Apple is 5th Biggest US Laptop Vendor

From Macworld UK

Apple laptops were in among the top five biggest selling computer brands in the US this past January, new NPD research shows.

Apple is number five for its US laptop sales — a position unthinkable just a few years ago. The company took 10.1 per cent of the US laptop market.

(Shawn's Comment: Macworld conveniently ignores a crucial part of the Bloomberg story - "Note: figures are for retail channel sales only and do not include direct sales, sales from Wal-Mart or warehouse clubs" - so they ignore numbers from Dell. Apple is, at best, the 6th largest.)

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Most Interesting Rumor I’ve Heard Lately

From The Apple Blog

Apparently Leopard is going to be released this year. In fact, Rumor mongers have it nailed down - sometime between like next week and June. So rest easy knowing it’ll be here at some point….

(Shawn's Comment: Considering that's exactly when Apple says they will release Leopard...that's not much of a rumor stretch, is it?)

CrunchGear serves it up hot with the idea that Apple could possibly maybe in a million years license the iPhone OS to other manufacturers. Is this Apple’s style? No way. But I (being not even a fraction of the business mind of Steve Jobs) think the potential could be there for Apple on this one. Who couldn’t benefit from a better operating system on their cell phone?

(Shawn's Comment: Everyone can - which is why Apple will want you to buy the *iPhone*)

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Griffin iKaraoke and DoPi Karaoke System

From PlayList

Long before countless Americans aspired to be the next American Idol, karaoke let music lovers be the stars of their own musical performances. A pair of new accessories for your iPod offer to bring the karaoke experience home for you to enjoy—instead of just passively listening to your music, you can participate in an interactive karaoke experience. Griffin Technology’s $50 iKaraoke and DoPi’s $60 DoPi Karaoke System take slightly different approaches to delivering karaoke, but with each, your iPod provides the songs and you provide the vocals.

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Nike+iPod Only for Fitness Runners

From TidBITS

I've been putting off this review, because it doesn't thrill me to warn even a subset of people away from a popular product. But that's exactly what I have to do - in short, although the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be a fun addition for anyone who runs with an iPod or wants a bit more encouragement to run, competitive runners shouldn't bother with it. It simply isn't worthwhile as a training aid for anyone who values ease-of-use, lap counter features, and distance and pace accuracy.

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Jobs is 132nd Richest Billionaire

From MacMinute

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been placed number 132 by Forbes on its ranking of the world's richest people. The listings include rank, name, home country or state, age where known, wealth in billions of dollars and source of the wealth. Ranking in the top five are: William Gates III, Washington, 51, US$56, Microsoft; Warren Buffett, Nebraska, 76, $52, Berkshire Hathaway; Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, 67, $49, telecom; Ingvar Kamprad and family, Sweden, 80, $33, Ikea; and Lakshmi Mittal, India, 56, $32, steel.

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Opinion: Apple's Consumer Macs are Enterprise Worthy

From Computerworld

Not too long ago, ad agencies, design firms and other creative companies were about the only businesses that widely deployed Macintosh computers to their employees. But for a number of reasons, word of the benefits of Apple hardware—and software—on enterprise desktops is now spreading.

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TextExpander: Simplify Tasks With %Clipboard

From the SmileOnMyMac Blog

Gordon Meyer, author of the O’Reilly book Smart Home Hacks, offers this tip, based on his experience posting Amazon links on his blog:
Here’s a great tip for bloggers and the like. I use TextExpander to create a handy macro for creating Amazon Affiliate links. It’s much easier than using Amazon’s web interface.

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FastMac Offers 65 Watt Laptop Adapter

From Macworld

FastMac came out with a 65-watt AC adapter designed for PowerBook G4 and iBook laptops. Part of the company’s TruePower line of power products, the adapter provides constant wattage output that meets or exceeds Apple’s adapters, according to FastMac.

The TruePower AC Adapter features a built-in LED power indicator and is compatible with titanium and aluminum PowerBook G4s as well as with white G3- and G4-based iBooks.

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The Complete Guide to Earphones, Part 1

From iLounge

Twenty years ago, headphones were shrinking, but they were still “headphones,” speakers designed to hang outside of your ears, suspended by a headband. Over the last five years, iPod users have fueled the popularity of “earphones” - headband-less headphones with smaller speakers, like the ones that come with every iPod - and a sub-category of “canalphones,” which fit partially inside your ear canals.

