October 07, 2010
August 26, 2010
News : Apple likely to show off new iPods Sept 1
Analysts expect the makers of the iPhone and the iPad, which has always labeled Apple TV a hobby, to showcase a new iPod Touch with dual cameras in time for the holidays.
Its shares climbed 1.2 percent. The company has in recent years used splashy September events to showcase new iPod models for the year-end spending spree. It typically also describes tweaks and new features for its iTunes online media store.
Last year's event marked the return of Steve Jobs to the public eye after a long hiatus, during which he underwent a liver transplant. This year, blogs are afire with talk about a souped-up Apple TV, though analysts deem unlikely a major announcement on that front next week.
Sources have told Reuters Apple is in the throes of negotiations with the major U.S. TV networks from Walt Disney Co's ABC to General Electric Co's NBC, hoping to offer TV shows for rent via iTunes for 99 cents per episode.
But those sources also said it was not a done deal. Apple and the media companies have declined to comment.
"From our checks with supply chain and industry sources, we believe potential changes could turn Apple TV into a bigger hobby and a multimillion unit seller," Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros wrote.
Apple will hold the event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where it introduced the iPad in April. This year's invitation carried a prominent picture of a guitar's front, with an Apple logo standing in for the sound hole.
The company's iPods dominate the music- and media-player market, but growth there has moderated in past years and it has turned its attention toward the iPhone and iPad. In the June quarter, Apple said it sold 9.41 million iPods in the June quarter, down from 10.2 million a year earlier.
In contrast, analysts estimate the company sells about 1 million Apple TV units annually.
Still, some analysts expect Apple to eventually revamp -- and enhance -- its long-neglected TV device as the electronics maker continues to merge content with gadgets and ensconce itself in the home.
Wu expects to revamped Apple TVs in stores as early as this holiday, or the first half of 2011.
"In the grander scheme of things, it takes them a step closer" in that effort," Wu said. The device is "perhaps a precursor into a bigger effort to address the home entertainment space down the road."
News : Netflix makes available free iPhone, iPod app
Netflix said the app is available on iTunes for subscribers to plans starting at $8.99.
Earlier this month, Netflix struck a $1 billion deal with pay TV channel Epix to become the exclusive web-only distributor of films from Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lions Gate Entertainment.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
News : Spies behind 2008 cyber attack, U.S. official says
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said the attack took place after an infected flash-drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop at a base in the Middle East, uploading malicious computer code onto the Central Command network.
"That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control," Lynn wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs magazine published on Wednesday.
"This previously classified incident was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever."
Lynn did not say which country's spy agency was behind the attack. But he said that more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations were trying to break into U.S. networks.
"Some governments already have the capacity to disrupt elements of the U.S. information infrastructure," he wrote.
Every year, he said, hackers steal enough data from U.S. government agencies, businesses and universities to fill the U.S. Library of Congress many times over.
When it comes to attacks on the military, the difficulty identifying culprits behind attacks make them very hard to respond to and alluring for hostile governments, he said.
"Cyber attacks offer a means for potential adversaries to overcome overwhelming U.S. advantages in conventional military power and to do so in ways that are instantaneous and exceedingly hard to trace," he wrote.
Counterfeit hardware had already been detected in systems that had been procured by the Defense Department, Lynn said -- a danger since computer chips can be written with remotely operated "kill switches" and hidden backdoors.
"The risk of compromise in the manufacturing process if very real and is perhaps the least understood cyber threat," Lynn wrote.
Rogue code, including so-called "logic bombs" that cause malfunctions, can also be inserted into software as its being developed, he said.
Lynn said the attack was a wake-up call for the Pentagon, which has since launched a Cyber Command and taken measures to bolster defenses.
Policymakers now need to consider whether Pentagon capabilities should be extended to shield civilian infrastructure from attack, Lynn said. He noted that U.S. defense contractors have already been targeted "and sensitive weapons systems have been compromised."
"The U.S. government has only just begun to broach the larger question of whether it is necessary and appropriate to use national resources, such as defenses that now guard military networks, to protect civilian infrastructure," he said.
(Editing Xavier Briand)