Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A month full of great giveaways!

In May, you can win various great giveaways from many sites. The first one comes from Sammy's Palm Addict weblog, where he's currently opening a random giveaway for everyone to participate. All you've got to do is send him an email about how you're using your mobile phones for everyday usage, hit on this link to find out the details you need in order to win a 3-months old MackBook Air!!!

Another great giveaways are coming from 31 weblogs, the prize is HP-DX (a.k.a. The Dragon)! The amazing thing is that those 31 weblogs will held the contest one after another for the whole month in May, so you all might have the chance to win more than once. The first weblog that is going to open the contest is AbsoluteVista, the details of the contest are yet to be disclosed now; so stay tuned closely to find out. While you're there, don't forget to check out the list of every weblogs that are participating in "31 Days of the Dragon" promo.

Happy hunting y'all!

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

UK is reading laws to jail-up fake bloggers

UK’s Office of Fair Trading is currently evaluating & testing out penalties that are most appropriate for fake-up blogs, which often created by companies to promote their products.

Here’s the exact line: “The rules make it an offense to blog, use brand ambassadors or seed viral ads while "falsely representing oneself as a consumer." They also apply to bloggers who fail to disclose they have accepted money to write about a product.”

This will include freelance bloggers, who usually got sample products from the affiliated companies to test them out and to say something nice about them. The news could proof to be a very distasteful situation in everybody’s mouths, both for companies & bloggers. Those who are involved can be prosecuted, fined and even jailed for creating a conspiracy of false marketing hype.

Sources are from
Adage via Gawker.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

"Please take me with you..."

That would probably what my Treo has said when I left it behind today at lunch time, where I had to put it on my computer desk to recharge its battery. Because I've exhausted it to the last drop of its battery's juice last night tuning into my music collections, and this morning when I read around 150+ RSS feeds hit.

I kept imagining how sad & lonely it was to just layed down there all alone by itself, so I rushed my lunch quicker than usual and headed back to see it as soon as possible. It felt glad when I hold it once again, knowing I didn't missed a beat of news or calls.

Oh, how I wish the super battery is already available. It would be amazing to recharge our Palm smartphones' battery to full, in just less than 5 minutes of one time charging. So, how many times have you charge your mobile phones today?

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Attack of the 802.11n WiFi

No, don’t worry. We’re not being harmed by the (802.)11n wireless radio radiation or something likes that, if that was what in your mind when you read the title up there. I’m just still in the atmosphere of Star Wars Episode II: “Attack of the Clones” movie, that was played again on one of the local tv studio here in Indonesia.

What I really meant was that the WiFi types we used everyday: 11a, 11b & 11g, are being replaced aggressively with 11n. Perhaps some of you have already bought 11n Access Point (AP) or Wireless Router (WR), and you must’ve familiar with 11n if you own new laptop. Because modern laptops have an embedded 11n chipset in them; such as MacBook Air, ThinkPad X300, etc.

But most of the current models of 11n APs & WRs are still limited to minimum features that can bring out the best of 11n real potentials. Wireless device manufactures are facing difficulties because of the fall-back compatibility to the old WiFi types, which the root of the problems is simply caused by incompatible old firmwares with the new 11n standards.

To solve above issue, wireless manufacturers have injected upgradeable firmware via software update. Like Aruba Networks new AP-124BG & AP-125BG, those both products are made to ease users’ transition into 11n network. Although the upgrade will be charged with an additional fee, volume-based. That can be seen from the specs, which I’d say exceed from other competitor’s products:

  • Can be configured not just as wireless access gateway, but also as intrusion detector & nodes for secure wireless mesh network.
  • Aruba’s new mobile remote AP software that enabled VPN IPSec tunnel for two-ways communication to data center’s control switch.
  • Above particular software can integrates into Microsoft’s MMC for network management in large / enterprise companies
  • A splitter feature for limiting remote access through VPN to data center server.
  • New 802.1af Power over Ethernet (PoE).
  • Gigabit ports.

All network administrators will appreciate above features, which advance their capability to take more control over vast networks. But to indulge into this 11n technology advantages, we should change the old WiFi types & upgrade the whole system also with new 11n type devices. The costs for this transition will rise to the roof, which is why companies are reluctant to change into 11n WiFi network.
But it’s unavoidable, aside from the fact that 11n is the future of better WiFi; wireless manufacturers are pushing the 11n WiFi type to become the new standard in their wireless products. So, the real question is are we ready for the transition? And I’ve said this many times before, it’s best for Palm to adopt the 11n WiFi type into their next smartphones. Are you prepared for the attack, Palm?

Source is from Oliver Rist's article at PC Mag.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Monday, April 28, 2008

Does iPhone runs your world, or do you run it?

Here’s a good question for iPhone owners, first try to step back for awhile and check which one is running your mobile life: the iPhone or you? Because that’s what Michael DeAgonia from Computerworld has done, which was sparked by a result from market research called iSuppli (what gives really about this whole addition of “i” word in front of names & brands?!?).

Here’s a small quote of what Michael has said: “What surprised me the most out of all of iSuppli’s statistics is that iPhone owners spent less than half the time actually making calls—46.5 percent—compared to 71.7 percent of the time people use other phones for calls. At first, I had a fleeting moment of defensiveness; I wondered if they were insinuating that the iPhone isn’t good for voice calls.”

Its funny how someone can easily trapped inside in a mobile world, and gets too used to access their entire mobile life with only a single gadget. Don’t you think so my good, fellow Palm addicts? ….errr, I didn’t say “addict” too loud am not? Oops, sorry my bad. ;-p

Read on Michael’s interesting article about how he’s using his iPhone everyday at
Macworld, or read it in full at Computerworld.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

iPhone gets Check Point's VPN support

Another boost for iPhone to be used in corporate & enterprise companies came from Check Point, called VPN-1. Using iPhone's embedded Layer 2 Transport Protocol (L2TP), the VPN-1 located in a company's server can create specific login credentials for each iPhone users using a shared secret password and certificates for all iPhones on the network.

Check Point explained that by deploying
Check Point Integrated Appliance Solutions (CPIAS), is all we needed without any hassle of installing other softwares / applications into iPhone. This way the companies who have adopted CPIAS, can offer secure Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to any mobile phone's platforms that their employees have; not just for iPhone.

As you might know it, VPN is the most best to secure connections between two points so they can communicate freely without fear of someone eaves-dropping the contents. This is what sometimes nowadays still called "tunneling" the connection, in layman's lingo. We often use the VPN technology in on-line banking, and usually the Banks will provide a VPN software for us to install first before using it. Like what I'm currently using too, for an on-line banking access by one of major bank here in Indonesia.

It's very rare to see a Bank to pick up quickly on new technologies like CPIAS has offered, where IMHO could expand the traditional customers who only went to bank or use their computer / laptop to make bank transactions. Even though mobile banking has already available now, it's still based on text that only using SIM's limited features. Things could turn around for a big time, if Banks can provide an interactive web-based banking services to customers. So it'll depend on what Banks are concerned about: secure wireless communications.

I'm actually crossed my fingers and pray that Palm hasn't forgot to embed L2TP into its next Palm Nova OS, especially when Palm is intended to gain back their lost standing in smartphone market for business users...

Sources are from Macworld & "Building Wireless Community Networks" by Rob Flickenger (an O'Reilly book).

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

3 "Beautiful to Use" phones from Nokia

The 3 number there grabbed you attention, ain't it? I deliberately use it instead of "three" word, because nowadays we've become too acustomed to 3G iPhone...

But the following mobile phones are not from Apple, they're a new handsets from Nokia. Which peculiarly intrigues me, since Nokia is using old handset's numbering from old times such as the previously famous 6600. Let's have them, shall we:

Nokia 6600 Fold
The flagship of the trio, the Fold naming simple refer to its clamshell design. And it seems Nokia is putting this as the flagship because it has a one-click electromagnetic opening mechanism with dampened hinge for smooth motion, while behind the smooth & glossy front there's a hidden external display with 128x160 pixels to visualize the clock. Here's the rundown specs:

  • Quad GSM band, up to UMTS only
  • Symbian 40
  • 2.13-inch screen of 16M colors with 240x320 pixels display
  • 18MB internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot (up to 4MB)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • micro USB 2.0 jack
  • 2M pixel camera at back
  • secondary VGA camera
  • Weight at 110gr

You can have it for around 275 Euro at Q3 2008, and you may choose between two colors: Mysterious Black or Sophisticated Purple (what a name!).

Nokia 6600 Slide
With changing the Fold name into Slide, you definetely know this one is a slider mobile phone type. And not much of difference from its sibling up there, but without the cool fold-opening mechanism & external clock display. Here's the specs for this one:

  • Quad GSM band, up to UMTS only
  • Symbian 40
  • 2.2-inch screen of 16M colors with 240x320 pixels display
  • 18MB internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot (up to 4MB)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • micro USB 2.0 jack
  • 3.2M pixel camera at back
  • secondary VGA camera
  • FM radio
  • Weight at 110gr

The only thing this slider can boast about from its fold sibling, is its 3.2MP camera is able to record VGA video clips at 15fps (3GP format file). Only slightly priced lower at 250 Euro, looks like you'll have to be satisfied with one single color only when it's out together with N6600 Fold.

Nokia 3600 Slide
Another slider mobile phone type, so it would mean the trio doesn't have a candy bar type in the line-up. Probably the N3600 Slide is aiming for female users, its body has some high-glossy surfaces with gradated colors, metallic elements & soft ceramic paint. Although inside it you can find almost the same as its two older brothers:

  • Quad GSM band, but only up to EDGE!
  • Symbian 40
  • 2-inch screen of 16M colors with 240x320 pixels display
  • 30MB internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot (up to 4MB)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • micro USB 2.0 jack
  • 3.2M pixel camera at back
  • secondary VGA camera
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Weight at 97.3gr

Again, Nokia puts the selling point of this handset at its capability to record VGA MPEG4 videos at 15fps & a two step camera key. To add some spices, Nokia also throw-in the Background Noise Cancellation feature (that doesn't prove to be that good, yet), along with a 2.5mm standard audio jack. With around 175 Euro, you can bring N3600 Slide in Charcoal or Wine color.

Read on for more details of this news at GSMArena here.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Mac is killing PC

That title above seems like I’m making fun of PC, errr... I mean Microsoft. Maybe it is sound a little bit too dramatic, but it suits very well from my point of view. Especially after I heard these news:

Salesforce, a big company that specialize in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software business rumored not to renew their contract with Dell. The leak informations came from Salesforce employee’s emails, and tipped to us by Alex Curylo at his blog. According to the emails, Salesforce plans to replace their 4,000 employee’s entire PC with Mac! And the emails also tell us the reason: “And why, you ask, Security! The resources it takes to defend against all the stuff the baddies throw at a PC, it's just cheaper/easier to pay a few bucks more for a Mac and not have any of those issues.”

If that rumor news is still too shaky to trust, a mighty blow came down from the founder of PC itself: IBM. The IBM spokeswoman; Stefanie Sirc has disclosed that since back in 2007, IBM have given Mac computers to 100 of IBM researchers. Sirc official statement was this: “We're looking to provide employees with the right tools, what they want is what we want to give them. We're not tied to any product or platform." (not because those 100 researchers are like using Mac).

