Thursday, June 03, 2004

PC World Calls Panther "Essential"

Yes, the magazine PC World has named Panther as one of its "essential" pieces of software for computing, trumping any and all versions of Windows. There's oh, so much more at MacMinute here.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Independent artists trouble with iTMS

A fairly well known and respected flamenco guitarist, Ottmar Liebert, has recently updated his blog with a story of his troubles with Apple and the iTunes Music Store.

"I have been trying to get my new music onto iTunes for about a year. Sadly iTunes does not respond well to artists - either that or I have a bounty on my head and don't know it. My split with Epic Records/Sony Music was completely positive and I doubt that anything was "requested" by them. I believe this is more likely due to Apple's incredible arrogance."

From my own experiences with the iTMS I have noticed some missing artists in the catalog, but if you listen to Apple you would think only the rarest of rare tracks are missing. Although, I think Apple has done a pretty good job of building their selection, most things are covered, that's for sure.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

WWDC Hype!

If you head over to this post in the Mac Forums, you can feast on some of the latest and greatest unreliable rumor circulating about the upcoming WWDC keynote in June.

The poster cites Croquer dans la Pomme as the source for a report that claims Apple will announce new G5s with the PPC975 and clock speeds of up to 3 GHz (dual 3 GHz). Specs are provided for three different G5 configurations, but they're prefaced with the words "likey to change."

I've never heard of this (somewhat obviously) foreign site, but the user posting the rumor claims they have some credibility after the latest portable updates. That can't be confirmed or denied, but especially considering the "likely to change" caveat, I'd take this with an extra grain of salt for now.

The trouble with iPob-ibbles...

Think Secret is reporting on a new memo circulating at Apple which apparently mentions that as the company rushes to fill iPod mini backorders, customers might be receiving a slightly different shade of blue. Or pink, or gold, or silver, or green.

The document also offers the acceptable compensations for a customer that complains about the color change, including a free case (so go ahead and complain!). The reason for the shade shift isn't explained in the memo, either.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

June tunes?

According to this MacPlus report (mind you, it's in French), Apple is planning on a June launch of the iTMS in Europe. It goes on to say that our friends across the pond would have to pay a bit more than we do, claiming that songs will cost 1.29 Euros each.

Meanwhile, AppleInsider is reporting that the next update to the iTMS, which would (in theory) come at the same time as the European launch, will include cell phone ringtones for download. Few other details were provided, but Insider claims that their info is coming from both MacPlus and other sources. So they at least think that they've got reliable info.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I bet they came for the iPod mini...

File this post in "Incredibly Off-Topic," but according to this CNN.com article, Mexican Air Force pilots may have had a close encounter with some very unusual flying objects.

The pilots were running anti-drug smuggling patrols when 11 unidentified flying lights appeared on their infared equipment. Here's the weird part: only three of them registered on the pilot's intruments.

Off-topic, but interesting...

FireAir?

The 1394 Trade Association has approved a new wireless protocol that sites are already dubbing as "Wireless Firewire."

It's a whole lot of technical gibberish, so why don't you just read it straight from the source.

The new Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) for IEEE 1394 over IEEE 802.15.3 was approved Monday. In a statement, the trade association said: “The PAL is designed as a standard convergence layer between the 802.15.3 MAC and applications developed for wired 1394. It builds upon the 1394 infrastructure--for example, data formats, connection-management schemes, and time synchronization procedures--and takes advantage of the excellent quality of service available in 802.15.3.”

Uses for this new technology include home media devices - i.e. set top boxes and DVD players - and other such gadgets. Apple is expected to jump on this, since the company is known for being one of the earliest adopters of Firewire.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

When Intel says something's dead...

Remember, a few months back, Intel announced that Bluetooth was problematic and disasterous and buggy and slow and would probably somehow contribute to the destruction of Earth at the hands of a Vogon Constructor Fleet? In other words (paraphasing, if you will), Intel proclaimed Bluetooth dead (dead as a doornail, not that I've ever seen anything particularly dead about a doornail).

Well folks, it looks like they were right. But by "they got it right," I mean "they got it wrong."

Today, gaming giant Nintendo unveiled its much-anticipated new handheld system, the two-screened Nintendo DS. This USAToday article, which features one of the first pictures of the system, mentions that the DS features a nifty wireless doohicky called Bluetooth.

I must say, it's hard for a technology to get more dead than being adopted by the company dominating the handheld gaming market. Of course, by dead, I mean not dead. (and yes, I realize the NGage had Bluetooth, but I've yet to meet anyone who even knows a real living person who bought an NGage)

Of course, Intel really doesn't care that much about Bluetooth and such, they're too busy figuring out how to make processors fast enough to meet the only-slightly-very-outlandish estimated minimum requirements for Longhorn.

And, just to draw Apple into all of this, I think my Apple Bluetooth Mouse is pretty cool. And my Sony Ericsson Bluetooth phone. Yep, you can't go wrong with a wireless protocol named after a blueberry-eating pirate.

Correction: Apparently the USAToday article didn't have the correct specs. According to Nintendo, the DS will use Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.

Monday, May 10, 2004

MacUnderground: Now with 80% more snazzy!

Well, I'm getting back into the swing of posting and figured some spiffy new changes might give things a nice kick. So, it's quite a nice coincidence that Blogger has just done a major overhaul of their system.

The three biggest new features right now are:
- Comments!
- RSS Syndication! (at "http://macunderground.blogspot.com/atom.xml")
- Cool new look (it's from a template, so I'll definitely be messing with it on and off for the next couple of weeks)

I'll also take this opportunity to mention that I've set up the URL macunderground.net to redirect here (actually, it's been that way for a couple months, I just haven't really mentioned it).

While I'm busy with this self-serving site news post, I might as well mention that I'm working on some new webstore stuff that should be pretty nice. That said, I'm not going to say anything else about the new webstore until I've finished some products (oooohh... the anticipation!).

Explore the new look and enjoy!

iMac to the max?

According to this blurb at Mac Rumors, Apple's busy preparing a G5 iMac for an upcoming release.

Upcoming is an obviously vague term, but MR says that reports have the G5 iMac slated as the next iMac revision. The last iMac revision was in November.