Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Official launc of Windows Vista


Steve Ballmer's Vista launch speech

WOW !!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dell to introduce PCs with Windows Vista

Global PC maker Dell said it has started shipping its desktop and notebook computers with Microsoft's new operating system Windows Vista, which is being launched in India tomorrow.

The initial rollout of Windows Vista installed Dell systems would be in five languages - English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese, a company release said.

With the new system, users would be able to quickly search data, record high definition video, organise digital photo and music libraries and browse the Internet with protection from spyware, the release added.

BEWARE !!! Many older PCs can't take Vista

Question:I need to know if it is possible to upgrade my Dell Dimension computer to use the new Windows Vista operating system. It has a Pentium III microprocessor. The memory is 384 megabytes, SDRAM. It has a 32-meg Nvidia TNT2 M64 graphics card and a 20.4-gigabyte Ultra ATA hard drive. The operating system is Windows 98.- Florence Faraone,
A: No. I know that was pretty curt, but it's best to take the bad news up front. As Microsoft Corp. pulls out the stops for its marketing to sell upgrades to the coming Vista operating system, millions of people with computers will share your curiosity about whether their machines have the horsepower to run the enticing new software.

Your Windows 98 machine fails to meet even Microsoft's notoriously overoptimistic stated minimum requirements. At prices starting about $150, the company hates to tell possible customers that they should not buy in.

The biggest visible features that Vista adds to the well-known Windows display deal with viewing photos, playing videos, recording and downloading music, and, of course, running the new memory-gobbling programs like Office Live that will be available along with Vista when it arrives Tuesday.

Microsoft says all these bells and whistles can be had with a machine endowed with at least a microprocessor with 800-megahertz speed, while your dated Dell languishes at 600 mHz. I'd suggest that 1 gHz be considered the bare minimum.

Speed and memory are the biggest issues with things like highly animated displays, memory-hungry transparent overlaying of individual windows, and heavy use of software running in the background.

Again, your 384 megs of RAM are below the minimum of 512 megs stated by the company. I do agree that 512 megs of memory will be pretty much sufficient, but it should be noted that Vista tends to run a lot of stuff in the background, and this can deplete 512 megs when running more than a couple of programs.

I find it bizarre, but the 20.4-gig hard drive in your clunker does meet the Microsoft minimum of 20 gigs for computers to run Windows Vista, which all by itself eats up, maybe, 8 gigs. It wouldn't take long for a Vista-enabled PC to clog the remaining 12 gigs with temporary Web files, photos and music.

Worst of all is your old-fashioned video card with 32 megs of memory on board. While the official Microsoft specifications say any SVGA card will do, testers have found that it is all but hopeless without a separate video card with its own memory and the ability to run the DirectX 9 graphics software built into Windows. As to video memory, consider 128 megs or even 256.

To summarize: Windows Vista needs a PC with a 1-gHz chip or better, and a 60- to 80-gig hard drive is all but essential. Be particularly sure that the video card has a stiff amount of memory of 128 megs or more, and I'll wager that those who try to get by with 512 megs of RAM soon will find themselves at Best Buy's memory counter for an upgrade to 1 gig or more.

Report: China's 4G wireless launch leapfrogs 3G

Data-rich 3G telephony--which allows high-speed transmission of data and images--is not yet available in mainland China.
Now on

but a group of 10 "leading domestic institutions" called the "FuTURE Project" on Sunday rolled out 4G in Shanghai, the official China Daily reported.
China aims to hold field tests for the 4G system--whose rollout has cost 150 million yuan ($19.3 million) and will allow data transmission at up to 100 megabytes per second, several times faster than current technology--and put it into trial commercial use up until 2010, the paper added.

Most analysts expect China's long-anticipated issue of third-generation licenses to begin later this year.

Study: More Single Women than Men in NYC

NEW YORK -- OK, guys, hunting for a Valentine this year? You're in luck. According to National Geographic magazine, there are 185,000 more single women in the New York metro area than men!

The magazine analyzed data from the Census Bureau and discovered the Big Apple favors the single male. On the flip side of the country, the "City of Angels" favors the opposite sex. Los Angeles offers 40,000 more single men than women.

Saturday, January 27, 2007



NOT even CNBC anchorbabe Maria Bartiromo's bosses can say for sure how many flights she took on the Citigroup corporate jet with the bank's wealth-management chief, Todd Thomson, who was jettisoned last week over his lavish spending.

Bartiromo logged tens of thousands of miles on at least "six trips" on the plane, two sources at the bank told The Post.

A CNBC spokesman denied that Bartiromo took six rides on the Citigroup jet but declined to say exactly how many she did take. The rep also said that Bartiromo made 47 appearances last year for the network and that each was approved.

But every day the number of flights Bartiromo is said to have taken on the Citi jet seems to grow. Previously, she was believed to have taken just one - a 16-hour jaunt back from Beijing in late November with Thomson, who reportedly kicked three other bank executives off the plane for her.

One CNBC exec was quoted this week as saying Bartiromo made "no more than two" trips on Citigroup jets last year. One was a trip back from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which Bartiromo was covering again last week.

The Post reported Wednesday that the Beijing flight alone set Citi back at least $50,000, based on executive jet operating costs. A CNBC rep said that Citi was reimbursing the bank and that Bartiromo had full approval to fly, but the network paid only about the standard commercial fare, $4,000.

Bartiromo and Thomson have a history of making fawning public statements about each other and have been seen by Citi execs dining together at Restaurant Daniel. They were involved in so many projects that Citi CEO Chuck Prince had to tell Thomson to stop spending the firm's cash on her.

The Wall Street Journal reported that when Thomson's plan to sponsor a Bartiromo-hosted show on the Sundance Channel for $5 million got out, he set off a minirevolt at the bank, which led to his dismissal.

Bartiromo, meanwhile, wants to take her "Money Honey" nickname to the bank. She's trying to trademark her pet name for potential uses ranging from stuffed animals to coloring books. Her lawyer filed on Jan. 16 at least eight applications for use of the moniker, TVNewser reported.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Plans for third Manhattan Apple store nixed (again)

Its first two flagship shops in Manhattan have been a resounding success, but Apple's pursuit of a third outfit has reportedly turned sour for a second straight year.

According to the Forbes/Slatin Real Estate Report, the Cupertino-based Mac maker is backing away from a luxuriant plan to build a multi-level store on 34th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Citing unnamed sources, the publication said the image-conscious Apple, which leased the space from a joint venture between SL Green Realty Trust and developer Jeff Sutton last fall, is having second thoughts about the location's "coolness" and plans to put the site up for sublease.

From the start, "Apple had doubts about the compatibility of its leading-edge image with that of middle-America 34th St., at least as it currently stands," the report states. It notes that while retailers like Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and Forever 21 are happily situated along the row, "unfortunately, a lot of the old 34th St.--third-rate tourist merchants and rip-off artists--still remain."

For Apple, the reversal marks its second on a third Manhattan location in less than two years. In the fall of 2005, it abandoned plans for a glass enclosed two-story shop in Manhattan's Flatiron District after a tiresome battle with a local landmarks preservation commission.

