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Thursday, June 05, 2008, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Mystery Apple boxes; Safari JavaScript boost; thinner 3G iPhone?

Stacks of unmarked boxes are appearing at a Quanta distribution center just days before WWDC. Meanwhile, the WebKit team plans a major performance boost to JavaScript in Safari; the company has released a security configuration guide; and a report claims the 3G iPhone's dimensions are smaller than case makers have previously thought.

Masses of Apple boxes appear at Quanta depot

Whatever Apple is planning to unveil at its Worldwide Developer Conference next week, it's moving a large volume of products through its supply channels, Forbes's Brian Caulfield has found.

Acting on previous reports that Apple has shipped 19 deliveries overseas from Quanta, which is believed to be a current iPhone manufacturer, the journalist visited a Quanta facility in Fremont, Calif. that appears to be overflowing with Apple deliveries.

Despite being a large facility that processes the goods of multiple manufacturers, the location on Wednesday night had dozens of tall pallets of boxes that all reportedly belonged to Apple. Some of these were clearly iMacs, but 20 others placed side-by-side were wrapped in plain brown packaging.

These boxes could be any device, Caulfield warns, but employees at the Quanta building are said to be very active and also elusive: the shipping supervisor was "really busy" during one attempt to collect information, while another worker approached on the presence of iPhones said he was "not at liberty" to discuss what the manufacturer was shipping.

SquirrelFish to give Safari's JavaScript 60 percent boost

The team refining the WebKit engine behind Safari hopes to inject the renderer's JavaScript interpreter with a new high-speed platform, MacNN reports.

Called SquirrelFish, the engine switches from the basic engine currently in Safari, which simply walks through syntax, to a much more complex bytecode engine that avoids many of the code revisits and overhead as it deciphers JavaScript on a website.

Even though still in early testing with nightly builds of the Webkit test browser, the results are described as dramatic: in a SunSpider test of the scripting language, SquirrelFish runs 60 percent faster than Safari's stock interpreter.

SquirrelFish benchmarks


There are no clues given as to when Safari will see the addition, but performance is expected to get better: the team is already happy but believes the current speed is "just the beginning."

Apple posts Mac OS X Security Configuration Guide

Further evidence that Apple is beginning to take security more seriously has surfaced this week in the form of the company's new Security Configuration Guides for Mac OS X Leopard, Tiger, and Panther.

Targeted at both advanced home and workplace users, the guides are billed as helping lock down Macs against most security threats but can compromise the computer in the hands of less experienced users. Any settings ought to be "thoroughly tested" before left alone, Apple warns.

Case makers caught off-guard by 3G iPhone change?

If one report is to be believed, prototype cases for 3G iPhones allegedly made by Griffin and others may be useless by the time the Apple device is on shelves.

iDealsChina claims that last-minute changes make the actual iPhone refresh 2mm (0.08 inches) shorter and 0.5mm (0.02 inches) thinner than originally thought, potentially leaving these companies with thousands of loose-fitting cases to either sell or destroy. A mockup provided by an insider purportedly shows proof of the end product's looks.

Notably, iDealsChina both provided the earlier Griffin leak and sells iPhone accessories, making it difficult to independently determine the authenticity of the report.