Mega Apple Linkage on Ars Technica for Lion and Other New Products

Go here for Ars Technica’s “Week in Apple: It’s a Lion-pocalypse” link party. In that post, Jacqui Cheng links to their coverage of Apple’s new software and hardware releases from this past week, including: Mac mini, MacBook Air, Cinema Display, and Mac OS X Lion. As usual, Ars Technica provides insightful coverage of computer technology related things, and their coverage of Apple’s latest offerings is no different. In particular, you should check out their review of Mac OS X Lion here. I am still learning and observing the changes in Lion, and I hope to post my own thoughts on the new OS soon.

Ars Technica Story on Publishers Suing Georgia State University over Course e-reserves

Ars Technica is featuring a story today about a pending lawsuit against Georgia State University by publishers over the university’s use of course e-reserves. In academia, students might have some books to buy for each course, but professors might also give students some readings via handouts (okay by fair use doctrine). With the advent of personal computers and the Internet, universities have increasingly shifted toward a model of providing hosting for professors’ course reading handouts. So, instead of having the university or the professor pay for handouts, each student may download the readings to his or her computer and then them on-screen or print them out to read. Due to some professors giving students more and more materials to read rather than purchase or pay a licensing fee for a course packet (essentially an anthology of readings put together by the professor), some publishers have decided to sue one university in particular, Georgia State University, for their extensive e-reserves for students. The judge presiding over the case has already dismissed certain claims, but the publishers made an amended claim of contributory copyright infringement, which has yet to be resolved. This case could maintain the status quo or restrict options that professors have to put materials in the hands of students who otherwise might not or cannot purchase the readings that they need. Read the full coverage here:

Campus copyright: publishers sue over university “e-reserves”.

Adobe Flash Will Really Deplete Your Battery

After reading this post on Wired which reposts a review of the new MacBook Air from Ars Technica, I am going to uninstall Adobe Flash from my MacBook. As has been widely reported, Apple decided to not include Flash with the latest MacBook Air. The reason given was that it was better for consumers to download the most up-to-date version of Flash on their own rather than shipping busted out-of-date software from Adobe. Apple and Steve Jobs are waging a war against Adobe’s interactive bloatware, and this recent move with the updated MacBook Air seemed to be another salvo. However, it now seems that Apple was concerned about the loss of battery life as a result of having Flash installed. According to the tests by Ars:

Having Flash installed can cut battery runtime considerably—as much as 33 percent in our testing. With a handful of websites loaded in Safari, Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary, and the best time I recorded with Flash installed was just 4 hours. After deleting Flash, however, the MacBook Air ran for 6:02—with the exact same set of websites reloaded in Safari, and with static ads replacing the CPU-sucking Flash versions.

I would like to see if I get some lost battery time back without Adobe Flash’s rapacious need for CPU cycles. Unfortunately, I believe that many sites that I use rely on Flash for interface elements, so I don’t know if I will be able to keep Flash off of my MacBook. Flash could become the zombie app that you just can’t keep down as it hungrily seeks electrons.