HDTV Hard Disc Recorder Update

Just in from AudioRevolution

…the TiVo interface will likely be on store shelves at dealers such as The Good Guys by April 12, 2004. The price will be around $1,000. Rumor has it that there will only be 4,000 to 5,000 units for shipment to launch the component to consumers. Many of the most hardcore HDTV enthusiasts have preordered their units months in advance. The difficulty of use of nearly all current HDTV receivers paired with the lack of being able to easily record the shows you want to see have made HDTV early adopters yearn for the day when they can record what they want from DirecTV in HD.

AV industry executives who are subscribers to the competing Dish Network tell AudioRevolution.com that Dish has begun slowly shipping their 921 DVR for HDTV to consumers after showing it at tradeshows for more than a year before customers could actually order one. Supposedly the highest priority on their shipment list is people who had specific older HDTV receivers that could output non-encrypted (DVI or HDMI) material to a D-VHS machine. Those units were disabled by Dish, says this source, over one month ago leaving ambitious HDTV early adopter no good way to record HDTV for a few months.

Recording HDTV on Digital Cable
Historically, cable providers have been sticklers about controlling which hardware you use to view their television programming. The cable industry is seemingly softening its stance on hardware and have adopted a %u201Cplug and play%u201D concept discussed at the recent ATSC Convergence in Washington DC last week. The idea is for TV manufacturers to make a somewhat open architecture %u201Cslot%u201D on their future sets. Customers will plug in an input card that will come from the cable company and will allow access to HDTV and NTSC programming and right in the set without a tuner. Recording NTSC and HDTV video will still likely be done outside of the set via hard disc recorders. Sony showed two such HDTV recorders at their Los Angeles line launch event. One unit will have 125 hours of standard NTSC recording with 12.5 hours of HDTV storage space. A more expensive unit will have 250 hours of NTSC and 25 hours of HDTV. Prices are expected to be in the $699 to $899 range and should be shipping in June 2004. [HDTV Hard Disc Recorder Update]

Time Warner here in NYC is still claiming we’ll see the HDTV capable DVR (probably the Scientific Atlanta 8000HD) early May. No idea when cable TiVO customers will get an HD box… probably at the end of the year if they are lucky.

Palm OS Cobalt Upgrade Coming to Tungsten T3

According to this there will not only be no new high end model (replacing the T3) but the T3 itself will be allowed to upgrade to the next full generation of Palm OS. This is great news and provides hope that I really did buy the right device last fall. I love my T3 and hope the upgrade is coming. There is so much power under the hood that could only be further enhanced with what’s there…

Information has already leaked out about several new models supposedly coming from palmOne. However, all of these are expected to run Palm OS Garnet, the current version of this operating system.

If palmOne is going to release a Cobalt upgrade for the T3, this might explain why there have been no reports of a new high-end model coming from this company. It won’t be releasing a new device running Cobalt, instead it will begin offering the Tungsten T3 with an updated operating system. [Brighthand]

Update April 3… Brighthand has removed their link. perhaps this was just a belated bit of April foolery.


This is a very cool way to view things…

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap’s objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe. [newsmap]

Microsoft’s iPod killer?

It’s software not hardware and a new fix for DRM called Janus…. Like all things Microsoft, this is a wait and see in my book. The big boost here seems to be that subscription services will finally let users move tracks to portable players.

Long-delayed technology is close that could help fill portable music players with thousands of songs for as little as $10 a month. [CNET News.com]

Seth’s Blog: How hard is it…

For Now though there is Apple’s Mail which recalls what windows were open and their position on screen including whether they were minimized in the dock.

Perhaps this will come in the next rev of Office / Entourgae this spring/summer….

for your customers to help you design better products? Especially when your product is a tool?

My Entourage for Mac OSX just crashed. I read a ton of email and usually leave the notes that need answering open until I get to them. Alas, when Entourage crashes, it forgets which mails you left open. So now I need to read a whole day’s worth of mail again. [Seth’s Blog: How hard is it…]

Free E-Mail With a Steep Price?

