[H] Consumer Archives: July 2006

Archive Listing

Monday July 31, 2006

Apple Forum Staff Disbanded

It would seem that Apple has decided to dump its discussion support team, the folks that moderate the company’s user discussion boards. For those of you that don’t know, these boards are used by iPod, Mac and other Apple software users to discuss issues they have with their Apple products.

According to an article at The Mac Observer, the team was recently dismantled after Apple management began to question the value of the boards. "The end result, however, has been a marked decrease in the quality of discussions, and an increase in everything from rudeness to instructions on pirating music and software," the report states.

Blu-ray vs HD DVD

VIAArena looks at the pros and cons of Blu-ray and HD-DVD in their latest article. Those of you confused about the differences between the two technologies will find this article very handy.

Both Blu-ray and HD DVD technology use a blue laser instead of the red laser that DVD technology uses. Essentially it’s smaller than a red laser. You can think of it in simple terms like using a wide marker to write on a disc compared to a fine point pen. You can fit more words on with a fine point pen than with a fat marker.

Apple To Replace Faulty Batteries

Extra, Extra, read all about it! Apple Computer has initiated a worldwide battery exchange program for batteries that were included with its 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop. If you own a 15” MacBook Pro, we suggest you get in on the deal and replace your battery.

"We recently discovered that some 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance," the company wrote in a message on its support Web site. "To give our users the best experience possible, we will replace these batteries for customers free of charge."

SanDisk To Buy M-Systems

The big news in the flash memory industry today is the news that SanDisk is set to buy M-Systems for $1.55 billion in stock.

It said this was a 26 percent premium over the average closing price of M-Systems' shares for the last 30 trading days, and that the deal valued M-Systems at $36 a share. Shares in M-Systems, a developer of memory used in mobile phones and other devices, ended up 70 cents at $31.79 on Friday.

Blue Laser Pick Up Head Shortage In Q4?

It looks like there might be a shortage of blue laser pick up heads in the fourth quarter of this year which could lead to problems for manufacturers od blue-laser DVD players and recorders.

Although the global market for next-generation blue-laser drives, burners and players/recorders is still in its infancy, international vendors of desktop and notebook PCs as well as consumer electronics have placed OEM orders for such products to test the market during the traditional peak season next quarter, the sources indicated.

Sunday July 30, 2006

Microsoft in the Post-Gates Era

BusinessWeek has a piece that looks towards the future of the Redmond giant, and what we can expect in a Post-Gates Era. Topics also include things like the Zune and some rumor quashing.

At the first analyst meeting without Bill Gates, company executives took pains to quell concerns over deals and product delays

Win-RAR Free Today

Win-RAR was recently voted the SIAF People's Choice Award and to celebrate they are giving away version 3.51 for free today only. The website is getting hammered at the moment, but you can keep trying throughout the day!

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us and made it possible for us to receive the SIAF People’s Choice Award for Best Overall Utility. Please take a few minutes to fill out the following questionnaire in order to receive your copy of WinRAR 3.51 non upgradeable version for FREE!

The site may tell you it is down until 0:00 Central, but keep in mind that is European. You can also try this direct link to the form, which did work for me. Just be patient, it’ll load.

Zango Targeting MySpace

I’m sure you guys remember the spyware debacle that got MySpace users infected with some malicious software. There is now evidence coming to light that the company behind it, Zango, was indeed targeting the popular website after all.

Well, who would’ve thought they were full of crap, here is a quote from an email telling affiliates exactly how to target MySpace. What would we do without the Paperghost?

Remember guys, get yourself a good Antivirus and spyware app, run them often and for the sake of everything clean….patch that box!

Intel Promises Longer Battery Life

Cnet has a video up showcasing the Core Duo architecture and its power consumption. Basically they used the laptop successfully on a cross country flight, which ended up being about 5 hours. They also state this was a real world test, employing gaming and application usage on the trip.

CNET News.com's Neha Tiwari spoke with Craig Raymond of Intel about his cross-country flight with an Intel Core 2 Duo laptop at the company's launch event in Santa Clara, Calif., campus. The battery life of the notebook lasted the whole trip on a single charge, which is a considerable increase compared to previous models.

Saturday July 29, 2006

The Death of E-Mail?

It looks like the use of e-mail is decreasing mainly because people are tired of spam and viruses. The article also sites the instant gratification that Instant Messaging provides as well.

Even as consumers shift more and more of their daily tasks and chores to the Web, one famous form of online communication is losing its luster.

Recipe for Zune's 'Secret Sauce'

Microsoft is prepared to lose a great deal of money in their attempt to create a portable media player that could rival, or possibly overtake the iPod.

REDMOND – Microsoft is planning to invest "hundreds of millions" and lose money through 2008 to make its recently announced Zune portable media player a success.

Opera Reveals Version 10

Opera seems intent on an attempt in capturing even more market share from Microsoft. They are touting their security and widget features as some of the key reasons to make the switch, or bypass IE7 altogether.

Although a launch date for Opera 10 hasn't yet been set, Opera is hoping that the application will lure users away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 by building on Opera 9's use of small Web applications called Widgets.