iPod, iPhone, iTV: How Apple’s New Platform Works

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 18:49
Category: Uncategorized

Apple’s iPod is a runaway hit, but will any of that success translate into different product categories? There are significant reasons why Apple is poised to repeat the same iPod success in new arenas. It has little to do with music playback, and instead relates to the integrated network of services Apple has built to support the iPod. Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RDM


MiniBatteryLogger Receives Update, Bug Fixes

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:16
Category: Software

Claudio Procida, author of MiniBatteryLogger, has released version 1.5.4 of the shareware program. The new version, a 3.2 megabyte download by way of MacUpdate.com, brings new Panther-specific fixes as well as German language localization.
The program, which is available as shareware for $15, monitors power charge and amperage through any Macintosh laptop over time and can keep logs as to significant events such as brownouts, power surgest and battery failures. The saved data can be shared through the MiniBatteryLogger program and compared with that of the program’s other users.
The new version offers the following changes:
-Bugfix: preferences window won’t show on Panther.
-Fixed ugly looking HUD inspector title in Panther.
-Added German localization.
MiniBatteryLogger requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 and a laptop computer to run.


Apple Updates First Generation iPod Shuffle Reset Utility

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:10
Category: Software

Apple Computer has recently released version 1.0.1 of its Reset Utility for the first generation of its iPod Shuffle music player. The utility, when activated, erases all music and data from the iPod Shuffle and installs version 1.1.4 of the software.
The software, a 2.1 megabyte download through VersionTracker.com, applies only to the first generation of the iPod Shuffle, which shipped in 512 megabyte and one gigabyte capacities. Later generations of the Shuffle, including current, smaller versions, are not supported by the Reset Utility.
The Reset Utility repairs the following issues:
-With the iPod shuffle switched on, pressing the Play button will cause amber and green LEDs to flash for a few seconds, and the unit will not play any music, nor can you sync music to it from iTunes.
-On a Windows PC, the iPod shuffle will appear in My Computer as a “Removable Disk,” however the iPod shuffle volume will not mount correctly. The unit is listed in Device Manager under “Disk Drives” as “Apple iPod USB Device.”
-On a Mac, the unit will only be recognized in Apple System Profiler under Hardware -> USB and will not appear or mount in the Finder.
-When attempting to restore, the unit may not be recognized at all. However, if it is recognized, the restore may fail with an error dialog “Firmware update failure. Disk write error” or another error. It may take three restore attempts before the error appears. Note: iPod shuffle may take several minutes to be recognized.
The iPod Shuffle Reset Utility requires a first generation iPod Shuffle and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to run.
If you’ve had experience with this utility, either positive or negative, please let us know.


CoolBook Tester Beta Released

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 13:04
Category: Software

Magnus Lundhold, creator of CoolBook, a battery testing and configuration utility for Intel-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, has released a beta version of a dynamic frequency stepping utility called CoolBook Tester.
Once installed, CoolBook Tester can experiment with different parameters such as voltage and temperature settigns. Users can easily install and uninstall the new feature and CoolBook Tester can help improve the detection of AC/DC power modes.
The CoolBook Tester beta is a 159 kilobyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Macintosh to run.
A license for CoolBook, Lundholm’s main program, retails for $10.
If you’ve had any experiences with CoolBook or CoolBook Tester, both positive or negative, please let us know.


The Apple Core: Top 10 Stories of 2006

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 11:00
Category: The Apple Core

It’s almost the end of the year so I thought that it would be a good time to recap your favorite stories from The Apple Core in 2006.
10. Apple partners with Nike on iPod for runners
The Nike+ iPod kit is a boon for runners and one of the tightest and most technical iPod integrations yet. The partnership between Apple and Nike was also significant because they’re two of the most influential brands on the planet. Too bad it doesn’t work on bicycles…
9. Sony rips off MacBook design
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Sony’s VAIO N10-Series is practically a dead ringer for a white MacBook. Maybe Apple should get them back by cloning the VAIO VGN-UX280P 4.5″ notebook PC.
8. Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries
Probably the most serious story of 2006 is the massive battery recalls from Dell, Apple and almost every other notebook computer manufacturer. Since defective batteries can explode and cause fire, it’s essential that you check your iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 battery serial numbers immediately.
7. MacBook Pro Photoshop benchmarks
If Apple’s move to Intel processors is the biggest hardware story of the year, then the release of the Intel-native build of Photoshop CS3 has to be the biggest software story. So what if it’s a beta.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


