Monday, July 31, 2006

New Skype toolbars will be available on Thursday.

If you are a Skype user then make sure you check out the Skype website on Thursday. There will be additional toolbars for you to add to make calling easier. These new toolbars will allow the Skype user to easily start a voice call in three areas: e-mail, MS Office, and the Web using IE or FireFox.

This is a huge announcement and will set a new standard that the other players will have to follow. So what will this do? It will take a huge segment of the VoIP community and enable them to integrate their everyday applications with Skype....this is HUGE!

Check out the Skype website on Thursday and download your NEW toolbars.

New Portable Battery-Driven Charger for Wireless Phones Debuts

Sprint first to market with single-barrel Energizer Energi To Go that gives customers the power to charge their phones on the go!

In an effort to provide its subscribers greater mobility, Sprint announced today that it is first-to-market with the Energizer Energi To Go portable, battery-driven charger. This reusable, compact and lightweight charger is powered by one Energizer e² Lithium AA battery. It features a single-barrel design made of durable spun aluminum and a patented intelligent control chip that maximizes power transfer from the charger to the phone. It also works with 80 percent of Sprint Nextel phones on the market, providing Sprint customers greater mobility to continue to talk, be entertained and now charge their phone on the go!

"Sprint customers have busy lifestyles, and the Energizer Energi To Go provides them the power to charge their wireless phones on the go, so that they can continue to talk and be entertained at the speed of life," said Tom Nelson, Director of Accessory Product Management for Sprint.

The power demands on a wireless phone have increased as phones have evolved in how they are used. Many wireless phones are Web-enabled, able to send and receive email, take pictures, play music and videos and serve as personal organizers. According to market research group Roper ASW, 20 percent of consumers lose wireless phone power at least once a week.

"Wireless phone users can rely on the Energizer Energi To Go to charge their phones while they are on the go. It fits in the palm of a hand and is perfect for anyone who is mobile. The portable charger provides convenient, reliable power when you can’t plug in," said Tony Mazzola, Product Technical Support Manager for Energizer.

The Energizer Energi To Go is available at Sprint Stores nationwide. The Energizer Energi To Go accessory package is available for $24.99 and includes the reusable charger, three tips and an Energizer e² Lithium AA battery. The tips include a universal Sprint CDMA connector, a mini-USB and universal iDEN connector, enabling customers to charge a variety of Sprint Nextel phones while on the go. For maximum performance, Energizer recommends powering Energizer Energi To Go power packs with Energizer e² Lithium batteries. Energizer e² Lithium is the world’s longest lasting AA battery in high tech devices.

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Integrated 3G LifeBook Q2010 Debuts

(....but in Hong Kong).

Sierra Wireless and Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific today announced the LifeBook Q2010, with Super3G functionality provided by the Sierra Wireless MC8755V Voice Enabled PCI Express Mini Card embedded module, is now available in Hong Kong. With its ultra-slim profile of 19 millimeters and amazingly light weight of barely one kilogram, discerning and tech-savvy consumers can now look forward to true mobility. Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific is also exploring opportunities to deliver the LifeBook Q2010 to other Asia Pacific regions in the upcoming months.

The Sierra Wireless MC8755V PCI Express Mini Card embedded module is fully integrated into the LifeBook Q2010, providing customers with the ability to wirelessly connect to their email, the Internet, or online applications at broadband speeds - approximately 500 to 800 kilobits per second (kbps) on an HSDPA network. For use in areas where HSDPA is not available, the MC8755V embedded module is also compatible with UMTS networks operating on the 2100 MHz frequency band, and with EDGE and GPRS networks on all four frequency bands used worldwide (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), enabling worldwide roaming for business travelers.

Click on the image to learn more

Best Software Awards 2006 Nominees Announced.

Let the judging begin!

699 Products have been nominated in Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine’s Sixth Annual Best Software Awards for Windows Mobile software. In August a team of 90 Windows Mobile experts from around the world will evaluate the software nominees in 88 Pocket PC categories and 27 Smartphone categories.

New Products Editor, Diane Dumas, and the 2006 Board of Experts have nominated the top software from Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine’s exhaustive 4000 product Encyclopedia of Software and Accessories. Finalists will be announced in September and winners in October at the Awards Home Page at Complete details about the winners will be included in the 2007 Buyer’s Guide, available in October, mailed free to Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine subscribers. The list of nominees, the procedure for judging, a link to the Encyclopedia, and the qualifications of the Board of Experts can all be found at the Best Software Awards home page.

From June 30, 2006 through July 14, 2006 the nominations were made available for public feedback, and many suggestions were adopted. Nominations were frozen July 24. Comments on the nominations may be made in the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine forum:

The 90 Members of the 2006 Board of Experts, who will vote in the awards, are prominent Web Site editors and webmasters, Microsoft MVPs, support forum contributors, and Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and blog contributing editors. Their qualifications can be found at the awards home page. All are volunteers and none who vote are employed by Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine. The Board of Experts cast votes to determine the winners during August. Winners and finalists are the top vote getters. These experts also submit comments about the software for publication in 2006 issues of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and they are also available to the nominees.

Smartphone & Pocket PC Executive Editor and Publisher, Hal Goldstein said, “We have been doing this for 6 years, and the nominee’s list is the most comprehensive and accurate list yet. A big thank you goes to the Board of Experts and the general public who helped us get the list “right”. Congratulations to the nominees, who are mostly from small independent companies who have worked so hard to deliver great software to Windows Mobile users.”

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SanDisk Introduces 2-Gigabyte microSD Mobile Phone Card

Fingernail-Size Memory Card Will Have Exclusive U.S. Rollout in Verizon Wireless Stores For Chocolate by LG Mobile Phone

Sandisk introduced yet another new flash memory card. This new micro-SD card supposedly has the largest capacity available...but I am sure we will see others very soon. This new card will will debut in the U.S. exclusively at 1,900 Verizon Wireless stores for the next 60 days.

(The full press release follows on the next page)

MILPITAS, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- July 31, 2006 SanDisk(R) Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) today introduced a 2-gigabyte (GB)(1) microSD(TM) card -- the largest capacity of the world's smallest removable flash memory card -- to meet demand for a new generation of MP3 music phones, including the forthcoming Verizon Wireless Chocolate by LG mobile phone.

Using the SanDisk microSD card, the Verizon Wireless phone can store up to 1,000 digital songs downloaded from the company's V CAST music service.(2) The card, which is sold with an adapter that enables it to fit into a standard-size SD(TM) slot of other devices, will debut in the U.S. exclusively at 1,900 Verizon Wireless stores for the next 60 days. Internationally, it will be sold by a variety of mobile retailers.

"Offering our customers removable SanDisk flash memory cards provides a great deal of flexibility in allowing people to manage their downloaded music, both on their personal computer and on their mobile phone," said Patrick Bucci, Verizon Wireless director of accessory products. (digy)"Apart from playing music, the Verizon Wireless Chocolate by LG mobile phone also can capture digital still and video images with its 1.3-megapixel camera/camcorder." Featuring a color screen, slider-style design and backlit red navigation, the phone is available today on the Verizon Wireless website ( and will be in Verizon Wireless stores on Aug. 7. The SanDisk 2GB microSD card will be sold by Verizon Wireless for $99.99.

"The need for higher-capacity microSD cards demonstrates that MP3 phones have come of age," said Jeff Kost, SanDisk vice president, handset business. "Clearly, many consumers are embracing the convergence of digital music and mobile communications because it allows them to carry just a single device. SanDisk's removable flash memory cards represent the most convenient way for people to store, transfer and play music on their handsets, so we are delighted to work with Verizon Wireless on this new product introduction."

The market for musically-based mobile phones is stepping along at a lively pace. Strategy Analytics, a global research company, estimates that more than one-fourth of all handsets sold in 2006 will play music, and by the end of next year that number is projected to be more than half of all units shipped. Also, for 2006, an estimated 270 million mobile phones -- about 29 percent of all new shipments -- will have memory card slots, according to Chris Ambrosio, director of Wireless Device Strategies Service for the Boston-based research firm.

