Monday, January 17, 2011

Fake Steve Jobs blog is over

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Dan Lyons, who started the Fake Steve Jobs Blog as his anonymous pet project a few years ago, says he is no longer posting as Fake Steve. Like a lot of us in the tech community, Lyons is feeling awful about the situation with Jobs’ illness.

I know his old partner and friend, Steve Wozniak. And I just can’t bring myself to call Woz and ask him what he knows. I’m sorry. I know a surgeon who has worked at Stanford Medical Center, where Steve Jobs has received a great deal of his medical treatment. But I won’t ask her what she’s heard. For one thing, she won’t tell me. For another, all the hot showers in the world could not wash that stink off me. I won’t ask my friends who work at Apple what they know. I’ve never asked them for any inside information about Apple. We’re friends. I respect that. They don’t know what’s wrong with their boss. They’re just feeling awful. I know the feeling. Today I’m feeling awful, too.



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All the best to Steve Jobs and his family from our team!

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More iPad 2 Retina Display Evidence?

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With the iPad 2 rumored to have a Retina Display at a 2048 x 1536 resolution, more evidence has just dropped supporting that claim.

A recent .png has been found in the iBooks 1.2 source files called WoodTile@2x.png. It's sized at 1536 X 800, while the old WoodTile.png in iBooks 1.1 was 768 x 400. The new .png is 2x in each direction, or 4x the pixels.

This is would give the iPad 2 a 260 DPI, 40 short of the iPhone 4's 300 DPI. However, the Retina definition is based off the distance the device is from your eyes. Since an iPad would be held futher away from your eyes, less DPI would be required to achieve the effect.

The iPad 2 is rumored to drop in March or April, and feature front and rear cameras.



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Lego Angry Birds

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Nobody can deny that Angry Birds is a phenomenon, and let’s face it… who doesn’t love Lego? Reader Tsang Yiu Keung writes to tell us ’these are my latest creations and hope that you would like the LEGO version of “Angry Birds”. I love the game very much and I would like to built them with my bricks. However, the Birds family has not yet completed, the “Gaint Red bird” is still work in progress. Also i want to get more Lime color bricks to build more Pigs’.









You can check out the entire collection on Tsang Yiu Keung’s facebook page.















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White iPhone Appears in Vodafone Inventory System

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The white iPhone has appeared in Vodafone Germany's inventory system, according to Engadget.

Last we'd heard, the rarest member of the iPhone 4 clan was tracking for a spring '11 launch -- and that'd line up pretty nicely with shots we've received from a trusted source today showing new entries in Vodafone Germany's inventory system for weiƟ (white) iPhone 4s in both 16 and 32GB flavors. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean Vodafone has any idea when these phones are showing up on their doorstep -- maybe they're just preparing (and hoping) that it materializes before too long -- but for what it's worth, the source says to expect a launch "soon."

Apple has delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 for unknown reasons. It's been speculated that the reason for its delay is due to manufacturing inconsistencies in the white color of its parts.









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Apple to Merge iTunes Into Safari?

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Apple may be preparing to merge iTunes and Safari into one software solution, according to Three Guys and a Podcast.

Apple may be preparing a massive move that will propel Safari from niche browser to market leader. The move to merge Safari and iTunes into one software solution appears long in the works, which may arrive this fall at Apple's usual iPod special event.

The site suggests that Apple is looking to make the change to propel the poor performing Safari browser which has reached just 4.46% of browser market share as of December 2010.

It is believed that Safari will be the only browser able to access iTunes, as iTunes is built into the browser itself. "Moving iTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn't a monumental task" claimed a source, adding "Safari would skyrocket in use as a result of integrating the software titles together."




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Apple to Discontinue More Professional Products Including OS X Server?

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Apple's discontinuation of Xserver may have been a precursor to the discontinuation of other professional products including Xsan, Final Cut, and Mac OS X Server, according to a HardMac report.

According to our sources, the discontinuation of the Xserve by Apple would be only the beginning of an overhaul, which would lead to the disappearance of some professional-oriented activities. Xsan and Final Cut server could be among the programs being discontinued, as Apple's management would be wondering whether to continue to develop and support them in the future. To go even further, but we are not there yet, it would be Mac OS X Server that could be discontinued. There will be a server version of Mac OS X Lion, but it might be the last Mac OS X server update.

The discontinuation of Xserve was met with huge disappointment from pro users. It's unclear if the upset has been enough to change Apple's mind.



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HiJack is a Platform for DIY iPhone Peripherals

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A group of students and faculty at the University of Michigan have created HiJack, a hardware/software platform for creating cubic-inch sensor peripherals for the iPhone.

HiJack devices harvest power and use bandwidth from the mobile phone's headset interface. The HiJack platform enables a new class of small and cheap phone-centric sensor peripherals that support plug-and-play operation.

