tech - hawg
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
  Beware of SaaS
Jason of 37signals fame warns us all to watch out for Saas.
  Cingular testing unlimited calls
Cingular is apparently looking into allowing thier users to make unlimited calls to at&t landline customers. This would be great for at&t families. It's not too costly either since it's looking to come in at only $5.95 a month. Great for those calls to relatives in far off lands and such.
  Yahoo pushes RSS into mainstream...kind of
Yahoo adds RSS support to their new uber 1337 mail service (which is still in closed beta) and their Alerts service. What I think is cool is that they didn't try to rebrand RSS by calling it something different or hokey. They kept it at RSS which will only do bring RSS more into the open for the casual internet-er.
  i'm not a spam bot, yay!
got word from google recently that they took a look at my(this) blog and decided to let me post more freely since they determine that this blog wasn't run by a spam overlord. yay for me! now for the onslaught of posts!
Monday, November 28, 2005
  Why you shouldn't use
"We are definitely mindful of making everything more customizable for our users, but at the same time we don't want people to have to look at HTML and CSS code, which is antithetical to the purpose of "
Well then. Using a blog that I can't edit or customize beyond basic template choosing is antithetical to my purpose for blogging. Why take away something most bloggers will look to do? Why limit my potentail?
Friday, November 25, 2005
  Maybe I should look into this OPML thing eh?
  Magenta Razror launched

T-Mobile launched a pink/magenta (depending on whose blog you read)RAZR V3 today. No new or different features besides the ability to blind people in the shade with the Razr's highly bright coloring. Get yours while they last though, this is a limited time offer. Of course, I knew it was too good to be true.
  Jamster rebrands

Probably to get away from the icky-ness that was being sued for deciptive advertising, crazy frog ringtoners Jamster had begun a rebranding campaign. New logs, new ringtones, redesigned website, the whole nine...
  Quick fire posts
Since this Thanksgiving weekend has me a little too lazy to put up some full posts, here are some interesting things I've ran across the past few days...

At Num Sum you can do your spreadsheeting on the web thru your browser. Worked pretty good in Firefox but it was little different than using excel. Not that different is bad, it was just different.

Could we be seeing the end of .com and .net -like suffixes soon? For a fee of $1,000 and annual charge of $240, I think not.

Here's a cool little design site design...
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
  blogger doesn't trust me
I usually post to this blog via e-mail since i work for a living and it's a lot quicker and discreet to just shoot off an e-mail as opposed to log into blogger. Recently, I noticed that my e-mails weren't going thru. Turns out, this blog looked like a spam blog to blogger and they turned on word verification for posts. Ouch. Apparently my bland butchering of the english language wasn't enough to differ me from the bots. I'll try and write a little better and fill the posts with more wit, people seem to dig the wit these days.
  For your Black Friday tech shopping needs
To get prepared for Friday (aka, Black would think it'd be green friday), scope out the best deals and cheapest laptops (Wal-Mart is going to price match!) via BF2005 . Don't forget your helmets.
  Microsoft jumps into DVR fray
Not content with only having the Xbox 360 gunning for king of your family room, Microsoft has teemed up with LG to launch their own anti-TiVo DVR (digital video recorder). The Microsoft/LG DVR comes packed (maybe not packed, 500GB would be packed) with a 160GB hard drive, a 90 minute buffer and $100 off the lifetime susbscription (which is $249.99 usually). Looks like it'll be big enough to satisfy my Lost obsession.
  Explain this logic to me
Cingular buys AT&T

Cingular folds AT&T into Cingular, begins to rebrand as just Cingular

Now, SBC (part owner of Cingular) buys out AT&T (including rights to the "AT&T" name) and is rebranding Cingular as AT&T.

Why? Isn't Orange the new black?
  Brightcove to be biggest thing since sliced bread
Everybody is sipping the Brightclove kool-aid after AOL (amongst other, not as svelte investors) invested some change in the promising start-up. Including myself. What I'm stocked about is that Brightclove will basically allow you to run you're own "tv" channel with support for charging for ads and all. This will be a big boon for all the long-tail content creators out there and people like myself who are just in it for the money ;) oh yeah...the possibilties are endless.
  Google Analytics woes
So Google Analytics kicked in for me the other day and I must say, for a free service, it gives you a lot of data to work with. A lot. That's the upside, the downside is I can't use it on anymore sites and you can't join up either even if you wanted to. Why not you ask? Well, it seems like they need to add some serious resources behind this project to support all of their current customers as well as the troves of people who have yet to sign up. So all in all, it's good, but it'll get better.
  Google testing "click to call" ads
Look out for little phone icons in some ad windows, Google is testing a "click to call" service for some of their adsense adverts. This would be espically awsome for local advertisers. How long will it take for the pizza chains to implement this kind of functionality?
Friday, November 18, 2005
  searcher of blogs, Sphere gets a beta review
I was recently let into the blog search site Sphere's beta to do some poking around. Right off the bat, I must say it's working pretty quick. You don't have to wait at all for Sphere to show you results from your searches. While fast is good and all, I must say the results themselves weren't as up to date or reflective of the top blogs in their categories. I did a search for "Xbox 360" in Technorati and in Sphere and the results were quite different.

