December 2007

Statistics and figures and pie charts, oh my!
The usual gaggle of bloggers and tech sites are all atwitter over web browsing figures released by Net Application, a Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based research company. The browser and OS stats showed the usual: Windows having a near monopoly, with the Mac gaining and Linux numbers suspiciously low. But this set of statistics also included smartphones and even game consoles. So the iPhone grabbed 0.09% and Windows CE 0.06%. Now without knowing the capture methods and definitions, those figures are 100% meaningless. Yet, the bloggers and techie mags jumped all over it, proclaimed the iPhone had 50% more market share than WIndows CE, created browser pie charts and made sweeping statements. We wonder if any of hose folks have ever taken a serious statistics class in college. All we'd venture to say is that the iPhone browser is better than Pocket Internet Explorer. -- Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 by chb

Stocking Stuffers 2007
Need some last minute advice on stocking stuffers for the gadget lover in your life? Check Tim Hillebrand's Stocking Stuffer 2007 suggestion list! -- Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007 by chb

Review: three excellent Proporta iPhone cases
One of the few problems with Apple's iPhone is that it looks so darn nice that you really don't want to hide it in a case. It's sleek, it's sexy, it feels good, and you just want to show it off every chance you get. But protection is good, and so we reviewed three of Proporta's iPhone cases, two leather and one polycarbonate plastic and aluminum. As expected, we found them to be very well made and reasonably priced. The "Alu-Crystal" case shown to the right is especially impressive and costs just US$28.95. [Read reviews of Proporta iPhone cases] -- Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007 by chb

Dell finally has a Tablet PC!
Well, it took a while, but Dell finally has a Tablet PC. The Latitude XT follows Dell's trademark formula of offering competent yet fairly generic products with some extra goodies baked in. The XT excels by offering what promises, if it uses the ATG 630's technology, to be one of the best outdoor-viewable displays. And the N-trig dual mode pen and touch digitizer adds flexibility. We would have preferred an internal optical drive to the snap-on Media Base, but overall the Latitude XT is a nice addition to Dell's Latitude line as well as a serious competitor in the notebook convertible market. [Read detailed description and specs of the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC convertible]
-- Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007 by chb

PersonalMediaReview.com launched
Former Pen Computing executive editor David MacNeill was named editor-in-chief of PersonalMediaReview.com, a new addition to our tech site cluster. Says MacNeill, "Personal Media Review is all about tools for creating and enjoying media.If your relationship to sound and image goes beyond mere consumption, welcome aboard! Our goal is less gear, better gear. Creativity and enjoyment are improved by great tools, so that's all you'll find here." [See PersonalMediaReview.com] -- Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 by chb

Alinean and Wipro Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool
Alinean announced the availability of the Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool, an online calculator developed to analyze the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of competing mobile solutions. Developed in partnership with Wipro, the analysis tool is based on research of mobile deployments by 160 customers, and a comparative lab-based study to determine the TCO of the leading mobile platforms for e-mail messaging and collaboration. The tool was introduced at the Windows Mobile Partner Summit 2007. [Check out the Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool] -- Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 by chb

Cool iPhone simulator by TryPhone
If you want to try the iPhone, but don't have a friend who has one or want to go to an Apple or AT&T store, go to tryphone.com. Thy have full and total simulations of several popular phones, including the iPhone. [Click to go to Tryphone and use the iPhone simulator. -- Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 by chb

Windows Mobile 6 update and unlocked Treo 750 available for U.S. customers
Palm announced that an update to Windows Mobile 6 is available as a free download for AT&T Palm Treo 750 smartphone users in the US. The free upgrade brings increased functionality, enhanced user interface and strengthened security and performance to the Treo 750, as well as facilitates HSDPA capability for faster data-download speeds on 3G/UMTS/HSDPA networks. Palm also announced that an unlocked version of the Treo 750 is available with Windows Mobile 6 out of the box, allowing an even broader customer base to immediately enjoy the improved features of the Windows Mobile 6 operating system. -- Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 by chb

TechRepublic names 10 biggest tech blunders of 07
TechRepublic, a nice site and part of CNET, issued its 10 biggest tech belly flops of 2007. They are, from 10 to 1, the HD-DVD vs Blue-ray battle (stupid waste of time); Red Flag Linux in China (they bootleg Windows anyway); eBay ruining Skype; the WJS telling users how to sabotage IT; hackers cracking Pentagon email server; the 802.11n snafu; no 3G in the iPhone; Sun makes Java open source (too late); Vista (didn't deliver); and #1, TJX admits 45 million customer records were compromised. Here are ours: The telcos messing with our personal devices; Vista is sloooooooow; Jobs blows the iPhone price reduction (and no 3G!); InkJets remain ripoffs (jamming and cost of ink); glossy glare screens that make better mirrors than screens; atrocious cellphone quality and service; the commercialization of Google; the increasing uselessness of email due to spam; every tiny app needs lengthy authorization; the obscene price of Intel chips; Windows Mobile (slow and klutzy); the incredible shrinking Palm. There. -- Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 by chb

Will Amazon's Kindle do better than prior eBook readers?
eBook readers, both hardware and software, have been around for many years. None ever succeeded to any meaningful extent. They cost too much, screens were not good enough, too heavy, got hot, lousy battery life, and so on. Will Amazon's Kindle be different? The screen is the same as that of the Sony Reader, and despite only 4-grays, I like that screen a lot. The Sony Reader is smaller and much more elegant, but the Kindle's built-in, free Sprint EV-DO wireless connection is nice. No computer needed. In all fairness, we haven't tried Kindle yet, so maybe the funky keyboard works better than it looks, and the ACCESS NetFront browser actually works. One would think that if anyone could do an eBook right it'd be Amazon. -- Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007 by chb