Boxee is the latest piece of software to enter the home theater PC space. It’s recently become available as a public alpha. The first build is only for OSX 10.5, but Ubuntu is coming. Built on the XBMC code base-they even hosted the XBMC developer con last weekend-it has the same goal of letting you navigate and watch/listen to all of your media from your using just a remote. There’s more than just that though.
On June 23rd, EFiX is planning on releasing a USB dongle that will let any PC boot and install OSX from a retail DVD. The commercial device is supposed to take care of all patching and other woes OSX86 enthusiasts have had to deal with. Very little information is provided other than a statement that the development process took a lot of time and that they overcame “sabotage”… so, it’s got that going for it. Major OSX86 contributor (and Psystar hater) [Netkas] received a device to test and was pleased with the results. We’re just going to wait and see what happens. Not that it matters; they have no plans of releasing it in the US.
XBMC (formerly Xbox Media Center) has always been a popular choice for retiring an original Xbox. Maybe people install it for lack of something better to do or maybe it’s the pride in having better media support than the 360. The XBMC team has found another device that has a pretty weak television experience, the Mac. Lifehacker took the latest XBMC for OSX beta build for a run now that it supports remote controls. It seems like a much more functional than Apple’s built in Front Row. There are a few things that don’t quite work yet, which you can find in the FAQ. We’re definitely going to try this on our old Mac mini… once we upgrade it to Leopard, which is an unfortunate caveat that might prevent people from running XBMC on legacy hardware. There is no Apple TV support planned because of limited horsepower and the hacking hurdles that might be required. If you’re interested in repurposing your old Xbox with XBMC, check out Lifehacker’s install guide.
Our friend [Rich Mogull] has been flipping the switches on Leopard’s new firewall and scanning it to see what’s actually going on. There is some good and some bad. The new application signing is a mixed bag. It breaks Skype and a commenter pointed out that automatically trusting Apple installed apps like NetCat isn’t a good idea either. You can roll your own firewall using user friendly tools like WaterRoof since ipfw is still included.