Why buying the 3TB Time Capsule is crazypants

We know Apple charges a premium on storage.  That’s why many people buy RAM and HDD/SSD storage for their Macs from third party retailers, saving lots of money.   With iOS devices, however, Apple is able to keep out third party upgrades because the devices are sealed shut.  That’s why a device with 16GB costs $100 less than a device with 32GB of RAM, which in turn costs $100 less than a device with 64GB of flash storage.  Apple buys Flash for less than anyone else on earth but mere mortals can get storage for a fraction of what Apple charges.

So here’s this Time Capsule thing.

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 $299 for 2TB.  To upgrade to a 3TB drive, you’ll need $200 more.  How absurd is this?  The difference between a 2TB and 3TB drive is like $40.

Not only is this beyond the call of the “Mac Tax” but it is crazy easy to get around.  For an extra $150 (Still $50 less than the 3TB model) you can buy a perfectly good 3TB USB Seagate or Western Digital hard drive from Amazon.  Then just plug it into the back of the 2TB model and you have 5TB of addressable space.    You’ve been able to use USB drives since 2008 as Time Machine backups or Network Attached Storage.

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Of course it is nice to have the drive in a convenient little package with only one plug, but for $200, only getting an extra TB seems a little absurd.   Read more

Final Cut Pro X Notes: Some Mac Pros not burly enough, first reviews up, BluRay coming?

Had you heard? Final Cut Pro X hit the virtual streets today ($299 App Store Link).  Motion 5 ($49 Download link) and Compressor 4 ($49 Download Link)

Some users aren’t quite as happy as others.  Those include first generation Mac Pro users with ATI video cards.  Reader John writes:

BAD NEWS: I have a 2 year old, Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 6 Gigs of memory and I can’t download FCP X from the app store because my Mac Pro isn’t good enough!
I have an ATI Radeon HD 2600. What about all those iMac editing stations when they cant upgrade either? Nice timing, right before the new Mac Pros to be released.

I spoke to Apple, my Mac Pro from Early 2009 needs NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro (early 2009) for $149 1-2 week wait.

You can find out if you are in good Graphics card shape here.  You’ll want an OpenCL-capable graphics card with 256 MB of VRAM.  Somehow Apple accepts Intel HD Graphics 3000 (or later), even though earlier GPUs are much quicker.

It is good however, to know that the App Store is blocking purchases before they are made.  Chalk another one up for having an integrated App Store.  As for system requirements, this is Apple:  We’re fairly certain some new FCPX Mac Pro rigs are right around the corner.  But, for now, you older Mac Pro users will need to drop $149 on this.

Another pro reader writes in: Read more

iOS 5 'Unsecured Calls' warning lets users know if they are talking on unencrypted networks

One interesting feature of iOS 5 that we’ve been tracking since yesterday is that users have been reporting the above ‘unsecured call’ warning. While it isn’t in any of the documentation we’ve seen, it appears that Apple is warning users of the possibility that their phone calls can be eavesdropped on.

It likely warning of the possibility of a GSM IMSI Catcher basestation which can intercept unecrypted calls.  Wikipedia notes that unecrypted call detection isn’t new:

there are a few mobile phones that show a small symbol on the display, e.g. an exclamation point, if encryption is not used. Another point is the calling number. Since the network access is handled with the SIM/USIM of the IMSI-catcher, the receiver cannot see the number of the calling party. Of course, this also implicates that the tapped calls are not listed in the itemized bill.

Video of a DEFCON talk on IMSI catcher below:
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Help: How to make a Lion Client into a Lion Server

Simply add a few bucks (to the Mac App Store) to get the “Server.app”.  Apparently that’s all you need according to this screenshot from Lion Help. (via Hardmac).  No word on exactly how much the server.app costs (we’re thinking a few hundred?) or how much Lion itself will cost for that matter.  We’ll know soon, though.

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RIM hedges its bets with iOS and Android device management software

In an interesting move, Canada-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announced an upcoming new version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server that will support iOS and Android devices in the workplace. Yeah, Apple’s big rival in the smartphone arena will let its BlackBerry-using business customers manage and secure BlackBerry, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets from a single web-based console. iOS and Android support will be an optional component.

It’s based on RIM’s newly acquired ubitexx technology and allows for easy deployment of multiple components in a virtualized environment on a single server. The tool is somewhat limited because the new BlackBerry Enterprise Server won’t support all BlackBerry features on Apple and Google devices. For example, the new BlackBerry Balance capability that separates work from personal data only works with BlackBerrys. What’s in it for RIM?

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Prototype next-gen Mac Pro detailed: redesigned, rackable, stackable

Typically, when Apple sets out to develop new products, they build a few prototypes to choose from for the shipping product. This is evident most recently through a report that claims Apple is currently toying with three different iPhone 5 prototypes. Apple also does this with its Mac hardware.

Looking at the Pro Mac design evolution, it is interesting to note that the Mac Pro’s current design first hit the market in the form of the Power Mac G5 in mid-2003. Nearly eight years after the Mac Pro’s current design debuted, Apple is toying with a re-designed version of the product. The new design is said to be narrower at just over 5-inches and a few inches shorter at around 19-inches.  One of the reasons that Apple might be making this particular Mac Pro prototype smaller is because it is able to fit on to a standard server rack.

