Review of Mogo Mouse BT (now with Scrolling)#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I was asked at the last meeting what I was using to change the slides of our trip to CES 2008 and proudly showed my MoGo Mouse that I had received as a gift about 2 years ago and it is still going strong. In October I was rewarded with another as an MVP gift for being reawarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and my children quickly scooped it up to use it with the laptop they share for school and entertainment.

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They are pretty cool to use and now they are even cooler to use with a free software update that allows you to scroll, yes scroll! The new MoGo Mouse BT™ Scrolling Software takes your MoGo Mouse BT to a whole new level by adding the ability to scroll, which is a feature many people who have a MoGo Mouse wish it had and now your wish has been granted more on this later. :)

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Currently I use the MoGo with my Fujitsu P1610 since it has a full PCMCIA slot and the two work so well together for the times I need a mouse and the built-in trackpoint mouse nor touch screen can do the job like fine manipulation of photos, video editing, screen captures with TechSmith's SnagIt software.

MoGo in the hand

It it is surprising comfortable for short usage of around a half-hour or less or in times when your laptop's Trackstick or Touchpad just doesn't work you have an alternative mousing device that stores in an empty PCMCIA PC card slot. Its best usage as I mentioned before is for doing presentations and when not in use can easily be slipped into any pocket.

Mogo Packaging_Box

The box the unit comes in is your standard cardboard/plastic packaging, which almost seems to me a waste given its small size.

mogo64 

Installation on 64-bit systems won't work since there are no drivers for it unfortunately.

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On the bottom of the device there is the optical laser port, a Bluetooth connect/pairing button as well as the kickstand. Underneath the kickstand is the on and off switch.

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Flipping the kickstand on the bottom out turns the unit on and provides some height to the mouse as well providing an incline for use and rear legs for the mouse to glide around on. The mouse should automatically start working after turning on. With some Bluetooth stacks I found it necessary to click a mouse button for the MoGo and laptop to re-pair up this usually happened if the mouse fell asleep from inactivity.

Specifications:

  • Hardware: PC Card Slot, USB Bluetooth adaptor or embedded Bluetooth,Bluetooth-enabled XP and Vista laptops,
  • Operating System: Macintosh running Mac OS X, Vista Supported
  • Bluetooth Specification: 1.1 and 1.2 compliant
  • Resolution: 500 DPI
  • Working range: Up to 30 feet (10 m)
  • RF transmit power: <4 dBm
  • Operating Battery Voltage: 4.2V
  • Operating Current: 165 mAh Internal Rechargable
  • Standby Curren: 32mA
  • Sleep Mode Current: 22 ma and .04mA
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 2.125" x .21 inches (86 x 54 x 5 mm)
  • Weight: 1.5 oz or 41 grams

The mouse works well on clean flat surfaces and in a pinch can be used on your cloth material as well, but at as with most optical mice there are some surfaces that prevent proper usage of the mouse. The buttons have a pretty sensitive click to it, but my older one doesn't have quite the "clicking sound and feel" on the left mouse button that the right one has. It still works, but its seems like the button or spring mechanism is a bit worn.

The Mogo mouse easily pairs with the built-in radio stack of your laptop or if you don't have a bluetooth radio set in your laptop, which almost a minority in today's modern age of mobile technology you can add the ability with the MoGo Dapter.

DAPTER 

This is a small low profile bluetooth adapter that plugs into your USB port with out adding much to the profile of your laptop. It also has rounded edges so it won't snag or get caught on things like external USB bluetooth adapters or PCMCIA based ones tend to do at least once in a while.

Once paired it uses Microsoft's Bluetooth stack in Windows to pair with the HID profile.

If you are looking at getting high speed data access through AT&T you can get MoGo Mouse and the Dapter free through this offer. It is mainly for BellSouth Customers, but nothing beats free!

mogo directions mogo_scroll

Back to the scrolling software, Pointix Scroll ++, this is software that used to cost money, but is no longer produced and the laws on unsupported software leads it to public domain "abandonware". The directions for installation look to be the same ones found on Carlton Bale's blog, which gives an explanation why the software is no longer available and the US Copyright office has given approval to share abandoned software. So I guess its legit.

PopUp Mouse Registration

So when you install it and you have to apply a crack to use it, you may be a bit wary of it, but I scanned it and looked at the code and it is free of malware, viruses, and trojans. The software works fine on Windows Vista 32, I don't know about Vista 64bit since the MoGo doesn't work with it, but I am sure it will still work with no problems.

The complete data sheet on the MoGo Mouse is here. The MoGo can be found at online retailers like Amazon for $53.50 for the PCMCIA card version as well as the Express Card 54 versions the MoGo Mouse X54 Pro that has a Presenter Mode for Powerpoint presentations and the MoGo Mouse X54 that allows for media playback with a MultiMedia Mode both of which have built-in touch scrollers.

02/29/2008 10:53:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Simply Everything by Sprint Nextel#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

Remember the old battle between MCI and ATT for their long distance land line unlimited calls.

It seems now that this battle is happing big with the wireless carriers.

ATT, T-Mobile and Verizon came all with their unlimited voice calls for one set fee(around a $100). Of course you add on extra's for your data plan, some had text messaging included........

But as of tomorrow Sprint Nextel is offering "simply everything" unlimited play which includes all the following:

  1. Unlimited Voice calls anywhere in the states to any line
  2. Unlimited Data
  3. Unlimited Text messaging
  4. Unlimited E-mail (is Data)
  5. Unlimited Web Surfing (is Data)
  6. TV (is Data)
  7. Music (is Data)
  8. Direct Connect
  9. Group Connect

And this all for $100 per month.

Read more...

02/28/2008 14:40:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - Nextlink Invisio Q7 Bluetooth headset#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

It is always great when military grade technology trickles down into the consumer market. The Nextlink Invisio Q7 is a really small headset that rests in the ear canal with sound isolation due to the rubber silicone speaker membrane, which resembles a small disk.

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A small piece of plastic that rests and wedges the headset by applying pressure to the outer ear called the Soft Spring.

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The cool thing is that it has a Bone Conduction Microphone (see that nub at the bottom of the earpiece that is a bone vibration detector) capable of picking up existing vibrations in the jawbone set off by your own voice and also eliminates surrounding ambient noise. We really liked its small profile, I guess hence its name Invisio. The Invisio Q7 weighs in under 11 grams, measures in at 4.3 x 1.8 cm, and has up to 6 hours talktime and 100 hours of standby time on a full charge. The Invisio Q7 uses Bluetooth V.2.0 with EDR and is compatible with all Bluetooth enabled mobile phones on the market and has a suggested retail price of $179.It looks like Amazon will be carrying them here.

For those in wet conditions they have the Invisio PRO-M submersible, which is only headset for underwater operations up to 20m. It uses a waterproof Bone Conduction Microphone in an advanced waterproof housing with a scientifically designed speaker silicon membrane.

We don't know how well the Invisio line sounds or if it actually works well until we try it, but if it works like the Jawbone we may have a new winner on our hands for comfort, size, and noise cancellation.

02/23/2008 21:55:24 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 -Celio REDFLY#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One device at CES that seemed to stand out for Windows Mobile Devices and was amidst the buzz at CES that had people talking is the Celio REDFLY . Many have already penned it as the replacement for the Palm Foleo in which it has a similar design and features to. It even won a few awards at CES like the Inovations 2008 Design and Engineering Showcase Award.

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The REDFLY weighs in at under 2lbs and provides a Windows Mobile device with an 8 inch laptop sized screen, keyboard and trackpad mouse as well as a charging source for the phone as well. The unit contains a 4500ma Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery with average usage one would expect about an 8 hour battery life between charges and around 5 hours if you are charging your device and using a cellular radio or WiFi. The REDFLY provides a large screen for your Windows Mobile applications whether you connect via USB or Bluetooth.

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On the back of the REDFLY are USB 2.0 ports for connecting your device, a USB mouse,USB Keyboard or any other USB accessory you may have and a VGA port for hooking it up to a larger monitor or overhead projector for presentations on the road or in the boardroom with resolutions up to 800 x 480. Drivers for using the REDFLY can be installed by either installing the file from the included CD via ActiveSync or by downloading an installable file from www.celiocorp.com/install.

CES 2008 Day 0 037 Celio REDFLY Product Shot HI RES

We had a chance to talk with CEO Kirt Bailey (who was the former Intel Capital director involved with mobility markets) and ask them why the REDFLY would be appealing in today's market and who they were targeting. He told us the REDFLY is a companion device for Windows Mobile devices without having to repeat computing power on a laptop form factor as well as without having to deal with the operating system, hardware, and software expense and support issues involved with laptops and UMPCs. He told us they were mainly targeting companies and enterprise users that have to issue users with laptops and mobile phones. This saves the cost not only of purchasing a laptop, but also the ROI involved with managing and administering the devices, which are estimated to roughly $4100 a year each. Another issues was security because the REDFLY doesn't store any sensitive information and all the data remains on the smartphone, displays can be shared amongst users without risk of data loss or security breach. The units are targeted towards sales personal that mainly live off of their handheld units and only use their laptops to access spreadsheets and web based applications that can now be viewed and accessed on Windows Mobile devices like Salesforce.com or other Web 2.0 applications, but now they have the option of viewing it on a larger screen without having to carry around a heavy laptop that can weigh in excess of 10 lbs if you include the laptop, power supply, accessories,etc. The REDFLY weighs 1.9 lbs.

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They also showed us some prototype skinned devices in both hot rod flames and a nice leaf camouflage. They said these were to show options to channel partners for specific branding, but the colors the REDFLY will first be offered in will be blue and red with the other case matching the same color as the touch pad.

