Australian Website Hints at New Macs, Higher Prices

An Australian tech website has started running ads featuring Mac Pros (s aapl) and MacBook Pros whose entry-level prices are noticeably higher than those in the current Mac lineup.

So what, right? The ads are probably incorrectly labeled, or something. But the word on the street (well, the word on Engadget, anyway) is that these might predict the much-anticipated Mac refreshes that we’ve been waiting for.
From Engadget:

Apple’s Australian online store lists the most affordable versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Pro at A$1599, A$1999 and A$3599, respectively, but the ads show significantly higher “starting at” prices of A$1899, A$2399, and A$4499.

Following the ads to Apple’s Australian online store reveals the same Mac models at the same old prices, so either these ads are terribly wrong or they’re been released a little early… Read More about Australian Website Hints at New Macs, Higher Prices

BitTorrent After The Pirate Bay: Do You Still Need Trackers?

The Pirate Bay made headlines earlier this week with yet another dramatic announcement, this time that the notorious BitTorrent site’s tracker has been officially shut down. But the move won’t impact downloading, site admins explained on a blog. Trackers are no longer needed to facilitate BitTorrent transfers, the blog entry explained, because decentralized extensions of the P2P protocol are mature enough to pick up the tab. “It’s the end of an era, but the era is no longer up2date,” the blog proclaimed.
As always with announcements from the folks at The Pirate Bay, there’s a lot of self-serving smoke and mirrors, mixed with a good amount of hubris. However, the announcement does bring up an interesting question: Is BitTorrent really ready for a world without trackers? We talked to some of the major players to find out.
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Java: Coming Soon to Google’s App Engine

google_app_engine_logo_wtxtGoogle (s GOOG) will soon announce comprehensive support for the Java programming language on its Google App Engine (GAE) offering. We are trying to get more details. Rumors of such a development emerged last year, but we can now confirm that it is going to happen. We have have confirmed the news and expect the announcement later this spring, perhaps at the much-vaunted Google I/O event on May 27-28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A Google spokesperson declined to comment. Read More about Java: Coming Soon to Google’s App Engine

SXSW Cloud Computing Panel: Clouds Still Need Work

Cloud computing and cloud services are real, but this is only the beginning. This was the message the guys who helped build Amazon (s AMZN) Web Services, Google’s (s Goog) App Engine and Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Azure clouds conveyed in Austin, Texas, this morning at South by Southwest’s only cloud computing panel. It was packed.

Given that between one-quarter and one-third of the audience identified themselves as Amazon Web Services users, the reality of the cloud doesn’t seem to be in doubt.  Because I was moderating the panel, I didn’t get the chance to take great notes, so I am taking the easy way out and posting some of the most interesting statements as bullets. You can also check out the Twitter stream using the #sxswcc tag. While Meebo hosted the official chat rooms for these panels, Twitter has become the de facto back channel for audience commentary during the event. Read More about SXSW Cloud Computing Panel: Clouds Still Need Work

Joyent Buys Reasonably Smart to Create Open-source Cloud

Joyent today announced it has agreed to acquire Reasonably Smart, a fledgling cloud startup based on JavaScript and Git, for an undisclosed amount. While on the surface it might look like simple industry consolidation, Reasonably Smart’s technology will in fact help Joyent compete with emerging service-centric clouds while retaining an open model that makes developers comfortable.

You might think the deal is just cloud roll-up: Reasonably Smart was a very small startup. David Young, Joyent’s CEO, said the company–whose backers include PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel– is in “a strong financial position that supports making strategic acquisitions.” Dig a bit deeper, however, and the deal is more than just a roll-up. Joyent gets an open platform with which to attract developers while preparing the company for the looming threat of Google (s goog) and Microsoft (s msft).

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Web Infrastructure And a Startup Funding Manifesto

Two-thousand eight will be remembered as a watershed year for many reasons, but two are of special interest to the startup community: the meltdown in the financial markets and the emergence of cloud computing.  Tighter capital means investors will be more cautious, and startups can expect lower valuations. However, the growth of cloud computing provides a possible opportunity for both investors and startups: cheap and easy experimentation. Read More about Web Infrastructure And a Startup Funding Manifesto

The Cloud Will Force Networking Vendors to Change Their Stripes

Many operational clouds, such as Amazon Web Services, still require their customers to corral their own machines, however virtual. On the other hand, development clouds like or Google’s App Engine hide the underlying machines, and handle all the networking equipment — virtual and real — on behalf of their customers. Either model means a big transition for the makers of traditional networking equipment.

Google Woos Developers at I/O

The first day of Google I/O seemed like a coming out party for Google App Engine, the company’s competitive threat to Amazon AWS. For one, the registrations were thrown open to everyone, and for another, two new APIs were released: the image manipulation API, and (more interesting to web app hosting in general), the memcache API. Now the memcache API was something I expected from Amazon a long time ago, but perhaps they don’t use it themselves as much so it’s not in AWS.

With Yahoo in limbo and Microsoft missing in action on the Internet, Google is making a huge play for developer mindshare. As Microsoft and Sun both demonstrated very effectively, focusing on getting developers excited and making them happy is the key to the success of a platform. Google I/O appears to be Google’s big play for developers. And so far it seems to be working. Read More about Google Woos Developers at I/O