Mac News Review

OS X 10.5.7 Causing Freezes?, Half of IT Professionals Consider Dumping Windows, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.06.26

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Troubleshooting

Tech Trends

Products & Services

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Mac OS X 10.5.7 Causes Freezing and Overheating?

The Inquisitr's Duncan Riley says:

"The latest update to Apple's Leopard operating system 10.5.7 is causing widespread problems with Mac products including regular OS freezing and overheating issues (both possibly related.)

"I know this because my two year old MacBook Pro has been constantly freezing since I installed the update, and when I started searching for a solution it took about 5 seconds in Google to discover that I was far from alone."

Half of IT Professionals Considering Dumping Windows

CNN Money's David Goldman notes that Windows 7 is coming soon, but anticipates that a correspondent PC sales rebound coming with it seems unlikely.

Despite the positive reviews, says Goldman, most analysts say Windows 7 alone is not enough to jump-start lackluster PC sales. While Windows 7 will be shiny and new version of the world's number one OS, the operative question is whether consumers will be willing to give Microsoft a second chance after the Vista debacle.

Particularly interesting is that Goldman cites a a survey of more than 1,000 IT professionals by Dimension Research that found 50% saying they were considering leaving Windows altogether rather than switch to Windows 7, with Mac OS X the OS they're most likely to switch to.

Apple Partners with Edhance to Provide Additional 4% Discount to Students

PR: Edhance Inc. is a new company providing student discounts on partner companies' products through a membership site. Apple has signed on with Edhance to deepen the savings available to college students purchasing their products.

Apple's partnership with Edhance will give Edhance members a 4% discount on all in-store and online Apple products, including computers, software and even iPods, which is a first. This discount is added to the 10% student discount Apple currently offers college students.

Troubleshooting

When to Fix Permissions, Run Disk Repair, and Clean Caches

MacFixIt says:

"There are a variety of maintenance routines that people can run in OS X, including the disk verification and permissions repair that come with the system, along with scripts such as cache cleaners that are available in third-party utilities. These scripts can be quite useful, but also can give odd-looking output that may concern people and cause them to try extra measures to fix problems, which can lead to unexpected errors....

"...many times running a cache cleaning program will fix the problem.

"There are a variety out there, including 'Leopard Cache Cleaner', 'MacCleanse', and 'OnyX', which are good to get in the habit of running every month or two...."

Tech Trends

Intel's New Chip Branding Structure

PR: Intel's PC chip lines will be simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), midlevel (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7), retaining Celeron for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and the Intel Atom processor for compact devices

Intel's new Core familyIntel blogger Bill Calder says that over the last year or so, Intel has been quietly working behind the scenes taking a hard look at the company's brand structure and exploring ways to make it more rational and easier to understand, moving from too many platform brands, product names, and product brands that have made things confusing for consumers and IT buyers in the process.

Intel Core i7 logoCalder says that Intel is embarking on a process of change that will evolve over time, focusing its strategy around a primary 'hero' client brand which is Intel Core. Today the Intel Core brand has a mind-boggling array of derivatives (such as Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc.), but now over time those will go away to be replaced by a simplified family of Core processors spanning multiple levels: Intel Core i3 processor, Intel Core i5 processor, and Intel Core i7 processors. Core i3 and Core i5 are new modifiers and join the previously announced Intel Core i7 to round out the family structure.

For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name.

Intel's PC chip lines will be simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), midlevel (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7), retaining Celeron for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and the Intel Atom processor for compact devices ranging from netbooks to smartphones, or in terms of good-better-best Celeron is good, Pentium better, and the Intel Core family representing the best Intel has to offer.

USB Market Will Get SuperSpeed Boost after Slower 2009

PR: Although the global recession will prompt a slight decline in USB-enabled device shipments this year, next-generation "SuperSpeed" technology will fuel the market over the next several years, reports In-Stat. SuperSpeed, USB's new incarnation, will deliver 5 Gbps, a tenfold improvement over high-speed USB. With the late 2008 introduction of SuperSpeed, the question is not whether it will be successful, but how successful it will be.

"All PCs, and most PC peripherals have transitioned from full-speed to high-speed. Most of these devices will eventually transition to SuperSpeed, the only issue is the speed of the transition," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. "For PC peripheral devices, the key will be how quickly SuperSpeed is integrated into the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and microcontrollers that are the brains of these devices."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • With over three billion devices shipped in 2008 alone, USB is the most successful interface ever. It has been broadly adopted across PCs, PC peripherals, consumer electronics (CE), communications and automotive devices.
  • Consumer electronics devices with USB will rise at a 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2008 and 2013.
  • Although mini-USB ports have not made significant progress as a connector on mobile phones, micro-USB ports are expected to become the dominant standard for connectors in mobile phones by 2013.
  • USB in computer mice will remain the single highest volume PC peripheral category.
  • SuperSpeed USB will represent over 25% of the USB market by 2013.
  • The research, "Wired USB 2009: High-speed Rules, SuperSpeed on the Way" (#IN0904460MI), covers the worldwide market for USB and USB-enabled devices. It includes:
    • USB-enabled device forecasts by type and by detailed product category through 2013.
    • USB-enabled device penetration forecasts by detailed product category through 2013.
    • Product category segmentation for
      • Computers
      • Computer Peripherals
      • Consumer Electronics
      • Communications
      • Automotive
  • Results from In-Stat's residential technology survey regarding USB.
  • USB silicon vendor profiles: Cypress Semiconductor, DisplayLink, Fresco Logic, Gennum, Intel, LSI, LucidPort Technology, MCCI, NEC, PLX (Oxford Semiconductor), SMSC, STEriccson, Symwave, Synopsys, Texas Instruments.

The price is $3,995.

