Apple Releases iWork ’09 9.0.2 Update

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Date: Friday, May 29th, 2009, 08:18
Category: Software

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Amid a small series of updates yesterday, Apple released version 9.0.2 of its iWork ’09 productivity suite. The update, a 42.7 megabyte download, improves reliability when saving some iWork documents and when playing some presentations more than once per Keynote session.
The update, which can also be located via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for Unibody MacBook Pro Notebooks

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Date: Friday, May 29th, 2009, 07:10
Category: MacBook Pro

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Late Thursday, Apple Released SMC Firmware Update 1.3 for its 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, an 833 kilobyte download, adjusts the fan behavior in the notebooks when running under high workload conditions.
The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder, will launch automatically and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 on the Mac OS X 10.4 end and Mac OS X 10.5.7 on the Mac OS X 10.5 end to install and run. As always, the firmware update can be snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

E3 Next Week: Now Taking Requests

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 28th, 2009, 23:45
Category: Announcement

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Guys, I’ll be in Los Angeles covering the Electronic Entertainment Expo and following up on games coming to the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, where developers think OnLive might be going, what’s in the works with iPhone OS 3.0, etc.
But mainly I’ll be in Los Angeles. Which is part of California. Which, according to my D.C.-accustomed brain, is due to fall into the ocean, catch fire, explode or be attacked by giant monsters.
All of these things may in fact occur simultaneously while I’m there.
So, before I start packing, I’m taking requests as to what you want me to look into, what questions you want me to ask and who you’d like me to hit up with your questions.
So, just shoot me a line here and I’ll do everything I can while I’m out there to make sure I cover your topic to the fullest extent possible.
In the meantime, I proudly present what can only be described as the most ill-conceived computer/privacy protection accessory ever created:


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AT&T to Deploy HSPA 7.2 Network Ahead of Third Generation iPhone Launch

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Date: Thursday, May 28th, 2009, 09:13
Category: 3G Wireless, iPhone, News

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Wireless carrier AT&T has formally announced plans to deploy its 7.2 Mbps HSPA 7.2 network this year, the deployment supporting faster iPhone models expected for release this summer.
According to AppleInsider, AT&T has stated that the HSPA 7.2 upgrade will deliver theoretical peak speeds twice that of the company’s current 3G network. The company has stated that installation will continue through 2011 and that AT&T will begin trials of LTE (Long Term Evolution), with deployment of that technology to begin in 2011. LTE plans to eventually reach theoretical peak speeds of 20 Mbps.
Both HSPA and LTE are components of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies, which include GSM/EDGE and UMTS, the worldwide “3G” service supported by the iPhone 3G.
Because AT&T’s network is currently based on 3GPP standards, the company can deliver the upgrade to HSPA 7.2 service immediately to support faster smartphones prior to the buildout of LTE, which isn’t expected to become widely available until at least 2011-2012.
AT&T has stated that its current 3G service is available in 350 major US metro areas, with deployment in another 20 planned this year. The company stated that its new HSPA 7.2 technology “will be deployed widely in the network, with the benefits of the network upgrade to be announced on a local basis as the faster speeds are turned up.”
The company also said it will introduce “multiple HSPA 7.2-compatible laptop cards and smartphones beginning later this year.” Apple is expected to release a new iPhone model in June that supports HSPA 7.2 service. In addition to having access to a faster network, the new iPhone model is expected to have a significantly faster processor, enabling it to better handle the data it can receive, resulting in faster overall operation.
Along with the upgrade to HSPA 7.2, AT&T also reported plans to build out other network improvements this year as part of a capital investment plan costing $17-18 billion.
Elements include:

