Stephen Fry calls for mini-projector on future iPhone


Noted UK personality and inveterate Mac user, Stephen Fry, wants the next-gen iPhone to carry a mini-projector, saying: "Beyond question, in a year’s time, we’ll be used to the sight of someone plugging their iPhone into a dock and broadcasting those beloved powerpoints, keynotes and films,” he told UK gadget mag, T3, during an interview to mark his recognition as ‘Personality of the Year’ in the T3 Awards.

He turned his turn of phrase on Apple, saying of the new iPhone, “it’s damn smart. It’s almost as if they knew that the rivals were bringing out phones that were better than the year before, but on last year’s chipset so wouldn’t have the speed, which explains this weird concentration on ‘S’ for speed.

“The minute you play with it and then try a rival you think ‘come on!’. The iPhone has this marvelous quality where you swear at it less."

T3 is hosting a complete interview with Fry here, including this clip we’ve published for your infotainment. Fry has the distinction of being the man who owned one of the first three Macs to reach the UK, the other being owned by his friend, ‘Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ author, Douglas Adams.

Come and see inside the new 27-inch iMac, thanks iFixit

They’ve torn apart the MacBook, looked inside Apple’s new Mac Mini, now those ever-busy tech elves over at iFixit have ripped apart an iMac so that we, the public, can take a little look inside.

They’ve found a few bits and pieces, such as that the external display won’t be able to be powered without the integral one being on as well, and that the LG-manufactured LCD panel weighs in at nearly 11 lbs. “Then again, it is a massive 27" beauty,” they remark.

Go and take a look at what they found, and the inside of the new sexiest Mac on Terra Firma (some say).

CrashPlan – a cross-platform, affordable, powerful backup solution

Time Machine is good, but sometimes glitchy, with remote disks connected to AirPort Extreme behaving erratically, and other limitations to what you can do – not least that you can’t back your data up online. And that’s where new cross platform backup solution, CrashPlan steps in.

Developers, Code 42 Software offer the solution, making it available free to consumer and small business users, with the more powerful and robust CrashPlan+ service introduced yesterday for enterprise users (which costs $59 US for real-time backup and web restores). In other words, this easy-to-use solution scales for every user, from individual to enterprise users.

The software will automatically back your data up to other computers, external hard drives or even the company’s eminently affordable online back-up service. (And it’s all protected by hardcore security protocols – CrashPlan+ offers 448-bit encryption).

Online service, CrashPlan Central, offers unlimited online backup/storage and costs from as little as $3.50 US per month for individuals and under $5.00 for a family plan (there’s a free 30-day trial, also). You’re not required to sign up to CrashPlan Central though, because CrashPlan can back up to friends’ computers for free.

The software is widely compatible – Windows, OS X, Linux or even Solaris platforms are all covered. Users can backup in multiple ways: locally, remotely and online. CrashPlan also offers automatic backup, which the company claims to be so efficient users won’t even be able to tell it’s going on.

The solution reduces file size by using advanced compression technology. It identifies duplicate files and parts of files and stores them only once. When files change, only the new information is backed up.

Once your files are backed up, CrashPlan continuously checks your files are 100% healthy and ready to restore when you need them. If it finds any problems, it fixes them.

CrahPlan+ offers version retention – the ability to specify rules for removing versions and files from your backup after you no longer care about them. It’s also pretty easy to set the frequency of backups and the number of versions to keep, using slider controls to specify versions to retain over specific periods.

The user can set the frequency of backup, for example: hourly for the first week, while a file is being worked on, then retaining fewer versions as the file gets older.

Code 42’s co-founder Matthew Dornquast said, "Relying on cloud computing as your only backup can be dangerous, as Sidekick users recently found out. CrashPlan can back up to local disk, a friend’s disk, and the cloud in the form of CrashPlan Central. Spreading the risk this way make your data safer."
"Other backup systems use disk space in a comparatively wasteful way. CrashPlan’s frugal approach means less disk space and backups are faster and much more efficient."

CrashPlan works on PCs, Macs, Linux and Solaris. It will also back up from any of the operating systems listed to any other platform it supports.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 set to ship as latest dev beta seems bug-free

Apple developers are currently testing the latest pre-release beta, Mac OS X 10.6.2, and the good news is the software appears relatively bug-free, suggesting it may ship imminently.

There’s two big reasons Mac users are waiting for the new update to ship: Number one, it is required in order to use a Magic Mouse; Number two: it reportedly patches the dreaded Guest account data-munching bug that has caused such distress.

