CES 2008 - Zune Booth#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Ah yes the Zunes were out in a big portion of the Microsoft booth since their launch of pretty new colors and 4GB/8GB flash-based players and larger Zune 80GB model were launched back in November. Zune was back on the scene at CES again sporting their new versions as well as their customized Zunes via Zune Originals. Complete with their graphical lithographs on the wall in gallery lighting with the corresponding Zunes in product light boxes.

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They were more impressive in person than online and I wish more people had some way of experiencing them. I really like how they framed each of the prints and they would be a nice addition to any home.

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See the detail of the engraving gets one stoked and makes people wonder why they don't offer some of their best selling designs at retail outlets as well. I guess those in the know can get the exclusive designs and personalization, hoping for viral growth.

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They also had a ton of their accessories on display as well.

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Like the updated speaker dock from Altec Lansing the inMotion iM414, which retails for $99 and updated clock radio from iHome.

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It was hard to get a chance to look at the 80GB models(all retail stores I have been to since the release in November have not had them on display to "play" with as they did with the 30GB Zunes-granted those were encased in chunk of plastic that added to its bulk) they were crowded throughout the show. We finally got to get up close to them as soon as the show floor doors opened on Wednesday with only about a 5 minute wait. This was our first time using the touch interface and I was impressed. I will probably order one via Zune Originals and probably not one of the Valentine's Day ones however the red 80GB does look pretty nice.

01/30/2008 01:37:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Slingbox / Sling Media#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At CES this year Sling Media made an announcement that they were going to ship the SlingCatcher that was announced at last year's CES 2007. The SlingCatcher is a standalone device that receives video content for display on a television in your house. Video can be received in a variety of ways: The SlingPlayer for TV feature allows the SlingCatcher to display local or remote Slingbox content on a television so it kind of works like an extender and doesn't need a dedicated PC to watch it on your television.

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As you can see from the pictures it is a pretty small device akin to the first Slingbox, but with more connection options and video out as opposed to video in. Yes you are looking at Digital audio, typical 3 component connections, composite and (what is that?) a true HDMI connection on the back along with 2 USB ports and Ethernet.

The SlingSync feature allows a variety of video file formats including popular HD content to be synchronized from the PC to a USB storage device (hard drive or thumb drive) attached to the SlingCatcher for television playback. SlingProjector streams any video content displayed on a PC to a television, such as content from popular online video sites lke YouTube, Revver, Blip.TV and Soapbox. The SlingCatcher also comes with an IR remote for pasting your self to your couch and indulging in a true television experience from the comfort of your backside. The folks at Sling told us SlingCatcher will be available in Q2 for $249.99. In Q2 the will also be introducing for $49.99 the SlingLink Wireless which is an optional 802.11g USB adapter designed for use with the SlingCatcher. They had demonstrated the SlingCatcher publicly for the first time at their booth in the Sands Convention Center.

slingplayer 2

Brian Jacquet told me they will also be having a new version of SlingPlayer 2.0 for PC which will also include the  "Clip+Sling" functionality, allowing Slingbox customers to "grab" clips of their favorite television moments and instantly share them online. Additionally, SlingPlayer 2.0 also adds a new feature that many users have requested(however I have a feeling Dave Zatz had a lot of influence on this!) an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) that displays a customer's television channel lineup and programming based on zipcode and provider information. And something that was desired from the beginning of the creation of SlingPlayer is addition of a 60-minute video buffer that allows local
pause, rewind, and fast forward transport controls so if you are just using the built-in tuner you will now have PVR functionality on your PC. SlingPlayer 2.0 will be available in Q1 (so check your SlingPlayer for updates) at no cost to Slingbox owners. Yes free!!

Dave Zatz also gave a demonstration of SlingPlayer 2.0 to the folks at Sling Community the video is definitely worth checking out here.

slingplayer modem

Sling also announced they will be working with OEMs to create a SlingModem, which provides a cable customer with both a broadband connection as well as the place-shifting functionality made famous by the Slingbox all in one simple to install package with no router configuring needed. The above picture is not a final product, but a mockup still it looks pretty nice!

EchoStar and Sling Media will also sell for $39.99, a digital-to-analog converter allows analog TVs to receive digital over-the-air broadcasts and comes with an onscreen setup wizard for easy installation called the TR-40 which will operate strictly over-the-air,  Other features include up to a seven-day electronic programming guide (EPG), program search, parental locks and VCR auto-tune timers. The box can also be purchased via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program.  The program provides U.S. households with up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes, which includes the TR-40. I have some old CRT televisions and may retrofit them with one of these when they become available.

SlingPlayer_for_BlackBerry-Pearl

Other big news that hit the wire fairly quickly was support for RIM Blackberry in SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry later this year, which was demonstrated at CES on a BlackBerry Pearl™ 8120 via WiFi and Cellular connectivity.

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For all those people with new HD televisions they announced the next generation Slingbox PRO-HD, that is capable of streaming HD content from a home television source, including over the air HD digital signals, HDTV cable or satellite receivers, or HD DVR’s, to a laptop or desktop computer in and around the house. Geared to be paired with Sling Media’s SlingCatcher, the Slingbox PRO-HD will transmit the HD signal to another TV in the house. Also for customers who have a high speed broadband connection with upload speeds of 1.5 – 2 Mbps or higher can even stream their content in HD outside the home to the office, to a hotel room or even to a remote TV when using SlingCatcher. What had me stoked was that the Slingbox PRO-HD supports some pretty impressive and new hardware like a ATSC/QAM HDTV Tuner, S-video, composite video, component video and either analog or multi-channel connection, and 5.1 surround digital audio. The Slingbox PRO-HD will be available for purchase in Q3 2008 for a suggested retail price of $399.99.

What I was told at the booth was that the connector on the back is like the previous high-end model the Slingbox PRO with the HD connector being provided by an HDMI connector, but really isn't due to the added costs. Rather it supports a convertor cable to add the ability via the HD Connect Cable from the previous PRO model. Who knows when it finally comes out I am hoping it supports true HDMI like the SlingCatcher for one cable connectivity. Each year at CES SlingMedia seems to innovate and not disappoint, I can't wait...

01/30/2008 01:36:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Gmail and Google/a IMAP accounts work now with WM6#
Post By Johan van Mierlo
Since Google launched IMAP for Gmail and mail for Google for your own Domain there where many problems with the WM6 devices where the body of most of the e-mails were blank.


But with some changes on the Google servers evrything should work now.


01/28/2008 11:29:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

MSDN: "How Do I" Videos for Mobile Device Developers#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

I must admit that on my list of "Mobile Device Resources", the "How Do I" videos section of MSDN has always been a bit of a ways down. Imagine my surprise when recently visiting this site and discovering that the list of videos is now at 43!

HowDoI

With the availability of these videos across multiple formats and an RSS feed, this resource has now become a "top-of-the-list" recommendation for both new and experienced developers. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this site today!

01/27/2008 11:45:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

USER GROUP MEETING: Wednesday, February 20th#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User and Developer Group will be held on Wednesday, February 20th starting at 6:30 PM. As usual, the meeting will be held at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor).

Map image

The featured presentation this month will focus on .NET Compact Framework development in "What's New For Windows Mobile Developers with Visual Studio 2008". I will cover .NET Compact Framework 3.5 enhancements and changes within the Visual Studio IDE.

As usual, we have lots of great giveaways to raffle to attendees!

