Saturday, December 1, 2007

Archives- December 2007

December 31

Nokia Offers Free Music Service for Mobile Devices

This is probably the only time I have experienced Nokia envy- what a great concept and a smart way to put them over the edge If only Microsoft would do something similar for Pocket PC users by way of ebooks or the likes. Ah well, a girl can dream. Here are the details according to Mobiledia:


***During the annual Nokia World conference today, Nokia announced Comes With Music, a new program that gives people who buy a Nokia device one year of unlimited access to millions of tracks. Once the year is complete, customers can keep all their music without having to worry about it disappearing when their subscription is over.
"We set out to create the music experience that people are telling us they are looking for - all the music they want in the form of unlimited downloads to their mobile device and PC," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Multimedia, Nokia. "Even if you listened to music 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you would still only scratch the surface of the music that we're making available. Comes with Music fulfils our dream to give consumers all the music they want, wherever they want it, while rewarding the artists who create it."
The program will launch with Universal Music Group International, and Nokia is in discussion with the remaining major international labels.
Universal Music Group International Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge was at Nokia World to launch the program with Nokia. "It's fantastic to work with Nokia on Comes With Music," said Grainge. "We feel it's an innovative way for people to discover and enjoy new artists, while at the same time having access to the amazing depth of the Universal catalog. Comes With Music allows our artists to reach new audiences in a very easy and affordable way."***

Pink is for wussies!

Even I have to admit, Verizon has really been taking it to another level with their LG lineup this year. My niece came to visit this weekend and brought her LG Envy with her and the photos she took with that phone were really extremely good for a cameraphone. The Venus here looks nice, but I tend to find pink devices a bit condescending and off-putting. After all its not like they have a line of blue phones 'for the fellas'!

According to Mobiledia:
***Starting today the LG Venus, from Verizon Wireless, is available in pink. An ideal handset for the fashionista, the Venus' sleek slider design now comes in a sparkly pink finish with the same mobile features available on the popular black Venus.
The LG Venus features a 2.0-megapixel camera, VZ Navigator capability, a microSD memory slot that can support up to 8 GB of additional memory, and dual-screen displays, the lower with touch navigation.
For music and video fans, the Venus also offers access to VCAST Music, which gives customers access to more than 2.5 million songs that can be purchased and downloaded over-the-air to the phone; and VCAST Video, Verizon Wireless' multimedia service with news, sports and entertainment video clips, 3D games and more. Customers can even browse the Web or text message while listening to the music.
Customers can purchase the LG Venus in both pink and black for $199.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and two-year customer agreement at Verizon Wireless Stores, including those in Circuit City, or online.***

December 30

Isn't this just the HTC Hermes?


Hmm...I'm confused- does this mean that Verizon is only JUST finally releasing their version of the HTC Hermes? Is it possible that they are almost a whole year behind AT&T? Read the specs below-

**Verizon Wireless announced the XV6800 is available today online and through stores on Dec. 5.
The Verizon Wireless XV6800 delivers powerful messaging and communications capabilities, including Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which provides instant access to the Internet, calendar and contacts, tasks, email, and much more. Also included are advanced phone features, such as a 2.0-megapixel camera with flash and video capture, and support for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, as well as PDFs.
The Verizon Wireless XV6800 lets customers take their office on the road and comes with a hidden, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and Bluetooth technology. Additional features of the XV6800 include:
- 2.8-inch 240 x 320 px 64K-color touch-screen
- Built-in WiFi 802.11 b/g capability
- microSD memory card slot with support up to 4 GB
- Windows Media Player 10 Mobile
- Bluetooth v2.0 for mono and stereo headsets, handsfree, serial port, and OBEX profiles; object push and synchronization
Verizon Wireless customers can use the XV6800 as a modem for notebooks when they subscribe to Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess Connect to send and receive data.**

Americans more wired, new-media survey finds

Here's some exciting news with stats that bolster my observation made a few entries ago. People are starting to see phone devices as more than 'just a phone'.


