Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Apple Intel Mac Mini

The big news for today is the new Intel Mac Mini. Via MR here are some details about it:

At the media event February 28th, Apple unveiled a revised Mac mini featuring either a 1.5Ghz Intel Core Solo or 1.66Ghz Core Duo processor, offering up to a 5x increase in overall speed from the previous model. The form factor for the machine remains unchanged.

The new mini sports the Apple Remote with Front Row, up to 2 GB memory, Intel GMA950 graphics processor, DVI connector w/ VGA out option, Slot loading optical drive, up to 120GB hard drive, built-in gigabit ethernet, analog and digital audio, USB & Firewire ports, iLife '06 and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Additionally, the new mini offers "Shared Music, Photos & Video" which allows the mini to stream music, photos and video wirelessly from other macs on the same subnetwork using Bonjour technology. iTunes TV shows can be streamed.

1.5Ghz Intel Core Solo Model: $599
1.5GHz Intel Core Solo processor
2MB L2 Cache
667MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
60GB Serial ATA hard drive
Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote

1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo Model: $799
1.66GHz Intel Core Duo processor
2MB L2 Cache
667MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
80GB Serial ATA hard drive
Double-layer SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote

All Mac mini models also include an integrated Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, four external USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 port, optical digital and analog audio in/out, and built-in mono speaker.

P.S. A Week at the Opera Part VII will be tomorrow instead of today because I want to spend some time on it and also because of the recent Apple events.

iPod Hi-Fi

The iPod Hi-Fi is basically a big boombox that you can dock your iPod to and it comes with a remote and will retail for $349.

Obviously, Apple is trying to tap into the $1 billion accessory market that they helped to create.

$99 Official iPod Case

Here it is folks. The new iPod leather case will retail for $99. There is no screen access or control access when the iPod is actually in the case.

However Apple says, "Removing your iPod is a breeze, thanks to an ingenious black ribbon built into the case. Just give it a gentle tug and your iPod slides out gracefully, just enough for you to view the screen or pull it out completely."

For $99 I'd rather get 99 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Week at the Opera Part VI

Today, I decided to check out some of the skins and extensions for the Opera browser. Little did I know that Opera does not have any extensions from as far as I can see on their website.

One of the things that has made Firefox so great is its community. Firefox just has a bigger following than Opera and easily trumps it in size. Therefore, of course, the Firefox community is much larger. Opera has tried to create a community but it doesn't seem to be working all that well.

Furthermore, their skins seem to be lacking a lot. The basic Opera skin, in my opinion, looks a lot better than all of the other skins. The others are just lacking something that the Firefox skins have. Maybe it is just that the Opera skin is just so slick to begin with, I don't know.

Today is the last day of the segment before Part VII which is the final verdict. Stay tuned to the TechWrap on which one to go with.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Week at the Opera Part V

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury I stand here before you today....Ok not there just yet but almost.

Today I noticed a cool little feature in Opera that enables voice commands. It works pretty well although with almost all voice commands you have to master what to say before you say it otherwise you look like an idiot talking to your computer. Been there.

Although it is a slow technology in general and really is not good for anyone except for the disabled it is a great attempt at Opera. It isn't built for everyday use but could be something to show off to your friends.

This is all that I could find that was new with the browser for today and I must admit it is pretty cool. I think it is a great attempt and definitely no other browser that I know has it. Hats off and three cheers for Opera.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Week at the Opera Part IV

I have an addiction. Acceptance is the first part. I am addicted to Firefox. I have been on it for about 2 years and have never been able to quit. This series details one man's journey through his withdrawal from Firefox and its withdrawal symptons in the experimentation with Opera.

Ever since the first day I've been wanting, no pleading, to get my Ctl+T back. I need it to create a new tab. I HAVE to have it. It makes life quick, simple, short (not a good adj. for life).

Before I talk about the tab I just would like to say that Opera does have an extensive library of keyboard shortcuts. It's got a bigger library of shortcuts than songs in my iTunes library. You've got your Ctl+F11's, your Ctl+C's, your ESPN's, your CNN's. Get the point? There are a ton of shortcuts in Opera which is definitely a great plus.

