John at myITforum.com

Mostly gadgets, but I'll occassionally get sidetracked...

January 2007 - Posts

Is Windows Mobile 6 being renamed?

Will there be multiple versions of Windows Mobile 6, each with different names to help us differentiate?  I for one would welcome that change.  There is a rumor circulating that there will be three flavors.

Windows Mobile 6 Standard — Windows Mobile Smartphone version

Windows Mobile 6 Classic — Windows Mobile Pocket PC less telephony

Windows Mobile 6 Professional — Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone

Posted: Jan 30 2007, 10:43 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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Verizon Wireless passed on the iPhone?

So what does Verizon know that the rest don’t seem to know?  Everyone is screaming they’ll buy the iPhone when released.  Not sure how those heavy email users will go for not having a full QWERTY keyboard and actually typing on the display.  For those who have a Pocket PC phone or Treo now, what does your screen look like at the end of a busy day?  Now imagine what that same screen would look like if you didn’t use your keyboard, but actually used your fingers for everything. 

Anyway, it appears Verizon Wireless had the opportunity to be the exclusive Apple iPhone provider, but the No. 2 U.S. cellphone carrier passed on the deal almost two years ago. Apple's rich financial terms and other demands seem to have killed the deal for Verizon Wireless.

Among other things, Apple wanted "a percentage of the monthly cellphone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers." Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president said, "We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn't reach a deal that was mutually beneficial."

Verizon's decision to pull the plug on talks sent Apple into the waiting arms of Cingular, which will be the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. The multifunction device is expected to ship in June and cost about $500.

You can catch the full story here, but can you imagine Apple “controlling the relationship with iPhone customers”?  No one is really happy with customer service with wireless carriers, but I can’t imagine someone like Apple taking over that relationship.  What a mess.  Let’s guess at what the “among other things…” and “…other demands…” were.

Posted: Jan 30 2007, 10:07 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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Should Microsoft Buy RIM?

Obviously, some folks think so…

Ritesh Betala submits: At first glance, my idea of Microsoft (MSFT) joining the iPhone market by buying Research in Motion (RIMM) may seem preposterous, however let us dig into this a little deeper. With no growth rates or year over year earnings comparison here at this time, let us try to think this scenario not only by thinking outside the box but by smashing the box inside and out.

Read the full analysis here.

Posted: Jan 30 2007, 09:54 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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Microsoft Portrait

Check it out here.  Version 3.0 Beta for Pocket PC  has been released. It is for devices running Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 with ARM series CPUs. Now it can support any built-in or plug-in cameras and even choose one from among multiple cameras.

Microsoft Portrait is a research prototype for mobile video communication. It supports .NET Messenger Service, Session Initiation Protocol and Internet Locator Service on PCs, Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs and Smartphone. It runs on local area networks, dialup networks and even wireless networks with bandwidths as low as 9.6 kilobits/second. Microsoft Portrait delivers portrait-like video if users are in low bandwidths and displays full-color video if users are in broadband. In low bandwidths, portrait video possesses clearer shape, smoother motion, shorter latency and much cheaper computational cost than do conventional video technologies. Microsoft Portrait pursues providing presence notification, chat/voice/video functions anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Tips:

* You can place a call either from the buddy list of Microsoft Portrait or from the Action menu of MSN Messenger after you install Microsoft Portrait.

* You can also browse in an ILS server and select a people to call.

* Even if your buddy has not installed Microsoft Portrait, you can still invite him/her from the buddy list of Microsoft Portrait so that he/she can receive a message in an MSN Messenger window, which shows him/her you are inviting him/her and where to download Microsoft Portrait. After your buddy installs Microsoft Portrait, he/she can accept your call.

* If you do not have a camera, you can still see others who do send video, or talk with others in robust voice working at bandwidth as low as 2.4 Kbps.

* You can use any of your PCs, Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs or Smartphones to call.

* You can place a call even behind a firewall.

* If you are a modem dialup user, now you can also conveniently see and talk with others.

* Please adjust the slide of the "Video" button to achieve better visual quality if you select to use black/white video.