MacHeist Raises Over $190,000 for Charities

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 08:34
Category: News

MacHeist, creators of the MacHeist Bundle (a bundled combination of software from 10 different developers) has announced that their MacHeist event is over and that the firm was able to raise over $190,000 for charity.
The effort, which sold the bundle (worth over $356 if the items were bought individually at full price) for $49, contributed 25% of money earned to United Way International, Direct Relief International, AIDS Research Alliance, PreventCancer.org, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, The Hunger Project and Save the Children.
Shareware developers involved in the project included firms like Delicious Monster, unsanity, Realmac Software and Pangea.
In order to round out the total to an even number, MacHeist will be contributing an additional $10,000 to the effort, bringing the total to $200,000.


Comcast Tech Mistakes Power Cable, Destroys PowerBook

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 08:48
Category: Sighting

An article over at MacWork.com describes the full story of a PowerBook being destroyed back in November when a Comcast cable technician arrived to install a broadband connection, mated a rooftop power cable with a similar-appearing coaxial cable.
The resulting explosion, which the user described as a “bright flash of light accompanied by a very loud explosion at the work desk. It was as loud as an illegal M-80 on the Fourth of July,” managed to damage or destroy a connected 15″ PowerBook, three external hard drives, video tapes, papers, CDs, floor, wall, radiator and desktop.
Although the user’s data was successfully recovered by Mac consulting firm OnDeckTech, Comcast, which acknowledges their fault in the incident, has been slow to repay the damage caused.
At least no one was hurt, but remember to be careful in the future.
If you have any comments, suggestions or have encountered similar incidents, let us know.


Updated Parallels Build Adds USB 2.0 Support, More

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 07:13
Category: Software

A new beta build of Parallels Desktop for Mac has been released featuring full USB 2.0 device support as well as other improvements according to an article over on Macworld News.
The new beta, a 33.6 megabyte download (thanks to Versiontracker.com), is available for registered users of the $79 program who’d like to give the new build a try. Parallels Desktop For Mac is similar in functionality to Apple’s Boot Camp and allows users of Intel-based Macintosh systems to run Windows and other X86-compatible operating systems on their Macs. The primary difference is that Parallels Desktop allows these operating systems to be run simultaneously alongside Mac OS X without having to boot into a different partition to begin the process.
Parallels Desktop for Mac has managed to gain a steady following in spite of the fact that the software is being steadily developed. A recently release build provided better support for USB 2.0 devices such as disk drives, printers and scanners, which will run at full native speeds. Parallels has mentioned that they’re currently working on better support for “isynchronous devices” such as Bluetooth peripherals and webcams and users will see this in a future build.
The new build of Parallels Desktop offers an improved “Coherence” mode, a technology which lets Parallels run Windows applications from the Mac OS X’s Dock and kicking in when needed. Users can press the command-tab key combination to cycle through both Mac OS X and Windows applications that may be running at any given time.
Other changes to the build include the following according to the program’s listing on Versiontracker.com:
-Full-feature virtual CD/DVD drive: Burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD.
-Better Boot Camp support – Using your Boot Camp partition in Parallels Desktop is now easier than ever. Beta2’s Boot Camp support includes:
-Full support for FAT32 and NTFS partitions.
-Easy offline configuration. Simply tell Parallels Desktop that you want to create a virtual machine from a Boot Camp Partition and click start.
-Parallels Transporter Beta2 bundled – migrate your real Windows PC, or existing VMware or Virtual PC VMs to Parallels virtual machines.
Please let us know how your experience has been or if you have any ideas or comments on the new build


iPod, iPhone, iTV: Why Apple’s New Platform Works

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Opinion

Apple’s strategy for a new set of consumer electronics devices seems to be beyond the grasp of most industry analysts. That should really come as no surprise, because they don’t seem to understand what made the iPod a success over the last five years either.
Since its release, analysts have been falling all over themselves to identify the next “iPod killer.” They still throw out the phrase every time Sony releases a new version of a Walkman branded phone or Microsoft renames its latest version of Janus DRM, to suggest that the iPod is on the verge of being eclipsed.
In reality however, the iPod is not only experiencing dramatic growth, but also moving into new markets and new form factors. Not only are there three lines of iPods, but there are at least two more iPod cousins on the way: the already announced iTV device, and the rumored iPhone.
Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RDM