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My choice for the best of mobility at the 2007 International CES

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Jan-2007 20:26

The 2007 International CES was a great showcase of old stuff. HDDVD, BluRay, HDTV. All shown in 2006, but now bigger, better. You couldn't walk a few steps without going over digital photo frames and USB memory keys.

So here is my pick for the best mobility technologies in the show:

The Qool Labs SkyQube2 gets the top prize. It's a Skype GSM gateway and has the potential to save you lots of money. Just before you go out travelling you remove the SIM card from your mobile and insert into the SkyQube2. You then configure it to use SkypeOut to redirect any incoming calls to your mobile number to a another mobile number (hopefully a prepay SIM card in the country you are visiting) through cheap SkypeOut calls.

This will save you the roaming call costs. And you can plug the SkyQube2 into a landline and have your fixed line calls redirect as well. Sweeeeet!


The next item I liked most was Agere's BluOnyx. This is a credit card-sized device that works as media storage, media distribution, media server, media manager, media everything. You can connect to the BluOnyx through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB.

My last meeting during the 2007 International CES with with Agere's product managers and engineers, and they put an extra effort to show a good product. I am really looking forward to have one to play with sometime in the future.


Then we have the fabric interfaces... Eleksen manufactures the fabric and the platform for these. Two examples are shown here: the messenger back compatible with Microsoft Windows Vista SideShow technology, and a UMPC bag that doubles as a keyboard:



Next in the list would be the S-Xgen, a Windows Mobile Pocket PC device with a fully foldable QWERTY keyboard. Unlike other Pocket PC the S-Xgen comes with ethernet, USB client, USB host, and dedicated media player keys.







A couple of cool cases and pictures from the 2007 International CES

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Jan-2007 20:12

Intel had one of the most interesting "hands on" exhibit during the 2007 International CES. Check it out, this is a life size F1 car simulator, with two cars and massive CPUs running the show:





Visiting the AMD stand also revealed some interesting cases:




And just so that we don't forget game consoles, this "Xbox 360 flower" is pretty cool too:









No third party applications on the iPhone feature phone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Jan-2007 12:55

If you have any doubts about how Apple wants to control their users' experience when it comes to the Apple iPhone, here are a couple of examples. This is a quote from Macworld:

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPod marketing, has confirmed that while the company is encouraging third parties to design peripherals for the iPhone, as is the case with the iPod, “There is no opportunity right now for third party development”. He told Macworld: “Right now the opportunities are limited to the accessory market.”

This does not mean that companies are exempt from approaching Apple with ideas for applications for the iPhone. Joswiak emphasized that Apple has already worked in partnership with both Google and Yahoo on such applications, but essentially it will always be Apple who releases the software.


Steve Jobs told MSNBC the iPhone won't have third party applications because...

“You don’t want your phone to be an open platform,” meaning that anyone can write applications for it and potentially gum up the provider's network, says Jobs. “You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.”


What about all those Symbian, Palm and Windows Mobile devices out there already? Are they actually a threat to networks?

The market will obviously dictate where this design is heading. There are no doubts the device looks good, and it joins the iPod functionality all users love, with the base feature set expected from a smartphone. So why not go ahead and make it a full fledged smart device, with the possibility of application install, and user management?

We already know that operators are keen to customise devices to suit their brands. We have seen this happening before with Windows Mobile and Symbian devices. In addition to the very cool voice mail interface provided by Apple, I'd expect a set of policy management tools, just to make enterprise and operators happy.

But if it doesn't happen, I want to see the Apple fans come out now and say the Mac OS is an open platform, when comparing with other proprietary mobile OS platforms.

Certainly the market in the U.S. and overseas are going crazy over a 2.5G (GPRS/EDGE) phone, with a non-replaceable battery, and a non-existent developer community. But only time will tell us if this will redefine mobile computing, or just add another competitor to the feature phone market.











Ask Vodafone's Russell Stanners

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jan-2007 13:55

Our editor Juha Saarinen managed to arrange a different kind of interview with Vodafone New Zealand. We have the opportunity to ask Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners 10 questions.

Instructions on how to submit questions, which questions will be asked, and more are in this thread.

Let's ask some good questions folks!





The OLPC at 2007 International CES

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 19:45

While visiting the Marvell Technology Group's stand at the 2007 International CES I had the opportunity to see and briefly use the OLPC (One Laptop per Child), Nicholas Negroponte's brainchild. The OLPC was made famous when the developers made an objective of creating a US$100 laptop for children, mainly in third world countries.

The following from the Wikipedia entry on OLPC:

The rugged and low-power computers will contain flash memory instead of a hard drive and will use Linux as their operating system. Mobile ad-hoc networking will be used to allow many machines Internet access from one connection.


The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. Pricing is currently expected to start at around US$135-140 and the goal is to reach the US$100 mark in 2008. One thousand working prototypes were delivered in late 2006 and full-scale production is expected to start in mid-2007.



Marvell (famous for acquiring the XScale technology from Intel in 2006) is responsible for a couple of items in the bill of materials for this laptop, including the wireless networking components.

The device is interesting, but I am not sure about the "rugged" part of its description. It did feel fast enough for browsing the Internet and loaded and rendered Geekzone without any problems. The chiclet keyboard seemed responsive, but I am not sure how comfortable fast typing would be on that.

Alas I couldn't use it for more than a couple of minutes, and even so I am told things can still change since this was an engineering sample only. Check some of the pictures:










Pimp my ride 2007 CES Style (Part 4)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 14:55

This is a collection of all cars around the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas. Because of the number of pictures I've separated this entry in four posts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
































































Pimp my ride 2007 CES Style (Part 3)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 14:54

This is a collection of all cars around the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas. Because of the number of pictures I've separated this entry in four posts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4























































Pimp my ride 2007 CES Style (Part 2)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 14:53

This is a collection of all cars around the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas. Because of the number of pictures I've separated this entry in four posts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4





















































Pimp my ride 2007 CES Style (Part 1)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 14:51

This is a collection of all cars around the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas. Because of the number of pictures I've separated this entry in four posts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4



























































Signed drivers required for Windows Vista 64 bit

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2007 08:02

And reality sinks in... Windows Vista 64 bit is nice, but the lack of drivers is annoying. Note that is not exactly the lack of signed drivers, but Windows Hardware Quality Labs signed drivers.

For example I tried using the very good Hamachi virtual private network product (now a LogMeIn product) and it simply won't work on Microsoft Windows Vista 64 bit as it is.

You see, Hamachi uses the developer signing, which certifies the software is legitimate. But Microsoft Windows Vista 64 bit requires WHQL signed drivers, which are on signed after passing tests from Microsoft or affiliates. There are lots of guidelines listed here.

It is a pain for consumers who need to migrate from a 32 but environment to the 64 bit platform. People have been complaining about rogue applications and drivers, but the processes are not being followed, so users are left out in the cold. I have for example three programs I want to install that simply won't work on my current 64 bit machine and there is no (good) alternative to these tools.

You can go around this requirements if in each boot you press F8 and select the option to install and run non-signed drivers. But this is not persistent and in the next boot the user needs to press F8 again and repeat.




freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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