Thursday, July 31, 2008

TechCrunch's Web Tablet is just a(nother) "crazy" vaporware idea?

Not everybody are agreeing with Michael Arrington's idea of a cheap concept for the "Linux"-based web tablet, one in particular is Mr. James Kendrick from jkOnTheRun. Mr. James got some interesting points on why such idea couldn't be made into a reality, and I must say that his arguments are hitting right at the jack pot.

At first, yes indeed, the TechCrunch's project has created a huge wave of enthusiasm. The imagination of using a mobile device that looks like that (left picture), of course it has sparked lots of attention. Some are taking the idea very seriously and thinking, even talking about participating in the project, some other are just saying they love the idea and can't wait to salivate for the device to arrive in their hands.

For open source mania & "hankering" Linux die-hard fans, this kinda project is what they've been waiting for to cheer on and brag upon. If, it is sucessful. But apparently, the project looks like "playing possum" after more than a week when it's first announced. The once promised developers site for futher development of the project is nowhere to be heard, and thus has created few or more sinister comments of it. Like Mike Cane's, warning: explicit words ahead. ;-D

I highly doubt such project can become a reality, there are three crucial points that back up my doubt:
  1. It's an open source project, and like what I've mentioned before; its openness is its key to sucess and also its problem at the same time. We're talking about many people, who're hardly know each other and never meet face to face to work together. And to make it worse, those kinda people are usually an indepent and a bit "self-centric" person who is excel working alone but lacks the skills to work as a team. I know, and I've seen a lot of situations like this.

  2. Money, cash, funds, dough, etc., or whatever we called it. Mike Cane does has a good point; who is willing to provide the cash to fund the project? From Michael Arrington's own pocket? Or from TechCrunch? Or will it be a joint venture open fundings from people who're interested in the project? If the Web Tablet that's priced around $200 has got out from the production gate, do you think those people who have contributed to the project will be pleased with just a thank you note from an email? How can an open project like this make it, if even big companies who produce actual computers & laptops are saying: "it just doesn't add up..." about making netbooks that have price range below $500?

  3. No solid basic technologies basis to support it. Aside from the brainstorming idea that drew plenty of drools, TechCrunch's Web Tablet first idea is to pull out as many ideas it can get, and then take off from there. But what, where, and when? What are the technologies? Where do those technologies came from, from an already registered & patented techs? And when it's time to stop dreaming and start working? It all sums up as a crazy idea, which many Linux and open source weblogs are saying it so, and all of the open source tech experts I know also think/said so...

In the end, it all winds up as this: It's not the Web Tablet itself that stirs the most conversation from blogospheres, but the crazy idea behind it that is. And this is what make open source and Linux to be avoided (even hated) by common computer users, because there are no solid and true supports for free; only crazy ideas are free. Throwing crazy idea one after another one is easy.

Just exactly what Linus Torvalds has said it himself during an interview with simple-talk: "As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute..."

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Firefly is now open for public!

Just got the word from Billy Chasen, that the Firefly is now in an open public beta; which means anyone now can install it!

Just visit this URL, and then follow the instructions there to install Firefly into your own websites.

Billy made tons of changes to Firefly since its initial first release, so you'll see more and improved changes. If you're still unaware of what Firefly is, you can try it out in this weblog first. Click on the Firefly button, on the right side to start using it in your web browser.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Samsung INNOV8 officially introduced

You might be thinking; "Another new mobile phone model comes out from Samsung..." Well, can't blame you for that since me too was thinking like that when I read the news about Samsung latest mobile phone: Innov8.

It's actually the very same Samsung's mobile phone that I previously told you about
here at PalmAddict, before it was called as Samsung i8510 Primera. The new Innov8 is exactly the same as the Primera in every way; the specs, looks and everything are no different. The only thing changed is its name, and although it's hard to be pronounced, it's a short for INNOVATE.

Now, I don't know about you guys. But everytime I see this Samsung's Innov8, especially this left picture, it reminds me of Palm's TX. For me, there's a striking resemblance between Innov8 with the TX...
I ain't gonna bore you with the same specs that I've mentioned before, so if you're interested to know what this beast has inside its belly, please see my previous
post.

What so "beasty" about this mobile phone anyway? It's the 8MP camera embedded inside its sliding body that carries the nickname, and that's not all. Samsung has equipped the 8MP camera with additional features like:
  • Auto-focus
  • Face recognition
  • Smile & blink recognition
  • Auto panorama mode
  • Geotagging
  • Dual-powered LED
  • 30fps VGA video quality
  • 120fps QVGA video quality

I remember one of our PalmAddict readers named Soda, who has emailed Sammy and talk about how great it is if there's a face recognition technology inside mobile phones. The Innov8's face recognition tech sounds to be the right answer for that, although we must wait until the handset is released to the market and the new feature is tested; before we know if the face recognition is worth it.

It won't be long for us to wait, because according to GSMArena the Innov8 will be available in Europe next month and its rumored price is 780 Euro. Head on to GSMArena's page to see more pictures of the new Innov8, meanwhile you can enjoy the picture on the right but don't stare too long on the model girl. ;-p

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Out in the sun

It's Sunday, and there's no better way to spend the whole day than relaxing on the grass and bathe all of the last weekend stress away with the warm light of the sun.

So that's what this 'little hamster' has been doing this whole Sunday, after the stressful works yesterday fixing up the office's main server, I took a long nice break today.

With a cup of coffee in one hand, and the other hand is holding Treo; I read and listen to my favorite tunes at the same time while I'm sitting on the balcony of my home.

Doing this reminds me of the movie '
Sunshine' that I've just re-watched again last night on my Treo, it's a great science-fiction movie. And I think we should be grateful indeed, our sun is still bright and we can enjoy it on any daylight.

Ideas are popping out as I read news from around the globe, but I put aside the crazy ones since it won't be interesting to write about without any basis to support them. ~LOL~

And that's why I'm going to talk about the recent news that hit tech and mobile world, they're mostly about open source/Linux and netbooks. I wrote my blogs with Treo, and get the sources by moving back and forth to the RSS news also with it; it's so great to do multi-tasking. I'll post them later after I finish up this one, and surely before I ran out of coffee and the music finish. ;-p

Hope you too have a wonderful and shiny weekend!

