October 2008

iLounge releases comprehensive free 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers' Guide
iLounge.com has released its 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers' Guide, a comprehensive shopping guide to Apple's iPods, iPhones, their accessories, and software. It is neatly laid out like a print magazine and has ratings and reviews of a stunning number of products. The 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers' Guide is the latest in iLounge's multi-million-downloaded series of digital publications, available immediately as a free download in PDF format. [Go to free 2009 iPhone Buyers Guide download page] -- Posted Friday, October 31, 2008 by chb

AT&T WiFi hotspots free for iPhone users
AT&T now offers free use of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots to all Apple iPhone users. Doing so, however, is a wee bit cumbersome. When in range of an AT&T WiFi, select "attwifi", then enter your iPhone's phone number. You then get a text message from AT&T with a secure link to the hotspot. The link, however, will only be good for 24 hours. -- Posted Thursday, October 30, 2008 by chb

F-Origin and PVI show novel 8-inch touchscreen display module
The FDP 2008 show in Yokohama saw a lot of touch input solutions, among them an 8-inch SVGA Display Module by PVI, a maker of ePaper and small/medium LCDs and part of BOE Hydis, that combines PVI's display screen technology with F-Origin's zTouch technology that uses force sensitive sensors with specialized software to create low-cost, high-performance touchscreens and touchpads. -- Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008 by chb

ActiveCaptain Mobile for Windows Mobile
ActiveCaptain Mobile's marine navigation tools, chart archive and electronic guidebook is now available for Windows Mobile phones. It's like TomTomŪ for a boat. ActiveCaptain Mobile for Windows Mobile combines chart archive and marine navigation with access to ActiveCaptain's wiki-style database of cruising information. Users can browse NOAA charts, create routes, track their location and check on thousands of marinas, anchorages, bridges, boat ramps, and other important boating data on their Windows Mobile phones. [Check out ActiveCaptain for Windows Mobile] -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2008 by chb

Arima Computer changes name
In a move that indicates what's considered hot and what not, Arima Computer, once one of the largest of Taiwan's notebook computer OEMs, is changing its name to Arima Photovoltaic and Optical. Arima had sold its notebook computer business to Flextronics a bit over a year ago. -- Posted Saturday, October 25, 2008 by chb

GD-Itronix case studies: rugged GoBooks operate under extreme conditions
General Dynamics Itronix issued two case studies covering the use of its rugged notebooks in extreme conditions. One describes how the rugged ultra-mobile GoBook MR-1 was used on the summit of Mount Everest under extreme temperatures and at over 29,000 feet of altitude. Connecting to a satellite phone, a GoBook MR-1 even sent an email from the top of Mt. Everest! The other covers the use of rugged GoBook XR-1 notebooks in a six-country mission in Africa designed to reduce malaria deaths. Here, the General Dynamics Itronix XR-1 held up under extreme tropical river conditions for over two months on inflatable boats. [Read Everest case study and Zambesi case study] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008 by chb

NetLibrary: panacea or opportunity missed?

eBooks did not take off in the revolutionary explosion many predicted, there has been a steady evolution. One interesting development is NetLibrary, a service that libraries can subscribe to that allows patrons to download eBooks and eAudiobooks. [Read Tim Hillebrand's explanation of NetLibrary].
-- Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008 by chb

Unlocked Zinc II -- worthy Windows Mobile smartphone
inc II is the latest MWg Windows Mobile device to be released in the U.S. market following the Atom Life earlier this year. Its major features include a horizontal slide-out keyboard, build-in GPS, a 2.0 Mpx camera, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 with unlocked UMTS Tri-band, and GSM Quad-band phone functionality. The US$599 Zinc II measures 109.5 x 59 x 18 mm weighs 159g, and has a 250 x 320 resolution 2.8 inch QVGA touch screen. Sporting a 500 Mhz Samsung processor, it only has 64 MB RAM and 256 MB ROM with a Micro SD memory slot. See Dr. Tim's full review of the Zinc II] -- Posted Sunday, October 12, 2008 by chb

