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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Is Apple Frances Scapegoat?

Is France trying new laws and using Apple to test the waters?

It sure seem like they are to me.
Scapegoat-The word also refers, in modern parlance, to one who is blamed for misfortunes, often as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.

This French bill, which would be the implementation of a European Union directive, calls for digital songs to be playable on all devices. As part of the law proposal, companies that use copyright protection measures (like Apple’s DRM) would have to supply the information essential to interoperability to those interested at no other charge than the cost of delivering the data.

But why? Like I said before, Is France not wanting iTunes in France? or is there a different agenda we don't know about?? Because forcing this opens up a lot things to consider. Does Microsoft and Sony fall under this law also? Will Halo be forced to come to the Playstation and vise versa with Playstation and NES games? Why go after just music? Why not also software just written for just windows? In each format there is a form of protection management being done. If this goes through what’s next?

Apple does have the most to lose because of its large portion of the digital music market. France lawmakers has a lot to gain if this law passes with it attacking the big boys of digital music market. But what about French consumers? What will they gain? They have more to lose.

For days Apple said nothing, But, late Tuesday Apple said such a law would "result in state-sponsored piracy."
"If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers," Apple said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. "iPod sales will likely increase as users freely load their iPods with 'interoperable' music which cannot be adequately protected. Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy."

But is piracy the only part of this equation? Who else may gain from this?
Well the new interoperability rules were welcomed “in principle” by recording companies.
John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Recording Industry has said:
"It is important to consumers to have the ability to move songs between their various listening devices."



Is he not part of the same group of people who want various prices for different albums or songs? Of coarse the interoperability rules are welcomed in principle by them, These guys have often complained that the iTMS has deprived them of any control over music pricing. Oh how they forget how much Apple and the iTMS has helped the music industry, and how little Apple makes from selling the music. In the long run they don’t see the large loss as well.

Jim Prendergast, of the public policy group American For Technology Leadership, derided the French decision, calling it a

"direct attack" on Apple's intellectual property, and saying that one of the ramifications could be Apple pulling its iTunes store out of the French market.
"Once governments force companies to give away their innovations, their intellectual property rights there will no longer be an incentive to create new products that will benefit consumers," Prendergast said.


Analysts have said that Apple would have to choose between sharing their secrets of the exclusive online music technology or stop selling music downloads in France. According ARS Technica
Analysts estimate that France is responsible for around 5 percent of Apple's global music sales, so the financial blow from exiting the country would not be severe. However, if the French legislation is adopted across all of the European Union—which is the stated goal of France's Cultural Minister—the company would find itself in a much tougher situation.


But what I want to know is with this new legislation how will they find the hackers and pirates across all of the Europe? O.K., so those caught pirating music or movies or who disable copy protection systems are going to be fined to a sum over $350,000. So what? How well has that worked in the US so far?

There are far too many questions not answered, and much loss to the French consumer.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The new Macmini

O.K., Steve came on stage today talked about some iPod leather cases for $99...

Then he finally shows something cool, the new iPod Hi-Fi

Which according to Apple:

*Compatible with all iPod models with a dock connector through the integrated Universal Dock (dock adapters included)
*Compatible with iPod shuffle and iPod models without a dock connector through the audio input port (audio cable sold separately)
*Charges iPod via dock connector
*Tone Control in speakers menu provides additional EQ settings specifically for iPod Hi-Fi
*Input port accepts analog 3.5 mm stereo minijack or S/PDIF optical digital miniplug
and can also run on six D-cell batteries.
All for just $349 and is availible today.

Now we get to my headline.... the Mac Mini. Now I don't have my hands on one, but reading the spec's I was smiling for a while:

*1.5GHz Intel Core Solo($599) or 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo processor ($799)
*60GB hard drive(1.5GHz)--80GB hard drive(1.66GHz)
*Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive(1.5GHz)--8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)(1.66GHz)
*2MB on-chip L2 cache
*667MHz frontside bus
*512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300) on two DIMMs; supports up to 2GB
*A new infrared port designed to work with the Apple Remote and support for a enhanced version of Front Row. The new version of Front Row (Front row with Bonjour) allows customers to access shared iTunes and iPhoto libraries and video throughout their home via Bonjour.

