Like many other review sites, it seems that MacWorld can hardly find enough good things to say about the new Mac Pro, even while conceding it's probably not right for many users. 9to5 Mac has assembled a lot of the early reviews, including The Verge's, which has one of the coolest shots of its nifty design, which stacks up well against the old Pro's nifty design. The reviews mostly boil down to this: If you're in a field where you already make use of a high-end Mac for tasks like video editing, the newest one lives up to its hype.
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MojoKid writes "Apple's late 2013 edition iMacs are largely unchanged in external form, though they're upgraded in function with a revamped foundation that now pairs Intel's Haswell 4th Generation Core processors with NVIDIA's GeForce 700 Series graphics. The Cupertino company also outfitted these latest models with faster flash storage options, including support for PCI-E based storage, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, all wrapped in a 21.5-inch (1920x1080) or 27-inch IPS displays with a 2560x1440 resolution. As configured, the 27-inch iMac reviewed here bolted through benchmarks with relative ease and posted especially solid figures in gaming tests, including a 3DMark 11 score of 3,068 in Windows 7 (via Boot Camp). Running Cinebench 11.5 in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks also helped showcase the CPU and GPU combination. Storage benchmarks weren't nearly as impressive though, for iMacs based on standard spinning media. For real IO throughput, it's advisable to go with Apple's Flash storage options."
MojoKid writes "Historically, all-in-one desktop systems like the iMac, HP's TouchSmart and similar designs that incorporate a full system on the backside of a monitor, haven't offered performance that was competitive to their full-sized desktop counterparts. Part of the reason is that many of these systems are comprised of low power notebook platform PC components inside thin chassis designs with minimal airflow. However, as mobile platforms have become more powerful, so has the all-in-one PC. Dell's recently launched XPS 27 Touch, with Intel's Haswell mobile processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M on board, is an example of a new breed of AIO hitting the market now. The system is based on a 27-inch panel with 2TB of storage, a 32GB SSD cache drive, 8GB of RAM and performance in the benchmarks that keeps pace with average midrange full-sized desktops. You can even game on the machine with frame rates at the panel's 1080p native resolution with medium to high image quality. It's almost like the all-in-one finally grew up."
imac.usr writes "The Huffington Post is reporting that The Washington Post has gone through yet another round of layoffs, but this time instead of cutting editorial positions, they're apparently cutting IT positions, specifically in the mobile applications department. According to Washington, DC media blog FishbowlDC, 54 people, including the General Manager of Mobile and Director of Mobile Products, were given the axe on Valentine's Day. A particularly damning quote from the FishbowlDC article: '"[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are 'inefficiencies' – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him," said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. "Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post."' Given that mobile products seem somewhat more likely to succeed than printed newspapers, this seems a strange decision at best."
We mentioned a few days back the "Assembled in America" tag showing up on some models of Apple's iMac. Nerval's Lobster points out that in a new interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered some details on what that means: "'Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac,' Cook told the magazine. 'We've been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We're really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial.' He also had comments about Android and current litigation against Samsung and others."
redletterdave writes "In the biggest surprise since the original iPhone, Apple has decided to live stream its product announcement for the very first time on Tuesday. This means that the company's media announcement from the California Theatre in San Jose, which will begin at exactly 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST), will be available to watch on computers, laptops and mobile devices for the very first time, all in real-time. Apple will be live streaming today's event directly on the company's website. Apple says all Mac and iOS devices will be able to live stream the event, including computers, laptops, iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs." Update: 10/23 18:45 GMT by S : The iPad Mini was announced, as expected. It has a 7.9" screen at 1024x768, it's 7.2mm thick, and it runs on an A5 chip. Pricing is as follows for the Wi-Fi only version: 16GB for $329, 32GB for $429, 64GB for $529. For LTE-capable versions, add $130. Apple also updated the larger iPad, as well as its Mac Mini, iMac, and MacBook Pro lines.
crookedvulture writes "Shipments of all-in-one PCs are growing exponentially faster than those for typical desktops. Unfortunately, highly integrated systems like the iMac have traditionally made it difficult to replace or upgrade parts. And forget about assembling an all-in-one for yourself. Now, however, Intel has developed a Thin Mini-ITX platform that allows system builders and end users to put together all-in-one systems with standard parts. This hands-on look at Thin Mini-ITX pieces together an ersatz iMac using off-the-shelf components, and the process is pretty easy. While the end result isn't quite as slick as one of Apple's creations, parts can be swapped out with ease, and the configuration can be tailored to suit one's needs."
