News - page 2314

How to Rebuild a Mac When The Worst Occurs

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Can you guys keep a secret? This is the first post I’ve written in more than a month that I created on my Mac. Right at the end of August, I opened my faithful 12″ Powerbook only to be greeted by the unwelcome sound of the Click of Death.

If you’ve never had a hard drive die, you might have never encountered the Click of Death. Count yourself lucky. It’s a sad sound. A heart-breaking sound. The sound of things falling apart. A tap, a skip, a whir and failure. Over and over and on into the future. And so, part way through a major writing project, my computer was beloved Mac and constant companion was rendered utterly unusable. Not immediately equipped to pay for the repair, I had to hold off until this last week to get a new drive.

I have walked in the valley of darkness, oh my brothers, and I am more convinced of the Mac’s superiority than ever. Fitted with a new drive, my little Mac feels dozens of times faster than the year-old ThinkPad I have to use at work. It just feels like being home. To make it more like home, over the course of the weekend, I’ve been restoring my Mac to just how I like it. I have five easy steps for doing it yourself, so click through to learn how.

CEO of Amiga Says OS 5 Will Top Mac OS X

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Remember 1988? Bill McEwen certainly does. And that’s why he’s the CEO of Amiga, Inc., a little company still churning along based on the stellar reputation that Commodore’s Amiga enjoyed back in the late ’80s. For awhile there, some actually thought the Amiga would really duke it out with Apple for supremacy. And Bill McEwen still thinks it can happen, as he lays out in a baffling interview on Amiga Web:

16) You’ve claimed earlier that OS5 will be better than Mac OS X. Can you tell us in what way?

Details for OS 5 will be made public in the 4th quarter of 2007, and then you will have a much clearer understanding and I will let you decide if what I know to be true is accurate.

Also:

28) In the era of the Mac mini, iPhone, $100 laptop, and Efika, what innovative products can Amiga Inc. bring to the information technology market?

Our plans and product strategy take all of the above question items and others into account. Until I am able to show it to you, I will just have to say that there is plenty of places for Amiga to succeed.

You hear that Apple? A company that thinks this weird picture of a woman with a cell phone belongs on the front page of their website is taking the Mac mini and the iPhone into account. So there! Just consider yourself accounted for! I love true believers.

Via Slashdot

Rumor: AppleTV Update, Mac Nano Coming Soon

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The Apple blogosphere hills are alive with the sound of rumors!

So, it’s pretty clear that Apple’s iPod and iPhone product line is locked down for the holiday season following last month’s “Beat Goes On” event, right? Right. What’s that leave for new product updates? Why, the glory of the Mac, of course.

The always-enthusiastic, rarely-on-the-money Mac OS Rumors claims that a bevy of big product announcements are coming from Apple “between now and mid-December.”

These include the MacBook Nano (another spin on the long-rumored MacBook Thin) and a rather oddly muddle rumor about both an AppleTV product line featuring optical disc drives (presumably HD-DVD or BluRay) and also a new, even smaller Mac mini replacement called the Mac nano. Now, I have to say, that sounds like exactly the same rumor to me, unless Apple really wants to position the AppleTV as a DVD-player replacement instead of a new device. Personally, I’d rather see them just install some DVR software. But really, would Apple introduce a new AppleTV with a disc slot and lower the profile of the Mac mini? They would look exactly the same.

What are you expecting for Christmas from Apple this year?

Image via Guardian.

SF Apple Store Evacuated for False Fire Alarm

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What can send dozens of Mac-heads and Apple Geniuses running faster than a basket full of free iPhones? Why a fire alarm, of course. Sunday morning at the main Apple Store in San Francisco, everybody hit the street after a two-alarm ire cleared the space and firefighters tramped around the space.

Some Life Blog has the complete story, but the video above is worth watching just to see the parade of Apple Store employees returning to work after getting the all-clear sign. I don’t know if I’ve seen that many black T-shirts since I last went to a Raiders game!

Via SFist.

NY Times: Apple is a “Process Innovator”. O RLY?

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Everyone who loves Apple’s products is fully aware that the company is innovative, always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, democratizing breakthrough technologies in the process. How Apple does that, of course, is basically a secret these days. At best, we know that Steve Jobs decrees a product get made, and then it materializes.