David Bullitt, SanDisk retail product marketing manager for mobile cards, said additional manufacturers will support the 2GB SanDisk microSD card with new models that will be introduced between now and the end of the year. SanDisk, he added, pioneered the development of mobile-specific flash memory cards and is the worldwide leader in the market. The microSD card was invented by SanDisk under the name of TransFlash(TM) but became a new standard last year when the form factor was adopted by the SD Card Association.

Apart from its retail line of mobile flash memory cards, SanDisk also announced the addition of a 2GB capacity to its OEM line of microSD cards, providing manufacturers with flash memory cards that range from 64 megabytes (MB) to 2GB. On the retail side, SanDisk offers capacities beginning at 256 MB. SanDisk's previous highest capacity was 1GB.

The microSD uses the latest advancements in flash memory technology to deliver the smallest memory card in the world. Measuring about one-fourth the size of a standard SD card, the fingernail-size microSD card provides high-performance and expanded memory capacity for mobile phones using SanDisk's TransFlash card slot or any new devices that are marked as microSD slots.

SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the world's largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Milpitas, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the U.S.

(1) 1 megabyte (MB) equals 1 million bytes; 1 gigabyte (GB) equals 1 billion bytes.

(2) Assumes average 4 minute songs at 64 kbps.

SanDisk's product and executive images can be downloaded from

SanDisk's web site/home page address:

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Hands-Free And Eyes-Free Email Solution

As I was driving up the Maine Turnpike the other day, I saw a car weaving back and forth, get back on track, then start weaving again. It was one of those situations that you just want to get past and far away from the car. As I passed the vehicle, I noticed that the driver was using a handheld with a distinctive blue color. He was checking and replying to his emails....DUMB!

There is a solution that one can consider if you want to keep your eyes trained on the road and it is called iLane.

iLane provides you with a hands-free and eyes-free, voice-interactive solution for managing email messages and attachments, phone calls, SMS messages and calendar appointments while in transit. iLane integrates seamlessly with your car's audio system. So as new messages arrive on your handheld device, iLane notifies you immediately, then reads a summary aloud. Using voice commands you can then listen to the entire message; compose a reply; forward an attachment, and more.

iLane is unique in that it doesn't require access to a remote server to convert email messages into voice files. All data is hosted locally and communicated directly between iLane and your handheld device. Likewise, data is encrypted to ensure your privacy. You no longer need to "dial in" to retrieve your messages from a server; iLane reads them to you immediately and automatically.

With iLane, you don't have to take your eyes off the road, or your hands off the steering wheel to check your handheld device for new messages. You stay connected to critical information without sacrificing your on-road safety.

Find out more about iLane here

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

LaCoNix - a cool note program...

....and it's FREE. Tari Akpodiete posted a nifty item on her blog at Smartphone&Pocket PC magazine blogs on a very cool PPC note program. In part, Tari had the following to say:
LaCoNix has put out a nifty little Pocket PC freeware program called TouchNotes which lets readers jot down notes without the bother of opening and saving a file or typing or using text recognition. One just handwrites the notes and saving is done by dragging the notes into a bar. All the notes are displayed in the bar and can be accessed simply by dragging them into the main window.

Read Tari's article here and find out how to get this very cool FREE program.

Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?

David Shier posted an article on the infamous Outlook time zone bug! He indicated that a few people actually call this behavior a feature, but in his opinion, it's just a poorly thought out design that was clearly never intended for mobile computing.

David said:

This issue has been discussed since the first Windows CE based Handheld PCs. The problem itself traces back even earlier - as it is an inherent "feature" of Outlook - including the first version for the desktop.

There are a number of ways to deal with how Outlook deals with time zones and we'll discuss them here, but first, let's look and why Outlook behaves the way it does…

Read what David had to say on how he deals with this issue here.

HP iPAQ hx4700 Pocket PC Series ROM Update

WOW...two HP items in two days. Maybe it is a sign to come that we wiil be getting more from HP....I hope so! I miss the roll outs of new devices!

In any event, we now have a solution for an issue with the WM5 ROM for the 4700. There have been a few "hacks" to fix the issue but here is an official ROM fix....I like that.

REMINDER: The RUU is designed to replace the current ROM image and to erase the partnership and all user data and programs on the handheld. It is important to read and understand the information in the Readme file that is included with this update BEFORE installing the package.

Fixes issue where certain CompactFlash (CF) memory cards and I/O cards do not respond.

Improves performance.

Microsoft ActiveSync 4.1 (or later) is required.


Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0

Find out more and download the ROM update here

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Turns Your Pocket PC into a Mobile Chartplotter

Maptech Pocket Navigator Software Turns Pocket PCs into Mobile Chartplotters

Pocket Navigator software displays Maptech digital charts on Pocket PC handhelds. For a low cost electronic backup navigation system, connect a handheld GPS receiver to a Pocket PC for a powerful, mobile chartplotter showing your exact position on NOAA charts. For charts add the Maptech U.S. Boating Charts on DVD which includes all the NOAA charts for the US coastline and river charts from the Army Corp of Engineers.

Pocket Navigator retails for $49.95. U.S. Boating Charts on DVD is $49.95. You can add a wireless GPS receiver to a Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PCs for $100 and create a low-cost, mobile electronic chart navigation system—software, charts, and GPS all for around $200. All products are available direct from Maptech at

NOAA Raster Charts and Army Corp of Engineer River Charts:
Transfer charts from U.S. Boating Charts on DVD to your computer and from there to a Pocket PC using Pocket Navigator software.

The Next Step: Making a Better GPS — Connect a GPS to Your Pocket PC:
Pocket PC handhelds have bright touch screens that display maps in full color. Connect a GPS receiver to the handheld, and you have a low cost, mobile chartplotter as a back-up to the onboard electronics. If your Pocket PC is Bluetooth-enabled a great solution is to use a wireless GPS.

Smartphones and Pocket Navigator:
With Smartphones running Windows Mobile 2003 or Mobile 5 with Pocket Navigator software you can transfer the charts from a laptop or desktop computer to the Smartphone phone.

Key Navigation Features:
Printing: Print sections of the chart with or without overlays or the entire chart as seen on the computer or Pocket PC.

Marks Planning Tool: Adding Marks is as easy as clicking on the screen.

Routes: Create routes by tapping the screen. The Route Properties window displays range and bearing information for each waypoint you've created.

“Go To” Navigation Arrow: Whenever you are "going to" a mark, a navigation window appears (digy). The arrow, range and bearing will continually update until you reach your destination.

Tracks: See Where You've Been: Track lines will show where you've been on the chart. Track properties will display total time, distance and speed. If your track forms an enclosure, the area will also display.

See the Pocket Navigator Tour: Go to

System requirements: Pocket Navigator 5.1.2: Pocket PC OS 2002 to Mobile 5; 4MB of free memory; Active Sync 3.0 (or higher); additional storage for charts, maps, and photos. Desktop software requires Windows 2000 or XP; Pentium processor; 32 MB of RAM; 8 MB free on hard drive for installation; mouse or drawing equivalent.

Price/Ordering Information: Pocket Navigator sells for $49.95. Maptech digital charts (BSB4 format) are sold separately. Call Maptech at 888-839-5551 or visit the web at

Click read more below to see the full news item

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Advisory: HP iPAQ Handheld Devices

Incorrect Numbered Format May Display When a Word Document is Viewed on Certain HP iPAQ Handheld Devices

Incorrect numbered formats may display when Microsoft Word documents are viewed on an HP iPAQ Handheld Device having the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Operating System (Windows Mobile 5.0 OS). When the issue is present, Word documents may display convoluted sequential numbers (e.g., When the same data is viewed in Office 2003 Word, the numbers display in the correct sequence ( This is a Microsoft Word Mobile Indexing issue.