Here are some of the REDFLY specifications:

Size: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
Weight: 1.9 lbs
Battery Life: 8 Hours under normal use via USB
Display Size: 8 inch diagonal wide screen
Display Resolution: 800 x 480
VGA Display: Output 800 x 480
Keyboard: 8.3 inch 80-key QWERTY keyboard
Touchpad: 1.0 x 2.9 inches
Special Fn keys: Fn buttons are hot-keys for phone control
(i.e. send, end, OK, esc, left menu, right menu, etc)
Operating System Compatibility:
Windows Mobile 5.0 (Pocket PC and Smartphone editions)
Windows Mobile 6.0 (Professional and Standard editions)
More operating system compatibility to be announced:
See tested smartphone list at www.celiocorp.com/smartphone
Application Compatibility:
Applications and data from the smartphone appear on the REDFLY
enabled display
Ports and Connectors: VGA port, 2 high speed USB 2.0 ports, AC power connector
Smartphone Connection via Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (compatible with Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0)
Smartphone Connection via USB: Use USB cable included with smartphone
Smartphone Charger via USB: Able to charge smartphones via USB (as supported by phone)
USB Flash Drive Compatibility: Standard USB Flash Drives (Drives appear on smartphone file system)
USB Keyboard Compatibility: Standard USB Keyboards
USB Mouse Compatibility: Standard USB Mice

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC and Smartphone editions and Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional and Standard editions. The REDFLY Interface Software will be available for other operating systems in the future. The REDFLY Mobile Companion will be available from Celio Corp in March, 2008 for $499 MSRP directly from Celio Corp. A list of tested smartphones is available at www.celiocorp.com/smartphone.

02/23/2008 07:07:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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

We had a meeting with the folks at Asus. They had no presence on the floor, but a small booth near the CES Blogger's Lounge in the South Hall of the Convention Center. They had many of their products out on display some were that were definitely crowded were the Asus Eee PC (we couldn't even get near them - heck it was even hard to enter the booth area since it was at the entrance), but we have seen enough of them in the wild at CES to get a good look at them.

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They also had their ,which contained 1TB of hard drive space and pretty impressive performance numbers as well including a nice graphics card. This was designed for the serious gamer and PC Power User who may use it for CGI work, Video editing, game or software development on the go.

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In the area where we had our meeting we also got to look at their UMPC.

What we were there for were their new Windows Mobile devices...and it was well worth it too.

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They had a nice WM6 Professional phone with GPS called the P527 that was being sold unlocked for around $497 retail.The GPS can log and upload your data to be mapped on places like Google Maps or used in court to fight a speeding ticket.

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The outside of the body is a nice tight metal casing with no gaps or creak like you get from current models of phones made from plastic. There is also a nice rubber coating on the back that provides a nice feel in the hand and prevents sliding around when on a flat surface.

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The UI on the phone was very nice and some of it was customized to work with the numerical keypad on the front like WM Standard devices aka Smartphones do. There was no included GPS software like that found the MyPal line, but we were told it would come preloaded with North American Maps for those sold to the US and we were able to find it at Amazon for $566.36 with the maps preloaded.

Cellular Radio: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

Dimensions: 113 x 58 x 15.4 mm

Weight: 125 g

Display:TFT touchscreen, 65K colors

Size:240 x 320 pixels, 2.6 inches

Ringtones:Polyphonic (128 channels), Midi, MP3, WMA, WAV

Card slot: microSD (TransFlash)

Memory: - 64 MB RAM
- 128 MB internal memory
- TI OMAP 850 processor 200 MHz

WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g

Bluetooth: v2.0

Infrared port: Yes

USB:Yes, v1.1

OS: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional

Camera: 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels, autofocus, video

Other Features:

- GPS receiver with SiRF Star III chipset
- Business Card Recognition
- FM Radio
- Voice Recognition and Hand-free mode
- MP3 Player
- Java MIDP 2.0
- Scheduler
- Voice memo
- World time
- Currency converter
- Stopwatch

For more information on their products with built in navigation head here for more information on the P527 head here.

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They had the WM6 Standard phone, called the Asus M530W that looked alot like the HTC Excalibur/T-Mobile Dash with a 2.54 inch landscape screen, but it had a dedicated volume buttons on the side as well as a jog dial. On the bottom are a mini-USB port and a standard 2.5mm headphone jack. It also had a 2MP camera with LED Flash/Light on the back like most phones in their ilk, but it also has a VGA quality camera for video conferencing. It is powered by a 1200 mAh battery. It also has a microSD slot under the battery cover next to the SIM. The processor is by Intel at 460Mhz with around 150MB of usable memory built-in flash RAM of the 256MB on board and 64 MB of flash ROM with around 52MB of it being used, so it moved very fast. The key pad in touch and feel was very similar to the Moto Q. We were told it could be found at various retailers for around $399 unlocked we found it on Amazon for $395.16! One cool feature that Eric found was that it included card reading software(so we know why there is a 2MP Auto-Macro camera so it can capture the details of a business card without data entry-sweet!) as well as well as ClearVue Document viewer. For more information on the M530W head to the Asus website here.

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They also had the Dual screen WM6 Standard called the M930 (Vega 2) which they said would retail around $995. It packed quite a bit in a small package with a 5 line QWERTY keyboard,GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA, WiFi in both b and g, Bluetooth Ver. 2.0 with EDR, USB 2.0, a 2MP camera (we are assuming it is the same Auto Macro mode as the Asus M530W and we can only hope it will come bundled with the business card scanning software as well), 1100 mAh battery and a separate VGA camera on the front of the phone in landscape mode for video conferencing. The internal landscape screen is at 400 x 240, with 256MB of flash, 64MB of ROM. More information on the M930 head to the Asus website here.

The ID design and construction of these phones are first rate. They have all metal bodies, well built no creak to them what so ever. Its nice to see an alternative from the plain Jane phones being offered from today's carriers with no contract. We believe we will see more phones like this emerging without carrier partners from other manufacturers as well giving consumers more choice as to which mobile handset fits them best for their needs. As with their motherboards, video cards, and other products Asus is committed to supporting these devices via their Asus VIP Member Area with software and firmware updates.

02/23/2008 06:02:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune A Day Giveaway#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Hey I am sure you wouldn't mind getting a free 8 GB Zune right? You may be wondering what is the catch, well all you have to do is send an email via your Windows Mobile device via a Hotmail account and you are entered, that's it.

zune a day2

Here are the details on how to enter to win:

You could win a Zune every day until March 31, 2008 —here's how**:

1. Select "Hotmail" on your mobile phone menu,

Or

To make it even easier, click here and enter your mobile number — we'll send
you a text with the link.*

2. Sign in to Hotmail with your existing Passport or Windows Live ID.

3. Send an e-mail to WINAZUNE@live.com with "Go Zune" in the
subject line.

Good Luck!!!!

02/21/2008 11:01:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Happy Birthday, VITO Technology!#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

VITO Technology has turned 7 years old. In "Windows Mobile Years", that's... well, REALLY old :-)

To celebrate, VITO is passing on some really incredible savings to everyone -

19th February, 2008 - VITO Technology celebrates its 7 years of success in the mobile market with a HUGE DISCOUNT on all software titles. During 7 days all VITO products at http://iwindowsmobile.com and http://vitotechnology.com are available for as much as $7*.

After 7 successful years in the market VITO Technology has so far released over 40 programs for Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Smartphone, and Symbian phones. The range of programs stretches from GPS navigation to multimedia, including communication and utilities.

Practically all VITO software titles - VITO AudioNotes, VITO SoundExplorer, VITO Voice2Go to name just a few - have become winners of the annual Best Software Awards held by Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine. You can find all these prize winning best sellers at www.vitotechnology.com and www.iwindowsmobile.com AVAILABLE JUST FOR $7* FOR 7 days. We celebrate our birthday by offering you the best of the breed mobile software for Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone that give you truly boundless opportunities with your mobile device.

You can use VITO Technology software for GPS navigation, for voice dialing, for controlling your device with voice, for audio playback and recording, for remote controlling, for creating ringtones, for various sports activities, for star gazing, not enough? The brand-new sparkling software at iwindowsmobile.com allows you to control your device just with fingers: scroll list of contacts in FunContact like on iPhone, indulge yourself in threaded SMS messaging with SMS-Chat, type with fingers on ZoomBoard, launch and manage tasks with finger-friendly GoodWin, and even more...

Make sure you get your slice of VITO's 7th Birthday Cake - $7* for 7 days only at www.iwindowsmobile.com and www.vitotechnology.com!

*for PayPal and Google Checkout purchases at www.iwindowsmobile.com and www.vitotechnology.com. The offer expires on the 26th of February.

It looks like a birthday party is in order. That is, if you define "birthday party" as "buying really good Windows Mobile apps at a great price"!

02/21/2008 09:46:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Review - Process Lasso#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

OK one of the things that always irked me about the built-in Task Manager in Windows was that it only let you shut down applications. I am a huge multi-tasker and start one task and have another running in the background (some claim its the way my brain is wired for parallel computing others think I have ADD, it may be a combination of the two), what I really want from Task Manager is more granular control over what programs have focus and get the majority of processing power. This became an even larger concern when I started using my P1610 for the majority of my computing needs, granted I generally flip-flop between two or three computers and even have a few RDCs (Remote Desktop Clients) and virtual PC images running as well, but when I am out of the Office the P1610 is my main PC. The problem is that it only has 1GB of memory, (which if the BIOS can handle it I may upgrade to 2GB) and only a Intel Core Solo processor at 1.2 GHz, when running always seems to be maxed out at 100% when I seem to be doing normal stuff like having Outlook open (yes I have a large PST file), an Excel spreadsheet, MS Project file, OneNote, and Visio. All of which work fine on my Ferrari Laptop, but slows down the responsiveness of my P1610 to a crawl especially when switching between applications or using a dual monitor display.

lasso

I had upgraded the hard drive to an SSD drive, which improved some of the response time and battery life, but this free application called Process Lasso did much more. This program saved me from upgrading my P1610 to the P1620 (for the meantime anyway), to my kids dismay and made my P1610 much more usable again.

p1610 normal perf.  p1610 lasso perf.

Here it is before and after with normal applications like Outlook, OneNote and a browser with a few tabs open. How did it do it? 

lasso perf

Well Process Lasso monitors the processor usage from Task Manager and Resource Manager for applications and limits how much they are allowed to use at a limit set by default or that can be set by you. The main screen monitors CPU usage in red as well as responsiveness in green. As well as giving you all the information you would find in Task Manager and Resource Monitor.