See you there!

01/26/2008 11:17:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sharper Image to offer Unlocked Phones with WM6#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

I just opened my e-mail box this morning and a unlocked phone from Sharper Image is looking at me. Of course I noticed the Windows Mobile 6 screen on it, so I looked a bit more at this one.

Accordding to the site this phoen has indeed Windows Mobile 6 on it, but also integrated GPS. The phone sells for $499.95 and is available at Sharper Image.

This PocketPC Executive Pack includes a Bluetooth® mini headset and features:

  • 240 x 320 TFT 2.8-inch touch-screen LCD with 65K colors
  • 2MP camera with Flash
  • MP3
  • Windows Media Player with MPEG 4 video
  • Wireless Bluetooth® compatibility
  • Tri Band
  • Polyphonic ringtones
  • Microsoft® Office Mobile, Direct Push and Windows Mobile 6 Pro
  • Voice memo
  • Speakerphone
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • Text messaging (SMS/MMS)
  • Games
  • Calculator
  • Alarm clock
  • USB 1.1
  • PDF viewer
  • Smart dialing
  • GPRS
  • WAP
  • JAVA
  • Enjoy up to 7 hours talk, 20 hours of music/video, 240 hours standby on a single USB charge
  • On-board 128MB memory with Micro SD slot, expandable to 2G
  • Speed codec HR/FR/EFR/AMR


Measures 4.3" x 2.3" x 0.6"; weighs 4.3 oz. One-year warranty. A Sharper Image exclusive.

*For subscribers to T-Mobile, AT&T/Cingular and other service providers that use a removable SIM card with all your phone data. Your SIM card will work perfectly in any Sharper Image® "Unlocked" Phone.

 

01/21/2008 09:13:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Google in the race for the 700 MHZ auction !#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

According to an article from the Reuters press office Google has entered the race to become a service provider on the mobile market.

Communications regulators have cleared Google to bid in an upcoming auction of coveted wireless airwaves, according to auction documents released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday.

Google was among a list of potential bidders released by the FCC to require up-front payment and be cleared to take part in the high-stakes 700MHz wireless auction.

The auction is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24 and expected to raise at least $10 billion for the U.S. government from airwaves being returned by television broadcasters as they move to digital from analog signals in early 2009.

The list of qualified bidders also included U.S. wireless providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, as well as ventures involving EchoStar, Cablevision, Qualcomm and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The 700MHz signals are valuable because they can go long distances and penetrate thick walls.

The spectrum is to be auctioned off in several different blocks, ranging from smaller regional blocks to large, nationwide ones.

Up-front payments for the spectrum licenses can range from several thousand dollars to more than $100 million, depending on the size of the license a company is seeking.

The auction is seen as a last opportunity for a new player to enter the wireless market. Google and other Silicon Valley leaders see the wireless spectrum as a way to create more open competition for mobile services and devices than those available on existing networks.

01/17/2008 21:50:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 -Fuel Efficiency and Emission Reduction#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Mtech Inc. (www.moletech.us), an innovator of automotive and transportation fuel savers, introduced its innovative Moletech Fuel Saver at the CES.  The technology was first launched in Australia and now makes its introduction here in the US.  A universal system, the Moletech Fuel Saver can deliver fuel savings and emission reduction to all fossil fueled engines.

The Moletech Fuel Saver is the end result of 10 years of research and development,  over 25 million miles and three years of exhaustive testing on 300 vehicles in the U.S., Taiwan and China.  Moletech Fuel Saver’s molecule reaction technology works together with a vehicle’s fuel, cooling and air filter systems to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions.

 

 

In July 2007, the California Environment Engineering (CEE) Center for Environmental Research tested the Moletech Fuel Saver using Federal Test Procedures (FTP). 

 

Results from the CEE concluded, “Analysis indicated a reduction in the tailpipe emissions and an increasing improvement in fuel economy using the Moletech Fuel Saver device.  This included a significant reduction in Total Hydrocarbons (THC) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).  The results of the limited but decisive test series is considered noteworthy and verifies with a high level of confidence the viability of the technology, while indicating that more dramatic improvement could be expected and achieved with time.  The device, as tested, provided results that are more dramatic than similar technologies previously evaluated.”

 

Mtech’s molecular technology incorporates Molecule Reaction Technology to reduce fuel usage and decrease harmful emissions.   Key features of the Moletech Fuel Saver include:

·         Saves up to 20% on gasoline

·         Saves up to 10% on diesel

·         Saves up to 15% on LPG

·         Improves horsepower

·         Reduces harmful exhaust pollutants

·         Lowers greenhouse gases

·         Removes the engine’s carbon build up

·         Easily fitted at Authorized Installers

·         Lasts for more than 10 years

 

Easily installed in any vehicle, the Moletech Fuel Saver is a simple solution for fuel saving and emission reduction.  The Fuel Savers are small enough to fit in a pocket, yet deliver certified results. 

 

The Moletech Fuel Saver is a universal product that can be easily installed in any fossil-fueled vehicle including automobiles, motorcycles, diesel engines, trucks, fleet vehicles, agricultural vehicles, and boats.  The Fuel Saver is available in eight different models for all vehicles from scooter to semi vehicles.  The model is determined by engine size and fuel-type including the following:

  • Model #M1027 – gasoline engines under 3 liters
  • Model #M1058 – gasoline engines between 3-6 liters
  • Model #M1010 – gasoline engines between 100cc-1100cc
  • Model #M1003 – gasoline engines up to 100cc
  • Model #M1034 – diesel engines under 6 liters
  • Model#M1041 – diesel engines over 6 liters
  • Model #M1089 – LGP engines all models
  • Model #M1096 – LGP and gas (dual fuel) engine all models

 

When the Moletech Fuel saver was professionally installed in the testing vehicles, the increase of the vehicle’s horsepower and reduction of carbon build-up, fuel consumption, and reduction of toxic and greenhouse exhaust emissions was notable and impressive. 

With today’s gas prices and new laws, the Moletech Fuel Saver is a cost-effective and simple solution for anyone environmentally minded or trying to save money.

 

Now let see if the car companies are going to snatch this up if it s working as they have tested. It would be a small price to pay for the huge environmental benefit.

 

Moletech Fuel Saver will be available nationwide in 2008 at select dealers and stores.  For additional information on this revolutionary product, visit www.moletech.us.

Misc | News | Internet
01/17/2008 21:21:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Moxi#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK we have seen MOXI at CES several time and we are still waiting for this product to come to fruition. We were promised by Digeo that we would see it this year in many different forms not only as a set top box, but as a software version similar to the ReplayTV software are offered with some Hauppauge cards, and as an extender. A beta was available back in December 2007 for a few of their products, but I never heard back from them. Hopefully these products aren't canceled too.

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The MoxiMulti-Room HD looks like your standard Media Center set top box with a slot DVD player and a clock on it and it uses a cable card as its tuner.

A stand alone smaller set top box (the small silver box in the picture in the upper left) called the MoxiMate is a bit smaller and provides the same functionality of extending your media to another television over standard video Coax, no network required.

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The MoxiMulti Home Cinema is the HD DVR recording device and server of the media to the extender units. It also supports cable card and has a nicer display and more of a stereo component look to it. It's storage can also be expanded via an external hard drive up to 1TB in size.

