Apple Releases Updated, LED-Backlit MacBook Pro Units

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Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2007, 08:30
Category: News

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Just slightly before next week’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple has released its new lineup of MacBook Pro laptops. The new units, which are based on Intel’s Santa Rosa hardware architecture, are priced at US$1,999, US$2,499 and US$2,799, feature 2.2 and 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chips as well as 15″ and 17″ LED-backlit displays with four megabytes of Smart Cache onboard (L2 cache that can be shared between processor cores as needed) and an 800 MHz frontside bus. The laptops can hold an upgraded four gigabytes of DDR2 RAM and hard drives up to 250 gigabytes in capacity. Both the 15″ and 17″ revisions arrive with a stock two gigabytes of RAM installed with the Apple Store offering a build-to-order upgrade option of four gigabytes of RAM to be installed for an additional US$750.
A new NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics controller features 128 and 256 megabytes of VRAM depending on configuration purchased and the LED-backlit display (available on the 15″ version) is now mercury-free, offering a resolution up to 1920 x 1200 on the 17″ model.
The MacBook Pro now stands at 1″ thick with the 15″ unit weighing in at 5.4 pounds and the 17″ unit weighing in at 6.8 pounds. The units also sport an 802.11n wireless configuration while familiar features such as built-in iSight camera, Firewire 800, DVI, MagSafe power connection and Front Row remote control remain.
Apple currently claims that the new MacBook Pro laptops are up to 50% faster than the original Core Duo-equipped revision.
For full technical information, check out the specs page and if you’re able to get your hands on one in the near future, let us know about the experience.

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Apple Embedding User Information with iTunes Plus Tracks

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Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2007, 08:30
Category: News

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According to recent reports, the new iTunes Plus tracks, which function as DRM-free, higher-quality version of songs available through the iTunes Store at a higher price, currently contain personal identifier information such as an iTunes user name in the tags. Jason O’Grady’s blog over at The Apple Core features additional information as well as a workaround guide to stripping the tags out.
A user name in the tags may or may not make all the difference in the world, the music labels having taken a step in a new direction nonetheless, but take a gander and see what you think.

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Western Digital Releases 750 GB WD Caviar SE16 Drive

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Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2007, 08:20
Category: News

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On Monday, hard drive manufacturer debuted its 750 gigabyte WD Caviar SE16 Serial ATA drive. According to PC World, the drive incorporates the following technologies:
-SecurePark: This parks the recording heads during sping up, spin down and non-operational moments, thereby improving the drive’s long-term durability and shock resistance.
-StableTrac: This technology secures the drive’s motor shaft at both ends, thereby reducing operational vibration.
-IntelliSeek: This adjusts and controls the drive’s actuator so that the drive head can reach its target sector at the right time in order to read the next piece of information. Western Digital claims the technology reduces power consumption by more than 60% and reduces vibration as well.
The drive sports a 16 megabyte onboard cache with 3 gigabyte data transfer rate and is priced at US$249 before shipping and handling.

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IncipioHitch Adapter Released for iPod Nano

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Date: Monday, June 4th, 2007, 15:58
Category: News

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Albeit the iPod Nano carries a generally beloved reputation within a user base that didn’t need the bells and whistles of the fully-featured video iPod, there are quibbles to be had.
Third party provider Incipio has stepped in and released the IncipioHitch, a small USB adapter that allows the Nano to accommodate most computer or USB port locations and positions.
According to Electronista, the adapter is able to transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds, is priced at US$14.99, is available in both black and white and can accommodate any capacity second generation iPod Nano.
The IncipioHitch is cross-compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.

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Palm Adds Rubinstein, Anderson to its Executive Ranks

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Date: Monday, June 4th, 2007, 11:44
Category: News

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On Monday, Palm announced that it had hired former Apple employees Jon Rubinstein (the former head of Apple’s iPod dividsion) as well as former Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson to serve on the board of directors. Rubinstein will act as the company’s executive chairman while Anderson, whose Elevation Partners firm has just invested US$325 million in the company.
According to MacNN, Rubinstein will lead Palm’s future product development efforts, which should include the Treo line of smartphones as well as devices which are anticipated to emerge from the recently released Foleo phone companion.
During his experience with Apple, Rubinstein was credited as being extremely influential in the design of the iPod and iMac. Rubinstein left Apple in April of 2006 to pursue other opportunities.
As a corporation, Palm has found itself facing greater challenges in recent years with added competition from other players in the smartphone market. Rubinstein’s new position will place his products in direct contention with the long-awaited iPhone, which is set to debut on June 29th.
Elevation Partners is slated to gain a 25% share of Palm in exchange for its investment based on Palm’s common stock value.

