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UFO files publicly released in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
The UK Ministry of Defence has begun releasing its voluminous files regarding unidentified flying objects, aerial phenomena, possible alien visitations etc. The documents will all become available to the public via the National Archives over the next three years.

Many of the UFO files - including, probably, most of the good stuff - have already been revealed under Freedom of Information Act requests. In particular, the splendid conspiracy fodder surrounding the Rendlesham Forest incident of 1980 ("Britain's Roswell") has long been available, full of mysterious lights, strange marks left in the ground and traces of radiation. Even better, the cameras recording the British air-defence radar picture were switched off at the time, indicating an almost certain government conspiracy.

UFOs of various kinds have been sighted and reported to the MoD and its predecessors for at least a hundred years. In general, the number and nature of sightings is much more affected by things such as movie releases or war scares than by any other apparent factor, all the way back to the "Phantom airships" widely reported in the UK before and during World War One - when panic about German zeppelins was at its height.

The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents  covering the years 1978–2002. So if you want to find out more about lights in  the sky over Waterloo Bridge, near misses by pilots, crop circles - and what  the UK government thought of it all - this is the place to start. The files are  in PDF format.
       

DEFE 31/172 - UFO incidents (14.6 Mb)
DEFE 31/173 - UFO incidents (45.7 Mb)
DEFE 31/174 - UFO incidents (22.6 Mb)
DEFE 31/175 - UFO incidents (15.3 Mb)
DEFE 24/1922 - UFO reports (13.8 Mb)
DEFE 24/1923 - UFO reports (32.7 Mb)
DEFE 24/1924 - UFO reports (43.2 Mb)
DEFE 24/1925 - UFO reports (51.7 Mb)
Posted by William Tildesley Wed May 14, 2008 6:27 pm
101 Five-Minute Fixes to Incrementally Improve Your Web Site in Programming, Web and Software Design/Development
A webmaster's work is never done. What may have worked a few years ago when could be outdated today, so it's important to constantly improve your Web site. However, a massive overhaul is just too much work to undertake at one time. Instead, tackle these quick fixes over time, and you'll be able to improve your Web site with minimal pain.

Copywriting  

Content, specifically text, is perhaps your site's most important asset. Make sure that it's up to snuff by following these improvements.  

  1. Tell readers why they should perform a task. If your site is full of passive suggestions, toughen it up. People are trained to follow a request, as long as you give them a good reason to do it.  
  2. Make the most highly trafficked pages easier to scan. If your current site consists of large blocks of text, break it up so that it's easier for the average Internet user to read.  
  3. Convey a sense of trust. If you're experiencing skepticism, offer social proof like testimonials or risk-mitigating offers like a free trial.  
  4. Stress benefits. Ensure that your copy always shows users exactly how your site will benefit them.  
  5. Make headlines meaningful. Be sure to change any vague or cutesy headlines to something more up-front and meaningful.  
  6. Repeat yourself. Check over your copy to make sure that you're really driving the point home by making it in a number of ways.  
  7. Tell visitors what to do. Revise your site to ensure that people know exactly what the next step is. If you want a visitor to click a link, tell them
      
  8. Keep the reader engaged. Make sure that your current content gives visitors a reason to keep reading throughout the entire piece; otherwise, you need to spice things up a bit.  
  9. Stay consistent. Check your copy for consistency, or else your site may be seen as unstable or flighty.  
  10. Stay simple. Simplify your message simply to avoid confusing visitors, while at the same time improving conversion rates.  
  11. Structure content persuasively. Restructure your content so that it's more focused, specific and credible.  
  12. Offer social proof. Seek out testimonials and case studies to show just how effective your services are.  
  13. Keep offers simple. If you're offering lots of different options, pare them down.  
  14. Make an offer that visitors can't refuse. Check out your site to make sure that you're giving your visitors a reason to pick your company out of an overcrowded field.  
  15. Avoid making hollow promises. Check out your guarantee, and ensure that you're backing it up with something of substance, like a money-back guarantee.  
  16. Keep each block of text to a single topic. Make sure that your text isn't too overwhelming with many different thoughts in one place.  
  17. Offer comparisons. Make it easier for your reader to understand and relate to your business by offering metaphors, similes and analogies.  
  18. Be concise. Make sure that your copy is only as long as it needs to be to get your point across reasonably.  
  19. Go with what works. Study other copywriters to adopt the words and methods that have worked for them. Customize these words and phrases until they become your own.
  

Usability  

If your site isn't usable, visitors will not stick around. Take these small steps, and you'll have a more user-friendly site that's ripe for conversions.  