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We have been waiting for the nice Moxi UI for a while we really love the HD icons for HD channels and content as well as channel logos for easy recognition of channels and networks. It also has games, stocks, weather, and sports scores accessible as well.

We just hope Digeo brings these to market. They made an announcement right after CES as to their current state of affairs here. Here is a brief excerpt and summary:

As a result of its updated product development direction, Digeo will not release some retail DMR products it had previously announced, including the delayed Moxi Multi-Room HD DMR and the Moxi Home Cinema Edition DMR. Instead, Digeo will focus on its next-generation consumer DMR, which Digeo has been developing at the same time as the cancelled projects. Details about Digeo’s new retail product will be announced later in the year.

We will just have to wait and see...

01/16/2008 09:45:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - BlueAnt meets Furbie#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

BlueAnt launched during the CES a couple of new products. One very interesting one is after the succes of the Z9 the new V1. The V1 bluetooth headset is using a new technology from Sensory called the BlueCenie Voice Interface.

 

 

 

The BlueAnt V1 Voice Controlled Headset allows users to easily control most functions of their headset using the revolutionary ‘BlueGenie™ Voice Interface*’ from Sensory, Inc.Talk to it – and it will talk to you. Ask it for assistance –and it will assist you in getting the right command. This headset eliminates the combinations of button pushes, button holds and flashing lights synonymous with advanced Bluetooth devices. One activation button provides you with total control of the V1’s entire function menu system via an easy to use voice interface.

The V1 also incorporates dual microphones allowing for BlueAnt’s patented Voice Isolation Technology™’, a revolutionary proprietary Digital Signal Processor (DSP) software solution.Voice Isolation Technology™ uses advanced techniques to separate theuser’s voice signal from all other sounds,enhancing and isolating all frequencies that affect voices coming into and out of the headset resulting in outstanding environmental noise reduction, echo cancellation and wind noise protection.Fitting into BlueAnt’s premium headset range, the V1 is small and lightweight and clips neatly onto a tie, shirt or jacket when not in use.


 

 Another great new product the have is the Supertooth 3 which is the follow up on the Supertooth light. I wasn't able to get the specifics yet. But don't worry they will come.


 

For motorcyclist they als have a new Blue Ant Interphone wireless headset. And as last they have demonstrated the M1 powerfull Bluetooth speakers.


These BlueAnt M1 gives hardened audiophiles the quality sound they have
been waiting for. Packing a mammoth 28 watts RMS, the BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Stereo Speaker delivers phenomenal performance in a small stylish form factor. Its’ rich sound provides amazing body and balance to both low end bass heavy music and the subtle tones of an acoustic guitar. It displays the same great naturalness to soft intimate voices as in-your-face vocal
attacks. Today’s music lovers demand quality products and the BlueAnt M1 is engineered to enhance the lower midrange while maintaining crisp and clear high frequencies. Blueant have added an inbuilt powerful subwoofer that utilizes antidistortion circuitry, all of which results in highly detailed reproduction of any music type. Compatible with all A2DP enabled devices, cell phones, PDA’s, PC’s or Macs, the M1 is an easy to carry, take
anywhere device. Being wireless, portable and rechargeable the M1 can be used in the car, on the beach, and even as your homes main stereo system. Additionally you can plug in any MP3 player or iPod and get wired if you want.


 

For more information and all the press releases you can go to :http://www.blueantwireless.com/resources/media2.htm

01/14/2008 16:29:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - BLUETOUCHmusic – we hold the car door open for any phone#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

At one of the press events during the CES. Pieker Acustic was showing of their Bluetouch at the Show Stoppers Event. This carkit has so many options with an easy to use interface. It requires an installation, but onces installed it will be so multifunctional and easy upgradable.

 

With BLUETOUCHmusic, the car door is open for any phone and MP3 player. The multimedia system from PEIKER acustic and ALAC supports all of the cult favorite cell phone’s functions. From telephony to music – all of the features can be operated conveniently and confidently via touch screen and voice.
 
Universality and ongoing optimization are the terms that best describe BLUETOUCHmusic. And rightly so: Free software updates published regularly on the
homepage ensure that this development from PEIKER acustic and ALAC is always up to date. Its USB connection makes it all possible, enabling not only compatibility with the latest mobile phones, but also the integration of a whole spectrum of new functions. So it comes as no surprise that BLUETOUCHmusic is one of the first multimedia systems to fully support the Windows Mobile 6 devices and others. Users can talk on the telephone conveniently via Bluetooth, and thanks to the new software, rapid telephone book downloads via SyncML are now also possible. Another new feature is the telephone book search function. Any entry in the entire address book of the mobile phone that is hooked up can be found quickly. Depending on the mobile phone, a pop-up screen also indicates when a new SMS message has been received. Seamless communication is the guiding principle.
 
And yet the factor for which BLUETOUCHmusic is most popular is its music function: Users can play their favorite songs in MP3 format directly from USB sticks or SD cards. Those who prefer their music the old-fashioned way can connect their music sources using a 3.5-millimeter stereo jack. And the Bluetooth A2DP profile (if it is supported by the mobile phone) makes it possible to transmit songs directly and wirelessly to the car’s own stereo system.
 
BLUETOUCHmusic makes pulses quicken, particularly among fans of the Apple iPod. All of the current models, including the new iPhone, fit the specially developed interface. Once the device is connected, the user can use the touch screen or voice commands to browse titles, artists, albums, and playlists. The iPod or iPhone also charges at the same time. With features like this, you can feel right at home even in your car.
 
This is a multimedia car kit that supports almost any possible inputs.

 

For more information you can go to MyBluetouch.com

01/13/2008 21:41:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Aliph Jawbone#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Aliph was at CES this year in many places, first at the Pepcom Digital Experience Event and as a host of the Concierge Tent at CES. Aliph offered free Jawbones to CES attendees for those that traded in their current headsets to see the difference and how well their technology worked.

 IMG_0085 CES 2008 Day 0 021 

There was quite a line at the Pepcom event, but we finally made it to the front of the line to hear the difference.

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We paired up our headsets and could finally communicate amongst ourselves amidst the noisy crowd that gathered clambering to get into the event. Granted Jack Cook paired to someone else's phone and finally got it corrected after stepping away from the crowd of people pairing.

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While waiting in line we ran into some friends: Mike Temporale from SmartphoneThoughts, Jack Cook from Experience Mobility and Mobility Site, Judy Lipsett and Jerry Raia from GearDiary, and Matt Miller from Geek.com (Joel Evans couldn't make it due to his expanding family- we missed seeing him this year), ZDNet, and The Mobile Tech Roundup.

Back to Aliph, they didn’t come out with any new headsets for CES, but were there to show off their popular Jawbone noise canceling headset. In a program specially made for CES, Aliph allows current owners of Bluetooth headsets the opportunity to switch out their current headset for a new Jawbone free of charge. This offer is available at the concierge desk at the Las Vegas Convention Center so if you are sick of your old headset and are looking try to see if the Jawbone is truly better than your current one you can stop by and see/hear it for yourself. The headsets that are being turned in will be recycled.

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Inside the Concierge tent WILL.I.AM from The Black Eye Peas chats it up with Virginia Jamieson from Aliph. This was the first day and they accepted alot of headsets for free trade-in they had already emptied the bucket 4 times that day. Needless to say around CES there were alot of Aliph Jawbones being worn. :)

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Also up on stage was Natasha Bedingfield and Pat Monahan of Train entertaining the crowds that gathered for the free beer and some relaxation from the show floor promoting the great work The John Lennon Bus has done over the past year allow children to experience and record music at events all across the country.

