It’s all but guaranteed that new iPhones are coming soon, given the endless flow of rumors about the device (or devices). That, plus Apple’s newest back-to-school promotion, more lawsuit developments, and Mac clone maker Psystar filing for bankruptcy all rounded out this week’s top Apple news.

Knockoff iPod shuffle giveaway ruffles some feathers: One man’s gift is another man’s lawsuit. Some iPod knockoffs given away at the Swiss Economic Forum were not universally enjoyed, and one recipient has even sued the company giving them away.

Icons surface for next-gen iPhone in most recent SDK beta: Icons labeled as iPhone2,1 are included in the iPhone OS 3.0 SDK beta 5, and appear to confirm speculation that next-gen iPhone hardware will differ little in appearance from current models.

AT&T: Yes, we’re considering cheaper iPhone data plans: iPhone users have been buzzing about the possibility of cheaper, possibly limited data plans from AT&T. Now, an AT&T exec confirms that the company is at least considering it, but it sounds like the details aren’t quite there yet.

iPhone still kicking ass, taking names on mobile Web in April: Apple’s share of AdMob’s mobile ad requests grew significantly both at home and abroad in April—for the first time, the iPhone OS has surpassed Symbian worldwide.

iPhone hardware details and predictions continue to multiply: One pontifical Mac blogger has given his insights on the next-gen iPhone hardware. His predictions support several other rumors, including two recent ones out of Austria and Australia.

Rumor: iTunes on iPhone may get direct movie, TV downloads: Users may soon be able to download a variety of video content directly to an iPhone or iPod touch, according to an ad that supposedly appeared in an iPhone app. We’re not so sure of the story behind this one, though the feature would certainly be nice.

iPhone app rejection madness still hasn’t stopped: The rejection of an otherwise outstanding e-book reading application on the grounds that users can purposefully search for sexual material further highlights how inconsistent the app review process is. Even though the app was eventually approved, other developers continue to face the same frustrations.

iPhone-armed artist responsible for The New Yorker cover: The June 1 cover of The New Yorker was painted… with an iPhone and an app called Brushes. Though the artist has been in The New Yorker before, the marriage between technology and a traditional publication is certainly a cool one.

Ain’t no money in Mac cloning: Psystar files for bankruptcy: The now-beleaguered Mac cloner has filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court. Bankruptcy will put the suit with Apple on hold, and it’s unclear if Psystar could continue to fund its case after the bankruptcy process is finished.

Apple ready for back-to-school with MacBook tweak, free iPod: Apple is once again offering students and faculty a free (or nearly free) iPod with the purchase of a new Mac, as well as updated specs for the popular entry-level MacBook. The tweaked specs may even be a clue to coming notebook revisions as early as WWDC.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

This post has been written by Jacqui Cheng on May 30, 2009 3:00 PM couresy of


Security of data online is a big concern for consumers, businesses, and the government. Leaked data can not only cost money, but can significantly undermine national security. With data security as such a high priority significant sums of money are spent to protect private and public networks form nefarious attacks.

Despite the massive budgets and security protocols in place to combat cyber-attacks, InformationWeek reports that anti-American hackers have successfully hacked at least two sensitive web servers belonging to the U.S. Army. Department of Defense investigators are looking into the breaches and have reportedly subpoenaed records from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and other ISPs and email providers in the investigation.

The websites in question were for the Army’s McAlester munitions plant and the website for the Army Corp of Engineers. The ammunition plant site was hacked and users trying to visit the site were redirected to a web page with a protest against climate change. The attack against the Army Corps of Engineers sire redirected visitors to the webpage for the hacker network m0stead at The website is reportedly now a parked domain listing airline reservations.

However, at the time of the Corps of Engineers site attack, the URL had anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and images. It’s not known if the attacks resulted in the hackers gaining access to any sensitive information on the servers.

In April 2009, information came to light that hackers had successfully stolen confidential data from servers storing information on the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

This post has been written by Shane McGlaun on May 29, 2009 11:31 AM couresy of

The Obama administration has sent a number of signals that it takes the information infrastructure of the nation seriously, having approved stimulus money for broadband and established a post for a national CTO. In parallel with these actions, the administration authorized a review of the national cybersecurity policy, and that review is now complete. Depending on how you read the resulting report, it concluded either that we don’t have a cybersecurity policy, or that we have too many of them; in either case, its authors have made a number of very specific suggestions as to how to improve the situation.

The report is fairly blunt, stating early on that "the architecture of the Nation’s digital infrastructure, based largely upon the Internet, is not secure or resilient." As our network infrastructure has developed, the focus has been on things like performance, ease-of-use, and compatibility, and security consciousness was pretty low for much of its history. So, it’s not a surprise that both government and private computer systems have been victimized, and evidence suggests that both private parties and foreign governments have been behind these attacks.

