Ruling Allows ‘Jailbreaking’ of iPhones

Filed at 11:46 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Owners of the iPhone will be able to legally break electronic locks on their devices in order to download software applications that haven’t been approved by Apple Inc., according to new government rules announced Monday.

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as ”jailbreaking” is one of a handful of new exemptions from a 1998 federal law that prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized uses. The Library of Congress’ Copyright Office reviews and authorizes exemptions every three years to ensure that the law does not prevent certain non-infringing use of copyright-protected material.

In addition to jailbreaking, other exemptions announced Monday would:

— allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

— allow people to break technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws.

— allow college professors, film students and documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos.

— allow computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced.

I am very excited by this recent news. While I am not totally sure of all the implications here, in general, this seems like a step in the right direction. I don’t think it puts me any closer to an iPhone on Verizon, though.

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Aiden was upset because the helium in his balloon was gone. He couldn’t understand why the balloon wouldn’t float up in the sky like it used to. We found a video on Discovery Education that explains the properties of helium and demonstrates how it is lighter than the air around it.

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Bad news for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad users who were using ScreenSplitr & DemoGod free apps to enable desktop mirroring of device on desktopsmiley_sad

To my disappointment, I discovered that DemoGod no longer supports ScreenSplitr on my iPod Touch. After a little further investigation what I’ve discovered is that DemoGod (the Mac desktop software) is no longer available for free use. Instead, Plutinosoft has rolled DemoGod into a new app called iDemo, which is regularly $9.99, but currently on sale for $8.99.

Given the glitchiness of the DemoGod and ScreenSplitr that I have experienced over that past 4-6 months, I’m not sure I’m ready to invest $8.99 on the software at this time. I have had numerous problems using the Demo/Screen combination at conferences and meetings where public wifi is available. At home, on my own wifi network, the duo functions flawlessly, but out in the field, it can’t be trusted.

For now, I will stick to DisplayOut and iPad VGA dongle for onsite presentations. Not sure where I’ll go for creating screencasts of apps.

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iPad desktop

Fresh off a 12 day trip to Europe where my research team presented a paper at the SSSR 2010 Conference, I wanted to share the different iPad apps I traveled with. I loaded the device with a variety of apps and media that I hoped would allow me to be productive during the trip. It was my hope to use the iPad the entire time in place of the MacBook Air I normally rely on during travel. In the interest of full disclosure, I did have the Air with me. (Hey, you ALWAYS need to have a back-up plan!) Also important to note, while I did use a 3G model during the trip, the AT&T data service is not accessible in Europe, which limited the availability of some apps at certain times.

My iPad strategy for this trip was to use the iPad for both Creation and Consumption purposes. I really wanted to try to be productive during the 6-7 hours of both flights, not just spend the time watching movies and listening to music. I also wanted to diligently eliminate all that paper-based clutter (and weight) from my satchel, i.e., take text files with me rather than carry books, magazines, paper copies of articles and printed PDFs.

I’ve created a Google spreadsheet to share direct links to the iTunes App Store of all the apps I will share. The spreadsheet also includes a brief overview of the ways I find myself using each app and the cost of the app. This time around, I really tried to keep things free, but I did decide to try a few Paid apps. Currently, I have around $12 – $15 invested in the apps that will be showcasing. This post, we’ll focus on the apps I targeted for CONTENT CREATION.

Read the rest of this entry…

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TouchSmart Publishing and the Primax Group Announce Strategic Partnership for Education Content

TouchSmart Publishing, LLC and The Primax Group today announced a strategic partnership to collaborate in developing digital and graphic content for interactive textbooks.

TouchSmart Publishing intends to create and distribute exciting and easy-to-use interactive textbooks that connect to digital content by touching pages of paper. This “touch user interface (TUI)” is positioned to bridge the digital divide for students. TouchSmart founder and President Jason Barkeloo stated “Primax brings the highest level of experience to digital content development.” He added, “With our interactive wireless textbooks connecting to digital content developed by Primax, students will gain a superior edge in learning. School districts and administrators will gain an advantage in meeting the mandates of IDEA, NCLB, and 504 compliance while reducing the cost of books.”

Using the textbook as a content distribution platform can create other interesting models. For example, reporting to the teacher a student’s participation with the book creates a killer-app for teachers and the unmotivated student’s worst nightmare. Another example is updating the content on the server-side. This reduces the reliance upon future high-cost multiple edition textbooks.

I’m pretty interested in seeing what this TUI looks like. Also wondering what type of device is required for “reading” and also the costs associated with these digital, interactive textbooks.

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Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.