Friday, May 29, 2009
Though by the 3rd film, most studios are just milking it until the franchise dies. But with Pixar (Jobs still around), that won't be the case. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Be sure to come back this weekend for new posts. We'll go over changes in the wireless industry, movers and shakers, and what iPod Touch needs to continue wowing users over at On Apple.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
However, it's not like we're saying Zune HD isn't a great hardware. We just don't think it's the right comparison with the iPod Touch given Microsoft's own admission that Zune HD doesn't have a full-blown mobile OS and we've yet to see what else it's capable of doing, storage capacity (thought we think it'll be between 16-32GB), and how long the battery life will carry an user through the day.
We firmly believe that Zune HD, though a potentially formidable video player to be sure, is merely a taste for mobile warriors of what's to come from Redmond. If you visit Gizmodo's first impression with the pictures and video, you'll see that Microsoft's risky decision to integrate Zune with Windows Mobile or even Microsoft's zPhone (Zune phone) later on may work out better than anyone believe (let's not kid ourselves. A Zune phone is forthcoming). In the past, Onxo wasn't sure that it was that integrating Zune and Windows Mobile was a move Microsoft need to make nor one that was likely to work out well.
Whatever Microsoft's answer to the current mobile offerings in the market (Android, Blackberries, iPhone, and Pre which has yet to be released), it's obvious that a lot of work was put into this. There's no doubt that Zune HD has elevated mobile video entertainment to another level with the OLED screen.
What remains to be seen is what Windows Mobile 7 can hold up its end of the bargain in this two-prong OS.
What I'm curious about is the roadmap that Microsoft has laid out for mobile computing, mobile entertainment, and, lastly, Windows or the Xbox.
First the mobile realm. The iPhone has garnered a lot of attention with the surprising move into casual gaming, I'm still a year or two away from really believing that Apple's mobile platform has the staying power in gaming against entrenched veterans. So the iPhone gaming may not be Microsoft's concern. Rather, its foes Microsoft is more familiar with: Nintendo and Sony. It's a good bet that mobile gaming devices from Nintendo and Sony will make leaps with their next upgrades. We've not heard anything yet regarding Zune HD's gaming capability and we might not until Windows Mobile 7 is out.
It's safe to assume that all three video gaming giants will have gaming stores for wireless downloads like Apple's iTunes app store. Microsoft will have an advantage in that its OS is a mobile platform whereas Nintendo and Sony's platforms are largely gaming in nature. We'll have to see if Microsoft does go with a dedicated gaming device at the end of the day, like the DS or PSP, or modeled Zune/WM's gaming potential after Apple's strategy.
If Microsoft does decide to stress Windows Mobile's mobile computing capabilities and relegate the integrated Zune capability into the role of a sidekick, then it's natural who it's competitors will be. In this case, we won't know until Microsoft has phones and mobile devices with WM 7 installed in the market. WM 7 maybe going up against Android 2, iPhone 3.0, WebOS 1.0, fall 2009 Blackberries if it comes out early 2010. Closer to the middle of 2010, the comparisons will be totally different at that time. At that time, Zune's media capabilities will be at a disadvantage. Also, keep in mind that Apple is pretty good at upgrading the iPhone OS every two or three months with new features.
I've also wondered if Microsoft will aligned a Zune gaming device (likely powered by Windows Mobile) closer with Windows or the Xbox. Or neither. Microsoft can make Zune Marketplace open to all of its proprietary platforms and provide users the choice of deciding if they want to play their music over the PC or Xbox.
A bit confused? Yeah, me too. Most folks have left the Zune for dead but months later, Microsoft surprises us with the Zune HD (did I mentioned that in the case of Zune HD, the "HD" is for the HD radio and has nothing to do with video?). It is proof that Microsoft has finally decided on a strategy for its mobile platforms. For Zune and WM fans, and mobile users in general, the mobile computing, and maybe gaming market is going to get really exciting in 2010.
Note: In Microsoft's press release, there were a lot of missing details. Maybe I'm an optimist but I hope Microsoft purposely left out information for competitive reasons and it is saving it all for a final announcement a la a special Zune event in the fall. Love to hear more about its current functions (unannounced ones, I hope), storage, battery life, and pricing.
Source: On Apple
Hulu Desktop runs directly on your computer and does not require a web browser. It provides an alternate way to browse and view content from the Hulu Library.
Is the same content on Hulu.com available on Hulu Desktop?
Generally speaking the Hulu library on Hulu.com will be available through Hulu Desktop. While our goal is to have the same content library available on through all of our distribution channels, we work together with our partners to determine availability of their content on these various channels.
Do I need and account to use Hulu Desktop?
No account is required to use Hulu Desktop, just download and enjoy.
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Yes, you may login to Hulu Desktop and access your queue, history, subscriptions, playback quality and closed captioning preferences. Your profile details, privacy settings and friends are not accessible from Hulu Desktop.
Which remote controls work with Hulu Desktop?
Hulu Desktop will work with Apple and Windows Media Center remotes. Remotes that are compatible with Windows XP and Vista can be purchases at most electronics retailers.
