Redsn0w 0.9.6b3 Released

The Dev-Team has just released the third update for redsn0w, which now works on the latest iOS 4.2.1 GM build. Users will need to compile Cydia on their own if they choose to use this program, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

redsn0w has also been updated to recognize the 4.2.1GM IPSWs. *However*, as noted above, the 4.2.x jailbreak is not yet untethered for most devices! That means until someone like @comex comes up with a way to untether it, you must use redsn0w (or a similar utility) to boot your device into a jailbroken 4.2.1 state. (The only exceptions to this are the iPhone3G, non-MC iPod touch 2G, and old-bootrom iPhone3GS. redsn0w will jailbreak those untethered!)

Please, read through the blog post in its entirety, and peruse the comments if you have any questions. This release is not a simple one-click jailbreak.


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Origins of the Name “Apple”

In a short video interview from… somewhere (most likely a video-chat Q&A of some sort) Steve Wozniak talks about where the name “Apple” originated. As it turns out, Woz himself didn’t quite know where Jobso got the name from until a coincidental run-in during his appearance on Dancing With the Stars last year.

He worked at orchards in Oregon …I was on Dancing With the Stars and during the finale night, a doctor who had worked on a hamstring pull I had (a really bad one), told me that his brother had worked with Steve Jobs on that farm, and his brother had given Steve Jobs the name… But you know, in those days you didn’t have big money, there was no big money for an industry, there was no obvious idea that we were going to make big money, we didn’t have officers and companies whose role it was to come up with a company name, so anything that sounded interesting was valid when you’re very young and have nothing.

Check out the video for the unabridged version.

[Hacker News]

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iPad Now Available at NEX

The Navy Exchange has begun to stock the the iPad at retail outlets across the US, for a whopping $5 off—$10 if you’re interested in the 3G version. (Of course, the lack of sale tax at the Navy Exchanges really does make it a considerable money-saver, if your lucky enough to have one in your area.) As noted by 9 to 5 Mac, it’s unknown if NEX is an authorized reseller, or pulling the same antics as TJ Maxx, though a measly $5 off is nothing compared to $100.

The following locations will carry the iPad:

JEB Little Creek, Norfolk NS, Oceana NAS, Pearl Harbor NB, San Diego NS, Naval Base Guam Orote, Jacksonville NAS, Mayport NS, North Island NAS,  Pensacola NAS, Port Hueneme NCBC, Whidbey Island NAS, Yokosuka FA, Lemoore NAS, Great Lakes NS, Kitsap-Bangor NB, Everett NS, New London NSB, Sigonella NAS, Naples NSA, Bahrain NSA, Rota NS, Atsugi NAF, Sasebo FA and Charleston NWS

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The Quest for a Better Keyboard Continues for iPad and iPhone Users

Adding a real keyboard to the iPad is nothing new.  The same day Apple released the iPad, they offered other essentials including a keyboard dock.  However, numerous vendors have produced improved devices,  incorporating Bluetooth to free the dock for charging, and adding innovations. 

The ClamCase essentially turns your iPad into a netbook.  It encases the iPad and hinges it to a Bluetooth keyboard.  The hinge is versatile, providing the ability to twist the iPad 360 degrees.  Unfortunately, the item is in pre-production with price and availability only listed as “coming in Fall 2010.”

The ZAGGmate is a hard screen protector and stand sold with ($99) or without ($69) the Bluetooth keyboard.  It is distributed by – wait for it – ZAGG, the creators of the InvisibleSHIELDS.  One of the features that sets this keyboard apart from others is the ability to use the iPad in portrait or landscape mode.

Former BlackBerry owners, jonesing for tactile keyboards, also have alternatives.  ThinkGeek ($49.99) and more recently, Boxwave ($69.95), have released their iPhone cases complete with flip keyboards.  Supply is an issue with both retailers, as ThinkGeek’s cases are currently out of stock, and Boxwave expects to start shipping December 14th.  Sure.  Both items have cases to accomodate the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

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Do You Represent the Typical Mobile User? Maybe, Maybe Not

In last year’s movie, Up in the Air, George Clooney played a corporate frequent flyer ready to be put out to pasture when his antiquated methods are threatened to be replaced by technological advances implemented by a younger colleague.  But which character is actually more representative of the typical mobile user?  You might be surprised.

A recent survey of 1,100 mobile workers (those who use mobile devices such as laptops or smarthphones to access network resources outside their offices) showed that the typical user is around 46 years old.  84.6% have smartphones, with nearly 70% using their devices for work-related activities. Over two-fifths (43.5%) leave their laptops at work and rely on their smartphones when not on-site.

