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News for Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Office 2007 PC Not Compatible with Mac Office Till Spring 2007

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 16:21:07 CET - Category: Software - Source: Macworld UK
With its suite Office 2007 for PC, Microsoft introduces a new format for saving files, the Microsoft Office Open XML. Of course, as usual with Redmond, "Open" is probably more related to marketing policies than reality. Indeed, the docx, xlsx and other pptx files will not be compatible with the Mac Office version.
Knowing that Office 2003 (PC) can be updated to become compatible with this new file format, one can imagine that the Microsoft Mac Business Unit can work out a solution for Mac users.
According to our information, such a system should be available on the Mac for Spring 2007. For the time being, when sharing Office files with your PC user’s friends, asked for the non XML format.

Wireless USB from Belkin

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 13:23:44 CET - Category: Peripheral
Belkin released a wireless USB2 HUB.

You will simply need to plug the dongle to your computer, then all peripherals connected to the hub, located from up to 10meters away, can be accessed.
Based on the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology (a.k.a. wireless USB), transfers data speed will top at 480Mbps for USB 2.0 devices within a short range from the station.
The product will be available mid-December in USA with a target price of 199$. PS: The UWB format being not finalized yet, such product might not be compatible with certified-UWB product in the future.

New Law Makes iPod Use Legal in Australia

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 13:13:40 CET - Category: iPod
After a proposal for changing the law in UK, the copyright law has been modified in Australia allowing thousands of Australians who use iPods and other digital music players to no longer be acting illegally.
Let's hope that such move will go on in other countries, proving French politician that the recent DADVSI law was a step backwards regarding digital technology rights management.
Next subject for a fight between consumers and law makers: online video stores and video-on-demand offers.

MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo Production Is Stopped!? [updated]

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 11:44:30 CET - Category: Apple
Last Monday, we have received a message from Pierre-Yves.
I wanted to purchase a MacBook Pro 17" Core 2 Duo, but I was told that they had received a message from Apple asking for not taking orders of MB Pro anymore; with not additional information.
We were following this news, waiting for additional information, comments or reports, and today we have received another message from FxParis.
I have received the following message from my Apple Reseller:
"bad news: MacBook Pro 15" production is temporary stopped due to a quality issue identified on non-glossy LCD panel. There is no additional information!"
It remains unclear if the production is stopped for all MacBook Core 2 Duo or only for those models with the non-glossy widescreen LCD display.
Surprisingly we have received very few reports about problems with MB Pro C2D. Apple might have increased its quality control checks to avoid repeating similar problems encountered with the first MB Pro Core Duo model. Indeed, it costs much less money to stop production for couple of days to fix the problem than paying LCD panel exchange for thousands of MBPro owners.
For sure it is a bad timing with the Christmas period approaching.
[update]
we are trying to collect additional information in order to better define if this pause in production is affecting all MB Pro models or only some of them, or if it is linked to BTO.

Multi-Threaded OpenGL is There!

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 11:17:37 CET - Category: Software
Thanks to Gabriel for this info.
The new patch for World of Warcraft 2.01 will be available in Europe today, and among new features:
"- Several improvements have been made to the Macintosh client, including support for Multi-Threaded OpenGL on Intel Macs running OS X 10.4.8 or higher."
If one keep reading patch-related information, Blizzard makes the following announcement:
"- Added support for Multi-Threaded OpenGL on Intel Macs running OS X 10.4.8 or higher. Depending on hardware, scene and graphical settings, this can raise frame rates up to a factor of 2X."
If multi-threaded OpenGL on MacIntel can really double frame rates, than it would be a huge advantages for Mac gamers, and could boost Mac game developments. It would also demonstrate how multi-threaded OpenGL can boost video performance.

Toshiba: We Did It Thinking About the iPod

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 11:10:12 CET - Category: Software
Toshiba released a 100GB 1.8" HD. This new drive, based on 2 plates, features perpendicular recording allowing faster data transfer and higher performance while saving power when compared to previous models found in iPods.
Mass production should start in 2007, but it is not clear if Apple can already use it for a new Video iPod that could be introduced at the san Francisco Macworld Expo.

Photoshop CS3: Beta Version Available Today?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 06/12/2006 10:59:23 CET - Category: Software
Warning: we could not verify this information, it is a report from an external source but one could consider it reliable.
Report from Xavier.
hello,
on Adobe homepage, there is information about Photoshop CS3. The link is not working yet, but it mentions the availability of a beta version to be released today! Hereafter is a copy of the text:
Download the Photoshop CS3 beta today and experience a rich new feature set. Macintosh users: Get native performance on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.
http://www.adobe.com/
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs3/
We have received this email at 02h48 (CET), and at 05h45 when we looked at Adobe homepage, there was no information about PS CS3.
However, we would not be surprised to see a beta version released, as Adobe has chosen this way to advertise its future products, as it did already recently for LightRoom and Soundbooth
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