Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apple Will be Streaming Tomorrow’s Big Apple Event Live

For all you Apple Fanboy and girls out there that are interested in what Apple has hidden up it's sleeve you will get your chance to watch live with the rest of us.

Apple has just announced that anyone owning either a Mac running Safari on Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard, an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad will be able to watch the big press event live at Apple.com, starting at 10AM Pacific.

Sorry none Apple owners you are going to have to wait for the follow-up video, or you'll have to catch a your favorite bloggers live blogging the event. For those running Firefox there may be a few workarounds, namely the User Agent Switcher add-on. Using the add-on you can make Firefox appear to sites as an iPhone, iPad or other Mac OS device.

Here's a list of Firefox User Agent Strings that can be used to replace the current MS string and of course you'll need to know which settings to change. For that I suggest checking out one of these tutorials

iFixit Now Offers Gaming Console Repair Guides, Tools and Parts

Those geeks over at iFixit may be best known for their teardowns and guides for smartphones and other mobile devices but that is about to change. iFixit has decided to push into a relatively untapped market: gamers who want fully detailed guides on how to open their systems, work on the innards, replace parts and keep them alive. The site will be offering a combination of information and products, mixing how-to manuals with specialized tools and replacement parts.

Once You Know, You Newegg
Right now there are repair guides for 24 gaming consoles, including 206 repairs and upgrades. Some of these fixes deal with major issues, such as the infamous Red Ring of Death from the Xbox 360, but others are simpler. For instance, right now there is no easy way to clean out the fans inside your console, something that any geek knows should be fairly routine maintenance. With an iFixit teardown guide you can now d-i-y it.

Some of the other guides go through more complicated procedures, some of which will take a little know how, like learning how to replace broken LCD screens on your portables or replace the motherboard on your PlayStation 3.

iFixit's repair guides are great. They are very well written and easy to follow, chocked full of pics so you know exactly what you are doing and they offer user interaction by way of editing similar to a iki. There is also forum style question section so you can ask those hard to answer questions.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Say So Long To ATI, AMD Kills Off The ATI Brand

AMD has decided to dissolved the ATI brand completely, and consolidated ATI brands, such as Radeon and FirePro under the AMD main brand. AMD which purchsed ATI back in 2006 for $5.4 billion point to recent research which the company says indicates that people prefer the AMD name to the ATI name. Under the new branding scheme, all of AMD's new graphics products (such as the upcoming Radeon HD 6000 series), will do away with "ATI" completely from the logo, marketing material, and so on, and the market will, as it already has been doing since the AMD-ATI merger, albeit informally, refer to Radeon/FirePro products as "AMD Radeon" and "AMD FirePro".

THis move really comes as no big surprise. Most of us know the ATI name doesn’t mean a whole bunch these days, in fact most of us interchange the AMD/ATI names when referring to GPU's anyways. For me it’s more of a nostalgia thing. “Oh man, they’re phasing out the ATI name that has been here for ages!" I recently took part of in an AMD insight study where they showed off several new logo designs, some of which were for the new AMD Radeon logos some were new ATI designs. Looking back at the study it doesn’t surprise me that their research pointed to more people liking the new AMD Radeon logos over the new ATI logos they had. Those things were funky and IMO ugly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ATARI Announces ATARI Greatest Hits Volume 1 For Nintendo DS

50 of the most addicting games from Atari’s legendary vault will be compiled into the must-have Nintendo DS title of the holiday season as Atari, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, launches Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1. The ultimate DS title for casual gamers, Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1 brings together dozens of the most popular Atari arcade and Atari 2600 titles of all-time, including such blockbusters as Asteroids, Pong, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, Lunar Lander, Space Duel, Battlezone and Adventure.  This true treasure trove of timeless gaming classics will hit retail stores in North America this Fall.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Atari introduced a new era in interactive entertainment with its addictive arcade games and home gaming system.  Now with Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1, a retro gaming revolution will be ignited on the Nintendo DS.  Each spotlighted game will feature the same pick-up and play control scheme as their original arcade and 2600 form, with modern updates to align with the Nintendo DS platform.  Single card multi-player will be available for 20 titles including Space Duel and Pong with multi-card play available for head-to-head games. 

