Celio REDFLY Special Offer $199!!!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

I saw this over at jkOnTheRun and couldn’t believe my eyes Celio Corporation, makers of the REDFLY have incorporated a special “seeding program” where you can get the REDFLY at 50% off the MRSP of $399 for a limited time. We saw a recent price cut back in August and were told, when I got my unit for review that it would be possible to offer the REDFLY for even less, but I didn’t believe it would be this soon.

redfly special offer

Celio Corp. found that a REDFLY Mobile Companion device in the hands of media, developers or mobile enthusiasts has a tremendous viral marketing benefit. So they decided to offer a a limited amount of REDFLY devices for placement into the market atn this special marketing seed program at $199 until October 31, 2008 so you can help spread the word by using the REDFLY at a very low price directly from Celio as well as other retailers like Amazon.

Don told me that you can get it even cheaper, $195 directly from Enterprise Mobile and you get free tech support too! Also check out their unlocked Windows Mobile devices they have for sale here  like the - HTC Touch Diamond, HP iPAQ 910c Business Messenger, Palm Treo™ Pro smartphone, and MOTO Q™ 9h business edition and some mobile PCs like the HTC Shift X9000 and HTC Shift X9501 also with free support. :)

Edit: It is now $199 at Enterprise Mobile.

09/25/2008 19:09:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

CntrStg at CES 2009#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

One of the many things that I have been working on outside of my day job and this site, is an event called CntrStg - pronounced “CenterStage”. CntrStg is a concept that a group of bloggers and online community leaders came up with while attending CES last year. In the past, every Community Leader, Blogger, and Podcaster would be racing up and down the Las Vegas strip rushing to meet with various companies and listen to them talk one-on-one about their plans for the coming year and showing off their latest and greatest. More often than not, we found ourselves crossing paths with one another as we entered and exited these meetings getting the same information and wasting an hour up and an hour back traversing the crowded Las Vegas strip limiting the number of companies you could meet with while at CES. Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to stay in one location and have the companies come talk to all of us in one shot?

CntrStg-Logo

CntrStg does just that. We have already signed up companies to present, as well as community leaders from some of the top tech and gadget sites around the Internet to attend. CntrStg will be the place to be during CES 2009! The primary goal of CntrStg is to get more time to write and record stories rather than spending time traveling up and down the strip getting to meetings as well as a place to hang out and relax.

You can read all about CntrStg, including our press release that should be going live on the wire as you read this post, over at the CntrStg website - http://www.cntrstg.com.

Hopefully we will see you there in Las Vegas - CntrStg - the place to be @ CES!

Events | News | Internet
09/17/2008 10:00:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune 3.0 is here!#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

This morning I downloaded and installed the latest Zune 3.0 Software and was pleased with all the new added features. To upgrade just launch your Zune  software and go to Settings in the upper right-hand corner, click on General and click on the button that says Click for Updates or you can download it directly from here.

zune3_1

After signing the EULA you will be installing your software.

zune3_2

After you are done you will have Microsoft Zune 3.0.532.0 or newer depending on when you update.

zune3_3

To use the new Zune 3.0 desktop software you will need to update your Zune. In order to update your device, you will need an Internet connection to perform the update. Don’t Disconnect while updating. :)

zune3_4

Wait a few minutes….And your done!

zune3_5

It went through an update and synchronized everything on my Zune checking for updated album art and music. On one Zune not associated with the computer performed this without scanning and synching.

zune3_6

To sign in you will have to agree to the updated Terms of Service if you wish to use your Zune Pass and ZuneTag with your Live ID or you create one.

zune3_7

After completing the 4 steps you are back in business. IF you have multiple Zunes you only need to download the device update once.