**About 38 percent of U.S consumers are watching TV shows online, 36 percent use their cell phones as entertainment devices and 45 percent are creating online content like Web sites, music, videos and blogs for others, according to a new-media survey from Deloitte and Touche. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)"**

test

Testing 123

December 28

Lost Posts

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Mmmmm-kay....I'm not sure what the issue is but 1 or 2 of my email posts have not shown up on this page. So, they may pop up later, may be duplicated, or may be lost forever. Hopefully Windows Live will get this sorted shortly...

Viigo RSS Reader

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This is the newly released freeware RSS reader from Viigo. My verdict? I'm afraid I'm going to have to give this one a thumbs down-it lasted a grand total of about 5 minutes on my UBi. First, and most annoyingly, the GUI for this program completely covers the top and bottom bars- which would be fine except for the fact that every time you navigate within the program there is an annoying 'flicker' which briefly flashes said bars. Navigation is slow and almost seems like the data is offline and must be retrieved as you enter each article.
As much as it pains me to criticize freware, I'm afraid I must. You're better off using Bloglines mobile via your web browser- a solution which is also free.
December 27

Asus M930W

Here's another sweet looking device soon to be released- this time from Asus. Alas, this phone does not operate on 850MHz so once again no love for the US. When are we EVER going to migrate to 900MHz like the rest of the free world???
Here is the summary from Pocket PC Addicts:

Asus already has a pretty stable line of Windows Mobile phones, but this new flip-open QWERTY-enabled candybar seems to be a very nice addition to the line.
The phone has 2 screens... TWO screens. One underneath so you can see while typing. Outside has a screen as you can see in the picture. The specs on this little baby isn't too shabby either.
- 520MHz CPU
- Triband GSM
- 3G
- 128 RAM and 256 ROM

December 26

Christmas Loot!

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As a gadget geek, there is always one thing that makes me nervous- people giving me tech-related gifts. Its not that I dont appreciate the thought...its just that even I don't know what I want until the last minute. Even a gift certificate narrows me to a particular store and these days I tend to do most of my shopping via eBay.
My husband, bless him, understands this totally. Every year he gets me gifts that are totally unrelated to tech, leaving me with no feelings of guilt to purchase what my heart truly desires. This year he outdid himself: my gift is a full spa treatment with a 3hour massage, herbal body wrap and a facial. And boy, do I need it!
December 25

The Year of the Multi-Functional Device

One thing I can definitely say about 2007....this is the year that people finally get it. "It" being the ability to do more than one thing with a single device. Suddenly, commercials are paying particular attention to displaying phones as picture-centric, or music-inclined, and I am excited to see this shift. Erm..its only what I've been preaching since the days of my first Handspring visor way back when with its different Springboard modules that would allow you to get GPS, mp3 player, ebook reader,etc.
 
The one ad that has me smiling every time it comes on (apart from the Boost Mobile one, which doesn't really count because I'm usually just chuckling at Mickey Avalon) is the one for the new Verizon LG Voyager. This is the savviest commercial I have ever seen...it showcases the main capabilities of the phone in a way that is simple enough for the most basic non-tech user to digest, but still flashy enough for the biggest geek to still salivate over. Of course, that is before you take a closer look at the specs and carrier (CDMA heaven forbid!) and happily/smugly clutch your unlocked UBiQUiO 503G- not that I'm describing anyone in particular!

Merry Christmas!

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With Love, from Seth!
December 24

My Top Picks for 2007


This year a lot of gadgets and gizmos have caught my eye...of course, a majority of them are mobile devices. Here, in no particular order are the top 10 devices that have grabbed my attention:
1. The Chumby
Here's a device that does a whole lot...of nothing. Its a wifi enabled device that lets you do things like read your RSS feeds, check the weather, eBay status and anything else you can find the widgets to do.


