The 'Book Review

QuickTime Vulnerability Impacts Macs, Intel's Handheld PC, Sony on Overheating Batteries, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.04.27

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

The latest zero-day vulnerability (so called because the exploit is released at the same time that the vulnerability is disclosed) doesn't just impact Macs running Safari. The flaw is in the way QuickTime handles Java, so the problem can occur in any Mac or Windows PC with QuickTime loaded and Java enabled. However, the exploit requires that you visit a Web page containing the code to exploit this vulnerability. It can't spread by itself, like a virus would.

Intel has shown a very small handheld PC with a slide-out keyboard that could conceivably be the basis for a handheld MacBook - time will tell.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review.

News & Opinion

Products and Services


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

QuickTime, not Safari, to Blame for MacBook Vulnerability

The Register's Dan Goodin reports:

"The zero-day vulnerability that allowed a hacker to commandeer a brand new MacBook Pro late last week resides in a flaw in Apple's QuickTime media player, the exploit's author says. The revelation corrects descriptions given last Friday that the exploit targeted Safari.

"Dino Dai Zovi set the record straight in a blog posting yesterday. It adds that Mac users browsing with Firefox are also vulnerable if QuickTime is installed and that QuickTime may put Java-enabled browsers on Windows machines at risk as well. Several hours after this story was first published, a new entry appeared that said unnamed sources at 3Com have determined the QuickTime flaw is also exploitable on Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7."

"Dai Zovi, who wrote the exploit but didn't actually attend the conference, said on Tuesday that the vulnerability in fact lies in the way QuickTime handles Java."

Could This Be the Handheld MacBook We've Been Waiting for?

Intel UMPC prototypeSlashGear's Chris Scott Barr reports:

"The guys over at Textura Design got to spend some time with Mark Parker, Chief Evangelist from Intel's Mobility Group. He just happened to be showing off the new IUMPC 2008 that we showed you yesterday. It turns out, this platform may be exactly what Apple has been waiting for to get into the UMPC market.

"He showed the UMPC prototype off running Windows XP and described it as a fully-functional PC. The screen is a touchscreen that can be used with or without a stylus which will make it easy to just whip out and use. You'll see integrated WiFi and eventually WiMAX. When it makes it's debut he said to expect 4-6 hours of battery life."

17" MacBook Pro Swelling Battery

swelled batteryHard Mac's Lionel reports:

"We keep receiving reports from Intel-based MacBook owners, especially for Mac Book Pro 17". As for the MacBook Pro 15", the reports seems to identify defective series of battery."

Per-i-Sight: A Periscope for the MacBook says:

"Turn your MacBook iSight into a cam for conferences, lectures, and more with a couple of pieces of cardboard and small mirror. Don't be selfish, point your built in camera forward with this simple periscope: Per-i-Sight! (Sorry, DOESN'T work with MacBook Pro.)"

Sony: Metal Particles Caused Batteries to Overheat

Bloomberg's Yoshinori Eki and Pavel Alpeyev report:

"Sony Corp., which recalled a record 9.6 million laptop batteries last year, said a study on the cause of the battery malfunctions will reiterate earlier findings that blamed metal particles and chargers.

"In October, the company said metal particles that got into battery cells during the manufacturing process caused short circuits, leading to overheating. Battery charging units also played a role in the malfunctions, the company said then."

"The company will submit the findings to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission this month, the Nikkei said. Kitsukawa declined to specify to what organization and when Sony plans to file the report."

Upgrade Your MacBook Pro's Hard Drive

ExtremeTech's Jason Cross has posted and excellent and thorough illustrated tutorial; on upgrading MacBook Pro hard drives:

"Replacing the hard drive in an Apple MacBook is pretty easy. You just pop out the battery, remove three little screws, and pull on a special 'hard drive removal' tab to pull the drive out. There are even instructions [PDF] on Apple's site. The MacBook Pro is a different story. Replacing your MacBook Pro hard drive requires some minor surgery, and it will void your warranty - but hey, that's never stopped an ExtremeTech reader, right?

"It just so happens that we upgraded the hard drive in a MacBook Pro recently, so we thought we would provide you with a step-by-step photo tour of the right way to do it. Why would you want to do this? Well, in our case, it was to improve performance and increase capacity. With Boot Camp now supporting Windows Vista, we're splitting our drive between two OSes, each with a sizable amount of data. The 80 GB drive we started with just isn't enough anymore. The 5400 RPM drive originally installed was fine, but we want more speed--so we're going to upgrade to Seagate's new Momentus 7200.2 160 GB drive. With perpendicular storage cramming more bits per square inch, and with a faster rotational speed, this drive should be a lot speedier than the Momentus 5400.2 the notebook came with...."