This issue affects all products in the following HP iPAQ Handheld series having Windows Mobile 5.0:

HP iPAQ hw6900 Mobile Messenger series
HP iPAQ hx2000 Pocket PC series (WM5.0 units)
HP iPAQ hx4700 Pocket PC series (WM5.0 units)
HP iPAQ rw6800 Multimedia Messenger series
HP iPAQ rx1950 Pocket PC series

There is currently no permanent resolution for this Word Mobile Indexing issue. Two workarounds exist, however. Either save the Word document in the .rtf format or remove the blank line after each indexing item on the numbered list.

See the HP Advisory here

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Did You Know?

Spb Diary - the Best Program for PDA's

Spb Diary was chosen as the best program for PDA at the Shareware Industry Conference that took place in Denver, Colorado July 13-15. The conference is sponsored by Microsoft, CNET Networks, Tucows and other software distribution industry related companies.

You can find out more about Spb Diary here,

Other winners include:

Microsoft OneNote - Best Business Application or Utility
Google Earth - Best Educational Program or Game
FTP Voyager - Best Internet Enhancement
Yahoo Messenger - Best Internet Communication

Congratulations to ALL the winners!

Don't forget to vote for the MoTR Podcast

Just a reminder to VOTE for your favorite podcast.

I hope that you will join with me in voting for Mobile Tech Roundup.

Best wishes to James Kendrick, Matt Miller and Kevin C. Tofel of Mobile Tech Roundup. Good Luck!

The All-New

Your Guided Tour of the All-New

Harry McCracken from PC World has an article on "Here's how to get the most out of our revamped site".
So what's new?
Dozens of things, all designed to give you even more useful, timely tools for researching, buying, and using technology products for work and home.

PC World is a favorite of mine. The articles are always indepth and there are always great tips to make your experience better. Check out Harry's article here.

Another Confirmation that the MoGo is a GO!

Another terrific Gadgeteer Hands On Review by Judie Hughes has appeared and it seems as if Judie, like me, has found a perfect addition to her mobile accessory list.

When you get to see it and try it, it immediately becomes a "must have" device. I found it to be the first innovative idea on cursor movement in years. As well as being innovative, it is just down right SLICK and definitely lightens your mobile accessory load.

Judie concludes: "The MoGo is incredibly easy to set up, comfortable to use, and so small that it will make even the most space-conscious road warrior happy. I absolutely love mine, and can confirm that my laptop mouse hunt is officially OVER."

Check out her Gadgeteer Hands On Review here

In addition, the Experience Mobility MoGo video and Review can be seen here.

Review: I GO! --- You GO! --- Lets MoGo!

Preview: MoGo Mouse Video Highlights

Database Conversion Wizard Power Toy

So you used to have an application that worked on Pocket PC or Smartphone 2002 and now it does not work correctly on your Windows Mobile 2003-based Pocket PC or Smartphone. Then you should try this wizard from Microsoft.

What is the problem?
The internal format of databases changed in the Windows Mobile 2003-based Pocket PC and Smartphone. This causes some third party applications to hang or display an error message when they attempt to access their data. The affected applications are those that install databases along with the program itself. This is fairly common. If users have an application that worked on Pocket PC or Smartphone 2002 and does not work correctly on Windows Mobile 2003-based Pocket PC or Smartphone, they should try this wizard.

This tool is also useful for users that have entered data into applications on a previous release of Pocket PC or Smartphone and now are upgrading to the 2003 release and want to migrate their data as well. They are encouraged to contact the technical support representatives of the organization or company that provided the application originally for more detailed help in migrating their data.

What does this do?
This wizard searches for any databases on a device, archives them to the desktop machine and converts them to the new format. This allows the applications to work correctly with no changes required to the program itself. The user does not need to know the location or name of the database to use this tool. The wizard also supports two other modes of operation that are intended to be useful under the guidance of a technical support representatives of the organization or company that provided the application originally.

Who can use this?
This wizard is for Windows Mobile 2003-based Pocket PC and Smartphone devices. It will not work with previous versions of these devices and is not needed for them.

Other than having a Windows Mobile 2003-based device, the user needs ActiveSync 3.7 installed. This wizard is only runs on Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 3), Windows XP Home Edition, or Windows XP Professional.

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Podcast/Vidcast Users Rejoice! PlayListMrg .3 Released..

SolSie’s Blog has a GREAT piece on PlayListMrg that you will like. SolSie’s Blog is a mobile device enthusiast site run by Solsie who is a self-confessed gadget junkie.

In part, SolSie had the following to say:
Unlike for Apple/iPod/iTunes, which offers a very easy way to select, subscribe and auto-download Podcast/Vidcast to the iPod using the iTunes Portal..Unfortunately, Microsoft completely misses this popular option even on the latest WMP11- Read HERE-
On Windows Mobile Devices, all the pieces are there, but there is no easy way to have a seamless solutions…

While you are there, look around SolSie’s Blog...he has done some neat items!

Second Hand Gadgets - New, Fresh and GREAT!

There is a new blog out there that I just saw and liked. It is called "Second Hand Gadgets".

Andre is a frequent visitor and commenter here at Experience Mobility. When I found out he had started a new blog I decided to looks like it will be pretty good. He takes the time to write his thoughts and I like that.

What particularly caught my eye was an article that had the word iPAQ in it. Of course, the iPAQ has been my favorite device for years but for some strange reason, we just have not heard from HP lately on iPAQs...I miss that. In any event, Andre did a neat piece on How to sync a Treo 650, Ipaq HX2415 with two PC's . Why not take a minute and visit Andre over at Second Hand Gadgets

Andre mentioned in his piece on the iPAQ and Treo that he got a tip from the Mobile Tech Roundup podcast #56 and indicated that he would check into it and thanked them for the tip!
Andre said:
On a recommendation from the Mobile Tech Roundup Podcast #56 with James Kendrick, Kevin C. Tofel and Matthew Miller, Kevin mentioned Smarter Mail from as a free exchange type server.

I am looking forward to Andre's impressions on the free exchange type server....get testing Andre!

BTW, Andre has a neat dog called Sierra....too good looking not to post!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Is This The Perfect Storm?

It is definitely brewing and the folks that will make out are those that are buying new PCs.

Dan Nystedt from IDG News Service talked about the expected bargains buyers can expect to see as Intel and AMD cut chip prices. It was a nice article that briefly outlines how users will make out with the falling prices.

In part, Dan had the folowing to say:
Users should soon see the best bargains in years for a new desktop thanks to falling prices on the two most expensive components in a PC.

A battle between the world's two biggest processor makers and oversupply in the LCD panel industry have sent prices tumbling. Users should see the mark downs showing up in stores any time.

Read Dan's article here.

Vote Your Favorite Podcast

The time has come for the Podcast awards and MoTR is a finalist. This is one cast that I never miss...always informative, very enjoyable and "on the mark" for what is happening!

I hope that you will join with me in taking a minute to cast a ballot for MoTR. You will find 22 different categories on the site. MoTR is located on the right side, the second block down.

The folks at Experience Mobility would like to extend their best wishes to James Kendrick, Matt Miller and Kevin C. Tofel of Mobile Tech Roundup. Good Luck!

Who Makes This Stuff - with The Makers of PocketBreeze

Check out this first in a series of Q&A's with the folks who make the programs you promises to be a terrific series of articles at JustAnotherMobileMonday!
In these brief Q&A sessions, we’ll learn a little about how they got started, their views on how the whole mobile applications area is going to develop, and their thoughts on what it takes to make excellent mobile software.

We are very happy to say that our first one of these Q&A sessions is with SBSH Mobile Software’s CEO, Amit Regev. Amit, and SBSH, are the people who bring you PocketBreeze, PocketWeather, iLauncher, and other great mobile titles.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

AskMeNow Introduces New Application for Motorola Q

AskMeNow has announced the availability of a new AskMeNow application for Motorola Inc.'s new Motorola Q available on the Verizon Wireless network.

The handheld application features AskMeNow's ground breaking and proprietary AskMeAnything feature, supported through the company's research and data center in Asia.

