O'Grady's PowerPage » Chris Barylick

iPhone Earns FCC Approval

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Date: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 07:13
Category: News

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission approved Apple’s long-awaited iPhone combination phone and music player. The device will hit store shelves next month.
“The iPhone has passed its required FCC certification milestones and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned,” said Natalie Kerris, Director of Apple Music PR.
According to Macworld News, the iPhone will support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi protocols and operate in the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz frequency bands. The unit has currently been approved to operate on EDGE networks, despite the fact that several cell phone operators have upgraded their networks to operate at 500 Kb/s, a speed which is more than twice as fast as the EDGE protocol.
The FCC also released documents which Apple wished kept private (see Jason O’Grady’s Apple Core blog for further information on which materials were requested to be held back).
Keeping in synch with recent announcements and offers, AT&T will initially be the exclusive provider for the iPhone. The carrier permitted employees testing the iPhone to take the units outside of their offices according to an anonymous source within the company. The source has stated that the device’s features are being activated individually and so far, users are unable to play music watch videos or use the device’s visual voicemail feature.
Stay tuned for additional details as they surface.


Garmin Loader Beta Hits for Macs

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 12:36
Category: News

Almost 18 months after its initial promise, Garmin has finally released a beta version of its navigation loader software Mac OS X. The software, known as a POI loader, allows users to load MapSource data to the device via your Mac as well as install waypoint and trip planning programs as well.
For additional details, check out the Apple Core blog and if you’ve seen similar navigation applications that have proven useful for the Mac, let us know.


Amazon Drops Prices on Current and Older MacBooks

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 12:06
Category: News

On Thursday, Amazon.com announced that it had lowered prices for both its older model MacBook laptops as well as the recently released units.
According to MacNN, the new prices are as follows:
-White 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 120 GB hard drive: US$1,200 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive: US$1,400 after a US$100 rebate;
-White 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive: US$1,000 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of memory, 120GB hard drive: US$1,250;
-White 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 512 MB of RAM, 60 GB hard drive: US$920 after a US$75 rebate.
The company is currently also offering one and two gigabyte RAM upgrades for Apple’s 2GHz MacBook model priced at US$50 and US$100, respectively.
Granted, this isn’t handing the MacBook away for free, but that’s a pretty good price where RAM is concerned and if you’re thinking of picking one up, a rebate never hurts.
Of course, sometimes if you wait a few weeks, sometimes they throw in a free printer.
And a pony.


OWC Now Offering MacBook, MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade Kits

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

On Wednesday, Other World Computing announced that its one, two and three gigabyte RAM modules for MacBook laptops had become available and were immediately shipping.
The modules are priced competitively against Apple’s factory upgrade option, wherein upgrading from one gigabyte of RAM to two gigabyes would run US$175, Other World Computing cites that their upgrade option can be had for US$99.97.
For a three gigabyte RAM upgrade, users can expect to pay US$177.99 for a two gigabyte chip and a one gigabyte chip. According to The Mac Observer, the chip also meets the specification for the current Intel-based iMacs and can be used in these machines.
The company also currently offers a US$20 rebate on RAM that’s been traded in and ships a free online video installation guide to help the users upgrade their machines. A lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty is also offered for the RAM upgrade.


Apple Files Anti-Theft Patent for Its Devices

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:24
Category: News

In March of 2004, Apple submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technique that would hopefully better guard its devices. The patent, credited to company storage chief Paul Wahrenberg, centers around an “acceleration-based theft detection system”, the device sensing its own motion and determining what’s happening from there.
And now, the interesting part. The patent filed describes how in many cases the theft of a device will introduce certain movement cues that aren’t experienced in everyday use. Rapid sustained movement qualifies as one of them, whereas according an accidental bump or drop would fit into the criteria of everyday use.
According to AppleInsider, a device could theoretically distinguish between a person stealing it and its legitimate user through the implementation of an accelerometer and the right software. Once a certain speed, position or vibational condition had been reached, the software could send a signal to the rest of the system, triggering an alarm or require a password to return to normal. Another section of the patent describes how the software could customize individual alarm settings to their specifications.
Click the jump for the full story…


