Mini Video-to-Go Moves From Concept to Shelf

Portable video is coming it seems whether people feel there is a market or not… This time in the form of a hack to the Gameboy enabling video to play through for kids.

INEXPENSIVE ways to play video on hand-held devices have been promised for at least a couple of years, and there have been tantalizing glimpses of bright-screened, palm-size prototypes at electronics shows. [New York Times: Technology]

Essentially, Majesco has put a typical Game Boy game cartridge to a new use. With its own compression technology, it squeezed about 45 minutes of full-screen, full-sound video into the cartridge’s 256-megabyte solid-state memory.

When the cartridge, called Game Boy Advance Video, is inserted into the console, the 1.6-inch-by-2.4-inch screen becomes a video playback window. Sound is piped through the player’s tiny speaker or can be heard through headphones. Next month Majesco will also release the first headphones made exclusively for Game Boy Advance SP, which cannot accommodate commonly used headphones without an adapter.

The headphones are expected to cost about $10 and the video cartridges about $20, said Liz Buckley, senior product manager for Majesco, which is based in Edison, N.J. She said the first 11 titles would be cartoons or computer-generated animation for children ages 6 to 12.

“It’s the most likely age group to watch things over and over,” Ms. Buckley said, describing all the programs, which include Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Fairly Odd Parents” and 4Kids Entertainment’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” as “episodic.”

Will HDTV antipiracy plan unplug digital networks?

Yes not exactly news or a new argument, but important nonetheless. We’ve had this BS since the VCR… Unfortunately I don’t think the consumer will win here unless some serious lobbying gets into play.

Hollywood wants to control the connections used in new high-definition TV sets. If it wins, home video recording may never be the same again, critics say. [CNET]

Hollywood studios and TV companies have said they can’t afford to release their best material on new high-definition digital networks if it is likely to be copied and redistributed online or elsewhere. As a result, they have successfully pressed Congress and the FCC to add copy-protection guarantees to several ongoing regulatory proceedings aimed at speeding digital TV to market.

Mail Clients?

Other than browsers, my favorite type of application to switch around is my mail client. As essential as it is on a daily basis, I find I get frustrated with them after a while and forget long enough what the quirks were to try something I’ve tried before.

I’m sure if you search this site, you’ll find my experiences with Entourage, Mail, Powermail, Mozilla and Thunderbird. Currently I use Mail and generally like it though it does suffer from occasional slow-downs and some magical bugs like folders that won’t delete. Right now I have a folder I tried to delete still showing in my list, though it’s display is totally faded out and if clicked will cause a complete beach ball lock-up.

Over at the unofficial apple weblog, a recent post mentioned Thunderbird started accepting imported mailboxes from Mail. I’ve liked Mozilla and Thunderbird previously, though there is no address book or ichat integration (not surprising), but you can include newsgroups (also available in Entourage). Junk Filtering is also available and quite good and I’ve found the filtering to be strong.

Is a switch in order yet again… I’ve posted a comment over there wondering what the reason might be to switch… feel free to follow there or here. I’d be interested in knowing what people reall like about one or another that might not be in all clients. Sure it’s all about personal preference…what’s yours?

Intel and 64-bit reengineering

p>Jim Louderback gets some more detail (aka denial) on Intel reverse-engineering the AMD 64 bit tech…

I got an interesting email today from a guy who worked on the Intel 64-bit project, taking exception to our “clean room” reverse engineering story. [What’s New Now]

AOL mail via IMAP

If you’re like me you still have an AOL account, but rarely use it. Not sure this will have me signing in more, but it certainly gives another email address to use from within the IMAP capable client of you choice.

