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Apple Announces iPhone OS Event on 8 April

futureiphoneos.jpgApple has announced an event centered around iPhone OS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod touch and now the iPad, this Thursday at 10.00 PDT. There, Apple will offer “a sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software”, with many people anticipating the announcement of iPhone OS 4.0. [via Gizmodo]

Such an announcement would come only days after the public release of the iPad-exclusive iPhone OS version 3.2. It is not yet known whether the iPhone and iPod touch will continue to run on different versions of iPhone OS than the iPad or whether future releases will support all of the devices. As Apple specifically mentions the “iPhone OS software”, it is unlikely that details about the next generation iPhone(s), which may be released later this year, will be announced at the event.

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Verizon Cuts the Prices of the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, Mobile Hotspot Now Free

palmpreplus.jpgVerizon has cut the prices of the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus to $50 and $30, respectively, with a two-year contract. It has also made Mobile Hotspot, which previously cost $40 per month, a free service. In addition, the company’s “buy one, get one free” promotion for the phones is still in effect.

Mobile Hotspot turns the Palm Pre Plus or Pixi Plus into a wireless router, allowing users to connect up to five devices and use Verizon’s network to access the Internet. The service will now be free for new customers and existing customers will see the charge for the service reduced to $0 on their next bill.

The price cut is likely tied to the overstock of Palm phones after the company shipped 960,000 units in Q3 2010 but sold only 408,000 units. During the Q3 2010 earnings call, Palm emphasized the importance of increasing sell-through.

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YouTube Unveils TEXTp

textp.jpgMany of Google’s or rather Topeka’s services have made humorous announcements for April Fools’ Day, including Gmail’s vowel outage, Google Wave’s new option to have a live person notify you of new waves and Google Docs’s feature to upload physical items to the cloud. One of the most elaborate ones is the introduction of TEXTp by YouTube.

YouTube presents TEXTp, a “text-only̦” mode for its video player, as a cost-cutting initiative made necessary by the high volume of videos that is uploaded to the service every day, as well as the increased quality of these videos. TEXTp works by replacing images in videos with random letters and numbers and is said to save YouTube $1 a second in bandwidth costs, as well as promoting literacy.

TEXTp mode is supported in most videos and can be enabled by selecting it from the quality menu.

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iTunes 9.1 Released, Adds Support for the iPad

itunes9-1.jpgWith the release of the iPad imminent, Apple was expected to release an iTunes update to add support for the device and that update has come in the form of iTunes 9.1. The update includes:

  • “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”

It now looks like everything is prepared for the iPad release this Saturday.

If you have not been prompted to update, manually run Software Update, check for updates within iTunes or download the update from

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Flash Integrated with Chrome

Adobe Flash will be integrated with Google Chrome, announced both companies. When users download Chrome, Flash Player will be included, eliminating the need to download the programs separately. Users will also receive Flash Player updates through Chrome’s auto-update system. Google, in cooperation with Adobe, is also working on making Flash content run in a sandboxed environment, allowing for greater security.

The integrated program is available in the Chrome developer channel. It must be run with the “–enable-internal-flash” flag to use the integrated version of Flash. Google did not state when a stable version of the integrated client would be released.

This comes while YouTube is testing a Flash-free version of its site and many are heralding the death of Flash in the age of HTML5. Obviously, Google continues to consider Flash an important part of the Web ecosystem, as it powers much of streaming video on the Web, including YouTube and Google Videos. This is in contrast to Apple, which has elected not to include Flash support on the iPhone or the iPad, with Steve Jobs supposedly calling Adobe “lazy”.

Google is also working with Mozilla, Adobe and the community to create a new API for browser plugins to amend the shortcomings of the currently-used NPAPI plugin architecture. This new API will be browser and operating system-neutral and will improve performance and security. It will also allow plugins to better integrate with browsers.

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Twitter Debuts New Homepage

Twitter continues to make changes to its homepage, which is shown to visitors that are not logged in, and the latest version adds more dynamically-generated content. The page displays a list of “Top tweets” which are selected by an algorithm and constantly updated without requiring the user to refresh his browser. To left is a “See who’s here” box highlighting a random sample of recommended Twitter users. Hovering over one of these avatars will bring up its name, location and latest tweet. Above is a list of trending topics that scrolls across the screen. Also included is a brief introduction to Twitter and a link explaining the benefits of Twitter to businesses, as well as the familiar search bar.

