Rumor Has It: Apple to Refresh MacBook

macbook_whiteAppleInsider’s Kasper Jade today reports that Apple (s aapl) has new plans for its workhorse laptop, the MacBook. This will be the first time since the product’s launch in 2006 that the company’s entry-level Mac has received a complete design update.

The MacBook is the best-selling computer in the history of the company. It introduced many of the features we take for granted in today’s high-end MacBook Pro machines. The MagSafe connector and latchless lids might be expected of Apple’s laptops these days, but they originally debuted in the diminutive MacBooks more than three years ago.
The report claims that the MacBooks were slated to be discontinued, but that at a redesign the company will “solidify them at the base of the Mac maker’s notebook offerings for the foreseeable future.” Read More about Rumor Has It: Apple to Refresh MacBook

Will the MacBook Air Get a Carbon Fiber Bottom?

According to a rumor making the rounds last week, Apple is said to be exploring potential for using more exotic materials in the next revision MacBook Air. Appleinsider’s Kasper Jade reports that scuttlebutt suggests Apple is unsatisfied with the Air’s three-pound weight and looking into substituting carbon fiber as a fabrication material for a structural component currently cast from heavier aircraft-grade aluminum.
Carbon fiber is an extremely strong, lightweight and very expensive composite material — a species of fiber-reinforced plastic analogically similar to familiar glass-reinforced plastic (“fiberglass”). Carbon fibers themselves are only one component of the material’s composite matrix, the other being some sort of plastic resin such as epoxy, polyester, vinyl ester or nylon. Some nominal “carbon fiber” composites also contain other fibers like kevlar, aluminum, polypropylene, or glass fiber reinforcement.

Amazingly Strong

Carbon fiber itself (a tip of the hat to Wikipedia here) consists of extremely thin fibers about 0.0002–0.0004 inches (0.005–0.010 mm) in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms bonded together in microscopic crystals which are roughly aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber. This crystal alignment makes the fiber incredibly strong for its bulk and weight. Several thousand carbon fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric of extremely high strength-to-weight ratio material.
This combination of qualities has made carbon fiber composites a popular, albeit expensive, choice for use in aerospace, sailboat, sporting, musical instrument, consumer products, motor racing and motorcycle industries, where it’s been incorporated in everything from aircraft parts and laptop computers to bicycle frames and drum shells.
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Microsoft’s New Marketing Tactic: Let People Know That You Are “The PC Guy”

Microsoft, what are you thinking? Seriously.

Crispin Porter, the agency behind Microsoft’s seemingly failed ad campaign (and if not “failed”, then certainly “confusing”), has been kept on board for “phase two” of Microsoft’s $300 million ad campaign. The angle they are taking for phase two is a direct response to Apple’s successful Get A Mac ad campaign that features John Hodgman as “PC Guy”. In fact, the ad even has a lookalike.

Reportedly, the ads will feature real-life Windows users who proclaim their love for Windows-running computers after the Microsoft “PC Guy” states “Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

On top of that, starting this evening, users can go to windows.com and upload videos and photos of themselves proclaiming the fact that they, too, are PC’s. Seems Microsoft has already forgotten that Apple has created the persona that “PC Guy” isn’t who users should want to be.

Honestly, this just feels childish. Apple, being the one with less market share, launched their Get A Mac campaign to convince people to switch. Microsoft, instead of coming up with an original ad that actually touts some reasons people would want to stick with Windows, can only come up with an ad campaign that effectively says “No fair!”

Microsoft is just trying too hard. While Apple’s ads do indeed take jabs at Microsoft, they also clearly and concisely give you reasons you’d want to get a Mac. If there’s anything Microsoft should take out of Apple’s playbook, it’s the value of quick, simple, and clear communication. Quit making your message overly complex and unoriginal and just tell people the answer to the ominous “Why?”.

Why on earth Seinfeld is getting the axe and not Crispin Porter is beyond me.

Hydrogen-Powered Scorpion Creeping Towards Prototype

The “hydrogen hybrid eco-exotic” sports car, the Scorpion, is a small step closer to the roads, Ronn Motors claims, with today’s announcement that the firm has signed a contract to have Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters do all the carbon fiber body work for its prototype. The company plans to unveil a complete prototype in November in Las Vegas.

“How fast can you make water go?” is the tag line for the Scorpion, which is being designed to be powered by burning a hydrogen-gasoline blend; an on-demand system from Hydrorunner will split water into hydrogen using on-board batteries and the company showed off a rolling chassis with the system in June.
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Toshiba announces Windows Mobile 6 device, Kevin cries

Toshiba has announced a new Windows Mobile 6 equipped device that will make Kevin cry when he sees it.  The Portege G900 is very reminiscent of the Toshiba e800 that both Kevin and I used for quite some time except this new device has a slide-out keyboard.  The G900 has a 2 MP camera integrated with what looks to be a very nice device.  Somebody pass a hanky to Kevin, please.

G900_3d_key_screen_h