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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TDL Live This Week: 12/8-12/15

In case you missed it live, here's a look at our weekly roundup of Apple news, presented, as always, in a serious fashion:

Apple deletes Mac antivirus suggestion


Apple removed an old item from its support site late Tuesday that urged Mac customers to use multiple antivirus utilities and now says the Mac is safe "out of the box."
"We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate," Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said.
"The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."
Apple's previous security message in its KnowledgeBase, which serves as a tutorial for Mac users, was: "Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult."

Confirmed: iPhone Coming to Walmart By the End of December, Regularly Priced
Store representatives at multiple locations confirmed to the publication that employees are training to sell the handset, which will hit shelves by the end of the month. This will make Walmart the second non-mothership retail chain to sell the iPhone, and by far the largest. But what about all the $99 4GB model nonsense? It hasn't been confirmed, and still doesn't sound that likely.

Some analysts still say that the $99 iPhone will probably happen eventually, but others are specific enough to claim that a Bentonville, Arkansas location will sell the discontinued 4GB model in addition to the 8GB and 16GB versions, which have been confirmed at their normal $199 and $299 prices.


Google Earth Browser Plugin for Mac OS X


Mac users now have access to the Google Earth Browser Plugin. Some Mac users have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the plug-in since it was introduced for Windows in May 2008 and for the iPhone in October 2008. The plug-in is compatible with both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, and works in both Safari 3.1 and later and Firefox 3.0 and later.


Microsoft to release 'Softwear' retro clothing line


Microsoft says it’s a “clothing line that taps the nostalgia of when PCs were just starting to change our lives,” and that it aims to “showcase the DOS days of the software company that now connects over a billion people.”


Argentina-based OpeniMac now selling Mac clones


Mmeet Argentina-based OpeniMacwho, besides clearly angling for a trademark lawsuit, is also going ahead and selling Mac OS X-based computers at prices that undercut Apple's own offerings.
Well, in Argentina, anyway, as the country doesn't have its own Apple Store, online or brick-and-mortar. But if you live in the U.S., the prices aren't really cheaper than buying a comparable Mac.
The company bills its product line with the tag “Benefits of a Mac. Price of a PC.” Two models are available: the "OpeniMac" is a $990 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo machine that also sports 2GB of memory, a 320GB SATA drive, SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD PRO, and even a 6-in-1 memory card reader.

Apple was 5th busiest retail site on Cyber Monday


While its competitors were offering deep discounts to pull in recession-battered customers, Apple (AAPL) had already ended its Black Friday sale and by Monday was back to charging its usual premium prices for laptops, desktops and MP3 players.
Yet its online store still managed to grab the No. 5 spot in comScore’s ranking of the top 20 most visited retail sites on Monday Dec. 1, handily beating not only Dell (DELL) and Hewlett Packard (HPQ), but such full-fledged retail outlets as Best Buy (BBY), Toys “R” Us and Circuit City .



From Portales: beginner’s Spanish to the advanced A Buen Puerto: Fast Forward in Spanish, you’ll find a variety of Spanish course material from the Open University on iTunes U. And once you’re conversant in Spanish, you could sample the German and French language courses, as well.


Grey Lines Mar MacBook Air Displays


Some MacBook Air users have been reporting the appearance of grey horizontal lines across the screens of their late 2008 models. Discussion threads on the issue began in early November 2008 on both Apple's discussion forums and the MacRumors forums. There have been slight variations in the description of the issue, but most accounts agree the lines are grey or white, horizontal or slightly angled, granulated or pixelated in appearance, and are very subtle. Overall the lines are said to give the screen the appearance of a piece of parchment or recycled paper. Also, the lines are said to appear at the initial boot; they do not develop over time.


Rosetta Becomes Optional in Snow Leopard?


Separately, we've heard that the newest version of Snow Leopard makes Rosetta an optional installation. Rosetta is Apple's PowerPC emulator for their Intel Macs, allowing Intel Mac owners to run legacy software that has not been upgraded for the Intel platform. This news comes shortly after an announcement that IBM had purchased Transitive, the company behind Rosetta's technology. The final release of Snow Leopard is also rumored to require an Intel Mac, thereby being the first version of Mac OS X to drop PowerPC support.


Three Apps Define Apple's Mobile Platform

News Commentary. Last week, Apple announced that the App Store had 300 million downloads and 10,000 applications. Three apps matter more.
It's not so much what they do but what they mean. These three applications define App Store, supported by _oc="null">iPhone and iPod Touch, as an emerging mobile platform. Right now, Apple has created the leading contender to replace the PC as the platform people use most.

The apps:
Amazon Mobile

Google Mobile App

Obama `08

Number of applications does not a successful platform make. Volume is important, but the sticky quality of applications/services and the ability to make real money matter more.
All successful platforms share a few common traits:
They have at least one killer application people really want

They make available a breadth of useful applications

Development tools and APIs make it easy to create good applications

Third parties make lots of money
There is a fifth attribute not common to all successful platforms, but unique to some: They make customer engagement easier, a quality that some connected gaming devices/software and some Web 2.0 platforms imbue.

Steve Jobs participating in ad song selection
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is himself involved in picking the songs used incompanyadvertising, a musician claims. Lars Iversen, a member of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, notes that when "Around the Bend" was chosen for an iPod touch TV ad, a company representing the band -- Synch -- first got in touch with Apple, and then participated in a direct meeting with Jobs. The executive is said to have picked the song to use at this meeting, expressing particular enthusiasm for the music.

Earlier this year CEO Steve Jobs implied Apple was watching small-device categories like tablets and Netbooks to see if they actually take off as a mega-trend, but in the meantime the company had other priorities. Mac tablet rumors stretch back for years, and in the past Jobs has quickly shot down talk of an Apple-produced competitor to Amazon's Kindle, which has been interpreted as a sign Apple was doing just that.

Adobe and Belkin back out of Macworld, IDG not concerned
IDG World Expo isn't too concerned, or so it claims. A spokesperson issued this statement:

While Adobe has decided to shift its focus at for Macworld this year, the company will still be actively participating in the event -- several members of the company's product team will be involved in Macworld tracks, including a full day of CS4 demo sessions with Adobe evangelists on Wednesday, January 7.

Every year we see a certain percentage of exhibitors pull out of the event for their own business reasons. In this economic climate, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see this. The important thing to understand is that Macworld Conference & Expo 2009 will be similar in size to last year’s event and attendees will continue to visit nearly 500 great Mac product vendors on our exhibit floors.

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