Giz Explains: How Push Works [Giz Explains]

Push. It’s not just a verb that sends people careening down a flight of stairs. It’s also not just for guys in suits diddling on BlackBerrys. You hear it featured on new iPhone apps every week. So, what is it?

Well, push describes a lot of things. Push is simply an action. Versus, say, pulling. Maybe that's horribly abstract, so try this: If information shows up on your phone or neural implant or messaging program without you (or your wares) asking for it—that's push. The info is pushed to you, versus you pulling it from the source. There are tons of ways push can be (and is) used.

Email’s a pretty good starting point for grasping the difference between push and the other stuff. You probably know good ol’ POP3—you log into your mail server and pull down new messages. Maybe it's on a frequent schedule, so it feels automatic, even instant, but you're still reaching out to the mail server every time to check and see if there's new mail to download.

IMAP is a little fancier than POP, where all of your folders and email are the same on all of your computers, phones and other gadgets, and any change you make on one shows up on the other, since it's all happening on a remote server somewhere. But with the standard setup, it's still the same deal—your mail program has to log in, see what's new, and pull it down. IMAP does have a pretty neat trick though, an optional feature called IMAP IDLE, that does push pretty well—it's what the Palm Pre uses for Gmail, for instance. Essentially, with IMAP IDLE, the mail server can tell whatever mail app that you’ve got new messages waiting, without you (or your app) hammering the refresh button over and over. When the app knows there’s new messages, it connects and pulls them down, so it gives you just about the speed of push, without matching the precise mechanism.

While different systems do things differently (obvs), what true push services have in common is that they generally insert a middleman between you and the information source.

RIM’s setup for the BlackBerry is probably the most sophisticated. When your BlackBerry registers with the carrier (which has to support BlackBerry), the details are handed to RIM’s network operating center, so the NOC knows where to send your mail. The NOC watches your mail server, keeps tabs on the phone’s location, and pushes email through to your phone whenever you get new stuff.

What makes it push is that your phone's not actually polling a server for new messages to pull—it only receives them when they hit your inbox, and are then pushed to your phone by RIM's servers. This means you save a lot of battery life that'd be wasted by making the phone constantly hit the servers for updates. The flipside is that when RIM’s servers blow up, you don’t get email, since it's all routed through their system—hence the other panic that grips dudes in suits once every few months lately.

The other biggie is Microsoft, who has Direct Push, part of Exchange’s ActiveSync. It’s architected a little bit differently, so it doesn't need the precise kind of data about where your phone is that RIM's NOCs do: The phone or whatever you've got sends an HTTPS with a long lifespan to the Exchange server—if new mail arrives before it dies, the Exchange tells your device there's new stuff, so it should start a sync. After it syncs, the device sends out another long HTTPS request, starting it all over again.

Apple’s weak-sauce substitute for multitasking works pretty similarly: The developer has something its wants to send an iPhone, when its application isn’t actually running, like an IM. It sends the notification to Apple’s push servers, which send the notification to the phone through a “persistent IP connection” the phone maintains with the servers. This connection, which is only maintained when push notifications are turned on, is needed to locate the phone, but still doesn’t draw as much power as constantly pinging the mail server.

Of course, those aren’t the only push systems around, and it’s only getting more and more important as stuff gets shifted to the cloud. We haven’t mentioned Android and Google Chrome, but both utilize push (or will) in different ways. Suffice it to say, Google Sync will soon be a major player in this game. But basically, all kinds of different data can be pushed—calendars, contacts, browser data, hell, even IM is a kind of push—and they all work more or less the same broad way. Just don't ask us why there isn't push Gmail on the iPhone yet.

Still something you wanna know? Send questions about pushing, shoving and pancake massacres to tips@gizmodo.com, with “Giz Explains” in the subject line.

Push. It’s not just a verb that sends people careening down a flight of stairs. It’s also not just for guys in suits diddling on BlackBerrys. You hear it featured on new iPhone apps every week. So, what is it?

