Intel Readying Ultra-Low-Voltage Processors for Ultraportable Notebooks

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 08:33
Category: Processors

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Processor giant Intel reaffirmed on Friday that the company is readying a new series of new ultra-low-voltage chips, due in the second quarter, for inexpensive ultraportable notebooks.
According to Macworld UK, the company will ship the ULV chips as part of its Montevina Plus mobile laptop platform, an updated version of the existing Montevina platform, a fact confirmed by company spokeswoman Connie Brown.
The processors could be used in small, thin notebooks and provide the same level of functionality as notebooks priced above US$1,500.
Notebooks currently based on Intel’s ULV chips could be as thin as Apple’s MacBook Air or Dell’s recently launched Adamo, with prices ranging between US$599 and US$1,299.
Intel’s new series could fit into smaller spaces and use less power than the existing Core 2 Duo ULV line, which uses about 10 watts of power and is generally found in ultraportable notebooks such as Apple’s MacBook Air.
Intel’s Montevina Plus platform also will offer new chips running as fast as 3.06GHz, for mainstream notebooks priced between $399 and $1,499.
The company’s Montevina Plus is likely to be Intel’s most important update to its laptop platforms before the company starts shipping its new Arrandale chips for laptops later this year. The Arrandale chips will be manufactured using a 32-nanometer process and integrate a graphics processor and CPU in one chip, which could boost graphics performance while drawing less power than existing Core 2 processors. The Arrandale chips are also expected to be more energy-efficient, which could improve notebook battery life.
Expected clock speeds on Arrandale processors should be similar to processors used in existing laptops while offering better performance by running applications through more threads while drawing less power.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple Seems Likely to Add Video Recording Features to Next-Gen iPhone

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 07:40
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Apple seems certain to add video recording capabilities in the next iPhone hardware revision per a source close to AppleInsider.
Though the details are currently limited, there is no suggestion of current hardware being able to support video recording. Given this fact, only an upgraded iPhone with a new built-in camera should support the feature. The source stated that the new revision is expected between late spring and early fall this year and could add video support and improved gaming hardware via multi-core PowerVR chips as the headlining features.
Oddly enough, a screen capture from the forthcoming iPhone Software 3.0 on Engadget’s website shows a MobileMe panel for uploading images titled “Upload Video,” thereby adding strength to the rumor.
An additional rumor has speculated that faster iPhone internet speeds are en route, AT&T confirming that the company currently has HSPA 3G peaking at 7.2 megabits per second, twice the current speed of the network. The extra speed would help to handle video transmissions via iPhone handsets.
A final rumor has stated that Apple will release a new iPhone App called “Movies” which will offer rudimentary video editing similar to the new “Voice Memos” iPhone app that Apple recently previewed. The software would allow for sharing video via e-mail and MMS messaging.
Even so, Apple may only offer the video capabilities as a premium feature only on a high-end model when it releases new iPhones this summer. References to four different multi-touch handheld products which were found in the new iPhone 3.0 software beta seem to indicate two distinct model lines, possibly one with video capability and one lacking the feature.
Stay tuned for details as they emerge and please let us know if you’ve heard anything on your end in the comments or forums

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AT&T to Begin Selling Contract-Free iPhones in U.S. Next Week

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Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:48
Category: iPhone

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Recently, wireless carrier AT&T announced that it would begin selling contract-free iPhones in the United States beginning next week.
According to Boy Genius Report, the price works out to be more expensive than that of buying a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract, paying the subscription for a month, canceling the plan and paying the early termination fee.
The phone, including the activation fee, would retail at US$599 for the 8GB model and US$699 for the 16GB model.
“This is simply another way AT&T customers can experience iPhone 3G on the nation’s fastest 3G network,” AT&T said in a statement.
Existing AT&T customers – the only people who can buy the contract-less phones – are eligible to purchase an iPhone at a subsidized price based on the amount of time left on their contract and their payment history. In many cases, these users fare better by waiting until they become eligible for a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract.
There currently seems to be a “one per customer” limit tied in with the offer.
AT&T’s current cheapest plan retails for US$70 a month, including voice and data access.
iPhones without contracts have been available in some European countries. AT&T has long said that it would sell iPhones without contracts but until now had not said when.
If you’re looking into picking up a contract-free iPhone, let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.

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Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 2.0.0.21

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Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:22
Category: Software

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Mozilla.org, creators of the Firefox web browser, has just released version 2.0.0.21 of Thunderbird, its free e-mail client. The new program, an 18.7 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and new features:

  • Upgrade PNG library to fix memory safety hazards
  • XML data theft via RDFXMLDataSource and cross-domain redirect
  • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.7)
  • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.6)
  • Thunderbird 2.0.0.21 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run and is programmed as a Universal Binary, allowing for native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
    As always, if you’ve played with the new version and have any feedback, positive or negative, let us know.

