Davao Mac User

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Which to choose? Powerbook or iBook?

Are you switching but you don’t know which to get? MacOpinion’s Road Warrior tells you whether the current 12″ Powerbook’s price is justified as compared to that of the most current 12″ iBook’s price.

The current 12″ Powerbook was released on January 2005 and the 12″ iBook were released just this month. So, if you buy the 12″ PB, is 50% more that you pay really worth it? Click on the link to find out.

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Miscellanews

What is the iPod generation? It is described as, “
Insecure, Pressured, Over-taxed and Debt-ridden.” Ouch.

Detroit News has a survey asking people what kind of pricing do they want in iTMS. Not surprsingly, 83% prefers the $0.99 pricing scheme.

One guy decided to see what makes the iTunes party shuffle tick. He wanted to know whether his iTunes prefered 5-stars rated song more than other songs.

Did you know that 2.5GB of RAM today bought in 1983 would have cost $23,920,000? Wow!

You can see how the Mac OS has changed through the years: from System 0.0 to Tiger.

Intel has introduced a new way to measure how good your PC’s processor is. Instead of the usual Megahertz yardstick, it will be “performace-per-watt.” Intel also introduced new processors for notebooks, desktops, and servers. There will also be new processors for “handtop” PCs.

Macteens offers instructions in PHP programming.

And finally, learn the strategies in backing up your Mac OS X.

That’s all folks. Time to upgrade Safari.

Update: August 31, 2005:
Some guy has invented a motion-based iPod remote control. This means you can control your ipod by moving your hand or your arm. There are some movie files where there is a demonstration on controlling the iPod by this neat invention. Can’t wait to see if this will be available commercially.

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iPod and iTunes news

Apple will be selling 7.1 million iPods this current quarter and probably more after news of a special event on September 7th. Media outlets were sent emails with the subject, “1,000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again.”

With the 7.1 million estimate, no wonder Rio curled up and died. This is touted to be a blow to Apple’s competitors. Non-ipod digital music players may have all the bells and whistles but they simply can’t get what iPod has.

Apple’s music empire may be under threat from rival online music stores as well as from the music industry itself. There are talks that the subcription type of service will kill off iTMS but Walt Mossberg doesn’t think so. He still prefers to own his music rather than rent it. Steve Jobs is most likely going to be in a showdown with 2 of the 4 record labels that is currently being offered in iTMS. These two companies want to change the $0.99 pricing scheme to suit their greed. The president of Napster also said that Jobs has lured people into a hardware trap.

But no matter how much iTunes Music Store’s rivals and music execs huff and puff, Apple’s success comes from the seamless integration of iPod, iTunes, and iTMS. 80 per cent of music bought online comes from iTMS, this makes the AAC format as the de facto standard. Of course, this doesn’t stop stupid people from excluding the millions of iPod owners from listening to audiobooks.

Update: August 31, 2005
One gal thinks the reason why downloading songs from P2P is rampant is that it’s not because it’s free but because it’s there. Read more of Annalee Newitz’s article on the controversy that is P2P and how some people would like to see it closed down while some has decided to embrace it and make some money out of it.

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More viruses for your PC… and your digital music player

Times are tough for Microsoft Windows users. Worms have been coming out of the woodwork (pun intended) to infect their PCs recently. Last week, the Zotob worm wreaked havoc throughout the world and it is not just individuals that are hardest hit. North Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles was hit. Another worm has also hit 13 Daimler-Chrysler plants. Still another worm infected Windows 2000 PCs in CNN, ABC, The New York Times and Caterpillar Inc.

The writers of the Zotob and MyTob worms were caught in Turkey and Morocco, respectively, by FBI agents but there are sure more to come.

If you think worms and viruses can only be gotten from the net, well, don’t worry, Creative will give you one for free. 3,700 Creative Neeon were shipped with a worm known as Wullik. Glad to see that Creative is doing something really creative to beat Apple.. There’s no way Apple can compete this time. Imagine, free worm in every digital music player.

And if worms are viruses were not enough, trojans has stolen information from thousands of Windows users. Information such as passwords from online accounts to 50 banks, Ebay and Paypal logins, hundreds of credit card numbers and reams of personal data. Are you having fun yet? Well, a school in the US has rediscovered the fun of worrying about viruses when they ditched Apple in favor of Dell.

Your Mac has a virus. But not to worry, McAfee has released Virex for Mac. But really, do you need it?

