Danish National Consumer Agency Report Cites iBook G4 Flaw

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 13:29
Category: News

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A recently released report by the Danish National Consumer Agency cites what it considers to be an unacknowledged error with the iBook G4 laptop. According to a story on forbrug.dk, a specific design defect has been discovered on the iBook G4. The report claims that despite multiple user claims of the problem, Apple refused to acknowledge the fault and take back the laptops given that the complimentary year’s warranty had expired at that point.
The defect cited states that in just over one year’s use, users will find themselves in a position where the power turns off and the screen goes blank. Denmark’s Consumer Complaints Board, having decided that Danish consumers should be able to return laptops with this unit, were able to discover the following facts, as cited in the report:
-Certain users experiencing the problem sometimes resolved it by attaching a clamp to the left front side of their iBook G4 while others nudged cardboard shims in place to allow the laptop to reboot.
-In independent testing, a solder joint between components proved to be broken. This joint gradually loosens every time the computer is turned on and off.
-During testing, when the iBook G4 had been turned on and off a sufficient number of times, the solder joint had broken completely loose and resulted in a blank screen. Jury-rigged solutions such as pressing the components together with a clamp or inserting cardboard shims reconnected the contacts and allowed the computer to boot again.
Photos of the process can be found here, albeit commentary remains in Danish.
Delta, the independent electronics laboratory that performed the testing, cited visual analysis, stereo microscopy, scanning acoustic microscopy and x-ray microscopy as the means used during testing procedures. Individual suspect components were cut out of the logic board and further examined in order to look over the components via microscopy.
If you’ve seen this problem on your end or found a new workaround for the issue, let us know.

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Jobs Confirms LED-backlit Displays to Emerge This Year

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 08:03
Category: News

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In an open letter regarding the companies revised environmental policies and practices, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed that the company will begin incorporating LED-backlit displays in its products later this year.
The change comes on the heels of pressure for Apple to adopt more green-friendly policies, Jobs stating that the firm will use LED backlighting “for all displays when technically and economically feasible.”
“We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007,” he wrote. “Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays.”
According to AppleInsider, Apple began the larger conversion towards the LED backlighting when it was reported that the company was working towards implementing an LED-backlit system for its 15″ MacBook Pro laptop as opposed to cold cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFL).
LED technologies, which have been regarded as being more environmentally friendly than CCFLs, tend to be more efficient at evenly distributing light across the entire display surface, consume less power, offer improved color saturation, run cooler and last longer than CCFL-based units. This can translate into improved notebook battery life and allow the display to maintain its initial brightness levels for longer periods of time.
Additional details can be found at the Apple Core blog.

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Roxio to Release “Crunch” Tool Next Week

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Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2007, 07:53
Category: News

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Roxio, makers of the Mac disc burning staple, Toast, has announced that it will be releasing a new video conversion program designed to convert files to the Apple TV, iPod and iPhone formats.
The software, which has been dubbed “Crunch” according to AppleInsider, will support both QuickTime and alternative file formats such as DivX, MPEG-2 and DVD-Video. Roxio has stated that the software will be available as an electronic download from its web site Monday for U.S. customers while retail boxed versions and European availability are expected to arrive not long after.
Like Toast, the user interface will focus on allowing files to be dragged and dropped in, then converted. The software will also support multiple MPEG-4 and H.264 settings and allow users to create their own settings. Additional features include the ability to convert unprotected DVDs and VIDEO_TS folders as well as a batch export feature which can take on large groups of files and convert them. Roxio has also stated that these files, once converted, can be automatically added to iTunes for simplified synching to devices such as an iPod, Apple TV, etc.
Crunch is expected to retail for US$50 and system specifics have yet to be released.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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Apple “Office Posse” Ad Released for UK

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Date: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007, 09:48
Category: News

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Alert reader Kenn Marks pointed out that Apple has updated their UK apple ads with a new ad entitled “Office Posse”. In its standard effort to make a point and get it across, this commercial focuses on the availability of Microsoft Office for the Mac to the point where the PC feels it’s been stolen away in the commercial.
Not bad and it’s cool to see Apple taking on the myths that tend to linger, especially when they can make it funny.
Click over to the site, click “Office Posse” and let us know what you think.

