"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for November, 2007

Microsoft Rumored To Release A Windows Mobile Update

November 29th, 2007 by iDunzo

Windows MobileAlthough there aren’t many details currently available, word on the street is that Microsoft has previewed an update to its smartphone operating system, Windows Mobile 6, to the lucky few attending the annual Mobius conference.

The first report I read came from Engadget this morning, stating that it’s an “update, not an upgrade” running on existing hardware.

Manufacturers will be able to get their hands on the new software in the first quarter of next year.

Here are some of Engadget’s preliminary impressions:

Very slick, and has a lot of features that just about any WinMo user will agree is way overdue. In other words, we’re expecting users will be stoked—no doubt about it.

The updated is not Windows Mobile 7, dubbed by Microsoft as “Photon,” which is also expected to be released next year and said to be powered by Windows Embedded CE 6.0.

Sorry folks, that’s all I know for now.

Details will surface in the near future, likely at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place in Las Vegas in January.

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It’s Like Video Ping-Pong, With No Skill Required

November 29th, 2007 by iDunzo

November 29, 1972: Pong, the first popular videogame, is released in its original arcade-game form.

If it seems crude by today’s standards, well, it was crude then, too and it was meant to be.

Pong was the brainchild of Nolan Bushnell, a founder of Atari, who was inspired to develop it after playing an electronic table-tennis game at a trade show.

Nolan Bushnell, having recently designed an arcade game he deemed too complicated because you had to read the instructions before you could play, Bushnell strove for utter simplicity.

“I had to come up with a game people already knew how to play, something so simple that any drunk in any bar could play,” Bushnell said later. The game, actually designed by Atari engineer Allan Alcorn, was Pong. It was indeed a game that drunks could play, and they did.

The first coin-operated Pong arcade game was installed at Andy Capp’s, a tavern in Sunnyvale, California, where Atari was located. It was an instantaneous hit, confirming Bushnell’s suspicions and vindicating, yet again, H.L. Mencken’s famous dictum.

Four months after its appearance at Andy Capp’s, there were upwards of 10,000 Pong arcade games scattered across the land. This caught the eye of Magnavox Odyssey, developer of the game that had inspired Bushnell to dream up Pong.

A lawsuit followed, resulting in an out-of-court settlement in Magnavox’s favor. By then, however, Pong had moved to a home-console model, which was very different from the original.

Bushnell cut a deal with Sears to act as Pong’s exclusive retailer, and the 1975 Christmas shopping season was a lucrative one. This can fairly be said to have ushered in the era of home videogaming.

Source: Wikipedia

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Google Adds Locator Feature To Mobile Maps Application

November 28th, 2007 by iDunzo

Google made a new beta version of its Mobile Maps application available to certain smartphones today.

The biggest improvement of the application comes with its My Location feature, which uses cell tower information and not on-board GPS to determine user location.

The new software will work with BlackBerrys, Nokia S60 Third Edition, and Windows Mobile smartphones and will help users find their location even if their devices don’t have GPS on board. (It will work with GPS-enabled devices, too.)

Notably, it won’t work on the Apple iPhone. HAHA!!

Basically, Google takes GPS information transmitted from other phones that do have GPS and corresponds that with nearby cell towers.

When your phone connects to a specific cell tower, Google uses this GPS info and relates it to your device. This means it won’t be nearly as accurate as GPS.

Google is touting accuracy in the 500 to 5,000 meter range (that’s up to 3 miles).

The denser the concentration of cell towers, the more accurate user results will be. This means it should work fairly well in cities, but not so well out in more rural areas.

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Exploded Apple iPod, Encased in Resin

November 28th, 2007 by iDunzo

This Apple iPod has been split and separated like an exploded diagram, and encased in resin. The amazing thing is that it still works.

Exploded iPod

Poured in layers, just like jelly, the iPod sits in a bubbly cube, with control via the included dock internals and the project, by Billy Chasen, is made geek-perfect by the inclusion of Lego feet.

Hopefully Billy will go to work on a more recursive meta-project next: An Apple G4 Cube, encased in a cube.

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$800 Mini-Guitar Fits In Suitcase

November 27th, 2007 by iDunzo

Want a tiny, bad, $800 guitar? Hammacher Schlemmer delivers.

Named The World’s Smallest Percision Electric Guitar, the thing is 1/6 the size of a standard example and is just over two feet long. It has a full complement of 20 frets.

For a laugh, read the marketing blatherskite:

Its injection-molded high-impact polymer composite body is filled with billions of tiny air bubbles that reproduce the cellular structure of wood, giving the guitar the same resonant properties of hardwoods used in standard-sized guitars without the expansion and contraction associated with wood.

I think he’s saying it’s made of plastic.

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Solid Aluminum Apple iPod Nano Cases

November 27th, 2007 by iDunzo

The Apple iPod Nano is so tiny and light that a chunky hard case would at least triple or quadruple it’s weight, defeating the whole point of the little player, right? Wrong.

Shimura Metal Jacket

The Metal Jacket weighs in at around 35 grams, versus the 3G Nano’s already featherweight 49 grams. The case is internally cushioned, and is hand made.

You can even dock the iPod with its jacket on. Geektastic!

This model is priced at ¥8,900 ($82) plus shipping, and maker Shimura also has models for the iPod Classic, the Sony PSP and Nintendo’s DS Lite.

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