"Placeshifting" Content to Suit Your Needs

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Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2005, 00:07
Category: Archive

Sling Media’s Slingbox is a US$249.99 device lets you watch cable, satellite, or personal video recorder (PVR) programming from wherever you are by turning any Internet-connected desktop or laptop computer into a personal TV, according to the company. Slingbox only works with Windows XP but a Mac version is rumored to be in development.

The Slingbox redirects, or “placeshifts,” a single live TV stream from a cable box, satellite receiver, or PVR to the viewer?s computer, which can be located anywhere in the home. If the Slingbox is coupled with a broadband Internet connection, the viewer?s live TV stream can purportedly be “placeshifted” via the Internet to a computer located anywhere in the world.

Read More at Macsimum News.

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PowerBooks and iBooks in Iraq

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Date: Monday, July 11th, 2005, 19:40
Category: Archive

PowerBooks in IraqIn Back from the Sand: A Mac in Iraq Lawrence I. Charters talks about PowerBooks in Iraq:

In early May a friend in the Pentagon sent me a photo of a Mac sitting on the hood of a Humvee, with a comment that ?Marines use only the best.? A few days later an Apple employee sent me another copy of this picture, plus a second, with a short note that said the photos were taken in Iraq.
I now had a mystery: where did these photos come from? Using clues found in the images as a guide, the photos were eventually traced back to Andrew Cutraro, a photographer with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Along with Post-Dispatch reporter Ron Harris, Cutraro was sent to cover the war in Iraq. ?Embedded,? as the Pentagon phrased it, with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (part of the First Marine Division), Harris and Cutraro crossed into Iraq from Kuwait, and chronicled the war all the way into Baghdad. Their stories and photos appeared in both the paper and on the paper?s Web site, St. Louis Today.

A related article Evaluating an iBook Under Field Conditions Steven Truax relays his experiences of bringing a brand new iBook to Qatar for a month when he was was activated and deployed in the war on terrorism.

Three days and 7400 nautical miles later I unpacked my footlocker. In my first free moments I began to listen to the music that I had loaded onto iTunes before I had left. The built-in speakers were small and weak, which was not too surprising considering the size limitations of the iBook. These would never do by themselves, but I had brought headphones and under stereo headphones the MP3 music was outstanding. I soon began to make regular trips to our tiny Base Exchange store (BX) to look for more music. After a few weeks I was surprised to realize that I had bought and encoded forty CD?s of music. At first I bought some old CD?s that I had meant to buy for some time but had not gotten around to. After that I bought several contemporary CD?s, ranging from Counting Crows to Garth Brooks, that I would not have gotten around to buying if I had stayed home. Now, I thought with some satisfaction, my wife can no longer tell me that I have never owned a vehicle or CD that had been produced in the current decade. My new iBook and I were off to the races. Let the thunder roll…

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IBM PowerPC 970 Goes Dual-Core and Low-Power

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Date: Monday, July 11th, 2005, 08:22
Category: Archive

IBMIBM announced two new PowerPC chips designed for entry-level servers and PCs at a company event in Tokyo on Thursday.The ironic part is that the the 970FX would have been perfect for the PowerBook G5. According to CNet:

The PowerPC 970MP is a dual-core version of the PowerPC 970FX, which is commonly found in Macintosh computers running G5 processors. IBM also said it will release a low-power version of the PowerPC 970FX.
What’s novel about the PowerPC 970MP’s design is that each of the two 64-bit cores has its own dedicated 1MB of level-two cache memory. That means that either side of the chip can be powered down to a state IBM calls “doze” while the other core continues to work. The technique helps save power and extends the life of the computer, IBM said.

AppleInsider goes into more detail:

Two variants of the chip — a 1.2GHz version and a 1.4GHz version — consume an approximately 13 watts of power, believed to be cool enough to operate inside a PowerBook enclosure with an advanced cooling system. A high-end 1.6GHz version consumes 16 watts.
By comparison, Freescale’s recently introduced MPC7448 PowerPC G4, the successor to the chip used in Apple’s current PowerBook G4 systems, will consume about 10 watts of power running at 1.4GHz, and just under 15 watts of power at its top speed of 1.7GHz.

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Boycott TicketMaster

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Date: Saturday, July 9th, 2005, 13:43
Category: Archive

TicketMaster TicketBastardI just got shut out of buying tickets for the Pearl Jam concerts in Atlantic City today, despite having a live operator on the phone at 10:01 a.m. – literally the minute tickets went on sale. It’s a long story but suffice it to say that the operator could not successfully place my order in time, despite having “found tickets.” Anyway, this isn’t the first time that I have received abysmal service from the ticket monopolist and I’m calling for a boycott of TicketMaster and an investigation into their monopolistic business practices. Following is part of the letter that I sent to TicketMaster today….