* If you have a PC with a camera and a Pocket PC, you can use them to constitute a surveillance system. You can call your PC in your home or office using your Pocket PC anytime on the road.


Please send your feedback or bug reports to

Posted: Jan 30 2007, 07:06 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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Motorola handing out pink slips
Second place mobile phone maker Motorola plans to slash 3,500 workers, or five percent of its workforce. During a call to discuss fourth quarter earnings, chairman and CEO Ed Zander said the cuts could save the company about $400 million over two years.  The news comes amid a backdrop of higher Motorola sales and lower profits. The bottom line: fourth-quarter 2006 income fell 48 percent.

Motorola said it earned $624 million in the fourth-quarter of 2006 compared to $1.2 billion for the same quarter in 2005.  The company said sales for the quarter reached $11.8 billion, matching revised expectations that Motorola issued earlier this month. In October Motorola projected fourth-quarter sales would reach $12.1 billion.

Despite shipping more than 67 million handsets, including 25 new phones during the quarter, Motorola's Mobile Devices unit earnings dropped to $341 million during the quarter, down from $663 million in 2005. Motorola blamed "an unfavorable geographical and product-tier mix" for the shortfall.

Full story here.

Posted: Jan 29 2007, 10:29 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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Google adds Google Docs to Google Spreadsheets

http://docs.google.com

Is security a concern?  Wonder what would happen if someone put confidential client data out there for “collaboration”?  Looking for a disclaimer???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you've ever struggled to keep track of different versions of spreadsheet or word processor files sent over email, Google Docs & Spreadsheets may be right for you. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers. You can, for example, coordinate your student group's homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan.  Learn More

  • Get started quickly.
    Import your existing documents and spreadsheets, or create new ones from scratch.

  • Edit your documents and spreadsheets from anywhere.
    All you need is a Web browser - your documents and spreadsheets are stored securely online.

  • Share changes in real-time.
    Invite people to your documents/spreadsheets and make changes together, at the same time.

  • And it's free.

John Kerry at it again...

Here’s John Kerry speaking while sitting just a few feet away from Mohammad Khatami, the former President of the Iranian state.  Very nice.  I couldn’t stomach all of it.

Kerry was asked about whether the U.S. government had failed to adequately engage Iran’s government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.  Kerry said the Bush administration has failed in addressing a number of foreign policy issues.  “When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don’t advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,” Kerry said.

“So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East in the world, really. I’ve never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today.”  Kerry criticized what he called the “unfortunate habit” of Americans to see the world “exclusively through an American lens.”

Posted: Jan 28 2007, 01:13 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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ASUS announces P735

"ASUSTeK has announced today its new communicator – ASUS P735. This is a clear successor of ASUS P535, you can see similar features in design with a naked eye. Recently we’ve published some preliminary info on the new product, however it turned to be partly untrue. The product was rumored to have an integrated GPS-module, while the developer’s release didn’t mention the navigation opportunities.The main distinction of the P735 from the P535 is the support of 3G and the lack of GPS-module. The communicator supports video telephony, the device is equipped with a frontal camera for this purpose. According to the manufacturer, the P735 got exclusivesoftware.
The specs of ASUS P735:

  • Operating system - Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition
  • GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz), GPRS Class 10, UMTS (2100 MHz)
  • 2.8” QVGA (240x320 pixels) 65K colors
  • CPU - Marvell Xscale 520 MHz
  • 64 MB RAM and 256 MB flash ROM
  • 2-megapixel camera with auto focus and VGA-camera
  • WLAN (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 1.1
  • MiniSD slot
  • Battery 1300 mAh
  • Dimensions – 109x59x19 mm
  • Weight - 143 g (with the battery)" via mobile-review.com

Posted: Jan 28 2007, 01:04 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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Resco Photo Viewer for Palm (v2.50)

Resco has released Photo Viewer 2.50 for Palm.

v2.50 brings PNG, multi-beam, enhanced image editing and improved Categories handling. Plus an important helper for those who do not like popup menus - context menu is available also from the main menu.

v2.40 was the largest upgrade since years.
Some of the headlines are bellow, for full details click here.

