US Government Shunning Mac users

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 11:06
Category: Software

New Grant System Excludes Mac Users

“Uh, this would be the same government that spent a lot of time and money pursuing Microsoft for its anti-competitive behavior?” one blogger wrote. “And they now offer a government site that mandates monopoly?”

Indeed.
Contrast to the move that Massachusetts recently made to only use non-proprietary formats in state offices.
Sounds like a logical step for me, why should Government only be accessible to people who run Windows?
If you’re a Mac user in the United States, you should be giving hell over this. Tens of billions of dollars were spent, and apparently one of the goals was to require people to use Windows. There is no reason these days to not support standards that are cross-platform.
Some people will try to suggest that this is fine because there aren’t as many Macs deployed, but note this gem:

Critics note that in contrast to the domination of PCs in the business community, Macs constitute about one-third to one-half of the computers scientists and academicians use.

Ah, to know your target audience and shun half of your userbase. Thanks, guys.

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Landscape Full-Screen iPod Coming April 1?

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Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 09:22
Category: iPod

apple-ipod-patent.gifAnalyst Charles Wolf of Needham & Co. thinks that Apple may have a surprise announcement up its sleeve for April 1, 2006. According to MacNN:

Apple could use April 1–Apple’s 30th birthday–as an opportunity to introduce an Intel-based iBook as well as the “real” video iPod. Wolf says that a failure by Apple to have an Intel iBook ready for purchase by the May beginning of the K-12 school-buying season would significantly jeopardize Apple’s education sales, in which the iBook represents an “increasing fraction.” Wolf noted that “at the end of his Macworld keynote address in January, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, noted that the company will celebrate its 30th birthday on April 1, 2006. While it’s possible that Jobs was simply pointing out the longevity of Apple, we interpret it as a signal that Apple will hold a major birthday party in the form of new product event around that date, most likely in early April.”

Apple announced the iPod 5G with video on October 12, 2005 and there is a rumor that Apple will use their 30th anniversary to announce a “true video iPod” with an edge-to-edge screen and a virtual clickwheel. Macstein suggests that the next generation iPod will have a resolution of 960×540 and be in the 16:9 widescreen format.
Hrmph.com has posted some drawings from an Apple patent (one is pictured above) detailing what could be a new iPod form-factor. The image appears to feature an iPod in a landscape orientation running a full version of iTunes as opposed to the stripped-down iPod music player UI.

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New Lip Around Face of iPod nano 1GB

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Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 09:45
Category: iPod

ipod-nano-1gb-lip.jpgA posting on the iLounge message boards claims that Apple has added a new lip around the front of the new iPod nano 1GB to protect it from scratching.

Apple has sliently updated the iPod nano design in response to scratching outcry. With the 1GB nano and possible others, there is a slightly raised rim around the entire iPod, thus preventing the entire iPod face touching the surface when laid on its face.

This has not been confirmed and there’s no word on whether Apple plans a similar change to the 2GB and 4GB nanos.

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The Apple Core: iPod Wishlist – Audio Input

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Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

ipod_video_6g_mock.jpgThere’s a hot rumor floating around that Apple is planning to release a “true video iPod” soon with a large 3.5-inch display with a virtual clickwheel that appears on screen when needed then fades away when not. All that’s well and good but there’s something more practical that I want: high-quality audio capture.
The latest (5G) iPods allow you capture a full 44.1 KHz, stereo audio signal but no one’s given us a way to take advantage of this feature. Yet…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Apple "Tablet" For Sale on eBay

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, February 11th, 2006, 20:31
Category: Uncategorized

ibook-tablet.JPGApple has filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office for four patents that relate to tablet computing leading to rumors that the company is developing a tablet-based Mac. The patents include:
1) Gestures for touch sensitive input devices
2) Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices
3) Touch-sensitive electronic apparatus for media applications, and methods therefor
4) Visual expander
Touch sensitive input could be used in any number of devices including a tablet computer, iPod, mobile phone/smartphone and PDAs. You can read more about the patents on MacRumors.com. Hrmph.com has posted photos from the gesture patent depicting a user using gestures on a tablet user interface.
If you can’t wait for Apple to release a tablet-based Mac you grab one today from…
Read More…

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MacBook Pro Delays

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 10th, 2006, 20:07
Category: MacBook Pro

