Psystar, the company responsible for the 'Open Computer' and a continual thorn in Apple's side, has filed for bankruptcy protection. According to court papers, Psystar owes more than $250,000 to shipping companies, the IRS, and its attorneys.
"Debtor sales have been greatly affected by the decrease in consumer spending," Psystar said in a statement. "The financial crisis has also caused creditors to tighten up their terms and become more demanding for immediate payment."
Psystar gained notoriety for taking on Apple by selling computer systems equipped with Mac OS X. In July of last year, Apple sued the company for copyright infringement, however that lawsuit has now been temporarily suspended until the bankruptcy protection goes through proceedings.
According to a report from Piper Jaffray, an international middle market investment firm, Apple might be putting itself in a position to release a netbook sometime in 2010.
Apple hasn't stated publicly any plans to release a low-cost notebook, and such a move would seem to go against the company's M.O. However, the investment firm points out the acquisition of PA Semi, several patents Apple has taken out, and the recent hiring of chip designers as evidence that Apple wants to be more active in the mobile world.
"We are anticipating a new category of Apple products with an operating system more robust than the iPhone’s but optimized for multi-touch, unlike Mac OS X," Piper Jaffray wrote. "The device’s OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple’s mobile OS and run App Store apps, or it could be a modified version of Mac OS X."
The reports suggest Apple could release a touchscreen tablet between 7 and 10 inches for anywhere from $500 to $700, which is out of netbook pricing territory, but might find an audience among those looking for a low-cost Mac. Moreover, the firm says Apple may use a proprietary CPU design.
A couple of announcements surfaced today, one each for both of the smartphone heavyweights - Apple's iPhone and T-Mobile's G1. If you own, or are considering, one or the other, keep reading.
Amazon Updates Kindle App for iPhone
Score a win for iPhone owners, who now have an improved Kindle app to mess around with. Now in version 1.1, the updated release addresses a few customer complaints, one of them being that users can now read in either portrait or landscape mode. And to make reading easier, you can now change the background and text color combination. Other changes include tap support for turning pages, and multi-touch pinch to zoom in on images.
G1 'Cupcake' Update Pushed Back Until June
G1 owners who have been anxiously awaiting the much anticipated 'Cupcake' update (Android 1.5) will have to wait a little longer. What was originally supposed to be an "early May" release looked like it was finally going to start trickling out this week in the U.S., but word has come down that the update has been delayed at least one more week.
"We are working diligently to get Android 1.5 out as soon as possible, while aiming to ensure a consistent, positive experience for our customers," a T-Mobile forum moderator announced. "We're finalizing this build this week to ensure optimal functionality and smooth delivery. Therefore, the rollout schedule has been reset by approximately a week, and we expect all G1 customers will have the update by early June."
Barring any last minute changes, Android 1.5 will add on-screen keyboard support with auto-correction, text prediction, user dictionaries, and third-party keyboard layouts, live folders, folder shortcuts for YouTube favorites, starred contacts, MPEG4 and 3GP video playback, stereo Bluetooth, a new Linux kernel, browser enhancements, and several other goodies.
You knew it was coming sooner or later. Microsoft's Laptop Hunters commercials have hit a sore spot with Apple after attempting to expose the MacBook as an overpriced, underpowered (but pretty) platform, so it was only a matter of time before Apple fired back.
Starring Justin Long and John Hodgman (who else?), the latter stands in front of a long line of suited PCs. Two by two, a handful of of PCs are disqualified as an actress lists what's she's looking for (big screen, fast processor), until she lobs and oft-used Apple bomb.
"I just need something that works without crashing or viruses or a ton of headaches," the actress demands.
Disgusted, Hodgman and the remaining PCs march off-screen, leaving Justin Long (Mac) as the remaining option. You can check it out here, then hit the jump and post tell us what you think.
Sure, Apple’s app store has been known to make its fair share of senseless moves, but this one just about nears the top of the list. Recently they rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain, an app that would allow users to control the Transmission Bittorrent client from anywhere. Why? Because those that use it are infringing upon rights, of course!
Apple’s reason for denying the app was because “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.” So, while there are millions of legal torrents available and it’s quickly become one of the most popular ways to download files, those that use it are (and I’m paraphrasing here) criminal.
