The Apple Core: MacBook WiFi hacker cancels talk

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

Instead of a planned presentation WiFi hacker Johnny Ellch delivered only a prepared statement at ToorCon, San Diego’s annual security conference on Saturday.
I reported last week that Maynor and Ellch were scheduled to speak at ToorCon, where the inflammatory duo’s “complete story” of their infamous MacBook WiFi hack was to be told. The talk was supposed to “offer analysis and commentary of public responses while at the same time giving anyone who has a question a chance to have it answered” according to the hyperbole on the conference Web site.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

(more…)

More Bad News for Enviro Mac-Heads: MacBooks are Toxic

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 01:11
Category: Environment

We all know that Greenpeace isn’t too happy with Apple’s commitment to the environment. The latest news is that Apple portables have some of the highest amounts of toxic chemicals in them of 5 manufacturers tested (Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Sony). The MacBook has the highest concentration of tetrabromobisphenol A, which is a flame retardant.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

(more…)

MacBook Overheat Analyzed: Recall Brewing?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 6th, 2006, 09:00
Category: MacBook

Since isolating the heatsink as the cause of the MacBook’s Rapid Sudden Shutdown (RSS), readers have isolated the specific part of the heatsink that is causing the problem, is actually the CPU thermometer itself.
Essentially the heatsink can expand during use, and comes into contact with the lead from the termometer’s sensor cable. A short circuit results, and the SMC pulls the plug. Once the system cools down, the heatsink resides and the contact is broken. This also explains why sometimes you cannot immediately power the MacBook back on. The heatsink is still in contact with the metal lead.
Apple’s solution to this is to realign the location of the thermometer and cabling on the heatsink so that it does not short circuit. That is why the new heatsink is necessary. In the view of this writer, it warrants a public recall. Any user can produce easily the scenario that causes the MacBook to crash, even with pre-installed applications such as iLife.
This also explains Apple’s recent SMC Update for the MacBook. In short, the ramped up fan is a response to Apple knowing the heatsink is going to expand, and attempts to proactively cool it down to prevent the short circuit.
Unfortunately, as countless users have shown, it is still possible with something as simple as a terminal command, to overheat the CPU. The only solution is to reproduce the crash, call Apple, and have them replace the heatsink.
That is what every MacBook owner should do until Apple implements a recall program.
Contributed by: Christopher Price – www.pcsintel.com

(more…)

MacBook Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS) Isolated

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 5th, 2006, 08:00
Category: MacBook

Chris Price has found an update on MacBook Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS). Apple has isolated it to a design flaw in the heatsink. He called Apple and asked why his MacBook repair was “on hold” and they said that they were waiting for one part, a heatsink.
It’s hard to say what’s wrong with it, it could be a flaw with the installation (like, a gallon of thermal grease), or something with the design of the unit itself. I suspect that they’ve retooled the heatsink since many people are listed as “on hold” waiting for this one part.
UPDATED 01 September 2006:
Apple has posted a ridiculous knowledge base article on the topic that simply says “If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service.”

(more…)

Crumpler $4M Home; The Horseman

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 30th, 2006, 11:42
Category: Luggage

PowerPager Bob Snow adds to the bag discussion:

My first exposure to Crumpler was about 4 years ago in S.F. I was staying in “Graphics Gulch” and they have some superb photo galleries and pro level camera shops.
Last week I bought a 4 Million Dollar Home (the Crumpler camera bag, not the home) for US$58 at Circuit City. It comes in a metallic box with a picture of an over the top Mansion. They make other sizes 1, 2 and 6 Million as well. My favorite Crumpler name is their “Baby Scarer”.
I also purchased a “Breakfast Buffet” cheap/used laptop bag I got on eBay and modified to fit my slightly too big MacBook. It is a great bag, but has no outside pockets for flat things like plane tickets. You always have to lift the flap, which makes me glad the laptop compartment has an extra Velcro closure.

…and Emory weighs in:
Crumpler's The Horseman

Crumpler’s The Cashmere Blazer was on my list until i figured out that it was huge. Not wanting something that large I settled on The Horseman (US$155):
My main bag that I travel and work with is a Boblbee Megalopolis backpack. It is the bag I always come back to, but sometimes I don’t want to carry a backpack. So I was looking into other types of bags, and was almost ready to order a messenger bag from Chrome when I saw this one.
This bag is designed to accommodate 15” and 17” laptops, and I’m usually carrying either a 12” PowerBook or a 15” ThinkPad. But I’m also usually slinging around notebooks, index cards, a book or two, my iPod and/or a Sony PSP, a Wacom tablet (much easier to manipulate OmniGraffle or Visio documents when you’re not using a mouse!) and other assorted bits. Usually some sort of camera is included, so being able to carry one of those as well is critical.
Its quite easy to stuff this thing to gills, but even fully-loaded it is quite manageable.
I love bags.

Read Emory’s complete Horseman review here.

(more…)

Seattle Times: Best computer for school? MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 28th, 2006, 09:27
Category: MacBook

I’ve always had a weakness for stationery, and the end of August is when it’s worst. I can get lost in a drugstore’s overstocked aisles of back-to-school gear for half an hour or more looking at notebooks and art supplies, reminiscing back to that transitional window between summer and fall.

But students today are just as likely to find themselves bathed in the LCD glow of the computer aisles of electronics chains. The question of which computer to take to school has become more important than which type of pens to buy.

In years past, I’d suppress my inner Mac booster and point out that you should weigh the school’s operating system suggestions (which typically means Microsoft Windows) in your deliberations, and I’d note in fairness that a Windows laptop can be better suited for some people.

Boy, am I glad I don’t have to do that anymore.

Get a MacBook.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Best computer for school? MacBook

(more…)