Thursday, November 27, 2008

The easy mobile conversion of your web page

Create websites for mobile cell phones - access news, video, blogs, games, internet media

From the about page.

is the fastest and easiest way to get your favorite web content on your
mobile phone. Whether you want to follow breaking news or tech updates,
from big publishers or tiny blogs, Mippin brings them all seamlessly
together in the perfect format for your phone. You can quickly search
and browse, see what others are reading and share your own discoveries.
And Mippin is smart: it remembers exactly what you like and delivers
automatic one-click updates.
Just type into your mobile browser and see just how quick and easy the web becomes.


Category: Why didn't I think of that!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Piaggio Unveils a 141-MPG Plug-In Hybrid Scooter

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

CEATEC 2008: Fujitsu presents Kindle “killer” Flepia

Apparently, I have a fascination with the e-paper, e-book world. Here is yet another player in this market.

Additional info:

Earlier CrunchGear blog entry about this tech

MoBuzz Daily Buzz - Interview with Nike Plus GM At the Picnic Conference in Amsterdam we talk with Michael Tchao, General Manager, Nike Techlab Group, about the Nike Plus and the iPod integration.

The ah-ha moment for me was the misconception which I held that this was only for runners. Being a walker, this is yet another social network based on physical activity.

Cool. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HTC's T-Mobile G1 Video

Almost perfect, sure, but not exactly an iPhone killer.
This will be the future, that is, if it catches on.
Remember Linux is "open" so acceptance may be slow for the G1.
The consumer will need to be educated on how "open" answers the question:

"What's in it for me?"

"The Hype"

"The Tour"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

iPhone, so what! Now here's a phone!

HTC – Touch Phone, PDA Phone, Smartphone, Mobile Computer: Products – HTC Touch HD: Overview

Rumored to become available in Q4.  We shall see.  Now, this is one nice phone. Sorry Android, but you may have waited just a little too long.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kindle, schmindle, this is the next big thing!

Plastic Logic's e-reader should pump up the competition in this arena.

Plastic Logic

Monday, September 8, 2008

Plastic Logic flexible e-newspaper

engadget article on Plastic Logic's e-paper

The interesting thing here is the higher resolution.
Add a live mobile connection and this should be the next revolution.

Plastic Logic Product

Update: CrunchGear has article indicating that it will be wireless updated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

iPhone is not a Back Page Tech story

Things people wanted from the iPhone but did not get (per Molly Wood on the Buzz Report):

  • Lower monthly fees (not much can be done about this one, since we are between a rock and a hard place if you "really" want the iPhone)
  • video capture (this is a software issue and might be resolved via folks like Qik)
  • 3G Music Downloads (another software issue)
  • Multimedia Messaging (another software issue)
  • Landscape keyboard (another software issue)
  • better camera (this was just stupid on Apple's part, probably one of the easiest fixes they could have made)
  • cut and past (another software issue)
  • stereo bluetooth (Apple is just lame on this one)
  • streaming bluetooth audio (Apple lame again)
  • phone as modem (tethering) (another software issue)
  • voice dialing (another software issue)
  • to-do list (another software issue)
  • 32 GB version (gotta have something for the next release. how soon people forget what happened in the past)
  • haptic feedback (right. why not? battery? mechanics? get over it!)

Software issues, just give Steve Jobs something to announce at the next amazing Apple-centric event. (Perhaps something like this: Apple Announces 3G iPhone! Exclusive!)

After all of this, I will probably switch from my Windows Mobile 6.1 Samsung Blackjack to the iPhone. I am already an AT&T customer and my current 2 year contract is done in July 2008, this means I will probably see no difference in charges or related hardware costs, because my normal upgrade cycle is about every 2 years and typically costs between $100 and $200.

I don't believe that I am alone on this switchover. Currently several situations are coming together to create the perfect gadget storm.

