Apple has announced a worldwide Battery Exchange Program for its 15″ MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the affected batteries do not pose a safety risk, but rather “do not meet [Apple’s] high standards for battery performance… You may continue to use your current battery until a replacement arrives.” Arstechnica speculates that the cause of the exchange may be due to random system shutdowns that some users have been experiencing with faulty batteries.

The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC.

News Source: Mac Rumors

0 comments

Bank of America equity research has upgraded Apple to “buy” from “neutral” and raised its price target to US$79 from $68, citing strong demand for MacBooks and iPod digital music players, notes MarketWatch.

“The broker told clients that depending on whether Apple can generate enough additional unit sales in the second half, it sees upside potential to earnings from iPods of 8 cents to 12 cents a share,” according to the story. “Bank of America noted that it is not taking into account the impact of an Apple phone, which it expects to be introduced in 2007.”

News Source: MacMinute

0 comments

Big Fish Games’ Virtual Villagers for the Mac has been released at Macgamestore.com. The casual game is available for US$19.95, and a free demo is available for download. “Virtual Villagers is a village simulator where you care for and nurture a tribe of little people by teaching them the basics of survival.

The object of the game is to grow a small village in your computer: they have food needs, housing needs, technologies to research and diseases to fight! As the village grows and prospers, the villagers become curious about their mysterious island home and the secrets it holds. Aside from guiding the villagers’ day-to-day lives, they player helps them to explore and restore the island.”

News Source: MacMinute

0 comments

Rogue Amoeba Software has released Audio Hijack Pro 2.7, an update to its audio recording/enhancing utility for Mac OS X. Now with just two steps, Audio Hijack Pro can record audio chat conversations, perfect for podcast interviews or simple archiving. Users need simply create a new session for the chat application then press record, and all audio will be recorded.

Conduct an interview over Skype, save a recording of an important meeting with a client, or keep minutes of a multi-person conference call. Audio Hijack Pro 2.7 also features the ability to save Lyrics or Notes in a file’s ID3 tags, enhanced Preview functionality for playing back recordings, improved support for the RadioShark AM/FM radio, and more. Audio Hijack Pro 2.7 is priced at US$32. 

News Source: MacMinute

0 comments

Sonic Solutions announced that the newest version of Toast 7 will incorporate Blu-Ray support for the Mac.

This represents the first Blu-Ray support for Macs. With the new format, users will be able to store as much as 50GB of data per disc. The first supported Blu-Ray drives will be shipping later this quarter.

Toast’s Blu-ray Disc features include Toast Dynamic Writing, which for the first time enables users to record files simply by dragging and dropping files onto a disc in the same convenient way they would move or copy files to a removable storage device. The ability to store as much as 50 GB of data makes Toast an ideal solution for archiving extensive digital music collections or protecting critical files and precious memories too large to fit on a standard DVD. In addition to its Blu-ray capabilities, Toast 7 is now also a universal application that runs natively on both Intel-based and PowerPC-based systems.

Little information about Apple’s adoption of Blu-ray has been released. Analysts speculate that the Mac Pro (Intel PowerMac) will be the first to incorporate the new drives, but not for a number of months.

Available rumors about the upcoming Mac Pro expect a traditional DVD-R SuperDrive, but the new machines are said to offer an empty optical drive slot for future expansion.

The Mac Pro is expected to be announced on August 7th, 2006 at WWDC 2006.

News Source: Mac Rumors

0 comments