Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech News - Apple Launches MacBook Air.

Here is a round-up of this week's tech news and what's hot in the Web :

1. Apple Launches MacBook Air.
Apple unveiled a new super-slim laptop at the recent Macworld trade show. Dubbed the MacBook Air, it measures 0.4cm at its thinnest and 1.9cm at its beefiest and is being hailed as the world's thinnest notebook computer. There are two models : A US$1,799 1.6Ghz version with an 80GB hard drive and a 1.8Ghz 64GB version with a flash-based solid state drive for US$3,098. The laptop, however, does not comes with an optical drive for reading CDs and DVDs, a feature that Apple says will unlikely be missed as movies and music can be downloaded over the Internet and optical drives can be access from other PCs.
The MacBook Air thinness and light weight of about 1.5kg have upped the cool factor for notebook design and is causing ripples among notebook makers such as Dell, Sony and Lenova as design is how these companies differentiate themselves. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the pack will come up with if they want to capture consumers' dollars.

2. Facebook Sues Over Alleged Hacking.
The popular social networking site is taking Istra Holdings, a Canadian operator of pornography websites, to court for allegedly trying to steal its users' personal information. Facebook claims that Istra tried to hack into its servers 200,00 times in June last year.

Being repositories of personal data ranging from e-mail addresses, dates of birth to users' preferences, social networking sites are attractive targets for data thieves and this case echoes what security experts have been harping on - that publishing to much information on social networks is dangerous. And with 55 million members, Facebook is the perfect mining ground for spammers, hoping to compile e-mail lists, and criminals seeking to steal identity.

Star Trek 1st Season
3. Sony Dumps Copy Protection.
Good news for music lovers. Sony BMG has announced that its entire catalogue of music will be available for download - without DRM - at Amazon's digital music store by the end of January. The record label had all along resisted selling tunes without DRM which prevents songs from being copied and is the last of the big four major music studios to finally give up copy protection.

The tie-up makes Amazon the only online music store to offer protection-free downloads for all its tracks from the big four music labels and makes them a much stronger competitor to Apple's iTunes store who has cornered 70 per cent of the digital music download market. With music downloaded from Amazon playable on all types of music players - unlike iTunes music downloads which are playable only on iPods - together with the limited selection of tracks from iTunes that are sold without DRM, the tie-up sets the scene for a battle for music lovers' dollars.

*More Tech News :
- Google's "Knol" Challenges Wikipedia.
- Members Blast Facebook.
- Google Opens Up Orkut.

Apple iTunes