  • Factor 1: Apple computer products are looking better and better as Vista continues to wallow in its own "whatever".
  • Factor 2: the iPhone has produced a "game changing" scenario that most of the other phone manufacturers are now emulating
  • Factor 3: Apple is making the "cloud" a reality for folks who in listening to Microsoft had no idea what the hell they were talking about
  • Factor 4: Apple has learned a major lesson - build your own stuff, but play nice with others. Well at least play nice with the "others" that have things which get you even more sales without you (Apple) needing to come up with a compromise to get them to play, for example Google and the iPhone relationship.

Wouldn't it be interesting if suddenly all the Android efforts were some how also available on an iPhone?

Wouldn't it be interesting if the iPhone becomes not just your phone but replaces your mobile computing platforms (PDA, laptop, e-reader)?

Wouldn't it be interesting if... ?

Oh enough of that. I'm probably completely wrong. But you just never you, you know?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Can NoScript help?

In watching an episode of Tekzilla, they mentioned a Firefox addon called NoScript. Always willing to try something new, it was installed within seconds and after restarting FF my browsing experience was changed forever!

The first thing you notice is the "S" down in the lower right corner of the browser window. The second thing is the popup "Options" line also down in the lower portion of the browser. It is a simple matter to authorize the scripts on a page and NoScript automatically reloads the page after changes are selected. For me, it works well and reasonably unobtrusively. However, some who desire a transparent browsing experience may not appreciate the attention required for this added safety.

The unexpected benefit for my browsing experience was the identification of all the scripts within a web page. Both the ones that make the page "work" as well as the insidious background, hidden scripts that track, collect or basically spy on your internet behaviors. NoScript easily exposes these to the user and provides a way to be in control of both your actions and what others can collect about those actions.

Of course, there is the matter of trust. Yes, Noscript is an excellent aid to safe surfin', but it has the opportunity to abuse that trust. However, I don't believe that this is the case and since its introduction it has been closely reviewed. It is free software under GPL licensing. So for now, I will trust it until I learn something different.

Information from the web site:

The NoScript Firefox extension provides extra protection for Firefox, Flock, Seamonkey and others mozilla-based browsers:
this free, open source add-on allows JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins
to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice (e.g. your online bank),
and provides the most powerful Anti-XSS protection available in a browser.

NoScript's unique whitelist based pre-emptive script blocking approach
prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even not known yet!)
with no loss of functionality...

You can enable JavaScript, Java and plugin execution for sites you trust with a simple left-click
on the NoScript status bar icon (look at the picture), or
using the contextual menu, for easier operation in popup statusbar-less windows.

Watch the "Using NoScript" video
kindly contributed by John Wilkerson.

Staying safe has never been so easy!

Experts will agree: Firefox is really safer with NoScript!

Bottom line: NoScript has been around for a couple of years. For this author, it has opened his eyes to just how nasty some of the scripting is on various sites. Even if you plan to globally authorize all scripting, be sure to at least check out the scripts on the pages you visit, they could be helping you in ways you really, really don't want to have happen.

NoScript was written by Giorgio Maone who cofounded Informaction located in Palermo, Italy.

You can get NoScript here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Virtual Cable™

This might be listed in the "too cool to be true" section, but if it is truly as good as they say, I love it!

Mentioned at their web site:
Virtual Cable™ is a unique display for a car navigation system. The driver sees the Virtual Cable™ image through the windshield. It appears as if suspended over the road, similar to a trolley cable. The image is in true 3D and appears to be a natural part of the landscape. The driver uses only peripheral vision to follow the Virtual Cable™.

The Virtual Cable™ is so powerful, intuitive, unambiguous and safe because it appears and behaves with true 3 dimensionality within the landscape.

Also noted on their site:
They have video simulations demonstrating the Virtual Cable™. These videos are limited by the 2 dimensionality of your computer screen. Nothing we can show on a flat screen can prepare you for the impressive way the truly 3 dimensional Virtual Cable™ looks within the real landscape.

And finally, how it gets to the consumer:
To appear real within the landscape, the image must be truly three-dimensional. The Virtual Cable™ uses a unique volumetric display to create this 3D image (patent pending).

The Virtual Cable™ displays can be offered at prices competitive with the embedded screen-based car navigation systems. All components used by the Virtual Cable™ display are currently mass produced for other purposes.

