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Save and Playback YouTube Videos on Your iPhone or iTouch with MXTube

iPhone/iPod touch only: The MXTube application searches and saves YouTube videos directly to your iPhone or iPod touch so you can play them back at any time, whether you’ve got an active internet connection or not. I gave it a try this morning and it works exactly as advertised and looks great. The only drawback is that it doesn’t integrate with your iPod videos, but given time, I suppose anything’s possible. And now that we know you’ll have to wait another three months before you see any official third-party application support from Apple, we’ll just have to keep enjoying killer third-party apps the old-fashioned way—through a jailbroken iPhone via Installer.app.

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iPhone Gets Official Third-Party Apps, AIM, and Enterprise Support

If you’ve been following along with the long-running Hacker vs. iPhone saga that’s been dragging out since the iPhone’s release late last June, your days of jailbreaking may finally be coming to an end. Today, Steve Jobs and the folks at Apple have announced their official support for third-party applications along with Enterprise support for push email and calendars, Activesync and Exchange support. Hit the jump for more details and what this means for your and your iPhone or iPod touch.

Download New Apps with the App Store

If official third-party app support piques your interest most, Apple delivered with some exciting announcements. First, if you’ve already jailbroken you iPhone or iTouch and experienced what installing apps is like through the excellent Installer.app, Apple’s official application management software, called the App Store, works just like Installer.app; it allows you to install, manage, update, or uninstall any application directly from your device, either over EDGE or Wi-Fi. Unlike Installer.app, the official App Store integrates with iTunes so you can also sideload apps through iTunes if you don’t feel like installing on-the-go.

Pricing and Availability

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Apple’s official support of third-party apps versus what we’ve seen in the hacker community concerns price—namely, that Apple might charge for all apps similar to how they charge for games through the iTunes store. Luckily, Apple is leaving price in the hands of the developers, meaning that devs can choose whether or not to charge for an app, and free distribution is still an option. Jobs has also said that they won’t block VoIP apps (on Wi-Fi, at least), so that’s crazy exciting for anyone looking to save a few minutes of talk-time when they’re sitting at a hotspot.The new App Store won’t see the light of day on your iPhone or iPod touch until sometime in June, along with the iPhone 2.0 update (though a beta release will be available to developers today). iPod touch users are getting the same update, but it will come with a yet-to-be-determined “nominal” charge.

The question remains, though, whether or not Apple’s hand in distributing apps will hinder developers’ and users’ freedom. If Apple were to start refusing viable apps because it interfered with their or AT&T’s business models, for example, the return of iPhone hacks and jailbreaks would be inevitable.

Coming Soon iPhone Apps

So what can we expect to see out of the new SDK? Aside from seeing likely improvements to the best iPhone and iPod touch apps that are already running on jailbroken devices, Apple previewed a few apps already in development using the official software developer’s kit. Among them, Apple previewed an official AIM client from AOL and some multi-touch games, including Spore and Monkey Ball. Anyone who’s played iPhysics on a hacked iPhone knows how exciting the simple gaming possibilities are on the iPhone, and as such these look very promising.

Enterprise Support

Aside from the official SDK and third-party apps, the other huge announcement that may have a huge influence the iPhone’s viability as a full-on corporate device is its new support for enterprise features. That includes everything from push email, calendars, and contacts to Cisco VPN support and Activesync and Exchange support. If an iPhone’s stolen or lost, your corporate IT department can even remotely wipe your phone clean of sensitive data.

Thanks to Gizmodo for their extensive coverage of this Apple event.

Source : Lifehacker

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Use Your iPhone as a Multi-Touch Mouse with Touchpad Pro

iPhone/iPod touch only: Freeware application Touchpad Pro turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a multi-touch mouse for any operating system. You’ll need a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch, then just install Touchpad Pro from Installer.app. To get it working with your computer, you’ll need to install VNC (it’s already running on your Mac) and follow the instructions on the site. Once it’s running, you can use your iPhone’s screen like a MacBook Air trackpad, which means you get the regular mouse actions in addition to two-finger scroll, double-finger-tap right-click, and a ton more (check out the video for the full demonstration). Touchpad Pro is freeware, iPhone/iPod touch only.