Toshiba unveils new Portege M750 Tablet PC convertible
Mercury Computer Systems' rugged PowerBlock 50 real-time computing system measures 4 x 5 x 6 inches and weighs less than 7 pounds, yet a maximum performance configuration achieves 172 GFLOPS from its processors. The PowerBlock 50 is designed to put processing power next to the sensor in space-constrained platforms such as unmanned vehicles. Rugged features include o-ring sealing for pressure, humidity, and EMI isolation; high-reliability connectors; extended temperature ranges; and locking modules for shock and vibration immunity, and the PowerBlock 50 chassis is designed throughout to isolate its internal electronics from all external environmental and physical conditions. [See Mercury's PowerBlock 50 product page] -- Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 by chb

RIM email + iPhone look and feel = BlackBerry Storm
With the Apple iPhone juggernaut showing no signs of slowing down, everyone else must make sure not to be left behind. That's why RIM will ship the BlackBerry Storm later in 2008 for use on Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Europe. Similar in size and weight to the iPhone, the Storm combines traditional BlackBerry email prowess with a cool new look and more consumer-oriented features. [Read description of the BlackBerry Storm] -- Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 by chb

Asus planning touchscreen Eee PCs
According to the Taiwanese news service Digitimes, Asus is planning to introduce touchscreen versions of its unexpectedly successful, and as a result growing, line of ultralight Eee PCs. -- Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 by chb

Full review:Xplore iX104C4 rugged Tablet PC
Xplore Technologies, one of the pioneers in rugged mobile computing, released its heavily updated iX104C4 ultra-rugged Tablet PC this summer. Among the areas where the compact 5-pound iX104C4 slate excels are the very bright 10.4-inch XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) sunlight-viewable AllVue Xtreme display and the Dual Mode interface that intelligently combines both an active digitizer and a touch screen without the need for manual switching. [Read the full review of the Xplore iX104C4] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by chb

RealEstate.com now on mobile
Finding an inexpensive home these days isn't too terribly difficult, what with prices dropping almost everywhere, but realestate.com makes it even easier with their new realestate.com/mobile available on Sprint and AT&T phones. -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by chb

AHIMA session on Anoto digital pen technology
Anoto announced a session at the prestigious 80th American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention on the role of Digital Pen and Paper technology within health information management systems, as well as its contribution to enhancing usability and efficiency in the design of Electronic Health Records (EHR). The convention expects to draw more than 4,000 between October 11&16 at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle. -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by chb

Sony's new Digital Book
Last week, Sony released its latest effort at a digital book. The PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book has a paperback form factor, a 6-inch E-ink touchscreen display with build-in LED reading light, adjustable text size, search capability and SD Card storage. The Sony Reader weighs 9 ounces and is just 0.4 inches thick. Problem is the US$399 price. Maybe Sony should subsidize it and make money on the books instead. -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 by chb

Motorola releases advanced VC6096 in-vehicle computer
Motorola introduced a very interesting addition to its line of vehicle-based panel computers. The VC6096 combines a robust Windows CE 6.1-based computer with GPS, integrated 3.5G wireless voice and data, engine computer connectivity, as well as digital I/O for communication with various sensors into an all-in-one transportation logistics solution. The VC6096's design combines a 6.5-inch full VGA display with a large backlit keyboard that actually provides an almost full-scale QWERTY layout (96.5%). [Read description and specs of the Motorola VC6096] -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 by chb

Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards 2008 Winners Announced
The Winners in Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's Eighth Annual Best Software Awards for Windows Mobile software have been announced at www.Smartphonemag.com/Awards. Eighty members of the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine Board of Experts judged 936 Windows Mobile products in 194 Pocket PC and Smartphone categories. Winners are also listed in the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine 2009 Resource Guide first seen late November. -- Posted Sunday, October 5, 2008 by chb

Fujitsu's first wide-format Tablet PC slate
For a pioneer in the pen computing/Tablet PC arena with almost 20 years of experience, Fujitsu has been keeping an exceedingly low profile in the Tablet PC arena as of late. Fujitsu Siemens quietly introduced the new ST6012 slate, the first Stylistic with a wide-format 1280 x 800 pixel display. The new machine sports a businesslike design, ergonomic improvements, and has switched to Intel's latest processor and ancillary circuitry technology without giving up any of its superb battery life. [Read description and specs of the Fujitsu Stylistic ST6012] -- Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 by chb

Power of the brand: Matsushita becomes Panasonic
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has changed its official corporate name to Panasonic, which is the giant Japanese electronic company's major brand. The name change includes the Japanese market "National" brand which will also change to Panasonic. -- Posted Thursday, October 2, 2008 by chb