As for iPads, approximately one-fourth of workers (27%) believe tablet computers will replace the laptop.  Over one-third of workers (37.2%) see the laptop replacing the desktop and another device being used for routine work within the next year.

The iPhone is the preferred next smartphone with 42.5% planning to purchase one when their current contracts expire.  Less than one-fifth (19%) wanted a BlackBerry as their next device, with similar declining interests in Nokia, Windows Mobile, and WebOS devices.  Younger workers, ages 25-34, had more than a passing interest in the Android platform (34%), but still preferred the iPhone (42%).

Combine this embrace of technology by executives and managers with the imminent increase in Webmail through such avenues as Facebook’s recent expansion of messaging services, and IT departments are facing a perfect storm of security threats.


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TJ Maxx iPads not Authorized by Apple

Unsurprisingly, the $399 iPads over at TJ Maxx have not been authorized by Apple, according to Steve himself (who seems slightly perturbed by TJ Maxx’s shenanigans). It’s likely that the store is taking a considerable hit on each iPad they sell, but this publicity stunt probably helped out overall profits—a ‘loss leader‘ as they call it in the business.

This doesn’t effect the end user at all, so if you manage to find one, snag it. (And stick it to Apple!)

Looks like you’re going to have to buy your turtlenecks elsewhere, Mr. Jobs.

[9 to 5 Mac]

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Free MobileMe Coming Soon?

MacRumors has found additional evidence supporting the rumor that Apple will start offering MobileMe for free (or, at least a ‘lite’ version). Earlier this month, changes to iOS 4.2 hinted at the possibility that users would be able to create an Apple ID directly from their iDevice, or link it with their MobileMe account.

New evidence uncovered in recent iOS 4.2 builds and the iOS 4.2.1 golden master seed is suggesting, however, that Apple will be offering a free MobileMe tier to users. The evidence comes in the form of a new private framework known as AppleAccounts.framework that includes a series of device-specific error messages referring to free MobileMe accounts. In particular, the error messages include alerts regarding having reached “the maximum number of free accounts” for a given device and certain devices not being “qualified for free MobileMe service”.


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Ebay to Release Augmented Reality iPhone App

Ebay, Inc. will release an augmented reality app in December, allowing shoppers to virtually try on sunglasses before they buy. The feature will be part of their fashion app. 

The online auction and shopping site’s embrace of augmented reality is part of a growing trend.  IKEA released a furniture shopping app that allowed users to view an image of a prospective piece of furniture in their own home (the app is not currently available).  According to Perey Research & Consulting in Montreux, Switzerland there will be about 150 million to 200 million mobile augmented reality users by 2012, up from about 600,000 last year.

The use of mobile apps in retail applications in general is skyrocketing.  New York-based BGC Partners LP has said its mobile shopping apps will generate as much as $2 billion in volume this year.

The iTunes store has hundreds of augmented reality apps, although some with such features did not show up in a search.  I’ve personally used a few, including Around Me, Star Walk and Tank Scope.  Most of the AR apps follow these themes of star gazing, environmental/tourist exploration, compass, golf distance calculators, or silly fun.  Acrossair and Yelp are popular AR apps that provide informative overlays to businesses, stores, and restaurants in your immediate surroundings.


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iPhone’s Worth in Perspective

In an interesting breakdown, analysts at Trefis have estimated that if the iPhone were a company in-itself, it would be worth more than all but 10 other companies in the world.

Assume Apple (AAPL) today is worth $391 billion (nearly 40% more than its current market cap), as the analysts at Trefis estimate it to be.
Assume as well, as they do, that the iPhone represents 53.5% of that value.
Then it follows, according to them, that the iPhone, were Steve Jobs to spin it off as a separate company, would be worth $209 billion.

Incredible. The only companies that would be larger are (from smallest to largest): AT&T, Petro China, China Construction Bank, IBM, BHP, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, ICBC, Exxon Mobil, and Apple. We always knew that the iPhone was a wildly successful product, but to just $53 billion shy of Microsoft on its own is simply mind-blowing.


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iPad 2 to Launch Q1 2011

According to DigiTimes, three companies: Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies, will be suppliers for the next-generation iPad, which should be going into full production soon for an early 2011 release.

Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies have been named as the initial PCB suppliers for a second-generation Apple tablet PC, which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2011. Four more suppliers will be added to the list in February 2011, when shipments of the new iPads ramp up, according to industry sources.

The iPad 2 is expected to have a front-facing camera for FaceTime, additional RAM, a faster CPU, and all the other goodies you would expect from a next-generation device. It’s unlikely, though possible, that it will also have a “smart bezel“, which will allow the iPad to respond to touch input on the edges of the screen.


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