MWSF: Synology Introducts Two-Bay DiskStation NAS Units

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 15:51
Category: hard drive, Macworld Expo, News

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NAS units may be technical and slightly dorky, but you’ve got to admit: they come in handy.

Synology America announced the released of the company’s two-bay DiskStation line. The DS710+, is a scalable 2-bay NAS server that grows from 2 bays to 7 bays to offer a total of 14TB of storage. The unit includes built-in file sharing, automatic backup, remote access, web hosting, email hosting and media streaming with read speeds of 110+ MB/sec and write speeds of 100+ MB/sec under a RAID 1 configuration in a Windows environment.

The Synology DS710+ is equipped with the new Intel Atom D410 CPU, one Gigabit LAN ports, 3 USB ports and 1 GB DDRII RAM. Green features include lower power consumption, wake on LAN, scheduled power off and hard drive hibernation to ensure optimal energy conservation.

The DS710+ comes with Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) 2.2 with robust features and applications for business use and sports such bells and whistles as Volume Manager, Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) which optimizes the use of disk capacity with data protection when using hard drives of different sizes are used, share level encryption and backup to the cloud with Amazon S3 service.

Rumor: New MacBook Pro Model Refresh Seems Imminent, Best Buy SKU System Drops Current Models

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Date: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 05:24
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

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The folks at Best Buy may be letting on more than they intended.

Per MacRumors, the SKUs (stock keeping unit numbers) for Apple’s current MacBook Pro notebooks appear to have been deleted from the store’s database system. When that happens, no additional orders can be placed for the deleted item(s), and it’s a pretty safe bet that something new is right around the corner.

With this in mind, it may be likely that Apple is getting set to release a new line of MacBook Pro notebooks, the current rumor mill pointing towards something equipped with Intel’s Core i5 line of processors.

If you’ve seen anything from your end, please let us know and we’ll have more on this as it comes in.

Initial Benchmarks Appear for Unreleased Core i7-Powered MacBook Pro

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Date: Monday, February 8th, 2010, 07:23
Category: MacBook, MacBook Pro, News, Processors

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There’s a new wave of MacBook notebooks en route.

And it may arrive sooner rather than later.

Per Canadian web site, Geekbench, a recent set of test appears to have show an unreleased Arrandale MacBook Pro notebook running at 2.66 GHz according to MacRumors.

The processor shown is listed as an Intel Core i7 M 620 running at 2.66GHz with a Turbo frequency up to 3.33 GHz. The Intel Core i7 M 620 functions as a high end dual core processor with Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading features.

The MacBook Pro model designation is listed as “6,1″ and has a non-shipping build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 (Build 10C3067).

The original article reports that supplies of MacBooks have been constrained according to international resellers, adding to the belief new Apple laptops are forthcoming.

Intel officially unveiled the Core i3, i5 and i7 processors at last month’s CES trade show in Las Vegas.

The new chips fall under the brands of Core i3 for low-end systems, Core i5 for midrange systems and Core i7 for the fastest systems.

The new processors include dual-core laptop chips under the three brands running between 1.06GHz and 2.66GHz, and desktop chips running between 2.93GHz and 3.46GHz.

According to Intel, the Intel Core i5 processor features: “4-way multi-task processing that allows each core of your processor to work on two tasks at the same time, delivering the performance you need for smart multitasking.”

Last month, Intel pulled an internal ad showing a MacBook running with the Core i5 processor. The MacBook was being offered as a prize as part of the Intel Retail Edge Program, and was sent out in promotional emails. The ad was later replaced with one offering an HP Envy laptop as a replacement.

Users Report Window Rendering Bug on MacBooks Under Mac OS X 10.6.X

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Date: Thursday, January 14th, 2010, 06:18
Category: MacBook, Software

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As much as you may like Mac OS X, there may still be some bugs to hash out. Per CNET, several MacBook users have reported experiencing a problem in OS X where the system shows areas of graphics corruption around windows. The corruption appears to be a black area of blocky lines in no particular pattern, and seems to be in the area of the window’s shaded region, moving with the window when it is moved.

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The behavior seems to be specific for computers that are running Intel GMA X3100 graphics chipsets. It started occurring with Mac OS X 10.6 for some people, though for others the 10.6.1 update spurred the problem, and as of the latest 10.6.2 release this problem has not been addressed. The issue seems to happen most when multimedia files are being played, especially with beta versions of Adobe flash are being used. From user descriptions, the problem seems to stem from a bug waiting to be fixed in the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system.

