Regarding Yesterday

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:51
Category: Opinion

As you may have noticed, there was no news yesterday.
Not that there wasn’t news, per se. Things happened, software was updated and announcements were made and covered.
From my end, I spent a fair amount of the day at a local glass repair location since someone had decided to put a rock through my front passenger window, then bounce the same rock off my front windshield, starring about 40% of it.
I mean, how best to celebrate the six month anniversary of my car not being broken into than by breaking into my car?
The good news is this brought me over my $500 deductible, so you can’t argue with that. Plus, they left the rock…so I have a bonus rock if I need it.
The bad news is they snagged my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit and my Griffin FM radio transmitter for my iPod (which were actually stowed away in the middle console and out of sight).
The stuff’s mostly been replaced, no one was hurt and the police have yet to assign someone from Loose Cannon Division to the case. Still, there was zero coverage yesterday and I apologize. You guys come to the page every day and this is appreciated.
On that note, I’ve invested in a trustworthy new anti-theft device to follow my Honda Civic around town. There have been rumors that its performance and track record is a bit spotty, but it’s running Windows Vista and nothing could possibly go wrong…
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Chris

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Adium X Updated to 1.3.3

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:07
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.3.
The new version, a 23.4 megabyte download, sports the following major fixes and changes listed here.
Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new build and have any feedback, positive or negative, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Cocktail 4.3.1 Leopard Edition Released

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Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:43
Category: Software

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On Friday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.3.1 of Cocktail (Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
The new version, a 1.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may stop responding during a scheduled clearing of system caches.
  • Added clearing of the trojan Lamzev.A and the worm Inqtana.A.
  • Minor improvements on the clear potentially harmful files procedure.
  • Cocktail 4.3 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    PowerPage Podcast Episode 105

    Posted by:
    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

    Follow us on Twitter:

    Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
    PowerPage Podcast theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip. Pick up their new release “We Are The Same” on iTunes.
    Don’t forget to add the PowerPage Facebook group!

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    Rumor: Apple Executives Rethinking iPhone Pricing for 2009

    Posted by:
    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

    Posted by:
    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

    Posted by:
    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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    Apple Posts Knowledge Base Articles to Help Access RAM/Hard Drive/Battery for Unibody MacBooks

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2009, 13:41
    Category: How-To

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    Recently, Apple posted updated Knowledge Base documents referencing how to access the batteries, hard drive and RAM on the new unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.
    While the 13″ and 15″ computers come with a hatch that provides easy access (at least to the hard drive and battery), the 17″ computers do not have a hatch and many users have complained about the accessibility for user-serviceable hard drives, as well as RAM upgrades for the whole product line.
    Per MacFixIt, Apple’s reasoning for removing the access hatch makes sense from a battery engineering standpoint, but it does limit users from otherwise relatively simple repairs, upgrades, and troubleshooting. Despite not having a hatch, the 17″ macbook is still accessible. Users will have to remove the bottom case of the computer, and will need a #0 philips screwdriver.
    The Knowledge Base documents can be located at the following links:
    17″ MacBook Hard Drive (and RAM) (note that the RAM installation instructions are inscribed on the inside hatch).
    15″ MacBook Hard Drive (and RAM).
    For users interested in upgrading the RAM on the new 15″ MacBook Pro, the following video guide functions as a very thorough demonstration on how to upgrade the RAM:
    www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Upgrade-RAM-in-Unibody-MacBook-Pro—Bleeding-Edge-TV-297–71649299
    If you’ve upgraded your unibody MacBook or MacBook Pro and have any tips to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Adobe Developing Flash Light for Mobile Phones, Application Still Not iPhone-Ready

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2009, 09:23
    Category: iPhone

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    Adobe’s Flash Lite multimedia player, while still lacking iPhone compatibility, may reach one billion mobile phones by the end of March according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. In a recent report, the company said that Adobe could reach its desired target mark one year ahead of schedule given its recent support for HD video as well as Nokia’s agreements to install Flash Lite on its phones. Another factor mentioned by the company is the absence of real competition for Adobe’s Flash Lite player. Representatives from the firm went on to predict that another 1.5 billion smartphones could carry the software within two years according to ComputerWorld.
    On the competition end, Microsoft is currently developing a Silverlight for Mobile Player for release on Nokia’s Symbian S60 devices and its own Windows Mobile Phones. Representatives from the company expressed opinions that the plugin won’t make a significant impact on Flash Lite’s current increases.
    To help continue with its progress, Adobe will be demonstrating a Flash Player 10 for smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Along with the Flash 10 beta, Adobe will also be releasing the beta of a new Flash Lite distributable player based on Flash Lite 3.1.
    Even with the increase in phones using Flash Lite, Adobe is still thought distant from getting an equivalent application onto the iPhone. Analysts with Strategy Analytics claimed that Adobe is working diligently to get Flash onto the iPhone and is looking to have it ready to go much later this year.
    Independent analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates claims that performance and business are the chief obstacles to Flash on the iPhone. In order to get high performance, Flash must run in the lower layers of the OS, which Apple restricts as part of its iPhone SDK guidelines. Gold stated that Apple will want to push its own technology, such as QuickTime, rather than depend on a third party’s development, despite Apple’s long history with Adobe.
    As always, let us know what you think of the situation in the comments or forums.

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    QuickerTek Releases 2009 Apple aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro External Battery and Charger

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, February 17th, 2009, 08:11
    Category: Accessory

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    Accessory maker QuickerTek has begun selling its 2009 Apple aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro External Battery and Charger for Mac notebooks. According to MacNN, the unit is design for use with the latest unibody 13″ MacBooks and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The battery is said to provide between eight and 10 hours of total run time as opposed to the five offered by Apple’s batteries. When attached, internal batteries are depleted before the QuickerTek one takes effect.
    The QuickerTek battery is additionally said to charge in only three hours instead of five, as well as significantly extend the useful life of a MacBook by separately lasting between 2,000 and 3,000 recharge cycles. The unit retails for US$450.
    If you’ve worked with QuickerTek batteries before or have an external battery of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

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