Another year, another Apple keynote. Others have talked about Safari. Keynote and FCE are payware, so no-one's really seen them yet. iLife's not out for two weeks. You can't judge a laptop until you see it in the flesh. X11 wasn't even on Steve's radar, but it's a decent enough implementation- enough to get it installed on my laptop, anyway.
No, the announcement I'm particularly pleased about is the new Airport base stations (except for the stupid name: didn't Apple see that Extreme is one of the banned words from 2002? )
Why? Firstly, shipping 802.11g product; unlike 802.11a, backwardly compatible with the current 802.11b; like a, five times faster. (It was interesting watching Steve explain this alphabet soup.) This already seems to have prodded other manufacturers to release 802.11g kit. There was some grousing on some Macintosh mailing lists about the lack of replacement cards for existing Macs, but apparently the bandwidth of the card's interface to the bus is barely 11Mbps anyway, and anyway, it's backward compatible, right?
There's finally wireless bridging support (so you can have a repeater in your bedroom without having to put wire there, for example). In fact, boingboing notes it can bridge and share at the same time. They've made it so you can optionally buy one without the modem, which is a useless bit of kit for broadband people, and there's external aerial support too (although annoyingly you need the modem edition for that).
Apple have also finally reduced the price. 240 quid for a wireless base station was looking extortionate compared to the many base statons, often with built in ethernet switches, for 100 quid. Sure, the cheap ones had awful web-based admin interfaces, but who wants to double the price just so you get a nicer interface? The non-modem base station is now £150, and that's much more reasonable.
The really strange inclusion would seem to be a USB port for printer sharing. However, that would be really useful for our house, which has a cheap printer but not the time to set it up on any of the shared machines that have USB. Gareth pointed out another possibility; using the USB port to offer connection via the ubiquitous - at least in the UK - Alcatel USB ADSL modem. Admittedly, it would require quite a firmware upgrade, but we know that can happen. So here's hoping.
Anyway, even without that, it's a great step forward.