Ballmer and Bells Toll for iPod

A debate has arisen in the Forums at about the future of the iPod, centered around two stories featured in the April 26, 2006 newscast. One had Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saying that standalone media players (a thinly veiled reference to the iPod if veiled at all) would eventually give way to convergent devices. The second featured statistics from research firm Strategy Analytics that indicate a sharp increase in the adoption of media playing cell phones in the next five years, thanks in large part to an increase in production and reduction in price of removable media cards. In other words, phones that play music and video will eventually beat out the iPod.

The Apple faithful – God love them – immediately denounced such claims, singing the praises of the Mac maker and the revolution the iPod hath wrought.

Actually... I think Ballmer and Strategy Analytics are right. Kind of.

The iPod as we know it will go away... but that has happened before. I mean, much of the form factor and functionality remain, but the device is wildly different today (video, colors besides white, controls, etc.) than the first gen, not to mention the shuffle and the nano.

There will always be room for standalone players... but their market size will shrink with a couple of factors that leap to mind:

1 - Eventually, the public will wake up to the fact that they have a choice. Right now they think -- for the most part -- that if they want an MP3 player, they have to have an iPod. For many, the cost of an iPod is prohibitive. With the lower cost options and the knock-offs coming out of the far-east, iPod could lose some traction.

2 - Phones will begin to include media playing capability by default. Think what a novelty it was to have a camera phone 2 or 3 years ago. You paid a premium for them if you were so inclined. Today, most of the "free" phone offers from providers include camera phones with a premium paid for higher resolution.

I would look for the same thing to happen with "media device" phones. Carriers will demand lower cost phones with such capabilities from manufacturers. Carriers will then make those phones either cost competitive or free so that they can sell music and video subscription services as “add-ons” to the phone service. This is probably a few years down the road, but look for it.

So do these replace the iPod? Yes and no. The elusive iPod phone would be a serious category killer. Apple is sexy in music and video right now and by most accounts will continue to be for quite some time.

Picture this:

A phone that lets you watch the video you've already collected in iTunes... lets you listen to the music you've already collected in iTunes... lets you take pictures which either sync with iPhoto or that upload automatically to your .mac or carrier provided website... lets you shoot your own vodcast on the fly, add simple titles and post it directly from the phone. And -- of course -- the video would already be ready for the iPod, no matter which video enabled version people happen to use.

Oh... and it lets you make phone calls too.

Now, put all of that in a form factor similar to the one we already know. A click-wheel (touch-screen and stylus perhaps that can flip to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard), iTunes software, rounded edges, basic colors.

The standalone iPod will not die technically. There will be a place for the standalone device for years to come. But... really... wasn't Sony's WalkMan dead in a sense long before Sony stopped cranking them out?

Eventually, the iPod will be killed... and I hope that it's Apple that kills it.

Mac OS Ken: 03.03.2006

Credit Suisse where Credit Suisse is due…
The MacBook Rollout Gathers Some Mossberg…
And Laura Burstein Joins Us for the Mac Haughty Moment...

It's Friday, March 3rd 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Credit Suisse is still high on Apple… Mac-N-N says the firm has maintained an "outperform" rating on the Mac maker’s stock… and a price target of 90 bucks.

Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple says with about half of its lineup now MacIntel, the real upside has yet to come:

Semple says Credit Suisse thinks the most important transition to Intel will in occur in iBook… and the mass appeal of the sub 1000-dollar price point.

As to this week’s few fun products, Semple thinks the 350-dollar iPod Hi-Fi is a bit pricey… especially next to similar products by Bose, JBL and Altec Lansing… Semple expects Hi-Fi to be successful… but not a blockbuster.

Credit Suisse also expects Apple to maintain its dominant presence in music and to keep gaining ground in PCs throughout 2006.
Uncle Walt’s got a new toy… Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg has reviewed the MacBook Pro…

Mossberg says the MacBook Pro is better than the PowerBook and other computers… though it does have some drawbacks.

First… while it is faster than the PowerBook it replaces, it doesn’t seem as fast as Apple's claims suggest.

And while the starting price of 19-hundred-99 dollars is more than – theoretically comparable models from the likes of H-P – Mossberg says the premium is more than justified by the MacBook’s superior design and features.

According to Mossberg… The MacBook Pro isn't revolutionary, but it's a promising start to the era of Intel-powered Apple laptops.
More updates from Apple yesterday… The company released iPhoto 6-dot-0-dot-2, Front Row 1-dot-2-dot-1… and a PowerMac G5 firmware update.

iPhoto 6-dot-0-dot-2 corrects “several minor issues” associated with playing shared slideshows in Front Row, according to Apple… while Front Row 1-dot-2-dot-1 improves compatibility with iTunes and iPhoto sharing.

The Power Mac G5 firmware update is only for the 1-point-8GigaHurtz, single-processor Power Mac G5… Apple says the update supports installation on Mac OS Ten 10-dot-4-dot-3 or later… and improves the reliability of the Power Mac G5, especially after it has been inactive for two hours.
More speculation yesterday on Microsoft’s answer to the iPod… the PSP… and apparently every other gadget ever invented… A Reuters report says hints on the promotional website imply an unveiling of Origami next Thursday, March 9.

Perhaps coincidentally – perhaps not – that’s also the first day of CeBit… the world's biggest annual trade show for the IT and telecoms industry.

While Microsoft isn’t saying much about it… Ruters says Origami is expected to be the size of a paperback book… expected abilities include playing music, games, connecting to the net and running software.
Pimp your mini… Mobile Tech Review says Other World Computing has jumped ahead of the pack… the company is offering top tier Memory Upgrades for the newly announced Intel-based Apple Mac mini… you know… the ones announced Tuesday.

The new mini is designed with two memory slots, factory-installed with 256 megabyte memory modules… but you can crank those puppies with a 1 Gig memory kit for 109-dollars U-S… or a 2Gig for 2-29.

Kits include the Apple recommended matched pairs of memory for maximum performance… though 512 Meg and 1Gig individual modules are also available.

Mobile Tech Review says the memory upgrades are in-stock and ready to ship from
Avis tries harder… and now they’re doing it to music… The Rental Car company announced a new program yesterday… that gives customers free iTunes downloads with every rental booked through its website. The company says customers can receive at least five free songs from iTunes every time they rent… Rentals of at least five days will qualify for ten song downloads.

People wanting to take advantage of the offer do have to enroll in the Avis Music Giveaway program… they do that at
Many have called the iTunes Music Store the future of music… but The Register out of the UK says… it aint all that…

Sighting stats out of this week's Digital Music Forum, The register makes the case against…

First… while Apple has sold one billion songs in under three years, The Register says one billion songs are downloaded illegally over Peer 2 Peer networks every month.

Meanwhile, David Pakman – a former Apple insider – says the average iPod only carries 21 songs purchased from the iTMS… Though it should be pointed out that Packman – whom The Register says formed the Music Group at Apple – now heads rival service eMusic.
Coming up… points for products… points off for style… Laura Burstein brings us her Haughty… haughty moment… you’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken…
Reaction to this week’s introduction of a few fun products from Apple has been… well… mixed would be a fair term… here with her take on the event is Laura Burstein…
Oh yeah… I’m gettin’ a featured spot on iTunes… oh well…

Thus ends another week of Macintastic goodness…

By the way… the “Where are you?” link on the links page of Mac OS Ken-dot-com really does work now… pins in the map from Scotland, England, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and the good ol’ US of A. If you haven’t stuck yours in… your pin I mean… in the map… click the “Where are you” button on the links page and let the Mac OS Ken world know.

