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Mix: iResQ, Ringo, AIM and IRC, George

  • August 28, 2007

iResQ has launched its full-service repair program for the iPhone. Ryan Arter, President of iResQ, said, “With the success of our iPod repair program our customers have naturally requested iPhone service. We have secured our parts inventory and are excited to be able to offer this service to Apple’s customers.”

The catalog of former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is now available on the iTunes Store. Offerings include the album Ringo, which features contributions from each of his former bandmates, and the newly-released Photograph: The Digital Greatest Hits, the latter available as a DRM-free iTunes Plus download.

A third-party native iPhone AIM application, ApolloIM, has been released. In addition, a native IRC client for the iPhone, iRCm, has seen a release. Both apps are available as packages through Nullriver’s Installer.app. [via Ars Technica]

Chestnut Hill Sound has announced a price reduction for its George Digital Audio System for iPod. The system’s price is dropping from $549 to $499, and through December 31, 2007, the system will also include the company’s ultimate remote control recharging stand, a $50 value.

Daewoo set to show 8-inch DVD and iPod combo player

  • August 28, 2007

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Daewoo is ready to show its new DPC-8099PD-I portable combination DVD and iPod player at the IFA consumer electronics show, running from August 31 to Sept. 5 in Berlin. The DPC-8099PD-I features a laptop-style design, with a built-in iPod Dock, a DVD player that supports MP3 and DivX, a multi-format memory card reader, USB port, and an 8-inch TFT LCD screen. No pricing or availability information is currently available.

Sakar intros iSnooze Mini iPod clock radio

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Sakar International has introduced its iSnooze Mini, a new clock radio for iPod. The iSnooze Mini is squarish in shape, and features line-in for other audio sources, an integrated iPod Dock, an AM/FM radio alarm, buzzer alarm, snooze, an LCD display, two speakers, and “Made for iPod” certification. The iSnooze Mini will sell for $40; Sakar claims availability information will be coming in the near future.

Vote now: Which new iPod do you want?

Voting continues in the latest iLounge poll—“Which of these potential new iPods interests you the most?”—and we really want to know what you want.

Cast your vote from iLounge.com’s main page by looking for iLounge Poll in the left hand column. So far, the results are heavily favoring several different types of video iPods; do you feel the same? Vote now!

Game developer PopCap ‘looking pretty closely’ at iPhone

Following the successful launch of an iPhone-based version of the company’s hit “Bejeweled,” game developer PopCap is admittedly interested in the iPhone as a gaming device. Up to 100,000 people have played the iPhone-based version of “Bejeweled,” which was launched on July 30 as a “proof-of-concept” and can be played for free by visiting the company’s website from the iPhone. “We don’t typically make announcements about what’s in the pipeline, but based on the success of ‘Bejeweled’, we’re looking pretty closely at the iPhone,” said Andrew Stein, director of Mobile Platforms for PopCap. Electronic Arts is also interested in the device, according to company executive Travis Boatman. “We’re huge believers in the iPhone and believe that’s going to be a viable market going forward,” Boatman said. “It has an amazing interface for games and there are lots of beautiful things you can do with that touch interface.” Apple has yet to announce any plans concerning gaming on the iPhone.

Forensics experts see challenge, potential in iPhone

The iPhone represents both a challenge and a potentially useful tool to digital forensics experts, reports Wired. Digital forensics attempts to use data gathered from devices such as computers and cell phones to solve crimes or provide additional evidence relevant to prosecutions. Some industry insiders, such as Derrick Donnelly of Blagbag Technologies, a company specializing in Apple forensic solutions, find the iPhone tempting for the amount of potential data it could contain. “There is more information in there than your average cell phone,” said Donnelly. “The ease of use lends itself to more use … and more use creates more artifacts.” Artifacts are pieces of data that can be used by forensic detectives to establish links between the user’s actions and a crime.

Others in the industry fear that the closed nature of the iPhone’s Mac OS X operating system could cause problems in court due to the fact that it would be difficult to prove the data extracted from the device hadn’t been tampered with. “The iPhone is evil,” says Amber Schroader, CEO of Utah-based Paraben, a digital-forensics software developer. “It’s Mac OS X, and it’s a completely closed system.” Donnelly explains, “Because it’s a different file system and a different operating system, right off the bat the things you’re usually looking for are not in the same places and they are in a very, very different format.” Even Mac specialists like Donnelly are struggling with how to access the iPhone’s closed system without altering the data by turning on the device. The article mentions that forensic experts may be forced into using older techniques, like photographing data as it is displayed on the screen itself, to get at the information. The iPhone is currently incompatible with existing forensic software and data-extraction tools.

