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More Macbook Pro

I continue to stare at the continuing reviews and developments on issues surrounding the Macbook Pro.

Apple has issued some possible fixes for the whine emitted from some Macbook Pros. The whine might be fixed by resetting either the Power Management Unit or the PRAM and NVRAM.

Jason O’Grady says that the Macbook Pro’s Airport reception is better than that of the Powerbook’s.

Stuff Magazine’s review is without the gobbledygok and is easy to read.

Impressions from a first time switcher after a long time being with Windows. His gripes include the missing right-click and no hibernate. Links I found in this blog include: Loud Thinking (“The MacBook Pro simply rocks.”), Rob William’s blog (“…this machine is very fast …Apple says 4x over the G4. I was kind of skeptical about that. Not anymore.”), Riable Designs (“The MacBook Pro is one of the best machines you can buy (laptop or desktop) for Java development.”) and, Ben Skelton’s blog (“I’m really happy with the computer (minus the weird fan noise). It is super fast.”)

David Pogue calls the 15″ Macbook Pro “the finest laptop in the world, with a small serving of disappointment on the side.” His ‘disappointments’ include: absence of the S-video connector, FireWire 800, 8x dual-layer SuperDrive, and modem port; the expansion slot won’t accommodate older expansion cards and; Virtual PC and Classic programs won’t run on the new Macbook Pro. Old complaints just being echoed here.

Ars Technica reviewer gripes about the Magsafe coming off too easy, that the Macbook Pro doesn’t quite fit in her old Powerbook bag, and that the built-in iSight will deter government people from buying the Macbook Pro. These are the reasons why the Macbook Pro gets a 7.5 rating.

Walt Mossberg says that the Macbook Pro is ‘better than the PowerBook and better than the H-P (H-P Pavilion dv5000t),’ but adds that the speed ups are not as great as Apple claimed.

PC World gives the Macbook Pro a four out of five rating and the reviewer’s main complaints have to do with the one button trackpad and Apple choosing to go with the new Express Card slot. The reviewer suggests media professionals and enthusiasts hold off until their favorite multimedia apps are available as universal binaries. Otherwise, your typical user can go ahead and get a Macbook Pro since the applications like Microsoft Office runs well even under Rosetta.

In his latest write-up in InfoWorld, Tom Yager said he received his Macbook Pro on February 28, Tuesday, and things are going well for the two days he’s been using it.

According to HD Beat, the Macbook Pro plays H.264 movies well using 50% CPU on average. Ben Drawbaugh considers it as the ultimate portable HD machine,

Apple Matters writes a eulogy for the 15″ Powerbook.

The LEDs illuminating the Macbook Pro keyboard is much, much brighter than on the Powerbook. As comparison, the Macbook Pro’s backlight setting at one bar is much brighter than the Powerbook’s when set at full brightness.

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Week 9! Here’s your Apple and Tech News Mash-up

Jason Snell gives the rundown on what Intel inside Macs mean.

Apple’s been recognized as a leader in innovation and in a bold move, they switched to Intel last year. But the switch would be more difficult to Apple if two large companies didn’t support it: Microsoft and Adobe. This is why the two companies are perceived to hold the cards when it comes to switching of some companies to the Intel Macs. No company would like to buy the Intel Mac is their business is dependent on Microsoft Office or Adobe’s Creative Suite. It is therefore perceived that Apple’s move to Intel might looked at as a move into the corporate world, with Microsoft and Adobe’s blessings, of course. But still, Apple is more committed in the consumer space proven by the iPod’s huge success, from which Apple’s hopes to splash the iPod halo effect. “Innovation is Apple’s DNA,” Jobs said and in a world where mobility is key and the Internet is a growing, powerful force, people are more concerned on how and where they get their content rather than what box the content came in. This is where innovation comes in. Apple could be poised to grab people’s imagination with products that can stimulate the senses and be functional at the same time.

I agree with John Martellaro, a columnist for MyMac.com, that Apple flamers and naysayers are doing it to make money off Apple fanatics. They just write something shitty and like flies, Mac zealots go to their site and flame him. Of course, he doesn’t mind a bit since all those clicks generate money. So please, don’t click on the writers that write shit.