I’m going to play in the snow this weekend… boarding, skiing, angel making? I’m just not sure…

But before I do that I want to let you know that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

The Famous… is not your father’s Oldsmobile… it’s a band… it provides the music for this show… and you’d be doing me a solid if you checked them out online at the famous dot net.

Assuming I don’t die on the slopes… we’ll talk again Monday. Until then… that’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.02.2006

A Security Fix Comes Through for the Mac…
Gervais makes the case for paid podcasts…
And the World Police Nab Four High Tech Ne’er Do Wells...

It's Thurssday, March 2nd, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

A couple of updates from the Mac maker today… one of which could solve some security woes… Apple has posted iTunes 6-dot-0-dot-4 and Security Update 2006-001.

MacWorld says the Security Update addresses a recently reported exploit that left Safari users vulnerable to malicious shell scripts… it also corrects a vulnerability to Apple’s Mail software… and it changes the way iChat handles file transfers to help prevent the “Leap-A” malware.

The iTunes update “addresses stability and performance issues related to Front Row,” according to Apple. It requires QuickTime 7-dot-0-dot-3 or later and Mac OS Ten 10-dot-3-dot-9 or higher.

Both updates are available through the Software Update Component of the System Utilities.
Who is to balme for Napster’s failure to gain much ground on iTunes? Napster's CEO syas… it’s Micorosft.

PC Pro out of the UK has Napster CEO Chris Gorog telling a Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York that Microsoft's 'execution has been less than brilliant' over the past year.

Gorog says Napster’s business relies on Microsoft's digital rights management software and that their business model relies on Microsoft's ecosystem of device manufacturers.

He does acknowledge – however – that Microsoft has an uphill climb… since it has to work with a host of manufacturers… rather than simply building one device as Apple has done.

Despite a less than impressive market share and a troubling outlook going forward, Gorog implies that Napster is in the game of rthe long-haul… Acccording to the CEO… only five per cent of sales have migrated digitally… We players are in the very, very early days of digital music.
The Gervais gamble seems to be paying off in the UK… 24 hours after relaunching, the website Shiny-Shiny-dot-tv says The Ricky Gervais Show is Number one on the UK’s iTunes music Store.

You may remember last month, Gervais moved his show to a paid model for its second and third seansons… the first season had been free.

There had been debate about whether people would pay for podcasts when there were so many free ones out there… Siny-Shiny says with the apparent success of the Grebais move, the possibility of more paid podcasts increases.
Intel and Skype generated some ill-will when they took some features Intel exclusive… and now they’ve generated some legal work too…

Silicon-dot-com says AMD has served Skype with a subpoena demanding documents related to its deal to make one feature in Skype 2-dot-0 available exclusively to Intel users. The move is part of AMD’s ongoing antitrust case against the number one chipmaker.

This particular action focuses on a feature in Skype 2-dot-0 that lets people make 10-person conference calls… as long as they’re using machines with Intel dual-core processors.

Users with AMD dual-core or single-core chips are restricted five-person calls… Skype says that’s because of Intel’s architecture… AMD says Intel offered Skype incentives to make the feature exclusive. It may eventually be for the courts to decide.,39024677,39156862,00.htm
Blu-ray is on it’s way… Sony plans to deliver its new Blu-ray DVD format to U-S stores at the end of May… the release will coincide with the entry of compatible disc players according to reports.

Sony Pictures and MGM Home will release eight Blu-ray titles, on May 23rd… followed by another eight in mid-June.

Blu-ray (BD) is a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association… a group of consumer electronics and PC companies including Dell, Hitachi, H-P… and Apple Computer.
Registration is live for MacLive. MacLive is billed at the “learning conference for creative professionals…” May 11th through the 13th in New York City.

MacLive will feature 50 sessions focusing on design, digital photography and video editing… with tracks on Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Mac OS Ten, Adobe InDesign, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver, iLife, the iPod and podcasting… instructors will include Scott Kelby, Deke McClelland, Bert Monroy, Terry White, Dave Cross, David Pogue, and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus among others.

Registration before April 7th gets you in for just under 600 bucks U-S… with disounts for students and National Association of Photoshop Professsionals members.
The Price fixing jig is up… MacWorld says four South Korean executives from Hynix Semiconductor are pleading guilty for their roles in fixing prices of dynamic RAM…
The settlement is the result a long investigation of a global conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

MacWorld says the four Hynix employees conspired with unnamed employees from other memory makers to fix the prices of DRAM sold to certain U-S companies from April of 1999 to June of 2002.

The scam directly affected U-S computer makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, Apple, and Gateway… in many cases affecting the consumer as well… some manufacturers raised their prices as a result… while others reduced the amount of DRAM they installed.

The four gentlemen from Hynix will each serve about half a year in U-S prison… each will also pay a fine of a quarter of a million dollars.

Hynix is the fourth company charged by the Department of Justice… along with Korea’s Samsung, Japan’s Elpida… and Infineon of Germany.

So let’s check the tote board… that brings the U-S D-O-J’s total amount collected in fines from the globe spanning conspiracy to… 731 million dollars!
I can’t tell you how happy that makes me… really… thanks Dodge…

Coming up… we’ll go bargain hunting for a new Macintosh… and Ed will have another look at the tote board… you’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken…
Looking for a cheap 20” iMac G5? The Unofficial Apple Weblog says… you might try Costco. The purveyor of giant jars of mayonnaise and DVD party packs is apparently selling the 20" iMac G5 with iSight for just under 15-hundred dollars… that price reportedly includes 3 years of AppleCare as well.

But if you want to take advantage, there’d better be a Costco near you… while Costco’s website will let users check local availability… the units can only be picked up at the store….
If – on the other had – you’re ok paying full price for an item not on the endangered species list, you might want to head to the Lone Star State…

The Mac Observer says Apple is opening an new store at the NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas, this Saturday at 10 a-m texas time.

Of course the store will have a Genius Bar… it’ll also feature The Studio… a place where customers can get one-on-one training from creative experts.

Apple will make a week of it… with a series of events to celebrate the Grand Opening, free training events and free prizes for visitors… with a "Digital Lifestyle Collection" grand prize including a 17-inch Intel Core Duo iMac, an iPod nano, a Canon PowerShot S-D-4-50, a Sony Handycam, and an HP printer… total package valued at 2-thousand 2-hundred dollars.
Time now to let you know about another addition to Mac OS Ken… On the links page is the question… Where are you? Linux Punk 81 was kind enough to start a Frappr map for Mac OS Ken… Yes… you have to sign up to use it… no… they haven’t sent me any junk mail yet… it’s fun to see where everyone is… and it helps me gel my plan to couch surf around the world…

On the front page of Mac OS Ken… a button to vote for this show at podcast alley… do it… don’t… I don’t care… except of course… I do.

I wanna let you know that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Music for Mac OS Ken compliments of The Famous… check them out online at The Famous dot net…

Laura Burstein joins us to talk Macinstuff tomorrow… until then that’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray…

Mac OS Ken: 03.01.2006

New Apple products and reactions to said…
New shows for the iTMS…
And actors, writers, and directors gear up for a fight over the download service…

It's Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Steve Jobs took the stage at Apple’s Town Hall on the Mac maker’s Cupertino campus yesterday, to announce what Apple had called a few fun products…

The company announced iPod Hi-Fi… a high-fidelity speaker system made to work seamlessly with any iPod with a dock connector.

The all-in-one design can be powered from a wall socket or by six D-cell batteries and it works with the Apple Remote.

Jobs told the gathered that the company is reinventing the home stereo with the new iPod Hi-Fi, the first iPod accessory that adds true high-fidelity sound quality to the iPod.