The company's second go on 34th street would have been for a 30,000-square-foot, four-story store with about 75 feet of frontage. The lease on the site, according to Forbes, runs about $5.5 million a year.

AppleClips Show #51 - Will Ferrell 'Switch' Ad

LEO LaPORTE Predicts: New Beatles Widescreen iPOD to be unveiled during Super Bowl

Leo Laporte thinks so…

On this week’s Macbreak Weekly Merlin Mann suggested that there may be a new Beatles edition iPod similar to the U2 iPod…but with a widescreen and touch features like the iPhone.

Leo Laporte “predicted” this same idea again on the latest edition of Geekbrief TV.

I would have to agree that The Beatles being on iTunes doesn’t seem like a big enough announcement for a SuperBowl Commercial…but something like this makes a lot more sense.

Will we see a new Video iPod during the Superbowl? At the rumored Feb 20. event? At all?

Speculators keep on speculating…we’ll know for sure soon enough.

Apple Has Released the MacBook 802.11n Update for Freet

After first saying they'll charge $4.99 for the 802.11n update to Core 2 Duo MacBook and MacBook Pros and then changing that to $1.99 it is now the best price you can get -- FREE! The firmware download patch is available today.

The update comes in the form of firmware update 2007-001 and is recommended for all Intel Macs, the download link is here:

Former drug addict puts his face behind campaign

A FORMER heroin addict had a 10ft image of his face displayed in a North-East town centre yesterday in an attempt to help save other people's lives.

The man, who asked to be known only as Jonathan, is a 38-year-old reformed heroin addict, who contracted the potentially life-threatening hepatitis C virus through sharing drug equipment.

He said he wanted to alert other people to the dangers posed by an illness that is usually treatable.

Health experts in Middlesbrough estimate that there may be more than 500 people in the borough who are unknowingly infected with hepatitis.

Most of these people will have acquired the virus by sharing contaminated needles or through other drug equipment.

The photograph is part of a Government-backed travelling exhibition by photographer Michele Martinoli.
Advertisement continued...

The aim of the exhibition - which was in Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre, in Middlesbrough, yesterday - is to encourage people at risk of infection to come forward for treatment.

It is thought there may be up to 200,000 people in England with hepatitis C, which can cause serious liver damage and shorten life expectancy.

Because it is symptomless until later stages, few people know they have it.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Jonathan said: "I was diagnosed with hepatitis C about five years ago. I am about to start on a course of treatment which will mean injecting myself in my stomach once a week and taking tablets.

"I am absolutely behind this campaign. I just hope it will save lives."

Dr Brendan McCarron, a consultant in infectious diseases at The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, said there were about 2,000 people injecting drugs in the town and about 25 per cent showed signs of being infected with hepatitis C.

* The Hepatitis C information line is 0800-451-451 and is open between 10am and 10pm every day.

Mayor Sees $3.9 Billion Surplus Fed by Booming Real Estate Market

Moving It All to Vista

When the time comes, how can I move all of my bookmarks, music and other files from my old computer to a new Windows Vista PC?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rudy Giuliani and his eyes ????


Has anyone notice in the last 6 months about Rudy's eyes when he is getting interviewed on TV. Every 10 seconds or so his eyes pop out of his head.Like he being possessed or something. Buts its the funniest thing to watch.

anyone like to comment ?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Macau gambling revenue jumps

Chinese territory's intake may outstrip Las Vegas

MACAU - Macau may have dethroned the Las Vegas Strip as the world's biggest casino center, according to figures available Wednesday that show the Chinese territory's gambling revenue jumped 22 percent to US$6.95 billion last year.

The former Portuguese enclave has been booming since the government busted up a casino monopoly three years ago and began welcoming U.S. gaming powerhouses like Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Mirage Inc. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.

The American companies have been furiously building mega casino and resort projects in the tiny city _ less than one-sixth the size of Washington, D.C. _ on China's southeastern coast. They say they'll do what they did to Las Vegas: transform a seedy, worn-out, crime-ridden town into one of the world's best spots for gambling as well as conventions, glitzy shows, dining and other family entertainment.

Man Trying to Impress Date Jumps Off Bridge

SEA BRIGHT, N.J. -- Love is patient; love is kind. And sometimes, love causes people to do strange things.

Four police officers, a bridge tender and two good Samaritans had to rescue a man who jumped off the Sea Bright-Rumson Bridge to impress a woman on their second date.

Police say Adam Koppel fell 20 to 30 feet into the frigid Shrewsbury River early Saturday.

The 25-year-old clung to the base of the bridge while police mobilized a rescue effort. They finally needed a rope and ladder to haul him in.

Police charged the Atlantic Highlands resident with disorderly conduct. But that wasn't the worst of it.

Sea Bright Police Chief William Moore tells the Asbury Park Press the woman said there wouldn't be a third date.

Beatles iTunes?

(FMQB) The music industry has been waiting for The Beatles' camp to enter the 21st century with the Fab Four's catalog, which is unavailable digitally. While the Beatles' Apple Corp. has famously feuded in court on-and-off over the years with Apple Computers (now Apple Inc.), last year it was rumored that the entire Beatles catalog was being remastered for a re-release in 2007. Now the rumor mill is turning again, with release dates being thrown around this time.

The Toronto Sun is reporting that the entire remastered Beatles catalog could be in stores by this June, and that their music could make its way onto the iTunes Music Store as early as February.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

'Dreamgirls' Picks Up Most Oscar Nods

The peppy musical "Dreamgirls" led Academy Awards contenders Tuesday with eight nominations, but surprisingly was shut out in the best picture category for which it had been considered a potential front-runner.

The sweeping ensemble drama "Babel" was close behind with seven, including best picture and acting honors for two newcomers to U.S. audiences, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi.

Other best-picture nominees were the bloody crime saga "The Departed," the World War II spectacle "Letters From Iwo Jima," the road-trip comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" and the monarchy-in-crisis chronicle "The Queen."

Going into nominations day, the best-picture competition looks unusually wide open, with no consensus on a favorite. With "Dreamgirls," a Golden Globe winner out of the race, the best picture competition was even more up for grabs.

But front-runners in all four categories nabbed nominations and seem poised to come home with Oscars on Feb. 25: Helen Mirren for best actress as British monarch Elizabeth II in "The Queen"; Forest Whitaker for best actor as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland"; and Eddie Murphy and former "American Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson as soulful singers in "Dreamgirls."

The other nominees for best actor are Leonardo DiCaprio for "Blood Diamond," "Ryan Gosling" for "Half Nelson," Peter O'Toole for "Venus," and Will Smith for "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Just a Movie Shoot

NEW YORK -- It's going to look like the end of the world at the Brooklyn Bridge tonight and for most of this week -- but don't worry -- it's just a movie shoot.

There will be Army and Coast Guard helicopters, as well as police and military vehicles at the bridge tonight and for most of this week.