There I was today pressing Ctl+T about 12 times. I decided to do something about it. I dove into the vast world of preferences and dug into "advanced." I zapped shortcuts and got on me merry way. There I hit edit and I came face to face with the beast himself. The shortcuts library. Dun, Du, Dun Dun Dunhhhh.

I search and scoured for the tab shortcut but I could not find it. I looked and looked to no avail. There the journey ended and there I lay. Lost in the remains of my poor soul, I was a stranger in a world full of shortcuts. My charred remains were blown away with the stingy winter breeze.

So basically, I'm stuck doing the double click thing. :D

Thursday, February 23, 2006

iTablet: Death to Apple?

Ladies and Gentleman, I am just here to lay the facts on the table. Please understand that I am a die-hard Apple fan and would hate to see anything bad happen to it which is why I am writing this.

Brief Background: Rumors have been going around stating that there will be an Apple Tablet Mac built on the basis of the Tablet PC that will be released sometime soon (Feb. 28th?). This device has been coined the iTablet by many among the World Wide Web.

An introduction of the iTablet, would in fact, be a complete and utter mistake on Apple's part. First, I would like to point out that this would delay the progress of the rest of the Intel line. Furthermore, the only reason I see Steve Jobs doing this is for some rise in the stock. However, this would in fact deplete the stock. The ordinary business man or woman to whom it is targeted has clearly stated through sales that there is no need for it in the workplace.

The Tablet PC has been around for about three years and probably even longer than that. It has been an utter disaster. The innovation it presents is like a new gadget that just adds one more functionality to it. Basically, it is the same product but just with a little difference that makes the price rocket. Also, this difference is clearly not great enough to get anyone to actually buy one.

The Tablet PC reminds me of some new toy that you oogle and ahh at, but when you get it and get past the state of excitement, then it just tanks for you and you find it in a drawer someday among a pile of old gum.

Macs are not a workplace type of computer. Apple is known for being "on the edge." Apple is not used at the office and even though it can, it isn't designed to be. Instead it is meant to be the media hub of your life.

An iTablet has no basis for being in the Apple family. Just imagining it just reminds me of the cousin that just does not seem to fit.

Apple will not be able to bring innovation to this product. They may add some new features and cool things such as maybe video chat on the go. But do you really want to be walking around in your house holding a conversation while constantly looking down? Also, would you want your chats to be broadcasted to the world? Where anyone within an earshot can here?

The Tablet PC is an innovative, but not practical device. All the innovation has already been sucked out of the iTablet and I cannot imagine anything different out of it even if it is Apple.

Apple has an enormous following and most likely many will go out and buy such a device if it were to come out. However, Apple will not receive the greatest reviews, especially not from this writer. Apple's reputation will tarnish, possibly ruining all of their other products' reputations as well.

Please Apple, concentrate on what matters. Concentrate on the switch to Intel. Concentrate on a real video iPod. Concentrate on increasing your market share. Concentrate on providing better support for games. Concentrate on addressing all the security needs in x86 OS X. Concentrate on other things. DON'T concentrate on boosting revenues a little bit to please investors. DON'T concentrate on trying something new during a time that could change Apple's history forever. Don't, just don't, try something that hasn't worked in the past and most likely never will...

*Disclaimer: If Apple does come out with some freaking crazy innovative Mac with Tablet capabilities that just looks so much better than a laptop THEN I will change my mind. After like I said, I do love Apple. :D

A Week at the Opera Part III

Here is Part III of "A Week at the Opera" brought to you by the TechWrap.

Today, I load up Opera and I noticed a left-most button. Naturally, I clicked it. Out came a sidebar that shows Bookmarks, Transfers, History and Links. The last thing that it shows is the really cool notes. Basically, you can type little notes to yourself. For me this is a big help because I always have to remind myself, "Edit HTML on the site" or "Make a podcast today." Very cool feature that is probably available on Firefox through some obscure extension. Definitely a +.

I'm subscribed to about 11 feeds through Firefox. I had heard from previous sources that Opera's RSS feed reader is amazing. However, I beg to differ. To look at a feed you have to go to the very top and hit the feed button. Then you have to select which feed to view. Then once you decide which one to view you have to look at all the different articles. In Firefox, they only take, really, the most recent articles for you to see and it is in a nice chronological order from newest to oldest. With Opera it goes from oldest to newest! Which means you have to scroll all the way down just to see the newer articles.

