August 2005 - Posts
OK, I read Rod’s blog about “chimping” about gas gouging, but what exactly is that? What price point is considered “gouging”? I stopped at the pumps today on the way home, and gas was 2.999 (by the way, I STILL have not figured out why and how they price it with three decimal points). Anyway, I pumped the gas, staring at the netherworld, until the pump “clicked” at me. I turned around to top off (OK, who doesn’t do this? Really? Does anyone really pay attention to the stickers on the pumps that say don’t top off? I mean really? Who doesn’t round?).
Anyway, I tried to “round”, and I ended up at $55. $55 to put gas in my car. Are they serious? Who can really afford this and for how long? I know I certainly can’t.
Napster has announced
the addition of more mobile phones compatible with the Napster To Go portable subscription music service.
The forthcoming Motorola Moto Q is the latest addition to the list of new generation Smartphones that operate on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 2003 platforms, which allow subscribers to transfer and listen to an unlimited number of tracks from Napster's 1.5 million-plus song catalog for one monthly fee. Napster To Go was the world's first portable subscription service and offers a compelling alternative to a la carte download-only offerings.
In addition to the highly-anticipated Moto Q, Napster To Go compatible phones are currently available from some of the most recognized names in the mobile industry including: Audiovox, HP, HTC, i-Mate, Orange, Palm Samsung, Siemens and Sierra. All models also offer transfer capabilities, ensuring playback of both subscription content and individually purchased downloads.
OK, call me a little biased, but this is a MUCH better solution than an “ipod”.
Well, I’m only one working day away from a 4–day weekend. As Mr. Trent already blogged, we’re going to be having a cookout at the ranch this weekend, and he and his clan was invited. Should be a great time as those of you who know him would know. He’s always good for a few laughs. How many friends do you know that you can call a $hit one day, and hang out and eat and drink the next day laughing about anything and everything (and oogling the wife at the same time)? Not too many of those in my book, but Rod certainly qualifies as one of those. Life can certainly throw you for some loops, as Katrina is reminding all of us, and its friends you can hang out with and laugh with that reminds you what’s important.
Labor Day weekend has always marked the “end of the season” where I’m from. The city is infamous for having a great fireworks display sponsored by a hard-rock radio station. Nothing like watching fireworks and listening to Led Zeppelin, particularly when you’ve had several hard beverages or other um…things better left unsaid. That’s how everyone talks around this time of the year. It’s always “going to the fireworks?”, but it’s also moved to “watching the fireworks this year?” because the older we get, the fewer actually go all the way downtown to the river and most watch it on TV. It won’t be a front row seat this year but TV certainly helps. As the kids get older, maybe we’ll venture back down that way. Crowds didn’t bother me in the state I was typically in, but I don’t think this is the venue for three little boys at this point.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have some stories I can share. Mr. Green Tea is always a hoot.
The water is getting a little muddy now with several vendors announcing availability of the new HTC Universal. It’s all the same phone, just different branding with different carriers. This is similar to the Siemens sx66 and Audiovox 6600, basically the same “guts”.
So, I’m keeping a list. T-Mobile calls it the MDA Pro, Vodafone calls it the VPA IV, Orange calls it the SPV M5000, and i-Mate calls it the JASJAR (go figure). All of these at this point are international, not US.
MSN today unveiled two new MSN®
Search Toolbar Add-ins, enabling people to customize their toolbar to their specific interests and providing a smarter searching and browsing experience. These latest add-ins for MSN Search Toolbar include a beta of the Microsoft®
Phishing Filter Add-in, which helps protect customers from potential risks of phishing Web sites and online identity theft, and the Games Add-in, providing one-click access to some of the Web’s most popular online games via MSN Games.
I just don’t know whether to believe it or not. I think a huge part of this is hype to generate traffic to websites (i.e. I don’t get much web traffic so I’ll tell people I’ve seen a Treo 670 in hopes of generating more traffic). For those who don’t know, the Treo 670 is supposed to be the first Windows Mobile Treo device. I’ll believe it when I see it, or when it’s confirmed by one of the vendors. To date, NO ONE has confirmed.
According to Gizmodo, an intrepid spy on the TreoCentral forums reports on a Treo 670 sighting he saw in a catalog at work. He says:
The company I work for gets a 4th quarter catalogue for our 4th quarter “product show” we have to go to every year to order our stuff for christmas and stuff. In the book under cell phones it has a Sprint Treo 670 listed. It also has a “new” sign showing that it is a new product. BUT it has a picture of the 650.( I guess since they don’t want to show the 670 till the show) It says more details and pricing will be avalible at the show.
Apple Computer Inc. has reinvented itself around the iPod digital music player, but the innovative computer maker Tuesday faced new questions over whether it's the mother of its own invention.
