Monday, November 30, 2009

Maemo: Linux Powered OS for Future Nokia Smartphones

Nokia CorporationImage via Wikipedia
Although the Symbian OS for the Nokia N-series has been profitable to both parties, there seems to be a Linux powered OS coming over the horizon in the next few months: the Maemo. We reported last time that Nokia is thinking of dropping Symbian for Maemo but it will do so in a very slow and deliberate way. We're reading reports now that are saying that only one Nokia will carry Maemo next year. Actually there's already one in production: the Nokia N900.

The question begs: why not just continue with Symbian and help develop it further? According to Reuter's:
"Nokia's Linux Maemo operating system is seen as a key for the top cellphone maker in its battle against Apple's iPhone, and many analysts and industry players have expected the firm to roll out numerous Linux models already next year."
What makes the iPhone OS such a hit with the "in" crowd is not just its Operating System but also its technology. Unless Nokia does better at that category, it doesn't matter what OS they use on their smartphones. Another to look into would be the applications that are one of the selling points of having an iPhone in the first place. Although Symbian does have its fair share of applications available for its user base, some are just way too expensive or cumbersome to be used on such a small screen as Nokia's. Lastly, it's the "coolness" factor. You look better with an iPhone on your hand rather than a Nokia's. In this case, it's a marketing problem that has been haunting Nokia for a long time in the US.

Hopefully with the new Linux powered Maemo, they also take a step back and look at the overall Nokia phone as something to overhaul.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Pogoplug: Connect Your External Hard Drive to the World

Has it ever happened to you that sometimes the files you want are stuck inside your external hard disk? For example my little girl's 3rd birthday video is over an hour long and is definitely more than 500 MB, thus I can't upload it to YouTube. In order for my folks to view it, I need to bring them to my desktop PC or burn the video on a DVD disk and watch it on a DVD player. If you ask me that's too much of an inconvenience at this time and age. It's a good thing that there's a device called the Pogoplug.

The Pogoplug is a device that allows the files in your external hard drive to be accessible to anyone you desire on the web. Besides videos, you can also access and upload documents, pictures, and anything else! Imagine that your external hard disk drive has its own little site on the web! You can choose what other people can see or retrieve from your Pogoplug. For example, you can have your girlfriend access your pictures, and your business partner with the business files and documents. Another cool thing about it is that it can also be accessed through an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone. This means that pictures and videos don't need to reside inside your phone thus allowing it to have only the essential files in there.

Although it may be a bit costly at $129, there are no monthly or subscription fees for the website. Yep, once you buy it--that's it! So there you go, Pogoplug a computing cloud that connects directly to your external hard drive or USB.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Symbian OS Dropped? Casio Cam Roughed Up?

It's just the way of the world I guess: out with the old and in with the new. It's inevitable but the "old" should always be recognized for being a pioneer or trailblazer in its time. This is the case with Symbian and Casio now. Both old brands but which will survive?

Nokia: Goodbye Symbian, Hello Maemo?

With the smartphone market about to explode with the Android and iPhone, one of the first smartphone OS: Symbian, is about to be dropped by Nokia. According to some officials at the N900 meeting, Maemo: a Linux-Debian powered OS, will be eventually released into the market by 2012.
The transition will be a gradual one with further Symbian-based N-Series handsets already in development. Whilst the N900 was acknowledged to be a ‘bridge’ device firmly aimed at the developer and enthusiast community, subsequent devices will target the mass-market and Maemo-based devices will grow to fill all of Nokia’s flagship range by 2012.
Although this just may be a possibility for now, but with Symbian losing its popularity to the Android OS it's not really that much of a surprise. Is it a marketing issue? As far as I've read there's not much problems with Symbian except that it seems to have dropped off the radar and applications development seems to have dramatically decreased. Maybe the Android is the OS of the future with Symbian as the pioneer. Whatever happens the consumer will win in the end.

Casio Does a Rugged Thin Cam: EX-G1

I've always known Casio for their great digital watches and calculators, but they seem to be a good camera company as well! They have created the slimmest camera on the planet: EX-G1.
At just 0.78-inches thick, Casio claims the 12.1-megapixel EX-G1 is the world's slimmest, ruggedized camera. The first in a new Exilim G line, it has a reinforced 2.5-inch rear LCD, non-extending 3x optical zoom lens, microSDHC expansion, and intelligent autofocus.
Not only that but it also seems to be a rugged thin camera as well! It can work underwater for an hour ad be dropped from seven feet and it still works! You can get this come December with a $300 tag.