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Bit Torrent on iPhone

Always wondered if you can download movies to your iPhone or your favorite episode? Look no more! Now you can download anything that you want to your iPhone.. check out the app that does the job for you!

Torrent

It went through a lot of beta testing and developers worked very hard!! as they quoted!

“P2P torrent on the iPhone, a sad tale of woe, misery, abject failure… and then eventually success!”

Source : HERE

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Mitsubishi tapping out of the phone market?

A lot of readers might be surprised to learn that Mitsubishi even makes cellphones, but yeah, it sure does. Its domestic Japanese market has typically been the recipient of its impressive wares, selling models on NTT DoCoMo using the “D” model name prefix — but maybe not for much longer. Nikkei is throwing out some rumors today that Mitsu will be exiting the dog-eat-dog cellphone manufacturing biz and possibly doing so very swiftly, even withdrawing models due to hit DoCoMo in the next few weeks. Despite raking in over 100 billion yen (about $958M) annually from its mobile division alone, the company has apparently been unable to make it profitable and recently downgraded its handset sales forecast for the current fiscal year. Frankly, we wish Mitsu had sold enough handsets abroad for us to be really upset about this. Nikkei says an official announcement could come as soon as today, so we’ll update you when we know more.

Update: Nikkei was dead on. Mitsubishi has just announced that it is ending its cellphone manufacturing business, a venture that goes back some 25 years with the introduction of car phones on NTT’s network. For what it’s worth, the company says that it’ll continue to support its devices and move the 600-odd employees in the business to other parts of the company. It also says that it will “work to maintain and further strengthen the partnership with NTT DoCoMo through the communication related business [it aims] to expand,” so don’t get too teary-eyed, DoCoMo. Hit the link for the official release.

Source : Engadget

Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X1 delayed until next year? We think (hope) not

A table of release dates dug up on Sony Ericsson’s own site suggests something powerfully depressing, which is that the XPERIA X1 has been pushed all the way out to February 10, 2009 (notice that the date is in European format — we’d just give up now if it were actually October 2, 2009). While the presence of the page on the company’s very own domain is pretty damning evidence, we’re still holding out hope that it’s a typo or an oversight; late Q2 of ’08 was mentioned at MWC, and we really don’t see how it’s possible to push out a phone nearly three-quarters of a year just weeks after its initial announcement.

Source : Engadget

ASUS Lamborghini ZX1 propaganda spotted at CeBIT

So it now looks like that rumored high-end ZX1 Windows Mobile 6 Professional handset from ASUS is a lock for a CeBIT announcement, though we’re going to be totally honest, we’re not certain it’s worthy of the Lamborghini name. Granted, we’ve got to withhold judgment until we get one in our hands, but outside of a Lamborghini badge-shaped nav pad and a speedometer-inspired clock on the home screen, we’re not seeing anything special about the darned thing. On the plus side, it’s a 3G world phone with HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 and quadband GSM / EDGE, a 3 megapixel autofocus camera out back with a VGA sensor up front for video calling, 256MB of ROM, 128MB of RAM, microSD expansion, GPS, WiFi, and the typical QVGA display.

Source : Engadget

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iPhone jailbreak tools updated to open firmware 1.1.4

The latest version of iPhone activation, jailbreaking and unlocking tool, ZiPhone, has been released. The tool promises full access to Apple’s handset in under five minutes.

The update, which takes ZiPhone to version 2.5 in its command line, Windows and Mac OS X forms, follows Apple’s release earlier this week of version 1.1.4 of the iPhone firmware.