Then I got to the specs on the graphics card. Hold on, there is none, well not one you want anyway. It has a Intel integrated graphics processor. A GMA950 graphics processor to be exact, with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory. Ya shared. According to Apple's website, Memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 80MB, resulting in 432MB of system memory available.

Meaning when you buy this Mac, you better max it out with memory (not from Apple unless you want to pay $300) because working with iMove or iDVD will bring up that beach ball we all hate if you don't.



But, lets look deeper into the GMA950 chip.

I thought about this computer possible for my kid till I read Extreme Tech's review of this chip. They did a test on a PC, but you get the point. This chip could only run Doom 3 at 16.20FPS in (640X480) and got worse at 1024X768 when it dropped to 10.4 FPS. Unreal Tournament 2004 was not much better barely making 30FPS at 640X480 and only 18.2FPS at 1024X768. Toms Hardware has Mark Rein, vice president for Epic Games, the developer of the Unreal graphics engine and game series is qouted as saying "What is the point of shipping multi-core CPUs, if they are only going to have integrated graphics?" I guess that line itself makes my point.

Bottom Line

If all your gonna do is surf the web or watch and share pictures, movies and music, this mini's for you. If you want a intel based Mac that can play games also, get a iMac.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Newest AppleXnet Writer


I have bee given a great opportunity to write the news for AppleXnet.com. So to Read any further news about Apple or anything Mac related, hop on over to AppleXnet.com to get the rest of a MacAddict's flava!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Smile


It's Saturday.... Smile :D

Friday, February 24, 2006

It's Friday Baby!!

You know what that means! It's time to Frag everybody in sight!! But before we go there, here's the news.....

Happy 51st Birthday Steve!
Found this pick of the old Apple logo cake which brought back memorys of the old Apple logo.

I always saw it as showing how bright the future can be when you work on a Apple computer.

Looking at it in the twenty first century,
one might think somebody was showing gay pride.

but I'll leave that for another article.



Searching the net I even found one of a Mac 128k cake showing off it's 20th birthday.


The Web is a wounderful thing, and with Apple and Steve's help it has been a joy. With the new intel Macs out even a hardcore-PC user is willing to say:
"Once you've driven a Ferrari, it's hard to go back to your Toyota Corolla.

Not that I've ever driven a Ferrari, nor do I own a Corolla. But I imagine that's what it feels like now that I'm back on my crappy HP laptop after a few weeks of test-driving Apple's new iMac.[...]Over all, the iMac is something you may not want to try because if you do, you may never want to go back to your crappy old Toyota. "

But now some have begun to ask for all Web companies, such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., to help pay for the billions of dollars required to build and maintain high-speed Internet infrastructure.

According to MacWorld:
“Customers should not be the only ones to pay for this new world,” CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke (Deutsche Telekom AG) said in an interview published Thursday in the German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche. “Web companies that use this infrastructure for their business should also make a contribution.”

the article continues on saying:
"The German CEO’s remarks echo those made earlier this month by John Thorne, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.

Speaking at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996, Thorne said telcos are spending “a fortune” to build and maintain high-speed data highways that Google and other Web companies intend “to ride on with nothing but cheap servers.” The executive demanded an end to what he called a “free lunch.”


Well they do have a point, now I may not know all of what companys do pay, but if I pay just to look on the net, billion dollar companys need to step up as well.

With that said, I also see this may increase the cost of music downloads, or future movie downloads as I am sure online companys will pass on the cost back to consumers. It's just a vicious circle.

but put away that thought, and look foward to the good things that will come on the 28th of this month. I mean stuff like this so called leaked picture of what Apple's new "true" video iPod will look like.

This picture is making it's rounds around the net. People are even looking at the model number for some sort of verification. Is the part number "M8719Z/A" the same part number as Mac OS X 10.2 Server? Or is that really a "B" and not an "8"?. You be the judge. Some like the Apple Insider think it will be the first Intel-based Mac mini desktop computer that will be unvailed.

Of coarse the Apple Insider also talks about a 13-inch widescreen Intel iBook consumer laptop and an iPod Boombox audio system. We will all have to wait and see.

