TUAW is reporting that VLC may soon be removed from the App Store because it violates the GPL on the grounds that because the copy downloaded to your device is copy protected using a DRM then it violates the GPL.
I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think VLC on iOS is in violation of anything so long as the source is available. Just because I can’t copy the compiled program doesn’t mean it violates the GPL. It comes down to the source code itself. In a sense, a version of VLC compiled for older PPC Mac systems also violates the GPL because I can’t copy the binary from an PPC system to an Intel system or even from a Mac to a PC. Further, you’d never copy the program files from one Windows PC to another because it’s far easier to download the installer and install it. So goes with VLC on an iPod or iPhone, it’s easier to just install it from the App Store, it’s free after all.
Apple’s new (2010) Apple TV unit have shipped and some have been delivered. Reviews are starting to pop-up in various places. So far reviews seem positive.
iFixit has done a tear down of the new device revealing 256MB of ram, 8GB of storage and an A4 processor. These specs show that the Apple TV is basically the 8GB iPod touch sans screen. They also find that the board has a spot that is basically ready to accept the 30 pin dock connector. I’m sure it won’t be long before some daring soul manages to get one soldered to it.
One of the bigger complaints, that is if you want to listen to most commenters on Engadget, is the lack of 1080p playback. That the Apple TV is only 720p is a complete non-argument because there simply isn’t a source of real 1080p content other than blu-ray. Stolen stuff doesn’t count. If you record over the air HDTV you’re either going to get 1080i or 720p content and there is basically no reason not to deinterlace the 1080i content into 720p since the vast majority of HDTV sets around today are going to be flat panel based. Netflix and Amazon HD streams are both 720p. In fact, the only 1080p streaming source I’m aware of is Zune marketplace on the Xbox 360 and I’m not aware of any other set top box that is allowed to stream Zune marketplace material and only costs $99.
AppleInsider has photos of what is believed to be the screen for the upcoming iPod touch. Photos show an opening for a front facing camera which too isn’t much of a surprise with the recent release of FaceTime. THe idea here is anyone with a WiFi connection, email address and compatible iPod/iPhone would be able to place calls to each other. It’s really nothing overly revolutionary except that unlike before where you’d need a full computer to do effective video chatting you can now use a much more portable device.