What devices support Hulu Desktop?
Hulu Desktop is currently only available for Mac and Windows PCs. Hulu Desktop is not supported on Linux or on consumer electronic devices
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Hulu Desktop is built on Flash, and thus requires it to be installed to function properly. You will only be prompted to install Flash if you do not have it on your computer, or if you have an older version.
Please click on the link below for:Why do I have to update Hulu Desktop to keep using it? Why can't I continue to use an older version?
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Anyway, he's going on a cruise in June and I've asked him to provide Onxo and On Apple with video feeds if possible but definitely pictures. More importantly, his mobile experience.
We've discussed about what mobile gears he'll bring along with him and what'll happen if he runs into trouble. Dave the Mobile Warrior laughed when I mentioned trouble. He's counting on it! MacWind, iPhone, and a new Luminix camera are all that he's bringing for now.
What do you think? Is that enough? Will the cruise have wifi access so that he won't be cut off from his Slingboxes and media files? How's he going to deal with the pirates?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Here are some hard facts about this potential game-changer to the mobile landscape:
- Funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to the tune of 1.6 British Pounds. About $2.5 million dollars. The research project is located in University of St. Andrews. In case the British pound didn't give it away, the university is located in the UK.
- Porous carbon electrode is used in place of the lithium colbalt oxide electrode. Reaction takes place with oxygen in the air.
- Potentially cheaper than today's traditional battery. Good news right. Read the next point.
- 10X more lasting than today's battery. Stores T-E-N more charge. That means STAIR powered mobile devices means greater freedom from outlets, careful rationing of battery power.
- In a few years, we may be talking about standby time in weeks instead of days. We may be talking in terms of tens of hours of heavy usage rather than 4, 5, or even 8 hours. "Five to ten" times the storage potential is what they are looking at. Even at 5 times and not 10, I'll take it.
- Potential storage solution for renewable energy sources like solar and wind.
- The research project will end in 2011 and a min of 5 years before commercial use.
- From press release: Energy storage is limited by the lithium cobalt oxide electrode (0.5 Li/Co, 130 mAhg-1). The University of St Andrews design replaces the lithium cobalt oxide electrode with a porous carbon electrode and allows Li+ and e- in the cell to react with oxygen from the air.
- From press release: Initial results from the project found a capacity to weight ratio of 1,000 milli-amp / hours per gram of carbon (mA/hours/g), while recent work has obtained results of up to 4,000 mA/hours/g. Although the two designs work very differently, this equates to an eight-fold increase compared to a standard cobalt oxide battery found in a mobile phone.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Quality is fine given the bandwidth limitation but it's more about principle than actually watching video with Slingplayer.
ATT is wrong in crippling Slingplayer and, hopefully, this issue will be remedied over time.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Basically, pretend you're the captain of a starship and you're sitting in your chair staring back at a Romulan, or regional VP, and you're just chatting about intergalactic matters. But on Earth it's a conference room with very expensive video conferencing equipment, like Cisco.
According to CNN Money, a room like this can cost up to $150,000. Can this catch on? Well, with some business meetings and tasks, it's entirely doable and saves your executive staff from having to travel across the country or around the world just to have a face-to-face meeting.
By no means is telepresence setups going to replace delicate meetings that require that special personal interaction. Steve Jobs' reality distortion field likely isn't going to be as effective as its been in person.
Nevertheless, Cisco and others are hoping this will ground some mobile corporate drones as they'll have to travel less. Still $150K is a lot of money for just one room. You get the equipment plus three or more large monitors for viewing.
However, I see other uses for telepresence technology. Games. Video gamers would love just such a setup. Imagine entertainment value of having a greater field of vision and cameras that track your the movement of your body. Holodeck it is not but actually doing battle in first-person shooter with full range motions is entirely different from pressing buttons on keyboards. And the be able to see your teammates and opponents on screen as events unfold will bring real life experience that much closer.
Another use is training. And the range of training application can only be limited by the imagination of the course matters and instructors. One-on-one or a professor giving a lecture to graduate students in another part of the world. Pilots can be trained in this manner as well.
What other uses can you think a telepresense room can be used for? My hope is already pretty high for this. As adoption continues, this will only drive the price down over time. Wouldn't you want one in your home or office if it eventually becomes affordable?
Source: CNN Money
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
What has happened? Netbooks has made great in road into the hearts and minds of consumers in economic trouble, Intel's Atom chips, Apple's Macbook rise, and lower priced but powerful mainstream Windows laptops. And so, I changed focused a bit for "On XO".
I started talking about general wireless issues, mobile gadgets and smartphones, and editorials on where I think our wireless society will evolve into.
So, when I stumpled across this post at Appleinsider, a traditionally pro-Apple and rumor site, about Apple's hiring of a OLPC insider, Ivan Krstic, his criticism of the OLPC project (must read), his work on security, and hints of what his work may be with Apple, it really brought me back to think about why the XO isn't as big as it should be, broken promises, and squandered opportunities.
Along with the AI article and Krstic's critical post of the XO development, we gain a good idea of good intentions that went bad, where things stand today in OS and security development, and where we are headed.