Having taken our iPhone last week from firmware 1.0.2 to 1.1.3, we’ve just run the 1.1.4 update – ZiPhone coder Zibri recommends restoring the handset’s firmware to 1.1.4 rather than simply clicking iTunes update button – followed by ZiPhone 2.5.

After the restore, we had the handset activated, jailbroken – ready to run third-party apps, in other words – and unlocked in about four-and-a-half minutes.

We’d recommend that iPhone users who’ve been waiting to update to 1.1.4 sync their handset with iTunes first to preserve settings. Restoring the OS will erase any third-party apps you’ve installed, but ZiPhone auto-loads the Installer app, so reacquiring these isn’t hard.

iPhone 1.1.4 is described by Apple simply as a “bug fix”. Anecdotal evidence suggests the update improves the handset’s signal pick-up, fixes a multi-recipient SMS message display order glitch and solves problems 1.1.3 had with some Bluetooth devices.

The release of ZiPhone 2.5 comes after coder The Operator updated Mac unlocking tool iNdependence to version 1.4b5, again to support firmware 1.1.4.

Special Report : Unlocking the iPhone for pleasure and profit… revisited

Source : RegHardware.co.uk

LG-KF700 World’s first phone with three separate input methods!

LG announced the launch of its LG-KF700, a new multimedia phone that combines three input methods to create an amazingly intuitive user interface and provides instant access to features. The world’s first phone with three separate input methods, the LG-KF700 integrates a 3-inch touchscreen, alpha-numeric keypad and Shortcut Dial. Each of these input methods is assigned to the tasks at which it is most efficient, making LG’s highly intuitive interface possible. One of the LG-KF700’s powerful multimedia features is a full featured Web browser that provides full access to Google Search, Blogs, Gmail, Maps and Youtube. Features include an MP3 player, MPEG4 video player, 3.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth connectivity and more. All of these multimedia features are packed into a slim and stylish package with a clean, minimalist look.Press release after the jump

LG will introduce the LG-KF700 at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2008 on February 11 in Barcelona, Spain during its press conference. The phone will be available in Europe in mid March and will become available in other markets in the months following.

Via – Fareastgizmos

February 11, 2008 – LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, today announced the launch of its LG-KF700, a new multimedia phone that combines three input methods to create an amazingly intuitive user interface and provides instant access to features.

The world’s first phone with three separate input methods, the LG-KF700 itegrates a 3-inch touchscreen, alpha-numeric keypad and Shortcut Dial. Each of these input methods is assigned to the tasks at which it is most efficient, making LG’s highly intuitive interface possible. With its user-optimized navigation, all of the phone’s functions and features are instantly accessable.

“Our consumers told us that they wanted a phone that had plenty of multimedia features, but doesn’t take a long time fiddling with menus to figure out. We created the LG-KF700 based their insight,” said Dr. Skott Ahn, CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Internal research showed that a phone’s multimedia features often lay dormant if they are hard to access. On many phones these features are hidden deep in menus, requiring too much time and effort to find them. The LG-KF700 eliminates these endless menus with its intuitive interface and multiple input methods.”

LG has already established itself as a leader in phones with touch technology, and the LG-KF700’s 3-inch full touchscreen provides easy access to features and its wide aspect ratio makes it perfect for watching movies or browsing the internet. From the phone’s main screen users can flip through several handy widgets, including a calendar, scheduler, and memo pad, with the swipe of a finger. The large touchscreen also means that the phone can provide an adaptable on-screen interface, rather than tying users to a fixed, preset button layout.

The Shortcut Dial on the back of the phone quickly scrolls through six user-selected features by controlling a virtual dial on screen, rather than wasting time digging through menus. This can be done at any time, from any application, not just when the phone is idle. The Shortcut Dial can also be used to scroll through web pages or e-mails, adjust volume and perform other functions for which a wheel is naturally best.

Most of the new touchscreen phones currently available eliminate some formerly universal features like the alpha-numeric keypad. LG consumers said that consumers still wanted this particular feature, not only for its familiarity, but also because it simplifies the process of making phone calls and is excellent for typing text messages. For this reason, LG incorporated a slide-down alpha-numeric keypad into the LG-KF700.

