Apple Announces Speed-Bumped PowerBook G4s (Updated)

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Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005, 09:20
Category: Archive

As expected Apple today announced a refreshment of the PowerBook G4 line:

Whether you prefer the ultra-compact 12-inch model, the coveted 15-inch powerhouse or the high-resolution 17-inch stunner, every new PowerBook G4 features faster PowerPC G4 processors with speeds topping the charts at 1.67GHz. Want power to burn? The new PowerBook models offer 8x SuperDrives. And each PowerBook comes standard with 512MB of memory and a 5400-rpm hard disk drive. Starting at just $1499.

In addition to the faster processors, SuperDrives, hard drives and lower prices, other new features include:
Scrolling Trackpad. “Just drag two fingers over the trackpad to scroll vertically and horizontally or pan around any active window. Change this feature to suit your needs: Customize your trackpad settings or turn off scrolling completely via System Preferences.”
Sudden Motion Sensor “senses change in axis position and accelerated movement. In the event of a drop or fall, the Sudden Motion Sensor instantly parks the hard drive heads so they won?t scratch the disks on impact, lessening the risk of damage and improving your chances of retrieving valuable data. When the Sudden Motion Sensor senses your PowerBook is once again level, it unlocks the hard drive heads automatically.”
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). “Combine Bluetooth with iSync to keep your contacts and schedules up to date and fully synchronized between your PowerBook and your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and PDA. You can also use your Bluetooth phone as a wireless modem if you?re out and about and find no WiFi connection available. And, as an added bonus, Bluetooth even lets you enjoy a cable-free desktop with the Apple wireless keyboard and mouse.”
128MB VRAM. “The 17-inch PowerBook now features Dual Link support to drive Apple?s breakthrough 30-inch Cinema HD Display as an external monitor, and this feature is also available as a build-to-order option on the 1.67 GHz model of the 15-inch PowerBook”
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DLO iBoom: Boomin' With Your iPod

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Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005, 07:13
Category: Accessory, iPod

DLO iBoomThe iBoom is a 20-watt iPod speaker system that turns your iPod into a portable boombox. It works like this: simply install your white iPod in the docking bay in the middle and crank up the volume, which is quite loud btw. When you’re tired of listening to your iPod or just want to tune in to NPR, Car Talk or Stern then click over to the built-in FM radio. We love it here at the PowerPage and can’t wait to take the iPod on the boat this summer. Read More…

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Browser Wars 2005: Firefox v. Safari, Camino, OmniWeb & Shiira

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Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005, 00:52
Category: Software

Firefox’s creator is featured on the cover of Wired magazine this month and I received a lot of good email about my article on dumping the hot upstart Web browser. Many of you emailed me with some good feedback on making Firefox run more reliably. Click through for some great tips on Firefox and other browser alternatives I neglected to mention in my previous piece “Why I May Fire the ‘fox.” Read More…

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It's Never too Cold to use GarageSale 1.3 (Updated)

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Date: Monday, January 31st, 2005, 00:48
Category: Software

Have a basement full of stuff that you want to turn into cash? Check out GarageSale 1.3, a client application for veteran and pro eBayers alike. It allows Mac OS X users to create auctions quickly with an easy-to-use interface, GarageSale integrates with iPhoto and offers WYSIWYG text editing.
Its not even spring yet, but I’m getting super motivated to clean out my basement. Why? Actually I’ve been meaning to clean out a whole treasure trove of old tech gadgets and miscellany but never seem to find the time to sit down and eBay them all. Sure, I’ll get around to posting an eBay item here or there, but finding the littany of information that needs to be tracked down, taking and editing pictures then actually assembling the eBay listing takes far longer than I expect so I peter out early.
I think that my basement may have found its match in GarageSale (US$24.99), a Mac OS X application that’ll whip you into a good eBayer in no time.
GarageSale is a client application for the eBay online auction system. It allows Mac OS X users to create auctions quickly using an intuitive mac-like interface, integrates with iPhoto and offers WYSIWYG text editing. GarageSale features a one-window interface for posting your eBay auctions that saves you from page after page of form submissions on the eBay site, and once you’ve saved a template, GarageSale remembers it for future use. It takes a little getting used to and you’ll want to update your templates but in the end it’s high worth the investment in time.

