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DVD Jon Cracks iPhone Activation…for Windows Only

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Jon Lech Johansen, the 23-year-old who first cracked the CSS encryption screen for DVDs when he was 15, has now discovered a method for activating the iPhone without registering with AT&T at all. With the help of a little Windows application called Phone Activation Server and a few “magic numbers” Jon posted, Apple’s amazing new device wakes up as a touchscreen iPod and WiFi-enabled Internet device — that, of course, can’t make phone calls. With this, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll see an unlocked iPhone running on T-Mobile or one of the European carriers very shortly. I know there’s a lot more to it, but people are really honing in on the secured side of the iPhone now. Still, it would be nice if the cracks were written for Linux and Mac OS X instead of .NET…

Via Apple 2.0

First Impressions: iPhone Experience

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Well, it turns out there was no need to camp out for an iPhone, at least in San Francisco. When I finally rolled into the Apple Store in Union Square at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, Apple had plenty of boxes still on hand…not that my T-Mobile-using butt was going home with one. Still, I had a lot of time to play with an iPhone all to myself (and observing my fiancee doing her own experiments), and I have some early thoughts and a few discoveries I haven’t seen anywhere else on the Web yet). Read on for more.

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Pure Digital Claims it Will Sell Unlocked iPhones

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If you’re among the many people in the United States who either can’t use AT&T/Cingular or choose not to use the carrier’s services based on negative experiences, take heart — there still might be a way to use an iPhone without the company’s blessing. The iPhone ships in four weeks. And though Apple is officially keeping the device exclusive to AT&T for five years, never underestimate the black market for unlocked phones.
According to Ars Technica, Pure Mobile is now claiming it will sell unlocked iPhones for an undisclosed (read: EXORBITANT) rate almost as soon as the devices hit the market. As a T-Mobile user, this is very heartening news, but I can tell you there is no way I’m going to spend $1,000 or more for an iPhone. Maybe when the iPhone nano hits in two years, and someone unlocks that…
Anyone willing to take the unlocked plunge?

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Oops: MS Launches Huge Multitouch Display Years Away From Home Use

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Remember that totally awesome touchscreen demo at huge scale that had broad applications such as natural photo sorting and editing and fingerpaints? Well, in advance of the D Conference today, Microsoft decided it would be a good idea to launch a product line that is…exactly that demo. They call it Surface, and if it lives up to the demo videos on the official site, it will be spectacular in use.
T-Mobile, Harrah’s Entertainment and others plan to roll them out very quickly. You might be playing with one in a few days. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t Apple panicking? Because this is as far from a consumer application as you can get. A 30″ touchscreen display built on a coffee table in the living room is years away from being something people will buy.
Granted, Apple’s multi-touch product, the iPhone, is also very high-end, but a $600 phone is closer to reality than the Future Table 6000. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that Microsoft will make money from this selling to stores and casinos. There are many people looking for an interactive table for what I would assume is at least $10,000, if not more. But this is like a new pinball machine, not a technology that will make an impact at home for years to come.
It is an amazing demo, but it’s far from ready for prime-time. This is for an exciting display in a store. The fact that MS isn’t talking about rolling this technology to other platforms yet indicates that they’re not playing for those markets. And I will pit the iPhone or a touch-enabled iPod against a to-be-announced Surface Zune any day. If anything, launching this way is a sign that Microsoft knows it doesn’t have a product to compete with the iPhone ready to go. So they brought out the circus edition of the technology.
I’m sure the clowns and the elephants are psyched.
Microsoft Surface: multi-user touch table [MacNN]

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Apple’s 5-year Deal With AT&T is Annoying, Strategic

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Just in case anyone still had doubts about Apple’s commitment to AT&T as the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, wonder no longer: USA Today reported that Apple will be married to AT&T for FIVE YEARS. FIVE YEARS! To put that in perspective, that’s the same amount of time between the introduction of the original iPod and the release of the clip-on model of the Shuffle.

And while this announcement is thoroughly irritating to me (I use T-Mobile…grumble, grumble), it might prove strategic for Apple. Click through to read why.

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