The top three links Technorati returned were all to teh same site, Joystiq. Having each of the top three sites point to the same blog is a little iffy. It's not too iffy since Joystiq is a pretty big videogame blog so the fact that they showed up hints at Technorati's ability to dig out top blogs.

Sphere's results were good but not they didn't impress me as much. The first link returned was to a post about the recently announced backwards compatibility of the Xbox 360 on atypepad Xbox review blog. The blog looks nice and all but it definetly isn't the most popular video game blog (9 posts in the past 9 months?). The second link was to an Xbox 360 backwards compatibility article (dated 11/12, that's like 5 people years in the blogverse!) on respected site arstechnica. Respected as being a good all around tech site, but they're not THE video game site. The third link seemed to be the most recent, the article it pointed to was dated yesterday, but it was about the releasing of King Kong.

My overall impression, Sphere is quick but they aren't returning the most relevant data yet. IT could just be the blogs they have indexed and this will most likely change over time. Their percieved speed thus far can only help them. I'm not going to be using them exclusively or anything but hey, the kid's got potential.
  Riya to merge into Google borg
Might photo-facial recognition makers Riya (unsearchable blog here) be getting bought out by Google? So far word has it that the deal is legit and had Google spending aroun $40 million to acquire the yet-to-be-released-out-of-invite-only beta software makers.

On another note, I think Riya's facial recognition software could have a broader application than just helping you rememeber who the heck is in your photos from last years infamous christmas party. How long until they're able to use it within video? Then you not only have the consumer benefit but also the obvious military applications. Might video technology be catching up to how videos are used in most action/cop movies?

sidenote: somewhere in their unsearchable blog (*see above) is a post detailing how they came up with the name Riya. Adds a nice, soft human touch.
  Why stanks thus far
You can't edit your templates which means that I can put in anything that could help me monetize my blog or track my users (a la google analytics which I'm still waiting on my reports for). ick.
Monday, November 14, 2005 gets more
I just noticed the blog and found this entry in which they point out how easy it is to play mp3's on It's so hit the "play" icon and it just works. No more interface clutter or any other BS. Kewl. Nina Gordon's NWA cover (i hate that N word, ugh) had me rolling. I liked her voice though, maybe I'll check out her site (anything on MySpace?) and see if anything warrants a purchase...
  Flock is good
I've been mucking around with Flock for the past few weeks and it's been fun. I like it because, for a while, it seemed a lot more snappy than Firefox on my machine. Not so much anymore with the recent Firfox updates (release canidate 2 is the most recent one i installed i believe). I tried the blogging integration but when I went to drag a picture into Flock, something freaked out and I kept getting some error. So I closed it and haven't tried that aspect of it sense. That wasn't too big a deal to me since my current blogging routine (or lack thereof if you look at my recent updates) isn't too much of a hassle yet. To sum it up, I've had some problems with it. Well, how does that relate to the title of my post you inquire? Like I state in the title, Flock is good if for no other reason than giving people more of a selection. More of a selection means more competition. More competition means each browser team adding in features in a bid to oneup the compeition. This leads to the various browsers having to take a harder look at the standards they support and the functionality they include. After a while (probably more years than I would like), developers won't even need to worry about detecting browser versions to serve up different code for different people. Maybe this is more wishful thinking, but hey, it could happen...right?
But I  digress, Flock does do some things pretty well, the integration is kewl and it did let me sign up for a free wordpress account (which I promptly decide to not use..."what do you mean I can't access the html code?!?!") and on the whole, it was just snappier. Yes, Flock just felt quicker. I wouldn't say there was anything too revolutionary in it just yet, it does boil down to a web broswer, but it may be worth it for you to try.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  Nokia N92 goes primetime...
That's primetime as in primetime TV viewing. Nokia anonunced the first tv-able Nokia phone in it's Nseries line today. This will be huge for American/[Insert your country here] Idol.
The Press Release:
Nokia Mobility Conference 2005, Barcelona, Spain/Espoo, Finland - At the Nokia Mobility Conference, Nokia today proudly presented the Nokia N92, the first integrated DVB-H mobile device in the Nokia Nseries range for watching broadcast TV programs. The Nokia N92 offers easy access to TV programs without having to sit in front of a television set. Users can set reminders to watch their favorite TV programs, create personal channel lists and subscribe to TV channel packages. The outstanding new form factor offers a highly ergonomic user-experience. The usability is further enhanced by the large 2.8" anti-glare QVGA screen with 16 million colors and the dedicated media keys that deliver a rich viewing experience. 
"The Nokia N92 is the first in a range of products bringing together the rich experience of conventional broadcast TV with the connected experience of mobility to create a new category - mobile TV," said Richard Sharp, Vice President of Rich Media at Nokia.  "We are confident that mobile TV will be an exciting new service for consumers, as well as generate new opportunities for innovation and growth in the mobile and media industries."
The Nokia N92 has four different modes for simple and easy usage. The new view mode is especially designed for watching TV and video. To start watching mobile TV*, users simply need to open the Nokia N92 in view mode and press the Multimedia key. The Electronic Service Guide (ESG) contains information about the available TV channels, programs and services. Other mobile TV features include watching time of up to four hours, recording and 30 seconds replay.
The cellular connectivity means people can interact with the TV, through services such as voting, program feedback and additional web discovery. Further, the Nokia N92 supports the new Nokia  Web Browser with Mini Map, which provides a semi-transparent zoomed-out view of a web page that enables users to quickly orient themselves on a small screen. With an overall view of the web page, users can intuitively navigate to all corners of it as well as see the web page as it was originally designed.
The Nokia N92 is also an XpressMusic device, with up to 2 GB memory card support, offering storage for up to 1500 songs delivered through the built-in stereo speakers or a stereo headset. The entertainment experience is further complimented by FM radio with Visual Radio support*. Additional Nseries features include 2 megapixel camera for print-quality photos and email attachment support.
The Nokia N92 provides a rich range of connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, infrared, Bluetooth wireless technology as well as USB 2.0 (Mass Storage Class), which allows users to connect the Nokia N92 directly to a compatible PC for quick and convenient file transfers or downloads.
The Nokia N92, which is based on S60 3rd Edition and Symbian OS, is planned to be commercially available in mid 2006 in Europe, Africa and Asia, in countries where DVB-H services are available, with an estimated, unsubsidized sales price of approximately 600 euros.
*To check the availability and cost of the service, contact your network operator or service provider.
Notes to the editors
DVB-H technology enables the TV service you are familiar with at home to be broadcast to your mobile device. DVB-H provides the best user experience in the mobile environment with excellent picture and reduced battery consumption. Up to 50 TV channels can be delivered with low cost, over one network. With extensive pilots of broadcast mobile TV currently taking place across the globe, involving leading broadcasters, mobile operators, broadcast network operators and handset manufacturers, the market for commercial broadcast services is expected to spread during 2006.
About Nokia Nseries
Nokia Nseries is a range of high performance multimedia devices that delivers unparalleled mobile multimedia experiences by combining the latest technologies with stylish design and ease of use. With Nokia Nseries products, consumers can use a single device to enjoy entertainment, access information and to capture and share pictures and videos, whenever and wherever they want.
About Nokia
Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations.
Media Enquiries:
Nokia, Multimedia
Tel. +358 7180 45725
  Hollywood pins hopes on new DVD watermark
What is supposed to make this waterwork work where Hollywood's previous anti-piracy efforts have failed is the fact that the watermark integrates into the soundtrack of the DVD as opposed to just the picture. Exciting isn't it? How will this affect unassuming consumers?
Alan Bell believes the DVD Forum has done all it can to prevent foul-ups. "We know that there might be a Hollywood movie in the background during a children's party, and if Dad takes a home movie the watermark might end up on the sound track," he says. "So the player will only shut down if it is continuous for quite a long time."
So just as long as you make sure your home movies don't accidentally capture any movies, you're good to go. $10 says it won't say this anyone on the packaging.