The NY Times tries to capture this mystical sense in an article about process innovation published in the Sunday Business section. And I have to say, working in and around this dialogue, the article provides one of the more abstract explanations for the value of innovation I’ve ever seen. It talks about how sweet Intel, Apple and Google are but doesn’t say why they are able to innovate, and what that means to the rest of us. Unless innovation is tied to business growth, it’s an academic exercise. I practically expected a reference to Wikinomics here, the argument is so not grounded in concrete terms:

 Yet successful companies realize that maintaining competitive advantage depends heavily on sustaining process innovations. Great process innovators often support basic research in relevant fields, maintain complete control over the creation of every aspect of a product and refuse to rely on outside suppliers for important components. Certainly, there are exceptions to these patterns, but even companies like Apple that buy essential processes on the open market nevertheless invest in gaining a working knowledge of the technologies and an understanding of their future arc.

And that has what to do with process innovation? This is the golden goose so far as companies today are concerned. Apple and Procter & Gamble, for example do have very successful innovation strategies. But abstractly talking about an innovation process and actually realizing one are two different things. And this article provides no actions that can be taken to instill such processes back at our own companies. It’s just more fauning over Google, Apple and Intel. What a squandered opportunity.

Via Bruce. 

Steve Jobs Motivates…Yahoo?

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Silicon Valley Socialite Om Malik reports that the good people of Yahoo! were recently inspired by none other than Steve Jobs himself:

He told the gathering of 300-odd Yahoo (YHOO) vice presidents that they can do anything. The company with one of the largest Internet user bases can do and achieve anything, he apparently told them. (I am channeling a handful of VPs.) He talked about how Apple (AAPL) was down on its luck and made a comeback. Yahooligans were pretty inspired! Now if they made more of their products Mac friendly!

Malik promises more detail on Steve’s speech soon, but in the meantime, ponder this: Yahoo has 300 VICE-PRESIDENTS! No wonder they need motivation from Steve. Stay tuned — this is a very interesting development. Yahoo and Apple are much friendlier than they were a year ago… Steve doesn’t do motivational speaking for just anyone. It’s always as a personal favor.

Reminder: Dig the Macs in NBC’s “Chuck”

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As I noted back in June, NBC’s new series “Chuck,” which premiered last night, features Macs galore, including the above Mac Plus, the thinly disguised most powerful computer in the world.

“Chuck” is a cute little show, but the Macs are mostly more interesting than the action. You can see the show in full online here.

Found on Youtube: The Hipster PDA Shuffle

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O iPhoneless brethren, I feel your pain. None of us can afford the glorious device, despite our love for Apple. Fortunately, Paul Waite has created an amazing DIY music-playing PDA for the rest of us. All you need is a stack of index cards and an iPod shuffle. He calls it the Hipster PDA Shuffle, and the video introducing it is amazing. AMAZING.

(If you never saw the original, hysterical Hipster PDA article, get thee to 43 Folders!)

Breaking: Woz at Emmys with Kathy Griffin

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Though no photos have surfaced yet, Entertainment Weekly reports that Emmys host Ryan Seacrest interviewed Kathy Griffin on the red carpet tonight, and a certain burly, bearded founder of Apple named Woz a few minutes ago. This is contrary to several denials of the relationship between Woz and Griffin.

Apparently, Seacrest had no idea who Woz was and suddenly opened his eyes after being informed through his ear piece. The clip should air on the west coast around 7 p.m., so keep your eyes peeled for it. I’ll post the red carpet clip as soon as it makes it to the Internet. In the mean time, enjoy a video of Woz explaining Griffin to a fan.

New iPods Don’t Play Nice With Video Add-Ons

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Though Apple’s big iPod announcements last week promise to make video playback the new status quo in digital media players, one minor detail got lost amid the excitement. Though the new video nanos, iPod classics, iPod Touches and iPhones are capable of 480p output via a new Component video connection kit, they won’t be capable of working with third-party video accessories released over the last two years, such as those cool portable DVD player lookalikes that were all the rage a few months ago.

According to b, the new iPods’ TV-out feature requires an authentication chip found almost exclusively in Apple accessories, such as the (now-dead) iPod HiFi and the Universal Dock. Otherwise, the menu item is locked out. There is no apparent technical reason for this, just a monetary one. Pretty skeevy of Apple. anyone feeling burned right now?

Sorry, Folks. No Beatles on iTunes.

