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Under The Hood
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This week on Fitmodo: the real Paleo diet, Aussie vax rates up and more!
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I don’t know if these MacBook Nanos are a custom hack or if they come from some kind of shady outlet selling retrofitted MSI U100 laptops made to look like shiny–and fictional–Apple notebooks with Mac OS X installed. I do know one thing, though: I wouldn’t mind having one, specially seeing the contrast with the MacBook Pro 17. The look needs a little bit more polish, but the specs are good and we like both the black and white models.
If you have a new 4th-gen nano and a decent ear, you may have noticed something funny: After putting it to sleep, if you wake it up by inserting headphones, the left and right channels switch. I tried this with the most obvious stereo mix of all time, David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and it’s really easy to duplicate yourself. While it’s easy to correct, it’s still definitely a weird, weird bug. Thanks to reader Matt for bringing it to our attention, and posting a thread at iLounge. Have you noticed it or any other weird glitches, like Genius’ pathological avoidance of the lovely Norah Jones? (I’m serious, try it!)
Sure, you are all aware that there is a new iTunes 8, new iPod nano, and new iPod touch. But did you read our hands-on reviews and the rest of the details and products that many people missed at Apple’s “Let’s Rock” event? If you want to know all about what happened there, don’t forget to go through our complete special coverage, including our full reviews of the new iPod nano and iPod touch.
So Digg’s Kevin Rose polished off his crystal ball prior to today’s Apple event, as he is wont to do. We posted on his rumours, with the necessary scepticism. And now as the dust settles on our live coverage, we doff our hat to everyone’s favourite iSight Carnac: just about every single detail Kevin hit, including the actual product shot of the redesigned Nano above, was 100% true.
iPod case manufacturer Proporta has posted images of its new cases, with what seems to be the new iPod nanos inside. Like with the allegedly leaked image of the interface, we don’t know if these are real or not. Certainly, the nano looks like it’s been inserted in Photoshop. Tell us what you think.
Either this is proof that contract manufacturing is a lightning-fast miracle of modernity, or that the bloggyverse is a noisy-as-hell echo chamber: No sooner does Kevin Rose prophesy that the next-gen iPod nano will be tall and skinny and rounded, but Chinese makers report case orders that meet their specs.
Thanks largely to those meddling kids at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry–who were investigating cases of people burned by too-hot-to-handle nanos–Cnet says Apple admitted today that some first-gen iPod nanos were overheating and said that it will replace any first-gen iPod nano that smokes or sparks (or blows up).
Scientists at Northwestern University have demonstrated a new nano-printing technology by printing the Beijing Olympics emblem 15,000 times, each logo so small the whole print run fits inside one square centimeter. 2,500 of the images, made 20,000 90-nanometer dots, would fit on a grain of rice. The polymer pen lithography uses an array of millions of tiny flexible polymer “pens” that can be used to make marks on various different nano-scales, and in this case deposit “ink” made of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid onto a gold substrate (what else would do, in Olympic season?) The team thinks that the technique, which can print out tiny dot-matrix imagery, will find uses in computational tools, medical diagnostics and the pharmaceutical industry. The study is published today in Science Express. [Physorg]
Via’s Nano and Intel’s Atom low-power processors are intended for slightly different purposes, but that didn’t stop HardOCP pitting them against each other in performance tests, and coming up with some interesting results. In every single benchmark, the beefier Nano beat the Atom. In particular it was 59% better in MP3 encoding tests, 37% in Divx encoding and achieved double the frame rate in Quake 4. No surprises there: the Nano is designed to draw a little more current (53W against 45W) than the Atom, so it won’t make it into quite the same hand-held gizmos as Intel’s chip. But the tests revealed that under normal “desktop” usage, the Nano actually drew less power when idling. Looks like Via’s got a hot one in its grip: we might expect to see more of this chip. [HardOCP via BBG]
It’s clearly “Star Trek Comes Nearly True” time, first with the life-signs detector, and now a tiny NMR machine that’s effectively v1.0 of the medical tricorder. Scientists at Harvard Medical School have come up with a neat way to coat bacteria and viruses with nanoparticles, and have simultaneously shrunk all the detector electronics for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy into a 2mm-square chip. Their prototype device uses a microfluidics network and eight of these chips inside magnetic coils to detect specific nanoparticles: future versions will use more and be portable. It’s apparently 800 times more sensitive than standard NMR machines, and is able to detect just 10 bacteria in a single sample. Beep Beep. [New Scientist]