Apple has grabbed lots of headlines this week, some for things it has done, others for things done to it. Of all the major Apple products, only the iPod has escaped mention.

With perhaps the potential to affect the most people is the deal announced this week with AT&T to extend exclusivity with the iPhone's only service provider until 2010. According to a story Thursday in USA Today, the two have conspired to ditch Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon customers, which expected to have access to the apple of every geek's eye after the end of 2008.

AT&T made the deal too sweet for Apple to pass up, reports USA Today, offering US$300 per unit for continuing as the sole provider of the iPhone 3G. That also explains how Apple managed to drop the price to $199. months. In exchange, Apple forgoes its slice of service revenues, reported the story, which goes into some detail about the deal's genesis.

In every life some rain must fall. Apple was publicly criticized last week for reacting slowly to the DNS vulnerability that surfaced in July. But now that the company has finally gotten around to releasing a patch, it's only for the server versions of OS X and leaves Tiger and Leopard users wide open.

Apple without explanation pulled the plug on NetShare, an tethering application from Nullriver that turns the iPhone into a wireless modem for your MacBook. The $10 application was available on Apple's AppStore iPhone application store for about two hours, then was yanked without warning. From what I've read, tethering is illegal in some countries, which may had led to its removal. Either that or AT&T cried foul; it has its own monthly tethering service, according to one post I saw. I've If you were lucky enough to have grabbed it, here's a 10-step NetShare tutorial from AppleInsider on getting it to work.

Finally, it's been widely rumored that graphics-chip maker nVIDIA is getting out of the business, which would leave Apple with the chore of finding a new supplier for its laptop video circuits. I'll leave the speculation to others; both Apple and nVIDIA are quiet on the subject.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].