I think it is safe to say that we have all received less than stellar directions from services like MapQuest, MapBlast, and all the others. Well, check out the latest faux pas from MSN MapPoint. Instead of going in a stright line from point A to point B, why not travel though a couple of countries and make an almost complete circle en route to your destination? All the cool kids are doing it.
Linksys has recently released their SRX enabled router and PC card line. What is unique about the Linksys WRT54GX router is that it supports 802.11g and 802.11b connections, and throws in SRX (Speed and Range eXpansion) technology which provides a speed boost which is up to 8 times faster than standard 802.11g connections with 3 times the range. What’s even better, you can mix 802.11b, 802.11g, and SRX devices all on the same network and they will all connect at their maximum respective speeds since the router has individual antennas for each speed.
Mozilla Firefox has jumped to nearly 5% market share, according to online measurement company WebSideStory, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has dropped to just below 93%. MSIE has dropped 4% in market share since June, most of which can be attributed to the Department of Homeland Security’s endorsement of alternative browsers to prevent spyware as well as vigorous promotion by satisfied Firefox users. While MSIE maintains a high percentage of users, its obvious that many are switching. There are some who believe that as Firefox gains market share, hackers will begin to find exploits in its code, which will be the true test of Firefox’s open source nature.
Looking at Gear Live’s visitor statistics, back in June less than 2% of our visitors entered using a Firefox browser. Today, we have an average of 65% of readers using Internet Explorer, and a nice 26% using Firefox.
Read More | CNET
Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Samsung have decided to work together to produce a system to manage digital music and video in order to put an end to piracy, or at least make it harder. These companies have finally realized that there are too many companies with their own brand for digital music. This leads to consumers not being able to play songs they purchased legally on their own MP3 player. Hopefully more companies will join in on this venture to fully embrace one digital music standard. After all, who wants to buy a new portable music player just so they can play one album they bought at so and so’s online store?
Read More | BBC News
When Microsoft removed POP3 access from it’s Hotmail email service, everyone expected it would reappear with a fee attached. Enter Microsoft Office Outlook Live - Microsoft’s new subscription service which provides a marriage of sorts between MSN Hotmail and Microsoft Outlook. It provides 2 GB of online storage space, and allows attachments up to 20 MB in size.
“Outlook Live is the most advanced email service available from Microsoft and is perfect for individuals who really want to get the most out of their email,” said Blake Irving, Corporate Veep of MSN Communication Services. Through April 19, a one year subscription can be purchased for $44.95 - after that, it gets bumped up to $59.95. It is currently only available in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Read More | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell has turned in his resignation after a four year stint in the position. What I liked about Powell was that he wasn’t all for strict telecommunications regulation. However, it was a pain in the past year seeing products like TiVo, the Sony Clie, and a myriad of cell phones have to go through hell to get things approved for use in the United States. Maybe the next person to take the seat will be a bit more lenient. Powell, who is a huge advocate of Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), will work his final day as FCC Chairman on March 10, 2005.
Read More | Forbes
Unless you have been locked away somewhere, you have got to know that the Motorola RAZR V3 is the hottest phone on the market right now (despite having quite a few flaws).With the RAZR V3, it’s all about the look. Motorola is looking to capitalize on the immense popularity of the phone by releasing a few more versions. We can expect more releases of the same phone in an assortment of colors, as well as what has been described as a candy bar styled phone called the RAZR Silver.
Read More | MobileTracker
Their tagline says it all,“All your music. All over your house. All from the palm of your hand.” Starting with the basics, the Sonos unit is a wifi distribution system plus more. The zone players are also amplifiers, with speaker and line outs on the back of the unit. Bring it with you where you want it. On the back of the unit is a 4 port ethernet switch, but have no fear, it’s also wifi-enabled so the rj45’s aren’t mandatory. It will connect to up to 16 computers to be sure it has all your music. They also speak to other units wirelessly. You can listen to a song in multiple rooms with no echo or delay, or you can listen to multiple songs in multiple rooms. It will also stream internet radio station and allow for a line in connection from another audio device. 50watts per channel and it weighs 10lbs. It’s made of alluminum to keep it light and mobile. Add the Sonos desktop software and it links all your music together in the hot looking hand held controller. With an iPod styled control section and a 3.5” backlit LCD so you can browse your collection by Artist, Album, Genre, Track Name, Composer, or Playlist. You can build and edit playlists and setup multiple playlists for each zone. The Li-ION polymer battery will last for a week and only takes two hours to charge. As for the price, you can grab the Introductory Bundle which includes two zone player and the controller for a cool $1200 USD.
Read More | Sonos
Today Intel officially released the Sonoma chipset, which is the next generation of its Centrino mobile platform. Now, don’t be confused if you don’t see Sonoma stickers on the 150 new laptops based on the technology that are set to be released this year (of which 80 launched today). Sonoma is the codename for the updated product, but it will still ship under the Centrino brand. Looking at the upgrade, it appears to be a winner. Sonoma includes a 533MHz front-side bus, the new Alviso chipset (which brings dual-channel DDR support, PCI Express, and 7.1 Dolby surround sound), as well as the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG technology which provides built-in 802.11a/b/g support. The new chipset is up for some competition from AMD’s Turion 64 Mobile Processor.
OLED screens seem to be popping up everywhere. Televisions, cell phones, and even electric shavers. But now they are in your car? This new technology, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, puts off a luminescence when a voltage is applied while also displaying an image similar to an LCD display. This translates to less power consumption, which means longer battery life in portable devices. These OLEDs also last longer than typical LCDs, making them more practical. Currently, they are very expensive to make, but as they are included in more and more products, researchers will gain more experience with them and the price will come down. The next place for these special diodes to appear is the dashboard of your car. Used to light up the instrument panel, these devices are already appearing in Aston Martins, Jeeps, and the Corvette.
Read More | MSN CNet