  1. Add a short "about" page. Put a real person behind your site by allowing your visitors to learn a bit about you.  
  2. Make navigation consistent. Make sure that your site's navigation is on the same place on each page so that visitors don't get confused.  
  3. Make text links clear. Be sure that your links are descriptive enough so that visitors know exactly where they're going.  
  4. Use underlined link text. Get rid of your fancy link navigation. Visitors expect to click underlined links. If you dislike underlines, use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to employ a different method of highlighting, like a different text color or font.  
  5. Never ask for more information than you need. If you're currently asking for excessive information, rethink your data-mining tendencies. When you get greedy for data, you'll turn off some visitors.  
  6. Always have text links. Although your JavaScript menu might look great, some browsers and users have JavaScript disabled.  
  7. Have a text-based site map. With a text-based site map, lost visitors can find their way, and you'll make it easy for search engine spiders to find your pages.  
  8. Link the site logo to the home page. Visitors will expect your logo to link to the home page, so make it easy for them to find it.  
  9. Add a search box. Are your current visitors lost? Make it easy for them to find exactly what they're looking for with an internal search box.  
  10. Use plenty of contrast. If text seems to melt into the background, change things up and make your text easy to read by using colors that highly contrast one another.
      
  11. Customize the error page. If you have a standard set of error pages, you need to step things up. The error page should not only reflect your site's design but also provide useful links that will get your visitor back on track.  
  12. Ask for feedback. Create a contact form that makes it easy for customers to speak with you about your site.  
  13. Test the site on real users. Ask regular people to navigate your site to find usability problems.  
  14. Create specific landing pages. If you want to sell, make sure that you have landing pages for specific campaigns and that each of those pages has a purpose.  
  15. Add more internal links. If you'd like to get more traffic to your income-producing pages, add some internal links to your most highly trafficked pages.
  

Search Engine Optimization  

Follow these tips if you'd like to see an improvement on your search-engine rankings.  

  1. Replace underscores with hyphens. In search-engine results, words separated by underscores will run together, while hypens will create a space between each word.  
  2. Implement 301s to consolidate page rank. If your site lives on both non-"www" and "www" domains, redirect one to the other in order to consolidate.  
  3. Add a dynamic meta description. Make sure that your meta description makes sense so that your excerpt in search-engine results is more appealing.  
  4. Use heading tags. Let search engines know what's important by highlighting titles and more in header tags.  
  5. Update content often. Give search engines a reason to keep coming back with fresh content.  
  6. Ensure that your host is up to snuff. Make sure that your host is providing maximum uptime so that your site is visible at all times.  
  7. Create a robots text file. Make life easy for crawlers by creating a file just for them.  
  8. Make sure that your domain is brandable. If your name isn't easy to say or remember, you need to find something that is.  
  9. Build link popularity. Actively seek out relevant, inbound links to your site to build trust and profile with search engines.  
  10. Turn off music. No one wants music to greet them every time they click a link, so turn off the music — or at least offer an easy option for disabling it.
      
  11. Give pages real names. For example, if your page is about red widgets, its filename should be, or at least include, the words "red" and "widgets."  
  12. Take off the black hat. If you've used tactics like keyword stuffing, remove them from your site. They may be working now, but in the long run, they'll only hurt.  
  13. Open up the drop-down menus. Let your user see all of the navigation options available, or you'll confuse them.  
  14. Ditch registration. Don't turn off users by forcing them to register to access content.  
  15. Ditch frames. Frames are horrible for search-engine optimization and design in general. Just stay away from them.  
  16. Fix broken links. Don't send search engines and users down dead ends. Clean up links for better search-engine optimization and usability.  
  17. Avoid resizing the user's window. Let the user be in control of their browser, or your site will lose credibility.
  

Accessibility  

If your site isn't accessible, you could be making things frustrating or even impossible for visitors with disabilities. Take these steps to make your site more inclusive.  