New Menu Options

Games – There is good news and bad news. Good news is for those that have emailed me about the Games on your Zune. Your old XNA Games remain on the device with the addition of Hexic and Texas Hold’em, but the bad news is when you launch them you soft reset your device and nothing happens.  :(  Hopefully a patch will be out soon to fix this and XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta is on its way, which is fully compatible with Zune 3.0! A work around suggested is to uninstall and update the games here. Another added bonus for the games that work is that your Zune doesn’t soft reset after exiting a game or application any more. You can also resume where you left off and this even survives a soft reset. :)

Marketplace – Lets you see the latest top songs, top albums, new releases, search, and what is in your cart from the Radio which allows you to add songs directly to your Zune.

zune3_8

Radio - In order for the Radio functionality and Marketplace to work you have to agree to enable the Zune Marketplace content purchase from your device.

Audiobooks - If you have audio books that option will be added if not it won’t. Too bad you can’t remove items  or change the order you don’t use because that menu is getting a bit long. Zune audiobook content from leading distributors including Audible Inc. which is offering all new and existing Zune owners a free copy of “Black River” by bestselling writer Dean Koontz.

Under Settings

Wireless - gets a new networks setting to save your previous connected networks for hotspots.

New! Clock here you have the option to show clock, the format 12 hours/24hours and set it. Hmm no option for Daylight Savings time, maybe in the next version or update. :)

New! Screen Lock – this allows you to set a password 4 digit pin on your device to prevent others from accessing your device – so you can keep your music,video,games, audible books and other info private?!?

Other Zune News

Microsoft announced that Zune customers can get free WiFi hotspot access with their Zune(s) at one of over 9,800 McDonald’s restaurants. In partnership with Wayport, Microsoft is letting you browse and access the Zune Marketplace when you visit McDonald’s, kind of like the experience iPhone/iTouch gives you at Starbucks locations, but the iPhone/iTouch can also be used where webpage EULAs are needed like Panera Bread,etc. The Zune can’t yet.

zune3_9

Zune Channels are aimed to push new music to subscribers’ collections each week, and personalized music recommendations, Zune Marketplace also offers editorial features such as the Zune School Music Masters Program and the Xbox Gamer Central pages, as well as Instant Collections playlists to help consumers explore specific themes and genres. Zune Marketplace now offers more than 4 million songs, 80 percent of which are available as digital rights management (DRM)-free MP3s; 8,500 music videos; 3,000 episodes of popular TV shows; and more than 6,000 audio and video podcasts.

Zune Originals will also will offer the Zune 16 in blue, red, pink and green as an online exclusive. In addition, Zune Originals is refreshing its collection of custom artwork with 14 eye-catching new designs from artists such as Rolito, MWM (Matt W. Moore), Ippei Gyoubu and Aya Kato to give consumers more options to personalize their Zune experience.

Enjoy!!!

09/16/2008 05:33:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

NEXT USER AND DEVELOPER GROUP MEETING: Wednesday, September 17th, 2008#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

Wow - where has the past month gone? It's time for our next monthly meeting. I was not sure if I would be able to be there myself, but now the answer is "yes", so...

The next meeting of the New England Windows Mobile User and Developer Groups will take place on Wednesday, September 17th starting at 6:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

Map image

This month, we're having an "Open Mic" night. In other words - bring your questions, discussions and topics around Windows Mobile (and mobility in general). While Steve and I both have plenty of new news to fuel the conversation, I enjoy those occasional opportunities to have those really engaging conversations based upon what you are interested in. Don't forget - you're questions can be technical in nature as well, so any of you developers out there are more than welcome to join in.

As always, we will have lots of great items for our giveaway raffle.

See you there!

09/13/2008 09:25:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Plastic Logic Flexible Reader#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Plastic is the new paper. Amazon sees it with Kindle. Sony sees it with theirs and now Plastic Logic sees it with a new flexible reader in an 8.5 x 11-inch display and is aiming itself at the Business market as an alternative to paper or other electronic readers on the market today.

 

plastic logic

“Research confirms professionals read much more business content than recreational content. They require access to all formats of digital content at their fingertips, and want a large readable screen,” said Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta.

