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The Best of Macworld SF 2006

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the wrap-up dept.

Hardware Hacking 168

ptorrone writes "We podcasted live, we posted over 100 photos real time via a WiFi camera + EVDO as we walked around and now we've picked the top 5 products we liked the most at Macworld San Fran 2006. It's safe to say our picks aren't likely to be the same ones you'll see in the usual "best of" lists. We gave top marks to products, services and software that we think fit the "Maker" mindset - technology on your time and a bit of news from the future... Here they are..."

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Go wild... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14449961)

Mac Blocker didn't have time for what was happening to him, but he couldn't stop it either. He needed to escape, but his orgasm was beginning to build again. He was security chief of this damned place, did Rothman really think he could stop him by locking him up.

He looked down, something was happening to his cock, it was changing shape. His balls had already become huge and hung low and had a fuzzy grey covering of fur. Fur was growing all over his body, he watched, half fascinated and half horrified as his red human hair began to disappear beneath the tan and grey fur on his chest and belly. He rubbed and scratched his abdomen. He was growing carpet of badger fur on his chest and felt it growing on his back. He felt his face and realized that it was happening there too. If he could have seen himself in a mirror, he would see the beginnings of the distinctive black and white stripes on his face and his nose and lips beginning to darken. The backs of his arms were growing dark with fur.

He was brought out of his musings about his growing furriness by his aching cock. He watched it finish changing into the proper shape for a badger, not that he had ever noticed an animal's cock before, but he guessed this was the right shape, given what was happening. His cock was growing huge and it demanded attention. His mind became simpler in thought as he began to stroke himself with a clawed hand that rivaled that of the ursine animorphs. Lustfully, he began to lick and suck on his own cock. Inside of his mind 'Mac the Man', the extremely heterosexual human male, was disgusted by what was happening, but 'Blocker the Badger' was in complete bliss. He was reliving his swollen balls of he last vestiges of Mac's human genetics. Blocker the Badger kneaded and fondled his balls with one growing clawed hand and pumped the elongated shaft with the other. If Mac had, had a cell mate, male or female, he would be releasing his load into whichever hole was first presented. It's what made the milking machines so easy to use; the animorph would bliss out and provide as much semen as the beast could pump out before it was sated. The beast didn't care as long as its sexual needs were fulfilled. Mac the Man went into a sort of hypnotic state as the Blocker the Badger gained complete control. The badger licked up and sucked down the last drops of human seed and was coaxing out the first badger-man sperm.

By the time Mac Blocker the badger-man had regained the balance in his mind between beast and man and could think clearly again, he was completely transformed.

Mac didn't like being changed against his will, but he had to admit, he had the best of both worlds now. Mack had been a stocky man since he was in high school and was on the wrestling team. His time in the army had just increased his muscular, stocky physique. Now, he noted that he was much more powerful than he had been before. That bastard Rothman had only done him a favor. He heard Billy and George in the other rooms. Though the rooms were generally sound proof to the human ear, his new ears were picking up their grunts and moans and garbled words that sounded like, "Oh, fuck, yeah!" and "God that's good!". He guessed the milking machines were providing them with the same kind of distraction his auto-fellatio had provided for him and he knew that the machine would still be attached and he'd still be blissfully shooting out loads if he hadn't acted so quickly.

In retrospect, sucking one's own cock wasn't that bad and he had rather enjoyed it. He had bragged to his buddies that if he could do such a thing, he'd never leave the house. Well, he found now that, that wasn't quite true. He wanted out of this cell more than he wanted to suck his cock again, though at the thought of doing it, his huge badger cock gave a jerk and his balls tingled in anticipation.

He'd fix Rothman, but first he had to get out of here and free his partners. George's new bulk and raw power would be of great use and Billy's new agility and wiry strength could help them all get out of here. The problem now was this: Mac the Man knew that his codes had been locked out by now, but he had a secret code he hadn't bothered telling anyone about that could free him he just needed to get to the keypad. Upon examining Blocker the Badger's hands, he realized it would be awhile before he was dexterous enough with the clawed hands to use them without hitting the wrong keys. He knew that if he were to break the reinforced glass, which he could easily do, he might reach the keypad by the door. But if he hit the wrong sequence, it would activate alarms and flood his cell with a neurotoxin that would kill him in seconds. The antechamber just before the holding cell would activate the air-tight seals against the gas and the solid steel doors would be locked tight as a bank vault.

There wasn't any immunity to that and it didn't matter how strong you were. He'd seen the same toxin used on test subjects to insure it's effectiveness on mammalian, reptilian and avian life. He'd also seen it used on animorphs and it was quite effective. Basic biology didn't change, just because you were a hybrid of two mammals. The neurotransmitters still required certain chemicals to function. These cells weren't the local county jail; they were designed to contain biohazard level life-forms, so Mac Blocker had to be careful.

Everything would be just fine, if he could just see to punch the keypad and if he could reach the keypad. There were no reflective surfaces in the antechamber and none available in the cell that he could squeeze through the 8"x8" window after he'd broken out the reinforced glass. Even the milker had been automatically retracted to a place he couldn't get to it when he'd removed if from his groin.