Today, earphones are a big and important business.

iLounge’s editors have been keeping up with all of these developments, testing tons of new earphones, and publishing our per-earphone findings in reviews. We’re excited to welcome you to our brand-new Complete Guide to Earphones. Part 1 is designed to acquaint you with all of your options; parts 2 through 4 will help you choose the right pair for your personal needs.

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Griffin Technology EarThumps

From iLounge

Pros: Comfortable, sleek, and inexpensive iPod earbuds in your choice of black or white colors, each with a carrying case and three different silicone rubber molds for your ear canals. Good cable and headphone plug design.

Cons: Heavy bass slant to the audio that’s not as controlled as in better options we’ve tested, flattening sound and lacking for treble.

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March 15th - Free Starbucks Coffee

How to Transfer from iPod to Mac

From MacInstruct

The iPod is probably the best portable music player the world has ever seen. It's simple to use, easy to operate, and instantly updatable. Never before has it been so easy to purchase, store, and transport thousands of songs. It's easy to take this beautiful and reliable device for granted!

One of our pet peeves is the inability to transfer an iPod's music to a computer. This seemingly simple feature has been disabled by Apple for fear of copyright infringement. We can understand the copyright stuff: Apple doesn't want punk kids giving all of their music to their friends. But there are some legitimate and legal reasons for transferring an iPod's music to a Mac.

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iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector Announced

From iLounge

iStyles today announced the iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector ($10), an adhesive screen cover that lets users watch videos on a fifth-generation iPod in privacy. “The iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector is an innovative new screen protector for the iPod 5G that not only protects your screen from the scratches and light bumps, but also protects your privacy by preventing your neighbors from seeing what you have on your screen,” says iStyles. The iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector allows users to view the iPod’s screen directly, but limits viewing from the side.

(Shawn's Comment: Umm...yeah....there's only one reason I can imagine you'd need this. And, even then, there's no need for this....)

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OmniPlan 1.0

From Macworld

Pros: Intuitive interface; excellent scheduling and resource allocation.

Cons: Limited automated functionality; poor print customization features; no file linking.

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Free PhotoPresets for Photoshop Lightroom

From OnOne Software

Many photographers are experiencing the power and flexibility of the recently released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a breakthrough image management and processing tool designed for photographers. To expand the creative possibilities we are pleased to offer PhotoPresets with One-Click Wow! a dynamite collection of development presets created by renowned Photoshop educator, author and photographer Jack Davis. And the best part is the price, free.

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The Death of the 30 Second TV Commercial

From CNN Money

It has already revolutionized the music business with its iPod device and iTunes music store. Now will Apple help kill the television's industry historic reliance on the 30-second TV commercial to help pay the bills?

Apple is expected to begin shipping its new Apple TV device sometime this week. The product, in theory, should make advertisers nervous since it will allow consumers to easily transmit TV shows purchased on iTunes (which do not include commercials) from the iTunes library on their computer to their TV set for viewing there.

Experts aren't convinced that Apple TV will be as big of a hit with consumers as the iPod was right off the bat -- after all, people have to pay for a TV show they could see for free on network TV. But devices like Apple TV, along with digital video recorders made by the likes of TiVo, Cisco Systems and Motorola, are rapidly changing how people watch television.

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iPhoto Update Fixes EXIF Data Compatibility

From Macworld

Apple has released iPhoto 6.0.6, an update to the photo management application it incudes as part of its iLife ‘06 software suite.

iPhoto 6.0.6 is a maintenance update that addresses problems associated with Exchangable Image File (EXIF) data compatibility and Photocasting. EXIF is a commnly used data file format used by most digital cameras. Photocasting is a feature of iPhoto 6 that enables you to publish photo albums and share them with friends and family over the Internet.

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Apple won't Face EU Action on iTunes/iPod Tie-In

From Macworld UK

European regulators will not take legal action against Apple to cause it to sell music through iTunes in such a way that it can be played on any device.

