Daily Archives: June 25, 2008

Is Microsoft Better Off Without Gates?

Is Microsoft Better Off Without Gates? – Forbes.com

Change is the only constant” is a favorite cliché among technology types. But for an industry that loves to talk about change, its leading lights don’t do too much of it, at least not when it comes to turning over control of their companies. Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Oracle are all run by the guys who founded them back in the 1970s and 1980s.

But soon those leaders will move on. First to go is Bill Gates, who on June 27 steps aside at Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ). Next, I’d wager, will be Steve Jobs, for health reasons. Jobs, 53, underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and lately has been looking frightfully gaunt. Apple (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ) PR folks claim he’s fine. Problem is, Apple PR is known for having a Clintonesque relationship to the truth. If Jobs is still running Apple at year end, I’ll be shocked.

Also headed for the exits will be Larry Ellison at Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL – news – people ). Ellison claims to be 63 years old but is barely aging (I secretly believe he’s several hundred years old, and a vampire) and these days he seems more passionate about sailboat racing than about schlepping database software. My guess is Ellison will acquire software maker Salesforce.com (nyse: CRM – news – people ) and replace himself with its 43-year-old founder and chief executive Marc Benioff, a former marketing whiz at Oracle. “

(Read Full Article forbes )


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Hands-on Htc Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond Hands-on Update [Htc Touch Diamond]

From Gizmodo :


I’m still working on the full review, but I wanted to give everyone an update on that performance fix that was released last week for the HTC Touch Diamond. I installed the new ROM (it was easy, just run the executable on your PC), and now TouchFLO is noticeably faster. It’s still not instant, but it’s definitely improved to the point where it’s usable and you won’t really mind it. Yeah, it’s passed that bar. I’d even say that it’s just as fast as the iPhone. Current owners will be able to upgrade to the newer official ROM soon.

(Via Gizmodo)

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Got iPhone 3G launch questions? Check the Apple memo!

Apple memo coaches employees on iPhone 3G launch questions

A049C38E-02AE-44FE-BDB0-C1E7352D76BC.jpgApple Inc. is distributing to its retail and sales personnel an internal iPhone 3G Frequently Asked Questions document which implies that first-day sales and activation procedures are still being ironed out. It does, however, provide some information on bulk iPhone 3G sales for businesses.

The 3-page document outlines recommended responses to 17 common questions customers may ask of retail staffers in the weeks and days leading up to the handset’s official launch on Friday, July 11th, while urging those employees not to “speculate beyond the information that is public today.”

“You may not place iPhone 3G on hold for anyone. No exceptions. Do not create a waitlist,” Apple corporate told store managers in the document. “It is critical that all stores follow the same process to ensure every customer has an equal and fair opportunity to purchase a phone.”

Since iPhone 3G will be sold on a first come, first served basis, employees are also being told to call any customer who has reserved an iPhone Personal Shopping session on or after July 11th and inform them that Personal Shopping sessions won’t apply to the iPhone 3G.

“We hope to offer Personal Shopping for iPhone 3G shortly,” Apple said.

If a customer says, “I just bought a first generation iPhone. Will I be able to upgrade to an iPhone 3G at a discounted price or exchange it for an iPhone 3G?,” Apple store reps are being told to say that they “don’t have any information regarding upgrades.”

If a customer asks why they should buy an iPod touch if they can get more bang for their buck by buying an iPhone 3G (which includes all the functionality of an iPod touch), employees are instructed to respond by saying the “iPhone 3G is offered at such a terrific price because, like most cell phones, it requires a 2-year carrier contract.”

Customers may then ask, “Are you going to change the iPod touch pricing now that you lowered the cost of iPhone?” To this, employees should respond by saying, “Not that I am aware of.”

Meanwhile, Apple is keeping its employees — like the rest of the world — in the dark about first-day activation procedures. Should a customer ask whether it’s true that iPhone 3G activation will have to take place in the store, then inquire about buying one without in-store activation, retail staffers should say: “I don’t have any details at this time about activation.”

The document does, however, reveal some useful information regarding bulk iPhone 3G purchases. For instance, one individual can buy several iPhone 3G units for their business and have them set up in an Apple retail store if their business uses a consumer rate plan.

“If your business uses a corporate plan, sometimes called a CRU or IRU plan, you will need to go to an AT&T store to purchase the iPhone 3G for your employees,” Apple says. Similarly, small business owners looking to purchases the new phone at volume discounts should “contact an AT&T representative,” as the wireless carrier “offers corporate billing and data plans.”

The internal FAQ document also refers several other questions to AT&T representatives, such as those related to using iPhone 3G in Canada and other countries. “iPhone 3G is a world phone,” Apple said. “Check with AT&T about international roaming fees and data plans.”

