Applelinks Tech Web Reader - Sunday, November 18, 2012

11.6-Inch Becoming Niche-market Size For Notebooks, Say Taiwan OEMs
Close To The Perfect MacBook? Depends On Your Wallet And Priorities
Is a 2012 Mac mini Quad-Core As Fast As A 2012 iMac Quad-Core?
Woz: Microsoft's Innovation Lead 'Worries Me Greatly'
Survey: Win8 Only Half As Popular As Win7 Among IT Bosses
DriveSavers Now Equipped to Recover New Apple Fusion Drive
Operation Fix Toshiba Begins Now
Amazon Brings Holiday Cheer with Video Gift Cards


11.6-Inch Becoming Niche-market Size For Notebooks, Say Taiwan OEMs

Digitimes' Aaron Lee and Adam Hwang note that as global netbook sales have plummeted due to competition from tablets, 11.6-inch has become a niche-market size for notebook panels, according to Taiwan-based notebook supply chain makers.

Up to recently they observe that 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch notebook screen sizes. have accounted for a relatively small proportion of total shipments, according to their sources indicated. Apple would of course be an exception to this, with its 11.6-inch MacBook Air having taken over as the company's volume price-leader notebook and main education market offering, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro having been the best-selling Mac system overall for some time now.

However, Lee and Hwang note that Samsung Electronics and Acer have launched inexpensive 11.6-inch Chromebooks and Asustek Computer has launched its 11.6-inch VivoBook touch-control notebook, so an increasing number of 11.6-inch PC notebooks are available for sale.

They also report that despite generally shrinking sales, demand for netbooks still exists, especially in emerging markets, but their insider sources suggest that 11.6-inch notebooks are likely to see increasing demand in the global market.

For the full report visit here:

Close To The Perfect MacBook? Depends On Your Wallet And Priorities

TechCrunch's MG Siegler says that for the past six months he's been hearing the same thing over and over again: "The MacBook Pro with the Retina screen looks amazing. I want that screen on a MacBook Air. That would be the perfect computer." Well, says Siegler, "we're almost there. Not quite. But for some of you, we're now close enough."

Seigler is referring to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, noting that two years ago, he ditched the MacBook Pro as his main machine and switched to a MacBook Air, but changed up again with the release of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display which has become his iMac replacement on his desk at home, but has found it not quite portable enough for his tastes. However, after testing out the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro for a few weeks now, he finds it a great combination of power and portability.

Siegler also takes a shot at the old school non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro which he notes is still somewhat oddly on sale.

Not so odd really, given that the non-Retina MacBook Pro has been Apple's best-selling Mac system overall for some time. The reason, Charles W. Moore writing for AppleTell notes, that the non-Retina MacBook Pro "offers bona fide superb value at a base price of $1,199 - possibly the most bang for your buck that Apple has offered in a Mac system ever. For $500 less than the new 13-inch rMBP, the old-school 13-inch MBP 13" MacBook Pro gives you the same CPU and GPU performance, similar battery life, greater versatility and connectivity with built-in FireWire 800 and Ethernet ports, an SDVCard slot, an optical drive, and serious storage capacity with a standard 500 GB hard disk drive. Yes, the HDD is slower than the rMBP's SSD, but for the sort of stuff most of us do with computers most of the time, any Mac with an Intel dual-core CPU is wicked fast for the vast majority of real-world use. The non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro is also of course thicker and heavier than the rMBP, and has a nice, but low-resolution 1280 x 800 display, which is arguably its most serious shortcoming."

Moore observes that at $1,699 with its very modest entry-level spec., I would rate the 13-inch rMBP's prospects of filling the old-school MacBook Pro's boots as best-selling Mac as approximately zero. It's a nice laptop, but value-wise it just doesn't deliver the goods from his perspective.

It's a question of priorities, which aren't the same for everyone.

For those who prioritize lightness, compactness, and high-resolution, Siegler says the 13-inch rMBP comes close to being a retina MacBook Air, being just 0.07 inches thicker than the 13-inch Air at its thickesst point, and actually narrower in footprint than the Air, but concedes that you'll have to decide if the Retina display, slimmer design, and one pound less of bulk is worth an extra $500 to you as opposed to either the non-Retina MacBook Pros or 13-inch MacBook Air which both start at $1,199. Siegler thinks it's a no-brainer. Moore asserts that the 13-inch rMBP is too expensive to displace the $1,199 machine as Apple's top seller.

