Categories
Media

Netflix Warning Users of ARccOS Copy Protected Discs

Netflix has began warning users of DVDs with the ARccOS copy protection. The copy protection was developed by Sony that intentionally puts corrupted sectors on the disc to prevent it from being copied. As a result of those bad sectors though many DVD players are unable to play the discs.

Netflix has been replacing their inventory of these discs with new ones that don’t have the terrible copy protection but their are still 13 discs left that are affected.

I’m glad that Netflix is warning their users about this but I still can’t believe that Sony did this. Especially since many of Sony’s own DVD players won’t play the discs back, the PS2 slim comes to mind.

I just can’t wait until the movie studios catch up with the music industry and start selling their content DRM free. I just have a feeling it’s going to take them a lot longer to come to their senses then it took the music industry.

I’ve copied the FAQ on this subject from Netflix’s site, you can find it after the jump.

Zatz Not Funny!

Categories
Application Gaming iPhone iPod

Review of De Blob for the iPhone

De Blob was a game that I was really interested in when I first heard about it. The basic premise is that you are a blob that picks up different colored paint and rolls around coloring buildings. Of course that isn’t the whole game you also do things like race from point to point before the time runs out, have to crush Inkts.

The story within the game basically goes like this, a takes all the color away from the city and you have to bring it back by rolling around painting buildings. You also run into “Revolutionaries” which will give you various missions like having to crush 4 Inkts in a set amount of time or paint 6 buildings red in a set amount of time.

The game is very simple and easy to pick up and play, there are two ways to control your character you can either enable tilt controls which let you tilt the device to move him around or you can tap on the screen in front of him to make him go that direction. The only other thing you need to know how to do is tap the circle on the bottom of the screen to crush Inkts.

You can also gain bonus points for collecting four letters that spell out the word “Blob.”

I think everyone should head to the App Store and pick up this game it is well worth the $7.99 and maybe even the first game that I’ve been able to say that about. I don’t usually give a score based on a number scale for iPhone games but if I was to give one for this game it would have to be an 8/10.

De Blob – $7.99
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More game images and gameplay video after the jump

Categories
Application Gaming iPhone iPod Video

Review of GTS World Racing For the iPhone

Yesterday GTS World Racing was released in the app store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game costs $7.99 and is actually pretty fun.

I haven’t had that much time to spend with it but it is both challenging and fun. The game is pretty simple, it’s a straight up racing game but you tilt the device forward to accelerate, backwards to brake or go in reverse, left to steer left, and right to steer right… like i said, very simple.

The game lets you choose from 3 different car types, 16 locations, 64 tracks, 4 different play modes, and 4 difficulty levels, so if you like racing games you’re going to spend a lot of time playing it.

The game was a lot easier to play than Moto Racer was but (unlike in Moto Racer) GTS World Racing doesn’t give that feeling of speed that other racing games do. I also disliked the animation of the game itself, I rarely got the feeling that I was actually turning, because the car doesn’t really move, it seems to stay centered on the screen as if the ground below it was moving but the car wasn’t (not that big of a deal really but something that I thought was worth mentioning).

The races seem extremely long, for a device in which spending 1-2 minutes in a game is very commonplace having to spend 3-5 minutes on  a single race is just too much. The tracks do end up seeming a little repetative though since you are spending so much time on them, by the time your finished with a race you don’t really want to be on that track ever again, and that’s where 64 different tracks come in handy. I also wish you could at least change the color of your vehicle, there are other cars in the game that you race against that have different colors, why can’t I?

Some more things about it do bother me, the fact that their is a blinking arrow at the top of the screen practically non-stop is a little annoying and I seem to always find myself in the grass, which apparently makes you slow down nearly as fast as if you ran into the back of another racer. I also hate the fact that if you try to accelerate and tilt the screen too far forward you get this screen:

Overall the game is good, but with its downsides I don’t think I could tell anyone to buy it at its current price ($7.99) if the price was dropped to maybe $4.99 I would change my tune but I would have to tell you to pass unless you really like racing games.

GTS World Racing – $7.99
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Gameplay video and more screenshots after the jump

Categories
Application iPhone iPod Podcasts

A Podcast Aggregator for the iPhone, Developers Get Working

One of the most important applications that I was excited about (and figured it would be a no brainer for someone to build is a podcast aggregator for the iPhone. One that would automatically check for podcasts on the feeds I gave it and ask me if ibwpupd like to download them to my iPhone.