The unit – which went on sale yesterday – will run buyers 349 dollars U-S.

Apple also took a stab at the case business yesterday… releasing leather cases designed specifically for the fifth generation iPod and iPod nano. The Leather Case for iPod is available for 30Gig and 60Gig Fifth-Gens as well as the nano… each will run buyers 99 bucks.

Closer perhaps to some of the rumors was the announcement of the new Intel based Mac minis…

The computer maker unveiled two new minis… one with an Intel Core solo processor… and one with the Intel Core Duo processor, boasting performance up to four times faster than its predecessor…

The newly announced units feature the Apple Remote and Front Row – Apple’s media management software.

Phil Schiller – Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing – says with the new mini announcements, Apple has moved 50 percent of its entire product line to Intel within 60 days.

The new 1.5 GHz Mac mini includes

-- a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor;
-- a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive;
-- built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth
-- four USB 2-dot-0 ports;
-- and the infrared Apple Remote.

It ships today with a starting price of 599 dollars…

The new 1.66 GHz Mac mini features

-- a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor;
-- a slot-load 8x SuperDrive
-- built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth
-- four USB 2.0 ports;
-- and the infrared Apple Remote.

It goes for a suggested retail price of 799…

Both by the way include audio and video out options… brining it closer to the much talked about media center many had expected.
And that is likely the real announcement… the digital living room push.

The Courier Mail out of Australia says – with the iPod Hi-Fi – Apple is looking to make the iPod the centrepiece of the living room…. Hence Jobs calling the unit “home stereo reinvented for the iPod age."

Though the Hi-Fi will compete with Apple’s accessory partners, Phil Schiller says Apple will continue to support members of the 'iPod economy.' According to Schiller… there's enough room in the market for a range of products.,5936,18311232%255E401,00.html
The Associated Press also took the living room approach… emphasizing Apple's inclusion of Front Row into the new minis… and the fact that users can connect the computer to their televisions and control their music, videos, or photos with the Apple remote.

The AP says an added feature of the Front Row software will let users locate and share media content from other computers within a local wireless network... letting users play songs or stored TV shows that are pulled off a computer in another room in the house.

But AP doesn’t see the digital home as belonging to Apple just yet… pointing to news expected soon on Microsoft’s "ultra-mobile PC device," Origami.
Still… the digital home push isn’t enough for some… as nice as iPod Hi-Fi is, ZDNet’s Russell Shaw wants to know when we’ll see iPod Wi-Fi.

According to Russell… Tuesday’s event was a showcase for what Intel can do to the inside of a mini…But not a huge generator for additional iPod sales… and that an iPod Wi-Fi would have pushed the ball forward.
And one Qualcomm exec is calling for a wireless iPod as well… Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said Monday that launching a wireless version of the iPod would be a good business decision.

The website Teleclick has Jacobs saying a wireless version of the device would be a good way to maintain an edge over the competition… which now includes music-enabled mobile handsets, smartphones, and other handheld devices.

Of course, such a move could make good business sense for Qualcomm…

A place in the iPod could give mobile chipmaker Qualcomm a whole new market and increase its overall exposure.
Even before the campus show, there were other announcements out of Apple yesterday… says the Mac maker spent the early morning adding Academy Award-nominated short films and three television shows from Bravo to the iTunes Music Store.

Playlist says the five new films added are each nominated for Best Live Action short film at this Sunday’s Academy Awards.

The shows added were the Bravo network’s previously announced, Inside the Actor’s Studio and Project Runway… as well as the show Top Chef.
ABC has a plan for paying performers for its shows on the iTunes Music Store… and the unions don’t seem to like it.

Backstage-dot-com says the Disney owned network decided Monday to use the discounted, home video rate to pay residuals for iPod digital downloads…

But the Screen Actors’ Guild says they’ll fight ABC for introducing digital downloads without working with the union on a payment plan first… and for adopting a residual formula crafted more than 20 years ago to address the then new VCR set.

That formula allows studios to retain 80 percent of revenue to cover manufacturing, marketing and other costs while paying residuals out of the remaining 20 percent according to Backstage...

The Writers’ Guilds of America – East and West –and the Directors’ Guild of America say they’ll also dispute ABC’s plan.
Look for numbers from Steve’s other company next week.
Pixar will announce its financial results for the fourth quarter and for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 next Tuesday.
Coming up... making a mess in Europe... will look at Apple heading overseas... you're listening to news from Mac OS Ken
Finally today Apple is headed East from here… at least if they take the short way around… MacWorld UK says the Mac maker is planning a "major presence" at European music event, Musikmesse 2006.

Musikmesse is Europe's biggest annual trade fair for instruments, software, computers, sheet music and accessories.

Apple will showcase GarageBand, Logic Pro, Final Cut Studio's production, finishing, and delivery capabilities, as well as networking technologies and distributed audio processing.

Musikmesse 2006 takes place in Frankfurt, Germany, from March 29 to April 1.
And so begins the month of March… and with a new month… a new chance to vote at podcast alley… cool thing though… it’s easier now… there’s a link to vote for the show on the redesigned front page of Mac OS Ken-dot-com.

I want to let you know that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by – me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Music for Mac OS Ken provided by The Famous… check them out online at

Until tomorrow… that’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.28.2006 - Early Edition

Is a plan to steal Apple’s Thunder Unfolding?
Can lightning strike twice for the iPod’s Internist?
And the former future leader of the free world takes a beating…

It's Tuesday, February 28th, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Has Microsoft stepped up its iPod Hunt?

The Seattle-Post-Intelligenser reports on a video of a mystery device from Microsoft – called Origami – discovered online over the weekend. The device appears to be part media player, part gaming device and part tablet PC among other things…

Microsoft says it is working on such a concept with partners… but that the video is a year old and reflects only its initial explorations.

The PI says if it were released as seen on the video… it would appear to take a different approach and not compete directly with the iPod… or maybe surpass it. According to the paper… the video shows people using the device not only as a music player, but also as a miniature PC for web surfing, sending e-mail, editing photos and playing video games.

In a statement, Mr. Softie said it would be able to share more details "in the coming weeks."

But signs point to some sort of announcement this week… maybe even later today…

A Microsoft marketing site – origamiproject-dot-com – says interested parties can find out more on March Second… that’s this Thursday…

While the Website Ars Technica says the Redmond Based Software maker has announced a surprise media presentation to be held tonight… at which an "innovative concept in development" will be unveiled.
Exactly how much will be shown by Microsoft and when is anybody’s guess at this point… as Ars Technica points out… hints on indicate a tease lasting three weeks… not three days…. The site also points out… there’s no guarantee that Microsoft’s event has anything to do with Origami… or portable media at all.
Yet another iPod killer that could carry some weight… this one thanks to a designer.

South Korea based Chosun-dot-com reports on Samsung Electronics’ new MP3 player the Z-5.

Chosun says the Z-5 promises to provide a seamless connection between player and download service… with support for Microsoft’s PlaysForSure… which means it should work with services from the likes of Yahoo, Real, Virgin, and Napster among others.

But the bigger story is probably the guy inside the unit… Paul Mercer… the same man who designed the software for the iPod.

Chosun sites a New York Times report that says Mercer’s old company – Pixo – designed the workings of the original iPod… after the Mac maker had trouble designing a friendly user interface on its own.

Now industry watchers are waiting to see if Mercer will be able to challenge his own creation with the new product.

Designed to compete with the nano… the Z-5 has a 1-point-8-inch color screen and a 35-hour battery life… Hitting store shelves as early as next week… buyers will greeted with a nano-riffic price range of 199 to 249 dollars U-S.
Sophos has gone MacIntel friendly… Mac-N-N says the latest version of Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac OS Ten includes support for the new Intel Duo processor powered iMac, as well as the MacBook Pro.