The movie being shot is "I Am Legend'' starring Will Smith -- about the last human in New York.

The film is planning to stage the evacuation of Manhattan by barge this week. Police and Coast Guard members will be providing security for the scene, which may involve about one thousand extras and a large crew.

Intermittent traffic delays on South Street in the afternoons before 7 p.m. are expected to take place through next Tuesday.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Novatel planning another Rev. A product for Verizon

It looks like The Network has more tricks up their sleeves; too bad one of those wouldn't be launching their hi-speed data network, however beggars can't be choosers. Enter in the latest addition to Verizon's expanding lineup of Rev. A Aircards, the Novatel MCD3000. It supports speeds up to 3.1 mbps through its small flip up antenna, USB 2.0, and is backwards compatible with Rev. 0. The manufacture states that it supports Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS X, so the bases are covered from the operating system standpoint. One of our favorite tipsters, HTC Kid, says it's going to be available in the very near future -- so stay tuned for pricing details and launch date!


Apple reportedly (still) readying LED-backlit MacBook Pro

They may not have made an appearance at Macworld, but Apple's rumored LED-backlit MacBook Pros look to be slightly less of a rumor today, with AppleInsider reporting that "faithful industry sources" have confirmed the switch to the brighter, less power-hungry technology. Supposedly, Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro will be the first out of the gate, getting the LED transplant sometime in second quarter of this year, with the other models in the line presumably to follow soon thereafter, although exactly soon remains to be seen. Not surprisingly, Apple appears to be timing the release of the new-and-improved MacBook Pro to coincide with the spring launch of Leopard, letting them show off the OS's snazzy new features in the best possible light.

Computer maker Acer is on the move

Getting bigger isn't just about bragging rights — it's about survival
Acer seems to be on a caffeine kick of its own. Americans who know the brand likely recall it hit the big time in the '90s, then quickly fell into obscurity. While Acer remains weak in the U.S., globally it's No. 4 in PCs overall, behind Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo. Last year, Acer boosted its share by 1.2 percentage points, to 5.9 percent, according to preliminary data released by researcher IDC Corp. on Jan. 17. That puts Acer just behind Lenovo, which rose to No. 3 when it bought IBM's PC division two years ago. Lenovo is "successful in China, [but] we are growing everywhere," says Acer CEO J.T. Wang.

Intel to partner with Sun on server chips

SAN FRANCISCO - Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. has agreed to use chips from Intel Corp. in some of its servers and for Intel to endorse Sun’s Solaris operating system, a person close to the deal told the AP late Sunday night.

An announcement is expected Monday, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the deal had not been made public. Specifics of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal marks a major design win for Intel, the world’s largest computer chip maker, which has been fighting to reverse plunging profits and regain market share lost to archrival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Intel began losing ground to AMD several years ago as customers began migrating to AMD-designed chips that were seen as more energy-efficient.

Since 2003, Sun has relied exclusively on AMD to supply server chips based on the popular x86 microarchitecture, or design, used in many personal computers and servers.

Sun will still use AMD chips in some of its products, the person close to the deal said. Sun also makes its own line of Sparc branded processors.

Last year, after losing more than 5 percent of the overall computer chip market to AMD, Intel unveiled a new line of chips based on an upgraded design that industry observers cheered for delivering higher performance while giving off less heat.

Intel’s endorsement of Sun’s Solaris operating system is also an important victory for Sun, as many servers that use chips based on the x86 design often run on Linux or Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system.

Window's Vista: Hey, where's the buzz?

Here comes a new Windows operating system from Microsoft Corp. Long delayed, it's the first in several years, so the company plans an enormous marketing campaign to tout the software as a way to get more out of computers.

But Microsoft's legion of detractors roll their eyes, calling the new Windows a weak imitator of other operating systems. Meanwhile, technology analysts wonder whether Microsoft's dominance is nearing an end, since programs coming over the Internet are emerging as a more powerful force in computing than software tied to individual desktops.

read more..

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Emerging from the water

Emerging from the water, originally uploaded by deadlygator.

the real Queen of NY


DuomoFlorence, originally uploaded by hoffopolis.

My favorite church in Florence.....


Venezia, originally uploaded by mantaxfotografo.

Venice Italy....

The Turntables That Transform Vinyl

LONG-PLAYING records are gathering dust in the homes of many music lovers, who hope to hear their contents one day on a CD player or iPod.

Now, an updated version of another audio relic, the phonographic turntable, may provide a fairly inexpensive way to do that. Two new consumer turntables on the market at $200 or less connect directly to computers to transfer cherished vinyl to MP3 files and CDs.

The machines aren’t for audiophiles who have the skill to rig their own systems with special cables and preamplifiers. But they may offer a doable way for nontechies to thrill again to their favorite bit of analog Beethoven or Dylan.

Learning how to use these systems takes time — up to three or even four hours. The turntable has to be assembled, and the LPs cleaned carefully to remove the dust of ages — two jobs that those over 30 might remember well.

more info

How Yahoo Blew It

Terry Semel was pissed. The Yahoo CEO had offered to buy Google for roughly $3 billion, but the young Internet search firm wasn't interested. Once upon a time, Google's founders had come to Yahoo for an infusion of cash; now they were turning up their noses at what Semel believed was a perfectly reasonable offer. Worse, Semel's lieutenants were telling him that, in fact, Google was probably worth at least $5 billion.

This was way back in the summer of 2002, two years before Google went public. An age before Google's stock soared above $500 a share, giving the company a market value of $147 billion -- right behind Chevron and just ahead of Intel.

As Semel and his top staff sat around the table in a corporate conference room named after a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor (Phish Food), $5 billion sounded unacceptably high. Google's revenue stood at a measly $240 million a year. Yahoo's was about $837 million. And yet, with Yahoo's stock price still hovering at a bubble-busted $7 a share, a $5 billion purchase price would essentially mean that Yahoo would have to spend its entire market value to swing the deal. It would be a merger of equals, not a purchase.

Terry Semel -- a legendary Hollywood dealmaker, a guy who didn't even use email -- had not come to Silicon Valley to meekly merge with the geeky boys of Google. He had come to turn Yahoo into the next great media giant. Which might explain why the face of the famously serene CEO was slowly turning the color of Yahoo's purple logo, exclamation point included. "Five billion dollars, 7 billion, 10 billion. I don't know what they're really worth -- and you don't either," he told his staff. "There's no fucking way we're going to do this!"

Storied Nightclub Copacabana Looking for a New Home

Lola the showgirl and the rest of Copacabana crowd are looking for a new home.

The famed nightclub, currently in its third reincarnation on West 34th Street, has been condemned by the city to make way for an extension of the No. 7 subway line to Manhattan's major convention hall, the Javits Center.

Owner John Juliano doesn't have a lease signed yet on a new location, but he has until July 1 before he has to be out.

``We aren't closing,'' he said. ``It's hurting our business, all this talk of us closing. I mean, maybe we have to renovate a new space. That may take some time, but we're coming back.''