Meanwhile, as the authors of the report put it, "the Federal government is not organized to address this growing problem effectively now or in the future." Responsibilities are spread across a variety of different agencies and, although past administrations have made progress in bringing the policies of different groups into alignment, there is still no overarching policy direction, nor a single authority to coordinate it.

Obviously, the report recommends that we fix all of that. It suggests that the nation should have a single cybersecurity coordinator, operating within the National Security Council. The position should be considered high priority, as indicated by the recommendation that this officer should be based within the White House proper, in order to be accessible. The cybersecurity office should include staff dedicated to both privacy concerns and civil liberties, which will be welcome news to anyone worried that this might lead to NSA-style monitoring programs.

Among the tasks assigned to this office will be developing a coherent security strategy and establishing metrics by which progress can be measured. The office will work with private industry and other interested parties to develop an incident response plan. This last item will require some coordination with the diplomatic corps, as the report calls for bringing together "like-minded nations" to formulate standards on "acceptable legal norms regarding territorial jurisdiction, sovereign responsibility, and use of force."

Relevant to the use of force, it appears that, in a less public effort, the administration is apparently pursuing a parallel effort within the Pentagon, which will see the Department of Defense set up an equivalent branch. Well, partially parallel—the Pentagon version will not only develop defensive tactics and tools, but will focus on providing offensive weaponry as well.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the report, however, is that it suggests that the US may be facing the prospect of being left as a technological backwater when it comes to security, and a national effort will be required to avoid that fate. The authors suggest a historic analog: "similar to the period after the launch of the Sputnik satellite in October, 1957, the United States is in a global race that depends on mathematics and science skills." In response, it suggests that the new office develop a research and development framework, and accompany it with a public information campaign that will stress the importance of security considerations. If necessary, the government should incentivize the use of secure practices and equipment by private industry through programs like targeted tax breaks.

Whether we’ll ultimately see the sorts of leaps in science and technology education that occurred following the Sputnik launch won’t be clear for years. But there is some urgency to acting now. After several years of decline, the number of students that intend to major in computer science is beginning to rise again, and integrating security into their education could provide cybersecurity the sort of boost that the authors of the report say is required.

This post has been written by John Timmer on May 29, 2009 3:10 PM couresy of

A job listing found on both Gamasutra and Microsoft’s careers website is seeking out an engineer to work on a "game" that will support up to "300,000 players in real-time." The job ad states that Microsoft is working on "building an extremely high performance system to extend console games to the server in new ways" and that it’s "creating a completely new set of web services" for Xbox Live and integration.

It sounds to us like Microsoft is planning to overhaul the Dashboard and Xbox Live service and combine it with an MMO-like system (given the 300K-player support). Or, it could be building a separate virtual world interface like Sony’s PlayStation Home. What do you think Microsoft could be working on?

[Via CVG]

This post has been written by Majed Athab on May 30th 2009 at 5:00AM couresy of

Friday was Education Day at Maker Faire. While makers were busy setting up their booths, and the Maker Shed was being stocked, groups of students came through the Maker Faire site for workshops and to see the whole weekend preparation come together.

Teachers, parents, and students all came to see great projects, try their hand at building and crafting, and to meet the people whose passion is making things. At the beginning of the day, there were a lot of empty booth spaces. As the day went on, makers, exhibitors, and vendors filled their real estate with projects, set up demonstration spaces, and got their equipment out of the boxes and up and running.

If you came to Education Day, tell us about what you saw, what you did, and what most impressed you.

This post has been written by Chris Connors on May 30, 2009 01:00 AM couresy of

In case you somehow forgot in the crush of excitement coming into E3, there are other conventions going on out there later this year. There again, if you’re a die-hard World of Warcraft player, we suspect you probably remember BlizzCon – potentially before E3 even springs into your mind. Well, if you’re one of the teeming masses who are just dying to get your hands on some BlizzCon tickets, we felt it was best to remind you that the second (and final) round of tickets will go on sale tomorrow morning for $125 each.

If you’re after one of those coveted tickets, remember, you need to make sure you have a account ready for tomorrow’s insane crush of humanity on the ordering servers. The last round was sold out insanely fast, so you may also want to consider getting to bed early and making sure you have all the proper mats gathered to buff yourself up for the BlizzCon raid tomorrow. It’s going to be an epic battle to get them, we’re sure.

This post has been written by Krystalle Voecks on May 29th 2009 at 8:00PM couresy of

Ah, Samsung’s Instinct s30. One step forward, three steps back — or something like that. Of course, we’re not out to remind you of what we thought of the next-gen Instinct, we’re here to find out what you think of it. If you plunked down the coin in order to grab yourself the Sprint-locked featurephone, have you been fully satisfied? Is life going alright without EV-DO Rev. A? How’s that web browser treating you? Are you wishing you would’ve held off for the Pre? Feel free to voice your opinion below, and remember, this chance won’t ever, ever come around again. Ever.

This post has been written by Darren Murph on May 30th 2009 at 4:38AM couresy of