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More MacBook Pro news: More info emerged today about yesterday's announcement of upgraded MacBook Pros, including screen-resolution and 17-inch speaker improvements, more information about the nVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics subsystem, and a general overview of the Santa Rosa platform, including info about what parts of that platform Apple didn't include in the Pros. The ever-helpful Mac vs. PC System Shootouts website also is offering a helpful tech overview of all Apple laptops, plus interesting comparisons of the lower-end 15-inch MacBok Pro vs. the Dell Inspiron 6400 and the 17-inch MacBook Pro versus the Dell XPS M1710. The Pros do well versus their Windows-running competitors, but we're still a bit underwhelmed by the speedbump - color us jaded...
More iPhone news: Have you heard that Apple will be releasing a phone later this month? No? Well, word on the street is that it's going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread - no less than "the largest commercial product launch in the history of electronics," according to AT&T wireless President Stan Sigman. (Kool-Aid, anyone?) Over at PC Magazine, the opinionizers are hedging their bets, with one predicting "iPhone to Flop...Then Fly," and another that "Apple's iPhone Will Fly . . . Then Flounder." Whatever... What we do know, however, it that two recent developments have piqued our already piqued interest in the little phone-cum-'Pod-cum-browsing device: First, that AT&T is busily upgrading its relatively pokey EDGE kinda-sorta broadband network into a snappier system they're calling "Fine Edge," and second, that rumors are building that Apple will announce at next week's WWDC that it's opening up the iPhone to third-party developers - those two developments would remove two of our reservations about "the largest commercial product launch in the history of electronics." We agree with Tom Yager over at Infoworld that "Apple needs to focus on iPhone as a platform for custom applications." Even if the iPhone remains a closed system, however, some pundits think that it'll "ignite smartphone use" and that it'll help other wireless carriers "sell bunches of music-playing wireless phones."
New browsers and other Internet goodies: Not all news is MacBook Pro and iPhone related - the rest of the globe continues to spin, as well. For example, Netscape is back on the Mac with a public beta release of Netscape Navigator 9, and a new version of Camino - version 1.5, to be exact - has been released. Camino is a tight little browser with a dedicated (if tiny) fan base; check out the new version here. Finally, if you live and die by RSS feeds, don't miss the new version of NetNewsWire 3.0 - download a trial version of the public beta here.
Apple business news: Yes, there is Apple news other than the new MacBook Pros and the iPhone. For example, more Mac users are on the Web than ever before, the European Union has extended its deadline for complaints about the iTunes Store (maybe EUers are distracted by all the iPhone hype), rumors are surfacing that Apple's not making much profit from the Apple TV - maybe none, say some. Oh, and in further proof that there's always a contrarian in the crowd, one financial analyst says that now would be a good time to sell your Apple stock and buy Microsoft, instead. We'll quickly admit that we're not investment gurus - espcially when it comes to technical analyses such as his - but we gotta say that some of his arguments actually make sense.
Meanwhile, back in the Intel labs: Buried in today's news are two announcements that bode well for future Apple hardware and software. On the hardware side, Intel is showing its next-generation chipset, with support for faster memory, a speedier PCI Express bus, and graphics improvments. On the software side, Intel is updating its compilers to take better advantage of multicore processors. The flashy consumer stuff may be getting all the ink, but - like usual - it's the guys and gals in the rumpled white lab coats who are quietly and busily improving our computing futures. Thanks, nerds...
In other news: According to ZDnet (and we agree), the "jury seems to be out" on how useful Microsoft's Surface technology will ever be (especially seeing as how it costs as much as Apple's ill-fated Lisa, namely a cool $10K). If you can't wait for Leopard's Time Machine feature, an intrepid ubergeek has figured out how to emulate it in Tiger. Speaking of geeks, one hardware hacker has turned his iPod into the world's smallest laptop. You can no no longer trust your old Apple II - it just turned 30. And, finally, Wired weighs in with a list of Apple conspiracy theories. Did you know, for example, that "The iTunes Visualizer is actually a subliminal hypnosis device that sends messages directly into your subconscious, messages like, 'Don't make mix tapes' and 'LimeWire gives you herpes' and 'If you buy a Zune nobody will invite you to parties'"? You've now been officialy warned.