  1. Create accessible forms. Make sure that your forms can be filled out by all visitors.
      
  2. Specify spacer images as empty. Make sure that nonvisual browsers know to ignore your spacer images by noting them as empty.  
  3. Set captions on tables. This will ensure that your captions render correctly even in visual browsers.  
  4. Modify color. Ensure that pages are readable by using appropriate colors.  
  5. Summarize tables. Add a summary of tables so that visitors with screen readers  will understand what they're all about.  
  6. Provide real lists. Use list tags to ensure that lists render correctly for disabled browsers.  
  7. Remove text from images. Using image text will make it difficult for those using screen readers to read text.  
  8. Offer an alternative to JavaScript links. Many browsers for the disabled don't support JavaScript, so make it easy for them to have access to "real" links.  
  9. Identify the language. Screen readers need to know how to pronounce words, so let them know what language your site's content is in.  
  10. Add titles to links. Ensure that links are descriptive enough for visitors by adding link titles.  
  11. Create accessible tables. Make sure that tables are accessible to all by using scope, header and ID attributes.  
  12. Allow text resizing. Make it easy for readers to resize text if necessary.  
  13. Supplement navigational aids. Offer additional navigational aids to help visitors who use text-only browsers.  
  14. Define keyboard shortcuts. Set up keyboard shortcuts so that disabled users can navigate your site with ease.  
  15. Provide alternate text for images. Alternate text will let disabled visitors know what images represent.  
  16. Set a document type. Let readers know what sort of programming language your site uses so that content can be displayed correctly.  
  17. Present content first. Make sure that text-only browswers aren't being presented with your navigation before main content.  
  18. Set horizontal rules. Instead of just using an image to break up your pages, use horizontal-rule tags and CSS to display them properly for disabled users.  
  19. Accessible pop-up windows. If your site uses pop-up windows, make sure that they're accessible.  
  20. Create meaningful page titles. Make sure that your site's page names make sense for their content.
  

Design  

Spruce up your site's appearance using these design fixes.  

  1. Place important information "above the fold." Move your most important content high on the page so you can be sure that visitors will see it.  
  2. Keep background colors and images at a minimum. Backgrounds are often less than visually appealing and can make your site load slowly.  
  3. Reduce choices. Avoid overwhelming your visitor with lots of different options.  
  4. Design small. Cut your Web pages down to 50KB or less so that they load quickly for anyone.  
  5. Nix banners. Abandon banners for a more effective design element, or they'll be ignored.  
  6. Stay consistent. Check to make sure that colors and design are in the same general scheme so that visitors know they're still on your site.  
  7. Validate design in alternative browsers. See how your design renders in browsers like Safari, Opera and Firefox to make sure that it looks right no matter who is viewing it.  
  8. Minimize columns. Reduce columns to avoid distracting the reader with excessive visual choices.  
  9. Lose the splash page. No one wants to sit through a fancy Flash introduction. Replace it with a helpful home page instead.  
  10. Create a tagline. Stand out with a striking tagline that will draw visitors in.  
  11. Ditch frames. If your site uses frames, you need to move on to another method, like CSS or SSI (Server-Side Includes).  
  12. Make sure that text outnumbers HTML. Provide good content with text rather than HTML.  
  13. Slow down the technology. Although you may have state-of-the-art computers, many of your visitors don't. Get rid of memory-hogging technologies like JavaScript.  
  14. Remove link cloaks. Make sure that your visitor knows exactly where they're going, or you'll lose credibility.  
  15. Limit each page to one topic. Give each page a singular purpose to avoid confusing visitors.  
  16. Ditch crazy fonts. If you're using a ransom-note font, it's time to switch to something simpler. Chances are, your visitors' browsers are rendering it as Times New Roman anyway.  
  17. Reduce your graphics. Graphics not only slow pages down, but they also steal attention away from what's important: content.  
  18. Add functional links to the footer. Make it easy for visitors to find contact information or your privacy policy just by scrolling down.  
  19. Standardize link colors. Make sure that users know which links they've visited and which they haven't.  
  20. Update information. Put on a fresh coat of paint with a new header, logo or other design element.  
  21. Convert PDF files to HTML. Make browsing flow a little smoother by converting PDF files to a format that's more easily readable in a browser.
  

Legal  

Keep your site safe and protect your content using these improvements.  
  1. Update the privacy policy. Ensure that your site's privacy policy fully discloses everything it should.  
  2. Revise "deep" links. Update links so that they point to the home page of a site rather than a specific page, or make sure that you're attributing them correctly.  
  3. Legitimize images. If you're using images that you don't legally own, it's time to update them with your own images or those that you've purchased.  
  4. Pay taxes. If you're making money from your site, it's a business and is taxed as such. Take care of your taxes or you could end up in hot water with Uncle Sam.  
  5. Protect content. Keep your content safe from thieves by copyrighting it and taking steps to shield it from unscrupulous eyes.  
  6. Form a legal entity. Get liability protection by forming an LLC (limited liability company) or other formal legal entity.  
  7. Register a trademark. If you own your domain name but not a related trademark, a trademarked entity with the same name could take it from you, so be sure to register it before someone else does.  
  8. Store a Web site cache. Keep a copy of your site handy in case of copyright disputes or loss.  
  9. Revise the email campaign. Make sure that your email campaign complies with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Posted by William Tildesley Mon May 05, 2008 6:48 pm
Cubans line up to buy their first legal PCs in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
Citizens of the communist-controlled country can for the first time be the proud legal owners of a computer.  More than a dozen prospective buyers were lined up Friday outside Havana's state-run Carlos III shopping center for a chance to buy the tower-style Qtech PC and CRT monitor for £395.37.

