InsomniaX 0.4 Released for Apple Notebooks

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Date: Monday, February 12th, 2007, 08:57
Category: Software

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Developer semaja2 has released version 0.4 of InsomniaX, a freeware utility which disables the sleep mode on Apple laptops (useful for tasks such as making an older iBook G4 into a more reliable server, etc.).
The new version adds Intel processor support, sound effects, an unload timer and key bindings for menu items. The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
InsomniaX arrives with a few provisos cautioning against running a laptop with a closed lid in order to avoid heat buildup and damage from this. Other existing bugs include the power management unit forcing a shutdown after nine minutes and the screen’s blacklight remaining off when the screen is reopened (the current workaround to this is to open the screen, disable InsomniaX and putting the machine to sleep again via the Command + U and Command + Shift + S keystrokes).
InsomniaX 0.4 is a 1.2 megabyte download available courtesy of MacUpdate.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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Samsung Announces iPhone Contender

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Date: Monday, February 12th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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Per Computerworld‘s report, Samsung has unveiled a new phone designed to take on Apple’s iPhone, due to be released in June of this year.
Samsung’s new Ultra Smart F700, will sport a touch screen interface as well as be able to play audio and video files. The unit will support a 2.78″ screen with a maximum resolution of 440 x 240 pixels and measure approximately 4″ in length by 2″ inches in width and about 0.66″ in depth..
In a released statement, the company mentioned that its unit will feature a pull-down QWERTY keyboard and support for 3G technologies, specifically the HSDPA protocol (which features speeds of 7.2 megabits per second) as opposed to the iPhone’s slower supported EDGE protocol.
For the full story and currently supported feature list, click here.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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FastMac Offers Improved-Upon MacBook Battery

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Date: Monday, February 12th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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Accessory supplier FastMac has announced that it will begin selling its new TruePower batteries for Apple’s MacBook laptops.
The batteries, which are due to ship “in 30 days”, retail for US$99.95 as opposed to US$129.00 for Apple’s replacement units. FastMac currently claims the batteries offer 68% more capacity, superior design and materials, an integrated safety circuit to prevent swelling and/or short circuits (this is designed to turn the battery off under extreme conditions) and four times the warranty, FastMac backing the TruePower for a full year as opposed to Apple’s 90 day warranty.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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EMI Ponders Selling DRM-free Music

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 09:12
Category: News

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An article on the Wall Street Journal‘s web site mentions that the EMI music label is currently gathering information from iTunes Store competitors such as eMusic.com, MTV Networks, MusicNet and RealNetworks to determine the possible bottom line from selling DRM-free music.
EMI stands as one of the five major record labels currently selling music online. The firm’s consideration is a departure from the current industry standard which considers copy protection code to be critical in protecting online music sales from piracy. The consideration falls in line with Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent open letter suggesting that DRM techniques have proven ineffective and inherently hamper the growth of online music sales.
Click the jump for the full story…

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2008 Scion tC to Include iPod Support

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:31
Category: News

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Per an article on MacNN, Scion has announced that its entire 2008 lineup will feature iPod connectivity.
The systems will incorporate a 160-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD system complete with a control and readout that displays the track, artist and album into a one-line display. According to a spokesperson, “Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car’s stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and steering wheel audio controls. A standard mini-jack port also allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the tC’s Pioneer speakers.”
The upcoming Scion models will also feature rear head unit outputs that allow for external amplifiers to boost power to the front and rear speakers as well as the subwoofers.
The current pricing model for a base model 2007 Scion tC ranges from US$16,980 for one equipped with a manual transmission to US$17,780 for one equipped with an automatic transmission. Prices for the 2008 models have yet to be announced.

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FCC Confidentiality Letter for iPhone Proven Fake

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:53
Category: News

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Despite looking and sounding like an authentic duck, the letter sent to the FCC by Apple Inc. asking the government not to disclose any details about the company’s upcoming iPhone device until June 15th has been proven fake (additional details available over at Jason’s Apple Core blog.)
The request actually applies to Apple’s upcoming AirPort Extreme Base Station, which will be Apple’s first generation of wireless router to run on the 802.11n protocol.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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Fixes Mount as Mac OS X 10.4.9 Nears Completion

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:28
Category: News

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An article over on AppleInsider describes how the soon-to-be-released Mac OS X 10.4.9 update will deliver nearly 100 specific bug fixes when it’s released to the public later this month.
The new builds, marked 8P125 for the PowerPC hardware architecture and 8P2125 for the Intel hardware architecture, currently weigh in at 71.9 megabytes and 165.7 megabyte downloads.
The new number of bug fixes according to Apple engineers now totals 95 with the corrections reportedly centering on OpenGL, Sync Services, ImageIO, iSync and memory leaks in the operating system’s graphics driver code. Apple has also asked its developers to focus testing around system components such as Audio, Bluetooth, Bonjour, Disk Images, FireWire, Fonts, Graphics, iCal, iChat Video Conferencing, iSync, Rosetta, USB and .Mac Connectivity.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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