MacBook and MacBook Pro SuperDrive failure (#2): Battery-related?; Try PMU reset; more

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 21:03
Category: MacBook

I haven’t experienced any problems with the SuperDrive in my MacBook Pro, but others have:

A surprisingly high number of readers have responded to our initial coverage of an issue where the SuperDrives in both MacBooks and MacBook Pros fail — generally with an inability to mount or read data from otherwise viable media… in most cases, the problem affects CDs, but issues with DVDs have also been reported. The problematic discs mount properly and can be read from other Macs, but fail the same processes when inserted into some MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

MacFixIt – MacBook and MacBook Pro SuperDrive failure (#2): Battery-related?; Try PMU reset; more

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Atlantic City Store Grand Opening

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 12:19
Category: retail

If any PowerPage readers from the Garden State want to get together for a Grand Opening party – get in touch!

Apple has officially announced the grand opening of The Pier at Caesars (Atlantic City, NJ) store for August 19th at 11 a.m. No doubt because of the store’s location, it will be open unusual hours: 11 a.m. to midnight every day. The grand opening will feature the usual sweepstakes (Digital Lifestyle Collection valued at $2,229) and 1,000 commemorative T-shirts.

ifoAppleStore – News and information about Apple Computer’s retail stores

The Laptop Crusade – More on the $100 Laptop

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 10:30
Category: Gadget


For nearly a year, Béhar has been at work on the most visible and most controversial project of his career. His client, a nonprofit offshoot of the MIT Media Lab, had dreamed up a radical new computer. Depending on who you asked, it was either soon-to-be-legendary vaporware or a shortcut to modern education for tens of millions of poor kids around the world. The plan called for a garage full of experimental technology: radio antennas that network computers up to 10 miles apart without satellites or towers; a dual-mode display that switches to monochrome in bright light; a power scheme that lets the computer run indefinitely without an electrical outlet. But nothing worked together. Media Lab cofounder Nicholas Negroponte was looking for someone to puzzle together the technology – someone to make it bright and iconic, rainproof, dustproof, heatproof, drop-proof, spillproof, and intuitive to a Thai or Nigerian child who had never seen modern technology. Negroponte would offer the laptop to governments who would commit to buying at least a million computers each; it promised to outsell every other laptop in the world in just a few years. Oh, and one more thing: The machine would need to cost one-fifth the price of the cheapest laptop at Wal-Mart. The Media Lab dubbed the project One Laptop per Child, but everyone else knew it simply as “the $100 laptop.”

Wired 14.08: The Laptop Crusade

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WSJ: Laptop Dangers Draw Scrutiny From Airline-Safety Regulators

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 09:25
Category: battery

It appears that notebook computer batteries are the latest focus of airline safety regulators after a series or high profile explosions, fires and recalls in recent months. Could the airlines ban all electronics from commercial flights? It’s unlikely as business travelers (the most lucrative category for the troubled airlines) would surely revolt. A WSJ article (sub. req’d) goes into the details and why you may want to skip the after market batteries:

Although the risk is small, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 339 cases of lithium and lithium-ion batteries for portable electronics overheating, emitting smoke and fumes or exploding since 2003. There is no record of a serious injury or death, but the Federal Aviation Administration has logged 60 incidents since 1991. In the past two years, six incidents have occurred on aircraft, including five fires and an overheated flashlight that had to be handled with oven mitts.

In February, a United Parcel Service Inc. plane full of packages — including lithium-ion batteries — was engulfed in flames while landing in Philadelphia. Investigators haven’t reached a final ruling on the cause but continue to closely examine the melted shipment of batteries. In October 2004, a plane carrying Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards made an emergency landing after a lithium-ion battery exploded in the hand of a television newsman.

Worries about the possible dangers are serious enough that the National Transportation Safety Board held a two-day hearing in July in Washington to discuss the safety of lithium-ion batteries on passenger and cargo planes and the investigation into the UPS fire. No formal proposal for new regulations has yet been put forward, but regulators are discussing options ranging from tightening manufacturing guidelines for the batteries to potentially restricting their use on – Laptop Dangers Draw Scrutiny From Airline-Safety Regulators

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The Apple Core: Dell, Apple notebook batteries linked

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 09:01
Category: battery

dell-battery-barcode.jpgThe world’s largest personal computer maker, Dell Inc., announced yesterday that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries with cells made by Sony Corp., the largest recall in Dell’s history. MacFixIt has inferred that the recalled Dell batteries could be the same Sony batteries used by Apple.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


REVIEW: Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Luggage

timbuk2-commute-xl-06-1.jpgOf all the types of bags out there I like messengers the best. It’s true that backpacks are usually more comfortable and practical, but there’s something to the shape and configuration of a messenger bag that particularly works for me. They’re easy to whip on and off, can be worn in several different positions on your body and they’re easy to re-configure on the go.
Today I want to take a look at the Commute messenger bag from Timbuk2.
Read More…