SMC Firmware Update for MacBooks
Apple has released a firmware update for the MacBook (non pro) that fixes the shutdown issues. Find it in Software Update...
New MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models released!
As expected, Apple's MacBook Pro page
and online store now shows the new 15 and 17 inch models to use the Core 2 Duo processor at 2.16 and 2.33 GHz. FW 800 on both models. Pricing: 1999 USD for the lowend 15" model, 2799 USD for the 17" model and 2499 USD for the faster 15" model. You can fit them with a harddrive of up to 200 GB now, and they all have DL burners. We expect the MacBooks to be updated in the coming two weeks as well.
It's five years today that Apple introduced the iPod. I guess we can safely say it's been a success. I've personally had three until now: A 2nd generation iPod 10 GB, a 4th generation iPod 40 GB and my current iPod 80 GB. And I don't see me having ever regretted buying them. Here's to the next five years!
Red iPod nano now online
The long-rumoured red initiative iPod has finally appeared on Apple's homepage
. Bono and Oprah will announce it today as well, apparently. It's a "normal" 4 GB iPod nano for 199 USD, but 10 USD of that price go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa
. If you've thought about getting a 4 GB nano, this one will not only look good (I think the red really
works...) but also help.
New Leopard seed
Apple has seeded build 9A283 of the forthcoming OS upgrade "Leopard", Mac OS X 10.5. The new build can only be installed cleanly - updating from the WWDC build is not supported. There are also some issues regarding installation on lower-end PPC Macs that will be solved in future builds. Several changes include iCal, Spotlight, Time Machine and iChat - although we expect to see various smaller fixes and changes when looking at the build for the coming days and weeks. Apple has previously only seeded one (the WWDC) build with a small update through Software Update to test that facility - they always do that once at some point early in development - but expectations are that seed-cycles will shorten towards the end of the year. Leopard is expected to be released in March 2007, when most of Vista's market blow will be over already. (And customers have headaches and feel hung over.) ;)
New MacBooks around the corner...
After delaying the release for several weeks because of some last-minute tweaking, Apple is said to be ready to unleash both the new MacBook Pro
models in the coming two weeks. Releases will, according to one source, be timed one week apart in order to give each product line its spotlight. The news should arrive, we're told, next Tuesday and the one after that.
Both lines will get the Core 2 Duo treatment. The Pro models will get the higher end part with larger Level 2 Cache, although even the lower-end model to be used in the black and white MacBook models should give the notebooks either a performance or battery boost - depending on what Apple wants to focus on. But don't expect a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo model to blow a 2 GHz Core Duo (old) model out of the water. For the Pro models, though, we expect a 25% performance increase across the board - plus, of course, the return of FW 800 to the 15" model.
Apple vs. Podcasting?
Maybe I'm just stupid, but I think Apple tries to hurt itself... They've started suing companies that use the term "podcast" or similar stuff ("mypodding" etc.). I get that they want to save "iPod" and their rights to it. It certainly was there before the term "podcast" came along. I'm *not* so sure, however, that podcast really has to mean "broadcasting to iPods". I mean: Most people listen to podcasts not on iPods, but on their computers, their _other_ digital music players or even burn stuff on CDs. A "pod" is just that. A pod. Apple took that word and slapped an "i" in front of it. That doesn't mean people can't still use the English word "pod", right? (Look it up if you're not sure what a "pod" is...)
In my opinion, "podcasting" puts MP3s and other data into a "pod" and "casts" that to the world. You certainly can put that "pod" into your "iPod", but you don't have to, need to and maybe don't even want to. Mainly if you haven't got an iPod - but even if you _do_, you might want to listen to them on a different medium. So "podcast" is certainly not directly depending on an iPod.
But worse: If Apple starts alienating the podcasting users out there by saying "That's *OUR* thing!", those users might start to take their podcasts out of iTunes' catalogue. You'll have to find the links yourself in a browser instead of using iTunes' very user friendly search&subscribe engine. In my opinion, Apple should not fight the ones supporting their platform(s). And that's what they're doing now. It might lead to podcasters leaving Apple's boat. But that's what's happening
already. Apple: iPod and iTunes are great. But nothing without its creative users.