In terms of components independence, the Virtual Cable™ display (as a part of navigation system) is analogous to a PC monitor (as a part of a personal computer system). Just as a PC (CPU) may by upgraded, or replaced, without replacing the monitor, the route-planning device may be upgraded, or replaced, while keeping the original, factory-installed Virtual Cable™ display.

The Virtual Cable™ display must be factory-installed in a car and can be integrated with ANY method of route planning: voice interface, in-car instrument panel screen, portable map display system, cell phone, PDA, or PC.

This flexible design allows car companies to integrate with a single navigation/telematics service provider or to give customers a choice of several providers. The car companies could improve their share of the car navigation market by offering a superior display while freeing them from having to participate in the day-to-day customer support of the route planning devices and services.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

twitter crushed under its own weight

As Calacanis would say: "TWITTER!"

UPDATE: 2008.05.29
You have to admit their error messages are artistic, well at least cartoonish.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


As the iPhone made a mobile leap, the XOXO will be the leap for eReaders and small "usable" devices (don't say laptop). If they do a G1G1 program, I would gladly participate.

Details from Christoph Derndorfer's post.

At the much-anticipated press-event that took place at OLPC HQ in Boston earlier today, the organization unveiled its plans for second generation of XO hardware. The XO-2, or XOXO as it's also called, comes with dual-touchscreens which has some tech journalists thinking of the Nintendo DS. As you can see on the photo to your right one of the touchscreens can be used as a keyboard to enable the standard typewriter style of computing.

The XO-2 will make use of displays developed by Pixel Qi which was founded by former OLPC-CTO Mary Lou Jepsen in early 2008.

TED -Yves Behar: Creating objects that tell stories

Designer Yves Behar digs up his creative roots to discuss some of the iconic objects he's created (the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset). Then he turns to the witty, surprising, elegant objects he's working on now -- including the "$100 laptop."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TED Talk- Joshua Klein: The amazing intelligence of crows

Hacker and writer Joshua Klein talks about his crow vending machine experiment and the thriving urban mutualism between humans and crows.

Included are examples of human-crow research encounters.

Joshua Klein TED bio

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hmmm, Lenovo vs Mac Air

You be the judge.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HTC new U.S. ad campaign

I'm a sucker for subtle advertising.

The lastest TV commercial of HTC's flagship touch-phone, the HTC Touch. Set your fingers free. Enjoy!

My wife's phone from HTC/ATT

Thursday, April 17, 2008

cNet's - Darwin's private papers go digital

Reported over at cNet's - Darwin's private papers go digital.

Granted this is not exactly "tech news", but it definitely qualifies at "back page news". I figure that bunches of folks will be scouring these online reads for evidence supporting their standings on which ever side of the evolution/creationism discussion they fall.

As noted in the article of Thursday 2008.04.17 -
The Darwin Online Project is releasing on Thursday more than 90,000 online pages of Charles Darwin's photographs, sketches, and manuscripts, including the first draft of his theory of evolution.

Darwin Online

As a side note, over on the Darwin Online site they have a page dedicated to 2009 -

The year 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (24 November 1859) and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (12 February 1809)

To find out the latest releases, try the What's New page.

Overall, this stuff is an interesting read when you put together the time line, events of the day and the discussions that have ensued since the initial publications. Granted to some this will be a boring as let's say... rust, but to this writer, who is intrigued by anyone who can step beyond their present day by seeing what is and then making the leap to predict what was and what will be. It is an amazing mind which accomplishes this.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Darren Rowse - Why I love twitter?

When Darren Rowse asked his twitter followers "Why do you love twitter?", he received these responses in about one hour. Then of course, made this video.

I love twitter as well. Two of the comments hit home for me. They are - twitter being a massive multi-player instant messaging client and the fact that you get to listen to a huge "over-the-cube-wall" set of conversations.

One thing that I don't understand about the twitter-verse is their negativity towards Robert Scoble's high level of chatter. Are these the same people who while watching TV complain that there is nothing on, yet continue to watch and complain and watch and complain...? Change the channel! Turn it off! OR, listen for the nuggets of information excellence and let the rest drift by.