IBM is a corporate company that often aim their products to enterprise companies, so when they’re trying out Mac; this mean they’re measuring whether Mac can run their softwares for enterprise environment or not. An analyst from
Gabriel Consulting Group named Dan Olds, has his own insight on this: “My guess is that they really want to test the Apple claim of being easier to use and offering higher productivity. The IBM of today is all about going after higher productivity rates, without regard to past religion or anything else. The company would also have to evaluate questions like how much it would cost to support Macs on the corporate network."

Another fact can also be seen from Apple’s impressive Q1 revenue earnings this year, they’ve gain remarkable revenues beating out predictions from Wall Street analysts. This of course thanks to iPhone popularity, and to the great sales of Apple’s thinnest yet most expensive laptop from MacBook line-up: the Air. (darn, the price is still out of my reach...)

And the fact that Microsoft has reported a slump selling of their newest OS: Windows Vista. If Microsoft is to stay true to their statement to stop selling Windows XP to OEMs in June this year, they’ definetely will be faced with a down revenues earning reports at the end of the year.

An update: came from a man who attended Steve Ballmer’s seminar, and found out that the Microsoft’s CEO was using a MacBook for his presentation! We don’t know whether the MacBook belongs to Steve Ballmer or not, or maybe somebody else was lending it just for that day. Too bad we aren’t informed on what OS was that MacBook is running, it’ll even be more hilarious if it really runs Mac OS X instead of Windows.

Let’s sum up all above news for awhile; first there’s a security concern that Mac is safer than PC, then Mac is also cheaper (overall after the purchase & maintenance), and let’s also throw in (if) Mac is (really) capable to work in enterprise environments. Well, what do you know? It all sounds familiar, isn’t it? It sounds like those
Mac vs. PC ads we all have seen in tv or internet, and to be frank those ads are very persuasive indeed (the ads name is called “Get a Mac” instead by Apple).

Just like in the ads, Microsoft’s Windows (a.k.a. PC) in real life haven’t been very creative to promote their brand & products to consumers. Unless Windows Mobile, I see that Microsoft is going aggressively introduce WinMob as great in multitasking (unlike iPhone); and that’s right on the money. But still not as attractive as Apple’s, I’d say.

In the future, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see corporate employees who own WinMob mobile phones & devices change side to iPhone. Most probably is because the same reason as what all I’ve mentioned above. But we must play fair aren’t we? So we must wait untill Microsoft unleashed their new ‘iPhone-killer’ mobile OS:
Windows Mobile 7, at the end of 2009 or as early as 2010; before the verdict is read.

Sources are from:
IBM Workers May Use Macs (PCW Business Center)
  • (Alex Curylo blog) via ValleyWag
  • Get a Mac “Accident” episode (Apple)
  • Get a Mac (Wikipedia)
  • Record laptop sales drive $1.05B Apple profit (Macworld)
  • What laptop does Steve Ballmer use for his presentations? (Paint.It.Black) via Gizmodo
  • [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    What does Web 2.0 mean to us? (part. 2)

    Continued from part. 1 …..

    The Enterprise Mashups technology is already on the roll, John Musser from ProgrammableWeb has given an example while at the Web 2.0 Expo: “Car maker Audi used to collect data manually from 20 sources, including its inventory system and competitors' Web sites, to do competitive analyses. Developers at the company used a data mashup tool from Kapow Technologies that now automates the process, and it took only four days to build.” And yes, for you who’re familiar with SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) programming might see the resemblance of this mashups ways to combine cluttered datas into one useful database.

    You may think that these enterprise technology that use Web 2.0 platform will never make it into our exclusive world of mobile life? Then things are about to change dramatically, because IBM is intended to do so. Aside from the big blue company (IBM’s nickname) plans to support Lotus Note in iPhone new firmware 2.0, they’re also going to take advantage of Safari’s full (mobile) web browser. Still at the last Web 2.0 Expo, Rod Smith, an IBM vice president for emerging Internet technologies showed a mashup on an iPhone that displays property foreclosures in the U.S. by zip code. Along with their for-sale prices, which it uses APIs from StrikeIron, Trulia and Google Maps, and took three weeks to create!

    Of course, the exciting new abilities from Web 2.0 platform come with a new challenge in its own security problems. Jacob West, manager of the security research group at Fortify said during a talk at the Web 2.0 Expo: "Security was a challenge to begin with, but if anything it's getting harder in the Web 2.0 world”. He pointed out the big culprit is JavaScript, a major component of Ajax, the Web 2.0 technology used to build richly interactive sites. West continued to explain that there’s “…one particular Ajax-specific problem called JavaScript hijacking. With it, a Web browser that picks up malicious JavaScript code from a Web site can be instructed, in effect, to send confidential information with an attacker.”

    The more concerning matter for end-users is likely not only those hackers inside the net, but rather the stability of using of the web services on the net. You must’ve at least experience a down-time while using Gmail or other web services when you needed them most, this can cause a stressful condition. Especially because not only you don’t know when the service is going to up & running again; but also you can’t access it when the internet connection is offline, or when the data transfer dropped to 2G/EDGE instead of the 3G you’re needed. (like what I’ve discussed at previous topic: “Do we really need 3G?” here at PA)

    Then a good news came again from IBM; "We interviewed Web 2.0 companies and they told us unanimously that they are designing their applications to tolerate server failures…” said Gregg McKnight, CTO of IBM's modular systems group. Because in the renowned Web 2.0 world, if an IP address drops out; they just kill the server and move to another one.

    IBM is not the only who is touting to expand the Web 2.0 native capabilities, Adobe & Google have also demonstrated offline access technology. Adobe with their AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), and Google with their Google Gears (to be used in Google Docs). Basically they’re brewing web applications that can interact directly with user’s desktop, so in the end you can use the web services even you’re offline from the internet. "You really have full control over the file system," as what Ryan Stewart, Adobe platform evangelist boasted while demonstrating Adobe AIR in Web 2.0 Expo. More details are available on Google Gears which features a local server cache for application resources, the SQLite database for data storage, and the ability to make Web applications more responsive through the WorkerPool capability.

