iPhone ‘an almost definite certainty’, allegedly

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Date: Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 10:00
Category: iPhone

iphone-slider-250.jpgThe iPhone rumour mill has been cranked up to eleven by Digg.com founder Kevin Rose claiming that the new iPhone will be ‘small as sh*t’. Which, as any qualified scatologist knows, is very, very, very, very small. Possibly.
Rose also claimed that users should be able to use it on any GSM network, and that it almost certainly has a slide-out keyboard.
He also claimed that it will have two batteries: one for the music-playback, the other for the phone. This pretty much confirms that his story isn’t bogus because, as we all know, two small batteries are (nearly always) a LOT better than one big battery. Maybe.
He also thinks two iPhones will ship: a 4GB and an 8GB model, costing $249 and $449 respectively. This has the ring of truth. The iPhone will need memory, and (in the United States at least) be priced in dollars.
What Kevin Rose didn’t say (probably because he didn’t have time, or maybe just forgot) is that the new iPhone will nearly certainly feature WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a full suite of contact management utilities that synchronise effortlessly with Macs and PCs, a 5 megapixel digital camera (with optical zoom), voice recognition, a full range of flash-memory slots, a built-in high-resolution projector, and a virtual projector keyboard.
He also omitted to confirm that the iPhone would weigh less than 10 grammes, be a mere 3mm thick, and that the built-in screen would allow the viewing of hi-def video at full resolution.
He was probably wanting to leave Steve Jobs with a few ‘just one more thing’ announcements. Possibly.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


iCyclone Allows Users to Set Custom Fan Speeds

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Date: Monday, December 4th, 2006, 07:47
Category: Software

Kkillian has released iCyclone, an open source donation-ware program that allows users to manually set the minimum speeds of built-in fans for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro Intel-based laptops.
The program allows a custom spin rate to be set as well as an optimal rate to be found automatically while not spinning below the hardware’s recommended specifications in order to protect the hardware.
iCyclone’s source code is available for download while the program itself is a quick 544 kilobyte download from the uber-useful MacUpdate.com.
The program is available for free albeit the author asks for the occasional donation via Paypal.
iCyclone requires an Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.


The Apple Core: Apple releases OS X Security Update

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Date: Wednesday, November 29th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

software-update.jpgApple yesterday released Security Update 2006-007 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 through 10.4.8. The update, which is available in Software Update and from Apple Downloads, weighs in at 23.9 MB (for Intel) and is available in several flavors.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


New iTunes Visualizer: SoftSkies

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Date: Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006, 08:41
Category: Software

softskies_livingroom.jpgIf you like SoundSpectrum’s G-Force visualizer for iTunes (and who deosn’t?) then you should check out their latest effort, SoftSkies.
Designed to be more soothing than intense, SoftSkies fills your screen with serene cloud imagary that moves to the beat of your music. It’s perfect for connecting to a flat-panel display during your Thanksgiving and holiday entertaining. The basic version is free, Gold and Platinum will cost you.
SoftSkies Gold (US$20) includes:
- An extensive set of designer skies especially created for Gold
- Several dozen Living Images showcasing Scenic Castles, Swiss Structure, and Utah Landscapes
- Configurable album cover art support
SoftSkies Platinum (US$30) includes:
- SoftSkies Screen Saver
- SoftSkies Standalone
- Multi-Player Support


CoolBook Bug Update Fixes CPU Setting Issue

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Date: Tuesday, November 21st, 2006, 10:58
Category: Software

Shareware author Magnus Lundholm has updated his program, CoolBook, a $10 application which allows the user to adjust the clock speed and voltage of Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors.
A bug which was discovered and has been corrected in the latest version of the program, prevents the CPU from running at the user-configured performance mode when the laptop is running solely from a power adapter without a battery installed.
Lundholm also suggests that CoolBook users can quit the installer once it’s finished its task, then open CoolBook and enter preferred settings for the battery and power adapter modes before restarting.
Although the Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors are renowned for running at much cooler temperatures than their G4 predecessors, Lundholm’s published benchmarks have recorded temperature decreases by as much as 14°C (25.2° F).


