Friday, August 29, 2008

Amazon Confirms Student Version Of Kindle

From TechCrunch -

Amazon has confirmed that they are planning to target colleges and universities with a new version of the Kindle, one with a larger screen more suitable for textbooks. Textbooks are a $5.5 billion annual market, and most publishers now offer electronic versions of their textbooks but there is still no compelling device to read them on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Samsung's 1.8" 120GB Glossy USB Drive Spotted in China

From Everything USB -

Samsung has announced new 1.8" USB hard drives in glossy black enclosures the size of a credit card. The 4200-rpm drives draw less than 1.4W and need just 300mA from a 500mA USB port, making power consumption only one-fourth that of a 2.5" drive.

Price (China retail) are rather steep - the 40GB goes for 1099 RMB (USD161); 60GB for 1299 RMB (USD191); 80GB for 1599 RMB (USD235), and the 120GB model for about 1999 RMB (USD293). In comparison, a 320GB USB 2.5" drive is now below USD120, but of course, that will never fit in your wallet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

‘Branded community’ leads to trademark morass

Jennifer Leggio of ZDNET Blogs received a letter from Rob Frankel of i-legions after she used the term "branded community" in a blog post on enterprise communities. It read in part -

"You probably don’t know about us (...TOTALLY different and way more effective, but that’s another story), so I need to make you aware: The term Branded Community® is a Federally registered trademark of ours. Your company should not be using the term at all without our express written consent. The article in this link is an example of your unauthorized use of the term...Please refrain from using the phrase in any other current or future materials..."

As Leggio wanted to be "better safe than sorry" she immediately changed "community" to "environment" and consulted her company's lawyers. It turns out Frankel has a trademark registration on "branded community" for advertising services. But they also confirmed the use of the text was "descriptive fair use of words in the English language." In fact, per Google, companies, analysts, journalists and marketing bloggers have used the term "branded community" upwards of 10,000 times. CNET’s legal team also concurred.

That irony is that i-legions is promoting Rob Frankel as "the best branding expert on the planet." Wouldn’t "the best branding expert" know any better?

Well, Jennifer admitted the letter sounds more like a sales pitch mixed with legal jargon. And considering that before the controversy, i-legions wasn't exactly a household name. Now it is being blogged about, albeit in a negative way. Still if you subscribe to the notion that any publicity is good publicity, then Frankel would, indeed, be considered a branding expert.

Either that, or it would be just another case of someone dooming his own company.

Designers on quest to build $12 computer

From the Boston Herald -

MIT graduate students Derek Lomas, Jesse Austin-Breneman and other designers are trying to design a computer loosely based on the Apple II that Third World residents can buy for USD12.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Open-Mesh offers mesh-network WiFi extension for $49

From Slash Gear -

The Open-Mesh Mini-Router not only extends Wi-Fi coverage but allows you to run a couple of networks concurrently, (e.g. one is open for guests while the other is WPA-secured for personal use). It even can be configured in a variety of bandwidth throttling and firewall options. The Open-Mesh Mini-Router retails for $49. Alternatively, since it’s all based on an open-source project called ROBIN, you can flash a compatible router yourself should you be feeling technical.

Source article here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Everything You Need to Know About USB 3.0

From Maximum PC -

USB 2.0 (aka USB Hi-Speed) boosted the original 12Mbps data rate to 480Mmb/s over 8 years ago, and now USB 3.0 (dubbed USB Superspeed) is set to multiply that bandwidth tenfold. The USB Implementers Forum released the USB 3.0 spec (90% complete) to hardware partners last week and expect to have it finalized by Q4 this year.

The highlights -

USB 3.0 will be backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, physically and functionally but you won’t be able to maximize your bandwidth unless you’re using a USB 3.0 cable with Superspeed devices and ports. Maximum speed is 4.8Gbps, compared to the 480Mbps limit of the 2.0 spec. Uploads and downloads are kept on separate data lanes USB 3.0 will charge more devices quicker. and will also be more power efficient.

Meanwhile updates to the Wireless USB version 1.1 include the following -

Support for Near Field Communication technology, which is a short-range, high-frequency spec with a max 4800kpbs data rate that allows for wireless data transfers between devices up to 20cm apart. Speed and power usage have also been optimized and ultra-wide band (UWB) support added. Wireless USB already runs in the 3GHz frequency range, which allows it to theoretically transfer data at speeds of 480Mbps at 3 meters and 110Mbps at 10 meters. UWB support will boost the frequency of Wireless USB to the 6GHz and up range.

Source article here.

Android SDK v0.9 hits the internet looking almost ready for primetime

Via Engadget -

Thursday, August 14, 2008


From Ayahbdeir -

littleBits is an open source library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to move electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers and designers.

littleBits intro from ayah bdeir on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How to watch live Olympic online on YouTube?

From Daniel Poon -

If you don’t want watch delayed telecasts of the Olympics or if you don't have access to any broadcast, you can watch it live on Youtube. Here's how -

Start Firefox 2 or 3…

1. Go to the YouTube Home page
2. On Firefox, click Tools | Options…
3. Click the Privacy tab
4. Click the “Show Cookies…” button
5. On the search box, type youtube and you’ll see a couple of youtube cookies
6. Now delete the cookie named GEO by clicking the “Remove Cookie” button. Don’t do it on all the cookies, just the GEO line.
7. Now go back to the YouTube page that you have open. This step is very important. Make sure you have the YouTube home page while doing this.
8. On the URL line: cut and paste this:

9. Click enter and you’ll set a popup box but don’t worry it’s normal.
10. Now on that same page, type the URL:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ARM Says Browser Drives the Mobile Web

Acocrding to GigaOM, per Bob Morris, head of mobile marketing for ARM Holdings, which designs the cores for many of the mobile chips that act as the brains of mobile phone, if you consider that the mobile phone will soon be a place to make calls and access the web through cloud services, then the operating system is less significant and the browser becomes the king.

Browsers now serve as the new application framework, which is why ARM is paying close attention to how their cores work with specific browsers rather than only the OS. To that end, ARM has inked a partnership with Mozilla and other vendors to build a Linux-based mobile computing device designed for web surfing on the go. Mozilla is planning a yet-to-be launched mobile browser.

Source article here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Dead Simple Web Tablet For $200

TechCrunch has proposed an open source development of a dead simple and dirt cheap touch screen web tablet to surf the web.

The basic idea is to make the machine is as thin as possible, runs low end hardware and has a single button for power on/off, headphone jacks, a built in camera, speakers, and a mic. It will have Wifi, maybe one USB port, a built in battery, half a Gigabyte of RAM, 4GB SSD. Data input is primarily through an iPhone-like touch screen keyboard. It runs on linux and Firefox, and supports Skype and video calls.

The idea is to turn it on, bypass any desktop interface, and go directly to Firefox running in a modified Kiosk mode that effectively turns the browser into the operating system for the device. Add Gears for offline syncing of Google docs, email, etc., and Skype for communication.

If you are interested in helping out with the project, you can check it out here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

HTC to begin shipping Android-based handsets in 4Q08 as scheduled

From Digitimes -

HTC will begin to ship its first Android-based handsets to ODM clients in the fourth quarter of this year. In related news, HTC revenues are expected to grow 10% sequentially and 30% on year in the third quarter, buoyed by the planned launch of CDMA, GSM and sliding form-factor HTC Touch Diamond handsets, having shipped to 50 telecom operators in more than 30 countries so far.

Source article here.