Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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PDAs & Handhelds

What's in Your Back-to-School Pack?

August 27, 2008

Is every kid in America (at least at a certain age bracket) heading back to High School (or even Middle School) this week with a cell phone and iPod?

I'm sure there a many other variations of gadgetry in the average back-to-school back pack (or other notebook, pencil, paper, lunch carrying device), but that's got to be the one.

Wait ... Maybe it's just the iPhone without anything else, but that would seem to be more appropriate for a higher demo that what I'm given to thinking. 

Or maybe the real debate is the iPod and a specific model of cell phone in tandem?

Anyway, before I get myself all confused over this burning issue, what do you think? Anybody out there got anything to contribute?

Amazon To Re-Kindle Its Popular eBook Reader

August 25, 2008

Amazon will reportedly ship new versions of its Kindle e-book reader before year's end. The original reader launched last November sold out in its first week and had Amazon scrambling to fill holiday orders. While sales have been brisk, estimates vary.

A Seattle newspaper confirmed late last week that is in the late stages of rolling out two new versions of Kindle. Reports unconfirmed by Amazon indicate there will be at least two new devices -- one with a new user interface, but the same dimensions of the original paperback-sized reader, and another the size of an 8-by-11-inch sheet of paper.

Is There More to Netflix/Roku Than Meets the Eye?

July 2, 2008

Blogged about the intriguing Netflix/Roku deal back on May 20, but now an interesting piece on VentureBeat makes it even more (and more!) interesting.

The new Roku box (doesn't look like much, does it?) lets you stream any of Netflix's 10,000+ "Watch Now" movies (movies that can be watched immediately over the internet for free with your subscription) to your TV set instantly. However, a new wrinkle may make the device even more attractive -- with a simple software download, other services beyond Netflix will soon be able to use it, according to Forbes.

This changes the device from a nice little purchase (it's only $99), into a potential Trojan horse for digital content in your living room. Of course, it entirely depends on what other services reach agreements to use the device. Roku would only say that other "big name" providers could bring their services to the device with a simple update.

At the same time, Netflix plans to release another box featuring its "Watch Now" service in conjunction with LG later this year.

Yes, You Can Still Get an Apple Newton ...

June 25, 2008

 ... but only on ebay or some other similar source.

Amid all the wonderful Apple news, just harkening back to the days when PDAs were just seeing the light of day and handwriting recognition was going to change computing and the way we worked and played forever.  

(Am I going too far back???)

That's what the Newton seemed to promise.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way, but companies innovated, came and went and look where we are today ...

But amid all of the Newtons for sale, I'm sure there are still some tried and true believers out there who live and swear by their Newton, using it day after day to make their lives easier.

Are there????

Let us hear from you!!!

Anybody in Sync with Ford's In-Car Connectivity?

June 20, 2008

I don't know about you, but before I left to go to the office today, I made sure I had my cell phone, laptop and BlackBerry, and on my way here, I programmed my navigation system for directions, switched between listening to CDs and traffic reports on the radio and checked my cell phone for voice mail.  Sound familiar?

It's amazing how connected we are today.  It's changed the way we live - and will continue to change the way we live -- at home and on the go.

We live in an age where devices are everywhere.  We have more ways to communicate and be entertained than ever before - PCs, cell phones, BlackBerrys, digital music players, CD and DVD players, terrestrial radio, HD radio, satellite radio, text messaging, voice recognition, ring tones, video games, navigation systems, e-mail, TiVO, Wi-Fi - and I'm sure I missed a few.

This convergence of factors - digital music players, broadband, voice recognition and everything else - is now dramatically changing our experience as drivers while at the same time it has already changed how car companies design their cars.

We want to be connected 24x7, any time, anywhere, and we want to the the same things in our cars as we do at home and in the office. 

With Ford's in-car connectivty system, SYNC, you control the devices you already have. You control most digital music players and Bluetooth-enabled phones from the driver's seat, with both hands on the wheel, using only voice commands.  You can operate your digital music player through the car stereo without touching it, or make calls without even taking your phone out of your pocket.

Does this sound great or what?

What has your experience been as a Ford owner?

Will this really make a difference how we buy our cars?

The Internet is open for your response ...

Palm Ups It to Treo 850

May 21, 2008

SkyFire Review

May 8, 2008

Rich Tehrani has a great review on the SkyFire browser that gives Windows Mobile devices the Apple iPhone browsing experience. Well, not quite, but definitely much better than the built-in Windows Mobile browser. It supports easy zooming, Flash support, videos (including YouTube videos) and more. Rich was getting so frustrated with the crappy Windows Mobile browser that he even weighed the pros and cons of switching to the Apple iPhone from his Verizon HTC 6800 Windows Mobile.

But now Rich is giddier than a kid that just got a PS3 for Christmas, or that blogger who just got an iPhone and can't stop blogging about it.

Get the Point ...

May 6, 2008

Enkin combines GPS, Camera, Google Maps, 3D and Live Video

April 21, 2008

Enkin is a developer of a location-based content that bridges the gap between reality and classic map-like representations using Google Android. It combines GPS, orientation sensors, 3D graphics, live video, several web services and a novel user interface into an intuitive and light navigation system for mobile devices. This project is a submission for the first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge. Their product is similar in concept to Wi-Fi Army that I wrote about.

Enkin's Rafael Spring and Max Braun created a new 3d-navigation system for Android phones that even includes a "radar" map of POIs (Points of Interest) that changes orientation as you change the orientation of the Google Android mobile device.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Update

April 1, 2008

Microsoft has announced plans to rollout an updated version of its Windows Mobile platform called Windows Mobile 6.1. The new updates include enhancements to existing features as well as some new ones. Features include e-mail, Web-access, instant messaging, traffic updates, photo capabilities, music and the ability to edit documents. One nice feature is a new zoom capability that lets you view an entire Web page or picture and zoom in up on a portion of a page.
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