  • New Custom Slideshow suitable for enhanced presentations.
  • Nicer GUI, improved application control
  • Faster, more reliable
  • Support for huge folders (20000+ images)
  • Histograms and other new features

Why Resco Viewer?

While the answer is highly individual and a matter of taste, there are features that you simply won't find anywhere else...

  • Speed: one of the fastest viewers on the market
  • A rich set of image formats supported
  • Powerful image management, drag-drop and multi-selection
  • Unique features such as encryption, animation, Exif info, color editing, cropping
  • Attractive slideshow
  • Custom slideshow reminding multimedia presentations
  • Structured categories
  • Full access to the card
  • Handling of huge folders (17000+ images)
Posted: Jan 28 2007, 12:50 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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Cingular adds 2.4 Million Subscribers...

Not everyone hates Cingular (it’s not the debil)…

Cingular Wireless, reported that it ended 2006 with 61 million subscribers and a net income of $782 million, a 283% over 2005.  The company also said it picked up 2.4 million new subscribers by the end of the fourth quarter, compared with the 1.8 million from the year-ago period.

Cingular CEO Stan Sigman said in a statement the company will continue to emphasize its network, customer service, and handsets under the AT&T banner.

Posted: Jan 28 2007, 12:32 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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CTIA Wireless 2007
CTIA Wireless 2007, billed as the world's largest event for the wireless industry, takes place Mar. 27-29 in Orlando, Fla. This year's event will highlight a "seismic shift" currently underway in business productivity, fueled by wireless adoption, according to conference organizers.

CTIA says its educational program and co-located partner conferences will "engage industry stalwarts and upstarts alike," making for a lively exchange of ideas and points of view. Participants are said to include policy makers, wireless carriers, and corporate representatives who will "expose the promise, and potential pitfalls" awaiting the wireless enterprise.

On Mar. 26, CTIA Wireless will host a series of day-long pre-conference events focused on the mobile enterprise, described by conference organizers as:
  • VoIP Mobility -- addressing issues and opportunities facing mobile VoIP, including system and consumer requirements

  • Smartphone Summit -- showcasing the latest smartphones, hardware, and accessories, with representation from all smartphone OS platforms including Microsoft, Symbian, RIM, and Linux

  • Wireless Data University -- led by Andrew Seybold, this has been the industry's preeminent in-depth wireless data education session, for neophytes and experts alike

  • Mobile Payments World -- bringing together banks, financial services, and mobile communications
A spectrum of registration packages is offered, with "early-bird" pricing available until Feb. 12. Non-member prices range from $135 for an early-bird exhibits-only pass, to $1130 for a top-of-the-line early-bird Smart Pass, with higher pricing for on-site registrants, and lower pricing for CTIA members.
Posted: Jan 28 2007, 12:25 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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Palm Treo 680 and Treo 700p's get Microsoft Direct Push

Palm, Inc. today announced the availability of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync(R) Update for Palm OS(R) devices for the Palm(R) Treo(TM) 680 and Treo 700p smartphones. Palm OS based Treo smartphones have long been able to use Exchange ActiveSync(R) to access Microsoft Exchange Server information using Palm's VersaMail(R) email client. The new update enhances VersaMail by adding Microsoft's Direct Push Technology, which gives users connected to an Exchange Server fast, automatic wireless updates of email, calendar and contact information.

"Extending Microsoft's Direct Push Technology to the Palm OS based line of Treo smartphones gives business customers a powerful new choice for wireless email, security and manageability," said Joe Fabris, director of wireless solutions, at Palm, Inc. "This combination delivers the benefits of business-class email without the cost of additional infrastructure required by other middleware-based solutions, ensuring a fast return on investment as well as a great end-user experience."

In addition to providing a powerful email solution, the Exchange ActiveSync Update for Palm OS devices offers the following benefits:

  • Adds Direct Push Technology - Direct Push Technology gives users connected to an Exchange Server fast, automatic wireless updates of email, calendar and contact information (Exchange Server 2003 with SP2 or Exchange Server 2007).