2. The Amazon Kindle

This is a pretty revolutionary ebook reader which lets you download books directly from Amazon. You can also read newspapers and other periodicals. While a hardcore PDA lover like myself can not imagine carrying a separate device purely to read on it, I can see how this could be the way of the future. Anything that promotes a paperless environment gets a thumbs up from me.

3. Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

Frankly, this is what the iPhone should have been. Its a wifi device that lets you surf the internet and also sports a slide out keyboard. A nice alternative to a laptop in a pinch, and priced nicely for those who can't afford the next item:
4. The oQo Model 2

This is one sweet UMPC which runs Windows Vista, and a slide out keyboard. I could see this being THE device for a professional who spends most of their time on the road. The price though, is hard to swallow.

5. The Palm Centro

For the first time in a long time, Palm came out with an exciting device which is a worthy downgrade from the Treo series for those who want to spend a little less cash.
6. The FLIP

A nice, small camcorder that even the most tech un-savvy can figure out. It also uploads to most video hosting sites.
7. The LG Voyager

Apart from the fact that I love the commercial for this phone, I think it is one sleek piece of functional technology. And with the builtin GPS, whats not to love (aside from the CDMA carrier- Verizon)
8. Apple Ipod Nano Video

Small and sweet, something about this device endears it to me.
9. Asus EEE

The Asus is a linux based Mobile PC that is small enough to be totally portable, yet large enough that you can enjoy it as your main laptop device. And with a small price tag, its the device that I can still envision owning.
10. The UBiQUiO 503G

This device has everything that a mobile device user is looking for: 3G connectivity, WiFi, a QWERTY keyboard, and Windows Mobile Professional on 850MHz. You'll be hard pressed to find a similar device this year.
December 23

Be Sweet or Be Sour

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A week or so I was having a conversation with a friend and she explained how she disliked Chinese food.
"Even sweet and sour chicken?" I asked in disbelief.
"It should be sweet or be sour. Not both." She explained.
I laughed hysterically at her comment, and then laughed for days after every time I remembered it. But after the laughter died down, I began to think about how that statement applied to so many things in life. Be sweet or be sour. So many times in life we try to be different things to different people, and because of that we never truly succeed at any one thing. So for my New Years' resolution this year, I am going to aspire to be sweet or be sour. I will make educated decisions and then stick firmly to them. I'll be sweet or be sour. Next I'll tackle General Tso Sarcastic

GeekBrief on TiVo

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For the past few months I've been trying to find time to watch the Geekbriefs on my PC....the problem is that my time is so limited that when I do have time to use my computer, I am busy doing other things. So I was delighted, nay- thrilled to find that GeekBriefs are now available on the TiVo. Now I can download episodes onto my TiVo and watch them from the comfort of my bed. Geekbriefs on TiVo make a great filler when you are waiting for a show to come on in 5 minutes and there is nothing good on TV. Stay shiny and happy!
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December 21

Guess the Silhoutte

Here's a fun one- try and figure out who this 'prominent' one is:
 
 
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See if you're right by checking out www.PrettyOnTheOutside.com
December 17

Mobi-Overdose

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There is such a thing as too much tech, as you can see. Here's what my desk looked like last week as I prepared to clean house. I've got the first Ubiquio, which I purchased but then arrived without the battery. I couldn't wait patiently like a normal person for the replacement battery to be sent, so I ordered another one! Then there's my Cingular 8525 which I picked up from my Cingular upgrade. I liked the device, but I am always weary of devices with moving parts. Also, with one arm/hand almost exclusively dedicated to holding the little guy I definitely needed a one-handed device. My Blackjack might have filled that void, but lack of WiFi and WM Professional made it come up short.
The three excess devices have all sold on eBay now, and I hope that they have found good homes where they can be appreciated for the gems they are.
December 15

