Archive for August, 2007

NBC, in an attempt to strong arm Apple, announced that they would not be renewing their contract with iTunes and Apple when it expires in December of this year proving once again that big media dinosaurs just don’t get it. Apple knows and plays the game better than anyone. They have built online music and media into the market that it is today and it works because of the way they are doing it. Now, the big media dinosaurs are trying to get in on the game and the greedy machine of big media is trying to push Apple into a business model that will fail miserably and rake Apple’s customers over the coals. Apple, indisputably better at the game than anyone else, has decided to take the high road on this one and walk away.

While I will miss my iTunes episodes of the Office and Heroes, I must say that I would rather sit on the sidelines with Apple on this one. It is just another example of a dinosaur media company fighting for their archaic system instead of embracing the future of media and entertainment.

Shame on you NBC

Thank you Apple

LINK TO APPLE PRESS RELEASE

Apple has seeded Mac OS X Leopard Server Build 9A528a to Apple Developer Connection members for download.

Mac OS X Leopard Server Build 9A528a

V3HD Shipping Now

Got an email this morning from the company that makes the V3HD Firewire Video Interface that it is finally shipping. This device allows you to connect all kinds of audio and video devices to your Mac or PC through a firewire interface. According to the company it works with Apple’s Final Cut or Adobe Permiere and can capture HD and SD click on the fly.

B & H Photo has it in stock for a price of $2,949.00

More info after the jump…

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The update shows “bug fixes” as what it fixes.  It does not appear to really add any new features to the iPhone.  Some users are saying that speakerphone and play back of voice mail through speakerphone are louder.

This update does not appear to fix any Exchange Server email features or problems namely the deleting of emails on the iPhone still only marks the messages as being read in Outlook or Entrourage and not actually deleting them.

Users who have hacked their iPhone may see problems with their update and may be required to restore to factory default and then update.  Make sure to backup your photos on the phone prior to upgrading also as a precaution.

iPhone 1.0.2

VMWare Fusion VS Parallels Speed Test

Round 2 of our VMWare Fusion vs Parallels Speed test kind of surprised me. In Round 1, we pitted VMWare Fusion vs Parallels with Windows XP SP2 for our speed test. Parallels was the victor in every category in Round 1 which wasn’t much of a surprise since it is the more mature product and VMWare Fusion is the newcomer.
In Round 2 of our speed test, we decided to use Windows Vista with VMWare Fusion and Parallels for our speed test. All test were run 3 times and an average of the 3 speeds were used for the results. I must admit there were some really strange results in this test and the ultimate winner was kind of a surprise also.

For this test we decided to give the virtual machine a little more memory. We bumped the memory to 1500mb of memory for the power hungry Microsoft Vista. The machine that this test was run on was a MacPro with dual 2.66 processors, 5GB of memory and 4 500GB HDD configured striped. We ran the same test as we did in round 1:

Time to install from first boot to the desktop showed up for the first time.
Time to reboot with a clean OS install
Time to suspend the machine with a clean OS install
Time to boot with a clean OS install
Time to wakeup from a suspended system with a clean OS install

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As posted on the HandBrake Website the latest release is available for download now…

HandBrake

“But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

We’re proud to announce the public release of HandBrake 0.9.0.

Download it now.

This is a major release. The changes cannot really all be summed up, but here’s a try:

  • User experience is improved through a re-envisioned Mac interface and a Windows interface that’s been rebuilt from the ground up.
  • Picture quality is improved through better image scaling, better deinterlacing, new filters for denoising, deblocking, inverse telecine, and new presets devoted to high quality settings.
  • Speed improvements due to updated copies of x264 and ffmpeg. This includes improved multi-threaded encoding for the iPod.
  • Compatibility is improved through new presets for devices like the iPhone and PSP. As well, HandBrake now supports DTS as an audio source and has limited support for .VOB and .TS file containers as input. Most excitingly, HandBrake can now output to the Matroska (MKV) file container.
  • Stability has been improved due to countless bug fixes. (Including audio drop and mp2 issues). Handbrake also has optional support for MP4 files larger than 4 gigabytes.

This is only a short summary of 121 days of furious activity, during which nearly 300 changes were made to the code base. For details, you can see a timeline of all changes.

If you’re curious why this release is being called 0.9.0, please see the FAQ.

Enjoy!

The burning question about whether a non-gigabit Apple AirPort Extreme (AAE) could be upgrade via a $1.99 Enabler or some other firmware update was bugging me way too much. So I set out to dissect both the gigabit and non-gigabit version of the AAE.

AirPort Extreme Front

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According to Computerworld, researchers at SecureWorks, Inc, have uncovered a cache of personal data that was stolen from around 46,000 individuals.  The stolen data includes credit card accounts,  and social security numbers along with other data than can be used to steal people’s identities.  The research found that the users machines were beign infected and reinfected by visiting many popular job search sites including Monster.com.

The hackers are using variants of the PRG Trojan to steal data from users.  Upon visiting the site, a user clicks on a malicious ad that takes them to an exploit page that checks the users browser and then serves up one of four different exploits depending on the users machine.  The exploit allows the trojan onto the machine and from there on out, all data the user enters is sent to one of 20 servers around the world collecting the data.

American Airlines filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. over the Internet company’s sale of keywords to American Airline’s rivals that the company says infringes on its trademarks. The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages, was filed because Google allowed American Airlines competitors to purchase keywords that American Airlines says that it has trademarked.

This isn’t the first time that Google has been sued for selling keywords to competitors. In 2005, Geico Inc. files a similar lawsuit and the court found that Google’s practices were perfectly legal. Google however did settle with Geico the same year over ads that featured the word Geico in the text versus ads that were triggered by the searches using the trademark.

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The popular internet calling service Skype experienced a major service outage yesterday and according to many reports continues to experience outages again today.

Skype is a peer to peer internet telephony application that exploded onto the scene several years ago and was purchased in 2005 by eBay. The software allows members to talk to each other anywhere in the world for free and allows you to call people outside the Skype network for considerably less than other communication services.

Skype has deferred questions about its outages to its blog where Skype engineers have been posting information regarding the problem. According to the blog, they performed maintenance two days ago to the company’s billing system and a deficiency in an algorithm that controls interaction between Skype’s users has resulted in the inability login.

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