AskMeAnything allows you to ask virtually any question and receive a specific answer -- no links -- in moments on your mobile phone. AskMeNow is a featured application on the Motorola Q Application Catalog under News & Entertainment, which can be viewed at

"Applications like AskMeNow provide easy, one-touch access to information. We are delighted to see these types of applications come to market through the support of our MOTODEV program," said Christy Wyatt, Vice President of Ecosystem and Market Development at Motorola.

"We are pleased to offer AskMeNow for the new Motorola Q," said Walter Kostiak, Vice President of Global Business Development & Carrier Marketing at AskMeNow. "Verizon Q subscribers now have the ability to easily access far greater breadth and depth of information than ever before." With AskMeNow, Motorola Q phone customers have the functionality to choose from a host of local content as well as access any information in countless categories with one easy to use application.digy

Motorola Q customers can now enjoy the 'AskMeNow for Q' application for free by visiting and registering at Subscribers will receive a free, unlimited trial for 30 days. Afterwards, a small per question fee will be charged directly to their Verizon monthly statement.

Click read more below to see the full news item

New beta version of TextMaker 2006 for Pocket PCs

Writing text on your Pocket PC is easy but if you need the ability to create and edit a document in Word format it is is difficult --- unless you use TextMaker. This is an amazing program offering you abilities similar to what you see on you desktop PC. It has become my program of choice for all of my document editing because of its ease of use.

Imagine, you are "on the road" with only your Pocket PC device and you have a word processor that rivals most desktop applications --- now that is cool! You can import a Word document and ALL the formatting remains in tact, then edit it, save it as a Word document and when you arrive home, bring it back on your desktop....and it looks just like you did it on your PC.

Right now, SoftMaker has released a NEW public beta that you can try. Here is what the SoftMaker folks have to say about the new beta:

When TextMaker was released for the Pocket PC three years ago, it was an overnight sensation: a full-featured word processor with the capabilities of a desktop word processor and perfectly adapted to Pocket PCs.

If you thought there wouldn't be a way to improve on TextMaker 2002, think again...

TextMaker 2006 for Pocket PCs is here and offers a huge array of improvements.

Just a small selection of what's new in TextMaker:

NEW: Drastically improved document filters for Microsoft Word and RTF
NEW: Import of and OpenDocument documents
NEW: Complete AutoShapes-compatibel drawing layer built in
NEW: Automatic numbering of headings and paragraphs
NEW: Line numbering
NEW: Hierarchical bullets and paragraph numbering
NEW: Easily indent/outdent lists and paragraphs with a key press
NEW: Track changes in your documents for easy revising
NEW: Comments as balloons
NEW: Transfer formatting with the format brush
NEW: Text columns with non-equal widths
NEW: Contour wrap around irregularly-shaped objects
NEW: Repeating headers in tables
NEW: Split and merge table cells
NEW: Rotate table cells
NEW: Cross references
NEW: Bibliography
NEW: Automatic hyphenation in 29 languages

Check it out...try will like it! You can find out more and get your copy here.

Click read more below to see the full news item

Server Issues

I'm sorry for the lack of posts over the last two days but I have been experiencing server issues that have been difficult to fix.

As soon as one issue was fixed, another appeared. I do believe that we might well be back on least I hope so! It certainly has been a learning experience!

Emergency Responders Rely on Smartphones and Handhelds

Gain Quick Access to Reference Materials During Hazardous-Materials Incidents

Palm, Inc. announced that the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the largest medical library in the world and an organization within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has created a free application for emergency responders called Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) that runs on Palm(R) Treo(TM) smartphones and handhelds. Emergency responders use Palm products paired with the WISER application as wireless or stand-alone reference tools for gathering information on hazardous substances and supporting comprehensive decision support. The solution serves as a reliable alternative to the current paper-based systems or outdated technology that emergency responders often contend with on a scene.

During the past 40 years, the NLM has produced a Hazardous Substance DataBank (HSDB) that compiles comprehensive data for close to 5,000 chemicals. The WISER application gives emergency responders access to relevant information on more than 400 of the most commonly encountered HSDB substances. The user interface is designed to present the data to the emergency responder in a format that is easy to access and comprehend during an emergency, as well as during disaster-preparedness training.

Available as an application download useable on Palm devices from, the WISER application can travel wherever the responder needs to go. To date, NLM has recorded more than 11,000 application downloads for the Palm OS(R) application. The free application is stored either on the Palm device or a storage card (purchased separately) and then updated at the user's discretion.

"Our objective with WISER has been to utilize the HSDB's existing resource of authoritative data and package it specifically for the emergency-responder community," said Marti Szczur, deputy associate director for Specialized Information Services Division at the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md. "The marriage of mobile devices and the WISER application provides critical information in a useful format and enables the user to have access to this data on the site of a hazmat incident. Feedback from users is indicating that our investment in building WISER is contributing to American public health and safety."

When handling hazardous-material (hazmat) incidents, emergency responders in general, and hazmat units in particular, have to make many decisions quickly. WISER can assist in identification of an unknown substance and provide information on immediate actions necessary to save lives and protect the environment. All this can be done right on the scene with Palm smartphones and handhelds.

"Mobility tools like Treo smartphones with the WISER application serve to shorten critical response time in crisis situations and provide accurate authoritative information," said Lieutenant Chip Haake of the Tuscola Fire Department, Tuscola, Ill. "We have encouraged and implemented use of the Palm solution in order to make sure we're using the latest life-saving technologies for the communities we serve, as well as our own team members."

Larry Tucker, a regional disaster coordinator for the Duke Trauma Regional Advisory Committee, Durham, N.C., recommends that every emergency response (ER) and emergency medical services (EMS) agency use WISER on Palm devices. "The word needs to be spread that WISER is available -- it's a good program, it's free and it's accurate," said Tucker. During the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, Tucker's Palm handheld running WISER was crucial in dealing with the many chemicals in the air, water and food. His team immediately was able to identify chemicals and treat patients accordingly.

"Palm provides tools to solve critical needs that help individual citizens and whole communities," said Tara Griffin, vice president of enterprise markets for Palm. "We're proud that the National Institutes of Health and, specifically, the National Library of Medicine are delivering life-saving technology solutions on Palm products that offer flexibility and mobility to emergency responders across the country."

About the National Library of Medicine and WISER

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), one of the organizations within the Health and Human Services Department's National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world's largest medical library. The Library collects materials and provides information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and health care. WISER data comes from the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). HSDB is a toxicology data file on the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET(R)). It contains information on human exposure, industrial hygiene, emergency handling procedures, environmental fate, regulatory requirements, and related areas. All data are referenced and derived from a core set of books, government documents, technical reports and selected primary journal literature.

About Palm, Inc.

Palm, Inc., a leader in mobile computing, strives to put the power of computing in people's hands so they can access and share their most important information. The company's products for consumers, mobile professionals and businesses include Palm(R) Treo(TM) smartphones, Palm handheld computers, and Palm LifeDrive(TM) mobile managers, as well as software, services and accessories.

Palm products are sold through select Internet, retail, reseller and wireless operator channels throughout the world, and at Palm Retail Stores and Palm online stores (

More information about Palm, Inc. is available at

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Making the Most of Your Digital Camera

It is summer time and for most of us, it is the time we take days away from our normal routines to visit some great vacation spots. Of course, many of you pack a digital camera as wel as you PDA or Smartphone. But what ever you pack for the trip, taking pictures for memories is always on the agenda.

This presentation might be of interest to some of you so I thought I'd pass it along. PC magazine is having an interactive presentation on how to make the most of your camera.

It is aimed at people who are brand-new to digital photography but my guess is that all of us can pick up something new.

The webcast will begin with a short, prerecorded video presentation, where we will explain the most common camera features by showing how to access them on several recent-model digital cameras. We'll provide onscreen demonstrations of shooting techniques, framing techniques, how to use a tripod, and more.

You can sign up here for this free, online seminar!

Spb Weather 1.6 released

Spb Weather has been updated and promises to improve an already terrific experience. Along with Spb Plus!, Spb Wather is ALWAYS on my PDA. If you already use Spb Weather, this is a free update .

So what is new? You fill find an extended database of cities (4000+ cities included) and improved proxies support.

