News for Monday, 22 January 2007

Apple Moving to LED Backlighting?

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 19:37:54 CET - Category: Laptop
Although the switch to Intel processors has occupied the majority of the attention of rumor sites, there is still one that is interesting. This is the case with Appleinsider who announced that Apple might be quickly moving to LED backlighting in its portables.
The first to be equipped to this new technology should be the next 15" MacBook Pros, with the others migrating sometime later.
In comparison to the current fluorescent backlights, backlighting based on white LEDs has many advantages:
- Lower power consumption and thus longer battery life
- Thinner screen
- Higher brightness
- But most importantly, more evenly distributed lighting. The largest complaint of 15" MacBook Pro owners at the moment is the obvious lack of evenness in the lighting of its screen. So in all cases this should be excellent news.

ATI/AMD Mobility Radeon X1900 Unveiled

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 14:58:18 CET - Category: Video
ATI/AMD officially announced the availability of the Mobility Radeon X1900 .
This card is the new flagship model for notebooks. So if Cupertino keeps relying on ATI for its Pro notebook GPU, then the Mobility Radeon X1900 should find its way in the future MBPro (next revision?).
This new GPU features 312 million transistors, 36 pixel shader processors, 8 vertex shader processors and 256-bit 8-channel DDR1/DDR2/GDDR3 memory interface (vs. respectively, 157 millions, 12 psp, 8 vertex shader and 128-bit RAM bandwidth for the Mobility X1600)
It remains unclear how fast will this new GPU be clocked, and how much power it will drain, but one can expect that ATI did not forget the "Mobility" aspect when considering power consumption

Burning DVD-RAM at 14x

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 14:42:00 CET - Category: CD Drives
While blue laser-based devices and media are late, and the on-going war between BD and HD-DVD not over, some manufacturers decided to reinvest in DVD-RAM to offer a real and interesting alternative as a storage solution.
ASUS released a new burner able to write data on a DVD-RAM at 24x. With such a burning speed, this media regains lot of interests. Indeed, such media can be re-written 100,000 folds vs. 1,000 fold for DVD+/-RW; and it can be mounted easily and used as a removal HD, as one can add or delete files from it "on-the-fly". Flexibility of this "old" media might be the current best solution as a storing technology for small companies.

802.11n Update: to Pay or Not to Pay? $5 or $2?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 11:04:34 CET - Category: Apple claims to have obtained confirmation from Apple that the patch supposed to give iMac C2D and MacPro full access to 802.11n will have to be purchased.
The price varies from $1.99 according to to $4.99 according to AppleInsider.
But... this update will be free for consumers purchasing the new $179 Airport Extreme Base Station. It remains unclear if this patch will be defined for a single computers, or for 5, as the new Apple wifi station is able to stream up to 5 computers...
If it will of course make users quite upset, it seems that Apple is probably acting this way to strictly follow the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, avoiding making too much waves while the SEC is investigating about the Stock Options affair.
As reported by the end-user license agreement (EULA) states the features in the product at the time of sale are all that the user is buying, and that the company doesn't undertake to add any in the future. That way, any upgrade that does turn up can be a gift or a paid-for extra, as the company wishes, without any hint that the customer has knowingly paid in advance for stuff they didn't get at the time.
Last but not least, if the act applies to Apple for USA, and in theory all over the world, it remains unclear to date, if such fee is valid in other countries' laws, especially in Europe where laws are aiming to protect consumers from being spoiled by companies.

Microsoft Relies on iTunes!

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 10:40:41 CET - Category: iPod
While waiting for an hypothetical launch of the Zune in Europe, a promotion campaign is on-going, and Microsoft offers about 30 tracks to be downloaded from its dedicated website: Artistdirect.
If it is always a pleasure to get free things and gifts, Microsoft might not really appreciate information lying in music track tags:

As illustrated above, those free music tracks have been encoded with iTunes 6.0.4, and not by MS own audio solutions.
Of course, one should always use the best tool, but if Microsoft starts using Apple's solutions to promote the Zune, we are not sure about the real success/future of the Zune in USA, as in Europe.

Apple at MIDEM (World's Music Market Show)

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 10:33:51 CET - Category: Apple
For the fourth consecutive year, Apple is massively present during the MIDEM (World's Music Market Show, Cannes, France). Thanks to Frédéric for those photos.

Another one: a panorama view(Photos ROUGIER/SANUY)

Once more, Napster is trying to be visible, the blue banner on the right.

New 1.1 revision of the Draft 802.11n standard

By Moose. Original by Lionel - 22/01/2007 09:16:37 CET - Category: Network - Source:
Although Apple is on the verge of migrating their whole range to 802.11n (except for the current-gen Mac mini), people need to remember that it is NOT an existing standard, only a draft. But a big step has been done when a new 1.1 draft was finalized and unanimously ratified by all the members. If the standard is not yet finalized, there shouldn't be any more changes on the hardware side, only modifications that could be implemented through software and firmware updates.
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