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ExtraBITS for 01-Dec-08

We continue to slam up against the finite number of hours in the day when it comes to writing up everything that we’d like to share with you. So we’ve come up with a way of providing some extra bits that we think are relevant and worth reading, but that we don’t have time to write up more fully or that simply don’t need additional description. Plus, in some cases, our friends and colleagues at other publications have already done a bang-up job in the writing department, eliminating the need for us to weigh in on the topic.

On the TidBITS Web site, these links to other sites appear on our headline pages much like our own articles, complete with a title and a blurb. To ensure that no one confuses local links with external links, we made a few wording differences in the metadata and changed the rollover behavior when you hover your cursor over a link’s title (I particularly like the little favicons).

For each email issue of TidBITS, we’re planning to collect the previous week’s links into a single article, as you can see below. And to describe these collections, we’ve brought the ExtraBITS name out of retirement – it seemed apropos.

Without further ado, then, set aside some time to check out the linked articles below, and let us know what you think of ExtraBITS.

Video Podcast with the Northeast Ohio Apple Corps — Adam and Tonya once again join Chuck Joiner for a live video podcast, this time to the Northeast Ohio Apple Corps. They discuss their new MacBooks, troubleshooting a Mac with a dead clock battery, and the effect of switchers on the Mac community.

Video Podcast with the Huntsville Macintosh Users Group — Adam and Tonya joined Chuck Joiner for a special MacNotables video podcast – produced live via iChat for the regular meeting of the Huntsville Macintosh Users Group.

David Pogue Hates the BlackBerry Storm with Gale Force Intensity — I had to hold my iPhone an extra foot away from my face while reading David Pogue’s New York Times review of the BlackBerry Storm, Research in Motion’s entry into the touchscreen, iPhone-wannabe category: the carnage in words was too bloody to take close up. Pogue argues that RIM got it wrong in almost every respect, especially by excluding Wi-Fi. Put on your oven mitts before reading his review.

Joe Kissell Joins the MacJury Holiday Gift Discussion — In the second of a three-part MacJury series, Joe Kissell joins Jeff Gamet, Jean MacDonald, Fraser Speirs, and Chuck Joiner to discuss holiday gift ideas. Joe contributes some suggestions for gifts that are nicely compact – great for reducing clutter or sending to a loved one in another country.

Search Engine Land’s Q&A with Google SearchWiki Engineers — Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land talked with engineers working on Google’s oddly pointless SearchWiki feature. The upshot? “Google knows best.”

Don’t Run a MacBook or MacBook Pro Without a Battery — If you were considering running your MacBook or MacBook Pro without a battery, think again. Aside from the obvious problem of causing a power interruption by bumping the easily dislodged MagSafe connector, Gearlog reports that running without a battery significantly hurts performance.

Latest Mac Virus, OSX_LAMZEV.A, Requires Manual Installation — We imagine it’s still a virus even though a user has to be naive enough to download the program and install it. The virus opens a backdoor, but it’s lazy enough to ask the user to select the incoming port over which the backdoor is available. Virus writers these days! Trend Micro has more details.

Zune Subscription Now Lets Users Keep 10 Songs per Month — Microsoft’s latest update to its Zune player now allows users who subscribe to the $14.99-per-month Zune Pass to keep 10 songs per month from certain labels. The music labels continue to punish Apple by giving others – now including Microsoft – DRM-free music. Read all about it in Microsoft’s press release.

The Black Art of PDF Compression — In the course of publishing Take Control ebooks, Adam has learned way more about PDF compression than he ever wanted to know, and he shares the most important lessons in this Macworld article.

Real Dan Lyons Shuts Down, Too — Sad news. The Associated Press reports that the writer behind the now-shuttered Fake Steve Jobs site, Dan Lyons, has pulled his own Real Dan Lyons blog as a result of perhaps too much honesty about Yahoo’s press team and the Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher; that didn’t sit well with his current employer, Newsweek.

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