I want a green Apple

Greenpeace guide to greener electronics

Oh, Apple, I am very disappointed in you. You’ve claimed to be eco-friendly, but in this study of 14 major electronics companies, produced by Greenpeace, you ranked #11. You scored a pitiful 2.7 out of 10 points.

From Greenpace: “For a company that claims to lead on production design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria. The company fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provide no timelines for eliminating toxics polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment to phasing out all uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, with the exeption of reporting on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled.”

Here’s the complete list. 10 is a perfect score (no one achieved it):

1. Nokia – 7
2. Dell – 7
3. Hewlett Packard – 5.7
4. Sony Ericsson – 5.3
5. Samsung – 5
6. Sony – 4.7
7. LGE – 4.3
8. Panasonic – 3.3
9. Toshiba – 3
10. Fujitsu-Siemens – 3
11. Apple – 2.7
12. Acer – 2.3
13. Motorola – 1.7
14. Lenovo – 1.3

I expected better from you, Apple. Especially with Al Gore on your board of directors. I’m going to be sending an email to Steve Jobs, telling him how unhappy I am about this. I encourage everyone who reads this to do the same.

Found via TUAW

Too Hot Not To Handle

HBO Podcast: Too Hot Not To Handle

3.5 Stars

Last night we watched Too Hot Not To Handle. It’s a documentary, produced by HBO, on global warming. You can get it for FREE from the HBO Documentary Films Podcast (iTunes Link).

The film starts out a little slow, but overall I think they did a great job with it. It has a lot of good information. I applaud HBO for giving this away for free. It’s definitely something everyone should watch. So, go download it, and then tell all your friends about it too.

Oh, and don’t forget to go see An Inconvenient Truth in theaters. You may be able to see that one for free too.

Beautify WordPress with SpotMilk


One complaint you occasionally hear about WordPress, is the aesthetics of its admin site. I personally don’t think it’s as bad as some people make it out to be, but I do agree that there is some room for improvement.

If you didn’t already know this, there are plugins available that can dramatically change the look of your WordPress admin pages. The most recent one I’ve found is called Spotmilk. It gives the WP admin pages a much more Mac-like feel to them. Although I think SpotMilk does a pretty good job, it too has some room for improvement. But, give it a try and see if you like it. If you don’t, it’s easy to turn off.

If spotMilk doesn’t do it for ya, you may want to look at WP Tiger Administration. It’s another plugin to ‘skin’ the WP admin pages. It has a really nice look, but I personally would occasionally have things not render correctly, so I went back to the default.

Found via Download Squad

Apple recalls 1.8 million laptop batteries

Burnt Powerbook
Photo Credit: nondeadly

If you haven’t heard, Apple is recalling 1.8 million batteries for G4 iBooks and Powerbooks, sold between October 2003 and August 2006, because they pose a fire hazard. These are the same batteries, made by Sony, that were recently seen blowing up Dell laptops.

“Consumers should stop using the recalled batteries immediately and contact Apple to arrange for a replacement battery, free of charge,” Apple said. “After removing the recalled battery from their iBook or PowerBook, consumers should plug in the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives.”

Affected customers can contact Apple at (800) 275-2273 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CT Monday through Sunday or log on to Apple’s Web site to check the battery’s serial number and request a replacement battery.

Unfortunately, my iBook battery falls within the range of recalled units. I guess I won’t be taking my laptop anywhere for a while.

You can get the whole scoop over at AppleInsider.

UPDATE: I just tried to apply for the replacement online, and even though my battery does fall within the affected range, the online form says it’s not a valid number. I called Apple about it. They told me that the online form is wrong. They are experiencing technical difficulties with the servers (probably too much traffic). They asked me to try again later… they weren’t able to do it over the phone. If you’re having trouble with the form, don’t bother calling Apple just yet… try the form again later tonight or tomorrow.

UPDATE #2 (8.25.06 morning): The online form still doesn’t recognize my serial number, and now I can’t even get through to Apple on the phone. If I get connected at all, I get disconnected before speaking to anyone. This is getting very annoying. I want to start this process ASAP, because the Apple support page says it may take 6-8 weeks to get the replacement. Get it together, Apple!

