Stevenote in 60 Seconds

17 01 2008

From Monday’s Macworld ’08. Steve’s 90 minute keynote is presented here in 60 seconds, with all the important points covered. The new kid on the block, the MacBook Air, has got everyone talking. Here’s the synopsis:

-sexy minimalist design

-cannot get extra battery
-cannot replace/upgrade any hardware, (and what you start with isn’t all that great – 2gb RAM for example)
-no ethernet or optical drive (dongle and external USB drive sold seperately), and only 1 built-in USB port

Basically, I’d say it’s one of those things to get if you have money to burn and want to look hot, but getting a MBA as a primary laptop is probably not such a wise idea.



28 12 2007

I’m going to cut to the chase. This morning I found out that the harddrive in my laptop is fried. Despite the fact that I’m usually the guy encouraging people to back up their files, and take advantage of the all the other life-saver resources out there, I have barely anything saved elsewhere. I fell into the infamous, “it won’t happen to me” mindset. “After all, I’m a Mac user now. Mac users don’t get stupid computer problems. My laptop is invincible. It could beat up your laptop.” So yeah. Hypocracy-overwhelming.

Hopefully I should be able to get my music back, since it’s on my iPod. Also, some of my better photography, and my friends’ photography, is still on Flickr. The main loss I’ll suffer is all the writing I’ve done in the past year and a half, minus blog entries. I also had a boatload of resources bookmarked and a lot of customized settings in my web browser. That stuff isn’t such a big deal though, I’m just moping about the time and effort it’ll take to restore everything. Speaking of restoration, I should probably mention that yes, it is almost certainly unrepairable and yes, I’m having a new drive put in (upgrading to 160gb) as soon as the new year hits and my local Mac place re-opens. While I’m at it I may spend some of my Christmas money on upgrading its RAM (520mhz to 2ghz) as well, which would make it seem like a brand new computer, but with a dirtier screen. Still considering this.

As to my absence from writing, that’s a whole other can o’ worms. Actually I have nothing to say, except that I didn’t feel like saying anything until now. However, I think there’ll be less of a gap between now and the next time I feel like saying something, so there ya go.

Edit: Got these for Christmas after witnessing their power and handsomeness in Peter’s and Paul’s setup. The sound out of these things is remarkable. Click the pic for specs.

Exploding Phones and China’s Spot at the Lunch Table

3 09 2007

By now everyone knows that the iPhone’s been hacked so that it’s no longer bound only to the powers of AT&T. (Seventeen year-old hacker George Hotz is practically set for life.) But what you might not know is that Apple’s new darling is set to self-destruct when tampered with!

Ok, so that’s completely untrue. But it did happen – not because of Apple or the iPhone itself, but because of the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. Here’s the Wired article, and here’s an image of the wreckage:


This story reminded me of something my dad told me he read in a magazine yesterday about another exploding phone incident. As it turns out, the above-linked article also links to that story which Wired covered back in July. Basically what happened in that case is that a 22 year-old welder named Xiao Jingpeh was killed when his Motorola exploded last June. The handset was in his shirt pocket when it happened, and the concussion sent fragments of his ribs into his heart. It’s believed that the heated environment of the factory Xiao worked in is what set the phone off.

Incidents like this have brought scrutiny to those cheap knock-off batteries in particular, as well as other imitations of potentially dangerous products. It’s no secret that walking down the street in a Chinese city like Beijing will present you with numerous opportunities to purchase cheap goods like DVDs, video games, and any manner of electronics in addition to other products. I own a Japanese Wakizashi that my brother bought for me as a gift on one of his travels to China – probably from a street vendor. The widespread knowledge of these products, and now, the growing awareness and concern about their under-par quality will probably spur China into some house-cleaning action. It’s in their best interest after all, considering the whole 2008 Olympics situation. The adventures of Canadian/Tibetan blogger Lhadon Tethong, who was kicked out of China in August for trying to uncover evidence that China was using the Olympics to conceal their occupation of Tibet, are proof that the communist nation is already worried about her reputation with the rest of us.

So basically, if you want your one dollar copy of Transformers, better board a plane, (or find a really big shovel!) and get it now.

As you can see I’m working really hard packing for my big move. I’m able to do this because I stole Dr. Octopus’s omnipotent arms.