‘Name Your Own Price’ Mac Bundle: Snagit Screencapture, Flux 4, Boom, Mac X Video Converter, Elite Keylogger Pro, more

From 9to5toys.com:

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(also don’t forget the Parallels Bundle!)

Stack Social is running another ‘Name your own price bundle’ with some solid offerings starting at $1 and an email address (Update: Now over $3 and rising!). The price goes up as people buy it so it is best to get in early.

The bundle includes:

If you are feeling generous, 10% of all sales go to a charity of you choice – so get in early, and get on the leaderboard (which qualifies you to enter a drawing for a MacBook Air). Read more

Opinion: Will Apple return to a single MacBook range next year?

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Photo: anandtech.com

I guess you could call me something of a fanboy where Apple laptops are concerned. I bought the very first one, the Macintosh Portable, in 1989 (and actually still have it tucked away in a cupboard even now). This was followed by a series of PowerBooks before the MacBooks came along, and I currently have both a MacBook Pro 17 and MacBook Air 11.

The split between the Air and Pro ranges made sense for a whole bunch of reasons up to now. The Air has performed two important roles for Apple. First, the cachet of producing the world’s slimmest notebook further boosted Apple’s style credentials. Even today, after it lost the slimmest notebook crown and has seen the wedge design copied by others, it remains a style icon, getting admiring glances every time you pull it out in a coffee shop …  Read more

Review: Studio Credence leather & felt book-style iPad case (and iPhone sleeve)

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While I may be known for my addiction to all things anodised aluminum, I also have a love of natural materials, wood and leather especially. My MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both travel in BookBook leather cases (reviewed here by Jordan), so when Studio Credence announced a book-style case for the iPad, I decided to take a look.

First impressions

Studio Credence is clearly going for a bit of a rustic look. The packaging is undyed cardboard, with the case itself in a muslin-type drawstring bag. Open this, and what you have inside is a very similar approach to the BookBook range …  Read more

New Haswell MacBook Pro teardowns beautiful but prove almost non-repairable by mortals

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MacBook Pro 13

Teardowns of the new  13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models reveal lots of shiny technology, but with the machines following the construction lead of the MacBook Air, it’s no surprise to see IFixIt giving both models low scores for repairability. The extreme difficulty in removing both battery and trackpad mean both models get even worse scores than the Air, at just 1 out of 10.

As with the Air, RAM is soldered directly to the logic board, so if you think you may need more in the future, take a deep breath and pay Apple’s price for the 16GB upgrade as there is no way to upgrade it later. IFixIt also draws particular attention to the difficulty of replacing the battery,

The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it’ll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

More details and photos below the fold …  Read more

Apple releases Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 for mid-2012 MacBook Air, launches replacement program for affected drives

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Apple has released a firmware update for the mid-2012 MacBook Air. The update attempts to resolve an issue that affects 64 GB and 128 GB models sold between June 2012 and June 2013. Apple says that the problem could lead to data loss. As this is a serious issue, the company has agreed to replace any affected drives that are unable to be updated. If the update installer detects that your drive is one of the models needing to be replaced, it will direct you to a page on Apple’s website that will allow you to obtain a replacement …  Read more

Coming from Apple in 2014: 12-inch Retina MacBook, sharper iPad, cheaper iMac?

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According to typically-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple has a slew of new products in the works for 2014. The analyst has summarized his expectations for these new products in a new research note, and has also reaffirmed some of his previous claims for products in Apple’s pipeline for the rest of Fall 2013…

Read more

Questionable analyst roundup: 10M home automation iWatches? 12-inch MacBook Air and much more

Home automation image: insideci.co.uk

Home automation image: insideci.co.uk

There are a couple of analyst rumors doing the rounds at present that are best described as … questionable.

First, we have Brian White claim (via VentureBeat) that the key focus of the long-rumored iWatch is as a control for home automation systems.

As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the “iWatch” and described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.)

You may recall that Mr White is a man who likes his remotes: he predicted back in April that the Apple HDTV (which he always claims is going to be released in the next quarter or two) would be controlled by an iRing …  Read more

Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 with Mail, WiFi, screensaver fixes

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Following an extensive period of betas for developers, Apple has publicly released OS X 10.8.5. The update is available from the Mac App Store Software’s Update section and is recommended for all users on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4.

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5 Update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. This update:

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages
  • Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically
  • Improves Xsan reliability
  • Improves reliability when transferring large files over Ethernet
  • Improves performance when authenticating to an Open Directory server
  • Addresses an issue that prevented a smart card from unlocking preference panes in System Preferences
  • Contains the improvements included in MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0

The build number for the public release is 12F37, which is a single build over the most recent beta. Apple has also issued RAW Camera Compatibility updates and a new version of Safari. Later next month, Apple will release OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Read more

Best Buy slashes new Mac prices w/extra savings for students; Haswell Airs start at $849

From 9to5toys.com:

best-buy-sale-macs

Best Buy is having a significant College Student sale this week on MacBook Airs, Retina/Pros and iMacs and Students or anyone with a .edu email address get another $100 off the sale prices signing up here. For instance, the entry level Haswell MacBook Air is now $949 and another $100 drops it down to $849, the lowest price we’ve seen by $100.

Haswell MacBook Air prices:

  • MacBook Air – 11.6″ Display/4GB Memory/128GB Flash Storage:$949.99-$100 students=$849.99 ($150 off)
  • MacBook Air – 11.6″ Display/4GB Memory/256GB Flash Storage:$1139.99-$100 students=$1039.99 ($170 off)
  • MacBook Air – 13.3″ Display/4GB Memory/128GB Flash Storage:$1,044.99-$100 students=$944.99 ($155 off)
  • MacBook Air – 13.3″ Display/4GB Memory/256GB Flash Storage:$1,234.99-$100 students=$1134.99 ($165 off)

Retina MacBook Pro prices:

iMac Prices save $100 across the board and another $100 for students = $200 savings starting at $1100

The MacBook Student $100 off promotion starts today, and will end July 27. Read more

Boston University files lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement

Boston_University_seal.svgAccording to a report from the BostonHerald, Boston University is the latest to sue Apple for patent infringement claiming several Apple products use technology covered by its 1997 patent for highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films. The university filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts yesterday listing Apple’s iPhone 5, iPad, and MacBook Air as infringing devices.

“Defendant’s acts of infringement have caused and will continue to cause substantial and irreparable damage to the University,” BU alleges in its complaint.

The highly technical patent, which can be viewed on the USPTO’s website, was originally awarded in 1997 and lists computer engineering professor Theodore D. Moustakas as its inventor. BostonHerald notes that the university has also used the patent in cases against Samsung and Amazon, and “plans to illustrate that at least one other company pays a licensing fee to use the component in question” during its case with Apple: Read more

Review: 13-inch MacBook Air (mid-2013)

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When Apple announced the Retina Macbook Pro at the 2012 Worldwide Developer Conference, we noted how it seemed like the company was integrating the selling points from all of its devices into one, with the iPad and iPhone’s Retina display being the main point of interest. Fast forward a year and Apple has done something similar, but this time with the MacBook Air. One thing the iPad has always been praised for is its battery life. It almost always lives up to the expectations set by Apple and can often exceed the marks with lighter usage patterns.

With the mid-2013 Macbook Air, Apple has taken that amazing iPad battery life and stuck in a laptop. While it’s not the Retina Macbook Air many of us were hoping for and may look nearly identical from the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Assuming, of course, that it can live up to the hype. Keep reading for our full review of the mid-2013 Macbook Air. Read more

New MacBook Air software issue artificially limiting 802.11ac transfer speeds

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In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: Read more