The PCs have an Intel Celeron processors with a 80GB hard drive and 512MB of RAM and running the Windows XP operating system. Equipment that would be laughable in a Western country.

The PCs will not be allowed connections to the Internet. Only trusted officials and state journalists are allowed access to the Internet.
Posted by William Tildesley Sun May 04, 2008 9:47 am
MICROSOFT / YAHOO: Microsoft Withdraws Proposal to Acquire Y in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing


Microsoft today abandoned its attempt to buy Yahoo!, after a short weekend of negotiations in which it raised its $44.6bn offer by $5bn.


Microsoft thinks the deal still makes sense, if not at the price - another $5bn - that the Yahoo! board wants. But it won't go hostile - as Yahoo! would engage in scorched earth tactics, it says.

Steve Ballmer wrote a letter to Mr Jerry Yang (CEO Yahoo! Inc) saying:

Quote:

Dear Jerry:

After over three months, we have reached the conclusion of the process regarding a possible combination of Microsoft and Yahoo!.

I first want to convey my personal thanks to you, your management team, and Yahoo!’s Board of Directors for your consideration of our proposal. I appreciate the time and attention all of you have given to this matter, and I especially appreciate the time that you have invested personally. I feel that our discussions this week have been particularly useful, providing me for the first time with real clarity on what is and is not possible.

I am disappointed that Yahoo! has not moved towards accepting our offer. I first called you with our offer on January 31 because I believed that a combination of our two companies would have created real value for our respective shareholders and would have provided consumers, publishers, and advertisers with greater innovation and choice in the marketplace. Our decision to offer a 62 percent premium at that time reflected the strength of these convictions.

In our conversations this week, we conveyed our willingness to raise our offer to $33.00 per share, reflecting again our belief in this collective opportunity. This increase would have added approximately another $5 billion of value to your shareholders, compared to the current value of our initial offer. It also would have reflected a premium of over 70 percent compared to the price at which your stock closed on January 31. Yet it has proven insufficient, as your final position insisted on Microsoft paying yet another $5 billion or more, or at least another $4 per share above our $33.00 offer.

Also, after giving this week’s conversations further thought, it is clear to me that it is not sensible for Microsoft to take our offer directly to your shareholders. This approach would necessarily involve a protracted proxy contest and eventually an exchange offer. Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps that would make Yahoo! undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft.

We regard with particular concern your apparent planning to respond to a “hostile” bid by pursuing a new arrangement that would involve or lead to the outsourcing to Google of key paid Internet search terms offered by Yahoo! today. In our view, such an arrangement with the dominant search provider would make an acquisition of Yahoo! undesirable to us for a number of reasons:

First, it would fundamentally undermine Yahoo!’s own strategy and long-term viability by encouraging advertisers to use Google as opposed to your Panama paid search system. This would also fragment your search advertising and display advertising strategies and the ecosystem surrounding them. This would undermine the reliance on your display advertising business to fuel future growth.

Given this, it would impair Yahoo’s ability to retain the talented engineers working on advertising systems that are important to our interest in a combination of our companies.  

In addition, it would raise a host of regulatory and legal problems that no acquirer, including Microsoft, would want to inherit. Among other things, this would consolidate market share with the already-dominant paid search provider in a manner that would reduce competition and choice in the marketplace.

This would also effectively enable Google to set the prices for key search terms on both their and your search platforms and, in the process, raise prices charged to advertisers on Yahoo. In addition to whatever resulting legal problems, this seems unwise from a business perspective unless in fact one simply wishes to use this as a vehicle to exit the paid search business in favor of Google.

It could foreclose any chance of a combination with any other search provider that is not already relying on Google’s search services.

Accordingly, your apparent plan to pursue such an arrangement in the event of a proxy contest or exchange offer leads me to the firm decision not to pursue such a path. Instead, I hereby formally withdraw Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo!.

We will move forward and will continue to innovate and grow our business at Microsoft with the talented team we have in place and potentially through strategic transactions with other business partners.

I still believe even today that our offer remains the only alternative put forward that provides your stockholders full and fair value for their shares. By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table.

But clearly a deal is not to be.

Thank you again for the time we have spent together discussing this.

Sincerely yours,

Steven A. Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation


So why not a hostile takeover? Quite simply, Ballmer think it's not worth the effort, especially with the tactics Yahoo! says it will deploy. "Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps that would make Yahoo! undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft." he said.

Microsoft's main gripe with Yahoo is its intent to outsource search engine advertising to Google, in the event of a hostile bid. Microsoft thinks this would "undermine Yahoo!’s own strategy and long-term viability by encouraging advertisers to use Google as opposed to your Panama paid search system. This would also fragment your search advertising and display advertising strategies and the ecosystem surrounding them. This would undermine the reliance on your display advertising business to fuel future growth."

