Amazon Drops Prices on Current and Older MacBooks

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 12:06
Category: News

On Thursday, announced that it had lowered prices for both its older model MacBook laptops as well as the recently released units.
According to MacNN, the new prices are as follows:
-White 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 120 GB hard drive: US$1,200 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive: US$1,400 after a US$100 rebate;
-White 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive: US$1,000 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of memory, 120GB hard drive: US$1,250;
-White 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 512 MB of RAM, 60 GB hard drive: US$920 after a US$75 rebate.
The company is currently also offering one and two gigabyte RAM upgrades for Apple’s 2GHz MacBook model priced at US$50 and US$100, respectively.
Granted, this isn’t handing the MacBook away for free, but that’s a pretty good price where RAM is concerned and if you’re thinking of picking one up, a rebate never hurts.
Of course, sometimes if you wait a few weeks, sometimes they throw in a free printer.
And a pony.


OWC Now Offering MacBook, MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade Kits

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

On Wednesday, Other World Computing announced that its one, two and three gigabyte RAM modules for MacBook laptops had become available and were immediately shipping.
The modules are priced competitively against Apple’s factory upgrade option, wherein upgrading from one gigabyte of RAM to two gigabyes would run US$175, Other World Computing cites that their upgrade option can be had for US$99.97.
For a three gigabyte RAM upgrade, users can expect to pay US$177.99 for a two gigabyte chip and a one gigabyte chip. According to The Mac Observer, the chip also meets the specification for the current Intel-based iMacs and can be used in these machines.
The company also currently offers a US$20 rebate on RAM that’s been traded in and ships a free online video installation guide to help the users upgrade their machines. A lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty is also offered for the RAM upgrade.


Apple Files Anti-Theft Patent for Its Devices

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:24
Category: News

In March of 2004, Apple submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technique that would hopefully better guard its devices. The patent, credited to company storage chief Paul Wahrenberg, centers around an “acceleration-based theft detection system”, the device sensing its own motion and determining what’s happening from there.
And now, the interesting part. The patent filed describes how in many cases the theft of a device will introduce certain movement cues that aren’t experienced in everyday use. Rapid sustained movement qualifies as one of them, whereas according an accidental bump or drop would fit into the criteria of everyday use.
According to AppleInsider, a device could theoretically distinguish between a person stealing it and its legitimate user through the implementation of an accelerometer and the right software. Once a certain speed, position or vibational condition had been reached, the software could send a signal to the rest of the system, triggering an alarm or require a password to return to normal. Another section of the patent describes how the software could customize individual alarm settings to their specifications.
Click the jump for the full story…


Skype 2.6 for Mac Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:24
Category: News

On Wednesday, Skype released the final build of Skype 2.6, its Voice over Internet Protocol software for the Mac. The new version, which is available as a free 30.4 megabyte download, includes a new call-transfer feature currently unavailable on its Windows client as well as stability fixes, a public chat feature and a chat typing indicator within its instant message component to allow users to see when the other person is typing a message.
According to MacNN, Skype 2.6 also features support for DTMF tones for automatic answering services which are available during Skype-to-Skype calls. The update also improves how event reminders are handled and users can make calls to standard land lines and cell phones via the program’s Skype In and Skype Out services.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have something to say about it, let us know.


Amazon to Offer DRM-Free Digital Music

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:02
Category: News

On Wednesday, announced that it plans to launch a DRM-free online music store later this year. The site would sell audio content in a straight MP3 format without any Digital Rights Management protection constraints built into the files sold according to Macworld News.
This news follows announcements by EMI and Apple in April that the companies would be selling online music content free of Digital Rights Management code. Amazon’s tactic would allow the songs and albums sold through its music store to be played by almost any device that could read and play the MP3 file format. Purchased songs could also be stored to an iPod or other digital music player as well as burned to CD-ROM.


PageSender Updated to Version 4.0.1

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 09:45
Category: Software

Maybe a quick software update’s good for the ego. Or at least it keeps you honest. Less than two weeks after the widescale release of PageSender 4.0, SmileOnMyMac has released version 4.0.1 of its PageSender fax program, which functions as an extended set of tools for Mac OS X’s built-in fax features.
PageSender retails for US$39.95, allows users to send and receive faxes from any program as well as automate when faxes are sent and received.
The new version adds the following features and changes:
-Address Book panel works in Carbon apps (e.g. Word, FileMaker Pro, etc.)
-Live addressing works in Carbon apps.
-Cover page messages can have returns.
-Create new recipients by clicking in the address list.
-MaxEmail and EasyLink work as selected.
-Fixed problem with quitting PageSender Fax Center.
-Other minor fixes and improvements.
PageSender 4.0.1 is coded as a Universal Binary and can function at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The program is a 6.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and can offer feedback or impressions, let us know.