An anonymous reader writes "It was inevitable that Intel launching the 22nm Ivy Bridge processors would lead to Apple using them in its laptops and desktop machines. While Apple never leaks details early, someone using pre-release hardware has managed to upload details of the new machine to Geekbench's database. We can definitely expect a Core i7 Ivy Bridge MacBook Pro and iMac later this year."
imac.usr writes "The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a case brought by a Fairfax County resident alleging that the county's school board members violated the state's Freedom of Information Act. The suit alleges that board members colluded to close an elementary school in the county through rapid exchange of emails with each other. The state's FOIA rules stipulate that such exchanges can not constitute 'virtually simultaneous interaction' and that any assemblage of three or more members constitutes a formal meeting which must be announced. The article notes similar suits are popping up across the country, highlighting one of the difficulties governments face in balancing communication with transparency."
mariocki writes "Steve Jobs' go-to design man Jonathan Ive, the creator of modern computer design classics such as the iMac, MacBook Pro and iPod/iPhone/iPad, has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list, taking him from plain old 'Mr' straight to 'Sir' in one fell swoop. This now puts him in the same league as Paul McCartney, Michael Caine, Bob Geldof and Bill Gates. Ive said 'I discovered at an early age that all I've ever wanted to do is design' and even for Apple haters his designs have done more for personal computer design than the mainstream PC manufacturers could imagine, taking the PC from the geek den into the living room of even the most painfully trendy fashionista."
destinyland writes "Black Friday has touched off a three-way price war between Apple, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Kobo readers dropped their price to just $99 to compete with the Nook, only to discover that Barnes and Noble was lowering the price on their touchscreen Nooks to $79, to compete with the new $79 Kindle from Amazon. And meanwhile, Apple has announced aggressive pricing on all Apple products for Black Friday, reportedly including $100 off on MacBook and iMac products, and a $61 discount on the iPad 2."
cheezitmike writes "While there has been lots of outcry about Netflix separating their DVD service from their streaming service, media expert Eric Garland says they're just doing to the DVD what Apple did to the floppy disk. 'I was reminded of so many precedents: Facebook revamping its user interface, the introduction of the first Blueberry iMac, the one with the conspicuously missing 3.5-inch floppy drive on the front. All of these were moments when there was a paradigm shift that led to an immediate public outcry. People made a lot of noise and had a lot of complaints. People were very upset about these shifts...until they weren't. In the news cycle, the outcry is significant and it is problematic, but it's also important to note how quickly these things are forgotten.'"
Barence writes "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."
Last week you asked some questions of musician and programmer Jonathan Coulton. He's answered your inquiries about the music industry, video games, and being an ex-code monkey. Read below to see what he had to say.
fergus07 writes "Apple's desktop lineup has typically pushed users requiring plenty of fast I/O towards the Mac Pro — but the latest iMac refresh has broken the tradition. Quad-core Sandy Bridge CPUs and faster ATI Radeon HD GPUs are welcomed, but it's the addition of Thunderbolt ports (one in the 21.5-inch and two in the 27-inch) that really ups the ante for a number of professional users."
tekgoblin writes "An Apple authorized Service Provider called System Graph is suing a customer who complained online about poor service from them. The customer Dimitrios Papadimitriadis took his iMac to them because he was seeing gray spots on his LED panel. The Greek company System Graph recommended a full interior cleaning of the iMac and performed the service for Dimitrios. He then got his iMac back and noticed moisture behind the screen and that it still did not work properly and took it back to the repair center. System Graph then told him that they needed to keep his iMac to replace the LED screen and he would be without it for another week.
siliconbits noted an interesting little tale of a recently surfaced Apple Patent covering an iMac Touch with a flex base that switches from iOS to OS X based on orientation. There's some interesting food for thought in there ... I can't decide if I like the idea or not.
imac.usr writes "A story in today's Washington Post calls to light the utter failure of the nation's most sacred final resting place to modernize its pen-and-paper record system. According to the story, the cemetery's administrators have spent $5 million without managing to accomplish the seemingly simple task of creating a database record of the site's graves. As Virginia senator Mark Warner points out, 'We are one fire, or one flood, or one spilled Starbucks coffee away from some of those records being lost or spoiled.'"
Mr2001 writes "Consumerist reports that Apple is refusing to work on computers that have been used in smoking households. 'The Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, [the warranty has been voided] and they refuse to work on the machine "due to health risks of second hand smoke,"' wrote one customer. Another said, 'When I asked for an explanation, she said [the owner of the iMac is] a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke, which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker.' Apple claims that honoring the warranty would be an OSHA violation. (Remember when they claimed enabling 802.11n for free would be a Sarbanes-Oxley violation?)"
Toe, The writes "Today Apple announced several new hardware offerings, including a new Mac mini, their (almost-literally) pint-sized desktop computer. In a bizarre twist, they are now also offering a Mac mini with Mac OS X Server bundled in, along with a two hard drives somehow stuffed into the tiny package. Undoubtedly, many in the IT community will scoff at the thought of calling such a device a 'server.' However, with the robust capabilities of Snow Leopard Server (a true, if highly GUI-fied, UNIX server), it seems likely to find a niche in small businesses and even enthusiasts' homes. The almost completely guided setup process means that people can set up relatively sophisticated services without the assistance of someone who actually knows what they are doing. What the results will be in terms of security, etc. will be... interesting to watch as they develop." El Reg has a good roundup article of the many announcements; the multi-touch Magic Mouse is right up there on the techno-lust-inspiration scale.