REVIEW: Motorola SLVR L7 Mobile Phone

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 23:50
Category: Mobile Phone

motorola-SLVR-2.jpgI’ve had the opportunity to test drive the Motorola SLVR L7 the second phone to integrate iTunes into the mobile phone experience. The SLVR is a quad band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz) mobile phone with support for international roaming.
The SLVR includes built-in stereo speakers, integrated hands-free speakerphone, 262,000 “vivid color” display, illuminated etched keypad, VGA camera with 4x digital zoom, and video capture and playback. The SLVR L7 ships with extra ring-tones, Java support for games and applications, AOL/Yahoo!/ICQ instant messaging and Bluetooth connectivity.
The SLVR is the replacement for the Motorola ROKR, which I reviewed in January 2006. Although this is the second generation of the iTunes phone you can still find the ROKR for US$99. This makes sense in the big picture because this new Motorola phone is so different from the ROKR in terms of appearance and feel, even though the interface is almost identical.
Read more…

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Firefox Universal Binary (Deer Park Alpha 2) Available

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 22:53
Category: Software

deerpark-icon.jpgEver since moving the MacBook Pro I’ve been on a quest to use only Universal Binary applications. Test builds of Firefox (code-named Deer Park) and Thunderbird are now available as universal binaries.

These are current rolling builds produced by a tinderbox directly from CVS with no additional patches. They contain all x86 and universal fixes and should be fully functional.
Firefox test build, equivalent to pre-1.5.0.2
Thunderbird test build, equivalent to pre-1.5.0.2

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“MacBook” to Replace iBook name?

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 21:32
Category: iBook

A PowerPage reader writes:

Our Apple Rep was here (University deleted) on Friday, and slipped up a bit…
He said: “You know that Steve’s putting iSight cameras in everything. The MacBook will have it. (Short pause, while he quickly looks at his feet. Then he looks up and resumes.) The MacBook Pro has it now.”

From previous rumors it sounds like the new MacBook will ship in a single 13.3-inch widescreen form-factor with a single core Intel Core Solo processor. A machine targeted at the educational market would have to be announced in March and ship in April or risk missing the critical back-to-school buying window for most schools in the United States.
I’ve heard some rumbling that Apple may drop FireWire from the MacBook in an effort to trim costs and to further differentiate the MacBook Pro. Apple can’t drop FireWire from the MacBook unless they add an ExpressCard/34 slot which would allow you to add FireWire via an expansion card. iMovie HD features FireWire importing and has long been bundled with consumer Macs. It would be difficult for Apple to ship a notebook without some way to connect to FireWire devices.
Apple’s holding a special media event tomorrow (28 Feb) in Cupertino and there’s a 50/50 chance that they’ll launch the MacBook then.
What do you think of the name “MacBook?”

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Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 21:39
Category: iPod

neuros-mpeg4.jpgI’m writing about a device I found that makes a terrific addition to the iPod with video. A company called Neuros Audio (http://www.neurosaudio.com/) has a little pocket-sized MPEG4 recorder – basically a little VCR – that records directly to Compact Flash or Memory Stick in the iPod format. Drag the recording into iTunes, and poof! You’ve got your favorite show to go!
After waiting and waiting through transcoding to load things onto my iPod, I picked one up on a whim last week, and I have to admit that until TiVo gets their direct-to-iPod transfers up and running, this is the best thing since sliced bread for a video iPod owner… It’s got several quality settings and a recording timer so you can set it to record from any device with RCA video and audio outputs.
The MPEG4 recorder 2 costs US$149 and is available from Neuros Audio.
(Contributed by Lou Flemal)

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Clean out Your Garage With iSale

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Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2006, 21:36
Category: Software

isale3.jpgIf you’re looking for an easy way to sell your used gear on eBay look no further than iSale. iSale is an authorized eBay client application that was a runner-up for an Apple Design Award application and it shows. The user interface is beautiful and intuitive even if you’ve never used it before.
The single best feature is that you can start using it right away with little learning curve. Start with one of iSale’s beautifully designed auction templates, add photos from your iPhoto library and even import descriptions from Amazon or eBay and post your auction in no time.
iSale features Google map integration allowing you to track your customers and even lets you host your images on dot-Mac to save money. Use iSale’s Dashboard Widget to keep up-to-date on your current auctions.
iSale version 3.0.4 is Universal Binary and adds new template designs and German and French localizations. The full versions costs US$40 and a three auction trial version is available from www.equinux.com.