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Installing the program takes up minimal space on your hard drive clocking in at a nice small 1.2MB, which I like (MS, Apple, Adobe, Google, Java, please not the small application size.)

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I found that worked pretty well with the default settings(pictured above) after you first install the application) and tweaked it even further for my own needs.

lasso action

At the top of the application you have few things to tweak and change. First you have Actions, which is simple control how you interact with the application with the ability to shut it down to really see how well it works. Trust me you will turn it back on.

lasso file

File is pretty cool in that if you have a configuration that works well on one PC and you want to carry over your customizations of Lasso over to another PC you can! You can also save and choose different configuration files to see what settings work for you and your computer.

lasso view

View just lets you turn the color legend of CPU and Response on and off.

lasso options speed

Under Options is where you make the biggest changes in the program. Here under General Settings you can choose how fast Process Lasso works, I went with the default Normal at first then opted to go High. You can actually see the polling going on in the graph and table data. Here  you can also set Process Lasso to startup when you start Windows and to check for updates.

lasso allow-disallow lasso process priority lasso exclude

The next option is the Out-of-control restraint settings that pop up on the install here you can make further changes if needed like totally stopping programs from launching as well as setting priority levels for programs.

lasso default processor

Under Edit Default Process  CPU Affinities  you can choose, which applications run under each processor.

 lasso option forground

One thing for me that was great was the ability to turn on Foreground Boosting not only for the application, but for threads as well.

lasso options advance

There are some more advanced options as well if you really want to tweak.

lasso taskbar

If you mouse over the application running in the Taskbar you will see which program is consuming the most CPU usage as well as your CPU usage and responsiveness in percentage. Something great for the anal retentive, I mean detail orientated.

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To put it to the test I ran the Zune Encoder, which generally brought my system to a crawl while it ran in the background encoding downloaded video podcasts while I tried to work. Running Process Lasso I didn't even notice it running in the background even though my CPU usage was pegged at 100%. It brought a nice smile to my face. I was pretty impressed!

I also ran all the applications I normally run with no problems. The big test for me is rotating the screen with all these applications open. Before it used to take FOREVER now its doesn't take as long, but it is still slow. I think this has more to do with the physical memory on board as well as the performance of the video card and the fact that it is a single core processor. The P1620 may have resolved this issue for me. On my older Fujitsu Tablet PC that has a slower processor, older video card, but has 2GB of memory has no problem in rotating screens with the same applications and files open. So I am leaning toward the rotation lag being a physical memory issue. For the amount of money I could plunk down on a 1GB memory upgrade I would be a 1/4 of the way there of picking up a new 1620. So the jury is still out on this one.

I haven't run this with Vista SP1 yet on my P1610 and made comparisons in performance. I was going to do benchmarks, but to me that doesn't really matter if you PC doesn't "Feel responsive" all the benchmarks in the world mean squat.

On a dual processor laptop (AMD) and computer (Intel) both running Vista 64-bit, I placed it on I was able to target applications to run off a particular processor enhancing my response time tremendously. While compiling some code I was able to target one processor for doing so in the background while still being able to work with other applications on the other processor with no lag. I also did the same playing a video of a DVD I ripped to MPEG and I was able to dedicate a processor to it solely while using the other for other applications.This really impressed me.

If you don't believe me try it yourself. To read up on the documentation head here.

Hey you can't beat free! If you really like the program, please donate to keep development of this great product alive!

02/21/2008 05:53:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

zzzPhone Update: "Windows for Mobiles"?#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Back on Feb. 6th, Steve Hughes posted on some... um - "irregularities" regarding the now-infamous zzzPhone, which promised a fully-customized phone with lots of bells and whistles, including Windows Mobile for the OS, for only $149. At the time, Steve made some very valid points that led to the conclusion that this was in fact a scam - at least from the point of the price including a licensed copy of Windows Mobile on board.

Turn to today, when I decided to pay a visit back to the zzzPhone web site. Lo and behold - the specs now list the operating system as Windows for Mobiles.

zzzPhone

Folks, this is the third time I have seen this operating system change. First, it went from Windows Mobile to Windows Mobile 6. This was not long after there were some inquiries to the "manufacturer" regarding whether or not Windows Mobile 6 was included. On a side note - the radio stack frequencies supported conveniently changed early on after it was noted in some forums that the frequencies listed would not support all US networks. Timing is everything, they say... ;-)

I still encourage people to take a good look around the zzzPhone web site. Try to find any copyright notices for operating systems. Any partnerships with OS licensers. Take a good long look at the mockups of the screen for the zzzPhone. It could very well turn out that these phones are running a legitimate OS on them, but Windows Mobile or Symbian? I don't think so.

I will be curious to hear from those who have spent the $149 to find out what they discover. Hopefully, they aren't expecting a refund if Windows Mobile is not on board. You see - the "service guarantee" on the zzzPhone web site states the following:

We guarantee our products to be free from manufacturer defects and will repair or replace your order within 30 days if there are any manufacturer defects in your phone.

A different operating system that works likely won't be considered a "defect", and there is no money back - only a replacement.

As always, ladies and gentlemen - Caveat Emptor...

02/19/2008 22:19:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

REMINDER: Windows Mobile User/Developer Group Meeting TOMORROW (Feb. 20, 2008)#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

This is just a quick reminder that our next user/developer group meeting will be held tomorrow, February 20th at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA. For a map and directions, check out the complete announcement.

The main presentation for this meeting is entitled "What's New For Windows Mobile Developers with Visual Studio 2008". I will be covering language, tool and debugging enhancements which should be of interest to anyone developing .NET Compact Framework applications.

As always, we have some great giveaways this month, so be sure to attend!

02/19/2008 19:51:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Blu-ray is gaining ground#
Post By Johan van Mierlo

After the announcements of Netfix, Best Buy and Wal-mart decision to only sell the Blu-ray products, Toshiba is giving up on their HD DVD players and recorders. However they will keep supporting their current customers with their HD DVD products.

It looks like the Blu-ray and HD DVD battle will be shorter as the battle we had with VHS and Betamax video tapes.

You can read more here

 

02/19/2008 10:11:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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

Walking the floors of Pepcom's Digital Experience, one booth that caught my eye was Juice Caster. I remember perusing my literally thousands of emails from CES and finding a meeting request to meet with Juice Wireless and thought nothing of it. Now in hindsight I wished I booked a meeting with them rather than some others that were a complete waste of time, but that is another story...

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JuiceCaster is a mobile application that allows users to post content onto their favorite sites instantly and simultaneously.  Social networking sites have grown tremendously; 2 out of 3 persons online visit a social networking site during each internet session.  At the same time, mobile phones have grown to become more than just voice communication tools; they are becoming a means for empowering self-expression on the Internet while on-the-go. 

JuiceCaster is designed to make it easy for consumers to incorporate every day life with their social network by providing the ability for users to capture and upload photos and video with virtually any mobile phone and social networking/blogging site. 

Because it's free, easy to use, and brings your cell phone to life! Use JuiceCaster to post videos and pictures directly from your phone to:

  • Your personal JuiceCaster Player which you can put on 100's of your favorite sites like MySpace, Hi5, and Xanga
  • Your desktop Player or the desktops of your friends
  • And to any other cell phone user!

Plus, you can watch great videos, meet new friends, make comments and more - right on your phone, right now!

As a JuiceCaster user, you are free to select the user networks that fit your lifestyle and reflect your interests. You also have complete freedom over where to view your favorite channels and interact with friends or other members:

  • On Your Phone - capture content via your camera phone, download JuiceCaster to your handset, or visit the JuiceCaster WAP site (www.juicecaster.com/wap) to view and comment on your favorite channels, pictures, and videos
  • On Your Desktop - download JuiceCaster to your desktop to automatically receive all the latest pictures and videos on your favorite subjects
  • On The Web - add JuiceCaster to your personal webpage or social networking site to share your favorite content with friends and visitors
  • On Facebook - add JuiceCaster's 'Mobile Video' application and show your cell phone pictures/videos to your friends right on your Facebook profile
  • At JuiceCaster.com - create a profile, manage your account, and check out the top JuiceCasts and JuiceCasters right from our homepage

They also have a Mobile Video Search, which is a free service that anyone with a video-capable cell phone can use. By texting keywords to ‘84462’, users can watch desired videos on-demand as the search tool replies with links for the requested content.

I have yet had some free time to use it, but when I do I will be sure to post up a review of it.

02/17/2008 21:03:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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

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HP had a large booth on the Floor to support the many products they produce as well as a large presence at several other press only events like PepCom's Digital Experience and at the Bloghaus.They really are making huge strides in making the PC Personal again!

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At their booth they had alot of accessories that brought attention alot of people wanted to purchase the beige bag that was part of a laptop Make Art Contest by HP and MTV, but it wasn't available.

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The contest for artist to design a cool laptop look for the dv6000 and we have the winner that had his design imprinted on HP's unique manufacturing process that imprints the image into the plastic via a special manufacturing process of ink. The pictures above are the winning design and the 20 year olod artist Joao Oliveira of Porto, Portugal who designed it. Todd not only came up with that design, but also entered several. Some of which are available via SkinIt as well as some of the other entries. (Note his name tag is that of Todd Bradley, HP's Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group) The special edition HP Pavilion 14-inch diagonal notebook PC with his imprinted design will be available in Spring of 2008.

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This dv6000 had a cool Copper metallic like finish complete with metal fleck and the inside looks like liquid metal, but its just plastic, it looked nice even around the built-in webcam. This version will be sold exclusively at BestBuy. We are slated for a review unit so be sure to come back for that.

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Circuit City will be getting an exclusive white one loaded with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5450, 3GB of DDR2 SDRAM,250GB hard drive, Bluetooth, 802.11agn, and a LightScribe DVD burner.

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However the plain old model still doesn't look all that bad, but if you think it does you can always SkinIt.