Gaming News
It seems Blizzard Entertainment has released some new information about World of Warcraft.
According to IGN:
"The Priest class talents are scheduled to be updated in version 1.10 and Blizzard is offering an interactive preview of the planned changes. The company also unveiled a new Calendar which will allow players to keep track of all the upcoming in-game events. Finally, for those who just can't get enough of the misunderstood Murlocs, Blizzard is offering a new lore section focusing on the antisocial fish-men."


I'm sure my son, and the {RA} clan with the rest of you WoW feaks out there (you know who you are) will be happy to lose more sleep over this. ;)

For those not addicted to World or Warcrack, Hop on the Darkside Server for some CTF Fun!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Say It Together, 1 Billion!



So here it is, the Big land mark, the Billonth song downloaded from the iTMS. The user? Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan. As the grand prize winner he will recieve a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store. Plus Apple will establish a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music in his name to commemorate this milestone.

10.4.6
Well while we deal with all the hoopla and rumors of what may come on the 28th of this month, Apple it seems has began providing to its developers the first external pre-release builds of Mac OS X 10.4.6. The first seeds of Mac OS X 10.4.6 are builds Intel (build 8I1102) and PowerPC (build 8I109).

According to The Apple Insider:
"While the Intel build places emphasis on the ongoing improvements to the company's Rosetta emulation environment for Mac OS X for Intel, the remainder of the enhancements are common amongst both builds.

Specifically, Mac OS X 10.4.6 is said to focus on Automator, Bluetooth, Cocoa, Carbon, Core Graphics, graphics drivers, hard and optical disc management, .Mac, Printing and Safari.

The builds, which weigh in at approximately 131MB and 166MB in Combo Updater form, already include over four dozen enhancements and bug fixes over Mac OS X 10.4.5, which Apple released just last week."
We shall see if this update plugs the safari hole. But for now you can uncheck download "safe" files or/and install Safe Terminal. After Safe Terminal is installed, the Terminal utility will not execute any file, even if "Open safe files after download" option in Safari is enabled. However, the usage of the Terminal to type and run commands is not effected in any way.

While Apple closes this hole, Microsoft is ready to charge PC users to plug theres. Microsoft is a software company, and Bill gates is beginning to see another way to get money instead of giving it away to Norton or any other ani-virus, spam blocking, trojan /worm killing company.

According to C|net:
"not everyone is keen on the idea of paying Microsoft to help secure the products it created. Businesses, in particular, are questioning the move, Gartner analyst John Pescatore said."

"'Wait a minute--Microsoft's software is causing the problem, and now they want me to pay extra to fix the problem?'" Pescatore said, summing up the reaction of some corporations to Microsoft's move toward selling security software."
I can't help but giggle to myself when I think of 2 trojans/worms that need user interaction on the Mac OS and the mountain of viruses and other problem that the Microsoft's own OS is the cause of. But of coarse MS has already had to patch its' flagship upgrade Vista which addresses the same vulnerability that led to the WMF (Windows Metafile) malware attacks in January (a remote code execution flaw in the Graphics Rendering Engine).

Well I think the only thing Bill gates see's is the $15 billion in possible revenue he can gain. But I think he better try plugging the many holes in his OS new and old before trying to sell this to business and home consumers.

Oprah Says Use a PC !!

I was surprised, yes surprised when I saw this when I wanted to donate to Oprah's Katrina Homes online.
Hold on, one of the richest women in the world can't find web builders and programmers that can make a program to be able to collect money from mac users?? I don't want to mail money, that's why I have a computer! This is outright insane!

I first got note of this when a fellow mac user brought it up in a Mac forum. I thought to myself, this can't be true..... not Oprah!!

One mac user very upset, wrote a letter to Oprah's staff ( I don't think she reads them herself):
"Wow. That's absolutely malicious.

- It's downright discriminatory, since HTML is HTML whether it's on a Mac or on a PC. They actually had to code their website to detect the OS and then write an extra page to tell you that you can't donate.
- It's counterproductive, since it's stopping you from using the easy method of donating.

If I were you I would not only find some other organization to send my money to to assist, I would send a pissed-off letter to Oprah to protest her biased, discriminatory exclusion of the Mac communtiy's charitable contributions for a cause as important as helping the victims of Katrina. I'd also question her choice of web administrator and whether she knows that through her choice to employ someone who choses to code like that she's helping to oppress a minority - the Mac community.