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Grand Rapids, MI Apple Store Opening, Mid-town NYC Store Staffing

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Date: Friday, July 8th, 2005, 08:59
Category: Archive

Apple Store Opening Grand Rapids, MIJim Nichols sends us some pictures of the Grand Rapids, MI Apple Store grand opening. “There was a huge turnout – as there usually are at Apple store openings. I estimate that they had to be close to 1000 or more in line by 10:00a.m.”
In related news: It looks like the Apple Store Midtown NYC is staffing up.

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Caveat Emptor When Buying a Notebook Computer

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Date: Friday, July 8th, 2005, 05:54
Category: Archive

An article by Rob Pegoraro for The Washington Post, Buyer be wise when looking for a laptop, discusses the practice of some Windows notebook vendors shipping a “starter” battery with their laptops and the tactic of low-balling laptop weights.

The biggest area of compromise is the battery. It’s bad enough that many laptop vendors act as if battery life is either a state secret or a mystery; there is no EPA estimate or Energy Star certification for this sort of thing.
But several of these companies seem to have also adopted one of the worst habits of the digital-camera business.
Just as some digicam manufacturers bundle “starter” memory cards that accommodate only a handful of photos, some laptop makers ? including Dell, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard ? ship computers with batteries that will expire before you can finish watching a movie.
If you want a longer run time, you’ll have to upgrade to a heavier, sometimes larger replacement battery. If you don’t think to do this as you order the machine online, you wind up paying for two batteries, one of which will be doomed to collect dust in a closet.

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Live8 Takes Philly

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Date: Tuesday, July 5th, 2005, 09:47
Category: Archive

Live 8 PhiladelphiaWe’ve been flying under the radar a little bit lately because of the Independence Day holiday (Happy Fourth!) and the Live8 concert that was in Philadelphia this weekend. The PowerPage posse was in attendance at a sweet little spot under the trees where we could see the stage (ok, on our tippey toes). Highlights included Black Eyed Peas (grab their new CD “Monkey Business” today), Will Smith, Jay-Z, Kayne West and, of course, Stevie Wonder who dedicated his set to the late Luther Vandross. A high quality show for a high quality town. Philadelphia mayor John Street and organizer Bob Geldoff deserve a lot of credit. One of the most amazing things about Live8 (besides the lack of beer sales) was the fact that they weren’t asking for any money. Support the Live8 cause and sign the list.

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Reducing Fan Noise in PowerBooks

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Date: Thursday, June 30th, 2005, 09:16
Category: Archive

MacOSHints: I know this has already been covered in a comment on this hint. But ever since Tiger, Apple has done the same thing to my PowerBook (Rev A)’s fan. Apparently, Apple has chosen to kick the fan into action on lower temperatures (it’ll be cooler), but I prefer a silent hot laptop over a loud (less) hot one. The “hint” is the same for 10.3, and I’ve been running it (on Tiger) for over two weeks without any glitches.

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iFitness: the Next New Thing?

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2005, 10:22
Category: Archive

New miniature multi-sport fitness and training devices such as the Garmin Forerunner 301 combine wireless heart rate monitoring with GPS to record 10,000 points of position (lat, long, elevation), speed and heart rate. When these data are downloaded to PC- (Garmin Training Center) or web-based (Motion Based, Training Peaks) diary/archival, analytical and map-correlation services, the goal-oriented fitness afficianado or athlete has amazing new tools with which real improvements in performance can be achieved. Furthermore, flexible HRM-indexed time/pace training plans can be developed from coaches, books or on-line sources and uploaded to the device for autonomous real-time work-out guidance.
The problem: Garmin supports only Windows. Read More…

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Pogue Reviews Verizon's EV-DO Service

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Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2005, 21:41
Category: Archive

Verizon's EV-DO Coverage Map (U.S.)David Pogue’s latest article for the New York Times goes into some of the benefits of Verizon’s ultra-fast EV-DO service, read on to find out why it kicks WiFi’s ass.

How fast is that, exactly? Verizon claims you’ll be able to download data at an average of 400 to 700 kilobits per second (kbps), which turns out to be true. That makes EV-DO at least five times as fast as the rival technology offered by Cingular and T-Mobile, called EDGE (70 to 135 kbps), and about seven times as fast as Verizon’s original data network (still available), which it calls NationalAccess (60 to 80 kbps).

Link (via Stuart Pomerantz)

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