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Apple Confirms iPhone Release for June 29th

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Date: Monday, June 4th, 2007, 08:47
Category: News

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After months of speculation, Apple has confirmed its release date for its upcoming iPhone device. The company recently announced a June 29th sales date via the release of three new ads.
For more information, take a look at Jason O’Grady’s The Apple Core web blog.
Apple will be selling the iPhone in four and eight gigabyte capacities, priced at US$499 and US$599, respectively.

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Fujitsu Announces Updated Hard Drive Line

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Date: Friday, June 1st, 2007, 08:44
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Fujitsu announced that it had updated its series of internal hard drives. The new 2.5″ drives, which will function as Serial Attached SCSI and Serial ATA drives, function at 15,000 RPM for the MBC2 series. The company’s new 3.5″ MBA3 drives function at 15,000 RPM and the MBB2 series of 2.5″ drives are said to run at 10,000 RPM.
The company also introduced the MHW2 BK 2.5″ drive, a 2.5″ SATA-compatible drive designed for 24-hour continuous operation. The MHW2 BK drive is available in capacities up to 120 gigabytes and includes built-in features designed to reduce damage caused by rotational vibration.
Full technical details can be found here, albeit pricing, availability and drive capacities to be offered have yet to be announced.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

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Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 En Route

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Date: Friday, June 1st, 2007, 07:21
Category: News

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On Thursday, Parallels announced the upcoming version of its virtualization software, Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac.
According to Macworld News, the upcoming version will sport additional 3D gaming support and add a new feature called SmartSelect, which will allow users to open any file on either the Mac OS X or Windows operating system with an application designed for either operating system. This feature is meant to function alongside Parallels’ Coherence feature which allows users to opern Windows applications directly from Mac OS X.
Similar to Apple’s upcoming Time Machine feature in Mac OS X 10.5, Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 will feature a “Snapshots” feature that can store various virtual machine state and allow users to flip back to previous states as needed. Isolation and integration are controlled using the VM Sentry program and the new version will allow users to make their virtual environments read-only if desired. The company is also including a six month trial of viral and spyware protection programs.
Parallels Desktop for Mac is currently at a final candidate stage and is being tested through a closed beta. The final version is expected within a few weeks and will retail for US$79.99 with upgrades being available for US$49.99. A reduced upgrade price of US$39.99 is now being offered through June 6th, 2007.

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Apple Snags Interference Prevention Patent for iPhone

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Date: Thursday, May 31st, 2007, 12:22
Category: News

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Even if some of us are a tad skeptical as to whether the iPhone can possibly live up to its hype, Apple seems to have added some pretty cool new technologies to it. A recently granted patent made only a few weeks before the January Macworld Expo, where the iPhone was announced, demonstrates what Apple planned to do about the iPhone potentially interfering with other peripherals within a certain range of the device.
According to electronista, a small detector chip installed within the iPhone’s hardware could be trained to recognize certain classes of devices and warn the user if these devices could interrupt the iPhone’s main signal. The warning could take place via either an audio or visual cue, as described in the patent and Apple notes that an updated list could be provided in order to prevent false positives.
The hardware can also be used to help maintain a clean signal according to the write-up. Onboard software can continuously readjust the device’s antenna to keep an optimal signal for the user.
Albeit the patent doesn’t specifically refer to the iPhone, Apple may be able to license the technology as well as use it in additional products down the line.

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Apple on Third Party iPhone Apps/D Conference Transcript

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Date: Thursday, May 31st, 2007, 08:43
Category: News

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And now, the iPhone-related news:
According to CNet, during an interview with Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg at the paper’s D Conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs mentioned that while the iPhone won’t ship with support for third party applications, Apple is open to the idea and is working to make this possible later in 2007. Jobs implied that there were concerns about security issues, which could have added to the delay.
Despite a direct question during the interview, Jobs did not mention an exact release date for the device.
A full transcript of the event can be found over at Engadget while a web clip can be seen below:



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