Think DRM: Apple Adding Trusted Computing to OS X

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005, 08:33
Category: Hardware

A post on boingboing has some people ready to defect from the Macintosh platform. Ok, step off the ledge, it’s only a Slashdot report that “the new Intel kernel Apple has included with the Developer Kit DVD uses TCPA/TPM DRM. More specifically, it includes “a TCPA/Palladium implementation that uses a Infineon 1.1 chip which will prevent certain parts of the OS from working unless authorized.” (click through and read the comments).

This means that “open formats” are no longer meaningful. It means that the price of being a Mac user will be eternal vigilance. If this “feature” appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple’s OS, they’ll lose me as a customer — I’ve used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.

The Trusted Computing Group would have you believe that it’s all good but an article by the EFF has quite a different take on the situation:

There is a widespread perception that personal computer security is in an unfortunate state and that something must be done to fix it. There are many promising approaches to improving security — redesigning operating systems, changing programming methodologies, or altering the PC’s hardware itself. It is well known that a comprehensive defense against the security threats faced by PC users will involve several approaches, not just one. An insecure system can’t magically become “secure” with the addition of a single piece of technology.

Would you buy a Mac with Trusted Computing inside?

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TechRestore Maxes Out 4G iPod Battery at 1000mAh

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2005, 11:24
Category: Hardware, iPod

TechRestore (a PowerPage sponsor) has begun offering a new overnight iPod battery upgrade service for 4th generation “click-wheel” iPods and all color screen iPod models. The service includes the replacement of the standard iPod battery with a TechRestore 1000mAh high capacity battery with over 50% more charging power than the original 4th generation iPod battery and 38% more charging power than the original color iPod battery acccording to TechRestore.

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Notebook Computers With Financial Aid

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2005, 09:38
Category: Hardware

“Laptop or beer?” should never be a decision that a student has to make. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune many higher education institutions (i.e. Northern Michigan University, Indiana State, Wake Forest, and New Jersey’s Seton Hall) are now requiring laptops for incoming freshman. While not surprising, the interesting wrinkle in this story is that requiring a student to buy a notebook computer makes the sometimes expensive hardware eligible for financial aid. “By making laptops part of the tuition and fees requirements, we can offer financial aid for them. We couldn’t do that if they were optional,” he said.

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Sony VAIO Engineers Being Recruited for Intel PowerBook?

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:43
Category: Hardware

Apple PowerBook 100A story over at Engadget speculates that Apple may be recruiting a team of ex Sony VAIO notebook engineers to design the new Intel PowerBook:

A reliable source tells us that Apple has been ?having trouble playing catch up with the learning curve for designing using the Intel platform? and that in order to have an Intel-based PowerBook out by next year they?ve been scrambling to recruit an engineering team with some experience building light and thin Intel-based laptops. And how are they going to do that? By poaching from Sony apparently…

PowerBook cognoscenti will find this story highly plausible because it was Sony that either totally or partially developed (depending on who you ask) the original PowerBook 100 for Apple in 1991. The PowerBook 100, incidentally, was voted the Best Gadget of All Time, by Mobile PC 2005.

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iDiddy Eliminates iPod Spaghetti Factor

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Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 18:52
Category: Hardware

iDiddyWhen the iPod shuffle was announced back in January I expressed some concern about the “Spaghetti Factor

I was expecting Apple to do something innovative with the lanyard like include the headphones in it, instead you plug headphones into the bottom (top?) and the result is a mass of spaghetti hanging from your neck. The spaghetti problem is blatantly obvious in the new TV ads where people are dancing around with them around their necks. I bet we’ll start hearing stories really soon now about how the lanyard/headphone combination gets caught car doors, etc.

An interesting product called the iDiddy appears to have addressed this oversight with a wearable and tangle-free earbud and case combination for all iPods.
The iDiddy is a quality product that starts with a gorgeous hand-sewn leather iPod case, but that’s where the similarity to other iPod cases ends. What makes the iDiddy different is that the earbuds have been embedded into their “iLanyard,” making the earbud wires otherwise invisible. The iLanyard can also be detached from the case and can be used with any audio device with an eighth-inch stereo mini jack. One nice feature is the small clips on the side of the iLanyard for attaching the earbuds when not is use. The iDiddy makes your iPod easy to hang on a hook when not in use and easy to grab when you’re on your way out the door. Read More…

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Apple Announces Multi-Button Mighty Mouse

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 13:54
Category: Hardware

Apple Mighty MouseApple today announced a new USB mouse called Mighty Mouse (US$49, free shipping). The wrinkle: rather than giving us a standard two-button mouse (that we’ve been begging them for forever,) Mighty Mouse is a sleek “no button” model like the Apple USB mouse that has two tiny sensors under the hood for left and right clicking. In addition they’ve added two side buttons that seem to be positioned in a slightly ackward location.