EU consumer chief Meglena Kuneva yesterday said there is no reason to prosecute Apple over complaints regarding iTunes and consumer rights. European competition and consumer watchdogs have been complaining that songs sold through iTunes can only be played on Apple's media player and its iPods.

According to Reuters, Kuneva told a news conference yesterday: "I would like, really, to start this debate. What is best to develop this market and to have more consumers enjoying this really very important, very modern way of downloading and enjoying the music?"

Kuneva also confirmed that European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has found no reason to take legal action against Apple on allegations that the company is illegally forcing market development with its refusal to license its FairPlay DRM, in order that iTunes purchase play on third-party devices.

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TrueDisc, Mac Apps and Panasonic

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by Griffin Technology, The MacBU, RadTech, SmileOnMyMac and Circus Ponies - "TrueDisc, Mac Apps and Panasonic"

No video this evening but you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:

You can also join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show - on the World Without Borders site or on the dedicated IRC Server at in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Apple Releases Mac OS X v10.4.9

From Macworld

Apple released Mac OS X v10.4.9, available in both client and server versions for PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Specific changes in the 10.4.9 release include improvements to raw camera file support; handling of large or malformed images that could cause crashes; image capture performance; mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts; font handling; playback quality and bookmarks in DVD player; USB video conferencing cameras for use with iChat; Bluetooth devices; browsing AFP servers; Apple USB model; Windows-created digital certificates; Open and Print dialogs in Rosetta-based applications on Intel-based Macs; time zone and Daylight Savings Time changes for 2006 and 2007, and security updates.

Further details include improvements to .Mac sync performance and sync issues; fixes for wake from sleep issues with Bluetooth peripherals; changes to iCal; support for USV Video Class webcams in iChat; iSync support for more devices; WPA2 encryption support in Network Diagnostics; performance issues related to Intel iMacs working on high-speed network switches; improvements to OpenGL graphics reliability in World of Warcraft and more.

Apple Posts Security Update for Mac OS X v10.3.9

From Macworld

Apple has released Security Update 2007-003, aimed at both Mac OS X v10.3.9 and Mac OS X Server v10.3.9. The updates are available for download from Apple’s Web site.

The updates address security issues associated with the following components of Mac OS X v10.3.9 - ColorSync, CoreGraphics, Crash Reporter, cups, Directory Services, DiskImages Framework, Flash Player Plug-in, Foundation, gnutar, OpenSSH, Print Center, QuickDraw, servermgrd and sudo.

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Stop Today's Spam

From Macworld

By some estimates, spam now accounts for 80 percent of all e-mail sent. I believe it—in the past two months, 73 percent of the messages I’ve received have been junk. And that’s not counting messages that my ISP filtered out before I even saw them. This is no mere annoyance; it’s a serious problem that demands serious action. Even if you’ve taken steps to curtail spam in the past, you may need to adopt some new strategies to keep your inbox under control.

Although some of the time-tested techniques for stopping junk e-mail still work, spammers have adapted their methods in order to outsmart junk-mail filters and other countermeasures. (You know those odd messages you get with quotations from novels and no sales pitch? Their purpose is to trick adaptive spam filters into putting more “good” words and phrases onto their “bad” lists, thereby decreasing the filters’ overall accuracy.)

Before you do anything else, make sure you’re following a few fundamental pieces of advice you’ve probably read before.

Griffin Radio Shark 2 - Like a Radio DVR

From Gizmodo

Except for the fact that it looks like a shark fin, which has little to no relevance to the actual product. The Radio Shark 2 is an upgrade to Griffin's almost three-year-old Radio Shark 1. The Shark 2 plugs into a Mac or PC via USB and can then time-shift and record live AM or FM radio. This one is a bit better than the original because you have more customizable schedule recording features. It also is now compatible with iTunes and can handle Internet radio. The Radio Shark 2 is available for $50. (Psst...HD Radio users, a Radio Shark HD is on the way.)

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Bag Maker Lowepro Turns 40

From Macworld

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, bag-maker Lowepro has introduced the $280 Primus AW, an all-weather camera backpack designed for professional photographers.

At last week’s PMA digital photography conference in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to get a closer look at the new bag, and I have to say I was impressed. Not just because the bag was designed to be environmentally friendly—it’s made from 51 percent recycled material, the equivalent of 22 soda bottles—but also because of the attention to detail that went into its design.