More info on the really nice Aliph Jawbones:

Choice of colors:
Available in black, red and silver, Jawbone retails for $119.99 at AT&T, Best Buy
and Apple stores as well as at exclusive boutiques Kirna Zabete in New York and
Colette in Paris and online at www.jawbone.com.

Features/Benefits Overview
You can watch a full demonstration and see Jawbone in action versus real life
noise situations at www.jawbone.com
  • Noise Shield -Jawbone’s proprietary technology eliminates
    background noise, even in the harshest of environments.
  • Voice Activity Sensor - Determines precisely when you’re speaking to
    separate your voice from background noise.
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
    Part of Noise Shield’s continuous optimization of incoming and outgoing audio for clearer
    communication on both ends.
  • 30-foot Bluetooth Range Allows for wireless mobility and independence
    from your handset.
  • Customize Your Fit A choice of 4 earloops and 4 earbuds ensures
    a comfortable fit for all.
  • Ergonomic Binaural Headset Wear the customized headset on your
    preferred ear.
  • 6 Hours Talk Time/120 Hours Standby Time/Extended periods of wireless communication
    allowed between calls.
01/13/2008 17:16:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Live Posting from CES by JKOnTheRun#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Every year at CES we seem to bump into the dynamic duo of James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel our good friends from JKOnTheRun. This year when we were at the Lunch at Pieros event that is organized by Pat Meier Associates (for us it is one of the must attend events at CES) and we got to witness first hand on how they get their posts live in such a quick fashion.

 CES Day 2 125

Here is the post they were putting up on the new Everex gPC mini. James is using his HTC Advantage to take pictures and blog about what they are seeing right on the show floor, bringing people a virtual experience of CES live from the show floor. Kevin is verifying the post is live on his iPhone. When he didn't get coverage over AT&T Wireless Edge network, he switched to his Asus EEE PC with Verizon EvDO on a USB stick. His video of his son reviewing the EEPC was also highlighted in the Asus keynote this year at CES! For more on their gear used at CES check out this video.

01/13/2008 15:06:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - RicaVision VAVE Media Center Sideshow Remote#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

At CES this year we had a meeting (we actual tried several) with the folks at RicaVision, but we never got to meet up with them due to conflicts in both our schedules. We did however get to see the remote, which is a slight change from the one we saw from last year in the Microsoft booth running Sideshow, making us all say "We likey" and giving us a choice between the Harmony One and the first Sideshow enabled remote on the market for a retail price of $349. We were told that the VAVE 100 is the first of 3 remotes, so more is to come.

 

 IMG_0345 IMG_0344

Being a 50 foot IR remote and Bluetooth enabled remote you can control your Media Center PC with real-time album art updates on the remote, great for zone playing. Windows Vista Sideshow also allows for you to view headline news, weather, email , pictures from your computer, as well as play your desired music, get information on current movies in theaters and so much more.

The remote is slated to arrive in February of 2008 and is available for pre-order from their site.

Features

  • 2.4 Inch QVGA LCD Display with 240X320 Resolution
  • Universal Control up to over 20 Devices as well as Windows Vista PC
  • IR Learning Feature with Easy Macro functions
  • MCE Green button supported/with 4 media center buttons
  • Built-in worldwide IR database with over 1500 brand names for easy device set-up
  • IR and Bluetooth with Audio streaming
  • Integrated docking cradle with RC6 receiver, Bluetooth transceiver and power charger
  • Class 1 Bluetooth with up to 50 Meter Operating Radius
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Ion battery
  • Scroll key with push select for Easy User Interface
  • Backlit buttons for easy viewing
  • Volume lock / channel lock
  • International Teletext buttons
01/12/2008 20:38:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Bill Gates Interview by on10#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Bill Gates was interviewed by Nic Fillingham of on10 aka Channel 10, the morning before his last keynote as Chief Architect at Microsoft. The interview takes place in the Windows Press Pavilion which closes its doors except by appointment only. The press and partner tent contains the latest hardware sporting the Windows Vista operating system as well as their Live services. We were privileged as we were last year to visit the tent before the keynote on Sunday.

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Most of the equipment in the tent has been seen before by us at a Microsoft event in NYC, except for the new Media Center Extenders from D-Link, HP, Linksys and Samsung as well as the Moneual Imagine PC Media Center PC that was seen at CEDIA back in September 2007. Well, that and a few other things was what we were talking to the product managers about in the background of the interview. See honey, Eric Hicks and I were really at CES and yes I guess I do talk with my hands alot! :)

To watch the video in its entirety check it out here.

For more on10 CES videos head here:

Touring the Windows Vista Pavillion

Bill's Last Day: The CES Keynote video

Robbie Bach @ CES 2008

New MS Surface Apps at CES 2008

Games for Windows at CES 2008

TV Tonic at CES 2008

Gibson Guitars at CES 2008

Zune Social at CES 2008

Enjoy!

01/12/2008 17:39:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Yahoo Go! 3 Beta Announced#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes
Technorati Tags: ,,

At a media lunch on Monday the folks at Yahoo discussed the futures of Yahoo, some new features and services and what grabbed our attention was the introduction of a New Mobile Home Page and Yahoo! Go 3.0. In a series of announcements Yahoo! announced its strategy to enable and serve billions of multiple users by providing services customers, developers, publishers, and advertisers see eye to eye on. 

There were 4 points that they focused on:

1. The developer and publisher allowing them to move their services to the mobile market quickly at a low cost, with little work to provide rich content to hundreds of different devices via the Yahoo! Mobile Developer Platform that allows for Yahoo's popular Widgets to be ported to the mobile platform.

2. Building core indispensable mobile services that can be customized for the individual user like weather, Flight Tracker, Yahoo Answers, and Wikipedia. By visiting beta.m.yahoo.com from select mobile phone browsers, consumers can experience an open and customizable home page where users can personalize their mobile experience like never before.

3. Yahoo plans to setting the gold standard for the best mobile Internet experience across the widest range of devices and wants to be the number one portal for mobile devices ahead of Windows Live and Google. They plan on doing this through its personalized home page which was kind of there in version 2.0, but it is much better in 3.0. They also wan t the make the UI easier and faster for the user to use and of course through the use of Mobile Widgets from what we saw is a winner we just hope that the developers of the popular desktop Widgets that we have come to love will be ported to mobile handsets.

4. Lastly they focused on advertising for publishers to the fast-growing mobile audience. They gotta make some money right?

To check it out you can either head to mobile.yahoo.com and you can text message how to download the latest Yahoo Mobile Go! 3.0 beta to your handset or go to punch in get.go.yahoo.com into your handset's browser.

01/12/2008 17:30:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Logitech#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes
Technorati Tags: ,,

Logitech - unveiled a few new products at CES unveiled, the first is the Harmony® One advanced universal remote control, marking a significant leap in the evolution of the best-selling line of Harmony remotes. Offering the same one-touch, activity-based control as other Harmony remotes, the Harmony One makes controlling home entertainment even easier with a full-color touch screen, an intuitive button layout and an exceptionally comfortable user-friendly design.