Additionally, Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1 will feature the original game manuals for each title, an Atari memorabilia showcase, and special bonus extras -- including an Atari Trivia game where gamers can race against the clock to answer questions about Atari history and then post their scores to Atari.com.

“The 50 games featured in Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1 have defined a generation of casual gamers” said Jim Wilson, President of Atari, Inc. “By adding a new single cartridge multiplayer mode to such games as Pong, Space Duel and Outlaw, we continue to find new ways to expand our brands to a new generation of gamers.”

The complete Atari’s Greatest Hits: Volume 1 line-up is as follows:
    Atari Arcade Hits  
    Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Gravitar, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Space Duel, Tempest.
    Atari 2600 Favorites
    3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Adventure, Air-Sea Battle, Asteroids, Atari Video Cube, Basketball, Battlezone, Bowling, Centipede, Championship Soccer, Dodge ’Em, Flag Capture, Football, Fun with Numbers, Gravitar, Hangman, Haunted House, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Math Gran Prix, Miniature Golf, Missile Command, Outlaw, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Boxing, Realsports Football, Realsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball, Sky Diver, Slot Maching, Slot Racers, Sprintmasters, Starship, Stella Track, Submarine Commander, Surround, Swordquest Earthworld, Swordquest Fireworld, Swordquest Waterworld,Tempest and Video Checkers.

Developed by Atari in partnership with Code Mystics, Atari’s Greatest Hits: Vol. 1 is Rated “E” for Everyone and will be available exclusively on Nintendo DS for a suggested retail price of $29.99.  For more information, please log onto www.atari.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WD Announces New Livewire High-Speed Powerline AV Network Kit

Plug-and-play Device Uses Existing Electrical Outlets to Stream HD Video to the Connected Home Theater 

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its new WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit (photo), a HomePlug AV compatible solution that enables consumers to use their existing electrical outlets to extend secure and reliable high-speed Internet connections throughout the home. Complementing the WD TV line of media players, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit enables consumers to easily and affordably deliver HD video streams to the home theater, transfer large files or play multi-player online games, all without running network cables around the home. With four ports on each of two adapters included in the kit, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit offers users the ability to connect their router and up to seven additional devices to their high-speed network.

According to research from Parks Associates, an increasing number of consumers own connected devices such as HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles and digital media players such as the WD TV Live Plus HD media player (Home Networks for Consumer Electronics 2009). By the end of 2010, Parks Associates forecasts consumers will own 111 million of these devices, with 37 million Internet-capable devices in the U.S. alone, but "connecting" them can be challenging and costly. In a recent Parks Associates survey, 42 percent of respondents unwilling to connect their TVs to the Internet indicated that either their router was too far from the device or it would be too complicated to set up or both (Digital Media Evolution II 2010).

Featuring HomePlug AV technology, the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit provides users with data transfer speeds up to 200 megabits per second (Mbps), enabling glitch-free playback of Full-HD 1080p video streams on up to seven connected devices. Setup is as easy as plugging in a lamp. Consumers do not need to undertake home improvement projects to route new wiring between rooms. They simply plug one of the two adapters in the kit into their router and an electrical outlet then plug the other adapter into another outlet where they need access to wired network connections. Users can stream video to four connected devices in the home theater and also gain an additional three network ports by their router.

For an integrated entertainment solution, users can store digital media on WD's My Book World Edition home network drive and stream photos, music and HD video via the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit to one of the WD TV line of media players or other DLNA-compliant devices located throughout the home.

"Consumers are accumulating an increasing number of Internet-capable connected TVs, video game consoles and media players providing access to exciting online content through services such as Netflix, YouTube and Pandora," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "Wireless networks, while popular, don't always deliver the reliable high-speed connections needed to sustain HD video streaming. Meanwhile, drilling holes for new Ethernet cables is complicated, expensive and messy. With the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, it's truly easy to enjoy all the HD streaming and broadband Internet capabilities of these great new devices anywhere there is an electrical outlet."

WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit
WDLivewirePowerline AV Network Kit features:

  • Easy set-up and instant network expansion anywhere in the home;
  • Two 4-port HomePlug AV adapters;
  • Two Ethernet cables;
  • Two power cables;
  • Quick install guide;
  • CD with WD Livewireutility software;
  • Warranty and support guide; and,
  • A 1-year limited warranty.
The WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit is HomePlug AV certified and is IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.3u compliant. The kit requires an Ethernet router and AC power outlets.

Price and Availability
The new WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kithas a 1-year limited warranty and is available now at select retailers and online at wdstore.com. MSRP is $139.99 USD. 

Practical Tips For Sat Nav Drivers

This guest post was written by Zara Turner from Satellite Navigation UK

Unfortunately it is not always as simple as typing in post code into your satellite navigation system and relying on that system to reach your desired destination as quickly and safely as possible. In reality, users face quiet a few problems along their way using satellite navigation. Here are some useful and informative tips from the fine folks at Satellite Navigation UK for drivers armed with sat nav devices.

Hook into speakers

The smartphone speakers are thin when compared to those on dedicated sat navs, making it very difficult for the drivers to hear instructions on motorways. If your car stereo can utilize the 3.5mm input, link this to your smartphone and use your car stereo speakers to pipe the instructions. Alternatively, the phone can be connected to advanced Bluetooth speaker to achieve better clarity.

This practice will make hearing your directions much easier and provide a much clearer sound for more distinction between odd street names and or muffled directions.

Do not rely on postcodes alone

Your sat nav may support the postcode option, but relying on it completely may not be the most effective use of your system at all times. The postcode search could work fine in cities and towns where a single code covers a handful of houses, however this may not be the case while in rural areas. In various rural areas a postcode search may be completely useless as one post code could cover the entire village. In these cases it would be best to always utilize the complete address.

Beware of Heated Windscreens

Heated windscreens or heat-reflective screens can cause interference with GPS reception making it difficult for your sat nav to receive GPS signals. The problem can be addressed by fixing an external antenna and running the wire up behind the rear view mirror where the heated windscreen usually meshes with the roof of the car. The addition of the external antenna should reduce the interference cause by the heatd windshield thus boosting reception.

Stay up to date

Roads, speed limits and speed camera positions change frequently, hence it is better to take advantage of any updates your sat nav manufacturer may offer. Some sat nav manufacturers only offer free road map updates where as other may other update options such as traffic, road construction and more. This service is not only important for adding in some of the newer roads, speeds limits or other possible issues but it having the latest updates can be very useful for faster, safer and tension free driving to your destinations.

Readers wanting more tips or information on safer use of their sat nav systems or those wanting reviews on popular systems like the LG sat Nav systems, Kenwood systems and Magellan systems can compare sat nav prices and reviews at the Satellite Navigation System Reviews website.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Valve Just Says No To Linux

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Valve's VP of Marketing Doug Lombardi dished out some bad news for Linux gamers stating: "There's no Linux version that we're working on right now."

Following the interview and the denial of Steam for Linux many gaming sites have begun to question the vague wording of the "right now" statement. Does this mean they had been working on a Linux Steam client that is already complete? Does it mean they are holding off for now and we might see one down the road? No one really knows. Valve, earlier this year released its Mac port of Steam to bring cross-platform gaming compatibility between PC and Mac users so it would seem likely the company would want to port the application over to the Linux community.

Since. for now at least there is no official Linux Steam client Linux users will need to run a work around. One that has been posted via the Value Developer Wiki can be found here "Install and use Steam under a Linux environment."

You can read the whole interview @ GamesIndustry.biz (you'll need an account to read the entire interview but you can register for free).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Even A Protected PC Can Still Get Infected

While browsing the headlines today I came across a pretty good article on PC World entitled "How Did My Protected PC Get Infected?". The article is a follow-up to PC World reader Bill Artman's question concerning how SUPERAntiSpyware could find three Trojans on what he felt was a very secure PC.

