New 21” and 27” iMac’s announced

October 20, 2009

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Apple today announced updated iMac models carrying LED-based 16:9 displays in 21.5-inch and 27-inch sizes.

Apple today unveiled an all new iMac line featuring brilliant LED-backlit 21.5 and 27-inch widescreen displays in a new edge-to-edge glass design and seamless all aluminum enclosure. The new iMac line, starting at $1,199, is the fastest ever with Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06 GHz, and Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors for up to twice the performance. Every new iMac ships with a wireless keyboard and the all new wireless Magic Mouse, the world’s first mouse with Multi-Touch technology pioneered by Apple on the iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpad.

The 21.5-inch model, which begins at $1,199 and carries a 1920×1080 display, offers Intel Core 2 Duo processor options running at 3.06 GHz or 3.33 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or ATI Radeon 4670 graphics card options.

Pricing on the 27-inch model begins, which carries a 2560×1440 display, begins at $1,699. In addition to the same processor options found on the smaller model, users can also select from a 2.66 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, although machines carrying those higher-end processors will not ship until November.

All new iMac models feature an SD card slot and ship standard with a wireless keyboard and the new Multi-Touch Magic Mouse also unveiled today.

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Affordable Mackbooks Soon?

September 28, 2009

Cnet.com is reporting some rumors of an affordable line of macbooks. These would hopefully fall under the $1000 price range to attract people who have been holding out and would fundamentally change Apple’s business plan and market share. We’ll see if the rumors are indeed true, but it’s something to be hopeful for. Here’s the story from CNet:

While we’ve been hearing about a possible fall update to the iMac line, including Blu-ray options, for a couple of weeks now, the online rumor mill has now consigned itself to expecting new MacBook laptops as well. And not just any laptops, but the mythical, long-awaited, low-cost MacBooks that true believers hope will usher in a new age of Apple-based computing for those who find laptops over $1,000 to be out of reach.

AppleInsider says: “The new models, which appear as if they could make their debut alongside a family of more versatile iMacs in the coming weeks, are expected to arrive as the most affordable notebook offerings in the Mac maker’s history.” The site adds, “One person familiar with pre-production units indicated to AppleInsider several weeks ago that models awaiting certification were seen in white polycarbonate shells, consistent with the sole $999 model currently available.”

Other references around the Web make similar claims, saying a less-expensive version of the polycarbonate MacBook would pave the way for a low-cost touchscreen Apple tablet early next year – but each of these reports ultimately leads back to the original rumor posted by AppleInsider.

We’ve heard nothing from Apple about an upcoming press event to reveal new models, but that’s not unusual for the consistently secretive company. We have, however, been under the impression for some time that Apple prefers to stay out of the low-margin sub-$1,000 part of the laptop market, leaving the high-volume, but less profitable, cheap Core 2 Duo laptops and Atom-powered Netbooks to others.


Facebook: The Movie?

September 24, 2009

The blog ScriptShadow.com has released an unauthorized script for a film called The Social Network, which is basically a story about how Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook. Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) is penning the script which is actually said to be pretty good. Justin Timberlake has just signed on to play Napster’s Sean Parker and Jesse Eisenberg is rumored to star as well.

Here’s Gawker’s story on “The Social Network”:

The blog ScriptShadow got hold of the first draft of Aaron Sorkin’s Facebook movie. The verdict? The movie reads oddly mesmerizing, and has an unexpected hero: Sean Parker, an early investor in the social network.

As the co-founder of Napster, Parker was overshadowed by Sean Fanning, who actually wrote the wildly-popular music-sharing software. Sorkin reportedly brings Parker to the fore, giving him credit for lighting a fire under Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and accelerating the company’s growth.

ScriptShadow’s Carson Reeves:

And don’t get me started on Sean Parker – a character that can become

iconic if the film is made. The brash techy rock star revels in his own

ego, and is a key player in why Facebook is on our computers today

(Parker ended up selling his portion of the company for – I believe – a

couple hundred million dollars).

Zuckerberg, meanwhile, looks comparatively pathetic. In what Reeves calls a “heartbreaking scene,” he sits alone (“not one true friend”) in a dark room and “friends” the girl who dumped him right before he started Facebook. The movie nevertheless bops along as something of a comedy, thanks to Sorkin’s “crazy unknown voodoo screenwriting tricks” and, apparently, jokes involving Facebook use.


Apple Cuts iPod Prices

September 9, 2009

Ahead of today’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” media event, Apple has reduced prices across the board on its iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod classic lines.