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In what has now become the most frequent and most frequently unrequited Apple rumor, the company did not announce the availability of Beatles songs on iTunes. Despite featuring Paul McCartney in an iTunes commercial, and Steve Jobs downloading a John Lennon song and a McCartney song during the intro of the iPod Touch, the Beatles catalog is still unavailable for sale as a download.

The only reason I care any more is because it’s such a tease. Jobs is a Beatles fanatic. The lawsuit with Apple Corps is settled. At the end of the day, it’s not a big deal, because everyone who likes the Beatles owns their music in other formats already, but this is just starting to get bizarre.

Picture via The Apple Press.

Wired Live-Blogging Apple Event at 10am PDT

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If you’re wondering where to hang your hat tomorrow morning as Steve Jobs takes the wraps off a new bunch of iPod products (oh, c’mon. Do you really think he would just introduce a leather case and a speaker set? That never happens!), feast your eyes to our colleagues at Wired’s Gadget Lab. They’ll be down in sunny Cupertino, typing like madmen to bring us all the freshest information. If iPhone Socks get announced, you’ll see it there first! The fun begins at 10 Pacific sharp. We’ll see you there.

Introducing the ZunePhone — With Polaroid!

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Just got the chance to watch this absolutely hysterical video that demonstrates the iPhone as rendered by Microsoft. It savages the company every which way for some typical and not-so-typical flaws that show up in MS products. It’s so spot-on, in fact, that it reminds me of the notorious “Microsoft iPod” commercial from a few years back.

Of course, that spot turned out to be generated by Microsoft itself, so it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that this is of similar origin. It’s the kind of video you watch yourself to remember what not to do, you know? Especially since the user who uploaded it has no other videos on YouTube…

Via Apple 2.0

Reader Submission: Worst Tech Support…Ever

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In response to a story I posted about a fixed Mac getting repeatedly shipped all over San Francisco, including to a CompUSA, reader Jonathan has produced quite possibly the most appalling story ever, from his attempts to fix an iMac with Apple New Zealand. It’s unbelievable.

Wednesday, day 8. I phone up at lunchtime, hows my Mac doing? Huh? What? The technician is just installing the parts right now and the MAc should be ready some time thisafternoon, but we’re still waiting on the replacement mouse? WTF?

later that day Apple call back. Your iMac is ready to be picked up. What about the mouse? No we’re still witing on that. Can I have my old mouse back in the interim? No, we have to keep that to send back when we get the replacemnet Mosue.

And that’s just the part about the mouse — Jonathan took it in because of a broken SuperDrive. You simply must read on in… 

Are New iPhone Ads a Sign of Flagging Interest?

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Very cool post up at Apple 2.0 right now about the connection between press attention and Apple’s marketing efforts. Essentially, as Leander has argued before, the company lays off the advertising a little bit when interest is high. Phil at Apple 2.0 decided to see if Apple then pumps it back up again when things tail off. None-too-surprisingly, press hits about the iPhone are way down from two months ago. Last week, after the company rolled out “All These Years” and “All the Parts,” the volume of iPhone stories went up again.

Check it out, it’s great.

Woz Dates Kathy Griffin, Joins the D-List

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Oh, Woz. We could forgive all the Segway polo. And the US Festivals. Even the interviews hyping iWoz. But dating Kathy Griffin? Really?

While I’m sure the stand-up comic and star of “My Life on the D-List” has a hidden interesting side that she’s never shown in any of her acting or comedy, she just doesn’t seem like your type. Then again, since I hear you met her after one of her shows, you must share a sense of humor. If you leverage that into a new Bay Area dial-a-joke service like you had back in the day, maybe all will be forgiven.

Via Perez Hilton

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While We Were Out (Link Round-Up)

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Sorry for the inactivity over the last week, everyone. A lot of traveling for work, coupled with a massive layover in Kentucky, has kept me from blogging. I’ve got  a lot in the works, including an overview (and gentle mockery) of the first-ever issue of MacWorld from February 1984, featuring a profile of Mac fan Bill Gates (yes, I’m serious).