Such a deal would cause regulatory and legal headaches for any acquirer of Yahoo!, Ballmer says. Google, the dominant market leader, would gain even more share, and could raise prices at will.

"In addition to whatever resulting legal problems, this seems unwise from a business perspective unless in fact one simply wishes to use this as a vehicle to exit the paid search business in favor of Google.

Yahoo! Inc responded to Microsoft saying:

Quote:

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Roy Bostock, Chairman of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company issued the following statement today in response to Microsoft Corporation's announcement that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Yahoo!:

"We remain focused on maximizing shareholder value and pursuing strategic opportunities that position Yahoo! for success and leadership in its markets. From the beginning of this process, our independent board and our management have been steadfast in our belief that Microsoft's offer undervalued the company and we are pleased that so many of our shareholders joined us in expressing that view. Yahoo! is profitable, growing, and executing well on its strategic plan to capture the large opportunities in the relatively young online advertising market. Our solid results for the first quarter of 2008 and increased full year 2008 operating cash flow outlook reflect the progress the company is making. Today, Yahoo! has:

-- a refined strategic focus to drive enhanced volume and yield;

-- reorganized to focus its efforts on its most promising products and services;

-- invested in innovations designed to revolutionize display advertising and facilitate closing the competitive gap in search; and

-- enhanced expense and resource management to support improved profitability."

Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief executive officer, Yahoo! Inc. added, "I am incredibly proud of the way our team has come together over the last three months. This process has underscored our unique and valuable strategic position. With the distraction of Microsoft's unsolicited proposal now behind us, we will be able to focus all of our energies on executing the most important transition in our history so that we can maximize our potential to the benefit of our shareholders, employees, partners and users."
Posted by William Tildesley Sun May 04, 2008 9:37 am
Does Apple want to appeal to the gaming market? in Apple
Yesterday’s refresh of the iMac line is interesting, not because of the bump in speed that the refreshitself offers but because of the direction that Apple is going in. Is Apple preparing the way for gaming on the Mac?




First,let’s look closer at that 3.06GHz processor option for the 24-inch iMac. Some of you might be wondering what that processor is. Well, Ican tell you now that it’s not an early incarnation of the Centrino 2technology as some have suggested. It’s a special run on an existing CPU overclocked to handle the 3.06GHz workload and 1,066MHz.

It’s definitely hosted on a Santa Rosa motherboard (the Intel GM965 northbridge and ICH8 southbridge gives that away).


Apple’s working the current technology hard to get3.06GHz out of something designed to give 2.8GHz here. Why?
Then there’s the GPU. This seems to be a stock nVIDIA 8800M GTS (even though Apple calls it an 8800 GS, but then again, Apple called Mobility HD 2600 XT parts HD 2600 Pro).


This is a high-end GPU and certainly offers far more power than most Mac users currently need from the iMac.
Putting the overclocked processor and a high-end nVIDIA GPU in a box makes this system look like a gaming system to me. Sure, Apple is constrained by its use of mobile parts in the iMac, but the company does seem intent on squeezing as much power as it can out of the components.

Whether Apple is starting to cater for gamers using Boot Camp, orApple is preparing the way for Mac OS X-based gaming I’m not sure, but either way it looks to me like Apple is getting into gaming. And why not, it’s a lucrative market.
Posted by William Tildesley Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:30 pm
Your Internet Browser in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
Simple really show us your internet browser and if you want talk about it.

Here's Mine:


As you can see its very simplistic version of Firefox I got rid of most of the menus apart from Tools which you really need as it holds all the options for Firefox.

I'm using the default Firefox theme.  For quick bookmarking I use Google Bookmarks, for everything else I use del.icio.us and the del.icio.us button.

I use the Google search box which comes with the google toolbar, I use this search bar as it's much more advanced than the default search box.

I also use the Google Autofill tool which is really usefull as I seem to fill out a lot of forms online.

I also use PageRank to check my websites.

The green ball gives me the option to log in/out of my google account.
Posted by William Tildesley Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:24 pm
BBC Programme Uses Wikipedia In Footage But Removes Logo in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Popular TV history series Timewatch recently aired a programme about medieval melee tournaments on BBC 2.

The programme which can be watch here in full showed the presenter Dr. Saul David who studied at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities and was last a year conducting a professorship in military history at Hull University using the internet to research William Marshal the 1st Earl of Pembroke (an Anglo Norman soldier and statesman).  Some of the footage showed him reading the article about William Marshall on the popular user contributed encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The encyclopedia which has been banned in many educational establishments because of the incorrect information found on the site has enjoy wide spread media attention.

