Remains of the Day: ARM wrestling

Apple continues to try and port OS X to every chip, up to and including those delicious chocolate tortilla ones, Siri keeps bugging Wolfram Alpha for information, and it looks like your used music files will clutter your iTunes library until the end of time. The remainders for Tuesday, February 7, 2012 are still trying to digitize their Edison wax cylinders.

Porting Darwin to the MV88F6281 (TUDelft)

Thanks to his undergraduate’s bachelor thesis, we now know that one Apple intern worked on a “secret” project to port OS X’s underpinnings to an ARM processor. And the Internet goes wild! Except the iPad and iPhone already run on ARM processors, and it’s no secret that Apple likes to maintain its codebase for multiple platforms (see the Intel transition). So, uh, as you were.

Apple A5 Mystery Solved (The Linley Group)

Speaking of chips, many have wondered why Apple hasn’t ported the iPhone 4S’s new virtual assistant, Siri, to the iPhone 4, when jailbreakers have managed to get it running. Well, according to one microprocessor expert, it’s because the A5 processor in the 4S incorporates some background-noise-filtering magic from a startup called Audience—a feature that isn’t present on the iPhone 4’s A4 chip. Or, if you prefer a less technical answer, they can’t afford to pay Siri the overtime.

Wolfram, a Search Engine, Finds Answers Within Itself (New York Times)

On the topic of Siri, apparently queries from Apple’s virtual assistant add up to about 25 percent of Wolfram Alpha’s traffic. The other 75 percent? People who go to Wolfram Alpha once, ask it about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, laugh, and then never come back.

New High-DPI UI Resources in 10.7.3 (Daring Fireball)

High dot-per-inch displays for Macs have been rumored for years, but with the release of Mac OS X 10.7.3, it appears they may be one step closer. Several resources—including Safari’s link pointer hand, Mail’s grab hand, and the camera cursor for screenshots—have apparently been redesigned to scale to larger sizes without looking pixelated. Conspiracy theorists will, of course, argue that this signals nothing less than a Mac that can be operated with hands in special Mickey Mouse-style gloves.

Judge Refuses to Shut Down Online Market for Used MP3s (Wired)

A judge has decided not to shut down ReDigi, a site that lets users buy and sell of used digital music files, but admits that the plaintiff in the case—Capitol Records—will likely win in a trial. And here I’d been looking to unload all my vintage MP2 files from the late 90s, early 2000s.

Product News:

Audio Hijack Pro 2.10.1 - Rogue Amoeba's audio capture program for Mac has been updated so that its Instant On feature can now record audio from apps purchased from the Mac App Store and fixes an uncommon startup issue. Free update for owners of some previous versions; $32 new.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.4 - The venerable disk cloning utility can now clone and archive the Recovery HD partition that Lion creates, supports the ability to wake or boot your computer for scheduled tasks, and can create a Lion install image from the Lion Installer in the Applications folder, if present. Free (donation requested).

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