Apple has been developing some revamped Mac laptops for several months and years, such as an ultra-slim 12-inch Retina MacBook, and the key to shipping these products is the availability of Intel’s upcoming Broadwell chip. Why? Because the new 14nm Broadwell Core M chip is fanless, small, and according to Intel, the most energy-efficient Intel processor yet. These facts about the processor lineup directly with the rumors of a fanless and light MacBook. Today, Intel has disclosed some new key points about the Core M Broadwell processor:
Notably, as Intel executives hinted earlier this year, Intel is still on track to ship out chips in time for new products to hit this holiday season, and it seems likely that the new 12-inch MacBook will be one of the first major computer launches with the new processor. Intel says that increased availability for the Broadwell processor will occur in the first half of 2015, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect various other new Macs (perhaps MacBook Pros or Airs) with more powerful Broadwell chips to hit the market during that timeframe next year.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Broadwell, Haswell, Intel, MacBook, Macintosh, Original equipment manufacturer, Skylake
A MacBook, a flatscreen monitor rescued from a dumpster, a few parts bought on eBay and an abandoned McDonalds as a base may seem a reasonable basis for a hobbyist electronics project of some kind – but taking control of an abandoned NASA spacecraft might feel a little ambitious. Not so, says a team of nine geeks who have successfully taken control of ISEE-3, a spacecraft launched by NASA 36 years ago to measure the solar wind and radiation. The story of what has to be a strong candidate for coolest thing ever is told in full in BetaBeat.
The satellite’s battery has been dead for over 20 years, but it had solar panels to power 98 percent of the satellite’s full capabilities. In its heyday, it ran missions around the Moon and Earth, and flew through the tail of a comet. But technology gets old, and everyone happily let the successful satellite go, knowing it would be back in Earth’s orbit someday — namely, 2014.
Since the satellite went offline, the team had retired, the documentation was lost and the equipment was outdated. They could still hear the satellite out there talking, but they’d need to build the equipment to talk back.
They did have a few more expensive requirements, like a helicopter to lift a transmitter into place, but a crowdfunding campaign took care of the costs. There was then the small matter of getting permission from NASA, no doubt helped by one of the team being a former employee.
They brought the idea to NASA, but there was no precedent on which to base an agreement. No external organization has ever taken command of a spacecraft, but NASA didn’t want to say no, so they asked the team if they needed any help.
Astonishingly, they’ve now successfully placed the craft in a new orbit around the sun, and Google has helped them build a website that will be used to share data transmitted back from it – appropriately enough named Spacecraft For All. The full story is well worth a read.
Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: eBay, Google, International Cometary Explorer, ISEE-3, MacBook, McDonald, Moon, NASA, Space
Earlier this month, Apple released a MacBook Air EFI update (version 2.9) with fixes for issues with the laptop waking from sleep. Approximately a week ago, the firmware update was removed by Apple because of bugs causing MacBook Airs to crash.
Today, Apple has re-released the update with fixes as version 2.9.1:
This update replaces EFI Firmware Update 2.9 and is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models.
The update can be found for mid-2011 MacBook Air owners in the Software Update section of the Mac App Store.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 2011 MacBook Air, Apple, Apple Software Update, Firmware, Mac App Store, MacBook, MacBook Air, update
Following up the last Modbook Pro tablet the company is currently selling made from a converted mid-2012 MacBook Pro, today Modbook is back with the announcement of a 15-inch ModBook tablet that uses the new Retina MacBooks Apple just refreshed this week as its guts. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, it first started making OS X based tablets by converting Apple laptops and adding pen input capabilities as far back as 2007.
For the new model, Modbook is turning to Kickstarter to raise funds and take preorders with the base 2.2GHz model coming in at $4000. Apart from the pen-input and some design tweaks during the conversion, the specs remain the same as Apple’s MacBooks and the company can also mod your MacBook for a cool $1999 (also an option for backers on Kickstarter). If successful raising $150k through its funding campaign, it plans to start shipping the Modbook Pro X to backers that provided their own Mac in early 2015.
Another addition in this year’s model is an option for “rear-mounted Keybars” that provide quick keys for shortcuts. There is also detachable Keyboard Stand that is available for the tablet. The Keybars are programmable and the company imagines them being used for quick commands (think command + S for saving) with one hand while the other is occupied with the tablet’s stylus. Both of these optional features are pictured above and will add to the base prices mentioned above, as will opting for models of the Macbook Pro other than the base 2.2GHz option.
In case you’re wondering, the conversion process does void your warranty with Apple, but Modbook provides its own that covers all the hardware. You can learn more and preorder by backing the Kickstarter campaign here.
Filed under: Mac Tagged: 15-inch, MacBook, Modbook Pro, OS X, pen, Retina, tablet, Touch