Apple Reduces Price of Cinema Display Monitors

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Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007, 11:44
Category: News

Beyond adding a lusty octo-core Mac Pro configuration to its lineup Apple has also reduced the price of its Cinema Display monitors. The price changes are as follows:
-The 20″ model, previously US$699, is now available for US$599.
-The 23″ HD model, previously US$999, is now available for US$899.
-The 30″ HD model, previously US$1,999, is now available for US$1,799.
For more information, check out the Cinema Displays section of the Apple Store web site.


Apple Releases 8-Core Mac Pro Units

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Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007, 09:43
Category: News

In something of a soft, quiet launch, Apple has added new build-to-order options for its Mac Pro desktop computers, allow for long-awaited quad-core and octo-core options.
The units continue to feature Intel Xeon processors, which run at 2.0 GHz, 2.66 GHz and 3.0 GHz speeds.
The units start at US$2,499 with two dual-core Xeon processors and begin at US$3,997 for the initial configuration with two quad-core Xeon processors over at the Apple Store. Full technical specifications are available here.
At first glance, this appears to be an upgrade to the processors themselves, but if you have any comments or ideas, let us know and if you were waiting to upgrade, now might be the time.


Google Desktop for Mac Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007, 08:59
Category: Software

Internet giant Google has released Google Desktop for Mac, a desktop search tool the company states will work alongside Apple’s Spotlight feature built into Mac OS X 10.4.
Google Desktop functions as localized search tool as well as a web-enabled tool that can search through GMail, Google’s image engine, the company’s map program, available online media, etc.
Although Spotlight currently stands as an established local search standard on the Mac, Google claims its program can currently utilize any Spotlight plug-ins thtat users already have installed on their system according to Macworld News.
The program, a one megabyte download, is activated by hitting the Command key twice to bring up a search window. Begin typing and, like Spotlight, Google begins to display results such as whether it finds a document or application. If the first 10 listed results found don’t match what you’re looking for, clicking a “Search Web” option below the found results will pull up your default web browser and Google’s search engine results for your request.
Click the jump for the full story…


LapWorks Introduces Aluminum Desktop Stand

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 15:19
Category: News

LapWorks has announced the release of its Aluminum Desktop Stand, an adjustable laptop computer stand with six adjustable angles as well as a low angle mode suited for typing.
The unit, which measure 12″ x 9-1/2″ x 3/8 “, is made of brushed aluminum to help dissipate heat generated from the laptop, features full 360 degree rotation, folds to 3/8” for travel and weighs 21 ounces as well as ships with an included neoprene bag that can double as a mouse pad.
According to LapWorks, the stand can help cool a laptop by 23% to help extend its life span.
The Aluminum Desktop Stand is available at an introductory price of US$59.95 until May 31st, when the price increases to US$69.95. The unit ships with a full year’s warranty against defects in materials, construction and workmanship.


ModBook Upgraded, Will Ship in May

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 09:03
Category: News

On Tuesday, Axiotron, makers of the much-anticipated ModBook tablet, announced that they had doubled the unit’s pen pressure sensitivity to 512 levels but pushed the device’s ship date back to May according to MacNN.
The change to pressure sensitivity is important in that it offers better control of pen strokes to users of graphical creation programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Ilustrator and Corel Painter. Many of these users have wanted a tablet Mac in one form or another for some time and constitute a significant part of the company’s anticipated customer base. Axiotron currently uses Wacom‘s Penabled hardware, the same hardware found in the company’s tablets and pen display units. The revised ModBook pen technology will boast 133 position updates per second and support up to a 20x display resolution.
In addition, Axiotron has also announced that it will apply the free upgrade to new customers as well as retroactively apply the change to all existing pre-orders made since the device’s introduction at this year’s Macworld Expo San Francisco show.
The ModBook retails between US$2,279 and US$2,799 depending on features such as a faster processor, larger hard drive and built-in WAAS-enabled GPS.


