FastMac Offers Improved-Upon MacBook Battery

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Date: Monday, February 12th, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

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Accessory supplier FastMac has announced that it will begin selling its new TruePower batteries for Apple’s MacBook laptops.
The batteries, which are due to ship “in 30 days”, retail for US$99.95 as opposed to US$129.00 for Apple’s replacement units. FastMac currently claims the batteries offer 68% more capacity, superior design and materials, an integrated safety circuit to prevent swelling and/or short circuits (this is designed to turn the battery off under extreme conditions) and four times the warranty, FastMac backing the TruePower for a full year as opposed to Apple’s 90 day warranty.
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EMI Ponders Selling DRM-free Music

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 09:12
Category: News

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An article on the Wall Street Journal‘s web site mentions that the EMI music label is currently gathering information from iTunes Store competitors such as eMusic.com, MTV Networks, MusicNet and RealNetworks to determine the possible bottom line from selling DRM-free music.
EMI stands as one of the five major record labels currently selling music online. The firm’s consideration is a departure from the current industry standard which considers copy protection code to be critical in protecting online music sales from piracy. The consideration falls in line with Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent open letter suggesting that DRM techniques have proven ineffective and inherently hamper the growth of online music sales.
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2008 Scion tC to Include iPod Support

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:31
Category: News

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Per an article on MacNN, Scion has announced that its entire 2008 lineup will feature iPod connectivity.
The systems will incorporate a 160-watt Pioneer AM/FM/CD system complete with a control and readout that displays the track, artist and album into a one-line display. According to a spokesperson, “Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car’s stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and steering wheel audio controls. A standard mini-jack port also allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the tC’s Pioneer speakers.”
The upcoming Scion models will also feature rear head unit outputs that allow for external amplifiers to boost power to the front and rear speakers as well as the subwoofers.
The current pricing model for a base model 2007 Scion tC ranges from US$16,980 for one equipped with a manual transmission to US$17,780 for one equipped with an automatic transmission. Prices for the 2008 models have yet to be announced.

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FCC Confidentiality Letter for iPhone Proven Fake

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:53
Category: News

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Despite looking and sounding like an authentic duck, the letter sent to the FCC by Apple Inc. asking the government not to disclose any details about the company’s upcoming iPhone device until June 15th has been proven fake (additional details available over at Jason’s Apple Core blog.)
The request actually applies to Apple’s upcoming AirPort Extreme Base Station, which will be Apple’s first generation of wireless router to run on the 802.11n protocol.
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Fixes Mount as Mac OS X 10.4.9 Nears Completion

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Date: Friday, February 9th, 2007, 08:28
Category: News

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An article over on AppleInsider describes how the soon-to-be-released Mac OS X 10.4.9 update will deliver nearly 100 specific bug fixes when it’s released to the public later this month.
The new builds, marked 8P125 for the PowerPC hardware architecture and 8P2125 for the Intel hardware architecture, currently weigh in at 71.9 megabytes and 165.7 megabyte downloads.
The new number of bug fixes according to Apple engineers now totals 95 with the corrections reportedly centering on OpenGL, Sync Services, ImageIO, iSync and memory leaks in the operating system’s graphics driver code. Apple has also asked its developers to focus testing around system components such as Audio, Bluetooth, Bonjour, Disk Images, FireWire, Fonts, Graphics, iCal, iChat Video Conferencing, iSync, Rosetta, USB and .Mac Connectivity.

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Macworld Takes First Hand Look at Vista Through Boot Camp and Parallels

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 10:13
Category: News

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Macworld News has published a First Look at running the home versions of Microsoft‘s newly-released Windows Vista on a Mac via both Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop for Mac.
As mentioned before, Microsoft’s current End User License Agreement forbids running the home versions of its Vista operating system under virtual machines. Author Chris Breen picked up the Home Premium version of Vista for $239 and proceeded to install the operating system into Boot Camp, which returned an error but otherwise ran nicely with the system slowing down only when the processor seemed taxed.
Things became scarier when installing Vista Home Premium directly into Parallels. Parallels, which was asked to make a new virtual machine based on a Boot Camp partition, became grayed out when attempting to use Windows Vista. Attempts to use a Boot Camp partition with Windows XP installed performed nicely, although Windows Vista stil installs directly into Parallels withoout issue.
For the full story as well as the triumphs and failures therein, read the article.
And while it’s a strange time to be around virtualization and Windows Vista on the Mac, there is hope, even if a few workarounds are involved.
If you have any comments, feedback or experiences of your own regarding this, let us know.

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One Laptop Per Child Project Cites Security Spec to be Used

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 09:29
Category: News

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MIT‘s One Laptop Per Child project, a collaborative effort on the part of more than a dozen technology firms to provide a laptop computer to students in developing countries, has released the security specifications for its XO laptop according to an article on Wired News.
The XO currently includes a swiveling LCD screen capable of switching between low-resolution color and high-resolution black and white modes depending on light conditions, camera, microphone, three USB ports 512 megabytes of Flash-based storage, Wi-Fi, Linux operating system and a battery which can be powered by either a cord or a car battery.
While security has been a looming issue, especially where theft, reselling stolen units on the black market and overall privacy are concerned, Harvard security expert Ivan Krstic’s BitFrost platform may be able to provide some answers.
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Apple May Transition iPod Line to Flash-Based Memory by End of 2007

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 09:12
Category: News

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According to an article on AppleInsider, Apple Inc. may move away from its hard disk-based iPod units to solid-state NAND-type flash memory by the end of 2007.
The article cites a report from Prudential Equity Group Analyst Jesse Tortora, who mentions that the move would allow for a smaller form factor, a more diverse model mix and improvements to both the battery life and durability of the units.
Tortora also pointed out that while Flash-based memory is clearly more expensive on a dollar to gigabyte ratio than hard disk drives, the advantages provided by the medium outweigh the cost. The analyst wrote that he sees Flash-based drives with capacities up to 32 gigabytes as feasible, although the question as to whether 32 gigabytes could adequately store video has arisen.
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iPhone to Sport “At Least Three” ARM Processor Cores

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Date: Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

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An article on InformationWeek quotes Warren East, president and CEO of ARM as confirming that Apple’s upcoming iPhone will hold “at least three” processor cores.
The processor has been identified a PXA320, formerly known as Intel’s Monahan processor and now supplied by the Marvell Technology Group. ARM processors have found their way into “90 percent of the world’s mobile phone handsets” as well as application processors and a large percentage of available MP3 players, according to East.
East then went on to comment that “Apple will talk about the contents of the iPhone when Apple’s ready to talk about the contents of the iPhone.”
ARM currently also supplies many of the processors used in the current generation of Apple’s iPod and iPod Nano davices according to the wikipedia entry.
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New York Senator Proposes Ban on iPod Use in Crosswalks

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Date: Wednesday, February 7th, 2007, 12:05
Category: News

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iLounge.com has reported that New York senator Carl Kruger will propose legislation in state capital Albany today that will fine pedestrians US$100 if caught crossing the street listening to an MP3 player, cell phone or any other electronic device in any of the “big cities” in the state of New York.
The legislation comes on the heels of two recent pedestrian deaths in Kruger’s district in which a person was “listening to his iPod”, according to comments filed on Engadget.
“We’re talking about people walking sort of tuned in and in the process of being tuned in, tuned out,” said Kruger. “Tuned out to the world around them. They’re walking into speeding cars. They’re walking into buses. They’re walking into one another and it’s creating a number of fatalities that have been documented right here in the city.”
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