Both posts are recommended reads. At the end of the day, I hope OLPC's 2nd generation XO works as advertised and continue to drive mobile innovation for children all over the world.
Note: Krstic, after years of using open source software, has switched to OS X. His contribution to Apple will bring new innovations in security not just for Macs and the iPhone platform but others as well. Innovation. Competition. Great combo, don't you think? And at the end of the day, we mobile warriors win.
Monday, May 11, 2009
For the rest of 2009 and probably 2010, we'll continue to see more changes in the mobile hardware segment and some changes in mobile access due to competitive pressure.
However, my dream of living my wallet at home will have to way a little longer I'm afraid. One of the biggest news in the last week was Paypal's entry into the Android app market. However, when we look back on this, it'll be a small blip, hardly noticeable, in the grand scheme of mobile trade.
Yes, mobile trade. Not simply mobile payment. I think the mobile market should evolve sufficiently enough where even trading systems from equities, bonds, and physical goods can be exchanged mobilely. That's still a way off but it's on the way.
For now, I'm satisfied with logging into my bank accounts on my mobile devices to pay my utilities. Even that was not possible from most banks a year ago.
Note: In science fiction movies, literatures, and even games now, "credits" of various denominations are used instead of currencies. We're generations off still. Old habits die hard and even if the Chinese are trying to supplement the US dollar as the global reserve currently, no one has yet to come up with a credible substitute. When that day comes, mobile payment and trade will explode onto the scene.
Another Note: Coupons. Not everyone accepts coupons displayed on scenes of smartphones. A few months ago, I received Souplantation coupon on my iPhone. I printed out a copy but I decided to test and see if the cashier would be willing to accept the digital copy. No go. I'll probably go again when I get another coupon. I'll try it with a different cashier and see if he or she will accept a digital imprint.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
- Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines
- Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
- Beautiful Large Display: 9.7" diagonal e-ink screen reads like real paper; boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and sharp images
- Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages
- Built-In PDF Reader: Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go
- Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle DX, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
- Books In Under 60 Seconds: You get free wireless delivery of books in less than 60 seconds; no PC required
BatteryLife: Read for days without recharging
- Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable
- Big Selection, Low Prices: Over 275,000 books; New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases are only $9.99, unless marked otherwise
- More Than Books: U.S. and international newspapers including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, magazines including The New Yorker and Time, plus popular blogs, all auto-delivered wirelessly
- Display: 9.7" diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
- Size (in inches): 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38".
- Weight: 18.9 ounces.
- System requirements: None, because it doesn't require a computer.
- Storage: 4GB internal (approximately 3.3GB available for user content).
BatteryLife: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Batterylife will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
- Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
- Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint's 3G high-speed data network.
: USB 2.0 (micro-USB connector) for connection to the Kindle DX power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer. USB Port
- Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers.
- Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
- Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, battery.
There were times in the past few months when I felt the urge to get the Kindle. But having spent more and more time on the iPod Touch reading books, I felt it to be adequate for leisure reading. I’m glad Amazon is taking the bold steps in expanding the Kindle line. You can see where they’ll want to take this eventually. Just as Apple did with the iPod, Amazon will move beyond Kindle’s main function of reading books and newspapers.
- Kindle DX - $489 (considering it's only $80 more than the original Kindle, this is a good deal)
- Kindle (Latest 6" model) - $369
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
A poster who turned his Wind netbook into a MacWind offered readers at the MSI Wind forum some pointers on how to extend the battery life for their Winds. Well, that's just one of the tips he offer.
- Time Synchronization
- Battery Life - CPU Throttling
- Ext Monitor
- Scaling resolutions for applications.
Link: MSI Wind.net
Right. If you have level of Internet proficiency, you likely know what it could be about. WSJ has written about it. NY Times hopes it'll save the newspaper industry. Textbook publishers want in as well.
Okay, if you don't know what I could possibly be talking about, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow. I'm sure we'll get a couple of surprises beyond what tech blogs are saying about Amazon's new Kin....ah, whatever it could be.
The question is whether it'll be a game changer. We shall see. This is shaping up to an exciting summer.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Well, it turns out that the ruling was specific to special circumstances in contracts as it applied to Sprint, no one else. And again, under certain circumstances.
So to make the long story shorter, these termination fees are here to stay. At the very least, the major mobile providers offer pro-rated termination penalties. Here's the bottom line on this matter. As much as I detest some of the closed mindness of the wireless industry, subsidies on phones, smartphones, and mobile devices allow the consumers to purchase top line gadgets without having to pay for it up front and the wireless providers do have the right to learn some of their subsidies back. My only issue is that the services they offer are at times subpar, isn't as advertised, or provide false advertising such as claiming unlimited services up to a point.
Anyway, there are a couple of remedies in the work. I think white spaces backed by a number of tech giants like Google, Dell, and Microsoft are still going forward. Also, the stimulus provisions, though likely won't have much teeth, is better than nothing.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Transformers 2. Oh, and there are robots in the trailer too.
Have a great weekend!