PowerPage Podcast Episode 105

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 23:45
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast Logo 2008Episode 105 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (1’14:09, 25.86 MB, AAC).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim, Tom Hesser and special guest Travis Yates, developer of A Blackjack Card Counter.
Topics include: We interview Travis Yates, developer of A Blackjack Card Counter and discuss Apple outlawing jailbreaking, Hulu’s fantastic suicide and we play “What’s on your Mac?” Featuring: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim and Tom Hesser.
What’s on your Mac?:

  • Youngmoo:

    • MacGourmet – Recipe software for the desktop ($25) and iPhone ($5).
  • Jason:

    • Billings – Time billing and invoicing software – $40

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Rumor: Apple Executives Rethinking iPhone Pricing for 2009

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 13:54
Category: iPhone

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With a new generation of iPhones all but certain this year, a discussion between analysts and Apple’s top brass has also dropped clues that the iPhone’s pricing may not be static this year.
According to AppleInsider, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research mentions in a research note that a discussion with Apple COO Tim Cook, CFO Petter Oppenheimer and worldwide marketing senior VP Phil Schiller point both to an upgrade to the touchscreen device as well as to the possibility of “different pricing/price points” this year, with Cook “examining iPhone’s business model” for possible changes.
Apple execs Cook and Schiller have dropped teasers regarding 2009 as being “very exciting” year for the company’s handset.
With no concrete details emerging, Sacconaghi was quick to dampen rumors of an iPhone nano or a similar low-budget cellphone. Without naming a source, he gathers from his investigations that the company isn’t presently chasing such a concept.
Any future iPhone, Mr. Sacconaghi said, will probably have at least a web browser and access to the App Store, the latter of which has Cook, Oppenheimer and Schiller particularly “bullish” about the iPhone’s success as it gives Apple an advantage over rival smartphone makers.
One detail which remained static was Cook and Schiller’s continued insistence that the iPhone wouldn’t come with a hardware keyboard. The duo seemed to inflect that a fixed set of keys made it harder to implement different keyboards, especially where different languages were concerned and would also make it harder for third-party developers hoping to use their own custom control schemes. Using the touchscreen as the primary input improves Apple’s bottom line by letting it ship what’s essentially the same phone across many different regions, the executives say.
Were a price shakeup to occur, it wouldn’t be out of character for Apple. Each year of the iPhone’s existence has had at least one major price shakeup: the iPhone’s maximum price fell from US$599 to US$399 in 2007, while the iPhone 3G in 2008 not only reduced this top price to US$299 but switched the behind-the-scenes profit model from revenue sharing with carriers to a heavy device subsidy.
While Sacconaghi doesn’t make many predictions in his report, he repeats frequent expectations of an iPhone in summer and also believes Apple may update the iMac in March.
If you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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iFixIt Posts Full 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro Disassembly/Report

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 08:16
Category: MacBook Pro

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Tech guru and Mac-centered repair outfit iFixIt has fully disassembled Apple’s new 17″ MacBook Pro notebook, as mentioned over on the Apple Core.
The new notebook features a battery that is not accessible without removing the notebook’s entire bottom panel. Apple has apparently secured the 12820mAh battery with three tri-wing screws to discourage removal, although the battery can be swapped using the correct tools and weighs approximately 1.25 pounds, which is 20% of the computer’s total mass. Aftermarket battery manufacturers are likely to offer a replacement soon.
Apple has also shifted the notebook’s Bluetooth board from its previous location and the component now resides behind the optical drive.
Other changes included the unit’s Sunon fan being physically larger than the 15″ unibody MacBook Pro fan and featuring “MagLev” technology which incorporates magnetic bearings to suspend the fan shaft without any contact between parts. This change is claimed to offer improved rotational stability, reduced vibration and increased resistance to high temperatures.
The new 17″ MacBook Pro still displays an internal layout similar to the 15″ MacBook Pro. Finally, Apple has also decided not to include a Mini DisplayPort Adapter, in its latest model.
Head on over to the link for the full tear-down and if you’ve gotten your hands on the new notebook, please let us know what you make of it in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for 13″ MacBook

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 08:29
Category: MacBook

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Late Tuesday, Apple released its SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for the company’s 13″ polycarbonate (black and white non-unibody) MacBook notebooks released in early 2009. The update, a 557 kilobyte download, works to clear a performance issue wherein the notebook may slow down when booted while using battery power only. This SMC Update improves startup time when starting up from the battery.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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