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More iPod and iTunes news

They’re at it again. Apple’s competitors are touting their “iPod killers.” Samsung has announced that they will be releasing sixteen new digital music players. Yup. You’ve read it right. Sixteen. Six by the end of this year and another ten on 2006. They seem to think that numbers will be enough to take on the iPod line, not learning from their past mistakes. People would like to own a cool looking device but looks aren’t everything. Equally as important is usability and function. And from the market’s reaction, Samsung has neither of the two. MDN

Sony, in the meantime, has released their Walkman Beans to challenge the iPod shuffle. Beans! Beans! Beans! The muscial fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot! Let’s see how much Sony’s latest product stinks. MDN

More and more companies are offering iPods as an incentive for their customers to try out their products. The article cites Gap (offering a free iTunes song for trying on a pair of jeans), Bankone, Chase, and Citibank (each offering iPod shuffles to new customers) as a few of the many companies that has woven in Apple’s products into their merchandise.

In a rather strange (and sad) note, one of the models for Apple’s iPod silhoutte campaign, a dancer and a nanny, can’t afford to buy an iPod. She said that a $400 iPod is too much and her dancing and nannying earns just enough for her family.

It’s Microsoft and the Dave Mattews Band vs. Apple’s iTunes and iPod. The Dave Mattews Band has decided that they don’t want Mac users to listen to their songs. So, they encoded their latest album in Microsoft’s WMA-DRM laden music format. If that wasn’t mean enough, now they want Mac users to appeal to Apple to collaborate with the “industry” so that they can listen to their music. I’m trying to remember a song that DuMB has made. Nope. Sorry. Can’t remember a damn thing. You’re not worth it DuMB.

For those who are annoyed, irritated, exasperated to those who are ranting about the iPod, then you are not alone. Corilyn Shropshire of Post-Gazette.com apparently is also fed up, too. She rants about how much hype there is surrounding the iPod and there’s a league, a crowd, a mob of iPod-haters out there, too. They have started going out into the net spreading the news that the iPod is over-hyped and over-stated. The article features a couple of these I-am-fed-up-with-iPod individuals. This piece goes so wel with Peter “The Dork” Griffin’s write up about who much he hates iTMS.

If there are naysayers then there are the umm… yeasayers(?). Jose Antonio Vargas writes about how the love story between man and iPod. The iPod has become more than a digital gadget accesory, it has become a “personal memory bank.” It allows people to travel back to a particular moment in time at the prompting of a song that a user plays. One user recalls that at first it was a monotonous uploading of music from his CD collection and then listening to it. But later on he noticed that he has started to reach far back into his life when he was 20, 15, or even, 10 years old to try to remember the songs that made each of those times memorable. The iPod is a great gadget: it lets you escape the everyday turmoil by wrapping yourself in your chosen music. It also accompanies you during your workout. But most of all, it’s a time machine, being able to take you back to enjoy and relive the things that were worth remembering.

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Yet another reason to the switch: Zotob

No, Zotob isn’t a new drug or the name of an alien in Apple’s “Switch” campaign. If you have had your head stuck in a hole somewhere or isn’t a tech/gadget/internet savvy individual, then you probably don’t know that Zotob is the latest internet worm to attack Windows. The write up says, “There is absolutely no fool-proof methodology to stop yourself from these hacker attacks or viruses.” Not true, says Paul Murphy

Well, actually, yes there is. World wide, how many Sun Ray users have been shut down, ever, because of virus or worm attacks? That’s none, zero, not one, not ever. And do you know how many Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris users were affected by the last one hundred internet worms and or viruses to make the rounds? That’s right again, none.

MDN

For those who are really fed up with viruses, worms, and trojans running amuck in their Windows PC, Walt Mossberg offers resources for those who are interesed in switching to Mac. His article, Books for Switching to Macintosh, offers a reader books on the transition from Windows to Mac. Mossberg cites David Pogue’s and David Coursey’s books as well as Apple’s Switch site. MDN

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Kensington = A4Tech

This is not much in the way of a news but I was surprised to find out the Kensington’s keyboard look very much like A4Tech’s keyboard. As a matter of fact, I think they are one and the same.
Kensington-keyboard-400px

2380-1B

Even their chargers are the same.
Kensington-base-400px
KBS-2380RP-5B

I got the same keyboard for around $30 but it’s selling for $54 in the US. Man, the things branding can do. It’s a pain the butt.

The Kensington keyboard, along with other keyboards, is reviewed by ARS Technica

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Apple’s roadkill!

Reuters reports about the whining roadkill. The once top illegal software and music download supported, Napster, has cried boohoo because their music won’t play in Apple’s iPods. According to an eMusic executive, Apple is holding back the growth of the market. This after Apple has helped popularized legal music downloads and helped the music industry fight against piracy. Whine whine whine.MDN

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12" iBook (1.33GHz, 512MB) review from MacTeens

For those who are interested in knowing more about the latest 12″ iBook that Apple has to offer, click on down to MacTeens and check it out. I think this is the model that my cousin from Canada, Aivory, got. The iBook came with a free iPod mini, too. She says that even though she has been using the iBook for just a couple of weeks, she’s really happy the she got the iBook. I get the impression that it is exceeding her expectations. I think she’s been trying to convince her friends and her dad to switch to Mac. Let’s see how it goes.