    So, all in all Web 2.0 platform is a promising technology we’ll be using daily in our mobile life. Everybody is already heading into that direction, and many software & web developers are throwing their supports too. And how about Palm? I really hope Palm is not neglecting this phenomenon web platform in front of their very eyes, and join in the band wagon by putting supported Web 2.0 platform into their next gen of ‘Blazer’ web browser. I would also love it if I’m able to download BitTorrent files in Palm Nova OS, while on the go.

    To answer the first mentioned subject of these long editorials, I’m going to quote the fine line from Rafe Needleman's (Webware) blog: “Web 2.0: it's what you want it to be.”!!!

    Sources and references are taken from:

    * Note: Hear the PAPodCast 111 if you're more interested in listening the previous post (by Tyler Faux)

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    What does Web 2.0 mean to us? (part. 1)

    The Web 2.0 Expo held at San Francisco is over, the huge event was held to promote new technologies in the World Wide Web (WWW) platforms. Numerous tech blogs and bloggers have covered the news around the expo vast show floor, not to mention there are many web & software developers that participated; from the big guns like Microsoft & Google to small ones.

    Some of you who read the title of “Web 2.0” may even say exactly what my ‘relentlessly-questioning’ brother used to say when I asked him about Web 2.0: “What do you mean by Web 2.0?! Is there even Web 1.0 before this?? I don’t see any reason to differentiate any web platforms, web is web; period!”. Although he’s a fine web designer, and also a very good SQL Server & C# programmer; I’m pretty much amazed on how strong his firm believe not to follow on trends that’s currently popular.

    And that would probably is the same case as yours, my good fellow Palm Addict readers. As an end-user consumers like me too, who mostly don’t care about technical parts behind the curtain of the web services we often use, we won’t care much about the naming of new platforms made by web developers. So right now, I’m not to discuss the origin of Web 2.0, what is Web 2.0, or what are the technologies behind it (well, may be a little bit okay), etc. I’ll spare you from the long explanation, which eventually you can look them all up by yourselves in the net.

    But what really gets into my curiosity when I follow on the Web 2.0 news, is what the new Web 2.0 platform can offer to our mobile life?

    Before I can clearly answer that, I need you to understand that most of the current web services you’re using right now are already inside the Web 2.0 platform circle. For quick examples; Google search engine & Gmail, these are a fine example on extensive use of advanced database management that can be categorized into Web 2.0 technology. “Google isn't just a collection of software tools, it's a specialized database. Without the data, the tools are useless; without the software, the data is unmanageable” (quoted from O’Reilly).

    Tagging files using freely chosen keywords, blogging, RSS feeds & permalink are all the fruits from harnessing Web 2.0 features. Where the audience has become the decider of what’s important, “the wisdom of crowds” as what James Suriowecki said, has produce PageRank of results than can be better than an individual expert analytical point of view.

    Another key feature of Web 2.0 also demonstrated by BitTorrent, where the more people share the same files will mean the whole community will get better service. And the main server to host the files is no longer needed; downloaders have become the servers needed to host the files.

    The limitation from previous limited web platforms, from only able in one way communication; now has been changed greatly. Using the Web 2.0 new technologies, two devices can communicate with each other; they not only consume data but also reporting back. Along with time, the number of devices that can be joined into the platform is growing rapidly. Thus resulting into what nowadays they called it “Enterprise Mashups”, it’s a lightweight applications that combine data from two or more sources to create something more valuable than the sum of their parts. It’s almost like P2P feature that I explained on BitTorrent above, companies are taking advantage from the richness of the shared data over unlimited vast networks.

    to be continue to part. 2 …..

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Saturday, April 26, 2008

    Faces in our mobile life

    Ever since the first time I got to know Windows Mobile in my Treo, and especially after I unfolded the knowledge of Picture Speed Dial (which is located at Today Screen); I began my small quest and that is to acquire as much of face pictures from my friends, families, colleagues, business partners, etc. Basically, everyone that I’m putting their names into the contacts list must have at least a picture of themselves; even if it’s a company banner.

    I’m intrigued on how will be good looking is the Today Screen look like, when all the contacts are represented by pictures of each contact’s face. Maybe you’re not using the built-in Picture Speed Dial in WinMob, instead you’re using Spb Mobile Shell or the cool new looking Face Contact. Nevertheless any of them you chose to use, you must have been on your own little crusade to fill them with face pictures just like what I did.

    But not all of the people I encountered are willingly to let me take a clean shot of picture of their faces, and sometimes it’s us who are reluctant to ask. Because for instance, it’ll sounds too childish if you’re asking for it to business partners while you’re in a serious business meeting. Thus I got many funny experiences whenever I asked for a face picture, aside from those who’re shamefully posed in front of the Treo’s camera ;-p. I wish to share some of the funny stories & reactions, you can read them below.

    As you know the saying goes something like this: “A picture can tell a thousand tale…”, so perhaps it best for me to attach pictures along to describe what I’m trying to explain. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take a look at the picture first before reading the story.

    Here’s a fine example when there are some people who have expressed their objection right from the start, by giving you clues & hints that like they’re gracefully without exactly saying the words: “Please, don’t take my picture!”. (Although, it’ll be amazing if they actually bring a book or a poster with the exact same words like that ;-D)

    That above action is usually done by well manner people, but it’s very often we’ll just get “the hand” when we tried to take picture even though it’s someone who we know very well. A simple gesture, yet rather rude in my personal opinion. Then again, perhaps it’s us who are harsh because we insisted to take his/her picture.

    Some are even clever enough that our mobile phone’s camera is usually not as good as professional photographer’s, which has quick snap-time on moving objects. So they just randomly keep on moving, either their head are moving or using their moving hands to cover the face. And while you’re busy trying to take a picture & you lowered your guards, another person took the advantage then ‘click!” you’re captured.

