News update for 9/13/11

OK. I totally changed my mind about the video version of the news updates because my camera sucks and I suck at making videos. So we’re back with the normal posts. I’m still going to use the same format I did last time unless someone complains. If someone else has better presentation skills you should make a video out of this and I’ll post it on the page if you email me the youtube channel link. That would be pretty cool.

So the fist story of the day is…. Microsoft says one thing and does another. Microsoft has long stated that it did not foresee a ‘post PC era‘ but it is now making it’s new operating system work on both tablets and PCs. They’ve announced that they intend Windows 8 to be used on PCs as well as tablets and other mobile devices. This is a good move for them since they don’t know which is going to be more important between tablet and PCs. This way they have a shot at success no matter which way the market swings. Good job Microsoft. Don’t push for change, just wait for it to happen and make sure you’re there to pick it up when it falls on the floor.

Now here’s the kind of news that I really like to hear. AMD chips have broken the land speed record at 8.4GHz. I have long been a fan of Intel chips and generally refused to use AMD chips in any of the computers I design because of their history of less than excellent performance and mediocre longevity. I am beginning to reconsider that stance a little bit as AMD is putting out chips with more cores and now much faster maximum clock speeds. In addition to being oveclocked to incredible speeds using liquid nitrogen cooling they found that it was actually able to sustain a clock speed over 5GHz using only conventional air or water cooling systems that cost under $100. Right now I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one of the newest AMD unlocked CPUs so I can try to beat their clock. I’m also going to see about overclocking one of the Intel core i7 chips too. Not sure when this will all happen but I’ll post the results on here when it does.

 

More tablet stuff in the news today. Google is continuing it’s push into the smartphone market and announced that it is teaming up with Intel to make the next generation of smartphones and tablets. Google’s android software will now be optimized for the latest of Intel’s Atom mobile processors. As a side note Google’s Android system has remained the world’s best selling smartphone software at 43% market share worldwide last quarter. I personally can’t wait for Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings to go through so they can start making their own phone hardware.

Thoughts on Google making it’s own phone hardware… Making hardware for it’s Android OS would greatly increase the profitability of the Android project, but I don’t think it fits with the rest of Google’s Android business plan. So far they have been giving their Android OS away to any phone manufacturer who wants it and making money off of the app downloads and the increase in search and advertising revenue. It seems to me that when Google releases it’s own smartphones with it’s own OS on them it would be an act of trying to kill a market that they created. It would probably work, but seems like it’s not the most logical way of doing things. Also, when they’re making more money off of their own phones than off of the Android phones that other companies sell what is their motivation to continue giving it’s operating system to those manufacturers. Just seems like an odd plan to me. Sort of like when Apple authorized the Mac Clones back when stupid people were running the company.

In other bad news for Google, it’s search engine market share has dropped to 65% just thought you’d like to know.

No more Nintendo? Nintendo continues to struggle with it’s terribly introduced 3DS handheld. It has, however, released a host of new games that you should Google because I don’t care enough about the games to post them on here. My theory though is that in the future we will either have no Nintendo at all or we will have an Nintendo that only makes games for other consoles and not their own devices.

Please post any comments you have in the comments section because that’s what it’s for. You are also welcome to post links to other stories that you’ve seen that you think I should have posted in this post post post post…. I need to give you an update on this site’s impressions sometime in the future but I don’t feel like typing out the data right now so I’ll wait till a later date… haha that rhymed.

That is all.

News update 9/12/11 More iPhone stuff…

I would like to preface this post today by tell you all that I am going to be starting a video version of the daily news update starting as soon as my camera has a full charge. The first video will be posted later today. It will hopefully be on wordpress but if that proves challenging it will definitely be on Youtube and I will post the link. The video will have all of the same content as the text post because I’m using the text post as a script but I may add in little bits of info or opinions that I didn’t write down. Let me know if you like the crappy video and I’ll keep doing it! …I’ve also changed the format of the text post a little. Someone should let me know if they like having the mini headlines better. I’m just doing it this way because it seems to be easier….

