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TidBITS#1161/18-Feb-2013

If you’ve been thinking about getting a new MacBook Pro, you’ll be pleased to learn that Apple has improved a few specs and dropped a few prices, making the laptops even more compelling. Much of the rest of the issue skews toward opinion this week, with a staff roundtable discussing why we all continue to support Apple despite massive changes in the company and the industry, Adam’s minor rant about how multimedia-enhanced ebooks aren’t about to replace titles that rely solely on plain text and static graphics, and a number of ExtraBITS links to articles worrying about the decline in Apple’s software quality. For those looking to set up a new Web site, Josh Centers anchors the issue with a detailed look at the design-driven Squarespace hosting service. Finally, we’re pleased to welcome as our latest long-term sponsor Metadot, makers of the clicky Das Keyboard. Notable software releases this week include Fission 2.1.2, Mailplane 2.5.11, Skype 6.2.73.1117, MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7, Mellel 3.1.3, BBEdit 10.5.2, Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.1, and BusyCal 2.0.3.

Adam Engst 14 comments

Why Plain Text Books Are Here to Stay

TidBITS publisher Adam Engst can’t resist a minor rant about how the writing is not on the wall for plain text books in a world of iPads and multimedia-enhanced books. Read on for why these enhanced books won’t be replacing simple words on the page.

TidBITS Staff No comments

ExtraBITS for 18 February 2013

Topics we find interesting this week include two pieces by David Sparks and Lloyd Chambers touching on how Apple’s quality control is slipping, along with Adam’s thoughts on the subject on the Tech Night Owl Live podcast. Then there’s an article by security expert Jeremiah Grossman about recovering a key password, plus Lex Friedman’s Macworld story about fishing for the Starfish smartwatch at Macworld/iWorld and coming up empty.