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Cheaper price predicament on mobile phones: a boon for reckless kids & a warning for naive parents

I remembered it well, when the first Nokia’s handset with camera; the 750 was released, everybody are excited about the idea of a camera embedded into mobile phone. But to have such luxury on the given time, we had to pay a hefty price for it, perhaps around $800 or so.

As time flies by, and a camera inside mobile phones became a common feature, the price drops significantly and doesn’t pose as the reason for hiking the high price anymore. Furthermore, mobile manufacturers have thrown in many additional features into their newer handset models to attract consumers. Like the capability to play MP3 music files, play various video formats, games, surf the web with integrated web browsers, etc.

It works, consumers are beginning to look up for more features beside the actual use of basic need: to make & receive calls. And while mobile manufacturers are fighting each other by lowering their handset’s price, consumers have been receiving the benefits from the fight: cheaper price even for the newest and savviest mobile phone out there right now.

We’ve seen the results ourselves, heck, you may even have been enjoying them yourself. ;-D Such as the Centro sold at only $99, and now sold just around $69. Then the new iPhone 3G sold at only $199, everybody are literally salivating to get one. It’s like buying a new shiny gadgets with spread payment at front, the only caveat is that you’ll be burden with monthly subscription plan with the locked wireless mobile carriers.

But tell me the truth, is that still hold you back from purchasing Centro or iPhone 3G? I don’t think so. ;-p

The reason is simple enough for even in laymen terms; the price sounds cheap, it feels light to pay for it, and it sure is fit with money in my pocket right now. The mobile vendors, in this case are Palm & iPhone, have struck gold with their strategies: the mobile phone that is jam-packed with the most cutting edge features at this moment, don’t have to be expensive.

I don’t wanna talk about how can those mobile vendors do that, because the reason is probably the same as what those computer manufacturers have done with their netbooks strategies; and that’s another discussion in another post. What I do want to talk about now, is the impact of cheaper price those savvy mobile phones have to our children, who will hold them in their tiny little innocent hands.
Let’s face it, you’re not gonna say no when your children beg you to buy them mobile phones for them, aren’t you? When those little devils make their cute begging face, which parents can say no, right? ;-p
Some of them asked for the same mobile phones you’re using, and of course you’re not obligated to give them your priced possession. Instead, you can get them the mobile phones that are designed specifically for children and teens; like the ones made by
Firefly.

Kids these days have been well acquainted with digital world, and thanks to their own parent’s digital lifestyle, kids to teens have also pick up computer knowledge faster than they know how to wear their own pants or tie their own shoes. So with cutting edge mobile phones in their hands, are turn into compact sized computer inside their pockets.


While the adults are playing… eheemm, I mean “working” *cough* with their mobile phones, these kids are spending their play time with their mobile phones too. With mobile phones, they are easier to chat/IM, text message, email and call their friends; or strangers. Either it’s day, night, at school, or even on bed.

And this could translate they’ll use the mobile phones you gave them, anywhere and anyplace, with or without their parents supervision watching over them. The worries continue, how about if the kids are receiving text messages or calls from strangers and bad people; worse is from pedophilias? Or how about if while the kids are surfing the web, and then they stumbled upon adult contents like porn and violence?

That doesn’t stop there, with camera embed within the mobile phones, kids can take pictures anytime and anywhere they like. If they’re taking and sending proper pictures, then it’s alright. But how about if it is not “proper” pictures?

Kids are naïve, innocent, and absolutely reckless because most of them haven’t met face to face with the real world that’s hid away by their parents until they’re old enough. But unfortunately, it’s not only the kids who are naïve; the parents can also be too.

Handing down the mobile phones without knowing the consequences, are like handing down guns to your children. Even with the safety button is locked, the kids will eventually find a way to unlock it themselves. Parents used to think, that their kids are no smarter than them. Such thinking should be changed immediately, or the worries will become a reality.

Of course, there’s another concern aside what I’ve mentioned above. This one is more medical concern; which is now under study: the risk of cancer of using mobile phone. Yes, it is not proven and still hasn’t been any solid proofs yet. Only indications, and presumptions by medical expertise. Even though the findings can be called old news, this one is newer:

Prof Kjell Mild, of Orbero University, Sweden, who is a Government adviser and led the research, said that children should not be allowed to use mobile phones because their thinner skulls and developing nervous system made them particularly vulnerable.

His study comes just a month after a separate piece of research, jointly funded by the Government and the mobile phone industry, found there was only a "very faint hint" of a link between long-term use of mobile phones and brain tumours. This six-year, £8.8 million Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme came under fire for failing to investigate more thoroughly those who had used their phones for more than a decade.

But let’s put aside the “faint” concern of cancer radiation, and let the scientists do their works first before making a fuzz about it now. And let’s concentrate on what is in front of our eyes, and how to deal with the real concern that we face today; what to do with the mobile phones that are already in the hands of our children?

I like the idea that is presented by Larry Magid from Yahoo!Kids; that the phones are fine, if used properly. It is parents, who has given the devices to their own kids, that should sit down and talk about how the devices should be used properly. A heart-to-heart conversation is what would be most suitable to deal with the little ones, not a lecturing type of a lesson, but more like a family talk that’s familiar to the kids.

While the parents should do their jobs to protect their children from such dangers, the mobile manufacturers should also do their job to help protect the young ones from using their products for false purposes. A fine example is given by Apple with the new parental control in the new iPhone 2.0 platform, which I’ve talked about it in my previous post
here at PalmAddict.

Although Microsoft has introduced advanced parental control in Windows Vista for desktop/laptop OS, Microsoft hasn’t been embed such security settings for the growing popularity of Windows Mobile. With more and more mobile manufacturers are adopting WinMob into their mobile handsets, including Palm, Microsoft as the one who made it should take the necessary actions before the consumers themselves demand for it.

We’re growing and learning new things as we walk forward, with burden on our shoulders and our hands lead our kids’ hands altogether. It’s our best hope everybody involved will enhance and make the products better in time, but in the mean time; we ought to equipped ourselves with enough knowledge on how to prevent the things we don’t wish to happen, instead of let them happens before us until too late.

