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New Twitterrific Offers Ad-Supported Free Version

A new version of Twitterrific, the popular Twitter client for Mac OS X, was released today. The changelog details new features and improvements.

Twitterific Ad

The most glaring change, however, has to be the monetization scheme: either you pay $15 for it or you get an ad in your tweet list every hour. If there ever was a desktop application that could function as well on an ad-supported model as websites can, Twitterrific is it. The ads fit in so seamlessly and they're so not bothersome that it feels like Iconfactory could have gotten away with more ads. But I'll stop before I give them any more ideas.

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Jailbreakers Fix iPhone TIFF Exploit

Enabling third-party applications on your iPhone has never been easier. Just visit jailbreakme.com on your iPhone/iPod touch (hereafter "iPhone"), and thanks to a TIFF exploit in MobileSafari, the website will jailbreak the phone and install Installer.app. As an added bonus, the process will patch the exploit it used to hack your iPhone in the first place. And who said all hackers were bad?

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iPod touch Jailbreak: A sign of things to come?

Erica Sadun, TUAW's resident iPhone hacker/developer, reports on the difficulty of jailbreaking the new iPod touch. An iPhone update is expected sometime soon to add iTunes WiFi Store functionality, most likely a few of the UI niceties present on the iPod touch, and hopefully some long awaited applications (Tasks and iChat, I'm looking at you).

If the iPod touch's (or perhaps OS X 1.1's) ability to be jailbroken is any indication, then iPhone owners should enjoy their third-party apps while they can. Now, there may be a technical reason for the new sync scheme that prevents jailbreak, but a more likely culprit is a political reason: AT&T is upset. First, by introducing the iPod touch, Apple offers a way to bypass a cell contract for those wanting most (but not all) of the iPhone's features. Second, Apple's inability to keep the iPhone locked down for any significant amount of time (whether intentional or not) has paved the way for software unlocking, providing yet another way to get iPhone features without an AT&T contract. Depending on how large a fee (if any) Apple collects from AT&T for new iPhone contracts, Apple is largely indifferent as to whether they sell an iPod touch or an iPhone. It is unlikely that Apple would lock down the touch but not the iPhone and it's not unreasonable to conclude that our time spent sipping on Cocoa will soon come to an end.

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iPhone Crash Logs Reveals Some Inner Workings

My iPhone "crashed" today when I was deleting an email account. In reality, it was unresponsive for about 30 seconds and then went back to normal. When I plugged it into my computer, I was greeted with a prompt asking if I wanted to send diagnostic data to Apple and a button that said "Show Details" that took me to /System/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/My iPhone/ which contained two files: Preferences-2007-06-29-202724.crash and Preferences-2007-06-29-202724.plist (links point to the files).

I discovered some curious things while reading through the two files:

OS Version is officially "OS X 1.0 (1A543a)" (a similar crash log for a desktop process has the version number as "10.4.9 (Build 8P2137)")

A non-comprehensive list of Frameworks (Bold means it does not appear on desktop OS X):
AddressBook
AddressBookUI
AppSupport
AudioToolbox
BluetoothManager
Calendar
Celestial
CFNetwork
CoreAudio
CoreFoundation
CoreGraphics
CoreSurface
CoreTelephony
CoreVideo
GraphicsServices
IAP
IOKit
ITSync
JavaScriptCore
LayerKit
MBX2D
MBXConnect
MeCCA
Message
MessageUI
MobileBluetooth
MobileMusicPlayer
MusicLibrary
OpenGLES
Preferences
Security
TelephonyUI
UIKit
URLify
WebCore
WebKit

The most intriguing ones (to me at least) are: Celestial.framework (because of it's non-descriptive name) and CoreSurface.framework (because I think it deals with the touchscreen).

On a similar note, I tried SSH, FTP, Telnet, etc to my iPhone and as expected none worked.

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Jump on the Bandwagon - Backup Your iTunes Online

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Aaron Swartz points to Bandwagon, an OS X app that seamlessly backs up your iTunes library to a service built on top of Amazon S3. It'll be available on Feb 22, and bloggers can get a free account for posting about the service before it launches.

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The Last BitTorrent/RSS Guide You'll Ever Need

It seems like every week we get yet another guide on how to use RSS and a BitTorrent client to download TV shows automagically. Xtorrent, a Dave Watanabe (of NewsFire fame) app, will soon render those guides obsolete. Beta 3, released last week, adds built-in support for RSS. I've been using it for a few days now and it works wonderfully. Getting started requires only three steps:

Step 1. Find an RSS feed that has .torrent files enclosed (say, from tvRSS.net)
Step 2. Click the RSS+ button at the bottom of the source pane to add the feed.
Step 3. Find your feed in the source pane and double-click or click download to start getting the selected torrent.

Xtorrent has nowhere near the download/upload configuration options that an app like Azureus has, but it is still in beta and the default settings work just fine. Pre-release pricing is available for a limited time ($15.89 vs $18.99), so now is a good a time as any to pick it up.

