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News for Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Apple Knows about the Fumes/Smelling Issue Affecting Mac Pro

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 20:56:01 CEST - Category: Apple
Hereafter is a report from one of our forum contributors who contacted Apple Care following our news about irritating or weird smelling/fumes originating from some Mac Pro.
I just called Apple Care, and they told me that they know about the reported issues affecting the Mac Pro. They added that only Mac Pro manufactured in 2007 are subjects to such issues, and my Mac Pro built in early 2008 would not be affected.
When I asked to get an official written statement, I had to hold on for 40 minutes while Apple Care representative was asking to his hierarchy if such information could be sent. I finally ended up with Apple Customer service that refused to sent me a written statement about this issue.
I could discus with a "level 2" Apple Care representative who informed me that "we can not sent you any email till Apple released an official statement, even to confirm that your Mac Pro is not among those affected." As Apple did not react early 2007 when the first affected Mac Pro were spotted, one can not know if they will ever react...
As Mac Pro are manufactured or assembled in different locations worldwide (Ireland, China), it remains impossible to know if it is linked to a defect in manufacturing process, or a defined part such as the PSU that is responsible for those fumes or smelling.
Of course, employees will never send you any confirmation letter or email, so far Apple did not release an official statement or communicate about a define problem. Let's hope that Cupertino will not wait too long, as some Mac Pro users might not really appreciate such silence about a potential important issue.

Samsung Announces High-Density DDR3 Modules

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 11:27:39 CEST - Category: Peripheral
If DDR3 RAM modules did not invade computer specification yet, it should come with the first models based on Centrino 2. Samsung announce a breakthrough in producing 2 Gbits DDR3 chips (256 MB) with a 50 nm engraving process. It represents a 60-fold increase in density (vs. DDR2) while consuming 40% less power than 1 Gbits DDR3 chips. With such new chips, manufacturer will offer 8 to 16 GB DDR3 RAM modules for desktop computer and 4 GB SO-DIMM modules for notebooks. With the ever increasing needs of RAM in recent OS and hardware, adding 8 GB of RAM in a iMac or a MacBook Pro might soon be a good advise and not necessarily expensive.

Development of LED Faster than Expected

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 11:26:51 CEST - Category: Laptop
LED backlighting is becoming a popular feature in notebook as it is a power saving and environment-friendly solution. Both points boosted its adoption in notebooks and manufacturers have invested in R&D to improve the technology further. LED backlighting-enable notebook will represent 15% of manufactured units for the quarter of the year, and market share should rise to 30 to 40% in 2009. Dell already announced its plan to move 80% of its notebook models to LED backlighting in 2009 and 100% in 2010. On its side, only the MacBook does not feature such LCD lighting technology and we would not be surprise to see Apple to be the first PC manufacturer to entirely move its notebook offer to LED backlighting; the same way it was the first to drop CRT display.

New SSD Models from Transcend

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 11:26:29 CEST - Category: Hard Drive - Source: Digitimes
In the SSD field, companies seems to keep announcing new models almost everyday. If yesterday it was Toshiba with its 250 GB 2.5" SSD, and today Transcend unveils new products not targeting storage capacity but performance level.

Available in ATA and SATA format at 2.5" SSD, those drives will offer 150 MB/S in reading mode and be able to write data at 136 MB/s. Storage capacity will top at 64 GB, a relatively low level capacity in today notebooks, except if you can install two of such SSD. Price and availability are still unknown.

New Apple TV today?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 11:25:58 CEST - Category: Apple
This rumor started growing over the week-end on the web: Apple could release its new Apple TV mode today. However one does not know if the shape will evolve or only the hardware. Among the expected new specifications, we could have:
- SATA HD with storage space up to 250 or 500 GB.
- So far, the Apple TV is using a processor which was part of ATOM’s development, and Apple could integrate the new low cost CPU from Intel in its TV-oriented device. Dual Core ATOM should be powerful enough to boost performance while decreasing production cost.
- The Apple TV could finally provide full HD support as required components are now much cheaper and would make the Apple TV a true alternative to other video media center.

Defective NVidia GPUs on MacBook Pro: New Reports and No Reactions from Apple

By linathael - 30/09/2008 11:25:22 CEST - Category: Apple
Since the official announcement by NVidia, and as Dell and HP did it already weeks or months ago, we are still waiting for Apple official extended program for MacBook Pro equipped with a defective NVidia GeForce GPU. If the problem does not seem to affect a large number of models or units, we regularly receive reports. It is about time for Apple to stop being silent and act effectively for supporting unfortunate owners of a plagued MBP.
A website has been created to compile information and links related to the issue: http://www.badmacbookprogpu.org/, in addition a video clearly demonstrate the video issue:

According to our information, Apple was not causing problems to unfortunate owners to exchange the defective motherboard, however, as the first MBP equipped with defective NVidia started shipping in June 2007, we are now 3 months over the warranty and Apple seems to behave suddenly differently according to some report, refusing to exchange the defective GPU for free. As NVidia already announced that it will cover the cost of repair, we are expecting now to have Apple issuing an extended warranty program for the affected models.

No Operator? Apple will sell unlocked iPhones in Hong Kong

By crispin. Original by Lionel - 30/09/2008 07:11:43 CEST - Category: iPhone
Faced with difficulties of finding a suitable local operator in HongKong, Apple decided to sell its iPhones desimlocked at its Apple Stores in HongKong.
The 8 GB sells at approximately 480€ and 16 GB, 550€. To activate them the customers has nothing more to do than to take them out of their box, put a SIM card into them and to connect them with their computer.
Of course, they will have to manage to find a data subscription and they will not have access to the visual voice email.
Since we are talking about the iPhone, a site called http://www.iphoneideal.com/ proposes like its name to make suggestions on what would be an ideal iPhone. If Apple has no chance to listen to them, developers of software could be inspired by their suggestions.
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