PowerPage Podcast Episode 25

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 12:52
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast LogoEpisode 25 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (01:48’45, 51.5MB, AAC).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Bob Snow and Youngmoo Kim.
Topics include: Today’s podcast is a recording of the Philadelphia PowerBook User Group (PPUG) meeting from Saturday 28 October, 2006. Some of the items that we discuss include: Apple’s new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro: 200GB HDD, 3GB max RAM, Garmin’s nĂ¼vi 360 and 660 portable GPS receivers, speaker solutions for the iPod, a bunch of Crumpler bags and a litany of tips and tricks.
Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
A special thank you to The Tragically Hip for letting us use their music in the podcast. Check out their new album World Container in stores now.


iPod shuffle (G2) Disassembled

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 11:09
Category: iPod

ipod-shuffle-g2-disassembled.pngMitsunobu Tanake, PhD who runs the excellent Kodawarisan site, sent me a link to a Japanese site that has already disassembled the microscopic second-generation iPod shuffle.


The Apple Core: Inside Apple’s new blue logic boards

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 09:43
Category: The Apple Core

macpro-blue-pcb-250.jpgIf you’ve opened a Mac to upgrade a hard drive or RAM recently you may have noticed that Apple is now using blue circuit board material as opposed to the more traditional green G10-FR4 epoxy circuit boards.
According to a colleague who has worked in the semiconductor industry for years blue boards used to be less reliable and more prone to wiskering (copper migrating between plated through holes and shorting connections) and were not as temperature stable as their green G10-FR4 counterparts.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Apple Requires a “Direct Signature” for all Hardware

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

pre-sign-for-this-shipment.pngApple offers a new delivery option when ordering from their online store. After your order is processed an option is available to “pre-sign” for your shipment. The only problem is that FedEx won’t accept a such a form to leave your package.
It works like this: after you place the order, you can click on a link on Apple’s order status page to “Pre-sign for this shipment.” It takes you to a page that instructs you to accept the terms and conditions outlined below. You are then be presented with a Shipment Release Authorization form which you must print, sign and attach to your door prior to delivery.

Terms and Conditions
I understand that Apple requires signatures acknowledging receipt of delivered goods. By signing the Shipment Release Authorization form, I hereby authorize Apple’s carrier to leave my package at the address I have specified for delivery when placing my order. I understand that, in so doing, I assume the risk of any loss, theft, or destruction, and release Apple and its carriers from all liability that may result from, leaving the package where I have indicated on the Shipment Release Authorization form.

The problem is that FedEx considers a Shipment Release Authorization form an “indirect signature” because a live human did not sign for the package at the time of delivery. According to two FedEx representatives that I spoke to Apple specifically requires a “direct signature” for all their packages, no exceptions. So Apple appears to be sending mixed messages, telling FedEx that they require a direct signature but telling customers that they’ll accept an indirect signature.
Shippers of valuable hardware need to protect themselves from fraud, especially in light of the recent theft-in-transit scams that are plaguing technology companies.
It’s worth noting the discrepancy in signature policies in case you’re waiting for a special delivery from Apple.


Apple Exceeds Delivery Expectations

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Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2006, 03:00
Category: Hardware

I received this email today:

I already received the iPod Shuffle v2 I ordered for my wife. Ordered in September, selected free shipping during checkout, shipped from China on Monday, and it was handed to me at 10 am this morning. Haven’t been able to use it yet, but dannnnnnnng is it cool to look at!

It echoes what I’ve heard from many of you and even my own experience.
My MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo was ordered via Apple’s online store and I selected the faster “2-3 Business Days (after shipping)” option for an extra US$18. Apple’s online order status page (which I highly recommend) told me that it was shipping on 31 October and was slated to arrive on 02 November.
I was extremely surprised when the FedEx tracking page changed on 31 October. My MBP had traveled from Shanghai to Anchorage to Indianapolis on the 30th, then from Indianapolis to Philadelphia to New Jersey on the 31st. I was very excited when I read that my new MBP was “On FedEx vehicle for delivery” yesterday, when I wasn’t expecting it until a full two days later!
Sure enough it arrived yesterday and I haven’t slept much since. Obviously, your mileage may vary and not everyone is going to receive their order two days early. Apple’s overly conservative shipping estimates are another example of their commitment to under-promise and over-deliver and they deserve credit for it.