ModBook Upgraded, Will Ship in May

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 09:03
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Axiotron, makers of the much-anticipated ModBook tablet, announced that they had doubled the unit’s pen pressure sensitivity to 512 levels but pushed the device’s ship date back to May according to MacNN.
The change to pressure sensitivity is important in that it offers better control of pen strokes to users of graphical creation programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Ilustrator and Corel Painter. Many of these users have wanted a tablet Mac in one form or another for some time and constitute a significant part of the company’s anticipated customer base. Axiotron currently uses Wacom‘s Penabled hardware, the same hardware found in the company’s tablets and pen display units. The revised ModBook pen technology will boast 133 position updates per second and support up to a 20x display resolution.
In addition, Axiotron has also announced that it will apply the free upgrade to new customers as well as retroactively apply the change to all existing pre-orders made since the device’s introduction at this year’s Macworld Expo San Francisco show.
The ModBook retails between US$2,279 and US$2,799 depending on features such as a faster processor, larger hard drive and built-in WAAS-enabled GPS.

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Survey Finds 33% of Users Wanting FM Playback on MP3 Devices

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 07:30
Category: News

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In a Jacobs Media survey conducted between late February and March of 2007, approximately 33% of respondents in a survey consisting of over 25,000 listeners of various rock stations around the United States cited that they’d like FM radio playback on current or future iPods. Jacobs Media operates as a radio consulting firm within the United States.
The poll also established that an FM playback ability seemed more important to users than an increased storage capacity, larger screen or video playback according to Macworld UK.
To date, Apple has never included a built-in FM receiver with its iPod devices, leaving third-party firms to provide these features. Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player, which debuted in late 2006, made a point of including FM radio support and marketing this as a missing feature not found on the iPod.
The poll also discovered that MP3 player ownership has steadily increased, rising 47% in 2006 to demonstrate a 34% increase.
“iPods are showing no signs of stopping,” said Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media. “Last year, our data showed that the growth of personal MP3 players was far from over. This year, our new study confirms that this phenomenon continues to have lots of life, and we expect strong growth throughout ’07.”
This brings about a good question. How important is an FM playback feature on your iPod to you and have you gone to a third party outfit to fill this need? What’s your overall take on it?
If you have an idea or comment, let us know.

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It May Not Be Pretty…

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 13:14
Category: News

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But it could be functional. French IT services outfit Theithelper.com has released the Comp Shade, a foldable laptop shade capable of blocking 100% of incoming light designed to reduce eye strain as well as provide privacy in public places.
Small, light (about seven ounces) and portable, the device connects to the laptop and itself via a mounting strip, then attaches to itself with hook and loop strips. The Comp Shade retails for 20 Euros (or about US$26.74), weighs seven ounces and forms a nine inch deep viewing tunnel for the user.
If you’ve tried this or something similar and have feedback about it, let us know.

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Apple and EMI to Start Selling DRM-Free Music

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 11:15
Category: News

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On Monday, Apple Inc. and EMI announced that beginning in May, the two firms will begin selling digital rights management-free music.
These files will be available at a higher audio quality (256 kbps AAC format as opposed to 128 kbps AAC format) at a higher price of US$1.29 per song according to Macworld News. Apple currently charges US$0.99 per song on the iTunes Store.
During the event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs commented that users would have a choice between the standard DRM-encoded songs and the higher-quality DRM-free tracks, which would supplement the Apple Store’s current selection. Users who already owned EMI-based tracks could upgrade these songs for US$0.30 per song should they wish to do son.
Earlier this year, Jobs sent out an open letter pushing for the removal of digital rights management code from music purchased from online stores such as the iTunes Store. EMI seems to be the first major music label to follow through on this, a point Jobs specifically commented on.
“Hopefully, by our actions here today and over the coming months they will conclude that we are continuing to do exactly what has earned us these number one positions — doing the right thing for the customer,” said Jobs. “The right thing for the customer going forward is to tear down the walls that preclude interoperability by going DRM free. That starts here today.”
A big step no matter how you look at us. If you have an opinion about this, let us know.