Well, push describes a lot of things. Push is simply an action. Versus, say, pulling. Maybe that's horribly abstract, so try this: If information shows up on your phone or neural implant or messaging program without you (or your wares) asking for it—that's push. The info is pushed to you, versus you pulling it from the source. There are tons of ways push can be (and is) used.

Email’s a pretty good starting point for grasping the difference between push and the other stuff. You probably know good ol’ POP3—you log into your mail server and pull down new messages. Maybe it's on a frequent schedule, so it feels automatic, even instant, but you're still reaching out to the mail server every time to check and see if there's new mail to download.

IMAP is a little fancier than POP, where all of your folders and email are the same on all of your computers, phones and other gadgets, and any change you make on one shows up on the other, since it's all happening on a remote server somewhere. But with the standard setup, it's still the same deal—your mail program has to log in, see what's new, and pull it down. IMAP does have a pretty neat trick though, an optional feature called IMAP IDLE, that does push pretty well—it's what the Palm Pre uses for Gmail, for instance. Essentially, with IMAP IDLE, the mail server can tell whatever mail app that you’ve got new messages waiting, without you (or your app) hammering the refresh button over and over. When the app knows there’s new messages, it connects and pulls them down, so it gives you just about the speed of push, without matching the precise mechanism.

While different systems do things differently (obvs), what true push services have in common is that they generally insert a middleman between you and the information source.

RIM’s setup for the BlackBerry is probably the most sophisticated. When your BlackBerry registers with the carrier (which has to support BlackBerry), the details are handed to RIM’s network operating center, so the NOC knows where to send your mail. The NOC watches your mail server, keeps tabs on the phone’s location, and pushes email through to your phone whenever you get new stuff.

What makes it push is that your phone's not actually polling a server for new messages to pull—it only receives them when they hit your inbox, and are then pushed to your phone by RIM's servers. This means you save a lot of battery life that'd be wasted by making the phone constantly hit the servers for updates. The flipside is that when RIM’s servers blow up, you don’t get email, since it's all routed through their system—hence the other panic that grips dudes in suits once every few months lately.

The other biggie is Microsoft, who has Direct Push, part of Exchange’s ActiveSync. It’s architected a little bit differently, so it doesn't need the precise kind of data about where your phone is that RIM's NOCs do: The phone or whatever you've got sends an HTTPS with a long lifespan to the Exchange server—if new mail arrives before it dies, the Exchange tells your device there's new stuff, so it should start a sync. After it syncs, the device sends out another long HTTPS request, starting it all over again.

Apple’s weak-sauce substitute for multitasking works pretty similarly: The developer has something its wants to send an iPhone, when its application isn’t actually running, like an IM. It sends the notification to Apple’s push servers, which send the notification to the phone through a “persistent IP connection” the phone maintains with the servers. This connection, which is only maintained when push notifications are turned on, is needed to locate the phone, but still doesn’t draw as much power as constantly pinging the mail server.

Of course, those aren’t the only push systems around, and it’s only getting more and more important as stuff gets shifted to the cloud. We haven’t mentioned Android and Google Chrome, but both utilize push (or will) in different ways. Suffice it to say, Google Sync will soon be a major player in this game. But basically, all kinds of different data can be pushed—calendars, contacts, browser data, hell, even IM is a kind of push—and they all work more or less the same broad way. Just don't ask us why there isn't push Gmail on the iPhone yet.

Still something you wanna know? Send questions about pushing, shoving and pancake massacres to tips@gizmodo.com, with “Giz Explains” in the subject line.





Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal All Experiencing Problems [Cloud Computing]

Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal have all been experiencing outages (Twitter) and slow-downs (Facebook and LiveJournal) all morning according to the New York Times (and, well, our own experience along with countless other sites and users around the internet). From the sound of things, it appears to have been a DDoS attack (those seem to be going around lately), but it only serves to highlight the risks of keeping your data in the cloud we’ve mentioned in the past. Photo by edwheeler. [NYT]

Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal have all been experiencing outages (Twitter) and slow-downs (Facebook and LiveJournal) all morning according to the New York Times (and, well, our own experience along with countless other sites and users around the internet). From the sound of things, it appears to have been a DDoS attack (those seem to be going around lately), but it only serves to highlight the risks of keeping your data in the cloud we’ve mentioned in the past. Photo by edwheeler. [NYT]





Twitter goes down in apparent denial of service attack

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

Twitter, the popular and ubiquitous (as long as you’re over 25) microblogging service was down for several hours on Thursday.

“Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users. We are defending against this attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in the site’s official blog today.

The outage began at around 8:00 am EDT, and continued until around 11:00 am, when the Twitter Status Blog was updated to say, “Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”

The site is still difficult to reach, but has returned to a more stable state. Expectedly, the top trending topics on the freshly-restored site include “DDoS,” “Denial-of-Service,” “Twitter Status,” and the names of several Twitter clients such as TweetDeck, and UberTwitter which were also unresponsive this morning.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2009

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

Twitter, the popular and ubiquitous (as long as you’re over 25) microblogging service was down for several hours on Thursday.

“Attacks such as this are malicious efforts orchestrated to disrupt and make unavailable services such as online banks, credit card payment gateways, and in this case, Twitter for intended customers or users. We are defending against this attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in the site’s official blog today.

The outage began at around 8:00 am EDT, and continued until around 11:00 am, when the Twitter Status Blog was updated to say, “Update: the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”

The site is still difficult to reach, but has returned to a more stable state. Expectedly, the top trending topics on the freshly-restored site include “DDoS,” “Denial-of-Service,” “Twitter Status,” and the names of several Twitter clients such as TweetDeck, and UberTwitter which were also unresponsive this morning.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2009



Vanish Gives Your Message an Expiration Date [Download]

(Windows/Mac/Linux): Encrypting a message is an excellent way to protect it from prying eyes. What if you want to protect it against prying eyes and make it disappear? Expiring-message service Vanish can help.

Alarmed by trends in US case law where individuals were forced to give up their encryption keys and by the brutality of regimes abroad that did the same in less tactful ways, the creators of Vanish wanted to create a method of encryption where your encrypted data expired and could in no way be retrieved.

We created “self-destructing data” to try to address this problem. Our prototype system, called Vanish, shares some properties with existing encryption systems like PGP, but there are also some major differences.

First, someone using Vanish to “encrypt/encapsulate” information, like an email, never learns the encryption key. Second, there is a pre-specified timeout associated with each encrypted/encapsulated messages.

Prior to the timeout, anyone can read the encrypted/encapsulated message. After the timeout, no one can read that message, because the encryption key is lost due to a set of both natural and programmed processes. It is therefore impossible for anyone to decrypt/decapsulate that email after the timer expires.

How do they achieve this guaranteed destruction? The key that is generated each time you create a unique Vanish message is shared across Bittorrent networks—unlinked in anyway to your identity—and temporarily stored in a distributed hash table. By the nature of the Bittorrent network your key can exist in increments of 8 hours depending on how long you want the Vanish servers to keep your message alive.

Once your message reaches the expiration date the number of users in the Bittorrent network carrying the necessary parts of your key begins to degrade and your message essentially disintegrates. You can never decrypt the message or be compelled to share the key because no key even exists. Check out the following video for an overview.

Vanish is available as a web-based demo, but they recommend you download the Java-based Vanish System for a more powerful and customizable experience—you can increase the size of your key and tweak other settings with the download. The Firefox plug-in makes it easy to quickly create Vanish-encrypted messages for web-based email and other online services. Vanish is an open-source and free project available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

(Windows/Mac/Linux): Encrypting a message is an excellent way to protect it from prying eyes. What if you want to protect it against prying eyes and make it disappear? Expiring-message service Vanish can help.

Alarmed by trends in US case law where individuals were forced to give up their encryption keys and by the brutality of regimes abroad that did the same in less tactful ways, the creators of Vanish wanted to create a method of encryption where your encrypted data expired and could in no way be retrieved.

We created “self-destructing data” to try to address this problem. Our prototype system, called Vanish, shares some properties with existing encryption systems like PGP, but there are also some major differences.

First, someone using Vanish to “encrypt/encapsulate” information, like an email, never learns the encryption key. Second, there is a pre-specified timeout associated with each encrypted/encapsulated messages.

