Apple Releases Updated MacBooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 09:41
Category: News

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If you were wondering why the Apple Store was down for a few hours this morning, it was for the right reason.
Apple has just released a refreshed and updated line of MacBook laptops, complete with faster processors, improved wireless systems, higher end optical drives and additional RAM.
Check out Jason’s Apple Core blog for full details and we’ll post more about these machines as soon as information becomes available.

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Melting MacBook Documented via Picture Gallery

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 08:00
Category: MacBook

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A forum post over to the German MacUser.de web site has documented an instance in which a German MacBook owner left his laptop unattended as it played a DVD of “Scary Movie” and returned to discover that the heat from the laptop had actually melted some of its plastic.
A full gallery has been posted over at AppleDefects.com and an article over there describes the unit’s heat buildup and lack of adequate cooling:
“MacBook’s are well documented to produce tremendous amounts of heat. Our AppleDefects MacBook easily reaches and sustains processor temperatures of 95 degrees celcius (203 farenheit) when running under load, with absolutely zero cooldown despite the tiny fan blasting. The super-heated air that is produced is then blown out the small back port. You‚Äôd never want to use our particular MacBook on your lap without a thick book or some other protective pad, the heat produced is scolding – but so far not hot enough to physically melt the machine itself. It should be noted Apple doesn’t recommend using laptops on your lap, as we have reported on in the past.”
While there may not be any guaranteed means of preventing heat buildup on your MacBook (I love mine, but it does get toasty), several temperature monitoring programs such as CoolBook are available.
If you’ve seen anything similar in your own experience or discovered a better setup for letting the laptop function with better circulation, let us know.

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AT&T Memo Forbids iPhone Pre-Sales

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Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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A memo sent around to AT&T‘s retail stores has instructed employees not to create wait lists or process pre-sales for Apple’s long-awaited iPhone.
According to AppleInsider, the memo contains the following highlights:
-”The exact date has not been announced, specific dates should not be provided to customers.”
-”Sales for the iPhone will be on a first come, first served basis. No wait lists of names will be taken and NO pre-selling is allowed.”
-”Two models of the iPhone will be available, a 4GB will retail at $499 and an 8GB will retail at $599.”
-”If asked what the price will be, answer that the prices have been announced as $499 for the 4G and $599 for the 8G, respectively.”
-”There should NOT be any additional speculation/discusson about pricing.”
-”AT&T will be the only wireless carrier in the U.S. launching the iPhone and will have exclusivity for the foreseeable future.”
The report, which was originally carried over at BoyGeniusReport, stated that AT&T employees will received web-based training, workbooks and other iPhone product materials to help train them for the launch next month.

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PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Petition Begins

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Date: Monday, May 14th, 2007, 14:45
Category: News

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A group of PowerBook G4 owners have begun an online petition requesting that Apple acknowledge and repair a long-standing issue with the lower memory slot in certain aluminum PowerBook G4 models.
The problem seems to be present in Apple’s 15″ 1 GHz, 1.25 GHz, 1.33 GHz, 1.5 GHz and 1.67 GHz models, the lower memory slot eventually failing. According to MacNN article, Apple has posted a frequently asked questions page regarding the problem, but users have complained that while the fix initially worked, the slot would later fail again, the computers later lapsing from their warranty periods.
The error includes the following symptoms:
-The computer does not start up; instead, there are three short beeps (typically) followed by the the sleep LED flashing periodically.
-When both SO-DIMM memory slots are filled (populated), only one slot’s memory is recognized.
-System performance may be degraded because the memory in only one slot is not recognized.
To date, Apple as noted the the symptoms may occur on occasion and lists the higher-end 1.5 GHz and 1.67 MHz models as being eligible for its Memory Slot Repair Extension program. Owners who have encountered the problem have pointed out that lower-end models are excluded from the program, despite the widespread nature of the problem.
If you’ve run across this problem or know someone who has, let us know.

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MCE Announces MobilStor Performance Hard Drives for MacBook and MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, May 14th, 2007, 12:48
Category: News

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On Monday, MCE Technologies announced its 250 gigabyte MobilStore Performance hard drive upgrades for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.
The drives, which operate at 5,400 RPM (250 gigabyte) and 7,200 RPM (160 gigabyte) depending on configuration arrive with an external casing (complete with USB 2.0 and eSATA ports) that the previous hard drive can be inserted into. A bundled copy of SuperDuper, illustrated instruction manual and tools allow the laptop to be opened, the hard drive swapped out and the previous data to be cloned over with minimal hassle.
Prices range from US$129 to US$279 depending on speed and capacity and the drives arrive with a three year warranty. The first units will ship out on June 1st.
MCE Technologies is a PowerPage sponsor.