I had absolutely no opinion of her website or of her charities before I heard of this. Now I'm not only determined to never donate a cent to anything she's involved in, I'm going to spread this to as many Mac users as I can."
Hmm, sounds like Oprah "oppresses a minority". So the minority (in this case Mac users) who fact has proven Mac users make more money and are smarter are left to mailing (snail mail) because of some laziness. I know money can't be the reason. Because we all know she has buckets full.

When my son and I where on the show a few years ago ( my son saved my life), I thought I saw a woman with compassion for all, to make things eaiser for all. But trying to search on Oprah.com I could not type anything in the first time, I had to use Firefox just to be able to type in for a search (re-loading the page in Safari 2 times for me finally did the trick).

So I guess Oprah, when people are not looking and there's no TV show ratings to worry about you have to be the majority to get access.

How Sad, But she has a partner... well sort of (google atleast lets you run theirs in Firefox). Google's Web Page Creator has been launched without Apple Safari support. It seems when you launch the web page creater you get this error


Well Google I found a comic from Wulffmorgenthaler that made me laugh after seeing that error.



I'm Maxxuss I'm a Theif! Let Me Prove It To You
I'll just post a qoute from his site that says it all:
"Mirror Sites are up!
February 22nd, 2006
For a start, I’ve set up some mirrors of the original contents as of Feb, 21st. The mirrors will have the contents and links as usual. Do not bookmark the mirrors, as they are also temporary (since not ad-free). If you have any safe webspace, just PM at forum.osx86project.org.

However, I will not link patches etc in this blog, just textual announcements and general information. So hopefully, it would be easier to hotlink it. I have also put a safety-net in-place: maxxuss.tk will be a pointer to this blog, no matter if it will move again."


Sounds like a thief on the run to me.

I Don't Know How to Review
Some people want to run and be the first to review. They knew from MacWorld in January that programs like Microsoft Office and Adobe and even Apple's own Pro Apps would be working under Rosetta. So why PC Review would post a lower review on the Intel-baced iMac vs the G5 Based iMac and blame that lower score was because of Rosetta?

How the hell do all these people get hired and payed to do these piss poor reports and reviews? You can't rate a computer you know (at this time) is not running this software natively. The computer is not slower, the software is not ready. It's not the computers fault? So why not rate it with the software it can run natively?

I just wonder, when they do finally run natively will you boost the score? This review was a waste of time. A 76... pfft.

**Rumors**
With the 28th just around the corner you know somebody had to post a so-called new product Apple will unvail.

This is a Nokia N80i with iTunes. Ya, we shall see, I'm guessing.. not!

But you do get to see a lot of Photoshop users at work!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Good News On The Horizon

With all the so called "reporters" out there just reporting news without looking to see if it's correct, and anti virus companys like Sophos jumping to post worm reports but calling them "viruses" in there report:
"A report issued by Sophos yesterday revealed that 79% of people believed that Apple Macintoshes would be targeted more in future, following the discovery of the first Mac OS X worm.

"This means two real viruses have emerged for the Mac OS X platform in less than a week," continued Cluley(Graham Cluley). "The question on everyone's lips is - when will we see the next one, and will it have a more malicious payload? "

Then to find out their own software is generating false positives, and wreaking system havoc just puts up a red flag saying "why should I trust anti-virus companys?!" According to MacFixiT:
"In yet another case of AntiVirus software causing serious issues while purporting to be identifying infected files, it appears that Sophos' AntiVirus software is generating false positives for the "OSX/Inqtana.B worm", invoking users to delete critical application and system files and causing serious issues."


Well Sophos put out this statement:

"SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, issued an update at 14:43 GMT on Tuesday 21 February to detect the OSX/Inqtana-B worm for Mac OS X.

Unfortunately, this update was flawed, and Mac OS X users may have been mistakenly warned by Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac OS X that some files on their computers were infected with the worm.

SophosLabs quickly discovered the problem, and issued a revised update less than two hours later at 16:40 GMT, Tuesday 21 February. Customers who take advantage of Sophos's automated updating facility will have been automatically updated from this time, and will no longer experience the false positive.

Additionally, an email was sent to customers who are subscribed to Sophos's email notification list informing them that the IDE had been updated to correct the detection issue.

