You like this place? My car recommended it: Add to the list of luxury car options one more: advanced voice-navigation. Later this month Honda, with the help of IBM, will roll out new cars that respond to driver queries and commands with a natural-sounding text-to-speech voice. Powered by IBM’s Embedded ViaVoice software, these cars will allow their drivers to crank the volume on the CD player or adjust the air conditioning without ever taking their hands from the wheel. More importantly, the cars will offer turn-by-turn voice guidance to their destinations. Honda’s system recognizes cities and addresses in the continental United States, as well as restaurant names listed by Zagat Survey. Said Alisdair Rennie, a vice president in IBM’s Pervasive Computing division: “You can say, ‘Take me to a three-star Chinese restaurant,’ and the car knows where you are.”
I have been using BBEdit to write the PowerPage since late 1995, well before we implemented a complex Web Objects Content Management System (CMS). Back then, there wasn’t free Blogging software, in fact, no one even knew what a Blog was.
I would copy and paste yesterday’s news up to the top of the page, change the date, write some stories, then FTP that BBEdit file up to the server. At the end of each week and month I would manually create the archive pages in BBEdit too.
The new version of the Mac-only HTML and text editor, BBEdit 8 (US$179), includes over 100 new “lickable” features, including a “documents drawer” for working with multiple documents at once, a “Text Factory” for applying and saving lists of operations, and an updated preview function. Take the full feature tour.
MacNN reports on Apple’s record stock price:
Apple’s shares closed at a 3.5-year high on Friday, up more than 2 percent from yesterday’s close of $36.35, which was a 52-week high. Apple’s financial fourth quarter ends September 30th, with many of its sales promotions ending next Saturday, September, 25th (as noted earlier today). Apple is expected to release fourth fiscal quarter earnings on October 13, 2004 and also hold its Apple Quarterly Earnings call on the same date.
To round out a healthy dose of phone news today The Register is reporting that volume shipments of the Treo 650 have been sent to PalmOne. The successor to the popular Treo 600 Palm-based smartphone is due to arrive as soon as October:
Details of the Treo 650 – codenamed ‘Ace’ – first emerged last June as a short set of specifications. Photos of the device, with its backlit keypad and new key layout, appeared on the web in August.
The handset is expected to contain a 312MHz ARM-based CPU, up from the 600’s 144MHz processor, and an unchanged 32MB of memory. The display’s horizontal and vertical resolutions have been doubled to 320 x 320, and the handset’s integrated digicam is now a 1.2 megapixel job with digital zoom and an adjacent mirror to help users take self-portraits. The 650 brings Bluetooth to the Treo line.
PowerPrefs is a configuration client for PBButtonsd, the hardware daemon for Apple PowerBooks, that allows the user to change certain options of PBButtonsd during runtime. This includes temporarily disabling sleep mode while compiling a big project, changing trackpad or keyboard mode, and more.
This release now supports the new restructured power management configuration and all other new options of the server. All power management modes cn be adjusted with a comfortable GUI.
In related news, GTKPBButtons is a visualisation client for PBButtonsd, the hardware daemon for Apple Powerbooks, that displays messages and events sent by PBButtonsd in nice popup windows. This includes backlight and volume levels, battery warnings, trackpad mode, and some more. The appearance of the popup windows is themable.
The PowerPage received a note from a reliable source about a successor to the iSight FireWire camera being developed in Apple’s secret skunk works in Cupertino. Details are sketchy, but one can assume that the new iSight camera will have more features to better work with the H.264/AVC video technology coming in Mac OS 10.4 (a.k.a. “Tiger”). H.264/AVC, iChat AV and Mac OS 10.4 will allow you to video conference with up to three people or audio conference with up to nine more people.
According to our sources the new iSight camera will eventually replace the Revision B camera (part number M8817LL/B) that quietly began replacing the original model (model number M933OLL/A) back in July. For those that missed it, the Rev. B iSight camera featured an internal component reorganization, a slightly thicker camera barrel (producing less heat), revised packaging, updated user manual and new mounting hardware that will let users attach the camera to Apple’s new Aluminum LCD displays.
The Los Angeles Times’ Joseph Menn wrote an interesting article on the origins of code names at high technology companies:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates introduces Windows XP in 2001. For company insiders, however, the operating system was called Whistler…
When Janus debuted recently, though, the program bore a less evocative name:
Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10.
The transformation is typical for technology products that have colorful, often geeky, monikers while in development, only to appear on store shelves under the most mundane names imaginable.
IBM’s Shark evolved into TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Servers. Apple Computer’s Killer Rabbit was renamed AppleShare 3.0. And Microsoft’s Snowball became merely Windows for Workgroups 3.11.
Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the Blackberry 7100t, their new flagship mobile phone and email device that looks more like a phone than a PDA.
The 7100t is a full-featured, quad-band (GMS 850/900; DCS 1800; PCS 1900), world-ready smart phone that works on the GSM/GPRS network.
Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, an unapologetic technology buff with a Blackberry tethered to him at all times, has appointed a 14-member committee to review his city’s plan to turn Philly into the world’s largest wireless Internet hot spot. City officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles of Philadelphia into a WiFi-connected hotspot at a cost of about $10 million.
The ambitious plan, now in the works, would involve placing hundreds, or maybe thousands of small transmitters around the city — probably atop lampposts. Each would be capable of communicating with the wireless networking cards that now come standard with many computers.
Once complete, the network would deliver broadband Internet almost anywhere radio waves can travel — including poor neighborhoods where high-speed Internet access is now rare.
And the city would likely offer the service either for free, or at costs far lower than the $35 to $60 a month charged by commercial providers, said the city’s chief information officer, Dianah Neff.
As you already may know, Philadelphia is the home of the PowerPage and this news is exciting on several levels for residents of “the city of brotherly love.”
Although it is not entirely surprising that Philly is mulling installing the largest WiFi network in the world when you consider that in 1946 Philadelphia became home to the first computer and that Pennsylvania is the first state of the fifty United States to list their web site URL on a license plate.
Personally, I can’t wait to surf the Web wirelessly while enjoying cheesesteaks, water ice, soft pretzels and TastyKakes.
Read more at CNN.com.