For this of you who didn’t know, as of today AOL has opened its mail system to IMAP access. just use (inbound) and (outbound) from Mail (or your preferred IMAP-capable email client) and you’re all set. [macosxhints ]

U of IL launches iTunes Recomendation Site

Works for both Mac and Windows…

“The Music Recommendation System is an automated system that provides music recommendations specifically tailored to each user to find new music that they might like. This system operates by taking ratings from your own iTunes playlists and comparing them against other users who have used the recommendation system.” [MacSlash]

How to Walk in New York

Walk or don’t walk? In New York, there is rarely a choice. Andrew Womack lays the ground rules for how you should maneuver the pavement, always showing your best side under special circumstances, and what to do when sidewalk rage hits. [The Morning News]

PS3 to have built-in WiFi

We already knew that Sony’s PlayStation Portable is supposed to have built-in WiFi for wireless gaming, but now they’ve revealed that the PlayStation 3 is going to come with WiFi as well, and that you’ll be able to use the PSP to access movies and music stored on the PS3’s hard drive. [Engadget]

Putting Blogs in Their Place

This chief of New York Times Digital once famously planned to spin off the online division and take it public. Didn’t happen. Now that his operation is turning a tidy profit, Martin Nisenholtz is back to making declarations. Wired magazine’s Josh McHugh investigates. [Wired News]

I wouldn’t need to work for Wired if I decided to live off AdSense clickthroughs on my own blog.
I haven’t seen anything that could create the scale necessary to engender a professional blogging class in any meaningful way.

NYT Digital just announced a $20 million profit. AdSense seems to work for you.

We’re still mainly in the business of aggregating and sorting content that was created for other purposes. Plus, most of our advertisers don’t live and die by the clickthrough. Our brand advertising business has been growing 30 to 40 percent for the past two years. There’s a lot of room for innovation in brand awareness advertising.

Wi-Fi Essential To Wireless Carriers

Wi-Fi users will outnumber cellular data users by 2007, putting strong pressure on wireless operators to bundle both types of access, according to a report to be issued later this month by Pyramid Research.

“This trend should be a wake-up call to any carrier offering or planning to offer a cellular data service,” the research firm said in a statement released this week that summarizes the report. The trend puts T-Mobile in particularly good position because, despite criticism, it has invested heavily in Wi-Fi hotspots in the last two years, the report said.

“We believe that by bundling Wi-Fi and cellular, the carrier (T-Mobile) has created a service worth more than the sum of its parts,” the report concludes. The report notes T-Mobile’s claim that more than 30 percent of its hotspot users also subscribe to its cellular service.

“While we cannot say that Wi-Fi alone resulted in added cellular subscribers, the correlation between the two services is significant,” the report notes. “We believe that T-Mobile can justify its Wi-Fi investment purely through cellular customer acquisition and retention.”

By contrast, some operators are positioning their cellular data services as competing with Wi-Fi when they would do better to use Wi-Fi to gain and keep customers who may well use both types of access. The report counts as cellular data service EDGE, 1x services, EV-DO and UMTS. Currently, most subscribers of cellular data services us slower 1x service. [Mobile Pipeline]

Intel Reverse-Engineered AMD64

Quite the new frontier…

investigating the instruction sets used by 64-bit chips from AMD and
Intel, an industry analyst has concluded that Intel reverse-engineered
the AMD64 instruction set to create its own 64-bit microprocessor
architecture. [Extremetech]

Intel Tries To Make WiFi Roaming Easier

I need to vent something briefly here on this topic…

While I was still employed at my former employer, the agency that manages ALL of Intel’s world-wide marketing efforts I proposed an idea VERY similar to this which was rejected by agency management and
decreed something that was not something Intel would want to manage. Well today is the day things change…

It’s clear that one issue holding back wider use of WiFi hotspots is the fact that the market is so fragmented. While there are plenty of free hotspots, one of the problems in getting people to sign up for paid hotspots is that the coverage is so sporadic and every place seems to be supported by a different provider. If you really want widespread coverage, you need accounts with a variety of different providers – which becomes ridiculously expensive. While the different hotspot builders and aggregators have been trying to negotiate roaming agreements, Intel has gotten fed up with the process and has routed around a number of their own partners to create RoamPoint, which is designed to be a single place for providers to create across the board roaming arrangements in Europe so that they don’t have to negotiate with each and every other provider.

