"Open" iPhone, Intel-EU, and Cameras that Peep a Bit Too Much
It's Monday morning, time to get back into the swing of things and catch up on all the weekend's excitement. It's a fairly light day here at LJ News Central, but we have managed to pull up just a few interesting items to enlighten your day.
First up, the big developer news is the release of a beta version of Apple's iPhone SDK, which provides for the eagerly-anticipated development of third party applications for the popular smartphone. It wasn't quite such good news for Open Source developers, however, as the bundle comes with a host of restrictions designed to — well — prevent anything halfway interesting. Among the restrictions: no VOIP via AT&T's network, no sharing information between applications, no programs with plugins — yep, that means Firefox, and the big one, no unapproved applications. Gee, what's left, iPhone tetris?
What there will be, however, is Java for the iPhone, as Sun immediately pledged to develop a Java Virtual Machine for the iPhone, and has plans to premier it sometime in the third quarter. An analyst with Forrester Research lauded the move as removing "Apple's control [of] which applications are 'right' for the iPhone." He seems to have missed the "no unapproved applications" part...
Apple wasn't the only news, however, as several big names were in the news for an amalgam of reasons. Intel is heading into an antitrust hearing with the European Commission next week, set to defend itself against allegations that it's been putting the squeeze to struggling rival AMD. Amazon, meanwhile, is hearing a very Yahosoft-esque line from shareholders of Audible, Inc. — whom the online retailer has offered to buy out at $11.50 per share — calling the offer "unfair." And speaking of Microsoft, Microsoft's Bill Hilf has made quite possibly the most truthful comment ever to come out of Redmond, though we suspect he didn't quite mean it to be so true. Responding to suggestions that Windows be Open-Sourced, Hilf commented that Windows source code is "irrelevant for what people want." Amen, Bill, amen.
Finally, we always like to leave you with a bit of the odd and interesting, and in that trend, we have a couple of government screening tidbits to share. First off is the incredibly unsurprising news that the FBI has been illegally monitoring internet activity, though they claim it was only because the telecoms gave it to them — the same telecoms the President is so desperate to protect. Anybody else think that's awfully similar to "I only stole your car because the valet gave me the keys?" The British, on the other hand, are more interesting in having a look at your knickers, having developed a camera that can "look through clothing" to detect weapons and other hidden items, as well, we suspect, as the Spiderman undies we're so fond of.
And last but not least, the good 'ole Transportation Security Administration — the quasi-police guys who screen airport luggage and hassle travelers over shampoo bottles — is apparently totally out of the loop. An airline traveller — who did, apparently, know the way to San Jose — missed his flight there after security officials were dazed and confused by — of all things — his MacBook Air. Apparently, the uber-guard has been too busy practicing cavity searches to turn on a television, because they were completely bamboozled by the idea of a laptop without a "drive" or "ports." One lone tech-savvy agent was finally able to save the Applophile from an indefinite term at Guantanamo, but not before his flight took off without him. We're moved to ask: "And these are the geniuses who are supposed to be keeping us safe?"
Now, if you'll excuse us, we have a suspicious-looking cellphone to strip-search.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
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