Are you with us? And are they with us?

Sources are from:

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Cheaper price predicament on netbooks war: more setbacks on planning the purchase

It’s like the rainy season, where everyday the rain drops by either it’s just drizzles or heavy drops. And so is the current dilemma that mobile users are facing right now, especially for those who’re looking to make a purchase for netbooks.

I’ve been meaning to talk about netbooks, UMPCs, mini-laptops, or whatever it’s being called these days, for quite sometime. But with newer models are being introduced within these last 5 months, I kept on delaying it and thus making it outdated to talk about them anymore.

The war is moving on, the pawns are changed and updated, the master puppets are still the same old same, but there’s one thing that’s still interesting for us to follow: the price.

The mobile market has been flooded with plenty of choices, and to make it worse those netbooks’ price also make us harder to choose. Ranging from top at around $800 to the most cheapest at $300 or less, netbook has become everybody’s favorite who doesn’t need much power-horse from the tiny structured laptop.

Yet of course, for power users who demand every ounce of performance to be squeezed out from their mobile devices; netbooks are simply not suitable for them. But then again, such device is not intended for such purpose from the beginning; and that would become another topic.

The low-end specs within are also contributing to the lower and cheaper price those netbooks have, but not necessarily the basic considerations for moderate mobile users, since the difference for them is blurring with the growing use of “cloud computing”.

I’ve tried to play with some of these netbooks for a brief moment; such as Asus Eee PC 700/900, MSI Wind, HP Mini-Note, and some of the local brand products that I’m sure not that interesting for you (but someone might be thinking the otherwise, even love to brag about them ~LOL~) my dear PalmAddict readers. And I must say, physically their looks are very tempting and appealing.

But when I took them for a long stroll on the net, opened up many web browser’s tabs at once, and visited websites with heavy use of Flash; netbooks are simply incapable for such tasks. The netbook is small in size indeed, which means the screen display also in same small sized; making me to squint me eyes to see the small fonts.

And if that’s not enough to push me away from using netbooks, the heat that is generated from the processor to the front body has also make me faster to close them down. One particular to note regarding this heat problem, IMO the HP Mini-Note is generating more heat than other models I’ve tried. It is not a surprise, in fact it is expected by design, because the Mini-Note is using VIA’s C7 processor which still need more power (but less in performance) to run it than Intel’s Celeron M or even the new Atom processor.

So if specs inside are not a big deal for you, your eyes are used to stare at small screen, your arms love to carry light weight gadgets, and your hands are accustomed to stand on the heating front bezel; then what is stopping you from getting one of those netbooks? Price, price is a huge consideration for buying small device like netbook. Well, unless money grew in your garden or grows on your head; then spending money would become a major lesson you’ll always have to take in the endless journey of yearning for new shiny gizmos. ;-D

Back to the above fact, netbook is designed to be sold at certain lower price margins than its bigger brothers. Which to computer manufacturers, this netbook’s profit margin has created a new phrase for them: “it just doesn’t add up…” (please read my previous post about this). It isn’t so hard for us the consumers to close our eyes, pick one of many netbooks available in the market, and still bring home a netbook that is adequate (in technologies) compared to the ones you didn’t pick.

If you then use your newly purchased netbook in your secluded home/workplace, and never wanting to know of the newest model to come out; then you’ll life happily ever after with it. But we know that is not possible, not just because you’re a gadget freak addict (;-p), but also because sooner or later you’ll find out about the price cut news on newer models.

Do I hear; cheaper price on newer model? Yes, you heard it right. To put it simple and to cut short the long stories, computer manufacturers who produce netbooks are taking up all they can get the remaining pieces of the cake (read: market). And by cutting down the already “cheap” price, they intend to kill competitor’s chance in the process.

We’re already seeing this happening with the release of
Eee PC 1000HD, and the hot rumor about new Mini-Note due to be released on the end of this year. You can expect other vendors to follow suit their action afterwards. Of course there’s a catch to this uprising ridiculous price cut trend; they’re slimming down the ample specs inside and dress-on cheaper materials outside.

Ridiculous? Yup, we’re not talking the degrading price in short time frame here. Instead of the acceptable price down in tech and gadgets is a year or 6 months, this is happening in 4-5 months! I can sense those who have spent their money on Eee PC 701 are grinding their teeth now, knowing that theirs have become obsolete in a very short time. Poor bugers… ~LOL~

Asus is keeping the aged Celeron 900MHz processor inside the Eee PC 1000HD, but this model keeps the 10” screen and price; meaning you can have the same device with lower spec. While HP rumored to replace the Mini-Note’s aluminum casing with cheaper plastic and price, but the new model will get Atom or newer VIA processor; meaning you can have better device with not so different price than now.

Since specs and other mumbo jumbos are not your concern for buying netbooks, but the price is; then the question will be: will you wait until the price drops insanely low?

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Q&A with Linus Torvalds, by simple-talk

The Linux and open source have became the most talked about topic for a brief time especially this end of the weekend, with the OSCON 2008 is wrapped up.

I know some of you are bored and fed up with the open source and Linux topics, and few of you can't get enough talking & brag about them.

Although I'm not particularly interested to talk about Linux, this can't be avoided since Ubuntu is taking the spotlight at last OSCON 2008 with the release of
Canonical's Ubuntu Netbook Remix beta. The future of open source is looking bright, so many software developers and computer manufacturers have gathered and shared their ideas on what to be expected from it in the future.

But open source's key; its openness, is the key to its success and it's also the problem need to be solved together. With so many people are taking part in open source, miss-communication and chaos are easy to happen. Without a strong party to take the lead on where Linux should head to, it'll take a lot more time to make it grow. But who should be the leader? The people and fans behind open source are usually indepent, open minded, and a bit self-centric people ~LOL~, so it'll be hard for them to accept big companies to take the lead.

Thus making the open source die-hard fans can't stop reminiscing of the maker, the father, the godfather, the first brain of Linux: Linus Torvalds. Perhaps, it should Linus who take the lead and pointed out where Linux should go from here; after years he gave birth of his brainchild idea.

