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UMG to sell DRM-free music: Universal Music Group, the largest music label in the world, announced that it would offer digital-rights free music in a limited test run. The DRM-free songs will be sold through Google, Amazon, and other online retailers, but not through iTunes. The exclusion of iTunes is obviously an attempt by UMG to knock Apple off the top of the online music sales mountain. Also, Universal has hired a firm to monitor piracy during the test period, from Aug. 21 to Jan. 31.
My iTunes widgets: It's been a busy week for Apple. Not only has Apple released new iMacs and software, they also just released My iTunes, a set of widgets you can post on your Web pages to show people the music you've just bought, the reviews you've just written, and your iTunes favorites.
Apple to work on mercury reduction: The new aluminum iMac case makes the case easier to recycle when it's time to replace it. That's good for the environment, but Apple still needs to work of the amount of mercury use in its Macs. Apparently, the manufacturers of the mercury-free screen are having difficulty making larger screens. Currently, the mercury-free screen is available only in the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Dead iPhone screens: Some people have encountered dead spots on the iPhone screen, leading to Apple replacing the broken iPhones. The dead spots have been described as horizontal strips about a half-inch wide That run across the iPhone screen. There's some speculation that excessive heat may be causing the problem, so don't leave your iPhone on the dashboard of your car, and take it out of your pocket when you can.
In other news: Put us in the camp of people who find that the new iMac has poor viewing angles. The story about a man who decided to have surgery on his thumbs so he can use iPhones and Blackberrys is fake. And finally, what would you sniff if you were a dog with two noses?