    Okay, you begged and plead to be allowed to take a picture so you can have nice sets of contact pictures of your business partners. But in one condition, they intentionally make doofous & ridiculous faces to mock you just when you hit the capture button. Well, maybe that’s better than none right?

    This is probably the worst case scenario; you insisted to take the picture even though the person has also insisted that you should never take his/her picture. Perhaps it’s because they’re the most wanted fugitive in many states & countries, we’ll never know the real reason for sure. So be careful, you could get extreme reactions whenever you break into their sanctuary. But hey, what do you know? You managed to get his picture anyway, after all of those struggles & bleeding…

    Yippiii..! You got his/her picture without going through any painful and embarrassing pleas to ask them, but then again you’re beginning to wonder whether the picture you’ve taken is good enough to be in your set of contact pictures…. Sometimes for some unknown cosmic reasons, you just felt like deleting the picture whenever you see it…

    Alright, I got to admit it. I've exaggerated some of them, but who knows maybe you actually have experienced any of it? Overall, this whole thing got me to think; how can I possibly get to use the face picture contact feature from my mobile phone? I certainly like to use the most of everything my handset has to over, and I'm also very sure you're not going to waste the money you've already spent to purchase the application (mentioned at top) that has feature like this too.

    All of the pictures, names & product logos
    are in respective of their owners or the publishers. For further info on CNetX's Face Contact app, you can check my post here at PA. Or read on Niek Braam's (MyTodayScreen) blog for deeper review. Lastly, have a great & fun weekend y'all!

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Video preview of Sony XPERIA X1

    For you who can't wait for the release of Sony Ericsson's most awaited handset: the XPERIA X1, here's another video teaser to quench your undying thirst. Video is courtesy from The Unwired.
    And for you who doesn't know yet of XPERIA X1, here's the recap showdown of its specs:

    • OS: Windows Mobile 6.1
    • Band: Quad GSM with HSUPA
    • Processor: Qualcomm (7200A) 528MHz
    • RAM: 128MB
    • Screen: 3-inch WVGA touchscreen (800 x 480 pixels)
    • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
    • A 3.2 megapixel camera
    • Internal memory: 400MB
    • A microSD memory slot
    • A 3.5mm audio jack
    • GPS
    • WiFi
    • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
    • FM Radio

    Although as you can see in the video preview, the video acceleration is not very impressive for a beast device like this. Hopefully Sony Ericsson will address the video isse before they release X1 into the market. Specs source is from


    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Talk your ways on the road with Garmin’s new nuvi 880

    The touch screen capability is a common feature now in nowadays GPS devices, you can even find it available in the cheapest products line-up in every major GPS manufacturers. Like when I was browsing for an entry-level portable GPS unit not long ago here in Indonesia, I found out that Mio 220 also has touch screen. But a voice recognition is still a rare feature to find in GPS products, few have it but then again the feature is not working the way it meant to be. Either it’s because of the noisy environment (maybe you’re playing that Barry Manilow collection of yours too loud than usual?), or perhaps because it’s still a new feature that hasn’t mature yet to process every words you said.

    This is what separate Garmin’s newest GPS device, it’s the nuvi 880. Looks like Garmin didn’t make many changes to its physical appearance, and more boasting about its full speech recognition capabilities. You might mistakenly think this is nuvi 700 series, which only slew accessories to differentiate these both siblings. The nuvi 880 has two forward facing speakers & a microSD card slot at the side.

    A special additional speak-up button device is connected wirelessly to nuvi 880 main unit, which you can attach it to the steering wheel so you may turn on/off the nuvi 880 Listen mode (also in the picture above). A speech icon can be seen in the main menu screen, if not in use or you say something that it doesn’t understand; the icon turns into red. And while not in use, it disappears & only touch-screen feature is enabled.

    How superb is the nuvi 880 speech recognition that Garmin is so proud of? Craig Ellison (PC Mag) has tested it, and Craig was surprised on how accurate it is. Not to mention how was forgiving it is too, like when Craig said 3245 as “thirty-two forty-five” or when the smart device confirmed 151 from “one hundred fifty-one”.

    While nuvi 880 still sports 4.3-inch, display with 480x272 pixels at WQVGA resolution screen. Apparently Garmin is thinking like Palm, their menus are made to be simple to access and to use. Two big icons: Where To & View Map at main menu, below them are volume controller & tools.

    Just like nuvi competitors in the same market, nuvi 880 has built-in Microsoft’s MSN Direct service to provide useful informations such as:

    • live traffic
    • weather
    • movies
    • news
    • stocks
    • local news
    • gas stations & the price

    The above cellular services offered are not new features at all, just like the previously buzzed Dash Express, which also has it. But Dash Express has limited search feature in it, unlike nuvi 880 where you can add deeper search categories such “Italian restaurants” or “pizza parlors” when you’re looking for a specific place to eat.

    If those entire database search features are not enough, nuvi 880 is geared along with other traveler’s tools like:

    • currency & unit converter
    • 4 zone world clock
    • 4 function calculator
    • 11 games
    • music player
    • Audible audio book player
    • picture viewer

    I can tell you’re etching at your seat right now, feeling that this nuvi 880 sounds like your dreamed GPS device all this long. Cause me too ;-D, but here’s the catch: it’s priced at $999.99 (the horrific numbers that resemblance to evil being ;-p). Surely with all above mentioned features, especially the speech recognition feature, such luxury experience you can get from nuvi 880 is questionably worth it. Time will bring the steep price down, and other competitors will too. Perhaps the less more than $250 priced of nuvi 700 series, is now more suitable for your budget?

    To find deeper review of this PC Mag Editor’s Choice for GPS device, read the article here. Other sources are from, & local stores.