But Linus Torvalds is not a type of person who gloat over power and famous, instead he's a low profile legend who rarely share what's in his mind with mass media. So Richard Morris from
simple-talk is indeed very lucky to have Linus for an interview, and get some of what the godfather of Linux himself is thinking about Linux nowadays. Here are some parts of the interview that I cut-off, which I think might interest you my dear or PalmAddict readers to know:
  • RM: 'In your famous debate with Tanenbaum on micro versus monolithic LT: kernels you say that "From a theoretical (and aesthetical) standpoint [micro kernels are better]". Could you foresee a day where the practical matches the theoretical and aesthetical and the Linux Kernel does become obsolete?' --- LT: 'I can certainly imagine the Linux kernel becoming obsolete - anything else would just be sad, really, in the big picture. That said having now worked in the OS area for the past, what, 17 years or so, I don't think it's micro kernels per se that would make it happen. ...But what can make a big deal to what is the best way of doing things is simply hardware changes or changes in what users do and how they interact with their computers. And while I don't see any big fundamental shift in how things are done, I think that is ultimately what may make Linux obsolete. -not in the near future, though. Software and hardware have an amazing inertia, and ways of doing things tend to stay around for decades. So I'm not exactly worried.'
  • RM: 'Many significant projects such as Apache, PHP etc do not use the GPL license. Do you think this damages the free software source community or do you think the heterogeneity of open source licenses has allowed more people to contribute to the overall effort? ' --- LT: 'I think heterogeneity is good. People don't agree on their goals and their motivations, and they shouldn't. There's no real reason why everybody should agree on a single license - it's not only unreasonable to expect people to all agree to begin with, but different areas of endeavor may simply have fundamental reasons why they want to do things in different ways. ...So even from a purely rational standpoint it makes sense to have different licenses. And no, I'm not claiming that programmers are always purely rational. There's a lot of ego involved, and a lot of personal quirks, which may explain exactly why there are so many subtly different licenses to try out. But hey, choice is good! And there really isn't a lot of confusion, since there really are just a handful of very popular and common licenses.'
  • RM: 'Recently we interviewed Dr Richard Hipp of SQLite fame, what do you think about his decision to remove all restrictions on the use of his code and place it in the public domain? Why didn't you do the same with Linux - surely then the code would really be free? ' --- LT: 'That word ‘free’ is actually a word I try to avoid using, because it means so many different things. And no, I don't mean just the trivial difference between ‘free of cost’ (as in ‘gratis’) and ‘freedom’. Even in just the ’freedom’ meaning, different people have so many different ideas of exactly what and who should have the ‘freedom’. It's one reason I use the term ‘Open Source’, and one reason I'm actually known to butt heads with the FSF. They make a big deal about the "freedom" term, and they define it in just very particular way.'
  • RM: 'What do you think of Microsoft's efforts to take part in the open source community? Do you think they are sincere in their efforts or do you see it as some sort of embrace-extend-extinguish approach? ' --- LT: 'I have no real way to judge that. I personally think that parts of Microsoft certainly are sincere, and other parts are almost certainly not. It's a pretty big and bloated company, and when one hand says it wants to participate in open source, I doubt the other hand knows or cares about it.'
  • RM: 'If Microsoft were to approach you to go and work in their Open Source labs would you consider it?' --- LT: 'I'm not a Microsoft hater, so I'm not going to say ‘No! Never! I will fall on my sword before I give in to the Dark Side!’ That said I find it unlikely that MS would ever offer anything that I would consider relevant. Money? Hey, they have it, and I like it, but I obviously don't value it over everything else. And they are unlikely to offer the things I really value.'
  • RM: 'Which Linux distro do you use? ' --- LT: 'I've used different distributions over the years. Right now I happen to use Fedora 9 on most of the computers I have, which really boils down to the fact that Fedora had fairly good support for PowerPC back when I used that, so I grew used to it. ...
  • RM: 'Do you think that products such as open office can gain acceptance by being clones of more widely used commercial products or do you think they need to innovate before they will gain acceptance?' --- LT: 'I think that ‘innovation’ is a four-letter word in the industry. It should never be used in polite company. It's become a PR thing to sell new versions with. ...
    RM: 'Is the proliferation of Linux distributions, a good or a bad thing on balance? Would he rather there was more focused effort on fewer distributions. ' LT: 'Me personally, I'm a believer in choice. Yes, it can be confusing, and yes, it can cause the market to look more fragmented, but on the other hand, it also begets competition. And competition is good - and it's good even within a project. It's what makes people try different things, and it ends up being very motivational. ...
  • RM: 'I can’t end without asking you about the Steve Ballmer quote. You know the one where he said 'Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.' What do you think he meant by this?' --- LT: 'I have a hard time really seeing what the heck Ballmer is doing. First the monkey dance, then the chair throwing. At some point he called Linux 'un-American', apparently because he doesn't like the competition. Then the cancer thing. And now this fixation with Yahoo! When will it end?So what can I say? I think he tried to say that open source grows very aggressively and takes over (which is good - if you're into that whole expanding markets thing), but he wanted to put it in terms of something that grows out of control and is bad for what it is growing in. Thus: cancer. So I can certainly see the logic of choosing that word.'
  • RM: 'Do you think it makes any sense?' --- LT: 'Do I think it makes sense? No. Of course open source grows aggressively: what's not to like? Low cost, great quality, and a lack of being shackled to some commercial company that you can't really trust further than the fact that they'll happily continue to take your money. Sure, it grows. And yes, it does grow at the cost of Microsoft, but that's called ’competition’. It doesn't make it 'cancer' any more than it ever made it 'un-American'.

For the detailed interview, please head-on to simple-talk website.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Samantha Ronson occupied herself with BlackBerry Bold

A celebrity made another celebrity, and that's what happened when Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were often seen together.

The 30-year-old British DJ; Samantha Ronson became an instant celebrity as the closeness rumor between her and Lindsay Lohan is heating up. Sam’s brother’s girlfriend; Daisy Lowe recently spoke to press - declaring that the pair’s love for each other is completely genuine.

