Apple’s Laptop Line Gets a Graphics Boost

Apple has updated their laptop line (sans the “white MacBook”) with NVIDIA’s new GeForce graphics chips: the 9400M for the MacBook and MacBook Air, and the 9600M GT for the MacBook Pro.

The 9400M contains 16 parallel graphics cores offering 54 Gigaflops of graphics performance. This translates to, according to Jobs, a “5x faster graphics than the chips [Apple’s] been using”. The 9600M GT doubles the amount of graphics core to 32 and offers dedicated 256 / 512 MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory at the cost of only an hour of battery time (down to 4hrs from the 9400’s five). The 9600M comes in addition to the 9400M on the Pro line for a dual configuration allowing you to switch between processors depending on your needs.
Not only is this great for performance in general, but this is a also huge win for gamers as the integrated Intel chip on the MacBooks have made gaming close to non-existent, as I’m sure many would-be fans of Spore can attest to.

Weekend Reader: Microsoft, Vyke, Snocap & Innovation

Microsoft Launches Unified Communications Portfolio. Jeff Raikes, President of Microsoft’s Business Division tells CNET “The era of dialing blind, the era of playing phone tag, the era of voice-mail jam…that era is ending.” Good sound byte but far from truth. Aswath rightfully points out that problem is not that of technology but of social behavior. Anyway lets sit back and watch them duke it out with Cisco Systems.

Vyke, another VoIP Client for Nokia S60 phone. The options for making VoIP calls from Nokia S60 phones with WiFi keep on increasing. Vyke is the latest to join the party. I still like Truphone.

Why CD Baby popped a Snocap. Derek Sivers, CD Baby CEO outlines why his company cut the cord with Shawn Fanning’s start-up, Snocap. It seems like a case of too much expectations from a Silicon Valley company that seems to have drink too much of its own kool aid. Sivers didn’t say that, but should have.

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Pixelmator Now Available

Pixelmator has been pretty tight-fisted about letting their image-editor-in-progress see the light of day. There have only been 1 or 2 screencasts released by the developers, and what few beta testers were out there weren’t too loud about it. But today you can go download Pixelmator 1.0 and test drive it for yourself. If you like it, there’s a $59 price tag.
Given that it supports Photoshop .psd files, iSight, and much more, it may be a fantastic mid-way application for those not willing or able to plunk down the cash for Photoshop CS3.