Other World Computing Releases Mercury On-The-Go Pro 500GB Portable Hard Drive

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 12:29
Category: Accessory, hard drive

Other World Computing announced the release of the OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro, the company’s 500GB, 7,200RPM pocket-sized drive for the Mac or PC. The unit features FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 interfaces for data transfer speeds up to 100MB/s and measures 3.5″ x 5.5″ x 1″ in size.


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In addition to these specs, the drive is also bus-powered, doesn’t require a power outlet and retails in the following configurations:

  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro “Triple Interface” FireWire 800/400 + USB 2.0: US$239.99 Features Oxford 934 chipset, two FireWire 800 ports, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, FireWire 800/FireWire 800 to 400 and USB 2.0 connecting cables, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro “Combo Interface” FireWire 400 + USB 2.0: US$219.99
    Features Oxford 934 chipset, FireWire 400 port, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connecting cables, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro USB 2.0: US$189.99 Features JMicron 20339 chipset, USB 2.0 Mini-B port, USB 2.0 Mini-B connecting cable, carrying case, US$200 retail value disk utility bundle, and a three year warranty.
  • The three new OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro 500GB 7200RPM models are compatible with Apple OS 8.6 to 9.2.2, OS X 10.0.x, and 10.2.8 or later.

    Next-Gen iPod Artist’s Rendition Released, Unit May Include Onboard Camera

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 09:50
    Category: iPod, iPod Nano, Rumor

    Additional rumors have been flying about Apple’s plans to add an iPhone-like camera to its next generation iPods.
    Per iLounge, the following is an artist’s rendition of what the 5th-generation iPod nano may look like:


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    At first glance, the imaginary next-gen iPod looks pretty much the same as its predecessor, except for the wider screen ratio that stretches to 1.5:1 from 1:33:1.
    The unit’s Click Wheel is slightly smaller and positioned a bit lower on the nano’s body, and a digital camera is placed at a seemingly awkward spot on the nano’s backside.
    Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and let us know what you’d like to see on a next-generation iPod.

    Apple Quietly Bumps Specs for White MacBook Notebook, Retains $999 Price

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 08:09
    Category: MacBook, News

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    Early Wednesday, Apple quietly upgraded its entry-level MacBook notebook. The white plastic MacBook, which is still priced at US$999, now offers a 160 GB hard drive, 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and a slightly faster RAM speed with the model sporting 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
    The previous version, released back in January, boasted a 2.0GHz processor with a 120GB hard drive and 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM. Other features on the revised MacBook remain the same, including the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card that was previously found on the model.

    MacUpdate, Koingo Offering AirRadar 1.1.7 for Free

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009, 11:56
    Category: Announcement, Software

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    The lads at MacUpdate and Koingo Software have announced that they will be making copies of Koingo’s AirRadar 1.1.7 wireless network scanning software available for free.
    AirRadar, which normally retails for US$10, allows users to scan for open networks and tag them as favorites or filter them out. Users can also view detailed network information, graph network signal strength, and automatically join the best open network in range.
    The application also delivers other information, including encryption status, encryption type, encryption cipher, router MAC address, first and last seen date and time, noise level, and vendor information.
    AirRadar 1.1.7 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be downloaded from here.

    iPhone OS 3.0 SDK Beta 5 Continues Next-Gen Device Pictures, References

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009, 07:47
    Category: iPhone

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    Ok, this is nifty.
    Per MacNN, images located in beta 5 of the iPhone OS 3.0 SDK provide clear references to next-generation hardware according to anecdotes. In searching for a separate file through Spotlight, one Australian developer is said to have found a collection of the PNG graphics displayed when people sync a device with iTunes. Although two of these reference the original and 3G iPhones — “iPhone1,1″ and “iPhone1,2″ — and a third refers to the second-gen iPod touch, the remaining ones are listed as black and white variants of an unknown device, “iPhone2,1.”
    The “iPhone2,1.” model number has appeared repeatedly throughout the iPhone OS 3.0 betas, but until now only as text strings. The new beta seems to lack some previously-cited devices, such as iPod2,2, iPod3,1 and iPhone 3,1 and Apple has also yet to include a “human-readable” name for iPhone2,1, leaving question marks in place of a designation.
    The PNG files discovered are low-resolution and difficult to discern, but show little if any visible distinction from the iPhone 3G. The discovery could reinforce rumors that the next iPhone will make mostly internal changes, but might also suggest that Apple is merely using placeholder art. A formal announcement of future iPhone hardware is expected at WWDC 2009, scheduled to begin June 8th in San Francisco.


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    32GB Capacity iPhone Listed in AT&T Upgrade Program

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, May 26th, 2009, 07:56
    Category: iPhone, News

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    You might want to file this under “premonitions”.
    According to Phone Arena, an AT&T upgrade program for BlackBerries has listed a 32GB iPhone as a trade-in option. Simultaneously, Canadian cellular provider Rogers may be preparing for another summer iPhone release.
    The potential discovery occurred on Friday when a BlackBerry Bold trade-up program run on behalf of AT&T, albeit via a third party, showed an “iPhone 32GB 3G” as one of the phones that can be exchanged for cash towards the Research in Motion smartphone. The RIM handset is listed as worth US$335, though it’s unlikely this is connected to any final pricing.
    It’s currently unknown as to whether this is a genuine addition or a speculative move on behalf of the company running the ad. None of the other iPhones in the list are unreleased models. However, it does follow an accidental post of a similar sort by T-Mobile Austria, which briefly showed a 32GB iPhone in its “coming soon” section only to pull it shortly afterwards.
    The 32GB iPhone listed as a trade-in choice for moving to an AT&T BlackBerry Bold.