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iPod touch:
– 8 GB now $189, down $40
– 16 GB now $249, down $50
– 32 GB now $279, down $120

iPod nano:
– 8 GB now $129, down $20
– 16 GB now $149, down $50

iPod classic:
– 120 GB now $229, down $20


iPhone to get MMS on September 25

September 5, 2009

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Congratulations, iPhone, you can finally join the cell phone family. AT&T announced Thursday that the long-awaited multimedia messaging would arrive on Apple’s device in the United States starting September 25. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G will support the service, but owners of the original iPhone will miss out since that handset lacks the proper radio.

In its brief statement, AT&T offered few reasons why it’s taken so long to get such a basic cell phone feature. It only said MMS “required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One.”

The carrier also said it appreciates the patience of its customers (it better) and that it knows that many iPhone customers are “eager” (that’s putting it mildly) for the MMS rollout. Other iPhone carriers around the world have offered MMS since the 3.0 update went live earlier this year.

On the magic day, you’ll need a software update before you can send your first photo to another phone number. As we reported last month, some users have seen the MMS commands on their iPhone after the most recent software update, but they’ve been unable to use them.

And in case anyone is keeping score, September 25 is three days after autumn officially begins on September 22. At Apple’s WWDC in June, a company exec said MMS would come later in the summer. And one more thing: we’re still waiting for that promised tethering support.


Sony introducing 3D TV’s in 2010

September 2, 2009

video of Sony’s 3D tv prototype from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year

This is going to be an absolute game changer. We’ve seen a ton of new movies being filmed in 3D and it seems that every corner movie theater has an imax screen, but introducing the technology into your living room is going to change the way television is seen as a medium. Sony is the first to introduce this tech, but I expect every other major manufacturer to be quickly in tow. Here’s the full report from IGN:

In January at Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony gave the tech industry a glimpse of the future of their Bravia series HDTVs with a number of prototype 3D-displays. At the time, Sony was reluctant to offer any information about the technology at work or even an estimate of release range, but now it seems the company is ready to start talking seriously about consumer model 3D displays. Presenting at the IFA electronics fair in Berlin this week, Sony announced their plans to bring the first series of 3D-capable Bravia displays by year-end 2010. As we’ve seen with the NVIDIA 3D Vision system, the HDTVs will require users to wear active shutter glasses. According to Sony, the PlayStation 3 will be spearheading the company’s 3D technology directive and will integrate seamlessly with the new displays. Other supported products are expected to include the company’s Vaio series computers and future Blu-ray players.

MCV reports that Sony’s Howard Stringer told audiences at IFA that 3DTVs will be in every home by the end of 2010. Additionally, sources have told MCV that Sony has overseen internal production of specialized 3D games for the PlayStation 3 expected to release as the technology gains more widespread implementation.

Unfortunately, tech specifics have not been revealed at this time, however, it seems our original assessment from CES still holds; the new 3D displays are likely to incorporate stereoscopic drivers that are capable of creating a 3D image from any 1080p source connected via HDMI. As for pricing, it seems safe to assume that Sony’s new 3D displays will cost upwards of $2,000 or $3,000 initially.


Facebook 3.0 Launches for the iPhone

August 28, 2009

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The third major edition of Facebook for iPhone has just crept into the iTunes App Store. It’s a huge update, with numerous advanced features that make Facebook more interactive than before and which bring the app as close to the desktop experience as it’s ever been.

Facebook for iPhone opens on your news feed as usual, but the upper left corner now sports a tiny grid icon that serves as the main organizing feature for this new build. Click it to see a screen equipped with a search bar on top, a notification alert area on the bottom, and a grid of nine activities you can perform in the middle. These include the news feed, your profile details, your message in-box, Facebook chat, friend requests, events, photo albums, and notes.

Those who use Facebook on the iPhone frequently will notice that quite a few of these actions are brand new, like viewing events and submitting an RSVP from your phone. You’ll also be able to view friends’ birthdays and upload photos to any album. Anyone sporting an iPhone 3GS gets the added bonus of uploading video.

Photos received a lot of attention in this update. You’ll now be able to zoom into photos, create albums and delete them, as well as upload and delete photos and photo tags, all from the Facebook interface. In addition, you can upload a new profile picture.

Facebook has also poured energy into how it deals with friends. You’re now able to call or text friends from the interface, which brings Facebook’s social connectivity into the real world. You can see friends of friends and mutual friends from the app, too, as well as the Pages you subscribe to. If you’re trying to locate a friend from within a page, Facebook has thought of that too, by equipping the page with search. To top it off, you can subscribe to Pages from the phone, not merely view them passively.

The new built-in Web browser is one feature addition that some may miss at first, but which is ultimately one of the most practical and useful for keeping the Facebook experience on iPhone firmly within the Facebook app. Before this integration, clicking a link would kick you out of the app and open a Safari browser. You would have to restart Facebook to resume your place.

There are more additions besides, but we thought we would start you off with a little taste and some first impressions.