Moving on…

First story of the day is a hacker who claims to be a 21 year old Iranian engineering student in Tehran who hates dissidents of his country. This guy snuk into the computers of an amsterdam security firm called DigiNotar and created 531 fake certificates for major high traffic websites such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook. He also made certificates for public websites of the CIA and other foreign spy groups. These certificates are blieved to be in the possesion of the Iranian government and were used to redirect traffic to fake versions of the sites. I might write a more full post on this subject later today or tomorrow.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-cyber-attack-20110910,0,5366016.story

Moving on to the the iphone 5. I found when I posted my last story on the iphone 5 that if I would only tag “iphone 5” in each of my posts my site would quickly rise to the top of the wordpress most viewed thing. So I’ve been trying to find more information to give you on the iPhone 5, but classic apple tactics have resulted in very few tid bits being released. But there is one little thing that I noticed today, and that is that sprint is possibly one of the new carriers. Sprint told all of their employees in a recent memo that they would not be allowed to take vacations in early october. So we can guess that sprint is going to be carrying the iphone from it’s release date, and that release date will be in early October.

HTC appears to be considering purchace of HP’s webOS. WebOS is their tablet operating system that they created to compete with Apple’s iOS, but HP abandoned the project shorty after launch and then went on to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder while vehemently denying the diagnosis. This purchase if HTC decides to go through with it could potentially put HTC in a better position against the iphone.

One more Iphone thought. Android has, for some time, had a really good voice recognition software built into the OS. Why doesn’t apple have that. They have the connections that they could strike a deal with Nuance to get Dragon dictation software built into the phone. Perhaps that will be one of the new features in Iphone 5.

Moving on from the iphone to the ipad… I’m noticing a theme for today… Sorry to those of you who hate hearing about Apple news but it seems that the only thing that’s happing today is Apple related. Personally I’m not a big fan of writing it either. I thought it was worth noting that the iPad currently has 73% of the tablet market share or more depending on who you’re asking. Some market analysts however seem to think that number is set to drop in the near future. This is because most people still don’t have a tablet and now that there are more ipad competitors out there on the market some people will opt for other brands. But don’t worry apple’s market share will remain high and the number of users will continue to grow rapidly.

http://www.businessinsider.com/ipad-share-2011-3

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/12/apple-tablet-market-share-set-to-fal

More porn! But not with celebrities names in it. The .xxx domain name that was recently introduced for the porn industry blocks the use of celebrity names in the damain itself. You can still say www.pr0n.xxx/kimkardashian.html but not www.kimksextape.xxx. This limitation was likely put into place because of celebrities like Kim who don’t want their names associated with porn. I’m just surprised that they don’t realize it’s too late for that.

I just had to put the porn bit in there to say that this post wasn’t entirely about apple. I any of you guys have a non apple story that you think I missed please put it in the comments section and I might repost it or make a video about it in the future. All other comments are welcome too though please be respectful. 🙂 Have a nice day!

Apple iPhone 5!

In the absence of a post yesterday I have decided to make a more interesting post than just news titbits today. Yesterday I was working till six and then chose to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time until three in the morning. I may or may not post the normal news bits as well today.

So. On with the article….

Here are fiveish things that I would like to see or think we might see in Apple’s next iPhone.

Apple has been true to it’s roots in saying absolutly nothing to the public about what might be in iPhone 5. They have, however said some things about it’s new version of iOS. So today I’m going to run down some of the hardware features that I think will be in the next iPhone.

1. Pretty, lots of pretty.

All Apple products are pretty. There’s no contest on this one, but we can assume that it will be prettier than the last one. More aluminum and glass stuff going on, but it will probably be sturdier than the iPhone 4 because of the complaints and refused warranty claims that were put forward upon the initial release of the last model.

2. Louder speakers and a radio.

These ones aren’t things that I personally care too much about but they’re things that I have heard a lot about. People weren’t satisfied with the max volume on the iPhone 4 speakers and I must say, the complaints weren’t unfounded. The reason for the cheap speakers, however was the fact that speakers take up a lot of space in the small case of the phone. To install loud, or high quality speakers the would’ve had to decrease the size of the battery or increased the size of the phone.

Also many smart phones as well as some MP3 players have FM tuners in them. Again, this feature matters not to me because I don’t listen to over the air radio. The programming sucks, the quality sucks, and there are much better and more personalized options like www.pandora.com available. However, the fact that I don’t listen to it doesn’t mean that no one out there does. Neither of these things will probably make it into any iPhone because of Apple’s obsession with sleek design, and their investment in the online music industry.

3. Flash!!!!! (haha like that’s going to happen…)

Yeah right. Flash support. I suppose that we can hope that Steve Jobs will be too feeble to keep his employees from putting flash in there… But I’m guessing that Apple still hates flash even with it’s new CEO in place.