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Many people didn't even realize these were vinyl stickers and thought they were actual customized laptops, I guess it pays to read the little placard and signs in the booth area. :)

 

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They also unveiled the HP Pavilion HDX series Entertainment Notebook PC  which offers a 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS video graphics and the latest Intel® Core 2 Extreme and Intel® Core 2 Duo processor technology, giving it desktop-caliber performance. Now it comes with both Blu-ray and HD DVD support, the HDX series plays high-definition DVD or Blu-ray movies on the world’s first 20.1-inch diagonal WUXGA XHD Ultra Brightview display that supports 1080p! HDX Integrated Audio provides a best-in-class audio experience with four discrete Altec Lansing speakers and the integrated HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer.  Its a beast that is more powerful than most desktops with a price starting at $2999.

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They also had some other custom PCs and bags to go along with different lifestyles with this product target toward the ladies.

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What attracted Eric's attention was the new and improved HP Pavilion tx2000 Series Entertainment Notebook PC, which Eric immediately noticed how well it performed over its predecessor in both speed and functionality via a touch-screen capability and a built-in digitizer into the 12.1-inch diagonal display that rotates 180 degrees and folds flat for easy inking much better than its predecessor the TX1000 series that was plagued with accuracy problems with its touch screen. Eric even downloaded installed Sony Vegas while on the show floor to test out the processor's prowess and was impressed enough to place it at the top of his next must have laptop list. It will be made available starting on January 8, 2008 with base configurations starting at $1,299 and hard drive configurations up to 250GB in size and 4GB of memory.

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The unit also had a Notbook stand, which doesn't appear on the HP Shopping site or SKU list.

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They had their PDAs on display the iPAQ 111($299) and 211 ($449) series (both equipped with Windows Mobile 6 Classic, 64MB of RAM, 256MB of ROM, a Marvell PXA310 624MHz CPU, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, and color touchscreens-the 111 sports a 3.5-inch, 240 x 320 screen, Mini-USB, and SDIO card slot, while the 211 Enterprise edition sports a larger 4-inch, 480 x 640, 260k screen, 24-pin and Mini-USB connectors, plus SDIO and CF card slots. Their bigger announcement in the iPAQ line is their new HP iPAQ 300 Series Navigator GPS units and they just announced a new website to accompany the device, that provides online trip planning, which allows you to create tailored travel plans, research points of interest and load their custom itineraries onto HP iPAQ handhelds. You can also send itineraries to friends/family/co-workers and edit itineraries on the device. I received a review unit before leaving for CES literally it arrived as I was heading to the airport and I will posting a review of it here after using it for a month. So far it looks pretty good and I really like the high resolution and 3D buildings that help in navigating by landmarks.

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They also had their new printers as well, which are more consumer focused and targeted towards printing digital pictures. They had two photo centric printers featured in detail below as well as their new all in one printers (pictured above right) like the HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One, which delivers the fastest and easiest way to print photos at home and also allows for photo archiving with a 3.5-inch touchsreen for easy navigation and LightScribe technology for etching labels directly onto the surface of CDs/DVDs. In addition to delivering easy printing at home, this feature-packed printer offers lab-quality photos, laser-quality documents, copy and scan functionality, as well as built-in wireless and Ethernet connectivity. With one touch buttons, blazing print speeds, Bluetooth®, HP Smart Web Printing and an automated photo tray it is designed for ease of use for $399.

To its right is the HP Photosmart D7460 Printer which prints at blazing speeds – up to 34 pages per minute (ppm) black and 33 ppm color, and photos in as fast as 10 seconds. It also has built-in built-in wireless and Ethernet for easy network connectivity all for $179 retail.

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On the left is the HP Photosmart A626 Compact Photo Printer which allows consumers to unleash their creativity with over 200 creative options including album pages, frames, graphics and effects. This printer features the world’s first 4.8-inch color touchscreen on a portable compact photo printer for easy personalization of 4 x 6- and 5 x 7-inch photos. With a built-in handle, foldup tray, optional battery and instant-dry and smudge- and fade-resistant photos, the HP Photosmart A626 Compact Photo Printer makes printing truly portable and makes prints in 38 seconds it retails for $179.

The one on the right is the HP Photosmart A826 Home Photo Center, according to Frank Fellows of HP its designed to be like a home printing kiosk. Featuring a large 7.0-inch color touchscreen with stylus included, the Photosmart A826 allows users to edit, design and personalize photos with borders, text and creative graphics. With the 100-sheet internal paper tray, users can conveniently print up to 100 photos at a time. Print borderless 4 x 6- and 5 x 7-inch photos, holiday cards, wallets and panoramas from the convenience of home and retails for $249

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They also had their new high end systems on display as well. like the HP Pavilion m9100 Elite PC- Premium PC delivering high-end home entertainment with the HP Easy Backup button to instantly back-up files, NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT graphics card with support for Microsoft DirectX 1. The Pavilion m9160f and m9180f will also feature Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition,which is nice to see that HP listened to our feedback of shipping systems with 64bit OS on 64bit hardware. These will be available mid-January 2008 starting at $1,159.

Coupled with the HP w2408h Monitor - 24” monitor, providing vibrant colors, convenience, personalization and height adjustment options, dual inputs support true digital (HDMI) and traditional analog (VGA) signals,four built-in USB ports. Available February 3, 2008 for $499.

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They also had their HP Pavilion m8330 Media Center PC on display with their Home Servers showing how you can consolidate, organize, and play your favorite TV shows, movies, music, photos and videos. It sports a cool, but fast AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor,NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT graphics card with support for Microsoft DirectX 10 and is available January 6, 2008 for $959.99 and up.These seem to be perfect for the home or work office as well.

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Home servers were also out on display the HP MediaSmart Server EX470/EX475 -Price: $599 (500GB model) and $749 (1TB model), which are designed to provides consumers with a central, safe location to keep all their media and files for easy access from any computer on their home network or remotely from any internet-connected computer. We were told by Tom Augenthaler that the HP MediaSmart Servers will have three enhancements coming in February 2008, which will be available via push updates to existing customers:

  • Integrated server-side anti-virus software from McAfee for added security both at home and remotely.
  • Improved media streaming to DMA devices through Packet Video for enhanced experiences such as thumbnail photos and album art
  • Support for Vista 64-bit

HP will also be offering an HP Upline Storage Service that is an online storage service lets the customer put their data in a secure, offsite location mainly targeted towards consumers and SMB customers to quickly and easily access, share, manipulate and store data. It is slated to become available in March 2008.

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The HP Blackbird 002 was designed with gamers in mind by the folks from VooDoo, as well as for anyone needing a performance machine. Full System Liquid Cooling – HP Blackbird 002 is the first in its class to feature full system, maintenance-free liquid cooling that draws heat away from the CPU, motherboard and GPUs.Its removable side panel, interior and back panel lighting, and Voodoo-style wiring provide easy access for enthusiasts to fine tune their machine’s performance. All the components, from the CPU and GPU to the hard drives and optical drives, can be removed and installed without tools. Pricing for this masterpiece starts at $2,500 and peaks up out at only $7,100. Needless to say its probably the highest performing PC on the market today with an all aluminum chassis that can support up to 600 lbs while fully capable of supporting future industry standards. The machine can be purchased online at www.hp.com/blackbird.

The also had their HP Pavilion Slimline s3330 PC -which is one-third the size of a conventional tower PC for under $1,000 with a Blu-ray/HD DVD player and NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT graphics card with support for Microsoft DirectX 10. It will be available January 13, 2008 at prices starting at $949.

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HP also had their MediaSmart Televisions on display as well that now via flash update for older sets and installed from the factory for new sets can operate as a Windows Vista Media Center Extender. The sets have an ethernet port in the back as well as 802.11 a, b, g & draft n wireless, on-demand movies through CinemaNow, photos from Snapfish and music from Live365 radio, a backlit universal remote control, redesigned speakers, panels and 2000:1 contrast ratio for an enhanced connected entertainment experience.Retail Price: $1,899.99 (SL4282N 42” model) and $2,399.99 (SL4782N 47” model).

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When we were in the Microsoft tent Sunday morning (at the time we weren't allowed to take pictures due NDA's and Bill Gates presence) was the HP MediaSmart Receiver x280N, which allows MediaSmart technology to aggregate digital content from multiple PCs and home servers to make any HDTV a “MediaSmart” TV. It also had a built-in HP Pocket Media Drive bay (for offline storage and other uses), two USB ports,HDMI, component out, Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g/n. It also has the sporty piano-black, high-gloss finish with HP's exclusive “Zen” imprint pattern designed to fit perfectly with any home décor however we think it would just be mounted to our flat screen TV bracket. It will also work with older televisions since the output can be toggled on the front between 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i with a press of a button.

They said it would be available in Spring 2008, but didn't have a price however it was estimated to be around $300 in the MS booth. I see this working much better than the unit from Samsung, which only works with Samsung televisions, which still requires the use of 2 remotes to operate the extender portion and your original remote to switch to the input (really dumb design) and much quieter than an Xbox 360. For us it was the best item in the MS tent besides Microsoft Surface, which we only got a brief 2 minute demo of :(

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We also found that HP had an 8" Digital Picture frame out on display as well that looked just as good as the Kodak ones that were in the booth right next door, which we were told retailed for around $179 with 2 interchangeable frames.

02/17/2008 12:21:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Life|ware Digital Entertainment and Automation#
Post By Eric Hicks

Steven Hughes, Johan van Mierlo, Mike Temporale (smartphonethoughts) and I took a tour of the Life|ware home at CES.  To bring the presentation to "life" life|ware used actors to showcase all the rooms in the house.  Everything revolves around Vista Windows Media Center Edition and the interaction between everything in the house gives you that "Jetsons" feel. The exciting thing about Life|ware is that all the components needed to do this are available today, this isn't some "home of the future" where the products are out of the consumers reach.  

**Youtube only allows videos up to 10 minutes in length so I chopped the video into 5 segments which will all play via the link above. 

