Saturday, April 12, 2003

Webstore News

The Official MacUnderground Webstore has been updated. Here's a look at what's new:

Firstly, there was a spelling error on the shirts and mugs that has been corrected (for clarification, it's MacUnderground, not MacUndergroud).

Secondly, you can get stickers! You can buy a round or rectangular sticker featuring the MacUnderground logo for just $2.99!

Finally, you can buy a brand new military uniform teddy bear wearing a shirt that says "Join the Mac Resistance!" If you remember, that was actually a caption on an old Power Computing poster back in the days of Apple's ill-fated Authorized Mac Cloning program. Since Apple discontinued that program, Power Computing has disappeared, but their battle cry lives on (as does one of their other famous tag lines: "Let's Kick Intel's Ass!", but that doesn't look as good on a teddy bear).

Friday, April 11, 2003

A Podded future...
The Legend of the iPod update continues!

Mac Rumors is reporting confirmation of Think Secret's rumors of iPod design changes. Also out of Mac Rumors is a blurb that claims Apple will drop the chrome from the iPod's back in the DLD's new look.

From my experiences with my two iPods, the white plastic gets more scraped and banged up than the chrome. Yeah, the chrome smudges, but that's what the black carrying case is for!

Such a design change, hand in hand with the reported button movements could be one huge mistake, or not. From Think Secret's rendering of the new design, we can't tell much about the overall look of the device. For that, we'll just have to wait.

I think new button placement detracts from the iPod's cool look. That said, I could see how people with touch-sensitive scroll wheels might like not having to worry about changing the volume when they pause.

In the end, it's hard to really comment on the design right now, as we really don't know what the new iPods will look like... yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Coincidence, eh?

I got the latest issue of MacHome today, and two headlines stuck out to me. "Get an iLife" and "Konfabu-WHAT?" are both articles in the May issue.

What's interesting about that? They're both old MacUnderground headlines.
Get an iLife! was the featured headline on many iLife blurbs.
And Konfabu-what? was the title of my Konfabulator article back in February.

Just an interesting coincidence...

Power out of everywhere!

Macwhispers is following up on their hotly debated Powerbook 970 rumors today.

The new speculation suggests (with apparent confirmation) that Apple is looking into 17" Powerbook motherboards that will sport the 970, and has put other Powerbook and Powermac motherboards into full production.

The report goes on to note that many suppliers claim that Apple is moving at an accelerated pace with the development of 970-compatible components.

It should also be noted that other recent rumors claim that IBM is putting the 970 into full-scale production next week, a full two months ahead of the company's original predictions.

The Tuesday after the Tuesday after next!
The Legend of the iPod Update continues!

That's right folks! According to Think Secret, the iPod updates that were speculated to be ready for release two months straight are finally on their way. The reported release date: The last week of April.

And it looks like this will be more than just a minor update. If Think Secret's sources are correct, the new iPod line will feature two models, a 15 GB and a 30 GB, both with a charging/docking cradle. The 5 and 20 GB models will be discontinued, and the 10 GB will fall into the $299 price range. They even have a spiffy Photoshop pic of the new design, which has one very odd change - actually four. The four control buttons encircling the outside of the scroll wheel are now round buttons above the wheel. Odd.

Also reported is the integration of USB 2.0 on Windows models for better PC compatibility.

Why the long wait? As many (myself included) began to speculate after reports of an Apple music service came out, it looks like the release of the new iPods will be simultaneous with the announcement of such a music service. I predict Apple will integrate the service into iTunes 4.

Here's the real kicker:
As you may remember, when rumor sites (once again, myself included) were speculating wildly about updated iPods back in February and March, the favorite line seemed to be "Next Tuesday!" We were all waiting for the Tuesday that Apple would release these iPods.
Many reports now suggest that Apple will release its new music service (we'll assume iPods included) on April 28. Monday, April 28.
Steve Jobs has a cruel sense of humor...

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Inaccuracies Abound!

The latest update at Mac OS Rumors is out, reminding us to laugh a little... at the expense of others.

MOSR covers all the major recent speculation, going on to post their own predictions, or mispredictions.

- Despite evidence suggesting otherwise, MOSR claims that the 970 won't make its way into the Powerbook until 2004.
No matter what you think about Macwhispers Powerbook 970 prediction, the idea of Apple weakening its "Year of the Laptop" sales by waiting over half a year to introduce a portable 970 is ridiculous.