Skype 2.6 for Mac Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:24
Category: News

On Wednesday, Skype released the final build of Skype 2.6, its Voice over Internet Protocol software for the Mac. The new version, which is available as a free 30.4 megabyte download, includes a new call-transfer feature currently unavailable on its Windows client as well as stability fixes, a public chat feature and a chat typing indicator within its instant message component to allow users to see when the other person is typing a message.
According to MacNN, Skype 2.6 also features support for DTMF tones for automatic answering services which are available during Skype-to-Skype calls. The update also improves how event reminders are handled and users can make calls to standard land lines and cell phones via the program’s Skype In and Skype Out services.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have something to say about it, let us know.


Amazon to Offer DRM-Free Digital Music

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:02
Category: News

On Wednesday, Amazon.com announced that it plans to launch a DRM-free online music store later this year. The site would sell audio content in a straight MP3 format without any Digital Rights Management protection constraints built into the files sold according to Macworld News.
This news follows announcements by EMI and Apple in April that the companies would be selling online music content free of Digital Rights Management code. Amazon’s tactic would allow the songs and albums sold through its music store to be played by almost any device that could read and play the MP3 file format. Purchased songs could also be stored to an iPod or other digital music player as well as burned to CD-ROM.


PageSender Updated to Version 4.0.1

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 09:45
Category: Software

Maybe a quick software update’s good for the ego. Or at least it keeps you honest. Less than two weeks after the widescale release of PageSender 4.0, SmileOnMyMac has released version 4.0.1 of its PageSender fax program, which functions as an extended set of tools for Mac OS X’s built-in fax features.
PageSender retails for US$39.95, allows users to send and receive faxes from any program as well as automate when faxes are sent and received.
The new version adds the following features and changes:
-Address Book panel works in Carbon apps (e.g. Word, FileMaker Pro, etc.)
-Live addressing works in Carbon apps.
-Cover page messages can have returns.
-Create new recipients by clicking in the address list.
-MaxEmail and EasyLink work as selected.
-Fixed problem with quitting PageSender Fax Center.
-Other minor fixes and improvements.
PageSender 4.0.1 is coded as a Universal Binary and can function at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The program is a 6.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and can offer feedback or impressions, let us know.


Apple Scales Down Pricing on European MacBooks

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

More cool overseas tidbits today as AppleInsider is reporting that the European markets have seen the prices of MacBook laptop units drop 70 Euros down to 1,049, 1,249 and 1,449 Euros depending on the model MacBook being purchased.
The change comes on the heels of yesterday’s product refresh for the MacBook line. The new units feature faster processors, larger hard drives, more advanced wireless capabilities and additional RAM among other changes.
Interestingly, a rumor has surfaced from the Italian user base that the newest MacBooks may be using a brighter display for its 13.3″ screen. In its product announcement, Apple Italy listed a 250cd/m2 brightness figure for its high-end 2.16 GHz black MacBook model. Apple had not specified this change in its more widespread press release regarding the update, but has suggested that the brightness of its display helped sell the unit.


Apple Trims iPod Shuffle Pricing in UK Markets

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 07:59
Category: News

A good thing just got a bit cheaper across the Atlantic. Macworld UK is reporting that Apple has reduced the price of its iPod Shuffle music player from 55 Pounds to 49 Pounds, a reduction of about 10%.
Last month, Apple cut the price of its video-enabled iPod model by 10 to 20 Pounds depending on capacity.
The price cuts are seen as a means of maintaining demand for the products, especially since a product refresh of the units isn’t expected until the end of the summer.
If you’ve seen this reduction or any similar offers in your neck of the woods, let me know.