smcFanControl 2.0 Completely Rewritten, Adds New Functionality

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Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 08:24
Category: Software

Hendrik Holtmann’s smcFanControl freeware utility has reached version 2.0 and added additional functionality.
Once exclusively a small program centered around controlling the fan speed of Apple’s Intel-based laptops, the new version allows full control of every Intel-based Mac, including desktop units.
Like the original version, smcFanControl 2.0 allows users to specify the minimum speed in the system’s built-in fan without reducing the fan speed to a level where heat builds up and damages internal components.
The new version offers the following changes:
-The software’s interface now resides in the menu bar as opposed to the Dock for easier access.
-Version 2.0 allows users to configure different settings and quickly activate them.
-Laptops can have different fan settings configured and these settings can be autoapplied when power sources change, such as a user removing the power adapter and running solely off the battery.
-The new version can be added to Mac OS X’s login items.
-The new version now uses standard Mac OS X authentication.
smcFanControl 2.0 is available for free and is a 568 kilobyte download.
If you’ve had any experiences with the software, good or bad, let us know.


BMW to Announce iPhone Integration

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Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 08:58
Category: News

An article on AppleInsider points to an AutoSpies blog entry that BMW will be the first to announce multi-level connectivity with Apple’s upcoming iPhone in its high-end 7-Series sedan.
The entry mentions that connectivity will go beyond “just Bluetooth” and it’s not known if the auto manufacturer will integrate the technology into the 2008 models, released later in the summer, or wait until the following year.
BMW was the first major auto manufacturer to join forces with Apple and create full iPod integration between the music player and a car’s operating system. The initial connection featured a car battery-powered iPod connector and a slot to insert the iPod into within the glove compartment. Users were able to control the iPod’s play functions through additional buttons on the car’s steering wheel.
How the iPhone would be integrated and what it could provide seems vague but interesting and if you have any ideas or theories, let us know.


Sony Unveils Intel Core 2 Quad-Based Computer

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 16:31
Category: News

According to an article on Engadget, Sony is the first out the door with a publicly available PC based on Intel’s new Core 2 Quad processor.
The Sony Vair R Master, which hit the Japanese market back on the 10th, sports a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor, Blu-ray optical drive, can hold three gigabytes of DDR-667 RAM, can be loaded with up to three terabytes of disk space and ships with an nVidia Quadro FX 1500 graphics card. The Vaio R Master also ships with a 24″ LCD screen capable of a 1920 x 1200 resolution, all for an affordable 995,800 Yen or US$8,241.
As of now, there’s been no word as to when Apple will begin including the Core 2 Quad in its own line of computers.


Estari Now Selling Dual-Screen Laptop to the Public

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 15:47
Category: News

The folks over at crave have picked up on a cool dual touch-screen laptop being developed by Estari that was patented and developed for use by the United States military and is now being sold to the public.
The 2-VU model is designed around a 1.83 GHz Intel Dual Core processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM and a 60 gigabyte hard drive, complete with two 15″ touch-screen displays (capable of 1024 x 768 resolutions) for US$4,350.
Users can order a 100 gigabyte hard drive for an additional US$95.00, features two USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, an Intel 945GM chipset with 128 megabytes of VRAM, 802.11g wireless networking, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, two internal speakers, an Intel high definition audio chip and can be outfitted with a US$295.00 Slimline external Firewire DVD-RW/CD-RW drive, a US$95.00 external 3.5″ USB floppy drive, a built-in Intel/Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g LAN card for US$99.00 and arrives with a USB keyboard and mouse.
The 2-VU arrives with Windows XP Pro pre-installed.


iChat … video fails often

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 12:58
Category: Uncategorized

Ever since 10.4.7 or the recent iChat 3.0 update, video requests fail 80% or more, with the “Send / Don’t Send” bug reports to Apple. I have plenty of bandwidth, 8 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up on static ISP cable (Roadrunner So Cal).
I reboot my AirPort base stations, Sonicwall, everything and it only works once in a while.
Contributed by: Vic


Cook Dinner for Your Honey with Connoisseur

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 10:18
Category: Software

I like to cook on Valentine’s Day. I’d rather not fight the the crowds and try to get a restaurant reservation, so my tradition is to cook dinner on Valentine’s day (usually my famous pesto sauce with something).