My Mobiler

For some reason, it seems that I cannot get Soti PocketController working with my UBiQUiO 503G....I just end up with a fuzzy, snowy display on my desktop.  After searching, I found that there is a freeware application called My Mobiler (www.mymobiler.com) that works just as well and does not have the issue of Soti's app. You can also zoom in to get a larger display of your device on your desktop. Use your mouse and keyboard to control the device as normal:
 
 
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December 14

Today Page Plugins

This time around I've done things a little differently on my Today screen, mainly because the CPU of this device supports being connected to more services by default.
First of all theres iLauncher (http://www.sbsh.net/products/ilauncher/)  , which I am using in the non-tab style to allow me to launch just my favorites. I use QuickMenu (http://www.freewareppc.com/utilities/quickmenu.shtml) and personally created folders to get convenient access to my applications.
Next, I have enable the Skype (http://www.skype.com/intl/en/download/skype/windowsmobile/) plugin which allows me to see if I have a message (once logged in) and change my status right from the Today screen.
Then there's Octrotalk (http://www.octro.com/), which again lets me see the status of any missed IMs.
PhoneAlarm(http://www.pocketmax.net/phoneAlarm.html) shows me which profile I am currently using and lets me change it. I can also use one tap to turn on Bluetooth, but for some reason not WiFi. I also get a nice notification in red of missed texts, emails, phonecalls and voicemails.
Then there's my new favorite PocketMusic (http://www.pocketmind.com/pocketmusic.htm) which comes with a nifty plugin which lets you see the progress of each song, pause, rewind and fast forward. Here's a little known fact- the native music player Windows Media player uses about 12MB of program memory to run- PocketMusic uses about 1MB. This means that you are less likely to be able to multitask using WMP.
Finally theres SPB Diary (http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/diary/?en) which I use with SPB weather (http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/weather/?en) integrated. Tapping the weather icon by each day gives me the full forecast. I like this feature because at a glance all I really want to know is rain or no rain for the day.

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December 12

What Kind of Geek are You?

Click on the poster to see a larger version then figure out which categories you fit in! I am:
-Bargain Bin Geek
-Gadget Geek (OF COURSE!)
-TV Geek
So, what kind of geek are YOU?

What Kind of Geek Are You?

Best Browser Experience

Its been a while since I've answered a reader question, so today I'm going to tackle Joe's question:
 
wow. i was looking for the treo vs. blackberry discussion. but coming across ur little blog im thinking...............
anyway, i'm still very much interested to know which one of the devices has  better internet browsing-joe
 
Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I've never actually used a Blackberry...and its doubtful that I ever will. However, let's talk about  the browsing experiences that I do know about.
 
 
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Palm Blazer vs Pocket Internet Explorer
Here's the thing: both of these browsers pretty much suck under normal circumstances. Blazer will render pages quickly, but the font in the browser (and, in fact all of the OS) looks unpleasant. PIE looks nice once the page finally renders, which takes a while. Both of them can adjust the page to one column, eliminating the need to scroll around, which is a nice touch and both of them allow you to choose whether or not to display images. However, PIE allows you to incorporate add-ons such as Multi IE which will let you open multiple tabs, similar to Internet Explorer. But, the real kicker is the sync option- which is where PIE blows Blazer out of the water. Once you install Activesync or Windows Mobile Device center on your PC, a folder is added to your favorites in Internet Explorer which allows you to sync your mobile favorites. This means that you can bookmark a page while you surf on the desktop to view later on your pocket pc, and vice versa. Blazer does not have this ability natively- and even the 3rd party application Pocket Favorites from Chapura only sends favorites from the desktop to your Palm, and not the other way around.
So, even though Pocket Internet Explorer wins in my eyes, despite the slow fetching of web pages, the real winner is Opera Mobile. This browser for Pocket PC is quick to fetch and render pages, supports tabbed browsing, and smoothly imports your favorites from PIE. If you have Java installed on your Palm, you can enjoy a decent experience using Opera Mini.
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