  • Near-Doubling Radio Frequency Capacity: In 2008 and 2009 to date, high-quality 850 MHz spectrum has been deployed in more than half of AT&T’s 3G network footprint to improve overall coverage and in-building reception, with additional markets planned for later in the year.
  • More Bandwidth to Cell Sites: AT&T is adding fiber-optic connectivity and additional capacity to thousands of cell sites across the country this year, expanding the critical connections that deliver traffic from a cell site into the global IP backbone network. These upgrades will support the higher mobile broadband speeds enabled by both HSPA 7.2 and LTE.
  • More Cell Sites: Deployment of about 2,100 new cell sites across the country.
  • Wi-Fi Integration: Many AT&T smartphones will be able to switch seamlessly between 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. AT&T customers with qualifying smartphone and 3G LaptopConnect plans have access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network – more than 20,000 hotspots, including locations in all 50 states – at no additional charge. AT&T’s global Wi-Fi footprint covers more than 90,000 hotspots, and AT&T also can create permanent or temporary extended Wi-Fi zones in areas with high 3G network use, like a grouping of hotels or a festival.
  • MicroCells: Customer trials leading toward general availability of AT&T 3G MicroCell offerings, which utilize femtocells to enhance in-building wireless coverage.
  • Woz Cites Jobs as “Healthy”, “Energetic” Prior to Scheduled Return to Apple

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 28th, 2009, 08:58
    Category: News

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    Joker/dancer/Apple co-founder apparently had the opportunity to speak with Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently and has reported that Jobs sounded “healthy” and “energetic” with a little over a month prior to his scheduled return to the company.
    Woz’s comments appeared yesterday at on the Wall Stree Journal’s web site, and though Wozniak admitted to having never asked Jobs about his health directly, he told representatives for the financial paper that his one-time pal “doesn’t sound like he’s sick,” nor does he appear to be battling a dire health problem.
    The upbeat comments contrast with those made by Jobs’ real estate attorney Howard Ellman last month during a town council meeting to determine whether the chief executive should be free to demolish a historic but abandoned mansion he owns in the Woodside Hills.
    “I don’t think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1 a.m., and I think there’s a strong possibility of that,” Ellman said, referring to the time it would take for the local review board to hear all arguments on the matter.
    On January 14th of this year, Jobs stated that he would take a medical leave from his daily role at Apple through the end of June in order to attend to health issues that turned out to be “more complex” than he originally thought.
    Although he underwent successful surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, Jobs’ health would again emerge as a topic of public concern when he appeared increasingly gaunt during Apple media events in 2007 and 2008.
    Wall Street analysts have used recent quarterly conference calls to press members of Apple’s leadership for an update on Jobs’ health, to which they’ve responded by saying they still expect Jobs to return at the end of June.
    It remains unclear as to what capacity Jobs will return to the company in and some analysts have speculated that if he does return, it will be in the form of a reduced role such as Chairman.
    Stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.

    Rumor: Possible Next-Gen iPhone Bezel Image Leaked

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 28th, 2009, 08:46
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

    A leak from yesterday morning may prove interesting as web site China Ontrade claims to be the first with a replacement third-generation iPhone’s bezel and says it comes “directly from [the] factory.” The design would have a black metallic frame instead of chrome, as found on the current iPhone 3G model. It also stops near the very top of the shell rather than running a complete circle like existing iPhone models, and appears to move the phone speaker significantly higher.
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    Although the authenticity of the bezel is difficult to determine, many firms in the region do have access (both authorized and unauthorized unauthorized) to parts from factories. Still, there is no way to verify that China Ontrade has the authentic part and not that for a different company’s device. Part leaks from China have nonetheless confirmed Apple products in the past, such as the unibody MacBook notebook.
    If real, the bezel would rebuff earlier beliefs that the new iPhones are internal upgrades alone rather than redesigns.

    Other World Computing Releases Mercury On-The-Go Pro 500GB Portable Hard Drive

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 12:29
    Category: Accessory, hard drive

    Other World Computing announced the release of the OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro, the company’s 500GB, 7,200RPM pocket-sized drive for the Mac or PC. The unit features FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 interfaces for data transfer speeds up to 100MB/s and measures 3.5″ x 5.5″ x 1″ in size.


