Daily Marauder

WIRELESS by Marauder


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Tuesday that he expected Google to move its Android wireless software onto laptop PCs and that he saw Google as a potential rival to the Windows desktop operating system. Speaking to financial analysts, Ballmer said that rather than make its own handsets, Microsoft would focus on stretching its mobile software over more devices for both basic smartphones and high-end handsets. CNET (2/24) , InformationWeek (2/24)

AT&T has added a feature that detects when users are nearing their monthly mobile data allotment and shuts off their online access when they reach that limit. Designed primarily as a parental-control device, the application will run postpaid customers $4.99 per line and includes a content filter. The Orange County Register (Calif.) (2/24)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


The Authors Guild, an advocacy organization for writers, objects to the new Amazon Kindle 2’s text-to-speech feature. “They don’t have the right to read a book out loud,” says executive director Paul Aitken. “That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.” (Iwantmedia 2/11, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10161104-93.html 2/10)


Video on demand box maker Vudu announced it is cutting the price of its HD box in half to $150, available at Best Buy, audio video retailers, and online. (Cynopsis 2/11)


Acer is introducing the U.S. market to its Aspire One AOD150, a netbook computer that retails for a penny less than $350. The portable PC comes with Wi-Fi, 1GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, Windows XP and a 10-inch monitor, which is about an inch bigger than the original Aspire One. Digital Trends (2/10)

Medis Technologies is marketing a fuel cell that can power small consumer-electronics devices such as cell phones in an emergency. The user squeezes the cylindrical cell to mix the chemicals inside, and the unit produces electricity for about 40 hours, or until the chemicals are used up. The New York Times (2/10)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
February 4, 2009, 12:11 AM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,


NASA, Google, and some of the foremost authorities in science and technology have teamed up to create a new school, dubbed Singularity University, that is looking to solve “humanity’s grand challenges”. The university is named after the idea of the singularity – an extremely rapid period of technological progress. And damn if it doesn’t sound like the coolest school ever. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/02/world-renowned-scientists-team-with-google-and-nasa-to-launch-singularity-university 2/2)


Microsoft Windows, which is used by 88.26% of computers accessing the Internet, saw its share of the operating system market fall more than four-tenths of a percentage point in January compared with the previous month, according to Web tracking firm Net Applications. On the plus side, Apple’s Mac OS X, which has 9.93% of the market, was up three-tenths of a percentage point. InformationWeek (2/3)

Panasonic in April will debut a pair of plasma TVs that are thinner and consume far less electricity than its current offerings. The 50-inch version will be about an inch deep, use an estimated 260 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and, along with a 54-inch model, initially be available in Japan before migrating to North American markets this summer. Reuters (2/3)

For all those oldies-but-goodies trapped on audio cassettes, Alesis has come out with a system to transfer recordings from the bygone platform to today’s digital devices, such as CDs, iPods and flash memory drives. The new TapeLink USB is a dual-cassette gadget that connects to a computer via USB port and can collect audio from either metal or CrO2 tapes. Electronista (2/2)

Verizon has introduced its $200 “Hub” VoIP phone, which works over any broadband connection, calling it the first custom-made device that integrates with such Verizon Wireless services as text messaging, navigation and Chaperone. The telecom disclosed several partners for the touch-screen Hub: OpenPeak, Fandango, Navteq and Time. Wireless Week (2/2) , TVWeek.com (2/2)

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Microsoft has just pushed live its Release Candidate for Internet Explorer 8, the latest update to the world’s most widely used web browser. You can download it here. Unfortunately the release is only for Windows Vista, XP, and Server – if you’re trying out Windows 7 you’ll have to wait for the next OS update to try out the RC. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/26/microsofts-ie8-release-candidate-is-live 1/26)


Twenty-four of this year’s Oscar-nominated films are already available in DVD quality on the Internet, according to independent programmer Andy Baio. This is the highest percentage of Oscar contenders to appear online since he began tracking them six years ago. (hIwantmedia 1/26, ttp://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10149360-93.html 1/23)

Twitter, which just recently turned down a half billion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook (albeit to be paid mostly with Facebook stock), is dipping back into the venture capital market, Techcrunch has heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. They’ve signed a term sheet with at least one venture fund to raise a new round at a $250 million valuation. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/24/twitter-raising-new-cash-at-250-million-valuation 1/24)


While 2008 was Twitter’s hockey-stick year, Twitter’s little brother FriendFeed is also beginning to show hockey-stick tendencies in its growth. According to comScore, FriendFeed attracted 950,000 unique visitors worldwide in December. That’s a tenfold increase since June, when comScore counted only 93,000 unique visitors worldwide (and nearly double since September, when it was 550,000). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/25/friendfeed-hits-nearly-one-million-users-grew-tenfold-in-the-past-six-months 1/25)


