WWDC Forecast: Partly iPhone, a Storm of Mobile Me and 10.6, and a Chance of Tablet.

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WWDC Forecast: Partly iPhone, a Storm of Mobile Me and 10.6, and a Chance of Tablet.

 

 

WWDC Fever: Steve's keynote is Monday, so only a couple more days of rumors and speculation until we finally know what's true and what's just wishful thinking. Like today, AmTech analyst Shaw Wu has given a "50 percent chance" we'll see a 4- to 7-inch tablet introduced at WWDC next week. (Well, isn't the chance of anything 50-50? Either it's going to happen or it isn't.) The same analyst doubts we'll get new Macs, though.

 

Snow Leopard Sighting: Well, not really -- just another rumor. Mac OS 10.6 is rumored to be Intel only, and could be out as early as the Macworld Expo in January 2009. ArsTechnica says it's internally code-named Snow Leopard, and AppleInsider heard that it might be Cocoa-only, meaning that older Carbon-based apps wouldn't run.

 

More rumormongering: Actually, this one is true, although it will quickly lead to more rumors. The first builds of Mac OS 10.5.4 have been seeded to developers. The update is supposed to fix issues 10.5.3 users have had saving Adobe CS3 files, as well as addressing problems with iCal and AirPort. TUAW's "reliable source" says it'll be released on June 12 and include support for the as-yet-unconfirmed Mobile Me service, the next generation of .Mac. Here's some more speculation about Mobile Me, including the potential iPhone integration.

 

Other computer news: Psystar has a 10.5.3 update for the Open Computer clones. Prosoft Engineering has Leopard boot DVDs for Data Rescue II and Drive Genius 2, its data-recovery and drive-maintenance utilities. And Google's policy of letting employees spend 20 percent of their time on projects of their choice, combined with the fact that more than 6,000 Google employees use Macs, is leading to some cool open-source Mac apps on the Google Mac Developer Playground. Oh, and here's a good one: Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is touting the company's policy of letting Vista users downgrade to XP for the low, low cost of nothing. "I don't know how you can do better than getting both," Ballmer told the press. (Um, we can.)

 

Your money: Buy a lot of stuff online? That whole no-sales-tax loophole might be headed the way of the 56k modem. But on a happier note, the FCC and Congress are considering restrictions on early-termination fees. Yes, please.

 

And finally: A recycled seacraft named the Junk is sailing the Pacific to study and bring more attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island of floating plastic trash that's nearly as big as the United States. You can follow the journey on their blog. Really makes you think about how much plastic we buy, use, and discard every day.

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