If You Can’t Join them, Beat them

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 10:18
Category: Uncategorized

Rumors are flying about an iPhone being manufactured in Taiwan. What are the pitfalls of an Apple branded iPod phone? Clearly, the biggest problem is that the mobile phone providers think they can sell songs over their networks at prices much higher than the iTunes music store. I doubt it, but that does not stop them from thinking that way. Most people get their phones heavily discounted or free from their service provider in exchange for a service contract that typically lasts two years. Very few people pay retail for a phone, even though doing so gets you an unlocked, uncrippled phone with no multiyear commitment to any particular service. An iPhone will not succeed without subsidy and branding from Cingular, Verizon, and T-mobile.
Read on…

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Mac Media Centre Remotes

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Accessory

mac-mini-remotes.jpgApple makes some nice Bluetooth gear but having a full-sized keyboard on your coffee table is just as bad. The new Front Row remote looks good but can’t control a TV tuner and if you’ve spent any time trying to control EyeTV you’ll know it needs a lot of buttons.
To make your Mac Mini into a true consumer Media Center, something like the ATI Remote Wonder (US$49, pictured) is ideal. Every single button is programmable meaning it can control any application and any option that has a keyboard shortcut. The only thing I’ve found lacking with this set up, is the ability to type in the occasional words while surfing or searching the iTunes Store / EyeTV guide.
This little beauty on the right, the Freedom mini Bluetooth Keyboard (£60, ~US$100, pictured), solves this perfectly. It’s not cheap but it is small enough to sit unobtrusively next to your other remotes and has a nice power save feature. Crazily it’s not advertised anywhere as being Mac compatible but it’s recognized by Mac OS X using the built in HID profile – no drivers needed. it works perfectly and all Apple shortcuts are available by pressing that (windows-esque) Start button by the space bar.
The only things missing from making this a killer remote would be a row of programmable keys along the top for controlling media apps & if that cool looking cursor pad (bottom left) could be used for controlling the mouse.
Anyone else have any good (or bad) experiences with media center remotes?
Contributed by: Ditch

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Building Buzz

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 08:38
Category: News

I thought the following might interest you and/or your readers and would appreciate a link if you consider it interesting enough…

Building Buzz
Apple has it. Google has it. Microsoft fails at it. Yahoo! sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. What I am talking about is buzz and coolness.
It seems every time Apple or Google introduces a new product, the buzz is high. For example, Apple recently introduced a $350 speaker and, while the reaction was more tepid than it has been for other Apple products, no one seem to point that the emperor was looking very very naked. Yet, Microsoft keeps throwing out new products and few people seem to be very interested (no matter how Scoble tries to browbeat us into thinking of Microsoft as cool).
Similarly, today, Google introduced a finance section that mimicked much of what yahoo! finance has been doing for years. It has a couple of nice AJAX-based features but, all and all, it’s not enough of an improvement to be considered like something that could potentially dominate the tech news cycle. And yet, every major tech pub or mainstream publication has covered the release.

Read the rest of the article at tnl.net.
(Contributed by: Tristan Louis)

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The Apple Core: More on the mysterious MagSafe connector

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 21st, 2006, 12:03
Category: The Apple Core

I mentioned in my posting yesterday that Apple’s new MagSafe power connector is both an asset and a liability.
There was a piece on the Japanese Mac Treasure Tracing Club Web site on 26 February 2006 that stated “Because Apple acquired a patent for MagSafe, third party manufacturers cannot sell an adapter with with such a connector.” It also goes on to say that Apple is not going to give permission to do so.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Apple’s Screen Capture Falls Short

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 21st, 2006, 12:00
Category: Software

