The Apple Core: Joost Preview

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 11:51
Category: News

Jason O’Grady has offered a full preview of the newly-released Joost by Skype and Kazaa creators Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.
The next “cool thing”, or at least the thing that people are hankering for invites to, Joost is a legal service that allows users to watch television for free on their computers.
Not a bad idea and Jason has a full write-up of the program over on the Apple Core web blog.
If you’ve got any opinions about Joost or what you’ve seen of it, let us know.


Proof of Concept iPod Virus Developed

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 10:33
Category: News

An article over at Help Net Security points out that Kaspersky Lab has developed a proof of concept virus capable of infecting an iPod running the Linux operating system.
The virus, called Podloso, is not a genuine threat and can be installed on an iPod running Linux. The virus can then install itself into a folder containing program demo versions, which can execute the virus’ file architecture.
It should be noted that Podloso cannot be automatically launched without user interaction.
Once launched, Podloso can scan the iPod and infect .elf format files. Later attempts by the user to access infected files will return an error screen stating “You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus.”
As a proof of concept virus, Podloso was created to prove a vulnerability within the iPod itself. The virus is unable to spread on its own and the user has to save the program to the iPod’s memory in order for the unit to become infected.
If you have any comments or feedback about this or similar proofs of concept, let us know.


Intel Quietly Releases New Low-Power Chips

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 08:52
Category: News

On Thursday, Intel quietly released two ultra low voltage processors. According to Engadget, the 1.06 GHz U7500 and 1.2 GHz U7600 are out the dore and consume a mere 10 watts of power as opposed to the full-fledged Core 2 Duo models, which consume about 34 watts of power. The chips still feature the speedy Merom core which has become successful in current Macs and has for the most part outpaced competitor AMD‘s products.
The new chips are expected to be used in the smallest PCs and laptops on the market. Prices for the units are not available and Apple has not announced when or if the new chips will make their way into the company’s future products.


Best Buy to Expand Mac Pilot Program to 200 Stores

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Date: Thursday, April 5th, 2007, 11:21
Category: News

On Wednesday, electronics retailer Best Buy announced that it would be expanding its Mac pilot program to 200 locations. The chain is also expected to introduce a store-within-a-store Apple section according to AppleInsider.
Gene Munster, a senior analyst for Piper Jaffray, mentioned to clients that the Best Buy pilot program’s Apple area will differ from the current chain’s Apple product layout, which is generally a table with Apple items on it. The new layout will probably feature a wall-off section in some of the 200 stores in nthe pilot program while others will feature improved layouts.
Munster also mentioned that a walled-off or specific area would make sure that customers “won’t wander around” the stores in order to locate Apple products. “A good way to think about Apple and Best Buy is the Coach or Chanel store within a store concept at Nordstrom,” he wrote in a research note Wednesday evening.
Best Buy’s expansion of the Mac pilot program from 57 to 200 locations would be complete by fall. The move would replace the 74 Mac distribution points being lost through the impending closure of no less than 126 CompUSA stores.
Last month, Best Buy agreed to carry the recently released Apple TV device as well as Macs and iPods.


TechRestore Offering Pre-Upgraded Apple TV Systems

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Date: Thursday, April 5th, 2007, 09:05
Category: News

TechRestore announced today that the company is now offering pre-upgraded Apple TV systems for sale with capacities up to 160 gigabyes.
The standard Apple TV unit ships with a 40 gigabyte hard drive. While the drive is upgradable, this is both tricky and violates Apple’s warranty by opening the unit. TechRestore’s deal both offers a larger capacity hard drive as well as includes a one year warranty on the Apple TV systems sold.
The prices are as follows:
-Apple TV w/ 80 GB hard drive: US$399
-Apple TV w/ 100 GB hard drive: US$419
-Apple TV w/ 120 GB hard drive: US$439
-Apple TV w/ 160 GB hard drive: US$499
These systems are shipping as of today.
TechRestore is a PowerPage sponsor.


Apple Reduces Price of Cinema Display Monitors

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Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007, 11:44
Category: News

Beyond adding a lusty octo-core Mac Pro configuration to its lineup Apple has also reduced the price of its Cinema Display monitors. The price changes are as follows:
-The 20″ model, previously US$699, is now available for US$599.
-The 23″ HD model, previously US$999, is now available for US$899.
-The 30″ HD model, previously US$1,999, is now available for US$1,799.
For more information, check out the Cinema Displays section of the Apple Store web site.


Apple Releases 8-Core Mac Pro Units

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Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007, 09:43
Category: News

In something of a soft, quiet launch, Apple has added new build-to-order options for its Mac Pro desktop computers, allow for long-awaited quad-core and octo-core options.
The units continue to feature Intel Xeon processors, which run at 2.0 GHz, 2.66 GHz and 3.0 GHz speeds.
The units start at US$2,499 with two dual-core Xeon processors and begin at US$3,997 for the initial configuration with two quad-core Xeon processors over at the Apple Store. Full technical specifications are available here.
At first glance, this appears to be an upgrade to the processors themselves, but if you have any comments or ideas, let us know and if you were waiting to upgrade, now might be the time.


LapWorks Introduces Aluminum Desktop Stand

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007, 15:19
Category: News

LapWorks has announced the release of its Aluminum Desktop Stand, an adjustable laptop computer stand with six adjustable angles as well as a low angle mode suited for typing.
The unit, which measure 12″ x 9-1/2″ x 3/8 “, is made of brushed aluminum to help dissipate heat generated from the laptop, features full 360 degree rotation, folds to 3/8″ for travel and weighs 21 ounces as well as ships with an included neoprene bag that can double as a mouse pad.
According to LapWorks, the stand can help cool a laptop by 23% to help extend its life span.
The Aluminum Desktop Stand is available at an introductory price of US$59.95 until May 31st, when the price increases to US$69.95. The unit ships with a full year’s warranty against defects in materials, construction and workmanship.


ModBook Upgraded, Will Ship in May

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

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.


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

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

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.