4. 3D Camera.

I know that most people really don’t care about how many Ds their camera has. But I just think it’s cool. It was a very short time ago that we couldn’t even see true 3D if we payed to go to a 3D theater. Now 3D glasses have only one color of lens and provide the illusion of a 3D holographic image. A camera that could record in 3D wouldn’t be terribly useful but it’s really fun to play with!

5. 3D holographic display.

This one is actually likely to appear in an Apple product at some point in the future. A ways back I wrote a story on Apple filing patent on a holographic display that didn’t require glasses to view 3D. According to Apple it was “true 3D” not just a 3D illusion, but I question weather or not that claim could possibly be accurate. But I would love to see the iPhone being the first true 3D mobile device, or even the first true 3D consumer device of any kind.

Well that’s about all I can think of that may or may not be seen in the new iphone other than the obvious Apple-ish or of things. Right now the announcement date is slated to be September 30th so I guess we’ll wait and see.

DolFiN MicroDevices Co

Today I am announcing that The Technology Development Blog is going to make all of the cool stuff we’ve been working on here at the lab public for all of you to see and read about! We wish to play a more active role in technology development than we have in the past. Now we will build things and do research as well as just report industry news. All of the documents we release will have legally binding copyrights and are not to be reproduced unless you first contact me at loserface1@gmail.com, and gain permission to use the document.

I also am very excited to announce that a company called DolFiN MicroDevices is now going to be producing publicly available devices and products based on the developments we make here at the lab. DolFiN is a separate company from this blog, and this blog is still run as a nonprofit organization. The two entities do, however, share personnel and visions of the future. You may click on the image below to see the company’s newly formed website.

DolFiN currently has two main products available: A $1000 touch screen desktop, and a $299 small workstation. DolFiN will soon be making available products like laptops and handheld devices as well. We think this is going to be a great partnership and enable both this blog and DolFiN to be great innovators.

DolFiN is available on facebook and we would like all of you to “Become a Fan” of what we do. This way we can send you updates and information about new products and or services that you may be interested in. you can also buy our products in the Facebook marketplace! Click on the image below to be taken to our facebook page!

We look forward to showing you the great new products that we create! Until then have a great week!

This, a Note From Apple: Apple Answers the FCC’s Questions

Today Apple filed with the FCC the following answers to their questions.

We are pleased to respond to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s inquiry dated July 31, 2009, requesting information regarding Apple’s App Store and its application approval process. In order to give the Bureau some context for our responses, we begin with some background information about the iPhone and the App Store.

Apple’s goal is to provide our customers with the best possible user experience. We have been able to do this by designing the hardware and software in our products to work together seamlessly. The iPhone is a great example of this. It has established a new standard for what a mobile device can be—an integrated device with a phone, a full web browser, HTML email, an iPod, and more, all delivered with Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch user interface.

Apple then introduced something altogether new—the App Store—to give consumers additional functionality and benefits from the iPhone’s revolutionary technology. The App Store has been more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, just over a year since opening, the App Store offers over 65,000 iPhone applications, and customers have downloaded over 1.5 billion applications.

The App Store provides a frictionless distribution network that levels the playing field for individual and large developers of mobile applications. We provide every developer with the same software that we use to create our own iPhone applications. The App Store offers an innovative business model that allows developers to set their own price and keep more (far more in most cases) of the revenue than traditional business models. In little more than a year, we have raised the bar for consumers’ rich mobile experience beyond what we or anyone else ever imagined in both scale and quality. Apple’s innovation has also fostered competition as other companies (e.g., Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, Palm and Verizon) seek to develop their own mobile platforms and launch their own application stores.

Apple works with network providers around the world so that iPhone users have access to a cellular network. In the United States, we struck a groundbreaking deal with AT&T in 2006 that gives Apple the freedom to decide which software to make available for the iPhone. This was an industry first.

We created an approval process that reviews every application submitted to Apple for the App Store in order to protect consumer privacy, safeguard children from inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. Some types of content such as pornography are rejected outright from the App Store, while others such as graphic combat scenes in action games may be approved but with an appropriate age rating. Most rejections are based on bugs found in the applications. When there is an issue, we try to provide the developer with helpful feedback so they can modify the application in order for us to approve it. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of their submission.

We’re covering new ground and doing things that had never been done before. Many of the issues we face are difficult and new, and while we may make occasional mistakes, we try to learn from them and continually improve.