For now, though, enjoy some of the top stories from the week’s absence:

The new iMac — totally disassembled. [Kodawarisan]
First Review of iWork Numbers [MacWorld]
Woz Funds HotSwap.com [Reuters]
Apple Files New Patent For Multitouch on Laptops [Gizmodo]
What’s Behind Apple’s iWork? [BusinessWeek]
Guy Creates Fake iPhone From Scratch (But Leaves Out YouTube Icon) [Gizmodo]
iPhone Video-Conferencing With Mirrors [MacDaddyWorld]

Speculation: New iMac Will Look Like iPhone

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Edited to correct my obvious typo. The more I think about this, the more it makes sense. This would be the perfect platform to introduce a radical mouse replacement for — like a huge trackpad with multitouch. The design language screams multitouch. Curiouser and curiouser.

Original Post: Interesting bit of speculation over at Gizmodo today about the new iMacs we’re all expecting hear about tomorrow. It’s all summed up in the picture they mocked up above. Basically, if the last generation of iMacs was made to look like the big brother of the iPod, why shouldn’t generation tie into Apple’s new top-of-the-line portable lifestyle device the iPhone?

Back when Apple introduced the first Intel iMacs in January 2006, I was quite surprised that the company maintained the identical form factors from the the final PowerPC iMacs, which were only three months old at the time. Thinking about it more, however, it made perfect sense. Apple was deliberately designing to emphasize the reliability of the new technologies. Now that the Intel Macs are runaway hits, it’s time to emphasize the benefits of connecting an iPhone to an iMac. A perfect design strategy.

I wouldn’t buy one, but it’s a lot more credible than the Apple Cinema Display knock-offs people are passing off as iMac shots in this rumor cycle.

The Meta-Silicon Valley iPhone Parody Video

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This viral video is too meta to be believed. It stars Randi Jayne, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and David Prager, COO of online TV channel Revision3, which hosts the Diggnation show, and the video’s about an Apple product. It’s like a Silicon Valley intermarriage.

It’s still pretty funny, though. Especially if you’re into parodies of “Freak Like Me.

Via Apple 2.0

Fake Steve = Forbes Senior Editor

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Pic: Forbes.

Fake Steve has been outed by (of all publications) the New York Times, and turns out he’s Dan Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes. Here’s the story: A Mystery Solved: ‘Fake Steve’ Is an Editor

“Mr. Lyons said he invented the Fake Steve character last year, when a small group of chief executives turned bloggers attracted some media attention. He noticed that they rarely spoke candidly. “I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if a C.E.O. kept a blog that really told you what he thought? That was the gist of it.”

Ironically, Lyons was the author of a Forbes hit piece on blogs last year, called Attack of the Blogs. It begins: “Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.”

Of course, libel, lies and invective is what makes Fake Steve fun, but a lot of it was aimed at his fellow journalists. It was pretty clear Fake Steve was a journalist or editor — given all the pops he made at fellow Silicon Valley scribblers. He called Gawker publisher Nick Denton a “macrocephalic sodomite” (Denton is gay and has a large head).

Now that he’s been outed, it’s going to be pretty uncomfortable for him running into his targets.

UPDATE: Fake Steve has just posted his won entry about the Times story. He’s glad he was busted by the Times and not Valleywag, which has been on the hunt for months. Fake Steve writes:

“One bright side is that at least I was busted by the Times and not Valleywag. I really, really enjoyed seeing those guys keep guessing wrong. For six months Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth put their big brains together and couldn’t come up with the answer. Guy from the Times did it in a week. So much for the trope about smarty-pants bloggers disrupting old media. Brilliant. My only regret is that we didn’t get a chance to see Bigglesworth take a few more swings and misses.”

Dateline NBC Scoop: People Steal Unattended iPods!

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Caution: What you don’t know about this post could cause your children to develop psychic powers and revive the dead — with stolen iPods! Also: Alarmism in television news magazines: Are you safe? More importantly, is your cat?

Everyone must watch or read the transcript of Dateline NBC‘s howlingly funny special “\to catch_an i-Jacker” (I swear I didn’t make up any of the odd formatting in the above title, which, um…reminds me of a certain Daily Show segment…). Apparently, the investigative crew was shocked — SHOCKED! — to learn that iPods occasionally get stolen. And worse, sometimes other things get stolen, too!

In Los Angeles, robberies of iPods and other gadgets shot up 34 percent last year.

To make sure iPods don’t kill your children, please click through, and don’t stop until the part where the reporters use a sexual predator tactic in order to catch a thief. No, seriously. You have to see this.