RapidShare is widely known as an invaluable tool for the illegal sharing of copyrighted digital material. Much like Megaupload, which was shuttered earlier this year when company founder Kim Dotcom was arrested and charged with racketeering and violating anti-piracy laws, RapidShare allows users to upload any file and share a link with other users who may then download the content. While some users share files legally with RapidShare, millions more upload copyrighted movies, music and eBooks which are then downloaded illegally by others around the world who find links to the files on blogs or through special search engines. Following a preliminary ruling, a court in Germany has now declared RapidShare to be legal, but it must utilize a monitoring mechanisms if it wishes to remain operational. Read on for more. More →
Amazon will soon place initial component orders for its upcoming tablet, which is slated to launch in the second half of 2011 according to a new report from DigiTimes. Citing anonymous industry sources, the report claims Amazon’s initial order will likely fall in the 1.5 million to 2 million-unit range, and the retail giant is expected to take its first delivery in September. Taiwan-based touchscreen manufacturers Wintek, HannStar Display and J Touch are said to be vying for the contract, though Amazon could face supply issues right out of the gate. DigiTimes says Apple’s iPad tablet is expected to occupy the bulk of tablet production in the second half of the year, and this could make it difficult for manufacturers to meet Amazon’s production demands. Earlier this year, BGR exclusively reported that Amazon is planning to launch two tablets in the near future, a dual-core slate codenamed “Coyote” and a quad-core Kal El-based tablet codenamed “Hollywood.” More →
Apple confirmed on Tuesday that CEO Steve Jobs will be on hand at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference next week to unveil Apple’s next-generation software. Jobs and other Apple executives will finally take the wraps off iOS 5, the highly anticipated software update iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world have been clamoring for. Among the enhancements expected to be revealed are widgets and a completely revamped notification system. Apple will also detail its new iCloud offering, and while the company did not elaborate on the offering, it is expected to be a suite of cloud-based services that will include a streaming music service backed by major record labels in the U.S. Finally, Apple said it will provide new details surrounding Lion, the eighth major release of the Mac OS X operating system. Hit the break for Apple’s full press release.
We can’t say it comes as much of a surprise, but Google has just taken the wraps off of a service many of us have been waiting for years to see… or should we say, hear. Google’s freshly unveiled Music Beta service will give users a cloud-based solution for storing and streaming their digital music collections — and we mean, their entire collections; Google’s service supports the storage of up to 20,000 songs as opposed to the 1,000 tracks supported by Amazon’s Cloud Drive product, which Music Beta will compete with directly. Google’s Music Manager app supports Windows and Mac, and it allows users to upload their tracks directly to Music Beta. The Web-based music manager is a full-featured music player that supports organization, playlist creation and plenty more. The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently played music is always cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections are unavailable. Music Beta is available initially by invitation only, and it is free — at least, it’s free during the beta period. Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market beginning today.
Apple’s mysterious new billion-dollar data center in North Carolina has been a recurring topic of interest among tech sites for quite some time now. The massive facility is thought to be a hub that will power Apple’s next generation of cloud-based services, which may or may not include a subscription streaming music service tied to iTunes and a personal digital locker product. With future core Apple services relying on the new facility, the company had to ensure it found a seasoned veteran to run the data center, and it looks like Apple may have found its man: Kevin Timmons. A new rumor suggests that Apple recently poached Timmons from rival Microsoft, where he has held a General Manager position since 2009. Prior to that, Timmons was Yahoo!’s Vice President of Operations for 10 years. Microsoft confirmed that Timmons recently left the company, but it would not address his future plans. More →
A new job listing on Apple’s website reveals that the company is assembling a small team of engineers to build what the company refers to as “the future of cloud services at Apple.” The job listing, which seeks a Cloud Systems Software Engineer, calls for a programmer who will “explore the far reaches of the possible by joining the team building the future of cloud services at Apple!” Apple is rumored to be working on several new cloud-based offerings that may launch in the near future. Among the more recent rumors is rumblings that Apple will revamp its MobileMe service to include a digital locker that would allow users to store music and videos online and then stream the files to PCs and iOS devices. Amazon recently launched a Cloud Drive service that offers similar functionality. More →