Sure it costs nothing and offers 1 GB of storage, but Google’s newly announced Gmail service gives some privacy advocates the creeps. A program would scan missives for keywords and serve ads based on the content. [Wired News]

Update – 4:28PM

Cnet has similar coverage as well.

I’m not sure the targeted messaging bothers me so much within a free product. It gives Google great incentive to make an already good product (AdWords) better through a crazy amount of text to search (X users x up to a Gig of email). It is after-all a free product, so you would expect some ads. It should be a whole lot nicer than, the banners you get slammed with on Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. My guess is that the ads will be pretty relevant and probably get a pretty good click-through… have to start seeing how people report conversion numbers once the service is live.

Kinja Check

Day 2… still no reply from my email for help on import. Not too good for a service seeking to be an aggregator for people who don’t know what RSS is… the other 90%. No auto-reply to let me know my message was received …

I am sure they are swamped with requests for info (the help page directs to you the main contact page with the main contact info). Might want to adjust that for help requests so you can filter these for more specific issues.

I’ve only messed with Kinja minimally at this point, importing my own blog – a bit of vanity perhaps – but it looks interesting. I doubt I am the audience, or someone who would make much use of the service – at least for now. Have to see how things develop.

The Reg on the Nokia 6600

While this seems like a very cool phone, The Register finds a few flaws that may get in the way of fully considering this as your next mobile. I actually saw this not too long ago and was surprised at the size… compared to my SE T610, it’s quite a bit wider and thicker – not the end of the world of course as it is packed with additional features after-all.

Wieden & Kennedy Launches Ad School

Certainly exciting to be able to work on real clients, but paying for the privilege seems wrong to me. Why don’t they just pay less and call them interns or even entry level like everyone else.

Independent Wieden & Kennedy has launched a school, called 12, for aspiring advertising professionals. It’s a 13 month program in which student will do real work for real clients. While any good school should cost good money, and this one does at $13,000 a year, it seems strange that an ad agency would make someone pay to work on their clients. While clients worked on by 12 students will be charged a reduced rate, Wieden will still pull in that fee as well as the $13,000 per year for each student in the program. Sounds like Wieden is getting a good deal here. OK, I’ll admit there’s something in it for the students as well. [Adrants]

What Windows needs, Mac has

And it’s called Software Update…

Well, I have a word for these contemptuous techies: Save your energy for solving the problem instead of blaming its victims. Mainstream users shouldn’t have to be IT experts to operate their computers.

es, consumers need Microsoft to build into Windows an effective, free, constantly updated security service requiring little or no user intervention. This service would fend off all kinds of threats and invasions of privacy, including viruses and spyware, without getting all tangled up in academic distinctions. [ Personal Technology from The Wall Street Journal.]

Moving from MoveableType to WordPress

As I mentioned I am sticking it out here with WordPress as the system is very flexible, very easy to use and very fast. One issue I was having mentally with the shift was all my linkage externally from posts I’ve written on MT. I’ve tracked many new visitors from Google, Yahoo and many others… This is fortunately no longer an issue!

Alex King of Tasks fame wrote a magical Moveable Type template that solved this issue. Basically it replaces your individual archive template and following a rebuild, will auto-redirect your permalinks from MT to the right spot in your WordPress site.

This all started with a post to the support forum which you can read here…

I should note here that you will have to change the way MT generates pages BEFORE using the new template. You are probably set on html (weblog config) for how your archives get built. You’ll need to switch this to php and rebuild to generate all the pages. Once that is done you can use the file and then rebuild the individual archives once more to get it working.

I am still working on a .htaccess redirect for my .html files to redirect to the .php ones so that they can take advantage of the new template as well. This will automagically push someone from Google to the right spot in my WordPress site. Right now I am getting a 500 Error and will need to try again in the am…

Alex posted the script for download on his site.