Meet the mouse that reinvented the wheel. The scroll wheel, that is. At $49, Mighty Mouse features the revolutionary Scroll Ball that lets you move anywhere inside a document, without lifting a finger. And with touch-sensitive technology concealed under the seamless top shell, you get the programability of a four-button mouse in a single-button design. Click, roll, squeeze and scroll. This mouse just aced the maze.

Mighty Mouse is a multi-button model with a cable. I would have prefered a Bluetooth model but suspect that the wireless version could be announced for around US$79 in the fall. I wish the Mighty Mouse was a little more like the two-button mouse with built-in trackpad mockup from Chris Hungate that we posted in May.
Will you be purchasing one?
(Thanks to everyone, and I mean everyone, that wrote to me about my earlier piece.)

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Mighty Mouse Video Review

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 11:11
Category: Review

Mighty Mouse Video ReviewKevin “MacDaddy” Lim has posted a video review of the Mighty Mouse. In it he shows the retail box, the Mighty Mouse System Preference, while focusing on the mouse’s four buttons and little grey Scroll Ball. Kevin also goes through some of the Mighty Mouse’s hardware design quirks. You can download the video review as a QuickTime file in two sizes: Large (17MB) or Small (5.4MB).

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Apple Jump Starts iBook G4 and Mac mini Lines

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Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 10:31
Category: Hardware

Apple iBook G4 RevisionApple today introduced a speed bumped iBook G4 lineup. The aging iBook line was rejuvenated to include faster Power PC G4 processors running up to 1.42 GHz, 512MB RAM standard, better graphics and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth.

Apple today enhanced its affordable iBook G4 line for consumers and education customers with faster Power PC G4 processors running up to 1.42 GHz, 512MB memory across the line, higher performance graphics and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The new iBooks feature two patent-pending Apple technologies made popular in the PowerBook G4 line, the scrolling TrackPad and the Sudden Motion Sensor, with prices starting at an affordable $999.

The new July 2005 iBook G4 lineup:
1.33GHz, 12-inch, 40GB, Combo Drive – US$999
1.42GHz, 14-inch, 60GB, SuperDrive – US$1299
*The new iBook G4s include: 512MB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 9550, Bluetooth 2.0, Airport Express, scrolling trackpad and sudden motion sensor.
In related news, Apple also revised the Mac mini lineup:

Apple today announced enhancements to its Mac mini line, the most affordable and compact Mac ever, with 512MB of memory standard in every model and prices starting at just $499. The Mac mini also features built-in wireless networking with AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth starting at just $599, and the ability to burn DVDs with a SuperDrive for just $699.

The July 2005 Mac minis come in three flavors:
1.25GHz, 40GB, Combo Drive – US$499
1.42GHz, 80GB, Combo Drive, Bluetooth and Airport Extreme – US$599
1.42GHz, 80GB, SuperDrive, Bluetooth and Airport Extreme – US$699

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iBook Revisions and new Mac minis due Next Week

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 22nd, 2005, 09:00
Category: Hardware

Apple iBook Update ImminentOur friends over at Engadget are reporting that revised iBooks and Mac minis are coming out next week:

“new part numbers in Apple?s databases confirm they?re coming shortly as well as a revision to the Mac mini line that was rumoured at the end of last month. The iBook price points are set at $999 and $1,299, which drops the $1,499 model, while for the Mac minis we?re looking at a triple lineup at $499, $599 and $699″

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Griffin Announces Chameleon Cases for iPod mini

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Date: Thursday, July 21st, 2005, 10:35
Category: Hardware

Griffin Chameleon Cases for iPod miniGriffin Technology has announced Chameleon Cases for iPod mini. Chameleon Cases are made of a sturdy and dense polyvinyl material which is much tougher than regular silicone cases, according to Griffin. Inside a Chameleon Case, your iPod is shielded from the elements and even though the click-wheel is covered it remains completely protected and fully functional.
Features include:
- Tough rubber form fitting case
- Easily removable
- Includes easy on/off belt clip
- Included 21″ lanyard
- 16 cool designs
The price for the Griffin Chameleon Case is US$14.99 and it is scheduled to begin shipping in August of 2005. Pre-orders are now being accepted now at the Griffin Technology Web site.

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