When you click an article it doesn't take you to the feed location (as in the site itself). No, it just shows the text of the article. Well that defeats the purpose of even looking at the internet in the first place! Everything should be all feeds according to Opera (at least that's how it seems).

With Firefox, it is quick. It is easy. It is better. Period. It is right there in your browser where it is extremely easy to see. Then you just click it and voila all the articles are right in front of you. When you click an article it takes you to the site!

Also, Opera does not have the standard RSS logo. I'll give them leeway on this just because it is most likely coming in the newest version. Hopefully....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Vista Screenshots (55)

The new Vista build, 5308, has just been released and is now "feature-complete."

There are about 55 different screenshots taken by PC Magazine and it is linked here.

When I looked at the Vista screenshots I noticed that really it looked like XP with a skin on top. The only difference is the new sidebar and some other customization features that really are little things to the Operating System.

I believe everyone that gets a Vista will be extremely let down at the end. That is if you are a power user and actually know anything about computers. To the average user, Vista will seem great, new, exciting. They will be fascinated by the eye candy but really to the finer eye there will be nothing superbly better.

I think, still, Mac OS X has made greater leaps and bounds and it is already out.

A Week at the Opera Part II

Here is part II of the 7-part segment known as "A week at the Opera" which details a young man's struggles to fit into a "Be a Man!" society...Err...Not. Actually this details a week long look at the Opera Browser in comparison to Firefox.

Today I open up Firefox and I begin to use the Wand feature. Basically it is the Remember your Password feature in Firefox. The only difference is that all you have to do is hit Ctl+Enter and it enters in your info and it logs in for you. In Firefox if you "remembered" a password then it automatically shows it which I think can pose a security risk for Big Brother.

Most people aren't familiar with the Opera Browser so they would not even know this command so they couldn't "hack" into your accounts.

However what I have noticed is that Opera seems to be a little slower when it comes to loading up pages. It does an excellent job but even this site, the TechWrap, takes some time to load because of all the pictures even though I have DSL.

The biggest thing is that Opera relies very heavily upon loading sites that you visit regularly. That is all well and good but it doesn't help you when you are loading a site you have never seen before for the first time. In this area, Firefox is superbly better. Of course I'm not running any benchmarks over here but I'm pretty sure many would agree.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Week at the Opera (v8.5)

For quite some time now, Firefox's memory problems have been itching at me. I decided that I would try a new browser and create a special segment at the TechWrap called "A Week at the Opera (v8.5).

Now as you can most likely figure out I've decided to try Opera. I've used IE before and hated my experience and plus I do not want a virus on my comp. so I chose Opera.

Each day I will detail out some of the plus and minuses of the browser. I'll try and do it for each day for one week starting today. Of course I am human so if I miss a day because of conflicts then of course I will make those days up so in total there will be 7 posts for this segment.

Day 1:

Just downloaded and I immediately recognize the nice interface. Very clean and it is definitely different than both IE and Firefox. When you click the address bar a panel appears below it and has:
  1. Home
  2. Top 10
There are some great features in Opera that I have discovered today such as the zoom feature. Although, I will probably never use it, it seems decent.

Also, last thing that I've noticed for the day is that it has this extremely annoying feature where it caches the page. Sounds good except for when you load it up and you get the exact same home page (mine is Yahoo) that you get from the day before when it should change. Then you have to click the home button again for it to reload.

Also, my internet timed out while using Opera but it took me forever to notice because it continued to show me the same page over again that I visited maybe an hour or two ago.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I cannot even post this from Opera because it does not have all the features therefore I have to use Firefox.

Apple Event on Feb. 28

Apple will hold an event on Feb. 28th that will introduce "some fun new products from Apple."

No clue on what it could be but a touchscreen iPod would be nice.

Free NBC show on iTunes

A new show from NBC titled "Conviction" will soon make its first airing on TV after the Winter Olympics. However, right now you can get the Pilot (Episode 1), a music video from the show, and a behind the scenes look. "Conviction" is from the creator of "Law & Order" and details a "provocative" look into New York's young assistant district attorneys.

