Reports have come out that Apple has tweaked the new iPods (Classic, Touch, nano) so that iTunes breaks when you use the Linux operating system. Some folk who like Linux a whole lot (or dislike Apple in general) have repurposed the older iPods to run off Linux instead, but Apple seems to have inserted new code into the iTunes DB file in the player in the hidden i_PodControl/iTunes folder that disables the database and shows exactly zero songs on the player. Knowing the usual suspects, this qualifies as a minor nuisance. After the iPhone, this should be a piece of cake. But still. Hackers are at work on it already. Click here for more details on the issue.
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In what could be one of the biggest moves the company has ever made, Palm has decided not to push through with its controversial Foleo mobile companion device. Despite the fact that they have already introduced it back in May, it will no longer go into full production. Ed Colligan, Palm CEO, left a message at their official blog stating the official discontinuation of the Foleo so that they can focus on delivering out the "next generation platform and the first smartphones that will carry this to the market." However, the whole idea of the Foleo isn’t extinct yet as they also noted that a Foleo II based on the new platform is still part of their plan. For those unaware of the Foleo, it was Palm’s perfect mobile companion to the Treo. Early specifications included Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, and was expected to run on the Linux OS platform. It was said to provide fast, simple and intuitive navigation; instant on and off; and real-time synchronization with the paired smartphone. Priced at $499, it was either a very expensive accessory or a very lackluster laptop. Palm fanboys had mixed reactions when the Foleo was announced as some were looking forward to it, while others simply wanted something more substantial and worthy of their hard-earned money. Well, Palm has finally laid this issue to rest with the abortion of the Foleo. May it rest in peace.
Back in May, we reported that the new line of RAZR phones have been unveiled and now, the first RAZR2 phone has reached our country: the V8. Unfortunately, among the three models, this is perhaps the weakest model. Nevertheless, it’s still an impressive upgrade from its ancestors. Sporting a much thinner and elegant profile, it packs in a fast 500 MHz processor, a large 2-inch multifunctional external touch screen, Bluetooth, EDGE, 2-Megapixel camera and runs on a Linux OS. Due to the improved processor, it should be more responsive and faster, and the external multipurpose touch screen is an innovation that I bet others will soon follow. Specification wise, it seems like a decent upgrade, that is, if you still own the early batch of RAZR phones. This model lacks the now common 3G connectivity and secondary camera which recent RAZR models such as the RAZR Maxx come equipped with. It’s priced a little short of P 20,000.00 and for that price; I feel a little ripped off due to the lack of modern features. I’d rather wait for the 3G-enabled V9 instead.
For those interested in the Linux Platform for mobile devices, Access has released a website with tons of screenshots for its forthcoming Access Linux Platform. Click on User Experience to see how the different screens such as Contacts, Dialer, Incoming Call screens, and Launcher would look like on a device. If the menu and icons look somewhat similar to those used in the Treo, that’s because Access is the same company behind the Garnet OS, the backbone of the Palm OS 5. Through the built-in Access Garnet VM layer found in the Linux Platform, current applications running on the Garnet OS can likewise operate on the Linux version. Rumor has it that it can very well be the next OS for the Treo Smartphone in 2008. Hardware requirements include at least 200 MHz ARM 9, but for better performance 400 MHz is recommended. A minimum of 64 MB memory capacity is also required. The platform supports a variety of input methods ranging from the full QWERTY keypad to touch screen entry.
We’re lucky to be living in a time where we get to watch how a phone hardware company remakes itself. From the old Startac models, Motorola has made leaps in coming up well made phones with a strong brand recall, thanks to their “zero syllable minus the A