  • Extends existing software and infrastructure - Wireless email using Direct Push Technology reduces the need for third-party software and infrastructure, thereby reducing cost, maintenance requirements and staffing needs. Companies now can use their existing infrastructures and servers to deliver Exchange Server information wirelessly simply by adding Treo smartphones.

  • Offers security and central management - Security features for IT administrators include over-the-air password policy enforcement and remote wipe for lost or stolen devices. Users also have the benefit of accessing their company's Global Address List (GAL) over-the-air, providing them with quick access to colleagues' contact information.

  • Installs easily - The update can be downloaded over-the-air for Treo 700p and Treo 680 customers, making it very easy for IT to deploy.

    "Mobile users are increasingly demanding fast, automatic updates to email, calendar, and contacts. IT departments struggle to offer this productivity-enhancing capability to an ever-increasing number of workers in a cost-effective and secure manner," said Jeff Ressler, director of product management for Microsoft Exchange Server. "The addition of Direct Push Technology will help Palm's customers meet these growing user needs securely and cost-effectively by leveraging their existing, highly scalable Exchange Server infrastructure."

    The Exchange ActiveSync Update for Palm OS will be available Monday as a download at http://www.palm.com/easdownload. There is a footnote on the press release that says that the update is not currently available for Cingular Wireless customers. The following is another footnote:

    Note: Requires Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 or Exchange Server 2007 and access enabled by IT administrator. Within wireless service coverage area only. Availability and coverage depends upon carrier and the geographic scope of international roaming agreements. Email, messaging and web access requires data services from a mobile service provider at an additional cost.

  • Posted: Jan 28 2007, 12:23 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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    Double Launcher

    Double Launcher lets you to launch up to four different applications from each PocketPC hardware launch button, including the Record button, by allowing each button to be pressed, pressed and held (like a PocketPC tap-and-hold), double-pressed (like double-clicking a mouse button), or double-pressed and held, launching a different app in each case.



    In addition DoubleLauncher allows you to assign the following special functions to a button press of any type:

    1. Start voice recording
    2. Launch Today app
    3. Open/close the software keyboard
    4. Open the Start Menu
    5. Simulate various keystrokes: Up, Down, PgUp/Prev, PgDn/Next, Enter/OK, and ESC/Cancel.
    6. Open documents directly
    7. Rotate the screen (on Pocket PC 2003 devices or later that support this feature)
    8. Turn off device

    The demo version of Double Launcher only adds support for assigning extra applications to one button. The full registered version fully enables multiple assignments to all the hardware launch buttons, and can be purchased for $9.95.

    Download or purchase here.

    Posted: Jan 28 2007, 12:19 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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    Cruise 'is Christ' of Scientology

    Did you catch this story?

    TOM Cruise is the new “Christ” of Scientology, according to leaders of the cult-like religion.

    The Mission: Impossible star has been told he has been “chosen” to spread the word of his faith throughout the world.  And leader David Miscavige believes that in future, Cruise, 44, will be worshipped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion.  A source close to the actor, who has risen to one of the church’s top levels, said: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure.  “Like Christ, he’s been criticised for his views.  But future generations will realise he was right.”  Cruise joined the Church of Scientology in the ’80s. Leader L Ron Hubbard claimed humans bear traces of an ancient alien civilisation.

    Catch the full story here.  Unbelievable.

     

    Posted: Jan 27 2007, 02:46 PM by jgormly | with no comments
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    Forbes posts 25 fastest growing tech companies

    Who's the next Google? For now, Google is. It slipped into second place on the Forbes list of the fastest-growing tech companies but still shows triple-digit annualized revenue growth over the past five years. The company cannot sustain its current growth rate for long, but last November it aided its fast-growth status by grabbing YouTube for $1.65 billion.

    So, who took the number one spot over Google?  Biotechnology equipment company Illumina.  Altiris made the list at number 5.  Rounding out the top five were Google (2), Salesforce.com (3), Monolithic Power Systems (4).  Check out the full list of 25 here.

    Posted: Jan 26 2007, 07:04 AM by jgormly | with no comments
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