Used together, the LG-KF700’s input methods become even more powerful and efficient. When browsing the internet on the wide touchscreen, the shortcut dial zooms in and out on websites. When sending text messages, the alpha-numeric keypad provides all of the letters, while frequently used symbols are readily available on the touchscreen. These symbols change based on users text messaging habits.

One of the LG-KF700’s powerful multimedia features is a full featured Web browser that provides full access to Google Search, Blogs, Gmail, Maps and Youtube. Support for HSDPA 3G networks* makes web browsing extremely fast and makes other features like video telephony possible. Other features include an MP3 player, MPEG4 video player, 3.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth connectivity and more. All of these multimedia features are packed into a slim and stylish package with a clean, minimalist look.

LG will introduce the LG-KF700 at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2008 on February 11 in Barcelona, Spain during its press conference. The phone will be available in Europe in mid March and will become available in other markets in the months following.

Source : NewLaunches

LG KF600 Worlds first Mind-reading Interactive Phone

LG Mobile today announced the European launch of LG KF600, a new mobile phone that is as feature rich and easy to use as it is stylish, thanks to its unique InteractPad. The InteractPad replaces physical navigation keys with context-specific virtual keys that change to fit the task at hand. This new interface comes in response to the need for a simple way to navigate through the multitudinous features on today’s mobile phones. The LG KF600’s InteractPad and its virtual menu keys show the exact keys a user needs to complete the task at hand eliminating distractions. These virtual keys are also larger and better spaced than physical keys, improving accuracy. The LG KF600’s powerful multimedia features include a 3 mega-pixel camera, MP3 player, video recording, FM radio, Bluetooth and more. Its ergonomic trapezoidal shape is the ideal complement to the phone’s sleek, glossy finish.(Press release after jump)

The LG KF600 is far more advanced than other slide phones and unlike any other phone available because of its unique interface and feed-forward tactile navigation made possible by the InteractPad. The LG KF600 will be available for purchase starting from January and will be introduced at World Mobile Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Spain in February.

Via – Fareastgizmos

LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, today announced the European launch of its 2008 iF product design award winning LG KF600, a new mobile phone that is as feature rich and easy to use as it is stylish, thanks to its unique InteractPad™.

The InteractPad™ replaces physical navigation keys with context-specific virtual keys that change to fit the task at hand. This new interface comes in response to the need for a simple way to navigate through the multitudinous features on today’s mobile phones.

The LG KF600’s InteractPad™ and its virtual menu keys show the exact keys a user needs to complete the task at hand eliminating distractions. This is far more flexible than standard hardware keys and eliminates the need to memorize exactly which key performs what function. These virtual keys are also larger and better spaced than physical keys, improving accuracy.

The InteractPad™ is an ideal interface for controlling multimedia features like the LG KF600’s digital audio player, camera and video camera. Because its controls are not tied to physical buttons, each of these functions has a custom interface that makes it incredibly intuitive to use.

To make it easier to use, the InteractPad™ is equipped with multi-sensorial feedback that provides users with audio, visual and tactile cues. When a virtual button is pressed it becomes larger and the phone vibrates just slightly and makes a clicking sound. This feedback is not only designed to make these virtual buttons seem more like real ones, it also makes the phone more comfortable to use and improves accuracy.

The LG KF600 includes eight dynamic graphic interface themes that are stylish and fun. Each gives the phone a different character that can act as an extension of its owner’s personality. These themes, many of which were inspired by the work of famed artist Keith Haring, affect all aspects of the LG KF600’s interface including the InteractPad™. When users choose a theme, all the layouts of each application will be reflected in menu, icons as well as wallpaper under the integrated theme.

The LG KF600 is far more advanced than other slide phones and unlike any other phone available because of its unique interface and feed-forward tactile navigation made possible by the InteractPad™.

