Sony preparing nano-competitor?
According to several news-blurbs (linked: in German with links to Asian sites), Samsung is delivering large amounts of NAND flash memory to Sony (even more than to Apple) for use in an MP3 player.
While this is not directly an imminent threat for iPod nano sales, let's not forget that Sony can make nice designs, and a large part of the iPod nano's success is thanks to the use of NAND flash memory, which lets it be the size of a flash memory player (which it is), but with storage of a small harddrive-based player.
The technology will be even more important once the chips come as 8 GB parts to enable 16 and 32 GB players sometime in 2006.
More Yonah benchmarking
"In the past, power users on the go had to sacrifice mobility for CPU power, but with the Core Duo, that is no longer the case." - This is what Anandtech has to say in their second article about the new mobile processor. It's important, while looking at the colourful charts, to keep in mind that the Pentium M and Yonah (Core Duo) processors are the only ones aimed at mobile computing.
Anandtech also states that the only thing intel has to really improve in order to leave AMD in the dust again come the end of 2006, is gaming performance. But let's be clear about this, too: You probably won't buy an intel PowerBook for gaming. So rather look at the media tests (Photoshop tests, encoding video, audio etc.).
Yonah notebooks start to pop up...
... in announcements, not actual products yet. NEC "unveiled" theirs today, although the specifics about the processor used (as well as the notebook's pricing) are not yet available. Either way: When Apple will announce their Yonah-using i- and PowerBooks in the first quarter of 2006, they're not going to be the first makers. Maybe they will be the first to actually ship a computer based on Yonah? Who knows how close intel and Apple are. It's certainly interesting to see how this plays out. Will Apple be in the role of the long-lost son or the ugly stepchild at the intel family?
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G22
Apple is wrapping up development on the forthcoming update to Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4.4. The newest build has one known bug, and that is Open GL related memory leaking. Apple is expected to release the build after 8G22 - which has been seeded to developers - through Software Update at the beginning of next week, unless new bugs appear in either 8G20 or 8G22 (testers haven't had much time with those two builds yet).
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G20
Apple last night seeded build 8G20 of the forthcoming update to Tiger to developers. There are still about five known issues (plus maybe newer ones and issues new for this build), but it looks like the goal of having 10.4.4 ready before the new year could be met. The combo updater will be a little over 110 MB once this is released, the delta updater that will be available through Software Update will be much smaller, of course (depending on the up-to-date state of your machine).
Development of 10.4.4 has shown progress on intel hardware as well, although build numbers are expected to vary between platforms while Apple brings the development efforts together. But feature-wise, by now the internal intel builds are up-to-date with the PPC builds (some executables still run through Rosetta on intel, though - this will probably stay this way until Leopard).
Sony-BMG rethinking copy protection.
Sony-BMG manager Thomas Hesse today told BBC News that the bad publicity coming from their copy protection scheme would have consequences. That they're thinking about new copy protection schemes etc. He also mentioned that copyright violations were a big problem for the music industry, and that those were the very source for the current problems. Then again, I don't think this excuse should hold in a court. We don't start fighting crime with crime just yet, or do we, Thomas?
13.3" intel iBook?
ThinkSecret claims: "The 13.3-inch widescreen iBook is said to sport a WXGA resolution of 1280x720." (Probably 1280*768, at least we'd hope so...) The new model would replace the 14" model, the 12" model's form factor would be untouched. However, TS also notes that the 12" PowerBook will probably not be continued into the intel era. Rumours of a 13" widescreen iBook/PowerBook have a long history - and certainly Apple wants to further promote wide screens.
Yahoo! Renames! Konfab!
As we all probably know, Konfabulator has been taken over by Yahoo! - and now Yahoo! releases its new version, and calls it Yahoo! Widget Engine 3.0. The software comes for Windows and Mac OS X (8.4 MB for Mac) and now includes among many others the Yahoo! Mail Widget and the Yahoo! Maps Widget.
