Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009, 10:04
Late Monday, Apple released its Battery Update 1.4 patch for its older 13″ polycarbonate (black or white) MacBook notebooks. The 210 kilobyte download improves the ability of MacBook batteries to maintain a charge when the system is shut down and not used for an extended period of time.
Users can determine whether their notebook requires this update by following these directions:
1. From the Apple menu, choose About this Mac.
2. Click More Info to start the System Profiler.
3. Locate the Hardware section and select Power.
4. Batteries with this information in the Battery Information section need this update:
1. A device name “ASMB016” or “ASMB013” in the serial number
2. A Pack Lot Code is 0002
3. A battery firmware version of 0110
The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.
Posted by: PowerPage Contributor
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 17:59
Category: Cases, iPhone
By David Klein
We all know the iPhone is sexy. Apple succeeded in maintaining its tradition of sleek, innovative design. A separate tradition that follows Apple releases is a slew of accessories. Every time I purchase an iPod I also get a matching case for both protection and to make it unique. Naturally, I wanted to purchase a case for my iPhone too.
I quickly realized that the iPhone is the first Apple product that is with me all the time. Of course we all listen to music on our iPods and other mp3 players (I owned a Rio 500 back in the day), but constant presence is not guaranteed like that of a cell phone. The iPhone is also more versatile. At the gym it’s an mp3 player. In meetings it’s a note taker. This is different when compared to an iPod which is always an mp3 player. One case will suffice. The iPhone can be more effectively used with different cases to match the tasks. Similar to my headphones post, I believe there are three case/task categories: style, gym, and productivity.
Style – Moshi iGlaze 3G
The best iPhone 3G case available is the Moshi iGlaze 3G. This is my everyday case. It’s thin and light so your iPhone doesn’t become bloated. It has a circular hole in the back to reveal the Apple logo. It comes in black, cramberry, and white. On the bottom is Moshi’s logo which is gracefully placed on all of its products. You can see it on my review of their Celesta keyboard. Included in the package is a film cover to protect the screen from scratches and smudges. The iGlaze’s beat feature is the smooth, rubber material. For US$23 you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this case even if you already own one. Moshi continues to impress me with its beautiful products.
Gym – Griffin Elan Form
When I exercise at the gym I want to be sure that my iPhone is safe in my pocket. Of course nothing will stop complete destruction if one drops a barbell onto the screen, but it’s still possible to prevent damage from drops. Yes, occasionally I accidentally get something caught on the headphones wire and the iPhone does a little dance onto the floor. That’s why I need a case that’s more rugged than the iGlaze. The answer is Griffin Technology’s Elan Form. Leather on the outside; hard shell on the inside. It comes in both black and pink. The Elan Form is not nearly as smooth to the touch as the iGlaze, but it’s definitely harder. It’s very easy to slide on and off (compared to another case I had which actually required a nickel to pry open and remove). On Griffin’s website the Elan Form costs US$30, but you can find it for US$18 on Amazon. If you’re looking for extra protection for activities like running, biking, or lifting weights, I recommend this case.
Productivity – Pogo Stylus
I loved the Palm Pilot. I had one high school (yes I was that guy). I also had an iPaq phase in college. I never had any complaints while using a stylus. Now, you can use one with your iPhone. The Pogo Stylus includes two pieces: the stylus and piece of plastic that snaps onto the back and sides of the iPhone. Clearly this sounds foreign since we are all so accustomed to tapping on the screen with our fingers. However, there’s something oddly familiar about pressing on the screen with a tool instead of a finger. It’s faster, more accurate, easy to learn how to use, and it’s soft tip won’t hurt the screen. Within minutes you’ll be swiping across the screen like the good old days of the Palm products. The Pogo Stylus is great for taking notes during meetings or writing longer emails than you can normally tolerate while using your fingers. It comes in black, gunmetal, silver, and cranberry. Pogo makes different size clips for both the first and second generation iPhones and the iPod Touch. Although this is not exactly a case, I still find it attached often. For US$15 I think this is a fun way to improve the iPhone.
Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 11:27
Category: MacBook Air
Following up on last week’s story regarding several users citing the hinge defect in Apple’s first generation MacBook Air notebook, a number of users are reporting a hit-or-miss policy in terms of Apple covering fixes for the notebooks under its AppleCare program.
According to Macworld, users have reported that Apple is flat out denying fixes for MacBook Air notebooks with broken hinges, even if the notebooks are still under warranty.
Per the article, an Apple Store location cited that a user who brought their MacBook Air in could spend US$800 to have the problem resolved or spend US$1,799 for a brand new, second generation MacBook Air. In this case, Apple cited the case as “accidental” damage wherein the repair would not be covered under Apple’s warranty policy.
In another case, user Lisa Eckstein (who documented the damage on her Flickr page) reported that upon taking the notebook to a “smaller and less busy” Apple Store location, employees promptly took the notebook and fixed it.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this occur on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.
Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:34
Following up on other streaming-television efforts, CBS Mobile has released application currently offers CBS shows, CBS Sports programming and content such as episodes of “Late Show with David Letterman, “Star Trek: the Original Series,” “CSI,” and “The Young and the Restless,” among many others. The mobile application also serves up a selection of shows from the CW including “Smallville” and “90210,” a half dozen shows from Showtime including “The L Word” and “The Tudors,” and a variety of CNET and GameSpot podcasts.
While the current programming selection is rather limited, the app can accommodate all the new content CBS serves up as it works to make more of its library of content available. The app uses the iPhone’s standard QuickTime player.
According to AppleInsider, CBS is currently pushing TV.com in competition with the Viacom-backed Joost and Hulu, a joint effort between NBC and Fox, to reach audiences beyond the TV and deliver a “direct to users” model of web-oriented offerings. Hulu currently lacks a mobile app for the iPhone like TV.com’s offering but Joost does provide a player app for its content, though it has yet to use the standard QuickTime player on the iPhone.
TV studios have rushed to set up their own web-based operations to create an alternative to seeing their content distributed (at no benefit to them) to web audiences via sites like YouTube. Joost, TV.com, and Hulu are supported by ads. Like YouTube, all three websites use Adobe Flash to deliver their video content on the web.
The TV.com application requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.
If you’ve downloaded the application and played with it, please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.
Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:27
Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.7 update may go beyond its usual complement of expected fixes and incorporate support for Intel’s new Nehalem hardware architecture as well as the ATI Radeon HD 4000 graphics chipsets.
According to netkas, a recent discovery located just five kernel extensions for the video cards and doesn’t appear to work perfectly in a bootleg installation for 10.5.6 meant for hacked Mac OS X installations. The retrofitted version doesn’t recognize DVI ports fully and doesn’t even recognize widescreen resolutions without third-party utilities to force the expanded screen area.
Even so, the extensions are enough to identify support for the Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 chipsets by name but also to enable Core Image and Quartz Extreme acceleration of the Mac OS X interface, which would require the direct involvement of AMD, Apple or both firms to work. They also support the full OpenGL 2.1 specification for 3D graphics.
And while screen captures currently aren’t available to support the claims as with the video hardware, the slip also hints that 10.5.7 is the first edition of Mac OS X to recognize Intel’s Nehalem architecture.
The Nehalem architecture is a major overhaul to Intel’s standard hardware approach to processors and leaves aside the standard system bus in favor of an interface that lets the processors talk directly to memory, peripherals and each other.
Although it’s unknown as to whether Apple will formally include the new hardware support in the release of Mac OS X 10.5.7, such add-ons will eventually become necessary. It’s been rumored that Apple is looking to use Intel’s Nehalem-based Xeon processors at the heart of its next generation of Mac Pro workstations and will eventually filter the technology down to its portables and mainstream desktops through Core i7 processors, which share the same essential design.
Apple has also remained comparatively dormant in its support for AMD’s ATI Radeon graphics and hasn’t used hardware newer than the Radeon HD 2600 found in the iMac and as an option for the Mac Pro; the technology is now approximately two generations old.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.