Steve Wozniak claims that Peter Nowak was putting words into his mouth. Wozniak said the he felt Peter Nowak used him and that Nowak ‘pushed’ him to say negative things against Apple and Intel. (Update: Peter Nowak issues a rebuttal to Wozniak’s denials and provides readers the audio file of the interview with Wozniak. Will this become a word war between the two and between Wozzies and un-Wozzies?).

Rob Enderle criticizes companies like Sophos and Symantec for telling hackers how to exploit computers by telling everyone about vulnerabilities. He said that these companies see money-making opportunities by making the Mac OS platform look bad and telling everyone about security exposures.

Paul Murphy of ZDNet says that George Ou’s analysis that Mac OS X is less secure than Windows was wholly erroneous.

Meet the creator of the recent Mac OS X ‘viruses’.

A Detriot News columnist advocates the use of hacked versions of Apple’s latest operating system and it might just entice you to buy a Mac.

An actor from Fox’s hit show, 24, is unhappy with Apple.

Apple trademarks “Macbook” and “FrontRow”.

The Sun Online said that the iPod made it to the list of the 21st Century’s Wonders of the World. The iPod is ranked second to the Glastonbury Festival. The festival is called as the “greatest music event in the history of mankind,” while the iPod is recognized for “revolutionising the music industry and long-held preconceptions of how we listen to music.” The list came from a poll conducted by a radio station which had 25,000 respondents.

People at the Music 2.0 conference are betting on mobile phone companies, on Yahoo! and on Sandisk to dethrone the iPod. They’re a bit put off that Apple didn’t bother to send anybody to their conference.

Samsung will release the YP-Z5 on March 5 and touted as the “iPod nano killer.” While Sony struggles to keep up with Apple in Japan.

The iPod has just become a whole lot bigger in the movies.

What if Microsoft decided to re-design the original iPod box? A hilarious spoof shows what the Microsoft-inspired design would look like. It’s nicely done and impressive.

Mad Dog in the Fog plots on a graph the number of songs the iTunes Music Store has sold, from the 1 millionth mark on May 15, 2003 up to the billionth song last February 24th.

The newly-independent UK metal band, Anathema, has asked fans to support it go through difficult times by buying their songs from iTunes.

By 2010, there will be 15 million active podcasts listeners, according to an estimate by e-Marketer.

More universities are jumping into podcasting, or as some of them would like to call it, ‘Course-casting.’ Some critics say that although providing courses as podcasts is a good idea, locking them into one software and one device isn’t. Case in point is Stanford’s podcasts of which the format can only be played only either in iTunes or in an iPod.

David Czespanski initially felt that iWeb felt “un-Apple-ish” when he encountered some problems at the start. He likes iWeb though except for the missing keyboard shortcuts. Read more of his review at Apple Matters.

John Patterson, the guy who can’t read and sued Apple for it, is an idiot, and here‘s why.

Some think Apple’s latest Intel ad is a mistake and that it further alienates people who are thinking of switching to a Mac.

Napster creator and Grokster’s former president say Apple and Steve Jobs will be toast.

Apple offers crossgrades for their pro applications.

How to…
Boot up your Intel Mac from your iPod or FireWire drives.
… do more with drag and drop.

Mac OS X browser showdown. Test the webpage you built on how it would look on Safari using SafariTest.

Make iChat more fun with Chax.

OnScreen DNA is a tool for teach about DNA.

Cool apps from Improv, Pastence.

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Jobs

Today, Steve Jobs turns 51.

Happy birthday, Mr. Jobs. Thanks for the great ride so far.

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Macbook Pro pictures, reviews, and issues

With every new gadget or device, the first few days or weeks are bound to be really busy. This entry will be for this week’s Macbook Pro buzz.

The Macbook Pro cometh
MacBook Pro pr0n are now being shown on the Internet. One from Jason O’Grady, one from UneasySilence and another from some guy who I think uses iWeb. Dan Pourhadi is also celebrating the arrival of his MacBook Pro, though no pictures yet.

