Matsushita to Offer Overheating-Resistant New Batteries

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:10
Category: News

According to an article from the Associated Press mentioned on the Dallas-Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram.com web site, Japanese electronics firm Matsushita (which Apple has long used for components such as optical drives), whill begin mass production of a new type of lithium-ion battery that should prove resistant to the overheating problems that prompted Sony to issue a massive recall of up to 9.6 million of its batteries this year.
The recall also included batteries for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop lines.
Sony has mentioned that the overheating problems were due to microscopic metal particles in the batteries which caused short-circuits and later breakdown and even swelling. Competitor Matsushita has stated that its lithium-ion batteries can avoid this problem altogether.
The firm finally commented that the new batteries would depend on the quantity ordered, but be somewhat higher than that of existing models.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about this, let us know.

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Extreme: Anyone Knee’d a PowerBook?

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

A reader sent in the following story about an extremely damaged PowerBook – the result of apparent anger management issues:

kneed-powerbook-1.jpg

One-two over the knee.
And a slam to the floor makes PB no more.
I am a very busy kinda guy, with little tolerance for imperfection, and every once in a while the pressure valve just pops!
In any case, I had a fairly recent backup and thanks to .Mac syncing, I’m back up and running with a new MBP.
And to tell the truth my new machine is much nicer than my 1.33 PB.

Another, even worse picture after the jump…
Contributed by: EtyHead

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Cisco, Not Apple, Releases iPhone Device

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:53
Category: News

An iPhone device has finally been released, albeit not from Apple, according to an article by Macworld UK.
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Cisco’s Linksys division has released a set of web-enabled VoIP phones today, Cisco having owned the “iPhone” trademark since acquiring Infogear. Infogear first showed an iPhone Internet-capable device at the Consumer Electronics show in 1997, a year before Apple started naming various devices with an “i” precursor (such as the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.).
The iPhone will retail within the $180 range and is Skype-capable according to an article over at Engadget.
Whether Apple and Cisco will reach a consensus and share the “iPhone” name has yet to be determined, even though there’s been weeks of rumor and speculation as to a forthcoming telephone device from the Cupertino firm.
Further details about the iPhone devices can be seen at the Linksys web site.
If you have any comments or suggestions or ideas about this topic, please let us know.

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Macworld Reviews 17″ MacBook Pro, Finds OS X Profile Bug

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

According to a recent review on Macworld.com, Apple’s 17″ 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro laptop, which shipped this November, performs on par with the similarly-equipped 15″ model, yet falls short in collective iPhoto tests due to a bug within Mac OS X 10.4.8 discovered via a collaboration between Macworld Lab staff and Apple.
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The tests, which demonstrated the expected results for trials within programs such as Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Compressor, iMovie, iTunes and Unreal Tournament, proved nearly identical for the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro models. The iPhoto tests proved far more relevant, as the 17″ model took 2.5 times as long to import 100 photos from the hard drive into the iPhoto Library and even lagged behind a 1.67 GHz model.
Puzzled, the Macworld Lab staff borrowed an identical 17″ MacBook Pro model from Apple and found the same iPhoto discrepancy. Swapping the hard drive between the 15″ MacBook Pro and the 17″ model proved that the 17″ unit had sped up considerably, but was still 11 seconds behind its 15″ cousin. Apple and Macworld swapped test photo files and in using Apple’s, the problem had disappeared. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Apple had removed the ColorSync profile in their images, which made all the difference.
From Apple’s end, the staff removed the ColorSync profiles from the Macworld lab’s test images (a script for this entitled “Remove profile from image” can be found in the /Library/Scripts folder).
The change made all the difference and the 17″ MacBook Pro’s benchmark time went from nearly three minutes to a single minute once the script had been run. Both Apple’s and Macworld’s test systems had been running Mac OS X 10.4.8 and Apple has promised to look into the bug.
A full review of the 17″ 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro is forthcoming from Macworld.
If you’ve seen similar instances of this or have suggestions or comments regarding the issues, let us know.

