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Back to the Mac

Posted by jlong | Posted in Computer | Posted on 13-10-2010


Lately Apple has been very mobile -centric. This year alone they have released a new lineup of iPods with a completely revamped iPod Nano and an iPod Touch with a camera as well as the new iPhone 4. Apple’s biggest release was the iPad, yet another mobile device. Apple is currently attempting to dominate the mobile device scene, but they feel it may be time again to go back to their first area of expertise, the Mac.

Invitations are going out for Apple’s press event, dubbed Back to the Mac. The image associated with the event  is the trademark apple with the image of a lion in the background. This seems to be a hint at the new Mac OS X operating system that is expected to be called “Lion”, after a big cat like its predecessors Panther, Tiger, and Leopard. The name Back to the Mac also suggests that this press event will focus on Apple’s Mac desktops and MacBooks instead of their mobile iPod and iPad lines.

Other than talk about the Lion, Mac OS X Apple is also expected to discuss a redesign of the MacBook Air. Apple may be unable to completely ignore its mobile devices in the press event with rumors abounding about the iPhone coming to Verizon, but this is only speculation.

The event is to be held on October 20th at  10:00 am in Cupertino, California. Hopefully many of the rumors floating around will be addressed, and Apple can get back to its roots with Back to the Mac.

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Apple Sues Sanho Over MagSafe Power Cords

Posted by jlong | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, iPad | Posted on 28-09-2010


To say that Apple is protective of their products would be an understatement.  Throughout the years Apple has been very secretive with their products and very reluctant to let third party accessory makers in on the action. Apple has no problem taking companies who they feel have infringed on their copyrights to court, and their latest victim is Sanho Corporations, makers of the incredibly popular HyperMac batteries. MacBook users have always been fans of the HyperMac batteries because of their ability to extend battery life anywhere from dozens to hundreds of hours. Is this convenience about to end?

While Apple is not happy with Sanho overall, their biggest problem is the use by Sanho of Apple’s trademark MagSafe power connector. The MagSafe power connector has been around since the introduction of the MacBook back in 2006 and has never been licensed out to third party accessory makers in all of that time. The MagSafe power connector is essentially like any other power cord except that it connects to the laptop through a magnet. By using magnets instead of fasteners, Apple guarantees that if the MagSafe cord is tugged on or tripped over it will release without harming the computer. Since it was clearly against the law to produce their own MagSafe connectors, Sanho took another approach and instead repurposed pre-existing MagSafe connectors.  When Sanho says repurpose, what they really mean is that they buy used MagSafe power cords and splice the connector onto their HyperMac batteries. For quite awhile this ingenious tactic kept Sanho flying well under Apple’s radar, but when Apple discovered what Sanho was really doing, they were quite upset.

Apple is also suing Sanho over their use of the 30-pin dock connector which Apple uses on a wide range of their products, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and various other iPods. While the 30-pin connector is licensed out to some third party accessory makers, Sanho is not one of them.

It is clear that Apple is probably in the right for this case, at least in a legal sense, but they may have a difficult time nailing Sanho for the use of their MagSafe connector. Since Sanho purchases used MagSafe power cords for their products, the power cords may be protected under the doctrine of first sale, meaning that since the product in question is used that Apple cannot protest it being sold. Either way the court case goes, it would be unfortunate to lose HyperMac batteries overall. They are incredibly useful devices that can power a MacBook for a whole day or charge an iPhone over long trips. It may be in Apple’s best interest to leave well enough alone in this case, but with a court track record like Apple has it is unlikely the monster of a company will back down.

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The New iPod Touch

Posted by jlong | Posted in Computer | Posted on 30-08-2010


Rumors are starting to buzz about the next generation of the iPod Touch. The Touch has been the go-to device for consumers turned off by the high price of owning an iPhone or an iPad, but who still want the apps and fantastic web browsing. Many sites are beginning to report major changes in the design and hardware of the iPod Touch, and the changes look to be for the better.

The biggest major change looks to be the arrival of a camera. A lot of iPod Touch owners are probably thinking “Finally!” because while the iPod Touch has always supported the picture editing apps that the iPhone used, it always lacked the ability to actually take the photos. With the addition of the camera the iPod Touch will make a huge leap in the mobile web device world. The camera is rumored to be 5 mega pixels and have flash as well. Other speculations suggest that the iPod Touch will boast dual cameras. The back camera will be used for taking photographs, and the front will hopefully be used for FaceTime and other webcam applications. Many possibilities open up for social networking and blogging with the availability of a camera, and even though this feature probably should have been featured in the first generation, it is better late than never.

Other less meaningful changes to the 4th generation iPod touch look to be a change in appearance. Pictures have shown a white, less rounded back more akin to the top of a MacBook than the back of previous iPod Touch’s.  Other additions include an amped up screen. Hopefully it will be the 960-by-640-pixel screen that the iPhone 4 has, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

The iPod Touch is a favorite device of the less fanatic Mac users and is definitely a gateway device to more expensive, impressive Apple products. If Apple plays it smart, they will make this newest version of the iPod Touch something that will hook users and bring them willingly into the Apple lifestyle.

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