Mossberg video on MacBook Air

The big boys of personal technology have gotten their reviews out.  Of course,  Walt’s is usually the best.  We always take these reviews with a grain of salt because the the access to early products from Apple may inspire more favorable reviews than would otherwise be given.  I also did a blog post on Computerworld of my pre-firsthand thoughts (wait for Rev2)Other big sites have gotten early releases and have gained some more information.  Most notably, Ed Baig from USA TodayGizmodo.   EngadgetMacworldNewsweekNYTimes.

http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/452319854

1.1.3 Hack goes official

Update: Mac version released

It’s really not much of news anymore since it usually happens within  a few weeks of a iPhone software update,  but iPhone software 1.1.3 is hacked.  Word on the street is that this version has some interesting updates.  Applications run as user "Mobile" instead of "root" and Preferences are no longer stored in var/root.  Obviosly the sign of a maturing operating system.

The current hack as of right now is only on an upgrade from 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 and only on Windows computers but usually these things get sorted out in short order.  Again, excellent work by the dev team – splinter group this time.

From TUAW:


A splinter dev team has just released its 1.1.3 jailbreak. This jailbreak, as discussed in our earlier post provides a "soft upgrade" path for jailbroken 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 users. (See that post for many of the technical details.) For right now, this jailbreak is limited to Windows users only, with a Mac release expected shortly. This does not jailbreak the iPod touch–iPhone only for now.

A special edition of Nate True’s iBrickr software will prepare the image used for the update and a second installer portion will flash the phone. Smxy repository maintainer, Shaun Erickson has packed up this second portion of the jailbreak, which will be available via Installer.app.

iPhone hacker NerveGas raised concerns as to whether this release would illegally distribute Apple software. Nate assures me that he merely uses a diff (differences) file between the 1.1.3 firmware as provided and the jailbroken 1.1.3 firmware. NerveGas asked me to mention that this release is not canon and distributed against his wishes and against the wishes of some of the dev/elite team. From what I understand, the dev team was behind this release until shortly before Nate took it live. NerveGas’s copyright concerns divided the team, splitting opinions on whether it should go live just at the wire.

Huge kudos for this jailbreak go primarily to the awesome iPhone hackers "planetbeing" and _Fred, who were the first to jailbreak. Other amazing developers include Zibri, netkas, NerveGas, asap18, bgm, Bugout, bushing, chris_, dinopio, drudge, gray, MuscleNerd, natetrue, pr3d4t0r, roxfan, Turbo, Zf[strike], np101137, pumpkin, and kroo, along with many contributors who wish to remain anonymous.

 

Pink iPods for Valentines

We know your valentine hates the Product (Red) iPods and the whole charity thing in general so Apple has thrown you a bone.  Pink iPods. 

Apple will even gift wrap them and do all of the delivery work.  More time to watch the football game and play with gadgets.

Sorry – just kidding hun.

Or you could get your valentine a hackable iPod touch at a large discount.

 

iPhone goes Biz

Nothing revolutionary here.  Apple is releasing their iPhone for business.  Pretty much same pricing as before, same features.  The big difference?  Now IT won’t have to do that extra bit of paperwork to get you hooked up.  You know – now they can call their AT&T rep and say "gimme 100 iPhones!"  It is just that easy (right).

Well, don’t just sit there..call the help desk and chat them up about it!  Also, if you use Lotus Notes at your place of employ (yuk!), expect that there will be more iPhone luvin coming your way.

From AT&T’s Pricing page:

A few things you and your corporate-liable employees should know about purchasing and activating iPhone. For more information on iPhone activations for Individual Responsibility Users, please visit http://www.att.com/iphone.

iPhone. Only on AT&T.
AT&T and Apple have an exclusive relationship that combines a revolutionary phone with the largest digital wireless voice and data network in the nation1.

Rate Plans
To use iPhone as a business customer, you’ll need to sign up for a 2-year service agreement or a renewed 2-year service agreement if you’re an existing AT&T wireless customer. New Corporate Responsibility Users and other corporate-liable users (CRUs) must activate an eligible voice service plan for iPhone and an Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone. If you’re an existing CRU with iPhone-eligible voice service and you want to keep your current voice plan, you just need to add an Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone. (This will replace your current data plan.)

Enterprise Data Plans for iPhone include Visual Voicemail, unlimited data with both email and web – for use in the U.S. – plus a specific number of SMS text messages. You can browse the Internet and send email as often as you like with our being charged additional fees.

Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone 200    Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone 1500    Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone Unlimited
SMS    200    1500    Unlimited
Domestic Data (web/email)    Unlimited    Unlimited    Unlimited
Visual Voicemail    Yes    Yes    Yes
MRC2    $45    $55    $65
For a limited time, qualified customers save $25 per month on Enterprise Data Plans for iPhone. Additional restrictions apply. 3

If you travel internationally, a Data Global Add-On for iPhone may be purchased in addition to an Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone.

