Apple game rentals; Safari anti-phishing; Blu-ray notebook drives

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A recently published patent filing from Apple Inc. hints at the possibility of game rentals and a more advanced games management component of the iTunes Store. Meanwhile, readers question the disappearance of Safari's anti-phishing measures. And the power-draw of today's Blu-ray drives has thus far translated into slow adoption by notebook manufacturers.



Apple gaming patent



While the verdict is still out on whether Apple is serious about gaming on the Mac, the company has been stepping up its efforts in the handheld department. As of this week, there were 20 games available on its iTunes Store for use with the latest line of iPods, in addition to a dozen others reserved exclusively for the old fifth-genration iPod classics.



These numbers are expected to swell rapidly following the release of the iPhone and iPod touch software developers kit next week, which should yield the first of a new breed of games designed exclusively for the company's touch-screen based handheld devices. As such, Apple appears to be applying some resources towards an integrated games management component of its iTunes Store.



A recently published patent filing from the company points to a method that would automatically determine which games on the iTunes Store are compatible with iPods or iPhones tied to a customer's iTunes software. It would also determine, and automatically updated, games that had previously been purchased by a user should incremental updates to those titles become available. Subsequently, the same methods would provide a foundation for "game rentals" or subscriptions, such as those that have become common on mobile phones from wireless carriers.



"One aspect of the invention pertains to acquiring compatible game software for a portable electronic device by way of an electronic download from a server device to a client device. Subsequently, the game software is provided from the client device to the portable electronic device," wrote Christopher Wysocki, a Los Gatos-based Apple employee. "The acquisition of the game software can be through on-line purchase or rental from the server device, which can host an on-line media store. Another aspect of the invention pertains to acquiring updates to game software that has previously been acquired and provided to a portable electronic device. Game software updates for a plurality of different hardware platforms are available from a server device. A client device associated with the portable electronic device can interact with the server device to obtain any game software updates that correspond to the hardware platform utilized by the portable electronic device associated with the client device."



Still other aspects of Wysocki's invention is that a client device can provide "automated backup storage for game play data produced on an associated portable electronic device" and that "game performance data associated with a user's performance of a game on a portable electronic device can be provided to a game server by way of a client device associated with the portable electronic device."



Whither Safari's anti-phishing measures?



A warning issued Thursday by PayPal chief security officer Michael Barrett against using Apple's iPhone with the e-commerce site has drawn considerable discussion on the AppleInsider forums, with some readers recalling that plans once called for Safari 3.0 to incorporate anti-phishing measures.



The technology, which appeared briefly in versions of Safari 3.0 beta issued as part of pre-release builds of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard last fall, tapped Google's AntiTrust database to automatically detect and alert surfers of "phishy" or deceitful website URLs. Had the feature not been pulled, it's likely that it would have been carried over to the mobile version of the Apple browser.







Nevertheless, readers note that despite its absence, the groundwork and resource files for the technology are still visible by viewing the package contents of the most recent Safari distribution, making it seem likely that the feature will resurface at some point.



Power-hungry Blu-ray notebook drives



Watching high-def Blu-ray movies on your notebook may become a reality later this year, but likely at the expense of battery life.



Wired reports that if the first-generation of Blu-ray equipped notebooks are any indication, users might not get more than halfway through their movie before running out of juice completely.



Still, Dell next month is expected to introduce a sub-$1000 Blu-ray equipped notebook which will take advantage of recent advancements that aim to aid in power usage by offloading some of the decode process onto other system hardware, namely the graphics processing unit.



While Apple has yet to offer Blu-ray drives on its Mac line, that is expected to change in the not too distant future. AppleInsider has heard, but not yet confirmed, that the Cupertino-based company is actively courting Sony to obtain Blu-ray drives for its MacBook Pro line.



