Alternative Interfaces Part 2

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Date: Friday, August 11th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

Back in February I posted links to some alternative interfaces. One of them was by Jeff Han, a research scientist for New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
Adobe has posted a fascinating and informative video of Jeff demonstrating his latest developments. The clip runs for just under 10 minutes, so is ideal to watch while you are taking a *insert beverage of choice* break.
It is also available as a video Podcast, so you can download it to watch later on the QuickTime-enabled viewer of your choice.
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Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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Mac Pro Unboxing

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Date: Friday, August 11th, 2006, 00:00
Category: Hardware


Mac Pro unboxed and taken apart. Ahhh, computer porn…

PowerMax: Mac Pro taken apart!

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Future iMac Concept

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 23:54
Category: Mock-Up

future_imac3[1]How sweet would it be to have something like that standing around in your office. I would never touch it, excpet turning it on and off … over and over again. (Thanks Juergen)

Random Good Stuff: Concept iMac – See through design

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Mylo, Yet Another Gizmo to Lug Around

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Gadget

mylo-250.jpgWired reports:
Hoping to tap into the growth of wireless networks across college campuses, other public spaces and within homes, Sony is introducing a new pocket-sized gadget for instant messaging and other internet-based communications.
The Sony mylo, slated for availability in September at a retail price of about $350, is a first-of-its-kind product that uses Wi-Fi networks, analysts say. It is not a cellular phone and thus doesn’t carry monthly service fees. And though it could handle web-based e-mail services, it doesn’t support corporate e-mail programs.
Instead, the slim, oblong-shaped gizmo that has a 2.4-inch display and slides open to expose a thumb keyboard specifically geared toward young, mainstream consumers for messaging and internet-based calls. As long as a Wi-Fi network is accessible, a mylo user could chat away or browse the web.
The mylo — which stands for “my life online,” — will be marketed toward 18-24 year-olds, the multitasking generation that relies heavily on instant messaging and is already viewing e-mail as passe, Sony said.
Sony has partnered with Yahoo and Google to integrate their instant-messaging services, and is looking to expand mylo’s support to other services as well, most notably the leading messaging provider, America Online.
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(Contributed by Brett Jordan)

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The Apple Core: MacBook not upgradable to Merom

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

merom_yonah_250.jpg
A lot of people wanted to see a new MacBook Pro based on Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor (code-name “Merom”) at WWDC, but as I’ve said here before, it’s just too soon. The MacBook Pro (15-inch) was announced less than five months ago – on February 14th and Apple doesn’t want to make all their new MBP customers obsolete with a chip upgrade that soon. Not to mention the existing inventory of MBPs they’d be sacrificing.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Mac Pro with Room to Grow

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Mac Desktop

macpro-150.jpgWhen the G5 tower was unveiled at the final Macworld Expo held in New York, I loved the look of it. The brushed metal, the purposeful grilles, the integrated lifting hoops. The machine looked sleek and professional but it was BIG, about 5/4 size. The entire case seemed to be designed around fans and air flow.
Well, there is no Macworld Expo scheduled this summer, so the Intel Mac Pro was unveiled at WWDC. The leaked banner photo gave no clue about the new pro machine, because in profile it looks just like the one it replaces. What does Intel Xeon mean for the Mac desktop workhorse? Well, it is still a 64 bit computer, something the other Intel Macs don’t offer. Otherwise, you have the basic drop in price and increase in performance that seems to be part of the transition to Intel. So, is it just a new processor in the same old box?
Not really. The thing I like about the new machine is that the BIG enclosure has a lot of internal space freed up by the lower thermal loads imposed by the new processors. Now there is real expansion space inside the box. Two optical drive bays and a modular approach for accommodating up to four internal hard drives. Now the box justifies its size and looks even more purposeful. The G5 tower did not sell very well because it did not offer enough performance for the price. This new workstation does.
There are no G5 Power Macs left in the pipeline either. The transition is complete. I think that one of the Intel Macs is ripe for a refresh. The PowerMac Pro notebooks were the first out of the gate with Core Duo “Yonah” processors, but the consumer MacBooks that followed are such a tremendous value that the Pro notebooks would benefit from the latest “Merom” Core 2 Duo chips from Intel. The entire lineup could represent the best value Apple has ever delivered, across the board, top to bottom, stem to stern.

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WWDC Leopard Sneak Peek Highlights

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Opinion

New Open Source Announcements
Open Source Product Manager Ernest Prabhakar announced a broad new initiative that includes buildable Intel kernel source. Thank you, and please note Tom Yager was as completely full of hot air as I had suggested. No vast conspiracy afoot, just a delay involved with rolling out Leopard and the Intel platform.
Prabhakar also announced a new, open calendar server under the Apache license, a direct blow to Microsoft Exchange Server. The iCal Server, along with Bonjour and Launchd will be supported in a new Mac OS X centric, open development website called Mac OS Forge.
Leopard feature overview
Leopard Server feature overview
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted.com

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WWDC: Apple Drops Monitor Prices

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Date: Tuesday, August 8th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Hardware

m9177lla_125.jpgWhen Apple added the new Intel Mac Pro and Xserve to their online store after yesterday’s WWDC keynote address they also quietly dropped the prices on their flat-panel Cinema Displays:
Apple Cinema Display 30-inch – US$1,999 (was US$2,999)
Apple Cinema Display 23-inch – US$999 (was US$1,299)
Apple Cinema Display 20-inch – US$699 (was US$799)
In addition to the price drop, Apple also silently bumped the brightness on the two smaller models:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 400 cd/m2 brightness
ACD 23-inch – 400 cd/m2 brightness (up from 270 cd/m2)
ACD 20-inch – 300 cd/m2 brightness (up from 250 cd/m2)
…and the contrast ratios:
ACD 30-inch – remains at 700:1 contrast ratio
ACD 23-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
ACD 20-inch – 700:1 contrast ratio (up from 400:1)
Back in May 2006 I purchased a Dell 2405FPW 24-inch display for US$760 after comparing it to the Apple Cinema Display 23-inch.

The Dell 2405FPW has 24 inches of viewable screen area, inputs for S-Video, Composite, Component, DVI & VGA connections, four USB 2.0 ports, 500 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast. The Apple monitor has 23 inches viewable, two USB, two FireWire 400 ports, 270 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 contrast.

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Top Secret features in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

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Date: Tuesday, August 8th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

wwdc-top-secret.pngSteve Jobs’ keynote address at WWDC 2006 was a little out of the ordinary. Rather than trumpeting all of the big new features coming to Mac OS 10.5 Leopard (due Spring 2007) Jobs specifically kept some of its major features “top secret.” A stark contrast to the showman Jobs who usually whips attendees into a frenzy.
Jobs justified the secrecy by saying that he didn’t want “our friends to have to start their photocopiers any sooner than they have to.” A dig against Microsoft and a reference to banners hung at last year’s WWDC conference.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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WWDC 2006 Keynote Address Stream

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Date: Monday, August 7th, 2006, 22:20
Category: WWDC

PosterWatch Apple CEO Steve Jobs kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote preview of Mac OS X “Leopard” from San Francisco’s Moscone West. See the video-on-demand event right here exclusively in QuickTime and MPEG-4. Voiceover users click here to listen to keynote address.

Apple – QuickTime – WWDC 2006

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