What I would like to do is take my computer out of the podcast consumption equation essentially putting the podcast directly where It is going to be listened to.

I thought that was what Apple was going to do with the Apple TV when news came out that it was going to support podcasts. If the Apple TV automatically checked for podcasts every morning at say… 4am then I wouldn’t have to tie up my computer downloading 3 HD videos everyday and I wouldn’t have to waste more time waiting for those podcasts to sync to the Apple TV.

But what I really want is for an application like NetNewsWire to download enclosures to the phone and stick a badge on the home screen icon telling me how many are still unlistened to, let me manage them (delete them) just build a media player into the app so I can listen to them right there.

It doesn’t seem like this application would be that complicated to build and frankly I would even pay upwards of $5 to have it. So developers get to work, podcast enthusiasts are waiting.

Categories
Apple iPhone iPod

Apple Can Remotely Disable Apps on Your iPhone

Jonathan Zdziarsi, the author of iPhone Forensics has found that Apple can remotely disable apps installed on your iPhone. The iPhone OS has a blacklist URL that Zdziarsi says “suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off.”

The URL in question is https://iphone-services.apple.com/clbl/unathorizedapps

It was found in a configuration file inside of CoreLocation. It doesn’t seem that this list is just for apps that Apple has removed from the App Store, but instead is for applications that are actually malicious and that could be security vulnerabilities.

I don’t expect Apple to need to use this but if they do they will need a pretty good explanation for it. I don’t think they will just remove apps willy nilly but when they do it needs to be just cause.

iPhone Atlas

Update: According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, this URL doesn’t necessarily disable apps completely but rather disable the apps ability to access CoreLocation features.

Categories
Apple MobileMe

Steve Jobs Wasn’t Happy With The Launch of MobileMe

On Monday afternoon Steve Jobs sent out an email to employees of Apple telling them that they clearly screwed up on the launch of MobileMe. Before I start talking about the email itself I want to tell you all that I’m upset with the way Arstechnica handled it, I don’t understand why they posted about the email the day they received it but waited until the next day to actually post the email. It seems to me that they wanted more traffic, it would have made much more sense to publish the entire email in that same initial post.

Now that that is out of the way I want to say that Steve Jobs is absolutely right, he clearly knows when they screw up and is more than willing to admit it (to his employess at least). Jobs even offered some suggestions of how they could have avoided the whole mess, without passing the blame off on anyone else.

I do want you all to notice one more thing about this email, Jobs also says in the email that Eddy Cue is now the head of all of Apple’s internet services, and says exactly who people in the internet services area of Apple have to report to and who Eddy Cue is going to report to (Steve Jobs). This is how you manage a company, I know that there are many companies out there where employess don’t really know who their boss is, and that doesn’t happen in Apple. I don’t have much to say about this I just think that Yahoo and many other companies could learn from this.

The entire email:

Team,

The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour.  There are several things we could have done better:

– MobileMe was simply not up to Apple’s standards – it clearly needed more time and testing.

– Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one – Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.

– It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store.  We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.

We are taking many steps to learn from this experience so that we can grow MobileMe into a service that our customers will love.  One step that I can share with you today is that the MobileMe team will now report to Eddy Cue, who will lead all of our internet services – iTunes, the App Store and, starting today, MobileMe.  Eddy’s new title will be Vice President, Internet Services and he will now report directly to me.

The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services.  And learn we will.  The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.

Steve

Ars Technica

Categories
Apple MacBook Rumor

Photos Of What Seem To Be The New MacBook Case Show Up Online

Apple.pro has posted some new photos of what they claim to be the new casing to an upcoming revision to the MacBook line. The new revision to the MacBook line is expected to be released in September. The case resembles the MacBook Air, is made of aluminum, and doesn’t include any electronic components in the pictures.

Apple.pro has in the past posted photos that were later believed to be real (the new MacBook Pro casing comes to mind).

I’m hoping that these new photos are also real, I’ve been thinking about purchasing a new notebook for a few months now but can’t stand the plastic case on the current MacBook. I think I’m going to have to wait until September before I make any buying decisions.

