Miuro: your iPod, on wheels!

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Date: Thursday, September 7th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Gadget

Fresh from the ‘Who the heck would buy one of those?’ department, Yahoo.com reports: [edited]
The Miuro turns an iPod music player into a dancing boombox-on-wheels. The 14-inch-wide machine from ZMP blares music as it rolls and twists from room to room.
The $930 (yes, you DID read that right, ed.) Miuro — short for “music innovation based on utility robot technology” (ouch! ed.) — responds to a handheld remote control and WiFi trasmissions from a PC to play music from iTunes and other programs.
At a demonstration in Tokyo, the 11-pound Miuro did a preprogrammed dance, rolling about and pivoting to music.
“This is a robot version of music-on-the-move that’s so popular,” said Miuro designer Shinichi Hara, who also creates album jackets for Japanese pop stars. “I designed it to have a gentle look because it becomes a part of everyday life by integrating robotics and music,” Hara said.
The robot went on sale Thursday in Japan by Internet order, and overseas availability is expected in the second half of 2007. ZMP is hoping to sell 10,000 Miuros in the first year, targeting sales of more than $8.5 million.
ZMP President Hisashi Taniguchi said robotic technology adds another convenience to mobile music. “The robot helps you listen to music wherever you are without even thinking about it,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to put on a CD.”
Separately sold options add a camera and sensors to the robot so it will map out its own position and remember routes.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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MacBook Overheat Analyzed: Recall Brewing?

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Date: Wednesday, September 6th, 2006, 09:00
Category: MacBook

Since isolating the heatsink as the cause of the MacBook’s Rapid Sudden Shutdown (RSS), readers have isolated the specific part of the heatsink that is causing the problem, is actually the CPU thermometer itself.
Essentially the heatsink can expand during use, and comes into contact with the lead from the termometer’s sensor cable. A short circuit results, and the SMC pulls the plug. Once the system cools down, the heatsink resides and the contact is broken. This also explains why sometimes you cannot immediately power the MacBook back on. The heatsink is still in contact with the metal lead.
Apple’s solution to this is to realign the location of the thermometer and cabling on the heatsink so that it does not short circuit. That is why the new heatsink is necessary. In the view of this writer, it warrants a public recall. Any user can produce easily the scenario that causes the MacBook to crash, even with pre-installed applications such as iLife.
This also explains Apple’s recent SMC Update for the MacBook. In short, the ramped up fan is a response to Apple knowing the heatsink is going to expand, and attempts to proactively cool it down to prevent the short circuit.
Unfortunately, as countless users have shown, it is still possible with something as simple as a terminal command, to overheat the CPU. The only solution is to reproduce the crash, call Apple, and have them replace the heatsink.
That is what every MacBook owner should do until Apple implements a recall program.
Contributed by: Christopher Price – www.pcsintel.com

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Incredible MacBook Pro Noise

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Date: Tuesday, September 5th, 2006, 00:02
Category: MacBook Pro

2 weeks ago, I started hearing this really loud noise coming from the right side of my MacBook Pro (it’s not the hard drive). The first time, it was so loud, I thought my computer was going to explode!
I sent it to Apple… and 5 days later, I got my computer back. To my surprise, the noise was still there (I also had a faulty right speaker with crappy sound quality… which they didn’t fix either).
This time, I made a video of the sound. Tell me if you’ve heard this before, because I sure haven’t… it’s incredible. My computer is at AppleCare, again, and I’ve argued with a Genius at the Genius bar. I said that they had to make it up for me, somehow. He said that if they make the mistake again, then… we’ll talk about something else. I said I didn’t agree. Now I’m trying to see how I can communicate with someone to tell them my situation.
Here’s the video with the incredible noise:

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Greenpeace Report Targets Apple, Misses

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Date: Tuesday, September 5th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Opinion

Greenpeace recently released a “Guide to Greener Electronics,” which specifically called attention to Apple and assigned the company a failing grade.
But just this April, the Sierra Club named Apple a “Forward Green Leader,” as one of the top ten environmentally progressive companies.
How is that possible? It turns out that the Greenpeace report was written by a member of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, the grandstanding group that staged demonstrations last year complaining that consumers would throw away their iPod rather than replace its battery.
Both the SVTC campaign and the Greenpeace report were both factually flawed and grossly misleading. Here’s an evaluation of the claims each made, in comparison with the facts.
Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted.com