Being a moderator and forum member for several Tech support forums I can say I see these question pop-up all the time. Sadly many users are under the false assertion that a highly secured PC is invulnerable. There's no such thing as perfect protection. Even if you have the best firewall and antivirus software available, and keep it up to date, there will always be something out there that can and often does get through.

What you need to know

First and foremost you need to ask yourself how secure is my PC? Do you really have the best security software? Is it always up to date and fully patched? What do I personally do that might put my PC at risk?

If you can't give a good solid answer to any of those questions then you are probably not as secure as you think and you should take steps to remedy the situation. You should start by getting a good firewall, and by good I don't mean the one that comes embedded into Windows. You'll also want to add a good Antivirus program and at least one good malware/spyware scanner.


There are two types of firewalls, software based and hardware based. Hardware based firewalls are meant more for intrusion blocking from the internet side of things. They often provide very little resistance to traffic traveling from your PC out to the Internet. That is where software firewalls come in, they can be setup to limit or block almost all outbound traffic. An ideal setup will have both in place!

For software firewalls you want to get yourself a good third party application. Windows' own firewall doesn't protect as well as most of the free good, third-party apps. A good software based firewall should warn you if applications are trying to reach out to the net. These warnings are annoying but they can mean all the difference in the world. Comodo's free firewall is a good choice as is ZoneAlarm. Both offer great features and have worked well for me in the past.


There are tons of great AV programs out there so making a decision on which to use is always a tough one. Personally I like free, so I use AVG, Avast or Avira. Which one you choose is really going to be up to you. Personally I like to checkout the many reviews around the web before deciding and I generally end up using one or two different apps. (on different machines of course.) Whatever software you use, keep it up-to-date. It should do this itself automatically, but every so often, check it yourself. AV programs can be rendered useless in a matter of a few months if they don't update the new virus definitions.

Safer Browsing

It has always been my experience that the majority of infections come from bad browsing habits, risky behavior and or at the hands of the users themselves. Practicing good browsing habits will lessen the risk of infection greatly!

Be suspicious, question anything. Don't just click on a link in an email, don't just download that attachment or that Active X control. Question those pop-ups and update boxes. If you are on a third party site and it tells you to update to a new version of flash go directly to Adobe and get the latest version. Watch those Active X controls, several malware infections come from fake controls.

If a program you didn't install and launch tells you your PC is infected, assume it's scareware and it's about to infect your PC. Only download software from reputable sites. If you use torrents, a very risky behavior, make sure you scan the download and set your security settings to the highest level.

Instead of running under the Admin account, which you really shouldn't anyways, run under a limited or guest account with User Account Controls set to high.

Update, update, update! I can't say this enough. You need to keep your software updated to the latest version. Not just your operating system and browser but other software like your PDF viewer, flash and any media add-ons.

Browser Security

Internet Explorer is still one of the most widely used browsers on the planet and that popularity makes it one of the most targeted for attacks. If at all possible avoid using IE, switching over to a more secure browser is one of the best defenses against malware attacks. It might take some user a little getting use to but it is well worth it.

For high risk browsing I use Firefox coupled with ad-block, flashblock, and no-script. Those add-ons coupled with my security software means there will be virtually no chance something will get in without me noticing.


While this is not a protection plan it is possibly one of the most important steps to take to ensure piece of mind. A good back-up plan can save you hundreds of dollars in lost time not to mention the importance of saving those files like all your pictures, documents, movies, music ect. If by chance something does get in and wrecks havoc have all those important files backed up somewhere will be a lifesaver.


Following much of what was written will greatly reduce the risk most user face, but again aside from never getting on the web there is no such thing as 100% protection. Even the best laid plans can sometimes fail and when they do it can be disastrous. Just keep in mind if you have good security backed by a good back-up plan even if you do get infected you won't loose everything. Everyone I've ever dealt with that has been hit with a major infection could have saved themselves tons of time, headaches and heartache by simply backing up those precious memories.

