Opening arguments have begun in the U.S. Department of Justice’s trial against Apple over the agency model of pricing, heralded by the iBookstore launch in 2010. The issue at stake is Apple working with all the major publishers to adopt a model where the publishers set the retail price of ebooks, instead of selling at wholesale to retailers, who then choose their own retail prices. However, things don’t look good for Apple, as Judge Denise Cote has already said, in a pre-trial hearing, “I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of ebooks.” Ironically, if the government wins, it may lead to less competition, as Amazon had previously set most ebook prices at $9.99, even if it meant selling at a loss, a move arguably designed to cement Amazon’s dominant position. Dan Moren of Macworld provides a solid overview of the case.
The venerable iOS podcast client comes to the Mac, offering Instacast fans syncing among Apple devices and Mac-specific features.
Adobe has heard the complaints about the subscription-only Creative Cloud, and says it will address them. Josh Centers has the details.
After more than 11 years, development on the open-source Camino Web browser has ended. Back in the dark ages of Mac OS X, before Safari and Chrome, the Camino Project was established to graft a Mac-native interface onto Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine. Many of Camino’s developers were later hired by Apple and Google to work on their respective browsers. Web browsing on Mac OS X wouldn’t be what it is today without Camino, and for that, we thank the developers, salute them, and wish them the best in whatever they do next.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking for your help to fight a patent troll who wants to kill podcasting. Personal Audio claims to have a patent on key podcasting technologies, and has been legally threatening many podcasters, including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks. Though the EFF has already raised over $60,000 as of this writing, beating its $30,000 goal in under 10 hours, legal fees can get expensive, and they need all the help they can get. So if you love podcasting, or just hate patent trolls, consider supporting their cause!
Apple has released a new 16 GB variant of the fifth-generation iPod touch, which features a Retina display, but lacks a rear-facing camera and a loop attachment. The “new” model replaces the 16 GB fourth-generation model, which was still being sold. The fifth generation of iPod touch was unveiled in September 2012, starting at 32 GB of capacity for $299.
Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to kick off the 11th D: All Things Digital conference. Though Cook was, as usual, careful not to give too much away, he called television an “area of great interest.” Cook also expressed an interest in wearable computing, though he dismissed Google Glass in favor of wrist-based solutions, and he suggested that Apple will make iOS more open to third-party developers in the future.
Our own Glenn Fleishman has purchased The Magazine from its creator, Marco Arment, after having served as executive editor since the second issue. Arment launched The Magazine in October 2012 as an iOS-exclusive, general-interest magazine for geeks. Arment also recently sold another creation of his, Instapaper, leading to questions about his future plans. However, there are few questions about Glenn’s plans for The Magazine: they include a Web site redesign, a refresh of the app, and an upcoming podcast.
Does the iPhone need yet another photo filter app? Realmac Software’s Analog Camera makes a persuasive argument for why it should take over from similar apps.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield wowed the world with his haunting zero-gravity performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station, but how did he avoid the copyright cops when he landed on terra firma? The Economist’s mysterious “G.F.” breaks down the potential complications and pitfalls of copyright in space. While Commander Hadfield secured the rights from Bowie long before blasting off, does interplanetary war erupt if a Martian downloads “Game of Thrones” from BitTorrent?
We’re taking a brief break from building an email issue of TidBITS next week in honor of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States, so look for the next issue in your mailbox on 3 June 2013.
The U.S. Senate isn’t happy with the taxes that Apple’s paying. Is Apple worse than its competitors in using the loopholes at its disposal?
Marvel Unlimited promises to be the Netflix of comics, but does its app need beefing up?
GoodReader and Documents by Readdle have both evolved from mere PDF viewers into full-blown file managers, a capability iOS sorely lacks. Both are powerful utilities, but which is right for you?
The United States Department of Defense has approved the “security technical implementation guide” for mobile devices running iOS 6, including the iPhone and iPad, meaning that Apple’s handhelds can now be used on DOD networks. Also approved are BlackBerry smartphones and devices from Samsung running its Android-based Knox operating system. The DOD currently has around 600,000 commercial mobile devices in use, including 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 unspecified Apple devices, and 8,700 Android devices. Most of these are part of a pilot program by the Defense Information Systems Agency to make use of the latest in technology. Unlike most enterprises, BYOD, or “bring your own device,” isn’t allowed, at least when it comes to connecting to DOD networks.