Products and Services

AT&T ExpressCard 3G Lacks Mac Drivers

ExpressCard 3GWired reports:

"MacBook Pro owners lumbered with Apple's decision to replace their PC-card slot with the immature ExpressCard standard won't be able to use AT&T's GT Mac 3.6 Express yet. OS X drivers don't ship with it, though the OEM claims Apple compatibility, and these things tend to work themselves out with a little hacking around. It's cheap, too, coming in under $50 with a contract and rebates; the main irritant about ExpressCard peripherals having been their outrageous '$120 for a USB hub' prices."

Globetrotter Express 7.2 Ready ExpressCard Modem Supports MacBook Pro

Globetrotter Express 7.2PR: Globetrotter Express 7.2 Ready is the perfect solution for all Macintosh Computers to provide a fast mobile Internet connection from virtually anywhere in the world with support of HSDPA, 3G UMTS as well as EDGE and GPRS connections.

Using HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) you can use mobile Internet connections with up to 7.2 Ready Mbit/s download speeds and up to 384 kbit/s upload speeds.*

If no HSDPA or 3G UMTS is available you can still use worldwide EDGE or GPRS connections with download speeds up to 220 kbit/s and upload speeds up to 80 kbit/s.

Instant online experience with launch2net software

Globetrotter Express 7.2 Ready includes launch2net software for Mac OS X. launch2net features an automated connection setup for an instant online experience. launch2net includes more than 300 connection settings for mobile network operators around the world, so you will not have to enter any connection details or define any modem scripts.

launch2net uses an easy, three step approach to a mobile data connection: attach. click. connect.

  • Attach: Plug your Globetrotter Express 7.2 Ready to the Macintosh.
  • Click: launch2net features an automated device and network recognition wizard for a hassle free setup.
  • Connect: launch2net includes a "Connect" button for instant online access, supporting HSDPA, 3G UMTS, EDGE, GPRS

All features on a glance

  • To use in ExpressCard slots (Adapter for PC Card slots required)
  • BUS powered, no external power supply needed
  • HSDPA and 3G UMTS compatible to all 850/1900/2100 MHz mobile networks Quad-Band EDGE and GPRS compatible to all 850/900/1800/1900 MHz mobile networks
  • HSDPA connections with up 7.2 Ready Mbit/s download and up to 384 kbit/s upload speed*
    * Speed depends on local conditions. Speed is slower in 850 MHz and 1900 MHz HSDPA/ UMTS networks like in the USA.
  • EDGE connections with up to 220 kbit/s download and up to 80 kbit/s upload speed
  • Mac OS X: Instant online experience and automatic setup: More than 300 connection settings already included within the launch2net software
  • Windows: Fast and easy setup: Self-installing software included in the modem's RAM
  • Easy to use SIM-card handling

System requirements: Mac OS X (10.4.3 or higher) or Windows 2000, XP, Vista

Euro 299

Available beginning of May

The ShuttleShuttle Laptop Sleeve in 12", 13", 14", and 15" Versions

PR: The Shuttle is more than your typical, lightly padded sleeve. It's the ultimate compact computer case.

The ShuttleThe Shuttle allows you to work directly from the case, providing full-time protection. The cooldeck's non-slip riser pads facilitate airflow, keeping both your lap and computer cooler. Elegant simplicity is combined with road-warrior protection to provide everything you need in a compact case and nothing more.

An optional lightweight mesh backpack strap attachment is also available (single shoulder strap is included). Super tough parachute hardware ensures that your technology will be securely held to your back. Its compact, foldable design is easily stored in the Shuttle's pockets.

The ShuttleFeatures

  • 12" accommodates a 11.5" x 9" x 1.5" laptop
  • 13" accommodates a 13" x 9.5" x 1.25" laptop
  • 14" accommodates a 13.88" x 10.5" x 1.25" laptop
  • 15" accommodates a 14.5" x 11.5" x 2" laptop
  • full-time protection (laptop never has to leave the case)
  • Cooldeck for computer heat dissipation
  • shields your lap from excessive heat buildup
  • single shoulder strap included -backpack option available
  • designed for use on your lap or desktop surface
  • rigid frame & shock absorbing foam padding throughout
  • all stress points are reinforced
  • constructed using the finest expedition grade fabrics
  • all fabrics coated with heavy waterproof coating

color optionsColors: black, royal blue, wasabi, red, pink

New 13" MacBook version now shipping.

