iPad built to have a camera

The folks over at Mission:Repair have noticed that their repair parts for the iPad have an existing hole in the metal frame that fits pretty much exactly the same camera unit as in the MacBook. The question is if it’ll be in there before the iPads are released, or if they were planning it to be in the next version (using the same frame), in which case will the revelation cannibalise sales of the current version (although many people have already said they’ll wait for version 2 at least anyway)?

3 Tips for getting old films converted to your Mac

If you’re getting your old 8mm films converted to movie files, here are some tips from my recent experience.

  • Ask around for some recommendations (your local Mac User Group may be a good place to start). Get a few quotes. Mine ranged from AU$800 to AU$247 for converting 37 rolls of 8mm film to avi files. Not sure how much the quality of the experience differs.
  • You may want to prefer a Mac shop if you can find one. This will mean that if the three USB drives you give them don’t mount under Windows they won’t say something along the lines of “it’s got Mac germs”. Of course most video professionals I know use Macs with Firewire.
  • Make sure you know what codec they’re going to give you the files as. Get a sample file to test you can do what you want with it on your preferred platform. For example I got AVI files using a DV codec. Unfortunately I discovered they were using a Canopus DV codec (CDVC), which then required transcoding to Microsoft’s DV codec in order to be viewable on the Mac (although VLC could play it back). Fortunately I found some downloads still out there by googling ‘dvcodec.exe’ and ‘Canopus_DV_File_Converter.exe’. Installing these under Parallels then let me convert the files
  • If you don’t want to have to stuff around with getting iDVD to create a DVD that can be played on any DVD player (we are having some difficulties, not sure if it’s because we’re being too ambitious trying to burn a dual layer DVD), I recommend that you get the shop to burn the movies straight to DVD as they’ll probably use some PC software that works
  • When it’s all over, make sure you’ve got a backup of the files, and there is a copy stored somewhere else (and somewhere else to the original films!)

Sit back and enjoy your old memories, without having to thread the projector!

iPhone 3GS

From WWDC:

40 million iPhones + iPod Touches have already been sold, 1 Billion apps downloaded in 9 months.

iPhone 3GS – S=Speed, some 2-3x faster, looks like it has the same form factor.

  • Supports OpenGL|ES 2.0 and 7.2Mbps HSPDA
  • 3 megapixel autofocus camera, tap to tell it where to focus, Macro mode to 10cm, better low light sensitivity
  • Also captures video! 30fps, VGA with audio, auto-focus/white-balance/exposure
  • Edit video and send it to YouTube, MobileMe, MMS or e-mail
  • Voice control – “Play songs like this”, “Call Scott”
  • Digital compass
  • Accessibility – VoiceOver, color inversion, zooming
  • Nike+ support
  • Data encryption
  • Instant remote wipe, encrypted iTunes backups
  • Improved battery life, 9 hours of net, 10 hours of video, 30 hours of audio, 12 hours of 2G talk, 5 hours of 3G talk
  • Eco-friendly construction, arsenic free glass, BFR free, mercury free LCD
  • US$199 for 16Gb, US$299 for 32Gb, US$99 for 8Gb iPhone!
  • Available June 19th in US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK
  • Progressive roll out to another 6 countries a week later, no Australian dates yet

iPhone 3.0

  • cut/copy/paste/undo
  • MMS support (later this year for AT&T customers)
  • Search, Spotlight
  • iTunes U now on iPhone iTMS
  • Rent and purchase movies from phone
  • Finer grained parental controls
  • Bluetooth tethering to share connection “Requires carrier support” (ie presumably they just need to allow it!)
  • Safari Javascript 3x faster
  • Support for HTTP streaming audio and video, automatically determine best quality (what codecs I wonder?)
  • HTML5 support
  • Software based keyboard in portrait and landscape
  • Find my iPhone, for MobileMe users shows last known location of the phone, lets you play a sound and send a message, and remote wipe the phone if necessary (to be restored from backup if you find it later).

iPhone Demos

  • Asphalt 5 – car racing game
  • Airstrip
  • Critical Care – Monitor patient vitals via Push
  • ScrollMotion – create digital books for the App Store, download them from inside the app
  • TomTom – turn by turn direction app, and car accessory kit via the Accessory framework
  • Star Defense
  • Plus Network
  • Pasco – sensors for iPhone
  • Zipcar – lets you find a zipcar and remotely honk the horn and unlock the car so you know which one is yours!