The footage clearly indicated that it was Wikipedia he was using, however the logo (see below) had been removed from the footage.  We assume that the logo was removed so as not to bring to anyone's attention the fact that he was indeed using the encyclopedia as an information resource.

Wikipedia Logo:


BBC Footage:



We have contacted both Dr. Saul David  and the BBC but have yet to hear from them at the time of writing, we will of course update this article if they respond.
Posted by William Tildesley Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:43 am
MacWorld 2008 Keynote Anaylsis and Wrap-up. in Apple
Apple kicked off MacWorld ’08 by playing New Order, Gorillaz and Kanye West.  The conference area can hold up to 4000 people at a time.  Of course Apple couldn’t resist kicking PC’s in the provable balls by using MacWorld to launch their new ad’s and of course the Mac fan boys lapped it up.

Steve kicked off by stating the normal sales figures for last year including the five million copies of Leapod delivered in the first three months, 20% of the Mac OS X base installed leopard, this has been the most successful launch of an platform upgrade.
They then reflected on the successful year for Apple by presenting press coverage of leopard and good support from developers including the Microsoft Office upgrade.
The announced the upgrade of their Airport Extreme products by launching the “Time Capsule” which backs up your data wirelessly in a 500GB and 1TB version.

During the coverage with various live bloggers using twitter the less than stable web app crashed leaving many bloggers in the dark.

The iPhone got an upgrade to 1.1.3 with multiple sms messages, Google locations, web clips, customise the home screen and “lyrics” which Job’s demonstrated  personally on stage. The features appear largely consistent with what was previously leaked on iVirtua.

Webclips (website bookmarks on your home screen) will remember where you zoomed/panned to which could be handy for many iPhone/iTouch users.

Google has been quick off the blocks by announced improvements to its applications for the iPhone. Of course, that depends on whether or not you have been insane enough to buy that wallet-crushing O2 contract.

iPod Touch users will be happy to note that they get five new applications Mail, Stocks, Notes, and Weather however they have to pay a $20 upgrade which in my mind is disgraceful and very un-apple like.

iTunes Movie Rentals is also coming with all the major movie studios on board including Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Sony the movies are available 30 days after DVD release which is a first for a movie rental company.  Universal is a shock as Viacom and Apple recently fell out over pricing.

Users of the service will have 30 days to start watching. 24 hours to finish (DRM anyone?) and the cost will be $2.99 for Library titles and $3.99 for New Releases, international Apple lovers will not get to use this until later this year.

Apple TV will be upgrading this time there’s no need for a computer and you get HD quality with Dolby 5.1.  You’ll also be able to get your pictures from your .Mac and Flickr accounts directly on your TV.  You can of course sync with iTunes if you want to and of course you’ll be able to rent movies directly from iTV.

When you rent your movies from iTunes you’ll also be able to see what others users have rented bringing the Amazon like recommendation system to iTunes.

Jobs also demonstrated downloading a rental and watching and of course he got it a blazing fast speeds (not that you will mind on your 2MBbps broadband connection.
You can now download music can from iTV and sync it back to your iTunes application on your PC or Mac.  

The basic iTV will cost $229 which is down from $299 and the update will be free to download.

Jobs was accompanied on stage by Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox “Fox wanted to make great movies, and get it into as many people's hands as possible. Consumers wanted the same thing”, of course no one can beat Jobs at the thing he does best. FOX CEO: “Video rentals aren't a new thing, but Apple is doing it in an intuitive, insightful, etc way. This will be a transformative version of the rental model”.

And of course Jobs released the much hyped “MacBook Air”, Air comes in at a stupidly priced $1799 (and thats what it starts at!).  Anyway apart from its slim looks and multi touchpad nothing is really new and the specs are really just the same as the MacBook.  Personally I was disappointed with the result and was hoping for an Asus EEE PC comparative but much better, unfortunately Apple decided that everyone wants to buy an overprice laptop.

And that was it, the event ended with musician Randy Newman.
MMA
Posted by William Tildesley Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:22 pm
MacWorld 08: And we are off. in Apple


The Mac Store as usual is down, meaning only one thing, mac products will be launched this year at MacWorld 08.

We're in! They're playing some new New Order
Posted by William Tildesley Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:56 am
MacWorld 08: Macworld Badge Pickup Line in Apple
So where here at MacWorld 2008 picking up our ticket before it begins on Tuesday.





Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:21 pm
MacWorld 08: 'MacBook Air' Design Considerations in Apple
As the keynote approaches, it seems increasingly likely that Apple will be releasing a slim notebook at Macworld. We've heard more confirmations that the notebook will be called the 'Macbook Air' despite a significant amount of disbelief surrounding the product name.