  Sony is out to get you
Sony takes DRM (digital rights management) to a whole new level. Their DRM software installs a rootkit on your machine that basically make you vulnerabe to attack. This is so anti-consumer it's not even funny.
  Trash Can that burps when full
Spice up your kitchen with the yet-to-be-built burping trash can! [via boing boing]
  My whole take on Windows Live announcements
Eh...release some more product and then I'll take a closer look.
Other's impressions
O'reilly is optimistic
miniMicrosoft thought it was cool but still had his doubts...
Om Malik wasn't too impressed with Microsoft going the "vanity portal" route...
Mary Jo Foley is reminded of Micosoft's illfated Hailstorm initiative...
Hanselman doesn't "get it" ... (he also notices how things don't seem to be working as well as they could have)
Dave Winer isn't impressed and gets a little uptight with the Microsoft pimping going on...
Here's the official Microsoft press release.
I think Jason Fried from the 37signals camp speaks the truth when he states:

No one can ignore Microsoft, but at this point they're just talking while a lot of other folks are walking. The web-based app space isn't heating up — it's already been cooking for a while now.

So it'll certainly be interesting to see how the gorilla of the desktop will attempt to compete on the web when its monopoly power is drastically reduced. The web has leveled the playing field like no other platform ever has. Microsoft can't rely on the tricks of old and there's no single air supply to cut off.

Also worth noting is that all the plays seems to be outposts for the Windows and Office duopoly. The announcements were short on hints at Microsoft doing anything new or anything different that might potentially hurt the cash cows. Is this more about playing not to lose than about playing to win?


Tuesday, November 01, 2005
  Microsoft gets Live
CrunchNotes is all over Microsoft's press converence today in which they have pulled the cover back on Office Live and Windows Live. Pics from the even up here.
Cell phones, Gadgets, DVRs and DAPs. All around Tech-coolery....


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