Customers asking about one-time fees associated with moving from a first-generation iPhone to an iPhone 3G should be told that they “will need to sign a new two-year contract at the point of purchase, but “may want to check with AT&T regarding any fees.”

Finally, Apple informs staffers that “Detailed rate plans have not yet been announced. When they are announced, Apple Store Specialists will be ready to review and help [customers] pick out the best plan for [their] needs.”

People familiar with Cupertino-based company’s plans say the iPhone maker will hold worldwide retail meetings on July 6th to begin conveying official launch procedures to its staff.

(Via AppleInsider)

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iPhone Software v2.0 has Secure data wipe built in!

iPhone Software v2.0 has Secure data wipe built in!


Responding to concerns over the integrity of the iPhone’s data reset methods, Apple has taken the extra step and built a more secure data wipe function into the next version of the handset’s software, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the beta versions of iPhone Software v2.0 say the upcoming release will employ a more foolproof method of erasing all personal data and settings from an iPhone. As is the case with the existing version of iPhone software, the function will be accessible by selecting Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Contents and Settings.

Unlike today’s iPhone software, however, the revised function will wipe data in similar fashion to the “Secure Empty Trash” function of Mac OS X, by which all data is deleted, unlinked, and then overwritten several times to make it irretrievable by even the savviest of recovery tools.

As such, the new function will take considerably longer to complete — about an hour for a typical 8GB iPhone. A progress bar appears during the process. During the data wipe, users should connect their iPhone to its power adapter as the process is believed to be CPU intensive.

The updated functionality arrives following reports that an Oregon State detective was able to successfully retrieve personal data — including emails, photos and financial information — from a refurbished iPhone sold by Apple.

Jonathan Zdziarski, author of the “iPhone Open Application Development,” noted that Apple’s existing erase-and-restore function leaves all of a user’s personal data “sitting in the unallocated blocks of the iPhone’s NAND memory.” And there’s no viable, publicly available method for erasing the personal data from the Apple handset, he added.

The improvements to the iPhone’s data wipe will also arrive at a time when masses of original iPhone owners will be attempting clear information from their handsets and resell them to others after upgrading to an iPhone 3G. iPhone software 2.0 will also include among its many enterprise-ready features a function called “remote wipe” that was designed to protect data stored on iPhones by offering a means to remotely wipe them clear in the event that they are lost or stolen.

According to official statements made by Apple during its developers conference earlier this month, as well as this press release, “iPhone 2.0 software will be available on July 11 as a free software update via iTunes 7.7 or later for all iPhone customers.” However, a gold master version may be provided to some Apple employees and partners as early as friday.

(Via AppleInsider)

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Apple mouse to become extinct?

Apple mouse to become extinct?
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You’re probably using a mouse today, but you may never buy one again. All the planets are aligning against this humble pointing device,” Mike Elgan writes for Datamation.

“The computer mouse has long been associated with the PC, but in fact it was invented during the Kennedy administration (in 1963) by Silicon Valley engineers Douglas Engelbart and Bill English,” Elgan writes.

“The mouse was nothing but a lab rat until the Xerox Star shipped in 1981. Though it was the first time anyone could buy a mouse, few did. The Star was overpriced ($16,000) and poorly marketed. The IBM PC came out that year, too — without a mouse. But when the Apple Macintosh hit in January of 1984, the mouse went mainstream and has been with us ever since,” Elgan writes.

Elgan continues, “Now, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice says the mouse’s dominance as the leading pointing devices may be over within 2 to 4 years. And I tend to agree. Several recent developments are slowly changing — or threaten to change — our mouse habit.”

1. Apple’s giant trackpad with multi-touch
2. Gaming pointing devices
3. “Brain-reading” devices
4. Apple iPhone and the “iPhone Killers”

Elgan writes, “I’m confident that Apple will take advantage of its many patents for ‘multi-touch’ systems and ship an iPhone-like version of Mac OS within the next year or two… So take the time to savor every point and every click. It won’t last. The mouse is as good as dead.

(Via MacDailyNews)

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iPhone software 2.0 – GM ships Friday

iPhone software 2.0 – GM ships Friday

iPhone users, rejoice – Apple’s on the edge of shipping iPhone Software 2.0, meaning the upgrade looks set to reach your mobile this month.

Cupertino “sources” report that it’s “highly probable” the iPhone 2.0 Gold Master will ship this Friday, two weeks before  the iPhone 3G ships and just close enough to the end of June to keep Apple’s promise to ship the software this month.

Gizmodo observes the latest software build offers two code-signing and encryption features which haven’t been seen before.