Prior to the timeout, anyone can read the encrypted/encapsulated message. After the timeout, no one can read that message, because the encryption key is lost due to a set of both natural and programmed processes. It is therefore impossible for anyone to decrypt/decapsulate that email after the timer expires.

How do they achieve this guaranteed destruction? The key that is generated each time you create a unique Vanish message is shared across Bittorrent networks—unlinked in anyway to your identity—and temporarily stored in a distributed hash table. By the nature of the Bittorrent network your key can exist in increments of 8 hours depending on how long you want the Vanish servers to keep your message alive.

Once your message reaches the expiration date the number of users in the Bittorrent network carrying the necessary parts of your key begins to degrade and your message essentially disintegrates. You can never decrypt the message or be compelled to share the key because no key even exists. Check out the following video for an overview.

Vanish is available as a web-based demo, but they recommend you download the Java-based Vanish System for a more powerful and customizable experience—you can increase the size of your key and tweak other settings with the download. The Firefox plug-in makes it easy to quickly create Vanish-encrypted messages for web-based email and other online services. Vanish is an open-source and free project available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.





First 21 Xbox ‘Games on Demand’ titles revealed

Next Tuesday (that’s August 11th), a dream we have long held near our hearts will be fulfilled — Xbox 360 will add the first twenty-one titles to its Games on Demand service. Now, we don’t have any details about pricing for these yet, but Microsoft has said that the games, which include such august titles as Mass Effect, Call of Duty 2, and Tomb Raider: Legend, will be priced similarly to the physical games. We could whine about that all day, but we’re going to hold off until we see actual pricing details, and move on to dreaming of a trackpad that doesn’t become unresponsive when we spill orange juice on it. Check out the video of the newest addition to the dashboard after the break, hit the read link for the full list of twenty-one.

Update: A Microsoft spokesman just emailed us a list of the Games on Demand titles for the US, which has a couple of notable differences. BioShock, Ridge Racer 6, Karaoke Revolution American Idol, Dance Dance Revolution Universe, and Sonic The Hedgehog are in, while SEGA Rally and Tomb Raider: Legend are decidedly Europe-only for now. Full US list after the break.

[Via Joystiq]

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First 21 Xbox ‘Games on Demand’ titles revealed originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Aug 2009 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Tuesday (that’s August 11th), a dream we have long held near our hearts will be fulfilled — Xbox 360 will add the first twenty-one titles to its Games on Demand service. Now, we don’t have any details about pricing for these yet, but Microsoft has said that the games, which include such august titles as Mass Effect, Call of Duty 2, and Tomb Raider: Legend, will be priced similarly to the physical games. We could whine about that all day, but we’re going to hold off until we see actual pricing details, and move on to dreaming of a trackpad that doesn’t become unresponsive when we spill orange juice on it. Check out the video of the newest addition to the dashboard after the break, hit the read link for the full list of twenty-one.

Update: A Microsoft spokesman just emailed us a list of the Games on Demand titles for the US, which has a couple of notable differences. BioShock, Ridge Racer 6, Karaoke Revolution American Idol, Dance Dance Revolution Universe, and Sonic The Hedgehog are in, while SEGA Rally and Tomb Raider: Legend are decidedly Europe-only for now. Full US list after the break.

[Via Joystiq]

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First 21 Xbox ‘Games on Demand’ titles revealed originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Aug 2009 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lenovo IdeaCentre C100 All-in-One Nettop Will Have a Touchscreen, Eventually [Nettops]

Here at the gdgt party, Lenovo introduced an all-in-one nettop we haven’t seen before: The IdeaCentre C100 is an Atom-based, 20-inch nettop that will eventually pack Windows 7 and a touchscreen, but it’ll have touchless Vista first.

The IdeaCentre C100 is a 20-inch all-in-one that’ll launch at a price point of, as the Lenovo people told me, “around $400.” It’ll have a 1.6GHz Atom, 1 or 2GB of RAM, a DVD burner and an 80GB-160GB HDD. Interestingly, the webcam and WiFi are both optional, which we suppose is one way to keep the price down.

