gyrogeerloose writes: In it's campaign to demonstrate that every other smart phone has antenna problems too, Apple has posted a video on their Web site which shows the signal bars on a Motorola Droid X dropping from three signal bars to zero when held in a grip very similar to the infamous "Death Grip" that is often mentioned as a cause of dropped calls on the iPhone 4.
gyrogeerloose writes: Citing "national security concerns," the French Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP, France's equivalent of the U.S. FCC) has ruled that D-Star, a amateur radio digital signal mode used world-wide, is illegal because it could allow operators to connect to the Internet.The ARCEP also cites alleged concerns regarding Cryptography & National Security as well as the use of a proprietary CODEC. While it's true that the D-Star CODEC is proprietary, it's owner has openly licensed (for a fee, of course) it to any manufacturer who wants to build it into their equipment. Any licensed amateur radio operator who lives within the E.U. can sign an online petition protesting this decision. The petition will be presented to the European Parliament.
gyrogeerloose writes: In yet another of what's become an almost predictable cycle of events, Apple today reversed it's rejection of the 'Ulysses Seen' Web comic, admitting 'We made a mistake.' The comic is now available in the App Store--just in time for Bloomsday, June 16th. The comic's author, Robert Berry is pleased and adds that Apple 'never acted as a censor, never told us what we could or could not say.... We didn't believe these were good guidelines for art, but respected their rights to sell content that met their guidelines at their own store. Apple is not a museum or a library for new content then, so much as they are a grocer.'
gyrogeerloose writes: CNET reports that the San Mateo County DA's office has appointed a special master to examine the computers and other items seized in late April at the residence of Gizmodo's Jason Chen. A special master is "a neutral third party appointed by the court to assist in the carrying out of judicial orders." The job of the agent, who is unpaid, is to collect information he or she believes is pertinent to the investigation and present it to both the court and Chen's lawyers for discussion and final determination of what evidence will be provided to the district attorney for investigation. The process is expected to take up to two months.
gyrogeerloose writes: Most of us know about the sun's eleven-year activity cycle. However, relatively few other than scientists (and amateur radio operators) are aware that the current solar minimum has lasted much longer than expected. The last solar cycle, Cycle 24, bottomed out in 2008 and Cycle 25 should be well on it's way towards maximum by now but the sun has remained unusually quiescent with very few sunspots. While solar physicists agree that this is odd, the explanation remains elusive.
gyrogeerloose writes: According to Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research, a portion of Steve Jobs' keynote has been set aside for--wait for it--Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft! Ballmer will reportedly be talking about Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 development package. According to Chowdhry, the new version of Visual Studio will allow developers to write native applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS. Currently, developers may only create iPhone and Mac OS applications from within Apple's own Xcode development suite which only runs on Macs.
gyrogeerloose writes: John Gruber of Daring Fireball has suggested the possibility that Apple will announce a new extension archtecture for it's Web browser. In his latest blog, Gruber made this sly comment: '[one] big thing that's missing is a proper extension API. If only Apple had an imminent developer conference where they could unveil such a thing.' If this is true, it will be a great boon to Mac users who like Safari's page rendering performance and compliance with Web standards but would like to be able to take advantage of the types of plug-ins available for Chrome and Firefox.
gyrogeerloose writes: The same judge who issued the warrant to search Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's apartment has ordered it unsealed, ruling against the San Mateo County (California) district attorney's office which had argued that unsealing the documents may compromise the investigation. Several media organizations have sought to have the documents unsealed in order to determine whether the county had a legal basis for the warrant, stating "Otherwise, there is no way for the public to serve as a check on the conduct of law enforcement officers, the prosecutors and the courts in this case."
gyrogeerloose writes: Mac users can now download the Steam client software. Unfortunately, the Steam game download service itself is still in closed beta and not yet available to the general public. Hopefully, the wait will not be long--service for Mac was scheduled to go online today.
gyrogeerloose writes: Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, has gone on record in his blog opposing any federal anti-trust action against Apple, Inc. Stating that 'Our future well being depends [...] on people like Steve Jobs who invent real products that can improve our lives,' he suggests that the effort required to investigate Apple would be better spent going after the investment banking industry.
gyrogeerloose writes: NASA has released the first photos from it's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Launched this past February and currently in orbit approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth, the SDO is "the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun." Judging by the photos alone, this would be damning the craft with faint praise. If all goes well, we can look forward to five years of awesome photographs of our neighborhood star.
gyrogeerloose writes: An article in the London Evening Standard claims that Apple has made an $8 billion offer to acquire ARM Holdings. For those few Slashdotters who don't already know, ARM makes the processor chips that power Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. However, ARM processors are also used by other manufacturers, including Palm and, perhaps most significantly, companies building Android phones. This explains why Apple might be willing to spend so much on the deal--almost 20% of it's cash reserves. Being able to control who gets to use the processors (and, more importantly, who doesn't) would give Apple a huge advantage over it's competitors.
gyrogeerloose writes: A report at Daily Finance examines whether Gawker Media's possession of the iPhone constituted possession of stolen property or left it open to civil charges due to misappropriation of trade secrets.The key aspect of the question is whether the person who found the phone made the "reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him," that are required by California law. While Gizmodo claims that the iPhone's finder apparently "asked around" at the bar where the device was found and attempted to call several Apple support numbers the following day, the finder failed to take some of the most basic steps to reunite the device with its owner, including speaking to the bar management (who stated that the engineer who lost it called "numerous times" looking for it) or contacting the Redwood City Police Department.
gyrogeerloose writes: While Apple has sourced it's microprocessors solely from Intel since it's switch to the x86 architecture, AMD executives and sales reps have been seen on the company's campus recently giving rise to speculation that Apple may be considering using AMD chips in future offerings. Various theories have been put forth for this, including issues of limited availability of certain Intel chips and new chipset designs from Intel which have interfered with Apple's partnership with NVida to develop a standardized graphics chipset design that could be used across it's entire line. There is also speculation that the talks with AMD may amount to nothing more than something to be used as a bargaining chip in Apple's negotiations with Intel.