News for Thursday, 10 June 2004
Original by Gotchi
- 10/06/2004 23:34:02 CEST - Category: Apple
Thanks to Marc for this info
According to today's issue of the "Luxemburger Wort" newspaper, the Luxembourg's prime minister, Jean-Claude JUNCKER, have mentioned that Apple could install in a really near future a specific unit in Luxembourg; potentially to benefit from one of the lowest VAT in EU concerning e-business.
Parts of the French article?
LG. - Will Luxembourg be the next location for Apple in Europe after having already welcome AOL, Amazon and Microsoft; mostly due to its interesting low VAT? Why? Maybe because Luxembourg has been one of the first countries to transfer in its national laws the European decision from July 2003, concerning VAT for e-business between different members of the EU. This European guideline defines the VAT level applied to e-business inside EU, stating that it is the VAT system corresponding to the country where is located the provider/company which is applied , and not the VAT system corresponding to the country from where the buyer is located. Since Luxembourg has one of the lowest VAT in Europe (15%) compare to 19.6% in France, 21% in Belgium 23% in Finland, Apple might have decided to follow other American groups installed in Luxembourg for some of their operations in Europe, such as Amazon, AOL, Microsoft. For Apple this coud be for its online iTunes Music Store, iTMS.
After the prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was potentially releasing piece of evidence...journalists have of course asked Henri Grethen, Economy Office, who was not really precise in his answer, admitting that negotiation are indeed in progress and quite well advanced with some American companies from the New Technologies field, but nothing is done yet, and the final decision will be taken by the US companies.
Regarding Apple, the same minister was quite interested by a potential installation in Luxembourg: "Apple is not only offering hardware, but also services" as well as AOL and Amazon. Apple will officially announced iTMS Europe on June 15th from London. Will this service be proposed to all European from Luxembourg? will the VAT be 15%? Will this be announced on June 15th? or before?
The official date corresponding to the real opening of iTMS Europe, as well as the EU countries in which the service will be available, should be announced only next week according to Apple.
Apple has sold 807.000 iPod during Q2 2004; simply a 909% increase when compared to Q2 2003, almost 2 billions US$
Original by Lionel
- 10/06/2004 10:31:53 CEST - Category: G5
Seldom has a new products announcement created such a general outcry of the Mac community. If rumors sites, probably were partially responsible of this disappointment, it is Steve Jobs in the first place who is to blame, with the help of IBM ingeneers naturally. We won't have the promised 3 GHz and shall still wait long months for that.
And that truly is the point. It's not that the machines are truly disappointing, yet unkept promises are.
Let's try to figure out the pros and the cons of this new line.
From an overall point of view, Apple has once more been sacrifying the embedded RAM quantities. It IS too low and should have been doubled on EVERY configurations.Ok, DDR market is quite tense those days, but to sell a G5 with only 256 MB RAM is an absurdity. The machine is on the verge of being unable to function at all..
Video cards now. Still put Geforce FX 5200 in a computer is a thing from the past. It's putting a G5 at the rank of a 12" Alubook. The proposed Radeon cards, 9600XT and 9800XT are performing cards indeed, but the new X600 and X800, though not really available yet, shall soon replace them. Anyway on any of the 3 configurations, the best compromise is the 9600XT. The 5200 will soon prove disappointing, and the 9800 is quite too expensive for what it shall really bring.
Now that the toughest cons have been said, let's see what's left to say.
Dual 2.5 GHz G5s :
There are two ways of considering things. The frequency hop is only 500 MHz, or it has been the first significant hop in an Apple line for so long. We shall probably make that second opinion ours, at a time where Intel and AMD haven't been making any progress for a year. New obstacles have arisen in the chip industry, it will take time to cross them and IBM still probablement are the best placed ones to eventually do so.
Second, the G5 Dual 2GHz was close to the best PCs on the road to power. So Apple has now surely taken the lead. To illustrate this, should Virginiatech replace their dual 2GHz by dual 2.5, they'd probably be close to the second place in the top 500 clusters.
Let's now talk of the Watercooling that's on this machine. For what we know, it's the first time a computer brand dares to use it on such a big scale. There must have been many challenges to do so, especially for the fluid as it may not be changed and thus mustn't deteriorate over time.
I for one, bought this machine as is shall mark a spot in history.