Symbian Dropped Source
Casio EX-G1 Source
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Galaxy Spica and Modern Warfare 2 Communicator

I got androids from a different galaxy and pixelized army men in the tech news today for you!

Samsung's Android: Galaxy Spica

I say it once and I'll say it again: Android will rule the mobile world; whether it be through smartphones, eBook Readers, or anything else. It's no surprise that Samsung is presenting its newest Android powered mobile phone called the Galaxy Spica.
Samsung Galaxy Spica provides an exceptional multimedia experience by supporting DivX for the first time on Android-powered phones to eliminate the hassle of file format conversions. Equipped with DNSe 2.0 for better sound quality and 3.5 mm ear jack, the Galaxy Spica offers the fully comprehensive multimedia feature set. Moreover, a long enough battery life (1500mAh) allows its users to enjoy all the applications and multimedia content. The phone also boasts its slim and compact design with mere 13.2 mm thickness.
Yes folks, you read it right: there is DivX support in this one. I'm expecting good quality videos once this little baby rolls out.

Xbox 360 Modern Warfare 2 Throat Communicator

I know that a majority of you techies are gamers too and with that knowledge, I know that you have Modern Warfare 2 set up. Since this is priomarily a tech blog, we'll discuss some gadgets that can be associated with the game. Here's one that we were able to check out on: The XBox 360 Modern Warfare 2 Throat Communicator.

It may look uncomfortable, but according to reviewers at Amazon, it works great!
1) The neckpiece fits nice and snug. It is not adjustable as it's suppose to be in good contact right by your throat. I'm of average build and it fit perfectly. Even if you're a bit skinnier or heavier I'm sure it will fit comfortably still.
2) The earpiece also fit nicely. Unlike most earbud headphones, these do no have different sized ear pieces to make it fit any better in your ear. The size you see on the box is the only size you get.
3) The earbud goes to your left ear which felt weird at first being that I was used to an OEM headset for the last 4 years.
Samsung Galaxy Spica Press Release
Xbox 360 MW2 Communicator

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Palm Pre WebOS 1.3.1 Update Out

The Palm Pre and it's cousin the Pixi seems to have fallen off the face of the tech blogosphere. Hardly anyone that's on the top of the tech lists seems to be focusing more on Android, with iPhone 3GS as a distant second. However, today seems to be the day that Palm's smartphone climbs back to some sort of relevance as a new update for the WebOS has appeared: the WebOS 1.3.1

According to Engadget, here's what they got after they downloaded the update:
Update: Downloaded, applied and rebooted. iTunes still isn't spotting our Pre as a device to sync with, and at least for the moment there's no great speed increases to speak of, but we have noticed a few more key tweaks that owners are sure to like -- setting a specific ringtone for text messages is exactly what we've been looking for.
  • Yahoo! now appears as a Calendar/Contacts/instant messaging synchronization account.
  • You can forward a text or multimedia message by tapping the message > Forward.
  • A new option is available for restarting the phone: press and hold power > Power > Restart. The prior restart method (Device Info > Reset Options > Restart) is still available.
  • Widescreen videos (including YouTube) now display in widescreen mode on the phone by default, instead of being cropped.
  • If you tap to play a YouTube video embedded on a web page, the YouTube application launches and the video plays in the app.
  • You can select a unique ringtone for new message alerts: Open Messaging > application menu > Preferences & Accounts > Sound > Ringtone.
  • While listening to a song with album art displayed, you can tap the screen below the art to display a playback slider. Dragging the slider jumps forward or backward in the song.

Whether this will affect how most people see the Palm Pre or not, those who already have bought one would definitely be happier this time around.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Xbox Adapter Confirmed! PS3 Gold!

What kind of tech blog would this be if I won't cover gaming platforms? I mean they are still techie items right? Okay, what I have is a confirmed rumor for the Xbox 360 and a shiny one for the PS3 Slim.

Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter is True!

If you remember last time, I posted about an accidental posting of an Xbox 360 802.11n adapter at Costco's site a few days ago. Well, it seems that it was true after all.