“Lindsay is really down to earth. Her and Sam make a lovely couple they seem really happy. Their relationship is totally genuine. And they’re just so sweet together,” Lowe told The Sun.

She also made it clear that Samantha’s brother; Mark Ronson completely approves of the duo’s relationship, although he doesn’t enjoy going on double dates with the pair. ~LOL~

While Lindsay Lohan is filming on the set of "Ugly Betty", Samantha was spotted aimlessly strolling around Manhattan just in front of her hotel. And she turned to her BlackBerry Bold to occupied herself, it looks like Samantha and Lindsay are matching their mobile phones with the same brand (and even with the unreleased yet Bold series)... Awww, how sweet. ;-D

It sure is nice to be a celebrity, you can get the newest gadgets before "common" people do. Source is from
Gossip Girls.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Ubuntu takes the spotlight at OSCON 2008

The OSCON 2008 that I've told you about is currently underway, and alive kicking at Portland, Oregon.

Amongst the Linux and other open source apps or OS, there's one peculiar Linux OS that has taken center stage of the convention held from July 21-25: it's Ubuntu.

But that is not an ordinary Ubuntu we usually find from the famous distro on the net, it's one of Canonical's special product; called Ubuntu Mobile Internet Device (MID). What so special about this Ubuntu Linux, is because that's designed specifically for Intel Atom-based netbooks.

If you're still clueless on what is
OSCON 2008, Canonical's MID, or netbooks; then I suggest you read my previous posts by clicking at the respective links there.

Canonical has made its promise to keep the Ubuntu spirits within its MID product, where there are only few packages of interface modified, streamlined to be exact so the OS's user interface is easier to navigate on the netbook's small screen. And now Canonical called it with a new name:
Ubuntu Netbook Remix. --click on the main picture to view it larger--

Robert Strohmeyer from
PC World took a spin on this Ubuntu Remix beta on an Atom-based Acer One Netbook, and this is his impression:

"Although the Netbook's Atom processor is decidedly anemic even by subnotebook standards, the OS booted quickly. Navigation in the simplified UME menus was quick, and applications such as OpenOffice.org Writer, Firefox, and Pidgin launched about as rapidly as I would expect. Though not terribly snappy, it was competent compared with other Netbook OS installations (including Windows XP)."

Canonical's representatives indicate that they're currently working with Netbook manufacturers to offer the new OS as a standard configuration option competing directly with Windows XP on netbook market. Although At press time, they declined to comment on which company they are working with, but they did say that Netbook Remix is expected to appear on retail devices by the end of 2008.

With the growing interest on netbooks, it'll be interesting to see how the consumers will react when Ubuntu Netbook Remix hit the stores at last.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

U.S. takes lead on mobile internet usage

According to a survey called Critical Mass which was conducted by Nielsen Mobile, around 15.6% of US wireless subscribers utilize mobile Internet on their handset. The UK is in second place with 12.9%, and third place is taken by Italy with 11.9% penetration rate.

But wait, before the numbers continue and bore all of us, what's Critical Mass anyway? Nielsen explained the term "critical mass" is now widely used to refer to a milestone point attained in a population comes to from the world of nuclear science, where it describes the point at which fissile materials is of sufficient mass to sustain a chain reaction. Wow...! ;-p

Like you, I don't really care about the numbers up there. But there are some interesting findings from the survey result:
  • The #1 mobile phone used in US is Motorola RAZR/RAZR2, at 10% rate.
  • iPhone, which was thought as the most popular and thus the most used mobile phone is only at #2 with 4% rate!
  • Then followed by BlackBerry 8100 series (2%), BlackBerry 8800 series (2%) and Motorola Q series (2%).
  • Top mobile web devices in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and U.K.: Nokia N95 (5%), Nokia N70 (4%), Motorola RAZR/RAZR2 (3%), Sony Ericsson K800i (3%) and Nokia N73 (3%).
  • The audience was still slightly more male than female, which 56% are male and 44% are female.
  • Nielsen predicted that mobile market will continue to grow and everyone, especially mobile marketers can profit from the growth.

Sources are from Nielsen Mobile, via mocoNews.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

It just doesn't add up

"I knew it would come to this!", and that's probably what is on our mind & every computer manufacturers' head when the article from NY Times broke out to the net.

Every major tech bloggers I know, too are talking about the article which is indeed a very intriguing to read. The article's title has said it right: Smaller PCs cause worry for industry.

Although long before the article came out, I've been wondering myself on how come the netbooks (or UMPCs, or any naming they called it these days) can be sold at such low price. Sure, the size is small. Sure, the weight is light. And sure, the specs are low end. But why does PC that is larger than the netbook can't be competing in price? It just doesn't add up...

The price of PC spare parts are degrading along with the newer ones that come out with better technologies, and laptop spare parts are now easier to find and replaced because there have been standardization thus faster to produce. With all of those factors, the spare parts stocks are piling up higher than demands for them. Can't these contribute to lower price for big PCs? All I can see now is that the price stops at some point, it's like no way to go down lower no more.

If the definitions of netbook is your argument on why its price is so amusing, then let's take a quick stroll back to that. Netbook, as the name itself refer to the net/internet, is intentionally made for surfing the web. Just like Matt Richtel has said in his article: It wants to take advantage of the trend toward “cloud computing,” in which data is managed and stored in distant servers, not on the actual machine. So netbook will use less power consuming parts to accomodate its purpose such as low voltage processor, smaller SSD instead of HDD, energy efficient power supply, etc.

That does sound logical isn't it? That's what I was thinking before I read another
news that reveals the popular Intel Atom microprocessors made for netbooks, or mini-laptops, costs 52% more per chip than the desktop version of the same processor. The Atom N270, the mini-laptop version of the microprocessor, costs US$44, compared to $29 for the Atom 230, the desktop, or net-desktop version of the chip, according to Intel's latest price list. How so?

It's because the difference between the laptop Atom processor and the desktop version, Atom 230, is heat. There is commonly more space inside a desktop PC to allow heat to dissipate, or for more cooling systems such as fans and heat sinks, so the 230 can be made using less expensive material. For example, the 230 requires less expensive packaging than the N270. So isn't that strange that the netbooks are still priced lower than the desktop version? It just doesn't add up...

