May 9, 2007

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Verizon is running a special on the much heralded Palm Treo 700p. This smartphone is always on the top of everyone’s list, including the New York Time’s Pogue’s Picks, sharing honors as the Best Smartphone. The Treo 700p features BroadbandAccess Connect on Verizon’s EV–DO network, a full QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, Wireless Sync, a Digital Music Player and built–in Bluetooth® 1.2 wireless technology. Right now you can pick up the 700p for a low $249 after a $150 mail-in rebate with free shipping.…
Putting off getting that new Crackberry? Is it too much business and not enough pleasure? Well it may be time to get off the pot. This week RIM announced the much anticipated Blackberry Curve 8300 smartphone and it’s a doozy. Much like the legendary mullet, the Curve is all business up front and a party in the back. In addition to the usual Blackberry email pedigree with full QWERTY keyboard, RIM has added a 2-megapixel camera w/built-in flash, a media player for music, video, and photos, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card slot for expansion and a Push-to-Talk key. In the past RIM has attempted to capture some of the crossover market and has had some success, however the Curve seems to have really hit the mark. Wired and Laptop Mag are calling it the best RIM handheld yet and the New York Times has it tied for the best smartphone with Treo 700p. No pricing info yet, but it should be around $200.
This week Veritronix unveiled a nice little Bluetooth speaker with some great design elements at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2007. Take a gander, it’s pretty sweet. Besides a nice, simple intuitive interface, the VX-818 measures a mere .5″ thick, has some nice touch-sensitive controls and can operate as a hands-free device for your cell phone or act as a speaker for your favorite MP3 player. Either way, you can do it wirelessly by pairing it with any Bluetooth enabled device or use it wired via a miniUSB port or with the ubiquitous 3.5mm audio jacks (both line-in and line-out jacks). In addition, it features a built-in microphone and up to 8 hours of playback time. No word yet on price or availability.…
Wowee-zowee, take a look at this thing! It’s like a cross between a James Bond villain’s device and The Lord of the Rings. It is actually the new solar power plant outside Seville, in southern Spain. The 40-story concrete tower is surrounded by 600 mirrors reflecting some very focused light onto a spot at the top of the tower. This focused light generates enough heat to convert water into steam which then turns turbines that generate enough electricity to power 6,000 homes. For those of you paying attention at home, you may be thinking, “what happens at night when there is no sunlight?” Good question. The steam is actually stored in tanks so enough is stowed away before nightfall to keep the plant running for about an hour after dark. Fortunately, the solar power is needed most during the day when air conditioners are running at peak and electricity is needed the most. Eventually, the plant will generate as much power as is used by the 600,000 people of Seville. For those short on time, watch the BBC video here.
Journalist integrity is alive and well. PC World’s award-winning Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken quit suddenly last week over a brouhaha with the new CEO Colin Crawford. McCracken was called to the carpet for a story he was planning titled ‘Ten Things We Hate About Apple.’ According to an insider, Crawford, the former CEO of MacWorld, balked over the story. Apparently the story was an opinion piece that was considered fluff and was to be followed by a companion piece, “10 Things We Love About Apple” with a similar story package planned for Microsoft. To add insult to injury, it is also rumored that Crawford told editors that their reviews were to critical of vendors, especially those that advertise in the magazine…oops. Unfortunately, with magazine circulations dropping these days, ad dollars play an important role, however it should never reach a point where it sacrifices integrity. Here is a link to the original story. The link below is an update to that story and here is another complete with details from a PC World insider.