How’s the juice?
O’Grady has posted benchmark and battery updates. On initial testing, the MacBook Pro went to involuntary sleep just after 2 hours and 38 minutes. This is with the wireless options on and the screen a near full brightness but pretty much nothing else was happening. O’Grady said he will perform more real world tests. He’s also noticed that the MBP is generating as much heat as his old Powerbook.

Macworld’s Jason Snell posts his impressions on his new 15″ Macbook Pro after using it for twenty-four hours. He first transferred his files from his old Powebook using Migration Assistant. He then noted that his new system was bogging down. This turned out to be the fault of Spotlight, which at that time was still indexing all his files. After Spotlight has done, the Macbook Pro was much more responsive as compared to the Powerbook. Applications like Microsoft Office and Eudora which were running under Rosetta seemed to suffer no perceptible slowness when being used. Tests using Adobe Photoshop CS 2, however, revealed the Macbook Pro lacked speed as compared to the Powerbook doing the same task. O’Grady also had the same findings with his Photoshop CS 2 tests. Macworld also tackled one of the hot issues regarding the new Mac portables: battery life. A quick test of playing a DVD on both the Macbook Pro and the Powerbook with the Energy Saver preferences turned off, showed the former lasting 2 hours and 3 minutes, while the latter died four minutes later. More tests and benchmarks from Macworld soon.

Update: Macworld gives the 15-inch Macbook Pro a four out of five mice. Battery life remains at par with the 15-inch Powerbook. Issues include Migration Assistant transferring some unwanted files, the same uncomfortably warm underside, video and Front Row quirks, and the humming, whining noise. Overall, for Jason Snell, the Macbook Pro is a Powerbook all throughout. It’s just the Intel inside that’s different. Macworld editor Phillips Michael, he’s not worried that Adobe has not decided to jump in the Universal Binaries band wagon this year.

Geek Patrol compares the benchmarks of the new Macbook Pro 2.0GHz and of the Powerbook 1.6GHz. Geek Patrol used Geekbench Preview 2 for their benchmarking. Geekbench showed the Macbook Pro outperforming the Powerbook in all but one benchmark. TUAW disregarded the one benchmark where the Powerbook outperformed the Macbook Pro, averaged the rest of the figures, and the results showed the Macbook Pro, on average, was 4.26 times faster than the Powerbook.

Apple has stopped selling the 15″ Powerbook G4.

Whine, whine, whine.
Dan Pourhadi has noted something wrong with his Macbook Pro. One, is the a stripe of the LCD at the bottom which is brighter than the rest of the screen and two, a persistent hissing noise located at the back of the unit which is first attributed to the LCD but he is no longer quite sure where it’s coming from. The whine or noise are also discussed in the Apple discussion forums and in MacInTouch.

Update:
Pourhadi thinks he might have figured out where the noise is coming from. Using Apple’s CHUD tools, he found out that when he disabled the Core Duo’s second core the noise went away. Is this really where the problem is? Can this be fixed with a software update or are several Macbook Pros doomed to have to go back to Apple to be replaced?

Barely a week has gone by and problems with some Macbook Pros have begun cropping up. Macfixit.com lists problems like the noise, poor sound quality and some Macbook Pros arriving dead.

Open wiiiide…
Other World Computing (OWC) has posted pictures of a dissected MacBook Pro. More reviews and tips from OWC here. Tom Bridge does an analysis of the pictures.

Ifixit has a guide for performing a complete disassembly of the MacBook Pro.

Just a piece of advice
O’Grady’s written tips and strategies on migrating your files from one Mac to another.

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1,000,000,000th download!

Congratulations go to the lucky one-billionth iTMS downloader. He or she wins a 20″ iMac, 10 60GB iPods, and $10,000 worth of iTMS downloads (any media).

The one-billionth song downloaded was Coldplay’s Speed of Sound. The winner is Alex Ostrovsky of Michigan.

Christopher Breen sums it up with one word: Wow.