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Logitech’s research from users and beta testers came up with a 2.2-inch color touch-screen that uses capacitive technology, which responds to tiny electrical charges from the fingertips. Capacitive touch-screen technology is more durable, compared to touch screens that respond to pressure. The color touch screen provides control of any home entertainment device with an infrared receiver, including digital video recorders, high-definition televisions and many household appliances. Logitech wanted to go with an intuitive interface, I know my kids always try to touch the display on my 890 and the small buttons on the 890 were complicated and hard to press. The buttons on the Harmony One also provide individual tactile feedback that makes sense and allows you to use the remote with out even looking at it. The Harmony One remote’s touch screen can also display icons of specified TV stations for quick access to favorite stations.

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The product has received the CES 2008 Design and Engineering Award: Best of Innovations in Home-Entertainment Accessories.The latest Harmony remote with touch screen for $249 that takes a step up by removing the square similar buttons on the 890 and bringing a recognizable tactile feel to the buttons. The back of the remote control also sports a larger contact area where the previous models didn't quite fit correctly when first placed. There is also a small magnet to draw the remote into the correct charging position. However dropped from the 890 is RF radio support, the Harmony one only supports IR.

Key Features
• Full-color touch screen gives you easy, one-touch access to entertainment activities.
• Sculpted, backlit buttons are easy to find and allow you to navigate your home-entertainment – even in the dark.
• New design fits comfortably in your hand so you can relax and enjoy your home-entertainment.
• Rechargeable battery means you don’t have to worry about the replacing batteries.
• Replaces up to 15 remotes, reducing clutter in the living room.
• Online database of more than 225,000 devices from more than 5,000 manufacturers
• Smart State Technology® allows the remote to track the power state and input setting of the various components it controls. With this technology, Harmony remote users can effortlessly switch between watching home theater

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Harmony also had their popular MX wireless remote gyro-based mouse and a very cool small keyboard for Windows Vista Media Center PCs for $149 called the Logitech diNovo Mini not can it be only used for Media center functions it can also be used as a keyboard and mouse with a cover to protect from accidental key presses in case it gets lost in your couch cushions with your loose change and car keys. The diNovo Mini keyboard features backlighting and an innovative ClickPad, which can be used as a touch pad to point, scroll and click or as a directional pad to navigate menus and make selections. The mini-keyboard uses Bluetooth® 2.0 wireless technology for use from the sofa or anywhere in the living room, the funny thing is that it is PS3 compatible,but not Xbox 360 compatible so you can't use it with your Xbox 360 as an extender. Since it is Bluetooth enabled it can also be used with portable phone handsets, MIDs, Ultra Mobile PCs and Tablet PCs too. :)

Key Features
• Palm-sized mini-keyboard allows people to enjoy all the functions of a full-size keyboard and pointing device in a form factor that fits in the hand.
• Integrated, dual-purpose ClickPad can be used as a touch pad to point, scroll, and click – or as a directional pad to navigate menus and make selections.
• Rechargeable Li-ion batteries last longer than alkaline – up to one month between charges.
• Bluetooth® wireless technology provides long-range wireless control from a range of up to 30 feet (10 meters).
• Backlighting makes text entry and media center navigation effortless, even in low light. Two backlighting modes – one for media center control and one for cursor control.
• Media-remote mode indicates that that the ClickPad is functioning as a D-pad for navigating media and the direction arrows and OK in the center of the pad are backlit in green.
• Cursor mode is best for browsing the Web and using PC applications. The perimeter of the ClickPad glows orange.
• Keyboard keys are always backlit in orange.

01/12/2008 17:18:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 Slogan should be...#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Many thoughts are going through my mind after returning from the CES in Las Vegas. But as Steven Hughes here at BostonPocketPC is recapping the show in a few words that says it all.

"Evolutionary but not Revolutionary"

With many things to see nothing was that exciting that would give the vibes. A Lot of the technology out there was put towards new and good uses.

For example:
- Live HD radio captioned for the hearing impaired.
- Live video conferencing for the hearing impaired. Maybe next year they will probably be joining together and the hearing impaired will be able to conference with anyone in any way and it won't be a handicap anymore.

With the technology out there that we always wanted, this was the show where the applications using these technologies were able to catch up before a new technology will replace it and everyone can go back to the drawing board

01/11/2008 19:40:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES : DisplayLink#
Post By Eric Hicks

Sunday's Digital Life event at CES gave me a chance to meet with the folks at DisplayLink.   DisplayLink offers a device that allows you to connect your video monitor to your computer via USB.  They also have a device that enables your video monitor to be connected via wireless USB.  This opens the door to many useful applications like video monitor placement in recording studios.  Due to the quiet sound space needs of recording studios all the noisy equipment is stored in a equipment closet somewhere outside of the main work room.  Depending on the layout of the facilities this can become very expensive especially when it comes to video cables.  Instead of using costly cables to connect the monitor, keyboard and mouse you could connect all these devices via a USB hub.  I was told that standard USB cable lengths are supported and anything beyond that of the USB specifications would require powered hubs to regenerate the signal over longer runs.  Up to six DisplayLink units can be connected to one computer.  When connected DisplayLink will act as an additional display allowing you to drag whatever you need over to the new display just as if you had another video card installed.  DisplayLink also has a wireless USB docking station that will allow you to have a wireless presentation machine complete with audio, video and up to four USB connections.  DisplayLink is able to archive this by transmitting only changing video information, static objects (borders of programs, icons, etc) are only sent once and will only update when a change has taken place.    Coming soon will be a 7  inch screen that will have DisplayLink incorporated directly into the screen eliminating the outboard converting unit.  If you have this 7 inch display you could setup a digital  media frame that does more than just pictures.  This would also be handy for traveling as it would give you an additional display that's small enough to pack and big enough to use.  I was told that this is just the first of displays of this nature to hit the market, soon there will be larger sizes available.  Just imagine having a monitor where the only cables you need to connect are USB and power.  For custom home automation installations this could really allow installers to do some very impressive things.

01/11/2008 13:01:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 Bloghaus -A Bloggers Home Away From Home#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I just wanted to extend a huge thank you to the folks at Podtech, Seagate, Microsoft and HP and any other sponsors of the Bloghaus we may have failed to mention. Valerie Cunningham and Mariam Scoble seemed to be there every night and even at different parts of the day to welcome to this oasis of bandwidth, food, drinks, and a place to work away from the convention center, betwee n meetings and events. It truly was a home away from home complete with audio and visual equipment for setting a mood and computers sponsored by HP showing off their latest hardware as well as a few Xbox 360s to do something after having spent brains on little sleep and too many hours awake. They even have a Flickr feed here of most of what went on. You can see Johan, Eric, and myself in a few shots. A lot of Video bloggers were using Qik to live stream shows like Robert Scoble.

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The Bloghaus also served as a meeting place for many fellow bloggers and friends we have made over the years as well as home base to meet up after browsing the show floor, attending night events, a place for fast bandwidth, a studio to record, edit, and post up blogs and video.

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The folks at Seagate also had a drawing for a Maxtor 160GB OneTouch 4 Mini, which Eric and I had each won and Johan is still hoping he won one on the last day. The drive came in handy for us to back up and share each others pictures and video recorded at CES.

Again we just want to thank the folks at Podtech and Seagate as well as the other sponsors- Microsoft and HP that put this together.

 

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Video was shot and edited on the spot by some hard working people like the folks at GearLive.

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Ian Dixon interviews Rob Bushway.

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Josh from Windows Connected and Ed Bott talking to the folks at WeGotServed .

