REVIEW: STM Alley is a Perfect Fit

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook

Looking for the perfect fit for your new MacBook? Look no further than the small Alley shoulder bag made by STM and distributed by RadTech. I like to keep my mobile load light and this bag weighs in at a svelte one pound six ounces. More than just a laptop sleeve, the Alley has a nice zippered compartment in the outer flap, the ability to hold letter size documents and a small phone pouch on the strap.

Priced at only $39.95, the Alley is as much a bargain as the MacBook itself. This vertical shoulder bag reminds me of the similarly bargain priced TiBag, designed specifically to fit the Titanium G4 PowerBook a few years back. While STM does not deliver the high style of fellow Australian bagmaker Crumpler, they provide a trim understated solution that protects your MacBook with a minimum of fuss. It is available in black or green and my only suggestion would be to replace the green with a light gray or silver color and to provide a contrasting lighter color fabric for the bag interior.

Combine the small Alley case with a BT510 mid-size Bluetooth mouse, to keep your MacBook mobile and light. Available in black or white to match the MacBook I find the size and simplicity of this mouse a perfect compromise between portability and useability. In fact, this mouse and bag combination seem tailor made for the new MacBook and it would be hard to find a better fit for what may be the best Apple value ever in a notebook computer.

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The Apple Core: The Real Apple Media Center

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

media-central-ss.jpegAlthough Apple’s included Front Row software is adequate, MediaCentral takes the definition of Mac home theater to an entirely new level. MediaCentral (US$29) is a Swiss Army Knife media center application from Equinux (of iSale fame) that plays virtually any media format.
Hook it up to a Mac mini and a plasma display and you’ve got a killer Mac media center setup. MediaCentral will play back everything from IP TV, to online clips (from Google Video and YouTube), to IPTV, to movie trailers. Oh yeah, and it plays just about every other media format on the planet, including VIDEO_TS folders (locally or on your network), AVI, DivX, DV Files, Xvid, MPEG1/2/4, DVD, MP3, AC3, Internet Radio stations – and the list goes on.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Cinema Displays with iSights and Glossy Screens?

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 01:53
Category: Opinion

Now that the MacBook Pro, MacBook and iMacs all have built-in iSights, it makes sense for Apple to revamp its display line and include the same feature. If I buy a pro desktop I’m going to want a display that will let me use Front Row and PhotoBooth, two fun features of the consumer systems and the pro laptop. If Apple doesn’t plan to tweak the Cinema Display line (and I think it will), hopefully Jobs & Company will release a new standalone iSight with enhanced functionality.

Macsimum News – Will Apple update its Cinema Display line with iSights, glossy screen options?

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iPhone Clues Buried in Latest iPod Software

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 01:57
Category: Uncategorized

An AppleInsider member by the name of VL-Tone recently dissected the latest iPod firmware update and made some interesting discoveries.

While Apple has been relatively mum on any plans for iPod-branded cell phone, the latest iPod software includes references to an “t_feature_app_PHONE_APP” application and variables such as “kPhoneSignalStrength,” “clPhoneCallHistoryModel,” prPhoneSettingsMenu,” “prPhoneSettingsMenuView,” prPhoneEnableSetting” and “prPhoneMenuItem.”

AppleInsider | iPhone, iPod messenger clues in latest iPod software

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Think Secret: iMovie Video Store Coming Next Month

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Date: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006, 01:19
Category: iTunes

With three weeks until Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Think Secret has learned exclusively that CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store. While the announcement will undoubtedly be billed as a further extension of iTunes’ dominance in digital media downloads, it represents a coup for the movie industry, which will have succeeded in standing its ground against Apple’s pressures to offer consumers the option of owning movie downloads.

Think Secret – WWDC surprise: Apple to announce iTunes movie rentals

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