For Apple to launch an extremely slim MacBook laptop, however, there are a few design considerations that should be recognized. With the reported removal of the optical drive from the body of the machine, it seems clear that Apple is interested in slimming down the laptop as much as possible. In creating a super-slim laptop, there are a few other components that become size-limiting.

While there has been much talk about the move to Solid State (Flash) based drives, these drives carry a significant premium over traditional hard drives. Apple uses 2.5" SATA hard drives in their current MacBooks. Regardless of type of drive used, moving to a 1.8" form factor would be necessary to slim down the laptop further. Apple has a significant amount of experience with the use of these 1.8" drives which are used in the hard drive based iPods. Of note, Samsung's recently announced 1.8" 160GB drive has started shipping this past week for only $199.

Another size constraint would be the Ethernet jack on the laptop itself. We learned that Apple had been exploring this issue through a published patent application that explored the possibility of collapsable external ports. Other manufacturers of thin laptops have used ethernet-usb dongle to avoid housing the ethernet jack on the laptop itself. Similarly, Apple would have to include an attachable ethernet adapter, if their collapsable connectors never graduated from the research lab.

Apple is rumored to be releasing a new slim MacBook at Macworld San Francisco. User conferences begin on January 14th, but the keynote kicks off on January 15th at 9am.
Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:18 pm
MacWorld 08: MacBook Air Domain Names in Apple
Less than 24 hours to the Macworld Expo Keynote, and speculation runs rampant. MacDailyNews reports that a number of additional "MacBookAir" domains have been registered, apparently by Apple.

MacBookAir.net, MacBookAir.org, MacBookAir.us, MacBookAir.info, MacBookAir.biz have been registered by corporate registrar MarkMonitor. Most of the registration information is obscured, but the billing information for several of the domains is attributed to John Donald who carries an apple.com email address. Typically, this information can be faked, but the registration also shares an internal billing ID (MKN-14211616) which is indeed Apple's (based on other domains).

The evidence isn't conclusive, however, as MarkMonitor provides some automated trademark protection services to corporations:

Also continuously monitors new domain registrations that may infringe upon a company's brands and divert traffic to sites selling counterfeit or gray market goods.

So the MacBookAir domain registrations may have been triggerd by the MacBookAir.com domain registration - which was not registered by Apple.
Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:16 pm
MacWorld 08: Apple.com 'Something in the Air' Teaser in Apple


Apple posted the 'Something in the Air' teaser campaign on their website, and promises that you will be able to watch the keynote on Apple.com on Tuesday afternoon (pre-recorded, not live). The banners were originally revealed on Friday at Macworld Expo's Moscone center.
Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:14 pm
MacWorld 08: Pre-media hype (and pictures. in Apple
Many bloggers and media (including iVirtua) have started to descend on San Francisco for Macworld Expo 2008. We managed to take an extensive gallery of photographs from the expo floor.

Here are the images







We'll be getting more soon (I promise).
Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:10 pm
MacWorld 08: Is this Job's keynote plan? in Apple
Steve Jobs' Macworld Expo keynote has been leaked. Well, sort of, and assuming it's not Fake Steve Jobs' Fake Macworld Expo Fake Keynote, of course. Here's the transcript - you decide...

There's certainly no reference to the anticipated MacBook Air - though skinny, metal consumer MacBooks are listed. The already announced Mac Pro update is there. And a lot of this stuff is exactly what any Mac buff would have suggested.

For the record, the text comes from blog Void Inside, which claims to have spotted it on Wikipedia.

Real or not? We know what we think, but how about you, dear reader?

    MacWorld January 2008 Keynote Rough Outline; draft 5

    Greetings! Welcome to Moscone Center Quick Overview: iPod/iTunes
    - iPod has been extremely profitable for us this holiday season
    - Sales figures, market share
    - Our new models are doing better than ever
    - 3 iPod games released last month accidentally (supposed to be for today)
    - Another new game today: Chess
    - iTunes doing extremely well (sales figures/market share)
    - Today: 30 indie labels releasing their entire catalogs in iTunes Plus
    - Many more to follow in the next few months

    iPhone
    - Best iPod ever
    - Sales figures, market share
    - Sales beyond our wildest dreams
    - Much more than the 1% market share we asked for in January
    - Starting today: 8GB $399, 16GB $499
    - Four times the memory as original iPhone for the same price
    - iPhone is coming to Japan in March with NTT DoCoMo
    - SDK is unveiled!

