Apple Unveils 8-core Processing on the Mac Pro

From Macworld

Apple on Wednesday updated its desktop Mac Pro computers adding two new 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, bringing 8-core processing to the Mac. The new machines can run the 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processors and are available as build to order options.

Using two “Clovertown” 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors, the 8-core Mac Pro comes with 8MB of L2 cache per processor (16MB total), 667MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM memory, eight FB-DIMM slots on two memory riser cards (four slots per card) supporting up to 16GB of main memory and 1.33GHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses. The Mac Pros have a double-wide, 16-lane PCI Express graphics slot with the option to install an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM, one single-link DVI port, and one dual-link DVI port; an ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM and two dual-link DVI ports; or an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM, two dual-link DVI ports, and one stereo 3D port.

There are many configuration options available to build an 8-core machine from the Apple Store, but at the high-end of the processor spectrum, the cost will run about $3,997.

DRM Free Video from iTunes Unlikely

From iLounge

Following this week’s announcement of DRM-free music from EMI in the iTunes Store, many are calling for a similar plan to offer DRM-free video at the store. Jobs’ stance on video DRM, however, differs greatly from his views on music. During the EMI conference call, Jobs was asked about the potential for a similar DRM lift on video. “Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 per cent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn’t hold it to a parallel at all,” Jobs responded.

Due to Apple’s 10 percent share of US music sales, it has a good position to negotiate with the music industry. This is not the case when it comes to video, where Apple has yet to prove itself. “No movie studio would ever support the iTunes store if it was clear that Jobs would be pushing them to remove DRM,” said James McQuivey, a principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Click here to read more "DRM Free Video from iTunes Unlikely"

Changing Tunes

From Forbes

When Steve Jobs speaks, everyone listens. And when the Apple boss does open his mouth, it's on his terms: only during Apple-sponsored events, almost always in his Cupertino, Calif.-based company's backyard, and rarely with anyone else.

So when Jobs showed up at EMI Group's London headquarters Monday morning to sit next to EMI chief Eric Nicoli, the message was clear: The two companies were up to something big.

And they are. Sort of.

Click here to read more "Changing Tunes"

YML @ Photoshop World in Boston

It's only the 1st day of Photoshop World and already, I've learned 20 things to make me a better photographer!

While the conference track is sold out, you can still come down to the Convention Center on Thursday and walk the Expo floor for free. Register for the free pass here.

On tonight's show, we'll have Dave Moser of KW Media (organizers of Photoshop World), "Explorer of Light" Ken Skulte and many more. It won't be a live show tonight but it should still be a lot of fun!

Click here to see the first day pictures.

Testing Aperture

I've been playing around with Apple's Aperture. Apple describes it as the "ultimate photographer’s workstation". It's not as easy to jump into as Adobe's Lightroom (or as visually attractive) but it's quick enough to get a handle on.

In the past, I would take hundreds of pictures, open them in Graphic Converter, resize the good ones, toss out the bad ones, drop them into (the excellent) WebPics, caption them, export them and then upload to our site.

It seems like a long involved process but I've got it down to a science and can turn around my photos in a couple of hours.

The problem has always been the shots I missed - those that didn't come out for one reason or another. I've often had to toss out photos that were too dark or overexposed or the flash blew out an area of it or whatever. That's where Aperture comes in.

DRM's Demise just the Beginning

From Macworld

Two months ago, when I imagined a world without DRM, I had no reason to believe that such a world would be upon us quite so quickly. But today, with the announcement that EMI would be bringing its catalog to iTunes free of soul-sucking DRM, it seems that that future may be just around the corner. While this is great news for anybody who likes music, there’s still a ways to go before that DRM-free world is a reality.

Don’t kid yourself: as exciting as it is that high-quality, DRM-free tracks will be available at the iTunes Store in May, all this really does is level the playing field between iTunes and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Click here to read more "DRM's Demise just the Beginning"

EMI goes DRM Free on iTunes Store

From Ars technica

Apple and EMI announced today that the music label will begin selling all of its music through the iTunes Store, DRM-free. During a press conference in London this morning, EMI said that all of its unprotected tracks will be available from the iTunes Store for $1.29 and that customers will be able to upgrade their already-purchased EMI tracks for 30¢ if they so choose.

EMI and Apple said that the bit rate of EMI's tracks will be bumped up as well.

EMI said that the iTunes Store will be the first to carry its higher-quality, unprotected music. The company will also be selling unprotected music videos through iTunes with no change in price, and plans to continue selling full upgraded albums at the existing wholesale prices.

One side effect: other music labels may now feel pressure to join EMI in dropping DRM through iTunes. There is no doubt that the rest of the Big Four will be watching this move very closely.

Click here to read more "EMI goes DRM Free on iTunes Store"

Apple Testing Labs Visit!

