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Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

WWDC extension; Radeon HD 3870; MacBook Air EVDO hack

Apple has extended the early registration discount period for its upcoming developers conference. Meanwhile, ATI is reported to be prepping the release of its Radeon HD 3870 for all-generation Mac Pros. And one MacBook Air owner has installed a stripped-down Verizon USB727 Aircard for dongle-less EVDO connectivity.

WWDC early registration extended

In traditional fashion, Apple on Tuesday extended the early registration deadline for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) set to take place during the second week of June.

Attendees who register before May 9th can still save up to $300, the company said. A standard E-Ticket to the week-long conference fetches $1295.00, while an E-Ticket 5 Pack is priced at $5180.00, which is the equivalent to getting the 5th ticket free.

Individuals seeking to enroll as Apple Developer Connection (ADC) members for the first time are also offered package deals that include entry to WWDC and a one-year enrollment as either a Select ADC ($1694.00) member or a Premier ADC (3,499.00) member.

Select ADC members get access to the ADC Software Seeding Program, Mac OS X and Xcode Tools, 2 Technical Support Incidents, and 1 ADC Hardware Discount. Premier members get access to the ADC Software Seeding Program, Mac OS X and Xcode Tools, 8 Technical Support Incidents, and 10 ADC Hardware Discounts.

Radeon HD 3870 for Mac Pro

Both Xlr8YourMac and Bare Feats are reporting that ATI's Radeon HD 3870 graphics card will be available sometime next month for both current and legacy Mac Pros.

The card is said to include 512MB of DDR4 video memory, support for dual-booting into Windows, and also support CrossFire mode when running under Windows.

Though performance and pricing have yet to be determined, both are expected to fall in line with that of Nvidia's recently released $279 GeForce 8800 GT upgrade card for first-generation Mac Pro systems.

The Radeon HD 3870 is expected to be sold as a standalone retail product and won't necessarily be made available as a build-to-order option through Apple's online store.

MacBook Air EVDO hack

MacNN reports on a courageous move by MacBook Air owner Jordan Bunnell, who recently disassembled his ultra-thin notebook in order to install a stripped-down Verizon USB727 Aircard for dongle-less EVDO connectivity.

Bunnell replaced the internal Airport card, located underneath the left-hand palm rest area, with the components inside the 727. To complete the operation, he also had to file away three screw mounts for the card to fit, as well as removing the USB connector to solder leads to the computer's USB port.

Bunnell also took the antenna connector port from a defective Airport card in order to boost signal strength, since replacing the bottom case would trap the wireless signal.

Apple Store Boston

"I consistently get about 1,400-1,700Kbps vs. 1,800-2,000 when it was external," Bunnell said following of the finalized modification. "The hardest hit was the upload, I would get around 500Kbps, now I'm closer to 380Kbps."

AppleInsider notes that users interested in this modification should be advised that opening up a non-consumer serviceable computer will void its warranty.