Recent reports suggest Apple is working on significantly improving support for more OpenGL 3.0 functions and extensions in OS X 10.6.3, which implies Apple will be updating the graphics drivers in the next update. Hopefully the bug that is causing this problem will be addressed then.

In the meantime, you can try the following fixes and workarounds:

- Reset PRAM and SMC.

- Boot into safe mode and clear caches with OnyX or other maintenance utility.

- Try a different user account.

- Try different graphics settings (bit depth, resolution).

This glitch won’t hurt anything and only affects the MacBook’s rendering of window shadows, which can still be interacted with normally. If you’ve seen this issue on your end and found your own fix or workaround, please let us know.

Intel Promo E-Mail Points to Core i5-Based MacBook Pro

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Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2010, 06:05
Category: MacBook Pro, Processors

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If you’re currently hankering for a forthcoming MacBook Pro featuring Intel’s new Core i5 processor, it may be en route.

Per AppleInsider, an e-mail promotion sent from Intel to members of Intel’s Retail Edge promotional program highlight a forthcoming MacBook Pro from Apple sporting the Core processor.

The promotion was included in an e-mail sent out to U.S. members of the Intel Retail Edge Program. It reads: “January Prize Draw: Win a MacBook Pro. Pass this month’s trainings for 2 chances to win one of 2 MacBook Pro laptops with the accelerated response of an Intel Core i5 processor.”

Currently, the top MacBook Pro features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

The Intel Retail Edge Program allows retail employees who sell Intel products to access technical knowledge and sales tips, which allows them to earn “chips” which can be exchanged for products. The program also offers occasional contests and giveaways.

Last week at CES, Intel formally introduced its new line of processors, which included the new Core i3, i5 and i7 chips. The mobile Core i5 is considered to be a likely candidate for a coming MacBook Pro refresh.

Apple is expected to host an event Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to introduce new products. While most speculation has centered around a tablet being unveiled at the event, Apple could also use it as an opportunity to refresh its MacBook Pro line.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here you go:
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Adium Updated to 1.3.9

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Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 04:40
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.9.

The new version, a 21.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- 1.6 +Version 1.3.9 (01/11/2010).
- Updated libpurple to fix a security issue with custom emoticons.
- Corrected user icons not updating correctly on Snow Leopard.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Intel Releases Core i3, i5 and i7 Processors at CES

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Date: Friday, January 8th, 2010, 07:21
Category: Processors

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Over at CES, Intel released its next generation of processors under the Core i3 brand for low end systems, the Core i5 brand for midrange systems and the Core i7 brand for the fastest systems. The new processors include dual-core laptop chips under the three brands running between 1.06GHz and 2.66GHz, and desktop chips running between 2.93GHz and 3.46GHz.

Per Macworld UK, the new chips are manufactured using the 32-nanometer process, which makes them smaller and more power-efficient than earlier chips. Based on the Westmere architecture, the transistors are a step away from chips manufactured using the 45-nanometer process.

Intel will announce quad-core chips and low-voltage processors based on the architecture later this year, said Sean Maloney, executive vice president at Intel, during a press conference.

Compared to previous generations of processors, the new processors speed up high-end tasks like intense graphics as well as mundane tasks like syncing a music player, Maloney said. Related tasks would run close to two times faster than previous chips.

Intel has also integrated graphics chips into the new processor package, which could make the chips capable of playing Blu-ray movies or high-definition games.

But the graphics processors have some limitations. “It doesn’t go into the high end… you always get a big fat graphics chip with a heat sink on it,” Maloney said.

Laptop responsiveness will also improve with the Turbo Boost mode, which can crank up the speed of cores to boost performance. The technology can also shut down cores when not needed to save power.

Intel launched three Core i3, eight Core i5, and five Core i7 processors for laptops and desktops. Maloney went on to state that there are presently 500 designs based on the new chips and that the chips are available immediately, and many desktops and laptops were on show on the CES show floor at Intel’s booth.

The laptop processors include five Core-i7 chips, including the 620M chip that runs at 2.66GHz and is priced at US$332 for 1,000 units. The slowest chip is the low-power 620UM chip, which runs at 1.06GHz and is priced at US$278. Two Core i3 chip were listed for laptops, including the i3-350M, which runs at 2.26GHz.