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Just tell it what you wanted to know

    I’m not trying to tease you with that subject line up there, because with a help from Tellme application in your mobile phone; you now can actually speak up what you wanted to search & your gadget will do it by itself. Sounds like those future gadgets we see in the movies eh?

    Simply by holding down an assigned button (or just the Talk green-button) and say “coffee” or “movies”, and then Tellme will search the closest matches according to your GPS position. After you’ve given the available options and choose one, you may share the links with friends or call the location directly if a telephone number is provided. Another further search is also possible, let’s say you wish to watch “Dumb & Dumber” movie because it suits up with your current mood; speak up the movie title and then Tellme will search again for the details such as which theaters & time that still play (*cough* dumb *cough*) movie…

    The whole process of voice recognition & searching, are all done at Tellme servers. So as far as your mobile phone has fast data connection, you’ll get faster results too. Here is the list of what Tellme right now can do when you tell it what to do:

    • GPS directions

    • Traffic information

    • Maps

    • Business

    • Weather & more

    Visit this address with your mobile web browser, or visit here for video demo before getting one.

    But wait up! I forgot to tell you from the start, that BlackBerry is the only mobile phone that Tellme supported right now. Yeah, that’s right. I did meant to tease you after all ;-D Gotcha!

    What gives? Maybe you even saw that little line under Tellme logo there, that says: “A Microsoft Subsidiary” right? So why Tellme doesn’t provide Windows Mobile version of it? I’ll let Mike McCue, CEO of Tellme, to explain as to what he said to Rafe Needleman (
    Webware): “Tellme had the BlackBerry app well into development when Microsoft acquired his company. But why BlackBerry at all? Because it's a better platform for Java, which the app is built on, than is Windows Mobile.” If you don’t believe so, just visit their About web page which says Tellme has joined Microsoft Business Division.

    And as if I haven’t finish teasing with you, the non-BlackBerry mobile phone owners, here’s another one to add to your drooling bucket. McCue is planning to develop a simpler user interface for road warriors behind the wheel, which he called it the “60 mile-per-hour interface”.
    Well, looks like another reason why you should warn your mother-in-law not walk on the street without those American-football protective gears you’ve bought for her (yeah, right… like you even gonna warn her). But seriously McCue, you should make Tellme that works with Palm’s smartphones first. Don’t you agree Palm addict-ers?

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    A foxy music player to tune up your web life

    Are you an internet junky whose life is only around web browsers, and of course you also love to listen musics to sway away your feet while surfing? Then don’t miss to install this free ad-on for FireFox & Internet Explorer web browsers, called FoxyTunes.

    It’ll provide you with a quick and easy panel full of usually found in music players like play, pause, next, hide, search, skins, mini player, and many more. FoxyTunes already supported several players such as iTunes, WinAmp, RealPlayer, XMPlay,, etc. But that’s not all, it can automatically inserts the “Now Playing” song into your blog posts & Twitter feed.

    For the finale review, allow me to quote Seth Rosenblatt (
    Download Blog) own line: “FoxyTunes' strengths are in the depth of available features plus the level of customization. Its weaknesses? Only that you'll wish all add-ons were this good”

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Google ads invade our mobile world

    There is no safe place anymore for us, mobile users, because Google has decided to bring banner ads to mobile internet world. Not even with the small screens and the slow wireless data transfer of our mobile devices, not to mention the uprising of our mobile phone bills for uploading those additional ads images. Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, has insisted that: “The mobile ads work very well. There's nothing to dissuade me it would be any worse than traditional desktop search."; during last week Google quarterly financial conference call.

    As you know, previously companies that advertised in Google were only given AdWords which is just a simply text advertisement. So now Google has been offering to show mobile image ads in different sizes, as you can see at the picture on the left. The web surfers will be acknowledged of these banner ads with a small text line underneath it, to distinguish it from other images.

    But not this entire invasion from Google new ads is sound deterring, especially not for companies who wish to take advantage from Google’s pay per-click term on the banner ads. Many other mobile web pages such as Yahoo, AdMob, MSN, etc. have charge the banner ads based on per-view. Where in mobile business industry this price can be considered too steep & discouraging many companies, who are not certain yet on advertising in mobile world. While with Google, those doubtful companies can test their ads with images first.

    Obviously we can’t avoid banner ads like what I’ve described above, that’s just how it works for the internet industries in order to survive their business. So, now what I would like to have in my mobile web browser’s feature; is for it to block any unnecessary images (like above banner ads) not to appear in the web pages I wish to view. Don’t you think so too?

    Sources are from
    News Blog & PCW Business Center.

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    An exciting Windows Mobile app is on the horizon

    It seems like iPhone is taking all the spotlights for mobile phone news & discussion lately, but I just got a new beta testing application for Windows Mobile from “you-know-who” mobile software developer (a courtesy from Sammy). Which I’m not allowed yet to disclose both of them at the moment, so I hope for you who own Windows Mobile devices to get ready for an exciting news about it around mid-May next month (hint! hint!). Where hopefully I’ll be able to deliver a review for the app I’m currently much fond of.

    In the mean time, you can try out a new useful Windows Mobile app called ‘ceSnipURL’. It’s a tiny free app for WinMob platform, that basically shorten any URL that you typed into it. Which can prove to be very helpful whenever you need to send a website address link in an email or text message, just write it down at ceSnipURL app, hit Enter and voila; you’ll get a snipped URL to copy & paste it to wherever you wanted it to.

    Works well with Treo 750, I’ve tried it. And also works very well for your money pocket, as you’ll be shortening the text messages that use snipped long URLs. Sources are from jkOnTheRun here, and also from MyTodayScreen here.

