On Gear Live: Giveaway: HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini

AOL FinedOh yes, we may have just seen the first nail in the coffin of AOL. The company was fined $1.25 million by the State of New York due to complaints from users about how absurdly difficult it is to cancel the service after signing up. While the $1.25 million looks like a large amount, this is really chump change for the very large America Online. What will hurt them though, is the fact that they will be refining their procedures for handling customer cancellations. Up until now, service agents received bonuses if they had a 50% or better retention rate - some agents made tens of thousands of dollars on this program alone. The new program will no longer have a minimum quota. You can probably say goodbye to the “if you stay, I will give you another free three months” spiel.

Read More | ZDNet


DescriptionGreat news today for the TiVo folks. Despite the drastic increase in both open-source and commercial PC DVR software, today TiVo was able to announce their very first profit. They walked away with a second-quarter net income of $240,000. Compared to the same period last year, it’s a sharp increase. In second the second quarter of 2004 TiVo has a net loss of $10.8 million. What a comeback. Maybe they can spend some of that money whipping up a Tiger-compatible version of TiVo Desktop?

Read More | Yahoo! Business via PVRWire

Canon SD550

Canon will be releasing these PowerShot SD series this October.  The SD550 is for the more serious picture taker at 7.1MP. Retailing at $550 here are its details:

7.1 Megapixel, 1/1.8 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Focal Length Lens - 7.7 - 23.1mm f/2.8-4.9 (35mm film equivalent: 37-111mm)
4x Digital Zoom
Focusing Range
Normal AF: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity
Macro AF: 2.0 in.-1.6 ft./5-50cm (WIDE), 1.0-1.6 ft./30-50cm (TELE)
Digital Macro: 2.0 in. - 1.6 ft./5-50cm (WIDE)
Autofocus System
TTL Autofocus (continuous/single)
Optical Viewfinder
Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
2.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD - Approx. 115,000 pixels
Maximum Aperture - f/2.8 (W) - f/4.9 (T)
Shutter Speed - 15-1/2000 sec.; Slow shutter operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec.
Built-in Flash
SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
Still Image: 3,072 x 2,304 (Large), 2,592 x 1,944 (Medium 1), 2,048 x 1,536 (Medium 2), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3), 640 x 480 (Small)
Movie: 640 x 480/320 x 240 (30 fps/15 fps) available up to 1GB, 320 x 240 (1 min. at 60 fps), 160 x 120 (3 min. at 15 fps)

Canon SD450

For those of you looking for quality on a smaller budget may consider the SD450 which will retail at $450:

5.0 Megapixel, 1/2.5 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Focal Length Lens
5.8-17.4mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom lens (equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm format)
4x Digital Zoom
Optical Viewfinder
Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
2.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD - Approx. 115,000 pixels
Maximum Aperture - f/2.8 (W) - f/4.9 (T)
Shutter Speed - 15-1/1500 sec.; Slow shutter operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec.
Built-in Flash
SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
Still Image: 2,592 x 1,944 (Large), 2,048 x 1,536 (Medium 1), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 2), 640 x 480 (Small)
Movie: 640 x 480/320 x 240 (30 fps/15 fps), 320 x 240 (1 min. at 60 fps), 160 x 1
20 (3 min. at 15 fps)

Canon SD30

Finally, there’s the ultra sleek SD30 also at $450 for its 5MP Quality.  It is available in a variety of colors as well.

5.0 Megapixel, 1/2.5 inch charge coupled device (CCD)
Focal Length Lens - 6.3-14.9mm f/3.2-5.4 zoom lens (equivalent to 38-90mm in 35mm format)
4x Digital Zoom
1.8 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD. - Approx. 118,000 pixels
Maximum Aperture - f/3.2 (W) - f/5.4 (T)
Shutter Speed - 15-1/1600 sec.; Slow shutter operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec. is only available in select modes
Built-in Flash
Activates shutter after an approx. 2 sec./10 sec. delay, Custom
Wireless Control - Available for playback and printing via Camera Station CS-DC1
SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard

Latest Gear Live Videos

Mobile Edge WiFi Signal LocatorSo, Mobile Edge is calling this one the smallest WiFi signal locator in the world. The nice thing about this is that it slips right on to your keychain, so it’s always with you, and pretty hard to forget. Unless, you know, you lose your keys all the time. The WiFi Locator weighs in at $29.99 USD.