 

02/12/2008 19:46:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

MSN Direct for Windows Mobile devices#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Today at Mobile World Congress 2008, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of a technology preview for accessing MSN Direct content on Windows Mobile-based devices. Hey, this has been something the community has begging for for quite a while. I wonder how it will be implemented and if those with watches, GPS, coffee makers with MSN Direct can use the same subscription and how this will compete with free applications sharing the same information like Live Search for Mobile, but after downloading it it looks nice and it costs nothing, but your data connection. I was just thinking of canceling my watch subscription since it is due up this week and just using the free content and this is edging me towards that and saving $59, where I can always resubscribe if I can't live with out it.

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It looks really cool on the phone and Microsoft does not charge anything for download or use of the MSN Direct application. (Note: downloading and using MSN Direct requires data connectivity from your wireless carrier, which may charge additional fees. Check with your wireless provider for its coverage areas and service fees.)

I just downloaded and started using the today screen plugin. It is very nice!!!! Download directions here. Granted there are small advertisements on the top of detailed content, but they are done tastefully. With a View Ad softkey, that brings up a larger version of the ad that points you to a browser for more information on the ad. The interface is just as nice as the Yahoo Go! 3 demo we saw at CES 2008.

This is the press release I received on my phone today:

With this technology preview, customers can receive instant access to information such as weather and stock updates; top news stories; and entertainment, sports and business news. The information is presented in a glanceable format, and is easily accessible directly from the home screen of a device. Content is automatically updated so that customers have immediate access to the content that matters most to them.

“This is the first time MSN Direct content has been made available to mobile phones, and it is a strong next step for the delivery of MSN Direct content where customers have said they need it the most,” said Eric Lang, general manager of the MSN Direct initiative at Microsoft. “We are excited about the opportunities this new application will bring to mobile operators, consumers and the industry.”

After installing the technology preview on the device, customers can select content based on relevancy and preference. For more in-depth information on the topics a person is exploring, MSN Direct provides links that connect users to the relevant areas of the popular MSN Mobile portal. Together, MSN Direct and MSN Mobile provide users with quick and easy options for getting current information while on the go.

“The MSN Direct for mobile technology preview is a clear demonstration of Microsoft’s commitment to bringing simple and useful information to mobile customers,” said Alexander Gounares, corporate vice president of Microsoft Ads and Commerce. “We are pleased to offer this preview and look forward to feedback.”

The MSN Direct content is supplied by a number of leading partners, including Foreca Ltd. for current weather information, Comstock Resources Inc. for stock prices, and MSNBC for the wide gamut of news offerings.

Windows Mobile customers interested in downloading the MSN Direct technology preview can use either of the following methods:

· Via mobile browser. From the Web browser on their mobile phone, users go to http://phone.msndirect.com and follow the instructions on the page to download and install MSN Direct.

· Via PC. Users download MSN Direct to their PC and copy it over to their device using whatever software they normally use (such as ActiveSync). On the device, they click on the MSN Direct file to begin installation.

The MSN Direct application is free to download; MSN Direct requires data connectivity from a wireless carrier, which may charge additional fees. Consumers should check with their wireless provider for its coverage areas and service fees.

02/11/2008 14:05:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft Acquires Danger#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Microsoft announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Danger Inc., the company responsible for the software and services powering many popular consumer handsets like the Sidekick and just made their public offering for stock recently in December of 2007. The acquisition will align Danger’s nearly 10 years of expertise in the mobile consumer space with Microsoft’s vision to provide innovative and compelling mobile experiences to a growing base of customers, who have a great understanding of ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and end users.

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“Microsoft is a global leader with our Windows Mobile software and expanding mobile services,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “The addition of Danger serves as a perfect complement to our existing software and services, and also strengthens our dedication to improving mobile experiences centered around individuals and what they like.”

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company provides services that allow people to keep in touch, stay organized and keep informed while on the go through real-time mobile messaging, social networking services and other applications ― all blended together on a single phone that is intuitive and customizable.

“Danger continues to provide an effortless and fun mobile experience for consumers,” said Henry R. Nothhaft, chairman and CEO of Danger Inc. “Now by combining our uncompromised application software and powerful back-end service with Microsoft, we can expand our innovative service offerings even further and take mobility to a new level.”

A Grasp on Consumers

Danger has connected with a customer base that is young and enthusiastic, Internet-savvy and socially inclined. The Danger team has a deep understanding of consumers and a hold on what people want from mobility, making it an ideal group to work with in delivering connected experiences. Adding Danger to the Entertainment and Devices Division will provide Microsoft with additional assets and resources that will accelerate the company’s entry into the consumer space and complement the company’s focus on delivering innovative technologies and services that connect people’s entertainment and information.

Danger will further expand people’s mobile options by bringing a variety of established partnerships to the mix. Microsoft software can be found on more than 160 mobile phones made by more than 50 hardware partners, which are offered through more than 160 mobile operators around the world.

Defining the Mobile Experience

Through focused efforts Danger has successfully delivered a software and services platform to the mobile mass market. Applications on Danger-powered handsets include HTML Web browsing, instant messaging, games, multimedia, social networking, Web e-mail and personal information management applications.

Combining these services with Microsoft’s connected entertainment and experiences technologies, including MSN, Xbox, Zune, Windows Live and Windows Mobile, will provide Microsoft with the tools to accelerate its work to create industry-leading entertainment and communication experiences for consumers.

Microsoft Entertainment and Devices President Robbie Bach's keynote at Mobile World Congress can be viewed here.

02/11/2008 09:00:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Starbucks Drops T-Mobile as Provider and Offers Free WiFi with AT&T Wireless#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well it looks like Starbucks has ended their 6 year relationship with T-Mobile and started a new one with their data partner AT&T, who already provides their business end POS (Point of Sale) technology and connection for the past 10 years, they thought it a logical step. So you will now no longer have to hunt for alternative places to have your free WiFi for your office on the road,outside the house, or impromptu meeting place to get some work done and sip on some coffee and WiFi at over 7,000 different Starbucks locations (granted some are within blocks of each other in some major cities). Looks like Starbucks realized they were losing customers that didn't want to pay $10 for WiFi access and went to competitors like Panera for their business.

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Under the agreement, about 12 million AT&T subscribers of DSL service in the 1.5-megabit-per-second tier or higher will receive free Wi-Fi access at Starbucks stores. Users will log on with their AT&T Yahoo DSL sign-in to receive service.

Also Starbucks customers who purchase a prepaid Starbucks card will receive two hours of free service. The card, which can be purchased for $5 or more, must be activated and have a balance to receive free Wi-Fi service.

The addition of Starbucks brings the number of AT&T hotspots to 17,000 in the United States, including McDonald's and Barnes & Noble locations. Last month, AT&T said it was offering most of its DSL subscribers free access to its then-10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.

Current T-Mobile HotSpot customers will not be left out in the cold still will be able to log on to the network through a partnership agreement with AT&T.

AT&T also is cutting the price of hotspot service for outside users who don't want to use a pre-paid card (why I don't know why you wouldn't just purchase a prepaid card, but hey its an option for the consumer negligent). For two hours, users can pay $3.99 for access. Also monthly membership will be sold for $19.99, and will include access to AT&T's 70,000 hotspots around the world. Previously, T-Mobile was charging $6 per hour, $9.99 for a day pass, or $39.99 a month for unlimited access.

“People want to stay connected to their world 24/7, and Wi-Fi hot spots, broadband and wireless make that mobility possible,” said Rick Welday, AT&T chief marketing officer, Consumer. “Laptops and smartphones give us the online mobility we crave, and now millions of AT&T and Starbucks customers will get Internet access free from the comfort of their neighborhood Starbucks.”

“This is what our customers have been waiting for — free Starbucks-quality Wi-Fi,” said Chris Bruzzo, chief technology officer, Starbucks Coffee Company. “Through our new partnership with AT&T, we also welcome their millions of current customers who can now come in and enjoy free Wi-Fi as part of their daily Starbucks Experience.”

This change won't be immediate and will start on April 1st, 2008 while equipment is being transitioned.

02/11/2008 08:21:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sony Ericsson Announces XPERIATM X1 Windows Mobile Phone#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well we had heard rumors of this becoming a possibility over a year ago at CES 2007 and further details sprinkled throughout the year,but Sony Ericsson at Mobile World Congress made an announcement of the XPERIA™ X1, a stand-out, arc slider phone from Sony Ericsson designed to address the growing need for a premium, converged mobile experience with ease of integration with Windows business computers.

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The XPERIA X1 combines a 3-inch clear wide VGA display and a full QWERTY keyboard within a quality metal-finish body. The OLED optical touch screen allows you to interface with the device via a custom User Interface on top of Windows Mobile 6. The custom user interface consists of 9 square icons that look like minature high resolution screen captures of the application it launches, that Sony Ericsson calls panels (much better than ZenZui IMHO). The company also said the XPERIA brand was not tied to Windows Mobile, so that future Xperia models could support other mobile phone platforms maybe Android.

The video on the website of the UI is very impressive for what we see of the phone (less paper airplanes and more of the phone please!) I like the kinetics icons of the full screen used.

The specs aren't bad:

Experia specs

Size

  • 110 x 17 x 53 mm
  • 4.3 x 0.7 x 2.1 inches

Weight

  • 145 gr
  • 5.1 oz

Available colors

Screen

  • 800 X 480
  • 65,536 color TFT

Memory

  • Up to 400 MB Phone Memory
  • Memory Stick SanDisk Micro™ support
Actual free memory may vary due to phone pre-configuration

Networks

  • GSM 850
  • GSM 900
  • GSM 1800
  • GSM 1900
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA
  • HSUPA
  • UMTS 850
  • UMTS 900
  • UMTS 1700
  • UMTS 1900

So in the US it looks to be on either AT&T or T-Mobile, no news on the processor, but it has a nice camera at 3.2MP, aGPS triangulation, WiFi, standard mini USB port. So far I like it! The X1 looks like won't appear until the second half of this year (I am assuming around the holidays).