The Plastic Logic reader supports a full range of business document formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and Adobe PDFs, as well as newspapers, periodicals and books. It has an easy gesture-based user interface and powerful software tools that will help business users to organize and manage their information. Users can connect to their information either wired or wirelessly and store thousands of documents on the device.So it looks to have a USB port (possibly a mini USB or micro USB) with Wifi or even better some sort of 3G service like the Whispernet found on Kindle, that recently had $100 off with a Chase Visa offer to drop the TCO to $259. The reader incorporates E Ink technology for great readability and features low power consumption and long battery life. The Plastic Logic reader is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2009.

plastic logic2

It’s pretty thin. It is thinner than a pad of paper, lighter than many business periodicals, and offers a high-quality reading experience, but I am wondering how the flexible display is used from the above picture. It is a very intriguing device and looks much better than the Kindle IMHO, but if slate Tablet PCs could ever get this thin and conservative on power it would have a tough market, but it looks like Plastic logic has cut out its own niche.

Check out these videos of it in action.

Hopefully this comes out soon, because Sony has a color flexible screen they are working on that may enter into its E-reader market or gaming platform.

09/09/2008 12:52:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Zune 3.0 Fall Update News#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well rumors have flown across the Internet for some time now on the the release of the new Zune units the new blue 8GB Zune, 16GB Zune,  and the big daddy of Zunes the 120GB Zune! Microsoft has released an official release here.

ZuneFallUpdate_lg

Some notables to take away from this that the Zune 3.0 firmware will be available for all Zunes on September 16th and the price points of the various sizes; the first 30GB, 4($129)/8($149)/16($199) GB Flash units, and newer 80($229)/120($249)GB hard drive units. Notice there is very little price margin between models phasing out the older models as they are slowly removed from retail, which I see coming in at even lower prices this Holiday season or maybe on Woot!

- It gets a Clock in the upper right hand corner- yeah great for runners and those who don't wear time pieces.

- Some free games “Hexic” and “Texas Hold ’Em”

- Option to purchase or download from FM radio via RDS+ data depending if you have Zune Pass or not

- Link to the Social via hotspots that don’t  require internet browsers to agree to TOS.

- Support for audiobooks including content from audible.com and overdrive.com

There is a great summary of what was added over at the insidecircle.net by Neville Williams.

A few other Zune MVPs have even posted videos worth checking out.

Zune Gaming and Wireless Song Purchasing Experience over at ZuneThoughts

Texas Hold ‘em and Hexic from ZuneLuv

Zune Software Features- Zune Fall 2008 from Microsoft at the Zune Insider

Zune Fall 2008 Wireless Features

Zune Fall Update: Channels

Zune Fall update: buy from FM

 

Over at Kombo rumor has it that MS has purchased some air time on the g4TV network on September 25th and should be announcing the following:

- Free DLC (Down Loadable Content) for Halo 3, and paid DLC for Mass Effect and GTA IV

- Six free Xbox Originals for download - we all love some of those Xbox original games

- A partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio (please be free for existing customers)

- 12 new exclusive titles, including 2 Halo games (as well as the supposed Peter Jackson Halo project, and the game Bungie was supposed to premiere at E3)

- A new music download service or some gaming music

Hopefully there will be some truth to these rumors, we will have to just wait and see.

According to Engadget it looks like Xbox Live Music Marketplace and Video will be shared with Zune according to Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and legal measures had to take place in the background before we see a merge of the two services in the future.

According to this job post it looks like Windows Mobile will also be in the Marketplace mix as people have begged and hoped for.

“The Zune team is embarking on the mission to create a “Connected Entertainment” experience, realized through the Zune service, that spans multiple devices such as Zune, Xbox, PC and Mobile phones...Do you dream about having a mobile phone based entertainment experience powered by a unified entertainment service across devices such as Zune, Xbox and PC?”