Mac was sure he could do it; he just needed to figure out how. He sat and calmed himself, he had a plan. As he thought it through, he heard George and Billy in the throes of their final orgasm. He heard the milkers shut off and then he heard loud snoring. It was George was most certainly, the man had been his friend for years and he'd heard him snore many times when he'd fall asleep in Mac's recliner after dinner. He'd given Mac a job and stepped aside when this promotion came up so that Mac could take it. George said he was old, he had enough pay and he didn't need the headache. That was partly true, George had, had heart bypass surgery and he probably couldn't have taken the stress. George had been like a father to him and he was angered that Rothman had punished him, punished them, buy making them experiments for the army's use. It was Mac's fault that George and Billy too, were in this mess. He was just too ambitious. If it weren't for him talking them into selling out to Transgene, they'd both be home now, same as they had always been and not on their way to a breeding program.

Mac put aside all his anger and concern, mostly for George, and concentrated on the task ahead; he realized the incredible risk he was about to take.

Re:Go wild... (1, Insightful)

Cheviot (248921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450029)

Now I remember why I don't read the -1 posts.

Re:Go wild... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450333)

what a worthless comment
lame++

Re:Go wild... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450939)

OMG Mac teh Man runs on teh LEENUX!!!1!

Google Earth + SketchUp (1, Offtopic)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449987)

Wow, the Google Earth + SketchUp integration looks pretty cool. I couldn't find anywhere how much SketchUp costs but they have a free trial.

Re:Google Earth + SketchUp (3, Informative)

ptorrone (638660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450009)

sketchup is $495: http://www.sketchup.com/cgi-bin/store/trybuy.html [sketchup.com]

Re:Google Earth + SketchUp (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450770)

Ouch. I was considering purchasing it (Windows version), as something like that could be very useful to design electronic gadget enclosures, but at that price, i can stick to pencil and paper.

Re:Google Earth + SketchUp (4, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450875)

An architect friend swears by Sketchup. He's been using it for several years, and preferred it to the new Revit from Autodesk.

I know this is Slashdot, and OSS is the best thing in the world, but programs that charge sometimes really are worth it. I used to use Strata StudioPro. The productivity increase between it and the other 3D programs at the time (mid- late-1990s) was ridiculously high. (As it happened, Strata was at least half the price of the Autodesk tools.) Based on my friend's recommendation, I'd not hesitate to at least try the software. If your business is in design mockups, it's well worth the $500.

Re:Google Earth + SketchUp (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450465)

My cousin is an architect and the guys in his office have already started putting buildings into landscapes. Sounds like a neat idea, although until they have better background 3d models of cities it has fairly limited use (in my mind).

Re:Google Earth + SketchUp (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450552)

It should also be noted that SketchUp has Ruby bindings -- so you can write an extension script.

Motorola Chip (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449991)

I got an Itainium 2 Chip key chain for my last conference. Is it too late to get a Motorola chip key chain since Apple moved to intel processors?

Re:Motorola Chip (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450353)

I don't know, what about PowerPC in all this?

You mean Freescale chip... (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450441)

I got an Itainium 2 Chip key chain for my last conference. Is it too late to get a Motorola chip key chain since Apple moved to intel processors?

and wouldn't you rather have an IBM G5 chip keychain, anyway?

and where praytell, are the comprable CES stories? (-1, Offtopic)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14449992)

I know they were submitted.. slashdot posted damn near SQUAT.

No Google today? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450000)

Oh well, today is sponsored by Apple instead!

Apple: The Best of Macworld SF 2006
Hardware: iBook Converts to iTablet
Your Rights Online: iTunes is Malware?
Hardware: Retrofitting an iPod into a Geiger Counter

Well, maybe not the malware one ;)

Party like its 1985 (4, Funny)

ShamusYoung (528944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450003)

The VR glasses are good for a laugh. From TFA:

Sure, there's a little bit of a Jordie LaForge factor, but the 50 or so people we watched try these on at the booth all pretty much said "these ain't that bad, I could wear them."

Yes, but they are all geeks. This isn't going to take off the way the iPod did. The iPod is sexy. The glasses are more like an ersatz contraceptive.

But if nobody was looking, I would try them out for sure!

Re:Party like its 1985 (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450037)

yes indeed, glasses like that have been showing up for ages, never ever worked. VR is a thing that passed by I guess.

Re:Party like its 1985 (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450324)

yes indeed, glasses like that have been showing up for ages, never ever worked. VR is a thing that passed by I guess.

Nah. VR was just was a false pretender technology back then.

The headshets were way too bulky, expensive, and from my experience they always gave me a eyeache after an hour.

If they can solve all three of those problems then it would be accepted in the market place. VR has got a few more generations to go with the size and quality and I believe eventually they'll get the image projected straight onto the retina which hopefully would get around the eyestrain.

After all, if you could watch porn on the bus on the way to work and look stylish doing it, then I think you've got a winner.

Re:Party like its 1985 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450979)

yes indeed, glasses like that have been showing up for ages, never ever worked. VR is a thing that passed by I guess.

Absolutely! Clearly, everything that hasn't worked yet obviously never will!

Nice logic.