Sophos Anti-Virus 4-dot-7 lets users do on-demand scanning of files and folders, as well as enabling automatic updates for all desktops.

Sophos says the update provides complete protection against all known threats… it’s available in English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish.
Apple has picked up a new bit of real estate… the website for Commercial Property News says the Cupertino-based computer maker has purchased a 107-thousand-square-foot building in Newark, California.

The facility was originally built as a data center for MCI WorldCom but never used.

The site went for a reported 45 to 50 million dollars U-S.
Apple related announcements coming out of Orlando this week. The Florida city os the site of this year’s Photo Marleting Association International… First Apple itself has unveiled a Universal Binary version of Aperture… the Mac maker’s pro photo editing software.

Aperture Version 1-dot-1 will ship in March… and will be free to Aperture 1-dot-0 users.
And graphics powerhouse Adobe is expanding its Photoshop Services…

Adobe used the Orlando convention to announce new partnerships with Iron Mountain – which makes data backup/recovery and archiving software – and – an e-commerce company for professional photographers.

The new services will let users protect their digital images and increase profits through an online photo backup service and online sales solutions…

Adobe’s new services are expected to be available in the second quarter of the year…
What can Lynda teach your mom? The Unofficial Apple Weblog says… maybe a thing or two about the iPod and iTunes.

TUAW says the software training library has just published 8 and a half hours of online instructional movies about iTunes 5 & 6 and the iPod.

Subjects cover everything from importing and playing music, to tips on using the fifth-gen iPod, to recommendations for accessories.

Free samples are available… subscriptions – which give access to all of the site’s training resources – including training on Tiger, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, Motion, and other Apple software – is 25 dollars a month US.
Coming up… Board room in the balance… we’ll look at Al Gore and the quest for Green Apples… you’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken.
Finally today… If its not one thing with this guy its another… he lost – in quotes – the 2000 election… he’s wooden… and now… Al Gore is in trouble again… for not greening the Mac maker.

MacWorld UK says Environmental activists pounced on Apple board member and former US vice president Al Gore's offices on Friday…

According to the site, activists from the Computer Take Back Campaign left a prepaid calling card at Gore's offices and asked him to contact them.

They want the environmentally minded Gore to use his position on Apple's board to promote recycling… what… inventing the internet wasn’t enough?

Computer Take Back is calling for Apple to start a program to take back and dispose of discarded Apple products containing toxins, such as lead and mercury.

Apple does offering free recycling of iPods through its US retail stores, but Computer Take Back says that’s not enough…

The campaign says they want Apple CEO Steve Jobs to be the hero he can be – and offer free and convenient recycling for all of Apple's obsolete products.
A quick note… Mac OS Ken saw a redesign last night… no… the site is not 100% done… but it’s getting there… if looks the same to you as it did before… hit your reset Bubba…

If you haven’t joined the forums at Mac OS Ken yet… you’ve missed some lively discussion on the show… coming changes from Apple… and where in the world you are… Join up… and share the forum love…

Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Music for Mac OS Ken compliments of The Famous… check them out online at… The Tracks by the way are “Son of the Snake,” and “True Believer…” Both are available through the iTMS… as is the whole album, Light Sweet Crude.

Later today I will do a short podcast updating what Steve brought down from the mountain… until then… that’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.27.2006

One billion songs and reactions to each…
Inqtana’s not as wild as once thought…
And I’m going out on a limb…

It's Manday, February 27th 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Sometimes kids… I just don’t think. I received a press release Thursday about the fact that Apple had cleared the one billion song mark… and like a dope… I forgot all about it until well after Friday’s newscast… so… let’s pretend I didn’t.

Guess what! Apple has sold one billion songs through the iTunes Music Store… an amazing feat for a service that has been active less than three years.

The billionth song – Speed of Sound – was purchased as part of Coldplay's X&Y album by Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan… the sixteen year old walks away with a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store.

In addition to all of that… Apple will establish a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music in Ostrovsky’s name to commemorate the one billion mark.

Of the download, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he hopes that every customer, artist and music company executive takes a moment to reflect on what we've achieved together during the past three years… According to Jobs, the one billion songs represent a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet.
So what’s everyone else’s take on the media giant’s super sales numbers? Playfuls-dot-com takes a look at that…

Zippy Aima – an analyst with Frost and Sullivan – says iTunes making the one billion mark is an indicator that the buying behavior of consumers is changing and they are ready to pay for good quality music.

The Associated Press looked at business lost as a result… According to the AP the growing popularity of purchasing songs by the track shows in declining CD sales.

But not everyone is convinced that Apple’s reign in online music will last… The Yankee Group’s Nitin Gupta – for example – thinks Microsoft’s URGE will be a formidable foe for the iTMS… While Thomas Hawk – publisher of Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection and FlickrNation – says the eventual arrival of the killer phone could be the undoing of iTunes… if – of course – its not made by Apple.
Stand down the alert… Inqtana B is not in the wild…

Last week I told you that UK-based security firm Sophos had said that the file was out… turns out… it was not…

The Register out of the UK says it was a faulty signature update that flagged legitimate Mac OS X system files as infected with the low-risk worm… the files it identified as infectious included a number of Microsoft Office application files… possibly creating a bit of a headache for anyone who had set their software to auto-detect infected files.

For its part, Sophos says its anti-virus software would not delete files by default and would normally ask for permission… though the company acknowledges that a "relatively low" number of clients had been affected.

Sophos has apologized for the faulty signature update.
It could be the biggest Trojan Horse ever… and it has nothing to do with security…

A Barron's piece this past weekend lays out the possibility of Apple Computer buying the Walt Disney Company.

According to Saturday’s article, it's possible that Apple could make a bid to buyout Disney after Apple CEO Steve Jobs becomes the studio's largest shareholder… Jobs – you may remember – is set to become Disney’s biggest shareholder once the Magic Company’s acquisition of computer animation studio – and Jobs helmed – Pixar is complete.

Christopher Whalen – a New York-based managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics – was quoted as saying Disney is badly undervalued right now… and that Jobs might get an opportunity to take it out…

According to Whalen, Jobs' unique familiarity with both the content and technology sides of Hollywood make the case for a takeover plausible at least... and further, he thinks the markets and Disney shareholders would welcome a merger led by Jobs.
The munificent Mr. Munster has upped Apple’s ante…

The Mac Observer says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has issued a new research report revising his own numbers.

According to Munster, Apple could sell as many as 9-point-3 million iPods this quarter… that’s up from the 9 million he had projected.

Munster has maintained his "Outperform" rating on Apple's stock… and his price target of 103 dollars U-S.
What Steve said may not be what Steve said… at least that’s what Steve’s saying.

P-2-P-News says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is denying that he said Apple should spin-off its iPod unit.

You may remember last week Woz was quoted by Canada’s Globe and Mail as saying the iPod was distracting Apple from its focus as a computer maker… and that the unit should be sold as its own business.

You may also remember that I called him carzy… we’ll get to that in a moment…

Wozniak has responded to last week’s attributions in a statement posted to the blog of

According to that post, Woz did NOT say that the iPod division should be spun off and he feels used in that regard…

Wozniak’s response to the suggestion that he viewed Intel as the enemy was similar to his response on the iPod issue… as he points out… he’s not known for taking the enemy approach to anything.

Woz says he has consistently backed the decision to switch to Intel inside… though he did acknowledge making one "slightly negative" comment on the transition.