You can download Spb Weather 1.6 here

You can install a new version over the previous version without uninstallation.

Spb Weather is a very powerful weather forecast Today plug-in. You can customize weather views, skins and even the weather forecast data source. Spb Pocket Plus users can save space on their Today screen running Spb Weather as a tab.


Integration with Spb Diary
Integration with Spb Pocket Plus
Four different view modes
10 professional skins
Several weather sources
Easy configuration from context menu
Optimized traffic (400 bytes for 5 day forecast)
Custom weather source support
Custom city support
VGA resolution (480x640) display support

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Installing Ubuntu Dapper Drake onSony UX17

I was late in checking my RSS feeds today because I decided to drive to Maine where the air is cool, the wind is blowing and my canoe was waiting for me to take it fishing! But as I stopped for a cup of coffee, I noticed that GEEKZONE had posted an item on July 22nd on Installing Ubuntu Dapper Drake onSony UX17.

I must have too many feeds to look at because I missed that one but better late than is a very cool post with some neat pictures.

Great find GEEKZONE!!

It is all in the marketing.....

So Microsoft is getting ready ...but HP has been doing there own thing and it was very cool!

Fingerskilz is brought to you by HP and they have done quite a good job of it. I guess they are attempting to bring out a new "coolness"...I think it might work. If you have not seen any of the videos check them out by clicking on the picture on the right.

I think you will like's a "coolness" thing!

HP is saying that they will keep bringing you fingerskilz....and they want you to be part of it. It doesn't have to be fingerball related - just really cool things you can do with your hands.

So after you see the short clips, come back and click on the picture on the left to see a clip of edited highlights...way cool!

It's comingzune!

Well, the hype will continue to grow....success is a planned event and I believe they are planning carefully. For example, click the image above and see what is comingzune!

Don't expect too is pretty bizarre but wait and see how it grows!

Download.Com Offers LiveCargo Mobile Productivity Tools

Solves Problem of Sending, Receiving Large Files

LiveCargo, Inc., the company behind mobile productivity tools that give people access to their information from smart phones and other devices, today announced the availability via CNET of four LiveCargo applications. CNET ( is a popular and comprehensive download library site with more than 2.3 million downloads per day. CNET reaches a combined total of over 38 million unique users per month across a network of download distribution sites that include ABC News, AT&T, BellSouth, Earthlink and MSN. offers the following LiveCargo applications:

-- LiveCargo PC desktop - Enables people to send, store, share and collaborate on files

-- LiveCargo Mac desktop - Enables people to send, store, share and collaborate on files

-- LiveCargo Outlook Plug-in - Allows people to send files of any size directly from their Outlook in-box and greatly reduces storage space

-- LiveCargo Mac widget - Offers simple drag and drop send capabilities for Mac users.

LiveCargo's software combines patent-pending file management, remote storage and collaboration technology into a set of secure, easy-to-use tools. LiveCargo allows people to use the Internet or other wireless networks to access, store and collaborate on any type of file no matter how large. LiveCargo works across disparate networks and on multiple devices.

"Through CNET, we're making it easier for people to give LiveCargo a try and take advantage of our mobile productivity tools," said Doug Young, CEO of LiveCargo. "We're spreading the message that having access to your documents and files should no longer be a barrier to productivity."

LiveCargo Availability

LiveCargo products are currently available on CNET here . LiveCargo PC and Mac desktop versions are available free. LiveCargo Outlook Plug-in is free as a trial version for 60 days.

About LiveCargo

LiveCargo, Inc. provides productivity software that enables seamless mobility. Using LiveCargo, mobile users can access their files any time, anywhere, using almost any device. (digy) The company offers patent-pending technology that enables users to securely send, share, store and collaborate on any type of file using smart phones, PCs and other wireless computing devices. LiveCargo operates two data centers, one located in Singapore serving Asia and one in Washington, D.C., serving the U.S. and Europe. With simple to use tools and significantly faster file management than existing solutions, LiveCargo offers a revolutionary way to work without boundaries.

Visit for more details.

Click read more below to see the full news item

Is it a counterpunch?

C/Net had an interesting article today on Microsoft's new ZUNE player. They said: "Microsoft's Zune player is designed to be a counterpunch to the iPod, but it could deliver a sharper blow to some of the company's longtime partners."

I think C/NET may have a legitimate concern or at least it appears that way from the surface. In part, they indicated that:
It leaves one question up in the air, however: Just how much attention will now go to Microsoft's PlaysForSure program, which promotes the broad range of services and players that use its Windows Media technology?

You can read the C/NET Analysis here

What's your take on this?

MobileTechRoundup Podcast is a finalist in the Podcast Awards!

It is that time for the Podcast awards and MoTR is a finalist. This is one cast that I never miss...always informative, very enjoyable and "on the mark" for what is happening! I hope that you will consider taking a minute and casting a ballot for MoTR.

From the folks at MoTR:
We are thrilled to report that MobileTechRoundup (MoTR) is a finalist in the Best Mobile Podcast category of the Podcast Awards! The Podcast Awards are the biggest award competition honoring podcasts in a lot of different categories and we thank them for putting on such an awesome competition.

They go out of their way to put on a top-notch competition and we are honored that our listeners nominated our show in such numbers to put us in the top 5 finalists in this category that represents hundreds (if not thousands) of podcasts. Voting begins at midnight on July 28th and runs through August 11th so get your votes in and see if we can get MoTR the top dog spot in the Best Mobile Podcast category. Kevin, Matt and I put a lot of work and love into producing the show and it is such a validation for all we do to make the finalist list.

So vote here to get MoTR the top dog spot in the Best Mobile Podcast category! Best of luck to James, Kevin and Matt!

Live Traffic Updates In Google Maps For Mobile

Summer's here and people across the country are hitting the highways in record numbers. Whether you're traveling for fun or for work, Google has a product update that's designed to make your drive time easier.

Today Google announced an update to Google Maps for mobile that will enable consumers in the U.S. to view comprehensive information on traffic conditions in more than 30 major metropolitan areas - and partial information in many others - right from their mobile devices.

After downloading Google Maps for mobile through their mobile phone's web browser, users simply move to the desired location within the application and select "show traffic" in the menu. The most up-to-date traffic information will be sent directly to the users' mobile device, and will highlight the conditions on the covered commuter routes using red, yellow, and green overlays.

In addition, when mobile phone users search for driving directions, they will now see the expected drive time as well as any unexpected traffic delays, making travel planning much easier and more effective.(digy) And another new feature - the ability to store their favorite searches and driving directions - will allow users to access frequently used routes and compare traffic conditions on them.

To download Google Maps for mobile, users simply visit from their phone's web browser.

Also today, Google announced that users now have the ability to customize the content that appears on the mobile version of their Personalized Homepage, making it even easier for mobile phone users to quickly get the information they need when away from their computers.

When users log in to Personalized Home on their desktop and click on the "mobile" link, they will be able to customize the content they see the next time they log on to their Personalized Home on their mobile device. Not only can they customize content, but users can also specify the order in which content on their mobile device appears.

Click read more below to see the full news item

Sprint Offers NFL Mobile - Free of Charge to Vision or Power Vision Subscribers

I told you I was impressed with Sprint and this is just one more example! Keep it up Sprint!!

Exclusive Source of Real-Time NFL Information

Sprint delivers exclusive mobile video and audio highlights of NFL games

NFL fans and fantasy football players can now take the NFL with them wherever they go. Available only to Sprint customers, NFL Mobile is the perfect companion for the NFL fan offering the widest array of football information including real-time statistics, scores, injury reports and other updates. And it's all available to Sprint PCS Vision(R) and Sprint Power Vision(SM) subscribers free of charge.

This groundbreaking innovation in mobile sports entertainment is customizable to a fantasy football player's roster or for specific teams. With information updated every two seconds, NFL Mobile features the fastest wireless delivery of NFL information, allowing users to claim bragging rights when it comes to real-time NFL player stats and scores. In addition, only Sprint can deliver a comprehensive package of exclusive mobile video and audio highlights available at the touch of a button.