Sleek Audio debuts SA6 earphones with Variable Equalization

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Sleek Audio has introduced its SA6 in-ear earphones featuring the company’s Variable Equalization system. The system utilizes interchangeable high-frequency filter tips to provide adjustment of treble response, while a similar Variable Bass Port System offers up to a 12db difference in response at 20 hertz. Other features of the SA6 include interchangeable cables, three differently-sized rubber tips, and a single armature driver. \ The Sleek Audio SA6 are now available for preorder at a price of $230; the earphones will sell for $250 upon their release in October.

AT&T lawyers cause delay for iPhone unlocking software

According to a statement appearing on iPhoneunlocking.com, the group, which planned commercial release of its iPhone unlocking software, has put the sale of the software on hold following contact from a law firm representing AT&T. A subsidiary of UniquePhones, iPhoneunlocking claims they “received a telephone call from a Menlo Park, California, law firm at approximately 2:54 a.m.” on Saturday morning, and that the firm “presented issues such as copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination.” Unlike the processes of iPhoneSIMfree.com and the iPhone JTAG team, the software unlock claims of iPhoneunlocking.com have yet to be verified.

BoxWave releases iPhone Charging Adapter

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BoxWave has announced the release of its iPhone Charging Adapter. The smallish adapter comes in black and fits onto the end of most USB chargers, providing backwards compatibility for the iPhone, and diminishing the need for iPhone users to purchase dedicated iPhone chargers. The BoxWave iPhone Charging Adapter is available now from BoxWave.com and sells for $8.

iPodweek newsletter coming later today, sign up for chance at Vaja giveaway

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The latest edition of iPodweek, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iPodweek is a weekly summary of the best iPod news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and iPod accessory discount offers from various companies. Currently, Vaja is giving away ten (10) $70 Vaja Gift Certificates. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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Full SIM unlock of iPhone completed without hardware

Closely following the release of the iPhone JTAG team’s hardware unlock, the iPhoneSIMfree.com team have officially found a way to completely unlock the iPhone via software. The unlock has been confirmed by Engadget’s Ryan Block, who also shares some details regarding the process, which apparently takes “only a couple of minutes.” The unlock, which will be commercially available starting next week, has been verified to allow non-AT&T access to all iPhone functions, except for Visual Voicemail. The unlock has also been shown, thus far, to be restore- and upgrade- resistant. In addition, the unlock allows access to several hidden menus, which were reportedly added in the 1.0.1 update.

Japanese ready for iPhone’s arrival

Despite the country’s advanced cellular industry, many Japanese are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the iPhone, reports USA Today. According to a July survey conducted by research firm Yahoo Value, 13 percent of the 400 surveyed want an iPhone, and 15 percent of those would switch service providers to get one. “This is the first phone that thrilled me,” freelance journalist Tsutsumu Ishikawa says. Ishikawa flew to Hawaii on June 29 to pick up an iPhone, despite the fact that the device’s phone features don’t work in Japan. “People regard it as cool and advanced. And the interface is easy to use.” Several obstacles stand in the way of the iPhone and success in Japan, according to the article. Obstacles include Japan’s 3G networks, the iPhone’s pricing, privacy issues, and the process of negotiating a deal with a service provider, a process which, the article suggests, may be expedited by a “personal friendship” between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, who happened to be on hand at the device’s unveiling at the Macworld Expo in January. SoftBank is one of Japan’s three top service providers, along with KDDI and DoCoMo. “We are interested” in the iPhone, says DoCoMo spokesman Roland Arafat. “But nothing has been decided.” The iPhone is scheduled to be released in Asia in 2008.

Details of iPhone hardware unlock revealed

Instructions for completing a full hardware unlock of the iPhone have been revealed by George Hotz, leader of the iPhone JTAG group, on iphonejtag.blogspot.com. The process consists of only ten steps, but requires opening the iPhone, soldering two wires on the iPhone itself, and quite a bit of complicated software and firmware manipulation. Citing upcoming college studies as the reason for the early reveal — the instructions weren’t scheduled to be released until early next week — Hotz again expressed his hopes that his work, and that of the iPhone hacker community, will quickly lead to a less-complicated software-based unlock, making the process more accessible to average users.

PDO unveils Reviso Premium Leather Case for iPhone

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PDO has introduced its Reviso Premium Leather Case for iPhone. The Reviso features premium black leather, soft interior lining, cut-out access to the camera, power/sleep button, ring/silent switch, volume buttons, speakers, microphone, and Dock Connector, a metal belt clip, screen protector, and one of three colors of racing stripes running down the right side of the back of the case. The PDO Reviso Premium Leather Case for iPhone is available now, and is priced at $30.

