Archive for May 8th, 2008|Daily archive page
Macworld has some interesting, contrarian advice about buying a Mac these days.
A couple of years ago, pro users would never consider a low-end iMac or MacBook portable for work: it just wouldn’t be powerful enough.
But because Apple is using powerful dual-core Intel chips across its entire line, the difference between machines is blurring.
After running a battery of tests, MacWorld concludes that for most people, a new iMac or MacBook Pro is good enough — pro, power users included. The savings add up to $1,000 or more.
… for most mainstay applications, the high-end iMac and MacBook Pro models are plenty fast (the 3.06GHz build-to-order iMac even beat the Mac Pro in some of our tests). Even Adobe Photoshop, a heavy-duty program that conventional wisdom has long argued should be run only on a high-end system, works acceptably well on just about any Mac (unless you’re editing gigantic files).
(Via Cult of Mac.)
New iPhone 2.0 OS adds Safari YouTube support
The latest version of the iPhone 2.0 firmware — bundled with the beta 5 SDK — adds limited support for YouTube within the Safari web browser, experimenting has revealed.
Users of the current public iPhone firmware can only browse videos through the dedicated app; under v2.0 though, videos embedded in websites now present a link, which opens clips under the dedicated app, but then lets users quickly return to the page they were viewing.
Videos can only be played through the separate app, however, and not within websites. Similarly, access to YouTube.com is still restricted, as it continues to request Flash support that the iPhone firmware lacks. Both Apple and Adobe have expressed a desire to add support, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs has claimed that Flash will not be added until it does not significantly drain battery power.
If you’ve been cursing the big price tag and lack of VBA support in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, OpenOffice.org is coming to your rescue. Last September, the OpenOffice.org dev team announced that they would be porting the suite to run natively on the Mac. Previous versions ran under the X11 environment, which not only hogged resources, but didn’t have the Aqua look and feel we all love.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 is still beta, but a quick test-drive of the application showed that it is almost ready for prime time. OOo is a full-featured office suite, complete with word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation package (Impress), drawing app (Draw), as well as database tools (Base) that are sadly lacking in other office suites.
The feature set of OpenOffice.org 3 is impressive:
- Imports Microsoft Office binary (.doc, .ppt, .xls) and Office 2007/Office 2008 for Mac (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) files
- A solver component for solving optimization problems, something lacking in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
- Spreadsheet workbook sharing
- Display of multiple Writer pages while editing
- MS Office-like comments in Writer
- Limited VBA macro support — which is still better than no support
- Extensibility with Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning, Sun Wiki Publisher and Report Builder
The price of OpenOffice.org 3 is, as always, free! If you’re up to test-driving beta ware that may not necessarily be as stable or fast as your other office suite(s), click here to be transported to the beta site.
AT&T Officially Lists Wi-Fi Hotspot Access with iPhone Plans
AT&T’s iPhone website (under ‘Plans’ tab) has been updated to reveal that each iPhone plan now includes access to their “more than 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, including Starbucks all for use in the U.S.”
It was first revealed last week that AT&T had quietly begun offering iPhone users access to their Wi-Fi hotspots for free (including Starbucks and Barnes and Nobie). No official announcement had been made, however, and the service was abruptly turned off a few days later.
AT&T has remained quiet about this new offering, but it’s clear they will be officially delivering this service shortly.
A certain, unnamed individual sent TUAW some pictures of the latest build of the iPhone firmware showing .Mac push e-mail. The picture shows the main Settings page with a new button: “Fetch new data.” When you click the button, you are taken to a list of your mail accounts, where you can choose between either “fetch” or “push.”
While .Mac is offering push e-mail, you are currently not able to do contact or calendar syncing.
Paint it ALL Gold – Tag The Web
It’s simple. Enter a URL into the GOLD BAR and you can tag any site on the web. After you’re finished, submit your design into the GALLERY where others can rate your masterpiece. What are you waiting for? Paint that gold.
*(Contains Profanity)* Enjoy!
Even though there’s no love lost between NBC and iTunes, that doesn’t mean NBC doesn’t love you! At least if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod touch. They’re streaming full episodes of 30 Rock and The Office to iPhones (and touches) in Quicktime, for free, with NO ads. They work, nicely, but the major catch is that if you exit Safari, you’ve gotta re-DL all over again, and the files are huge, so is this Wi-Fi only, really. This looks weird for NBC, but it’s really not.
They’re putting their shows out online in a million different ways (you can even download 30 Rock, The Office, Conan and Leno direct to your desktop now) and more than happy to pipe ’em to you, as long as it’s in a controlled sandbox of some sort. NBC Direct requires a walled-garden player install with loads of DRM, and they wanted copyright controls from Apple and Microsoft to give just two examples, not to mention Hulu. It’s sorta surprising that the Quicktime feed for iPhone is unprotected, but theoretically it’s restricted to two devices. You know, if they’d just relax a bit, overall, they’d be in a good place online.
For those that need to be in the know about the very latest supposedly-leaked 3G iPhone shots that hit the web this week, we’ve got you covered — but we’re not convinced, especially of the device on the right. The shots on the left do at least seem to be crafted around those supposed size and shape leaks we saw the other day though, so bonus points there for playing into another current rumor to rack up a small bit of credibility. Still, in our best Rick James voice, Photoshop’s a hell of a tool.
So the magazine organized a contest: The Silicon Valley Beard-off. It pulled together a spread of eight unshaven execs and invited a panel of three distinguished judges to choose the best beard of the bunch. You can see the results here.
You can also vote for your favorite among the four semi-finalists: Apple’s (AAPL) Steve Jobs, Flickr’s (YHOO) Stewart Butterfield, Pixar’s (DIS) Ed Catmull, and Oracle’s (ORCL) Larry Ellison. Click here.
The leader in early returns — with 53% of votes cast as of Wednesday morning — is Steve Jobs.
Vox populi is clearly at variance with Fortune’s judges. They didn’t vote Apple’s grizzled CEO past the first round, in which he edged out Steve Wozniak.
(Via FORTUNE: Apple 2.0.)
On last night’s Colbert Report, Stephen gave advice to George Bush on how to go “completely nutball” so Sen. McCain can distance himself from the extremely unpopular president on the campaign trail. Not only did he tell Bush to wear a tinfoil jockstrap, he said the prez should buy a Zune. Really? Sure it’s market share is 4%, but what about the new software?