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Friday, February 08, 2008, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Intel Core 2 Duo suit; 90K French iPhones; BBC iPlayer; 10.5.2 seed

A lawsuit filed against Intel accuses the firm of patent infringement with its Core 2 Duo processor. Also, a web exploit can crash iPhones and iPods, the sales rate for iPhones in France has slowed dramatically, and the BBC pledges iPlayer Mac downloads in 2008. A new Mac OS X 10.5.2 seed has also appeared.

Lawsuit charges Intel's Core 2 of patent infringement

A seven-page complaint (PDF) filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) takes Intel to task for what the institution claims is direct infringement of a 1998 patent on data speculation for parallel processing.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Smart Memory Access feature that speeds up Intel's Core 2 Duo processors is essentially a mirror of the invention developed by the Wisconsin scientists ten years ago. Intel has "refused" to license the technology as early as 2001 but ultimately used it without permission for the Core architecture, WARF says.

The lawsuit calls for a permanent injunction that would restrain Intel from selling Core 2 Duo processors in addition to damages. Intel has not commented on the matter.

Apple's current lineup depends almost exclusively on Core 2 Duo processors.

iPhone, iPod security flaw threatens Safari

SecurityFocus has called to light an unpatched security hole in the mobile version of Safari for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The denial of service attack uses a maliciously created JavaScript routine that rapidly depletes the memory given to the web browser, triggering a Mac OS X kernel panic that crashes the entire mobile operating system.

The exploit uses the same approach as one for Mozilla's Firefox 1.5 and affects both the 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 firmware versions for the iPhone and iPod. Macs are also affected but only for systems running Mac OS X 10.4.2 or earlier.

French iPhone sales slow in January

Orange France headman Louis-Pierre Wenes has revealed this week that iPhone sales in the country had reached the 90,000 mark by the end of January.

The number signals a considerable drop from the 70,000 iPhones sold in December, the phone's first full month on sale.

It also represents continued disappointment for the firm. While the 70,000 sold at the end of 2007 fell short of the original 100,000-unit goal, January sales were just under a third as quick and amounted to 645 iPhones sold per day versus the average of 2,258 daily sales in December.

Regardless, Wenes remains optimistic and notes that about half of all iPhone customers are new to Orange. The carrier's long-term predictions have called for between 400,000 and 500,000 iPhones sold in the first year of sales in France.

BBC vows Mac-compatible iPlayer downloads in 2008

The BBC will offer Mac versions of downloads from its iPlayer service in 2008, according to its director general, Mark Thompson.

After receiving criticism in the UK parliament as well as from viewers, the TV network executive says the BBC has been working to make the Internet show replay service "platform neutral" ever since applying for iPlayer's approval with the BBC Trust. The use of protected Windows Media for current downloads is more a question of expediency than a lack of respect, Thompson claims.

"The BBC was forced to choose between offering the service to a majority of users immediately - or to not offer catchup TV over the internet until full platform neutrality could be achieved," he explains.

While the director does not say what protection system would be used for Macs to maintain copyright, he notes that Mac users have been able to stream episodes over the web since December.

New Mac OS X 10.5.2 seed hints at upcoming release

Apple seeded its 9C31 build of its Mac OS X 10.5.2 update to developers on Wednesday.

The update marks just one build number after the most recent seed and only fixes an isolated network connection issue, people familiar with the seed report.

Such rapid-fire updates to developers are often a telltale sign that a public release is impending.