Dr. Skott Ahn, CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company said, “The LG KF600 and the InteractPad™ reflect LG’s commitment to making its handsets easier to use through improved user interface technology. Usability is truly at the centre of this handset’s design and it represents LG’s latest achievement in making phones that connect with their users. This handset offers a mere glimpse into a newly emerging trend in the mobile market. LG is researching and developing new ways to improve usability and will continue focus on features that add practical benefits for users.”

The LG KF600’s powerful multimedia features include a 3 mega-pixel camera, MP3 player, video recording, FM radio, Bluetooth and more. Its ergonomic trapezoidal shape is the ideal complement to the phone’s sleek, glossy finish.

The LG KF600 will be available for purchase starting from January and will be introduced at World Mobile Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Spain in February.

1) Main Features
-InteractPad™
Unique interactive touch-based virtual navigation keypad that interacts with upper display and with the user
-Dynamic graphic interface themes
Eight integrated graphic themes that are reflected in all menu, icons, wallpaper and other comprehensive interface features
-Multimedia Features
Music player with FM Radio, 3 Mega pixel camera & camcorder, and touch-control games

2) Basic Specifications
RF band: EDGE 900/ 1800/ 1900
Dimensions: 101.2mm (L) x 50.7mm (W) x 14.1mm (D)
Upper display: 320 x 240 pixels, 2.00″, 262K color TFT
Lower pad (InteractPad™): 240 x 176 pixels, 1.5″, 262K color TFT Weight: 107g
Standard battery: Li-Ion 800 mAh
Standby Time, Max (hrs): 300 hrs
Talk Time (hrs): 3 hrs
Color choices: Pastel pink, shiny pink, wine red and titan

Source : NewLaunches

Samsung Portable Projector for Mobile Phones

The Samsung mini-projector for Mobile Phone scales a mobile phone screen up to 10-20 inches. So the user can enjoy the phone’s mobile contents – photo, video, etc. – not just through the phone’s 3-inch screen but by viewing the portable large screen. Carrying the mini-projector, the user can connect it to a smart phone for business presentations, playing games or watching videos anytime, anywhere, said Samsung. It also supports video conferencing. Users can talk via the large screen with others.

The Samsung mini-projector for Mobile Phone is expected to hit the market as early as the second quarter.

Source : Fareastgizmos

Nokia’s Yamake offers homebrew mobile games

Nokia today said it had developed a new game for its N-Gage game platform that will let users create their own titles. Yamake is a game of its own but centers around creating mini-games using the player’s own content: audio, photos, and videos captured or stored on the phone can be used to build puzzles. The resulting creations can be shared through the N-Gage Arena and are linked to a comment system that lets fellow Yamake players review the games as well as offer suggestions to creators.

The cellphone designer has not said when the game will be available but is currently running N-Gage in a testing stage through its First Access program, which is currently accessible through a handful of Nokia smartphones such as the N81. Devices such as the N96 will also support N-Gage when they launch later this year.

Source : Electronista

Sync Firefox Bookmarks with an iPhone/iPod Touch

The CyberNet blog tackles an annoyance that any (Windows-using) iPhone or iPod touch owner likely noticed within minutes of setting up their new device in iTunes—no support for syncing Firefox bookmarks. The solution, CyberNet suggests, lies in seamlessly coordinating your Internet Explorer bookmarks (built into Windows) with Firefox. Luckily, a few extensions have this covered, including the two-way BooKKit, and SyncMarks, already pointed out by a commenter, which one-way syncs from Firefox to IE favorites. Of course, a browser-neutral solution could likely be worked up with a syncing solution as well. Got a better idea on how to integrate Firefox bookmarks into your Apple device?

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New Android SDK gallery

Here it is folks, the latest and greatest that Google has to offer — the new Android SDK. As you can see, they’ve made some major cosmetic changes, as well as added some functionality. Why tell you about when we can show you, though? Take a look at the gallery below and see it all for yourself.