Apple conceded the existence of that bug earlier last week, after multiple reports complained of its existence.

As reported by OS X Brazil, (and reported earlier by MacRumors) developer build, Mac OS X 10.6.2 Build 10C531 fixes the one outstanding issue related to Image Capture mentioned in the previous build (10C527f), as well as half a dozen other problems related to ColorSync, Dock crashes, GraphicsDrivers, and QuartzCore. Build 10C531 lists no known issues, although this may not be a clue that the development is wrapping up.

The site also published the seed notes for the release, elements of which we have republished here:

“Mac OS X 10.6.2 build 10C531 Seed Note

Known Issues

- None

Focus Areas (Changes in 10C531):

– Fix black point compensation images when selecting a printer profile

– Resolve a crash in Dock

– Resolve a Sims 3 video corruption
– Resolve a kernel panic in GraphicsDrivers
– Resolve an iTunes hang with video corruption

– Resolve a Ken Burns effects issues on iMovie
– Resolves an issue with Image Capture scanning.

An extensive list of updated components in the release then follows.


BBC plan makes iPlayer service international

Looks like the BBC has a plan to go global with its popular iPlayer service, offering viewers worldwide the chance to take a look at its shows, albeit for a fee.

BBC Worldwide plans a paid for international version of iPlayer in a move which would give it more control over the price of its content, and could provide an alternative to iTunes for accessing the same.

The plan still requires approval from the BBC Trust. If approved, international viewers will be able to buy episodes of the BBC’s top-flight shows, such as Doctor Who, Torchwood and Top Gear. The broadcaster would also make available some classic shows from its archives.

Domestic UK iPlayer content won’t be made available because of rights issues, but the service will be able to carry content from other broadcasters, such as Channel 4, to an international audience.

The plan has been in development for the last six months, and is certainly an attempt on the part of the BBC to offer its shows at higher prices than Apple allows with iTunes.

“Millions of people love Torchwood and would probably pay 10 bucks an episode rather than two bucks,” said BBC Worldwide executive vice president, Luke Bradley Jones.

Via: Broadcast Now

Adobe ships Lightroom 3 free public beta

Adobe has introduced a free public beta of Lightroom 3, it software for digital photographers.

Adobe’s Julieanne Kost has created three videos which detail 25 new minor refinements in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 that could impact your workflow, these clips are available here.

Writing on the Lightroom blog, developer Tom Hogarty said, “We’ve come a long way since our very first public beta on January 9th 2006 at Macworld.(We didn’t even have a crop tool in the first release!) For this latest release we went back to the drawing board and revisited what we believe are the fundamental priorities of our customers: Performance and Image Quality.

“Lightroom has been stripped down to the "engine block" in order to rebuild a performance architecture that meets the needs of photographers with growing image collections and increasing megapixels. The raw processing engine has also received an overhaul right down to the fundamental demosaic algorithms that now allows unprecedented sharpening and noise reduction results.”

Lightroom users can organize, enhance, and showcase their images all from within a fast application that’s available for Mac and Windows.

Some of the new features include:

  • Brand new performance architecture, building for the future of growing image libraries
  • State-of-the-art noise reduction to help you perfect your high ISO shots
  • Watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease
  • Portable sharable slideshows with audio—designed to give you more flexibility and impact on how you choose to share your images, you can now save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio
  • Flexible customizable print package creation so your print package layouts are all your own
  • Film grain simulation tool for enhancing your images to look as gritty as you want
  • New import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy
  • More flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3 beta (may require third-party plug-ins)

Full release notes are located here.

Download the software here.

New Mac Minis, both traditional and dual hard drive, taken apart

MacMini Colo has a Mini take-apart posted. The "traditional" Mac Mini probably looks familiar and the new server model has another hard drive where the DVD drive used to be, but otherwise these things are pretty much unchanged. 

One interesting tidbit on this: Since Apple’s latest firmware updates, both the new and last generation DisplayPort Mac Minis can use 8GB of RAM (they are advertised as topping out at 4GB).  However, the 4GB memory cards that are required are expensive. 

AAPL crosses all time high today

Apple is having a pretty solid week, and it is only Wednesday. 