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Airport Extreme Update 2007-003 Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007, 08:27
Category: News

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Finishing off yesterday’s update-o-rama, Apple also released the AirPort Extreme 2007-003 patch. The update, which weighs in at about a three megabyte download (the patch is also available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature), updates WPA and WPA2 security for Intel-based Macs using an AirPort Extreme card.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Intel-based hardware to run.
If you’ve tried the new update and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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Apple Releases QuickTime 7.1.6

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Date: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007, 07:14
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Apple released QuickTime 7.1.6, an update of its multimedia cores for the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. The new patch addresses bugs found within the software and includes support for Final Cut Studio 2 as well as timecode and closed caption display fixes in QuickTime Player.
More notably, QuickTime 7.1.6 addresses a significant security issue wherein a user can allow arbitrary/malicious code to be run by visiting a web site with a given Java applet written into it. According to Macworld News, Apple’s technical footnote specifically credits Dino Dai Zovi, TippingPoint and the Zero Day Initiative for reporting this bug, which was discovered at the CanSecWest security conference a few weeks ago in a much-publicized exploit.
QuickTime 7.1.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 to function on the Mac OS X 10.3 end and Mac OS X 10.4.9 to function on the Mac OS X 10.4 end. The update is available via Apple’s QuickTime QuickTime web site and through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the new version and can provide either positive or negative feedback, let us know.

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Joost Launched

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Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2007, 16:45
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Joost, the brainchild of Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, is now available for Mac users with an invitation via this link.
The company announced that it has launched with the help of 32 companies which are functioning as advertising partners. Additionally, existing Joost beta testers now possess an unlimited number of invitations that can be sent out at their discretion.
Joost allows a computer to receive contentional television programs and provides more than 150 channels, which vary based on both geographic region and copyright ownership.
If you’ve heard anything or have feedback about the client, let us know.

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Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0.1 Released

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Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2007, 15:18
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Mark/Space announced that it had released version 1.0.1 of its Missing Sync for Blackberry utility. In spite of Mac OS X’s lack of native synching support between the operating system and handheld devices, the Missing Sync series and other third party applications have stepped in to bridge the gap.
According to Macworld News, Missing Sync for Blackberry 1.0.1 adds native French and German language support, a Folder Sync option that can sync the contents of a Mac’s folder to a microSD card inserted in the Blackberry, additional Address Book fields and repairs the handling of all-day calendar events synched in from Entourage 2004.
The new version, which is coded as a Universal Binary and can run at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware, requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later and a G4 or Intel-based processor to run. Missing Sync for Blackberry retails for US$39.95, though the 1.0.1 update is free for registered users.
If you’re tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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Apple TV Units Appear at Costco and Target

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Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2007, 10:39
Category: News

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A quick piece over at Arstechnica reports that the recently-released Apple TV has begun appearing in various Target retail locations. Photos sent in and posted on MacRumors confirm that the device is in stock and Apple managed to get the units in a bit faster than expected.
In a more surprising turn of events, the Apple TV has also turned up at assorted Costco locations with an arstechnica reader e-mailing the site and reporting the units in stock in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. The units are priced at US$289.99 and the retailer won’t be charging a restocking fee upon return. “I believe the old, unlimited return policy would apply. The new 90-day thing is actually limited to a few categories of items,” claims reader Dan Ciskey, who doesn’t believe the revised return policy applies to the Apple TV.
The presence of the Apple TV may be a test run of sorts, as the units haven’t been added to the retailer’s web site and a search for them turns up the standard TVs and HDTVs that are being sold.
If anyone has additional information about this, let us know.

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Corsair Ships “Survivor” Drives

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Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2007, 08:49
Category: News

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On Monday, Corsair announced that it had shipped its “Survivor” series of USB flash drives.
According to iPodObserver, the drives, which are available in four and eight gigabyte capacities, are wrapped in Computer Numerical Control-milled aluminum water-resistant up to 650 feet (or 200 meters) and contain an Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer waterproof seal as well as rubber molded collars to preserve the device’s integrity.
Moving beyond features seen in the the standard flash drive, the Survivor series includes both a new memory controller as well as dual channel interleaved memory to attain what the company claims is five time the transfer speed of a generic flash drive.
The Survivor four and eight gigabyte drives retail for US$59.99 and US$129.99, respectively and are backed by a 10-year limited warranty from the company.

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