Okay, so it's NAB week, and since Apple's all about the electronic media and broadcasting market, we know we're supposed to be all tingly about any new NAB-launched Apple products right now-- products like Motion, which faithful viewer Elliot Jordan brought to our attention a couple of days ago. Slotting into Apple's Pro Digital Production line-up alongside Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro, Shake, and Logic, Motion promises "motion graphics design" with "real-time previews, procedural behavior animation and Final Cut Pro HD integration." All that for just $299 when the product ships this summer. Sounds like a hoot and a half, right?
Except that we're far too excited about the new AirPort Base Station to care much.
It's a Big Picture sort of thing. Sure, Motion will let video people put together those nifty swirling graphics with the fancy animated titles that get prepended to any news updates on the ongoing story of the week ("Crisis in the Gulf," "Baby Down the Well," "Janet's NippleGate Day 4," etc.), but the new Base Station includes a feature that's just way too cool for the complete and utter non-intro that Apple's seen fit to give it. No Stevenote, no press release, no nothing; just a third part number and the ability to pull power over Ethernet, baby! Yes, according to faithful viewer Frozen Tundra, you can actually plug one of these suckers right into a powered Ethernet switch (specifically, one that can power an IEEE 802.3af PD, Class 0 device-- but you knew that, right?) and it'll run just fine without being plugged into a wall socket. Oh, sure, you can't use the USB port if you run it that way, but that's a small price to pay for the sheer coolness of Power over Ethernet.
Now, we know you probably think we're being facetious-- to be honest, even we can't tell anymore-- but honestly, we're pretty sure that for some reason we find this very, very neat. And if Power over Ethernet still doesn't sound like much to you, well, first check your pulse to make sure you're still alive, and then keep checking it to make sure you haven't keeled over dead from sheer excitement after hearing that the new Base Station also conforms to UL 2043! Woooooo-hoo! Yeah! And if you're wondering what that is, a MacCentral article confirms that it's a fire rating that allows the new Base Station to be installed in "'air-handling spaces,' such as the area above a suspended ceiling in a classroom or office." Apparently if you've already got a few older Base Stations tucked away up there, you're breaking some heinous kind of law, but now you can put it all right for just $249 a pop, or $229 to education buyers, who also qualify for a $999 five-pack.
So again, not to dis Motion or anything, because it really does look pretty nifty, but c'mon-- Power over Ethernet for an AirPort Base Station you can legally stick in a ceiling? What could possibly compete with that?