I used to love snapping pictures off the screen, Internet, etc. in classic. What I enjoyed most was the ability to assign that image file (screen capture file) to any location such as a folder on a spare harddrive by going through the preferences and choosing a definite location. Now the clunky hot-key operation only allows you to save it to the stupid desktop. If you want to save it elsewhere you have to go one step further and open Grab!
Even the Grab utility does not have any preference settings to allow you to choose other options such as: “ask everytime where to save” nor does it have a feature “save here…” it assumes you like to be asked everytime and thats that. By taking away our ability to choose the end result of where the screen capture goes really showed me that Apple somehow is slipping in the way they interpret users needs.
I’m not going to spend US$30-$60 for a app to allow me to get that one desired single feature. Does anybody know a HACK to allow me to customize where my hot-key screen captures can go other than the stupid desktop?
-DoubleB

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Ask Emory: Sony Ericsson K790a Availability

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 20th, 2006, 09:01
Category: Mobile Phone

K790a.jpg

Hey PowerPage:
Have you heard when the Sony Ericsson K790a Cyber-Shot mobile phone will be available in the United States and which carriers will have it?
It seems like a worthy, EDGE-compatible successor to the T6XX line. If you can get a review unit, I’d like your opinion.
HJC

Mobile phone guru and PowerPage associate editor Emory Lundberg replies after the jump…
Click the headline to read more…

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The Apple Core: MagSafe being withheld from third parties?

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

One of my favorite things about the MacBook Pro is the MagSafe power connector, but the more I use it the more I am finding that things might not be as rosy as I originally thought.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Make .Mac .Mobile

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, March 19th, 2006, 21:52
Category: Mobile Phone, Opinion

Getting data from .Mac to mobile handsets doesn’t need to be so difficult.
Currently Apple’s approach is desktop-bound, adding a handset to iSync and letting your mobile phone talk to iCal and Address Book. But there is a much better way to do this that I’m surprised Apple hasn’t moved on yet. I can only assume that they will, and soon, but until then I can only grit my teeth and wait for the inevitable.

Apple needs a more vocal mobile strategy

They dabble and they play a bit, and so far what I’ve seen is solid. It isn’t especially transparent but they’re trying. Apple doesn’t like to do anything unless everyone can play, and I think Apple needs to clamp down on the bite-plate and move on this market, hard.
Messaging and communication will soon not take place on the desktop. I strongly believe that all communication will soon be offloaded to mobile devices, if it hasn’t already for many of you. IM, Email, Text Messaging, MMS, and usable syndication for mobile devices is either already available or almost there. Much of your consumption of information can take place on the go now, without requiring a desk-bound reader or user.
Read More!

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Cool Treo Application: TAKEphONE 6.50

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Date: Friday, March 17th, 2006, 13:26
Category: Software

takephone.jpgOne the problems with the PalmOne Treo’s user interface is that it is difficult to quickly pick up the phone and call someone from your address book. Sure, if you’ve called them recently, you can press the call button for a list of the last 10 people you’ve called, but that list only contains numbers for calls that you’ve placed. Not calls you’ve received.
Digging into the address book requires several clicks to find the contact you’re looking for – hardly ideal, especially while driving.
Enter TAKEphONE (US$20) from SHSH Software, a Palm OS application for the Treo 650 that makes finding and calling contacts incredibly easy. It makes operating the Treo truly one-handed and is an indispensible application.
After you install it, you can configure it to run when you press the green call button (instead of running the default “phone” application). From there you can quickly press and dial one of your pre-defined speed dials (large buttons dedicated to contacts) or you can use another view to quickly search for a contact by typing the first few letters of their name.
TAKEphONE’s enhanced searching capabilities are what sets it apart. In addtion to typing the first few characters of a name (which searches any combination of fields), there are four search methods including a sorted search that allows the ‘and’ operation in search strings.
You can also define up to five seperate “locations” each with calling-card support (auto-dials access-numbers, PINs), extension and IVR handling. TAKEphONE even includes a “capture hack” that allows you to dial numbers from other applications.
TAKEphONE is available for US$20 from SHSH Software.

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Will Apple’s iPhone be Called “Aloha?”

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 23:00
Category: Mobile Phone

According to LoopRumors Apple has filed for the trademark “Aloha.” It was filed in Hong Kong and refers to portable digital electronic devices and software related thereto. Could this be the much anticipated iPhone product? (Contributed by: the wrench)

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