The Girls of YML find their Happy Place

Apple Drops 5G iPod Prices in UK

From iLounge

Several iLoungers note that Apple has cut prices on its fifth-generation iPod models in the UK. Apple has lowered the price of the 30GB iPod to £179 (from £189) and dropped the price of the 80GB iPod to £239 (from £259). UK iPod nano and iPod shuffle pricing remains the same. The US Apple Store does not currently show any iPod price cuts—fifth-generation models are still priced at $249 for the 30GB version and $349 for the 80GB version.

Click here to read more "Apple Drops 5G iPod Prices in UK"

Apple TV

From Macworld

Pros: Streaming works remarkably well over moderate-to-fast networks; easy to set up and use; solid picture quality; beautiful interface.

Cons: No support for 5.1 channel surround-sound; supports a limited variety of video formats.

Click here to read more "Apple TV"

Upgrading Apple TV's Hard Drive

From Macworld

Likely the most common complaint I’ve heard about the Apple TV in its thus-far-short life is that the included hard drive is too small. With movies from the iTunes Store weighing in at around 1.5GB, and hour-long TV shows around 500MB, the Apple TV’s 40GB hard drive—which gives you only 33GB or so of actual storage space—fills up quickly, especially if you also want to store music and photos on it.

As it turns out, and as I mentioned earlier this week in my Hacking Apple TV article, upgrading the Apple TV’s hard drive isn’t all that difficult.

Click here to read more "Upgrading Apple TV's Hard Drive"

Steve Jobs has Presented the first iPhone to Madonna

From Autoboard

The first person on the Earth, becoming user iPhone, became the well-known singer - Madonna. Steve Jobs has presented to her the first iPhone!

(Shawn's Comment:Ummm...not quite...take a look at the pictures...that's just a regular iPod....)

Click here to read more "Steve Jobs has Presented the first iPhone to Madonna"

Apple gets too Frothy for Value Fund Manager

From Marketwatch

With a share price around $93 as of late Thursday, Apple has a current year price-to-earnings ratio of 28. By contrast, the average P/E of technology shares in the S&P 500 Index was 20 at the beginning of March. The latest leg up in Apple shares came after Wall Street analysts began goosing their fiscal year earnings estimates to reflect what Apple might earn from the iPhone.

The fact that analysts were raising estimates BEFORE Apple announced the product was a red flag to one fund manager, who sold off his Apple stake after holding the shares for about a year.

"That told us things were getting a little bit crazy," said Connor Browne, co-manager of the Thornburg Value Fund which had assets of $3.4 billion as of December. It's worth noting that Browne is by no means bearish on Apple, which he thinks will continue to see strong growth in sales of both iPods and Macintosh computers.

Still, when Wall Street analysts begin building in assumptions for a product that doesn't have a shipping date, as the iPhone didn't until two months ago, "you can assume that most of the optimism is already built into the stock price," said Browne.


(Shawn's Comment: I'm just going to throw my camera away....)

Study: iPod use has Significant Impact on Driver Performance

From iLounge

Using an iPod while driving will significantly affect a driver’s performance, according to a recent study by Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci. The Drexel study was conducted on a group of 12 iPod users in a fixed-base driving simulator. While “driving,” participants played three types of media—music, podcasts or videos. The study found that selecting a song or video on an iPod while driving “significantly affected driver performance as measured by vehicle deviation from a lane’s center veering left or right.” The study also found that selecting media affected the driver’s speed (they slowed down) and watching videos significantly affected car-following speed.

(Shawn's Comment: Umm....DUH!!! They had to *study* this? It wasn't simply blindingly self evident!?)

Click here to

New Travel Kits let You Charge iPod Anywhere

From PlayList

Griffin Technology has announced it’s shipping the redesigned PowerBlock Travel and the PowerDuo Travel, two kits used to juice up the iPod.

The $34.99 PowerBlock Travel is a USB adapter that’s compatible with iPods, iPod minis, iPod nanos and iPod shuffles. It features a modular power connector and a series of plugs that work with international AC outlets — included are three-pin “type g” plugs used in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore; two-pin adapter for use throughout continental Europe; angled two-pint Australia/New Zealand-style connector; and twin flat-blade adapter as is used in the United States and Japan. The kit also includes a Griffin dock connector cable to plug in your dock connector-equipped iPod. It handles all voltages from 110 to 240V AC.

Click here to read more "New Travel Kits let You Charge iPod Anywhere"

Office 2008 for Mac Hits Private Beta: Lush ‘Escher’ Graphics Engine Revealed

From APC Mag

Office 2008 for Mac has gingerly stepped out of the alpha phase of its development as Microsoft works towards a late 2007 release of its overhauled Macintosh suite.

"We're in private betas right now" confirmed Sheridan Jones, Lead Marketing Manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU), during an exclusive interview with APC magazine.

Some of the most impressive touches are Mac-only treats like Word's Publishing Layout View with its DTP-style page layout capabilities. Images can be dragged out of iPhoto and placed directly onto the page with automatic text run-around, while excess copy on any page is automatically spilled into a linked text box that can be drawn elsewhere on that page or on the next page.

