Verizon sides with Google; new Get a Mac ad; iPhone speed boost?

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Verizon is joining Google's Open Handset Alliance, leaving AT&T as the lone major holdout. Meanwhile, Apple has aired a new "Get a Mac" ad trumpeting the irony of a Mac winning a Windows speed test.

Verizon teams up with Open Handset Alliance

Surprising at least some of its critics, Verizon on Tuesday said it would join Google and participate in the search engine giant's Open Handset Alliance.

Known by many in the past for restricting its hardware and software more than any other American carrier, Verizon will support and use devices that run the Android mobile operating system, which lets handset developers and third-party programmers use the hardware and software in virtually any way they see fit. The company recently announced that it would open its network to subscribers who want to unlock their phones or install their own software.

The decision was triggered in large part by the pressure from Google and others to demand open access for future cellphones using the 700MHz frequency, according to Verizon headman Lowell McAdam.

The new policy leaves AT&T standing alone as the only leading US cellular company to have so far declined signing up with the Alliance. The iPhone carrier has contemplated the possibility of carrying Android phones and supporting the open initiative but remains undecided.

New "Get a Mac" ad: "Misprint"

Ratcheting up its marketing for end-of-year sales, Apple has begun airing a new TV spot for its "Get a Mac" campaign.

"Misprint" takes a jab at competing PC vendors rather than Windows' creator, Microsoft. It refers to a PCWorld article which notes that the fastest Windows Vista notebook tested by the magazine this year is a MacBook Pro running Vista in Boot Camp — not a system sold with Windows pre-installed.

"It's against the laws of nature," says John Hodgman's "PC" character as he phones in a mock complaint to the magazine.

Latest iPhone update provides speed boost?

If the iPhone's interface feels faster after applying November's 1.1.2 update, this is likely because Apple sped up the phone's clock rates with the firmware patch, according to iPhone Atlas.

Using a modified iPhone and an unofficial system monitoring tool, the site notes that Apple has nudged the speed of the main processor from an even 400MHz to 412MHz and the system bus from 100MHz to 103MHz when comparing the new version to its 1.1.1 predecessor

Just why Apple has increased performance is unclear, though the ARM processor used at the heart of the iPhone allegedly has far more headroom: if not for power concerns, Apple could run the processor as high as 620MHz or more, says the report.

iPhone sits atop Google's fastest-rising searches

A segment on an episode of the Today Show this week revealed that searches for "iphone" blossomed faster than any other term on Google's search engine in 2007.

Apple's handset gained momentum faster than the plush Webkinz toys, which reached second place, and the third-place Hollywood gossip site TMZ, according to Google Search and User Experience VP Marissa Mayer.

The iPhone is the only computing hardware to reach the top ten, which is also shared with Facebook, YouTube, and Anna Nicole Smith. The chart doesn't, however, reflect the total number of searches run for each term.

 

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