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King of New Entertainment

A college drop-out who became a millionaire before 30, Steve Jobs has faced many successes, as well as failures, in his life. Once, he’s even cheated death. At 50, he is co-founder and CEO of Apple Computers, a company the rules the digital music landscape with the iPod, iTunes and iTunes Music Store. The iTunes Music Store currently counting up to the one-billionth music download with big prizes to the lucky one to download that song. The iTMS is also trying to reign over video downloads with shows from ABC, NBC, Disney, Nickelodeon and others. New TV shows are being added almost weekly now. Aside from TV shows, iTMS also offers music videos and short films.

Steve Jobs is also chairman and CEO of Pixar, a company that has produced blockbuster hits such as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Just recently, Disney bought Pixar for $7 billion in the hopes of maybe Pixar will help save the sinking magic kingdom. Some have speculated that if anyone can turn around Disney, Jobs will be the one best to do it.

In an article written by Bob Keefe, he asks several people about Jobs and what the future holds for him. Rather, what future does Steve Jobs have envisioned for us. It his company’s recent moves, the future seems to be pointing to moving entertainment seamlessly across devices. From computers to handheld media players and perhaps soon, to a living room media center and cellular phone.

Steve Jobs pretty much has most of his fingers in the digital music pie, getting eighty-plus per cent of the world’s digital music player market and pretty much the same percentage in the music download business. Podcasting, the new radio, has also gotten a boost from Apple’s iTunes last year. With the iTMS slowly expanding its library and with Disney acquiring Pixar, this year, Steve Jobs will be taking more than just a toehold in the video industry. The Mac community is also abuzz with reports of an event at Apple’s HQ in Cupertino, with invitation to a select number of journalist to ‘come see some fun, new products from Apple.’ Whatever this ‘fun, new product’ may be, Steve Jobs seems to be on his way to soon become King of New Entertainment.

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Post-Oompa loompa frenzy

The Inquirer sets the record straight and tells you what the differences are between a virus and a trojan.

Ars Technica downplays the fears surrounding the new malware threat the Mac universe was exposed to last week. It was neither the first malware discovered for the Mac OS X nor was it seriously destructive. The distinction of being called the first malware for Mac OS X goes to a trojan discovered in April 2004 and like Leap-A, it was called as a proof-of-concept malware. A malicious script got out in May 2004 that deleted home directories as soon as it was executed. Ars Technica advices people to practice skeptical computing. I also would like to recommend reading Mac Geekery’s article on how to make your Mac more secure. Mac Geekery also has a feature on backup strategies.

The best reaction on this entire Mac ‘virus’ hoopla is from Leander Kahney of Wired.com who called the whole ballyhoo a ‘load of crap.’ He surmised that the reason why all there are news all around about the Mac ‘virus’ and security hole is that these things are a novelty for the Mac. He then goes on to say that security against malware just takes some common sense: do not open files that you didn’t ask for.

Symantec and Sophos have had the distinction of spreading false information when it comes to potential threats to the Mac OS. It should be noted that both companies called the Leap-A as the ‘first virus for the Mac OS X.’ Apple has refuted this claim. Symantec even calls the Inqtana-A, which appeared almost a year ago, as a “beginning of a trend.”

Update: Sophos said made a mistake in the Inqtana-B ‘virus’ signature. Users who ran their software was informed by Sophos’ software that they had one-thousand infections. Sophos’ mistake identified various Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Reader files as being infected. Speculations abound that companies like Sophos sensationalizes reports of Mac ‘viruses’ so that they can sell more of their software.

An un-informed FUD’er from a company called Datamonitor likened the Leap-A trojan to the Windows I Love You and Kournikova worms in the 1990’s that infected hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs.

A Philippine Honeypot Project analyst made several misleading statements in an article on Inq7.net. Mr. Mark Ryan Talabis said that: (1) the Leap-A trojan was spread via the Internet; (2) that they have been conducting research on Mac viruses and; (3) the switch to Intel will make Mac users a ‘more enticing target’ for hackers. The first statement is just plain ignorance, the second is a plain lie, and the third, if based on the assumption that Intel-based Macs will be more prone to viruses, which is simply not true since the Apple’s computers are secure because of the OS, not the hardware. Mr. Talabis obviously is way over his on this one.