Re:Party like its 1985 (1)

DaftShadow (548731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450276)

These glasses look pretty cool. I've been trying to get my hands on a pair of the "new age" of small form displays. Why have an LCD monitor? Why not have a totally mobile monitor setup? Just plop on your display, and voila! These don't look like those crappy full-face helmets. They are sleek and interesting.

These things aren't "3D virtual reality glasses"; they are small-form, optical LCD displays. And it's not like they just plopped an LCD up either... they have tiny lenses in front of the display that allow your eyes to focus correctly and look at this thing for hours on end, just like you were staring at your monitor that's sitting two feet away. It's brilliant stuff.

Combine this with an OQO [oqo.com] or other such portable device, and you have a totally mobile computing platform. Or why not just use Ipod Linux [ipodlinux.org] ...

- DaftShadow

Re:Party like its 1985 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450409)

ersatz contraceptive

Phillip K Dick, is that you?

Re:Party like its 1985 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450442)

But if nobody was looking, I would try them out for sure!

Lemme guess, you have a file on you iPod video named 'Boobman's big adventure in tittyland'?

Sorry, I had to...

Re:Party like its 1985 (3, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450795)

The glasses are more like an ersatz contraceptive.

You know that's something I've never understood: if geeks aren't able to reproduce, where do the new geeks come from??? It's not like there's ever any shortage of geeks, new ones are cropping up all the time.

Is there some sort of recessive mutation? Some little gene with thick glasses and a lisp that randomly takes over the Y chromosome and then WHOOPS the blonde hunky adonis dad looks down and sees that (gulp) his newborn son is a geek?

Re:Party like its 1985 (1)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450871)

Two words: Spontaneous generation.

Re:Party like its 1985 (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450945)

hah. for the record, i don't disagree with you. this things are still dorky, even if they are the least dorky video goggles ever. but when i read:

This isn't going to take off the way the iPod did.

i thought "yeah, because /.ers were so good at predicting the success of THAT device." :-P

heh. vr goggles. No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

sensors (4, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450010)

These environmental sensors should have some wireless functionality, it looks rather tedious to collect them all the time, by the time you put them in the reader, you stop the datamining. It would be much nicer if you could just but the reader closeby and read out the data over bluetooth or something. And who needs something like that anyway? Weather fanatics?

Re:sensors (3, Insightful)

dorsey (119963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450151)

You'd have to collect them periodically anyway to replace/recharge the batteries. And you'd have to collect them more frequently if the batteries also had to power a transmitter.

Re:sensors (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450248)

Biologists use these to monitor environmental conditions at research sites. I used them 8 years ago as an undergrad, so I am rather surprised they are being treated as "new". These guys have been around forever, and their product was exceptional 8 years ago. WIFI would kick ass since you could also use it to find the sensor rather than flagging it and have to worry about somebody wandering off with your 200 dollar thermometer/humidity sensor (they do other things too like light level).

Re:sensors (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450249)

I have something similar (NOMAD OM-43 [omega.com] ) that I use to record indoor temperature and relative humidity. It can be programmed and downloaded via an RS-232 port. It will run for a very long time on a lithium battery. If can be useful if you have stuff that is sensitive to temperature and humidity, like musical instruments, photographic film, magnetic tape, etc. It's also interesting to have a historical record of the actual conditions, as opposed to what they are supposed to be.

Re:sensors (2, Informative)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450264)

And who needs something like that anyway? Weather fanatics?

Scientists and science students. I spent many many hours of my college life driving/walking/travelling into a field to check the rainmeter and temperature. This would have saved me a ton of time, if I could afford them.

And to emphasize what the other poster said, wireless is very power hungry and would increase the battery requirements by quite a bit. Those little sensors wouldn't be so little anymore.

Re:sensors (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450696)

it looks rather tedious to collect them all the time, by the time you put them in the reader, you stop the datamining. It would be much nicer if you could just but the reader closeby and read out the data over bluetooth or something. And who needs something like that anyway?

Any number of scientists and engineers could make use of such devices. Sure, you stop the datamining as soon as you pick up the device, but the idea ( should you want continuous data ) is that you put down a new one when you pick up the previous one. Real-time access to the data might not really be that interesting ( you're likely looking for macro-level trends, not single events ). Also notice that there are voltage-level sensors among others, it's not just about weather.

Google doesn't "get it" (2, Insightful)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450015)

I've had this thought before, but nothing crystallizes it like Google Earth for OS X. The application is ugly. The interface is cluttered and somewhat inscrutable. It looks like a direct port from the Windows version with no regard for Mac UI conventions, up-to-date widgets (the 10.0-style tabs and sliders, in particular), or even alignment (scrollbars that overlap with adjacent elements? WTF).

This, to me, only reflects Google's broader philosophy. They don't release products that give people what they need, or solve problems they didn't know they had. Google releases whatever products the technology allows them to build, without regard of how, where, or even why it fits into people's lives. Google has a "because we can" mentality rather than one of "because it would help." Hence the bare-walls interfaces and inexplicable feature spammage. In this, Google behaves remarkably like Microsoft.