Source : engadget

Gallery : engadget

Texas Instruments almost set to ship Android Dev Platform

Aside from the Android test platform we saw earlier this week, Texas Instruments has its Android development platform up and running and expects to be in a position to start shipping to developers — yeah you, the programmers that will make our dreams come true — in the next two months.

Source : engadget

Google revamps Android UI, backs away from iPhone

Google today surprised developers by issuing a major overhaul of its Android SDK, the developers’ kit for its new mobile operating system. Though referred to just as the m5-rc14 release, the software reveals a major change to the user interface that significantly scales back similarities to Apple technology in its look and feel. The Mac OS X-like dock at the bottom has been replaced with a tray of buttons that bring users directly to the features they like. Other elements such as the full-page web browser and Google Maps are also now more complete and share less of a direct similarity, screenshots show. The upgrade also takes to heart developer complaints about the software and includes several major but less visible upgrades: in addition to easier development of layouts, any app can now translate addresses to map coordinates and back. Audio formats such as MIDI and OGG are now also built-in, according to Google.

Android’s upgrade brings the Linux-based platform much closer to production quality for its expected release, which should start with handsets in the second half of the year from companies such as HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung. Most of these devices are understood to focus heavily on Internet access and are expected to include some models with GPS and touchscreens.

Source : Electronista

Put All of Wikipedia on Your iPhone or iPod Touch

Sure you can access Wikipedia from your iPod touch or iPhone’s browser whenever you’ve got an internet connection, but if the idea of putting the entirety of Wikipedia on your phone or MP3 player tickles your fancy, the Wikipedia application is just what you’re looking for. You’ll need a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch and at least 2.2GB of free space (it’s all of Wikipedia, after all). Then you’ll need to SSH into your device (which I covered here) to copy over the files. Don’t have a fancy new iPhone or iTouch? You can put Wikipedia on your older iPods, too.

NVIDIA releases APX 2500 Mobile platform

The world’s leading graphics company has released a new platform for mobile devices that promises to change the meaning of smartphones. The APX 2500 is a applications processor that enables intuitive 3D user interfaces and engaging high-definition video on connected Windows Mobile phones. The APX 2500 applications processor delivers an unprecedented 10 hours of 720p HD playback—an industry first for video quality and power consumption on a mobile device, as well as stunning HD camcorder and ultra-high-resolution photo imaging capabilities.

Main Highlight

  • The industry’s first HD (720p) playback and capture capability for handheld devices.

  • A new ultra-low-power (ULP) GeForce® core that is fully OpenGL ES 2.0 and Microsoft Direct3D® Mobile compliant and the lowest power 3D hardware solution available for acceleration of intuitive 3D user interfaces.

  • NVIDIA nPower™ technology, enabling over 10 hours of high-definition video playback and up to 100 hours of audio—more than four times the audio playback of the latest touch-screen phones.

  • The connectivity and media acceleration technologies required to enable the latest Web 2.0 applications, from effortless web browsing and social networking to GPS and mapping applications.

“This is the dawn of the second personal computer revolution,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “Technologies are converging in amazing mobile devices, that have all of the rich, visual capabilities of a modern PC—from watching movies and making video calls to surfing the web and playing 3D games. The APX 2500 combined with Microsoft® Windows Mobile, will make the next generation of smartphones our most personal computer.”

Source : PCLaunches

Teen hacker re-unlocks Apple’s iPhone

A teen hacker known for his deftness with iPhones has figured out how to unlock models running the latest firmware versions by cracking a protection that has frustrated hackers for weeks.

The breakthrough by George Hotz, aka Geohot, means people who have bought a recent iPhone will once again be able to use it on the phone network of their choice. Apple makes as much as $400 for every handset that’s activated on an approved network, so its developers have worked hard to prevent the so-called unlocking of iPhones.