Deep Thought has revealed a more sinister, more malicious malware than Leap-A, Inqtana-A, and Inqtana-B. Intego also wishes to profit from the FUD they are feeding.

An eWeek article says that the majority of Mac users are ‘unprepared’ for an outbreak of malware that will target Macs. The writer said the small size of the Mac community is what protects it from getting malware and that malware writers prefer to go after the larger audience. He goes on to say that the Mac ‘counter-monoculture’ will make naive users more vulnerable and an easier target soon.

Kirk McElhearn lambasts some writers who are blaming Mac users for getting infected with whatever malware an anti-virus decides to ‘discover’ for the week. He said that Mac aficionados and Mac-oriented writers shoud not trump around calling those who have become infected as gullible, imprudent and unsophisticated, because in reality they are. The vast majority of computer users are like that and the Mac community is best served if they stop criticizing and start educating.

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The Lowdown on Apple and Tech News for Week 8

To celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday, a website is offering free downloads of nine symphonies. Each symphony is available at 192 and 256 kbps.

Apple’s unveiling ‘fun, new products’ on Februay 28
After several fake Apple Special Event invites were posted on the Web, Apple officially sent out e-mail invitations to selected journalists to go to Apple’s headquarters at Cupertino on February 28. Sent out on February 21, the e-mail teaser said, “Come see some fun, new products from Apple.” The email showed a picture of iCal’s icon with the date “February 28” shown. (I don’t think Apple knows my site exists so I won’t get into trouble. A poster at a forum I participate in already hinted last week that Apple has something big planned for the end of February or March. When prodded, he simply said that ‘time will tell.’ When today’s mysterious email invites from Apple were made public, he again showed and said that this was the ‘thing’ he was hinting at and further added ‘(The) living room will never be the same.’ This perhaps may indicate the much rumored Apple Multimedia Center. In my mind, it’s perhaps a beefed up Mac mini with Front Row, Apple remote, TV connector, and DVR capabilities. Heck, throw in a built-in iPod dock.) Ihnatko rants about the ‘fun’ event. Apple has stopped accepting bulk orders for the Mac mini, but you can still make individual orders.


A picture of the supposed ‘real’ video iPod is being hotly debated. Is this real? Is this like what happened last year with the leaked pictures of the 5G iPod? As Apple fans (and haters) continue to debate about the existence of the video iPod, MobileMag is just so happy that Acer has beaten Apple to the punch in announcing a touchscreen PMP (I’m assuming that PMP means “portable media player.” The idiotic author seems to think everyone knows what he’s talking about.) Michael Kwan is so happy that Acer has outdone Apple in the announcement that he failed to realize Acer has yet to say when the unit will start shipping or how much it will cost. Michael Kwan, you’re an idiot.

Update: The ‘real’ video iPod photo is a fake.

Shaw Wu predicts new consumer-oriented Macbooks and Mac minis, both of which will have Front Row and the remote. He also doesn’t discount the possibility of full-length videos for the iTMS. He is not sold on the idea of the ‘real’ video iPod, saying that it’s not yet ready for the prime time.

Safari’s security hole
Another security problem on the Mac OS is again discovered, this time involving Safari. The problem lies with the option “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” in Safari. ‘Safe’ files examples are those with ‘.jpg’, ‘.pdf’ and ‘.mov’ extensions. The problem lies in a malicious shell script that is disguised as a ‘safe’ file, downloaded and then launched automatically by Safari. The shell script would then be executed in Terminal without the user’s permission. People are advised to uncheck the check box in the General Tab under Preferences. People can also move the Terminal application to another location additional precaution. This security problem is also known to affect Apple’s mail application. Apple is said to already be creating a fix for the hole.

