Intel Mac Benchmarks Suspect

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 10:09
Category: Intel

snail-inside.jpgI, probably like you, couldn’t re-load the Apple Store fast enough to place my order for a MacBook Pro after they were announced on 10 January 2006. But I have to admit to being concerned about the spate of reports that the Intel iMacs aren’t benchmarking anywhere near the advertised “twice as fast” promised by Apple.
A story on Gizmodo (via RegHardware and Macworld) claims that the new Intel iMacs are only about 25% faster than the G5 version when running non-native applications in the Rosetta emulator.
So does this mean that the MacBook Pro will only be 50% faster? Please, Steve, say it ain’t so! If the new MacBook’s aren’t anywhere near the “two to four times faster” than the PowerBook G4 (running native apps), be prepared for an angry mob of Macophiles with sticks and torches to march on Cupertino. And if the MBP battery won’t get through a full-length DVD on a charge matters will be even worse.

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The Apple Core: Apple Plasmas and bad Intel

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

I think that it’s time to address the elephant in the room: the Apple plasma story that I floated in the run up to Macworld Expo. The story was based on a tip that I received from a source that was reliable in the past and after checking it with a few other industry peers it seemed plausible albeit a little out of the scope of Apple’s traditional products.
After further research with some publishing peers I discovered that others had also been leaked the plasma display story but that it was from someone that they didn’t know. The story was based on some bad intelligence that I received (sound familiar?) and I made the decision to run with it. Perhaps it was a little irrational exuberance on my part or my perennial optimism, but either way, I was sold. While Apple hasn’t released anything in this category, it could easily be an extension to the iMac line. The cottage industry built around Mac mini home theaters further fueled the fire. I also got swept up in the excitment of plasmas shipping with Intel ViiV digital home technology. The timing seemed perfect with Intel having just announced ViiV a few days prior to MWSF.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Tune Into Your World, Tune out all Others

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iPod

An article in The Orlando Sentinel by Linda Shrieves (“Tune into your world, tune out all others“) asks if the iPod generation has effectively isolated themselves from society and potentially done irreparable harm to their communication skills.

When he left his home in Orlando, Fla., to attend New York University, Dante Lima quickly discovered a terrific use for his iPod, the portable music player that he and most of his fellow college students wear.
While walking down the streets of New York, Lima has found that when he wears his iPod headphones — known to iPod aficionados as “ear buds” — he can walk past the throng of sidewalk hucksters without being bothered.
“If you want to get away from them, just start listening to your iPod,” says Lima, 20. “They don’t approach people with headphones on.”

Read the rest of the article in The Orlando Sentinel.

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iPod Audio Tours Gaining in Popularity

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 06:43
Category: iPod

A story in the Washington Post by Anne McDonough (“Hear Here!“) discusses services by SoundWalk, AudioSteps and TalkingStreet that offer museum and neighborhood audio tours in MP3 format for between US$12 and $35 each.

Soundwalk tours include familiar neighborhoods, which become even more so after walking them with an insider. A walking tour of Little Italy, for example, is narrated by “Sopranos” cast member Vinny Vella. Writer Paul Auster narrates a walk through Ground Zero. Auster augments the walk by talking with historians, a poet and Mohawk ironworkers who helped build the World Trade Center. A woman talks about the phone message she received from her husband there; standing not far from where he died, you hear him saying goodbye.
Outside the tourist haunts, you can, for example, follow the voice of hip-hop veteran Jazzy Jay through the Bronx. Or tour Williamsburg’s Hasidic community in the company of Joseph Piekarski, a Lubavitcher.

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