1/11/2005

Apple Introduces iPod shuffle (Flash iPod)

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple today introduced iPod shuffle, a breakthrough digital music player based on iPod’s legendary shuffle feature which lets users experience their music in a million different ways. Smaller and lighter than a pack of gum, iPod shuffle comes with its own lanyard so it’s ready to wear right out of the box. iPod shuffle works seamlessly with iTunes’ innovative AutoFill feature which automatically selects songs from a user’s music library to fill up iPod shuffle with just one click. iPod shuffle is the most affordable iPod ever and is available in two models: 512MB holding up to 120 songs for just $99 and 1GB holding up to 240 songs for just $149.

“iPod shuffle is smaller and lighter than a pack of gum and costs less than $100,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With most flash-memory music players users must use tiny displays and complicated controls to find their music; with iPod shuffle you just relax and it serves up new combinations of your music every time you listen.”

iPod shuffle
The iPod shuffle (Source)

iPod shuffle is based on iPod’s pioneering and widely-used shuffle feature, which randomly selects songs from the user’s music library or playlists. In addition, iPod shuffle works seamlessly with iTunes(R) and its innovative new patent-pending AutoFill feature, which automatically selects the perfect number of songs to fill iPod shuffle from a user’s complete music library on their computer. And at any time, with a flip of a switch on the back of iPod shuffle, users can choose to listen to their music in order rather than shuffled, perfect for listening to a avorite new album.

Users can conveniently charge and transfer music from their Mac or PC by plugging iPod shuffle directly into a USB port. iPod shuffle doubles as a portable USB flash drive with up to 1GB of storage space to back up personal files and exchange them between computers.

Apple Introduces Mac mini

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple today introduced Mac mini, the most affordable and compact Mac ever.
Starting at just $499, Mac mini is the ideal desktop computer for anyone looking to get started with Mac OS X and features iLife ‘05, the latest version of Apple’s innovative suite of software for managing digital photo and music collections, editing movies and creating music. Just two-inches tall and weighing only 2.9 pounds, Mac mini redefines design for the sub-$1,000 desktop.

“Starting at just $499, Mac mini is the most affordable way to enjoy Mac OS X and iLife,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Just plug in your display, keyboard and mouse and you’ve got an incredibly compact Mac for a price that almost anyone can afford.”

iMac mini
The iMac mini (Source)

Mac mini offers the processing and graphics performance to take advantage of demanding consumer applications with either a 1.25 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory.
Both models come with a slot-load Combo drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs, and up to an 80GB hard drive for storing digital media creations.

Mac mini includes one FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports for easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as Apple’s market-leading iPod digital music player, digital still cameras, digital video camcorders and printers. Mac mini offers a DVI interface that also supports VGA so customers can easily connect to a variety of LCD or CRT displays. The new Mac mini includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for easy Internet access, and offers optional support for an AirPort(R) Extreme Card
for 54 Mbps 802.11g fast wireless networking* along with an internal Bluetooth module for the latest in wireless communications.

Mac OS X version 10.3 “Panther” is pre-installed on every Mac mini and delivers breakthrough features including iChat AV desktop video conferencing, Mail, Safari web browser, Sherlock(R), Address Book, QuickTime(R), iSync, iCal(R), DVD Player and the Classic environment. Mac mini also comes with a collection of outstanding productivity and entertainment titles designed to meet the needs of the entire family, including Quicken 2005 for Mac, Nanosaur 2 and MarbleBlast Gold.

Mac mini will be available in the US on Saturday, January 22 and worldwide on Saturday, January 29 through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in two standard configurations.

Instant Messaging Meets Instant Commerce

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 11 - FaceBridge Research introduces the beta version of its patent-pending FaceBridge AVIM Commerce Server for Apple’s iChat instant-messaging system. The FaceBridge Server allows Apple instant-
messaging users to bill for their time while communicating via iChat audio and video IM (”AVIM”). According to FaceBridge, “This is a huge step forward in allowing Apple users to easily bill for their time online.”

The FaceBridge Server proxies conversations between IM users and allows users to present themselves under any number of aliases. For example, an attorney can offer his advice as “real_estate_attorney” for $3 per minute. If he’s also an expert stock picker, he can offer stock tips as “the_stock_oracle” for $5 per minute. When he goes online with his real IM account, the FaceBridge Server automatically makes his aliases available, too.
His clients communicate with him just like any other IM buddy, except that they know him only by his aliases and any time spent communicating is billed to the client’s credit card.

This presents a huge opportunity for instant messaging to become a platform for instant commerce. Many professionals bill for time, but billing is cumbersome and often does not cover quick conversations via email or telephone. With services powered by FaceBridge, professionals can easily be reached by clients and billing is literally automatic.

FaceBridge Research has been developing its AVIM Commerce Server since the Summer of 2003 and has patents pending on various components of the system.
Several FaceBridge-powered services are planned for consumer introduction in March, 2005, and the FaceBridge Server will be expanded to support non-Apple AVIM standards in the future.

Yahoo! Joins Desktop Search Market

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo! has become the latest search giant to jump into the desktop search market. It has this morning unveiled its new program which it hopes will allow it compete in the growing war for scanning files on users’ home PCs. The release of Yahoo! Desktop Search comes after Google and MSN unveiled similar products.

The new program, currently in beta, has many of the same features as its rivals. However, it’s claimed the Yahoo! program searches more than 200 file types and is the most comprehensive of all those released so far. As well as files, it indexes e-mails in Outlook and Outlook Express and it also promises to offer web searches - through its own search engine, of course.

Desktop search seems to be the latest tool the major engines are using in a bid to expand their influence. MSN is also currently running a beta of its new web search tool alongside its desktop search, offered through a browser toolbar. Yahoo’s offering appears more like a traditional Windows app - Google’s uses the same style as its online search results when it searches through your computer.

Source: Neowin

IBM Pledges 500 U.S. Patents To Open Source

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM today pledged open access to key innovations covered by 500 IBM software patents to individuals and groups working on open source software. IBM believes this is the largest pledge ever of patents of any kind and represents a major shift in the way IBM manages and deploys its intellectual property (IP) portfolio.

The pledge is applicable to any individual, community, or company working on or using software that meets the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of open source software now or in the future.

IBM intends for this pledge to form the basis of an industry-wide “patent commons” in which patents are used to establish a platform for further innovations in areas of broad interest to information technology developers and users.

Source: IBM

New Virus Uses Windows DRM To Spread

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

PandaLabs has detected the appearance of two new Trojans, Trj/WmvDownloader.A and Trj/WmvDownloader.B, which are spreading through P2P networks in video files. These Trojans take advantage of the new technology incorporated in Microsoft Windows Media player called Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM), designed to protect the intellectual property rights of multimedia content. When a user tries to play a protected Windows media file, this technology demands a valid license. If the license is not stored on the computer, the application will look for it on the Internet, so that the user can acquire it directly or buy it. This new technology is incorporated through the Windows XP Service Pack 2 + Windows Media Player 10 update.

The video files infected by these Trojans have a .wmv extension and are protected by licenses, supposedly issued by the companies overpeer (for Trj/WmvDownloader.A), or protectedmedia (for Trj/WmvDownloader.B). If the user runs a video file that is infected by one of these Trojans, they pretend to download the corresponding license from certain web pages. However, what they actually do is redirect the user to other Internet addresses from which they download a large number adware (programs that display advertisements on screen), spyware, dialers (applications that dial-up high rate toll numbers) and other viruses.

Source: Panda

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