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News for Monday, 3 September 2007

iPhonesimfree Validated on CNN

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 03/09/2007 11:25:10 CEST - Category: iPhone
After Engadget, an independent consultant demonstrated on CNN how to hack the iPhone SIM with iPhonesimfree application to be released soon. Once the application installed, all functions are accessible beside push mail feature as it requires server support from the mobile phone carrier. It took only 2 minutes for unlocking the iPhone.
CNN published parts of an interview of two members of the iPhonesimfree developer group, who wish to remain anonymous. They said they would start selling the software as soon as their online payment and customer service systems are ready, but they are also waiting for additional information from their lawyers for obvious reason. Indeed, if modifying the iPhone turn to be legal, it will not prevent iPhone owners to pay the 2-years subscription fee to AT&T. So, it will be a matter of cost at the end.
On the other side, European carriers might revise their position with the iPhone if a true easy unlocking application is legally available on the web.
Other applications claiming to be also able to hack the iPhone SIM locking we reported about during the week-end turned out to be hoax, or not serious.

Apple Comments NBC's Decision to not Renew its iTunes Contract

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 03/09/2007 09:43:03 CEST - Category: Internet
Following the recent announcement by NBC to stop offering its catalog on iTunes, Apple decided to react to avoid consumers and analysts to only rely on NBC's point of view.
Apple® today announced that it will not be selling NBC television shows for the upcoming television season on its online iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). The move follows NBC’s decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.
“We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers.”
Apple’s agreement with NBC ends in December. Since NBC would withdraw their shows in the middle of the television season, Apple has decided to not offer NBC TV shows for the upcoming television season beginning in September. NBC supplied iTunes with three of its 10 best selling TV shows last season, accounting for 30 percent of iTunes TV show sales.
It seems that NBC was making unrealistic claims to be sure that Apple will refuse, giving NBC free hands to go along with its own video offer: Hulu.com

Sony Connect Shunt Down: What about DRMs and Consumers?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 03/09/2007 09:40:15 CEST - Category: iPod
As officially announced by SONY, its online music store, Connect, will be shunt down on March 2008, as the consequence of dropping proprietary format ATRAC. Now the question for consumers having purchased tracks from this online shop is: what to do with such DRM-loaded files?
SONY published a dedicated FAQ with answers similar to the ones provided sometimes by Apple. To keep listening to the DRM-loaded tracks, one will need to burn them on a CD, and to re-encode them. Beside the fact the quality will be affected (depending on the codec), this also highlights a more general question: what will happen in 10 or 20 years from now on, when considering consumers purchased the right to get a top quality digital track, but will have to live with a DRM-free file with poor encoding. It also highlights how one can easily get ride of current DRMs, how useless they are; and in reality, a break to consumer's choice to listen to their music the way they want. What will happen in 10 years, when only couples of online music stores will remain? Will we get series of class actions to force them to pay back for tracks which would not be able to be played anymore?
The end of Sony Connect online store should provide the perfect example of what should not be done, as it mostly affects consumers and please Music majors, which should really understand that DRM are useless, and they should simply follow EMI's strategy.

Mac mini: How to Add an External SATA HD - Part II

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 03/09/2007 09:37:20 CEST - Category: Hard Drive
A report from Alexis:
Thanks to the news published in April 2006 explaining how to connect an external SATA drive to the internal port of a Mac mini, I could complete the following "bidouille": design a small but highly performing server.
I modified a Mac mini 1.66GHz Combo obtained from the Refurb Store to boot from an external 500GB Macway HD via SATA.
Thanks to the gigabit Ethernet port, I can play uncompressed HD video in 1280*720 from the Mac mini through the gigabit network, in other words 60MB/s...
The difference with previous SATA modification: there is an eSATA port between the Mac mini and the external HD, it is easier for handling both devices, and one does not need to modify the HD.
Some photos:




The Mac mini is definitely the best Apple model for being modified, since the Apple II.

AMD Initiates SSE5

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 03/09/2007 09:28:57 CEST - Category: PC
Historically, AMD always adapted its processors to maintain compatibility with Intel ones. It was true for the x86, but also for SSE instruction set.
While AMD is facing a challenging period, with Intel releasing CPUs which are often faster and not that much more expensive than those offered by the Texan founder, AMD decided to release a draft of the SSE5 as described in a document.
This instruction set is designed to further optimize multimedia tasks as well as multi CPU computing.
First CPU to support SSE5 should not be available before 2009, and AMD will need to wait for developers to integrate such instruction set in their codes before being able to really advertise it.
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