Mozilla to Develop Mobile Firefox

Mozilla Corporation has said it plans to get serious about developing a mobile browser. As devices like the iPhone have shown, people want a full browsing experience on mobile devices. Mozilla hired two new developers to help with the objective, and will continue developing Mozilla2 with mobiles as a device category. Mozilla2 is due out around 2009. PC World has a more in-depth report. Personally I would love to have Firefox on my PDA. Though Mozilla is likely to encounter competition from Apple and Microsoft, who bundle their own mobile browsers on devices using their operating systems, and Opera ASA,…

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Apple Sued Over iPhone Antitrust Concerns

A PC World news story reports a class-action lawsuit in California, brought about by a man named Timothy Smith, alleging that the Apple iPhone breaks California law. Among the problems cited in the suit are Apple’s AT&T software lock and denial of warranty service to customers who have unlocked their phones. (See the full story for more details) Personally, I don’t think Apple should be allowed to implicitly endorse carrier exclusivity, as it seems to with its AT&T contract. I think all cellphone companies should be regulated for interoperability, and a phone should be capable of being pulled from one…

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Lithium-Ion Batteries: Confirmed Fire Hazards

In recent years there has been a string of highly-publicized cases where various types of Li-Ion batteries catch fire. Be they installed in laptops, cellphones, or, now, iPods, Lithium Ion battery technology has, I think, established itself as a definite consumer hazard. PC World has a humorously titled article (“Hot Tunes: Man Says Nano iPod Caught Fire in His Pocket“) that shares the hazard of the newest of the three device types: the iPod. A man playing an iPod Nano in his pocket had it catch fire on him, setting his pants aflame and sending orange streams of plasma (flames…

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Apple Kills iPhone Resale Market

Remember that broke unlocked devices? Financial analysts say Apple effectively killed the unlocked-iPhone resale market with that move, even if only temporarily. People would buy up to five iPhones (the customer limit) at the store, likely with the intent of unlocking at least one of them and reselling it. Since unlocked iPhones are now impossible with the latest firmware updates, this market would seem to have no way of existing anymore. At least, until someone finds a way to unlock the new firmware.

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Apple Closes iPhone, Competitors Tout Openness

While Apple’s closed iPhone operating system draws wrath from application-starved users, competitors such as Nokia, Microsoft, and Research In Motion are promoting their phones’ open development platforms. Nokia in particular just launched a new website, NSeries.com, that advertises the application-readiness of the NSeries phones. “We believe the best devices have no limits. That’s why we’ve left the Nokia NSeries open. Open to applications. Open to Widgets. Open to anything. So go ahead and load it up. What it does is up to you.” states the site’s “Open” page. Microsoft also has gone with an open development platform with the Windows…

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iPhone Upgrades Almost Successfully Rolled Back

In a posting on the iPhone Dev Wiki, iPhone hackers posted instructions for downgrading the iPhone’s firmware from version 1.1.1 to 1.0.2. The downgrade restores iTunes and Wi-Fi capabilities, but the call-making functionality cannot yet be restored. Hackers have yet to find a way to downgrade the firmware used by the iPhone’s baseband chip, which is used to make calls. Apple’s latest update includes much better firmware encryption, which is making current research into unlocking version 1.1.1 very difficult. The earlier unlocks were much easier. According to Tom Ferris, a security researcher working on the iPhone, everyone is working on…

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Apple’s Latest Update was a Mistake

The iPhone 1.1.1 update that broke unlocked phones is being called a mistake by industry analysts, according to a PC World story. On Monday, analysts said the decision to bundle a crippling firmware update with the ten security patches was plagued with a lack of full disclosure. If companies don’t tell users exactly what patches will do to their software or devices, people may worry what the latest update will break, and whether installing the update will backfire and make the program or device inoperable. Aside from the security patches to the built-in Safari browser, Bluetooth firmware, and email application…

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Apple Breaks Unlocked iPhones

While I haven’t an iPhone, have no plans to buy one, and don’t have friends who own or want to own one, I have been following the back-and-forth between hackers striving to unlock the AT&T-only device and Apple. Latest in the tennis match (or cat-and-mouse game, as PC World says) is Apple’s 1.1.1 update, which removes third-party applications installed using the Jailbreak hack and bricks phones unlocked with the open-source anySIM software, which allows the use of non-AT&T SIM cards with the iPhone. Users reportedly get an error message about an unsupported SIM card, even with the AT&T card installed.…

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