- Rather than putting the 970 in the Powerbook, MOSR thinks that we'll see Dual-G4 17" machines in the fall.
That's incredibly ridiculous. The machine would weigh too much, mostly because it would need more battery power, with either more or larger batteries. The G4 is incredibly inefficient compared to the 970.

- Countering Think Secret's latest report on iBook updates, MOSR claims that the little laptop will receive a major redesign in a month's time.
This is the most plausible thing out of MOSR today, and actually something I'd like to see happen (I'm in the market for an iBook). That said, Think Secret is far more reliable than MOSR, the site received MacUnderground's second highest accuracy honor for its MWSF03 predictions.

So, congratulations to Mac OS Rumors for another stunningly inaccurate report!

The 'Pod hits the fan...

If you haven't already heard, Target and Dell have quit selling iPods in the middle of an Apple/Reseller contract dispute.

It may seem like a blow to Apple, although I wouldn't worry. Although the Dell reselling deal does seem like a promising enterprise for both Apple and Dell, the Target deal seemed weak. The Target nearest me had the iPod resting on its side in the display case with the screen protector it shipped with still on. And that seems to be a regular situation.

The good news: Target has put discount prices on their iPod stocks, making it a great time to buy. You can use Disk Utility to reformat Windows iPod hard drives to Mac compatible versions.

970 Life...

MacBidouille (reported at Mac Rumors) says that IBM will begin mass production of the PowerPC 970 on April 15.

Other recent rumors suggest that this is probably accurate, and that we may see the release of the first Apple/970 machines at the delayed WWDC in June.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Book talk...

If Think Secret is correct on the impending iBook updates, we'll be waiting another week. Not surprisingly, considering Suday's release of Final Cut Pro 4 and company, Apple didn't release anything today.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Book talk...

iBook talk, that is. Think Secret is reporting that the next revision of the iBook is on its way in the next two weeks, although it won't be as big as some have hoped.

If Think Secret's sources are accurate (and they claim that these are very reliable ones), the update will be a mere speedbump, moving clock speeds to 800, 900, and 900 MHz, respectively over the three models.

So many rumors, so little time...

Alas, when you speculate crazily and wildly, there is a tendency to find that speculation incorrect. Apple did in fact release Shake 3, Final Cut Pro 4, and DVD Studio Pro 2, at their NAB press conference today.

These announcements were expected (although they were actually expected tomorrow), and yet, more questions are arising about Apple's future plans.

When will we finally see Apple admit that the 5 GB iPod is gone forever? And, in an interesting twist to that story, is the 10 GB iPod on its way out (as reported by MacBidouille)?
When will we see the 15.4" aluminum Powerbook? And, in yet another twist, will the PowerPC 970 see its debut in such a laptop (as reported by Macwhispers)?
When will the iBook be updated?
When will we see the reported Apple tablet (if we even do)?
Is the 970 really ahead of schedule?
And, most importantly, will Steve Jobs copy of iCal be able to support so many product announcements??

Only time will be able to answer these questions, but for now we can all speculate.

Crazy wild speculation...

As reported last night, Apple is holding a press conference between Noon and 1 Pacific time later today at "NAB2003." Many people expect the release of Final Cut Pro 4, Shake 3, and DVD Studio Pro 2, but I thought I might speculate wildly for a moment.

Here, you can see an entire schedule of press conferences at NAB, and if you scroll down below Apple, you'll see another company closely associated with recent Apple rumors. IBM is holding a press conference between 1 and 1:45 Pacific, right after Apple's conference.

Now, you're probably thinking "sure, that's a fine coincidence, but so what?" I've got your so what right here. While the info on Apple's conference is just "Courtesy shuttle from Panasonic's press conference to Apple's press conference provided." IBM's conference blurb describes what they plan on announcing: "At NAB2003 IBM is set to unveil a new technology framework, designed for broadcasters, new digital media technology, and several new customer engagements." Several new consumer engagements, eh?

So here's my totally wild speculation:
Recent rumors conflict general thoughts about Apple's upcoming product releases, one suggesting that the long overdue 15.4" Powerbook will debut the PowerPC 970 (made by IBM). A recent Macwhispers report even claims that the 970 is significantly ahead of schedule. So, one could conclude that Apple and IBM could announce their partnership with the 970 today. It would explain the total lack of news from Cupertino in the past month.

Yes, it's a crazy thought, but it is possible, even if unlikely. I warned you, it's wild speculation.