Link: USB Market Will Get SuperSpeed Boost After Slower 2009

Products & Services

Belkin's New Retractable, Wireless, and Bluetooth Comfort Mice

PR: Belkin have developed a new range of mice that place your hand in the optimum position for working in comfort. The Wireless Comfort Mouse and the Bluetooth Comfort Mouse are shaped in a design that conforms to your hand, for ultimate comfort wherever you use your laptop.

Wireless Comfort MouseAvailability:

  • End of June in the Americas
  • End of July in Europe, Asia, and Australia
  • Retractable Comfort Mouse: August in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia

Wireless Comfort Mouse (F5L030) - $29.99

  • Provides most comfortable mouse shape to fit your hand
  • USB dongle doubles as a perch to hold mouse in place when moving from room to room
  • Features an all-terrain optical engine to mouse on any surface
  • Power-save mode puts mouse to sleep after 8 minutes of inactivity
  • Compatible with Mac computers

  • Includes 2 AAA batteries
  • Colors: Midnight Blue, Pitch Black, Fuchsia, Candy Red

Bluetooth Comfort Mouse (F5L031) - $49.99

  • Provides most comfortable mouse shape to fit your hand
  • Connects wirelessly to laptops with built-in Bluetooth technology
  • Scroll wheel offers vertical and horizontal scrolling
  • Retractable Comfort MouseFeatures a laser optical sensor to mouse on different surfaces
  • Compatible with Mac computers
  •  2.4 GHz Bluetooth wireless
  • Colors: Black and White

Retractable Comfort Mouse (F5L051) - $19.99

  • Provides most comfortable mouse shape to fit your hand
  • Retractable cable prevents knots and tangles
  • Features an all-terrain optical engine to mouse on any surface
  • Compatible with Mac computers
  • Colors: Pitch Black, Midnight Blue, Fuchsia, Candy Red

World's First Web-Connected Home Printer

PR: HP has unveiled the world's first web-connected home printer: The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

HP is bringing the power of the web directly to the printer and combining it with HP's TouchSmart technology to give people quick, easy, touchscreen access to popular digital content.

HP Photosmart PremiumDesigned for the digital generation and connected households, the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web features an entirely new web-based printing platform with HP applications (apps). Similar to other Internet-connected devices, these apps, which are viewable on an extra-large, intuitive-to-use TouchSmart panel, allow people to connect instantly with fun, informative and personal content.

In addition to receiving apps preloaded on the printer, people can download new ones as they become available at the HP Apps Studio to suit their interests and needs. With the sweep of a finger, users will be able to browse and view popular web destinations and simply touch the app of their choice to launch a web page where they can customize and print content on demand in an easy-to-read format.

As pioneers of this new content-on-demand delivery platform, the world's first HP app partners will be USA TODAY, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weather News Inc. Through these apps, people will have free access to customized daily news, maps, coupons, coloring pages, movie tickets, recipes, personal calendars and more - all at the touch of a finger.

The new printers also will connect directly to a user's Snapfish account to view, print and upload photos. People additionally can access projects from the HP Creative Studio.

People will be able to create and share their own apps to customize their printers through the HP Apps Studio starting in late 2009.

"Twenty-five years ago HP invented consumer printing and today we are taking advantage of the digital content explosion to reinvent the category with an entirely new printing platform - powered by touch and empowered by the web," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "By giving people access to the content they want at the touch of a finger, the ability to customize their printing experience and create their own apps, and enabling easy 'one touch' wireless setup, we are driving a significant shift in how people will be printing in the future."

Free HP apps available at launch

Industry leaders from the worlds of news, entertainment and information are the first to offer free apps debuting on the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. Consumers will be able to print daily, weekly or monthly news from USA TODAY, updated in real time and customized according to their interests, such as sports, news and politics.

"Today marks another change in the way our readers can access news and information as we bring print-on-demand to consumers' homes," said Jeff Webber, publisher, USATODAY.com. "People can print the latest stories from USA TODAY at the touch of a finger to better fit their busy, on-the-go lives."

From Google Maps, consumers will be able to enter their destination and print a map; from Google Calendar, they will be able to print their weekly schedule to place on their refrigerator or bulletin board.

With Coupons.com, users can save money by printing coupons for groceries, restaurants, entertainment and more. People also can browse and print recipes for quick, easy meal planning.

Consumers will be able to search movies in their local area from any one of Fandango's 16,000 theater screens across the country. They can then buy tickets in advance and print their tickets at home or the office, helping ensure an easy and convenient moviegoing experience.

To empower busy families, the printer provides one-touch access to fun coloring pages and templates from DreamWorks Animation and Nickelodeon. Through the DreamWorks Animation app users also will be able to view movie trailers to upcoming releases without having to log on to a computer. Nickelodeon printables will include color-ins, word finds, mazes and more from top properties, including "Dora the Explorer," "The Wonder Pets!," "Sponge Bob Square Pants" and "iCarly."

For commuters, Weather News Inc. provides a weekly forecast to allow for informed travel planning. With Web Sudoku, people can quickly print brain teasers for light entertainment on the go.

World's first web-connected printer

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web has an extra-large 4.33" touchscreen - the largest LCD touchscreen of any all-in-one inkjet printer on the market.

The versatile printer prints, faxes, copies and scans - producing laser-quality text documents and lab-quality photos - making it ideal for multitasking households. With a full range of wired and wireless connectivity options, the printer provides the flexibility to print directly from WiFi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth®-enabled devices, the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPod touch using HP iPrint Photo.

ENERGY STAR qualified, the all-in-one printer helps users save paper with automatic two-sided printing and reduces packaging waste by shipping in an innovative, reusable bag made from recycled plastics.

Expected to be available this fall, the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web will retail in the United States for a target street price of $399.

Customers also can access printer diagnostics and software driver updates with HP Printer Check.

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