UPDATE Alex revised his work and added a 301 permanent redirect to the doc so search engines will see that the new site is live and the same content is available. I am pretty sure I am the first person to use this as he did write the code based on my inquiry. It rocks. Last night we could only get things to direct to the date from the external references. The new work, allows the site to pass the new info along. This is most excellent!! Thank you thank you Alex King!

Things I love about WordPress…

So far WordPress is a very cool system. It’s fully dynamic, which means that there is no rebuilding when you post, edit or delete – unlike MoveableType which can be a serious pain in the ass in that regard – not too mention a time hog if you find yourself tweaking (itself a time sucker) or deleting spam or just making the occasional edit.

Those days are over with WordPress. Not only can you edit and delete without worry, you can actually edit your posts right from your own page. You don’t login to a control panel like MT in order to make an edit, you can click the continuously helpful Edit This under each post title. I can get right in, make the change and republish the post in seconds – with minimal effort.

I am also digging the enhanced New Post functions from within the UI itself. Once you are under the covers… you can utilize the quick buttons to insert quite a few HTML tags without writing them in. This isn’t a major technical achievement as (in Windows mostly) you can do this in other systems, but I find it to be enormously helpful.

Nightly builds… Sure you don’t want to run a real site with bleeding edge code, but it’s nice to see that there are daily changes and fixes occurring which allows you to maintain confidence in the community building this fine system.

There are many other features which I am sure I will comment on as I go… For now though I like it enough to be considering a full switch. I might just use a redirect on the /mt site initially and post in the new feed url for this site as well. Have to see how it goes.

SimKey Sim-card backup

This is an interesting and low cost device for those who need to do backups of up to 3 SIM Cards. I don’t think I would ever use one as I sync through iSync.

My SIM card goes pretty unused (things are stored on the phone itself) other than network identification for TMobile. What would be cool would be a way to write the data out to another SIM card so you would not have to do a SIM swap if you used multiple phones and wanted to maintain the same data and same number.

I’ve only found one service – in the UK of course that lets you have more than one SIM with the same number.

If you don’t have a way of syncing the data on your phone with a PC or PDA, this could be a good option for you. [The Gadgets Weblog]

nice hack for Mail

I tried to search this one out as I read it yesterday, but was unable
to actually track down the source…

With my setup, I POP multiple accounts through Spam Intercepter, which pulls mail from 2 different accounts. I have the second (my .Mac) account disabled in Mail since the messages come through when I POP into SI. Because the account is disabled it is not that simple to initiate a new message from it without manually activating it each time… until now.

By simply adding the email addresses you want to use separated by a comma in the account config, (in the email address field) you can bring back the pull-down in Mail which lets you pick which address to use. Pretty cool and very simple.

BTW — I DO NOT HACK MAIL ACCOUNTS. I cannot offer you any password assistance.

Comment Spam

A possible solution for everyone?

The problem has intensified in the past couple of weeks, but the good news is that as more people have been hit by comment spam, actual solutions are beginning to emerge.

Specifically, Jay Allen’s MT-BlackList is a blacklist-based solution to comment spam for Movable Type weblogs. It checks the comment fields (body, URL, author, etc) for URLs commonly found in spam comments, and rejects the comment if it looks like spam. The core plugin is set to be released today (Monday), but one of its neatest features-in-development is the ability for weblog systems to share blacklist data using XML-RPC. This provides the basis of a collaborative system similar to Razor, with the option for more management over the items in your own system’s blacklist.

We’re deeply committed to finding a way to combat spammers and we’re determined to do it on a core system level so that everyone can take advantage of spam prevention. We’re working on integrating comment spam blocking for MT and TypePad, and the great thing about Jay’s solution is that it could be the start of a distributed spam blocking network for comments, an implementation of which could be included in multiple tools. But, like email, there isn’t one simple solution that can be switched on and end spam completely. Hopefully we’re moving a step closer.

[Six Log]

This is great news! I’ve been looking into MT-Blacklist and thought exactly the same thing… that it could serve as a universal spam blocker. It’s clear from checking blogdex and daypop that we are all getting hit by the same porn comment spam and (once this can be implemented) we can knock them out together.