On Gear Live: HP EliteBook Folio 1020 hands-on

Johnny Swing Quarter ChairWhat the hell? Johnny Swing is one crazy fella. This man constructed a chair out of quarters, after all. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, he also has a sofa made of nickels as well as another made completely out of empty jars. Am I missing something here? There are going to be a lot of unhappy vending machines out there by the time this man is done - and good luck finding any change you happen to lose in this one.

Read More | Johnny Swing Furniture


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So the rumors were true.  Apple did indeed announce today that they are ditching IBM in favor of Intel.  But now what?  This heralds a total architecture change — are we going towards a more “PC-like” build?  What is to come of the technology that Apple has so prided themselves on?  Many Mac geeks are distressed over the announcement at Keynote today that Intel and Apple are indeed teaming up, and as a friend of mine aptly said “It just doesn’t sound right.  Or feel right.” He’s right.  It just doesn’t.  The whole Mac scene is buzzing about this shocking announcement, after days of everyone shooting down the rumors as “media garbage.”  A step backward?  Or maybe a keen move ahead that none of us can anticipate, slim though that chance may be.  However, it is only a few hours following the announcement, and that is far too early to tell what that tricky old Steve Jobs may have up his sleeve.  Let’s hope it’s an ace, because this is starting to look a little ugly.  Yikes. As one anonymous game developer said:

This is the death of the platform. Unless Apple integrates DirectX, the port time would only decrease by roughly 33%. We really only spend about a 1/3 of our times AT MOST on Endian issues (ie, byte-swapping). The rest of the time is spent converting DX and Windows OS calls to OpenGL and Mac OS. The big problem is that for the next few years, developer time will increase. You now have to make sure the software runs on two completely different architecture sets. We’ll still have to do all the byte-swapping mess for the older PPC Macs. So say a game today takes 12 months to port. That time will be increased to probably 14-16 months, simply on the basis of having to do additional testing and debugging on the Intel architecture.
However, Andrew Welch of Ambrosia Software provides a counterpoint:
If you can run Windows games on a Mac, will it kill Mac gaming and the need for ports? Yes and no. If you have a machine that will dual-boot under Windows, it’s certainly possible that some people who might not have purchased a Mac due to lack of games (or what have you) may now do so. They will be able to dual-boot the machine. This may result in developers not wishing to spend the money to port games to the Mac, certainly. But people who prefer one platform over the other will always rather not have to dual-boot, just as folks still clamor for native Linux games, despite the dual-booting ability.
The death of the platform?  Or a slick marketing maneuver?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, let’s not get carried away worrying. Read More | Inside Mac Games

Save iTunes Videos

Ever since iTunes unveiled their music video section (free music videos you can watch via streaming media in the iTunes player) it’s been frustrating to have to wait for the videos to buffer before watching them.  Another irritation is that you can’t watch the videos in full-screen, even if you have Quicktime Pro. But can it be done?  As always, we have your hookup. You see, digging through the web doesn’t help – the instructions out there on the Internet are rather vague and half of them don’t work.  Trust me – I’ve tried.  The only viable solution seemed to be to use a video capture program but then you generally won’t have audio — defeating the purpose of a music video.  It seemed like a lost cause, that is, until now. On his website “A Warm Gun,” Seattle web designer, tech blogger and self-proclaimed Mac geek Ian Adams details for the world exactly how one should go about this suprisingly simple (albeit slightly unintuitive) proccess, in language that anyone who is familiar with MacOSX should be able to understand.  It’s so easy once you get the directions right!  All you need is an AppleScript, a few videos you’d like to save, an Internet connection and some spare time. Be sure to give it a try, this is one hack that Mac users shouldn’t miss! Save iTunes Videos to your Desktop |  awarmgun.net

Latest Gear Live Videos

Vonage Mac Have a Mac, wireless access and a Vonage phone?  Here’s how you can get Vonage to behave for you if all you have is Wireless access.  All you will need is a Mac that stays at home, a steady wireless connection, and a little bit of patience.  OS X allows you to share Internet through your computer, and you can theoretically share from AirPort (wireless) to built-in Ethernet.  MacGeekery brings the Internet a great tutorial on how to get your Vonage to function properly through a wireless connection.