Sorry, I digress. Enjoy the vid.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Short post: My next mobile phone

Crunch Gear article about a possible Google Android-based phone.
If this is "real" and is touch-sensitive, they had me at "Dream".

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Barack Obama: On Net Neutrality (Updated)

Just be be fair, here is a link to the story on "Clinton Defends Net Neutrality Position"
Bottom line is that both Obama and Clinton co-sponsored legislation to promote Net Neutrality.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

iGizmo First Issue on the web

Another online magazine about technology... ho hum... no wait!
This is a little different. iGizmo takes the magazine format and updates it to an interactive nature where the viewer/reader flips the pages just like a real hold in your hand mag, but there are "hot spots" to get more details about the topics. This runs the route of videos, demos, and up close looks at new gizmos.

Remember this is UK based so the trend on gadgets may be European-centric.

It remains to be seen if this once every fortnight online mag can keep up with the gadgets and gizmos which spew forth each day. But, if you're interested in gizmos, and who isn't, it will cost you nothing to sign up for iG (iGIZMO).


Friday, March 7, 2008

Quik Pod DSLR (recommended by Cali Lewis)

I recently purchased the Quik Pod DSLR directly from their website store. I decided on this one based on a episode where Cali "advertised" it.

Watch video clip

For my use, I wanted to attach a Canon HV20 camcorder with a Rodes Videomic. This weighs exactly 2 pounds so I thought it would be the perfect light weight extender and monopod. Since the mic changes the center of gravity towards the front of the camera, I was concerned that this might be to much for the QP.

The specs says that the Quik Pod can handle a DSLR of that weight and that usually means with the additional of a telephoto lens. To my surprise the "pole" was strong enough to handle this weight, however the tilt mechanism decided it needed to either droop forward or fall backwards as if it were falling asleep as I filmed. I know I do some pretty boring stuff, but I didn't need my equipment to start making comments on my work.

My first attempts at tightening the butterfly nut caused me to worry about the stress on the plastic assembly. No matter how much I tightening the nut, the droopiness remained.

Since this was the only issue, I decided to look into the construction a bit.

But first the things I liked about the Quik Pod are:

  • very compact
  • very light
  • very strong
  • quick release head
  • has a rubberized foot for monopod use and a wrist strap connector for "pole" use. (Although it would be better if there were a quick release for these to change between them)
  • the tiny mirror was unexpectedly useful when the Quik Pod was not fully extended. (it was just a bit too small for my ancient eyes when QP was at its longest.)
  • holding it at half length extension was not a problem, holding it at full extension required hand and hip combo.
  • one problem I expected but never arose was having the whole thing tilt side to side. I guess there is enough balance to not allow this.

Now, back to the droop. I disassembled the tilt mechanism and discovered the surfaces inside were all smooth plastic, meaning that its ability to hold weight locked in a position would require more tightening than the plastic might tolerate. Since I was going to write this review, I decided to write Cali and give her some feedback on the QP issue. She in turn forwarded my note to Wayne at QuikPod and they instantly (and I mean instantly) responded with the following reply.
We have just completed a factory fix and I would like to send you a new
DSLR head that will solve the problem.

In a few days, I received the new mechanism and now the QuikPod DSLR is PERFECT.

The fix was the additional of teeth on the inside that allow the surfaces to lock in place when the butterfly nut is tightened. It was no longer required to tighten this excessively, so no more worries about stressing the plastic.

The Quik Pod is an excellent additional to any camera or camcorder. A great way to perform "self" shots as well as creating those really low altitude aerial shots. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Video: Twitter in Plain English

leelefever provides the following video on

This 2.5 minute video is a result of feedback from our fans. We've received a number of requests from people who want their
friends to use the micro-blogging service Twitter, but can't seem to explain it well. We hope this video helps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Submarine cables severed - Conspiracy? summarizes the fact, fiction and conspiracies about the recent cable cuts.