NFL Mobile from Sprint can be downloaded by texting NFL to 7777 or via the Vision or Power Vision home deck.

Unprecedented game highlights, alerts

NFL Mobile users can create customizable text message alerts to ensure delivery of the kind of information they want, when they want it. Alerts will be sent at selected times such as when a player or team scores, when specific teams enter the red zone, at the end of each quarter or game, or as official NFL injury reports are issued. When fans receive a text alert, the information emanates directly from the NFL's database making NFL Mobile a powerful fantasy football tool. Sprint subscribers must opt-in to receive the text alerts, and standard text messaging charges apply.

NFL Mobile users will also receive exclusive, unprecedented game video and audio highlights. Only NFL Mobile delivers wireless video highlights of NFL games, which will be available at the conclusion of every game (excluding video for games played on Monday nights) - an unprecedented timeframe for viewers. Audio highlights will be available for both the home and road teams' radio broadcasts during every game of the season with highlights posted at the end of each quarter and shortly after the conclusion of each game.

"There is no other service available today that delivers the NFL in a real-time, customizable format the way NFL Mobile does," said Steve Gaffney, director of sports marketing for Sprint.. "NFL Mobile is a season-long companion that will enhance every aspect of the NFL fan's enjoyment of the game, and it's available on the one device fans carry every day - their wireless phone. We listened to fans and built an application to their specifications."

The NFL Mobile application, developed by mSpot, features simple navigation, real-time Gamecenter, team and player statistics, drive charts, scoreboard, and a multitude of NFL Network-produced video segments.

-- Navigation - Icon-based side-bar menu enables quick navigation
through NFL Mobile's content and can be "skinned" to a
particular team's logo/colors.

-- Gamecenter - A real-time graphical representation of the most
current drive for each game including each play of the drive,
the quarter and time remaining in the quarter, current score,
down and distance, score board by quarter, and last-play
description. Gamecenter will also provide a written narrative
of the play-by-play for each sequential drive, starting from
the current drive back to the first drive of the game.

-- Team/Player Statistics - Sorted and presented by team,
category and player (in that order), statistical categories
will include all relative information including passing,
receiving, rushing, two-point conversions, kicking, punting,
kickoff returns, fumbles, interceptions, sacks and blocked

-- Drive Charts - Graphic summaries for each drive of each game,
including time of possession, yards gained, number of plays
and result of each drive.

-- Scores - Real-time scores for all games will be displayed on a
single scoreboard in the following order: live games,
completed games, upcoming games. Features include when a team
is about to score ("Red-Zone Alert"), when a team scores,
which team has possession of the ball, and direct links to a
respective game's live play-by-play.

-- NFL Video On-Demand - Video segments from popular NFL
Network-produced pieces such as Super Bowl highlights,
greatest players and rivalries, sounds of the game, and
interviews and features of current former coaches and players.

-- NFL Network - Sprint will continue to offer live,
round-the-clock audio/video streaming of NFL Network's
broadcast as well as a multitude of on-demand programming such
as Total Access, Game of the Week and Player/Coach Interviews.
NFL Network's live stream will be free to those who download
the NFL Mobile application, marking the first time Sprint will
offer live streaming of any television channel at no cost.

Additionally, NFL Mobile users will have easy access to the following content: Fantasy Companion, ring tones, graphics, photos and logos, and the ability to personalize their service with their favorite team colors. Some of this content may be offered for a fee.

Editor's Note: For high-resolution images of NFL Mobile, please visit

About Sprint Sports Content

Sprint continually produces wireless data services that are first, better and unique - and the company's sports offerings are a distinct example of this leadership. Sprint's sponsorship of NASCAR's premier series, the NEXTEL Cup, and the National Football League yield compelling and exciting content for Sprint customers, such as:

NFL Mobile, which provides:

-- Exclusive mobile access to NFL video and audio game

-- A live stream of NFL Network and exclusive mobile access
to NFL Films;

-- Real-time Gamecenter, providing up-to-the-minute details
for every player and every game.

A variety of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup mobile exclusives, including:

-- NASCAR NEXTEL FanView, a next generation scanner and the
industry's first at-track wireless device providing
exclusive access to fans in the stands;

-- NEXTEL FanScan, which provides in-car team communication
during each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series(TM) race via Sprint
Nextel phones;

-- Driver ringers, call tones, screen savers and telecards
which enable fans to personalize their phones with content
from their favorite NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit

Click read more below to see the full news item

Palm Revolt

So I do A First Impression and Jim Martin from PC World puts up a "cool" piece of software...and sadly, I have already returned the unit so I can't try it. But for those of you that do have a Palm 700P, you might like this.

"PalmRevolt" (ver. 0.946b)is intended for improving Palm OS appearance. The PalmRevolt completely replaces the Palm OS interface and allows your Palm to look like Windows XP, Mac OS X or like another fantastic OS!

You can check it out here at 3GX Software

Yahtzee Turns 50

WOW! This is quite a celebration...Yahtzee is 50!

YAHTZEE family dice game for the Pocket PC platform is the first official version of this classic. For 50 years, YAHTZEE has been one of the world’s best selling games and is available for handheld devices.

Play anywhere! If you’ve ever played the classic game then you'll immediately know how to play on your PDA. Complete with rich media graphics and animated 3D dice rolling! Play alone or with friends and family using one or multiple handheld devices! High and low game statistics are displayed after the first game is played.

Check it out at HANDMARK's a neat game to play!

*Use the promotion code 'superstar' for 25% discount. Offer valid through 8/10/06.

SnagIt 8.1 - Simply The Best!

With SnagIt 8.1, you can create interactive PowerPoint presentations, customize your callouts, use your favorite features as toolbar add-ins ... and more!

Create Interactive Presentation Graphics
This is the big one, folks. In the last version of SnagIt, the Flash hotspots feature allowed you to create images that, when clicked or moused over, cause additional text or images to pop up. You can also capture Web pages and keep the links intact.

And now ... 8.1 makes it even better, since you can paste these interactive images right on your PowerPoint slide! Just think - display pop-ups of detailed chart information, click on links to go directly online, and make your presentation the interactive experience you've always wanted it to be.

Click on the Example PowerPoint Slide to see a larger image

Bring Your Flash Videos into PowerPoint
Easily add Camtasia Studio videos - and any Flash files - to your presentations. Just click and play!

Resize, Reshape and Rotate Callouts
Want to add a callout to your image where you decide the color, shape, and orientation? Now you can! Plus, you can save it, so you can use it forever.

Improved Add-Ins for PowerPoint and Internet Explorer
Web page (Keep Links) and Save to PDF options are now available from your toolbars in PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and for COM.

SnagIt Works With 64-Bit OS and IE 7

This is a version of SnagIt you don't want to miss!
Check it out here at the Snagit Home Page!

Click read more below to see the full news item

Monday, July 24, 2006

JiWire Launches Worldwide Point-of-Connection Wi-Fi Hotspot Advertising Network

This is very interesting but I'm not too sure that everyone will like it. The advertising could become a real hinderance. After you read this, post a comment...I'm interested in how folks feel about this as a means of keeping the "free: hotspot.

JiWire, the Wi-Fi hotspot authority, today announced the launch of the JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network. The network serves advertising on Wi-Fi hotspot login screens and during Wi-Fi sessions, enabling advertisers to efficiently reach an attractive audience at known venues and enabling hotspot operators to enhance the returns on their Wi-Fi infrastructure investments. Toshiba and Sony will be the first companies to advertise on the network, and nine wireless Internet service providers, collectively operating thousands of hotspots, have joined the network.

Companies wishing to advertise on the network and hotspot operators wishing to join the network should visit or contact

The JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network connects advertisers with a pre-qualified audience of affluent mobile professionals. According to an online survey conducted by JiWire during the winter of 2006, 77% of hotspot users have annual household incomes of more than $50,000, and 55% of hotspot users identify themselves as C-level executives, vice presidents or other managers. Further, 67% plan to purchase high-end mobile computing products in the next twelve months. This attractive audience is growing rapidly: the European Commission estimates that there are currently more than 125 million Wi-Fi users worldwide and that there will be more than 500 million Wi-Fi users worldwide by 2009.

The JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network is configured to deliver location-specific advertising and to provide sophisticated tracking of advertising performance, giving advertisers unprecedented control over their advertising campaigns. The network will enable both geographic targeting, in which different advertisements are delivered to various regions, states, cities or hotspots, and location-type targeting, in which different advertisements are delivered to various venues, such as hotels, airports, cafes and convention centers.

"Affluent professionals are increasingly mobile and therefore harder than ever to reach with traditional advertising," said Nick Roberts, director of e-commerce and marketing programs at Toshiba. "The JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network provides us with a unique, cutting-edge channel to this critically important community of potential customers."

JiWire sells, manages and tracks all advertising placements for JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network hotspot operators, freeing them from a substantial administrative burden and enabling them to concentrate on their core business competencies. At each hotspot operator's option, advertising can be displayed on the hotspot login screen, on a post-login confirmation screen, or from time to time during Wi-Fi sessions. Advertising may also be displayed on a graphical frame that surrounds every Web page delivered to a hotspot's users, an appealing option for operators of free hotspots.

"JiWire's hotspot advertising network offers ads that we can serve on our free Internet access service," said Chuck Haas, chief executive officer and co-founder of MetroFi. "Not only does it provide ad content that is relevant to our users, but it allows us to continue to offer free Internet access to MetroFi's users."

"JiWire has been connecting advertisers with Wi-Fi users seeking hotspots for more than three years, putting us in a unique position to extend our advertising platform into the broader Wi-Fi community," said Kevin McKenzie, chief executive officer of JiWire. "The JiWire Hotspot Advertising Network improves on our previous offering by connecting advertisers to Wi-Fi users at the time and place of their connection to the Internet, enabling more creative, more targeted and more successful advertising campaigns."

Click read more below to see the full news item

AMD Slashes Prices and announced plans to join forces with ATI

WOW!! Prices will drop and the competition is about to get intense.

Dan Nystedt from IDG News Service reported today that Advanced Micro Devices slashed prices on some PC processors by as much as 57 percent in a new listing today, firing the latest salvo in a battle with rival Intel. In adition, AMD has purchased ATI with an expected result that a new and more formidable company will be born.

What does this mean? I would expect that YOU will reap the benefits with lower prices as these two rivals duke it out. Keep your eye on prices...good deals should be coming!

Palm Treo 700P – A First Impression

I have been a Windows Mobile enthusiast for years so for me to “break away” from the OS that I have been used to and have loved for so long is amazing…at least it is to me. But it was time I took a look because I have been so impressed with the folks I have met from Palm on several occasions since January.

My first introduction to Palm was years ago when my brother and I were comparing our “devices” one evening as we were having dinner at a restaurant located halfway between our two homes. He with a Palm IIIx and me with my iPAQ and both of us were “touting” the benefits of each device. He didn’t convince me nor did I have any effect on him but we did have a great dinner.

At CES this past year, I was introduced to the Palm 700W where I saw a demonstration on the devices capabilities. I was impressed with the device, not only with the Windows Mobile 5 platform but in particular, the hardware. It had an incredible “feel” to it…as if it was made for the “Palm of your Hand”. I guess there was no mistake in name they picked for the company…lol.

When I stop and reflect on the devices I have used over the years, all of them were too wide, too fat, or too small. The iPAQ was great but you had to open your palm a little wider to comfortably hold it. The JasJar, although unquestionably an outstanding device because of its form factor, was just too wide as a phone. The KJAM, a favorite of mine because of its versatility had an almost perfect form but one handed operation was just non existent and frankly, it was a bit too fat to hold. It was however the best device I had ever used up to now (I still have to thank Jerry Gold for introducing it to me). But the Palm, I kept thinking about it because it felt right way back in January and all the folks I had seen that were using one always talked about how easy it was to use.

So when I was given the opportunity to try out the new Palm 700P, although it was a different OS than what I have been used to using, I had to yes. I have to tell you, that I am impressed! I’m impressed with the form factor, I’m impressed with the OS and I have been very impressed with the phone service from Sprint. As for “web” access, it has been an interesting adventure. When in a Sprint area, it is incredible…when outside of the Sprint area, the phone is still fabulous but I have had poor luck with web access but more on that later.

When the phone arrived, it was just in a white box so I was not able to get that “first impression” that you experience when opening a product for the first time. After all, this was just a “reviewers unit”; one that is shipped from person to person by a PR firm every three weeks or so. I opened the box and found the Treo, an AC charger, a Sync cable, earphones, a manual for reviewers and an installation CD.

I must admit I was excited because I wanted the opportunity to use the device, get a feel for the Palm OS, surf the web, and use the Sprint features.

As I held the device in my hand for the first time, I was again amazed with the “feel” as it rested in my hand. More than any other device I have held in my hand, this one just had the perfect feel. It sat in the palm of my hand as if it were made exclusively for me. It was a perfect fit! It seemed a little heavier than my K-JAM but I credited that to the battery which seemed pretty substantial in size. For those that have a need to know, the device measures 2.3" W x 4.4" H (excluding the antenna) x 0.9" D (58mm W x 113mm H x 23mm D) and has a weight of 6.4 ounces (180 grams).

The Look

The top has a stubby antenna that rises about ¾ of an inch. Centered on the top you find an expansion slot for a SD card, the red plastic covering the Infrared Port and the Ringer On/Off Switch (which is excellent to have and does a little vibration routine when you place it in the mute mode). On the right side, neatly blended into the body of the device is the stylus, which by the way, I have used three times in three weeks. The ease of operation of the device has allowed me to rarely use this tool.

Looking at the front of the device you have a 320x320 Color Screen with a Status indicator, the Phone Speaker and a Sprint Logo above it. Below the screen, you find a Send Button, a 5-Way Navigator toggle and a Power/End Button and below those buttons you find the Phone Button and Calendar Button on the left side as well as the Messaging Button and Applications Button on the right. All these buttons are neatly placed for looks as well as ease of use. The QWERTY Keyboard is slightly rounded up to provide adequate access, ease of use and I am sure because of its “smooth look”, there was a design factor. Overall, it has a very slick appearance.

The bottom of the device has an integrated Headset Jack, Multi-Connector for syncing and charging and the Microphone. When you turn the device over, you see the Stylus as well as the Digital Camera with self-portrait mirror, the slots for the External Speaker and the cover for the Removable Battery. There is a small ACCESS POWERED logo on the battery cover. There were two rubber plugs located near the top that were covering something but I was not going to remove them and then find myself stuck because I couldn’t get them back on. It is not my device so I felt it was better to leave well enough alone.

The right side had no buttons but the left had the up/down Volume Button as well as a Customizable Button. The volume button has a “groove” that gives the appearance of two separate buttons but it is really one button that “rocks” back and forth. The location of these buttons would be a slight inconvenience for a left handed person.

What is “Under the Hood”

With a 128 MB of memory (60 MG available) and an Intel XScale 312MHz processor there is an appearance that there is plenty of power and from my initial experience, there has been. I was very impressed with the 320 x 320 color TFT touchscreen and kept wondering why that same screen was not on the 700W. A very definite difference in image clarity!

This is a CDMA device with an EVDO network that has totally blown me away. I was never convinced that getting the high speed package was worth the extra money in the past. With the experience I have had over the past several weeks, it is an item that I now consider a “must have”!

Using a Bluetooth headset has been terrific and the speaker phone has also been pretty good although I wish there was a bit more volume…my ears are getting old. There is a hands free headset with a mic mute but I did not use that feature. I have become entrenched in using either a Bluetooth headset or the speakerphone. The truth is that I dislike sticking things in my ears…I feel as if I am being locked out of my environment.

It should be noted that there is TTY/TDD compatibility which is a feature I am glad to see has been incorporated for those that might have the need. A feature I did like was the ability to have two calls in a three-way conference.