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MikeTemporale eyeing the Fireproof hard drive from Safety 1st

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(Left)Podtechs live update page of recently posted videos and some live streams (Right) Ed Bott being interviewed by Ian Dixon

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(L) Eric catching up on email with many bloggers opening the haus. (Right) Ian Dixon and Chris Aarons catching up on all things Media Center.

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(left)Seagate's current line minus the amazing Bluetooth Dave that will be coming later this year. (right) The back room set for doing video casts.

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(left) Nick White and Valerie Cunningham (right) Josh from WindowsConnected talking with Ed Bott, guys from ActiveWin, and the folks from WeGotServed.

 

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(left)Eric and I working (right)Ian Dixon and Mike Temporale sharing some news on his Tablet PC.

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(Left)Me and Rob Bushway from GottabeMobile sharing what we saw at CES (Right)Johan and the bloggers watching Bill Gates last Keynote at CES.

 

Eric catching some ZZZ's Bloghaus nappers 

The Bloghaus also provided us with a place to crash and catch a few winks for those that couldn't last waking up at 6AM and staying up until 3AM 5 days in a row. ;)

01/10/2008 03:49:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Media Center Show Party#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

On the last night of CES I was in Las Vegas, Johan and I went to the Media Center Show and met up with various guests and contributors to the show. Our host of course was the infallible Ian Dixon. Thanks to Paul Heitlinger from S1Digital for sponsoring the room and then we split the cost of the food up evenly (actually using the calculator on Ian's HP Tablet PC) which was a very bountiful "all you can eat buffet" at the Paris Hotel Le Village Buffet. A good thing too because the line out the door to get in had an hour wait. After dining in Vegas for 5 days straight Johan and I could only put down one plateful of the rich food before we left to catch our plane home.

Here are a few shots of the night:

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Our host Ian Dixon, making the most of his time and putting together a few interviews between bites. I did get to talk to him on the way to the buffet line and he has had a very good CES and plans on sharing it all with his listeners. So be sure to check out his updates on The Media Center Show.

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At our table was Ted Singh of Embedded Automation and his lovely wife are on the right in the first picture on the left. To the right of Ted is Microsoft's David Bradley, Business Development Manager of the OEM Digital Home division. To the left of him if I remember correctly was Ben Smelley, Manager of Product Development & Quality Control for Velocity Micro, who told me about not only some of their new systems that were shown at CES including a notebook pc called the NoteMagix C90 Ultra, but also about their new NetMagix HQ HomeServer. We also nudged David about pushing for a Home Server/Media Center merge in one box. All we got was, "Yes we have been asked this alot and it is being looked into." The rest of the dinner conversation was about soccer another passion we all shared. To the left of Randy is Chris Morley of Omaura. I told him that the designs they have are some of the most impressive ones I have seen for Media Center. To the left of him is BPPC's own Johan Van Mierlo.

 

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Closest on the right is Adam Fitch from One Voice. The blurry one on the left in picture on the right is Ed Bott from ZDNet. I think Ed and I ran into each other like 11 times during CES and at other events. He is still one of the rare few that really get it.(he is also in the left picture below a bit more clearly)

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At the end of the table with the cool hair is Jessica Zahn of Microsoft, she is the one that has been very active in the community answering questions in several online chats as well as on the Green Button forums Ask the Media Center TV Team. However, she told us that she has just recently joined the Social and will be working with the Zune group and her duties will be transitioned to Liz Sanocki and Peter Denniston. We did have a quick conversation at the door when we were leaving and I would loved to ask her more, however the folks at the Green Button did and have some interesting news about DVD streaming being tested and looked into as a possibility. ;)

We didn't get a chance to talk with everyone since our time was limited and we had to catch a flight back home. I really wished we had stayed a little longer and maybe grabbed one of those tasty desserts we passed on the way back to the table. It was a good time and I look forward to hopefully doing something with these people next year. Great job Ian for putting this together last minute!

01/09/2008 23:12:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008: Blogger Bus#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well we actually got to ride on the phantom Blogger Bus while leaving the Blogger Party that we seemed to miss where the pick up was and where it was going to and from during CES and it was the last we saw of it. It was pretty nice, but I wish it was a bit more accessible or had some sort of online tracking so you knew where it was in real time. With all the tech on the bus I am sure it wouldn't have been hard to squeeze it in there.

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The bus was a full wrapped tour bus with all the sponsors on the outside.

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It even had alot of room including a gaming room complete with an Xbox 360 and a large flat screen TV complete with Direct TV, stereo receiver, etc. in the back of the bus.

 

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They even had a Dell XPS system serving up Windows Vista Media Center all set up by Robert McLaws of Windows Now!

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They also had a bathroom and sleeping quarters that Johan tried out.

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The bus was actually pretty full of Bloggers like Grahm Skee, Jake Ludington, and Mike Temporale were already on board when we got their.

 

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As well as a few others that I forget, sorry it has been a long couple of days.

 

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Grahm and a gentleman(Michael Davidson) from Newsvines on the right.

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The folks at PodTech have a video of their bus ride from California to Vegas here. Jason Dunn also has a write up of it here.

01/09/2008 03:17:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 SanDisk Press Conference#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

SanDisk had their Press Conference today and the nice thing they had mentioned that where they see the removable storage market going is mobile phones, not digital cameras like one would think and they are making some revolutionary changes in other areas as well. Our host and main presenter for the Press conference was SanDisk's CEO and Chairman, Eli Harari.

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They talked about media changing from the day of the floppy disk to USB.

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They showed off the new Cruzer Micro 8GB with automatic online backup in case you loose it.

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They mentioned their SSD drives in 64GB and 72GB capacites as well as their  new onboard flash for motherboards called Vaulter on the mini PCIe interface, now this would be cool 64GB built into motherboard for the OS and a hard drive for other media, I have been waiting a long time for this. We talked to Ken Castle from SanDisk at Pepcom the night before and they are slowly working on 128GB SSD, but the price point for manufacturing isn't quite there yet so it may 6 months before we hear word of it going to manufacturing, but consumers won't see that until 2009. In the 2H of 2008 we will see 73GB SSD on the market and in new PCs.

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They introduced the SanDisk 12 GB micro SD HC card for phones and cameras. It is know so easy to take everything you need with you.

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They showed their growth and marketing in the mobile market

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As well as storage cards designed for video.

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They showed their 'Four Screens' strategy of covering media for television/video, digital players/music and video, phones-pictures,audio, and video, and computers- pictures video and audio.

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They also showed their growth in Japan as the leader above Japanese made storage cards by Panasonic and Sony. Next they showed their growth in the EMEA market as well, where they are far above all other brands.

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They next showed us where the current usage of flash memory storage is and where they see the future market share and growth for mobile storage going - mobile handsets.

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They then closed with a Thank You as people grabbed goodie bags from the empty seats near them containing a 1GB player and presskit. Unfortunately ours were taken before we even sat down, but were able to get them in the end. We will post up a review of the 1GB Sansa Clip soon.

01/07/2008 21:50:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Samsung Phones#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

We briefly stopped by the Samsung booth at Pepcom and they had a plethora of phones to show us. Unfortunately nothing new on the Windows Mobile front besides the stateside phones of the BlackJack II and the Verizon SCH-i760 we saw last year, but this year it has a battery in it. We were hoping to see the new Samsung i780 a great review of it is here.