MacBook EFI Firmware Update 1.1 Proves Troublesome for Users

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Date: Tuesday, November 21st, 2006, 09:22
Category: Software

A number of users have reported difficulties with their laptops after downloading and installing the MacBook 13″ Firmware Update 1.1.
Problems have ranged from increased fan noise to increased operating temperatures to problems recognizing certain devices that had been seen before.
The firmware update, which was released yesterday, focused on fixing problems with the MacBook’s temperature sensors and random shutdowns.
In some cases, downloading and reinstalling the most recent Mac OS X combo updater (for both the Intel and PowerPC hardware architectures) can resolve these issues. In other cases, utilities such as Cocktail or Tiger Cache Cleaner can help clear the system cache and resolve these issues.
In cases where the user is having significant problems, a firmware downgrade disc can be created, although this is applicable only to situation where the firmware update failed during installation. For instructions as to how to create the firmware downgrade disc, click here.


EFI Update Enables Some DOS Tools

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Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

Apple’s latest EFI updates noted improved support for Boot Camp functionality. This was in the form of updated code to Apple’s Compatibility Support Module (CSM). The CSM virtualizes BIOS functionality and allows “legacy” operating systems such as Windows and Linux to run on Intel-based Macs.
One of the largest criticism’s of Apple’s CSM was its lack of support for DOS-based applications. All other Intel system boards with EFI could run DOS-based applications without problem. Appple EFI/CSM criticism has not been delivered just by users, but also by developers such as Linus Torvalds.
The good news is that CSM support has been updated to include basic DOS support. While DOS does not work fully, some applications such as Maxtor’s PowerMax now do work. These low-level diagnostic tools allow you to check, test, and repair components on your Mac with the low-level capacities of PC-counterparts.
Most of these tools are now commonly offered in .iso format, and can be burned to a CD-R with Disk Utility. However, such support is currently limited. Apple’s CSM does not support a key DOS mode, A20, which is needed for many higher-memory calls. As such, most utilities still will not run. That said, you can now start diagnosing many hard drives with the same level of performance that you used to need to plug the drive into a PC to check.
Contributed by: Christopher Price – www.pcsintel.com


Report: Foxconn to Manufacture iPhone

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Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 00:10
Category: iPhone

Foxconn Electronics, the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has secured a contract with Apple Computer to manufacturer its first mobile handset that will also dual as a digital music player, according to an overseas report.

The Chinese-language Commercial Times on Wednesday cited Taiwan-based sources within Apple’s iPod component supply chain as saying the phone is due to arrive during the first half of next year.

The paper offered no other details of the phone or contract between the two companies, other than to say the initial build order was for some 12 million units.

AppleInsider | Foxconn to manufacture Apple’s iPhone – report

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Aperture Updated to 1.5.1; 30-Day Trial

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 3rd, 2006, 07:12
Category: Software

aperture-151-250.pngI made the jump from iPhoto to Aperture about six months ago and haven’t looked back since. If you’re a high volume, commercial or semi-pro photographer you owe it to yourself to check out Aperture. Apple has updated the pro photography application to version 1.5.1 and is now offering a free 30-day test drive.

Aperture 1.5.1 addresses more than 100 issues related to overall reliability and performance in all areas of the application. including:

- Keywords
- Loupe
- Cropping
- Previews
- Metadata presets
- Versions
- File renaming
- iPhoto Library import
- Watermarks
For more detailed information about this update, visit http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n304549.

In other Aperture news, Apple is now offering a free 30-day test drive.

Aperture: Changes in Aperture 1.5.1


MainMenu Makes Mac Maintenance Manageable

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 1st, 2006, 00:00
Category: Software

SantaSoftware has released MainMenu. The blurb on the homepage reads:
Don’t have time to run all the various tools and scripts to keep your Mac running smoothly? MainMenu makes these tasks quick and easy, right from your menu bar.
Rebuilding your Spotlight library for faster searching, repairing permissions, cleaning caches to improve application performance, and even more advanced settings — such as enabling and disabling the Dashboard — are no more than two clicks away.
MainMenu is full of powerful maintenance tools to keep your Mac running like new, within a slick, simple interface.
It doesn’t do anything that can’t already be achieved using freeware utilities, but it does bring a lot of useful functions under one easy-to-find/easy-to-navigate menu. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it does all the above functions, along with a number of others that I usually have to use a separate utility for, including ‘force empty trash’.
And it is free. Thank you Santa Software for my early Christmas present.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan