The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (7/15)

Iphone4_6a Apple Friday Press Conference: Will It Fix the iPhone 4 Problem?

The iPhone 4 antenna problem is real. Apple needs to step up and make things right for the customers affected by it, and that may be what the company plans to do during a last-minute press conference Friday. The press conference will start 10 a.m. at Apple’s town hall in Cupertino, Calif. Wired.com will provide news coverage of the event. You can also follow follow @gadgetlab or @bxchen on Twitter to stay plugged in to the news in real time. Multiple independent tests have found that the iPhone 4 was more likely to suffer from attenuation (i.e., signal degradation) compared to similar handsets, when held in a very natural position covering the antenna gap in the lower-left corner. The tests so far, performed by Consumer Reports and some bloggers, aren’t perfectly scientific, but they are consistent and repeatable. They point to the same inescapable conclusion: The iPhone 4’s antenna issues are related to a hardware design flaw. That’s not a problem that can be resolved with an upcoming software update to correct the way the iPhone 4 displays signal strength, as Apple has promised

Cloud Millions Would Pay for Cloud-Based iTunes Subscription

Millions of U.S. music fans use iTunes to play and organize the music they’ve downloaded, ripped and purchased. According to a new study, a significant portion of them wouldn’t mind paying for an iTunes subscription that would let them hear anything in its library for a monthly fee — essentially the same nut Rhapsody and others have been trying to crack for years. Can Apple succeed where so many others have failed, perhaps by leveraging its Lala acquisition and its strong suite of devices and software that so many already use? Yes, says the market research firm NPD Group, which determined that between seven and eight million U.S. music fans would pay $10 per month for a cloud-based version of iTunes that would let them listen to, and organize, any of its 11 million-plus songs across their computers, phones and media players.

500x_screen_shot_2010-07-15_at_9.40.45_am Scientists Discover the First Planet With a Tail

Scientists have discovered the first cometary planet, one with a huge tail, a stream of gas being ripped off by solar winds at 22,000 miles per hour. This jovian world is located 153 light-years from Earth. The planet—called HD 209458b—orbits 100 times closer to its home star than our Jovian neighbor, traveling in an astonishingly fast 3.5-day orbit. For comparison, Mercury—our solar system fastest planet—has an 88-day orbit.

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