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    Elgato Releases Turbo.264 HD Video Converter

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    Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:00
    Category: Accessory

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    Accessory provider Elgato announced the release of its new Turbo.264 HD video converter on Thursday. The USB hardware converter can convert HD and AVCHD content into a wide range of standard and HD video formats.
    Users can then edit movies before copying them from a camera, splice movies together, and download movies to your Mac or YouTube account. Turbo.264 HD supports AVCHD Video, QuickTime, AVI, DV, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Program/Transport Stream, MPEG-4, MP4, M4V, H.263, H.264 AVC, Xvid, VIDEO_TS and more. It also includes a QuickTime component that improves H.264 exporting for other applications including Apple’s iMovie.
    The Turbo.264 HD retails for US$149.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later to run.
    If you have a hardware converter of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Your Take on the iPhone OS 3.0 Announcement

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2009, 09:04
    Category: iPhone

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    We asked for your opinions on Apple’s major iPhone OS 3.0 announcement on Tuesday and we got them.
    So, here are your opinions in their pure, raw, unedited form brought to you by the PowerPage Server Hamster:

    After having moved to the IPhone from the Blackberry, I’ve been astounded at the short battery life I now have. I can’t finish the day without having to plug the little bugger in. I know all the usual reasons (3G, Wifi etc…). What I’m looking for is a firmware update or something that will prolong the IPhone’s life. All those new bells and whistles, while welcome, will further drain the device and make it even more frustrating for road warriors.
    Best, André

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    Elgato Releases EyeTV 3.1.2 Update

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    Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2009, 09:11
    Category: Software

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    Late Sunday, Elgato Systems released version 3.1.1 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.
    The new version, which can be found here (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0′s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:

  • A problem where EyeTV would require increasing amounts of memory while playing back live television has been resolved.
  • Exporting a recording to elementary streams now preserves the native audio format.
  • Resolved an issue in 10.4.11 that would cause EyeTV to hang when creating a manual schedule.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when teletext was toggled on and off.
  • Improved USB performance of EyeTV Hybrid US 2009 after starting up the Macintosh.
  • The Freebox live TV window no longer opens by itself every 10 minutes when using Freebox in Wi-Fi mode.
  • EyeTV 3.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    The program retails for US$79.95.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Carbon Copy Cloner Updated to 3.2

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2009, 07:16
    Category: Software

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    Late Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, has released version 3.2 of the program. The new version, a 2.8 megabyte download, adds the following changes:

  • Prior to version 3, CCC would not delete items at the root level of the target volume if those items were not present on the source volume. This was a convenient feature, but due to some fairly significant underlying changes in CCC 3, that feature was not brought forward. This feature is now available again in version 3.2 and later via the “Protect root-level items on the target” option. See the documentation for more details on the implementation of this feature.
  • Implemented filters support for remote source volumes.
  • CCC no longer disables non-HFS formatted volumes in the source and target lists. Rather, selecting these non-supported filesystems as a source or target will produce a helpful dialog box indicating how to proceed with those volumes.
  • The description of what will happen during a “Backup everything” task has been updated to more accurately reflect what actually occurs.
  • CCC now correctly reports on the bootability of mirrored volumes on PowerPC systems.
  • Resolved a few minor issues with cropped text in non-English localizations.
  • CCC will now report IO errors via a dialog box every time they are encountered. Previously, non-IO related errors encountered after IO errors would take precedence, and IO errors would only be reported in the CCC log.
  • Addressed an issue in which CCC would fail with a generic error when running out of space for temporary files on the target volume.
  • Included an updated version of rsync 3.0.5.
  • Resolved an issue in which locked folders caused synchronization errors in rare circumstances.
  • Resolved several rsync-related issues related to getting, listing, setting, and removing extended attributes.
  • Resolved an issue in which CCC would prompt the user to run a scheduled task (with a remote Macintosh as the target) when the network connection was re-established even if the task had been explicitly deferred.
  • CCC now creates its own key pair for ssh communication with other Macs on your network, rather than using any pre-existing key pairs.
  • CCC now mounts disk images at custom mount points in /tmp rather than in the default location of /Volumes.
  • Resolved an issue in which disk images could not be created on AFP or SMB network shares.
  • Resolved an issue in which the failure of certain built-in tasks would indicate that there was an error with a preflight script.
  • Several updates to the documentation: Expanded on the Tips section, added extensive coverage of the new “Protect root-level items on the target” feature, updated instructions on restoring from a disk image, minor updates to the “Backing up to a remote Macintosh” section (plus a large addition on backing up multiple Macs to a single “server”), and added several items to the FAQ section.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner 3.2 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    What Do You Make of iPhone OS 3.0?

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, 10:30
    Category: iPhone

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    Apple basically walloped its user base over the head with what’s coming this summer via its iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade, which appears to answer a lot of questions as to where specific features (such as turn-by-turn GPS directions, improved e-mail, Spotlight, landscape view across additional applications and the oft-cited copy and paste features) were.
    Even so, other features had yet to be mentioned, the biggest hole still remaining a lack of Flash support as Apple and Adobe attempt to sort this mess out.
    So, we’d like to know what you make of the situation and what to expect. What are you looking forward to? What did Apple miss? Will you snag the 3.0 update the second it hits or wait for fixes? Did Apple include the features you wanted to see on your iPhone?
    Since the PowerPage Server Hamster is being finicky today, let us know what you think by shooting me an e-mail and I’ll have everyone’s opinions, for good or ill, up by tomorrow.
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    As always, let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Posts iPhone OS 3.0 Launch Video

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, 09:33
    Category: iPhone

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    With the iPhone OS 3.0 update announcement taking place yesterday, a picture’s worth a thousand words.
    Fortunately, Apple just posted the full presentation on its web site over at this address.
    Users will have to wait until this summer to get their hands on the full release and new features such as additional APIs for programmers, improved GPS, copy and paste and the rest.
    If you have a couple cents to hurl in on this, let us know in the comments or forums.

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