It appears that Apple.com is not the only store now reporting longer delays for the arrival of the MacBook Pro. Some retail stores are pushing back their delivery date as well.
The day his holy Steveness (peace be with him) announced the MacBook Pro, I pre-ordered it from the University of Pennsylvania’s computer store for the sweet academically-discounted price of US$1799. (Aaah, the perks that come with the US$40,000 tuition!). At that point they told me it would come in “early February.”
Alas, later visits revealed that the first batch of MacBooks was pushed back by Apple to “late February,” and then even further to “the first week in March.” God knows if it will be pushed back even further…meanwhile my ancient TiBook is apparently trying to see how many components it can make malfunction before I throw it out the window (currently eight busted parts and counting).
Why the delays?
Read More…

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The Apple Core: Piel Frama Leather Case for Treo 650

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Date: Friday, February 10th, 2006, 11:02
Category: The Apple Core

piel-frama-treo-650-case.jpgYou’re either a case person or you’re not a case person – there isn’t too much of a grey area. Some people like their electronics just as the manufacturer intended, without the (sometimes unsightly) extra bulk that a case adds to the device. Then there are those that choose to protect their shiny technology devices with some form of a sheath to protect it from the harsh cruel world.
I definitely fall squarely in the camp of case-oholics. Some people think that it’s paranoia, but my excuse is that I am too rough with my gadgets. While I don’t intentionally abuse them, I have a way of pushing industrial design to the limits with the occasional drop, bang and scrape. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Klutz or anything – I baby my electronics all the time. I just find ways to occasionally drop and fumble them. Let’s call it an occupational hazard.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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PBFixIt Changes Name to iFixIt

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Date: Friday, February 10th, 2006, 00:00
Category: Announcement

PB FixIt, maker of the revolutionary Fixit Guide series, has changed their name to iFixit.

Explaining the move, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens said, “Why are we changing names? A few reasons. The first: iFixit sounds cooler. Secondly, Apple is discontinuing the PowerBook name and we want to stay relevant to all Mac owners. But most important, we want to keep our options open. Our team is working incredibly hard to improve our product line and develop the Fixit Guide series.”
iFixit’s revolutionary do-it-yourself laptop repair manuals, the Fixit Guide Series, will continue to be free online at www.iFixit.com/Guide.
iFixit also announced the expansion of its online products. “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.

If you need to take apart a PowerBook, say to upgrade a hard drive or something, you really should download one of their FixIt guides. They’re free and available for the following computers:
– Mac Mini
– PowerBook G3 (233 – 500 MHz)
– iBook G3 (300 – 900 MHz)
– iBook G4 (800 MHz – 1.42 GHz)
– PowerBook G4 Titanium (400 MHz – 1 GHz)
– PowerBook G4 Aluminum (867 MHz – 1.67 GHz)

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Nokia E61 Coming Soon?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 9th, 2006, 22:07
Category: Mobile Phone

nokia_e61.jpgFrom MobileTracker: Nokia E61 shipping in mid February? – MobileTracker
The ‘Berry-esque Nokia E61 is slated for arrival in a matter of days! Its fast EDGE and 3G data connections will make a lot of people happy, and this is the first S60 device to deviate from the one-handed smartphone design of previous S60 handsets.
It is unlikely that iSync will work with this device when it gets released; most of the new SyncML devices require more than a little hacking to get them syncing up against a Mac, but I’ll probably be keeping my eyes closely glued to the E61 and the iSync supported devices page.
Not that I’m unhappy with my P910 or anything, but I’m getting tired of waiting for the P990. The E61 is coming up on MobileBee for a bargain price of USD$500 unlocked and unbranded. If a US operator like Cingular or T-Mobile carries it, expect a discount to around $300 with a new contract.
Thanks, MobileTracker, you made my day!

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The Apple Core: Say Hello to MacBerry

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Date: Thursday, February 9th, 2006, 11:32
Category: The Apple Core

macberry.jpgBlackBerry users shouldn’t worry about the ongoing litigation with U.S. patent holding company NTP too much now the RIM has publicly announced a workaround if an injunction shuts down U.S. sales and service of the popular handheld email device.
Mac users will soon have a new way to make the BlackBerry a little more Mac-like. An upcoming version of the BlackBerry operating system, version 4.1, allows you to more easily install third party themes. Kristina at the WordUp blog has the details on installing a Mac OS X-looking theme on a Blackberry 7100.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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