A shed of light has been revealed by the NY Time's article up there, it seems that computer manufacturers are cutting more on the already thin profit margins so they can squeeze out the netbooks to production. Like what Asus and Everex have done, which by the way IMO it's very funny when they are seen as "upstart companies" by the bigger competitors (according to NY Time's article). ;-p

Those big companies like Microsoft, Intel, HP, Dell, etc; are seeing danger in what the "upstarts" are trying to do, because the giants have built their companies on the notion that consumers want more power and functions built into their next computer. At first the big guys thought that netbook segment will only appeal to education market, and fade away by low demand. Apparently, what happened next is the opposite way around.

Tim Bajarin, an industry analyst with Creative Strategies, a technology consulting firm, said that while the big computer companies have been caught off guard by the market’s potential, they are finding little choice but to dive in. That's very true, soon enough HP join in by releasing its Mini-Notebook and followed by others.

But not every PC vendors are jumping into the pool that's growing more and more crowded every day, some are still reluctant to because doing so might strikes back to the company's financial than making acceptable profit. Like what Paul Moore, senior director of mobile product management for Fujitsu has said in the interview: “We’re sitting on the sidelines not because we’re lazy. We’re sitting on the sidelines because even if this category takes off, and we get our piece of the pie, it doesn’t add up. It’s a product that essentially has no margin.”

But for the biggest two giant that reside in different market: Intel in hardware & Microsoft in software, they have no other choice than follow suit the wave of trend before competitors take over. Where Intel sees increasing demand on its Atom chips, and made them to revise the production plan every 40 days. Projecting that by 2011, the market of netbooks will be 40 million units a year; Intel is definetely won't be willing to lose the juicy piece of pie just like that.

And so does Microsoft, where Linux is already being adopted by some netbook manufacturers to use it as alternate OS or BIOS image; just like Acer has done with its Aspire One. In the end, Microsoft is forced to swallow back its own words on Windows XP lifetime. Perhaps even by now, Steve Ballmer is still murmuring to himself grisly: "It just doesn't add up..." ;-D

But for us, end user and customers, I don't think we're going to say that when we finally enjoy the low price tag on netbooks. All thanks to the competition between computer manufacturers, and to their willingness to make them cheaper, while ignoring the fact that these netbooks didn't make the cut for high profit margins.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

OSCON 2008 officially underway

The Open Source Convention (OSCON) has kicked off yesterday, it's basically a gathering for open source & Linux developers which annually held. And this time it's held on Portland, Oregon, at July 21-25.

Like what
O'Reilly explain: OSCON is the crossroads of all things open source, bringing together the best, brightest, and most interesting people to explore what's new, and to champion the cause of open principles and open source adoption across the computing industry.

There are around 2,500 of them that are currently honing their skills on open source and Linux in OSCON 2008, while the big players (like Microsoft, Intel, Google, IBM, Sun, etc.) are eyeing them all and steering the crowds in secret the future of open source's softwares (Linux, Android, QTopia, etc.) & hardwares (MIDP, netbook, etc.).

One of the main event of this OSCON 2008 is Open Mobile Exchange (
OMX); a look at the state of open source in general--and Linux in particular--on mobile device. As the Web becomes one of the most crucial components of extending the mobile opportunity, this event explicitly seeks to bridge web apps and mobile functions.

Why mobile, and why mobile devices in particular? Robert Strohmeyer from
PC World has a very good perspective why: By most estimates, Linux and other open-source operating systems represent about 1 percent of the PC market. But on mobile devices, Linux is growing fast. As of 2007, more than 18 percent of all embedded devices--from cell phones to PDAs to e-book readers--ran a Linux-based OS, while less than 17 percent ran embedded Windows. So it's no great surprise that this year's OSCON open-source conference is leading off with a new program focused specifically on mobile gadgets.

Thus the program started and presented by Linux Foundation executive director; Jim Zemlin, where in his opening talk Zemlin attributed much of this enthusiasm to a convergence of important technical and business considerations.

Those two considerations have become the basic ideas behind OMX; from a business perspective Zemlin attributes the interest in mobile Linux, in large measure, to the lower development costs of royalty-free code. However, Linux also offers developers a chance to brand, skin, and customize their products in ways that major platform vendors Microsoft and Apple would never allow.

While On the technical side, said Zemlin, Linux presents developers with a flexible platform that makes it easy to launch new software products quickly.

For more new coverage on OSCON 2008, you can follow it on this
link. And you can also see some of the live photo shots from the events, that are going on the floors of OSCON 2008 at this link. That is if you're one of the "hankering" Linux fans ~LOL~

While for the rest of us who are not, let's just cross our fingers and hope for the best from OSCON 2008. Who knows, maybe after the convention there might some new and exciting mobile products come out. Till then, we can only hope...

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

The one to blame

Got up this morning and surprised, the clock was showing 7:45AM already and I was still half asleep. Jumped out of bed, brushed teeth, took a quick shower, dressed up in a flash, and then ran to the office.

When I arrived at the office, I realized that most of the workloads have been done yesterday, and things are moving slower than the usual. Looks like this weekend is going to move along in a snail pace, so I took a short nap on the desk. ;-p

My Treo has proven to be invaluable since the sun greeted me in the morning, although I think I should buy an add-on speaker so its alarm can make louder sound to wake me up. But that should be me who is to blame, because last night I've over relaxed myself from the last weekend works burden, and watch several movies at once until pass midnight.

And during the day, my Treo also act more as a music player than a phone. I play several songs I've put inside pTunes last night, even as I write this blog with Mobile Word. And it's a shame that I can't listen to them with the earphone, while charging Treo on its docking stand.

So how's your day today? Hope you don't have anyone or anything to blame today. Just don't put on some crazy ideas, and we'll be fine for the rest of the day. ~LOL~

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Britney Spears dress-up her BlackBerry with white skin

O MY GOODNESS, is that Britney Spears?!? Is that the same blonde hottie I used to see whenever I turned on the MTV channel, and saw her everytime the "Gimme More" music video is played?
Without the make-ups and the glamorous clothes, celebrities are just the same like we are in everyday life. ;-D


Anyway, Britney has been through a rough & busy weekend. She has just gave the custody fight for her children to her ex-husband; Kevin Federline. Then there's a hot rumor saying that Britney to appear in Madonna's newest music video, along with Justin Timberlake. And Britney is also working on her new album, due to be released next year.