After watching your share of this year’s Oscar nominees, you might find yourself following the time-honored tradition of renting every tangentially related film in the hopes of finding something else just as good. Type in Slumdog Millionaire or The Wrestler, and Netflix will offer up recommendations that are “more like this.” But if you are looking for quirkier recommendations, the kind that you’d find at your local independent video store, then head on over to Clerkdogs. The human-curated movie recommendation site has an OscarMatch feature that suggests 400 films similar to this year’s crop of Oscar nominees. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/26/clerkdogs-has-your-oscarmatch-quirky-movie-recommendations-you-wont-find-on-netflix 1/26)


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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
January 20, 2009, 7:00 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Microsoft lost its antitrust case against the European Union, reports the AP. Upholding a complaint filed by Norwegian browser company Opera Software, the body ruled that Microsoft must now untie its Internet Explorer browser from its Windows operating system or face a large fine. (Cynopsis 1/20)

LG has debuted a pair of new highly stylized DVD devices: the DV4S and the DV4M. The DV4S is a DVD player that can upconvert DVD movies to near HD quality; the DV4M converts MP3 files from a connected audio device onto another disc. Electronista (1/19)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
January 12, 2009, 12:30 AM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,


We’re going to be seeing a lot more touchscreen computers. One of the features of Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is that it supports a multitouch user-interface (much like on the iPhone or a Tablet PC). To further the adoption of such touchscreen technology, Microsoft led a $24 million round in Israeli startup N-trig. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/12/microsoft-leads-24-million-round-in-n-trig-to-bring-multitouch-to-pcs 1/12)


(Below) I got the chance to demo the HD 3D home theatre system last week and was fully blown away.  I wasn’t so much a fan of the animation films in the format but sports of any kind comes alive in HD 3 dimensionally.  You really need to see this one…

Panasonic introduced at CES its 3D Full HD Plasma Home Theater System, which is said to be the first-of-its-kind setup that depicts 3-D imagery that the company says is fully true to life. The system involves a 103-inch plasma HDTV from Panasonic and a Panasonic Blu-ray player that, together, deliver full HD images to the left and right eyes. Pocket-lint.co.uk (1/9)

With an eye toward the youth market, AT&T and Dell are selling an Inspiron Mini 9 laptop for $100 until Jan. 31 — including the $350 rebate — a Windows XP device embedded with connectivity to AT&T’s 3G network. Buyers must commit to a two-year service contract that costs $60 a month. RCR Wireless News (1/9)

(Below) I got to check out Eye-Fi at CES.  Anything that makes it easier to transfer pictures from my camera to my computer is a very good thing.  And with the iPhone application they also demoed at CES, they’re taking it to the next level.  Too bad the only people able to have the iPhone app are those who own the Eye-Fi card. Blah….

For the second year in a row, Eye-Fi claimed the prize in the ninth annual Last Gadget Standing SuperSession sponsored by NetShelter, as determined by the crowd’s reception on Saturday. This year Eye-Fi demoed the new Eye-Fi Video Card, which allows users to wirelessly upload videos and share videos in real time, over the internet. The emWave Personal Stress Reliever, a portable biofeedback tool from HeartMath that helps users “reduce stress, balance emotions and increase performance,” won in an online vote at the Last Gadget Standing site. (Cynopsis 1/12)

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Steve Baller: CEO Microsoft

The big news from the keynote last night was the launch of Microsoft 7 for registered beta Microsoft beta users and January 9th for everyone else.  Here’s a quick recap of the highlights…no shockers here.

  • Windows live search will come pre-installed in all Dell computers as of February.
  • Windows live essential is no longer in beta and now comes a bit more synchronized with Facebook allowing users to automatically post photos on Microsoft Live from posting on Facebook.  That’s nice.
  • Microsoft live will also be implemented on all Verizon feature phones.
  • Release of a windows mobile app to allow management of the Netflix queue

Everything else was a bit of old news.  No expected mention of the Zune.  No real excitement here.

An Australian musical comedy group called Tripod performed to poke light at the gaming lifestyle…sounding strikingly like the Flight of the Conchords, a New Zealand music improve group on HBO currently in season 2.  They should have some falsetto wars.  One performed last year during the Comcast keynote.  The other performed this year during the Microsoft keynote.  Flight would kill it in a deathmatch…

Robbie Bach then took the stage to note how men really are from Mars, women from Venus…somehow ignoring the building female gamer market.  Hey Bach, ever heard of the Wii or Guitar Hero on your own gaming console platform?  Guess not.

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