According to one tipster, Apple had hoped to offer a Blu-ray option alongside its just-released Penryn-based MacBook Pros, but Sony has faced some quality issues pertaining to the slot-loading mechanism and laser in the SuperDrives. Apple was reportedly offered Blu-ray Combo drives in the meantime, which it turned down.



Amazon joins MacBook rebate party



Finally, Amazon.com is the latest authorized Apple reseller to begin offering rebates on the Mac maker's complete line of notebooks. It's offering $50 rebates on all version of the MacBook Air, $75 - $100 in rebates on all Penryn-based 13-inch MacBook models, and $150 rebates on all Penryn-based MacBook Pros.



The deals are similar to those that Mac Mall began offering earlier in the week, but may represent the best overall deal given that Amazon does not charge sales tax. Mac Mall, however, does charge tax but alternatively throws in rebates for a free Epson printer and a copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    guestguest Posts: 112member
    This power sucking still does not explain why Apple does not support BluRay at all. They could have a drive in the Mac Pros as BTO for a while now. I was looking into using the Lacie Firewire External BluRay drive on my MBP, but according to all info I could find it won't play movies because of Leopard's lack of BluRay support.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    After the lashing yesterday, I'd better say something positive...



     rocks! Woooooot!



    Don't believe any reviews or posts that are negative about Apple in any way... cuz those jerks own shares in Microsoft.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guest View Post


    This power sucking still does not explain why Apple does not support BluRay at all. They could have a drive in the Mac Pros as BTO for a while now. I was looking into using the Lacie Firewire External BluRay drive on my MBP, but according to all info I could find it won't play movies because of Leopard's lack of BluRay support.



    I hear ya man... I've been trying to hold out on buying another Mac Pro for that reason, but I don't think I can wait another few months.

    Anyone have any idea when 10.5.3 might be rolling out? Maybe BR then?

    My guess is they won't update the Mac Pro's until mid April/May. Or, the week after I buy one.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    I imagine the Blu-Ray drive -- when offered and OS supported -- will be a CTO option that we'll be able to buy as a part # and slide right into a "current" Mac Pro behind optical bay door # 2. As for power-sucking in laptops not being a valid reason for withholding BR support, Apple is probably hedging bets until demand justifies it, just like most companies do. With "3% of the total PC market" you need to play by more cautionary rules.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    I'd like to see a Blu-ray drive in the Mac mini. That with Front Row would be a nice setup in the home theater.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    I'd like to see a Blu-ray drive in the Mac mini. That with Front Row would be a nice setup in the home theater.



    If the mini could cope with it, they never update it..poor lil guy
  • Reply 7 of 52
    Let's get off making the laptop crowd happy before they release BluRay drives.



    Focus on the Desktop crowd first who don't have these "issues."
  • Reply 8 of 52
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    I'd like to see a Blu-ray drive in the Mac mini. That with Front Row would be a nice setup in the home theater.



    That sorta destroys the whole idea of the @TV...

  • Reply 9 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Focus on the Desktop crowd first who don't have these "issues."



    I don't know what you're talking about. I haven't had any issues ever since this laptop burned off my nads.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guest View Post


    This power sucking still does not explain why Apple does not support BluRay at all. They could have a drive in the Mac Pros as BTO for a while now. I was looking into using the Lacie Firewire External BluRay drive on my MBP, but according to all info I could find it won't play movies because of Leopard's lack of BluRay support.



    It's more than just Leopard supporting it. You have to have an HDCP (aka hi-def DRM) compliant video card and display. Copy protection is no longer handled just in software like it is for DVDs. You have to have compliant hardware, too.



    Anybody know if any shipping Mac has a video card that support HDCP? What monitors are available that support it?
  • Reply 11 of 52
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    I'd like to see a Blu-ray drive in the Mac mini. That with Front Row would be a nice setup in the home theater.



    Front Row won't even output the digital audio for DVDs (DVD Player will, FrontRow will not from everything I've read). And I think they'd have to seriously upgrade the video card. I'm not sure there's any integrated video chipset that could handle decoding blu-ray's high-bandwidth data stream (and be HDCP compliant).