NBC is trying to make this show a success (well duh) and is trying to use iTunes to do it. Sounds like a good idea because hey, if it's free and looks decent then a TON of people will download it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

ATTN: All RSS readers, MUST read

Many RSS readers, in particular Firefox Live Bookmark Readers, please delete your previous feed because it will not work anymore. This is ONLY if you are using our old atom only feed.

As many know from a previous announcement, the TechWrap moved its RSS provider about a month ago so that we could accommodate ALL RSS formats. At the time I was not able to make the new feed a default view on the site such as from a web browser like Firefox. Well now I have been able to figure out the HTML code and it is working beautifully.

So please delete your old Atom feed and hit the live bookmark button again and voila! You have the new RSS feed.

Google Talk on the Blackberry

Blackberry Owners can now use both "Google Talk" and "Google Local" for their Blackberry device. Google Talk for the Blackberry is a version of the Instant Messaging application for the Blackberry and it enables users to send / receive instant text messages with other Google Talk community members.

This news maybe a little old but I felt it was still pretty important to anyone out there that has a blackberry.

(Source Linked as Title)

Spread Google Talk Button

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MacBook Pro soon to Ship

Apple Computer Inc. said Tuesday it will begin shipping this week the new MacBook Pro, the company's first laptop computer to feature an Intel Corp. microprocessor.

As previously reported just a little bit ago, Apple decided to upgrade the processor speed on all the new MacBook Pros.

These two things combined will have Apple taking over the world. MUWAHAHA! Ok, maybe not but a guy can dream. :D

2 Shows added to iTunes, 1 "Music Video"

So I decided to load up the iTunes and went to the TV Shows section of the Music Store. I was completely surprised to find that 2 shows have been added to the iTunes Store. They are the old shows, "Saved By the Bell" and "School of Rock." A soothing cup of nostalgia anyone??

Besides that though, there are some Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition "Music Videos" (more like they didn't know where to put it) that you can also now buy.

Google Click to Call appearances

Sadly, it has now disappeared but I was able to see the Google Click to Call Service. I tried testing it out but it did not work. I searched for new york hotels and was able to find the little green phone logo from Google Talk on the Marriot Sponsored link. This definitely could mark the beginning of a new era.

Previously we reported about a similar click to call ad that would use Google Talk and/or Skype. This is a little different because with this you type in your phone number and it is supposed to "connect you." Since the service failed I could not try it out and give you any more details about it.

One last thing is that it said it could "remember" your phone number on your computer much like a password. This does freak me out a bit especially because of the NSA wiretapping scandal that occurred recently. The U.S. government could in fact force Google to give up phone numbers and legally they would have to.

I took a couple of screenshots so here they are (click to enlarge):

New MacBook Pro Update

Albeit, not really a true update but still worth mentioning.

Apple's entry-level $2,000 MacBook Pro has a 1.83GHz Core Duo (used to be 1.67GHz), and the $2,499 model has a 2GHz processor (used to be 1.83GHz). Also, there is an option to upgrade that to 2.16 GHz for an extra .3 Gs ($300). Word.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Voice Chat & Download Features for DS

Nintendo has just announced two new features for the Nintendo DS. Nintendo of America's senior VP, Reggie Fils-Aime, said that the DS will receive downloadable game demos and voice-chat capabilities.

These changes will occur next month and according to reports, DS owners will go to certain kiosks at retail stores so they can download those game demos. The first demos will be Brain Age, Pokemon Troizi, Mario Kart DS, Meteos and True Swing Golf.

Also, the big news here is that there will be voice-enabled chat between gamers. For example, in the upcoming Metroid Prime Hunters you will be able to talk to others through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The only bad thing though is that you cannot talk during the games themselves. Only before and after (Yea that makes a lot of sense).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Halo 2 for PC! (Vista only)

Microsoft has released a press release (linked) stating that Halo 2 will be released for PC, but it will only run on Windows Vista. The game will be co-produced by Microsoft Games and Bungie, and will include the standard Halo 2 game as well as the Bonus Map Pack. Much like Halo 3 and the Xbox 360, Microsoft appears to be using its flagship titles to make gamers purchase its new platforms. There is no release date in the press release, but I would guess not more than a couple months after Vista. There isn't much of anything they need to do with the game, so all they're waiting for is a good time to release it. It might be interesting if they add updated graphics, but that remains to be seen.
Bungie has an extensive FAQ on their site, though many features have not been announced. Some highlights:
Halo 2 for PC will feature a map editor.
Cross-platform play will not be available.