Last year, 17-year-old Geohot was among the first group of hackers to break Apple’s iron-fisted grasp on the iPhone, a coup that won him a Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones. Apple promptly responded by issuing updated firmware that stymied such efforts. Not only did the updates disable modified phones, effectively turning them into $400 bricks, they also prevented unlocking software from working in many cases. The arms race has persisted ever since.

The latest salvo was fired late last week, following a 24-hour hacking spree by Geohot that was broken up by only three hours of sleep. It turns out the latest firmware contained modifications to the device’s memory registers to prevent unlocking. Geohot worked around those changes by finding another, much higher register that was vulnerable.

“I guess Apple thought big numbers were harder to guess,” he wrote.

He then found a way to install his custom-built code by exploiting a flaw that allowed him to erase a range of memory addresses where security software is stored.

“The technique was not one that I was familiar with at all,” said Kevin Finisterre, a researcher who has spent a fair amount of time dissecting Apple devices. “From the read it sounds as though the gentleman has made some significant progress. More importantly he is sharing.”

This latest unlocking is no small accomplishment because iPhones are programmed to accept only approved SIM cards. Geohot’s technique appears to work around this limitation by writing to certain sections of the firmware.

The hack is highly technical and by no means for the faint of heart. Those iPhone owners in need of more hand-holding should check out step-by-step instructions here from iClarified. ModMyiPhone also offers a tutorial here.

Several weeks ago, analysts at Bernstein Research estimated that 1 million iPhones, or a full 27 per cent of the handsets sold to date, are running on unauthorized networks. At that rate, Apple could lose $1bn in revenue over the next two years. Rest assured that developer drones in Cupertino are already laboring to circumvent this latest workaround.

Source : RegHardware.co.uk

Blue-laser alternative to Blu-ray, HD DVD launched

V Media: 1.5in blue-laser disc

It’s based on blue-laser technology, but that’s where the similarity between the V Media disc and both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc ends. V Media holds just 1GB of data on a disc with a diameter of about an inch and a half and a casing reminiscent of Iomega’s ill-fated Clik.

Developed by US company V Media Research, VM discs use the H.264 codec to deliver a claimed better-than-DVD playback quality, with video content encoded at progressive scan 720 x 576 – 576p. The discs are made by Cinram, one of the world’s biggest disc replication companies. The drives come from Panasonic.

Both have found a home in the plainly styled Movie Phone, a chunky handset announced today by Indian phone company Spice. From photos, you’d think the Movie Phone much like any other media-centric handset, but it’s rather bigger, thanks to Panasonic’s drive, which opens out of the back of the device much like Sony’s UMD drive opens out of the PSP.

Despite the sub-DVD capacity, VM’s 1GB of storage – held on a single layer – can hold a full-length movie. V Media Research reckons it’ll have a dual-layer version – recordable discs too – out in 2009, in part, it said, to win over extras-obsessed Hollywood studios.

That’s a way off yet – for now we have to question the rigour of disc and drive. But if punting them out into the Indian market doesn’t test that, we’re not sure what will. Spice’s Bollywood content chums reckons VMs will go on sale for the same price as a regular DVD over there, but with the benefit of play-wherever-you-go flexibility. Higher picture quality too, of course, but that’s less of an issue when you’re watching on a small, 2.8in screen, even one capable of showing 262,144 colours.

Spice has thought of that – the Movie Phone will incorporate not only the usual 3.5mm headphone jack, but a TV output port. The unit’s battery life is claimed to be 3.5 hours when playing movies off a VM.

So while V Media Research readies a more West-friendly version, Spice tests VM technology in a country where computer ownership is small and the number of people able to download movies from a Steve Jobs-style online store even smaller.

Even if VM doesn’t find a home over here, it’s hard to imagine it not appealing to a population devoted to both mobile communications and the cinema.

Spice hasn’t said how much it will charge for the Movie Phone, but the handset is due in a couple of months’ time.

Source : RegHardware.co.uk

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