And now… my rap on the knuckles… I’m sorry I called Woz crazy… I’m glad I said I love him… and I’m really… really curious what the deal was with the story… the world may never know.
Coming up… Creative gets Creative with its iPod slaying strategy… and as promised… I’ll make a prediction for Tuesday… you’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken.
Creative Technology may be getting serious about its iPod killing… a Red Herring report says the company plans to de-emphasize its workstation graphics business in favor of the portable handheld device market.

Singapore-based Creative will hone its 3DLabs subsidiary on producing handheld devices that require intensive processing for video, audio, and 3D graphics according to Red Herring… That will lead to about 100 people at 3DLabs getting the axe according to the same report.

Creative was one of the first companies to make a digital music player… but so far… they’ve not been able to parlay that first on the scene status into success against Apple’s iPod.
Finally today, let me start by saying I have absolutely no reason to believe what I am about to say… no logical reason anyway. But let me give some back story on why I am – most likely – wasting your time.

In the middle of October, 2005… Laura Burstein… some other guy… and I made our way to the California Theater in San Jose for Steve Jobs’ “One more thing.” We did – of course – guess at what we thought the thing would be. I said it would be a video iPod… it was – of course – not… instead it was an iPod that plays video… a subtle distinction to be sure. In short – barring the wording – I was right. And the only people who knew that were the three of us in the car… and one Mac Geek at a bar where I hang out.

I’m looking for a phone tomorrow. Don’t ask me why… ok… I’ll tell you.

It just feels right to me. It feels like the only area where they are seriously lacking. I love the backdoor move into the living room with the iMac and front row… I don’t think they need to make a media center… I think they can keep growing the one they have… there may be a media center.

A true video iPod would be neat… but people seem pretty happy with the pretend video iPod introduced last October. There may be a true video iPod.

I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the Movie store… that would be neat. Think they’ll start with Disney films? And stuff Disney owns like anything made by Touchstone – such as Proof, The English Patient, or Good morning Vietnam? Or Miramax films like The Aviator, Sin City, and Cold Mountain? We could easily see a movie store… and don’t think Netflix and Blockbuster aren’t sweating tonight.

Sure there could be new MacIntel announcements and maybe even some apps. But how fun do those sound really? These are a few fun products Steve’s talking about… and what would be more fun than a smart phone that does all of the hoopy stuff we’ve been hearing that phones will do? Play your video… play your music… buy songs over the air?

I am probably wrong. I have been before. I am probably wrong.

But I want one… and that is what I’m looking for tomorrow…

Interesting thing about this podcast by the way… it’s done the night before you get it… which means Tuesday’s podcast will be produced long before Steve takes the stage on the Apple campus. But I will do my dead level best to do a quick update podcast mid-day Tuesday… with the skinny… the low-down… the… whos-its.

I could be wrong about the phone.

Let me let you know now that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by – me – and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Seriously… if I’m wrong about the phone… don’t give me too much grief… but if I’m right… name me your king.

Music for Mac OS Ken compliments of The Famous… check them out online at

Until tomorrow – when I could easily be wrong about the phone – that’s news

Mac OS Ken: 02.24.2006

As of 2:00 AM PST, February 24, 2006, LIBSYN is down for maintenance. As soon as it is up, the show will go on... in the meantime... enjoy the script.

Maxxus Crack-es the Macs-es Again…
Banc of America says, Apple… Eh…
And an Old Friend Weighs in on Rumors and Speculation...

It's Friday, February 24th, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

It’s hard not to romance the exploits of some… whether they’re legal or not…. BetaNews says Maxxus… is at it again.

The hacker or cracker… has released a patch to run Mac OS Ten Ten-dot-four-dot-five… yes… dot-five… on a standard WinTel box.

Apple just released 10-dot-4-dot-5 last week… that update fixed some Intel related bugs… and also added code to stop people from trying to install Tiger on non Apple hardware. Ooops.

Maxxus says he plans to create a full 10-dot-4-dot-5 installation routine.

Of course… people who install Mac OS Ten on non-Apple hardware are unable to download updates directly from the company, so patches are the only way to take advantage of the fixes made in each release… and they’re also sinners.

For his part… Maxxuss says some issues still remain with the patch, such as problems with DVD playback and iTunes on systems with AMD CPUs.

Like I say… legal or not… it’s hard not to romanticize…
Who doesn’t love Apple? Banc of America Securities for one… but they don’t hate it either. B of A analyst Keith Bachman has maintained a “neutral” rating on the Mac maker’s stock… and a target price of 82 dollars US.

The neutral rating follwed the release of poor January sales results, according to a Forbes report.

But one more thing… or words like it could bolster the stock… Bachman says his firm believes Apple will trade well into product announcements next week… Bachman says B of A is expecting a low-end notebook to be part of those announcements.
If the rumors that Apple will introduce a “true video iPod” next Tuesday are true… they may have been beaten to the punch… sort of… says Acer has announced a Personal Media Player – the Acer MP-500.

The device features a 3-and-half -inch touchscreen display and a stylus… as well as jacks for TV-out.

While it’s not known what video formats it will support, MobileMag says it covers the audio bases… playing MP3, WMA, and AAC files. It also supports J-Peg, GIF and BitMap stills.

MobileMag says it’ll probably do voice recording as well, since it comes with a microphone.

Battery life for the Acer MP-500 runs 4 hours for video use or 8 hours for audio.

Launch dates and prices for the device – which comes in 20Gig and 40Gig models – have not been announced… and I’m going to say the name one more time… Acer MP 500… because if Apple does announce a true video iPod next week… you’ll likely never hear about Acer’s product again.

Speaking of next week and rumors… your old friend and mine Laura Burstein will join us in a bit… to weigh in on the rumors circulating around next Tuesday.
Are Mac security threats good for Mac users? Mac-N-N says One pundit thinks so…

Big Thinker John C. Dvorak says threats like the recent Mac OS Ten-specific worms are good news for Mac users.

According to Dvorak… any vulnerability will mean that the Mac operating system, and its users, can grow more hardened to the reality of these threats.

Great… so we all get to hear “Nobody said life was fair.”

Mac-N-N says Dvorak thinks Mac OS Ten is better off being hardened early in its life, rather than later…

As you may know, or could easily guess, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Apple’s other Steve… I am of course referring to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

And so it is with great sadness that I tell you… that the man’s a little crazy.

I know… I’m going to hell right? Believe me… that won’t be the reason…

Woz… and remember… I love him… tells the Globe and Mail that the success of the iPod is distracting Apple from its focus of computing.

Wozniak thinks the Mac – and iPod – maker might be better served by spinning off the business… especially since iPods have their own operating systems, software and processor, and a whole different group working on the ubiquitous music player.

According to Woz – who I love – Apple is a computer company… They really think computers… and spinning off a separate division makes a whole lot of sense… to Woz… who I love.

Second Steve had some thoughts on Apple’s other biggest move as well… transitioning the Mac to Intel processors… He said “It's like consorting with the enemy…” though he does see the switch as necessary from an engineering standpoint, since Apple needed a way to improve performance per watt.

Finally… Woz had a cautionary words and a couple of jabs for arch enemy Microsoft… of Mr. Softy’s plans to battle the iPod… Wozniak says “If they (introduce an iPod competitor), they better do it excellent, excellent, excellent because the iPod sure is. Doing something weaker and somehow trying to use (their) size and market power . . . that's just not good [enough] if (they) don't turn out something superior.”

Then came the pot-shots… According to Woz… “Microsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy.”

And he mockingly concedes… “Innovation is probably going on within the company, because any time you put smart engineers in places eventually they wind up talking and innovating… no matter how much you try to hold them back.”

