Wiki Site Emerges to Take on Defective 17″ Display Issue

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Date: Thursday, June 7th, 2007, 08:04
Category: News

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A wiki has emerged pushing Apple to acknowledge a defect in its 17″ 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 laptops.
According to MacNN, hundreds, if not thousands, of users who purchased the laptop have been experiencing what are known as “Bridget Riley” vertical lines on the display. The problem manifests itself as one or more vertical lines appearing. These lines span the full color spectrum and can appear as any color.
The problem appears to predominantly appear in the M9689 model, which is represented by serial numbers often beginning with “W85″. Although Apple has yet to officially recognize the problem and offer to investigate claims, the creators of the site hope that the company will eventually initiate a free repair program for affected units.
If you’ve seen this or a similar problem surface, let us know.
A wiki has emerged pushing Apple to acknowledge a defect in its 17″ 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 laptops.
According to MacNN, hundreds, if not thousands, of users who purchased the laptop have been experiencing what are known as “Bridget Riley” vertical lines on the display. The problem manifests itself as one or more vertical lines appearing. These lines span the full color spectrum and can appear as any color.
The problem appears to predominantly appear in the M9689 model, which is represented by serial numbers often beginning with “W85″. It’s currently believed that the defective batch of computers was manufactured at a Shanghai factory around March or April of 2005. Although Apple has yet to officially recognize the problem and offer to investigate claims, the creators of the site hope that the company will eventually initiate a free repair program for affected units.
If you’ve seen this or a similar problem surface, let us know.

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Newest MacBook Pro Specs Explained

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Date: Wednesday, June 6th, 2007, 11:55
Category: News

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The new MacBook Pro laptops have emerged, and, of course, there are questions.
Me, I’m counting myself lucky I’m not standing in a t-shirt in an Apple Store at the moment, as it’s probably now considered fair game to literally tackle employees and make them explain what the refresh rate is on the new LED-backlit displays.
Still, some worthwhile early guides have emerged. Gizmodo was able to sit down with Apple representatives and fire questions about the new hardware along, as represented here. The interview doesn’t answer everything and Apple keeps mum about forthcoming technologies such as the possibility of Blu-Ray optical drives arriving in future models, but there remain some good tech tidbits in there.
Keeping with the techie dementia that led him to create the PowerPage in the first place, Jason O’Grady has posted two updated blogs about the new hardware over at The Apple Core. The first offers details about the new NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card found in the newest MacBook Pro laptops and what this offers over the previous ATI cards. The second describes the changes found within Intel’s Santa Rosa architecture such as improved 802.11n support, better power management and new features that allow network administrators to quarantine, repair and inspect the laptops remotely in given situations.
Take a look and tell us what you think.

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AT&T Beefing up EDGE Network in Anticipation of iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, June 6th, 2007, 07:25
Category: News

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In spite of the hype, remaining questions and overall speculation still remaining about the iPhone in the final weeks before its June 29th release, carrier AT&T may be doing what it can from its end to ensure a technically smooth launch.
According to Gizmodo, which cites an anonymous source in AT&T’s operations deparment, AT&T has been performing last-minute refinements on its EDGE network for as many as six weeks. The changes, which went unannounced, are aimed at improving the network’s throughput, latency and coverage.
The source then cited that the company, which saw the data backend as the limiting factor, has been adding additional T-1 connections to the network’s poorest performing towers in hopes of boosting their 40 kbps rate to the new minimum of 80 kbps. Internally referred to as “Fine Edge”, the program will continue repairs and upgrades until June 15th.
Prior to this, the carrier’s efforts were geared towards constructing a new 3G network, though repairs on the current 2.5 network should help things along, especially with an appreciable boost in handsets to provide for come June 29th.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

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SanDisk Releases 64 Gigabyte Solid State Drives

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Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2007, 12:28
Category: News

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On Tuesday, SanDisk announced at Computex Taipei 2007 that it had supplemented its line of solid state drive products with with addition of a 64 gigabyte unit available in 1.8″ and 2.5″ sizes. The drives operate on the SATA protocol and can be dropped in as replacements for most laptop computers.
According to DigiTimes, the new units are capable of two million hours of mean time between failures (MTBF), approximately six times the length than notebook hard drives thanks to the device using no moving parts.
Though still in the works and considered an “early adopter” technology, solid state drives are becoming popular for their durability and ability to stand up to stressors such as a sudden drop or extreme temperatures. The drives themselves are also able to start up almost immediately and provide better access speeds than those found on a conventional hard disk drive. SanDisk has stated that their solid state drives can transfer data at rates of 67 megabytes per second, readily outperforming a standard hard drive featuring moving parts.
The drives themselves consume far less power during active and idle operation than a conventional hard drive, thereby extending battery life, noted SanDisk.
SanDisk has currently released the new hard drives to manufacturers interested in incorporating them in their products. The company currently plans to offer 64 gigabyte engineering samples in the third quarter of the year with mass production planned before the end of the year.

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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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