"After the item mysteriously appeared in a UK supermarket this weekend, Microsoft has finally offered a North American release date for the Xbox 360 Wireless N Networking Adapter -- and it's right now. Or, rather, "this week," as the announcement puts it. The new version of the official Wi-Fi adapter will retail for the same $99.99 that the first version commanded (though Amazon has it for $87.99 right now, and the old one at $76.49)."
The price was not quite what I expected (we thought it would go on $88) and I think that's the reason why it was pulled in the first place.

24 Karat PS3

For those gamers (or the parents of those gamers) that weren't that quite affected by the recession and those with extremely deep pockets may want to take a look at this one.

"Damn cool gold PS3 Slim, I should say. If you are mad for gold, this 24K goldcoated PS3 Slim edition will surely blow you away and It will eventually cost you a small fortune to own it as the Gold edition is available in limited 5 pieces only!"
No price yet but I'm willing to bet some little princes and princesses are having their butlers line up just to bid on one.

Xbox Adapter confirmed
PS3 Gold Edition 

Sunday, November 08, 2009

iPhone Worm is Rick Astley's Face

Rick Astley used to be a big star in the 80's but now, thanks to some people in YouTube, have become some sort of a joke because of the Rick Roll'd phenomenon. It seems to have died a natural death around late 2008, but it seems to have made a comeback, in a somewhat sinister way: he's become a worm for jailbroken iPhones.
"Apple iPhone owners in Australia have reported that their smartphones have been infected by a worm that has changed their wallpaper to an image of 1980s pop crooner Rick Astley.
The worm, which could have spread to other countries although we have no confirmed reports outside Australia, is capable of breaking into jailbroken iPhones if their owners have not changed the default password after installing SSH. Once in place, the worm appears to attempt to find other iPhones on the mobile phone network that are similarly vulnerable, and installs itself again."
What a way to have the iPod Touch/iPhone's first worm: an image of an 80's star.

If your iPod Touch/iPhone has it, fret not as all it does is install Astley's wallpaper. To remove it, you need to change your root user password and delete "LOCKBACKGROUND.JPG" from (VAR/MOBILE/LIBRARY).

What's interesting here is that the creator has a message for those who got the worm.

Is this for the users who have brazenly jailbroken their iPod Touch/iPhones or for Apple? Nevertheless, this is proof that the iPhone 3G's security is really bad.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Rumors: iPhone 3GS 8GB by Xmas and XBox 360 New Adapter

Welcome to the part of the tech blogging life where we take a look at leaks and rumors. We've got two excellent of each with the Xbox 360 802.11n adapter and the Apple iPhone 3GS 8GB.

AT&T releasing an iPhone 3GS 8GB before Christmas?

It seems that Verizon's Motorola Droid special have a lot of people in AT & T quaking in their digital boots. Although I never thought that Motorola's Droid would make such an effect on the mobile phone landscape, but I'm willing to bet it's no the hardware rather it's the Android 2.0 that's really moving and grooving the hype on this phone.

This has obviously gotten attention from AT& T, the official carrier for Apple's iPhone 3GS and as early as now, they're already making moves to make sure that people go for their phone over Verizon's. The move? As reported by BGR:
"Definitely not confirmed, but rather interesting nonetheless. We’ve heard now from two sources that AT&T, and we guess Apple, are contemplating launching an 8GB iPhone 3GS at the $99 price point before Christmas. One source said this was AT&T’s way of combating the DROID madness."
If this is true, they'll likely get a lot of people go for their phone over Verizon's. That is, until Verizon matches their pricing and service; then it would be a very interesting Christmas indeed.

Peek a boo, I see an Xbox 360 802.11n adapter!

We're not really sure if this one is a leak, a misprint, or the real deal but it sure is interesting: an Xbox360 802.11n was put up at Costco's site for a few minutes then eventually pulled down. Reason? No one's sure.
"After discretely showing up on US retail sites and subsequently managing to drop off into internet obscurity, the 802.11n-compliant peripheral has returned to the scene via Costco's site, this time with a November 10th shipping date and a more attractive than before $88 price tag."
We'll see on November 10 what this whole thing is really about.

iPhone 3GS 8GB Source
XBox 360 Adapter source

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

iPhone Gen 4?