Twitter describes the homepage as a “work-in-progress”, stating that “recent changes embrace the notion that Twitter is not just for status updates anymore. It’s a network where information is exchanged and consumed at a rapid clip every second of the day.” It will continue to tweak the page to assist users in finding what they want on Twitter.


Update: Twitter has created the account @toptweets to display tweets that are selected for the “Top tweets” section to users that are logged in.

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Mac OS X 10.6.3 Released

macosx10-6-3.jpgApple has released Mac OS X version 10.6.3, the first large update to the operating system this year. It features numerous bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • “improve the reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X
  • address compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications
  • address an issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail
  • resolve an issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications
  • resolve an issue that prevented files from copying to Windows file servers
  • improve performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode
  • improve sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand
  • address a color issue in iMovie with HD content
  • improve printing reliability
  • resolve issues with recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server
  • improve the reliability of 3rd party USB input devices
  • fix glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera”

as well as fixes for AirPort, iCal, Mail, MobileMe, Rosetta and Time Machine. A complete list of changes is available at

If you have not yet been prompted to update, manually run Software Update or download the update at if you are currently using Mac OS X 10.6.2 or at if you are using any other version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

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iPhone Could Be Coming to Verizon

iphoneverizon.jpgThe Wall Street Journal, citing “people briefed on the matter”, reports that Apple will release two iPhone models this year, one for AT&T and another that supports CDMA standard, which Verizon’s network uses. While the AT&T version of the phone is being manufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which has produced the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, the CDMA version is being manufactured by Pegatron Corp. Pegatron will begin mass producing the model in September.

Rumors about a version of the iPhone that works on Verizon’s network have abounded for a couple years now, but Apple has yet to suggest that it will terminate its exclusivity with AT&T in the United States. In fact, it is promoting AT&T’s pre-paid 3G plans for the iPad, although the device is sold unlocked and can therefore be used with most GSM carriers. People have been calling for a CDMA version of Apple’s mobile phone since the original iPhone was released because of what they see as poor service from AT&T, but Apple is unlikely to make any comment about the existence of a CDMA iPhone until it announces the release of the device, if it ever does.

[Image by / CC BY-NC 2.0]

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Community Nominations Deadline for Google’s 1 Gigabit Network is Up

googlebroadband.jpgLast month, Google announced that it was planning to build a 1 gigabit fiber network somewhere in the United States that it would initially test with 50,000 participants, with potentially up to 500,000 participants to be included at a later time. The company encouraged state, county and city officials, as well as members of the public to nominate their communities by answering its request for information.

Today was the deadline for those submissions and Google has released some statistics: it received 1,100 responses from governments and over 194,000 responses from individuals. It also highlighted some of things various communities have done in an attempt to court the company, including the city of Topeka, Kansas attempting to temporarily rename itself as Google, public rallies held in Greenville, South Carolina and Peoria, Illinois, as well as various videos on YouTube and Facebook groups.

Google will now focus on narrowing down the list of possible locations for the network, which will entail visiting the locations, meeting with local officials and consulting with third-party organizations. It will make a decision by the end of the year.

Google has mapped the responses:


The small dots represent government responses and the large dots represent locations where more than 1,000 individuals submitted responses.

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Go Daddy Stops Registering .cn Domains

cn_logo.jpgGo Daddy announced that it would stop registering .cn (the country code top-level domain for China) domain names at a Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing yesterday. The decision came after the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which administers the .cn domain, requested additional information about every person that registered a .cn domain with Go Daddy in the past six years. This information includes photo identification, business identification and a signature, while most registries only requiring the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of people who register for a domain name. If Go Daddy does not comply with the request, the CNNIC informed the company that its domain names would stop working. Those that have already registered .cn domain names through Go Daddy will continue to receive service, but new domains cannot be registered.

During the hearing, Go Daddy also confirmed that it had been targeted by a several denial-of-service attacks that originated in China this year. Jones also claimed that many spam websites are hosted in China and that the Chinese government seems to be encouraging this.

This decision comes only days after Google stopped censoring its Search, News and Images results in China. Both companies were praised by the members of the CECC for their actions.

[via Macworld]

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