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    In addition to these specs, the drive is also bus-powered, doesn’t require a power outlet and retails in the following configurations:

  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro “Triple Interface” FireWire 800/400 + USB 2.0: US$239.99 Features Oxford 934 chipset, two FireWire 800 ports, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, FireWire 800/FireWire 800 to 400 and USB 2.0 connecting cables, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro “Combo Interface” FireWire 400 + USB 2.0: US$219.99
    Features Oxford 934 chipset, FireWire 400 port, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connecting cables, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro USB 2.0: US$189.99 Features JMicron 20339 chipset, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, USB 2.0 Mini-B connecting cable, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • The three new OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro 500GB 7200RPM models are compatible with Apple OS 8.6 to 9.2.2, OS X 10.0.x, and 10.2.8 or later.

    Next-Gen iPod Artist’s Rendition Released, Unit May Include Onboard Camera

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 09:50
    Category: iPod, iPod Nano, Rumor

    Additional rumors have been flying about Apple’s plans to add an iPhone-like camera to its next generation iPods.
    Per iLounge, the following is an artist’s rendition of what the 5th-generation iPod nano may look like:


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    At first glance, the imaginary next-gen iPod looks pretty much the same as its predecessor, except for the wider screen ratio that stretches to 1.5:1 from 1:33:1.
    The unit’s Click Wheel is slightly smaller and positioned a bit lower on the nano’s body, and a digital camera is placed at a seemingly awkward spot on the nano’s backside.
    Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and let us know what you’d like to see on a next-generation iPod.

    Apple Quietly Bumps Specs for White MacBook Notebook, Retains $999 Price

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 08:09
    Category: MacBook, News

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    Early Wednesday, Apple quietly upgraded its entry-level MacBook notebook. The white plastic MacBook, which is still priced at US$999, now offers a 160 GB hard drive, 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and a slightly faster RAM speed with the model sporting 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
    The previous version, released back in January, boasted a 2.0GHz processor with a 120GB hard drive and 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM. Other features on the revised MacBook remain the same, including the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card that was previously found on the model.

    Psystar Files for Bankruptcy

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009, 17:48
    Category: News

    According to AppleInsider, the Mac clone maker Psystar filed Chapter 11 in Florida last week, which will likely delay its court battle with Apple. Psystar entered the news-stream when it began selling Intel-based computers with Mac OS X pre-installed, which according to Apple is an infringement of the OS X End User Agreement (EUA) which forbids the installation of the software on non-Apple hardware. Not only that, but Psystar had to “hack” the Mac OS in order to get it to run on the hardware, which further complicated the copyright infringement claims. Apple responded by taking Psystar to court last July.
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    Normally, that would be the end of the story. The twist was that Psystar counter-sued Apple claiming that the computer maker was violating anti-trust laws. This move generated a lot of attention due mainly to the fact that if Psystar somehow won the case, it would drastically affect the way computer OSes, particularly OS X, would be sold and distributed.
    Another factor in the story was the fact that Psystar, a relatively small company, was able to sustain a long and costly legal battle, generating speculation that an outside benefactor was funding Psystar’s legal actions. Psystar has also drawn out the proceedings by failing to provide Apple with paperwork and a contact within the company to work through legal details.
    It would seem with Psystar’s bankruptcy filing that its resources have finally begun to dry up, but they have not given up yet. In the court documents filed only a week ago, Psystar maintained that it “[...] plans on emerging from this Chapter 11 with a strong and effective plan to make an increasingly higher profit and still provide the consumer with the product that they have grown to enjoy and trust.”
    Good luck with that.
    Personally, even though I am in favor of Open Source development, and even have an interest in the “Hackintosh” community, I’m really not in favor of Psystar’s end run around Apple’s licensing. I also fear that were they to continue to sell their OS X based products, people attempting to save money (something I also support), might find themselves with an unsupported system that is more PC-like than the reliable Mac experience, and support, of which most of us are accustomed.