iPhone 3G doesn't charge with FireWire (USB Only)

A little known (but much loved by me) feature of every iPod (except the Shuffle) and the original iPhone was that you could charge the phone using the FireWire port on your computer. Of course, it's been quite a while since you could transfer data over FireWire, but you could buy a cable that powered the iPod/iPhone via FireWire and exchanged data over USB. Why would you want to do this? Simple: for USB ports to be powered, a Mac must be on (not in sleep mode). This means you can't sleep your Mac and charge your iPhone. However, FireWire didn't have that same requirement, and Apple kept the FireWire ports hot even as long as your computer was plugged into the wall, regardless of sleep mode.

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Apple Patches DNS problem

Normally, I wouldn't post about an Apple security update, because they're relatively common and generally attack most of the issues within a period of time that everyone agrees is a bit too long. However, there was a lot of hubub about Apple's "delay" in getting the security patch out for the recent BIND issue that could allow for users to be sent to the wrong sites. This wouldn't have caused me to write, except that after Apple patched the problem, there have been a few articles (no links provided, so as not to give them advertising revenue) that indicate the patch did no good. This is UNTRUE. Full details in the rest of the article.

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Is the wrong federal agency policing net neutrality?

There's been a lot of commentary over the last few months about Comcast and their filtering/traffic manipulation/smoothing/whathaveyou. In general, customers are up-in-arms about one of their one-to-two choices for high-speed internet doing things behind their backs to change the way the internet appears to them. However, there's also been a ton of fear-mongering (on both sides) about what this action, and potential FCC reaction, means to the future of the Internet.

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MIT researchers announce solar storage mechanism

According to an article from PhysOrg.com, MIT researchers have found a way to inexpensively use solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for use later in a fuel cell. This has a lot of promise! Read the details on the MIT site.

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Software Patent sanity

A good article from Ars Technica about the potentially weakening case for software patents and why it isn't the end of the world. Countering the fear-mongering piece by Duffy on the issue. For more of my thoughts on this, I posted an patent-related article on Cartographica earlier this month.

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Vista Followup...

So, after reading through all this Vista stuff, I decided that I should blow the virtual dust off of my virtual Vista computer (thanks Parallels!), and make sure I had Service Pack 1 installed. Here are my experiences.

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Yep, window dressing...

Just for the record, I've checked out the Mojave Experiment website (as I said I would in my previous article about it), and my expectations were met. If you look at the feature set for Vista, this is what people are experiencing here... features of the os in a controlled environment, running on current hardware with a fast internet connection. And what do they like? Not surprisingly, there are some features they like, such as "indexing of files", "fast integrated search", photo management, "being able to flip through all your windows and see them at once", making DVDs, parental controls, panoramic stitching of photos, and (repeatedly) the speed. I don't have enough experience to say categorically that you should or shouldn't use Vista, but I do know that the portrayal of Vista debunkers as "Mac users", and "people who don't get it" seems to go against the fortune 500 IT departments and Windows experts that I know who won't use it on their own machines. Maybe they're behind the curve. Maybe they're just too stoic to upgrade. Or, maybe they have too much legacy equipment and software and don't want to deal with the XP and Vista user experiences being so different. Unknown at this point, but the "Mojave Experiment" is a marketing experiment, not a scientific one (not than anyone reading this is surprised).

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Macintosh Keychain syncing tip

Since the iPhone 2.0 release, more people are considering Mobile Me (the follow on to Dot Mac). For those of us with more than one computer, it's a very easy way to keep your contacts, calendars and other data in sync. However, there are some tricks for some kinds of data. This installment talks about Keychains.

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Contrived Microsoft "experiment" gets headlines

If you haven't already heard of the "Mojave" experiment, then you will—likely in the next few days. Microsoft, not please with the reaction so far to Vista, set out to attempt to bolster the new operating system's reputation by offering a "blind taste test" of the OS. What happened? Exactly what I would have expected to happen—in a controlled environment, with no administration and setup tasks, people actually liked Vista. Why did I expect this? More after the link...

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The Free Software Foundation has gotten on my last nerve

Generally, I don't talk about the FSF (promulgators of the GNU "Free Software" license). The main reason is that I've spent most of my life writing software for a living and these folks are just plain wrong on how collaborative software should be done, in my humble opinion. However, this time they've gone too far and I'm not going to sit here and let this go unnoticed. If you've ever supported the FSF financially before, please stop. Why? Because they've made themselves into the PETA of the software. They're angry with Apple and to show it, they've engaged in what is appropriately referred to as a "denial of service attack" on Apple's technical support organization, the Genius Bar. Learn more after the link

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