    And lastly I almost forgot to say: “Happy Birthday to Proporta!!” on their 12th years of producing great products that help us to protect our beloved gadgets & Treo/Centro smartphones. We all here at PA, hope for the best and prosperous years to come for you guys. Congrats!

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Ditch your old ways of using text message & use these tricks to enhance it

    Oh no, I’m not telling you to cut-off the QWERTY keyboard of your Treo or Centro smartphones. But you need to check out these useful tricks that can leverage the ways you used to click your smartphone’s keyboard for text messaging, where usually not very suitable for road warriors who are behind the wheels all the time:

    1. Get an automatic assistant to remind you & make new schedules
    Use your
    Google Calendar to alert you when the next meeting is about to take place, just click Edit> Event> Details and then Add a Reminder to it. You have to choose SMS and including the time it will send the notification to your mobile phone, and don’t forget to enable the Mobile Setup settings in your Google Calendar.
    You also can retrieve every meetings schedule with text message, write “next” and send it to GVENT (48368); where you’ll get back a text message reply containing the time & details of the next event. You even can get a full list of today’s appointments by sending “day”, and “nday” for tomorrow.
    Making new appointments is as easy as above, just write it in plain English language like "Lunch with Joe at Panera Bread tomorrow at noon.", and send it to GVENT too. Google will add it to your calendar, along with the time of the appointment mentioned: noon!

    2. Speak up to compose your text message
    I think you’ve guess this one; it’s
    Jott. The web service that lets you speak up the receiver name in its contact list (in your Jott account), and then transcribed everything you say into text message before sending it. But be careful, it’s dangerous to make phone calls while driving!

    3. Google-up you directions
    Another great free text messaging service from Google, but first you must decide your starting point and destination at
    Google SMS. After you’ve hit the road, just send “GOOGLE” text to 466453, you’ll get Google Maps in text messages form. You can even get an actual map if you write ‘map” & your location.

    4. Beam up my files, Scotty!
    Forgetting something is a natural brain disease, just joking I didn’t mean to scare you. But you do know how it feels when you forgot to bring important files to a remote client in a place where no internet rental caf├ęs can be found, then this ‘Beam it up Scotty’ (BiuS) web service will save your day. Instead of emailing the needed files to your own email address, just upload them to BiuS. After entering you mobile phone number, you’ll get a text message containing a link to download the file. Best of all, BiuS can automatically compress any video & audio files that are uploaded by you, so they’ll be optimized for mobile phone playback usage.

    There are many other tricks mentioned by Rick Broida (
    The Cheapskate) at his PC World piece here, he found 10 useful tricks. Which among them I’ve picked the ones that are using the most of text messaging feature, where IMHO is the cheapest way than using the more expensive data connection. I hope you’ll agree, enjoy & happy text messaging!

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Easy widgets for your iPhone

    Another useful tool for iPhone has been created by WidgetBox, it’s a directory widgets that can be installed on the home screen as mini “widgetized” web apps on your iPhone. The WidgetBox looks amazingly gorgeous; its user interface blends in with the iPhone’s directory screen.

    WidgetBox main use is to lessen the time load you get on iPhone’s EDGE connection, when loading such huge & full web page. Josh Lowensohn (
    Webware) has given an example where he managed to open three times faster of BART’s QuickPlanner tool, than from loading the entire BART home page itself.

    Aside from easy to use for end-users, WidgetBox also has a widget-building wizard to help users who have minimum knowledge of web experience at all. If you’re interested, pin-point your Safari to this
    address to get it for your iphone or iPod Touch.

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Rate your pictures with FaceStat

    I have a good laugh when I read the news of this new tool to rate pictures of you, called FaceStat. It’s the same idea as the Hot or Not web service, which lets you upload your pictures from your computer or Facebook photo albums; and let the mass people in the internet to rate pictures you uploaded with any categories.

    The categories can be like basics such as cool, handsome, pretty, gorgeous, cute, etc. Or something more funny like doofus, intoxicated, drunk, public enemy, etc. It maybe fun for awhile, but it won’t be anymore when you keep getting bad categories instead of good ones. ;-p

    Just upload your pictures
    here, and read more of this web service at Josh Lowensohn (Webware) blog here.

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Use Twitter to track your packages

    Hey, now this is actually a very good idea. It’s very simple and uses the web service that you always use every day; it’s called Trackthis. For you who want to know what’s happening with your packages you’ve sent, just tell the web service the tracking numbers from your regular specialized delivery companies (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.).

    I bet many of delivery wokers, who have smartphones at their arsenal belt, can use such easy to use web service like this. Thanks to Rafe Needleman (
    Webware) for the heads up.

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Live Mesh looks very promising

    Still in the craze-ness of Web 2.0 Expo, Microsoft has introduced their premature Live Mesh web service. It’s an ambitious move by Microsoft to fight back Google dominance in web service market, and also to compete as well with Adobe. Live Mesh uses Microsoft’s SilverLight engine and apps, giving it the edge it needs to stay up-to-date with nowadays web service offerings: widget.

    You’ll find widgets inside the Live Desktop, which can be use as quick access to settings & tools for building up your mesh networks. But this is not Live Mesh main attraction, its most notable feature is to share directories & along the way sync with your PC / laptop. This means it’ll become an on-line backup when you’ve uploaded important files into Live Mesh account, or simply stream media files from it.

    Is that all? Well, as to live up to its name “mesh”; you’ll also able to share the uploaded files with other people that you’ve given access. No further info whether others should have Live Mesh account first to access yours or not. It would be great though, if Microsoft able to implement their Windows based security into Live Mesh. Like you can give a certain person who accessed you files to just enable to read them, but not able to modify or even delete them. This would become a huge network, where the whole people in the world as the clients.

    Another useful future from Live Mesh is that Microsoft has integrated Windows’ built-in Remote Desktop function to it, so you can access your computer from remote areas or to access other people’s computers (who have give you the permission to do so).

