iPod Access Photo 1.0 Released

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 16:57
Category: News

In the “Hey, that could be useful” category, Findley Designs has released iPod Access Photo a cross-platform shareware utility designed to recover photos from an iPod.
The program, a 5.4 megabyte download, allows users to select either individual photos or entire albums stored on the iPod, isolating the photo images by locating files tagged with “.ithmb” extensions according to Macworld News. iPod Access Photo then attempts to recover the highest resolution image available as well as the standard resolution image and then copy it to the computer in a format most image editing software can read.
iPod Access Photo retails for a US$12.99 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher and iPod software version 1.2 or later to run. The program is coded as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried this program and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know.


Danish National Consumer Agency Report Cites iBook G4 Flaw

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 13:29
Category: News

A recently released report by the Danish National Consumer Agency cites what it considers to be an unacknowledged error with the iBook G4 laptop. According to a story on forbrug.dk, a specific design defect has been discovered on the iBook G4. The report claims that despite multiple user claims of the problem, Apple refused to acknowledge the fault and take back the laptops given that the complimentary year’s warranty had expired at that point.
The defect cited states that in just over one year’s use, users will find themselves in a position where the power turns off and the screen goes blank. Denmark’s Consumer Complaints Board, having decided that Danish consumers should be able to return laptops with this unit, were able to discover the following facts, as cited in the report:
-Certain users experiencing the problem sometimes resolved it by attaching a clamp to the left front side of their iBook G4 while others nudged cardboard shims in place to allow the laptop to reboot.
-In independent testing, a solder joint between components proved to be broken. This joint gradually loosens every time the computer is turned on and off.
-During testing, when the iBook G4 had been turned on and off a sufficient number of times, the solder joint had broken completely loose and resulted in a blank screen. Jury-rigged solutions such as pressing the components together with a clamp or inserting cardboard shims reconnected the contacts and allowed the computer to boot again.
Photos of the process can be found here, albeit commentary remains in Danish.
Delta, the independent electronics laboratory that performed the testing, cited visual analysis, stereo microscopy, scanning acoustic microscopy and x-ray microscopy as the means used during testing procedures. Individual suspect components were cut out of the logic board and further examined in order to look over the components via microscopy.
If you’ve seen this problem on your end or found a new workaround for the issue, let us know.


Jobs Confirms LED-backlit Displays to Emerge This Year

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 08:03
Category: News

In an open letter regarding the companies revised environmental policies and practices, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed that the company will begin incorporating LED-backlit displays in its products later this year.
The change comes on the heels of pressure for Apple to adopt more green-friendly policies, Jobs stating that the firm will use LED backlighting “for all displays when technically and economically feasible.”
“We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007,” he wrote. “Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays.”
According to AppleInsider, Apple began the larger conversion towards the LED backlighting when it was reported that the company was working towards implementing an LED-backlit system for its 15″ MacBook Pro laptop as opposed to cold cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFL).
LED technologies, which have been regarded as being more environmentally friendly than CCFLs, tend to be more efficient at evenly distributing light across the entire display surface, consume less power, offer improved color saturation, run cooler and last longer than CCFL-based units. This can translate into improved notebook battery life and allow the display to maintain its initial brightness levels for longer periods of time.
Additional details can be found at the Apple Core blog.


Roxio to Release “Crunch” Tool Next Week

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 07:53
Category: News

Roxio, makers of the Mac disc burning staple, Toast, has announced that it will be releasing a new video conversion program designed to convert files to the Apple TV, iPod and iPhone formats.
The software, which has been dubbed “Crunch” according to AppleInsider, will support both QuickTime and alternative file formats such as DivX, MPEG-2 and DVD-Video. Roxio has stated that the software will be available as an electronic download from its web site Monday for U.S. customers while retail boxed versions and European availability are expected to arrive not long after.
Like Toast, the user interface will focus on allowing files to be dragged and dropped in, then converted. The software will also support multiple MPEG-4 and H.264 settings and allow users to create their own settings. Additional features include the ability to convert unprotected DVDs and VIDEO_TS folders as well as a batch export feature which can take on large groups of files and convert them. Roxio has also stated that these files, once converted, can be automatically added to iTunes for simplified synching to devices such as an iPod, Apple TV, etc.
Crunch is expected to retail for US$50 and system specifics have yet to be released.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.