The club has always endured change well. Since it first opened in 1941, it has morphed from the glitziest nightspot in a town teeming with celebrities, to disco and the legendary scene of Barry Manilow's signature 1978 song ``Copacabana,'' and now to a catering business and thumping hip-hop and salsa club.

The clientele has drastically changed. The neighborhoods have changed. Even the owners changed once, when Jules Podell died and sold the business to Juliano and two associates.

Really, the only thing that has remained the same in the 60-plus years the club has been open is the name. And the whole palm-tree theme.

``When it first opened it was the most famous nightclub in the world,'' Juliano said. ``And it still is the most famous name in the world.''

The club opened on East 60th Street at just the right time _ shortly before World War II when Americans were freshly out of the Great Depression. Finally, there was money to spend, and people were just itching to have a good time.

``The times were hot,'' said Kristin Baggelaar, author of the nonfiction book, ``The Copacabana.'' ``It was a highly charged atmosphere, almost like the roaring 20s.''

Well-heeled New Yorkers were entertained by the most famous acts of the era, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jimmy Durante and Sid Caesar. And then there were the Copa Girls. A troupe of leggy, fresh-faced dancers dressed to perfection. Joan Collins and Raquel Welch got their start in the troupe.

In the '50s the club brought in rock acts and tried to roll with the times, but the advent of television was the death knell for the old nightclub ways. People didn't need to leave the house to be entertained anymore.

Its popularity waned. Podell died in 1972 and the club sat vacant for several years until Juliano, Peter Dorn and Ron Hollick took it over in 1976. The three renovated the club and reopened it as a disco.


Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Saturday that she is forming a presidential exploratory committee in a bid for the White House in 2008. In a statement on her web site the former first lady urged supporters to "join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country." Mrs. Clinton is the first presidential spouse to pursue the office.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

SNL -- Weekend Update iPhone Special

Kati Kim describes harrowing week lost in woods

Cold, hunger and fear for the lives of his wife and children had taken a toll on James Kim by the time he left his family to find help.
Stranded in a wilderness for a week with little to eat, James Kim prepared on the morning of December 2 to leave his wife, Kati Kim, and two daughters in order to find help at what he hoped would be a town four miles away, according to report issued Thursday by the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association (OSSA). The group was asked to conduct a review of how the search for the Kims was handled and released its findings on Thursday.
Click for map

James Kim, an editor at CNET Networks, and his family became stranded deep in a wilderness area in southern Oregon during a Thanksgiving road trip. Kati Kim and her two daughters were rescued a week later on December 4, but the body of James Kim was found on December 6. He had died of exposure and hypothermia following a 16-mile hike in ice, snow and water.
read on....

Uninspiring Vista

How Microsoft's long-awaited operating system disappointed a stubborn fan.
For most of the last two decades, I have been a Microsoft apologist. I mean, not merely a contented user of the company's operating systems and software, not just a fan, but a champion. I have insisted that MS-DOS wasn't hard to use (once you got used to it), that Windows 3.1 was the greatest innovation in desktop operating systems, that Word was in fact superior to WordPerfect, and that Windows XP was, quite simply, "it."

read on,,,,

The Best Digital SLR

I think that the best digital SLR under $1,000 is the Nikon D50.

Here's why.

Comparing the Nikon D50 with the Minolta 5D is pretty easy - Konica Minolta doesn't make the 5D anymore.

In fact, Konica Minolta is no longer in the camera business, and has sold their entire production to Sony.

This means that it's not only hard to find a 5D these days, but support for this camera should it fail in the future is pretty dubious.
Size, Shape and Weight

The Nikon D50 is not a small-sized digital SLR like the Pentax *ist cameras or the Canon EOS 350D.

I actually prefer this in a digital SLR camera, since I find both the Pentax and the Canon difficult to hold.

Since the Nikon is larger, it's easier to grip and feels more like an SLR camera.

This does not mean that the camera weighs a ton. Nope, the Nikon D50 is quite light and portable, it just takes up a little more space than the smaller cameras.
Lens Options

So far I've compared the Nikon to the Minolta 5D, the Pentax *ist DS2 and the Canon 350D.

What about the Olympus EVOLT E-500 and E-330?

Here's the thing: Olympus switched to a brand new lens system when they introduced their digital SLR cameras.

Since this is the case, old Olympus lenses require an adaptor to attach to these new cameras. With the adaptor in use, autofocus won't work with the old lenses so you have to focus manually.

With the Nikon D50, not only can you use special lenses optimized for the digital format, you can also use over 50 standard Nikon lenses for film SLR cameras.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

30 busted in heroin-smuggle cruise ruse

Federal agents dismantled a Colombian heroin ring by arresting several couriers who stitched packets of drugs into their britches and then took cruise ships to the United States, authorities said yesterday.

"Drug traffickers have never lacked creativity in trying to smuggle in their drugs," said John Gilbride, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office.

"But smuggling drugs aboard cruise ships is a new twist, as traffickers try to do an end run around airport security."

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Death Merchant," charged 10 people in Manhattan and 20 others in Colombia with smuggling more than $7.5 million worth of heroin into the U.S.

Several couriers hid the drugs inside running shorts and the soles of their shoes. Others carried suitcases and purses packed with smack.

Agents seized 55 kilos of heroin in all, enough to flood the streets with more than a million glassine bags of smack. Seventy-six kilos of coke also were seized off a "go-fast" boat that had departed from Venezuela.

The drugs made their way from Pereira, Colombia, to New York, Baltimore and Detroit, authorities said.

The probe was a joint venture between the DEA, NYPD, New York state police and Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Yesterday's charges bring to 110 the number of people charged internationally during the three-year probe.

Strong Mac, iPod growth may lift Apple past Street estimates

Apple Inc., which reports results for its fiscal first quarter of 2007 after the close of the market on Wednesday, is likely to meet or slightly beat consensus estimates with help from robust sales of Macs and a rebound in iPod shipments, according to American Technology Research.

"Based on our analysis, we believe Apple is on track to report results in-line to slightly above consensus at $6.4 billion and $0.78, but well above Apple's guidance of $6.0-6.2 billion and $0.70-0.73," analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Wu, noting that consensus estimates have moved up considerably over the past month to catch up to his once-above-consensus view, is modeling the company to report earnings of $0.79 per share on revenue of $6.4 billion.

His breakdown calls for continued strength in the Mac business to account for 38 percent of Apple's first quarter revenue, with overall shipments rising 11 percent sequentially to 1.8 million units.

On the iPod side -- which he believes will account for another 40 percent of total revenue -- the analyst expects to see "a continued rebound" of 77 percent sequential growth to 15.5 million units, based on strength in iPod shuffle and special edition red iPod nanos.

Looking ahead to Apple's second fiscal quarter ending March, Wu said consensus out-quarter revenue estimates "appear reasonable" for the first time in over a year. Still, he sees the company guiding conservatively, but in-line, to $5.1-5.3 billion in revenue. His own model currently stands at $5.2 billion and $0.63 earnings-per share, versus consensus estimates of $5.2 billion and $0.60.

