06:37 AM

Newswatch 1.15.08: Macworld: skinny laptop, iTunes movie rentals

Apple gets superskinny with MacBook air

[Macworld] At the risk of sounding obvious, the MacBook Air is incredibly light and tiny. Its looks owe a lot to the MacBook Pro and previous silver Mac laptop models, but its curved edges and tapered shape are unlike anything we’ve seen on a Mac laptop in a long time, if ever. Someone sitting next to me just likened it to a really big iPod nano, and that’s not far off.

High-res pics of the air

[AppleInsider] Height is 0.16-0.76 inch (0.4-1.94 cm). The 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM is soldered to the motherboard. So no memory upgrades available. The multi-touch trackpad works with ease and better than you would expect, at least in the applications Apple is using for demos. The battery is a integrated, non-replacable 37-watt-hour lithium-polymer.

iTunes Movie Rentals includes all the majors

[AppleInsider] Apple said it plans to offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

Does the EU hate successful American companies?

[NYT] Setting ground rules for competition is one thing, but seeking to determine outcomes is another. The next clue about Europe’s antitrust attitudes will be its decision on Google’s planned purchase of DoubleClick, a takeover that has already received an approving nod in Washington. It is indeed a very separate matter from the Microsoft case, but the outcome will be telling.

FCC starts Comcast investigation

[Reuters] We believe our practices are in accordance with the FCC's policy statement on the Internet where the Commission clearly recognized that reasonable network management is necessary for the good of all customers," Comcast said in a statement.

214 bidders for wireless spectrum auction

[InfoWeek] The major qualified bidders include familiar American business names like Google, under the name Google Airwaves, AT&T Mobility Spectrum, Verizon Wireless, Alltel, Chevron, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Cox Wireless, and Qualcomm.

iPhone at the center of the mobile web

[TopTechNews] Data from Google that iPhone represented the most mobile traffic on Christmas establishes "without question that the iPhone is the pre-eminent mobile device," Greg Sterling, principal analyst with Sterling Market Research, said. Case in point: In conjunction with Macworld, Google released a revamped version of its Grand Prix applications for iPhone, making the apps faster and easier to use.