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iTunes Ever wonder how it is exactly that iTunes works?  Well, we have your hookup — no need to wonder any longer.  HowStuffWorks has published a complete, exhaustive, in-depth article explaining in detail how iTunes actually works.

The iTunes Music Store is composed of XML-based pages, lots of them encrypted using 128-bit AES in CBC mode. AES-CBC is a type of symmetric-key encryption. AES (“advanced encryption standard”) basically takes a 128-bit block of code and reorganizes it into a 128-bit block of “ciphertext” using a particular key (an encryption algorithm). CBC mode (“cipher block chaining”) is a method of disguising any encryption patterns that might reveal the key.

It’s really quite an interesting read, covering all the aspects of what iTunes does, how it works, and why.  Great for the inquisitive mind, the Apple geek, or anybody with an inquisitive nature.


Read More | HowStuffWorks


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iLuv i602Apple’s iPod nano was a runaway hit when it was released, combining small dimensions with an LCD and their intuitive interface.  Even the battery life is pretty good at around 14 hours, but sometimes that’s just not good enough.  There are external battery packs for just about all of the iPod lineup but most add on so much extra in the way of physical dimensions that they’re simply annoying.  iLuv has a series of add-on battery products for the iPod nano and video models that use Lithium Polymer batteries to radically increase their battery life.  The best part about them, especially for a small player like the nano, is that they’re diminutive as well.

Each version comes attached to a silicon case for your iPod, and matches the width and depth of the player they’re designed for.  In the case of the nano, there are two versions available with total battery capacities of up to 36 hours and 56 hours (including the stock battery), and each includes pass-through ports for the dock connectors and headphone jack.  The silicon sleeves come in four colors as well including black, white, pink and blue.

The 36-hour i601 retails for $59.95 USD and the 56-hour i602 is $65.95.  Both products are currently available.


Read More | iLuv via productdose.com


Tinpod

A popular case for the iPod nanos (and shuffles) when they first arrived, was a modified version of the ever handy Altoid’s tin.  The size was just right, and they made for a discrete way to cart the iPod around.  Of course, not everyone wants to make their own carrying case, and some prefer something with a bit more panache, and that’s where the Tinpod enters the scene.  The Tinpods are lined with 3mm of neoprene to protect and cushion your iPod (3G, 4G and 5G), have ports for your headphones, and come in three different graphic patterns.  Each pattern is part of a limited edition set with only 5,000 of each available.

Not as inexpensive as an Altoid tin, but arguably more appealing.  Available now for $16.95 USD each or get a pair for $29.95.


Read More | Tinpod via Techie Diva


Vaja iVod Video SP

Vaja has just announced their new iVod Video SP case for the 5G iPod and iPod nano. The only difference between the SP and the standard iVod Video case is the color scheme layout. The standard version allows you to have two different colors for the front and back of the case. On the SP, the front and back are the same color, but you get to choose an alternate color to use as a racing stripe that goes down the front of the product. Yeah, it’s sporty, but is it worth the extra $20 USD above the standard version? There lies your conundrum.


Read More | Vaja Choice


iVod Crystal

The iVod Video Crystal is the latest high-end iPod case from our friends over at Vaja. Available in ten unique color combinations (for both the leather and the crystals,) the iVod Video Crystal is a sturdy leather case for your 5G iPod or iPod nano. These cases feature Swarovski crystals encrusted into the leather, a leather strap with silver appliques, padded interior, and access cutouts enabling the usage of all ports and touch functions. Of course, glamor does come at a price - in this case, $340 USD.


Read More | iVod Video Crystal Customization Page


XP on iMacWe had a few people write in who were salivating over the video we posted yesterday of Windows XP being installed and running on an Intel iMac. Your wait is over, dear friends. narf2006 and blanka have claimed the championship, and will soon be the proud recipient of $13,854. In the meantime, you can download the instructions and files needed to get Windows XP up and running on your Intel-based Mac (be it an iMac, MacBook Pro, or mini) here.


