State of the Apple: The Big If

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 23:35
Category: Opinion

So here we are, post-Macworld Expo drifting off into rueful looks at iCal and thinking “when can I get my hands on an iPhone?” Apple’s release of colored iPod shuffles hardly satisfies a growing desire to see the new product. It makes me wonder how much MacBooks and MBP’s will actually change in the near future – will they morph into touch-screen tablets too?
As Apple prepares to embark on its post-iPod world I wonder whether the bravado it employs has not grown a little too big. After all, the iPod emerged slowly over 18 months and wasn’t really touted with a fraction of the iPhone’s hype at the outset. Its massive success (and this is true of all great Apple products) was due to the fact that they locked everything down including the hardware, software and the selling of music.
The big “if” in this new iPhone era is how Apple will work with a cell phone provider when they’re accustomed to owning the entire process.
It also bothers me, for example, that I won’t be able to download iTunes music OTA (over the air) to iPhone. Although I understand that this may be a contractual limitation with the record labels, Apple sure hasn’t said much on the topic.
Also, although the polycarbonate shell is supposed to be harder than the iPod’s, is anyone else worried that iPhone’s ultra high gloss enclosure may get as scratched as the original iPod nano inside a bag or with a bunch of keys on the way home from the bar? Surely Apple’s thought of this, haven’t they?
For the price they’re demanding, the least Apple could do is to include a decent case with iPhone. Although with Apple’s track record on this, I’m not holding my breath.


PowerPage Podcast Episode 33

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 23:42
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast LogoEpisode 33 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (1:04’05, 30.1MB, AAC).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Chuck Freedman and Youngmoo Kim.
Topics include: SuperBowl impressions and lack of Apple TV commercial, ProCare, the end of DRM and Bill Gates “daring anybody” to exploit Vista.
Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
Thank you to The Tragically Hip for allowing us use their music in the podcast. Check out their new album World Container in stores now.


Macworld Takes First Hand Look at Vista Through Boot Camp and Parallels

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 10:13
Category: News

Macworld News has published a First Look at running the home versions of Microsoft‘s newly-released Windows Vista on a Mac via both Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop for Mac.
As mentioned before, Microsoft’s current End User License Agreement forbids running the home versions of its Vista operating system under virtual machines. Author Chris Breen picked up the Home Premium version of Vista for $239 and proceeded to install the operating system into Boot Camp, which returned an error but otherwise ran nicely with the system slowing down only when the processor seemed taxed.
Things became scarier when installing Vista Home Premium directly into Parallels. Parallels, which was asked to make a new virtual machine based on a Boot Camp partition, became grayed out when attempting to use Windows Vista. Attempts to use a Boot Camp partition with Windows XP installed performed nicely, although Windows Vista stil installs directly into Parallels withoout issue.
For the full story as well as the triumphs and failures therein, read the article.
And while it’s a strange time to be around virtualization and Windows Vista on the Mac, there is hope, even if a few workarounds are involved.
If you have any comments, feedback or experiences of your own regarding this, let us know.


One Laptop Per Child Project Cites Security Spec to be Used

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 09:29
Category: News

MIT‘s One Laptop Per Child project, a collaborative effort on the part of more than a dozen technology firms to provide a laptop computer to students in developing countries, has released the security specifications for its XO laptop according to an article on Wired News.
The XO currently includes a swiveling LCD screen capable of switching between low-resolution color and high-resolution black and white modes depending on light conditions, camera, microphone, three USB ports 512 megabytes of Flash-based storage, Wi-Fi, Linux operating system and a battery which can be powered by either a cord or a car battery.
While security has been a looming issue, especially where theft, reselling stolen units on the black market and overall privacy are concerned, Harvard security expert Ivan Krstic’s BitFrost platform may be able to provide some answers.
Click the jump for the full story…


Apple May Transition iPod Line to Flash-Based Memory by End of 2007

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 09:12
Category: News

According to an article on AppleInsider, Apple Inc. may move away from its hard disk-based iPod units to solid-state NAND-type flash memory by the end of 2007.
The article cites a report from Prudential Equity Group Analyst Jesse Tortora, who mentions that the move would allow for a smaller form factor, a more diverse model mix and improvements to both the battery life and durability of the units.
Tortora also pointed out that while Flash-based memory is clearly more expensive on a dollar to gigabyte ratio than hard disk drives, the advantages provided by the medium outweigh the cost. The analyst wrote that he sees Flash-based drives with capacities up to 32 gigabytes as feasible, although the question as to whether 32 gigabytes could adequately store video has arisen.
Click the jump for the full story…


iPhone to Sport “At Least Three” ARM Processor Cores

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

An article on InformationWeek quotes Warren East, president and CEO of ARM as confirming that Apple’s upcoming iPhone will hold “at least three” processor cores.
The processor has been identified a PXA320, formerly known as Intel’s Monahan processor and now supplied by the Marvell Technology Group. ARM processors have found their way into “90 percent of the world’s mobile phone handsets” as well as application processors and a large percentage of available MP3 players, according to East.
East then went on to comment that “Apple will talk about the contents of the iPhone when Apple’s ready to talk about the contents of the iPhone.”
ARM currently also supplies many of the processors used in the current generation of Apple’s iPod and iPod Nano davices according to the wikipedia entry.
If you have comments or feedback, let us know.


Review: No Love for the iLuv

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 00:00
Category: Review

As an iPod with Video owner, it doesn’t take long to realize that watching a full-length movie on that tiny screen just isn’t realistic. Yes, it’s cute. Yes, it draws attention from my kids’ friends (and mine too). And, in a pinch, it does the trick. But after a year with it, mainly what I’ve found is it’s simply an easier way to carry around movies and TV shows to watch someplace else (of course, besides a music player). Where I used to carry around 20+ DVDs, I now simply plug my iPod with Video into the video-in of most TVs (using Apple’s iPod AV cable – $19) and off I go. My kids love it, especially in the van using the built-in video player.
This past weekend, while shopping for myself for my big 4-0, I happened across the Sonic Impact SI5 at the Apple Store. Basically, the SI5 looks like a portable DVD player, but the iPod sits in a tray to play the movies. For $200 it plays the movies, but little else. So I went searching for other options when I came across the iLuv Portable iPod player AND DVD player.
I picked it up at Micro Center for under $150. I thought “what a great idea – a portable DVD player AND a large 7″ screen for my iPod.” I unpacked it, excitedly thinking I could get caught up on some last-season episodes of Lost before this season starts in February.
Click the jump for the full review…