MoBuzz description of the video:

Today we thought we would focus on just the one thing instead of our usual meandering habits. When four underwater cables were damaged at the beginning of this month, conspiracy theorists went into overdrive on the internet. We take a look at what all the fuss was about.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Polymer Vision's Readius eReader mobile phone coming in 2008

There was an old sci-fi story called "Earth: Final Conflict" which was a TV series. The coolest device on that show was the mobile phones. The phones had a pull out transparent sheet which expanded the display for video phone images and the like. As with a lot of scifi concepts they sometimes move to reality. This may be getting close. Polymervision had hoped to deliver sometime during the end of 2007.

Polymervision has developed Readius and rollable display which later in 2008 may provide an eReader in the size of a standard mobile phone. According to engadget, they will be releasing finally in Italy.

On January 22nd, 2008, they made the following announcement.

Eindhoven, The Netherlands – January 22nd 2008 – Polymer Vision, the inventor of rollable displays and a spin out from Philips, today introduced the Readius® product for commercial launch by mid 2008.   The exclusive device exploits the versatility of rollable displays to merge the ‘reading friendly’ strengths of e-readers with the ‘high mobility’ features of mobile phones. Together with the Readius® internet portal, designed for personalisation and content selection, the company offers a whole new mobile phone category.

 “People are demanding greater choice and flexibility in having overall instant access to personal content and information” said Karl McGoldrick, CEO of Polymer Vision. “They do not want to be concerned with small screens, not being able to read in sunlight, a dead battery or a device being too bulky to carry in their pocket. Readius® solves these worries and is generations ahead of anything else out there today”.
Readius® is the ideal travel companion
Designed around ease of use and mobility, Readius® can last for 30 hours of continuous reading without battery charge. The 3G HSDPA tri-band phone allows worldwide calls and high speed instant updates from personally selected news sources, email and other services.
Standard POP3 and IMAP is supported for ISP e-mail and others such as Yahoo!Mail, Google Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. The Micro SD High Capacity storage ensures quick and easy access to e-books and valuable information. Readius® also features audio capabilities, including MP3, for podcasts, audio books and music. 

Readius® internet portal delivers choice and flexibility
The Readius® internet portal allows users to quickly and simply configure their Readius® User Interface as well as select content and services to individual style and needs. With zero clicks, personal data and information is then ‘pushed’ whenever and wherever it is needed.
The portal presents content providers with a commercially attractive channel to offer their content and services to the high growth mobile consumer market. Polymer Vision is in discussion with numerous such providers to populate the portal and make a broad choice of content and services available to Readius® owners.

Readius® will be available for commercial launch mid 2008, creating an exceptional opportunity for mobile operators, retail outlets and content providers to win new customers, increase revenues and develop non-intrusive mobile advertising options. Specific details on timing, volumes and pricing can be discussed by appointment.
Readius®, its applications, and the content download platform, will be on show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 11th – 14th February 2008, at the Polymer Vision booth, Hall 2, Booth C05.  

To get to know Readius® better - with videos, images and downloads - please visit the Polymer Vision website:
Summary of key specifications
Weight:           One third the average weight of e-readers (115g)
Display size:    Twice the surface area of current largest phone display (5” diagonal, 16 greyscales)
Device size:     Equal to an average mobile phone when closed (115 x 57 x 21mm)
Battery life:      Up to six times longer than on mobile phones (30 hours continuous reading)
Connectivity:    Greatest coverage of any e-reader (Tri Band/3G HSDPA)
                       Supporting ActiveSync and USB mass storage (USB 2.0)  
                       Communication with accessories and other devices (Bluetooth 2.0)   
Processor:        Powerful processing engine (ARM11 400MHz)   
Storage:           Flexible, today commercially available up to 8GB (High Capacity Micro SD)
User Interface: Just 8 buttons (SimpleTouch Buttons)
Press contact Polymer Vision
Polymer Vision News Desk
Gerdie Vlassak
+31 (0)40 2774200