The week began with Apple’s earning call which landed much higher than any analyst had hoped for. Then there was that little product refresh which was met with glowing reviews.  Probably realated to Monday’s and Tuesday’s news is Wednesday’s, which is that Apple’s stock price has reached an all-time high.  It closed today at just under 205 against a lower market and peaked at 208.71 earlier in the day.

The rise puts Apple’s market cap at $183.57 billion and as we know from the earnings call, Apple has $43 billion in cash.  The market cap is now bigger than  Google.  That cash is enough to buy Dell, at a value of $29 billion.

There now is only one bigger tech company in the world, Microsoft (who launch their next OS tomorrow), with a market cap of $236.85 billion. Many think that lead won’t last long, however, $50 billion is a lot of value to gain.

Apple names the latest older Macs to head for the graveyard – official

Apple has updated its list of Mac and other products it considers vintage and/or obsolete. The company will cease providing any product support or spare parts for these models from next month.

The list pretty much underlines that the PowerPC Mac is extinct, leaving few PowerPC models in the frame. Apple includes products discontinued over five but less than seven years ago as ‘Vintage’. Thanks to Hardmac for the info.

The following Macs and other products, may they rest in peace (or get cannibalised for spare parts via eBay)

  •         iBook G4 (early 2004)
  •         iBook G4 (14" early 2004)
  •         eMac (USB 2.0)
  •         Apple Cinema Display ADC
  •         Apple Studio Display 15" ADC
  •         Apple Studio Display 17" LCD
  •         Apple Studio Display 17" ADC
  •         Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver 2002)
  •         Macintosh Server G4 (QuickSilver 2002)
  •         PowerBook G4 (DVI)
  •         iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM
  •         iBook (16 VRAM)
  •         Base Station Airport (Dual Ethernet)

UPDATED: Watch out iTunes – Google plans a music service, launch Oct. 28

Apple’s iTunes empire seems set to meet a bigger than normal threat, on news former ally Google now plans its own online music service.

Details on Google’s music plan are vague right now, we don’t know if it will be offering a la carte downloads, music streaming, subscription services or what – it’s all open to speculation.

TechCrunch is reporting that multiple sources are discussing the Google plan, with the company “spending the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels.”

The report suggests the name of the service might be ‘Google Audio’. The service will reportedly be available for US users.

UPDATE: "Google will partner with iLike and LaLa for their new music service, we’ve learned. And the announcement date is Wednesday, October 28, 2009." Service to be integrated into Google Search! (For some reason I feel unhappy about that – like – the world’s biggest search engine selling music through the search engine? Doesn’t feel right, somehow). Read it here.

Apple offers tech support notes for all-new consumer Mac range

Apple has posted a series of support documents for the swathe of products it introduced yesterday, confirming, among other things, some compatibility problems with the new Magic Mouse when used with Windows via Boot Camp.

The company yesterday introduced:

Accompanying those releases, the company has now unleashed a slew of support documents for the new products, including those which follow:

iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009) or iMac (27-inch, Late 2009): Bluetooth not available with Windows
After installing Boot Camp on an iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009) or iMac (27-inch, Late 2009), you may notice the Apple Wireless Keyboard (2009) and Apple Magic Mouse will work, but Bluetooth icons do not appear in Control Panel and Bluetooth does not appear in the Device Manager.

Mac mini power LED indicates the computer’s status
The Mac mini has a power light located on the front of the computer in the bottom right corner below the optical drive slot. The LED displays a steady light, no light, or pulses, depending on the computer’s status. Here’s what the Mac mini’s LED is telling you.

Apple Magic Mouse: Up or down scrolling and swiping do not work on Windows with Boot Camp
When you use an Apple Magic Mouse with Windows XP and Vista using Boot Camp 3.0, which ships with Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, or Boot Camp 2.1, which shipped with Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard, up or down scrolling and two finger swiping does not work.

Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse: How to install batteries
“When the batteries in your Apple wireless mouse need to be replaced, replace all of them at the same time with the same kind of batteries,” Apple says. “The Apple wireless mouse uses two AA batteries. Make sure the positive ends of the batteries are pointing the correct direction.”

Wireless input devices: Bluetooth frequently asked questions
“Some Mac computers come with a wireless mouse and keyboard as the default configuration.  Most Mac computers work with wireless input devices that use Bluetooth technology.”

Desktop computers: Troubleshooting wireless mouse and keyboard issues
 If you’re having trouble with your wireless mouse or keyboard, click the mouse to wake it up. If you’re still having issues, choose the link below that most accurately describes the symptom you are experiencing.