Apple news roundup: Psystar, iPhone vulnerability and OS update and the WWNC 2009 starts end of July


Psystar, the little company that could, or not, has ‘emerged’ from chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Well, that was fast, eh?  So, they are back with new hardware and a new resolve to ‘again battle Goliath.’  The company has introduced its ‘Open(7)’ hardware, which runs  the Intel Nehalem Xeon processor.  They also announced that they are going to be using a new boot loader called Darwin Universal Boot Loader.  Funny how some just don’t learn.  Part of me wants to root for them and part of me thinks they are just wasting time and money. 


A security expert revealed a nasty hole in SMS on the iPhone.  Apparently, crafty attackers could implant code on the phone via an SMS message over an operator’s network in order to monitor the location of the phone via GPS, listen to the users conversation by turning on the microphone or have the phone join a distributed denial of service attack or a botnet.  Apple is supposed to have it patched by the end of the month.

iPhone OS 3.1 beta update was seeded to developers on Thursday.  Apparently, the update include:

  • Voice Controls over Bluetooth
  • AT&T profile update to support MMS
  • OpenGL and Quartz improvements
  • Better video editing (so you can edit your clips non-destructively…progress is everywhere on this phone)
  • Video API’s
  • Vibration effect when moving icons

Wow!  that last one makes me want to give up my Pre.  Along with the beta OS update, Apple also released, to developers, the 3.1 beta SDK.  Hopefully, it will allow developers to really take advantage of that vibration effect.

WWNC 2009

Saw this on TUAW:  the WWNC 2009 conference starts July 31.  The WWNC is the World Wide Newton Conference.  The Newton, if you don’t know, was Apple’s first foray into handheld computing.  Bigger than than the iPhone (it dwarfs the iPhone) and about the same size of today’s mini-tablets (MID’s) the Newton sported a beautiful green screen and handwriting recognition.  It was widely derided for its poor recognition in early editions, but the later iterations of the device sported very accurate recognition.  Sadly, two things conspired to kill Newton:  the Palm Pilot and Steve Jobs.  One of Jobs’ first acts when he returned to the helm was to kill Newton. 

Anyway, there is still a vibrant Newton community and they will hold their conference in Vancouver, B.C. starting July 31 and ending on August 2.  Among the topics are:

  • discussions on improving the OS X connectivity application
  • development of a PDF viewer
  • Newton development for beginners
  • Newton networking

So, if you are a Newtonian, this may be just the ticket for you, and at $55(US) it is a bargain.

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