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ExtraBITS for 08-Dec-08

Walmart Will Sell the iPhone — Employees at Walmart have slipped the news to reporters that the economy-dominating chain of stores will sell the iPhone. Earlier rumors suggested Walmart might have a less-expensive model containing only 4 GB of memory. Sales might start before Christmas. (Link posted 2008-12-08.)

What If Steve Jobs Ran an Auto Company? — In an amusing thought experiment, Robert X. Cringley opines at PBS on what it would be like if Steve Jobs applied the kind of thinking that revived Apple to one of the Big Three U.S. auto companies. (Link posted 2008-12-08.)

LaunchBar 5 Public Beta — Objective Development has opened a public beta for version 5 of LaunchBar, one of our favorite Mac utilities of all time. New features include clipboard history tracking, clipboard merging, a radically enhanced calculator, iCal event creation, Quick Look support, many new actions, and lots more. (Link posted 2008-12-06.)

Ducking Obscenities — Occasionally, we get angry. Or, more often, we think we’re being funny. Either way, we try to use our iPhone to employ a certain Anglo-Saxon expletive, and are thwarted by spelling correction. Tim Luoma figured out that by creating a fictitious contact with the air of barnyard epithet about it, he’d save a cancel strike in his exuberant style. (Link posted 2008-12-06.)

Firefox 2.0 to Lose Anti-Phishing Protection — Yet another reason Firefox 2.0 users should update to version 3.0: At Google’s request, Mozilla will remove anti-phishing protection from the forthcoming Firefox, the final update to that version, due later this month. (Link posted 2008-12-05.)

Bombich Software Retires NetRestore — Mike Bombich of Bombich Software has announced that he is retiring the popular NetRestore deployment tool, instead recommending the freeware Deploy Studio for restoring public Macs to a predetermined state. His Carbon Copy Cloner disk duplication and backup tool remains in active development. (Link posted 2008-12-04.)

Netflix Opens Mac Streaming to All Subscribers — Macworld reports that Netflix has emailed its Mac customers informing them that anyone with an Intel-based Mac can now stream movies that are available for instant watching. Netflix had previously given beta access to only a limited group of Mac customers. (Link posted 2008-12-04.)

IBM Offers Applications without Microsoft Windows — The Wall Street Journal reports that IBM is offering a system that delivers open-source business applications to thin clients – computers without hard drives or powerful innards. As with Google applications, central servers at a company handle the heavy lifting. Cost savings could be $500 to $800 per year, plus a reduction in IT support costs. This has been tried before, but IBM says Microsoft Office alternatives are now good enough to compete. (Link posted 2008-12-04.)

iPhone Developers Can Now Give Out Review Copies — Ars Technica is reporting that Apple has finally eliminated one of the top developer complaints about the iPhone App Store by making it possible for iPhone developers to give reviewers (or friends and family) a free copy of an app. (Link posted 2008-12-04.)

Macworld Picks Eddy Award Winners — Macworld has made its annual editors’ choice picks for the Eddy Awards. Apple picks up just one title, which is unusual. Several of our favorites are in the list, including BusySync, CSSEdit, and Airfoil. (Link posted 2008-12-03.)

Apple Licenses Mini DisplayPort Connector for Free — Apple is making a free license available for the Apple-developed Mini DisplayPort variant on the VESA DisplayPort standard. Hopefully this will make this latest in a long line of Apple proprietary video connectors commonly available from other manufacturers. But why didn’t Apple make the connector available through VESA as part of DisplayPort? (Link posted 2008-12-02.)

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