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Apple sexes up Time Capsule

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Apple has updated its Time Capsule and Airport Extreme Router products with an improved antenna leading to a 60 per cent performance boost with Snow Leopard. No news about improved capacitors though.

The improvements surfaced on the US Apple Store website on October 20; there has been no press release. The Airport Extreme now features "a technology called multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) to transmit multiple data streams simultaneously".

The relevant Apple website section says: "It uses the latest 802.11n wireless technology, so you can enjoy up to five times the Wi-Fi performance and up to twice the range of 802.11g wireless networks. And improvements in antenna design give you up to 50 per cent better performance and up to 25 per cent better range than with the previous-generation AirPort Extreme Base Station."

Time Capsule has an Airport Extreme router packaged inside it, and has backup data sent to it from wireless-connected Macs.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Time Capsules are dropping dead as if scheduled to do so after working for 17 months and a few days. Four hundred and nine dead ones were listed on a The Apple Time Capsule Memorial Register web site. In four days the number has jumped by a 100 to 509.

The failures have been ascribed to degraded capacitors in the Time Capsule's internal power supply, weakened by prolonged exposure to high temperatures in the unvented Time Capsule box.

There is no news from Apple about whether the upgraded Time Capsules have beefed up capacitors or run cooler. In fact Cupertino is taking the three wise monkeys tack and saying nothing at all about it. ®

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