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Apple Offers Reduced 5G iPod Pricing to UK Customers

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 10:50
Category: News

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Back in the Old World, Apple has made the somewhat surprising move of offering lowered prices according to iLounge.
The discounts, which apply to the 30 gigabyte and 80 gigabyte models, reduce the prices from 189 pounds to 179 pounds for the 30 gigabyte model and 259 pounds to 239 pounds for the 80 gigabyte model. Pricing for the UK Apple Store’s iPod Nano and Shuffle units remains the same.
These same price cuts are not reflected on the U.S. Apple Store.

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Get a Mac – International ads

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2007, 10:00
Category: News
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We all love the new Get a Mac ads here in the United States but Apple has a presence all over the world and the Get a Mac ads are just as popular elsewhere. We are all familiar with British Humor from BBC broadcasts to the many Monty Python Films. So Apple has created a unique series Get a Mac ads for the UK which mimic the US ads but with a distinctive British twist.
Apple has done the same in Japan , making localized versions using local actor/comedians. We in the west can appreciate those Japanese ads thanks to Coal an Editor/Translator/Publisher at Restall.org from Ota-ku Japan. It appears Coal started hosting these back on November 11, 2006 and has graciously allowed the PowerPage to host them locally.
Click on the headline to jump to the translated Japanese Get A Mac TV commercials…

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Rome Apple Store to Open on Saturday

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2007, 14:56
Category: News

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Moving into the European market, Apple opened its doors to press in a special dedicated preview session. The guys over at macitynet.it were there to capture the action in an event that marked Apple’s first store inside continental Europe.
The location, which measures 500 square meters, serves as a full Apple Store location and can be found inside the RomaEst big Mall. The site will open to the public on Saturday, March 31st at 9 AM with surprises being given away to people at the front of the line.
In the meantime, take a gander at the photo gallery that’s been assembled and if you have Mac user friends or family in the city come tomorrow, point them towards the opening event.

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The Apple Core: Windows Users Can’t Search iTunes Store in iTunes 7.1.1

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2007, 09:22
Category: News

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Jason O’Grady’s Apple Core blog is reporting that Windows users are currently unable to search through the iTunes Store after downloading and installing iTunes 7.1.1 on their computers:
Thousands, if not more, of Windows users cannot search for music in the iTunes store since the latest upgrade. Apple has not responded to requests for help and is instead blaming each individual user.
From a spirited thread on Apple’s discussion forums:
I’m unable to successfully use the iTunes Store. The following error occurs randomly, though it most often happen when searching and power searching, the progress bar on top will just never stop and the error message will display after about 30 seconds. It sometimes occur when browsing and clicking on links (the page will not load).
Here’s the error message :
“We could not complete your iTunes Store request. The network connection timed out. Make sure your network settings are correct and your network connection is active, then try again.”
For the rest of the story, click here.
If you’ve seen this problem on your end, let us know.

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Cingular Confirms June 11th iPhone Release

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2007, 08:06
Category: News

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When in doubt, just call and ask. Declan McCullagh over at news.com Gadgets blog writes that he called Cingular last Thursday and spoke with a customer service manager at their 1-800-947-5096 number who provided the date, then transferred McCullagh to sales.
No additional information was available beyond this.
June 11th also coincides with the first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is scheduled to be held in San Francisco from June 11th to the 15th.
If you’ve heard differently or have comments or ideas about this, let us know.

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Apple Store Brings Back Refurbished MacBook Pro Laptops, Other Models

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2007, 16:42
Category: News

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According to MacNN, the Apple Store is now offering refurbished MacBook Pro laptops in limited quantities.
Available configurations consist of the following:
-17″ 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo, 1 gigabye of RAM and a 120 gigabyte hard drive for US$1,999 with either a standard a glossy display.
-17″ 1.86 GHz Intel Core Duo, 512 megabytes of RAM, a 160 gigabyte hard drive and 8X dual-layer SuperDrive for US$949.
The web site is also offering discounted prices on both PowerPC G5 and Intel Core Duo-based iMacs as well as older iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 laptops as well as other models.

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