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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Apple: Some Intel-Based Macs May Become Unresponsive After Extended Periods in Target Disk Mode

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 13:55
Category: News

A recent article on MacFixIt.com points to an Apple Knowledge Base document detailing how certain Intel-based Macs (namely the early 2006 iMacs and the MacBook Pro laptops) can become unresponsive if used as a host for FireWire target disk mode for more than 24 hours. Also worth noting is that the display and hard disk on the MacBook Pro might not go into sleep mode when Target Disk Mode has been activated for long periods of time, so be aware of this when checking if the system has become unresponsive.
Albeit a fix (either from a hardware or firmware update end) hasn’t been released, Apple suggests unmounting the host computer and restarting target disk mode sessions every 24 hours.
Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas regarding this issue.

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Apple Confirms Certain Processes Can Shorten Battery Runtime

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 16:03
Category: News

An article posted on the always-useful MacFixIt.com shows Apple confirming that certain system processes can shorten battery run times according to a Knowledge Base document posted on Apple’s web site.
The document confirms that “runaway” processes (or those that use much larger amounts of CPU time than seem to be necessary) can dramatically reduce battery life on Apple laptops such as the iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Per the document: “Battery runtimes can be reduced if an application(s) has runaway or taken over system processes. This can cause the processor to work overtime and consume unnecessary battery power. [...]
and:
“If any process is taking more than 70% of the CPU [...] verify if the process is needed. If not, quit the process by selecting the process and clicking the Quit button in the upper left corner of the window to regain CPU process control. This can lead to longer battery runtime.”
Practical advice and never be afraid of the Activity Monitor program, for it is your friend, despite residing in the slightly-intimidating Utilities folder.
If you have any comments or opinions on this issue, let us know.

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Ecamm Network Releases Huckleberry MacBook Mirror

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 07:53
Category: News

On Wednesday, Ecamm Network announced the immediate release of the Huckleeberry MacBook Mirror according to a story on MacMerc.com.
The Huckleberry is a simple mirror device that connects to the lid of any MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop and reflects the built-in camera’s field of vision over the top of the screen, thus allowing the camera to view anything stationed behind the laptop. Simple and cool, the device retails for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
In addition to the Huckleberry units, Ecamm Network is also bundling in their iGlasses software program, which adds filters and additiona viewing modes for both stand-alone and built-in iSight cameras.

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Apple Begins Small Production Runs of its iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 07:59
Category: News

Just ahead of Macworld Expo, MYiPhone is reporting that the iPhone has gone into production, according to comments from Prudential’s Jesse Tortora that “the production ramp has already begun” with small quantities to be expected for sale in the late first or early second quarters of 2007.
Tortora commented that he expects Apple to sell seven million iPhones in 2007 and 15 million units in 2008. Others have seen room for a wide-screen iPod that Tortora expects Apple to release in the first quarter of 2007.
The iPhone, which has been widely anticipated, is expected to debut at Macworld Expo, albeit production may come sometime later.

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