So Britney is obviously try to relax and enjoy all the good news, and what better way to do it for girls than to shop-till-you-drop? ~LOL~ She was spotted shopping in Calabasas with a couple of assistants on June 20th, making a stop into the M. Fredric boutique (the most right picture). And of course she always had her BlackBerry Curve in her hands, clothed in white skin.

I've been seeing pictures of Britney Spears with BB Curve in her hands since April (the two left ones), and she seems very fond to put on the white skin to it. It's quite rare to see a celebrity who's loyal to keep on using the same device and skin for such a long time (more than 4 months)... Hey, for celebrities who're known to change life partners & gadgets very often, it can be considered long enough. ;-p

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Unlocked iPhone 3G sold with hefty price tag

It's true that iPhone 3G is very popular, not just in US but also in other countries as well. There's something about Apple's brainchild that make people willing to go an extra length to get it, some have time & energy to spare so they were queueing in front of Apple Stores when it's first launched.

And for those who don't have that, but instead have more money to burn; these people will pay more so they also can own it and don't have to sweat while doing it. ;-)

If you're one of the people who're unfortunate to live outside US and the iPhone 3G is not subsidized yet in your country, or perhaps you just wanted to have the free unlocked version; how much are you willing to pay for it? How's US$1,000 sound to you?


GSMArena is reporting that the unlocked version of iPhone 3G is sold at such high price in Hong Kong, and you'll be required to be able to provide a local ID and credit card. I believe this is just another Apple's idea to fight back the distribution of jailbroken iPhones, that have spread all over Asia.

While in Italy the iPhone 3G 8GB would set you back 399 euro (around 630 US dollars) but you will get the device with a pre-paid SIM and fully operational with other carriers.

For further informations on which countries that can sell unlocked iPhone 3G, see Apple's official website. So, how long are you willing to go for the shiny new iPhone 3G? I do hope you're not like that naive guy in the iPhone 3G cartoon parody pictured on the right, courtesy of The Joy of Tech. ~LOL~ (--click on it to view it larger--)

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

AT&T paints cheerful colors on BlackJack II

Samsung's BlackJack II is definetely made for serious business users, with it all black colored from front to the back, the BlackJack line-ups have been well known in corporate circles. But BGR picked up a rumor about new colors are available for this same BlackJack II, coming soon in AT&T's stores. The new colored handsets will have the same white colored front, while the differences are to be seen at the color on the back and the graphical patterns. IMO, they're like meant for boys and girls teen mobile phone. ;-p

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

GTD madness for iPhone 2

It's been a month since the last time I talked about GTD, and on that last post I covered two GTD apps for iPhone. Not all of the GTD apps out there are suitable for every one of us, because each apps try to seperate themselves from one another; their services also vary from the others.

So maybe it's time to try on another GTD app/services for your iPhone, either it's the first gen or the new 3G model. Although the app/services I'm about to mention here are not new, in fact they've been around for quite sometime, nevertheless not all of you have the spirit of adventure to wander around and try all of them one by one. If so, then perhaps these GTD apps for iPhone can be useful for you.

For the note, the title subject may have confused for some of you who expected to see GTD apps specially made for iPhone 2.0 platform. I'm really sorry if that's what happened. I did intend to put "part" before the "2", but I don't want to be called copying someone else's custom who love doing it. ~LOL~

I was informed by
Jeroen Sangers about the first two below, so thank you Jeroen. And unfortunately I don't own an iPhone, so I can't give a quick review about them. I hope you'll brave yourself, and try them on.

Nozbe

Nozbe is a free web-based service for managing your tasks and to-do lists, and because of that you can easily access the service through any web browser; and the good news is it's already optimized for iPhone. An interesting finding on the founder of Nozbe, Michael Sliwinski is that he's one of the contributors on David Allen's official blog GTD Times.

There's been an important updateon Nozbe's service and new important features for teams & businesses, who wish to take advantage of creating a single point of task management together. The first one is called "What's New"; which basically act like a blog board where everyone can post blogs and receive comments from teammates. The other two are recent activities from everyone who're assigned to a project, and the last one is branding the Nozbe account with your own company's logo; plus you'll get your own domain name.

OmniFocus

OmniFocus is a task management that's really made for iPhone & iPod Touch, and it's now available at Apple's App Store for $19.99 a license. But in return, you'll get a powerful GTD app that has been receiving nice feedbacks according to reviewers. OmniFocus can be used as single one device operation, but you can make a wider group with it by using a sync app for your Mac. And the developer of OmniFocus has added the new MobileMe service support to it, Apple die-hard fans will really appreciate the whole Apple package experience. ;-p

But IMO, OmniFocus real strenght (aside the eye-candy UI) is its location aware feature. By using your current location, OmniFocus can create a custom list of actions to complete the tasks based on the neighborhood nearby you. Like for an instance if you've added a task to buy groceries, OmniFocus can show you the closest grocery store and create an instant shopping list. It's very neat for a fresh new idea, and it would even be better if the iPhone 3G's A-GPS feature is also can be used.

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk is another web-based service for making to-do list and managing daily tasks, but it's a paid web service for $25 a year license will get you a pro account. The most notable about Remember The Milk is its web UI, which is optimized for iPhone/iPod Touch and has received the Apple Design Award; for the winner of Best iPhone Web Application 2008.

Remember The Milk's UI is very much alike Apple's simplistic design, with blue crisp color is painted as the main color for the app. While the features have some praise worthy attention, it's the 'Locate your tasks' feature that attracts most of Remember The Milk users to keep on using it.

There you go, hopefully the GTD app & services up there can help you to fulfill your daily works and tasks easier. Have a great organized life then! ;-)

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Hit the "stress" button today

It feels really amazing, just last weekend and this morning I had one hell of a week. Where the problems seemed endless, and the most stressful one is when I had to fix our office's main server yesterday.