Sophos apologizes for any inconvenience that this problem has caused. Measures have been put in place to ensure that the problem does not occur again. Any customers who require further guidance are recommended to contact Sophos Technical Support."


"Sophos apologizes for any inconvenience that this problem has caused?" Hmm, I feel better now. That helps me feel better, now that your software had me dump vital parts of the OS to the trash and made it unusable.

(I take a deep breath) But then again, I'm hearing more and more about flaws in OSX. From Safari to Apples mail program. Every anti-virus software company or PC writer has something to say, and some rightly so, but I have a problem when they headline one thing and say another, or anti-virus company's who speak like they are the super hero's here to stop all Tojans, worms and viruses.

So it brightened my day to see this picture taken in New Yorks Times Square



Knowing that Microsoft goes out of it's way to prove they are the king of error's. The person who took the picture said it best, "the world's largest Windows error message - on a two-story high e-billboard ". Bill Gates would be proud.
*thanks IGM

What even made my day brighter was to see a editor write a level headed article.
I love this part:
"I'm not going to be running any anti-virus software anytime soon, just as I haven't run it for many years.

Also, I'm not going to turn off any preferences that make my daily computing habits any less convenient (the browser takeover is protected against by disabling the "Open safe files after downloading" preference in Safari).

The smuggest of smug Mac users is right: the platform is more secure, and these new security threats are no more threatening that a paraplegic kitten.

The Leap-A malware was a poorly-programmed Trojan horse that relied on "social engineering," or trickery to perform its nasty function. There's a simple way to protect against this kind of threat -- common sense -- and in testament to this, a lot of people didn't fall for it.

I'm not going to catch a virus this way any more than I'm going to send money to the honorable Dr. Mobuntu, head of the Central Bank of Nigeria."
That's right people use common sense, that's all it takes. Sounds too good, it's not true.

So you say, where's the good news?
Right here! Apple is hosting a media event on February 28th at Cupertino, CA. The invitation sent out to the media simply says join Apple as they introduce "fun new products." Now you know, that's a casting call for rumors.

So here's a couple:

The Apple Insider has overheard American Technology Research Analysts saying:
"We believe Apple will take the opportunity to round out its Intel Mac portfolio 6 - 9 months ahead of plan with a new widescreen consumer notebook (likely called "MacBook") and entry-level Mac mini, both of which will include a remote control and Front Row software," analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a research note released to clients early Wednesday morning.

Wu believes some of the strong selling points of the new consumer notebook will be its unique design, small size and widescreen display. He believes pricing should fall in the $1299-$1499 range.

The analyst also sees the possibility that Apple will announce that its Pro software applications like Aperture, Final Cut Pro, and Motion are now Intel native and may be ready as early as March. "We believe this is a good time to let its professional customers know," Wu wrote.

Rounding out his predictions, the analyst also thinks there is a "greater than 50 percent chance" that Apple will roll-out the first full-length feature films that will be available for download from the company's iTunes Music Store. He also sees Apple reaching the 1 billion iTunes downloads milestone by the time the Feb. 28th event rolls around. "


Go ahead grab you napkins and wipe that drool, because while Apple will has discontinued making the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4, according to reports, Apple also plans to replace the 17-inch PowerBook G4 model with a 17-inch Intel-based MacBook Pro by June.

But those who already ordered their MacbookPro, thay are smiling as they open there boxes. Of coarse some can't wait to take them apart. OWC has some pictures of a 15" 2.0ghz taken apart!



You can see more pictures here.


YML Time!
It's wednesday, Time for Your Mac Life. Today's topic? what else "Speeding Up Your Mac and Virus? What Virus?"
Guests tonigt are:
Joe Kissell who has 34 software speedups that can help you get the most out of the Mac you have.

Rob Griffiths who has been digging deep into the Leap-A malware to get to the bottom of how serious a threat it is. He's discovered that while tricky, it's not nearly as malicious as it could have been.

And of coarse Your Mac Life's Graphics Guru, Lesa Snider of GraphicReporter.com will be on to talk about her Graphics Tip of the Week

Also Peter Cohen of MacCentral.com and Macworld magazine will be on to talk about all the latest Mac Gaming News.

You can watch the streaming video, or just listen to the audio. It all starts this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET!

Oh, By the way for those who went crazy reading those iPods causing ear damage report, here's a joke from PC Weenies