See… that’s why you love the guy.
If you can’t sell it… give it away… That’s apparently the Defaultware way… The company is giving away Proteus… its multi-protocol IM client for Mac OS Ten Ten-dot-three or above.

The program used to cost 15 dollars US… kind of… see it was shareware… so… you didn’t have to pay… you just had to click the Free Trial button… heh heh… ewwww.

Defaultware plans to release an update soon that removes the registration process and makes Proteus a Universal Binary app.

I’ve gotta say… while I never paid for it… it is a cool app for keeping in touch with your friends who refuse to ride the iChat train… It supports AIM (including .Mac accounts), MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Jabber, iChat Rendezvous, Gadu Gadu and Sametime.
--- is having a birthday… and you’re getting the presents…

The site – which offers video-based software tutorials – is one year old… to celebrate… it’s offering 25 percent off of all of its tutorials… which include courses in Logic, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Motion.

By the way… Mac OS Ken is one month old… and to celebrate… I’ve decided… it’s free. You’re welcome.
Apple does IPEX… the Mac maker has confirmed it will exhibit at IPEX 2006… one of the biggest printing and graphics exhibitions in the world.

The company will host a large stand at the show, where attendees will be able to test-drive the latest Mac-based offerings for print, publishing and digital imaging…

IPEX 2006 takes place at Birmingham's NEC Centre… which is somewhere in the UK. The show runs from April 4th to the 11th.

Boy… all this print and video talk… I’m havin’ flashbacks.
What goes well with a Pink Commuter Shirt? How about a tie? PC-Pro out of the UK says tailoring company Thomas Pink has created a tie for the nano set…

The Commuter tie has a pocket on the its backside to hold the tiniest of iPods… as well as an extra fabric loop to keep headphone wires out of sight and close to the body.

The red(dish) silk tie costs 49 Pounds… roughly 86 dollars US.

The Pink Commuter Tie comes one month after the announcement of the Pink Commuter shirt… which has a hidden breast pocket for a full-sized iPod and a cuff pocket to hide a credit card.

The shirt – which will be available next month – goes for 69 pounds... roughly 121 bucks.
Coming up… a much anticipated and ballyhooed contributor joins the ranks… Laura Burstein’s take on what next week may bring… you’re listening to news from Mac Os Ken.
As you may have figured out… I don’t usually do rumor on this show… thank goodness we have someone who’s willing to… Laura Burstein takes a look at the wealth of guesses surrounding… a few fun products…

(Laura Piece)

I don’t know whether what I think will be announced on Tuesday is actually what I think will be announced… or what I hope will be… I have nothing to back it up… I’ll tell you what I am thinking on Monday.

And so we draw to a close another week of Mac OS Kenliness…

Before I go… Firebird… How cool are you? What you did the Forums at Mac OS Ken was above and beyond… I thank you… and I may just run with it.

For those not in the forums… wanna know what I’m talking about? There’s one way to find out… join your fellow Mac Loving so and so’s in the Forums at Mac OS Ken dot com… and make like a high tech sewing circle…

This is the part of the show where I tell you that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

The Famoous makes music… they let me use it… and all I have to do is say check them out online at the famous-dot-net… the barter system is alive and well…

We’ll talk just before Steve pulls the lever that changes the world… again… until then… that’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.23.2006

Sophos says, “Don’t freak out… but…”
The Medium PowerBook takes the long walk…
And more TV for your PC…

It's Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

The buggers apparently have a plan “B”

Experts at Sophos say there is a new version of the Inqtana worm according to

The Inqtana-B worm attempts to spread between Macs through a Bluetooth vulnerability… similar to Inqtana A.

Just like Inqtana A, Sophos says Inqtana B is unlikely to spread due to security patches and limitations built into the worm's code.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, says, viruses emerging for the Mac are headline grabbers, but do not pose nearly the threat to Mac users that Windows users face every day.

Cluely says no-one should panic… though he does acknowledge that this is an indication that hackers are showing an increased interest in targeting the platform.
No time to say good-bye to the 15” PowerBook… MacWorld says… it’s already gone. According to MacWorld… As with the 17-inch iMac G5 before it, Apple’s 15-inch PowerBook G4 has quietly disappeared from the company’s online store.

The 15-inch PowerBook has been replaced with Apple’s Intel-based 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is shipping now.

The site is still taking orders for the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4… Apple has yet to announce MacIntels to replace those.

I’m sorry… did somebody say February 28th?
They’re the hottest company on the planet right now… and they may be after one man…

Information Week says Apple Computer may have intensified its legal efforts against a hacker working to enable Mac OS Ten for Intel to run on a standard WinTel box.

Tuesday, the site of a hacker known as Maxxuss was offline… This sparked speculation that its ISP had pulled the plug on the site at the Mac maker’s request.

It was Maxxuss that made the patch for running Mac OS Ten, 10-dot-4-dot-4 on the OSx86 Porject website last week… which led to that site’s forums being shut down for a few days. Information Week says it was members of the OSx86 site that posted links to the patch, though it does not say that it was Maxxus that made the actual posts.

Now OSx86 project says, - quote – It appears that Apple may have gotten to Maxxuss, the hacker made famous for his flagrant cracks and patches of Mac OS Ten for Intel – end quote.
Information Week is careful to point out… the host Maxxus’ site took it down Tuesday, but it’s not known whether Apple is responsible.
NBC has made yet another move in the iTunes Music Store… TV-dot-com says the peacock owned cable channel Bravo is trotting out two of its biggest properties for the iTMS… Project Runway and Inside the Actor's Studio.

Not unlike the Conviction deal earlier this week… Project Runway fans could actually download last night’s episode prior to its scheduled airing. Every previously aired episode of the show will be available beginning February 28th… so you can relive the time that guy who makes dresses that look like stuff that washed up on the beach made that other guy who helps him cry over and over… and over.

As for Inside the Actor's Studio… selected episodes of that show will be made available… such as the interview of comedian Dave Chappelle, as well as fan favorites Michael J. Fox and Angelina Jolie… so you can relive the time James Lipton made Michael J. Fox cry for making Teen Wolf… over and over… and over.
Coming up… Making babies something to sing about and Apple makes Fortune’s list… You’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken…
Turn those unwanted kids into one of the most sought after gadgets of our age… MacWorld UK has a write up of the latest in togs for tots in the iLifestyle.

The UK iPod retail chain popXpress has launched a range of baby clothes… with an iPod click wheel depicted on the front.

The range is called iPopmybaby… which just sounds strange to me… but the onesies are as cute as a bug’s earbud.

They sell for 14-pounds-99… roughly 26 dollars US.
Who’s the most admired company on Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies of 2006” list? Who cares?

Apple finds itself at number two in the computer/technology division of the list…

Fortune’s list rates companies on innovation, employee talent, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment and quality of products and services.

Get this… Out of a possible 10 points overall, Apple has 7-point-14… and that’s good enough for second.

Former bedfellow IBM took number one in the computer/technology division… think it was for the innovative way they lost Apple’s business?

Moving down the line… Xerox takes third… followed by HP, Pitney Bowese, Canon, Dell, Sun, NCR, and Gateway rounding out the top ten.

Let’s see… Microsoft… Microsoft… Microsoft… nope… not there.

By the by… Apple did rank number one in the “Most Admired for Innovation” sub-category. And the Mac maker was ranked 11th overall… ahead of IBM – which it lost to in the tech category… though beaten by Dell – which it beat in tech… honestly… you’d need a slide rule to figure it out.
And there’s what I came up with today… what’ve you got?

