January 2009

Slingbox revisited
Sling Media is a company that rocks our Dr. Tim's world. They make the Slingbox, a small, sleek unit that connects directly to your TV or DVR. It makes it possible to watch live or recorded TV on your computer, laptop, or mobile phone from home or anywhere in the world. Let Dr. Tim tell you all about it. [Read Slingboxrevisited] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

PhatWare releases PenOffice 3.1
PhatWare Corporation announced PenOffice 3.1, the new version of its pen-based collaboration tool for Windows-based Tablet and Desktop PCs. PenOffice has found wide acceptance worldwide among OEMs and end-users due to its highly accurate handwriting recognition, easy-to-use user interface, and extensive set of pen-based collaboration features. In addition to the MS Office markup feature, the new version of PenOffice supports OpenOffice.org 3.0 or later documents. The software allows users to add handwritten notes and annotations to OpenOffice.org Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw documents. PenOffice 3.1 is available now at the list price of $59.95. A free 30-day trial version of PenOffice 3.0 can be downloaded from the PhatWare website. -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Panasonic upgrades CF-19 and CF-30 rugged notebooks
Panasonic gave its flagship rugged notebook, the CF-30, and its compact rugged Tablet PC convertible, the CF-19, yet another technology update. Both have been switched to ultra-low voltage Centrino 2 vPro processors, have twice the standard memory (starting at 2GB now) and twice the disk capacity (160GB now). Most importantly for everyday use, all CF-19 and CF-30 models now have 1,000 nits LCDs with circular polarizers as well as anti-glare and anti-reflective treatment. The new machines promise spectacular battery life as well (up to ten hours). [See description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 and Toughbook CF-30] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Credit card processing app for the iPhone
A application is bringing credit card processing to the iPhone. ProcessAway is a complete mobile processing solution for accepting credit card payments both in and out of the office. Business owners can use their iPhone to conduct real business. The ProcessAway software uses the Authorize.net gateway, which was one of the first Internet payment gateways and today has one of the largest customer bases. The ProcessAway software will be sold through the iTunes AppStore for $19.99. A fully functional free version, called ProcessLite, is identical to ProcessAway except the charge amount is limited to US$5. ProcessAway] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Apple receives comprehensive touch screen patent
On January 20, 2009, Apple was awarded a large, complex patent that covers much of the iPhone's touch screen and graphical user interface operation. See patent] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

101 things to do with a mobile phone in healthcare
Steinkrug Publications Ltd have extended their Wireless Healthcare ehealth news and research service by putting the highly successful publication "101 Things To Do With A Mobile Phone In Healthcare" online and using it as a basis for a collaborative wireless ehealth development platform called theMobileHealthCrowd.com. View 101 Things To Do With A Mobile Phone In Healthcare -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Internet now used by over a billion people
According to ComScore, the number of internet users worldwide has now passed a billion. The breakdown for December 2008 is 41.3% Asia-Pacific, 28.0% Europe, 18.4% North America, 7.4% Latin America, and 4.8% Middle East and Africa. In terms of total unique visitors, China outpaces the United States 17.8% to 16.2% in December 2008. -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Microsoft trying to catch up in mobile
CNET ran an interesting article on Microsoft's efforts to recover lost ground in mobile platforms. In it, Microsoft's Andy Lees explains how Microsoft fell behind and is now working on an overhaul, Windows Mobile 7, and an interim update with Windows Mobile 6.5. [Read CNET report on Microsoft's mobile catchup efforts] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 by chb

Atmel announces its advanced touch-library
Atmel Corporation, an industry leader in capacitive touch sensing products, announced its advanced Touch-library that resides on the microcontroller instead of a separate chip resulting in a highly cost effective solution. See an explanation of the Atmel Touch Library. -- Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 by chb

Wintel hurting
What once seemed inconceivable is happening: Microsoft is going to cut 5,000 jobs, Intel 6,000, and Sony will likely posts its first loss in almost 15 years. -- Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 by chb

AMD sells its handheld unit to Qualcomm
AMD sold its graphics and multimedia technology assets, intellectual property and resources -- essentially their handheld business unit -- to Qualcomm for US$65 million. This enhances Qualcomm’s multimedia capabilities, including 2D and 3D graphics, audio/video, display, and architecture required for next-gen mobile interfaces and devices. [See AMD press release] -- Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 by chb

GD-Itronix releases high performance vehicle-rugged GD6000
General Dynamics Itronix has released its next generation vehicle-rugged notebook computer, the GD6000. Evolved from the company's GoBook VR2, the GD6000 offers full compatibility with first and second generation VR models, but superior performance thanks to a 2.56GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 processor and the Mobile Intel GM45 chipset. DynaVue technology provides excellent outdoor and direct sunlight viewability. [See full review of the General Dynamics Itronix GD6000] -- Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009 by chb

Mio Technology and Magellan brands to coexist in the U.S. following MiTAC purchase
Following MiTAC's now-final purchase of Magellan Navigation's Consumer Products Division, Mio Technology has announced a shift in strategy. The company will continue to deliver sleek, easy-to-use portable navigation devices, but also accelerate development of a variety of innovative GPS-based lifestyle products that extend the user experience beyond traditional PNDs. At CES 2009, Mio Technology unveiled several new PNDs that will hit the market in the first half of this year. The devices span the range from entry-level to premium and come preloaded with Mio "Spirit" navigation software. The company also displayed its first concept Mobile Internet Device, which demonstrates Mio's progression toward lifestyle products.
-- Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by chb

