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Apple News: Orb, Boxee and Icky HDCP

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Thanksgiving is a week away (Wait, really?), and we have a bounty of Apple (s Appl) news to report — though not all of it will make you give thanks.

First, the good news. Our colleagues over at the mobile devices blog jkOntheRun are excited that the Orb 2.0 app is available through the iTunes AppStore and no longer requires a jailbroken iPhone. Orb lets you stream video content like downloaded videos and live TV from your PC (oddly, it doesn’t work on Macs yet) to your handheld device. Think of it like a Sling for your iPhone.

Now the not-so-good news. Via our friends at The Apple Blog, we hear that Apple released some minor updates for its Apple TV software, adding features like AirTunes streaming, third-party remotes and music volume control. But… The update also killed Boxee on the Apple TV. Boxee had recently hacked its open source media center onto the device, and as we predicted, Apple put the kibosh on it. If you must have your Boxee on your Apple TV (maybe to watch Hulu), The Apple Blog post shows you how to disable the automatic update.

And finally, it looks as though Apple has kow-towed to Hollywood and has implemented a bummer of a content protection scheme on its new MacBooks. According to Wired’s Gadget Lab Blog, Apple has added something called High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). In a nutshell, it prevents users from playing video content purchased through the iTunes store on many external displays, forcing people to watch their movies and TV shows on their smaller laptop screens. Blech.