"We are forecasting a large sequential decline in iPods to 9.3 million units, but believe this will be offset by Apple TV shipping in February," Wu told clients. "As we have mentioned before, we believe Apple TV with its attractive price point of $299 could be a surprise hit."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obama in '08?

The Democratic field for the next U.S. presidential election is filling up ... and getting interesting.

Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy Tuesday, saying the U.S. is in a "precarious place" and that Americans are hungry for a new type of political leadership.

Other Democrats who have announced a campaign or exploratory committee are 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn't announced yet, but she's expected to be a front-runner.

BlackBerry Pearl Takes a Walk on the White Side

Research In Motion has added a white Pearl to its BlackBerry smartphone line. The new model is otherwise identical to the black version, which the company debuted last September in an effort to cut inroads into the consumer market. This broadening of focus may represent an evolution in the direction of the mobile phone market."The BlackBerry Pearl has proven that it's possible to provide a full-featured handset at an attractive price point with an uncompromising user experience and an extremely small, light and stylish design," said Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing for Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion.

Following the release of the black Pearl in September, RIM reported revenues of $835.1 million for the quarter ended Dec. 2 -- up 26.8 percent from the previous quarter and 49 percent from the year-ago period. Profits increased from 61 cents to 95 cents per share over the previous year.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

20 Things We Don't Know About the iPhone

Unanswered questions about the year's most hyped device leave doubts about its real-world applications.

Steve Jobs unveiled his breathtaking iPhone vision Tuesday, calling it a "magical" device that would "change the world" when it ships in June.

Jobs's use of the word "magical" hit the nail on the head. His keynotes are more than just speeches. They're magic shows.

A skilled magician makes you believe in magic. He makes you believe he has supernatural powers to, say, make people (or competitors) disappear. But there's no such thing as magic. The magician makes you believe by showing you one thing but keeping you in the dark about all the facts that might shatter the illusion.
Jobs Has Done It Right--So Far

Now, all this sounds negative so far, but I am in fact truly in awe of what I witnessed Tuesday. Steve Jobs is the Salesman of the Century--nothing wrong with that. And Apple and Jobs have done everything right with the iPhone--so far. I certainly want one, and am rooting for Apple to dominate and transform the handset industry.

However, I fear that the iPhone vision and the keynote were so flawlessly executed that Apple may have raised expectations that will be hard to fulfill. The things that might shatter this wonderful iPhone illusion are the things we do not know.

Following are 20 unanswered questions about the Apple iPhone. (Note: PC World Senior Editor Yardena Arar answers some of these questions in our Today@PCWorld blog.)

Ask the MACist -- Macworld Edition -- Final Thoughts

Welcome to the latest installment of Ask the MACist and my special Macworld Expo 2007 coverage. After many hours in the car last night and a long stop at the grapevine because of an accident, I made it back to LA around 2AM this morning. It's good to be home. San Francisco is a nice place to visit but LA is my home. Although, as a Mac fan, it would be cool to live near Cupertino and Apple HQ so I could visit frequently but I guess that would be one of the few reasons for me to live up there.

Anyway, this isn't an "LA vs. SF" post so I should get back to what I know more about -- tech, Apple and Macs, Macs, Macs. Now that Macworld Expo is basically over I thought I would share some of my observations about the "big announcement" from Apple and the show in general. Let's start with the fun part first: the announcement of the iPhone.

The iPhone is Apple's answer to what it thinks is the need for a device that does, as Steve Jobs put it in the keynote, three important things: a phone, music and internet device all in one. On the surface, that all sounds great and in person, the iPhone is an impressive piece of technology. And, of course, as a certified tech junkie, I want one really bad. That said, some thing about the iPhone are somewhat troubling to me after further examination.

First is Apple's deal with Cingular. The iPhone will only be available from Cingular and as of now, only with a new two-year contract. If you are a T-Mobile customer or with Sprint or Verizon, you're out of luck. Plus, according to reports, there will not even be an unlocked GSM version of the phone so those of us on other GSM networks like T-Mobile can buy one and use it. Plus, there are certain features of the iPhone, the most notable being the new random access voicemail that will only be available if you use the phone with Cingular's network.

more info:

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bonds tells all he's sorry

Barry Bonds is a sorry man. The apologies started flowing when the besieged slugger called teammate Mark Sweeney Wednesday night to say he was sorry for involving him in his latest drug-related controversy, Sweeney's agent said. Bonds made the call after learning that the Daily News was about to report that he initially had blamed Sweeney for a failed amphetamines test last season

Demand Outpaced Supply for New Game Consoles

The Xbox 360 outsold the Wii, which outsold the PlayStation 3.

That in a nutshell is how the crucial holiday shopping season went for the video game industry’s latest consoles. But that battle does not tell the whole story of a curious December.

Over all, the industry sold $3.7 billion of hardware, software and accessories in the United States last month, up from $2.9 billion in the same period a year ago. For the full year, sales were $12.5 billion, the industry’s highest-ever returns, according to widely watched figures released Thursday by NPD Group, a market research firm.

During December, Sony in particular turned in surprisingly strong sales — but not for its new PlayStation 3.

In a development that industry analysts said speaks to the strength of the video-game market and the lure of low prices, the nation’s best-selling console during the holiday season was Sony’s PlayStation 2, a six-year-old system.

Americans bought 1.4 million PlayStation 2s during the period. That was more than the Xbox 360, which sold 1.1 million units; the Nintendo Wii, which sold 604,000; and the PlayStation 3, which sold 491,000.

The sales figures for the PlayStation 3, and in particular the Wii, fell below the expectations of industry analysts.

Steve Jobs Walks the Tightrope Again

Apple’s new iPhone appears to be the clearest statement yet of what Steven P. Jobs’s impact has been in the world of consumer electronics.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Apple says Cisco lawsuit is "silly"

.Oh no they didn't! By now you already know it's on, and the latest round in the iPhone v. iPhone dance-off comes from Apple spokesman Steve Dowling, who was quoted as saying the Cisco lawsuit is "silly" and that several companies are already using the term iPhone for VoIP products. He called Cisco's trademark "tenuous at best" and noted his company was the first to ever use the name for a cellphone. He goes on to boast that Cisco is gonna totally get served: "if Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail." Oh yeah -- Apple to Cisco: let's see you dance, sucka!

Cisco sues Apple over iPhone trademark

Cisco on Wednesday evening said it is suing Apple for trademark infringement in federal court, claiming that negotiations had broken down between the two companies over use of the iPhone name.

While the networking firm had said only yesterday that it expected an agreement that would allow both firms use the iPhone name for their respective handheld communicators, the company filed a lawsuit after the newly rechristened Apple, Inc. apparently failed to sign the plan before an imposed Tuesday night deadline.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name," claimed Cisco senior VP and general counsel Mark Chandler in a statement accompanying the suit.

The networking giant, which released its Linksys iPhone scarcely three weeks before the Macworld San Francisco keynote on January 9th, had obtained the trademark in 2000 but did not believe it had a reason to use the iPhone title until it was ready to ship a VoIP handset that it thought merited the name.