Dual 2GHz G5
This machine looks quite identical to that of the preceding line, except thee poorr standard video card we talked about earlier. Do not hesitate to choose a 9600XT for 60 Euros more !
All those who said they wouldn't buy Rev 1 G5s, will be delighted. This machine has now come to maturity as with a 9600XT it costs almost 500 Euros less than it used to.
Dual 1.8 GHz G5s.
If many people said there was pettiness in this new line, it is focused on this machine. It only has 4 memory slots and PCI only.
Those critics are quite undeserved.
Many professionals still have very expensive PCI cards that aren't compatible with PCI-X. This machine was made for them. On the other hand, PCI-X cards are still not numerous and often cost a fortune. Those who'll have the money for such cards, will hardly buy an entry line model.
As for memory slots, 4 are quite sufficient, especially when you think to replace for start the two 128 with two 256 Mo (at least) !
Let's now briefly talk of the price issue. The entry ticket in the G5 line raised by 10%. This is much money for those who didn't have much from start, yet not that much to rise from 1x 1.6 GHz to 2x 1.8GHz [T's note : especially true for those who bought a single G5 1.8 GHz last year... thank you Apple :) Kalomir]. There are so many pros and cons for a cheapier entry line model that we prefer not to engage in this neverending debate, to which the arrival of an iMac G5 shall probably shall probably soon put an end.
So to say, we really think people have to make up their minds now. If unkept promises disappointed us, we really had much more reasons for that when the G4 line stayed stuck for 18 months or so at 500 MHz, before frequencies grew very slowly.
[Upd.] Thx to Thierry for telling us NEC/Packard Bell had already released in May 2003 a watercooled machine.
Original by Lionel
- 10/06/2004 06:14:35 CEST - Category: Hard Drive
Formac has introduced its new hard disk offerings. In the range, there are dual disk models, à la Big Disk from Lacie.
Currently, 4 FW400 models are available in 160, 250, 320 and 400 GB. Next week, the FW800 models should be released.
Original by Lionel
- 10/06/2004 06:11:12 CEST - Category: Network
Source : http://www.pdafrance.com/ (In French)
The SIG, in charge of the Bluetooth standard, has just finalized the ERD, Enhanced Data Rate, that will theoretically triple the current Bluetooth throughoutput, to reach over 2Mbps
We might soon have a sufficient data rate for Apple to launch an iPod with a wireless headset...
Original by Yoc
- 10/06/2004 03:27:57 CEST - Category: Sound
During an interview with Greg Joswiak, Macworld got hint of an interesting piece of information
, a capability almost hidden of the Airport Express.
As we saw in the technical specifications
, the audio jack serves both analog and optical connections, depending on what type of audio cable is plugged in. Those mini jack -> toslink cables do indeed exist and can be hooked up to your home theater amplifier without much fuss.
The good surprise is, according to Macworld, that AirTunes is perfectly able to do AC3 or DTS passthrough via the AirTunes protocol, which uses the Apple Lossless for all audio signals transiting via the Airport Express.
So it is not too far fetched to imagine being able to listen to music coded in 5 or 6 channels from our Macs, even if it doesn't feature a toslink line-out like the G5 has, and more importantly we can hope to be able to use this for DVD playback ! Now, Apple needs to implement AirTunes technology in their DVD Player software... or even better, open up this API so that programmers can integrate AirTunes in any application (VideoLan, for instance...)
Thanks to Frates from our forums for this info
Original by Lionel
- 10/06/2004 00:05:14 CEST - Category: Apple
Source : MacCentral
It would seem the Radeon 9800XT, probably in order to offer a better cooling and especially a silent one, will occupy the first PCI-X slot.
Hence people who would need all of those slots shouldn't buy it.
Anyway, one may wonder if paying 330 Euros more for this card will really be worth it...
Original by Lionel
- 10/06/2004 00:02:58 CEST - Category: Apple
The new dual 2.5 GHz G5s will have a cooling system using a liquid circuit. The fluid speed in the tube system will be software managed by Mac OS X.
Apple site about watercooling
The European Commission goes on an another assault against the Intel fortress, aiming to show the firm absues their predominant situation.
If Intel said they were ready to help in the inquiry, AMD politely replied they didn't care.
Sources say, the people in charge of the inquiry reportedly are those who obtained Microsoft condemnation.