Palm Treo 750v: A First Look

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 23:48
Category: Mobile Phone

Palm users expecting a major advance from the Treo 750v are going to be disappointed, at least on the basis of our first look. However, it does represent several firsts for Palm in Europe.

The physical specifications of the Treo 750v are almost exactly the same as those of the Treo 700w, which has been available on US networks for some time. It is a few grammes lighter at 154g, possibly because it doesn’t have the much-disliked stubby antenna of previous Treos.

The 240-by-240 resolution TFT screen and the 1.3 megapixel camera are the same as on its US cousin.

Palm Treo 750v: a first look – ZDNet UK Reviews

Video: Introducing the Treo 750v – News – ZDNet


Toshiba Recalls 830,000 Sony Notebook Batteries

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 23:47
Category: battery

Toshiba said Tuesday it would replace about 340,000 laptop computer batteries made by Sony, the latest in a string of Sony battery woes.

The batteries, used in Dynabook and Dynabook Satellite laptops manufactured between March and May this year, could fail on the road because of problems with storing and transmitting power, Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said.

Ohmori declined to estimate the cost of the move, saying it would not affect earnings, and would not say whether Toshiba was asking Sony to foot the bill.

Toshiba recalls 340,000 Sony laptop batteries | Tech News on ZDNet

UPDATED 2006-1004:

The actual number of batteries recalled has increased to 830,000 according to ZDNet.


Apple’s Artwork Olive Branch is a Treasure Trove of Data

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iTunes

This just hit me. Allowing customers to download album artwork for their whole library, regardless of where the music came from, is brilliant, instant market research by Apple.
Apple’s been careful this time to tell the user that iTunes will have to send data to get the album art back, and to say that no personal data is sent, and that’s good. But nobody ever said they’re not keeping the statistical info, and it’s an insanely smart move.
How should the iTMS team know what they’re missing in their catalog, what their customers want but aren’t getting from iTMS? That’s hard to know, because customers are reluctant to take the time to share that sort of thing. But when iTunes goes to iTMS to get album art, it has to send info (artist, album, track…) and I’ll bet that they know whether or not the track was purchased from iTMS.
Apple, in turn, gets a massive database of missed hits. And good hits, too. They can instantly find what tracks and artists people want and aren’t able to get via iTMS. They can learn what percentage of tracks they do have didn’t come from iTMS. If they’re smart they’re analyzing much more from what they are getting, and all of it for free, instantly, without causing any customer to do anything (actually while giving them a gift), and all without running afoul of anyone’s privacy concerns.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens. If I’m right, those holes that iTMS left in your album art because it didn’t have the art will miraculously start filling in across the coming months.
And frankly, everyone wins. Insanely brilliant.
(Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson)


Gadget Charging Station in Airports

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Gadget

charge-carte-station.jpgWhile traveling this weekend to Austin City Limits festival in Austin, Texas this weekend (more about that on my personal blog later, promise) I stumbled across this cool gadget charging station in the George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH) airport. The Charge Carte kiosk is brought to you by the same people who extort US$3 out of road-weary travelers to rent luggage carts in airports.
The concept is simple: insert US$3 in the Charge Carte machine and you get 30 minutes of gadget charging time. Many devices are supported, the top row of three is all iPod chargers, the rest are phone chargers for Treo (yay!) Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry, Nextel, LG and Samsung rides. The company claims that a 30 minute charge should provide up to 50 percent of the power capacity of a dead gadget and that their rapid charge technology will charge a cell phone or PDA up to twice as fast as a standard outlet charger.
I didn’t have to use it (luckily) but it’s a great idea nonetheless.


Float that window…

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iTunes

I’ve seen several rants about iTunes 7 floating around the web, but no one ever seems to ever talk about what I consider to be an essential feature that’s continually been missing from the iTunes application. And one, I might add, that’s trivial to add.
What is it? Simple. There’s no way to make the movie/TV/video playback window “float” on top of all of the other windows.
This, in my mind, dramatically reduces the usefulness of those types of media, as it’s extremely difficult to watch a TV show or movie AND engage in other work at the same time. This is especially true if you’re on a smaller screen system like a MacBook, or when working with full-screen applications like Excel or Dreamweaver.
C’mon Apple it’s not that hard. Provide an option to float the window.
For an example of how to do it right, check out Trans Lucy, a DVD player that allows you to float the window, and that even gives you the ability to make it translucent so you can “see though” to your other applications.
Make it a right-click or preference option if you don’t want to clutter up the interface, but let us watch our movies and get something useful done at the same time.
Contributed by: Michael Long
(You can open iTunes videos in their own window, just double-click on the video window in the lower-left corner of the iTunes window. However, there’s no way to change the opacity of the player window – Ed.)


The Apple Core: Apple should release an iPod game SDK

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

ipod-5g-games.pngA nice feature of the new iPod update is support for games but the downside is that you can only buy them from Apple. There’s a movement afoot by the HomeBrew community to pry open Apple’s proprietary iPod game package (.ipg) format and reverse engineer a way to load third-party games onto the device.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.