Power
The HiJack energy harvester can supply 7.4 mW to a load with 47% power conversion efficiency when driven by a 22 kHz tone from the output from a single audio channel on the iPhone 3GS headset port, all using electronic components that cost just $2.34 in 10K volumes. We are exploring other approaches for achieving higher conversion efficiencies.

Data
The HiJack communications layer offers two data transfer schemes. The first allows 300 baud data transfer using Bell 202 FSK signaling. The second offers 8.82 kbaud using a Manchester-encoded, direct-digital communication using hardware accelerators on the HiJack microcontroller and a software-defined, digital radio modulator/demodulator on the phone. The first scheme is described in the ISLPED'10 Design Contest entry (below). The second scheme is described in the DEV'10 paper below.

Sensing
We envision a range of sensorboards including ozone, carbon monoxide, DVM, blood pressure, blood glucose, and others. But today, we only have four daughterboards: (1) a simple demo board with temperature/humidity sensors, PIR motion sensor, and potentiometer used on the early HiJack prototypes; (2) a 3-lead EKG sensor; (3) a basic soil moisture sensor; (4) a breakout board for fast prototyping on the latest generation of HiJacks.

Hijacking Power and Bandwidth from the Mobile Phone's Audio Interface - Integrated Prototype from Thomas Schmid on Vimeo.





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Steve Jobs Again Takes Medical Leave of Absence

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Steve Jobs is again taking a medical leave of absence from Apple leaving Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations.

Jobs sent the following email to all Apple employees:

Team,

At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.

Steve

In mid-2004, Jobs was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas and underwent surgery to have it removed. On January 14, 2009, Jobs announced a six-month leave of absence to allow him to better focus on his health. Then, in April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant after which he returned to Apple.




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iPad 2 LCD Screen Appears For Sale Online?

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GlobalDirectParts has a parts listing for the iPad 2 LCD screen, a vibrating motor, and a white iPad, according to a MacRumors report.

The first part listed is the "iPad 2 LCD Screen" which is "out of stock" but is listed for a price of $218.19. For comparison, the company also sells the original iPad screen for only $63.35. We can't tell for sure when the part appeared on their site, but the image appears to have been uploaded this weekend after the 2048x1536 rumors broke.

GlobalDirectParts recently posted an almost six minute long video showcasing what they believed to be parts from the iPhone 5 or CDMA iPhone. Apple immediately made a copyright claim on the footage and forced YouTube to take it down.




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Apple Asks Federal Government to Crack Down on Jailbreaking

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NBC is reporting that Apple has asked the federal government to help crack down on hackers "jailbreaking" the iPhone.

"Current jailbreak technologies now in widespread use utilize unauthorized modifications to the copyrighted bootloader and operating system, resulting in the infringement of the copyrights in those programs," Apple told the U.S. Copyright Office.

This request comes despite the Library of Congress having deemed that jailbreaking your iPhone in order to install applications not approved by Apple and/or to unlock is legal.




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Best Buy Lists Three New iPad SKUs

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Best Buy is listing three new iPad SKUs on its online store database and internal store database, according to 9to5Mac.

Two of the SKUs are listed for $599 while the third is listed for $699. The SKUs are reportedly categorized in the internal store database as "unreleased products".


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iTunes Has Already Sold 5 Million Beatles' Tracks

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Apple has already sold over five million Beatles' tracks via iTunes since their debut on November 16th, according to The Loop.

Apple has informed The Loop that the iTunes Store recently exceeded 5 millions Beatles songs and 1 million Beatles albums sold worldwide. "Abbey Road" is the current best-selling Beatles album in the U.S., while "Here Comes the Sun" is the currently best-selling Beatles song.

The Beatles Box Set costs $149.99 and the individual albums range from $12.99 to $19.99. Individual songs can also be purchased for $1.29.




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iPad 2 Resolution is Likely 2048x1536

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Images accidentally left in iBooks 1.1 and 1.2 reveal that the iPad 2's resolution is likely double that of the current model, according to MacRumors.

Version 1.1 of Apple's iBooks application seems to have accidentally included some artwork for this hypothetical pixel-doubled iPad. As shown above, the App's bookmark icon included versions for the iPad, the iPhone and the iPhone Retina Display (iPhonex2). It, however, also included one additional version labeled "iPadx2". Sure enough, this is exactly double the resolution version of the iPad icon and is distinct from the other versions. The most likely explanation for this added graphic is plans for a double-resolution iPad. Apple has since removed this extra artwork in subsequent versions of iBooks.

The current iPad uses a 1024x768 resolution. Doubling this resolution would result in a 2048x1536 resolution at a 260 DPI.

A recent Engadget report also predicts a "super high resolution" iPad 2.



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