Don't get me wrong, I love Google for what it is, but not what it ain't: particularly tasteful or particularly elegant.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (5, Insightful)

ShamusYoung (528944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450086)

This, to me, only reflects Google's broader philosophy. They don't release products that give people what they need, or solve problems they didn't know they had. Google releases whatever products the technology allows them to build, without regard of how, where, or even why it fits into people's lives. Google has a "because we can" mentality rather than one of "because it would help." Hence the bare-walls interfaces and inexplicable feature spammage. In this, Google behaves remarkably like Microsoft.

Ow. Harsh.

I would suggest that while both are famous for numerous features covered in uglyness, the reasons differ. Microsoft looks at the market and thinks "how can we control this?" Google is more like a bunch of engineers sitting around saying "you know what would be cool to build?". In both cases the thing is ugly, but in the case of Google it's just a lack of asthetics. Everything feels sort of proto-typish.

Now that I've said it, I admit that I don't see how it matters.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1, Interesting)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450104)

Yeah, I agree, that's probably an accurate perspective on the difference between the two. The only reason I can see why it matters is that it gives me an excuse to respect Google a little more than Microsoft. :-)

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (4, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450242)

Practically all of your comments about Google would be true of Open Source Software as well, with slight alterations. Would it be fair to say that OSS doesn't "get it"? To compare them to Microsoft?

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450289)

Some projects yes, some projects no, owing to the remarkable diversity of open source software. I've seen a lot of open-source apps and hacks that approach development and user experience with thoughtfulness and polish, and others that are more focused on doing cool stuff with the technology for its own sake. It'd be wrong to characterize OSS on the whole as one or the other--but if pressed, then yeah, I'd have to say a majority of the best-known OSS projects are of the latter variety. Apache is one exception (maybe because it's targeted to web admins and technicians to begin with). Firefox sort of straddles the line.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450483)

Firefox "gets" the home market, but totally misses the corporate market. For instance, it can't be deployed with roaming profiles, because it roams the cache instead of putting it in Local Settings where it belongs.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (3, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450412)

This is certainly a good summary of why I prefer the Mac to Linux. The Mac is like Linux would be if huge amounts of care were poured into its design.

D

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450495)

I think that's pretty much true; within OSS projects, there are the projects that were designed because somebody needed to "do something" in particular, and then there are those projects which were designed and built because somebody thought it would be "cool to do." The subtle difference in motivation produces very different products in the end. "Do something" products are inherently limited in scope, and tend to focus inwards after a time, refining and refining a core idea. "Cool to do" projects tend to expand outwards; once they've done one thing, they expand outwards to do more things. In a completely FOSS environment, you need both -- the former to provide little bits of well-done functionality and the latter to connect them all together into something larger.

Overall I'm going to second others and say that I've always been impressed at the 'fit and finish' of Mac OS X. It's not perfect (in particular I wish they made it easier to run X apps on top of Aqua) but despite some people's claims to the contrary, in my experience it's far easier to configure, mostly because of its consistency. Linux will always have an Achilles' heel because its flexibility also breeds complexity. For example, configuring wireless on a Mac is a no-brainer, because there is basically only one option for the cards: Apple.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

ben_1432 (871549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450274)

They don't release products that give people what they need, or solve problems they didn't know they had. Google software is more of a cop-out these days ... it's thrown together and released in a hurry and more often than not it's just someone else's idea with a shiney new logo.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (3, Informative)

webzone (924183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450282)

Indeed, it is a direct port from Windows. A real Mac developer sane in their mind would break all the OS X design conventions like Google does with Google Earth. It is not only the UI, but also everything underneath.

The dialogs are bundled in the executable instead of being attached as Interface Builder files. There are a bunch of icons, like the "info" icon (i in a speech bubble), take right from Windows 2000. The buttons are placed at the wrong locations in dialogs and the default buttons are not always selected like they should be. There's more but my eyes bleed because of this Windowish UI so I'll just say that it is a beta and stay optimistic.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

webzone (924183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450301)

Sorry I meant "wouldn't break all the OS X design conventions".

Apple fanatics don't "get it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450293)

If Google Earth provides a useful service, I'll use it, ugly or not. You can be all HIG compliant and have the most perfectly aligned widgets and the prettiest fonts and use all OS X tricks in the book like Cocoa spell-checking and what-not, but if you don't give me maps as good as Google I'll pass. If you know a better alternative to Google Earth, please suggest it. Otherwise, there is little point to your whine.

Re:Apple fanatics don't "get it" (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450315)

I'll use it too, but that's no reason to bite my tongue and point out that things couldn't be better. Have you no vision?

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450306)

It's based on Qt, which doesn't use the native rendering APIs on the Mac, hence the old style and slightly odd rendering glitches.

That said, I find it rich that Mac users whinge when getting ports of Windows apps yet when Apple ports Mac apps to Windows blatant HIG/toolkit violations are the order of the day. *cough* QuickTime *cough*

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

the idoru (125059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450453)

*cough* QuickTime *cough*

To be fair, QT on OS X also breaks Apple's own Human Interface Guidelines. It's UI is trash all around.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450504)

They're guidelines, not commandments, and I think Apple recognizes "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." The first couple versions of QuickTime after it went "aluminum" were horrid, to be sure. But 6.0's great.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450497)

No, Mac users generally hate the "metal" look as well. It doesn't fit OS 9 *or* OS X interface guidelines, either. What that is is the marketing department getting out of control, and I think Mac, Linux *and* Windows geeks all hate that.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450600)

Hello, this is general Mac users speaking (we decided we should probably speak for ourselves). Actually we don't hate the "metal" look.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (4, Insightful)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450637)

That said, I find it rich that Mac users whinge when getting ports of Windows apps yet when Apple ports Mac apps to Windows blatant HIG/toolkit violations are the order of the day. *cough* QuickTime *cough*

Why would a Mac user care how software acts on Windows?