Apple.pro

Categories
Apple iPhone iPod

Apple Releases iPhone Firmware 2.0.1

Apple has finally released the much anticipated iPhone firmware 2.0.1 (and iPod Touch). The update contains many bug fixes and will hopefully fix all of the issues many have been having with the iPhone. Of course you could always just stop installing, uninstalling, or updating apps on the phone itself and insead do all of that through iTunes but, I guess people are just going to do what they do.

Apple included the usual release notes containing “bug fixes” and not much else but reports have been coming out that the phone seems much snappier, the backup process is much faster, SMS typing is faster, and yes NetShare still works.

Categories
Apple Application Internet iPhone iPod

NetShare for the iPhone

You may have heard about NetShare by now since it was up on the App Store, and then down, and then up again, and then down again. If you were one of the lucky ones (as I was) to be able to purchase the app while it then good for you and for all of you who weren’t able to purchase it, hopefully it will come back to the App Store.

The app was developed by Nullriver and costs $9.99 and here’s the description:

“Share your iPhone’s EDGE or 3G Internet connection with your computer using NetShare. NetShare provides a SOCKS5 proxy for your computer to connect to.”

Why this app made it through the review process in the first place is beyond me but the fact that it was taken down and then went up again is even weirder. What’s strange about it being taken down is that if I’m not mistaken the app doesn’t break any of the restrictions put upon the SDK, the only agreement it breaks is the AT&T agreement, but in some countries tethering is allowed. So technically Apple doesn’t have any reason to take it down but may be able to argue that since it is not allowed by AT&T you shouldn’t be able to even purchase it (which I don’t agree with).

If you do have the application and are having some trouble getting it set up I suggest using this guide (the troubleshooting tip at the bottom is what fixed issues for me). And if you use Windows here is a guide for you.

Categories
Computers PC Photos

Asus Eee Box Gets Unboxed

PC Authority has had the chance to unbox the wonderful Asus Eee Box. Not only is their the usual unboxing process pictures but there are also comparison shots with the Eee PC 901.

The Eee Box is an awesome looking desktop but I really wish that Asus wasn’t going down right crazy with this Eee lineup, keeping it simple would have been a lot better.

PC Authority

Categories
iPhone iPod Rants

Why I No Longer Need My iPods

Just like many other geeks I have 3 iPods and now an iPhone but what I’ve realized is that since the App Store released I really no longer need all those iPods.

The reason I’ve been keeping my iPod around is for the games and the ability to output video to a TV with my 5G iPod. I’ve kept my 1G iPod Nano around to listen to music or podcasts as I go to sleep and I’ve kept my iPod Shuffle around to listen to music in the car (through a cassette tape adapter).

But, I don’t really need all of those, I now have all the games I could ever want on my iPhone, which can also output video to a TV (although most of that work is being done by my Apple TV). I can listen to music or podcasts as I go to sleep with my iPhone and with a $7 adapter I’ve been able to connect my iPhone to that same exact cassette tape adapter to listen to music in the car.

I will still probably keep my iPod Nano so that when the battery on my iPhone is a little low I can still listen to stuff without having to purchase a Mophie Juice Pack.

It has reached the point where I the iPhone is practically the only device I need. And, getting rid of some of my old iPods would really help me clean out some of the drawers in my office.

Categories
Motherboard Nvidia Rumor

Nvidia Getting Out of the Motherboard Chipset Business

Rumor has it that Nvidia may be getting out of the motherboard chipset business.

“AS the story is told, Nvidia called a meeting earlier this week with its motherboard partners to gauge support for it continuing to develop chipsets in the future,” DigiTimes said. “The motherboard makers’ response? Silence.”

Details of the whole situation are few and far between but the report speculates that the team working on chipsets would be transfered to working on GPU projects.

This would also mean that Nvidia would have to license it’s SLI support to other chipset manufacturers , that’s if they still want to stay on the top of the graphics card performance heap.

This rumor truly disproves another recent rumor that Apple would be using Nvidia chipsets in their upcoming Macs. Apple has said to be transitioning away from using Intel chipsets in their computers and back to using their own breed of chipsets made by another manufacturer.

This is sad for me because I’ve always been a fan of Nvidia’s chipsets and feel that they are superior to almost all other manufacturers chipsets (AMD may have better chipsets but I haven’t had any experience with them). I hope that this rumor is just that, a rumor, and we will continue to see Nvidia chipsets in the future but if it’s bad for business I don’t see how they would continue to make them.

DigiTimes