“Meanwhile, the iPhone Dev Team has confirmed they are working hard cracking the latest build, getting ready for the pwnage of the final release,” the report adds.

(Via 9 to 5 Mac)

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Smilebox – Photo-Sharing for the Mac

Photo sharing service launches Smilebox for the Mac

D83C79B6-5574-4882-81FC-CCF05A9473CB.jpgSmilebox, Inc., a leader in photo-sharing technology, has launched Smilebox for Mac giving Mac customers an easy and compelling way to share their photos and videos. Mac users can extend their iPhoto and iTunes experience by mixing their photos, videos and music with hundreds of interactive Smilebox designs, including scrapbooks, greetings, slideshows, photobooks and postcards. Smilebox also provides Mac customers with new ways to share their media: they can share creations via email, post to a blog, website or social network, or print, all in a matter of minutes.

“We look forward to welcoming the Mac community to Smilebox. It is a natural extension of the Macintosh application experience, and it will provide Mac users with a whole new way to connect and communicate,” said Andrew Wright, founder and CEO of Smilebox, Inc. “Smilebox for Mac truly extends what Mac users can do with iPhoto and iTunes, making it easy for them to combine their photos, videos and music and share them in creative new ways.”

Previously only available for Mac recipient viewing, the application marks the first time Mac users can install the free service and make their own Smilebox creations. It is available for free download at www.smilebox.com.

The Smilebox catalog features more than 700 designs for every occasion from leading providers such as Hallmark, Making Memories, Madison Park Greetings, K & Company, as well as the Smilebox Studio design team. Consumers can create and share any design in a free or premium format. Premium formats, which can be purchased a la carte ($1.99 to $3.99) or as a monthly ($4.99) or annual ($39.99) subscription, include extended music options, ad-free recipient playbacks and print capabilities.

(Via Appletell)

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Launch time of iPhone 3G still up in the air!

Time of iPhone 3G Launch Remains Unclear
Unconfirmed reports claim that the U.S. iPhone launch will take place starting at 8am, July 11th at AT&T stores nationwide. A screenshot posted to our forums claims to depict the actual email sent to AT&T managers. Even if you accept the letter as true, it’s not entirely certain that the 8am time was sanctioned by Apple. When the iPhone first launched in 2007, there were multiple reports of AT&T stores planning on opening first thing in the morning, only later to find out the actual launch time was 6pm.

Apple’s own retail stores have not yet been briefed on the exact launch time of the iPhone 3G, though it had been previously suggested that it would again happen at 6pm. Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 3G will launch on July 11th, 2008, but the exact time of day has not been announced.

Apple is expected to brief their retail stores on July 6th regarding both the iPhone 3G and MobileMe, so more details should be available after that time.

(Via MacRumors)

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Office 2004 11.5.0 – Get it Now!

Office 2004 users not forgotten, 11.5.0 released today

83175F76-644E-409E-9903-BFB39F0B25BA.jpgOK, you aren’t running the latest and greatest version of Microsoft Office for Mac — does that make you a bad person. No! You deserve updates too, just like the new stuff does. Along with Office 2008 12.1.1 sliding out the door today, Office 2004 11.5.0 is available, and it addresses the following pain points:

  • Adds read/write compatibility for Open XML Format (.docx, .xlsx, etc.) files if installed with the Open XML Format Converter
  • Better stability and printing/page setup fixes for Word
  • Better paste compatibility with Office 2008 for all apps
  • Powerpoint fixes for stability with large documents

The full rundown is in the continuation of the post and over at Microsoft’s support site. The download weighs in at 59 MB.

Update: We initially failed to note that there is a new version — apparently the final one — of the Open XML Format Converter that pairs with 11.5.0 to provide full read/write compatibility with the new formats. It will work in standalone mode if you don’t run 11.5, and it includes the new Office 2008/Office 2007 “C” fonts to provide maximum round-trippy goodness.

(Via (TUAW))

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World’s first iPhone 3G on sale in New Zealand a day before the US

World’s first iPhone 3G on sale in New Zealand a day before the US

CB99FF5A-CFE6-4F98-BC88-EAB0132DAAA9.jpgConsider yourself an Apple fanatic? Gotta have the latest and greatest the moment it’s available? Ok… prove it. We have it from a trusted source that the world’s first iPhone 3G will be on sale at 00:01, Friday July 11th, in New Zealand — that’s still Thursday, July 10th at 5:01 in the AM in Cupertino or 13:01 hours in London. At that precise minute, Vodafone NZ will swing open the doors of its Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch shops to your overeager HSDPA jones. So, now that you know, the next move is all yours.

(Via Engadget)

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