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Sub-$800 Refurbished MacBooks, Discounted iPods Still Available

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

According to an article on MacNN, Apple is still offering sub-$800 refurbished MacBook laptops via its online Apple Store.
The discounts have also been offered alongside iPod Nano and refurbished iPod video units. The MacBooks, which are based off the older Intel Core Duo processor, start at $799 and are available in the following configurations:
-1.83 GHz MacBook (white) with 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive for $799.
-2.0 GHz MacBook (white) with 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive for $1,049.
-2.0 GHz MacBook (black) with 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive for $1,099.
Reconditioned iPod Nanoss are also available in the following configurations:
-1 GB black model for $89.
-1 GB white model for $89.
-2 GB black model for $99.
-2 GB white model for $99
-4 GB black model for $149.
-4 GB white model for $149.
Reconditioned video iPods are also being offered in the following configurations:
-30 GB white model for $179.
-60 GB white model for $229.
-60 GB black model for $229.

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Adobe Releases Intel-native Photoshop CS3 Preview

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Date: Friday, December 15th, 2006, 13:55
Category: News

Adobe, makers of the industry standard Adobe Photoshop program, today released a preview beta version of its Adobe Photoshop CS3 software. The preview, now completely Intel-native, is available for download at Adobe’s web site for users with valid Adobe.com IDs or a valid serial number for Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Creative Suite Production Studio, Adobe Design Bundle, Adobe Web Bundle or Adobe Video Bundle serial numbers. The download is 684 megabytes and can be downloaded without a serial number, although the software will expire after two days without this.
Photoshop CS3 marks a significant upgrade to Apple’s new Intel-native standard, older versions of the software having run under Rosetta emulation. The beta has been programmed as a Universal Binary for the Macintosh as well as Intel-native for Windows XP and Windows Vista users. The final release date is scheduled for spring of 2007.
The new version contains several new features including the following:
-A major upgrade to the Adobe Bridge component.
-Include of Adobe’s new Device Central, which allows users to design, preview and test mobile content generally centered around smaller screen/portable devices.
-Camera Raw 4 support (now the same engine as found in Adobe Lightroom).
-Non-destructive, reeditable filters.
-Auto-aligned and blended layers.
-Improved performance, especially on Intel-based hardware.
-Revamped interface.
In addition to the Adobe Photoshop CS3 preview, the company has also released two new upcoming web tools as preview releases. CSS Advisor is a web-based community site designed around identifying and resolving browser compatibility issues while the upcoming Adobe Spry framework for Ajax adds Ajax development tools into its programs. The Spry framework is a JavaScript library base that allows web designers to encode XML data into HTML documents using HTML, CSS and a small amount of JavaScript without needing to refresh the entire page and is designed to work within multiple web development tools.
The Photoshop CS3 beta requires a Macintosh running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, a 1 GHz G4 or G5 PowerPC processor of an Intel-based Macintosh. 512 megabytes of RAM and a minimum screen resolution of 1024×769 are also required.
Final pricing, availability and system requirements have yet to be decided upon.
Macworld magazine was able to catch up with the development staff of Photoshop CS3 and has posted an outstanding video podcast wherein Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell interviews Adobe senior product manager John Nack, who describes the new features, changes and tools within the preview.
Snell then demonstrates several new tools and features within the preview – including the demise of the magic wand with a better color selection tool.




Take a look and let us know what you think.

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Wireless Provider Orange Offers DSL and a MacBook for 2 Euros Per Day

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Date: Friday, December 15th, 2006, 08:59
Category: News

According to a recent article on Engadget, french wireless provider Orange is gearing up to offer its European markets 1 Mbps DSL service for €60 (or about $79) a month as well as a MacBook along with the service beginning this January.
Users can also upgrade their DSL service to 8 Mbps for an additional €5 (or $6.62 per day), albeit a three-year contract seems to be in order while other terms of the agreement have yet to be ironed out. Orange has stated it feels the deal can attract enough users to move “1,000 units per month” for the first six months of the offer and help offset pressure from is competitors.
Orange has also stated that the first 200 to sign up will receive a new iPod shuffle for a single euro. The offer will be available exclusively to French markets at first but could spread to other parts of Europe should if prove popular enough.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions, ideas or comments about this.

