Tuesday, March 15, 2011

X-Ray of Apple A5 Chip Reveals Samsung as Manufacturer Images

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X-rays of the Apple A5 processor chip reveal that Samsung is the manufacturer and not TSMC as rumored earlier.

Chipworks compared the A5 processor to the A4 processor to confirm it came from the same source.

At this scale even electron microscopes start to run out of steam, so not the clearest of images in either case, but good enough to see the similar shape of the transistor gates and the dielectric layers. So at least this sample of the A5 is fabbed by Samsung, just as all Apple’s processor chips have been for the last while.

They also confirm the 512MB of RAM.

Flash memory is flash memory, the DRAM in the A5 package is 512 MB instead of 256 MB, and the touchscreen control uses the same trio of chips as the iPad 1 – not even a single chip solution as we've seen in the later iPhones. And the 3G version uses the same chipset as the Verizon iPhone launched a few weeks ago.







[A5]




[A4]




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iPhone Used to Hack Times Square Video Billboards? Video

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A new YouTube video demonstrates a hack which purportedly takes over the video display of Times Square's massive screens using an iPhone. CBS posted the story saying, "First off I'm going to state that I do not know if this is in fact real or fake. My gut is telling me it has to be fake... but if it's real, I'm so going to buy one!"

Here's how the poster describes the hack...

the way it works is pretty simple: plug in my transmitter into the iphone 4 and play back any video clip. you can play it through the ipod feature or through the camera roll. the transmitter instantly sends the video signal to the video repeater and the video repeater overrides any video screen that it's being held next to. it doesn't matter what shape or size the hacked screen is because the hack video will simply keep its correct dimensions and the rest of the hacked space will stay black.

i chose times square for my demo because it has lots of video screens to try it on. it is also one of the most monitored and secured areas in new york city and that made it that much more fun :). you can see in my video that the repeater is pretty powerful but the signal is not very stable yet. i'm working on that. i will post a new video later this week explaining how i made this prototype.

Even if the hack is fake, the video is pretty impressive.

Take a look!





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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 9

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Microsoft Corp. Announced the launch of Windows Internet Explorer 9 at the SXSW Interactive conference.

Internet Explorer 9 has a streamlined design, fewer dialog boxes to click through, more intuitive navigation, and many new features that speed up your web browsing experience. Features like Pinned Sites let you pin your favorite website directly to the taskbar for one-click access. Other features, like hardware acceleration, deliver an all-around faster browsing experience. With Internet Explorer 9, websites perform and feel more like the programs you use every day on your PC.

You can download Internet Explorer 9 from the link below...

Read More



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Apple Store Manager in Tokyo Details Apple's Response to the Earthquake

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Kevin Rose has posted a detailed letter from an Tokyo Apple Store manager which details how Apple responded to the current crisis in Japan.

We pasted much of the letter below; however, you can read it in its entirety at the link provided.

Read More [via Margo]

-----

I work at Apple as a manager at one of its stores in Japan. The earthquake hit while I was working on the first floor of one of their stores. As the entire building swayed, the staff calmly led people from the top 5 floors down to the first floor, and under the ridiculously strong wooden tables that hold up the display computers.

7 hours and 118 aftershocks later, the store was still open. Why? Because with the phone and train lines down, taxis stopped, and millions of people stuck in the Tokyo shopping district scared, with no access to television, hundreds of people were swarming into Apple stores to watch the news on USTREAM and contact their families via Twitter, Facebook, and email. The young did it on their mobile devices, while the old clustered around the macs. There were even some Android users there. (There are almost no free wifi spots in Japan besides Apple stores, so even Android users often come to the stores.)

You know how in disaster movies, people on the street gather around electronic shops that have TVs in the display windows so they can stay informed with what is going on? In this digital age, that's what the Tokyo Apple stores became. Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones. Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world.

Anyway, I mention this not because I work at Apple now, or because I'm an admitted fanboy, but because I'm genuinely proud of the Apple Japan staff and their willingness to stay open to help people that day. And I'm also impressed with the way Apple's products (and yes, Google's, Twitter's, and Facebook's) helped them that day. Even after we had to close, many of the staff stayed outside the store to fixing iphones and teaching people how to contact family or stay informed via wifi.

.....

A quick list of kind things Apple did after we closed:

1. Because the trains and phones were down, almost everyone who worked in Tokyo was stranded deep in the city. All the hotels were booked, the roads were jammed, so hundreds of people were instantly homeless. Apple told all of their staff - Retail AND Corporate - that they could go sleep at the Apple stores. The Senior managers at the stores had been notified earlier and unbeknownst to we Jr. Managers, had gone out to stock up on food and drinks after the very first quake hit.

This was a godsend because by 11pm (118 aftershocks later) all food and drinks were sold out at every store within walking distance. And when I say walking distance, I mean 3-4 hours of walking distance. (Tokyo is a big city.)