The demo unit I saw was running Windows 7, but I was informed that they’ll be releasing it this month with Windows Vista and without a touchscreen, even though the unit is dying for one. They’ll be releasing a touch-optimized Windows 7 version come the OS’s release in October, but the price will go up to accommodate the change. We’ll update this post with more exact info when we get it, especially a specific price and release date. [Lenovo]





Here at the gdgt party, Lenovo introduced an all-in-one nettop we haven’t seen before: The IdeaCentre C100 is an Atom-based, 20-inch nettop that will eventually pack Windows 7 and a touchscreen, but it’ll have touchless Vista first.

The IdeaCentre C100 is a 20-inch all-in-one that’ll launch at a price point of, as the Lenovo people told me, “around $400.” It’ll have a 1.6GHz Atom, 1 or 2GB of RAM, a DVD burner and an 80GB-160GB HDD. Interestingly, the webcam and WiFi are both optional, which we suppose is one way to keep the price down.

The demo unit I saw was running Windows 7, but I was informed that they’ll be releasing it this month with Windows Vista and without a touchscreen, even though the unit is dying for one. They’ll be releasing a touch-optimized Windows 7 version come the OS’s release in October, but the price will go up to accommodate the change. We’ll update this post with more exact info when we get it, especially a specific price and release date. [Lenovo]





Sask. isotope reactor could cost $750M

The government of Saskatchewan Tuesday released its proposal for a Saskatoon-based nuclear reactor, with a potential price tag of up to $750M, to supply medical-grade isotopes and be used in scientific research.

The government of Saskatchewan Tuesday released its proposal for a Saskatoon-based nuclear reactor, with a potential price tag of up to $750M, to supply medical-grade isotopes and be used in scientific research.

New Zune HD press shots emerge showing black and silver color options, true freedom from ugly

We’ve seen our fair share of Microsoft’s upcoming Zune HD, but the company just threw together a delightful little photoshoot for its new PMP, with the black and silver versions of the device on display along with a large quantity of attractiveness in both flavors. Most of the shots are variation on a pretty basic theme (and a little small, since these haven’t made their way through quite “official” channels just yet), but they do give a good idea of what the UI will look like if you’re into the Black Eyed Peas. Check ’em all out below.

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New Zune HD press shots emerge showing black and silver color options, true freedom from ugly originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Aug 2009 13:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We’ve seen our fair share of Microsoft’s upcoming Zune HD, but the company just threw together a delightful little photoshoot for its new PMP, with the black and silver versions of the device on display along with a large quantity of attractiveness in both flavors. Most of the shots are variation on a pretty basic theme (and a little small, since these haven’t made their way through quite “official” channels just yet), but they do give a good idea of what the UI will look like if you’re into the Black Eyed Peas. Check ’em all out below.

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New Zune HD press shots emerge showing black and silver color options, true freedom from ugly originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Aug 2009 13:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Is Apple More Evil Than Microsoft?

We’re not exactly huge Microsoft boosters around here. Most of us in the Switched offices are devoted Mac users, and there’s at least one professed Linux nerd in house. We regularly joke that it takes just as long in 2009 to open Microsoft Word as it did back in 1992. Operating system preferences aside, we can’t help but feel as though Microsoft is getting a raw deal. The Redmond-based company is regularly painted as the enemy of… well, just about everything. Yet, while the European Union is forcing Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows, no one seems to be keeping an eye on 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. Here are a few ways we think Apple is evil, and getting away with it.

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Is Apple More Evil Than Microsoft? originally appeared on Switched on Mon, 03 Aug 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We’re not exactly huge Microsoft boosters around here. Most of us in the Switched offices are devoted Mac users, and there’s at least one professed Linux nerd in house. We regularly joke that it takes just as long in 2009 to open Microsoft Word as it did back in 1992. Operating system preferences aside, we can’t help but feel as though Microsoft is getting a raw deal. The Redmond-based company is regularly painted as the enemy of… well, just about everything. Yet, while the European Union is forcing Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows, no one seems to be keeping an eye on 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. Here are a few ways we think Apple is evil, and getting away with it.