  • Patent-pending technology instantly detects ONLY WiFi signal presence
  • Eliminates false readings from microwave and portable phone interference
  • Detects 802.11B and G Networks
  • Four bright LED’s to show signal strength

Read More | Mobile Edge via TRFJ

Dish Network City ContestIn this amazing promotion to rebrand itself, EchoStar Communications Corporation, owners of DISH Network satellite TV has started a contest that could provide millions of dollars in DISH Network services and products. The campaign invites cities in the US to officially change their name to “Dish”. In return, DISH Network will provide them with free programming for 10 years in every household. The deal states that you must change everything in the town, from the town sign to municipal buildings to schools in order to comply with the contest. They must even file state and federal documentation to make it official. Want to enter you town? Drop an email to citymakeover@dishnetwork.com before November 1st, 2005 to qualify.  Click below for more details.

Click to continue reading Rename Your Town “Dish” and Get Free DISH Network for 10 Years

Google TalkGoogle Talk is downloadable and ready to incorporate all your communication needs.  Google has released their first IM client with built in voice communication. As for the features, Google Talk is simple and to the point. You can customize messages with very few clicks. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for future upgrades. I wonder how I will be able to use this in court?

Read More | Google Talk

Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini promised today that his company would be producing chips for the market by 2010 that would enable a user to run Windows Vista on a handheld. With 2gz+ systems recommended for advanced features and Intel’s focus on performance per watt things are looking positive. Part of this announcement states that Intel will be combining their chip lines into a single series of performance chips aimed at both mobiles and desktops. With news like this reaching the public, it’s no wonder Apple has decided to make the switch to Intel - imagine in 4 years when we can run OS 10.6 (and Vista service pack 2) on a slate form factor handheld.

Read More | The Register
Read More |  Reuters

J Allard Xbox 360Now that Microsoft has let the official price and packages of the Xbox 360 out into the wild, everyone is talking about which to get or would you really spend $399 on new system. Well, MS Corporate VP J. Allard, held an online chat discussion on Monday to help alleviate concerns and to sell the 2 SKU idea.

Allard, who said that the chat was “super valuable” to the Xbox team, explained that the Xbox 360 launch has been optimized for three “critical audiences.” Xbox 360 has been designed for the game developer “by offering them a no compromises platform with great hardware, tools and the leading online service with live;” for the hardcore gamer “by putting together a configuration with everything you would want at a compelling price;” and for the entry level gamer “that wanted to get into next generation gaming and was excited by the media capabilities and wanted an entry level option.”

Read More | GameDaily

Canon A620

Cannon will release a new line of PowerShots “A Series” for all those looking for a simple out-of-the-box experience.  The A620 (pictured above) will retail for about $400 and sports the following specs:

7.1 Megapixel, 1/1.8 inch charge coupled device (CCD)
Focal Length Lens
7.3 - 29.2mm f/2.8-4.1 (35mm film equivalent: 35-140mm)
4x Digital Zoom
TTL Autofocus (continuous/single)
Optical Viewfinder
Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
2.0 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD (vari-angle)
Approx. 115,000 pixels LCD Pixels
Maximum Aperture - f/2.8 (W) - f/4.1 (T)
Shutter Speed - 15-1/2000 sec.; Slow shutter operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec.
Recycling Time - Approx. 10 sec. or less (battery voltage=6.0V)
Shooting Modes - Auto; Creative: P, Av, Tv, M, C; Image: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot), My Colors, Stitch Assist, Movie
Photo Effects - Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White
SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard readers
Movie: 640 x 480/320 x 240 (30 fps/15 fps), 320 x 240 (1 min. at 60 fps), 160 x 120 (3 min. at 15 fps)

