Two industries underwent major changes last week: Cellular carriers began offering unlimited minutes for $100 per month; and, after a long and expensive campaign, Blu-ray beat HD DVD as the optical disc format of choice for high-definition video. Glenn Fleishman looks at both events and how they relate to Apple. Also in this issue, Glenn writes about a new hardware vulnerability that may expose encrypted data with the help of compressed air, Jeff Carlson discovers that DRM won’t let him view rented movies on his Apple TV, and Joe Kissell discusses how to achieve better video presentations with iChat Theater. We also note the releases of SuperDuper 2.5, Airfoil 3.1, Xsan 2 (along with the discontinuation of the Xserve RAID), a keyboard update for the MacBook and MacBook Pro, a 2 GB iPod shuffle (plus a price reduction for the 1 GB model), and Brian Tanaka’s new “Take Control of Permissions in Leopard” ebook.
The latest version of the popular disk cloning utility is not only compatible with Leopard, it has some fancy tricks up its sleeve - such as making copies of Time Machine archives.
If your MacBook or MacBook Pro has been dropping the first key press after having been idle, rejoice, because Apple has a fix for you. Alas, if you're experiencing this problem on any other Mac, you're still out of luck.
The 1 GB iPod shuffle just dropped $30, and Apple will be releasing a 2 GB model later this month. What's to quibble about? Is the iPod shuffle really "impossibly small?" Nah...
Airfoil for Mac OS X and Windows now has full support for streaming to the new Apple TV release. Airfoil Speakers now works under Windows, too.
Permissions are among the most complex and confusing aspects of Unix that Macintosh users are forced to deal with, but thanks to Brian Tanaka's clear explanations in "Take Control of Permissions in Leopard," working with permissions no longer has to feel like a game of "Mother, May I?".
Apple has announced Xsan 2, with snazzy new features for enterprise storage folks. But at the same time, the Xserve RAID was quietly discontinued, and Apple is now pointing customers at a third-party RAID. What's up with that?
The format war over high-definition video stored on discs is over: Sony and its Blu-ray spec stands triumphant over Toshiba's HD-DVD. The real winners? You, as you don't have to decide among competing formats for home, computer, or disc purchases.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless shave off the top of their profit margins by offering $100 per month unlimited cellular calling plans, with various included and add-on unlimited text messaging and phone-based Internet and email access. Verizon led the movement, with AT&T and T-Mobile joining later in the day. Sprint Nextel is still lost at sea.
The memory chips used in personal computers retain their data after power is removed - longer if you freeze them. This leads to a security weakness: disk encryption keys can be extracted from memory even if a computer is active, locked or sleeping.
After discovering that my Apple TV wouldn't play a rented movie because of the way it's connected to a Dell LCD display, I took an unorthodox route: I contacted Apple customer support. It all worked out in the end, but beware if you're in a similar situation.
Leopard's iChat Theater feature makes remote video presentations far easier and more flexible than before. But the experience doesn't always match up with the elegant effect of Apple's demos.
People are looking for answers this week, as readers seek advice for connecting audio-visual equipment, filling in PDF forms, getting old Macs to sleep under Leopard, threading messages in Mail, and more.