  • shuttle 12" $39.95
  • shuttle 13" $39.95
  • shuttle 14" $44.95
  • shuttle 15" $49.95
  • backpack strap $9.95

Timbuk2 Blue and Gold Checker Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 Checker Messenger BagPR: Originally built for hardworking messengers, the Classic Messenger Bag has been in production for 18 years. Known for its long-lasting, rugged durability and distinctive three-panel, multicolor design, the Classic Messenger has been adopted in cities around the world as the everyday, all-purpose carryall. [Made in San Francisco]


  • Cross strap for stabilization (not available on XS)
  • Cam Buckle for adjusting shoulder strap
  • Vista light attachment loop
  • Reflective tabs
  • Front pocket with extra zippered pocket and pen slots
  • Key ring
  • Waterproof lining
  • Internal pockets, including additional pen slots, business card slot and fleece-lined cell phone pocket
  • Timbuk2 Quality Guarantee



MiniBatteryLogger Adds Battery Sharing Service

PR: MiniBatteryLogger is a Cocoa application designed to monitor your laptop battery and log all the relevant power events.

The chart view shows the graph of charge and amperage over time, with customizable colors and indicators for relevant power events. Every change in power properties is logged to file with time and date of occurrence, and it's listed in the detailed log view.

The Battery Inspector tells you all the details about your battery: charge, capacity (actual, maximum and original), amperage, voltage, cycle count. It also reports the estimated times to empty and to full charge.

Share your battery data among MiniBatteryLogger users and compare your battery against the others. MiniBatteryLogger is interfaced to a shared battery data archive that can also be accessed by a Web interface.

The application also notifies you about cord connections and disconnections, begin and end of charge with Growl notifications. A customizable threshold lets you be informed when the battery charge decreases under a given amount.

New in version 1.7:

  • MiniBatteryLogger can monitor several local batteries.
  • Implemented iTunes-like battery data sharing.
  • Added battery sharing service.
  • Provided standalone battd server for remote monitoring.
  • Added several new notifications: remote battery found, remote battery removed, battery changed.
  • Currently available only in US English; other localizations will be updated soon.

System requirements: MiniBatteryLogger requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 "Panther" or later Notebook computer

System Support: PPC/Intel

$19 Shareware

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Apple Store

  • No Apple refurbished notebooks listed at press time.

Wegener Media

  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $679.99
  • Upgrade to a SuperDrive, $119.99
  • Upgrade to an 8x SuperDrive, $154.99
  • Upgrade to 1 GB of RAM, $119.99

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/20/CD, $249
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD, $329
  • Add AirPort for $65


  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, APX, $849
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, APX, BT, $1,099
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, APX, BT, $1,249
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Super, APX, BT, $1,399

Power Max

  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, APX, $999
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, APX, $1,049
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, APX, BT, $1,199
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/120/SuperDrive, APX, BT, $1,288

We Love Macs

  • 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $899.95


TechRestore is offering a $25 discount to 'Book Review readers off any PowerBook or iBook in stock. Just enter the code CWM during checkout when ordering online. The coupon code is valid from now through 2007.12.31.

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $379.99 less $25 = $354.99
  • 12" iBook G3/900, 256/30/Combo, $469.99 less $25 = $444.99
  • 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/Combo, $549.99 less $25 = $524.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $799.99 less $25 = $774.99

The PowerBook Guy

  • 12" clamshell iBook G3/300, blueberry, 64/3/CD, $169.95
  • 12" iBook G3/500, 128/10/CD, $199.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/CD, AirPort, $479.95
  • 14" PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 256/20/DVD, $379.95
  • 14" PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 256/20/DVD, $399.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, $449.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667, 256/20/DVD, $529.95

Custom Macs

  • Apple eMate 300 PDA, touch screen in great working shape, $69.99
  • 12" iBook G3/300, 128/3/CD, OS X 10.2 installed, tested battery and power cord, $259.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, OS X 10.2, working battery and power cord, $299.99

Computer Geeks

  • PowerBook Lombard G3/333, 128/4 /CD, OS 9, $199.99

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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