Free Holiday Songs

AppleInsider | Apple offers free taste of iTunes LP format with ‘Holiday Sampler’

Apple is promoting its new iTunes LP format with a free downloadable selection of 20 holiday songs from a variety of popular artists.

The free iTunes Holiday Sampler download includes a variety of artists from wide-ranging genres, such as Toby Keith, Weezer, Glasvegas, Barry Manilow, and comedian Stephen Colbert. The iTunes LP collects the songs from a variety of albums and compilations, with Christmas classics such as “The First Noel,” “Silent Night, “Twelve Days of Christmas, and “O Holy Night.”


So sad when a company tries to defend itself. Much better to say, we are working hard to do a better job and to actually do a better job. For myself, the idea of a universal chipset that does CDMA or 3G would be great as would be using Verizon.

The sad thing about coverage in the US, is that none of the carriers allow roaming. A simple fix would be to roam to T-Mobile, but that isn’t in the cards. Sad because it would really help customer issues. They are very real for AT&T.

AppleInsider | ‘Fake Steve Jobs’ vs. AT&T’s real-life phone service

As recently as this week, AT&T has been sending marketing text messages to its customers, notifying them when new cellular towers are installed in an area to boost reception. The company has been attempting to combat months of bad publicity that has centered on criticism of its network’s performance since the launch of the iPhone 3GS.

10M iphones

Apple Set to Sell 10 Million iPhones This Quarter? – Mac Rumors

A DigiTimes report about growth in smartphone growth for Taiwanese component suppliers is gaining a fair amount of notice this morning for its citation of a market research firm’s claims that Apple is set to sell 10 million iPhones this quarter, well ahead of the record 7.4 million units moved last quarter and above most analysts’ estimates, which have been falling into the 8-9+ million range.

DroboPro and Mac a month later use 1.6.6

Kind of frustrating, there seem to be runaway processes. But I switched to 1.6.6 and it all went away. So upgrade if you are Mac now 🙂

Happens on both Firewire and iSCSI on both Mac Mini and iMac. Seems to be related to the Drobo Dashboard and they are recommending downgrading to 1.5x or going to 1.6.6. The symptom is a runaway activitymonitord process. Anyway, I upgraded to 1.6.6 and this seems to help the sluggishness. There is also a long thread about performance issues with the DroboPro being erratic. Going from 70MBps to 3MBps. iSCSI should theoretically do 100MBps (compared with USB  at 20MBps and Firewire 800 somewhere in between). There is apparently a firmware update coming (1.1.3 is current version) which addresses this.

As another aside, I’ve tried Drobo on Mac Mini (inconsistent as Mac Mini kept disappearing off the network. Could also only use USB and get a 20MBps performance), but one suggestion from Drobo itself is to use it with an Airport Extreme as a USB disk for minimum hardware utilization. A good suggestion for archival purposes.

DroboPro on Mac OSX 10.6.2 – Kernel Panics and Memory Leaks

I’m running an Intel based Mac Pro (10.6.2) with the latest Drobo Dashboard and DroboPro firmware.

My device was causing all sorts of kernel panics when plugged in via iSCSI which I eventually was able to minimize. However, since the latest Dashboard update, I’ve noticed that after 24-36 hours my Mac Pro becomes sluggish and unusable. The mouse stutters, skips,etc. and the keyboard input is delayed and error prone (keystrokes missing). A reboot solves this for another 24-36 hours.

However, when I unplug the DroboPro (which is connected via dedicated gigabit ethernet) the lag issues disappears.

Is there a memory leak or some sort of performance issue with DD and iSCSI on the Mac? Anyone else experiencing this? Makes the computer unusable when DroboPro is connected and if I didn’t want the iSCSI connection I would have spent the money buying a DroboPro

DroboPro on Mac OSX 10.6.2 – Kernel Panics and Memory Leaks

I’ve since reverted to the earlier 1.5x version to see if this helps. There is another forum thread where Drobo is acknowledging this issue and asking people experiencing it to downgrade drobo dashboard.

DroboPro on Mac OSX 10.6.2 – Kernel Panics and Memory Leaks

The activitymonitord process on a Mac Pro running OSX 10.6.2 used a majority of the CPU cycles after 24 hours when using Drobo Dashboard 1.6.1. This resulted in a substantial performance reduction.