Belkin Releases In-Desk iPod Dock

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 08:32
Category: iPod

In iPod news, Belkin appears to have figured out what to do with those circular holes found in various office desks (the ones that allow cables to flow down through the desk).
The In-Desk Dock for iPod fits flush in the 3″ circular hole, allowing users the ability to charge and synch their iPod directly to their Mac or PC. A stereo-out jack
The Dock saves your valuable desk space with an easy install right into it, through a 3-inch circular hole. You can now seamlessly charge and play your iPod as you sync it to your computer. A built-in stereo output jack on the Dock allows the user to connect the unit to a stereo or headphones as well.
Belkin is currently selling the In-Desk Dock for iPod for US$39.99. The product requires a standard 3″ circular opening on the desktop which can be drilled on your own if it’s not already built into the desk.


Survey Finds 33% of Users Wanting FM Playback on MP3 Devices

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 07:30
Category: News

In a Jacobs Media survey conducted between late February and March of 2007, approximately 33% of respondents in a survey consisting of over 25,000 listeners of various rock stations around the United States cited that they’d like FM radio playback on current or future iPods. Jacobs Media operates as a radio consulting firm within the United States.
The poll also established that an FM playback ability seemed more important to users than an increased storage capacity, larger screen or video playback according to Macworld UK.
To date, Apple has never included a built-in FM receiver with its iPod devices, leaving third-party firms to provide these features. Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player, which debuted in late 2006, made a point of including FM radio support and marketing this as a missing feature not found on the iPod.
The poll also discovered that MP3 player ownership has steadily increased, rising 47% in 2006 to demonstrate a 34% increase.
“iPods are showing no signs of stopping,” said Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media. “Last year, our data showed that the growth of personal MP3 players was far from over. This year, our new study confirms that this phenomenon continues to have lots of life, and we expect strong growth throughout ’07.”
This brings about a good question. How important is an FM playback feature on your iPod to you and have you gone to a third party outfit to fill this need? What’s your overall take on it?
If you have an idea or comment, let us know.


It May Not Be Pretty…

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 13:14
Category: News

But it could be functional. French IT services outfit has released the Comp Shade, a foldable laptop shade capable of blocking 100% of incoming light designed to reduce eye strain as well as provide privacy in public places.
Small, light (about seven ounces) and portable, the device connects to the laptop and itself via a mounting strip, then attaches to itself with hook and loop strips. The Comp Shade retails for 20 Euros (or about US$26.74), weighs seven ounces and forms a nine inch deep viewing tunnel for the user.
If you’ve tried this or something similar and have feedback about it, let us know.


Apple and EMI to Start Selling DRM-Free Music

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 11:15
Category: News

On Monday, Apple Inc. and EMI announced that beginning in May, the two firms will begin selling digital rights management-free music.
These files will be available at a higher audio quality (256 kbps AAC format as opposed to 128 kbps AAC format) at a higher price of US$1.29 per song according to Macworld News. Apple currently charges US$0.99 per song on the iTunes Store.
During the event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs commented that users would have a choice between the standard DRM-encoded songs and the higher-quality DRM-free tracks, which would supplement the Apple Store’s current selection. Users who already owned EMI-based tracks could upgrade these songs for US$0.30 per song should they wish to do son.
Earlier this year, Jobs sent out an open letter pushing for the removal of digital rights management code from music purchased from online stores such as the iTunes Store. EMI seems to be the first major music label to follow through on this, a point Jobs specifically commented on.
“Hopefully, by our actions here today and over the coming months they will conclude that we are continuing to do exactly what has earned us these number one positions — doing the right thing for the customer,” said Jobs. “The right thing for the customer going forward is to tear down the walls that preclude interoperability by going DRM free. That starts here today.”
A big step no matter how you look at us. If you have an opinion about this, let us know.


Apple Offers Reduced 5G iPod Pricing to UK Customers

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 10:50
Category: News

Back in the Old World, Apple has made the somewhat surprising move of offering lowered prices according to iLounge.
The discounts, which apply to the 30 gigabyte and 80 gigabyte models, reduce the prices from 189 pounds to 179 pounds for the 30 gigabyte model and 259 pounds to 239 pounds for the 80 gigabyte model. Pricing for the UK Apple Store’s iPod Nano and Shuffle units remains the same.
These same price cuts are not reflected on the U.S. Apple Store.