Um... wow. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450464)

1. Google purchases company which makes this earth-overhead-view program thing.
2. Google, wanting to be nice, releases program as freeware.
3. Mac users look at program, go "Wow, that's great! But why can't we use it?"
4. Google, wanting to be nice, gets someone to do a quick dirty mac port, because they are a web technology company and don't have a team of mac engineers or anything.
5. Guy on slashdot yells mercilessly at Google for not having gone all-out to re-engineer this free application they didn't even write to conform to the interface standards of an operating system they don't even officially support.

YAY!

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450528)

I'll point out that occasionally "because we can" coincides with "what they need". Just based on luck & volume.

A huge number of ph.d.s doing whatever "because we can" is kindof elegant. imo.

Re:Google doesn't "get it" (1)

kawaldeep (204184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450720)

Don't get me wrong, I love Google for what it is, but not what it ain't: particularly tasteful or particularly elegant.

have you forgotten google search, which embodies elegant, simple, usable interface design? or gmail?

Early Adopters (0, Offtopic)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450017)

If anyone's wondering precisely what Apple meant by 'February' with regard to MacBook Pro's expected shipping date, I know! (For the UK, at least.)

It's February 15th.

I, erm, know this because I went and ordered one earlier this evening...

** Deep shame at falling for Apple's marketing so easily. **

On the bright side, my iBook's getting rather old, and I've never had genuinely new hardware before! :-)

Re:Early Adopters (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450210)

Why's that bad? They didn't say February 1st, they said February. I would have been ecstatic if it had been February 27th.

Re:Early Adopters (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450342)

Neither good nor bad, just a random bit of information - and maybe a vague indication of how long one should wait before the inevitable 'OMG IT GOT SCRATCHED', 'it exploded in my lap!' and 'it's eeevil and I can prove it cos it doesn't boot Gentoo' stories on Slashdot... ;-)

Although apparently, talking about a shipping date of a new Apple laptop which was announced by Apple at an Apple conference which is also the subject of the fabled article (in the 'Apple' section, no less) is off-topic. Moderators, I apologise. Would you prefer it if I made a tired 'in Soviet Russia!' joke instead?

So... only 2 of the 5 things are Mac specific. (2, Insightful)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450022)

Erm... how was this list a super Mac related list? Only the first and last items (the Sketch thing and the iPod dock) are specifically for Apple products, the other three are general use USB and video items that have to alegence to Mac or PC specifically...

Pretty darn lacking I think.

And who get the real revenew from mac going Intel? (1)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450133)

The gadget sales people.

Mac are still so expensive, but all those nice gadgets, the migthy mouse clone, those things, white and shiny, that where utterly inaccesible for the "mass" of the PC users becose "MAC compatible" would hardly means that it will run on PC, now all those "niche gadgets", will be PC compatible! Oh
yes! with less effort...

More and more gadgeters will make PC compatible MAC style stuff...

Remember how MAC sued a few Case builders becose they were using the "nose of an airplane" shape for a PC case... well... that will become more, and more common...

Re:And who get the real revenew from mac going Int (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450334)

Mac are still so expensive, but all those nice gadgets, the migthy mouse clone, those things, white and shiny, that where utterly inaccesible for the "mass" of the PC users becose "MAC compatible" would hardly means that it will run on PC, now all those "niche gadgets", will be PC compatible! Oh yes! with less effort...

Honestly, what on earth are you talking about ? Name one current piece of hardware that works on a Macintosh but does not work on a PC.

Maybe the Mighty Mouse should 'just work' as a USB mouse, it's even supported by Apple [apple.com] under XP. Maybe the ball might not work 'just right' without some other software support ( maybe? ) but I can't think of anything else that's an external device that wouldn't work at least to some degree with a PC... maybe some USB audio devices ? Couldn't you just write drivers for those? Aren't there PC equivalents? How does Apple being on Intel make writing a Windows driver for, say, a Griffin iMic any different than it is now? BTW, I checked, and actually, the iMic supports XP [griffintechnology.com] ... what's the hardware you're talking about that will be affected by the Mac Intel switch, exactly? I've tried, including with the example of the Mighty Mouse you've given, but they're *all* PC devices, it seems.

Plenty of PC stuff still won't really work on a Macintosh, though, just because a Macintosh isn't going to have 'legacy' stuff like RS232 parallel ports or PS/2 inputs, but anything else was ( and is ) still going to be a matter of writing supporting software- which still puts the OS with less market share at a disadvantage, no matter how easy developing for OS X is. The Intel switch doesn't change that, and for most gadget-makers it doesn't change anything, except the perception of folks like you.