Note: Downloading copyrighted television programs is a violation of copyright laws. Download at your own risk.

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Adium Reaches 1.0

My favorite OS X AIM client, Adium, has finally reached 1.0 after being in beta for over six months (I wrote about Beta 1 way back in July). I'm been using Adium since I first got a Mac way back in 2002, when Adium 1.6.2 ruled the world.

That's not a typo, the current, Adium X 1.0, is actually version 2.0. When the developers decided 2.0 would be a complete rewrite, they instead appended an "X" to the application's name and set their sights on a new 2.0.

I was just wondering when Adium would leave beta after receiving an upgrade notification for Beta 42 (!). Here are some of the major changes from 0.89 (the complete list is here):

  • Added global user profile and buddy icon settings. (Personal Preferences)
  • General Account improvements. Accounts can now be disabled when not in in use, and friends can now sign on from your Adium without saving their information.
  • Added an Xtras manager for better browsing and removing of Xtras.
  • Major improvements in privacy settings.
  • Improvements to the default look and feel of Adium.
  • iTunes integration is much faster, and updates as soon as the song changes.
  • Redesigned Chat Transcript (Log) Viewer
  • Optional dock-like hiding of the contact list
  • Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later (Universal Binary)

I doubt I'll see many day-to-day changes since I've been keeping up with the betas, but for those of you running 0.89, this is sure to be a worthwhile upgrade.

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Boot Camp 1.1 Beta

Apple has updated Boot Camp, their software application that enables Windows to boot on Intel-based Macs, to beta version 1.1.

The update is recommended for all previous and new Boot Camp installations. The new beta includes:
* Support for the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers
* Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
* Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
* iSight camera support
* Support for built-in microphones
* Right-click when pressing the right-hand Apple key on Apple keyboards
* Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys

We get an iSight driver update, so no more Blue Screen when opening it up in My Computer. We also get a keyboard driver update that adds support for several keys and the ability to right-click with the right Apple key, though it's hard to tell whether this is just duplicating the contextual menu key available on most Windows keyboards or if this simulates control-click in OS X.

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Hardmac's Leopard Tour and My Further Thoughts

Hardmac, the English language counterpart to French Mac site MacBidouille, has a nice (and possibly illegal) visual walkthru of some of the new features of Leopard. The first few pages are a bit boring to me (since we've seen a lot of Time Machine/Spaces), featuring Time Machine setup and preferences and the same for Spaces. The last few pages go more in-depth into the new Mail.app features and some Finder improvements.

The ability to read RSS is Mail is cool, although I doubt it will replace NetNewsWire for me. I prefer my RSS in a mail-like format over a stripped website format so this is a step closer to my ideal. My only wish after seeing Hardmac expand on the Notes/To-Do functionality is that they offer something a bit more aesthetically pleasing that the awful Post-It/Marker Felt UI. Our emails don't come in with two folds and an envelope, so why extend the real-world metaphor to the UI for notes and tasks?

The integration between Safari and Dashboard is neat, but I'm only now giving Dashboard a second chance so the feature's real usefulness for me remains to be seen. Still, I think having a Dashboard widget for a piece of a site is cool for keeping up with sites that don't publish RSS feeds. This video from a Hungarian blog sheds some light on Safari's Core Animation abilities, showing off a new Find mechanism that dims the entire site except for search matches. The new Help is really slick as well. It consists of a purple search box that creates purple arrows pointing to somewhere that the help item refers to.

The last page goes into "The Rest". A further refinement of the Spotlight window is shown, as is Preview's new UI (that is very reminiscent of Mail's abomination). Small screenshots of the new and improved voice and the new Help search are shown, capped off with two minor Finder improvements: renaming a file selects only the name and not the extension (yay!) and "Always Open With" shows up below "Open With" (in Tiger, "Always Open With" can be shown by holding option while in the contextual menu).

Though the final product is 8 months away, this preview doesn't bode well for those looking for UI consistency. iChat adopts the unified theme, the Finder and Safari are still brushed metal, Preview went to the secondary gel-capped unified theme and Mail.app has added the tacky Sticky metaphor to notes/todos. I only hope that Apple can get its Human Interface Guidelines in order and start adhering to them by the time Leopard ships.

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Leopard Hints in Sneak Peek Videos?

After watching the Leopard Sneak Peek videos, I found two little things that may be of interest. They may be nothing, but since everything going on at the WWDC isn't for public consumption, I have to entertain myself somehow.


Should we expect an announcement on August 24 so huge that we'll want to fly to the 5th Avenue Apple Store to buy it? Remember Steve's Spotlight demo where he searched for iMac, Paris and anniversary at WWDC 04 (and the iMac G5 was introduced at Apple Expo in Paris)? It could be something, but this is so vague it probably means nothing.

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What's that Airport/RSS-like icon doing next to Oliver Butcher? Conversation histories by RSS? Or maybe something as lame as Bonjour buddies and regular buddies on the same buddy list?

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