Digital gift cards for iTunes

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

TechCrunch reports that Apple has rolled out a new feature through its iTunes Facebook page allowing users to create customizable digital gift cards. The feature, which is currently limited to U.S. iTunes Store customers, allows gift givers to choose from six digital gift card designs and iTunes credits ranging from $5 to $50. Gift givers can then enter a gift message and specify a delivery date for their recipient to receive their gift card electronically.

This appears to be one of the only ways to purchase a digital iTunes giftcard — the Apple site itself only offers physical versions, and sites like and don’t have them either. Aside from this Facebook app, the only place we’re seeing the option is from within the iTunes desktop app itself.

Tell AT&T where coverage sucks

MacRumors iPhone Blog: AT&T Releases ‘Mark The Spot’ Application to Track Network Issues

AT&T yesterday released AT&T Mark the Spot [App Store, Free], a new iPhone application allowing users to alert the company to problems with its wireless network. The application takes advantage of the iPhone’s GPS receiver to pinpoint the user’s location and allow them to submit reports on a number of network issues, including dropped calls, failed calls, coverage holes, data service failures, and voice quality issues

Thermos Nissan bottle review, Well, it is freezing in Seattle and lots of need for hot drinks. So, when Calvin ask, do we have a Thermos for hot chocolate. I realized I haven’t bought a thermos in so long what’s the state of the art. Here it is, the Nissan Thermos. Kind of cool looking too.

Briefcase Bottle is nice, but the Leakproof Backpack Bottle.

New iPhone coming next summer???

9 to 5 Mac | Apple Intelligence

Today we learned that new iPhones were found using apps with tracking software in the San Francisco area. The news is not surprising since the same thing has happened around this time of year for the past few years. This is the traditional time that Apple starts testing new iPhone hardware for release in summer.

What is interesting about today’s information is that the new iPhone hardware is denoted as 3,1.

Former iPhones were labelled like this:

* OG iPhone= 1,1
* iPhone3G = 1,2
* iPhone 3GS= 2,1
* iPhone(PA Semi?) = 3,1

The iPhone 3G wasn’t a big upgrade from the original iPhone, hence only the point upgrade in the hardware code number. While it did add a 3G radio and GPS, the processor was still the ARM 11-based Samsung chip that was also used in the original iPod Touches.

The 3GS hardware upgrade was a different processor entirely. While Samsung was still the supplier, it was now a ARM Cortex A8 based unit that provides the massive speed gains in the new iPhone 3GS hardware (and new iPod touches).

Will we see even more speed in the next iPhone?

The 3,1 moniker indicates that the new iPhone hardware is a significant upgrade from the iPhone 3GS -perhaps one with a processor from PA Semi. Apple bought PA Semi two years ago. Steve Jobs previously told the New York Times , “PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods.”

Handbrake 0.9.4 for DVD to MPEG-4 conversion

Handbrake version 0.9.4 adds 64-bit support | iLounge News

Popular open-source DVD to MPEG-4 converter Handbrake has been updated to version 0.9.4. The new version offers a host of improvements, including speed, size, and quality improvements taken from the x264 project, support for 64-bit and parallel builds for added speed improvements on 64-bit capable machines, support for soft subtitles, a live preview feature, better input support, constant quality encoding which varies size to meet a given quality level, a new custom anamorphic mode, and more. Handbrake 0.9.4 is available now as a free download for Mac OS X 10.5 or later, Windows XP or later, and Linux.

Handbrake version 0.9.4 adds 64-bit support | iLounge News

They did drop the AVI format, which if you want to convert using that, use 0.9.3. Windows 7 can runs all formats without codecs except MKV. Use the CCCP pack for that.

iPhone 3.1.2 searching bug

iPhone users complain of ‘searching for service’ bug | iLounge News

A number of iPhone users are voicing their displeasure over a bug in iPhone software 3.1.2 that sees the phone randomly start searching for service. According to a thread on the Apple Support Discussions site, the problem appears to be software related, as users on AT&T, Rogers Wireless, and Telus have been affected; the only current fix once the phone begins searching is to reboot the device.

iPhone users complain of ‘searching for service’ bug | iLounge News

Affected users: please state if you are jailbroken and have retained the 04.26 baseband firmware via Pwnagetool (required to maintain SIM unlock prior to the release of blacksn0w). The mismatch between 3.1.2 and the older baseband firmware already caused one problem – lack of carrier name in the status bar (since patched with latest version of ultrasn0w)