All of this stuff is Mac-specific only in that it was being shown at MacWorld Expo. A ton of MacWorld Expo stuff is also PC-compatible... but that's nothing new. As for PC makers ( and others ) cribing Apple hardware design, that's nothing new, either, and I don't see how it could really get more prevalent than it already is [aopen.com.tw] .

Re:And who get the real revenew from mac going Int (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450388)

Mac are still so expensive, but all those nice gadgets, the migthy mouse clone, those things, white and shiny,
Ok, starts off ok, sentence is beginning to run a little long, Mac isn't plural so there's a missing 's' on the end of "Mac", but other than that it's ok, but...
that where utterly inaccesible for the "mass" of the PC users becose "MAC compatible" would hardly means that it will run on PC, now all those "niche gadgets", will be PC compatible! Oh
Ok, now the sentence is beginning to lose readability. On top of this "MAC" is used in place of "Mac". One has to assume we're talking about Apple Macintoshes not Ethernet IDs, but...
More and more gadgeters will make PC compatible MAC style stuff...
Again, Ethernet IDs are used in place of a well known user friendly computer from Apple. Wierd.
Remember how MAC sued a few Case builders becose they were using the "nose of an airplane" shape for a PC case... well... that will become more, and more common...
Now we're off in the deep end, and can't swim and have no water wings. It seems these Ethernet IDs are suing the people who made the former chairman of AOL. Even read as apparently intended, it seems a user friendly computer is suing PC case makers. Why would a computer initiate a lawsuit? Do they even have legal standing?

From beginning with a problem with pluralisation but nonetheless being relatively on target, you've managed to unevolve. I don't doubt that most people will have problems understanding what the hell you're talking about, even if they change MAC to Mac, or in the last sentence, Apple. Have you considered a career with Fox News?

Re:So... only 2 of the 5 things are Mac specific. (4, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450150)

Erm... how was this list a super Mac related list? Only the first and last items (the Sketch thing and the iPod dock) are specifically for Apple products, the other three are general use USB and video items that have to alegence to Mac or PC specifically...

And Sketchup has been a cross platform app for several years. It might have been Windows first, but I can't remember. Oh, and the Google Earth plugin for Sketchup has been available for the Windows version since mid-November.

Re:So... only 2 of the 5 things are Mac specific. (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450385)

It's Apple-related because these are products demoed at MacWorld.

Re:So... only 2 of the 5 things are Mac specific. (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450361)

Erm... how was this list a super Mac related list?

only in that they're items shown at MacWorld Expo, actually. That's it. It's pretty typical that most things shown at MacWorld also support other computers or operating systems.

And? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450364)

Erm... how was this list a super Mac related list? Only the first and last items (the Sketch thing and the iPod dock) are specifically for Apple products, the other three are general use USB and video items that have to alegence to Mac or PC specifically...

Couldn't you find anything else to complain about? Who ever said this was a super Mac related list? It's a blog by some nerds about the 5 coolest products they saw at Macworld and therefore presumably will now support OS.X. If AutoCad announced that it had released an OS.X port I would consider that newsworthy even if the Windows version has been around for years.

What will they think of next?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450026)

I heard they invented a mouse with two buttons!

Imagine the possibilities.

My favorite (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450027)

Is that Powerlogix came out as the first to announce that they have everything in place for 7448 based CPU upgrades (the latest revision of the G4) and will start selling them once Motorola gets their head out of their ass and starts putting them out in volume. Funny, that was supposed to happen in October. Moto hit the usual goddamn production issues. I guess spinning off into Freescale did nothing for their chip production. Anyway, I'm drooling over the prospect of a 2+ghz dual G4 upgrade...

Re:My favorite (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450501)

once Motorola gets their head out of their ass and starts putting them out in volume. Funny, that was supposed to happen in October.

That's not funny. That's sad. I'm not in the market for a computer any time soon, but stuff like that makes me very happy for Apple that they made the Intel decision.

I'm drooling over the prospect of a 2+ghz dual G4 upgrade

That's a more than $500 upgrade... I guess it *might* make sense, as long as you don't want a faster FSB and graphics card as well...

Well then it doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450836)

"I guess it *might* make sense, as long as you don't want a faster FSB and graphics card as well..."

Might as well just go all out and say "it doesn't make sense".

The trouble with the G4 used in the PB and iBook isn't that the G4 core is all that bad; its fine. But the FSB is 533mhz. It matters because the CPU speed of a modern CPU is pretty close to irrelevant if its waiting on fetches from memory all the time because it has the FSB characteristics of a P3. They could ramp the G4 up to a zillion Ghz and it wouldn't make a damned bit of difference; something that I wish the Mac fantatics would have stopped defending apple about.

Common sense said Apple should have made the Intel switch intstead of the G5 switch, but politics and marketing ruled the day instead of leadership and good engineering, so we got jerked around for almost two years waiting for a decent laptop. So we finally got it. I only hope it has two mouse buttons (a la "mighty mouse") so those people defending a single button mouse saying "It isn't so bad to press the control key" can just stop the silly charade.

A bunch of pictures from a computer show. . . (-1, Troll)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450030)

. . . and they're all just of computers and shit.

What's wit dat?

