We are back on the podcast tip this week, expanding on some of the more popular topics we’ve have talked about over the past several days. In this edition:
- Tom Bihn Brain Bag Review
- Tom Bihn Monolith Review
- Japanese Prototype Automatic Door Takes Complicated Leap Forward
- Hacked OSx86 Will Run On PC Hardware
- Palm Chooses HTC to Manufacture Treo 670
- Microsot Limits 3rd Party Xbox 360 Accessories
- South Korean Man Dies After 50-Hour Gaming Marathon
Voices: Edwin Soto, Sparky, Jesse Easley
Length: 30:06, 20.7 MB
LISTEN | Gear Live Podcast
Looks like Fossil’s line of PDA watches are going the way of the Tapwave. After several years of delays, underexposure, and just plain having a product that nobody wanted, “reliable sources” have told BargainPDA that Fossil is exiting the wrist-born PDA market. The Fossil watches came in several different wristband styles and featured either the Palm OS with 8MB of memory or a version of MSN Direct. While the idea of a wristwatch connected to organizational info may hold some promise, Fossil consistently struggled with the actual execution of the product and price-point. So, for those of you actually wearing one of these things, the unimaginable just happened – it just became even lamer.
Read More | BargainPDA
While official details on the next iteration of Palm Treos have been scant, the Chinese business newspaper Commercial Times is reporting today that a manufacturing deal has been reached with High Tech Computer to produce the new smartphones. The Taiwanese HTC will begin shipping the product in the first quarter of next year. The biggest draw for the rumor mill on the Treo 670 is its use of the Windows Mobile operating system, a first for any Palm device. Sales for the Treo 600 and Treo 650, both Palm OS-based smartphones, have been exceptional, setting the obvious standard for smartphone quality and commercial success. However, the growing strength and popularity of Windows Mobile may improve Treo’s market share even more.
Read More | DigiTimes
Freedom Input just might be my hero at the moment. They have announced their Mini Bluetooth Keyboard - a credit card sized thumb board similar to those on the Treo, or Motorola Q - the difference being that this is a stand alone unit and could theoretically be used with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, PDAs, TabletPC’s, and other devices. The problem is that it does not support the Bluetooth HID profile, so whatever device you want to use this on will require special drivers. Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows XP already have support built in. This seems like the perfect solution for someone who does a lot of SMS or email on their phone, and wants a QWERTY keyboard without having a huge handheld to carry. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard features backlit keys and features an innovative backlighting system for your “after hours” data entry needs. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard is available for $60 and can run on 120 hours on two AAA batteries. The website says it will be available in Q3 2005 - not soon enough if you ask me!
The hw6515 and hw6510, also known as the Mobile Messenger, is coming soon to Cingular. The Mobile Messenger features a 240x240 screen, EDGE data access, and GPS mapping built in. The phone will be running Pocket PC 2003 Second Edition - not the upcoming Windows Mobile 5.0. With no word on if the phone will be upgradable to Windows Mobile 5.0 when it comes out, I’m not sure if this will be a good seller or not. Regardless of software, having a small phone like this with a keyboard and good email software is always a plus for the connectivity-hungry geek on the go.
Read More | Daves iPaq
With rumors flying amidst Howard Forums posting movies and pictures of the Treo 670, could it really be true that Palm is working on a Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone? Most phone geeks out there are really excited about this but I just don’t see how this is in Palm’s best interest - they have always been an OS and a software company as well as a hardware manufacturer (aside from the whole PalmOne/Palmsource buyback debacle) and it would seem that shipping a competitors operating system on their award winning hardware would be counterintuitive to their business model. I for one am excited about this - the Treo hardware has impressed me, but their software has always been slightly lacking when it came to just being a phone - with Windows Mobile 5.0 and Treo’s hardware design we could be on to a winner. Right now only a Verizon EV-DO version has surfaced, but hopefully a Cingular UMTS version is in the works to coincide with their pending UMTS launch.
Read More | Howard Forums
Zodiac, maker of the Palm OS/gaming/multimedia hybrid Tapwave, announced today that it has discontinued its production, service, and support for the handheld device. The Tapwave enjoyed some favorable reviews from various sources, but struggled to stay afloat in a market where so many other products (iPod, Nintendo DS, PSP, and other Palms) were doing the same things - and doing them better. Tapwave’s claim-to-fame convergence of all handheld needs proved to be too much for Zodiac to handle. On its homepage, Zodiac points readers to continued, though all outside, resources and thanks users for their “past interest and support” and apologizes “for any inconvenience.” Owning fancy-looking but dead and obsolete technology is always inconvenient.
Read More | Zodiac’s Tapwave Homepage
It looks like the poorly scanned HTC Wizard fax that was presented before was quite true to life. New photos have emerged that show how delicious the Wizard promises to be. Featuring a full QWERTY keyboard and320x240 screen along with WiFi and Bluetooth any email addict will be quivering in anticipation for a hit from this mobile machine. The only specification that gives worry is a rumored mere200MHz processor - very slow by todays Windows Mobile standards. It’s really encouraging to see how many Windows Mobile 5.0 devices are just around the corner featuring fullthumboards - email and chat are about to explode in a big way on the mobile market.
Read More | Slashphone
The rumored HTC Wizard has just emerged with a grainy image from a French website. The Windows Mobile 5.0 powered device would have a QVGA screen, 1.3MP camera, and feature GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and Wifi. I was a little surprised to not see Bluetooth on the list, but it is early yet and the specs might change. It looks like this PDA phone will be sized much more like a wide candy bar style phone rather than a large bulky PDA with a supposed size of 4.2 x 2.2 x 0.9-inches. Without Bluetooth or UMTS I’m not sure if this will be a winner or not - but its certainly worth keeping an eye on for a fully featured QWERTY phone.
Read More | HTC Wizard
Garmin just dropped a couple of sweet convergence devices on us. The GPSMAP 396 and 376c are two GPS mapping gadgets with built in XM radio, XM Weather information (XMWX), and high resolution color screens. The XMWX feature allows the user to see real time NEXRAD radar overlays, wind speeds, and temperature maps in the surrounding area along with forecasts - a useful feature for any boaters out there. The 376c is aimed at in car and marine installation and is compatible with BlueChart format maps. The 396 is aimed at aviation and provides significant additional information about heading, altitude, and other information important to pilots. Both GPS units are WAAS enabled for higher accuracy. Given the blend of GPS functionality, live satellite weather information, and XM radio in a small package I can see some users forking over the $999.99 for the 376c. The 396 is expected to retail at $2695.00 which while being a significantly higher price it is certified for use in airplanes - partially justified by a larger screen, and better battery technology.
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