Good news for Apple as key supplier plant plans to re-open

A plant at one of Apple’s key component suppliers for the MacBook Air that had been forced to shut down will be spending $3 million in order to reopen by November, according to a new report. Catcher is responsible for most of Apple’s unibody computer enclosures.

Apple Event Predictions: The Next Macs

Apple’s having a press event next week on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and a new version of OS X will definitely be unveiled. But that’s probably not all we’ll see revealed by Cupertino. You can expect new Macs, too, just in time for the holidays.

The Mac Notebook-to-Desktop Conundrum

I’m one of the lucky few who can carry their MacBook Pro to and from work each day, and just use one computer for everything. Still, I’m not always happy with my current setup. There’s one big thing missing that PC laptops have: the docking station.

Music Rights Holders to YouTube: Block Our Songs

Licensing negotiations between YouTube (s GOOG) and the German music rights group GEMA have broken down, and GEMA is now demanding that the video share site take down or block access to hundreds of works.

Representatives of GEMA announced today that they’ve struck an alliance with a number of international music licensing groups, including the U.S. performing rights organizations ASCAP, SESAC and BMI, to put pressure on the Google-owned site. A YouTube spokesperson told us that it is “disappointed in GEMA’s decision.” Negotiations between the two sides have been going on for more than a year, and YouTube already briefly blocked access to music videos in April of 2009.

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New MacBooks and MacBook Pros Just Around the Corner?

If you’ve been sitting there twiddling your thumbs while Apple announced the iPad, then just recently began talking about iPhone OS 4.0, then news of what’s going on with the Mac line (yes, Apple still makes computers) will probably come as a welcome surprise.

Apple Releases Performance Update, Fixes Hard Drive Stalls

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Apple has released what it calls “Performance Update 1.0,” an update to its Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating systems for selected iMacs and MacBooks.

As Apple describes it — in typically brief fashion — in its Support pages, “This update addresses intermittent hard drive related pauses reported by a small number of customers.”

Gotta love those detailed descriptions!

The update may be related to an EFI Firmware Update in June that some MacBook owners suspect was the cause of intermittent crashes and system freezes. This latest update may well put these problems to rest once and for all, except there’s something interesting about the name…that 1.0 suffix hints at the possibility of further revisions to come. A “Performance Update, Update” perhaps? Read More about Apple Releases Performance Update, Fixes Hard Drive Stalls

Bringin’ It Back: Apple Reportedly Showing Renewed Interest in Matte Screen Options

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my new 13-inch MacBook Pro. In many, many ways, it is far superior to any older computer I have lying around. I can’t get over how far Apple (s aapl) design and function has come. But I do have to admit to shifting and tilting the device around when I’m sitting on the couch with my window in the background. I suppose I could close the window, or rearrange my living room furniture, but I’d have much preferred just clicking a matte display option when buying my notebook. That option may reappear soon.

Or, I could’ve opted for the 17-inch MacBook Pro, which I’m sure is what Apple was hoping for, considering the $2,500 price tag. Sadly, I am not independently wealthy, nor do I have a job that justifies that kind of computer muscle. I just don’t like glare with my computing. Unlike some, I don’t find the MBP’s screen intolerable, just mildly annoying in certain lighting situations, but choice is still nice. Read More about Bringin’ It Back: Apple Reportedly Showing Renewed Interest in Matte Screen Options

Apple/NVIDIA Rift to Spark Major Component Changes?

nvidia

If you bought a MacBook Pro between May 2007 and September 2008, you might be painfully aware of NVIDIA’s (s nvda) major screw-up in providing fundamentally faulty 8600M GT graphics processors for Apple (s aapl) computers, as well as others. Apple no doubt still remembers that, too, since the warranty extension and repair refund policy is undoubtedly costing it large sums of money. That unpleasant memory may have partially led to a falling out between the two, according to recent reports.

SemiAccurate is reporting that, according to multiple sources, at recent negotiations between the two companies, discussions became rather heated, in part due to NVIDIA’s apparently arrogant stance concerning its supplier relationship with Apple. Evidently, Apple was expecting more modesty from a company that has cost it so much cash, thanks to a problem it didn’t even acknowledge existed. Read More about Apple/NVIDIA Rift to Spark Major Component Changes?

Windows a Battery Hog Compared With OS X, At Least on Apple Computers

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One of the best reasons to get a new MacBook Pro, aside from the dazzling new screen on the 13-inch, and in spite of the SATA capping that’s apparently in place, is the extended battery life courtesy of the new built-in lithium polymer batteries. And by all accounts, even if you won’t necessarily reach Apple’s estimates, you will get more usage out of your notebook without having to connect to a power source. Or you’ll get more usage as long as you’re not running in Windows under Boot Camp, that is.

AnandTech’s Anand Shimpi has been running a MacBook Pro 15-inch through its paces over at his site, and while he was very impressed with the machine’s new battery overall, he noticed a considerable disparity between apparent power consumption under OS X, and under Vista. Nor was the difference marginal. Running OS X while only web browsing, Shimpi was able to coax a little over eight hours out of the notebook under OS X, and only six using Vista. That’s a two hour, or 25 percent difference. Read More about Windows a Battery Hog Compared With OS X, At Least on Apple Computers

13″ MacBook Makes It to the Big Leagues, Turns “Pro”

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Apple (s aapl) announced a slew of hardware updates today, including a number of upgrades to its notebook lineup.

For me, the most notable among these was the upwards shift of the 13-inch aluminum MacBook into the MacBook Pro category, alongside the 15- and 17-inch models, both of which also got their own feature and hardware improvements. The white, plastic polycarbonate MacBook is looking mighty lonely down at the low end of the scale.

Alongside the name change, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (I’m glad I no longer have to specify “unibody” or anything else to distinguish it from the regular white MacBook anymore) gets an SD card slot, up to 8GB (if you’re partial to a $1,000 upgrade) of memory, a max hard drive size of 500GB (or 256GB SSD), and a backlit keyboard, standard.

Also, making a triumphant return, is FireWire thanks to an FW800 port, as is standard for the Pro line of computers. All this at a new entry-level price point of $1,199, which comes standard with a 2.26GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 160GB HDD. Another higher-priced option with a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB HDD goes for $1,499. Read More about 13″ MacBook Makes It to the Big Leagues, Turns “Pro”