Letting not just Retail but corporate staff sleep at the Apple stores was genius because:

1a. The corporate offices are in skyscrapers with over 50 flights of stairs. With all elevators in Japan shutdown, this was a nightmare.

1b. The Retail stores were the only areas where WE controlled the buildings, from top to bottom, so we could monitor, fix, and maintain the back-up power, networks, and heating ourselves.

1c. Ubiquitous wifi and Facetime devices gave us a lifeline to our families and the rest of the world. Facetime turned out to be MUCH more stable than Skype (And I'm a Skype fanboy!)

1d. With theater rooms and breakrooms designed for 150+ people, the Apple stores were the most comfortable places to be and to sleep. Much more comfortable than sleeping on the street on a cold March night.

2. Once staff let their families know that they were not only safe but how comfortable we were (break room refridgerators stocked with food and drink, etc), family members began asking if they could stay at the Apple stores as well. Of course Apple said yes. One business team member's stranded mother walked 3.5 hours to be with her daughter at the store. When she arrived, the Apple store staff gave her a standing ovation ("Warm Welcome") like they do for customers during a new launch.

3. The head of Apple International HR and of Japan Retail happened to be in Japan that week. Both came and spent the night with us in the stores and told everyone that if anyone wanted to try their luck getting home on their own, Apple would pay for any food, drink, or transportation fees that that person incurred on the way. "Your safety is most important."

If, on their way home the staff member realized they couldn't make it, but they found an open hotel, Apple would pay for it. Since many people lived 2-3 hours away, this ended up meaning 11 hour walks home, $300 taxi fares, and $800 hotel rooms (only the luxury hotels had vacancies). Executives from Cupertino and London Facetimed with us, letting us know not to worry, they supported us, and that they would write off on it all.

4. We continued to open our doors to stranded people on the street fixing iphones, selling battery packs, or simply teaching people how to get streaming news on their smart-phones until 3am in the morning. ;)

And lastly, as I write this now 3 days later, even though the Japanese government says everything is fine, nuclear plants continue to explode. And we still haven't even gotten the 7pt aftershock that is predicted to come this week, nor the nuclear/acid rain that is predicted to fall within the next 3 days. I hate to say this, but things may only get worse before they get better.

I've been calling my girlfriend at work, asking her to come home, but because the Tokyo government hasn't said anything, her company won't let her leave. On the other hand, my manager at Apple called me to let me know that Apple will support any decision I make regarding leaving the country or the area, and that a job will still be waiting for me if I decide to come back.
------

If you would like to donate to help Japan, Apple has setup an iTunes page to do so.





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iPad 2 Beats MacBook Pro in iMovie Speed Tests

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AppAdvice has performed several iMovie speed tests comparing the iPad 2 to 10 Mac devices including the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Pro, and iPad 1.

They tested the time it took to copy a movie to the device, the time it took to encode an unedited 2 minute movie to 720p, and the time it took to encode an edited movie to 720p.

In the first test, the same 2 minute video was imported into iMovie on all the devices. Surprisingly, the iPad 2 smoked even the Mac Pro taking only 25.5 seconds to import the clip. The Mac Pro took 56.5 seconds and the fastest MacBook Pro took 1 minute 12.5 seconds.



In the second test, the iPad 2 smoked the other devices yet again encoding an unedited 2 minute clip to 720p in 1 minute 56 seconds. The Mac Pro took 2 minutes and 15 seconds and the fastest MacBook Pro took 2 minutes and 20 seconds.



Finally, the iPad 2 performed well on its last test as well. It came in third place just behind the Mac Pro and the fastest MacBook Pro. This time the two minute video was encoded after adding a title overlay, music in the background, and a start and finish image. The iPad 2 finished encoding in 2 minutes 5 seconds; whereas, the Mac Pro took 1 minute 48 seconds and the MacBook Pro took 2 minutes.



We were shocked by these findings. The question we wanted to answer is this: If I am going to be shooting video on the road, what portable machine do I bring to edit/encode videos? We think the answer is pretty clear. For most people, the iPad 2 has more than enough power for editing and encoding videos on the road. Yes, the edits you can do on the iPad are simpler, but they are sufficient for most of us.



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Bon Jovi: 'Steve Jobs is Personally Responsible for Killing the Music Business'

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Rocker Jon Bon Jovi told The Sunday Times Magazine that 'Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business' in a recently published interview.

"Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it. God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?'. Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business."

One could argue the exact opposite in fact. iTunes lets many musicians get their music out to the world who otherwise wouldn't have had the means to do so.

Interestingly, CultofMac notes that Bon Jovi sits on the White House Council for Community Solutions with Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Think she'll have a few words for him?





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Apple Features AirPlay-Enabled Apps

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Apple has created a new section in the App Store to feature AirPlay-Enabled apps.

Hit the link below to checkout some of these AirPlay apps including; Discovery Channel, VEVO, ESPN, Air Video, and more...


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