notebooks and desktops geared towards children. They now offer the PeeWee kit, which is children’s software on a 4GB USB stick. The USB stick essentially helps bring kid friendly programming to netbooks.

    The PeeWee kit includes games and software for education. There is also a tool that allows parents to monitor how long their kids are on the computer and what they’re doing on it. The Kit is available on the flash drive $30 and on CD for $20.

    Via Liliputing.

    Mar 28 2010

    Google’s Ad Network Keeps A Record Of Your History Even If You Don’t Want To

    Oh Google, why must you squander away the good faith you had won with the China move?  Google has made public today an advertising plan known as “remarketing” that stores a history of all your visited sites in their ad network, allowing for ads to pop-up on any of the eligible sites targeted to you.  In other words, if you visited product X’s site in the past, you could see an ad for it on completely unrelated web page Y.

    Besides adding to the massive number of ads that already lie on the internet, this program raises some thorny questions.  Mainly: is Google completely throwing out whatever shred of privacy they kept for their consumers?  They already had a similar program in place called “interest-based advertising”.  The difference is back then it was just categories and interests that were kept, and now it is specific individual websites that you have visited.

    This is being called by some a major privacy risk.  Lawmakers might decide to weigh in on whether or not the practice should be regulated.  Till then, you can hope that opting out of the interest based ad service here will result in you being exempt from “remarketing”.

    Via Gizmodo

    Mar 28 2010

    Pwn2Own Competition Shows No Mercy For Browsers, OSes, or Phones

    Up north in Vancouver, the well known computer security conference CanSecWest got off to an impressive start with its famous Pwn2Own competition.  The goal each year is to take down various different platforms to highlight their security holes.  And this year showed that no matter what you run, you probably are not safe.

    For example, German hacker “Nils” managed to take down a Windows 7 PC which was running Firefox.   Using a previously unknown hole, he took total control over the PC.  Before this, Charlie Miller managed to take down a Mac OS X machine running on Safari, and Dutchman Peter Vreugdenhil took down another Windows 7 PC using Internet Explorer 8.

    Most disturbing, however, was probably the attack against iPhone users. Two Europeans by the names of Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Phillipp Weinmann managed to lead an iPhone to a webpage where in 20 seconds the entire SMS database, including previously deleted messages, was stolen.  All of the bugs were reported to the software’s creators by Pwn2Own and won’t be released until they are fixed.

    Via ZDNet

    Mar 27 2010

    Update On iPad Orders

    If you have not yet placed an order for an iPad, you will not be able to get your brand-new device on April 3. According to the latest updates on Apple’s website, new orders for the iPad will ship by April 12. Orders that have already been placed still have the delivery date of April 3.

    Since the delivery date of the new orders has been pushed, some have said that this means all the pre-orders have taken up all of Apple’s available stock of iPads. No one knows for sure how many iPads Apple ordered or how many pre-orders the company has received. There has been speculation that Apple sold hundreds of thousands of iPads since it began taking pre-orders and that the first three months of iPad sales will top those of the iPhone.

    Apple has finally added an essential iPad accessory that was missing from the store earlier: the camera connection kit. The delivery date is listed as “late April.” The delivery dates of the other delayed accessories are unchanged.

    Via CNET, image via Apple.

    Mar 27 2010

    Rumor: Apple May Be Prepping Mobile Ad Service

    There’s no official word confirming this rumor from the super-secret company that is Apple, but according to some reports, Apple is set to launch a mobile ad service called iAd. iAd will allegedly be based on Quattro, an online ad company that Apple purchased earlier this year. According to sources, Steve Jobs has high hopes for iAd and has called it “our next big thing.”

    iAd would make it easier for app developers to put advertisements in their applications. iAd would also further strain the already tense relations between Apple and Google by creating yet another area of competition between the two companies. Google also recently purchased an online ad company called AdMob to strengthen its position in the mobile ad market.

    Apple, of course, has not yet commented about iAd, following its usual policy of not commenting ahead of time on unannounced services and products.

    Via The Mac Observer.

    Mar 27 2010

    iPad Will Have Access to Many eBooks

    Okay, I know I was so against the iPad when Apple first announced it. I said that it was extremely disappointing and that I did not want one. But I have to admit, the iPad has been growing on me. This is one of the many reasons why: over 30,000 major books will be free for reading on the iPad.

    The free books will be both from Project Gutenberg’s library and from other publishers. Project Gutenberg makes books in the public domain available online.

    The iPad does not come with the iBooks application, but it is available for download for free from the App Store. According to other reports, books that are not free will be priced the same as Amazon Kindle books are. Barnes & Noble and Amazon will also be offering apps with eBooks for sale.

    Via Times Newsline, image via Apple.


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