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Is Apple More Evil Than Microsoft? originally appeared on Switched on Mon, 03 Aug 2009 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Chrome to Get Cloud-Based Synchronization [Synchronization]

A Google engineer recently posted a message on the Chromium development board stating that his team would be implementing a synchronization service into Chrome’s open-source progenitor as early as this week. What’s different about Chrome’s sync service? It uses a “push” service, through Google Talk protocols, to instantly move bookmarks, settings, and other user data into a Google account base, where it could be accessed on the web from any browser. A developer channel build of Chrome with some of the first features implemented can be expected as early as the end of this week, according to the posting. Does a push-synchronized Chrome change your view of each web browser’s strengths and weaknesses? [via Ars Technica]

A Google engineer recently posted a message on the Chromium development board stating that his team would be implementing a synchronization service into Chrome’s open-source progenitor as early as this week. What’s different about Chrome’s sync service? It uses a “push” service, through Google Talk protocols, to instantly move bookmarks, settings, and other user data into a Google account base, where it could be accessed on the web from any browser. A developer channel build of Chrome with some of the first features implemented can be expected as early as the end of this week, according to the posting. Does a push-synchronized Chrome change your view of each web browser’s strengths and weaknesses? [via Ars Technica]





Apple Tries To Silence Owner Of Exploding iPod

Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company.

Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company.

Barron’s: Analyst handled Apple tablet, says competitors have paused production lines until launch

According to a report in Barron’s, a phantom “veteran analyst” has actually handled Apple’s heavily rumored tablet-device-thing. If you believe what the report is laying down (and honestly, that’s a big if — analysts have a funny habit of making things up) the tablet is still on for a September unveiling, with a shelf life beginning somewhere in November. What’s also interesting about the report is that the analyst claims the device will be marketed somewhere in the $699-$799 range — as was previously rumored — and will be aimed at uses as a media player (with some kind of potential Apple TV tie-in) and gaming device. The analyst, who obviously declined to be named, said that the tablet is simply awaiting Steve Jobs’ final blessing, and claimed that other ODMs have paused new products until they see the finished version of what Apple has in store. That last bit is potentially the most interesting of all, as we’ve recently heard reports of device-makers freezing new production until 2010, which definitely raises the possibility that the industry is holding its breath to see what kind of new trick Apple has up its sleeve. Yeah — things are about to get fun. [Warning: read link requires subscription]

[Via 9to5mac]

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Barron’s: Analyst handled Apple tablet, says competitors have paused production lines until launch originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 02 Aug 2009 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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According to a report in Barron’s, a phantom “veteran analyst” has actually handled Apple’s heavily rumored tablet-device-thing. If you believe what the report is laying down (and honestly, that’s a big if — analysts have a funny habit of making things up) the tablet is still on for a September unveiling, with a shelf life beginning somewhere in November. What’s also interesting about the report is that the analyst claims the device will be marketed somewhere in the $699-$799 range — as was previously rumored — and will be aimed at uses as a media player (with some kind of potential Apple TV tie-in) and gaming device. The analyst, who obviously declined to be named, said that the tablet is simply awaiting Steve Jobs’ final blessing, and claimed that other ODMs have paused new products until they see the finished version of what Apple has in store. That last bit is potentially the most interesting of all, as we’ve recently heard reports of device-makers freezing new production until 2010, which definitely raises the possibility that the industry is holding its breath to see what kind of new trick Apple has up its sleeve. Yeah — things are about to get fun. [Warning: read link requires subscription]

[Via 9to5mac]

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Barron’s: Analyst handled Apple tablet, says competitors have paused production lines until launch originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 02 Aug 2009 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Voice Debacle Causes Arrington to Ditch the iPhone, and With Good Reason [IPhone]

Normally, I’d say that TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington’s public quitting of the iPhone was a shrill, disingenuous ploy for attention and pageviews. But you know what? It’s totally legit, and Apple should pay attention.

The reason he's quitting isn't because of AT&Ts horrible network, which everyone with an iPhone has been begrudgingly putting up with for two years now. No, it's the Google Voice debacle.