So if you are looking to compete the tri-fecta of Microsoft technology: Windows Mobile, Zune, and Xbox it looks like the new $199 price for the Xbox Arcade looks pretty good for the bedroom or spareroom.

Also If you would like to win one of the Blue ones Chris Leckness   is giving one away over at GotZune. :)

Note: You also get 20% off any Zune Accessory and $20 off this Speaker Dock at Amazon with this Code: ALTECSAV

09/09/2008 12:16:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

TabletKiosk Introduces the Eyesboard On-Screen Virtual Keyboard#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

TabletKiosk wanting to improve the slate-style Tablet PC user experience on their Tablet PCs and UMPCs is now including the Eyesboardon-screen virtual keyboard on all of its systems, which currently ships with all new Sahara Slate PC i400 series Tablet PCs as well as offering it as a free download for existing TabletKiosk Tablet PC and UMPC owners. It is a realistic software keyboard that  looks and performs like an actual keyboard placed on top of the screen of the Tablet PC.

Eyesboard

The Eyesboard, created by PlazaLOGIC, is an on-screen, virtual QWERTY keyboard, that enables users to type directly on the screen with their fingers or a stylus. Sporting a realistic "3D" look, multiple language options, easy size adjustment, choice of colors, and optional settings — including opacity, "snapable" palettes, menu buttons and sound effects — the Eyesboard virtual keyboard is highly customizable to best fit each user’s unique needs.

“Given that touch screen kiosks with virtual keyboards are now commonly used in airports and retail stores, today’s Tablet PC owners are more familiar with the idea of on-screen typing,” said Martin Smekal, president of TabletKiosk. “By including the Eyesboard as a standard feature on all of our tablets, we believe that we have greatly improved the overall mobile computing experience.”

09/09/2008 09:28:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Review: Hexic for Windows Mobile#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

In our household next to Zuma, Hexic is a very popular game that my entire family plays on the Xbox 360, their computer via MSN games. Thanks to the folks at Astraware it is now available on both the Smarthone platform aka Windows Mobile Standard and Pocket PC aka Windows Mobile Professional and Classic from Astraware for Microsoft. The game plays like other versions using the directional pad to move around the screen and rotate your gems in search of the elusive Black Pearl which is done by creating a flower to earn a starflower piece, then you use starflower pieces to make another flower and earn the elusive black pearl when you make a cluster or flower out of black pearls you win the game.

After downloading the installable executable I ran it and encountered an install error that didn't install the application onto the Windows Mobile Standard device I had connected to my computer.

install

I was able to find the CAB file under the Program Files->Games->Carbonated Games->Hexic for Windows Mobile Smartphone directory.

pc_capture1

I then copied the CAB file to my device and proceeded to install it from there.

pc_capture2

The game requires 2796KB of storage space and I opted to install it onto my memory storage card.

On the Pocket PC aka Windows Mobile Professional, I downloaded the executable installed without any issues.

ppc install

It did ask for what version you are running, so be sure to install the right version for what version of the Windows Mobile operating system you are using.

 

pc_capture3

The game is installed in the Games directory on both the Standard and Professional/Classic devices.

pc_capture4

The application launches pretty quickly with three different modes of play to choose from: Marathon, Timed, and Survival. The only difference between the Windows Mobile Standard and Professional versions is that the Professional version allows you to use a touch screen in as well as directional pad.

pc_capture5

Upon launching any of the modes you will be prompted to register or play Timed mode up to 3 times.

pc_capture6 pc_capture7

After entering in your registration code you are ready to play.

pc_capture8

Right after you pick your difficulty level.

pc_capture9 pc_capture10

The controls are explained to you as well as how to undo your mistakes.

pc_capture11

The game starts off paused to make sure you are ready to go.

pc_capture12 pc_capture14

 

On the Smartphone/WM Standard device you move around the screen by using the numeric keys or directional pad.

pc_capture18 pc_capture22

pc_capture24 pc_capture26

As you can see I moved up in levels pretty quickly with new things to look out for and score points with.