Use your iMac as a reading lamp
InfoWorld claims that you can use the 20-inch Intel iMac as a reading lamp and still save on electricity. Apple rated the iMac’s power consumption at 120 watts but the writer for InfoWorld found out that even when the iMac was utilizing 100% the Core Duo’s core, power consumption was rated at a steady 95 watts. However, the writer took it a step further. He surmised that the LCD monitor was consuming 32 watts of power and subtracting that to the original value, the Intel iMac was just consuming 63 watts. This is with the two 2 GHz cores at 100 percent, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth active, 1 GB of RAM and 128 MB of GDDR3 graphics RAM running at full steam. (A follow-up test on the iMac’s GPU will soon be posted.)

IMac reviews for the week:

  • Peter Nowak of the New Zealand Herald says it’s hard to go back to his crappy HP laptop after using the 20″ Intel iMac. Complaints include the price and some software having missing features compared to their Windows counterparts. “Over all, the iMac is something you may not want to try because if you do, you may never want to go back to your crappy old Toyota. “
  • “Apple’s new iMac running the new Intel Core Duo microprocessor is the finest, most reliable, stable, elegant and intuitive personal computer available anywhere.” – Mike Wendland, Mac News.
  • Even though Classic applications and Virtual PC will never run on the Intel iMacs anymore, Garry Barker (Sydney Morning Herald) still intends to buy the new 20″ Intel iMac for the speed and for the fun using it.
  • PC World rates the iMac with a 76 (good), saying the non-native application cripples the iMac’s speed improvement.
  • The Intel iMac has just been launched in the Middle East while in France, Macs own 15.4% of the French education market. There has been an increase of 37% in Mac sales between 2004 and 2005. Last month, Apple’s website was rated as the world’s tenth most popular website.

    Several problems have come up and are being discussed at Macfixit.com.

    Now, for the rest of the news…
    Mac mini in a Toyota Prius. This is an ongoing project. The owner’s got a touch screen and a has the Front Row working. He’s going to fiddle with the audio next. Other cars that has been fitted with a Mac mini are: 2006 Infiniti M45, Audi A6, Ford F-150 and, 2005 Jeep Grand Cheroke. These Mac mini cars and other automobile related stuff can be seen on Leftlane News.

    It’s hard to imagine for something other than a Japanese company to dominate the digital music player market in Japan. You’d think the Japanese will only choose something from Sony or Toshiba or Panasonic. But that’s not really the case. As of the end of 2005, Apple’s iPod has 51.3% of the digital-music player market in Japan. This is up from 32% in 2004. The success of the iPod has been attributed to its design, ease-of-use, and the seamless integration with the iTunes application. The local competition may have the design and other pieces of hardware down to pat, but so far have missed the software part of the equation. Slick advertising campaigns and Apple’s Japanese version of the iTunes Music Store also helped in the iPod’s success in Japan. But the iPod’s dominance is being challenged by mobile phones that double as digital music players and by carriers that allow music tracks to be downloaded using 3G. The music tracks use a compression method that are deemed to be better than the MP3 format. Creative wants to try to take on the iPod again.

    Samsung has released their version of the iPod nano. It comes in 2- and 4GB models, does 3D audio, has a 1.8″ inch coloured screen and a 35-hour battery life, and has one of those barcode names. But it doesn’t have an FM tuner! Gasp! An iPod competitor without an FM tuner!

    Dan Frakes asks: “Where’s autofill for the rest of the iPods?” while Jeremy Horowitz of iLounge begs Apple not to move their tech support to India. Heh.

    Apple’s iPod gets free press in the Winter Olympics in Turin. The Baltimore Sun reports on iPod-using Olympians listening to metal when making up a new routine or to a heart-break song to win gold in snowboarding. A spokesman for the US Olympic Committee thinks that the whole thing with the digital music player is a sponsorship waiting to happen. At the end of the artice, the Baltimore Sun lists some players and the favorite tunes they like listening to.

    IPod Garage’s Zack Littleman wrote ‘Seven days without an iPod makes one weak.’ It is a narration about the week Littleman ignored his iPod.

    TUAW asks readers on feedbacks regarding BrokenPod, a company that will buy broken iPods. They also posted a funny take on Apple’s latest Intel ad. (Another funny clip.)