LXE releases two rugged Windows XP vehicle-mount computers
LXE announced two rugged vehicle-mount computers. In a nod to internal research that showed an increasing number of LXE customers preferring Windows XP to Windows CE, the VX8 and VX9 bring Windows XP or XP Embedded to compact, rugged, wirelessly enabled systems with either a 10.4-inch (VX8) or 12.1-inch (VX9) touchscreen display. [See description and specs of the LXE VX8 and LXE VX9] -- Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by chb

Full review: the highly configurable Winmate Rugged Tablet PC V280
In the rugged Tablet PC market, the ability to customize a product often makes or breaks a deal, and Winmate certainly has all the bases covered with its Rugged Tablet PC V280. The V280 is an extremely flexible slate computer platform with a tough magnesium-aluminum housing that can be configured with a wide variety of processors, displays and onboard connectivity so that it fits almost any application. [Read full review of the Winmate Rugged Tablet PC V280] -- Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by chb

Sony introduces super-wide little P Series notebook
For mobile computing historians who remember the unloved Handheld PCs with their superwide 640 x 240 displays, it's deja vu all over again: Sonly's latest little notebook, the Sony Vaio P Series, comes with a 1,600 x 768 pixel 8" display, making for a 21:10 aspect ratio. The little thing measures 9.7 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches and weighs just 1.4 pounds. There's a 60GB hard disk or up to 128GB SSD and it starts at US$899, so once again you pay twice as much for the privilege of having the thinnest and lightest. Sadly, Sony missed a chance to provide a full-scale keyboard, for which there would be enough space, by compressing the QWERTY layout down to 87%-scale. -- Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by chb

DT Research launches handheld POS device for quick customer service
DT Research announced a new line of ruggedized handheld computers specialized for Point-of-Service applications. The WebDT 400 Series has a fully integrated magnetic card reader as well as an RFID reader and barcode scanner. There are two versions of the device, one with a large 4.3-inch screen and one with a 3.5-inch full VGA screen and a 21-key numeric keypad. The hot-swappable battery lasts a full shift and the devices run Windows CE 5.0 on a 533MHz Samsung processor. Pricing starts at US$999. [See description and specs of the DT Research WebDT 400 Series ] -- Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 by chb

OQO announces Atom-powered model 2+ with OLED display
OQO, arguably the most innovative and most durable maker of tiny alternative mobile PCs, announced the new model 2+ which is powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, an 800 x 480 pixel OLED 5-inch display, 2GB RAM, and Gobi worldwide 3G EV-DO Rev. A / HSPA capability. There's even an onboard HDMI connector. The OQO model 2+, which measures 5.5 x 3.3 x 1 inches and weighs a pound, will be available in the first half of 2009 with pricing starting at U$999. -- Posted Friday, January 9, 2009 by chb

Next SD Card standard released: up to 2 Terabyte
The SD Card Association announced the next generation SD Memory Card, the SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity), a new standard for storing data in capacities of more than 32 GB and up as well as for their host devices. The new cards will provide capacities in the future ranging up to 2 TB at read/write speeds of 300 megabytes per second. [Read PDF press release on the new SDXC standard] -- Posted Friday, January 9, 2009 by chb

Synaptics at CES: lots of cool touchpad stuff
Our friends at Synaptics exhibited a number of new products at the 2009 CES, including a new suite of multi-finger gestures that, when combined with larger TouchPads, provides powerful and intuitive ways to interact with notebooks. Synaptics also showcased an array of mobile devices with their interesting ClearPad touchscreen-based interface solutions. -- Posted Friday, January 9, 2009 by chb

No more PDAS, Treos only
When I checked Palm's webpage this morning, the PDAs were gone. Only three Treos are now listed. Definitely the end of an era. PalmPilot, Palm III, Palm V, Palm VII, m100, m500, Tungsten, Zire, LifeDrive... it shouldn't have ended this way.

-- Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 by chb

Teardown of the iPhone 3G
The Japanese Tech-On! site presented an interesting teardown of the iPhone 3G, including a very detailed description of the main circuit board and its components. -- Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009 by chb

Motorola unveils a rugged phone
Those who need a rugged cellphone to go along with their rugged mobile computing equipment should look at the new Motorola Tundra VA76r, a rugged 3G clamshell device with a tough exterior that can withstand harsh environments. There's quick web access with AT&T's 3G network and you can also get AT&T Mobility's Push To Talk service. The Mototundra is built to pass Military Spec 810F testing for shock, vibration, rain, humidity, drop, blowing dust, low temperatures, and high operating/storage temperatures. US$199 with two-year contract. [See Motorola Tundra page at AT&T] -- Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 by chb

Twitter away your time for fun and profit
When our Dr. Tim first heard of Twitter, he was amazed and amused that it was spreading like wildfire in a frenzy of popularity. It’s all based on a message limited to 140 characters that basically tells people what you are doing at the moment. His first reaction was, who cares? But apparently people do, and folks are not bashful about sharing what they are up to with others. So as long as you are tweeting away telling others about what you are doing, why not tell them about your business and use this system to bring in some bling? Read Dr. Tim's explanation of Twitter for business. -- Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 by chb

Windows marketshare falls, Apple gains
Windows marktshare continues to fall, reaching a new low of 88.68% in December 2008. Historically, Windows marketshare was in the mid to high 90s. Apple in the meantime, whose marketshare was at a minuscule 3% just five years ago is now approaching 10%. [See OS marketshare stats] -- Posted Monday, January 5, 2009 by chb

The amazing success of "netbooks"
These days, "netbooks" get a lot of press. You' think a "netbook" were some sort of miraculous new device, a technological breakthrough that lets you do new and wondrous things. In fact, "netbooks" are nothing more than little notebooks. There is absolutely nothing new or exciting about them. And there is nothing that makes them earn the "netbook" name. However... [Read The amazing success of "netbooks"] -- Posted Monday, January 5, 2009 by chb