New next iPod Poll, prior iPhone vs. iPod results posted

A new iLounge Poll has been posted to the left-hand column of our main page: “Which of these potential iPods interests you the most?” The poll presents several options, including cheaper current-model iPods, high-end video iPods, and options in-between. Cast your vote now to see the current results!

The last poll, “Which do you want more, an iPhone or a new iPod,” ended with interesting results. Nearly 1/3 of those responding said that they were interested in either the 4GB iPhone (3%) or the 8GB iPhone (28%) rather than a current- or next-generation iPod model. However, 56% said that they wanted a next-generation video iPod, with 6% hoping for a next-generation iPod nano, and 1% for a new iPod shuffle. Only 8% said that they didn’t want any of these options, as they were satisfied with what they had already.

Apple forces removal of future iPod ‘spy shot’

  • August 23, 2007
  • iPod

Last night, the legal department at Apple contacted several web sites, including 9to5mac and Gizmodo, to request removal of blurry “spy shots” purportedly showing a future iPod model. As a hybrid of the current fifth-generation iPod and second-generation iPod nano models, the new iPod features a colored metallic casing and a screen similar in size to a full-sized iPod, with a nano-sized Click Wheel underneath. Tapered edges show a thinness comparable to current nanos, suggesting that the device is a flash-based video player that falls in-between the current nano and 5G iPod in performance.

The images, which originated on 9to5mac.com, showed a flower-style grouping of new iPods, in wine red, light green, light blue, silver, and black colors, which the site claimed would be the new colors. Both sites have preserved artists’ renderings of the new design, more notably Gizmodo’s, which can be viewed here. Reader opinions on the design have been overwhelmingly negative.

Targus intros SoundUP sound enhancer

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Targus has introduced its SoundUP high definition sound enhancer. SoundUP is an in-line audio booster that uses a Phantom Technologies circuit which “enhances sound quality up to 20-25%,” helping to reveal instruments and voices typically lost during compression. “iPods and MP3 Players represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the consumer electronics industry today,” stated Al Giazzon, vice president of marketing at Targus. “SoundUP delivers amazing sound quality giving consumers the ultimate portable music experience.” Features include a built-in powered audio-out splitter, in-line volume control, and power provided by one AAA battery. The Targus SoundUP is available now and sells for $40.

AT&T removing itemized detail from iPhone bills

Several readers and iLounge editors have reported that AT&T is sending messages to iPhone customers via SMS alerting them that the company is removing itemized detail from its paper bills. The length of iPhone owners’ paper bills has been a point of criticism for the company in recent weeks. The message reads: “We are simplifying your paper bill, removing itemized detail. To view all detail go to att.com/mywireless. Still need full paper bill? Call 611.”

Mix: Zegna iJacket, Survey, H.264, Ministry

  • August 22, 2007

Zegna Sport has announced its Bluetooth iJacket, a new men’s jacket that features a Bluetooth interface, integrated collar microphone, an iPod connector, and controls embedded in the jacket sleeve. The Zegna Bluetooth iJacket is now available at Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques and sells for $1700.

A recent survey by Kensington shows that many iPod and MP3 player owners don’t fully utilize all the features of their devices. “After the initial excitement of getting an MP3 player and uploading their favorite songs this research found that users rarely add further tunes, photos or data that the music device has the potential for,” said Karen Hicks, product manager at Kensington.

Adobe has announced support for the H.264 codec in its Flash Video Player 9 software. In May it was revealed that YouTube was converting its video library to the H.264 codec for compatibility with the Apple TV. The latest beta release of Flash Player 9 is available on Adobe’s website; the final version is expected in Sept.

Ministry of Sound has introduced a new sound system with an integrated iPod Dock. The MOSMC057IP DAB Micro System with iPod Dock features 2x20W RMS power, an alarm clock, and will sell for £140, or about $280, when it goes on sale later this month. [via Tech Digest]

DRM-free music sales may boost iPod sales

  • August 22, 2007
  • iPod

In spite of the apparent threat the proliferation of DRM-free music sales may pose to Apple’s iTunes+iPod ecosystem, expanded sales of device-agnostic MP3s may actually boost iPod sales, according to an LA Times article. This is due to the fact that while Apple does see a small profit from the sale of music on iTunes, it sees a much larger profit from the sale of iPods. “Certainly the ability to buy music in more places helps Apple,” Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield said. “They make very little money on iTunes transactions, and they make a good amount of money on iPod transactions.” The article argues that the expansion of the digital music market should mean increased demand for digital music players, a category which the iPod dominates. “ITunes was developed to promote iPod hardware sales,” said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst at research firm IDC. “The introduction of services that offer digital music to the installed base of iPod users will help drive more iPod sales.”

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