Canon Powershot A610

The A610 is the 5MP version of the A series and it will retail at $300.  Here are some of its specs:

Powered by 4 AA-size batteries; stores images on SD memory cards (16 MB card included)
5-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 13 x 17-inch prints
2.0-inch vari-angle LCD display; 4x optical zoom
Shoot high-quality movies at up to 60 frames per second
20 shooting modes including My Color settings for customization while shooting

Canon Powershot A410

Lastly, this is for those who do more casual picture taking.  The A410 is the smallest, lightest in these releases and will retail at $150.  Here are its features and specifications:

Direct downloads and printing made easy with the new Print/Share button
4- Megapixel Digital ELPH with 3x optical and 4x digital zoom (12x combined zoom)
Sleek, ultra-compact metal body for the ultimate in style and durability
Exclusive Canon “DiG!C” imaging processor and iSAPS technology for superior image quality and faster processing speed
Full range of print features including ID Photo Print and Movie Print
Print direct to any Canon Direct Printer or any pictbridge enabled printer

Image capte device:  4.0 MP 1/1.8” CCD
ISO sensitivity: Auto, or User Set ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
Image quality modes (JPEG): Normal, Fine, Superfine
File format: Design rule for Camera File System, DPOF Ver. 1.1 (Digital Print Order Format)
Image recording format: Still Image: JPEG or RAW; Movie: AVI. Exif 2.2 compliant
Recording media: CompactFlash (CF) Card, Type I
Shooting modes: Auto, Manual, Stitch Assist, Movie, Continuous (Approx. 2.2 fps)
Photo effects: Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpness, Sepia, B/W
Playback modes: Single, Index (9 Thumbnails), Magnification (Approx. 2x~10x) or Slide Show, Movie
Erase mode: Single Images, All Images
Interfaces: USB; AV Output (NTSC/PAL Selectable, monaural audio) & CF Card slot (Complied w/ Type I Standard), Direct Connection to Canon Direct Photo Printers & PictBridge compatible Printers
Lens: 3x Optical, 3.6x Digital. 11x Combined Zoom (equiv. to 36-108mm in 35mm format)
Shutter speed: 15-1/2000 sec. slow shutter of 1.3 sec. and more operates w/ noise reduction
Focus range: Normal AF: 18 in. (46cm)~infinity; Macro AF: 2~18 in. (5~46cm) (WIDE), 12~18 in. (30~46cm) (TELE)
Light metering method: Evaluative Metering, Center-weighted average metering or Spot metering
Exposure control: Program AE; AE Lock is available
Compensation: +/-2.0 EV in 1/3 step increments
White balance control: TTL Auto White Balance, Preset White Balance (Avail. settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H), & Custom White Balance
Optical viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
LCD: 1.5” low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-1LH) or AC Adapter Kit ACK500, Car Battery Carger CBC-NB1
Dimensions (W x H x D): 3.4” x 2.2” x 1.1”/ 87.0 x 57.0 x 27.8mm
Weight: Approx. 6.5 oz./185g (camera body only)

Just found a great article which is basically just a checklist of what makes a successful entrepreneur. Thinking about the things I do and comparing it to the list, it is very spot on. It even includes a few things that I never noticed. If you have been considering going into business for yourself with the hopes of being a success, I would recommend check it out. Here is a snippet:

Skills of Successful Entrepreneurs

  • Co-ordination
    The ability to manage many different types of jobs and responsibilities at the same time.
  • Evaluation
    The ability to examine important facts about the business and to determine the least risky way to proceed.
  • Organization
    The ability to organize all the resources of the business in order to make it run in the most efficient manner.
  • Research
    The ability to obtain all the necessary information to insure that the best possible decisions are made.

Check the list, and let us know if you think anything is missing - or if you can relate - in the comments.