davecl writes "The Planck satellite has released its first new science images, showing the large scale filamentary structure of cold dust in our own galaxy. This release coincides with the completion of its first survey of the entire sky a couple of weeks ago. There's lots more work to be done, and more observations to be made, before results are ready on the Big Bang, but these images demonstrate Planck's performance and capability. More information is available on the Planck mission blog (which I maintain)."
An anonymous reader writes "WoW.com is reporting that a trusted source has informed them that Blizzard is giving serious consideration to making authenticators mandatory on all World of Warcraft accounts. The authenticators function the same as ones provided by most banks — in order to log in, you must generate a number on the external device. Blizzard already provides a free iPhone app that functions as an authenticator. The source stated, 'it is a virtually forgone conclusion that it will happen.' This comes after large spates of compromised accounts left Bizzard game masters severely backlogged by restoration requests."
Huh? iPhone and Mac software is developed in Cupertino which last I heard is in California. If you don't believe me go to http://www.apple.com/jobs/us/corporate.html#software and see the locations of the job postings. Notice the large number are in Santa Clara Valley. Maybe in 2012 there will be a cataclysmic earth quake and we at apple will find ourselves in a new home.
You bring up the issue of retailing which I am surprised that no one else has touched on yet. I think one thing that has been huge for Apple has been the Apple retail stores. People buy iPods for various reasons and then when they go to the mall or when their spouses drag them to the mall they see hey it's an Apple store let's go in. They encounter a different shopping experience than what you get at Best Buy, Fry's, Circuit Sh*tty, etc. It kind of drives home the BMW kind of cache to the products. I have more detailed thoughts about why Apple failed in the 90s and turned things around in the past 5 years but I'll post that on a seperate thread.