Friday, August 13, 2010

iFixit Motorola Droid 2 Teardown

We loves those geeks over at iFixit, they are always tearing stuff apart. So you know as soon as they got their hands on the new Motorola Droid 2 they'd tear it apart like a ragdoll. Today we get to see the full results of that teardown and the new Droid 2 in all its barenakedness!

The Droid 2 features:
  • Motorola Droid 2 measures 4.58" x 2.36" x 0.54" and weighs in at 5.96 oz.
  • Texas Instruments OMAP (Open Multimedia Application Platform) 1GHz processor with dedicated GPU.
  • 8 GB internal storage space.
  • 5 MP camera with auto focus.
  • 3.7" WVGA display
  • Android 2.2 OS (Froyo)

For more picttures and details checkout the full iFixit Droid 2 Teardown

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Avast Now Offers Antivirus Software With Screen-reader Capability

AVAST Software, providers of the avast! antivirus program, has announced that the latest update to its antivirus application makes computer security fully accessible to the vision-impaired. Using basic screen-reader technology, blind and low-vision computer users can now protect their computers from malware and unwanted viruses with any of the avast! Antivirus 5.0 offerings – avast! Free Antivirus, avast! Pro Antivirus and avast! Internet Security.

The push for this development came from vision-impaired IT geeks who wanted to use avast! Antivirus 5.0. “For the blind, the computer is an absolutely fantastic invention. And for some, it’s even their hobby to adjust it,” said Radek Seifert, work-team leader at the TEREZA Center, a support center for the sight-impaired at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

These volunteers fine-tuned avast! so it worked with JAWS, a leading screen-reader technology. “They said, ‘give us the beta’ so we did,” remembers Ondrej Vlcek, AVAST Chief Technical Officer. “It was also a complicated issue on our side as avast! does not use the standard Windows controls.”

Screen reader software is designed to navigate through a website and read the web content aloud. A screen reader uses a Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine to translate on-screen information into speech, which can then be heard through earphones or speakers. In addition to speech feedback, screen readers are also capable of providing information in Braille. An external hardware device, known as a refreshable Braille display, is needed for this.

“A screen reader can be complicated to adjust – there are many ways to fine-tune the program and some very small differences made in adjusting the information that needs to be read aloud,” explained Mr. Seifert.

The cooperation between the blind community and AVAST Software is being noticed globally. “It's great to see that a company like yours doesn't take very long to make their programs accessible to blind or visually impaired users. I am happy to say that avast! 5.0 does now work fully with Jaws,” wrote in Michael Osmond, a blind JAWS trainer at Dalhousie University in Haifax, Canada. An avast! user since 2008, he was particularly concerned that the email filter in 5.0 would work correctly.

The computer, and screenreader technologies, is now an integral part of blind people’s lives. “The JAWS program is so much more than a simple screen reader – it is a navigational aid,” said Eric Damery, VP Software Product Management, Freedom Scientific. “We believe this technology truly empowers the vision-impaired and the newest antivirus program from avast! will provide peace of mind for computer users.”

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Netbook OS Jolicloud v1.0 launches

The developers of Jolicloud, or what we think is one of the finer netbook operating systems around, have announced that version 1.0 of their operating system is now available as a general public release.

New features include improved performance of the launcher, several minor system updates as well as the major updates listed below. 

A Simpler, Customizable Launcher Entirely Built in HTML5

  • Installing an app takes only one click, and removing it is just as easy.
  • Jolicloud comes with some of the best apps already pre-installed, including Gmail, Skype, Twitter, Firefox, and more.
  • It’s up to you to organize your apps the way you want - your launcher is customizable.
  • We take care of any app updates so that updating is easy, and that you always have the latest version of everything.