Different priorities and a conundrum that will eventually self-resolve as Apple adopts Retina displays across the board.

You can read MG Siegler's column here:

Charles Moore's AppleTell column is here:

Is a 2012 Mac mini Quad-Core As Fast As A 2012 iMac Quad-Core?

BareFeats' rob-ART morgan says some readers have been asking if the 'late 2012' Mac mini with a Quad-Core i7 processor can match the performance of a 'late 2012' iMac with Quad-Core i7 processor when running real world applications. Since the 2012 iMac isn't available yet, rob decided to use a 'surrogate': the 2012 Retina 15" MacBook Pro which has similar internals - an 'Ivy Bridge' Quad-Core i7 and discrete GeForce GT 650M GPU.

rob found that the late 2012 Quad-Core i7 Mac mini is a true contender when it comes to CPU power, but hobbled by its Intel HD 4000 integrated GPU which is a weak performer compared to the Retina MacBook Pro (and vicariously, the 2012 iMac with 21.5" screen) with their discrete GPUs.

For the full report visit here:

Woz: Microsoft's Innovation Lead 'Worries Me Greatly'

The Register's Rik Myslewski reports that Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak's comments at last week's TedX Brussels conference, expressing concern that Microsoft may now be more innovative than the product developers at Apple. The Woz also had some harsh observations about the management style of his fellow Apple cofounder.

Wozniak suggested in TechCrunch interview that Microsoft is focusing on innovation while Apple is in a rut, having gotten used to "cranking out the newest iPhone and falling a little behind. And that worries me greatly," adding that it recalls the years between Steve Jobs' exit and return, when Apple focused on simply improving products rather that creating anything new, having had a formula for making money, and kept running it, making the same machines."

He also critiqued Steve Jobs' penchant for being not only hard-nosed, but hard-assed, quoted saying "I don't believe Steve had to be as much of a real rugged bastard, put people down, make them feel demeaned,"
and hopes Apple is on a trend towards being a lot more charitable, open, and really getting good ideas, but not so much by having to force good ideas out of the teams that are developing them."

For the full report visit here:

Survey: Win8 Only Half As Popular As Win7 Among IT Bosses

The Register's Iain Thomson notes that Microsoft has staked a lot on Windows 8 being the key to its future, but preliminary numbers from analyst house Forrester suggest that business isn't too keen on the new OS.

Thompson notes that Forrester's 2009 survey data for Windows 7 shows that at this point in its sales cycle, 49 percent of firms expected to upgrade to that then-new operating system. Forrester has now surveyed 1,282 IT managers in the US and Europe concerning Windows 8, and found that figure has dropped to less than a quarter.

For the full report visit here:

DriveSavers Now Equipped to Recover New Apple Fusion Drive

DriveSavers Data Recovery has announced that the company now offers data recovery services for Apple's new Fusion Drive. In October, Apple unveiled the Fusion Drive as a new storage option for Mac mini and its forthcoming new iMac computers, along with Macs running MacOS 10.8.2, to combine the performance of solid-state storage with the higher capacity of a hard drive. DriveSavers engineers tested the drive and developed new proprietary methods and techniques to recover data specifically for the new hybrid storage solution should an unthinkable failure occur.


"Recovering data from the Fusion Drive is not for the weak at heart," says Chris Bross, DriveSavers' strategic technology alliance manager. "It's a complex storage solution that combines two completely different technologies to give Apple customers more speed with higher capacity. Our years of experience working with Apple products, Flash technology and leading storage manufacturers gives us the edge to innovate and quickly overcome the data recovery challenges associated with the Fusion Drive."

DriveSavers engineers dissected the Fusion Drive to fully understand the mechanics and technology behind the hybrid solution. The Fusion Drive consists of two separate drives - one hard drive and one solid-state drive - that are "fused" together. If one drive fails, the data on both drives is lost. But not forever, DriveSavers built a test environment and was able to prove that data may be recovered from a failed Fusion Drive.