That being said, I’ve found a nice little application to catalog all my recipes. Connoisseur 2.1 (US$20) by The Little App Factory is convenient, easy to use and for US$20 you can’t beat it. After a recipe is entered it can easily be scaled for larger parties and you can even print or export a shopping list to your iPod or PDA (via SplashShopper or HandyShopper.)

Connoisseur also has a sweet “cooking view.” Those fortunate enough to have a Mac in the kitchen can use the cooking view to follow along and it even speaks the instructions to you, if you so desire. My only real criticism is that I wish it did a better job of importing recipes from popular cooking sites like AllRecipes and Epicurious. The services menu didn’t work and I had to cut and paste. It would be nice if the next version could parse a recipe URL or, even better, capture recipes without leaving the application.

Cook dinner for your honey tonight guys, just ask her to make the dessert.

Update: The Little App Factory is also the publisher of another piece of must-have software: NetFlix Freak, which I reviewed in July 2006.

Connoisseur makes managing your recipes as easy as iTunes makes managing your music. From the elegant and snappy interface to auto-completing ingredients, we have put in the hard yards so you can focus on what is important; entertaining your guests.

The Little App Factory :: Connoisseur 2.1

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Yahoo, Monster Cable Executives Lend Support to Jobs’ DRM Removal Proposals

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 08:30
Category: News

Following up on Steve Jobs’s february 6th open letter regarding the presence of digital rights management encoding on music sold online, executives from Yahoo and Monster Cable have lent support to Jobs’ argument that the digital music markets can grow in the absence of DRM-protected content according to an article on AppleInsider.
“I’ve long advocated removing DRM on music because there is already a lot of music available without DRM, and it just makes things complicated for the user,” said Dave Goldberg, head of Yahoo Music in an interview with the Silicon Valley Watcher.
Goldberg mentioned that Yahoo’s music channel has engaged in experiments where it offered non-DRM-protected music and observed a boost in sales.
Click the jump for the full story…


Hitch iPod2iPod Allows Direct iPod Data Sharing Without a Computer

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

The Unofficial Apple Weblog is reporting on the Hitch iPod2iPod USB Transfer Device available through ThinkGeek.
The Hitch, which is based off a Linux operating system, allows the user to hook two USB storage devices such as a pair of ipods and select which data to transfer between them via categorizations such as songs, albums and videos without the need of a computer.
Unfortunately, there is a downside. Music purchased through the iTunes Store and encoded with Apple’s FairPlay DRM will not be able to play after a sync, although unprotected files will play immediately and the two iPods need to be configured under Windows’ FAT32 drive format.
The Hitch iPod2iPod features a scroll wheel, USB 2.0 interface, backlit LCD screen and rechargable battery and retails for US$89.99.
If anyone’s gotten their hands on one of these and played with it, let us know what your experience was like.


Free iPod Battery Replacement Tutorials Available Online

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Date: Wednesday, February 14th, 2007, 07:58
Category: How-To

Lifehacker has pointed out, a series of QuickTime-based tutorials brought to you by the owner of
The site provides video walkthroughs as to how to open multiple generations of iPods, swapping out components such as batteries, hard drives and the LCD screens. The videos are reassuringly shot with the owner realizing most people are a bit timid about opening up their iPod, but showing the best tools for the job as well as how to gently approach the process without leaving a scratch behind.
If you’ve had any experiences opening up an iPod and replacing is components, let us know.


Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.3.4 Update

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Date: Tuesday, February 13th, 2007, 17:30
Category: Software

Microsoft has released Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.4 Update.
The update, a 12 megabyte download, patches program stability bugs, including openings wherein external malicious code can be inserted into the program (click here for a list of downloads or use the Microsoft AutoUpdate program to download and install the most current updates).
Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.4 requires that version 11.3.3 already be installed. In order to verify this, a user can find the Microsoft Component Plugin file in the Microsoft Office 2004/Office folder, locate the file and then click Get Info from the File menu at the top of the Finder screen to locate the version number.
Microsoft Office 2004 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and about 540 megabytes of disk space to run.
If you have any comments or positive or negative feedback about this update, let us know.