During his keynote presentation at Macworld San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that his company's cellular network-based iPhone had been in development for roughly two and a half years, placing its inception approximately four years after Cisco originally registered the trademark.

Apple has so far remained silent regarding the progress of negotiations and the resulting lawsuit.

First 100,000 Apple TVs to start shipping later this month - report

Inventec Appliances has won the role of original electronics manufacturer (OEM) for Apple's recently introduced Apple TV and will begin shipping the first batch later this month, a published report said Thursday.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes cited industry sources in saying Apple's initial order for the set-top media device totals 100,000 units starting late January.

"Company sources at Inventec said Apple accounted for 70 percent of Inventec Appliances' sales in 2005 and 65 percent in 2006," the publication said.

"The sources said the company plans to reduce the proportion further in 2007 in order to lessen its reliance on a single customer."

It was previously reported that Apple would begin shipping Apple TV -- then known only by the moniker iTV -- in either late January or early February.

In premiering the digital media device at this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple committed begin customer shipments "in February." It said customers can start placing pre-orders through its online store.

The $300 multimedia hub streams content over WiFi to big-screen televisions around the home and allows connections for up to five computers. It also includes a 40GB hard disk drive for some local storage.

As an Apple OEM, Inventec has largely been responsible for production of hard disk drive-based iPod digital music players. It declined to comment on the Apple TV report "citing customers confidentiality."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

BREAKING: Cingular to partner with Apple

From what the Wall Street Journal has just released that Cingular will be the provider for the anticipated Apple phone.

Cingular Wireless is expected to provide wireless service for a new Apple Computer Inc. cellphone, people familiar with the situation say.

The launch of the new phone and service is expected to be announced as early as Tuesday, these people say.

The new product could give Apple access to the huge wireless business, in which nearly a billion handsets are shipped every year, dwarfing the nearly 70 million iPods Apple has sold over the past five years.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bill Gates envisions a server in your home

Bill Gates on Sunday unveiled its Windows Home Server. As expected, the device offers to back up data on the computers and laptops in your home, and acts as a media server, streaming content to devices. In the video below you can watch a video where Gates discusses the appliance.

Send pictures, music and movies around the house....

Do you want to be able to send pictures, music and movies around the house, from one PC, TV or stereo to another? Many major consumer electronics companies are convinced you do, judging by the number of networkable products that were discussed at yesterday’s CES press conferences.

Toshiba’s newest HD-DVD player, out later this year, will include Ethernet connectivity, allowing you to download content that’s featured on certain HD DVD discs. The connection will also be used to upgrade player features by downloading new versions of its operating software.

As it did last year, Sharp discussed its networked Aquos TV, a proof-of-concept product that would use a home’s powerlines to access and move content around the house.

Samsung will introduce a plasma TV that can be connected wirelessly to a cable or satellite box. It also will sell a model that uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly send photographs that are shown on a TV, to a printer.

And Netgear’s new Digital Entertainer HD will allow you to stop a program you’re watching in one room, and then pick up where you left off in another. The hitch–each room in which you want to try that feat requires its own $350 box.
January 8, 2007,


LCD may be winning the battle of the marketplace, but the industry has long known that its technology has come up short in a number of areas, when compared to plasma’s overall picture quality.

LCD proponents say that those days are over. Sharp, Samsung, and Sony all touted major improvements in their newest generation of LCD sets, using advanced signal processing to improve contrast levels and response time, bringing their picture quality up to par with plasma’s.

Now it’s time to check it out in the electronics store and see if you believe their claims.

TV in your 90 miles per hour.....

The great thing about digital broadcast television is that the picture looks perfect. The bad thing about digital broadcast television is that when the signal is too weak, you get absolutely nothing.

Which is why receiving digital broadcast TV in a moving vehicle has been so challenging. The picture may look great, only to disappear once a truck passes in front of you.

But now Samsung says it has the solution to making sure that you will never have to be without “Desperate Housewives.” The company has created a new standard, called A-VSB (for Advanced Vestigial Side Band–don’t ask) that will make the digital broadcast TV signal rock solid, even in a car tooling down the freeway.

Samsung submitted the standard to the Advanced Television Systems Committee last year and expects it to be approved in the next few months. If it is, we will soon see new products like TV-capable car LCD screens and portable digital TVs–followed by a new rash of laws prohibiting their use in the front seat.

John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple Computer

John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple Computer from 1983 to 1993, may have gotten the boot from Steve Jobs, but hey, no hard feelings. Mr. Sculley had nothing but praise for the company and his former colleague.

Speaking at a CES breakfast meeting today, Mr. Sculley said the success of the iPod was a great model as to how new technologies, such as home automation, can succeed. The iPod owns the MP3 player business, he said, because it was marketed as high fashion, not technology.

The same thing is true of Apple’s retail stores, which Mr. Sculley described as “the finest retail experience I’ve ever seen,” with the kind of service only experienced in places like Nordstrom’s.

On the eve of the Macworld show, don’t bother asking him what the Next Big Thing will be. “People can figure out what will happen; we’re not very good at figuring out when things will happen.”

Gas-Like Odor Worries Workers Across NYC

Authorities were investigating the source of a mysterious gas-like odor Monday that wafted over Manhattan and parts of New Jersey and led to some building evacuations and mass transit disruptions.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no indication that the air was unsafe to breathe. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said there was no sign of terrorism.

"It may just be an unpleasant smell," Bloomberg said. "Our suggestion is that people should do their best to ventilate areas, open their windows or turn on any fans until this gas passes."

The Fire Department began getting calls about the odor around 9 a.m., said spokesman Tim Hinchey. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey temporarily suspended some of its PATH commuter train service between New Jersey and Manhattan as a precaution.

People reported the smell from the northern tip of Manhattan down to Greenwich Village and across the Hudson River to New Jersey.


A cunning co-ed con artist was able to dupe some of the nation's top universities - including Harvard and Columbia - into granting her admission by stealing other people's identities, including that of a woman who has been missing for more than seven years, investigators have discovered.

Esther Elizabeth Reed, 28, managed to attend Columbia University as a graduate student for two years under the name Brooke Henson before investigators caught wind of the scam last summer.

The real Henson had disappeared from her home in Travelers Rest, S.C., in 1999, and has not been seen since.

In a strange twist, Reed has been listed as a missing person herself since 1999, when she was last seen leaving a Seattle courthouse, where she was facing charges for forging checks she had stolen from her sister.

Since then, the brazen brunette beauty's path has been tortuous, but she appears to have used sophisticated and elaborate scams to steal several identities that she then used to gain entrance to California State University at Fullerton, Harvard and Columbia, where she studied criminology and psychology, investigators said.

"Reed's an incredibly smart and sophisticated con woman," said Travelers Rest police Investigator Jon Campbell, who has run the probe of Henson's disappearance since 1999.

"She's is an excellent impostor to the point of being pathological."

