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No stars for you! July 31, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Environment, News.
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Last week Energy Star, which is a joint program of the US Enviromental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy to help save energy and protect the environment, released a new set of guidelines for Energy Star certification for computers that went into effect July 20. These guidelines push for energy-efficient power supplies, efficient standby modes, inclusion of power management and provision of user education about these features.

It’s worth nothing that none of Apple’s computers meet the new requirements. Not a one. At least Dell has three models that do, and most of those that already comply are from Lenovo and Gateway. In total only 125 laptops and desktop models meet the new requirements at the moment.

Not to worry though. Manufacturers have until January to comply so that they can earn the Energy Star label for their computers. It’s just a bit disturbing that other manufacturers are on the ball about this, while Apple, with its recent green posturing, was caught with with its pants down.

If you’re at all interested in the details, get a spreadsheet of the compliant and non-compliant manufacturers here.


Why an iPhone is worth the $600 July 31, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apps, Games, iPhone, Share/Freeware.
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Popcap has made Bejeweled available for free for iPhone users.

From the press release:

SEATTLE, Washington – July 30, 2007 — PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today announced that it has launched a custom version of its flagship game Bejeweled® for the Safari® Web browser on Apple Inc.’s new iPhone® and is making it available at no cost to iPhone owners. Beginning today, iPhone users can log on to www.popcap.com via the iPhone’s Web browser and play the iPhone-specific version of the original match-3 puzzler Bejeweled for free. This customized version of Bejeweled leverages the Web 2.0 capabilities of Safari and the wireless capabilities of the iPhone, and has been optimized to take advantage of the iPhone’s unique display and input controls. PopCap developed the Safari-based version of Bejeweled in partnership with Polish developer Arkadiusz Mlynarczyk, one of the first programmers to take advantage of the Apple iPhone’s capabilities for video gaming purposes.

Photo from GameStooge.

Batt out of hell Part 2 July 31, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Uncategorized.
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Forget the laptops, this time it’s the first class action suit against the iPhone battery. It’s also one of the least thought-out, moronic, gramatically faulty legal documents I’ve seen in a long time.

Apple Inc. and AT&T has been charged by some moron gentleman named Trujillo who believes that Apple and AT&T owe iPhone users big-time for selling them a product with a horribly substandard battery that “can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone.”

Aside from being morons gentlemen, Mr. Trujillo and his lawyers are also morons gentlemen who don’t read. Apple clearly states that the iPhone battery “is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles.” Like most modern batteries.

Our friends at Gizmodo have more details, plus scans of the actual document for your perusal and enjoyment.

BrickPod July 30, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Hardware, iPods, Security.
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Apple has patented a technology which would brick an iPod if someone tries to operate it on an unauthorized computer.

Apple already has software that pairs iPods with the owners’ computers, and it would be a simple matter to put in something that would totally disable the unit by disallowing it to charge forever. When attached, a security code in the iPod would be matched to a code in the computer, and if they don’t match, kaboom. Or rather, pfft.

The patent states that a “guardian circuit” could be triggered when this happens which in turn would permanently disable the charging circuit. Then it’s brick time.

Cool if a thief steals your iPod and sells it, but what about if someone just wanted to get a file off your player in disk mode? Scary tech, if you ask me. See patent app here.

Shocking news July 30, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Alternatives, iPhone, iPods, Microsoft, Music, News.
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A recently completed survey by the Eagle Research Group found out that 70% of Zune users surveyed are not happy with their players and intend to switch to either an iPod or to an iPhone as soon as their service contract expires.

36% said that had they known Apple was coming out with the iPhone they never would have purchased a Zune. Also of note is that 3% of the survey respondents were either employees or contractors of Microsoft.

Imagine that.

OS X on an IBM ThinkPad July 29, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Downloads, Hardware, Oddities, Operating System.
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Yes, it’s possible.

It’s also as buggy as hell, majorly complicated to do, needs a whole bunch of stuff and uses up a lot of geek brain coupons. Also, the wifi doesn’t work, plus it’s slow as molasses flowing down the side of your wall on a cold morning in December.

And it violates your EULA.

But it can be done. And has been. On a Thinkpad.

Tom Merritt of CNET and host of Buzz Out Loud shows us how he did it in detail on a post on his blog SuBBrilliant.

Some folk from the pearls-before-swine OSX86 Project have been at this for some time at osx86-project.org and they have a wiki on how to do it, plus a list of device compatibility. The legality and logic of actually doing something like this is pretty murky, and the only seeming motivation for doing it is similar to the one why canines will lick their privates – because they can.


Heads-up: Bonjour for Windows update released July 29, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Microsoft, New Stuff, Share/Freeware.
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Something extremely useful for OS X users that they’ve taken for granted for a long while now has finally been updated for Microsoft Windows folk.

Bonjour 1.0.4., formerly Rendezvous, is now available for Windows 2000/2003, XP (with latest service pack) and Vista.

This was first released with Jaguar in 2002, with a not-so-full-featured Windows version released in 2004. What is it, exactly?

Bonjour, also known as zero-configuration networking, enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Bonjour uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers.

More details and download link (2.1MB) for Bonjour 1.0.4 here. Users of 64-bit versions of Windows can get theirs here.

Steve serves Michael a really cold one July 29, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Milestones, Statistics, Steve Jobs.
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Revenge is a dish best served cold.

– Klingon proverb

In 1997 at the Gartner Symposium and IT Expo in Orlando, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of the company that bears his name, was asked what he’d do if he was in charge of Apple Computer. Dell said sarcastically, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

After a month, Steve Jobs fired back: “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.”

It took Steve almost a decade, but early last year, Apple’s market value passed Dell’s, from Apple’s $72,132,428,843 vs. Dell’s $71,970,702,760 at market close of January 13, 2006.

As of market close yesterday, Apple Inc.’s value is officially double that of Dell Inc.: US$127.8 billion to US$63.65 billion.

Cold enough for you, Mike?

Batt out of hell July 28, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Hardware, News.
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A Japanese couple’s Mac burst into flames at their Osaka home last April, scorching the husband’s finger, which caused his wife, poor thing, such distress that she had to seek medical help.

Of course they had to sue. Now Apple Japan and Sony are being sued for 2 million yen (nearly US$17k) in the first-ever legal case for Sony over the notorious Sony-made battery fiasco which has resulted in the recall of 1.8M Apple laptop batteries, and a total of nearly 10M batteries from Dell, Lenovo and other vendors as well sold from 2003 to 2006.

It has since been determined that tiny metal particles left in the batteries could cause them to short circuit, and there has been a massive effort to recall the batteries since the problem was discovered. Story here.

Meantime the Japanese gentleman’s finger has presumably healed since and his wife has likely calmed down over this outrage, but the litigation is just beginning over at the  Osaka District Court. 2 million yen will certainly buy lots of iPhones.

All right, where’d you hide the real John C. Dvorak? July 27, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Milestones, People.
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Oh. My. God. I never thought I’d live to see the day.