    iPhone/iPod Touch SDK
    - Apps and Widgets
    - Using Cocoa with Objective
    -C
    - Developers submit programs as source code, not executable
    - Specify iPhone or both iPhone/Touch (certain features iPhone only)
    - Set your own price: Apps $0-6.99, Widgets $0-$2.99
    - Users buy/download in iTunes Wi-Fi Store / iTunes Store (Mac/PC)
    - Automatic updating wirelessly or docked


    - Demonstration of exporting from XCode 3 to iTunes Store
    - Submits source code to Apple for validation (make sure that people aren't abusing the system, prevent malware and viruses)
    - If using microphone or GSM, iPhone only; otherwise, available for both iPhone and iPod Touch
    - Apps can be free or up to $6.99; Widgets free or up to $2.99
    - Developers recieve 70% of revenue for their products
    - Licensed under Apple Mobile Software License
    - Can download wirelessly from iTunes Wi-Fi Store or docked to computer from iTunes Store
    - Demonstration of wirelessly downloading (and running) the app submitted earlier
    - Apps and widgets can be rearranged on front screen; front screen scrolls to show all apps/widgets
    - Resubmit updated versions of apps; when added to store, iPhone/Touch will ask you to update it next time you use it (or next time you dock the iPhone/Touch)
    - Developers can get their hands on a beta version of the SDK tomorrow on ADC and start developing; final version due early February
    - iTunes 7.6 and iPhone/iPod Touch Software update 1.3 allowing for Apps mid-February

    Example apps/widgets Apps:
    - iChat (coming with 1.3 update) (AIM, Jabber/Google Talk)
    -
    - Quick demonstration
    - RSS Feed Reader (coming with 1.3 update) (read feeds online or off)
    - One of our partners made something cool: Last.fm (scrobble tracks played on iPhone/touch wirelessly without syncing w/ computer) Widgets:
    - Dictionary (coming with 1.3 update) (quickly look up words, translate, use wikipedia)


    - Quick demonstration
    - Yellow/White Book (coming with 1.3 update) (search for contacts, add them to your address book directly from the app, will sync back with address book on your Mac/PC)
    - Sports Ticker (coming with 1.3 update) (choose your sports and teams, get updates on their progress)
    - Another partner: Twitter (update your Twitter on the fly, see your friends tweets)


    - Try these out on the show floor today

    Mac
    - Sales are getting better and better every day
    - Hardware sales figures/market share
    - Leopard released October; doing spectacularly
    - Sales figures/market share
    - Selling extremely well; estimated to overtake Tiger in terms of marketshare by June if you only count the new Macs that come with it preinstalled; even quicker if you include boxed copies
    - 10.5.2 out today
    - many bug fixes, also addressing a lot of issues and complaints users had such as list view with stacks and certain HIG non-compliance issues

    New MacBooks!
    - What would MacWorld be without a new Mac? (sorry about last year)
    - Completely redesigned MacBook
    - Completely aluminum body like MacBook Pro
    - 13" screen at 1440x900
    - Two colors: Black and Silver
    - Looks gorgeous at 0.8" thin
    - A major feat of engineering
    - patents abound
    - DVD drive pops open on side when eject button is pressed
    - New on all notebooks and iMac: iSight HD (720p)
    - New backlit keyboard based on recent Apple Keyboard revisions (keys slightly lighter than that of laptop casing, colorwise)
    - New matching MagSafe cable (Aluminum ends, cord color matches that of keyboard)
    - New matching Apple Remote (slightly smaller with larger overall buttons)
    - Intel GMA X3100 graphics
    - 3 models
    - Completely phasing out the combo drive on all product lines today
    - BTO models can upgrade all the way to 2.6GHz/4GB Memory/320GB hard drive
    - 4.5 hours of battery life
    - Starting at $1199

    Product Refreshes
    - Refreshing Mac Pro and Mac mini today
    - Mac Pro now with Penryn!
    - Base model 2x2.8GHz dual
    -core/1GB/NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB/250GB(1x250GB)/1x16x double-layer SuperDrive
    - Upgradeable to 2x3.2GHz quad
    -core/16GB/NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB/4TB(4x1TB)/2x16x double-layer SuperDrives
    - Starting at $2,499
    - Mac mini gets slight speed bumps and double-layer SuperDrive in all models
    - Base model 2.0GHz IC2D/1GB/100GB
    - BTO Upgradeable to 2.4GHz IC2D/4GB/320GB
    - Starting at $599

    One More Thing
    - Been brewing for a while
    - YouTube's been in Apple TV and iPhone/iPod touch: now it's in iTunes
    - Download YouTube videos straight to iTunes or from iPhone/iPod Touch for later offline viewing (sync back to computer)
    - Coming in iTunes 7.6 and iPhone/iPod Touch 1.3 updates

    Thanks for coming, and enjoy the expo!
Posted by William Tildesley Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:00 pm
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