She’s already bought several products from Apple or for her Apple stuff: ipod, mini, shuffle, itrip, wireless mouse, airport express, and lately, the iBook.

Back to the review. The review is refreshing that it is like other reviews that are too technical. This is a users point of view: plain and simple. This is probably the last update before the Intel-based Macs come out next year. I don’t think there’s anything left to add in the iBook. Unless they put Superdrive as standard even in the 12″ models. That would be a hoot!

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iPod and iTunes news stories (updated)

The good news:

Canadian iPod owners rejoice! Your Supreme Court has decided that the levy imposed on blank media is invalid when it comes to iPods (and other digtial music players). The tariff was $2 for non-removable memory capacity of up to one gigabyte, $15 for one to 10 GB, and $25 for more than 10 GB. Apple Canada will be giving refunds to their customers but no details yet on how.

On another story, Creative Technology, maker of Nomad and Zen MP3 players, had a quarter loss and wrote off unsold stocks. On top of that, their stock has dropped 26 percent in the past 12 months. MDN

Update: August 15, 2005:
Paul Thurott thinks that there will never be such a thing as an iPod-killer. This is after Microsoft, Creative, Nokia, and several companies have been yakking about the “soon” to be released iPod-killer. Their “soon” has come and gone and still nothing. Microsoft et al are just shooting blanks. MDN

Cell phone-music player hybrids are blown away by iPods when it comes to usability and music quality. And they say Nokia will blow away iPod. Ha!

And now for the bad news…

Apple’s patent application for the iPod’s menu-based software interface was rejected MDN, and if stories are correct, the rejection is because of a Microsoft researcher. The unknown researcher filed the patent 7 months before the iPod was launched hence edging out Apple. MDN Other stories about this disturbing development can be found in Dallas News MDN

(Update: August 15, 2005)
Here’s an update on the news about Microsoft beating Apple to the punch on iPod’s menu interface patent. SeattlePI has quoted Rob Enderle of the “Enderle group” (actually, the ‘group’ only has two people in it: Rob and his wife. Such a lonely group) as saying, “It’s incredibly embarassing.” But then again, anything that Enderle says should be taken with a grain of salt. He has had the tendency to say stupid things.

And as if to rebut Enderle, Arik Hesseldahl, a patent lawyer, has said that the patent fuss is much ado about nothing as report by BusinessWeek. Technically, Apple is not yet finished in the application process. Apple said that they “will continue to pursue this patent application, as well as the many others covering iPod innovations. Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application cited by the examiner was filed.” And that the matter regarding the patent hoohah is not as bad as it seems. MDN

Lastly, Forbes mentions that even though Microsoft patent application sounds almost the same that of how the iPod does things, “the patents in question might not even be directly related.” It firther adds, “Indeed, news articles suggested that Microsoft’s patent surrounds the iconic iPod clickwheel. But its patent has to do more with the organization and delivery of digital media items.” So, it is much ado about nothing.MDN

Some audio CDs now have copy-protection technology which prevents users from copying music from the CD to the PCs. Apple, however, has posted a support article to allow users to import from copy-protected audio discs. The solution is:

1. Make sure you can import tracks from other audio CDs with your optical drive. If you can import tracks from other CDs, make sure the disc is clean and free from debris and scratches.
2. If the disc contains additional multimedia, the disc may have been created in a way that does not allow the audio portion to be imported into iTunes. You should contact the manufacturer of the disc for additional assistance with these types of discs.
3. Certain audio discs may contain copyright protection mechanism that prevent users who do not have appropriate rights from reproducing the contents of the discs on other media. You should contact the manufacturer of the audio disc for information on the type of disc provided. MDN

The ugly…

Consumer Reports says that 20-per cent of Mac users ‘detected’ virus in the last two years. Hogwash! These Mac users with anti-virus software (did they really need it?) probably detected Windows viruses. I haven’t heard of any Mac OS X user complaining of a virus problem. Sloppy and bad research. Reminds me of the doddering, decrepit, senile board members in where I work.

Hey! I’m working. At least I think I’m working. Ah, well…

More bad reporting comes from the dorky looking Peter Griffin of NZ Herald. In his piece he is insuating that Apple is creating a monopoly in the digital music downloading industry and that iTunes Music Store has a very limited selection of songs (1 million and counting) just because he couldn’t find his favorite songs. The funny thing is, he thinks Apple is not playing fair by not allowing other digital music players to download songs from iTMS or not allowing the songs bought from iTMS to play in other players other than iPods. But he doesn’t think that copyrighting audio CDs is not fair. Idiot.

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On July 21, I moved my blog to its own server.

So www.davaomacuser.com no longer points to davaomacuser.wordpress.com.

I've already got a few new posts over there so please join me at www.davaomacuser.com.

See you there. Thanks!

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