In response to your specific questions, we would like to offer the following:

Question 1. Why did Apple reject the Google Voice application for iPhone and remove related third-party applications from its App Store? In addition to Google Voice, which related third-party applications were removed or have been rejected? Please provide the specific name of each application and the contact information for the developer.
Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it. The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail. Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. The Google Voice application replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple’s Visual Voicemail. Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub—replacing the iPhone’s text messaging feature. In addition, the iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways. These factors present several new issues and questions to us that we are still pondering at this time.

The following applications also fall into this category.

  • Name: GVDialer / GVDialer Lite
    Developer: MobileMax
    info@mobile-mx.com
  • Name: VoiceCentral
    Developer: Riverturn, Inc.
    4819 Emperor Blvd., Suite 400
    Durham, NC 27703
  • Name: GV Mobile / GV Mobile Free
    Developer: Sean Kovacs
    sean@seankovacs.com

We are continuing to study the Google Voice application and its potential impact on the iPhone user experience. Google is of course free to provide Google Voice on the iPhone as a web application through Apple’s Safari browser, just as they do for desktop PCs, or to provide its “Google-branded” user experience on other phones, including Android-based phones, and let consumers make their choices.

Question 2. Did Apple act alone, or in consultation with AT&T, in deciding to reject the Google Voice application and related applications? If the latter, please describe the communications between Apple and AT&T in connection with the decision to reject Google Voice. Are there any contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T that affected Apple’s decision in this matter?
Apple is acting alone and has not consulted with AT&T about whether or not to approve the Google Voice application. No contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T have been a factor in Apple’s decision-making process in this matter.
Question 3. Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications generally (or in certain cases)? If so, under what circumstances, and what role does it play? What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or any non-contractual understandings) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications?
Apple alone makes the final decisions to approve or not approve iPhone applications.

There is a provision in Apple’s agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T’s cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T’s permission. Apple honors this obligation, in addition to respecting AT&T’s customer Terms of Service, which, for example, prohibit an AT&T customer from using AT&T’s cellular service to redirect a TV signal to an iPhone. From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration.

Question 4. Please explain any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications that Apple has approved for the iPhone. Are any of the approved VoIP applications allowed to operate on AT&T’s 3G network?
Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages, and whether VoIP technology is used over the 3G network by the application. Apple has approved numerous standard VoIP applications (such as Skype, Nimbuzz and iCall) for use over WiFi, but not over AT&T’s 3G network.
Question 5. What other applications have been rejected for use on the iPhone and for what reasons? Is there a list of prohibited applications or of categories of applications that is provided to potential vendors/developers? If so, is this posted on the iTunes website or otherwise disclosed to consumers?
In a little more than a year, the App Store has grown to become the world’s largest wireless applications store, with over 65,000 applications. We’ve rejected applications for a variety of reasons. Most rejections are based on the application containing quality issues or software bugs, while other rejections involve protecting consumer privacy, safeguarding children from inappropriate content, and avoiding applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. Given the volume and variety of technical issues, most of the review process is consumed with quality issues and software bugs, and providing feedback to developers so they can fix applications. Applications that are fixed and resubmitted are approved.

The following is a list of representative applications that have been rejected as originally submitted and their current status:

  • Twittelator, by Stone Design Corp., was initially rejected because it crashed during loading, but the developer subsequently fixed the application and it has been approved;
  • iLoveWiFi!, by iCloseBy LLC, was rejected because it used undocumented application protocols (it has not been resubmitted as of the date of this letter);
  • SlingPlayer Mobile, by Sling Media, was initially rejected because redirecting a TV signal to an iPhone using AT&T’s cellular network is prohibited by AT&T’s customer Terms of Service, but the developer subsequently fixed the application to use WiFi only and it has been approved; and
  • Lingerie Fantasy Video (Lite), by On The Go Girls, LLC, was initially rejected because it displayed nudity and explicit sexual content, but the developer subsequently fixed the application and it has been approved with the use of a 17+ age rating.

Apple provides explicit language in its agreement with iPhone developers regarding prohibited categories of applications, for example:

  • “Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory; and
  • Applications must not contain any malware, malicious or harmful code, program, or other internal component (e.g. computer viruses, trojan horses, ‘backdoors’) which could damage, destroy, or adversely affect other software, firmware, hardware, data, systems, services, or networks.”

