Mix: Yale on iTunes, Palm SDK, Verizon, Pocketpedia

Yale University is now offering select courses as free downloads from iTunes U. Subject matter in the courses varies from Financial Markets and Game Theory to Death, Milton, and Ancient Greek History. Each course contains at least 40 tracks, split across audio and video files. The courses join a host of other content offered by the school on iTunes U, including talks on law, the environment, and business.

iPhone developer Craig Hunter has written a blog post describing his impressions of Palm’s just-released webOS SDK, which is designed to help Palm’s Pre smartphone develop an app catalog like the iPhone’s. According to Hunter, the kit provides “no way for developers to tap into OpenGL ES,” and an extremely low accelerometer sampling rate of 4 Hz. He says that this is not usable for dynamic motion where high fidelity is desired,” adding that “[a]ccelerometer support in the webOS is suitable for detecting basic movement of the phone for interface rotation, but that’s about it.” Overall, Hunter describes the SDK as going “back two years, back to the days when we could only develop web apps on the iPhone… It seems we’re right back in the same boat with webOS.” [via DF]

Verizon Wireless has sent a letter to U.S. Representative Rick Boucher announcing that any time the company strikes an exclusivity deal on a handset, it will allow any carrier with less than 500,000 customers to begin selling it six months after its launch on Verizon. The move may be a response to an ongoing Department of Justice probe into whether handset exclusivity deals are hurting smaller, often rural carriers; this same probe was sparked in part by pressure put on regulators by a consortium of these smaller carriers. In the letter, Verizon laid out an argument for exclusivity deals, stating: “Exclusivity arrangements promote competition and innovation in device development and design. We work closely with our vendors to develop new and exciting devices that will attract customers. When we procure exclusive handsets from our vendors we typically buy hundreds of thousands or even millions of each device. Otherwise manufacturers may be reluctant to make the investments of time, money and production capacity to support a particular device.”

iPhone developer Bruji has announced that it has been forced to remove its Pocketpedia application from the App Store due to a change in Amazon’s API terms. Bruji says it received a letter from Amazon requesting the app’s immediate removal, citing the same terms—that “[y]ou will not, without our express prior written approval requested via this link, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device”—as it did when forcing the removal of Delicious Library earlier this month. Bruji has logged a request with Amazon to be given an exemption from the mobile clause, but isn’t hopeful for a positive outcome given the company’s earlier refusals.

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