But all of a sudden, I found myself relieved with all of the problems and works on this afternoon. Everything finally work themselves out in the end, and go on as usual again.

So I brewed a cup of coffee latte for myself, sat down and ate snacks that I've prepared with it. The sky is bright, the afternoon ray of light feels warm when it hits the pavement and the breeze of wind touches lightly on the skin.

While enjoying all that, there's no better way than fire-up the
Newsbreak to catch up on the latest RSS news. Jot down some brainstorming ideas for the blogs with Mobile Word, while playing the "Easy" song by Barenaked Ladies on the earphone with pTunes. It's funny how the song suits so well for my condition right now... ;-)

If just we have a stress button at ready when we needed a break, and cool off for awhile to rest; then it'll be great. Hope all you are having a good start of the weekend!

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Pwn Tools 2.0

Oh, I know you must've not missed the new Pwn Tools 2.0 released by iPhone Dev Team not long ago. Although with the abundant applications ready at App Store, you still want more freedom in installing the apps you want, right? ;-)

But you may have missed important notes before downloading the 19.7MB-sized tools:
  1. It'll only "jailbreak" your iPhone 2.0, but not able to unlock it yet.
  2. The iPhone Dev Team only made it for Mac-based computers right now, so for Windows users must use this workaround guide found by iPhoneHacks. But with one thing you should keep in mind is that the workaround guide only works for the first gen iPhone, not the iPhone 3G.

Sources are from iUnlocked, via iPhoneHacks, via Engadget Mobile & Gizmodo.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

pRSSreader is still troublesome

Remember the RSS agregator free app I was talking about back in 2007, the pRSSreader by David Andrš. Which I've tried and found out that it's got a compatibility problems with Treo 750.

Few days ago, I received a comment from a guy named Richard who says he's also having the same issue like I've mentioned. So it seems that David Andrš doesn't update the pRSSreader, and it's been a really long time since the last version released.

It's a real shame to see such a good freeware app for Windows Mobile went down like that... Anyway, I hope for you who wish to try pRSSreader in your WinMob device; please install & try it with care because you might experience the same issues.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

Liitle things about Treo 800w that you (may) have missed

You can call me a freak, but I'm always into the little details on almost everything; especially the gadgets that I own. The looks (from every angles & sides), the colors, the feels, the scratches, etc.

But even sometimes I often miss the simplest things, maybe I'm too excited to see the whole pictures whenever I set my eyes on the shiny-new gizmos that's just out. And so that's why I'm going to mention few little things about Palm's latest handset: Treo 800w, that I'm sure all of you have know of and perhaps have read the reviews a dozen times on the net.

Nevertheless, you may have missed these little details since they're indeed trivial and some of the detailed pictures came late after the official launch:
  • Time, date & notification icons screen saver. It's a good thing Palm has pay attention on providing time, date of current day, and plus nofitication icon images (like incoming messages) when the screen is turned off; so this way we don't have to turn the screen on just to see them.
  • microSD memory. Palm is reverting all of its handsets into microSD now, and so my old miniSD memory card in Treo 750v will not be usable if I'm to buy Treo 800w. That's a bummer, really. Even though memory card price is cheaper now, it gives me a special satisfaction when I'm able to keep on using old accessories and save up just a handful of money.
  • Push WiFi button. Unlike the slide button to turn on/off the ringer, Palm embed a push button for the new WiFi feature. It'll take around two seconds to push and hold the button, in order to turn on/off the WiFi. There's a good side of this push button instead of the slider version; we can turn on/off the Wifi either from the push button or from the wireless settings menu.
  • Same battery as Centro's. Every Centro owners will love this, because they'll be able to keep using the same battery charger accessories for both device. And the best thing is you can switch the battery if one of it run out of juice; one for all and all for one. ~LOL~
  • Palm's Maps app. Dieter Bohn from TreoCentral calls this new app from Palm as the "a mystery app", which works like a stripped-down version of Google Maps. Dieter then concluded, that the other only thing Maps has going for it is that Today Screen Plug-in and a default assumption that you want to search based on your current GPS location. Palm should've come clean about this, and explain it officially...

There you have 'em all. And if you're interested to know more, you can head on to TreoCentral's Treo 800w Review Roundup page to get a complete coverage. The pictures are courtesy of TreoCentral & pocketnow.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

4 reasons why you shouldn't buy today Netbooks/UMPCs

With all of those new netbooks, UMPCs or whatever they're calling it these days; we're all have been drooling over by the price tags that are offered for such delicate gadgets.

But wait, don't spend yet all the money you've earned with all your sweat & blood on those small-sized notebooks. The price may be worth it, the specs may be adequate, and the size may be cute; but for now. Why? Here are four good reasons why you shouldn't:
  1. Intel's Centrino 2 has arrived. It's of course has better specs than its predecessor, and the most important thing for mobile users is that Centrino 2 platform promises to conserve power and extend battery life. There are two Intel's new technology that will do the job: Deep Power Down & Rapid Memory Power Management technologies. For more information, head on to Laptop Magazine review.
  2. Intel is shrinking Centrino 2 chips for thinner platform. Due in August, the Small Form Factor (SFF) version of Centrino 2 will take up less space than the version of Centrino 2 released this week. The SFF version will use the same chip-packaging technology Intel developed for the Core 2 Duo processor used in the MacBook Air, which shrinks the processor size significantly. "We will launch Small Form Factor [chips] ... in the third week of August," said Sujan Kamran, regional marketing manager of client platforms at Intel in Singapore.
  3. Intel to release its first quad-core mobile processors. You know it'll eventually come to this, when the desktop market has been flooded with quad-core chips, Intel is now turning to laptop to create a new market segment for high-end mobile machines. "We're bringing quad-core to mobile in August," said Sujan Kamran, regional marketing manager for client platforms at Intel in Singapore. An Australian PC maker; Pioneer Computers has already taking preorders for laptops based on an unreleased quad-core mobile chip, the 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300.
  4. Lower price. When new technologies are introduced, the old ones are definetely will get price cut. And this mean; you can get the same netbooks/UMPCs you want now with lower price tag in just few weeks to come. Unless you can't wait that long... ;-p

[blogged with my Treo 750v]