Here are some shots of the phones they had.

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In talking to the Samsung people it was evident that they see more people using their phones as digital cameras and they have integrated several parts from their camera division into their phones.

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The Serenata had a very nice design that included a slide out speaker designed with Bang & Olufsen; this was the first handset I have seen with an integrated high quality speaker and it sounded pretty good admist the noise of the event and it had the same unique Industrial design that Bang & Olufsen is known for, hopefully it won't have its high price as well. Samsung also had a some Bluetooth headsets made by Bang & Olufsen as well.

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Now that these models seemed to marry the two technologies of camera and phone the best in a pocketable form factor that consumers have been wanting. I just wish they had a Windows Mobile phone with this camera technology. More info and pictures of the phones and devices that Samsung released at CES can be found here.

01/07/2008 11:37:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Alienware Panoramic Display#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of the highlights for us at CES this year was the prototype Panoramic DLP display by Alienware. Granted there was a visible seam where the two screens were married together, but you don't really notice it when playing games like Crysis on it, which looked phenomenal.

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Seeing this thing in action looked awesome. How it works is that there are four LED-backlit DLP built into the back of the display projects the image used to create the beautiful widescreen panoramic  picture. We were told that the final product will be optimized to create a seamless pictures without any visible stutters or lines.

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Stepping in front of it and playing with it gave a really nice appreciation for it. However we could totally see this not being just a great high end gaming monitor or video editing workstation, but as a really nice every day desktop monitor. No price was released.

Eric did some questioning and found that the ODM was Ostendo. The specs given were a 10000:1 contrast ration and two WXGA+ 2880×900 panels. No pricing or availability dates were given since it was brought more to weigh consumer response (which was nothing but positive) and show a proof of concept. They plan to launch the monitor in the second half of 2008.

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For those that will be asking, they were also showing off their latest Alienware Area-51 7500 that was powering the display.

01/07/2008 11:29:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - iRobot#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

iRobot was there as well and had a press conference, which we missed due to conflicting meetings with other companies and they never fail to impress with their new products.

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The iRobot Looj gutter cleaner that retails for $99 with other packages and accessories available. It can propel itself through gutters, under gutter straps, and over downspout holes to clean 60 feet of gutter under 10 minutes. Now if it could just have a cool remote camera, go up and down drain ,and make that quick 90 degree turn at the top we'd have a real winner. You do have to climb up a ladder and place it in the gutter and retrieve it on the other end. It does come with a rechargable battery, charger, and remote control.

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The also had what iRobot is famous for the new Roomba 560. Which is a bit bigger and better than its predecessors as well as easier to clean, easier to use, it also cleans better due to new programming and logi and it even includes a voice tutorial built-in.Weighing in at 8lbs and 13 inches in diameter with a 24 cubic inch dustbin capacity(increase of 33%) it retails for $349. It also comes with interchangeable color covers in White, Steel Blue, Champagne, Burnt Orange,Silver, Charcoal, Chestnut, and our favorite Carbon Fiber.

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The underside has undergone changes including a larger catch basin as well as larger and softer wheels.

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The beater bar also comes out and is easier to clean with the addition of a new brush cleaning tool to help get rid of dust and hair that always tends to collect there and if not removed it can bind up and burn out the motor.

01/07/2008 06:59:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Intel MIDs#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

In our book one of the biggest things were some proof of concept devices by Intel showing off their new Menlow processors in concept design MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices).

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Here you can see the size of the chips for Silverthorne, which allows for 20X performance increase with a 10X power savings based on Intel's 45-nanometer technology and designed to be compatible with the Core 2 Duo instruction set while getting down into the 2 watt to 0.6 watt power range and Poulsbo integrated chipset.

 

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Some prototypes from both Lenovo and Samsung, which similar to some device on the market today.

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One Device that seemed to impress us was a mock up phone running Linux on an OLED touch display. It looked very nice! Granted it wasn't a fully working prototype, but we go the idea.

 

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This was a very nice simple MID with a vibrant display easily capable of playing video as well as having a slide out keyboard similar to the OQO.

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Some more closeup pictures of the Lenovo prototype. This was designed to be a MID device with the option of a phone, but we will have to wait and see so far this does look like the future of computing and are definitely companion computer devices which UMPCs should be. 

01/07/2008 06:44:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Pioneer is talking ahead#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Today at the CES Pioneer announced at their press conference a brand new in or on dash system which will compete with many other multimedia in dash systems.  The Pioneer AVIC-F500BT Hybrid Navigation  improvements on other is in short:

  • recapturing lost quality in music files
  • Their own voice command technology
  • and a new navigation system ( Looks like it's running on I-go, Nav N go software)

Another  announcement made was "Rock does beat Paper" in using Basalt rock to create the fabric for their speaker systems. Which creates more durability and higher Volume.

Last the announced the development of the future line up for Plasma TV's. The KURO project. We  probably won't be seeing these untill 2009 though:

  • True Black (no discussing anymore on color aspect ratio)
  • Just a 9 mm 50" plasma flatscreen TV

Ok, up on to the next press conference.

01/06/2008 13:23:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

New Rules for Lithium Ion Batteries in Air Travel#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I was told this by Don when he came over for a movie viewing night between the holidays with some friends and their families. Yes I have known Don for over 7 years and never met his family, until now. Anyway one conversation that came up were the new laws for traveling with lithium ion batteries. According to Safetravel.gov effective January 1, 2008, you now have to carry your spare with you and can't pack it in your suitcase (in my opinion defeats the whole purpose anyway unless you are looking to lighten your load racing through the airport. :)

Here are the new policies so be aware of them before traveling this new year:

  • Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare batteries.
  • You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage
  • You may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry-on baggage – see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!
  • Even though we recommend carrying your devices with you in carry-on baggage as well, if you must bring one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.

For more information on the new regulations head here:

http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html

The new rules are kind of confusing because what is permitted is based on the actual weight in grams of “equivalent lithium content.” 8 grams of equivalent lithium content is approximately 100 watt-hours. 25 grams is approximately 300 watt-hours:

 

  • Under the new rules, you can bring batteries with up to 8-gram equivalent lithium content. All lithium ion batteries in cell phones are below 8 gram equivalent lithium content. Nearly all laptop computers also are below this quantity threshold.
  • You can also bring up to two spare batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of up to 25 grams, in addition to any batteries that fall below the 8-gram threshold. Examples of two types of lithium ion batteries with equivalent lithium content over 8 grams but below 25 are shown below.
  • For a lithium metal battery, whether installed in a device or carried as a spare, the limit on lithium content is 2 grams of lithium metal per battery.
  • Almost all consumer-type lithium metal batteries are below 2 grams of lithium metal. But if you are unsure, contact the manufacturer!