"We couldn't wait to get our hands on the Fusion Drive," says DriveSavers Data Recovery's director of engineering Mike Cobb. "The integration of solid-state technology with a hard drive is a new approach to storing data at the consumer level so we were excited to see how it worked. The Fusion Drive is complicated but we can successfully recover data from it quickly in our certified secure environment."

With over 27 years of experience recovering data for Apple products, DriveSavers data recovery engineers are able 24/7 to recover data from iPads, iPhones, iMacs and Mac mini computers and any other Apple product that has suffered common or catastrophic data loss for any reason. To learn more about DriveSavers and our data recovery services, please visit their website or call 800.440.1904.

For more information, visit:

Operation Fix Toshiba Begins Now

It's a sad day for free repair manuals, says iFixIt CEO Kyle Wiens, noting:

Toshiba just took down one of the most popular sources of repair information for their laptops, Tim Hicks' laptop repair manual repository at Future Proof. Tim's site is one of the only places online to get ad- and malware-free, manufacturer-authorized manuals. Here's the editorial I wrote for Wired on the situation.

We're not surprised by Toshiba's actions: we've known about manufacturers' iron grip on repair documentation for a long time. We've known about the infuriating and elaborate ways manufacturers will keep users out of their own hardware. We've known about the unfortunate extension of copyright law to repair documentationthat's a big part of why we got started, after all.

But we are upset. Taking repair information away from users means less repair: only the very brave or very experienced will try to service a laptop without a manual. And less repair means more disposable culture, more toxic mining and manufacturing, and fewer jobs in independent repair shops.

Manufacturers always say that providing repair documentation will lead users to hurt themselves, and that's what Toshiba told Tim. But when people do attempt repair, they are far more likely to damage themselves or their equipment if they don't have a good manual with appropriate safety warnings.

So, here's what we're going to do. We've started a campaign called Operation Fix Toshiba. We want to write a free and open repair manual to replace the manuals that Toshiba took away. We currently have manuals for just a few Toshiba laptops, so we need more hardware to take apart. We're asking anyone who shares our concern to help:

1. Send iFixit old Toshiba hardware and we'll write a manual for it. (We're looking for laptops that are less than four years old, and we just need one of each model. These are the devices we need.)

2. Donate a couple bucks here and we'll use the money to buy used Toshiba hardware and write manuals for it.

3. iFixit will send those interested in writing Toshiba repair manuals some hardware once we receive it. Just drop us a line!

It's time to stand up for ourselves. We have the right to repair our things, and to the information required to do it. Check out Operation Fix Toshiba on Indiegogo.


Kyle Wiens,
CEO of iFixit

You can check it out at:

Amazon Brings Holiday Cheer with Video Gift Cards, Inc. has announced the launch of Amazon Video Gift Cards (, a new gift card experience where customers can create free, personalized JibJab Starring You videos featuring a photo of their own face or faces of their friends and family. From the cheerful “Elf Snowball Fight” to the laugh-out-loud “Roller-skating Disco Birthday,” customers can personalize a video gift card for over a dozen occasions. Additionally, customers who receive Amazon Video Gift Cards can easily share their JibJab videos through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email, while keeping their gift card details private.

“We’re excited to add Amazon Video Gift Cards to our growing set of digital gift card products,” says Max Bardon, General Manager, Amazon Gift Cards. “We think customers will love uploading a family photo to one of our entertaining holiday-themed video gift cards and enjoy the engaging gift-giving experience of the new Amazon Video Gift Cards this season.”

Sending Amazon Video Gift Cards is fun and easy. To start, customers simply choose from the more than 50 JibJab Starring You videos, upload a photo of their own face or the faces of their friends and family, select a gift card amount of up to $2,000, then email or post it to a friend’s Facebook Wall. Customers who receive a video gift card can use it to shop for the millions of items available on Amazon at their convenience – Amazon Video Gift Cards are delivered instantly or can be scheduled for a future date and never, ever expire.

Here are some of the Amazon Video Gift Cards customers can send today at:

Winter Holidays
• Elf Snowball Fight
• Pilgrim Song
• A Christmas Carol

• Birthday Pińata
• Rocker Birthday
• Roller Disco

Everyday Fun
• Disco
• German Polka
• I Got You Babe

For more information, visit:

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