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Future Apple Laptop Details Begin to Emerge

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Date: Monday, May 14th, 2007, 08:27
Category: Rumor

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Out of the rumor mill, details have begun to emerge regarding Apple’s forthcoming laptop products, the MacBook staying relatively the same while significant changes should be seen in the company’s MacBook Pro line. Specifics have also begun to surface regarding a 13″ sub-notebook that’s been in the works for some time.
Where the MacBook is concerned, AppleInsider has stated that sources close to the company that the consumer level laptop won’t receive Intel’s updated “Santa Rosa” notebook architecture or an LED-backlit screen until a future revision later this year.
The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, should be the focus of Apple’s notebook revisions. The professional market laptop will see an enhanced feature set from the Santa Rosa architecture and should be outfitted with faster 800 MHz front side system buses as well as second generation Core 2 Duo mobile processors capable of speeds up to 2.4 GHz. The 15″ model should also be the first Apple laptop to convert from a traditional cathode fluorescent-backlit display for an LED-backlit model.
Apple has recently been reported as ordering significant numbers of LED-backlit display components as well as finished parts from various Asian suppliers for such a revision.
According to sources, the long-awaited and much-rumored sub-notebook will be wrapped around a 13″ LED-backlit display, a move that comes as a surprise given that many thought the 13″ display components that had been ordered were destined for Apple’s MacBook units.
The sub-notbook will include a 13″ LED-backlit display, lack an optical drive, include on-board NAND flash memory for application launching and boot times, a built-in iSight camera, AirPort Extreme 802.11n, a MagSafe power adapter and be thinner and lighter than the current MacBook offerings. The unit will be available in either late 2007 or early 2008. Additional specifications have yet to be confirmed.
Stay tuned for the latest news on these offerings as they become available.

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T-Mobile Emerging as Frontrunner for European iPhone Provider

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Date: Monday, May 14th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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Albeit Apple has already penned an exclusive deal to distribute its upcoming iPhone via AT&T in the U.S., other markets remain up in the air.
According to MarketingWeek, the current word on the ground is that a shortlist of potential European providers has been narrowed down to Vodafone and T-Mobile.
Sources close to the decision have stated that T-Mobile is closer to landing the deal, especially with its recent activity in the music arena. Gartner research director Martin Gutberlet has stated that there are doubts as to whether the iPhone, complete with iTunes, would be an idea fit for Vodafone’s Live! music portal.
Still, doubts remain about Apple’s current strategy. According to Gutberlet, a multi-provider deal would be optimal, especially in a fragmented European market. Gutberlet also illustrated the point that T-Mobile currently has little to no presence in Italy, Spain or France.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on this, let us know.

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Poll: What Do You Think of Joost?

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Date: Friday, May 11th, 2007, 13:43
Category: Poll

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Since we’ve been covering Joost all week and handing out invitations as best we can, it’s time to see what you guys think of it:


What do you think of the Joost beta?
I like it.
This isn’t worth the hype.
I want to wait until it’s finalized before I try it.
This is the coolest thing ever.
I’m still playing with it.
I haven’t gotten my invitation yet – damn you, PowerPage! (complete with angry fist shaking)
  


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Joost Receives $45 Million in Venture Capital

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Date: Friday, May 11th, 2007, 09:24
Category: News

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In spite of the recent madness that’s surrounded the company, there are those who believe that Joost may be the biggest thing out there and are willing to back it. Five firms recently ponied up about $45 million according to iPodObserver, a Reuters article calling Joost “the hottest thing in Internet video after YouTube, is seeking to do for long-form television programming what YouTube has done for short, user-created video sketches.”
So far, Joost has been able to secure content from networks such as Viacom, CBS, and Time Warner as well as lined up contracts with 31 name brand advertisers, despite still being in the beta phase.
Joost currently boasts about 150 channels and current users are able to invite an unlimited number of people to receive the latest beta build of the software. The program requires an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is a 15 megabyte download.

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Little Green Apple

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Date: Friday, May 11th, 2007, 08:21
Category: Opinion

Greenpeace has been putting pressure on Apple to go green for years and it appears to have finally born fruit. In a recent letter, Steve Jobs said that he was surprised to find out how much Apple was doing and that he was delighted to learn how far along Apple is in dealing with these issues. He is a very hands on guy, but this makes it seem as if he has been out of the loop. Think of him as a product guy, not a process guy.
So, LED backlights are coming to our displays. LED backlights are a great product and green, but in a relatively small way. The big fluorescent tubes in our workplace are the real issue because some contain mercury. While the tiny CCFL tubes in current LCD backlights may contain mercury, the amounts are minute, but good riddance to any toxic waste. To my surprise, LED efficiency has improved to the point that they are about 12% more efficient than CCFL tubes when used as a backlight.¬†This was not the case a few years ago. Why do I think they are better? Efficiency translates to longer battery life or smaller batteries. LEDs are trivial to dim compared to CCFLs. CCFL’s change color when they dim unlike LEDs. And, I am sure you have noticed that your LCD screen’s brightness falls off with age. LEDs promise longer life with little fall off in brightness. They are worth the money because they make your screen a better screen and more to the point, they make it better longer. Apple computers are reputed to stay in use longer than PCs, keeping them out of the waste stream and at work that much longer.
I think Apple did a significant amount of good when it helped lead the industry away from CRT monitors. Filled with toxic materials, they take a lot of energy to make, to run, as well as ship and introduced a significant volume of toxins and non recyclable material into the waste stream. They even emitted radiation at the user as an added bonus.
There is a lot of hype surrounding sustainability. The question here is whether Apple will follow through in a systematic way to reshape the way it does business. This is more process than product. There is a dark side to outsourcing in countries where there are little or no protections for the environment or even basic human rights for that matter. People will pay for better and greener technology like LED backlighting, but it is tough to tell your suppliers to do the right thing and then pass the costs on to the customer. It is clear that this has generated a lot of positive press and even a reactive Apple stands to win big with such an initiative. Steve may have shown little interest until now, but this is a hot button issue for Apple customers and he gets it. It appears that the Apple, Inc. settlement with the Beatles included the green logo from Apple Records.

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