This possible new design could alleviate some of the system administrator distress caused by Apple’s discontinuation of the Xserve. The new machine is said to carry “stacked” drives with two drives per sled which will allow a higher drive density than what’s already out there.  These stacks are not only built for conventional hard drives, but faster, more reliable SSDs in different configurations. The width of this system configuration is said to be 3U (U = 1.75 inches).

Beyond what we’ve heard, it would seem appropriate that these new Mac Pros would also have a Thunderbolt port and perhaps even BluRay options for the Final Cut Professionals.

With the new version of Final Cut Pro coming in June, we can’t think of a better time for Apple to update the 8-year old design of the Mac Pro (and the iMac!).

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64-Bit Final Cut Pro X: $299, available in June

via@adamtheeditor (click twice for full size)

After a lot of hype, Apple did release a new version of Final Cut Pro, Version ‘X’, tonight at Supermeet at NAB in Las Vegas. It will be priced at an astounding $299 and be available in June in the Mac App Store.

“Something as revolutionary as the first version of FCP when introduced in 1999″, it is rebuilt from the ground up, 64-bit, and will fully utilize all cores of all processors.

“Fully color-managed Final Cut based on colorsync.” “Resolution-independent playback system” Up to 4K formats. To be able to deliver that, “we’re leveraging Grand Central Dispath.” You can use all 8-cores. Background rendering built into application.

Update: The Loop has three screenshots of Final Cut Pro X provided by Apple.

Some other notes from Photography Bay:

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More on Final Cut Pro at NAB: iPad, Thunderbolt…

As part of a pre-NAB panel discussion, Mark Raudonis, head of post production at Bunim/Murray Productions (who says he attended Apple’s secret Final Cut Pro preview) says that Final Cut Pro will have support for Thunderbolt, iPad, File Based Workflows and will address competition, specifically Adobe and Avid…

Hit 3 minutes in the video below for some “additional metaphors” on Final Cut Pro which seems due either at NAB or around the show time:

via Macrumors.

You’ll recall that we brought you another first hand account last week and were the first to report last week that the NAB program was being shuffled around in order to make way for an Apple demo of Final Cut Pro.

Re: Final Cut Pro at NAB

Final Cut Pro

We continue to get reports of the new Final Cut Pro suite and thought we’d share this one from a notable major network video editor:

I am definitely expecting the new FCP to be previewed [at NAB]. This is a really cheap, yet effective way to launch this product. 99% of the room will be very pro-Apple people. The buzz from this could be huge. I met with one of the guys who was at that secret meeting in Cupertino and he told me that Apple will ship it this Spring and that “it is to editing what Henry Ford was to Cars.” He also said that “It was more focused on maximizing multicore hardware utilization.” Other vague notes were that it was typical of Apple to make software “for the masses and not just for the ‘pros.'” In my opinion, It seems that Apple is not necessarily trying to please Editors with this iteration of the software so much as it has made some revolutionary new product that will please any Creative. Also, he hinted to some sort of iOS-feeling interface. Finally, as with Avid, there will probably be some element of “cloud” or “remote” editing abilities.

He also noted that Kevin Smith’s talk for Avid had been shuffled around, possibly to make room for an Apple Keynote. Thanks MK! Read more

Apple's Jaw-dropping Final Cut Pro to be unveiled at NAB next week in Vegas?

We’ve been hearing all kinds of Chatter that the next version of Final Cut Pro will debut in Vegas at NAB next week.  Thing is, we hear this every year and Apple hasn’t really done a NAB properly in awhile.  That’s OK, we’ll take that we can get.

Rumors are flying that Apple will be using the Vegas Supermeet to announce the next version of Final Cut Pro. Supposedly, Apple will be taking over the entire event for their announcement, cancelling all other sponsors, including AJA, Avid, Canon, BlackMagic, Autodesk and others, who were set to give presentations.

Philip Bloom just confirmed with me that Canon has canceled his appearance at the Supermeet. Canon was told last night that Apple has demanded ALL “lecturn” or stage time exclusively. Some sponsors who were not using presenters may continue to sponsor the Vegas event, but none of them will be presenting on the stage. I can’t imagine any news that would warrant this kind of “take-over” other than to announce and demonstrate the next full version of Final Cut Pro and possibly an entirely newly designed FCS4.

(UPDATE: Avid confirmed that Supermeet (Michael Horton) told them last night that their sponsorship had been cancelled. According to Avid, “Apple doesn’t want anyone to have stage time but them.”)

Who’s up for Vegas? Read more

XCode 4 goes final, available in the Mac App Store for 5 bucks

If you are a Macintosh application developer but don’t want to spend the $99 to get into the Mac Developer program (and don’t mind missing out on early OS builds) Apple might just have the program for you.  You see, now that XCode 4 has gone final, you can now download it at the Mac App Store for only $4.99.  (Yeah it is free otherwise but Apple has some accounting issues to deal with).