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MacBook Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS)

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Date: Thursday, August 31st, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook

Delivering the keynote address opening the academic term of a leading law school in South America, using Keynote on my two-week-old MacBook (white, 2GHz), the computer shut down in the middle of the presentation. Like others posting on different Mac newsgroups, my MacBook has Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS).
Until now this happened running on the battery, so I made sure to plug the machine in. In the middle of a presentation to 150 people, the machine suddenly shut down – plugged in, with the battery charged. It was embarrassing to have to restart the computer, log in and reload the Keynote presentation in the middle of the keynote presentation.
Having used a PowerBook 160, Wallstreet, Pismo and trading in a TiBook 800 for the MacBook, I had come to expect that as a Mac notebook user, I would not experience this sort of profession-impeding problems. Other user experiences I’ve read suggest that Apple’s various repairs have not resolved the problem and that Apple doesn’t seem to fully understand what causes it.
Surprisingly, this happened with the notebook the Apple Store in North Carolina gave me to replace a machine I had bought two days earlier, which had a rough and grainy display (as if it was stuck in ‘thousands of colors.’) This experience gives me the unpleasant impression that Apple is slipping in quality control as it ramps up production to increase demand. It certainly made me miss my bombproof TiBook.
Contributed by: JD
More cases of MacBook Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS) can be found on this site dedicated to the flaw. -Ed

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Why Is Apple so Secretive?

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Date: Wednesday, August 30th, 2006, 09:20
Category: Opinion

Apple has long been notoriously secretive about its unreleased products. Critics compare Apple’s secrecy against the transparent development efforts of open source projects, and even with other commercial developers. Microsoft, for example, has a history of providing detailed roadmaps of future plans. Why does Apple keep its future plans under wraps?
Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted Magazine

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Gaming Goes Pink

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Date: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006, 09:04
Category: Gadget

The release of a new games console in Japan is always an event. Huge, police-managed queues are not uncommon. However, when the Nintendo DS lite was released in Japan, it wasn’t the length of the queues that made headlines, but their content.
For the first time in gaming history, there were females in the queues. And not just teenage manga lookalikes. The Nintendo DS’s friendly interface and games like Nintendogs, Animal Crossing and Brain Age have drawn a wide range of Japan’s demographic into the joys of gaming.
The pink Nintendo DS was released on July 20, and has been a tremendous success.
Never one to miss a marketing trick, Sony has responded with pink versions of their PS2 and their PSP.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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Exploding Battery Panic!

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Date: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

Dell and Apple recently announced recalls of 5 million Sony laptop batteries. The recall was prompted by safety issues caused by batteries melting, and in some cases, even catching on fire. While the incidents aren’t widespread, the very real danger posed by laptop batteries unpredictably catching on fire has consumers worried.
Here’s a look at the problem, how batteries work, and steps you can take to maximize your safety.
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Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted Magazine

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How Apple’s Firmware Leapfrogs BIOS PCs

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Date: Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Opinion

Prior to the latest series of Intel Macs released this year, Apple had been using Open Firmware and their own proprietary disk partitioning system called APM. The new Intel Macs can read, but not boot, from existing APM drives. PowerPC Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later can read, but not boot, from GPT formatted disks.
Tiger is currently not Universal, so a Mac OS X boot disk has to be Intel or PowerPC specific. Therefore, the ability to boot both Mac architectures from the same type of disk isn’t very important.
With Leopard, Apple will release one version of Mac OS X that installs and runs on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. After delivering Leopard, Apple will likely release new firmware for Intel Macs that removes any limitations from booting from the APM drives created by PowerPC Macs. This will once again allow a single drive to boot any Mac computer. It’s also possible, but more unlikely, that Apple will allow PowerPC Macs to boot from GPT drives.
Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted Magazine

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The Next iPod shuffle?

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Date: Monday, August 21st, 2006, 15:00
Category: iPod

mcody-m20.jpg
‘ve not seen one in ‘the flesh’, but the first images of the miniscule (think ‘iPod shuffle-size’) music player look very nice indeed. In particular, the OLED LCD display (similar to that used by the latest Sony music players) manages to be both attractive and clear.
Reviews have been mixed so far, software is PC-only, it won’t play AAC files, and the software and documentation appear to be flaky. But if Apple added this display techology to the iPod Shuffle…
Read More…
(Contributed by: Brett Jordan)

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