    Other than that, I love the idea!
  • Reply 12 of 52
    Who would be dumb enough to buy a blu-ray drive to watch movies on a laptop. There is zero difference between a standard DVD and HD on a screen that small.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    That sorta destroys the whole idea of the @TV...







    I can see it still working with @TV if you have a Blu-ray recorder and DVR functionality in the @TV. Then that way, you can off load your HD content from both the iTunes store as well as from HDTV broadcasts onto your Blu-ray discs via your built-in Blu-ray recording (BR) drive.



    To me, that would be the ultimate home theatre experience...it would have everything...and Apple has the savvy to make it work seamlessly.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    guestguest Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flydoggie View Post


    Who would be dumb enough to buy a blu-ray drive to watch movies on a laptop. There is zero difference between a standard DVD and HD on a screen that small.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    It's more than just Leopard supporting it. You have to have an HDCP (aka hi-def DRM) compliant video card and display. Copy protection is no longer handled just in software like it is for DVDs. You have to have compliant hardware, too.



    Anybody know if any shipping Mac has a video card that support HDCP? What monitors are available that support it?



    I have high res 17" MBP, and the GeForce 8600M is HDCP compliant by spec. Arguing wether HD looks like DVD on that screen is like comparing 128kb vs 256kb MP3.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guest View Post


    This power sucking still does not explain why Apple does not support BluRay at all. They could have a drive in the Mac Pros as BTO for a while now. I was looking into using the Lacie Firewire External BluRay drive on my MBP, but according to all info I could find it won't play movies because of Leopard's lack of BluRay support.



    Apple is on the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association, so they most certainly support Blu-ray. Moreover, considering that Blu-ray has won the format war with rival HD DVD, I think you'll finally see Apple put their high-def drive offerings into high gear.



    There were many variables keeping Apple from putting Blu-ray drives in their hardware until now--price to the end consumer, the looming format war (which is now over), their offerings from VOD standpoint, supporting hardware (graphic cards), Blu-ray profile implementation (2.0 is where they want to be), etc. Granted, all these are or are in the process of getting sorted out, so I'm optimistic that we'll be seening some Blu-macs soon!
  • Reply 16 of 52
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    That sorta destroys the whole idea of the @TV...





    I don't think so. Mac mini already has a DVD player, does that destroy the whole idea of AppleTV? Most of Apple's rentals aren't available as HD.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flydoggie View Post


    There is zero difference between a standard DVD and HD on a screen that small.



    You're simply wrong on that, unless you mean watching the movie across the room. At arm's length, HD is definitely better than DVD, even on a notebook screen. I tried this for myself when I first bought my 15" Core Duo Mac.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flydoggie View Post


    Who would be dumb enough to buy a blu-ray drive to watch movies on a laptop. There is zero difference between a standard DVD and HD on a screen that small.



    Not necessarily true. Totally dependent on how far away you are. As long as you are sitting within about 4 feet from the screen you'll benefit from having content with better than DVD resolution. And you'd be able to see the full 1080p from about 3 feet away. So if it's sitting on your lap or airline tray, you'll definitely be able to see the extra resolution.



    I'm extrapolating from this graph: http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html



    Also, if you have a compliant video out connection and TV, you always have the option of hooking up an external display.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    tcltcl Posts: 17member
    ...not wither.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    It's more than just Leopard supporting it. You have to have an HDCP (aka hi-def DRM) compliant video card and display. Copy protection is no longer handled just in software like it is for DVDs. You have to have compliant hardware, too.



    Anybody know if any shipping Mac has a video card that support HDCP? What monitors are available that support it?



    All currently shipping iMacs and the Mac Pro do via the ATI Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 graphics cards.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    I'm tired of the reading speed bump. "Cupertino-based company". It's Apple, okay? Sheesh!
Sign In or Register to comment.