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Amazon Bans Sale of Potentially Dangerous USB-C Cables

Amazon has tightened restrictions on the sale of USB-C cables and adapters on its online store in an effort to protect customers from risky substandard products (via The Verge). The online retailer added non-compliant USB-C cables to its list of prohibited items, following a flood of potentially damaging third-party cables onto the market. The new note on Amazon's page of undesirables prohibits "any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by 'USB Implementers Forum Inc.'" The update was spotted by Google engineer Benson Leung, who has been testing USB-C cables sold by Amazon in an effort to highlight the risks of non-compliant products. Leung was spurred into action after a USB-C charging cable he bought destroyed a Chromebook Pixel he was working on in compatibility tests. Apple introduced the USB-C standard to its Mac range with the release of the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The new standard allows charging, data transfer, and video over a single connector. As a result, USB-C cables are capable of carrying a lot more power than traditional USB connectors, making faulty units a risk to computers and power supplies, and potentially a fire hazard. Apple states in a support document that the 12-inch MacBook will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification. Based on Leung's extensive testing, 30 percent of third-party USB-C cables currently available do not meet USB-IF standards. Apple's USB-C ports are designed to shut down if a

Apple TV Drops to $89.99 at Amazon and Best Buy

As noticed by 9to5Mac, both Amazon and Best Buy have dropped their prices on the Apple TV by $10 to $89.99. Interestingly, Amazon has also added a "2010" designation to its Apple TV title, leading to speculation that the retailers may be making room for a potential update to the device. Third-party retailers are, however, usually not particularly accurate sources of information on new product releases given that Apple does not generally keep them apprised of its product plans. But despite that caveat and the fact that mid-November is beyond Apple's usual timeframe for new product introductions ahead of the holiday shopping season, the developments may spark some interest among those who have been eagerly awaiting word of a new Apple TV model. With iOS 5 released back in June opening the door to a 1080p Apple TV and references to a new Apple TV model showing up in iOS 5, it seems that Apple may unsurprisingly be working on a hardware update for the Apple TV, but the timeframe for such a release is unknown. Apple is also said to be working on a Siri-enabled television set, but that product is reportedly not set to debut until late 2012 or 2013 and it is unclear how that product would affect or relate to the Apple TV set-top

Mac OS X Lion to Come on DVD?

Apple Bitch notes that a new placeholder has appeared on Amazon's German site suggesting that Apple will be distributing Mac OS X Lion on DVD when it is released later this year. A listing for the latest version of the Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, which is due for release this summer, has appeared on the German Amazon website. The significance of the listing is that the OS is apparently being offered on DVD, rather than on the USB thumb drive, upon which Apple had begun to offer the Snow Leopard OS with the purchase of the new MacBook Air models last year.No price or availability date is given on the listing. Amazon's site is a rather frequent source for product speculation given the company's tendency to post placeholders based on rumor in advance of official release information, and Amazon's German site seems to be one of the most active of Amazon's regional arms in this regard. Consequently, we hesitate to read too much into this speculation and are posting it on Page 2 primarily for interest and discussion at this time. The distribution mechanism for Mac OS X Lion is certainly up for discussion given recent developments in Apple's hardware and software offerings. With the redesigned MacBook Air lacking an optical drive and proving to be a popular notebook for consumers, Apple's shift to a small USB drive for backup software on the machine has led to speculation that the company could adopt that method entirely for Mac OS X Lion distribution. In addition, Apple has been delivering developer seeds of Mac OS X Lion via the company's new Mac App Store,