Here is some of the official press release:

“XPERIA™ represents the first brand that is truly borne from within Sony Ericsson. It represents our vision for a premium, energised communication experience,” said Dee Dutta, Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson. “This launch, and the announcement of the X1, further strengthens the overall Sony Ericsson brand and places us at the forefront of mobile convergence.”

“Our vision for the XPERIA™ X1 is to deliver a seamless blend of mobile Web communication and multimedia entertainment within a distinctive design,” said Rikko Sakaguchi, Head of Portfolio and Propositions, Sony Ericsson. “XPERIA™ is our promise to think foremost of user experience and to deliver the premium experience – anytime, anywhere, anything, with anyone.”

Sony Ericsson XPERIATM X1 – energised communication, the premium experience.

  • Convergence of multimedia entertainment and mobile Web communication
  • Unique arc slider with wide pitch easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard
  • XPERIA™ panels  - arrange as you want for easy access
  • Enjoy multimedia entertainment on bright wide VGA display
  • Windows Mobile® capabilities

XPERIA™ panel interface – experiences just the way you want them
Enjoy access to different experiences – Web, multimedia, applications – from your desktop. Navigate with the tip of your finger. Configure and have your XPERIA™ panels just the way you want them.

Multiple navigation – the choice is yours
XPERIA™ X1 lets you interact with your
phone in different ways. Touch, full QWERTY keyboard, 4-way key and optical joystick  navigation. Switch seamlessly between operation modes.

Arc slider design – makes it stand out
The arc design gives a distinct and unique feel. Slide the screen upwards to reveal the wide pitch QWERTY keyboard. Ample distance between keys makes writing fast and easy.

Ultimate mobile experience – performance on the move
With Windows Mobile®, the highest data transfer rate (HSDPA/HSUPA) and WiFi™ support, you can enjoy your favourite entertainment and work efficiently on the move. Mobile access to everything that is important to you. aGPS gives you the freedom to explore the world.  XPERIA™ X1 is a premium mobile experience.

More info here and the official MS Press Release here.

02/10/2008 14:15:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Live TV on your PND Navigation System is on the way#
Post By Johan van Mierlo
The next step in the PND navigation systems is the integration of live TV capabilities using your data connection of your Phone/laptop or even maybe with an integrated Mobile Data Connection(Sim data card). See below the press release and the full specs of this new AvMap PND
AvMap introduces Geosat 6 TV, the world’s firstPND featuring DVB-H TV, connected navigation and tri-band GSM phone options

AvMap, the Italian GPS company, today presented the most complete and versatile stand-alone GPS unit in the market: the new Geosat 6 TV. Geosat 6 TV is a Do-It-All Personal Navigation Device (PND) featuring DVB-T and DVB-H TV (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) on the move, connected navigation, a tri-band GSM phone and multimedia player functions. Geosat 6 TV includes an unmatched integration of technologies and functions in a single all-in-one GPS device. The multimedia engine and TV middleware are provided by Cidana Corporation and the device will also feature digital maps and content from Tele Atlas. AvMap is previewing the world premiere of the Geosat 6 TV at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the Tele Atlas stand, Hall 2, Booth 2B69.

“Geosat 6 TV is a connected device capable of enriching the navigation experience with dynamic information on-the-go.” said Simone Lazzarini, Managing Director of AvMap “Geosat 6 TV represents the result of the most advanced converging technologies and it opens the way to limitless opportunities of partnerships with location-based services (LBS) and content providers to offer innovative solutions for the mobile user.”

“Rich, live mobile TV is the next key feature for navigation devices,” said Ioannis Katsavounidis, Chief Technology Officer of Cidana. “Geosat 6 TV is the first of a new breed of devices that combine portable navigation with live media entertainment. Its light-weight form factor and GPS location-aware features, coupled with the many services that DVB-H TV signals carry, will make it a natural success. Cidana is excited to provide our universal DVB-H/DVB-T and PMP solutions to AvMap for the Geosat 6 TV.”

“Consumers seek a content-rich experience from their mobile multimedia devices, so it is natural they will also want to leverage navigation information and features as a part of their complete on-the-go environment,” said Jack Reinelt, Tele Atlas’ Managing Director and Chief Operating Office of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We’re pleased to partner with leading companies such as AvMap, which are focused on providing innovative solutions for the mobile user.”

Advanced GPS Navigation
The new Software by AvMap makes navigation easier thanks to advanced functions such as the stop planner, the trip computer an FAQ and on board user guide.
Dynamic contents
Find out how connected navigation makes the difference when planning your journey: receive real time weather info, then take a look at the gas prices to decide where to stop and refuel, look for free parking and get some tips on events to plan your night in town. Geosat 6 TV will be the first connected navigator in Europe of its kind, finally bringing Location Based Services capabilities into a PND device.

GSM and emergency Calls
With Geosat 6 TV, AvMap enters the mobile phone market. Thanks to the built-in tri-band GSM, Geosat 6 TV works as a mobile phone. The SW interface includes a quick access button for emergency calls, which can be configured for special services (such as car insurance support).

DVB-H and Multimedia Functions
Geosat 6 TV includes numerous mobile entertainment applications. Geosat 6 TV is equipped with a DVB-H and a DVB-T module to ensure an optimal reception of Digital TV in any condition. This portable multimedia device also includes a picture viewer and an Mp3 and Mp4 player.
Hardware & specs
AvMap Geosat 6 TV is 100% designed and made in Italy. The new stylish design features a slim metallic case which is robust and elegant. The large, high-resolution 4.8” wide-screen ensures recognition at a glance and can be viewed in horizontal or vertical mode. The innovative smart magnetic holder holds the navigator with 4 powerful magnets and lets you rotate the navigator from landscape to portrait mode with a simple gesture to choose the best point of view on navigation.
The AvMap Geosat 6 TV features a 520 MHz processor, a Sirf Star III GPS receiver, sensor for automatic brightness control and a master/slave USB port.

Preloaded with the Tele Atlas maps for 34 European countries and with more than 2 million POI’s (Points of Interest), Geosat 6 TV comes with text-to-speech technology that announces street names and live contents with the AvMap dynamic info service. AvMap Geosat 6 TV adds a digital media player to play Mp3 and Mp4 files.

AvMap Geosat 6 TV will be compatible with Geosat Updater the desktop application that helps people manage their GPS maps, Points of interests, Welcome images, Voices and other content and easily synchronize it to their devices. The Geosat Updater allows free download of the latest software release, helping customers to keep their AvMap devices up-to date. Through the Geosat Updater, which is a free download from http://www.avmap.it/ , AvMap customers can personalize and expand their GPS experience.
 
Availability
AvMap Geosat 6 TV will be displayed at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, 11 – 14 February 2008 in the Tele Atlas stand in Hall 2 at booth B69; visitors to the AvMap corner of the stand will be able to view demonstrations. AvMap Geosat 6 TV ships in Q2 2008 with a smart magnetic mount, a cigarette lighter power supply cable, A/C power supply cable and USB data cable.
02/08/2008 07:56:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

ZZZPhone - Nice Idea, Too Bad its a Scam!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you have perused the Internet lately you may have seen some posts on Engadget and MobilitySite of the ZZZphone offer, which seems like a pretty good idea to build a customized Windows Mobile phone starting at $149. This seems like a great deal, especially if you have to consider how much it costs to license the use of Windows Mobile for manufacturers . The phones look to be made by ZTE Corp, (similar phone being sold here, here and here), which just recently closed a manufacturing plant in Abuja, Nigeria that was set up in 2005 to help distribute and sell its handsets throughout Africa. ZTE makes handsets for several carriers like Telus and MetroPCS.

zzzphone

Well save your hard earned cash, it looks like a scam from sources that said they purchased one it runs Symbian and not Windows Mobile 6 as advertised. It was confirmed by Microsoft that the device is also using pirated Windows Mobile logos on the box and engraved in the case and it is also running a non-commercial version of Symbian. Also the radio stack won't connect on any US operator.

zzphonexp

Note the bottom right hand screen has the phone with a Windows XP logo and not Windows Mobile.

So BUYER BEWARE!!!!

02/06/2008 14:20:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Opera 9.5 Coming soon!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One trend you may start to see on several new handsets even on Windows Mobile devices is the addition of the Opera browser, which adds many features that are missing from Internet Explorer Mobile. The folks at Opera announced an innovative technology in latest mobile Web browser - Opera Mobile 9.5- the latest version of its award-winning Web browser for sophisticated feature phones and smartphones. Participants at the Mobile World Congress 2008 will be the first to experience the improved functionality of Opera Mobile 9.5. Built on Opera's unique core architecture, the Opera Mobile 9.5 desktop-like browsing experience has been enhanced with innovations such as zooming and panning that make it easier to navigate, load pages quicker and get users closer to the Web content and entertainment they want. With Opera Mobile 9.5, users can experience the real Web and interact with content exactly as they do on their PC.

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 opera sms_image opera cnn_entertainment


Faster speed
The new version utilizes Opera's Presto rendering engine to achieve page load speeds comparable to a desktop experience. The Opera Presto engine was modified and improves browsing performance significantly by accelerating the handling of Web pages. It dramatically improves page responsiveness on pages with heavy use of languages such as JavaScript and Ajax, ensuring smooth, hassle-free browsing.


Compelling experience
Opera Mobile 9.5 includes numerous features aimed at elevating the mobile browsing experience. Not only is the user interface (UI) intuitive enough to master in minutes, Opera Mobile 9.5 introduces several new innovations that elevate the Internet experience on a handheld device. Users can take advantage of the intuitive Opera ZoomT to dive into the page and get closer to the content they want. In addition, productivity tools like the ability to save pages for offline browsing, Web address auto complete and password manager help busy users make the most of their time.

Fully loaded
Web 2.0-enabled, Widget-ready and Flash support turn Opera Mobile 9.5 into a fully loaded browser allowing users to access all their favorite Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and more. With Opera Mobile 9.5, OEMs and operators will have the capability to include Flash Lite 3, empowering their smartphone users with access to the full Web including the ability to watch videos on YouTube effortlessly. In addition, Opera Widgets, which are mini applications that allow content to be accessed easily from the device idle screen with just a few clicks, are included in the new edition - automatically engaging the user through ease of operation and meeting consumer demands for quick access to information.