While investigators said they have no reason to believe Reed had anything to do with Henson's disappearance, she went to great lengths to assume the missing woman's identity. And unlike typical identity thieves, the motive did not appear to be financial.

"She didn't run up a whole lot of debts and bail, as is usual. She was living as Brooke Henson, which is very unusual," Campbell said.

Strange Odor Takes Manhattan

A mysterious gas-like odor set off concern Monday from Washington Heights to the West Side Highway, and across the Hudson, causing brief building evacuations and mass transit disruptions -- and leaving hundreds wondering what they were smelling. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no indication the air was unsafe to breathe and that sensors did not show an unusually high concentration of natural gas.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Long Island City New Development......

Will be the new hot spot in Queens in the next 5 years....


PHOTO'S OF NYC........


Power Washing 188 Suffolk St.
With New York City real estate prices so high, owners are fixing up their buildings

Where's Winter?

This is the 28th day of above-normal temperatures. Normal highs for this time of year are in the upper 30s. Normal lows are the upper 20s.

Forecasters say enjoy the balmy temperatures while they last, because the January heat wave won't be around for long.
A cold front is moving into the area sometime tonight, but highs should still reach the low to middle 50s on Sunday.
But then temperatures start to slide, and more seasonable weather will be upon us by Wednesday, with highs only reaching the upper 30s.

The current mild weather in the region is largely due to conditions caused by El Nino. Experts say it's a cyclical warming trend now under way in the Pacific Ocean, which can lead to milder weather, particularly in the Northeast. Many weather observers have also blamed global warming for the higher temperatures.


The latest milestone for our weird weather was met before dawn this morning, when the temperature in Central Park reached 65 degrees. That breaks the record of 63 set back in 1950. The mercury could hit 70 before the day is done. Photo: Gus the Polar bear takes a nap in the balmy weather at the Central Park Zoo.

Friday, January 05, 2007

CES 2007: Sandisk surprises with Flash hard drive announcement

Next to the usual suspects such as high-def, networking and Media Center PCs, storage is set to become one of the key focus areas of this year's Consumer Electronics Show, which is scheduled to open its doors next Monday. Among them will be Sandisk, which will show a 32 GB solid state disk (SSD).

NAND flash will turn 18 years in 2007 and it could become the most important and successful year of the technology yet. Having matured mainly in applications such as memory cards, USB sticks and high-end solid state disks, NAND flash appears top be ready to take a shot at key storage applications. Following Samsung, which yesterday announced that it has begun production of 16 Gb memory chips for its 2.5" 32 GB Flash drive, Sandisk said that it will be unveiling a 1.8" 32 GB SSD, based on NAND flash memory technology at CES.

Chevrolet to unleash Camaro convertible

What to do for an encore after the concept Camaro sports coupe at last year's auto show circuit had folks sending blank checks to reserve one?

Simple. Bring out the convertible.

It will be front and center at the Detroit Auto Show next week.

Chevrolet said the Camaro convertible will go on sale shortly after the coupe arrives in the 2009 calendar year, though Bob Lutz, vice chairman of GM, has promised a few coupes will appear late in 2008.

"Corvette is a wonderful car to attract people, but Camaro will be more affordable for the masses and give Chevy a chance to sell a lot of them," said Joe Phillippi, principal of AutoTrends, an automotive consulting firm.

The concept coupe and convertible are powered by a V-8, but Chevy is expected to offer V-6s as well to keep the price down. Ford does that with its rival Mustang.

"I expect the V-6 will start in the low $20,000 range, but the exact price? Whether V-6 or V-8, coupe or convertible, you can be sure it won't be very far from whatever the Mustang is priced at the time," Phillippi said.

Mustang starts at around $20,000 for the V-6.

Lutz, the man who spearheaded the revival of the Camaro since GM dropped it after the 2002 model year, estimates Chevy could sell 100,000 a year.

Camaro will be the final member of a trio of new cars on which Chevy is banking heavily. First up is the redesigned 2008 Malibu due out this fall. It's built off the same platform as the Saturn Aura sedan that bowed for 2007. Malibu will be followed by a redesigned Impala and then Camaro.

"We're finally seeing the Lutz influence at GM and the cars he has bragged about for so long," Phillippi said. "We've asked, `Where's the beef?' and haven't seen it, but now we do and it's a huge step up for GM.

"The Chevy brand is on the ascendancy, but Malibu has to lead the renaissance because Camaro isn't out until 2009."

He added that Malibu could sell 200,000 units annually, and with Aura, fill one plant to capacity with production of 300,000 units. Along with 100,000 Camaros, "That's what creates profits, and at the end of the day that's what it's all about," Phillippi said.

Chevy general manager Ed Peper said the Camaro will feature a traditional softtop rather than a retractable metal hardtop to hold down the cost and retain trunk space that would be sacrificed in storing a hardtop.

The convertible concept is done in orange pearl with twin gunmetal gray sport stripes, a Camaro finish from 1969.

Features include push-button ignition, hood scoop, spoiler and huge radials: 21 inches in front and 22 inches in back.

Apple seen launching new iPod, iTV and iPhone at Macworld

New Apple product announcements at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco could include iTV, a new iPod, and the iPhone, according to a Macworld Rumor Roundup issued by research and investment firm PiperJaffray on Thursday.

Almost Certain (in the next 2-6 months):

1. iPhone entering production phase of 12m units (Certainty rank: 9 out of 10). In Nov-06 two separate reports came from Asian news sources indicating that Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai's subsidiary Foxconn had received a 12m unit contract for the iPhone. According to Commercial Time the manufacturer signed the contract with Apple to produce 12m units for a scheduled release in 1H07. Additionally, China Times reported that the manufacturer will produce between 500,000-600,000 units per month starting in early CY07.

2. iTV ($299) release at Macworld with some improvements from September debut (10 out of 10). At a Sep-06 event, Apple introduced the iTV, a wireless media streaming device to view iTunes content on a TV. At the show, the device was simply streaming media (but did not store it locally); we believe Apple could release an improved model with an internal hard disk drive. Downloadable movies average about 1.5GB each on iTunes and one way that Apple can ease capacity restrictions is to add hard drive space to the iTV. We believe Apple will eventually improve on the iTV shown in September, but the improvements may not come until after the initial release.

Likely (in the next 6-12 months):

3. iPhone with candy-bar form factor (9 out of 10). Given the fact that the iPhone will be Apple's first dip into the mobile handset pool, it is likely that the phone will come in a candy-bar form factor. Clamshell devices are often more prone to bugs and glitches, so when Apple releases its first phone, it will probably be a candy-bar style with limited moving parts and simpler software engineering.

4. Widescreen iPod with touch-sensitivity and wireless features (7 out of 10). According to several Apple patents, along with word from component suppliers, Apple is working on a 6th generation widescreen iPod that could feature touch-screen capability. We believe that the new iPod will be a significant improvement to the 5th generation iPod, as the device becomes more video-centric. As such, the iPod line would feature small music-centric and "wearable" players as well as a larger music player with more video-centric features. Eventually, Apple will also likely add wireless syncing technology to the player, but battery drain remains a critical concern before such a feature is added.