    In the spirit of “open-platform”, and to show the world that Microsoft can be better than Google; Live Mesh reportedly will be free of charge web service offering. Plus you’ll get 5GB web-based storage account of Live Mesh. But Microsoft still hasn’t added Mac support to Live Mesh, hmmm…. I wonder why?

    It all sounds interesting, and I can see you’ve drool already to jump start using Live Mesh. Alas, this web service from Microsoft is not yet ready for public. But according to Rafe Needleman (Webware) here, Live Mesh is still buggy & it dragged his computer performance pretty badly. Read on his full review

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Sweet deal on (3rd-Gen) 4GB iPod Nano

    I know I've just posted a news about Apple's DRM trouble with its iTunes here at PA, but this offer for just US$99.99 for the 3-rd gen of 4GB iPod Nano is too sweet to pass by. It's currently offered by, the only drawbacks are its available in silver color only & the warranty expires after 60 days of the purchase.
    Thanks for Rick Broida (The Cheapskate) for the heads up. Somebody can help me to order one & send it to me? ;-D
    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Nokia gets Sony BMG's music muscle support

    Apple was having a difficult time back then with their fight with Warner Music on DRM terms, and at that time the freedom to download and move your own musics to any music devices seemed dimish over time until now. Sony BMG is teaming up with Nokia to launch a partnership in distributing legal musics along with Nokia's handsets, which Nokia called its service as "Comes with Music".
    The deal is that you can only download Sony BMG's featured artists such as Alicia Keys (hey, don't stare too long at her picture there ;-D), Foo Fighters, etc. after purchasing a selected Nokia handset. For one year, you're elligible to transfer any of those downloaded music files into your PC or to a new Nokia handset. At the last year, you'll have a choice between acquire a new music or join Nokia Music store's subscription service.
    As reported by Greg Sandoval (Crave)
    here, this big step of partnership shows a huge support into free musics. And an attempt by music industries to fight back piracy, shrinking old distribution form in CDs & eventually Apple's DRM-trouble iTunes!
    Of course Apple is not going to sit down and watch their piece of iTunes market cake got eaten by Nokia, rumor has it that Apple is on discussion with music labels for similar offers like Nokia's Comes With Music program.
    It's so exciting to know that your favorite mobile manufacturers are all trying to bring better additional services to pamper us, but how about Palm? Looks like Palm is still relying on selling its branded smartphones with basic features...
    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Geek's wedding rings

    Okay, I know I loves network very much. But I don't think my love for the technology is that far to take it into a marriage ring form, like you can see at the picture left. It's a CAT5e compliant wedding ring, which each one of them are suitable for the male & female groom... For the female ring there you can choose from different colors such as turquoise, white, orange or black; but for the male you'll get the huge CAT5e jack! If you're interested jump to here for ordering invoice around $7.00 only.
    But if above network wedding ring is not the right choice for you, and you much prefer a wedding ring that resemblance your love for the Bejeweled game; than you may as well pick this one up. It's a Swarovski Crystal Engagement Ring, with USB Flash drive included in it & a neck rope just in case you wish to hang it around in front of your chest instead. It suits perfectly after your girlfriend has just finished the
    modified Bejeweled game and the proposal pops up, then if she still in doubt you can bend on one knee and propose with this ring... ;-p
    Geeky enough for you? Source is from Crave
    [blogged with my Treo 750v]

    Indiana Jones mania

    O my goodness, time sure flies by so quickly. Just one month more, before the release of the most awaited movie of the years: Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of Crystal Skull! Wait, do I hear someone shouted “Why would I care for just another Hollywood movie?” Well, maybe some below reasons might change your mind there:

    • It’s been almost 19 years since the third movie, so to think why would George Lucas & Steven Spielberg wanted to resurrect Dr. Indiana Henry Jones Jr. back to silver screen again for the fourth one; would be enough to spark your curiosity isn’t it?

    • It’s a Steven Spielberg movie for cryin’ out loud!

    • No one except the actors, actresses & everyone who are involved directly with the movie; have know of the movie’s storyline. Spielberg & Lucas have made it very strict on the secrecy of the story; they even made people who work in it to sign a contract that stated them not to leak the story to anyone.

    • the movie is set to be released world wide on May 22th, only such a major movie will get such treatment from Hollywood power house.

    • the cast of stars like Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt and many more; surely has stated enough this is a huge movie.

    • maybe the very-last movie of Indiana Jones to be made.

    • Google it up, and you’ll get too many of hits that your monitor’s vertical resolution can handle. Including some funny behind the stories before the movie was made, read them here.

    Pheew, I think I should stop there. Otherwise I’ll sounds more like a PR for Indiana Jones movie ;-p
    But what that’s all about got to do with PA & your mobile phone? If you’re a huge fan of Indiana Jones, or love playing games with your mobile gadgets; then you can replay the old RPG game:
    Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis (pictured left). Just to rekindle the spirit of the past memories, where sometimes those old 2D games are still my favorites to play even for now. If you recall I’ve posted long ago here at PA about it, too bad LucasArts is no longer make such adventure games like Indiana Jones there & Monkey Island 2 anymore.

    But you may be wondering on how to make those old games run on your current modern gadgets right? Well, this is where ScummVM will barge in. ScummVM will become the engine to bridge the old platform with the nowadays OS of your devices, the current version (v0.11.1) has already supported many OS platforms. Including Windows Mobile 6, Palm OS 5, iPhone, etc., just download it from their website here.

    I’ve noticed Sammy & my fellow Associate Writer, Ronald Abadi have also posted about it there at PA. Check it out; it’s a nice getaway if you’re bored with modern games. Although you’ll still need the games you wanted to play aside from ScummVM, you probably could get them from eBay or others places which sell official old games. Remember, stay safe and stay straight! ;-D

    [blogged with my Treo 750v]