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Apple retires Xserve RAID; MacBook Keyboard Update; more

Lost in the (iPod) shuffle, Apple on Tuesday quietly retired its Xserve RAID storage unit in favor of third-party devices. Also, a new firmware update for Apple portables aims to cure unresponsive keyboards, Gameloft has hinted at games for the iPhone, and even Adobe spokespeople aren't sure if Flash will be available on the device.

Apple discontinues Xserve RAID

While most attention was centered on the introduction of the 2GB iPod shuffle, Apple on Tuesday removed its Xserve RAID storage device from the company's online store.

Users who try to visit the product page for the three-unit rackmount device find themselves automatically redirected to a page that promotes the VTrak E-Class, a similarly-sized replacement from third-party manufacturer Promise.

The Mac maker bills the VTrak device as an "ideal" storage hub for Xsan 2, its storage area network (SAN) software which was introduced today and touts certification for third-party RAID storage as one of its main enhancements.

Apple has noted that some Xserve RAID units remain in the channel, though without first-party sales is likely to be confined to third-party sales until supplies run out.

Apple posts MacBook, MacBook Pro Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0

Apple has also posted Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0 (876KB) for MacBook and MacBook Pro systems.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later and is intended to fix an issue that would cause initial unresponsiveness in the keyboard after the system has remained idle. Some "other issues" are addressed, Apple says.

The fix is believed to address user complaints about multiple generations of either portable line randomly losing keyboard input, which in some cases has required a system restart.

Gameloft exec shows iPhone mockup, aims for iPhone games

Attendees of a keynote speech by Gameloft chief Michel Guillemot for this week's Game Developer Conference were given a surprise when a presentation by the executive showed what appeared to be one of the French firm's games running on an iPhone in a video segment promoting mobile games.

While the image itself is likely a mockup unconnected to any particular release, Guillemot has expressed a desire to bring his company's games to the Apple handset. The official software development kit for the iPhone, due before the end of the month, is expected to ease programming efforts for third parties.

The company is also one of the most likely candidates to provide the first games for the touchscreen phone, having produced key titles for iPod media players.

Adobe staff: Flash for iPhone remains a mystery

Even as reports claim an imminent release of Adobe's Flash animation plugin for the iPhone's Safari web browser, a prominent Adobe worker notes that development, if any, remains secret beyond the most senior officials at the company despite customer demand.

Internet application spokesman Ryan Stewart suggests that no common workers at Adobe appear to know anything about the software, which would grant the iPhone access to a much wider range of websites.

"I assume someone at the high levels of Adobe knows what the status is but I don't and everyone I talk to doesn't. That's because only Apple really knows anything about it," he says.

Stewart in turn suggests that the most likely route to gaining Flash support for the iPhone would be to contact Apple itself, as it controls what software is allowed to run on the cellphone. "This isn't Adobe's device," he says.