The Opera Mobile 9.5 experience includes many of the innovations found in Opera's trend-setting desktop browser including:


- Intuitive user interface
- Tabbed browsing
- Improved text wrap
- Page overview, zooming and panning
- Landscape mode
- Save Web page for future offline access
- Call phone number from Web page
- Send link as SMS/MMS
- Send image as SMS/MMS
- Small Screen RenderingT
- Password manager
- Web-address input auto-completion
- History and bookmarks
- Copy text
- Opera Widgets


Opera Mobile is currently shipped on more than 100 million phones with many of the world's top mobile OEMs and operators such as HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, and others.
Leading software platform provider, UIQ, has realized the potential of Opera's new mobile browser. "UIQ works with the world's leading mobile phone manufacturers to create the ultimate user experience. Our long-standing partnership with Opera has given users the ability to access all their favorite Web sites and services," says Mats Barvesten, EVP Product Planning and Product Management at UIQ Technology. "We look forward to introducing our upcoming handsets, featuring the groundbreaking Opera Mobile 9.5 browser."


Along with hands-on exposure to Opera Mobile 9.5, Mobile World Congress participants will also have the ability to experience Opera on a variety of devices: Opera Mobile on smartphones, free downloads of Opera Mini 4, improved Web browsing on gaming consoles and the ARCHOS Generation 5 Media players will be just a few of the exciting features of Opera's 2008 exhibit.

Opera Mobile 9.5 will be available on all major platforms including Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux, as both a standalone browser and as a SDK. The public beta release of Opera Mobile 9.5 will be announced separately.

A demo video is also available here of the new 9.5 browser its pretty impressive.

02/05/2008 18:35:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Sony PSP 3.9 Update#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Hey, I know Skype wasn't added to the standard PSP (1000 Series) with this update and its only available on the newer slim PSP aka 2000 Series that you will get this option to Skype from your PSP. Its not really worth it to me to purchase another PSP just for the feature, that was announced at CES, nor is the video out option, since I use the PSP for watching movies locally ripped. I do have a Zune, but the screen on the PSP and the expanded battery make it perfect for watching movies on coast to coast flights when I am not partaking in some mobile gaming. The update does add some features if you like me haven't updated your PSP in a while.

3.9 update

The PSP is still one of the best mobile devices I have bought, Don and Eric also picked one up a year and a half ago in a bundle package when we were doing some contract work for Microsoft at Frys. I would love it if Microsoft came up with a similar device (once on a flight home from SEATAC I sat next to a XBOX hardware engineer and the possibility was discussed-fingers crossed) with a touch screen and hand controls, WiFi, Bluetooth, an SSD drive that downloads game titles, music, video from the 360 or computer from Xbox Live, Zune, Amazon Unbox, etc. No Discs, no proprietary format for movies that cost as much as DVDs. Added functionality is great, but make it a great portable gaming platform first and supplemental entertainment device second. We can only dream...OK back to the update.

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Here are some of the other features added to the PSP from the update:

   PSP skype_EN

  • (Skype™) has been added as a feature under [Network] for the 2000 Series only
  • Support for PLAYSTATION®Network titles has been expanded.

If you haven't upgraded to 3.8 you will also get their updates as well:

  • Network
    • (Internet Radio) has been added as a feature under [Network]. You can now play programs (audio content) distributed by Internet radio stations.
  • Settings
    • Version 1.2.0.0 of the theme creation tool is now available here. You must use this version to create a theme for a PSP® system with system software version 3.80 or later.
      * A theme that was created using version 1.2.0.0 of the theme creation tool cannot be displayed on a PSP® system with system software earlier than version 3.80.
  • Video
    • You can now preview each scene of a video using the [Scene Search] feature. (Note this is just awesome. Like chapters on a DVD you can skip forward or backward to video converted to the PSP.)
  • Music
    • The number of visual player types that can be used has been increased.
  • Network
    • You can now import OPML files under rss (RSS Channel). Yes this works with your Bloglines feeds Virginia...
    • You can now view photos displayed on a PSP® system that is connected to the Internet under rss (RSS Channel). (Flikr feed support)

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The PSP has done some nice things over the years and is still in my book the top portable gaming platform out there, they get the ability to add functionality via software and have provided numerous updates over the years supporting a better browsing experience, music(if they would only add album art support for that nice screen) Video playback is awesome once you get used to the controls. Remote Play is great too if you have a PS3, which may be a next purchase for me if the price drops and the number of gaming titles make it worth it. (Right now the 360 is my top gaming platform, but a Wii may be in our family's future since the kids love playing at their friends house, but at a recent sleep over the 360 got a work out by some 10 year old girls playing Fusion Frenzy 2, Guitar Hero 2 & 3)

Online instruction Manuals, how cool is that, Microsoft and Nintendo should take note on that. Location Free Player, meh I have a Slingbox and love it and it works with so many more devices not just the PSP, too bad Sony won't allow Sling to offer a client for the PSP. TiVoToGo allows you to watch recorded TV content (downloaded to your Memory Stick Duo™) from your TiVo.

PICT0210  PICT0211

The RSS Channels have a very nice UX (User Experience) granted when you now first launch it. Sony is pimping their content for the PSP which is fine with videos of popular titles updated daily. The RSS feeds even have a Media Finder for PSP Games, Game Demos, UMD Media, Videos, Images, Music, and RSS. I really like the ability to download demos via the PlayStation Underground (which is much easier to sign up for online rather than on the PSP) very similar to the Xbox Live experience on the 360. Here you can download content to your Sony Memory stick. The nice added feature is OPML import support.

PICT0219  PICT0225

The Internet Radio Player is a JavaScript plug-in saved to your Sony Memory stick that allows you to listen to SHOUTcast radio streams, which you can already do on Windows Mobile devices with GSPlayer or Resco's Pocket Radio. It is a great replacement for those who don't have satellite radio and do have a WiFi connection.

PICT0226  PICT0227

The controls are kind of hard to use. My kids figured it out fairly easily, how ever both my mother and wife thought it was cool it was hard for them to operate . They both agreed it would be nice if there was better use of the buttons on the device, but there is a help screen to give you directions on how to use the player. My daughter really liked it and wished her Zune had a similar functionality, I told her maybe in the future...

Overall Sony keeps pushing out updates fairly regularly on a pretty old platform to make it current and I appreciate it and best of all it is free.

To learn more about this update and how to perform the update head here.

02/05/2008 15:29:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

ProClip USA Valentine promotion#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

If you don’t have a ProClip solution for yourself; consider this the perfect Valentine gift for you and that special one in mind.

proclip

The folks at ProClip USA will offer a special Valentine discount of 10% off to get you and that special someone in your life a great in-vehicle mounting solution for the many gadgets and mobile devices you have and love, but not as much as your Significant Other of course! :)

All you have to do is just enter the following code in the AC-field during the check out process and select apply.  The Valentine 2008 AC promotion number =  021408

This offer expires on February 18, 2008

To take advantage of this offer head over to http://www.proclipusa.com

02/05/2008 14:20:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Vista SP1 is released to RTM#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

From the WindowsVistaBlog Mike Nash from the Windows Product Management group at Microsoft announced that Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista to manufacturing (RTM) for our first set of languages (English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese).

Here's the timing for SP1 availability for current Windows Vista users:

  • In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on microsoft.com.  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1.  If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1.  Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.
  • In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically.  That said, any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not update successfully will not get SP1 automatically.  As updates for these drivers become available, they will be installed automatically by Windows Update, which will unblock these systems from getting Service Pack 1.  The result is that more and more systems will automatically get SP1, but only when we are confident they will have a good experience.
  • The remaining languages will RTM in April.

New customers should feel great about buying Windows Vista today, knowing that when everything is ready, SP1 will be available to them via Windows Update.  In the meantime, remember that you can take advantage of the benefits of Windows Vista (including many improvements delivered via Windows Update) even without Service Pack 1.

This is an important milestone for our current and future Windows Vista customers around the world.  I want to take a minute to thank our customers for their feedback on Windows Vista and the beta of Service Pack 1.  I also want to thank our hardware and software partners for their continued efforts to deliver the best experiences on Windows Vista.

You can read the entire post by going here.

To read about all the notable changes in Vista SP1 head to this article on Technet.

For a complete list of the hotfixes and updates they can be found in Hotfixes and Security Updates included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 article on Technet. (There are a lot of them!)

02/05/2008 13:29:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 Tablet PC & UMPC Community Gathering#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

The Tablet PC & UMPC Community Gathering @ CES 2008 put together by Lora Heiny was again another big success! Food and Drinks were supplied by Microsoft, JKOnTheRun, and TabletLawyer. The sponsorship didn't end there. Several Tablet PCs and other give away's were also handed out and several were handed back to the delight of the gathered crowd. People were coming and going through out the event. I did manage to get a quick head count of 86 people during the sit down eating portion of the event. So it was the a nice comfortable size. Biggest complaint of the night was that not everyone got to talk to each other and there wasn't enough time to mingle.

Warren Crocker served as MC for the event. His loud voice soon got everyone's attention and got the word out when needed. We can see that his Life on a Wicked Stage in the theatre has other great uses as well. :)

 IMG_0033 IMG_0034 IMG_0035 IMG_0036 IMG_0037 IMG_0038

Conversation and comradery were never short through out the whole event. Old friends and new had much to talk about, well Tablet PCs an their smaller cousins UMPCs of course.

IMG_0039 IMG_0040 IMG_0041 IMG_0042  IMG_0044 IMG_0045

Warren Crocker showing off some of the prizes to be had in the drawing. That is Daniel Gentleman aka Thoughtfix of TabletBlog in the lower right hand corner of several of these shots. He did CES on all Linux based equipment and seemed to be everywhere we were.