    All my batteries are safe to travel with me including my large Valence slice battery. As it is my Valence battery has been pulled aside and swabbed 19 out 37 flights taken since I owned and used it. I can only imagine how much longer lines will be at security checkpoints leaving Las Vegas from CES or heading there. To my surprise there were no longer lines leaving towards Las Vegas and TSA folks kept things moving along as normal, granted I opted to leave the Valence at home. :)

  • 01/06/2008 09:46:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    CES 2008 it begins...#
    Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

    Well we have arrived in Las Vegas for the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show aka CES, which makes this eight years in a row for me of attending the technology preview of things to come in the future of CE. Technology sure has changed over the years and so has the size of the show. This year I was just planning on hitting several events at CES and just leisurely walking the floor, but for some insane reason I am going to be meeting with some companies to show us their latest and greatest and I will be sure to take lots of pictures and share our findings here at BPPC. The we being Johan van Mierlo and Eric Hicks will be joining myself in Vegas and we will be sharing our finds and info with you here. If there is anything of interest you would like to see or hear about give us a shout and will see if we can make it happen like shots of the next largest television at CES, which is supposed to be a good sized bigger than last years winner from Sharp at 108" from Panasonic.

    ces logo

    We will also be meeting up with some friends and colleagues as well at several events and will share those as well. Our next meeting I will do another annual slide show and presentation like have done from previous years. So stay tuned.

    01/06/2008 09:24:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    REVIEW: eWallet 6.0 #
    Post By Johan van Mierlo

    WebIS just announced a couple a weeks ago their partnership with Ilium Software. With their partnership they also announced the new version of eWallet 6.0. many of use have so much information to keep up with to access e-mail accounts, web site, bank accounts, you name it. eWallet will give you a secure, organized and synchronized way of managing your information.

    The following list will give a quick overview of their major improvements followed by a short review

    • iPhone/Web version currently in beta.
    • Sync your info where you want - to any PC, Windows Mobile or Palm OS device, USB thumb drive, a laptop, even your server at work - there is no limit
    • Stronger security - AES FIPS and 256-bit encryption
    • Encrypted file attachments
    • Sync securely to remote locations using SFTP and other remote syncing options
    • Access your data from remote computers using Iomega iStorage
    • Prevent intrusion by locking your wallet after a certain number of failed login attempts
    • Make online purchases safely! With eWallet's SmartCopy your credit cards and personal info won't be left in the clipboard for keyloggers to find
    • Fill in passwords online without typing using AutoPass - protect yourself from keyboard logging in an easy and secure way
    • Personalize your cards with background images
    • Customize the card design with options for displaying icons on the card, square or round corners, card borders, and more!
    • Use eWallet on your U3 USB Smartdrives
    • Get Step-by-Step Instructions for basic tasks with the eWallet Companion
    • Four free icon packs

    Both the desktop version and the Windows Mobile version have exactly the same feeling and handling. You are able to purchase either version or together.  I love the fact that if you have both versions they synchronize with each other and you personal data is easy accessible.

    Opening up the application on your device or PC will bring instantly to the password protection. This is optional but is great and works as quick as your pin does.

    You are able to make categories to have an easy navigation in finding the information you need. If you have many different items stored on your device the application also also a "Find" function.

    It's easy to create new categories and change the look and feel of them.  

    The items within the categories has the same functionality as the categories, but more different icons are available.  

     

    The detailed information is visible in two different ways

    • As Credit card image with notes
    • Flex view which is just line items.

    The background colors can in both views can be adjusted to familiar color of your credit card, social security card, etc. The new version allows you to give more nicer radiant color option that are transferred onto your device. But these color can also be selected on your device when creating a new card.

    There are over 30 templates to choose from which makes it easy to get the right information together. Ones chosen a template you can rename any fields to make it custom for you.

    By default you can have pin/passwords hidden, but by tapping the link of your pin/password  your info will appear.

    Both version will also have a back up version and an export to text  option to make sure that all the information can be used again if the application ever fails. In previous uses of eWallet I entered all my information and lost due to....who knows... and I was hesitant re-entering all this information again.

    The desktop version has also an import wizard which lets you import information form other competitve software like:

    • CodeWallet
    • Spb Wallet
    • SplashID
    • TurbuPasswords
    • and ofcourse FlexWallet

    However it misses the option to re-import your exported text file.

    below is a picture of the eWallet 6.0 desktop version.

     

    Besides these options there are many options I probably haven't played with yet.

     

    Availability

    Trail downloads of eWallet 6.0 are available for a touch and non-touch screen and can be purchased for $29.95 ($16.95 for an upgrade if you have a previous version) at Ilium Software

     

    Conclusion

    With both the PC and device version you have an automatic back-up (besides their own back-up feature) of your valuable info. Ones entered in all the information (could be alot of work) you will have your information secure, categorized and easy available when you need to.

    Ilium Software also announced three free copies of eWallet 6.0 to be raffled off at our next user group meeting.

    01/02/2008 21:03:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    NEXT USER GROUP MEETING: Wednesday, January 16th#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    The next meeting of the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User Group will be held Wednesday, January 16th at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA (201 Jones Road, 6th Floor). The meeting will start at 6:30 PM.

    Map image

    The featured presentation will be a CES 2008 Wrap-Up by none other than Steve "fyiguy" Hughes. Steve will be attending his fifth CES event this year. Those who have attended his CES Wrap-Up presentations in the past know that that this is a must-attend" event, complete with tons of useful information and photos.

    01/01/2008 15:38:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    VITO Technology Releases FunContact 2.0#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    How on the heels of the initial release of FunContact (and a subsequent review by yours truly), VITO Technology has released FunContact 2.0. Some of the enhancements are definitely spot-on in my opinion -

    VITO Technology releases a new version of FunContact. Managing contacts on your Windows Mobile Pocket PC has become easier and more fun! New features on top of finger friendly and stylish interface make FunContact a truly irreplaceable contact manager. Now even more visual effects!

    The new sliding out keypad allows you to easily dial numbers missing from your contacts. All it takes is tapping the red arrow, and here you are dialing the number you need. T9 contacts look up is also possible on this keypad like on smartphones.

    New version of FunContact provides its own contact editing. It has become possible to edit or add new contacts without going to the default WM contacts. Forget about default contacts with its old-fashioned looks and awkward editing. Now you can easily edit your contacts right from FunContact, delete, add new fields, etc. You’ll find out that editing contacts is fun as well!

    The calls in call history are now grouped by the type of calls (missed, incoming or outgoing calls) and by the date. All types of calls for the same contact are grouped separately for each day. This way you will see only one record in the list even if you got several calls from a certain contact: only the last one is displayed.

    Once you started using FunContact it’s difficult to come back to the default contacts. You simply enjoy managing your contacts with finger. Clinton Fitch, the well known MVP says: "Having used FunContact for several weeks now it is hard to see myself not using it going forward. It has made contacting those on my contact list quicker and far easier with the ability to SMS or e-mail them with only a tap or two versus using the native Windows Mobile applications."

    FunContact 2

    You can find out all of the details and download a trial version at iWindowsMobile.com. Previous FunContact owners should note that FunContact 2.0 is a free upgrade.

    01/01/2008 15:30:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

    Happy New Year To All, and Happy 6th Anniversary To Us!#
    Post By Don Sorcinelli

    From all of us involved with BostonPocketPC.com and the Boston/New England Windows Mobile User and Developer Groups, we wish you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year. May 2008 bring you all joy and success!

    January 1 also marks a special anniversary for us. Today marks the 6th birthday of BostonPocketPC.com. Every year I am amazed that another year has come and gone so quickly, and this past year is no exception. So much has happened in the Windows Mobile world in what seems like such a short period of time.

    I would be remiss if not to once again thank all of those out there who have managed to keep us all going these past 6 years. Readers, writers, sponsors and friends have managed to keep someone with a sometimes short attention span to stay interested and enjoying this endeavor for all these years. My sincere hope is that Year 7 brings a renewed focus and energy to the web site.

    01/01/2008 09:32:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

     

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