    AT&T Considering Cheaper, Capped Data Plans for iPhone

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, May 22nd, 2009, 08:00
    Category: iPhone

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    When in doubt, offer something cheaper.
    Per Reuters, AT&T has signaled that the company is looking to offer lower data rate plans for the iPhone, especially in a market where users are more sensitive to price.
    Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s current chief executive officer, remarked this week at the Reuters Global Technology Summit that he could see AT&T setting a cap on the amount of data used in a given month in return for a lower fee. One example, though not necessarily what AT&T would use, is the company’s netbook strategy: while the mini notebooks still have access to the usual 5GB monthly data plan, subscribers can pay US$20 less per month if they’re willing to put the cap at 200MB before overage fees kick in.
    The executive went on to mention the iPhone as possibly affected by any switch in strategy but that it wasn’t Apple’s device alone that would prompt demand. Instead, smartphone adoption in a difficult climate was the important concern.
    “Right now we continue to study what is the best thing that is available, not just from an iPhone point of view, but what you can do to stimulate additional demand,” de la Vega said.
    The news echoes rumors that, among other things, AT&T may offer a US$20 iPhone data plan that would save customers US$10 a month but put a ceiling on data access.
    De la Vega ruled out simply cutting the price without restrictions on Internet use, however. AT&T recently declared itself the leader in smartphones and has steadily become more reliant on data as a source of income. The provider’s goal is to profit from services, he said, and with the iPhone’s price already being heavily subsidized, dropping the price would only hurt AT&T’s bottom line.

    32GB iPhone Placehole Appears on T-Mobile Austria Web Site, Quickly Removed

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, May 22nd, 2009, 07:13
    Category: iPhone

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    This is a bit strange, but it may be something. According to AreaMobile, a “iPhone 32GB” placeholder appeared in the “Coming Soon” section of T-Mobile Austria’s web site.
    Though this was quickly removed, a similar slip occurred at T-Mobile Germany that accurately foretold the coming of the original iPhone two years ago.
    In addition to this, wireless carrier Vodafone Australia recently sent out a notice stating that the 16GB iPhone has been deemed “End of Life” by Brightpoint, the company’s supplier.
    So, nothing definite, but there’s some interesting happenings out there.

    Analyst Sees Strong Signs of Apple Moving Towards $500-$700 Tablet

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 21st, 2009, 12:13
    Category: News

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    With Apple execs having openly slammed the idea of creating a conventional netbook, Piper Jaffray analysts stated today that mounting evidence exists that Apple will introduce its own take on the netbook in 2010 via a tablet device that will sell for US$700 or less.
    “Between indications from our component contacts in Asia, recent patents relating to multi-touch sensitivity for more complex computing devices, comments from [chief operating officer] Tim Cook on the April 22nd conference call, and Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi along with other recent chip-related hires, it is increasingly clear that Apple is investing more in its mobile computing franchise,” analyst Gene Munster and his team wrote in lengthy research note to clients.
    According to AppleInsider, Munster has said these investments will likely culminate with the launch of a touch-screen tablet with a display somewhere between 7″ and 10″ at a special event sometime in the first half of 2010. Such a move, he added, would be consistent with management’s comments that Cupertino-based company has no interest in catering to the existing segment for “cheap” miniaturized notebooks and its spoken desire to differentiate in a market currently dominated by cramped computers with razor thin margins and a subpar user experience.
    To date, Munster’s contacts in the component supply chain have yet to see a prototype of the device but say there’s ongoing discussions between the company and its suppliers about the parts that will eventually be required to build the product.
    Munster has stated that he believes the device will end up retailing somewhere in the range of US$500 to US$700, bridging the gap between the US$399 iPod touch and the US$999 MacBook. He expects that it will be driven by a proprietary microprocessor designed in-house by engineers Apple adopted in the acquisition of P.A. Semi and others it’s known to have hired in recent months.
    Click the jump for the full story…

    Nvidia Admits to “Ongoing” Failure Problem in Some Notebooks During SEC Filing

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 21st, 2009, 08:22
    Category: Finance

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    Graphics processor firm Nvidia formally stated that some notebooks utilizing its chips continue to have “failure” issues, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
    Per cnet, Nvidia stated that though it does not continue to see “abnormal failure rates” in systems using Nvidia products,” some notebooks are still affected.
    “We continue to not see any abnormal failure rates in any systems using Nvidia products other than certain notebook configurations. However, we are continuing to test and otherwise investigate other products,” Nvidia said, adding, “there can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.” (MCP stands for Media and Communications Processor; GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit.)
    On July 2 of last year, Nvidia announced that the company was planning to take a one-time charge to cover costs associated with problems with materials used in certain versions of its laptop graphics chips. Subsequently, a US$196 million charge was recorded in the second quarter of its 2009 fiscal year to “cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and associated costs” with the problem.
    In the company’s 10-Q filing, Nvidia cited a “balance of US$145.7 million associated with incremental repair and replacement costs from a weak die/packaging material set.” and “US$31.2 million for the three months ended April 26, 2009 in payments related to the warranty accrual associated with incremental repair and replacement costs from a weak die/packaging material set.”
    Nvidia paid or incurred US$50.3 million against the original “warranty accrual” in its fiscal third quarter and fourth quarter 2009, such that the remaining balance of the “bump-crack accrual” (defect) was US$145.7 million at the end of its fiscal fourth quarter, according to Nvidia.
    Nvidia is also negotiating with insurance companies over payments to PC makers regarding GPU failures, according to a report filed by TGDaily.
    As early as 2007, Hewlett-Packard listed notebook models affected by the graphics chip glitch. In August 2008, Dell also listed affected models with Apple stating in October that it would repair faulty graphics chips.
    In the 10-Q filing, Nvidia also stated that “in September, October and November 2008, several putative consumer class action lawsuits were filed against us, asserting various claims arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook systems.”