 

pc_capture13

If you want to continue and click on a game mode instead of the Resume softkey, you will be asked if you want to delete a saved game with the option of Done or Cancel. Its kind of confusing,but if ya got a game going and want to continue playing it hit Cancel, if you want to start a new game hit Done.

I wish Hexic for Windows Mobile could be tied to XBOX live so I could continue where I left off at home or on my mobile. Perhaps in the future. This is another game that would work well for the Zune.

Overall Hexic is one of those games I can play over and over and over, just like Tetris this game on your phone is great for times on long elevator rides, long waits in line,commutes, boring slow-moving meetings, or anytime you have some free time and a need for gaming.

Hexic was developed by Astraware for Microsoft's Carbonated Games studio and can be purchased at Astraware for $9.99 . To try and learn more about Hexic head here.

09/08/2008 08:02:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Microsoft’s New Advertising#
Post By Steve "fyiguy" Hughes

Well the buzz has hit the interweb whether it be good or bad about the series of Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld commercials with the first one airing last night. People are talking about it and as those in advertising say if people are talking about it they did their job. The first one seemed to be along the lines of the other humorous segment videos/vignets that were shown at several Microsoft conferences in the past.

seinfeld and bill

Microsoft has a few more than just that video on their newly launched Windows site. Microsoft actually has several other videos that tell more of a story, that I think work much better and really get the word out about their products. Hopefully we will see them not only online but also on your HD television during the new fall prime time lineup. :)

world of windows

They have a series of videos linking their technologies of Windows, Windows Mobile (which had a slight revamp) and Windows Live performing several tasks. These are really well done and are much better than the 15 second commercials that air on the Windows Vista Media Center when watching streaming video from the Internet Video section. They are very similar to the Digital Lifestyle video that was on the Internet, but never reached television that show the integration and usage scenarios of several Microsoft products and services.

I really like this one called Sharing your Photos, but it clocks in at 1:22. There are several more here.

Work from Anywhere is good too, more of those here. I think some of us have actually experienced this. :)

Entertainment to go isn’t bad either with a few more here.

And lets not forget Gaming for Everyone with more here.

Microsoft looks to have a pretty good ad campaign brewing. It is much better than what has been done in the past especially what wasn’t done after the Vista launch, but they may want to lead viewers to at least check out the rest of these videos beyond the online experience and if they wanted to spread the word they should at least allow people to share links to the videos. ;) Or maybe this is what Microsoft is hoping for increased site traffic with people checking out the rest of these videos online. I guess we will have to wait and see…

09/05/2008 11:16:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM Upgrades for AT&T Devices#
Post By Don Sorcinelli

All you AT&T Tilt and Samsung Blickjack II owners - AT&T has finally released ROM upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.1 for your devices. The Tilt upgrade can be found on the HTC web site, while the Blackjack II upgrade can be found at the Samsung web site (be sure to download the correct installer - there is one for Windows XP and another for Vista).

An important note here - these ROMs lock your connection settings to the AT&T network. If you currently have an unlocked Tilt or Blackjack II, you will not be able to set up your device for another provider (like T-Mobile). At least, not without a bit of work. Our good friend and fellow Mobile Devices MVP Mike Temporale has put together an overview of what you need to do to unlock the settings for the Blackjack II over at his MobileJaw web site. This does involve some registry editing on the device, so as always use caution. While the location of the registry keys may be somewhat different on the Tilt, the general locations within the registry should be the same. If anyone out there tries this out with the Tilt, be sure to let us know!

Happy ROM flashing!

UPDATE: While the Blackjack II ROM does have locked connection settings, it appears as though the AT&T Tilt ROM from HTC does not. Feel free to avoid the potential pitfalls of registry editing ;-)

09/03/2008 10:13:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) #     |  Trackback

 

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