The bag’s camera compartment can hold a professional digital SLR with attached zoom lens, plus two other lenses or flashes. You can reach your camera via a small opening on the side, for quick one-handed access without taking the bag off, or via a larger zippered opening on the back, which adds extra security. The bag includes a weatherproof cover with heat-sealed seams, an adjustable tripod support, and additional compartments for personal items and accessories.

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Top 22 Mac OS X Products

From InformationWeek

While Mac OS X is a top-notch operating system, there are always things it can't do, or could do a bit better. This applies to every OS, because if they were all perfect, then no one would make money writing third-party software! I know the Internet abounds with various list of "Mac Software You Can't Live Without"; if you can stand one more, I've compiled what I've found to be some cool and useful tools. No, I don't think you can't live without any of them, but they've all made my Mac experience more complete, and a little more fun, too.

Click here to read more "Top 22 Mac OS X Products"

MacBook Inferno

3am last night. I woke up to my housemate screaming (yelling "Matty!") and the dog barking. As I was running I saw a fire. At first I thought that the lamp had fallen and set fire to the curtain. As I got closer I realised it was my mac book .... burning!

Update: Apples service has been fantastic. They are replacing the laptop with a aluminium case macbook pro and will probably compensate for property damage where appropriate. Someone is coming to my house tonight to collect the damaged unit. That way they can quickly assess what has happend and take appropriate action. To initiate a recall, they first need to know what caused the incident.

I have to say, I am really please with the way this issue has been dealt with. Kudos to the Australian Apple team, they have made me feel like a properly cared for customer - a rare thing for big corporations these days.

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Getting Out of a 2 Year Cellphone Contract Alive

From The New York Times

The two-year contract. It is the bane of a cellphone owner’s existence, especially one who must have the latest hot phone at a discounted price.

Two years is a long time, and few other marketers can get away with demanding it, much less adding to it. Every time you walk back into the cellphone store or call the customer service operators, it seems, the contract is extended. Lose the phone or ask for a replacement, and the contract is extended. Sign up for a family plan, same thing.

But try getting out of a contract early? You can do it, but you will have to pay an early termination fee of as much as $240.

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Microsoft's Windows Vista Marketing may Benefit Apple

From InformationWeek

Steve Jobs may want to send Steve Ballmer a thank-you note. Microsoft's marketing of its new Windows Vista operating system could pay off handsomely for the company's old rival Apple. "We think Vista is good for Apple," ThinkEquity Partners financial analyst Jonathan Hoopes says. "As people upgrade their PCs, we expect them to increasingly consider the Mac alternative."

In a report issued on Monday, Hoopes and financial analyst Michael Lew argue that Apple hardware sales will benefit from the "Vista tailwind," from the imminent release of Apple's new operating system, Leopard, and from the upcoming availability of Adobe's Creative Suite 3.

"We think Vista has established a 'hardware upgrade' mind-set among PC users," the report states. "Meanwhile, Apple's strong retail store presence; all the buzz around the iPhone, the hugely successful iPod/iTunes combo; and Apple's popular Mac ad campaign are likely to combine into a 'maybe I should buy a Mac' decision. In other words, we expect Apple to be a significant beneficiary of the Vista marketing effort."

The Real Goals of Apple TV

From the iPodObserver

I believe that Apple has very modest and mixed goals for the Apple TV, and that is going to make it very hard to compare that product to all of its competition.

Every company on the planet that owns video content is looking for a way to either develop a delivery system or partner with a company that can deliver Video on Demand (VOD.) There have been many stories and editorials on this subject lately, and so I won't recount all of them. In short, the alternatives to Apple TV are staggering.

What interests me more is Apple's own motivation for the Apple TV.

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11 Ways to Optimize Your Mac

From Low End Mac

Every now and then, my Macs begin to feel a little sluggish. There are many potential reasons why: I tend to run 8-10 applications all the time - and sometimes push 15 or more. This alone will bog down any Mac. At other times, I realize that it's been weeks since I restarted the computer, and a simple restart will solve a lot of these woes.

When those don't speed things up, I've found a number of things I can do to encourage my Macs back to their youthful snappiness. Here are a few tips I've found for restoring my Macs to full speed without spending a penny.

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