KFG

New Laptop (2, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450035)

Let me just start off by saying that I'm relieved that my 6 month old Powerbook G4 is now the base for their benchmarks for the "4x faster" MacBook Pro. The funniest thing is that I finally broke down and bought it 3 weeks before they announced a complete switch to Intel chips because I was getting sick of the slow 800MHz G3 iBook I was using. Hahahaha. I wonder how much my $2500 Powerbook G4 is worth in trade-in value towards a MacBook Pro... $2000? $1500? It's only 6 months new! *sob*

Re:New Laptop (5, Insightful)

stevencbrown (238995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450115)

I wouldn't worry.

I bought a PB around the same time as you, well, actually just after the announcement.

I personally think first revision stuff is a bit flaky, and I doubt you will actually see a 4 fold improvement in performance.

I would also expect a lot more heat/noise than the PB.

Plus, you've had your PB for 6 months - another couple of revisions of the MacBook Pro, probably take you up to about 2 years from when you bought it, and you'll be entitled to upgrade to it.

What of battery life? (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450417)

All the Powerbook webpages proudly display the battery life. They're not lieing, either; when I use my laptop for note taking at school, I get 5 hours from it with wireless on and the screen dimmed a bit.

MacBook Pro's website makes no mention of battery life.

Re:What of battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450602)

2hrs max.

The grandparent shouldn't fret too much. People will still be paying top dollar for the "Last of the REAL PB's" in a few years, and at least he will have native apps.

Live Podcast (4, Insightful)

Jazzer_Techie (800432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450042)

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't the phrase "live podcast" contradict itself? The files are recorded, posted online, linked to by an RSS feed, and then downloaded by the listener. Some podcasts could certainly be posted quickly, but they can't be live. (Just another case of buzzword hype, IMHO.)

Re:Live Podcast (1)

precize (83096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450508)

Maybe a new acronym is needed....

Buzzword-free, Real-time, pODCAST

Yup, brodcasting is where the future is at. People in the future will say things like, "Don't you remember when brodcast had an 'a'?"

Re:Live Podcast (4, Funny)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450980)

Well live TV isn't live either, but they still call it live TV. It's got to pass through nipple filters, and then it has to do that electromatic waves transmission thing.

Hell, given the speed of light being as slow as it is, life isn't live either.

Rumor Sites Are Bogus (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450058)

My favorite part about MacWorld 2006 is that ThinkSecret didn't get anything right.

They spent weeks talking about 13.3" widescreen iBooks and Mac minis with DVR capabilities, and high-def streaming from .Mac, and Final Cut Pro 6, and this and that. Other rumor sites hyped plasma TVs and spreadsheet applications and updated iPod shuffles.

And none of them got anything right.

Maybe now people will realize that rumor sites make everything up.

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450163)

Or maybe Apple just MASSIVLY dissapointed by bringing essentially nothing anyone wanted or expected to the show!

One friend described the show as the iPod cover show. In fact the entire show should have just been called iPodWorld :(

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450259)

iPods were discussed in the first small section of the show, then it was all Macs and software. Releasing Intel Macs 6 months ahead of schedule is hardly "nothing".

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450265)

One friend described the show as the iPod cover show. In fact the entire show should have just been called iPodWorld :(

vs

"This is Mac-world," Jobs said in emphasizing that Tuesday would be about Mac hardware and software and not at all about the music player that's had such a vital role in bolstering Apple's fortunes. And so it was that the iPod, usually at the center of any Apple news event, went through the day without a single update or new release.

MacWorld Article [macworld.com]

Hrmmm... one of you is lying.

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (5, Funny)

hyfe (641811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450237)

Maybe now people will realize that rumor sites make everything up.

Yes, it is amazing how rumour sites seem to consist of rumours. Mind-boggling it is!

Cunning (1)

mr_tenor (310787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450280)

Maybe if they establish the appearance of just making wild guesses then they won't be sued again if a "leak" happens to be true ;)

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450357)

They've been right in the past.

They predicted the G5s when they came out. The lid was just tighter this time around.

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (3, Interesting)

geniusj (140174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450362)

Kevin Rose (of TechTV fame) got everything right [macrumors.com] . . .

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450414)

Maybe now people will realize that rumor sites make everything up.

Well, they don't make everything up. They report stories that "sources" give to them. Maybe now they ( and some of their readers ) will realize that Apple feeds them BS before big announcements.

They kept talking about iBooks and Mac minis, and I kept thinking "what low-end chips will they put in the mini? Boy, those Powerbooks haven't seen any real upgrade in ages, I thought the Intel switch was all about getting better portable options, and ... why would there be an iBook update before a PowerBook update?" It turns out I was right. Maybe I should start Mac rumor site :-)

Prediction: look for minis and iBooks soon after affordable Core Solo chips are shipping. You read it here first !

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450524)

Nothing says that these are not planned products, just that they didn't come out at Macworld.

If we see new iBooks and they are the same form factor as the old iBooks, then I'd say you have a point.

If the next revision of a Mac Mini has no PVR, then again you are right.

But we don't know since we have not encountered the next revision of either product. It will come up soon enough, I'm sure. It does seem logical to conclude that since the iMacs have dual core processors, the Mac Mini certainly might have them (in other words, they are not being reserved for the PowerMacs).

