The Appeal (and Ethics) of Hackintoshing: Should Apple License the Mac OS?

Writing on Fast Company, Farhad Manjoo says that not long ago, he got his hands on “one of the slowest, ugliest, and least-user-friendly Macintosh laptops the world has ever seen” — and he loves it, since it sports a couple of features that others can’t match. It’s tinier and lighter than Apple’s (s aapl) pricey MacBook Air, and even better, having cost him only about $500, a third of Apple’s tariff for the most inexpensive Air.

This laptop is of course a “Hackintosh” — specifically a 9-inch Dell netbook Farhad has hacked to run Apple’s Mac OS X. He notes that since Apple adapted its elegant OS to run on Intel’s (s intc) processors, hackers have been diligently breaking down the walls between Macs and PCs.
My daughter, a lifelong Mac fanatic, is one of them, having been happily running OS X — currently Leopard — on a 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 desktop box for the past three years and finding it more than satisfactory. I’ve tried out this machine, and it’s impressively fast. However, my daughter is an accomplished computer tech who’s been able to deal with the necessary tweaking and technical tedium of getting OS X up and running reliably on her bargain basement Dell. Read More about The Appeal (and Ethics) of Hackintoshing: Should Apple License the Mac OS?

Is the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Tune?

[show=youtubesymphony size=large]There is something almost too calculated about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra: a Chinese composer writing music for a Western-style symphony that draws its membership from a global community? But if you can get past the glaring PC-ness of the project, what awaits you is a sweet-natured experiment — albeit a perhaps unnecessary one.
The official web site for the project is frankly cool. A Flash interface guides you through the various sections of the orchestra, allowing you to click on their chairs and learn more about each performer on their individual YouTube channels. And the introductory video is a well-paced, 6-minute compilation of winners saying hello and finding amusing ways to represent themselves and their home countries in a brief span of time.
Drawing together this group of performers, all of whom exhibit some serious skills but whose experience ranges from amateur to professional, is in concept a great idea, a wonderful experiment that will undoubtedly help to build YouTube’s musical community while also highlighting the site’s global reach. And for the musicians chosen by viewer voting, it must be an extraordinarily exciting opportunity.
But, like other events such as YouTube Live, is it ultimately anything more than just a publicity stunt for the company? Read More about Is the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Tune?