The chip’s price was not immediately available. Four Core i5 chips for laptops were also listed, including the Corei5-540M, which runs at up to 2.53GHz and is priced at US$257. A Core i5-520UM low-power chip runs at 1.06GHz and is priced at US$241.

The new desktop processors include two Core i5 and two Core i3 chips. The fastest Core i5 chip is the Core i5-670, which runs at 3.46GHz and is priced at US$284. The fastest Core i3 chips is the Core i3-540, which runs at 3.06GHz and is priced at US$133.

Westmere is based on the underpinnings of the Nehalem architecture, which itself included new features included an integrated memory controllers. Nehalem chips were manufactured using the 45-nm process and introduced late last year.

No official word has been released as to which processors will find their way into future Apple products.

Google Chrome 4.0.249.49 Beta Released for Mac

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Date: Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 05:47
Category: Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 4.0.249.49 for the Mac. The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, offers the following the following change:

- This release includes a relatively minor update that corrects a potential issue with our auto-update processes for Mac users.

Google Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.

Initial Intel Arrandale Processor Benchmarks Released, Chips En Route to MacBook Pro Near You

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Date: Monday, January 4th, 2010, 07:31
Category: News, Processors

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With Macworld Expo and CES only days away, Intel’s Arrandale dual-core processor line is also set to debut this month with some of the processors finding their way into Apple’s MacBook Pro notebooks.

Responding to this, the cool cats at PC Magazine have posted benchmark tests pitting Intel’s new 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-540M from ASUS against a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9500, as well as a 2GHz Intel Core i7-920XM.

“We’ve seen incremental bumps in speeds (percentages in the teens) when Intel launches new processors for the same platform, but when you swap out an entire motherboard and everything that goes with it, the change can be quite significant,” they said. “Cinebench R10 is a multi-threaded benchmark test that took full advantage of the Core i5-540M’s HyperThreading technology, beating the T400s’s similarly clocked Core 2 Duo P9500 CPU by a 62% margin.”

The Arrandale mobile processors were released alongside their Clarksdale counterparts and the two chips share the same architecture, which features a 32nm Westmere core paired with a 45nm chipset. The new 32nm chips offer improved speed, better graphics performance and lower power consumption. They will also allow motherboards to become smaller.

An article over at Tom’s Hardware found that the new processors strike a good balance between speed found on desktop machines, with power consumption low enough to support a mobile device. These gains, in early tests, come without the inclusion of a discrete graphics card.

In a test of ripping CDs to the AAC format within iTunes, the new Arrandale mobile processor performed the task 10 seconds better than its Penryn predecessor, clocking in at 1:36 on the task.

The review found that the 35W Core i5-540M uses more power under load, but uses quite a bit less power than the Core 2 Duo P8700 processor during downtime. Average power consumption was said to be 32.9W for the Arrandale and 31.7W for Penryn.

The new processors are set to improve upon the previous line of Intel’s Core 2 Duo chips, which have been utilized in versions of Apple’s new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac. Apple uses the mobile variants of Intel’s desktop chips for those systems, meaning machines with chips based on the Arrandale architecture could arrive soon.

Unlike the Core 2 Duo CPUs, the Arrandale processors will have the major northbridge chipset memory controller components built in. Currently, Apple uses Nvidia chipsets with its Mac lineup. The architectural changes found in the Arrandale line, along with an ongoing lawsuit that has forced Nvidia to halt the development of future chipsets, would likely make it difficult for Apple to continue with Nvidia.

Apple last updated its MacBook Pro line in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Those systems included Core 2 Duo processors and Nvidia graphics, along with cheaper prices, better displays and built-in batteries. Intel intends to release 17 new CPUs in early 2010, which will be highlighted at this week’s CES event.

Google Chrome 4.0.249.43 Released for Mac

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Date: Friday, December 18th, 2009, 05:50
Category: News

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 4.0.249.43 for the Mac. The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes in the beta:

- Fixed several common crashes.
- Added a notification says “xxx is synched.” if you are already synced and click that button.
- Known issue: You’ll get an error when checking for updates using the About Google Chrome dialog. ‘Update server not available’ (error : 12). Regardless of the error message, the update is successful.

Google Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.