The camera is a simple 1.3 megapixel with 1280x1024 resolution and as you would expect automatic light balance. As simple as it was, I was pretty happy with my pictures. The picture shown here on the right was taken on a dark cloudy day. The 2x digital zoom is OK, but not something I would tend to use. I would like to see cameras in devices like these to be just a bit better…it would really make a huge difference and would give cause for not even thinking about taking that extra camera along for short trips.

The video capture was decent with a 352 x 288 resolution. Again, not for those special moments but for a quick, “I got it” moment, it was terrific.

In the past three weeks, my battery experience has been outstanding. I have given this device some heavy usage and have always had sufficient battery power. It is an 1800 mAh removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has a talk time rated up to 4.5 hours.

I have never spent 4.5 hours on a phone in a day so it is fine for me although if I was ever in that position where that amount of time was required, I think I’d probably tend to get to a place where I could plug in the charger. The standby time is rated for up to 300 hours. I will say that I had left the device unplugged and sitting for three days. When I turned it on, the battery drain was negligible…I was impressed.

Power Up, Service and the Web

After placing the battery in the device, it powered up immediately with an ACCESS POWERED logo, then the Palm logo and finally a Preferences screen asking if I wanted the date and time from the mobile network. I was immediately struck with the signal strength from the Sprint Network…almost full signal strength. Where I live, that has never happened with any phone or any provider that I have ever had.

With such a full signal, why not give it a try? So I called my house phone and proceeded to have a conversation with myself…my wife definitely thought I was going off the deep end. It was crystal clear on both ends! When I hung up, immediately there was a screen that appeared indicating that the number I just called was not a contact and would I like to add it. I liked that although it disappeared too fast.

So I had service, it was very strong and worked well. The real test will be how well it works in my normal everyday routine travels as well as when I travel to Maine. For the most part, signal strength in Maine is totally dependant if you are near a major highway or city. Where I am located, signal strength generally varies from bad to none at all…it has to be the pine trees!

As I looked at the device there was a button with a picture of a home…that had to be the “home” screen from where I was going to navigate. Of course I could have read the directions from the manual…but that would be no fun! If the device is going to pass my “user friendly” test, I should be able to see and figure out pretty close to everything easily. Yeah, the manual is important for those special features or settings but for the most part it has to be intuitive….and it was!

Pressing that “home” button, I found my self looking at a screen with twelve items and the ability to scroll to get the remainder (another eighteen). There was a lot to look at to start!

I saw the web icon so I immediately pressed it and was given a browser called Blazer. It had opened on the as the default home page. I entered a site I wanted to visit and the Sprint Network FLEW! I was impressed with the speed!

Blazer was very intuitive and worked flawlessly on the sites I visited. “Mobile optimized” sites as well as “full size” websites displayed nicely. There is no question that EVDO data connection made a difference in my browsing experience but even in areas that the speed was reduced to 1X, I was very satisfied.

Over the next few days I drove through a myriad of places that typically have either poor or no signal strength…not so with this phone. I was (and continue to be) amazed with my ability to get a cellular signal as well as my ability to connect to the net. However, at my house in Maine, it was a different story---sort of. I was always able to get a cell signal for calls, the roaming ability was terrific but an internet connection was non-existent with the roaming signals --- too bad because if I had both, it would be perfect.

I did take the time to call Sprint to see if it was something I had not done but they confirmed my suspicions that if I was outside of their network I would not be able to browse the web. As an aside, the folks I chatted with at Sprint were helpful, knowledgeable and just plain terrific….thanks Sprint!

Interestingly enough, two days after the call, I had a follow-up call from Sprint asking if the question I had was resolved. I was impressed that they did that…other carriers should take note.

Pre-installed Applications

So I am really happy with the phone reception, it has been the best I’ve ever experienced and I am very happy with the speed of the web (as long as I am in a Sprint network area), but now the question is how good are the rest of the “pre-packaged” applications that come loaded on the device. In a word – TERRIFIC!

After using the device for a bit, I finally decided to peruse the applications that were installed. After turning on the device, the first application that appears when you get to the Home screen is the Quick Tour. At first I was not going to look at this but after a few times using the device, I decided to give it a try. It was well done and certainly gives the first time user a nice introduction.

There were 5 quick, well presented tips that explained clearly (and gave sufficient information) the Basics, Phone, Email & Messaging, Video, Songs & Photos and lastly, some cool Tips & Tricks. There was a full User Guide that was easy to navigate and one gets a very quick acclimation to the device and its features very quickly.

After the Quick Tour, I decided to pair my Motorola S850 BT headset. The process was straightforward, easy and very quick. As soon as I had paired my headset (which was easily accomplished), it was connected and has worked very well. Of course I called myself again and got spectacular results …my wife really thinks I’m going off the deep end. A few calls to friends confirmed my belief that sound on either end was excellent.

Over the next several days I used the calculator, calendar, contacts, Memo, DataViz Word to Go and email programs. All performed well and of course were easy to use. The camera and video worked very well but what impressed me was the clarity of the display. The specs indicate that you get a 320 x 320 color TFT touchscreen display with 16-bit color and displays up to 65,536 colors. The screen is bright and gives very pleasing results as you look at photos you have taken…I was impressed!

There were a few other programs that I liked and would consider upgrading to get their full potential. One is On Demand which is a special edition of Handmark’s Pocket Express. It is a terrific program that combines most of what you want like News, Sports, Weather, Maps and a feature my wife liked, TV Guide. Upgrading the service to have access to all the services will cost you about $7 a month. Some might find this expensive but to have pretty much everything you want in one simple program might make it worth it.

Another is Sprint TV. Imagine, watching TV on your device when you want and what you want. News, weather, videos clips, movies…it goes on and on. It was OK but the quality could have been better. I am sure in time the technology will improve to give great reception...when that happens, I will consider it.

Overall Thoughts

This was truly a “first look” for me at a different OS. I was impressed with the hardware and equally impressed with the OS. I found it easy to use, comfortable to hold and impressive with its features. Although I would find it difficult to leave using a Windows powered device, I can now see why so many folks have enjoyed their Palm products.

I chose not to install any desktop software primarily because I knew my time was short with this device and I did not want to add programs to my PC that I would not use again. Nor did I want to purchase software (Games and Utilities) that would be used for one OS experience…I hope you understand that. There are however a myriad of Palm software support sites that would answer any and all question or concerns about “the good and the bad” software that is available. I did spend a little time looking at sites and was impressed with the number and quality of these forums.

During my time with this device, I spent a lot of time using P-Tunes and found it to be very satisfactory but I did miss the "feel" of Media Player.

I am convinced that the software to sync is first rate only because of my initial experiences with this device. There is no question in my mind that this device is designed not only for the person who wants to maintain all their business areas (contacts, phone, calendar, tasks, etc) but also for those that want to enrich their experiences with music, video, email and web browsing.

The Palm 700P is an excellent device and coupled with the Sprint Network, my ability to Experience Mobility has been outstanding. I do hope that Sprint can improve the users ability to experience the web when outside of their network. When that happens, it will be perfect.

My intention on this "First Impression" was to give you my thoughts after using the device after a three week period of time. Because it was my first time with the Palm OS, I am not sure it would be fair for me to give Pros and Cons because of my prejudice towards Windows Mobile. Given the opportunity to spend several months with it, I would not hesitate to express Pros and Cons. With that in mind however, I can can tell you that this first look has left me with several strong impressions.

The design of the Treo is without question the best that I have had the opportunity to use. It is a perfect fit giving total comfort with each use.

The operating system is extremely easy to use and there is, if needed, an incredible amount of resources available for help.

The pre-installed programs worked flawlessly for me providing a rich experience.

The Sprint network was FAST for web access and the cell coverage was the best I have experienced...there were no dropped calls and I always had a signal! If they improve the web access, it will become the provider of choice for many of us.

And lastly, as much as I think TV is cool, the available networks are just not ready for "prime time"....I'd pass on that option.

Palm has created an A+ device and I have no hesitation in giving it my highest recommendation.

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