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ExtraBITS for 17-Aug-09

TomTom Releases iPhone Turn-by-Turn Navigation App — TomTom’s turn-by-turn navigation app costs $100 and comes with maps of the United States and Canada. It requires an iPhone 3G or 3GS. There’s no monthly subscription fee, and add-on map packs for other countries are available. A promised car-attachment kit with a better GPS chip is still not yet out or priced. (Posted 2009-08-16)

Alltop Procrastinator’s Clock — Silly, but potentially useful. This Guy Kawasaki-inspired clock application intentionally runs somewhere between 0 and 15 minutes fast, so you can’t try to cut things too close. Oops, gotta go! (Posted 2009-08-16)

Sony Adopts EPUB Format for Electronic Books — Sony said that by year’s end it would switch to the EPUB set of standard formats for electronic books for its online library and Reader devices. EPUB-packaged books can still be wrapped in DRM, but are far more portable among devices and software than proprietary formats. Amazon’s Kindle uses a proprietary book format for its titles, and does not read EPUB packages. (Posted 2009-08-13)

The Scoop on Google’s Caffeine — Google Caffeine is Google’s new search engine architecture. It’s designed to improve search speeds and results for users, but may also have some unexpected results for developers. PC World runs down answers to basic questions concerning the forthcoming changeover. (Posted 2009-08-12)

Fix for MacBook Pro Hard Drive Clicking in the Works — Some MacBook Pro owners with 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drives have been complaining of clicking sounds, followed by a short period of stalled performance. The machines become responsive again after roughly 10 seconds, and do not require rebooting. Apple spokesperson Bill Evans has informed CNET that Apple is aware of the issue and working on a fix, though no definite timetable has been set for its release. (Posted 2009-08-12)

Run-of-the-Mill Mac Trojan in the Wild — Nothing new here: Ars Technica reports on a new trojan horse, disguised as a QuickTime player update, that hijacks DNS requests, sending the victim to the attacker’s Web site of choice. Common sense helps you avoid 99 percent of trojans and this case is no different – if an untrusted Web site instructs you to download and install some piece of software, don’t do it. (Posted 2009-08-12)

So You Found My iPhone — This modestly amusing video from Slate about an iPhone developer who lost his iPhone picks up a bit at the end. (Posted 2009-08-12)

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