I want to let you know about an addition to the resources section of the forums at Mac OS Ken… someone there asked recently how a podcast becomes a featured podcast on iTunes… the answer seems – largely – to be… you kind of get lucky. But the article was interesting… it is there for your perusal.

A featured podcast on iTunes… imagine my sepia-toned face next to the likes of La-La… and They Might Be Giants. A boy can dream…

Speaking of the forums at Mac OS… go there… join… submit.

The top ten on Podcast Alley is a pipe dream for February… but guess what… I’m still smokin’… so if you have a minute… head to, search for this show… and cast your vote for Mac OS Ken… by the way… somebody there asked what happened to Laura Burstein and her promised contributions… I hear she will weigh in on the Fun products coming from Apple on tomorrow’s show.

In the meantime and between time I will remind you that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me… and by media podner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

Did I say Podner? Oops!

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

The music… the famous… online at the famous dot net… until tomorrow… that is news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.22.2006

Another day another vulnerability…
Mr. Munster says calm the heck down…
And Apple’s Legal Team Earns Its Pay…

It's Wednesday, February 22th, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

It’s a type of story that is getting all too familiar… a new vulnerability has been found in Mac OS Ten… that could be a conduit for attackers to install malicious code.

It’s the third security problem to come to light for the Mac in the past week.

ZDNet says the new threat is a bit like a threat common to Windows users: Visiting a malicious Web site using Apple's Safari Web browser could result in a rootkit, a backdoor or other malicious software being installed on the computer without the user even knowing.

Apple is said to be developing a patch for the flaw, though no delivery date for the update was given.

The new vulnerability is being taken more seriously than last week’s issues… This one is rated "extremely critical" by security monitoring company Secunia… with Symantec rating it a "fairly high risk."

Until the patch is in place, Mac OS Ten users can protect themselves by disabling the "Open safe files after downloading" option in Safari.

Experts say users of alternative browsers such as Firefox and Camino are not subject to the vulnerability… according to ZDNet.
Here’s a surprise… Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster… still likes Apple.

A Forbes piece has the research analyst calling concerns about the impact of Apple’s transition to Intel processors on Mac sales “blown out of proportion.”

It appears to be a cross between “Slow and Steady wins the race,” and, “on your mark… get set…” According to Munster, “There may not be significant upside to Apple estimates over the next two quarters based on the Intel transition, but (his firm) believe(s) numbers are achievable… Munster says is the time to get positioned for the next peak.

Running the numbers Munster says only 20 percent of the Apple specialist resellers in his recent checks indicated that they have seen a measurable slowdown in Mac sales due to people holding out for the full MacIntel transition… the other 80 percent feel that their Mac business hasn’t been impacted by the chip switch.
Let’s try this one again… if you have preordered a MacBook Pro you can – apparently – start bugging the mailman… really this time.

InfoWorld says Apple's MacBook Pro is shipping "for real." InfoWorld says it got that word from Apple. According to the article, people who pre-ordered are getting their deliveries now. The 3-4 week wait on Apple's on-line store is simply indicative of high demand.

By the way… don’t tell your mailman that it was me who said to bug him.
Apple’s legal team was busy yesterday…

First… Wouldn’t it be neat to go back and hear all of the old Apple Keynotes? Well, you apparently can’t.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog says Apple’s attorneys have forced the website to shut down.

The site had collected various Apple Keynote addresses into one place.

But yesterday, people wanting to here the announcement of the Newton or watch the video of the first Mac introduction were greeted with a post that said “We’ve Been Served!”

The site says received a notice from Apple Legal, which basically forced them to close.
Next it’s time to say “So Long Ponder…” The Podner product from Splasm Software can’t be called that anymore. Apple has asked the company to change the name to something without the word “pod” in it.

For its part Podner seems to understand… a notice on the company’s site says “When companies like Apple Corps can sue Apple Computer over a trademark dispute… it might be time to saddle up and move along to a new name.

The company is asking its users and other interested parties to help come up with a new moniker for the software…

It’s not a terribly unfamiliar story… the likes of iPod Lounge – now iLounge – and iPodderX – soon to be launched as “Transistr” – have had similar issues in the past.
Remember all of that stuff about a special event at the Moscone Center today? Well hang it… and instead, get ready for a party on the Apple Campus.

Apple is holding an invitation-only, special event next Tuesday, February 28th at the Apple Town Hall on the company’s Cupertino, California campus.

The invitation simply says: “Come see some fun new products from Apple.”

Gentlemen… start your speculation, educated guessing, and wild guessing.
Somebody at Apple is moonlighting… Steve Riddell – Risk Operations Manager at at the Mac and all things iMaker – has been elected as secretary of the 2006 board of directors of the Merchant Risk Council.

MRC is the retail industry’s largest association helping organizations fight online fraud.

The MRC is a membership association of 75-hundred online retailers, financial institutions, vendors, and law enforcement agencies… it promotes secure e-commerce by setting practice standards and pursuing new technologies… so good for him.
Yesterday, I told you that Apple and NBC were making the pilot of the new NBC drama “Conviction” available on the iTunes Music Store… presumable the day after it aired… but you know what happens when you presume… you make an… wait… that doesn’t work.

Anyway… Anthony in San Francisco e-mailed me yesterday to let me know that while the broadcast premier isn’t until March 3rd, the pilot and the extras were made available for free after yesterday’s newscast.

Anthony… if I ever get promotional pens or stickers or something… I’ll send one out to you. Thanks again… you do – of course – rock.
Doom has come to the MacIntel… not a vulnerability or supply shortage… rather the age-old first person shooter. Aspyr has released a Universal Binary of Doom 3… The 1-dot-3 Rev A update is free for registered users… so… go pretend to shoot things.
Another freebie goes paid… the world’s first “podcast only” novel… is now for sale through iTunes.

EarthCore by Scott Sigler was published in March 2005 as a free weekly serialized audio book podcast.

The serial garnered 10-thousand subscribers and was published as a print novel as well.

Now… it’s for sale through iTunes… the 20-episode audio book is available 9-dollars-99-cents US.

News of the pay to play what used to be free comes one day after the Ricky Gervais show went the money route… the second season of Gervais’ show is being sold by Audible for a dollar 95 per episode or 6-95 for the season.
Coming up… What’s better than a monster truck rally but not by much? We’ll look at a new iTunes offering… you’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken.
The following is not a paid advertisement…

If you like the thrill of the chase but don’t want to sit through three plus hours of people driving round and round and round… Then Sports Business has news for you.

Highlights and exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage from NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races will be available for purchase and download from the iTunes Music Store… Coverage starts with the Daytona 500, which was this past weekend so I guess coverage started with the Daytona 500…

SportsBusiness says NASCAR will produce the iTunes previews and reviews with unique content designed to drive fans to the race telecasts and complement those telecasts…

And yes… I mostly did this story so I could talk… like… this…
And now… some words in Latin…

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc…

Annuit coeptus, novus ordo seclorum…

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto…

And that’s all the Latin I know… except for things… kids really shouldn’t hear…

One of those – believe it or not – was a tip of the hat to someone who did something I asked them to do… I said, ‘please vote for this show at podcast alley,’ and they did… and so I send a secret wave.

Want one for yourself? The rules are very simple… head to, search for this show… cast your vote for Mac OS Ken… and catch my attention… shiny objects often do that too.

By the way… one of those wasn’t Latin… but it is good for stopping killer robots…

Time now to remind you that Mac OS Ken is brought to you by… me and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Music for Mac OS Ken compliments of the famous… check them out online at

Until tomorrow… that is news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.