    Another blatant knock-off of the iPod nano is again spotted. It even placed Apple’s logo and the word ‘iPod’ in front of the unit. What’s missing though is the screen. It’s labelled as “4GB” but in only actually has 128MB of flash memory.

    The University of Wales’ department of Mathematics and Physical Sciences will start offering their lectures as podcasts.

    NBC and iTunes is offering a free download of an episode of Conviction, a new legal drama. Get it here. Other new shows are: America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC), The X’s (Nickelodeon), Project Runway (NBC), select episodes from Inside the Actor’s Studio (NBC), and new sketches from Late Night with Conan O’Brien (NBC).

    Thomas Hawk of eHomeUpgrade.com calls customers of Apple’s iTunes Music Store as suckers, and advises readers to go to record stores, buy a CD from them, rip the CD and then return it to get 75% of what you spent back. Doesn’t that sound like cheating? (I just made the mistake of clicking on this bait-boy‘s article. Damn.)

    David Every of MyMac.com thinks John Dvorak has been tripping on acid (Others think Dvoral has been missing is medications). Every writes sound arguments in his rebuttal against Dvorak’s conspiracy theory-filled ramblings.

    OSx86 is ‘back.’ They explained that the site was not intended as a community for hackers but instead was for discussion on Apple’s switch to Intel. Of course, for such a well-meaning website they posted links to hacks of the Mac OS. They maintain that they are innocent and they have removed the links to Maxxus’s website. But another website was not as lucky. Last week, I mentioned AppleKeynotes.com, a repository for various Apple Keynote addresses. Unfortunately, the website has been shut down by Apple’s Legal department. This must be due to the website violating Apple’s copyright. TUAW reported on this. Apple should make these keynotes available in their website or perhaps on iTunes. (Maxxus launches a new site after Apple purportedly took action against him. And no, I’m not going to post it here.)

    Steve Wozniak says Apple’s switch to Intel is “like consorting with the enemy,” and that the iPod is “distracting Apple from its focus on computing.”

    Gene Munster of Piper-Jaffray says that concerns about the impact of Apple’s switch to Intel is unfounded. According to Munster, only 20% of Apple resellers have seen a slow down in Mac sales because customers are waiting for the news Intel Macs. The rest of the retailers said their Mac business has not been impacted. Post-holiday season sales of iPods have been expected to go down but resellers said the decline was just ‘slight’ as compared to being ‘significant.’

    Sir Paul McCartney loves mash-ups and gave everyone who toured with him last year a 5G iPod.

    Cameron Moll passed up the chance to work at Apple so he can spend more time with his family and still do blogging.

    Adobe’s CEO still considers the Mac platform as ‘still critical.’

    Yahoo!’s digital music service wants record labels to allow them to offer DRM-free downloads. They said that this will help combat piracy. How desperate is that?

    Google is discriminating againstMac users using Safari and do not want them to use their web page creation tool, Page Creator. (See what you can do with Gmail.)

    Death on the high seas” or “don’t pass show your iPod shuffle when there are geeks about.”

    Windows running on Intel Macs… under VMWare.

    List of freeware for the Mac.

    MacRumor has a gallery of pictures of a virtual input device on a touch screen may look like. Several patents have already been applied by Apple on alternative modes of input and interface on a touch-screen.

    Engadget calls Apple adding a “touch finger LCD” as the latest crackpot rumor.”

    Apple in The Incredibles.

    How to…
    backup your Mac’s entire harddrive.
    … deal with multiple iPods and multiple computers.
    combine colors for great webpage design.

    Is it the time for the electronic book? Will Apple be the one to bring it mainstream?

    A company named iTab is turning iBooks into tablet PCs and selling them on eBay. They are selling 100 units for $1,500 each.

    The inventor of the MP3 is now developing a tool that will help reduce software piracy. They plan to use digital watermarks to track how many times an audio file has been uploaded and downloaded in a peer-to-peer network.

    JCurtis hates the idea of people coming into his cubicle to hover over his shoulder. They also scare the bejeezus out of him because he sometimes doesn’t know they’re there. So, he created a small program he calls Rearview Mirror, which uses his iMac’s built-in iSight to see who’s sneaking up behind him. The application takes the video input from iSight and displays it in Quicktime.

