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Monday, April 9, 2007

Apple sells 100 millionth iPod, deems experiment a success

Apple sells 100 millionth iPod, deems experiment a success
Posted Apr 9th 2007 12:10PM by Evan Blass
Filed under: Portable Audio
Apple iPod
Has it really only been five and a half years since the first iPod rolled off the assembly line and into the initially-skeptical arms of music-loving consumers worldwide? Well since that time we've seen an entire ecosystem of third-party and DIY accessories sprout up around Apple's ubiquitous little jukebox -- from the pretty handy to the just plain weird -- along with endless humorous anecdotes, an infinite number of knockoffs, serious political, legal, and environmental movements, and of course, an almost daily barrage of wild rumors the likes of which the world has never known. So it's with mixed emotion that we welcome the 100 millionth iPod into the world (enough for almost every man, woman, and child in Mexico): on the one hand, it gives us warm fuzzies to see perennial underdog Apple come out on top for a change, but we also hope that the company employs its leadership position responsibly, such as being a little less quick to sic the lawyers on anyone who dares use the "Pod" name in vain. And as for the next 100 million iPods? Is PC-less downloading just over the horizon? When will we finally see the move to an all flash lineup? Will Apple finally take the leap and merge its prize pig with -- gasp! -- a cellular telephone? As always, only time -- and Uncle Steve -- will tell.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

NSA Issues Security guide for keeping Mac OSX Secure




In case you don't know, the NSA is one of the largest alphabet soup "secret" government agencies in the US lovingly nicknamed "No Such Agency" by its spooky residents. It has a budget that is considerably larger than Britain's entire defense budget put together. The NSA dwarfs the CIA in terms of both size (number of people) and budget. And they are in charge of running what is known as the "Echelon System" - which is a global network of sattelites and relay stations that allow the NSA to record in real time every phone call, every instant message, and email sent via the airwaves or via the internet.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the government.

The NSA has released a guide on how to make Mac OSX secure, and its definately worth the read.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has published an internal guide for System Administrators to keep their Macs secure within their organization. The 171 page document, titled "Mac OS X - Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later Second Edition" (PDF) is a free download from the government agency featuring helpful tips for keeping Macs secure.

The document keys in on several of the major security enhancements found in Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) including:

Access control lists
Secure instant messaging
Software update server
Certificate management
Smart cards as keychains
Secure erase
VPN service is now Kerberized
Firewall enhancements
Antivirus and antispam


While mostly aimed at Mac system administrators the document is a must read for anyone who is responsibility for the security of more than one Mac. Individual Mac users can probably learn a thing or two from it as well.

Download Mac OSX Security Guide

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

DRM-Free Songs from EMI Available on iTunes for $1.29 in May
CUPERTINO, California—April 2, 2007—Apple® today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) worldwide in May. DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song. iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today—128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM—at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.

Apple iTunes

“We are going to give iTunes customers a choice—the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year.”

“EMI and iTunes are once again teaming up to move the digital music industry forward by giving music fans higher quality audio that is virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings, with no usage restrictions on the music they love from their favorite artists,” said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.

With DRM-free music from the EMI catalog, iTunes customers will have the ability to download tracks from their favorite EMI artists without any usage restrictions that limit the types of devices or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on. DRM-free songs purchased from the iTunes Store will be encoded in AAC at 256 kbps, twice the current bit rate of 128 kbps, and will play on all iPods, Mac® or Windows computers, Apple TVs and soon iPhones, as well as many other digital music players.

iTunes will also offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free format for 30 cents a song. All EMI music videos will also be available in DRM-free format with no change in price.

The iTunes Store features the world’s largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over two billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store.

With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod® and the ability to turn previously purchased songs into completed albums at a reduced price, the iTunes Store is the best way for PC and Mac users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

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