It seems that with all the hoopla that Android powered phones and devices have been getting, Apple has been secretly developing a new iPhone for 2010. Yes, it may all be rumor now, but according to Gizmodo's usually good sources, it's all true!
"Now, China Ontrade is claiming that this iPhone midboard belongs to the next-generation iPhone 4, which in theory is supposed to come out next summer, like all the previous iPhones. If confirmed, this means they have the piece about eight months before the actual iPhone 2010 release."
It's a no brainer that most iPhones are usually constructed overseas (usually China) for low labor cost reasons and it's no surprise that there were some pieces leaked. However, what boggles us is that the iPhone 3GS was just released a few months ago and they're already building a follow up pretty soon. Does this mean that apple has already given up the fight to further market and improve the applications of the current phone? Will this affect sales as people who haven't bought the current iPhone wait for a new gen one? Or is there another reason for this "leak"?
"But this makes little sense given Apple's manufacturing practices and self-imposed yearly-upgrade cycle, so this may all be a publicity ploy. Especially because they claim they will publish actual shots of the product in their web site."
Whether it's all a hoax (balloon boy in the making?) or the real thing, it's great that the iPhone's getting a bit of news again.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Get a Bell As Well

With all these high tech gadgets around me, sometimes it just gets too much. When that happens I usually decide to distance myself from it for a while and reflect on life. I turn off my computer, leave my mobile phone inside the bedroom, take out some fruits and juices from the fridge, and go to my little backyard garden and sit on a porch.

Resting and removing yourself from your old surroundings make one more at peace with him. It's not like getting away from it all like a vacation, but rather it's a way to embrace nature and the past where one can truly focus on one thing at a time compared to what we have today. Living today is like running on a racetrack while getting hosed down by water. We can only endure much, and taking a break from it is a nice respite.

Although I appreciate the silence, too much of it can make me crazy. That's why I still have the farm bell that my old grandparents gave to my parent on their wedding (I know it's a weird gift, but I was the one who benefited from it as you'll see later). I use it in mediation like Buddhists do for chanting mantras.

The farm bell, also called a dinner bell, is used as a notice for everyone in the fields of the farm or inside the house that it's time to eat. As a small child I used to hear that bell a lot when me and my parents still lived on the farm and was confused as to where that sound came from. All I knew then was that the bell sound meant I was going to eat my daily meals.

These days, that farm bell sound is a way for me to focus my attention to one object alone, keeping all distractions away. It's true that technology helps us in working better but it somehow has also made us too frazzled, unfocused, and dependent on them. As a tech blogger I'd like to promote technology but it's not the be all and all. I see it more as something we can use to help us further in reaching our potential. But that's an ideal situation. Most techies focus too much of their time on their gadgets and very little time in the real world around them. Sometimes watching a video of a rainstorm when they have one just outside the window (yep, I did that once), playing a game where their characters go around the neighborhood and socialize (yes, me again), or participate in one of those MMOS where they get jobs (ouch).

Take an advice from a fellow techie, get a farm bell.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nook copied Alex? Xperia X10 Announced!

Barnes & Noble sued by Spring Design

The interior of the :en:Barnes & Noble located...Image via Wikipedia

Did Barnes & Nobles steal Spring Design's idea? Was the Nook a copy of the Alex? According to Spring Design, it's all true.
"Since the beginning of 2009 Spring and Barnes & Noble worked within a non-disclosure agreement, including many meetings, emails and conference calls with executives ranging up to the president of, discussing confidential information regarding the features, functionality and capabilities of Alex," Spring Design said in a statement. "Throughout, Barnes & Noble's marketing and technical executives extolled Alex's 'innovative' features, never mentioning their use of those features until the public disclosure of the Nook."
According to the article, Barnes & Noble have yet to reply to these charges. Nevertheless, it's expected that they will deny any copying or stealing ideas and rather resort to saying that it was just a coincidence that they were creating an eBook Reader at the time that Spring Design contacted them.

Sony Ericsson's first Android announced!

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications ABImage via Wikipedia

Sony Ericsson has finally announced that the previously leaked, Android powered Xperia X10 (previously known as the Xperia X3) with its Rachael Interface.

With all it's leaked specs and features, would you still want to buy it? What does this particular phone over its other Android sisters and brothers? Just as we mentioned it's interface sure is a lot of eyecandy. It also has some cool Facebook and Twitter integration that has just started to creep up on mobile phones.
"The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is certainly feature packed, and all the leaked rumours over the phone's overlay turn out to have given good reason for excitement, as the UX platform (which is a name that thankfully isn't sticking around) offers something totally different for Android."
We'll see this phone become a reality on 2010.

BN vs. SD source
Sony Ericsson's Xperia 10 source
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