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MacBook Pro Airport Reception Improved

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Date: Saturday, February 25th, 2006, 13:57
Category: MacBook Pro

A lot of people have been asking about the Airport reception in the new MacBook Pro and I’m happy to report that it’s at least 25 percent better than my PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz) in most situations. When the two ‘Books are next to each other the MacBook Pro consistently gets one more bar of Airport reception than the PowerBook G4 – sometimes two. So when the PB has three bars the MBP will have four; when the PB has two, the MBP has three (or four), and so on.
The improved Airport reception is probably partly due to the new location of the Airport antenna on the MacBook Pro. Although its location in the display hinge is significantly lower in altitude that the PowerBook’s antennas (which are located in the top edges of the display bezel) the antenna area is much larger.
Another factor that could contribute to the increase in Airport reception on the MBP is that the Airport card is now allegedly connected to the PCI Express bus – although I have not confirmed this yet.

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Full-Screen iPod 6G Confirmed a Fake (Updated)

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Date: Saturday, February 25th, 2006, 11:43
Category: iPod

ipod-video-6g.jpgBy now you have probably seen picture of the alleged iPod video 6G that got posted on Flickr. Some think it’s real others think that it’s a fake.
Personally, I don’t think Apple recycles old part numbers. The picture below shows the part number shown on the alleged iPod ( M8719Z/A) as being for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar Server 10 Client User Edition.
M8719ZA.jpg
There are some who claim that the “8” is actually a “B,” but then again, there are also people who believe in the Easter Bunny
When I heard there might be a touch-screen iPod, this is what I imagined it might look like, but I think it’s a fake. (Thanks MacRumors)
UPDATE:
The mysterious person who posted the picture of a supposed new iPod has posted a video showing the making of the photo that turned out to be fake. Here it is at a mirrored site, as the original link broke down. (Thanks Digg)

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R.I.P. PowerBook G4 15-inch

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Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, 14:34
Category: PowerBook

If you go to the Apple Store, only the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4 models are for sale. The venerable 15-inch has be End-Of-Lifed (EOL’d). If you need to have EV-DO card capability you may want to find one quickly. (Thanks Jack)

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MacBook Pro Self-Surgery

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Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, 14:25
Category: MacBook Pro

MBP-intel-cpu.jpgiFixit, maker of the Fixit Guide series, has posted the first MacBook Pro disassembly instructions and photos. The MacBook Pro disassembly is online at www.iFixit.com.
The MacBook Pro disassembly guide contains high resolution photos of the MacBook’s internals, including the Intel Core Duo processor. The MacBook guide complements iFixit’s revolutionary do-it-yourself laptop repair manuals, the Fixit Guide Series. Fixit Guides are available for every laptop Apple has made since 1998. All Guides are available free online at www.iFixit.com/Guide.
iFixit also sells a full line of PowerBook and iBook parts. “I’m proud to announce that we have over 600 different Mac parts and upgrades in-stock and ready to ship. We couldn’t be more excited about our market position,” said Kyle Wiens, iFixit’s CEO.
Fixit Guides are available for these computers:
– MacBook Pro
– Mac Mini
– PowerBook G4 Aluminum (867 MHz – 1.67 GHz)
– PowerBook G4 Titanium (400 MHz – 1 GHz)
– PowerBook G3 (233 – 500 MHz)
– iBook G4 (800 MHz – 1.42 GHz)
– iBook G3 (300 – 900 MHz)

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The Apple Core: MacBook Migration Strategies

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Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2006, 12:19
Category: The Apple Core

Migration-Assistant.jpgIt’s no secret the I took delivery of my new MacBook Pro notebook this week, and like many of you upgrading to a new mac I was faced with a tough decision: how to migrate my data to the new iron.
One tip: I highly recommend that you name the target hard drive the same name as the source as this saved me tons of problems with file paths on the new Mac. Once you’ve used it for about a week, you can change the target HDD name to whatever you wish.
Typically when I migrate to a new PowerBook, I update the OS on the old machine (the source) and simply drop its hard drive into the new machine (the target). In the MacBook Pro era however, all bets are off. The MBP uses a new Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive replacing the slower Ultra ATA drives from the previous generation PowerBook, so a hard drive swap is out.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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