Apple to Announce iPhone This Monday

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Date: Friday, December 15th, 2006, 07:39
Category: Rumor

Flying off the rumor mill and mentioned by Gizmodo, sources have come forward stating that Apple will officially announce the long-awaited iPhone device this Monday.
According to Brian Lam of Gizmodo: “iPhone Will Be Announced On Monday. I guarantee it. It isn’t what I expected at all. And I’ve already said too much.”
After months of anticipation and actually prior to Macworld Expo (typically the event Apple uses to reveal major new products), Apple could be letting the world in on one of its most widely-anticipated devices.
Kind of interesting and if they’re announcing this now, what’s on the horizon for expo releases?
Stay tuned Monday and we’ll provide all the details.
And if there’s no announcement come Monday, I’ll buy you all sundaes. With the toppings of your choice.

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Micromat President Offers Rebuttal to Serial Number Controversy

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 09:37
Category: News

Micromat president Jeff Baudin has offered the following rebuttal to a story contributed by Christopher Price to PowerPage as of December 13th citing that Micromat had included network code that broadcasts critical information about your Macintosh as well as the TechTool 4 product’s serial number across network subnets via a Bonjour session.

Thank you for your article on Dec 12th about our product TechTool Pro. I’m compelled to respond because your story has created some concern among many of our customers. The article also contains a few inaccuracies.
Your story states that, “Micromat slipped some broad and sweeping anti-piracy measures into a TechTool Pro update a while back.” Quite a while back, actually. Like when William Clinton was still in his first term in office. We implemented our first network serial number checks in the early 1990s. Just like Photoshop, Microsoft Office and many other programs, we broadcast our product serial number over the local network and each copy of the program looks for a duplicate copy of that serial number at launch. If the program finds a duplicate serial number already running on the network, it alerts the user and then refuses to run. Micromat, as well as many other software manufacturers feel this is a fair method of insuring that our license agreements are not abused. And certainly a far better alternative to hardware dongles or key-disk methods.
The author of your story takes great exception to the fact that we broadcast the Macintosh hardware serial number as well. His article implies that this is something new, but the fact is that we actually added this information to the broadcast when we first released version 4 in 2003. First, let me explain why we did this…

Read the rest of Micromat response after the jump…

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Morgan Stanley Analyst Cites iPhone Prices at $599 and $649

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 08:16
Category: Rumor

With full respect to the fact that the iPhone rumor mill has been working overtime lately, an article over on MacRumors.com cites Morgan Stanley analyst Rebecca F. Runkle as having “high conviction” that Apple’s long-waited “iPhone” will be launched in the first half of 2007.
Runkle also cited unnamed sources as to the following specifications for the device:
- $599 for 4 gigabyte capacity
- $649 for 8 gigabyte capacity
- 3.5 inch LCD screen
- Wider than the iPod nano
- Thinner than the iPod Video
- Made of Metal
- Multiple colors, but at least including black, white, and silver
- Cingular Wireless is likely carrier in the U.S.
Previous rumored prices initially cited $249 for the 4 gigabyte model and $449 for the 8 gigabte model. No details have emerged as to whether the higher prices include a service plan or whether the prices will drop down to these levels after a service plan has been purchased.
As the days pass by the rumors grow. Please let us know if you’ve heard anything or have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this.

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Latest Leopard Build Introduces “Answering Machine” Feature

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:47
Category: Rumor

According to an article on MacRumors.com, the latest build of Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) operating system (currently in development) sports a new feature in iChat that has yet to be described by the company.
The new feature uses preference tabs that allow the user to record a video greeting that serves as an answering machine message when users are away from their computer. The caller can then leave a message in return, a la a standard answering machine.
To date, the new feature only appears partially implemented according to the article.
It’s been suggested that the new feature may tie into a possible “iPhone” device as a “call ahead” tool. Either way, the idea seems cool and makes the iSight cameras (both built-in and external) that much more practical.
Please let us know if you have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this.

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Apple Releases AirPort 2006-002 Update for Core 2 Duo-Based Laptops

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:10
Category: Software

On December 13th, Apple released its AirPort 2006-002 for its Intel Core 2 Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops according to an article on MacFixIt.com.
The update purportedly “improves compatibility” for the 13″ MacBook as well as the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro units. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to be present prior to installation.
No additional documentation or Knowledge Base documents have been provided or cited in this software release.
The update is a 1.3 megabyte standalone download that can also be accessed through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you have any experiences with this update, positive or negative, let us know.

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Shinza Releases ZeroShock Sleeve for MacBook, MacBook Pro

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:13
Category: Accessory

According to an article on MacMinute, Japanese accessory maker Shinza has released a new line of ZeroShock Sleeve casings for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro line of laptops.
The ZeroShock Sleeve is composed of high-resistance polyurethane form that helps cushion against external bumps and impacts.
The cases for the MacBook (13″) and larger MacBook Pro (15″) are priced at $32.95 and $34.95 respectively prior to delivery.
Now if only they’d come out with something that stops my MacBook’s casing from picking up small scratches. The only solution seems to be a protective layer of way-cool band stickers.