Rumors: Video iPod, NO Click Wheel

Think Secret has confirmed recent industry rumblings that Apple is nearing completion of a completely revamped video iPod that will shed the ubiquitous mechanical click wheel for a touch screen and will sport a 3.5-inch diagonal display. Instead there will be a touch screen type click wheel most likely.

Think Secret does not state any prices or capacity. No details yet on when it will come out, but Think Secret indicates the Spring, or possibly as early as late March or early April.

Stay tuned to the TechWrap for more details on this possible new real Video iPod.

Feast your eyes on the great pic from engadget.

P.S. this is our 150th post!!!

New Google Desktop Released

New Google Desktop Reveiled. Features below:
  • View personalized news, photos, and more on your desktop
  • Search for files across all your computers New!
  • Share information with your friends right from the Sidebar New!
  • Find your emails, files, photos, web history, Gmail, and more

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Showtime added to iTunes

Showtime and Apple today announced that some Showtime shows are now available on the iTunes Music Store. The shows from Showtime include the first seasons of “Sleeper Cell,” “Weeds” and “Fat Actress.”

New 1GB iPod Nano!

This was inevitable and could be seen miles down the road and finally Apple has come out with a 1GB iPod Nano. Prices on the iPod Shuffles have gone down because of this with the 1GB version selling for $99 and the 512MB version selling for $69

The dimensions and everything are the same and the only thing different is, of course, the size.

New Gmail Chat feature announced

As you can see from the picture it is integration of Google Talk into your Gmail account except without the "talking" feature. You can still type and IM, but just not actually make any calls. You'll have to download Google Talk to do that.

Should be available in a few weeks and I must say it looks pretty cool.

Definitely, follow the link which is the title and also zoom in to view this picture from Google.

Monday, February 06, 2006

New PSP Firmware Update Soon! Features here

The next PlayStation Portable firmware update will include e-mail support called "Sony Mail." Also, a GPS Add-On will be released to add support for GPS. This is according to an article that is set to appear in the March issue of PlayStation Magazine. Reports are that it will be released later this year.

Friday, February 03, 2006

New PS3 details out!!

New details have been revealed about the PS3. Check it out. And I must admit, it looks pretty awesome.
  • PS3 will have online service that goes beyond xbox live
  • PS3 will be a DVR
  • It will connect with psp
  • There are alot of games being worked on for it right now in the US (alot more then what people know about)
  • The final ps3 dev kit is alot faster than they thought (according to the developer)
  • The ps3 will have an itunes type service to let you download HI DEF movies, music, etc
  • The Ps3 will take the media center functionality the 360 has even further
  • PS3 will serve as a location free player for the psp, means you can watch the dvd's that you have in your psp on your psp (from anywhere in the world), or any other video files you have on your ps3, though this is still only being planned.
  • PSP will be able to send its files straight to the psp from anywhere in the world, and it can also control its DVR functionalities
  • Firmware updates will add more functionality, much like with the psp
  • The Blu Ray Player functionality doesnt cost as much as a stand alone player because the Cell and RSX can take care of alot of the stuff the ps3 will need to do to be able to read the disks
  • Fall release date for ps3, no release date for online service, but expected to launch w/ the system

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Firefox released

A new version of Firefox is now available. Please click the Firefox logo in our sidebar under links and it will take you to it. Thanks. Here is what the new version includes:
  • Improved stability.
  • Improved support for Mac OS X.
  • International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is) is now enabled.
  • Fixes for several memory leaks.
  • Several security enhancements.

Dropped prices for 20' iMac G5s

The old 20' Apple iMac G5s have a new price tag. Previously, the price was $1699 but now it is $1499. I suggest you save the extra $200 and go for the new 20' Intel iMacs. It really isn't worth it but it just shows that Apple is trying to get rid of their older products and they will be for sale for as long "as supplies last."