Read More | XP on Mac


So, narf2006 seems to have cracked the code, so to speak, on getting Windows XP to run on an Intel Mac. Using one of the new iMacs, narf recorded a video of the installation of Windows XP, followed by the rebooting of the platform, creating user accounts, logging in, and checking out the Device Manager. We must say, this one is very convincing. He goes out of his way to prove that this is authentic, and has sent his instructions to Colin Nederkorn (who has raised over $10,000 to award to the first person to get this figured out.) Once they are validated, and the check is cut, we can all hack up our iMacs to dual boot, despite all the roadblocks we have faced.

Back to reality for a moment. We don’t see what the practical, real-world benefit of this is. In our offices, we have Macs and PCs right next to each other. If we need to get to something in the other OS, there is no need to shut down, and reboot. What we need is a version of Virtual PC that is fast, and runs on the Intel Macs. Better yet, we need to be able to run Windows programs on the Mac. When that happens, give us a call. We will squeal like schoolgirls.


Read More | OnMac


MactallicsApple fans do know that there really isn’t much variety as it pertains to the color of their desktop computers. In the past, if you wanted to add stunning color to your iMac, ColorWare PC happened to be your only option. We have talked about ColorWare’s service in the past, and we have been genuinely impressed. However, getting them to paint your iMac will run you over $400. Instead, why not go the cheap man’s route? Mactallic aims to pretty up your iMac using overlays that are available in silver, blue, pink, green, black, and orange. The price is $39.95 for the 17-inch iMac, and $44.95 for the 20-inch iMac.


Read More | Mactallic via

Gizmodo


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeIn this episode we talk about TiVo’s parental control initiative, Apple’s “Fun New Things,” Origami, and more - plus, we have a couple of giveaways to announce:

THE WIRE
TiVo KidZone
Wikipedia on iPod
Apple Fun New Things Announcements

OFF THE DOME
Origami
Xbox 360 Repair Experience

GIZMATIC
Eton’s American Red Cross Survival Radio
Stashcard
OHSO Marko Toothbrush

GIVEAWAYS
We mention a couple of giveaways that we will be doing on The Bleeding Edge over the next few weeks. Watch the show to find out how you can enter to win your own OHSO and Xbox 360.


Here’s how to get the show:
|iTunes| - Subscribe to our iTunes video feed
|RSS| - Subscribe to our video RSS feed

|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264 (Mirror)
|Download| - XviD
|Download| - MPEG-4 (Mirror)
|Download| - PSP
Length: 30:08

Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4

Mac OS X FireWindows detractors are generally more than happy to point fingers at Microsoft’s failings in making their operating systems secure.  It’s hard to blame them, as it does seem that barely a day goes by without some new exploit popping up.  However, one has to look at the percentages of installed systems.  With Microsoft products commanding the vast majority of the market share, they make prime targets for anyone with too much free time or a grudge to bear.  In contrast, Mac OS X and Linux seem to blend quietly into the background noise, with nary a peep to be heard with regards to security problems.  Okay, that’s oversimplifying things a tad, but the basic idea remains the same - Microsoft products appear to have more security holes than their competitive counterparts due in part to market share and their public presence. 

As a case in point, an obliging Mac user set a Mac mini up and told would-be hackers to give it their best shot.  Within six hours, the mini had been compromised and root-level access obtained.  Total time to actually hack the mini?  Less than 30 minutes.  Granted, there aren’t a lot of details as to patch level, security measures taken, etc., but the hacker claimed the use of an unpublished hack that would have worked regardless of counter-measures implemented.

With regards to recent viruses and exploits related to Mac OS X, a senior director of Symantec’s Security Response Division is quoted as saying, “The lesson here is that if we look at Mac OS X and compare it to, say, Windows XP, we find that, in terms of the number of vulnerabilities, they are actually quite comparable.” 

Keep in mind that we’re not out to bash the Mac by any means, and many Gear Live members love the Mac.  Would an equivalently configured Windows or Linux system have fared any better?  Not likely.  Therefore it’s important to be mindful, that regardless of your operating system of choice, security holes do exist and it’s better to be as prepared as possible than sorry due to blissful ignorance. 

EDIT: Turns out, this is a lot less important that it first seemed. Check out the comments section, and you will find that the “hack” was made to be extremely simple - this is not something that took place in a real-world scenario.


Read More | Top Tech News


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