Apple Scales Down Pricing on European MacBooks

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

More cool overseas tidbits today as AppleInsider is reporting that the European markets have seen the prices of MacBook laptop units drop 70 Euros down to 1,049, 1,249 and 1,449 Euros depending on the model MacBook being purchased.
The change comes on the heels of yesterday’s product refresh for the MacBook line. The new units feature faster processors, larger hard drives, more advanced wireless capabilities and additional RAM among other changes.
Interestingly, a rumor has surfaced from the Italian user base that the newest MacBooks may be using a brighter display for its 13.3″ screen. In its product announcement, Apple Italy listed a 250cd/m2 brightness figure for its high-end 2.16 GHz black MacBook model. Apple had not specified this change in its more widespread press release regarding the update, but has suggested that the brightness of its display helped sell the unit.


Apple Trims iPod Shuffle Pricing in UK Markets

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 07:59
Category: News

A good thing just got a bit cheaper across the Atlantic. Macworld UK is reporting that Apple has reduced the price of its iPod Shuffle music player from 55 Pounds to 49 Pounds, a reduction of about 10%.
Last month, Apple cut the price of its video-enabled iPod model by 10 to 20 Pounds depending on capacity.
The price cuts are seen as a means of maintaining demand for the products, especially since a product refresh of the units isn’t expected until the end of the summer.
If you’ve seen this reduction or any similar offers in your neck of the woods, let me know.


Microsoft Releases Open XML File Converter Beta

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 15:06
Category: News

On Tuesday, Microsoft released a beta version of its Office Open XML converter program, which allows Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v.X users to be able to open Office XML and Word Macro-Enabled Document files used in Microsoft Office 2007. Here, users can open the files as a Rich Text Format document and work with them from there.
The Office XML and Word Macro-Enabled Document file formats are identified by the “.docx” and “.docm” extensions at the end of the file names.
Microsoft’s web site warns that this is a beta release (the version number currently stands at 0.1) and the following issues have been listed with the software:
-Macros and Visual Basic content are not included in the converted file.
-Charts and SmartArt graphics are converted to pictures.
-Graphics and other objects in the document might appear with a different size.
-Color fills and shading in tables might not be preserved.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains a bibliography or citations.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains WordArt.
-Document layout and formatting might not be preserved.
-Some Unicode characters might not be preserved.
-Conversion might not succeed if the document contains very large pictures.
-Conversion might not succeed if you use an SMB network volume as the preferred destination for converted files.
-Picture bullets might not be preserved.
-Fonts might be substituted.
Users must have version 11.3.4 or later of Microsoft Office or version 10.1.9 or later of Microsoft Office v.X and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later installed to run the converter.
The Open XML Converter beta is a 24.9 megabyte download and can be found here.
If you’ve tried the converter and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.


CrossOver Updated to 6.1

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 10:46
Category: Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 6.1. The new version, a 38 megabyte download, offers the following changes and updates:
Mac OS X-specific changes:
-Added handling of mailto: links, both within and outside of CrossOver.
-Added support for installing a set of Windows-specific truetype fonts.
-Fixed a problem with Quartz-wm on new Tiger install disks. Previously this problem caused CrossOver to crash on some new Macs.
-Added a feature that will check for available updates.
-Improved support on Leopard.
-Added Japanese localization.
-Improved support for composed characters
-Some cosmetic changes to the GUI. No major redesigns.
-Improved the menu-syncing algorithm.
New application support:
-EVE Online
-Quicktime 7
-Ichitaro 2006 and 2007 (Japanese locale only)
-Ichitaro Viewer (Japanese locale only)
-IBM HomePage Builder 10 and 11 (Japanese locale only)
Application fixes:
-Fixed some font problems in FrameMaker 7.1
-Added support for RPC over HTTP in Outlook 2003 when running in a Windows XP bottle. This allows use of HTTP mail in Outlook.
-Improved authentication support in Outlook 2003.
-Lots of widespread graphics improvements. Game rendering and performance should be much improved.
-Improved the Equation Editor installation process.
-The Half-Life 2 Intro now plays properly
-Several IE fixes: and now load properly. Improved IE launch times.
-Improved Quicken window rendering.
-Lots of doc revisions.
-Fixed a problem with black icons in the Outlook shortcut bar.
-Fixed autocompletion in Outlook
General CrossOver fixes and improvements:
-Major update of DirectX support.
-Added the ability to automatically download and install localized versions of some installers and service packs, including IE.
CrossOver retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Intel-based hardware to run. A fully functional 30-day trial version is available for download and testing for potential users.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about the experience, let us know.