AT&T offers these iPhone International traveling tips to help you keep control of data usage

* View rates, overage charges, and a list of the 29 countries.

Activation
You activate your iPhone in a whole new way – using iTunes right on your computer. All you need is a PC or a Mac, access to the Internet and an email address.

Service and Support
AT&T does not support Warranty Exchange of iPhone or Apple branded accessories. iPhone and Apple branded accessories are covered by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. For warranty service or support, customers may choose one of the following options:

Visit http://www.apple.com/support/iphone
Go to a local Apple Retail store
Call 1-800-APL-CARE
iPhone is not eligible for AT&T Wireless Phone Insurance.

You can return your iPhone within 14 days for a full refund, but there is a 10% restocking fee if the box has been opened.

1 Coverage not available in all areas. AT&T covers 273 million people.

2 All plans require a 2-year AT&T service agreement, an activation fee, and may be subject to an AT&T credit approval.

3 Limited time offer. Qualified Corporate Responsibility Users and other corporate-liable users who activate an Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone by March 31, 2008 may be eligible to receive a service credit in the amount of $25 per month through December 31, 2008. To receive the recurring monthly credit, qualified users must maintain and be active on both an Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone and an eligible voice service plan at the time each such credit is applied or the credit will be forfeited. It may take up to two (2) billing cycles after activation for the first monthly credit to appear on qualified invoices. Offer not available to Individual Responsibility Users.

Apple iPhone for business/corporate accounts

YEP – JUST WENT OFFICIAL

The business I work for has an AT&T account and we have been bugging them about iPhone’s release for business accounts since it was released.  Finally, with news of the supposed release next week, our CEO went into the store and talked to our business account manager.  He told me that the manager showed him a memo stating that iPhone’s business plan included a Summer roll-out.  Not only this, but that the business account must have more than 100 phones enrolled.

This leads me to believe that Apple is waiting for a 3G iPhone release before making it an option for business/corporate accounts.

I hope this is not true, but this came straight from our AT&T store yesterday afternoon.

Edit: Boy Genius also got a similar tip from a reader.   This coincides with our Mayish prediction of iPhone 3G release.

Amazon, others lower prices on iPod Touch

 

Probably to make up for the fact that Version 1.1.3 iPod touches will be hitting the shelves with the five extra applications on them, Amazon and some others are selling their iPods with version 1.1.1-1.1.2 software at all time low prices. 

$258.99 for the 8Gb and $358.99 for the 16Gb

As the hacking with 1.3 is progressing along nicely – but is not definite, it might make sense to pick one of these up now – if you are into that sort of thing.

Or you can sign a petition (like that is going to work) to get Apple to give it to you for free.  They have taken the "buy now" link (iTunes Link) down so maybe you are in luck.

As always, we are amazon affiliates and get credit when you buy products from our site.

Amazon gets SonyBMG content sans DRM

DRM is now officially on its death bed – for music that is.  SonyBMG became the last of the big four record labels to start distributing its music DRM-free today.  Amazon will now carry music from the big four record labels and many indies all DRM free.  While the files do contain watermarking which will allow the labels to track the usage of the files (for instance on torrent sites), they will be able to be moved from computer to computer without having to activate other computers or having limitations on how many computers they can run on.

SonyBMG has a outstanding contract with iTunes and hasn’t been given the word to remove the DRM from the music it gives to Apple as of yet, but obviously it will in due course.  The only big label that  currently runs on iTunes DRM free is EMI who removed their DRM shortly after Steve Jobs issued his open letter entitled "Thoughts on Music"on February 26, 2007.  Whether or not it was the motiation, less than one year after the open letter was published,  the music industry is DRM free.

Ironically, as DRM is now pretty much dead in music, Apple is set to release DRM in rental movies next week.

Slingplayer coming to iPhone/iPod touch?

ElectricPig.tv is saying that Sling is ready to build an iPhone-iPod touch client for its popular place shifting video and TV over the Internet hardware.  Obviously it won’t work well over EDGE, but it will work over WiFi and eventually over 3G.  Their Sling source said:

iPhone and iPod touch are OS X devices, and we can write OS X apps with our eyes closed. It’s coming.

We know the 3G iPhone’s coming so that’ll obviously be better. But for now the iPod touch could end up being the best way to use Slingplayer.

The iPhone-iPod makes sense as a fantastic platform for the Slingplayer.  However,  Apple might not want them on their platform for fear of interfering with iTunes TV shows.  Perhaps Sling can build a streaming Quicktime format with web controls that can be utilized through AJAX?

As Slingbox and iPhone owning expats, we can only say to Apple….Bring the Sling!