    From Heading East: 10 Mac softwares that you shouldn’t be without.

    Q: Windows and Linux emulator for the Mac. Another emulator is OpenOSX’s WinTel. It’s now version 2.1 and costs $25.

    GrApple has downloadable Aqua-ese Firefox themes.

    The Paper CD Case website will create a PDF file that you can make into a paper CD case after printing and folding the paper. Doug Adams has created a script that will import your iTunes playlist into papercdcase.com. Adams also made the iTunes script that makes audio files bookmarkable. Visit Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes for more scripts.

    Is it still worth it to go watch a movie in the US these days?

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    Look! It’s a virus! No, it’s a worm. No, it’s a trojan.

    Early this week, reports started appearing about the emergence of a Mac OS X worm/trojan/virus. Nobody at that time realy knew what to call it. They just had a name for it: Oompa Loompa or Leap-A.

    However, Sophos would really like to call it as the “first Mac OS X virus.” Symantec refers to it as OSX/Leap, calls it as a worm, which according to Sophos worms are “a sub category of the group of malware known as viruses.” So, Symantec is also calling Oompa Loompa as a virus. Ambrosia sofware and Intego call it as a trojan horse, not a virus. So who’s right?


    Sophos and Symantec are wrong according to a statement issued by Apple, that in part read: “Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file.”

    What can Leap-A aka Oompa-loompa aka OSX/Leap do or can’t do? It can’t self-propagate. Which means a user with administrative privilages has to click on the package the trojan came in. The package is named as latestpics.tgz and the compressed archive is supposed to contain screenshot pictures of the next OS X. When uncompressed, a file masquadering a JPEG file is seen and when double-clicked, the trojan then jumps into action. The trojan horse does two things: first, it sends copies of itself using your iChat’s buddy list and second, it infects Cocoa applications. Macworld has a FAQ, which details what Leap-A is and what measures you can take to rid of it and protect yourself in the future. There’s a follow-up article where they infected two computers with the trojan and observed what it did to both systems. ZDNet tells Mac users that getting infected by a real virus is only a matter of time.

    A second OS X malware emerged this week but according to Macworld the risk is low. Inqtana.A is a “Java-based “proof of concept” worm” which can propagate thru bluetooth. However, Apple has long since patched up the hole the worm could potentially pass through. If you’re Mac OS X is updated then there’s nothing to worry about.

    Oompa-loompa and Inqtana.A are “proof of concept” malwares, which means that somebody out there is working on a working virus for the Mac that someday may start running wild and infect Macs.

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    Living in the digital world

    I am bothered by people who uses short-cuts when typing in an SMS. “N” for “and.” “U” for “you.” The list goes on. In my short stint as a Radioogy resident in training, I was appalled at an entry made by a radiology technician. Instead of putting in “forearm” she actually wrote “4arm.” If that’s not stupidity I don’t know what is.

    I was fascinated with an opinion coumn written by Steve Kolowich. Writing for The Bowdoin Orient, he talked about how the “E-” generation are sacrificing quality for quantity which started as omissions of certain conunctions, then disregard for grammar, then finally dropping of letters off of words. People are garbling up their message and come out as incoherent for the sake of being able to send off as many SMS or email as possible. Perhaps taking out some letters in a word means shaving off 5 seconds in typing out a message, and that extra 5 seconds is just enough to close off that multi-milion dollar deal they have been working on for the past 6 months. Then again the extra 5 seconds you spend might do a better job in helping communicate your ideas effectively and keep a convenience from becoming a bad habit. To illustrate the last point, Kolowich mentioned that his teacher sent back a friend’s English report because his friend used “u” instead of “you.” Ah, yes. The marvel of e-stupidity.

    So if you are one of those people who like cutting off conjunctions and dropping letters from words, don’t bother sending me an email or SMS. You are just wasting your time and mine. I don’t want to have to decipher your stupidity and incoherence.

    Filed under: Uncategorized

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