UPDATE #3 (8.25.06 evening): So, the form is still saying my battery doesn’t qualify, even though it falls within the number range listed. I was finally able to get a hold of Apple, and I’m now being told that the number range is a rough guide to let people know that they should check with Apple, but not all numbers within the range are being recalled. They are saying my specific battery number is fine. While this explanation makes sense, I am extremely suspicious. I’ve read several reports of people having the same trouble I’m having with the form, but eventually the form accepts their battery number. I’m not quite ready to accept Apple’s explanation yet. It looks like I’ll be following up on this on Monday :(

UPDATE #4 (8.26.06 evening): This should be my last update on this subject. It appears as though I was told the truth on my last call to Apple… Not all serial numbers in the range are being recalled. Apple has finally updated the serial number range on the site from “6C519 – 6C552” to “6C519 – 6C552 ending with S9WA, S9WC or S9WD”. Mine ends S9ZD, so it looks like I’m OK. They also added some ending digits to the 15″ Powerbook range. Why, oh why didn’t Apple list it this way from the beginning. It would have avoided a lot of confusion and headaches.

New Mac Mini coming after Labor Day?

Check out this post over at FreeMacBlog.com. Brian, the blog author, describes what happened to him recently when he tried to place a large order of Mac Minis. He was told…

“…they can’t take big orders, but after Labor Day they’d be able to ship plenty of the new model…”

hmmmm… new model?

Desktopia 1.0


Desktopia 1.0 was released yesterday. It allows you to change your Mac Desktop at user-specified times of day. It comes with a great set of landscape pictures that range from night to day, so your desktop can simulate the passing of time. You’re not limited to the image set that comes with Desktopia, you can use your own images as well.

Desktopia was written by Pierre Chatel. You may know him from his other awesome app, Sidenote, which is a great tool for organizing your random notes.

Both Sidenote and Desktopia are free, but donations are welcome.

The only issue I’ve come across so far with Desktopia, is it doesn’t support having more than one monitor hooked to your Mac. Only the main monitor will change. Hopefully this will be addresses in a future update.

Found via Cool OSX Apps

Pluto got the boot

The 8 planets of our solar system

Although it’s still hotly debated, Astronomers today decided that Pluto is no longer a planet. Our solar system now officially has only 8 planets.

We’re not really giving Pluto the boot, but the other planets are snickering behind his back.

Read the rest of the story on MSNBC.

Found via Timmy’s Blog: Esc

LiquidCD: Free alternative to Toast


If you need a little more CD/DVD burning power than what comes built into Mac OS X, but you aren’t ready to drop the cash for a pro-level tool like Toast Titanium, then LiquidCD may be a good option.

LiquidCD combines the disc burning capabilities of the Finder, Disk Utility, iTunes, and iPhoto. Plus, it gives you additional tools like burning a DVD from a Video_TS folder, making a ‘picture CD’ from your photos, and burning PC-only discs (for that rare occasion you may need that). Best of all… it’s free (donations welcome)!

iLingo EuroPack for $12.95 (US)

iLingo at Maczot

iLingo is a language pronunciation tool for your iPod. The EuroPack (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian) normally costs $49.95 US, but for the next 7.5 hours (from the time of this writing), you can pick it up for just $12.95 US, over at MacZot.

I’ve never tried iLingo, so I can’t say how good it is, but Cnet gave it 7 out of 10. For $12.95, it’s probably worth the risk. I bought a copy but I haven’t received my download link from Maczot yet.

UPDATE: I received my iLingo installer. I’ve only played with it a little, but so far it seems to work as advertised. However, there is one thing that is a pretty big disappointment. iLingo doesn’t play nice with other notes. In fact, you can’t have any other notes if you want to use iLingo. When you install it, it moves all of your previous notes to a new folder, and moving them back doesn’t do any good. You have to uninstall iLingo (delete it’s notes) if you want to have other notes. That sucks for me, because I use Life2Go, to keep other info on my iPod.