Mac OS Ken: 02.21.2006

Your Tiger’s got Worms – plural…
OSx86 and Apple bury the hatchet…
And a bunch of other news so light and fluffy… you could throw some ham in it and call it an omlette…

It's Tuesday, February 21th, 2006, I’m Ken Ray and this is news from Mac OS Ken... brought to you by yours truly… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Just days after the discovery of the Oompa-Loompa, Experts at Sophos-Labs have issued protection against a second worm for Mac OS Ten. Net-Security says the second worm – called Inqtana-A – spreads between Macs through a Bluetooth vulnerability…

The threat from Inqtana-A is seen as even lower than the threat from the Oompa-Loompa, since the vulnerability it exploits was already known… in fact Apple released a patch against the vulnerability in the middle of last year.

CBR online calls Inqtana a proof-of-concept worm… since it is not known to be in the wild… has no overtly malicious payload, and simply spreads itself.
Meanwhile Graham Cluley – senior technology consultant for Sophos – says "It's disturbing to see a second worm for Mac OS Ten so soon after the first, but it should be remembered that this is only two compared to well over 100-thousand viruses for Microsoft operating systems." Still, Cluley says "… Mac users need to be just as careful about protecting their computers with anti-virus software, firewalls and security patches as their friends and colleagues using Windows."
The OSx86 Project has re-opened its forums… following last week’s legal problems… which were with Apple Computer. Reports say the Mac maker’s attorneys moved in when someone posted a working guide for installing Mac OS Ten 10-dot-4-dot-4 from the System restore DVD.
Site administrators have removed the offending links and the site is fully operational… and there seem to be no hard feelings between OSx86 Project and Apple…

A note at the OSx86 Project site says: “Apple is certainly well within its rights to protect their OS and we have always supported it in this effort.” According to the post… Apple doesn’t “have it in” for the site; they were simply concerned with a few links posted by site members.
What’s fair to do with your CD’s? Don’t ask the RIAA…

The website for the Electronic Frontier Foundation says – as part of the on-going Digital Millennium Copyright Act rules making process – the Recording Industry Association of America and other copyright industry associations have submitted a filing that would make ripping your own CD’s into your own iPod illegal.

According to the filing… space-shifting and format-shifting do not count as noninfringing uses, even when you are talking about making copies of your own music.
Wake up Lou Dobbs… Apple may be planning a move overseas…

The Hindustan Times says Apple is planning to set up a technical support centre in Karnataka in Southern India… similar to one operated by Dell.

But taking a page from Apple’s book… Karnataka officials aren’t saying a word… BV Naidu Director of Software Technology Parks of India, Bangalore, gave no details on investment and hiring plans noting that it's for the company to make an announcement in this regard.,00020020.htm
Say sionara to yet another would be iPod killer… Sony is doing away with its Bean MP3 player. says the company will drop the unit this April.

Touted as a triumph in design and functionality… The player features an interesting – if not appealing – shape, ease of use, and a mind and ear-drum blowing 50 hour battery life on a single charge.

What it doesn’t have – of course – is an Apple logo… nor interoperability with iTunes… though in fairness… it didn’t support PlaysForSure music services either…

Sony is not conceding defeat though… according to the company… the reason for the cancellation was that they replace models all the time… which could mean there’s another bean growing somewhere.
Sinbad is once again sailing the seas of tech… the actor/comedian is slated to deliver the keynote address at this year’s MacGathering, the “Macintosh Computer Expo for Southern California.”

MacGathering will take place May 19-20 at the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood…

More info is available at
The tie apparently goes to the traveler…

The first International Segway Polo Tournament is history… and has ended in a draw.

The Silicon Valley Aftershocks – led by Apple co founder Steve Wozniack – and the New Zealand Pole Blacks ended the tourney in a 2-2 tie over the weekend in Auckland, New Zealand…

One of the spoils of victory was supposed to be the right to host next year’s Segway Polo Tournament… as well as custody of the Woz Challenge Cup for one year… Well next year’s competition will be here in the US… no word on who holds the cup for now.
Meanwhile there’s this… other sports thing going on you might have heard about. We’re well over a week into the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

So who’s the big winner at the Olympics so far? MacWorld UK says – it might be Apple.

While the Mac maker doesn't sponsor the games, MacWorld says athletes all over the event are sporting iPods…

US snowboarder and gold medal winner Hannah Teter listened to her iPod as she won her medal… While male Snowboarder Shaun White – sporting an iPod-equipped helmet – listened to AC/DC on his iPod while going for his gold.

MacWorld UK says the US snowboarding team is sponsored by Burton Snowboard… and that the official uniform of that team for this year's games includes a Burton iPod jacket in team colours.
We’ll segway from the Olympics to a whole host of iTunes news and notes straight ahead… You’re listening to news from Mac OS Ken.
If you’re watching the Olympics in the US, you’ve likely seen a million adds for the new NBC drama Conviction… a legal program from the creators of Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order Criminal Intent, Law and Order Miami, Law and Order New… wait… I’m thinking of something else. Anyway… the ads on the networks of NBC implore people to tune into the show’s premier… I don’t remember when that is… and I don’t care. Because – according to the iTunes music store – the pilot episode will be made available on the iTMS… for free… presumably the day after the broadcast premier. Other freebies will include a look behind the scenes of the show… a music video… and a digital booklet about the show’s characters…. And so the landscape shifts…
Meanwhile in another case of the first taste is free… The Ricky Gervais Show… is heading to a paid model. One of the most popular podcasts on the iTMS – ZDNet says the formerly free entertainment will go to a paid-only format to be sold by audio book specialist Audible.

Gervais is the creative force behind the original series “The Office” from the BBC and HBO’s “Extras.”

Audible will begin offering a "season two" collection of episodes next week… charging a-dollar-95 per episode or 6-95 for the season… and so the landscape shifts again…

ZDNet says Audible's exclusive deal also runs for a "season three," which will start in the fall.

Audible expects to be able to sell the show through iTunes in addition to its own Web site.

The two already partner on the audiobook section of iTunes… I didn’t know there was one.
Finally today… Perusing iTunes yesterday I noticed a new contest… if you buy a new double single – which is an oxymoron of sorts – by the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince – which is just confusing – you could win a private-ish concert, by the Purple Rainmaker in his home.

Meanwhile… many are saying that this week will be the week that Apple hits one billion downloads worldwide… with the person who buys the one-billionth song winning scads of stuff that I’m tired of mentioning… except to say this…

How freakin’ cool would it be to buy the Prince song… win the 1-billion song prize pack… then get to go to Casa de Prince and chill with his majesty?

Sure the odds of that happening are like… one in a Google… but still neat huh?

I would like to know what the odds are on that happening… and… for the record… I would probably hate anyone who was that freakin’ lucky.

Still… good luck to ya…
There you have it the day after president’s day – which, to answer a question posed by an Aussie in the Mac OS Ken forums – is a day set aside to honor George Washington and Abe Lincoln – is in the books and off around the world…

With one week left in the month Mac OS Ken is so far out of the top ten at podcastalley… it almost seems silly to mention it… and yet… silly… is my middle name. Or is it snide? Wait… it’s Edward. Anyway… if you get a chance and have not yet this month… please do me a solid… head to Podcast Alley dot com… search for this show… and cast your vote… for Mac OS Ken.

My middle name is NOT Edward by the way.

Mac OS Ken is Brought to you by… Me… and by media partner MacsimumNews - your leading alternative Apple news site... online at

And The Apple Groups Team - a free support network for Macintosh User Groups, vendors and resellers... for more information, visit

Music for Mac OS Ken compliments of The Famous… check ‘em out online at

Until tomorrow… That’s news from Mac OS Ken… I’m Ken Ray.