WWDC 2009 keynote releases

  • New 15″ MacBook Pro has built in battery lasts up to 7 hours, 1000 charges, approx. 5 years. 60% better colour gamut, 3.06 Dual Core CPU, 8Gb RAM max, 500Gbx7200RPM drive, or 256Gb SSD. Starts at US$1699 through US$2229
  • SD card slots added to models except 17″
  • 13″ Macbook is now a MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air updated to up to 2.13GHz CPU

Snow Leopard 10.6:

  • Mail, iCal and Address book now support Exchange, with auto-discovery of Exchange Servers
  • QuickLook can preview Microsoft Office documents in Mail without MS Office being installed
  • Preview 2x faster, better PDF text selection
  • Exposé integration with Dock (“Dock Exposé”) for displaying an App’s windows
  • Chinese character input on trackpad
  • Mail up to 2.3x faster
  • Final version of Safari 4 released for Leopard, Tiger and Windows
  • Safari now sandboxes plugins to prevent them crashing the browser (IMHO this means you, Google 🙂
  • Stacks now have scrolling
  • Page through, magnify PDF thumbnails and movies
  • QuickTime X focuses on the content, overlays controls, lets you select from a visual timeline more easily and share it on YouTube, MobileMe or iTunes.
  • All Snow Leopard applications are 64-bit
  • Grand Central Dispatch supports multicore across all of Snow Leopard
  • Open CL (Computing Language) has been open sourced and allows for hardware abstraction of the video hardware for use in processing or display
  • Upgrade cost US$29 or US$49 for upgrading the Leopard family pack

There were some 16593 viewers watching the ustream live stream.

IceTV wins

In good news for Australian EyeTV and Topfield users and others who use IceTV’s Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), the Australian high court has ruled that it is legal for IceTV to publish its version of Channel 9’s TV schedule. Legal info on the IceTV v Channel 9 ruling at Austlii. The case had been running since 2006.

Apple releases VGA Adapter Firmware update

Apple have released a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Firmware Update 1.0 available via Software Update.

This firmware update addresses intermittent flickering and compatibility issues such as no video on some external displays when using the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter on your Mini DisplayPort enabled Mac.

Fairly obviously you have to have the updater plugged in in order to update it.

aTV Flash AppleTV hack to add EyeTV tuner support

aTV Flash from Fire Core is a US$49.95 piece of software which when loaded onto a (compatible) USB flash drive key adds lots of features to your AppleTV such as

  • More video formats (including DivX, Xvid, AVI, WMV, RMVB, DVD and some MKV)
  • Enables internet apps like Safari, FTP, SFTP, SSH, SMB and streaming from NAS devices
  • Enables external USB hard drives
  • Enables USB keyboard support
  • Allows installation of other Mac OS X applications (like EyeTV for example)

iTunes uses DisplayPort’s digital restrictions management

ArsTechnica reports that DisplayPort uses DPCP (the DisplayPort version of the evil HDCP) on iTunes purchased content. So if you want to watch that movie you bought off the iTunes store on an external display such as a projector or your 30 inch cinema display, you may not be able to, if you have any non-conforming display connected. Instead you see a dialogue proclaiming:

This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected. Try disconnecting any displays that are not HDCP authorized

via MWJ

So one has to think this is likely to increase the probability that rather than downloading it from iTunes people will download the pirated torrent instead.