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Apple May Serve As Its Own Wireless Carrier

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:19
Category: Rumor

An article on Bloomberg.com quotes UBS AG analyst Benjamin Reitzes as stating that Apple Computer may have to serve as its own wireless carrier as well as rely on its own network of retail stores to sell service contracts on a widely-anticipated call phone device (the “iPhone”) expected for release at Macworld Expo next month.
Reitzes also commented that in order for Apple to operate as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, the company may partner with Cingular Wireless, a move that would make sense since rumored details of the product don’t tie it down to any single major provider.
The iPhone is expected to be a combination music player and cell phone while rumors of the device state that it will offer additional features such as individual battery cores for the music player and phone components and PDA-like features.
It’s a case of wait-and-see for the next month, but to see Apple function as its own wireless provider (and perhaps offering something new that your current provider doesn’t) seems interesting.
If you have any opinions, ideas or suggestions about this from your end, please let us know.

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VLC 0.8.6 Released, Becomes Universal Binary

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 10:32
Category: Software

Video Lan Client (VLC), the popular free “catch-all” media player for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux (where QuickTime falls short or isn’t licensed to play a format, this has become the easy substitute), has been updated to version 0.8.6 according to an article on arstechnica.
VLC 0.8.6, which is about an 11 to 22.7 megabyte download, is now a Universal Binary program capable of running natively on both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel hardware architectures and includes support for the Apple Remote, Windows Media Video 9 files, VC-1, VP5/VP6, Flash video, TTA, WavPack lossless audio and Shoutcast TV files. H.264 support has also been rewritten for this version.
VLC is an open-source project. For information as to how to beta test or contribute code to the effort, click here.

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New Software Snags Pictures of Would-Be Laptop Intruders

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:34
Category: Software

The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacOSXHints have done their homework today to bring up a few nifty tools for laptop security using what’s already there to catch would-be intruders incorrectly entering passwords to try to gain access to your computer; your Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro’s built-in iSight camera.
Authsight by Jonathan Zdziarski, uses a monitoring daemon program which turns on the iSight camera after an invalid password has been entered and begins to take pictures of the intruder. The program is script-based and requires the iSightCapture command line tool to function.
Several commercial security solutions are available via the TUAW link and the article makes a good overall point; this is the time of year when the most laptops are stolen and a few additional precautions aren’t a bad idea. Short of renting a mastiff and its shotgun-wielding owner to guard your hardware this year, a few cool freeware, shareware and commercial applications could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for this holiday season.

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MacBook “Thin” Rumors/Specs Surface

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:58
Category: Rumor

Macosrumors.com has recently published an article to add to the fevered pre-Macworld rumor mill this time of year.
The article, which cites sources strong but anonymous sources in both Cupertino and southeast Asia, discusses a “MacBook Thin” portable model which may be en route for the new year.
Since the introduction of Apple’s Intel-based hardware and laptops, an ultra-thin 12″ laptop has been in demand, especially given the fact that the consumer-level MacBook features a 13″ monitor – something which had never been done in previous generations of entry-level/consumer models for Apple laptops.
According to the article, the key goals of the “Thin” project were to scale down the features of the MacBook Pro without compromising them for the smaller size of the unit. The new “MacBook Thin” is expected to be a variant of the MacBook Pro family yet contain many of the pro-grade ports such as Firewire 800, ExpressCard expansion slot and a higher-end ATI graphics card.
To date, the final shipping name of the “MacBook Thin” is unconfirmed, but the purported specs are as follows:
-12-inch widescreen display, 1280×800 resolution.
-2.16 or 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors
-1GB of DDR2-667 memory standard. Max. capacity 3GB.
-Standard “Pro” ports: USB2, Firewire 400 & 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital/Analog Audio minijack I/O ports.
-ExpressCard expansion slot (believed to be /34 type)
-Similar storage to “Pro”: 2.5in SATA HDDs at 120GB & up, ‘Combo’ or ‘Super’ optical drive.
-ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 or nVIDIA GeForce GO 7600 graphics systems with 256MB of VRAM.
-Mini-DVI display connector with full second display capabilities
-Built-in iSight, stereo microphone, Airport Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.
-Battery life is expected to be “best in class” at about 6.5 hours real-world, some reports have suggested up to 8 hours is possible.
As of now expectations for Macworld Expo run high and given that an iPhone and iTV products as well as a new preview version of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system and several software updates are expected, the “MacBook Thin” will probably see a later release date.
Please let us know your comments, ideas and whether you’ve heard anything to this end.

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