Creative Technology said it had been awarded a patent for technology used in the iPod — which means the rival manufacturer of digital music players might hit Apple up for hefty royalty payments on every iPod sold.
And it's not the only company that could take a bite out of Apple's profit. This month, Apple lost an attempt to patent other parts of the iPod's technology because archrival Microsoft Corp. had already filed a similar application.
Read more here.
Microsoft acquired Teleo, a company that specializes in technology for making calls from PCs to regular telephones, in a bid to give its MSN unit an edge over rivals in the increasingly crowded instant-messaging market
. The acquisition gives Microsoft new technology that it plans to incorporate into MSN Messenger, the free IM program that currently lets users talk from computer to computer but not from computer to standard phone line, the Seattle Post Intelligencer says. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Just reading through Intellisync’s press release on operating results. Seems they had a real good quarter, and a real good year. Further down in the notes, I noticed a blurb that said Intellisync acquired PDAapps, Inc., makers of VeriChat, the mobile instant messaging solution for all Palm OS devices, Pocket PC devices, Symbian devices and RIM Blackberry devices.
Never heard of PDAapps or VeriChat? It is one of my “must have” apps for my Pocket PC. I use it to connect to all of my IM clients with ONE client. No need to launch three or four separate applications. It’s a great app if you need to “chat” with your PDA. Just wondering what the impact of this will be for PDAapps. They currently charge a yearly fee for Verichat. $24.95 the first year, $19.95 every year thereafter. Yes, I know, a little pricey but one of those must have’s that I can’t do without. Hopefully Intellisync will change the pricing model.
Regardless of what this study says, I try to use a headset (wired) with my Pocket PC phone, just in case. You just never know…
“Ten years of using a mobile phone results in no increased risk of a tumor in the nerve connecting the ear to the brain, researchers said on Tuesday. But amid public concern about a possible link, the scientists who conducted the largest study so far on the subject said they could not rule out a higher risk over a longer period. "The results of our study suggest there is no substantial risk in the first decade after starting use," said Anthony Swerdlow of the Institute of Cancer Research. "Whether there are longer-term risks remains unknown, reflecting the fact that this is a relatively recent technology." The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, focused on the risk of acoustic neuroma, benign tumors which grow in the nerve connecting the ear and inner ear to the brain, close to where handsets are held. Research has also investigated the possible association of other kinds of brain tumor with mobile phones but scientists say acoustic neuroma would be a prime candidate to be affected. Previous independent studies have found mobile phone radiation may have some effect on the human body, such as heating up the brain and causing headaches and nausea.”
Full article here.
SyncToy v1.0 helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers quickly and easily.
Get it here.
I’ve blogged previously…but is there no end in sight?
“Wholesale gasoline prices on the Gulf Coast broke $3 a gallon on Tuesday -- far higher than prices at most U.S. pumps -- as major refineries remained shut after Hurricane Katrina, trading sources said. This could spell a huge spike in retail prices for drivers throughout the United States in the coming days and in particular those in the Southeast, where prices are typically the lowest in the country. "This in many ways is the worst-case scenario that the oil industry has been fearing," said Geoff Sundstrom, spokesman for the AAA motorist group. "Production, distribution, and refining has slowed to a crawl through the whole area and that will mean higher gasoline prices throughout the entire United States."”
I wonder what the west coast is seeing in gas prices. They are usually the highest. $3 per GALLON? It was under $2 how long ago? Unless my math is off, that’s what exactly, about a 50% increase in costs? And raises are typically how much? How many got a 50% raise to pay for the increase in gas prices? When will this end? I also wonder how long the gulf will be shut down because of hurricane damage, causing prices to go even higher.
Interesting post on gripe2ed.com.
“In most businesses, when a product is discovered to have a defect that's likely to cause it to fail, the manufacturer issues a recall for the affected units. Is there any reason that shouldn't be true in the computer industry as well? That's what many IT mangers with large installations of Dell Optiplex GX270 systems have to be wondering right now.”
I noticed that intraVnews 1.12 Release Candidate 2 was posted on August 3.
Download the udpate here.
Americans' love affair with coffee means they get more antioxidants from this drink than from any other source in their diet, a new study reports.
By measuring the amount of antioxidants contained in the most common foods and beverages, and comparing them to U.S. government data on food consumption, researchers found that coffee far outpaced any other beverage or food as the main source of antioxidants in the American diet.
"When you look at the quantity of antioxidants in coffee and how much is consumed, it really shines either way," said Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton. He presented the results of his analysis Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Washington, D.C.
Read more. I knew it all along. I also noticed TEA is not mentioned, particularly the green variety some are prone to drink.
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