Sony/British Telecom to Beef Up PSP Communication Features

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Date: Thursday, May 24th, 2007, 08:26
Category: News

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Stepping away from the iPhone for just a second, British Telecom and Sony Computer Entertainment have recently penned a four year contract to develop extra communications features for the Sony PSP.
The PSP, which debuted about two years ago, has shipped 24 million units across its global markets.
According to the British Telecom Group, Sony will pair with British Telecom to integrate video and voice products to the PSP in the near term. The two companies will work towards features that allow the PSP to enable calls and messages to PCs, land lines and cell phones.
If you have an opinion on this, let us know what you make of it.

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iPhone Demand May Exceed Supply

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Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, 11:08
Category: News

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A recent survey by the Channel Checkers research firm shows that demand for Apple’s upcoming iPhone may exceed the available supply when the device is released next month.
In a survey of 36 storers, 64% of outlets questioned replied that they had a waiting list while the remaining 36% would sell the iPhone on a first come, first serve basis. According to MacsimumNews, the average waiting list numbered about 25 people. In one case, an outlet in New York City reported that it currently had 1,979 people on iits waiting list. Another cited its waiting list as numbering in the thousands.
The report also stated that Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, HonHai, had experienced some part delays and that its initial 12 million unit run wouldn’t be available until mid-June.
Conventional wisdom says to call ahead and try to get your name on the list come June. And if you can’t snag one on opening day, there’ll be plenty more where it came from.
Still, out of curiosity, who’s planning on camping out for one and just how far are you willing to go to snag one on the first day it becomes available?

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Intel to Stop Using Lead Components

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Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, 11:31
Category: News

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On Tuesday, microprocessor giant Intel announced that its entire processor line would be lead-free from later this year on.
Beginning with the upcoming Penryn processor line, the company’s 45-nanometer chips will go lead-free. The 65-nanometer chips will follow suit later in 2007 according to Macworld News.
Though extremely useful as a manufacturing component thanks to its electrical and mechanical properties, lead remains a toxic metal and a point of contention between environmental groups and IT manufacturers.
In 2005, Intel announced that the company had invested US$100 million in the development of a lead alternative to used as solder for its chip line. The company stated that its goal at the time was to be lead-free by 2010 and the firm took its first steps towards this end by beginning to remove lead from its products in 2002. By 2004, the company had reduced its lead content to 0.02 grams of solder used for its chips.
Per Tuesday’s announcement, the company announced plans to replace its tin-lead solder component with an alloy consisting of tin, silver and copper. The change in materials should not affect performance or when upcoming products arrive to market.

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Battery Drain 1.0 Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, 08:28
Category: Software

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In the category of “hey, that could be interesting”, developer Scott Finney has released Battery Drain 1.0, a free utility designed to allow laptop users to drain their batteries to a specified amount in order to prepare them for long-term storage (Apple recommends a 50% charge prior to a few months of inactivity).
Once the specified charge has been reached, Battery Drain will shut down the computer and allow the user to store it safely. One alert reviewer has noted that laptop batteries will only hold their charge for a few months in storage, so while this might not be the ultimate catch-all solution, it should help in the shorter term.
Battery Drain is a 125 kilobyte download courtesy of MacUpdate and requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later to run.
If you’ve played with this and can provide feedback about it, let us know.

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Apple/AT&T Contract Bans Apple’s Creation of CDMA Model iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, 07:35
Category: News

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Despite being in a position to be one of the coolest technological releases of 2007, Apple’s iPhone, the contract between Apple and AT&T will change how the iPhone is developed. According to an article in USA Today, the contract created between the two companies provides AT&T with exclusive distribution rights of the iPhone for five years also bars Apple from developing a CDMA-network-compatible version of the device for this period of time.
The ban serves a strategic function in that is keeps AT&T customers from switching over to competitors Sprint or Verizon Wireless, which both use the CDMA network protocol. AT&T’s devices currently operate via the GSM network protocol.
AT&T currently claims about 62.2 million customers, whereas Verizon and Sprint claim 60.7 and 53.6 million customers, respectively.
Part of this was to definitely be expected and if you have any comments or ideas about this, let us know.

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Unboxing: Final Cut Studio 2

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Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, 00:01
Category: Software

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The PowerPage’s resident videographer Rob Parker has unboxed his shiny new Final Cut Studio 2 box and has posted five pictures of the packaging in a Flickr photostream.

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Apple Store Now Offering Refurbished Apple TV Units

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Date: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007, 10:08
Category: News

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The lads over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog have picked up on Apple’s recent addition of refurbished Apple TV units to the Apple Store.
The refurbished units are being sold for US$249 as opposed to the regular price of US$299 and include a year’s limited warranty, which can be upgraded to a three year warranty via a US$49 AppleCare protection plan.
Click here for full details and let us know what you think.

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LightSnake iChat Headset Released

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Date: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007, 08:41
Category: News

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On Tuesday, SoundTech Professional Audio released its LightSnake iChat, a USB headset designed to work with voice and Voice Over Internet Protocol programs.
The LightSnake iChat features earbud-style headphones, a lapel clip with sound controls and a mic that can be positioned in front of a user’s mouth. A standard 1/8″ stereo plug allows the device to be connected to a regular set of headphones and the audio specifications are as follows:
-THD + N (-3dBr): -76.1 dB*SNR: 83.1 dB
-Dynamic Range: 81.6 dB
-Ear bud Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20 KHz
-Microphone Frequency R3sponse: 100Hz to 16 KHz
-Signal Input Range: 0 – 2.88 Vpp
-Signal Boost Gain: +20 dB
The LightSnake iChat is compatible with Mac OS 9.0.4 or later and retails for US$29.99.

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Apple Posts MacBook/Pro Optical Drive Noise Samples

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Date: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007, 08:08
Category: News

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An article over at MacFixIt points out that Apple has posted a Knowledge Base article wherein the compay offers several sound clips as to noises a MacBook and MacBook Pro’s slot-loading optical drive can make. The clips cover activities such as waking from sleep, burning a disc, importing files into iTunes and insertion/ejection.
The Knowledge Base article offers a good basis of comparison between what noises your MacBook or MacBook Pro’s drive may be making and whatever you’re experiencing on your end. In the end, the drives are a little noisier than one might expect, especially given the activities they tend to go through.
Take a listen and if your laptop’s hard drive noises seem excessive, then it might be time to take the next step and take the unit in for AppleCare service.

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2.0 GHz MacBook Benchmarks Posted

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Date: Monday, May 21st, 2007, 13:31
Category: Benchmark

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The guys over at Mac|Life have recently posted a benchmark report on the new MacBook laptops released late last week.
The updated laptops went from 1.83 GHz to 2 Ghz and gained an additional two megabytes of L2 cache among other changes and the review pitted the older 2 GHz black MacBook against the newest revision.
While the speed boost from 1.83 GHz to 2.0 GHz may not be epic, the piece finds seconds shaved in programs like iMovie and Photoshop with a 22% speed boost in iPhoto.
Click over to see what you make of it and if you’ve gotten your hands on the newest MacBooks, tell us how they’re working out for you, especially when compared to the previous version.

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