Creates auction postings for eBay USA, eBay UK, eBay Germany, eBay Canada, and eBay Australia. The certified eBay API client offers a WYSIWYG description editor, iPhoto integration, a categories browser, templates and template sharing, offline operation, and a built-in web browser for viewing auctions. This release adds support for eBay’s Item Attributes, import of items from Delicious Library, improved text-to-HTML conversion, and support for eBay Austria and Switzerland. GarageSale is $24.99 for Mac OS X 10.3.

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Short Mobile Movies in Your Pocket

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Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005, 23:48
Category: Mobile Phone

The BBC’s Stephen Evans looks at how film makers are producing short snippets for modern mobile phones.

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Install a Firmware Password Today

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Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005, 23:04
Category: Software

I know that we’ve mentioned this here before but an easy and free way to protect your PowerBook’s data in the event of it getting lost or stolen is to install a Firmware Password. Every PowerBook user should install one, right now.

The Open Firmware Password application allows you to enable security features in Open Firmware. You can use it to prevent others from starting your computer using a CD or other disk with an operating system on it. You can use Firmware password protection to enhance access security to your computer.
When you set a Firmware password, it prevents others from starting up the computer from a volume other than the one you have chosen as the startup disk (chosen in the Startup Disk preference panel within the System Preferences.) Once security is enabled, you cannot startup from other devices such as an external FireWire disk, a CD-ROM drive, or another partition or disk inside the computer.
For addition information see the KnowledgeBase article.

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EFF on Bloggers As Journalists

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Date: Sunday, January 30th, 2005, 23:21
Category: Opinion

The EFF’s Bloggers As Journalists: Why We Fight Apple?s Subpoenas is worth a read:

James Madison understood that “a popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both.” Legal protections for media sources and unpublished information are critical means for journalists of all stripes to acquire information and communicate it to the public. Imagine if “Deep Throat,” the informant critical to Woodward and Bernstein’s investigation of the 1972 Watergate burglary, knew that his identity could be obtained through legal process. His career, and perhaps his life, would have been in serious jeopardy, and a cautious individual would have kept silent.

Read more at EFF.org.
In related news, the EFF announced a new project that highlights the way misguided laws and lawsuits can pollute the environment for technological innovation. “Endangered Gizmos” is a natural history of technologies from the Betamax VCR to filesharing software that have been threatened or extinguished through ruthless litigation. The “Endangered Gizmos” List gives readers the vital statistics on a host of gadgets, along with steps they can take to save those that haven’t yet been killed off. Read more about it in the Press Release.

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Mac mini Media Centers and Home Theatres

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Date: Friday, January 28th, 2005, 10:10
Category: Hardware

Mac miniEngadget has posted an excellent article HOW-TO: Turn your Mac mini into a media center where they dissect every aspect of the task from storage, audio, video, video in, recording and playback of HDTV, remote control, installing and connecting with VNC:

Yep, everyone?s talking about using the Mac mini as a home media center, and there?s a reason why: its diminutive form factor makes it a good candidate to fit unobtrusively into an existing audio/video or home theater setup. It looks more like a consumer electronics device than a computer, so it won?t look out of place in your living room. We think of it as the central brain of our system; the glue that holds all the devices together. It can serve the role of scheduler, controller, audio/video recorder, audio/video playback, audio/video download, and it even makes a decent audio/video production unit, as well. You might not win the next Sundance with your iMovie, but you sure can impress everyone at the next family reunion.

The Mac Media Center Project plans to develop a free Media Center application for the Mac, “bringing together the power and intuitiveness of the Macs’ built in applications under a simple interface, for use as part of a Home Theatre system.”
Who’s going to be the first to market with a Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in trackpad or trackball? MacAlly? Kensington? MacMice? This is a killer peripheral that’s needed to complete many Media Centers.

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Why I May Fire the 'Fox

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Date: Friday, January 28th, 2005, 10:07
Category: Software

FireFox 1.0I’m all about cool new Web browsers that are super fast and have features that aren’t available in Safari (the ability to control cookies on a site by site basis comes to mind) but Firefox has got me hopping mad.
The alt-browser of choice at PowerPage World Headquarters has been Firefox for a while now, but some of its annoying issues have got me ready to run back to Safari.
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Dear Apple: Enough With the Pulsing Lights!

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Date: Friday, January 28th, 2005, 10:02
Category: Hardware

Since we know that the Apple brass likes to read the PowerPage I’d like to pass along a tip that the company has ignored on their support forums and feedback pages for years: enough with the pulsing sleep lights already!
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