I think what's going on here is that Apple didn't want anything to take from the announcement of iLIfe (which obviously sells well or it wouldn't have gotten so much time there) and from the drama of the new Intel products.

Once that's done, another dramatic presentation is going to deal with the PVR (if it exists) and the iBooks. It's a matter of spreading out his message to make sure we're all hanging on our seats with anticipation. Steve is a master manipulator of this kind of thing.

Incidentally, their report on Final Cut Pro 6 said it would come out at NAB in April (if my memory serves), and I'm sure it will because Final Cut has roughly annual releases that occur at NAB. Of course I didn't need a rumor site to tell me that, but it was interesting to see what they think is going to be announced.

One exciting conclusion I can draw from all this is that the new PowerMacs will probably be all dual dual core processors or stronger, or they would not have let that technology into iMacs. I think that's pretty exciting, don't you?

D

Re:Rumor Sites Are Bogus (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450543)

It doesn't make sense to introduce Final Cut 6 at a consumer show, though MacBook Pro doesn't make sense in that light. I don't really think MacBook Pro is a pro media unit though except for use by early adopters and developers, because running pro apps under emulation is stupid, those apps need to be updated first.

Anyway, usually the pro stuff is announced at pro events, such as Final Cut 5 being announced at NAB 2005, Aperture and dual core Powermacs were announced at a major pro photography convention in NYC. I don't know where or when they'd announce a Mac with DVR features, I hope Apple does release DVR Mac hardware, but I wonder if they would shirk from the idea to appease their iTunes video partners.

New site in town (4, Funny)

smurfsurf (892933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450588)

> Maybe now people will realize that rumor sites make everything up.

Yeah. But I heard there is a new site up that is supposed to be better than the rest. Even with a podcast. "Super Secret Apple Rumours" or such some.

Oops. I Misread that as... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450062)

..."The Best Macworld Evar! 2006"

My favourite (5, Informative)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450215)

I think the best part of Macworld so far, for me, we hearing that Apple's stock closed at $80.86 [com.com] on the day they unveiled Intel Macs.

what (2, Interesting)

schroet (244506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450307)

Podcasted? lol.

ROCBIT 3 - USB ENCRYPTED EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES (1)

zhenga (770390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450320)

Real time hardware encryption/decryption sounds nice. But from the looks of it, it uses an USB key (you get two) that is used to access your drive. (correct me if i'm wrong, i just briefly browsed their site)

But what if you loose your keys, or somebody just steals your key?

Wouldn't it be alot nicer if you could just set the HDD password in your OS and when you try accessing it it would popup a password screen asking for ze password. Just like Encrypted Disk images in OS X or TrueCrypt on Windows.

Even better would be integration with Keychain Access in Mac OS X. imagine automatically locking the drive when you are away for 5 minutes or automatically have access to the drive when you login with your user account.

Re:ROCBIT 3 - USB ENCRYPTED EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450407)

That's not so great if someone steals the drive and computer. I'd rather have a random key (128-bit or 256-bit) on a removable USB key, than depend on a user supplied password, which can probably be guessed or hacked in a number of ways.

Windows Media Plugin for Quicktime (5, Informative)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450404)

Microsoft seems to have given up on Windows Media Player for Mac, and instead released a free plugin for QuickTime. Unlike WMP/Mac, this supports WM9 and the latest stuff.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/play er/flip4mac.mspx [microsoft.com]

Supposedly some incompatibilities with QuickTime 7.04 (released yesterday).

Not Microsoft, Flip4Mac (1)

fideli (861469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450693)

I'd like to make it clear that Microsoft did not release this component. It has been around for a while now and has always cost $10. Only yesterday did Microsoft license it and start to distribute it. Visit Google News [google.ca] for more info.

Re:Windows Media Plugin for Quicktime (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450722)

Microsoft seems to have given up on Windows Media Player for Mac, and instead released a free plugin for QuickTime.

Now, with the exception of the MacBook Pro itself, that may be the best news out of MacWorld yet!

Supposedly some incompatibilities with QuickTime 7.04 (released yesterday).

How very... typical. Any details as to the problems? Should we hold off on installing it? Does it work with 7.04 at all?

Re:Windows Media Plugin for Quicktime (1)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450954)

Flip4Mac 2.0 & QT 7.0.4 work fine... BUT the QuickTime application crashes whenever you close a QuickTime window that was playing a WMV. I experienced this myself and every Mac forum I read had users saying the same thing.

I never tried it with anything before 7.0.4, so I don't know if this is caused by 7.0.4 or it's just inherent to Flip4Mac 2.0.

Integrated iSight (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450439)

Did anyone else look at that integrated iSight and think about the part in Cryptonomicon where the guy scripts his built in laptop camera to make a capture every 15 seconds or so? I'm curious as to how accessible that little camera will be.

My favorite thing at Macworld so far... (2, Interesting)

aarku (151823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450506)

Is a little company hidden away in the ATI rooms demoing a wicked game engine called Unity [unity3d.com] . I can't begin to say how great this thing looks. They'll be demoing on Thursday and Friday, too.

new mac question (1)

rayde (738949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450579)

anybody manage to hear an intel mac startup sound?? just curious if it's something new or if they use the same one as previous macs.
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