And we also provide a reference library that can be accessed by members of the iPhone Developer Program that lists helpful information such as Best Practices and How To Get Started.

Question 6. What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications? What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)? What is the percentage of applications that are rejected? What are the major reasons for rejecting an application?
As discussed in the response to Question 5, Apple provides guidelines to developers in our developer agreement as well as on its web site regarding prohibited categories of applications. These materials also contain numerous other provisions regarding technical and legal requirements that applications must comply with, and Apple uses these standards in considering whether or not to approve applications.

Apple developed a comprehensive review process that looks at every iPhone application that is submitted to Apple. Applications and marketing text are submitted through a web interface. Submitted applications undergo a rigorous review process that tests for vulnerabilities such as software bugs, instability on the iPhone platform, and the use of unauthorized protocols. Applications are also reviewed to try to prevent privacy issues, safeguard children from exposure to inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone. There are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly. Apple also established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted.

If we find that an application has a problem, for example, a software bug that crashes the application, we send the developer a note describing the reason why the application will not be approved as submitted. In many cases we are able to provide specific guidance about how the developer can fix the application. We also let them know they can contact the app review team or technical support, or they can write to us for further guidance.

Apple generally spends most of the review period making sure that the applications function properly, and working with developers to fix quality issues and software bugs in applications. We receive about 8,500 new applications and updates every week, and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted. In little more than a year, we have reviewed more than 200,000 applications and updates.

App

Psystar Open(7): Is it Really Cheaper?

Most of us who follow Apple know about the ongoing conflict between Apple and a new Mac Clone company called Psystar. For those who don’t know here’s a quick brief:

After Apple’s transition of Intel processors in 2006, the founder of Psystar was probably thing thinking something like this, “if the Mac OS runs on Intel chips now, what would be stopping me from building my own Mac clone?” So the company of Psystar began building computers saying that Apple’s Macintosh computers were over priced and that theirs were cheaper. Apple then sued Psystar saying that it was unlawful to install Mac OS X on any computer or other device not designed by Apple itself. Psystar counter sued and the outcome of said counter suit is yet to be decided.

So… back to the main topic. Psystar has done a very good job of making their new Open(7) computer appear cheaper than it counterpart at Apple, the MacPr, however when I looked at their site and priced out an Open(7) customized to my specifications, I thought it seemed a little high. Behold the price of a MacPro of similar specs is about $100 cheaper. Why is this? or was it just that configuration?

For all intents and purposes the two computers are about the same. they both run the Mac OS and both run it fast and have loads of storage. When I went looking for a high end mac desktop I wanted at least 600GB of storage and i wanted the fast 3GB per second hard drive. I wanted lots of firewire ports that come on every Apple Mac. I wanted 6GB of RAM and an aluminum enclosure. Everything else standard.

The final thing on my list left me with no option but to buy a Mac Pro from Apple, but I decided to check Psystar to see how much money I was wasting. Here’s what I got:

On the Mac Pro:

  • One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
  • 3GB (3x1GB)
  • 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB
  • One 18x SuperDrive
  • Apple Mighty Mouse
  • Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User’s Guid

$2,499

On the Psystar Open(7) I learned that I could not just buy one hard drive to get to my 600GB minimum. So I bought two of the High speed drives. This was what jacked up my price. but here it is:

2.66GHz Quad-Core Xeon Nehalem

two Fast! 300GB 10,000RPM SATA2 Hard Drives.

20x DVD±RW DL

// <![CDATA[// 802.11n (PCI-E 1x)

USB Bluetooth adapter

Firewire ports.

$2,907.98

The reason the Open(7) looks cheaper than the Mac Pro is the fact that with the Mac Pro many of the items that I would’ve had to pay extra for from Psystar, come standard on the Mac. Things like the Keyboard and mouse, bluetooth, extra firewire ports, and then there’s the fact that the hard drives were more expensive because I couldn’t buy just one! Bottom line, Psystar is cheaper in it’s base configuration and probably in some other configurations too, however not in all or even most configurations. Also when you buy an Open(7) you can expect a cheap plastic case held together by screws and filled with lose wires and scattered parts held down by screws and clamps. When you buy a Mac you can expect a sleek Aluminum case held together firmly by Torx bits, with an equally sleek and accessible design on the inside. With the Mac it is simple and quick to replace or upgrade parts. With an Open(7) it would be a long frustrating experience involving many tangled wires and stripped screws.
MacPro insides!