As laptop speakers go, those built into Apple’s MacBooks aren’t bad — particularly if you have a MacBook Pro. But they can be so much better. Plug Twelve South’s BassJump 2 into one of your USB ports and you have a mini sound-system that dramatically improves your MacBook’s audio performance.
BassJump 2 by Twelve South Category: Audio Works With: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Price: $69.99
Whether you’re listening to music, watching a movie, or just enjoying a podcast, the BassJump 2 subwoofer gives you significantly richer and fuller sound that you won’t believe is coming from your MacBook. There’s no need for expensive external speakers that take up too much room in your bag, or headphones that limit the experience to just one person.
The BassJump 2 is priced at $69.99, and Twelve South calls it “an essential road tool for listening to and editing tracks on the tour bus, hotel room or anyplace else your music takes you.” Now, I’m no musician or music producer — but I definitely agree.
Apple will finally discontinue the non-Retina MacBook Pro later this year, according to sources in its supply chain. Production is expected to come to a halt during the second half of 2014, reducing Apple’s notebook lineup to just the MacBook Air and the newer, thinner MacBook Pro with Retina display.
How bad does the other half — those who have never owned a MacBook — have it?
Pretty bad, as this hysterical video showing what Macgasm (tongue-in-cheek?) says are a trio of Norwegian Microsoft employees hurling around a MacBook Pro between themselves like the early hominid apes in the Dawn of Man section of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
So oblivious are they to the fact that this shiny wedge of unibody aluminum is a laptop, that they blindly destroy it, hooting and hollering as if they could never even envision a laptop that wasn’t made of cheap black plastic. Which, surely, many PC owners can’t.
Tim Cook has made a journey over to Ireland this week to visit with staff at the company’s Cork offices. Along with addressing the 4,000 employees responsible for assembling the MacBook Pro, Cook also met up with the country’s prime minister, Taoiseach Enda Kenny today to talk about Apple’s presence in the country, and the Irish tax laws that help it avoid paying billions extra.
The Irish Prime Minister denied claims that the Irish government courts multinational companies like Apple to give them special deals on their corporate tax rate. According to a report from theJournal.ie, Edna Kenny said the tax issue came up during his conversation with Cook and told him they’re in discussions with the OECD about an international response, but the country’s statutory rate of 12.5% applies to all companies.
If you have a 2011 MacBook Pro that is wonking out like it was haunted by a Japanese ghost, you’re not the only one. It appears that a massive number of early-2011 MacBook Pro owners with AMD graphics are having issues with system crashes and hardware problems, with failure rates reaching a critical mass in recent weeks.
Hoping to get a nice discount on your next Mac or iOS device this Black Friday? Then you’d better buy it from a third-party retailer. Apple has taken a new approach to its Black Friday deals this year and decided to give away gift cards rather than discount its goods.
Apple acknowledge last week that some of its new 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display units were experiencing issues where the trackpad and/or keyboard became unresponsive after a few minutes of use. Any new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro purchased after Apple’s October 22nd iPad event may have been potentially affected by the glitch, but Apple announced today that it has published a fix for the problem.
MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update V1.3 can be downloaded via the Mac App Store and promises to fix any glitches where the users trackpad and keyboard stop working on the late 2013 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina models.
Wedge Lock Bracket by Maclocks Category: Locks Works With: Retina MacBook Pro Price: $59.95
Older MacBook Pros — those that don’t have a Retina display — have a Kensington lock built-in, but in an effort to save space and make the new models really thin, Apple did away with that, as well as things like FireWire, traditional hard-disk drives, and the optical drive.
That poses a security risk. If you work in a public place, or you frequent to Starbucks to get stuff done while on a caffeine high, then you need a way to prevent your MacBook Pro from being stolen when you leave it unattended.
And I think the Wedge Lock Bracket, which screws into the bottom of your MacBook Pro and almost looks like it’s a part of it, is the best and most elegant solution.
Get your silver bullets and holy water ready dear friends, because our new CultCast: some Dell laptops are emitting a mysteriously pungent smell; iPad Air gets benchmarked, is murderously speedy; our fave photo app brings darkness… out of the shadows; Apple says some 5S batteries are dieing… faster than they should; Tim Cook says upcoming Apple products will blow… your mind; and we chant… aloud our favorite apps so you can vote on which is best… it’s an all new Faves N Graves!
Put down that candy and join us for this week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the spookiness begin.