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Free Wes Anderson short film on iTunes Store September 28, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Free Stuff, iTunes Store, Movies, Quicktime, Video.
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A 13-minute short film by director Wes Anderson called The Hotel Chevalier is now up for free on the iTunes Store, starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman. It’s supposed to be a prologue/companion piece to Anderson’s forthcoming film The Darjeeling Limited.

Nice the things you find on iTunes, although Portman fans are specially excited about this one because it marks the first time on film Natalie shows up in her birthday suit, wearing nothing but bruises.

Download it here.

(Hmm. So let’s see you not click on the link now.)

Stream movies to your iPhone from your Mac September 22, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Alternatives, Because You Can, Hacks, iPhone, Video.
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The wonderful folk at the Embraceware blog thought up a way for you to stream videos stored on your Mac straight to your iPhone so you can watch it there (and ostensibly over the net as well).

You can head over to the site for the instructions, and for more info. In case you want to jump right in, we reproduce Embraceware’s step-by-step here:

Step 1
Open “Sharing” in System Preferences and enable “Personal Web Sharing” – this will turn on the built in web server installed with OS X. When enabled, it will display an address (your IP or computer network name) as the URL for accessing the site on your network. Note this address – we’ll be visiting it on our iPhone via Safari later.

Step 2
The root of the web site is located in /Library/WebServer/Documents.
Open the Terminal and type the following:
cd /Library/WebServer/Documents/
and press ENTER.

Step 3
Still in the Terminal we will continue by creating a Symbolic link to your iTunes “Movies” directory and place this link in the root of your web server by typing the following:
ln -s /[path t0 your iTunes Movies folder] Movies
example: ln -s/Volumes/Machintosh HD/users/john/Music/iTunes/Movies Movies

Step 4
Open Safari on your iPhone and visit the address provided when you enabled the Personal Web Sharing in your iPhone followed by /Movies

A little ingenuity goes a long long way. Thanks to Embraceware for the tip!

(Crossposted from Mobile Philippines)

TeeVee Freebies September 19, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Store, Free Stuff, iTunes, iTunes Store, New Stuff, TV, Video.
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Those of you with iTunes Store accounts have probably made it a weekly habit to harvest free songs and videos from the store, but this week it’s an especially interesting haul.

Aside from the usual free songs, this week you can get for free the third season premiere episode of Prison Break, the pilot episode of K-Ville (a cop show set in post-Katrina New Orleans), and the pre-air pilot episode of The Big Bang Theory (a half-hour comedy about two geeks who live beside a pretty girl they can’t seem to get to know).

As usual, the free stuff doesn’t hang around the store forever, so go get them while they’re hot, along with the other free stuff you can find on in there.

Welcome to Leopard August 27, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Operating System, Video.
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It looks like the “Willkommen” intro video for Leopard, the one that greets you after a fresh OS install, has been leaked. Nothing really earthshaking, but cool nonetheless. Just swirling text on a moving spacescape. Watch it while you can; otherwise you’ll have to wait until the actual release of the new OS update.

More popcorn please! August 20, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apps, Video.
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One of the staples with Mac users has been Roxio‘s Toast, the can-do CD/DVD burner software that’s been around since God created CD and DVD burners, but folk who just need the video burning aspects of the app can turn to a more specialized application from Roxio: Popcorn.

Currently at Version 2.0, this little app can convert video to useful formats and burn them, as well as make copies of DVDs (within legal parameters, of course) and all sorts of little things, but it has always been pretty basic and has left people wanting more.

They’re getting it now with Popcorn 3, the latest version of the app, to be available on shelves later this month. Some of the nice improvements are not too useful for us outside the United States (TiVo support, for one), and those hardware-challenged among us (non-EyeTV owners), but the other improvements are pretty appealing:

  • the ability to pause and resume encoding
  • increased content limit to 4 hours per DVD (from 2 hours previously)
  • support for the Turbo.264 encoder, which lessens strain on the CPU
  • mix together different video formats on one DVD and create menus
  • uses Quicktime 7.2 for faster processing and better quality
  • the aforementioned TiVo support and compatibility with ElGato’s EyeTV

With these improvements, Popcorn 3 is seriously encroaching on other similar apps’ turf, including Roxio’s own Toast. It will be available in a couple of weeks, and will cost US$30 to upgrade from previous versions. A new user will have to pony up US$50.