He really wants to use Google Voice, but in order to do so, he needs the app for it to really work. It’s not just an inconvenience; it’s seriously detracting from how he can use his cellphone. And with legit GV apps available for both BlackBerry and Android, he doesn’t have to. So he’s terminating his iPhone contract.

And really, power to him. If GV was important to me, I’d do the same. And I’m sure Arrington isn’t the only person furious enough to cancel their iPhone service over this, he’s just one of the most visible. So Apple, pay attention. Because lately your App Store nonsense has crossed from irritating to inexcusable, and that’s just not going to work in the long term. [TechCrunch]

Normally, I’d say that TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington’s public quitting of the iPhone was a shrill, disingenuous ploy for attention and pageviews. But you know what? It’s totally legit, and Apple should pay attention.

The reason he's quitting isn't because of AT&Ts horrible network, which everyone with an iPhone has been begrudgingly putting up with for two years now. No, it's the Google Voice debacle.

He really wants to use Google Voice, but in order to do so, he needs the app for it to really work. It’s not just an inconvenience; it’s seriously detracting from how he can use his cellphone. And with legit GV apps available for both BlackBerry and Android, he doesn’t have to. So he’s terminating his iPhone contract.

And really, power to him. If GV was important to me, I’d do the same. And I’m sure Arrington isn’t the only person furious enough to cancel their iPhone service over this, he’s just one of the most visible. So Apple, pay attention. Because lately your App Store nonsense has crossed from irritating to inexcusable, and that’s just not going to work in the long term. [TechCrunch]





‘Alien’ prequel to be directed by….Ridley Scott!

Twentieth Century Fox is resuscitating its Alien franchise. The studio has hired Jon Spaihts to write a prequel that has Ridley Scott attached to return as director.

Twentieth Century Fox is resuscitating its Alien franchise. The studio has hired Jon Spaihts to write a prequel that has Ridley Scott attached to return as director.

Firefox Reaches One Billion Downloads [Events]

From its earliest incarnation as a pared-down Netscape rewrite to its current browser share of nearly 30 percent, Firefox has come a long way. Today, it crossed another milestone: more than 1 billion downloads of the free, open source browser.

The recent release of Firefox 3.5 surely boosted the numbers, as more than 5 million downloaded the browser within the first week it was available, but 1 billion downloads is more an indication of a long-term movement than a sudden surge. Peering at StatCounter’s numbers, Firefox 2, 3, and 3.5 are carrying somewhere above 27.5 percent of net traffic through their windows, which says a lot for a browser that started out in November 2004 at, effectively, zero.

For a quick bit of nostalgia, here’s Lifehacker’s first Firefox-centered post (not that we aren’t still discovering neat little keyboard shortcuts). We’d also recommend running through Wikipedia’s History of Mozilla Firefox page, which shows off some smirk-inducing early designs and toolbar buttons.

Mozilla will soon launch an official page to commemorate 1 billion downloads, and has a place-holder at Spread Firefox. In the meantime, let’s hear your own early experiences with the browser in the comments.

From its earliest incarnation as a pared-down Netscape rewrite to its current browser share of nearly 30 percent, Firefox has come a long way. Today, it crossed another milestone: more than 1 billion downloads of the free, open source browser.

The recent release of Firefox 3.5 surely boosted the numbers, as more than 5 million downloaded the browser within the first week it was available, but 1 billion downloads is more an indication of a long-term movement than a sudden surge. Peering at StatCounter’s numbers, Firefox 2, 3, and 3.5 are carrying somewhere above 27.5 percent of net traffic through their windows, which says a lot for a browser that started out in November 2004 at, effectively, zero.

For a quick bit of nostalgia, here’s Lifehacker’s first Firefox-centered post (not that we aren’t still discovering neat little keyboard shortcuts). We’d also recommend running through Wikipedia’s History of Mozilla Firefox page, which shows off some smirk-inducing early designs and toolbar buttons.

Mozilla will soon launch an official page to commemorate 1 billion downloads, and has a place-holder at Spread Firefox. In the meantime, let’s hear your own early experiences with the browser in the comments.