5. Second smartphone iPhone model with integrated keyboard (7 out of 10). Indications from component suppliers point to the possibility of a second iPhone model featuring an integrated keyboard. We believe the initial iPhone release will include a single model, but Apple will likely expand the iPhone line to include a smartphone device for instant messaging and emailing at some point.

6. iSight camera, 4GB or 8GB storage on the iPhone (7 out of 10). Recent rumors point to an initial release of two iPhone models: a 4GB version for $249 and an 8GB model for $449. Both models are rumored to feature two separate batteries in the handset, one for the phone and one for the music player. Also, Apple has successfully branded the iSight cameras on the MacBook and MacBook Pro portables and it is likely that they will eventually extend the brand to the iPhone line. With music, photos, and video from iTunes, the iPhone will be a media-rich device and an iSight camera would add to the eco-system of media/communications on the device.

7. Multiple carriers as iPhone providers (vs. Cingular only or MVNO (6 out of 10). We believe Apple will target as broad an audience as possible with the iPhone. Accordingly, the company will likely sell the handset through most or all of the top wireless service providers (Verizon, Sprint, Cingular and T-Mobile in the U.S.). That said it is possible that Cingular could obtain exclusive vending rights for a limited time. Early CY07 could be the ideal time for the release of the iPhone through Cingular. January and February 2007 will include the Macworld keynote on January 9, CES from January 8-11, and key marketing opportunities during the Cingular-sponsored American Idol Premier on January 16 &17 and the Super Bowl on February 4. This may be the "perfect storm" for the release of the iPhone, especially as a Cingular exclusive. An additional option would be for Apple to use a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) system. We have not seen any hard evidence that indicates whether Apple will choose to go with an exclusive provider, several providers, or the route of an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

A Stretch (possibly in the next 12-18 months):

8. Ultra-portable 12" MacBook Pro (4 out of 10). With the Intel transition successfully completed, Apple is ready to innovate the product line with the possible addition of an ultra-portable addition to the MacBook family. With the release of the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros, Apple decided not to carry the 12" PowerBook model into the MacBook Pro lineup. If a 12" MacBook Pro is released, we believe the product will address the need for extreme portability; not simply a smaller MacBook Pro. Another possibility is that of a touch-screen tablet Mac. Rather than marketing the tablet computer to business users (like tablet PCs), we believe that a tablet Mac would be targeted at home users desiring to wirelessly control media content. Again, this rumor is 'a stretch' because we have not seen any hard evidence, other than several patent applications, that point to the release of a tablet Mac.

9. Radio-transparent material used for iPhone casing (3 out of 10). Since current iPod casings would serve as poor mobile phone casings, Apple is looking into new casing materials. Specifically, the material must enable radio-waves to penetrate the device's exterior. In a Nov-06 patent application Apple describes a computing device with radio-transparent material like zirconia used as the casing. We see this patent application as evidence that the iPhone is coming, but we hesitate to draw conclusions on the specifics of the device based on such patents.

10. iPhone to feature 'iChat Mobile' video and instant messaging (2 out of 10). Again, we believe that the iPhone will be a media-centric communications device and messaging features would work nicely with such an ecosystem. While it is unlikely that the first iPhone will feature video conferencing, this is certainly a feature the company could add to future models, including a possible smartphone model.

11. OSX 10.5 Leopard release at Macworld (3 out of 10). While Microsoft has delayed the consumer launch of Windows Vista to January 30, 2007, Apple announced plans to release OSX 10.5, Leopard, in "spring 2007." These releases are not necessarily a race to the finish line, but we believe that Apple will work hard to ship Leopard close to the release of Vista.

Vincent Sardi Jr., Restaurateur and Unofficial ‘Mayor of Broadway,’ Dies at 91

Vincent Sardi Jr., who owned and managed Sardi’s restaurant, his father’s theater-district landmark, for more than half a century and became, by wide agreement, the unofficial mayor of Broadway, died yesterday at a hospital in Berlin, Vt.. He was 91 and had lived in Warren, Vt., since retiring in 1997.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Push-to-talk comes to BlackBerry handsets

Research In Motion has signed a licensing agreement with wireless-networking specialist Kodiak Networks that will allow the smart-phone manufacturer to support push-to-talk features on its devices.

Cingular Wireless is the first mobile-phone operator to support push-to-talk (PTT) service on RIM's BlackBerry Pearl, but deals with other carriers should be announced shortly, according to Tim Hall, vice president of strategic alliance for Kodiak Networks. Kodiak's PTT client will also be offered on other BlackBerry devices, he said.

PTT technology essentially converts a cell phone into a long-range walkie-talkie. Users can instantly start talking to another cell phone user who has PTT simply by pushing a button.

Nextel was one of the first carriers to offer this type of platform, but Kodiak says that it will differentiate itself by offering more sophisticated features.

As on most walkie-talkies, most PTT services operate on a single, or half-duplex, channel, which allows only one person to speak at a time. Kodiak offers a feature that allows PTT users to transfer, while in the middle of a PTT call, to a regular duplex-channel cell phone call, allowing all ends of the conversation to be heard simultaneously. One person making the switch from PTT to a regular cell call activates the switchover for everyone else on the call.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ford reveals Mustang-based concept

With its six-speed manual gearbox, low roof-line and massive 22-inch wheels, the design is targeted at driving enthusiasts looking for a bold design but who can't fit the family in a two-door coupe.

"The Interceptor concept is a sedan, but with the heart and soul of a performance car," Freeman Thomas, director of Ford's North American strategic design department, said in a statement.

Quick Fix for Gmail Flaw....

Google has fixed a flaw that would have allowed Web sites to harvest e-mail addresses from Gmail contact lists.

For an attack to work, a user would have to log into a Gmail account and then visit a Web site that incorporates specially designed JavaScript code. This could have allowed spammers to collect reams of new e-mail addresses.

Proof-of-concept code was publicly posted, and Google appears to have fixed the problem within 30 hours of being notified, wrote Haochi Chen, a blogger who tracks the company. A Google spokeswoman in London confirmed today that the problem was fixed.

Thanks to Jeremy Kirk of the IDG News Service London bureau for the report.

Your In-Car Hotspot

There's no lack of hardware to give you a Wi-Fi connection with a 3G-based backhaul, but the latest targets one specific area: the inside of your car.

Autonet Mobile this week announced a wireless unit with the eponymous name of Autonet. The $399 product will make its debut at CES 2007 next week in Las Vegas. The difference between this and, say, the JunxionBox, is that Autonet will act as your Internet service provider. You won't need a separate relationship with Verizon Wireless, Sprint, or Cingular for 3G backhaul. Autonet will charge $49 a month for that access.

Oh, and this product plugs directly into your car cigarette lighter port for power.

"Our goal was to deliver seamless connectivity to the car," says Sterling Pratz, the president and chief executive of Autonet. "It's a new-age media center for the car."

NYC Traffic Cam