Well, at least you can still get Ze Frank’s free iPhone app. I wonder if they’ll try to deny it too?
Sony CEO Howard Stringer has hit a point in his life where he’s decided to change some things – or at least, talk about it. In a recent interview with Nikkei Electronics Asia, Stringer made some pretty bold statements about Sony’s future and their past.
He claims that going forward, Sony will use more open standards. “If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple” in music. A pretty lofty statement considering how insanely popular the iTunes music store is today. But, in its fledgling days, who knows? Anything is possible.
“We can no longer say that we’re right and our customers are wrong. We can’t build only what we want to build,” he continued. If you want to read the full interview, give it a look here.
So, what do you think? Will Sony continue their present ways, or are they going to change for the better (or worse)? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Oh snap, it's on like Donkey Kong, or at least like an intense level of Galaga. More specifically, Microsoft continues its advertising offensive against Apple with yet another commercial pointing out the cost of being hip, only this one targets iTunes and not MacBooks.
In the latest ad, financial planner (certified, of course) Wes Moss points out it would take $30,000 to fill the latest iPod using iTunes at a buck a pop.
"I don't know about you, but I don't have thirty grand laying around for music," Moss says.
His solution? A subscription service like Zune Pass, of course! "One costs a lot, and one costs a little," Moss adds, referring to the iPod with $30,000 worth of music and Zune Pass's unlimited subscription plan for $14.99/month. For those of you doing the math at home, $30,000 buys almost 167 years of Zune Pass.
There are obvious flaws in Microsoft's latest pitch, but the goal here isn't necessarily to discredit Apple's iPod/iTunes combination as a viable music platform (too late for that) as much as it is to promote Zune Pass. The question is, will it work?
According to the website for the Missouri University School of Journalism, “Effective Fall 2009, students majoring in Journalism at Missouri are required to have either an iPod Touch (the minimum requirement) or iPhone to allow for the delivery of freshman-orientation information as well as course material. Students will electronically download such material to either of those devices from iTunes University, a no-cost component of the iTunes Store.”
On top of this, undergraduate students will be required to have wireless laptops, with Microsoft Office installed. “Students are encouraged to acquire wireless laptop technology from Apple, which the School has designated as its preferred provider,” continues the website.
And, for those that prefer a Windows machine, “That's an option, but it's one we do not recommend unless you plan to make a career of computer-assisted reporting. By the time you purchase photo, audio and video software for a PC, you probably will have spent more than you would if buying a comparable Apple Computer. Buy a PC if you prefer to do so, but make sure it is wireless and has Microsoft Office. Almost 100 percent of last year's freshmen chose Apple computers.”
As if going to school wasn’t expensive enough, now it would seem that the Apple tax is a requirement. Oh well, what’s another few grand on top of the 40 or so that you’re spending on a year’s tuition?
And for good reason, too! Mr. Reznor has admittedly done a lot for the digital music landscape, and while he does support Apple, he’s got a rather large bone to pick with their app approval process (the very same process that approved the baby shaking game).
In a nutshell, Apple rejected an update to the official Nine Inch Nails iPhone app due to “objectionable content.” Oddly, said content isn’t actually a part of the app, instead it’s a song that the application can stream called “The Downward Spiral.” And, while the hypocrisy of this situation runs wild in my mind, it’s best described by Trent… after the break (there might be little eyes watching, so be warned of language).
Even if they won't say it publicly (and they aren't), Apple appears pretty juiced at the prospect of developing its own chips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Online, Apple has been hand-picking people from all over the semiconductor industry, which also includes engineers for creating multifunction chips for use in cellphones.
One such hire includes Raja Koduri, the former chief technology officer of the graphics group at AMD. Koduri started his new position this week, while other online job postings include a call for several chip-related positions, some of which are described as "verifying functionality correctness of a high performance chip design."
While Apple is keeping silent on the subject, the company's tight-lipped approach might be one of the reasons they're looking to develop their own chips. Citing people familiar with the situation, WSJO says Apple not only wants to beat its rivals to market with new features, but also wants to keep a lid on its technology plans with external chip suppliers.