Read More | MacGeekery


Intel 8 Hour Batteries It looks like we’re finally getting closer to notebooks actually lasting a full 8 hours, something which seemed to be impossible just a few years ago.  One of the huge supporters of this - aside from everyone in the world - is Intel, who recently bumped up the deadline for notebook makers by 2 years. Intel has an expectation of what they want notebooks to be by 2008. That would be thin, light, and long lasting.  Lately, most notebook makers have been focusing on the size rather than the battery life, which is at a standard 4 hours right now.

“The spec says this, but it depends on some degree on usage,” said Roger Kay, an analyst at IDC. “Batteries also don’t have that life for long. They might have four hours at the beginning of the year, but if you start doing more multimedia, it might go down to 2.5 hours by the end of the year.”

Read More | News.com


United Airlines WiFi United Airlines has announced that they will be the first commercial airline to offer WiFi Access in-flight.  Now, this is still in the works because the frequencies that will be used have not been finalized and approved for broadband use yet - though it is expected to be finalized sometime this fall.  No concrete details of price or speed have been announced either, but the frequency that they’re looking at is 8Ghz which will be split into several smaller frequencies. The service will be provided by Verizon.

Read More | WiFi Net News


Nintendo Revolution

In a stunning move leaving me speechless, Nintendo of America VP, George Harrison, has announced that the Revolution will likely sport free emulated retro gaming.  This is a far cry from what they have done in the past with GBA retro titles and what was expected from the system for such a unique service.  The games will be downloadable through an online system, however third parties developers of the past will likely charge some sort of service fee for downloading their games while Nintendo titles will be free and playable online - where applicable.  This is fine, because I’d rather play Mario Kart over Street Fighter online anyway.

Read More | Games Radar


iPod Recycling With Apple getting a lot of heat lately for their lack of environmentalism, they have decided to take a step to help good ol’ mother nature.  If you take your iPod into any of Apple’s Retail Stores, they will give you 10% off of the purchase of a new iPod.  The catch is that it has to be the iPod, iPod Mini, or iPod Photo and it has to all be done the same day. Apple has agreed to take the iPods that are brought into the stores and dispose of them without exposing the environment to the hazardous materials that the iPod consists of including lead.  The major incentive to this is that if you have an older iPod and you’re battery is on the fritz, you can get a substantial discount on a replacement.

Critics have blasted Apple for the fact that the iPod’s battery is difficult and expensive to replace, giving consumers an incentive to throw them out and buy new ones. Apple recently agreed to extend service warranties and replace batteries for free in certain cases. The agreement is part of Apple’s settlement of several class action suits related to iPod battery complaints.

Read More | News.com


DescriptionPC users were in for a shock when they read PC World Magazine’s Top 100 Products of 2005 list this year, for sure.  After Mozilla Firefox and Google Gmail, Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger took a respectable third place out of 100, making it the de facto “Best Operating System” for 2005.  To take third on the list in a PC magazine was unexpected, especially when so many of the top choices are free services.

Apple gave a good show with their new product line placing all over the list in many categories.  The company’s iTunes software took 35th, 12 points ahead of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 10, which came in 47th.  The Mac Mini showed up at 75th, showing incredible popularity after its release in January 2005.  The iPod Photo was also on the list at 78th, and iTunes Music Store showed up at 86th. Comparatively speaking, that’s five products that placed in the top 100 for this year – the second most “wins” after Dell’s six.  That’s impressive for a company that has traditionally been ignored by PC users and companies.  Perhaps it’s about time people took another look at Apple — PC World obviously did, and liked what they saw.

Read More | PCWorld’s Top 100 Products of 2005
Read More | MacNN.com


TiVo Lower Fees If you are a monthly TiVo subscriber, it appears that TiVo is desperate enough to keep you as a subscriber that they will lower your monthly bill by 50% if you threaten to leave due to wanting to switch to your cable providers DVR service. This will effectively drop your bill from $12 per month right down to $6. Not bad, although I am not really feeling the AOL-ish way of doing things on TiVo’s part.


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