An Exhaustive App Center

  • Jolicloud has selected 700+ of the best free apps to install and share with your friends.
  • You don’t have to keep up with Internet trends to discover the coolest new apps - our curated, Featured Apps directory is updated weekly with the best and the latest.
  • Jolicloud makes it easy for you to share what apps you like with your friends and vice versa, so it’s always a dynamic and social app environment.

A Social Stream

  • Through our new Stream feature, you can feel the pulse of the Jolicloud community and discover the apps that your friends recommend.
  • You’re not only kept up to date with what apps other Joliclouders like, but you can also see whatever updates your favorite apps release.
  • Any notifications from Jolicloud and other third-party apps are all centralized here.

A Universal File System

  • Because everything is in one place, it’s easy to manage your files and data, whether they’re on your machine or in the Cloud.
  • Jolicloud facilitates access to popular online storage services like box.net, Dropbox, and drop.io, with new services being added frequently.

Experience the Anywhere OS

  • You can install Jolicloud on as many devices as you’d like, and they will always be automatically synchronized. Any app you download, delete, or move around will be the same on all your other machines with no extra work on your part.
  • You can even manage your interface from the Cloud - if you don’t have your computer with you, log in on any HTML5 browser like Chrome to add, remove, or organize apps.
  • Moving from machine to machine has never been so easy.

Jolicloud 1.0 is available to download from the project's site and via BitTorrent. Users can choose between installing Jolicloud via a standard ISO image or alongside Windows using Jolicloud Express and documentation is provided.

I'll be downloading and installing the new OS via VirtualBox this afternoon and will provide some updated details as well as an opinion of the new changes later today.

iOS4 Jailbreak Hole Could Mean Big Trouble For Users

Apple along with several big name security researchers are warning that the recent exploit used in JailBreakMe to Jailbreak iOS4 could mean bad news for iPhone and iPad users. Both exploits could potentially allow would be hackers easy access to the devices 'root' control privileges.

The JailBreakMe exploit utilizes a hole discovered in the way Safari reads and parses PDF files. This security vulnerability allows the JailBreakMe site to gain access to the 'protective sandbox'. The second security vulnerability allows the code to get out of the 'sandbox' and access root control privileges for the device -- potentially allowing hackers the ability to install rogue apps that could monitor user actions. The end result is that the program can then have unrestricted access to your iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch on virtually all versions of iPhone firmware.

On Wednesday an Apple spokeswoman told Cnet via a statement, "We're aware of this reported issue, we have already developed a fix and it will be available to customers in an upcoming software update."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Microsoft Promises Office 2011 For Macs In October

Microsoft today announced that their next version of the Apple Mac OS version of Microsoft Office would be available in over 100 countries by the end of October. The suite will come in two editions to purchase at retail — Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 and Office for Mac Home and Business 2011.

Mac Office 2011 Pricing

Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 includes Word for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac, Excel for Mac and Messenger for Mac, and it will retail starting at $119 (U.S. estimated retail price [ERP]).

It will be available in two editions — a single install for $119 (U.S. ERP) and a Family Pack for $149 (U.S. ERP) with three installs for families with more than one Mac in their household. The Home and Student edition provides the core productivity applications that Mac users want and need.

Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011 includes Word for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac, Excel for Mac, Outlook for Mac and Messenger for Mac, and it will retail starting at $199 (U.S. ERP).

It also will be available in two editions — a single install for $199 (U.S. ERP) and a Multi-Pack for $279 (U.S. ERP) with two installs for a user with two machines. If Home and Student customers determine that they need the additional functionality of a desktop e-mail client, they can easily step up to Office for Mac Home and Business 2011using online upgrade functionality.

Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011 includes Word for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac, Excel for Mac, Outlook for Mac and Messenger for Mac, and it will retail at authorized academic stores and Microsoft, http://www.officeformac.com, for $99 (U.S. ERP).

This special edition was created for higher education students, staff and faculty, and includes one installation.

Office 2008 Technology Guarantee program

As with various version of Microsoft Office for Windows Microsoft has also announced a Mac office 2008 will be covered by their Technology Guarantee program. The program allows qualifying customers to upgrade to Office 2011 at no additional cost when they purchase Office 2008 between now and Nov 30th.