Safari for Panther continued
While Tiger users get newer versions of Safari and WebKit with almost every update to Tiger, Panther (Mac OS X 10.3.x) users have to wait in line for their updates. They still get security updates on a regular basis, but the functionality of Panther has been kept at the state of 10.3.9.
Now, Apple is testing a newer version of Safari (1.3.2) for Panther. Here, too, users won't see any new functionality concerning the application. However changes in WebKit will allow Panther users to use Safari with more websites that earlier could have been troubled.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G17
Apple seeds yet another 10.4.4 build, adding a couple of changes (for example in the code for both ATi and nVidia graphics cards), removing a few items from the known issues list (adding a couple of others, while at it)... Not quite ready for prime-time just yet.
ArsTechnica slashes Aperture
It always takes some time to read ArsTechnica's reviews - but it's always worth it. This one about Aperture, Apple's new pro photography application, is no exception. And the verdict, although it seems a bit harsh if you read it at first, is fair. And bad enough for Apple: "At this stage Aperture is a big, expensive misfire and considering the hefty price tag, I can't think of a reason to recommend it." - We have to admit: When Apple talks about it, it sounds like the one solution to professional digital photographers, but apparently, it just isn't (yet).
IBM decided not to do a notebook G5?
Today's CEO of Freescale, Michel Mayer, was previously the person working at IBM who 'sold' Steve Jobs the G5 processor, when Steve Jobs for the first time wanted to go with intel five years ago. Today, he says (links to second page of c|net's interview): "And then IBM decided not to take the G5 into the laptop and decided to really focus its chip business on the game consoles." Now doesn't this sound very much unlike what IBM had us believe. I don't want to take sides here, but I get the feeling that maybe Apple should have gone intel the first time, but better late than never. In related news, digitimes reports that the first intel Macs are due on the 6th of June 2006 - not in January, as some sources tell us (and many other rumour sites predict).
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G14
Apple has seeded the new build both for Server and Client versions of OS X. The client version (combo updater) weighs in at roughly 112 MB (delta updaters will, of course, be much smaller, so don't expect over 100 MB worth of improvements over 10.4.3!) and contains a lot of changes in AirPort, Bluetooth, WebKit etc. as well as the usual "general improvements". Although some sources claim Apple's preparing for a pre-christmas release, others point out that the work is mainly aimed at supporting new hardware that will come out in early January (and is cross-platform, as Apple is internally keeping intel 10.4.4 builds up-to-date with the PowerPC builds now.
Either way: 8G14 still has a couple of known issues as well as probably some that will crop up over the next week. We currently expect 10.4.4 to reach well into 8G2x builds if not 8G3x numbers.
Mac OS X threatened by security issues?
The question pops up every other week or month, for example today on SecurityFocus (owned by Symantec?). According to their report, Mac OS X had about as much vulnerabilities fixed this year as Windows XP. Their verdict is that the time for Mac users "not to worry" is over. I have to respectfully disagree.
The BIG problem in security (as in Windows' lack of, rather) is that unpatched (and even patched) systems are automatically attacked as soon as they're connected to the internet. Or using Outlook. Or using Internet Explorer. Systems are attacked without the computer or its user being a specific target: They're just attacked because they can be attacked.
The private Mac user, however, can turn his/her computer on without a firewall between the Mac and the 'net without having to fear that the computer would be infiltrated after a couple of minutes or even hours. If the computer is a target (because of information that's on it specifically!), the unpatched vulnerabilities are certainly something to look into - as is a dedicated firewall device and checking logfiles and comparing checksums for 'interesting' UN*X tasks (via rootkit scanners, for example). But for the general Mac user, the online-life certainly is still a whole lot different compared to that of a Windows user, who needs antiviral software, anti-rootkits and spyware-detectors just to be able to keep on checking E-Mails...
So please: Stop the FUD, SecurityFocus...
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