Readius® leads to a more environmentally friendly  future                                                               
Polymer Vision sees a future where over 3 billion mobile users have compact, more power efficient, secure mobile devices - with screens large enough to trigger dramatic reductions in the casual use of paper. The company is thereby highly motivated to play a key role in creating a more environmentally friendly future while successfully commercializing their products. 
About Polymer Vision
Polymer Vision is the inventor of rollable displays and the pioneer of rollable display enabled mobile devices. It is the first company to bring organic semiconductor based flexible/rollable displays to production and the first to announce a related commercial product. Polymer Vision Ltd is a private company which spun out of Philips at the end of 2006. In 2007 it acquired all the assets of Innos UK Ltd to establish Polymer Vision (UK) Ltd in Southampton, England, now the display manufacturing arm of the company. Also in 2007 Polymer Vision received the prestigious “Innovation Award” at the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona in recognition of the significant contribution of Polymer Vision to the mobile industry. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Opinion - IDVault

Do you bank, invest, purchase or enter a username and password combination while online? If you're like most people, you do. Did you know your accounts and perhaps your identity could be compromised? If you're like most people, you do, but the convenience factor usually overrides your wariness and you accept the risks.

Well, I'm not so accepting. So to that end I looked around for a way to secure all those usernames and passwords, plus provide a secure method to exchange them with the target site. There are a number of choices out on the market, but each had some aspect that did not matchup with the general need for this type of protection.

Enter IDVault.

IDVault 2008 was announced on September 18, 2007. As more and more transactions are processed online, it becomes more and more advantageous for thrieves to target these transactions.
Hopeful that a device and software combination would mitigate this risk, I selected Guard ID Systems IDVault to test.

The retail price varies just a bit, but can be obtain for between $40 and $50. A second IDVault can be purchase for around $30 by the original owner. These prices were available via Guard ID Systems website at the time of this writing.

The one tested was purchased directly from Guard ID and the box contained the USB drive, USB extension cable, software CD and the various paperwork. The first thing that was noticeable was that the USB drive looked like a rubberized padlock. It has a yellow button to retract the drive connector into the body of the "lock". Overall "feel" is that of an inexpensive thumb drive. The environment is a closed loop. IDVault presents a trimmed down version of a browser for the actual Internet operations. It does notice when you attempt to browse to one of the sites that is part of their list and will ask if you want to use IDVault to login. If you respond with yes, the page you are viewing is stopped and the IDVault browser appears along with the dialog boxes. Similarly, if you browse to a previously repistered site, you are asked if you wish to use IDVault and the operations proceed using their trimmed down browser.

Overall, IDVault performs on an average level. It does what they say in the ads, with only a few hiccups.
There are a number of features that slide over to the "CON" column, these are:

  • Multi-browser support is lacking (only uses your default browser, either IE or Firefox);
  • no direct editing capability for correcting URLs, usernames and other account attributes;
  • did not work with several sites tested. They were Comcast, Qwest and BestBuy. Some of these were manually added while others were part of their list of sites.

The perfect implementation would allow use with other applications, such as Quicken and the like, in addition to browsers. IDVault does not accomodate these other applications.

Opinion: For a majority of the web browsing consumers, IDVault will work adequately. For my use, it does not make the grade. For those who need a more flexible option, shop around.

BTW, Steve Gibson of Security Now podcast fame will be performing an in depth review of IronKey, yet another secure option. Refer to Security Now #126 (AKA Listener Feedback #32) where he mentions the upcoming review.

Update 2008-03-13: Security Now #135 covers the product from IronKey

Alternative that I use:
Presently using the Open Source KeePass Password Safe to maintain usernames and passwords for all accounts. These accounts include those access via browsers as well as particular applications. The configuration in my situation is two USB thumb drives. One drive contains the database password (long computer generated string) and the other drive contains the database. To access the database both drives must be mounted. Both usernames and passwords are available via a paste option so keystroke loggers won't see the entries. In addition, all information is editable and easily accessed.

Side Note: In the same Security Now episode mentioned above, Steve mentions the security risks involved with the use of Opera Mini, which is their free option for mobile browsing. Bottom line, if you are concerned about security, DO NOT USE OPERA MINI !

Hopefully, in 2008, some type of general purpose online ID protection will be made available. If you are using another device to personal online ID protection, please let me know.

Other related links:
Coolest Gadgets - IDVault Review IDVault page