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Micromat President Offers Rebuttal to Serial Number Controversy

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 09:37
Category: News

Micromat president Jeff Baudin has offered the following rebuttal to a story contributed by Christopher Price to PowerPage as of December 13th citing that Micromat had included network code that broadcasts critical information about your Macintosh as well as the TechTool 4 product’s serial number across network subnets via a Bonjour session.

Thank you for your article on Dec 12th about our product TechTool Pro. I’m compelled to respond because your story has created some concern among many of our customers. The article also contains a few inaccuracies.
Your story states that, “Micromat slipped some broad and sweeping anti-piracy measures into a TechTool Pro update a while back.” Quite a while back, actually. Like when William Clinton was still in his first term in office. We implemented our first network serial number checks in the early 1990s. Just like Photoshop, Microsoft Office and many other programs, we broadcast our product serial number over the local network and each copy of the program looks for a duplicate copy of that serial number at launch. If the program finds a duplicate serial number already running on the network, it alerts the user and then refuses to run. Micromat, as well as many other software manufacturers feel this is a fair method of insuring that our license agreements are not abused. And certainly a far better alternative to hardware dongles or key-disk methods.
The author of your story takes great exception to the fact that we broadcast the Macintosh hardware serial number as well. His article implies that this is something new, but the fact is that we actually added this information to the broadcast when we first released version 4 in 2003. First, let me explain why we did this…

Read the rest of Micromat response after the jump…

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Apple Legal Targets iBuzz, iPod “Spinoff” Adult Products

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:21
Category: News

According to a story on techdigest.com, Apple’s legal department has targeted iBuzz, a musical sex toy that vibrates to the rhythm of a given music file on your iPod.
While this may have gone over as a funny joke with most people, Apple took offense with the gadget and the all-too-similar-to-its-own-campaign imagery on the iBuzz web site.
Love Labs, the maker of the iBuzz device, received a threat from Apple’s legal team (Field Fisher Waterhouse) with regard to Love Labs’ use of silhouette-style images of a woman using the product in a similar style to Apple’s iPod ad campaigns.The firm has argued that the imagery is derived from freely available adult images manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. Though the styles are similar, Apple doesn’t have a copyright on the look and feel, according to Love Labs.
Since Apple’s action, Love Labs has removed the image and animation from its web site and replaced the content with descriptions of its upcoming iBuzz 2 product line.

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“I Would Buy a Mac if I Didn’t Work for Microsoft” Claims Microsoft Development Manager

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 08:57
Category: News

According to an article on Computerworld.com, Microsoft veteran software development chief James Allchin commented in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software firm had “lost sight” of customer needs and claimed that he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.
“In my view, we lost our way,” claimed James Allchin co-president of Microsoft’s platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004.
The e-mail was presented along with evidence last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp where Microsoft is defending itself against allegations that the firm used its monopoly position to overcharge Iowa residents for its software. The case is one of the two holdover cases brought against Microsoft by the U.S. government and multiple states from the late 1990′s asserting that Microsoft abused its position in the market.
“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products,” said Allchin in one of the cited e-mails.
Allchin, a veteran Windows development manager since the mid-1990′s, is still with the company but plans to retire at the end of this year after the upcoming Windows Vista operating system ships out the door. Elements of the legal transcripts and e-mails were obtained and posted by Groklaw.net, an open-source legal web site.
Like much of the evidence brought against Microsoft in past antitrust litigation, transcripts from the e-mail messages of Allchin and other executives have helped construct the case.
No immediate reply to Allchin’s comments were available from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Inc., Microsoft’s public relations firm.

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