They’re modeling it after how roaming agreements are set up with GSM networks. That sounds good in theory, but there are still some hurdles. First, they need to get the providers to agree to it. It’s noteworthy that the announcement of RoamPoint didn’t seem to come with any news of providers actually using the service. Also, they’ve just added yet another mouth to feed out of tiny hotspot fees. Now, for every paid hotspot you have a mix of some or all of the following: the retail location owner, the hotspot provider, the bandwidth provider, the aggregator and the roaming provider. It seems difficult to figure out where the profit is. [Techdirt Corporate Intelligence: Techdirt Wireless]

In essence my idea was this… As Intel was gearing up for the unwire campaign we would include a loyalty program with a card (though it certainly did not have to be tangible) that would enable people to receive a couple of key benefits.

First – gear would be discounted and this would be taken care of by the massive Intel Inside budget that already exists – it’s significantly larger than Intels direct marketing budget (not DM, but main intel branded efforts).

Second and here’s the why I am frustrated with today’s announcement. Intel could assume an instant leadership role by becoming a lead aggregator of hotspot connectivity. What you got instead was yet another hot spot locator.

Let’s be honest for a second and openly acknowledge that Intel is way late to wireless. Apple had it for
years within their systems and Intel had a major uphill climb to make to catch up. There were plenty of options for wi-fi well before Centrino (which embeds wifi alongside the processor) came out.

Granted launching a new line of business is fraught with risk – I get that – but Intel has money to use for marketing efforts to sell more PCs. They know how to ID machines on the web even – rememeber the
Pentium III web outfittter program? It blocked non-intel silicon from entering, not just Apple, but AMD as well. If the proper revenue sharing agreements were drawn up everyone would win. You would not need to know whether you had to have iPass, Boingo, T-Mobile, Cometa (another Intel funded company) or whatever. If you were part of the program you could connect anywhere there was a playing parter. If you were a wifi provider you’d want to play (at least in my mind) because a reduced revenue customer would still be a money you might not have if the person chose a competing service.

The main trick to pay-wireless is that it is far from universal. At least with cellular you can roam in many cases… in landline you can call a customer of another carrier without issue. Wireless connectivity should be simplified. If the goal as Intel’s marketing goes is to live the wireless life, it has to work where you are at the time you find a connection.

(I guess that wasn’t that brief)

Phone-cams, Moblogs, and Public Nudity

In case you missed it, John C. Dvorak published his latest anti-tech essay. Sounds to me like he is just writing for the wrong industry.

Sure there are uses for technology that might be viewed as lewd or just boring, but these things tend not to openly present themselves to people not either invited in or actually looking…

If you have no interest, fine. don’t bother. The tech itself is just getting started and will probably have some very interesting and usefuly purposes soon. The phone Dvorak carries, the Nokia 6600 is among the more capable… too bad it goes unappreciated in his hands.

It’s actually almost humorous to think that someone writing for a technology publication could be so closed minded about these things. You’d almost have expected this piece to have appeared in a more general news source…

If you’re not aware of the moblog (mobile blog) movement, you should familiarize yourself with it by visiting the various moblog sites. These are places where people post snapshots they take with their phone-cams. Certain sites, such as textamerica, pioneered the concept. And then there is Yafro, a site laced with lewd and lascivious snapshots. If you’re an exhibitionist, this is the place for you. I never knew it before, but there seem to be a lot of women who like walking around stark naked, having their pictures taken (not porn, mind you), then posting these pictures on the Web just because, well, they think it’s cool. I do not need this distraction. [PC Magazine]

Spymac matches Google with 1GB of Free Mail

Tiny Mac-related hosting site is giving away gig of free email. No idea how. Stefanie Olsen reports… [John Battelle’s Searchblog]