IMG_0046  IMG_0048 (2) IMG_0049 (2) IMG_0050 (2) IMG_0051 (2) IMG_0052 (2)

Throughout the event the crowd grew and grew and swelled at over 80.

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Alot of prizes and Tablet PCs were out on display for people to play and ogle at.

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Warren Crocker thinks deeply about Tablet PCs and continues his conversation with Matt Miller.

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Otto Berkes, general manager of the Mobile Platforms Division aka Origami at Microsoft Corp. even showed up to talk about UMPCs. It had been a while since we first met.

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Mike Temporale of SmartphoneThoughts receiving a demo of the Nokia Tablet the Nokia N810 from Jussi Makinen, the Product Markeing Manager of Convergence Products for Nokia.

 

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There was a lot of talk about the new Tablet PCs that were brought for demo and giveaway.

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Warren Crocker from GottaBeMobile welcoming people to the meetup and James Kendrick making sure Eric and Betsy get their drink orders in.

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Eric Hicks of BPPC and Betsy Weber of TechSmith sharing some smiles with Eric praising SnagIt and Camtasia Studio and Betsy telling him about all the new features in Camtasia Studio 5.

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In the middle of the dinner James Kendrick said a few words about our good friend, Marc Orchant. A toast of warm thoughts was shared as well thoughts and stories of how Marc had touched each of us. If you knew Marc this was something he would have wanted to be here with other influencers and enthusiasts of Tablet PCs and he was!

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Kristin Golliher from Otterbox made sure each us got a card in for the drawing however, most of us pulled our cards or got our cards removed for us after winning to let others get the coveted prizes.

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Since the open free WiFi access point wasn't working Johan and Eric turned on their Windows Mobile devices and shared their fast connections with the gathered crowd using WMWiFiRouter.

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The NoahPad UMPC was a huge hit. Being hung on a coat hanger to show its rigidity and hands free usage when you are doing something else. Also demoed was the blind typing of the inverted QWERTY keyboard simply amazing! The 7" screen also is capable of displaying a 10" screen virtually.

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We had several Tablet PCs at our table, many demos were being done.

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Somehow orders were placed. Matt Miller and Chris Aarons of BuzzCorps chatting it up.

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While items were being shown for giveaway Fujitsu on the fly offered up a U810 with any configuration the winner desires as Rob Bushway and Lora Heiny look on in appreciation. Johan even got into the spirit and gave away a ProClip mount to an owner of an OQO.

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After eating there was a gathering for the giveaways.

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Tablet Kiosk gives away a few things.

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James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel of JKOnTheRun look on as some items are given back for giveaway. Kevin was able to keep his copy of Camtasia Pro from Betsy Weber and TechSmith given in the picture below left with another winner.

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Stacy Wolff of HP showing off the TX2000 and limited edition bag. The first winner of the HP TX2000 had to return it since he was a Motion Computing employee! Well he wanted to "regift it", but was told to give it back. :)

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Otto Berkes and Sierra Modro look on with hopes of coming away with some new hardware and accessories.

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Some lucky Otterbox winners.

 

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Joan Heiny (picture on the left) won a Motion Computing Tablet PC last year and waited until Dec 28th, 2007 to select her Motion LE1700 with View Anywhere display. The current winner(picture on the right) a Medical student was eyeing the Motion C5, but may do the same and hold out until the end of 2008 he told Eric.

 

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Some very durable Tablet PCs were also demonstrated and dropped on the floor several times by Matt Miller (which seemed to be a popular name at this event) of Mobile Demand

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After the drawings people stood hung out for a few hours after. A good time was had by all proof showing that community gatherings of this type do work! Thanks to all those that put this together and for everyone for showing up.

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02/01/2008 12:41:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CES 2008 - OQO Model 2 and Xohm#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well the folks at OQO seem to time their announcements with CES and other events. This lies partly with partnerships as well as the new modular design of the OQO Model 2. The news announced at CES 2008 is that they have added WiMax aka 4G and a 64GB SSD drive to their line up (a 32GB SSD option is also available). Those opting for the upgrade also get a free $200 upgrade of their sunlight optimized display. A base unit will start at $1499 and the top of the line fully loaded unit will go for $2,349.

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Sprint had given a technology demonstration of the model 02 computer with integrated 802.16e Mobile WiMAX high-speed wireless data capability at the Sprint Xohm™ booth. The demonstration was the first trial of Xohm compatible WiMAX capabilities embedded in an ultra mobile PC, and showcased the power of anytime/anywhere access to information, applications, corporate networks and the full PC Internet experience. Typical performance on Xohm’s WiMAX network was given at 1.5 Megabits per second on the uplink and around 2-4 Megabits per second on the downlink all depending on tower capacity and proximity. These speeds are 3-5 times faster than any current available mobile wireless service. Sprint said that within the next 12-24 months, Mobile WiMAX deployment will be available in metropolitan areas nationwide and become the true next-generation mobile broadband network. Xohm technology is not only aimed at computers and cell phones, but also at digital cameras, camcorders, GPS units, and other CE devices. The cool thing they said was that you have many options to pay either by the day or the month, which is great for infrequent travelers and there are no binding contracts or cancellation fees. The also made it very easy to activate and reactivate for the average user. I think this is great finally someone who gets how to bill for data.

storesplash oqo2a 

The OQO model 02 is currently available with 3G wireless networking capability including EV-DO Rev. A in the U.S. and HSDPA internationally. Many People have complained about their processing power, but the units at CES were pretty snappy running Vista and Office 2007 applications. We are slated for a review unit so we will let you know more when we can use and live with it a bit longer. However when dealing with PCs running Vista memory is a bigger issue than processing power. Hopefully in the future there will be an affordable 2GB version as well. For now here are the specs:

processor

  • 1.6GHz VIA C7M ULV (also available with 1.5GHz and 1.2GHz)
  • embedded AES hardware encryption

operating system

  • Windows Vista® Ultimate
  • Windows Vista® Business
  • Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
  • Windows® XP Professional
  • Windows® XP Home

graphics

  • chipset: VIA VX700 with integrated GPU
  • video RAM: dynamically allocated shared video memory

storage drive

  • HDD capacity: up to 120GB (60GB, 40GB also available)
  • HDD protection: shock-mounted, drop detect technology
  • also available with 64GB or 32GB solid state drive (SSD)

memory

  • installed: 1GB (512MB also available)
  • type: DDR2 SDRAM
  • speed: 533 MHz

input

  • backlit thumb keyboard:
    • 58 keys total: 4 SmartLock™ keys, 18 function keys, & number pad
    • dedicated mouse and zoom buttons
  • track stick pointing device
  • scrollers: horizontal and vertical capacitive TouchScrollers™
  • digital pen: included with Windows® Tablet PC Edition, available as accessory for all SKUs

ports

  • audio jack: 3.5mm x 1 line out/line in
  • video out: HDMI, VGA/Ethernet adapter (included), HDMI-DVI adapter available
  • 1 docking/power connector
  • 1 USB 2.0 compliant port

audio

  • AC97 sound system compatible
  • HD audio support
  • internal speaker and microphone

battery

  • type: removable lithium-ion polymer battery
  • capacity: 4500mAh (standard), 9000mAh (double capacity)
  • built-in fuel gauge
  • estimated life: up to 3 hours (standard), 6 hours (double

display

  • size: 5"
  • native resolution: 800x480
  • zoom: 1000x600 and 1200x720 interpolated modes
  • screen technology: Wide VGA LCD with active digitizer
  • optional Sunlight Optimized display for bright light environments
  • controls: ambient light sensor, adjustable brightness
  • external display support:
    • VGA, HDMI, & DVI monitors up to 1920x1200 resolution
    • DisplaySense™ for detection and recall of external display settings
    • simultaneous dual display in mirrored or extended desktop mode

wireless & networking

  • Mobile broadband (optional): Integrated EV-DO Rev. A modem
  • Wireless LAN: Atheros tri-mode 802.11a/b/g with diversity
  • Bluetooth technology: Integrated Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • Ethernet protocol: VGA/Ethernet adapter (included)

security

  • asset protection: universal security slot
  • security engine: VIA Padlock™ hardware AES encryption engine
  • trusted platform module: Atmel TPM v1.2

dimensions

  • chassis: rugged magnesium alloy
  • size: 5.6"(W) x 3.3"(H) x 1.0"(D)
  • weight: 1.0 lb with standard battery (weight may vary based on hardware configuration)

service and warranty

  • warranty: 1 year limited warranty
  • upgrades: 2 and 3 year extended express, 2 and 3 year system care express including accidental damage coverage
  • telephone support: toll-free technical assistance
  • online and email support: online knowledge base and support available

included accessories

  • standard lithium-ion polymer battery
  • universal power supply
  • replaceable screen protector
  • VGA/Ethernet adapter
  • spare track stick cap
  • digital pen & carrying case (Tablet PC Edition only)
02/01/2008 12:07:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

8GB Zune $20 Price drop#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Effective February 1, 2008, the 8GB Zune Digital Media Player gets a $20 Price Drop. Now customers can get all the great features of the 8GB Zune for just $179.99! But, for just $30 more than the 4GB Zune, you can double your music or video content. Now hopefully we will see a price drop across all the players. :)

ZunePriceDropMainScreen

The 8GB and 4GB Zune devices both come in four colors - Black, Red, Pink and Green.

ZuneFlashLineup

There are no noticeable difference in terms of physical size or exterior features between the units except double the memory here is a quick comparison.

zune flash Capacities

The main difference is song and video capacity, where storage is doubled. But, notice that pictures aren't doubled. Why isn't that double too? Well. the picture storage capacity is actually a software setting and that is capped at 25,000 pictures. In fact, even the 80GB Zune has a picture capacity of 25,000. However that capacity should be ample room for almost everyone, even proud grandparents.

The coolest use I have heard for one of the flash-units was that a listing/selling real estate agent would leave one in a keybox for a house to be shown and it had a video/audio walkthrough of the property for the showing agent. I am sure there are other cool ways people have used these beyond music and video entertainment.

02/01/2008 11:15:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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