Click here to read more "Office 2008 for Mac Hits Private Beta: Lush ‘Escher’ Graphics Engine Revealed"

Apple's iPhone will be Released on June 11


Ever since Steve Jobs' keynote at the Macworld Expo in January, we've known that the iPhone is being released sometime in June. But we haven't known exactly when.

Now Cingular is confirming that the release date will be June 11. A customer service manager at Cingular (we called 800-947-5096 and were transferred to sales) gave us that date late Thursday, but, alas, said he didn't have any additional information beyond that.

That date is no coincidence. It's the first day of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled to be held in San Francisco from June 11 through June 15.

(Shawn's Comment: While the date makes sense, why would one lone customer service rep at Cingular know the release date before anyone else?)

Click here to read more "Apple's iPhone will be Released on June 11"

Apple TV Heat Test

From Digital Trends

I thought it would help to have some thermal images of the Apple TV in use and at rest. To give a frame of reference, I placed the Apple TV next to my MacBook Pro and a LaCie "mini" external hard drive. I kept my hand in each of the photos for another point of reference - body heat.

I was surprised to see such a vast difference in heat signature between the Apple TV and the MacBook Pro. I didn't expect the results to be quite as dramatic as they were.

Click here to

Top 5 Media Tools for Apple TV Owners

From Informit

As wide as the range of video sources and formats is outside of what the Apple TV supports, there is also a range of tools for capturing, converting, and adding that video to the iTunes library in a format that can be viewed on the Apple TV.

The following sections describe the top five video tools that every Apple TV owner should know about.

Click here to read more "Top 5 Media Tools for Apple TV Owners"

Apple Store in Rome

(Shawn's Comment: Just like I was afraid - it looks like almost every other Apple Store :( )

iTunes Store now offers "Complete My Album" Feature

From the iTunes Store

Did you know that if you've purchased one or more songs from an eligible album, you may now be able to buy the rest of the album at a reduced price? You have up to six months after downloading a song from an eligible album to purchase the remainder of the album.

Click here to read more "iTunes Store now offers "Complete My Album" Feature"

The Graphic Reporter's Tip of the Week

On last night's show, I talked about how to add a sparkle to any image. There's brush that lies deep within both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that's just perfect for this particular task. Hope you enjoy the tutorial!

Also, learn how I recently repaired my disk and permissions to fix an extremely annoying external hard drive unmounting (dismounting?) issue.

Sly and I are off to San Francisco tomorrow morning, so don't forget to check my travel blog for updates in the next few days. Enjoy!

Archives for March 28th, 2007

Streamed Audio Only Archive - (Open QuickTime, type Command-U and type in the address)

Our guests on Wednesday's show were:

- Bruce Morrison, Freeverse

- Chris Breen

- Lesa King,

- Peter Cohen with The Big Story

You can subscribe to Your Mac Life on the iTunes Music Store - just click here!

Apple should Pull the Plug on the iPhone

From Marketwatch

The hype over the unreleased iPhone has actually increased over the past month despite the fact that nobody has seen or used the device.

(Shawn's Comment: Amazing. First sentence and he's already dead wrong)

Why Microsoft should Fear Apple

From Computerworld

Should Microsoft fear Apple's Macintosh? Maybe not quaking-in-your-boots scared, mind you, but Redmond should certainly be concerned.

I'll tell you why. Apple has gotten smarter about how it competes with Microsoft. Clearly the underdog, Apple has to make moves that can be seen as both supportive of the Windows marketplace and good for its Mac customers at the same time.

The switch to Intel was just such a chess move.

Click here to read more "Why Microsoft should Fear Apple"

Hacking Apple TV

From Macworld

When Apple first previewed what was then called iTV back in September 2006 and later unveiled Apple TV at January’s Macworld Expo, there were oohs and aahs—and also complaints. The most commonly-heard gripe: the device’s “limited” functionality.

But then something happened: People started receiving their Apple TVs, and some of those people—including myself—started taking them apart. In fact, within days of the first Apple TV being delivered, new sites sprung up focused on hacking the set-top box. It turns out the Apple TV isn’t so “limited” after all—at least not when it comes to the hardware inside.

Click here to read more "Hacking Apple TV"

Eye Candy Effects Collection Debut for Photoshop

From Macworld

Alien Skin Software on Wednesday introduced the Eye Candy Effects Collection — a $399 package containing full retail versions of five of Alien Skin Software’s previously-released plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop.

The collection includes Eye Candy 5: Impact, Nature and Textures, which include general purpose filters, natural effects and texture effects, Xenofex 2, intended for Web designers, graphic artists, photographers and others, and SnapArt, a natural media filter kit that creates real-world art styles like oil paint, pencil sketch, pen and ink and more. A total of 54 special effects filters are included, with more than 1,000 one-click settings, according to the developer.

Click here to read more "Eye Candy Effects Collection Debut for Photoshop"