Spymac is trying to promote new Web hosting and auction services by giving away copious amounts of e-mail storage. With roughly 47,000 members, the former Apple Macintosh gossip Web site is small potatoes, compared with Google and other freemail providers. But Spymac’s move to offer more storage is among the first signs that the market is moving toward parity and indicates the relatively low cost of such a move. []

The Archos AV500 Will Combine a PDA with a PVP

Archos’ recently-announced AV500 will combine a Personal Video Player and a handheld computer. [Brighthand]

When will Apple just go for it. Why is Archos the pushing the boundaries of what you can carry in a single multimedia powerhouse device. Perhaps Cupertino is just waiting and watching to make it that much easier (and therefore better) to use… ala iPod.


The AV500 will include a 704-by-480-pixel screen capable of displaying DivX and MPEG4 video at 30 FPS. Of course, it will be able to record in these formats as well. It will also support Microsoft DRM for WMA and WMV9 video. It will include a video-out port so it can be hooked to a TV.

It won’t just be a video player. Users will also be able to play and record MP3s.

All these multimedia files will take up a lot of room, so there will be one version of the AV500 with a built-in 20 GB hard drive, and a second with a 40 GB one.

To make it easy to transfer pictures from a digital camera, this device can act as a USB 2.0 host.


The Qtopia environment is an icon-based graphical user interface for handhelds. It is used by a good number of Linux models, including Sharp’s Zaurus line. It is bundled with a suite of PIM software that can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook.

Qtopia usually comes with a Microsoft Office-compatible word processor and spreadsheet, though there has been no word yet if the AV500 will include these. It will definitely come with email software and a web browser.

It is not clear at this point what type of memory card slot this model will have, but PC Card and CompactFlash are strong possibilities, as Archos has said users will be able to add Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, GSM/GPRS to this device via removable cards.

RSS Last Mile

This is a great post (quoted below) and links through to some significant thinking on RSS and the general adoption of the technology…

It’s something I’ve thought about as well, though this is clearly beyond the scope of my abilities to solve (I’m a marketing guy, not a developer…). I know for a fact that most of my friends and my family who stop by hear have no aggregator installed on their computers and are not currently using bloglines, myFeedster or something similar hosted elsewhere. Kinja, which launched last week, seeks to be the aggregator for people who nothing about RSS or aggregators but will have the same challenge getting adoption to occur.

On my site if you click either of my feed links (left side scroll down), you’ll get a pretty page of xml in the Mozilla family of browsers and Safari unfortunately downloads the file to your desktop. This is not a good thing… No one can easily understand the value without using the tool, but can’t quite grasp how to use the tool or even how to add feeds.

This needs a simple solution pushed through a transparent technology… assuming of course that we all agree aggregation is something for the masses…

Is RSS only for geeks? Should users be required to understand what ‘XML’ or ‘RSS’ mean, in order to take advantage of subscription and aggregation? Are subscription and aggregation useful for a broad range of users, or only for “power” users?

To me, the answers are obvious. I believe that subscription and aggregation are features that appeal to the mainstream, and the number of users who use RSS without having any clue about the underlying technologies could easily dwarf the number of %u201Cpower%u201D users. There are certainly people who feel differently – people who think that aggregator usage is low because most users don’t want or need the functionality. But I’m pretty sure that uptake is low because of poor user experience at this point. [Better Living Through Software]

Britney live… I’ll pass

So we just finished a movie (Intolerable Cruelty) and decided to tune a bit before bed and discovered that Britney’s show is on again “Live”…

Hard to call it live at all. Sure she’s on stage (and yes I know it was really last week), but it is a lame performance. The music was less than… the dancing was far from entertaining and the overall show was just bad. It was kind of like watching a car wreck though… just had to know how much worse it could get – at least for a few minutes. After two songs (don’t know either one, not a fan if you could not tell) we’d had more than enough.

One final thought – If you know you are not going to sing and just lipsync, you should try and work the kinks out with the soundsystem so when the camera zooms in really close, you at least try to trick us into thinking sound is coming from your mouth.