Sea of Faces


One of the most anticipated additions to iLife ’09 and iPhoto ’09 is the Face-recognition feature that identifies within your photo library pictures of the same people and gives you the opportunity to quickly identify and locate pictures of friends and family. This innovative concept seems adapted from the facebook idea of ‘tagging’ people in photos, but Apple has taken it one step further with the face recognition program that can search your database and find pictures without you having to locate and ‘tag’ every photo.

This application takes some getting used to and some set up time. When you first open Faces, you must go through and identify people individually in your photos. This can be an arduous process, but after tagging a person in 20 or so photos, iPhoto will composite a selection of photos for you to choose from that confirm that the person you are selecting is in those pictures as well. The program can recognize pictures where people have aged (sometimes within a ten year span, more if you vary the pictures that you select of that person) and then stores the person and their list of photos on a ‘corkboard’ that you can access and scroll through to locate certain individuals. Faces will even try to locate faces in a video from your digital camera.

This creative new program is not without its drawbacks. Macworld says, “The Faces training system could be a bit more straightforward, and it’s not as automatic as you’d expect. For example, we were hoping for some sort of batch-training mode, but you have to spend quite a bit of time manually confirming or rejecting each suspected match. You need to enter a collection of a person’s photos to get iPhoto started, then click Confirm Name and hope that there are some good candidate photos for you to train.”

What do you think of iLife ’09 and its Faces program? Let us know in the comments section.


MobileMe – Pretty Much Available Now, What Do You Need To Know?

MobileMeSo now that the boxed versions of MobileMe are available from Apple, and from other resellers like Amazon, I figured I’d better see what that actually means for .Mac users like myself that haven’t really been paying too much attention.

Fortunately, if you haven’t been following along, you can get up to speed fairly quickly with the Apple .Mac To MobileMe Transition FAQ on Apple’s website. This document should answer most of your upgrade questions if you’re a current user.

Bottom line — if you’re currently a .Mac user, you get the service upgrade without having to do anything. A couple of other decent items to note:

  • Your .Mac subscription will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe at no additional cost.
  • Individual subscription storage doubles from 10GB to 20GB.
  • You may continue to use your current email address to send and receive email just as you do today. If you have any email aliases at, they will also continue to work.
  • All of your existing iDisk files will be available on MobileMe iDisk.

And a couple of things you should be aware of

  • As part of this transition to MobileMe, some features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync.
  • iPhone users: You will need to update to software version 2.0 or later to enable push mail, push contacts, push calendar, and push bookmarks. This software update will be available when MobileMe launches.

All this and much more at the Apple .Mac To MobileMe Transition FAQ on Apple’s website.


The New iMac

As soon as the announcement was made, and the Apple Store re-opened, we purchased one of the new iMacs released last Tuesday, August 7. We got the 24″ model with 2GB of RAM and a 2.4GHz dual core processor. It’s funny to see the same speed processors as what we were buying 5 years ago, even if the are dual core.

I am the editor that suggested that Apple would delay release of the new iMac until after Leopard was released. I also suggested that the brushed aluminum look was being phased out. It appears I was dead wrong on both counts.

The new iMac supports an upgraded intel chipset (Santa Rosa -based) as well as a higher maximum RAM capacity. The new machine boasts a quasi-retro brushed aluminum look with an exceptionally glossy display. There has been plenty of talk that the new display is too glossy, but we disagree: It is stunningly beautiful.

To get a better idea of what most folks would be buying, we decided to get a machine more closely aligned with most of our readers budgets. So, we set a price ceiling of $2,150 to purchase a new iMac, and test it. We opted for the 2.4 GHz machine with 2GB of 667MHz RAM. The smallest HD a consumer can buy these days is a whopping 320GB SATA HD! Needless to say, we didn’t feel like we were buying a budget machine, even though we purchased toward the lower end of he 24″ iMac spectrum.

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Is this the new iMac keyboard?

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Is this the new iMac keyboard?: ”

Engadget and several other sites are reporting a possible first glimpse of the new keyboard which is to accompany the rumored new iMac computers. This first glimpse follows the path of previous rumors and lends some credence to the idea that the new iMacs will feature a brushed aluminum finish. A word of warning however, as the picture does have “Photoshop” embedded in the exif data. This picture would be easy enough to fake.

(Via Engadget.)


New iMac On The Way?

iMacVarious sources are claiming that a new iMac is on the way. Furthermore, there are several rumors that this new iMac will be bundled with a new Apple Keyboard. These same sources claim that the new iMac will probably be brushed aluminum, and much slimmer than the current iMacs. More rumors claim that the 17″ model will be discontinued. Finally, these rumors claim that the new machine will be released in mid August.

Now, our side of the story.

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