Macworld 2008 rumors report: some hits, mostly misses

As far as novelty news goes, Apple tea leaf reading and rumor speculation seems fairly fruitless (no pun intended). Oh sure, just about everyone entertains the indulgence, even if it’s only a debunk, but you can always count on a seemingly endless torrent of unnamed sources dishing the latest leaks leading up to Macworld (and any big Apple event). We were almost afraid to look, but we went ahead and compiled a report card for this year’s predictions. Warning: it ain’t pretty.
Please note, all rumors listed originate from sources at or close to Apple, feeding info to publications. This doesn’t include sites or posts digging up evidential information, like the MacBook Air domain name stuff.

AppleInsider – MacBook ultraportable to have external optical drive: correct! Still, this was pretty clear, almost no ultraportables have optical drives. Being that there was no mention made of Remote Disc, we’re gonna give this a half point.
AppleInsider – MacBook ultraportable to have 13-inch LED-backlit display, internal NAND flash, SSD option: right, wrong, and right again (half point!).
Bloomberg – iPhone comes to Canada: nope.
Bloomberg – Warner Bros, Fox, Disney, Paramount and Lionsgate to rent on iTunes: nailed it!
Boy Genius Report – Jay Z and Apple found record label: not yet. (But who knows, it might be announced later!)
Boy Genius Report – Ultraportable absolutely definitely launching: correct!
BusinessWeek – Major Apple TV update planned (including a possible tuner), but Jobs can’t get Universal and Sony to sign on for rentals: eh, vaguely right about the ATV update, but otherwise basically wrong.
Financial Times – Fox signed to movie rentals, and will also distribute pre-ripped iTunes movies on discs: totally correct!
Gizmodo – Macworld “will be bigger than usual” with “overloaded” keynote and tons of new product revisions: nope.
Macrumors – Lots of laptop upgrades, one with multi-touch trackpad: correct (kind of). There obviously weren’t multiple notebook revisions, but the trackpad was dead on.
Macrumors forums – “Leaked” keynote #1: total fabrication.
Macrumors forums – MacBook ultraportable endowed with super-wide trackpad: so very wrong.
New York Times – Apple got more than just Fox to sign on for rentals: true. Half point, though, for lack of any specifics despite “multiple sources.”
Variety – 24 hour rentals: correct!
Void Inside – “Leaked” keynote #2: also a total fabrication.
Wired – Details and description of the ultraportable: (mostly) wrong. Described as: thin, tapered profile with “aluminum and glass”. Close! But we all knew it’d be thin and aluminum — the multi-touch capable iMac-esque glass display gives this one away.

Total score: 7 / 16

We forgetting any?

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Hands-on With iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 [iPhone]

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We’ve got the walk-through video above, but here’s what we think of iPhone Firmware 1.1.3. The Google Maps location finding is excellent, probably because Apple made sure they programmed in Moscone’s data points correctly into their location services. It takes a while to zero in onto your location because it’s not GPS, which means it’s not really that great for turn-by-turn directions where you need to know whether or not to make a right at the next light.Multi-recipient SMS is exactly what it sounds like. Pick more than one recipient, send a message, and it gets delivered to everyone. What’s nice is that this set of people get saved as a “conversation” so you can send more messages to them without having to type in their names again.

Icon reorganization: same as what we’ve seen before. Hold down an icon, everything starts shaking, then you can drag stuff around to a new location. Drag an icon to the edge of the screen to get to the next or previous page. Swipe left and right to switch pages.

Webclips also works as advertised, letting you to bookmark a page onto your home screen. There’s nothing special about this other than the fact that you can remember a specific part of the page and go to it every time.

Apple MacBook Air Is World’s Thinnest Notebook, Looks Absolutely Amazing

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It’s real. The fabled MacBook Air actually exists. It’s ultra-thin, can have a normal hard drive or a solid state one and, except for a couple ports, it’s all about wireless connectivity. It’s a stunning .16 inches thick at the bottom and .76 inches on the top. The black keyboard (reminds me of some of those black-over-aluminum Braun designs) is LED backlit, sightly recessed MacBook-style, with rounded edges all around. The latch is magnetic and has a gorgeous 13.3-inch screen with ambient-light sensor and, get this, multitouch trackpad. Check the full specs, 20-image gallery and continuous updates after the jump:

MacBook Air

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The MacBook Air is all “green”: bromide and PVR free, packaging is 56% smaller and mercury and arsenic-free glass. Looks like Al Gore will be getting one to fly in his private jet.

Amazingly enough, it’s only $1,799.

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Technical specs

• .16 to .75-inch thickness on top
• 12.8 x 8.94 inches
• 3 pounds
• 5 hours of battery life with everything running

• Intel Core 2 Duo Processor at 1.6 or 1.8GHz, motherboard the length of a pencil.
• 800MHz frontside bus.
• 2GB RAM 667MHz DDR2 standard.

• 13.3-inch screen, LED backlit.
• 1,280 x 800 pixels
• Micro-DVI adapter (for DVI, VGA, composite and S-Video output)
• Intel GMA X3100 Graphics processor with 144MB RAM shared

• 1.8-inch 80GB HD or 64GB Solid State Drive (no moving pieces, but for a stunning $1,300 price increase!)
• Multitouch trackpad with gestures. Pans, zooms, rotates, etc.
• 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1.
• Optional external HD for $99, USB-bus powered.
• Full backlit keyboard.
• One USB 2.0, one audio port, one Micro-DVI

[Apple]

Apple adds five apps to the iPod touch — for a price

It’s not all love for the iPhone today — Apple just announced that Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes and Weather are all coming to the iPod touch. New touch owners get ’em all for free, but all of you early adopters will have to cough up: the bundle is going to set you back a whopping $20. The new Maps app can’t use cell-based location-finding like on the iPhone, but it can still figure out where it is using SkyHook’s WiFi hotspot database. The touch also supports webclips and the reconfigurable home screen now, but we’re a little unsure why all this has to cost $20 — why no love, Apple?

Way too much Apple coverage at Macworld — it’s all here

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It was a big first day at Macworld — maybe not iPhone big, but certainly big enough. We know most anyone who’s not into Apple (and even a few who are) is ready for their regularly scheduled programming to return, and the good news is, for you, the Apple glut is over. But if you’re not quite ready to let go (or missed the real-time wall to wall coverage), check it all out below.
Keynote

MacBook Air

iPhone / iPod Touch

More (groan!) after the break.
iTunes movie rentals

Apple TV

Time Capsule

Other