Subscribers to XM or SIRIUS radio services in the United States can now listen to their favorite stations on the Mac. The public preview release of Rogue Amoeba's Pulsar frees you from using dedicated hardware or listening via a Web browser.
Dead Zune, dead Zune, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you? Macworld picks up the story of 30 GB Microsoft Zune players spontaneously failing early this morning, December 31. Microsoft determined it was a leap-year bug, and affected Zunes should function normally on January 1.
Roku has updated its $100 Netflix Player to handle high-definition video content from the movie rental and delivery service. Netflix Player streams video from Netflix via the Internet to a TV or monitor. Roku also confirmed that companies other than Netflix will be providing HD content in the next three months.
Duane Straub, bassist in the Macworld All Star Band, has posted the lengthy (we're talking years!) story about how he came to write the "Macintosh Boogie," along with a link to a video of the song itself. It's the first Mac-specific piece of boogie-woogie music we've heard!
If you haven't had enough of the whole Apple pulling out of Macworld Expo topic yet, tune into the Tech Night Owl Live radio show for Adam's take on what's behind Apple's decision, and why he thinks (or at least hopes!) Macworld Expo will stick around.
Neil McAllister at InfoWorld examines what could be Google's most audacious plan yet - to download and run native x86 code within a Web browser on a Mac or PC. The goal is increased performance and security, but note that code will need to be written specially or recompiled for Native Client, so it's not as though your favorite apps will suddenly be accessible within Firefox.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is shifting from suing alleged illegal downloaders of music - as well as dead people, elderly without computers, and others - to getting ISPs to disconnect subscribers who the RIAA says are illegal uploaders. The RIAA won't gain any personal information about putative offenders, but ISPs that participate will put the RIAA's interests ahead of their customers's interests, and are relying on the RIAA's accuracy in identifying violations.
Apple has posted a support article explaining how to recover (by deleting partially downloaded files) if Software Update stops responding during its "Configuring installation" phase. The bug is fixed in Mac OS X 10.5.6, but can still affect the 10.5.6 update process.
AOL finally releases an updated version of AIM. It was in a public beta test for a few weeks. It's nothing special; move along.
Veteran New York Times technology reporter John Markoff, long one of the paper's main Apple watchers, is changing beats to cover the intersection of computation and science, as well as the social implications of technology and so-called cybersecurity and cyberwarfare. It's terrifying that the risks of computer security exploits to individuals, companies, and even countries are great enough to warrant such mainstream coverage.
Frequent TidBITS contributor Derek K. Miller has been writing an engaging Camera Works series on his Penmachine blog that explains the important things to know about digital photography, such as crop factor on lenses built for digital cameras, how a rolling shutter works, and more.
Iomega is clearing out one of their desktop hard drive models: the Mac mini footprint MiniMax in its 640 GB configuration with a built-in 3-port USB 2.0 hub for $80 ($100 with an extended warranty). Most of the other MiniMax capacities also have a FireWire hub, which may explain the clearance prices. I bought two.
Frequent App Store visitors will notice that Apple has recently reorganized things a bit. The main change is the addition of Top Free App and Top Paid App lists for every available category in the store.
To hear more about the 2008 TidBITS Gift Guide - why certain products made it, why others didn't, and more - click through to listen to Adam and Shawn King on this week's Your Mac Life Show. Also bandied about: the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
You can now avoid an in-store visit at an Apple or AT&T Store to buy an iPhone 3G - so long as you're adding a line to an existing account or are a new AT&T customer. You can purchase an iPhone online and activate it at home. For those with existing phones (a first-generation iPhone or otherwise) who want to convert service, you have to visit a store still.