Mother of all bills August 20, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPhone, Issues, Video.
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Most of us here in the Philippines lust after the iPhone, but we can at least be glad we don’t have to deal with some problems the Americans have been getting about using one. Like the big phone bills – not the fees, mind you. Literally, the big bills.

Much has been made of the incredibly detailed iPhone AT&T bills that users have been getting, some as many as 50-plus pages, but popular blogger Justine Ezarik‘s bill tops them all – it came in a box, all 300 pages of it. Apparently users can chose from three billing options – small (online), medium (summarized) or ginormous (itemized SMS, call and internet usage). Somehow some people are getting the boxed set, like Justine:

(Cross-posted from Mobile Philippines)

Enough already! August 19, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., iPhone, Video.
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Just to make absolutely, positively sure everyone knows about their product, Apple‘s put up yet a couple more commercials for the iPhone:

Your iPhone has a hole July 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Hacks, iPhone, Security, Video.
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Some nice folk with lots of time on their hands at Independent Security Evaluators thought it might be fun to find a vulnerability in the iPhone, and after a couple of weeks of on-again, off-again work, inevitably found one.

Then they followed the hole to its logical conclusion – a full, workable exploit, which probed with tools made by the other nice folk at #iphone dev still feverish trying to crack the phone after a month, can do stuff like steal your SMS messages, address book, call history and voicemail, among other things. This is done using a malicious website opened on Safari on the iPhone.

More a proof of concept than actual malicious intention, the ISE people have informed the mothership so patches can be created, and full disclosure will be made with fanfare in Las Vegas at Black Hat USA 2007 on Aug. 2 at precisely 4:45pm. Meantime, details abound on the net:

Article from the New York Times here.

YouTube video here.

PDF of preliminary technical paper here.

ISE website with instructions here.

iPhone killer it isn’t July 21, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPhone, The Other Side of the Fence, Video.
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Been looking for anything as iPhone-like as possible that I can tinker with now to make the interminable wait easier, and I came across something in the office that, uh, touched closer than the others – the HTC Touch.

It was released earlier in the year and talk has been circulating, as talk will, that this one would sort of steal the thunder of the iPhone a bit on its release. Not quite. Truth be told, it’s just a touch-screen Windows smartphone with a thin veneer of iPhone-ness painted delicately on top. Once you get used to the TouchFLO interface (which would be really really really fast – it’s more of a showy gimmick than anything) the HTC Touch is just a Windows Mobile smartphone with a few nice tweaks.

TouchFLO is just three repeating screens you can swipe across to change, and once you tap on a menu item, boom, it drops you into regular Windows Mobile Land. Swipe up to get the screen back, down to remove. Otherwise, nothing new. That’s it. You can even just ignore TouchFlo entirely if you wanted to, and it would be easy to do.

To be fair, it’s pretty responsive and fast, extremely light and compact (if not the lightest, most convenient to use smartphone ever) and if I were into Windows smartphones this would be the one I’d buy. But this isn’t serious competition for the iPhone.

Full review in the next issue of my magazine Mobile Philippines. Meantime, here’s a little video I made of the TouchFLO interface so you have an idea what I’m talking about:

Blizzard Heart Mac. Mac Heart Blizzard. July 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Games, Quicktime, Support, Updates & Patches, Video.
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Blizzard has always been a game software company near and dear to the hearts of Mac users everywhere. This is because of Blizzard’s insistence on simultaneous release of their games on both Windows and Macs. Well, we got more reason to heart Blizzard now.

In the beta of the forthcoming release of Ver. 2.2 of World of Warcraft, Mac users can now record in-game videos using Quicktime using the H.264 codec, with selectable resolution and frame rates. Vid-cap your red-eye quests and post them on YouTube! Aside from numerous fixes, the beta version also optimizes graphics performance on Macs with Altivec (PPC) or SSE (Intel) systems.

Not all Macs can smoothly record caps, however, as the requirements are a bit hefty. You’ll also need Quicktime 7.1.6 running on OS X 10.4.9.

The beta still isn’t available to the general public yet, and is only for beta testers running in the Public Test Realms of WoW. Not to worry, it’s expected to be released soon.