It's a quiet weekend here at TUAW HQ, as most of our US-based team is enjoying a well-deserved break over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Since everyone's drinking mojitos by the pool, we're not doing a talkcast tonight (sorry!), but you can grab last week's show (featuring host Christina "C-Mac" Warren and the rest of the usual suspects) direct from Talkshoe or subscribe in iTunes.
Here's a quick update on some of the stories making Mac and iPhone news this weekend:
- Daring Fireball's John Gruber weighs in on the upcoming iPhone refresh rumors, citing informed sources who tell him that the CPU and RAM upgrades for the next-generation handheld will deliver impressive performance boosts, making this year's model up to twice as fast as the iPhone 3G. He also backs up the expected addition of a magnetometer and a video-capable improved camera (alongside the long-rumored video editing tools on the phone). You can see a thorough roundup of the state of iPhone rumors over at Wired's Gadget Lab. Perhaps the upcoming iPhone refresh is behind the expected ramp-up in distributed support hiring noted earlier this week.
- Kwame Jones discovered a preliminary interface for renting and purchasing movies & TV shows on the iPhone and iPod touch, which should be loads of fun even though it will be limited to WiFi connections.
- MDN and other sites have noted a North Carolina effort to get Apple to build a major server farm in the Tarheel State, with up to $46 million USD in tax incentives available if the company reaches a $1B investment threshold in nine years. Seems a shame that lawmakers declared the scuppernong grape as the official state fruit a few years ago, doesn't it.
- Glenn Fleischman from TidBITS pointed out that the UVA freshman computing survey is out again, showing more impressive gains for the Mac platform year-over-year. UC Davis shows a tripling of share for the Mac over the past three years.
- In a very quick turnaround, Cartier sued Apple for two iPhone apps that it claimed ripped off its products -- and then promptly withdrew the action. Nicely done.
- The First Ascent team, videoblogging their way up Mount Everest using solar power and MacBook Pro laptops, reached the summit earlier this week. Congratulations!
- The long-admired Windows photo app ACDsee finally released a Mac beta this week; it's worth a look.
- More photos and inside views from the Zurich Apple Store opening via ifoAppleStore.