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Mobile Technology

Notatel's innovative new MiFi device.

Novatel has built an innovative product that combines a wireless access point, an internet router, and a 3G modem card into a package that's the size of a business card, half the thickness of your Blackberry and weights less than 80g. Today Noel McKeegan and I had a chance to sit down with Jon Driscoll, Novatel Wireless' VP of Global Product Managment, and talk about their upcoming line of MiFi Hotspots.  Read More

Fuji’s new eco-friendly, long-lasting, guilt-free  EnviroMAX batteries

Despite promises of portable alternative power sources, batteries still rule the roost and apart from being a costly form of energy, we all know that we’re contributing a little bit more to the planet’s indigestible waste with each one we purchase – until now! Fuji is announcing a new line of eco-friendly, high performance consumer batteries at CES. EnviroMAX batteries do not contain cadmium or mercury or any ingredients harmful to the environment, are packaged with recycled paper and fully recyclable PET plastic and can be disposed of through normal waste systems or in landfills as they degrade. Fuji is claiming equal or better performance/longevity to the major equivalent brands, and an affordable price. They’re due in stores in April. Stay tuned for more info when we get our hands on a set.  Read More

 The Magpul FMG9 Netbook-sized Folding Machine Gun

You can’t always judge a book by its cover and the Netbook-sized Magpul FMG9 is about as deceptive as they come. It looks like an industrial torch or a portable radio, and will fit in a girl’s handbag or the back pocket of a pair of jeans. One click later, the spring-assisted deployment mechanism snaps and you have a sub machine gun ready to fire. The innocuous FMG acronym stands for Folding Machine Gun and its small size and lightweight polymer casing belie its firepower - folded it holds 31 9x19 mm NATO rounds in a Glock magazine and although the prototype was only semi-automatic, a fully automatic version will almost certainly be available if production goes ahead. What’s the bet Q hands one of these to 007 in the next movie?  Read More

A nine inch iPod Touch?

Rumours surrounding Apple’s plans are in abundance right now, but what awaits us at the last Apple MacWorld keynote address next Tuesday is still no certainty. There’s a lot of speculation about the possibility of an iPhone Nano being announced, and a more recent rumour has been kickstarted by TechCrunch (which it reports to have substantiated from three sources), suggests there’s a much larger iPod Touch in the works, with a seven inch or even a nine inch screen (up from the current 3.5 inches). Ironically, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who recently joined the board of Axiotron, producers of the only existing Mac tablet, the 13.3-inch Modbook, will be presenting new hardware for the company at Macworld too. Could a nine inch upspecced iPod Touch with its multitouch interface become the weapon with which Apple finally goes to battle in the low priced netbook market?  Read More

The CW001 netbook

First International Computer's CW001 netbook is destined for US shores after arriving in the FCC database on the 31st of December last year. The 10.4-inch, Atom-based netbook is noteworthy for finding room for both a DVD-RW optical drive and an ExpressCard/34 slot - which appears to be a first for this form factor.  Read More

yellowsn0w released: unlock your iPhone 3G

Dev-Team has made good on their promise of an unlock for the iPhone 3G, with an unexpected bonus: it will unlock phones running the latest firmware (2.2) and baseband (02.28.00).  Read More

Dashboard Devices ENV computer for the car

December 30, 2008 One of the highlights of CES will be the fully-featured ENV car computer from start-up Dashboard Devices. The US$2,700 in-dash double-DIN ENV runs a 7" touchscreen monitor, Windows XP with an automotive interface, has a 160GB drive and offers full computer functionality. It’ll respond to voice prompts, read your email aloud, turn your car into a wifi hotspot, offer GPS navigation, has a DVD drive, iPod control, internet radio, satellite radio and possibly HD Radio too and GSM cellular connectivity. The system is true dual zone so rear seat passengers can control their own different A/V experience and there’s even plans for a his-and-hers sunvisor displays. Accessories include a rear view camera, a sonar parking system, and the ability to view real time health information for various vehicle sub-systems using the OBDII "Engine Diagnostic System." Like we said, fully featured!  Read More

The lucrative business of text messaging

December 29, 2008 What’s fair and reasonable pricing behaviour in business? There’s an excellent NYT article entitled “What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting” which might encourage you to think about this next time you send a text message. The cost to the Telcos of sending text messages is negligible because the space-limited texts ride for free inside a control channel reserved for operation of the wireless network - so every cent of the 20 cents you pay for a text message is profit to the Telco. Gartner reports there were 1.9 trillion text messages sent in 2007, 2.5 trillion in 2008, and an anticipated 3.3 trillion in 2009. Our normal concept of fair pricing considers products whose costs rise proportionally to volume. Author Randall Stross points out that the cost of text messaging in the United States has doubled in the same period.  Read More

Notebooks ship more than desktops for the first time

Third quarter computer shipment figures are just in and we have finally passed a significant albeit inevitable milestone on the road to ubiquitous mobile computing and connectivity - the notebook has finally taken over from the desktop as the most popular computing platform, Fuelled by the success of the exploding netbook market, global notebook PC shipments rose to 38.6 million units in Q3 while desktop PC shipments declined 38.5 million units. In taking over as the primary computing form factor, the notebook is probably just holding the baton for a few years before its constituent sub-set of netbooks dominates the market. The emergence of the cut down, lightweight, cloud computing netbook has been the big story of 2008. Just 500,000 netbooks were sold in 2007, yet over 10 million will be sold this year and IDC predicts 40 million units by 2012. It has taken just 60 years to squeeze a computer which filled a room into a usable form factor of less then 1 kilogram and a price less than a weekly wage. One wonders what the next decade holds in store for us.  Read More

The $99 iPhone 3G is here

December 28, 2008
Now available for $99

While rumors of Wal-Mart selling a 4GB iPhone for $99 have recently been smashed, there's still one way you can get your hands on an iPhone 3G for under US$100 - provided you're not averse to compromise.  Read More

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