Qualifying purchase details:

Office 2008 for Mac must be purchased between Aug. 1, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2010, at Microsoft or an authorized reseller.

Customers can register for the program online at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/techg. Qualifying registrants must fill out the form and submit their product key(s) and dated sales receipt for Office 2008 for Mac by Dec. 31, 2010.

You must meet all eligibility requirements to receive your Technology Guarantee upgrade. Complete details on this upgrade offer can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/techg.

Apple Stops Bad Mouthing Competitors Removes Antennagate Videos

Since the release of the new iPhone 4 Apple has come under some serious scrutiny from several major tech sites and consumer magazine including Consumer Reports and TechCrunch over antenna problems leading to reception issues. Apple's original approach was to downplay the issue originally telling consumers they should "Just avoid holding it in that way" or buy a bumper case.

"Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas," said Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman. "If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."

The company then changed direction and looked at blaming a software design flaw before finally stooping to bad mouthing the competition with videos of the so-called "death grip" at work on other smartphones.

Over the weekend is appears Apple has decided to remove those videos in-lieu of what we can only expect will be another approach at downplaying the iPhone 4 issue and or passing the buck on to other companies as well.

The original video files attacking the Blackberry Bold, HTC Droid Eris, Motorola Droid X and other smartphones are no longer available on Apple's specially-created Smatphone Antenna Performance page. Instead, visitors are now met with a new page showing images of the company's state-of-the-art testing facilities and a brief description describing attenuation and signal loss as well as minor details about their testing program.

The exception appears to be Apple Canada, where the old page still lives and Apple’s official YouTube channel where they are no longer featured, and are a little bit trickier to find.

The removal from the main US site leads us to wonder why the videos have been removed. Its possible that the threat of legal action here in the US by companies whose phones have been demonstrated could be behind the change. Apple however has yest to offer any answers.

The majority of the videos sparked some serious backlash from the tech community as well as Apple's competitors. They argued that their phones did not experience the same level of signal attenuation as the iPhone 4, which can lose signal strength when the bottom left corner of the device is touched.

Most tech pundits agree that in many cases Apple's results could not be as easily replicated as those of users who complained about issues with their iPhones. In fact in several reports the results couldn't be replicated without holding the phone in a totally unnatural manner unlike that of the iPhone.

"We can't seem to recreate this one as easily with our Droid Xs," Engadget reports. German-based Stiftung Wartentest, basically the German version of Consumer Reports, found the iPhone 4's reception will drop by up to 90 percent under the death grip versus a 25 percent signal loss for two other unnamed smartphones.

Clearly the issues Apple highlights are not the same. Apple tried hard to convince us none fanboys that it was but it’s not working. After all, if the other smartphones mentioned like the BlackBerry Bold or Droid X had the same issues as the iPhone 4, it would have been big news by now.

My conclusion:

Apple fanboys are going to be Apple fanboys and clearly as sales of the new iPhone continue to climb we can see that consumers are willing to let Apple slide on the this one. Sure this may not be an issue that affects every iPhone user equally, and hey it might not affect you at all, but in my eyes the issue here is that there is obviously a problem with a major number (even if it's a small percentage) of iPhones and Apple as a major manufacture should be held accountable. A major company like Apple should not be playing the blaming game and trying to point fingers the other way. They've acknowledged the issue by means of the bumper case giveaway and should leave it at that.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

iPhone Dev Team Releases iPhone 4, iPad Jailbreak

That wonderful group of hackers known as the iPhone Dev Team has released their new Jailbreak tool for the iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G, or iPad. The new tool titled "JailbreakMe" reportedly works on the device itself with little user interaction. Simply visit the JailbreakMe website (or secondary site) on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to get started.

If you get a hand at the purple screen, it's because the server is overloaded at this time so you'll either need to try the secondary site or wait for a few hours and try again.

For more details follow @MuscleNerd or @Comex on Twitter as they have been updating details about known issues and sever responsiveness.