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In the computer business since 1962 - love IT.

Friday, January 19, 2007

MobileCrunch reviews the Nokia N800 handheld

Oliver Starr has published a comprehensive hands-on review of the new Nokia N800 handheld computer – the next generation of the 770 Internet Tablet that I've been using for the past few months. Like Oliver, I've been under an NDA from Nokia about the device and he and I were pretty frustrated that an unboxing and specs-from-the-box review was posted by someone who was under no such embargo and had a buddy who worked at a CompUSA store and posted the day before the announcement was officially made at CES. Such are the perils of working within the system I suppose.

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Tags: MobileCrunch | handheld | Computer | Technology | Tablet | Nokia | internet

Windows Vista offers real improvements

Microsoft will release the newest version of Windows called Vista on Jan. 30. As always, Microsoft is pouring on the hype. Beneath the superlatives, though, there are real improvements.

Windows XP, the current operating system, is reliable and full-featured, but it has its problems. Vista improves many of those things.


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Tags: system | Release | operating | windows | Vista | Technology | Microsoft

New Law Would Ban Recording Songs Off Satellite and Internet Radio

"Satellite and Internet radio services would be required to restrict listeners' ability to record and play back individual songs, under new legislation the U.S. Senate. The rules are embedded in a copyright bill called the Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act, or Perform Act...

The measure takes "...aim at portable satellite radio devices, such as XM Satellite Radio's Inno player, that allow consumers to store copies of songs originally played on-air. The proposal says that all audio services--Webcasters included--would be obligated to implement 'reasonably available and economically reasonable' copy-protection technology aimed at preventing 'music theft' and restricting automatic recording.

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Tags: restrict | audio | Radio | New | Life | law | internet | ban

Skype Tries Harder to Call Your Wallet

After attracting millions of users and billions in valuation, Skype is still seeking to answer the always-there question about whether Skype is a growth business. Thursday the eBay subsidiary unveiled yet another plan to try to tap into Skype users’ wallets, an all-you-can-eat SkypeOut service called Skype Pro1 which (like their Skype Unlimited2 plans for Canada and the U.S.) removes the per-minute charges for each call to the PSTN and replaces it with a small connection fee and a subscription cost.
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Tags: Technology | Skype

Speech-to-Speech Translation

The goal of the Speech-to-Speech Translation (S2S) research is to enable real-time, interpersonal communication via natural spoken language for people who do not share a common language. The Multilingual Automatic Speech-to-Speech Translator (MASTOR) system is the first S2S system that allows for bidirectional (English-Mandarin) free-form speech input and output.

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Tags: Speech-to-Speech | speech | research | recognition | Language | TRANSLATOR | Technology

Panasonic's SH-FX85 wireless sound system

Panasonic's SH-FX85 wireless sound system: thanks FCC

Posted Jan 19th 2007 9:26AM by Thomas Ricker

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Wireless

Thanks to the gadget sieve known as the FCC, we just picked up the mugshots from Panasonic's new wireless sound system known as SH-FX85. The device is meant to extend the audio from and of Panny's DVD Home Theater Systems supporting the SH-FX85T wireless transmitter. So much like Philips' Streamium lineup of whole home audio systems, up to two of SH-FX85 systems can be used to distribute audio in rooms to 30-meters away from your home theater. These boxes not only pump 130 Watts of RMS stereo audio wirelessly, like any good room system these days they also include what Panny calls a "Music Port" terminal (a standard 3.5-mm jack) for feeding music off your MP3 player or other audio device. They also features an "Option V.1" terminal which looks to be a standard USB jack for connecting an optional Universal Dock (Apples?) for direct-iPod playback. The frequency listed is 2.4GHz which could be 802.11b/g... or not. Let's hope so 'cause we like to stream audio around the Engadget Mansion without costly, proprietary gear.

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Tags: Streamium | wireless | system | sound | gadget | device | audio | theater | Technology | Philips | panasonic | Home

Charges Coming to Skype

It's been long established that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and it appears that free (or almost free) phone calls could be disappearing too: Skype users might have to cough up a few cents to connect to phones outside of the Skype Network.

The Register is reporting that this fee won't be charged to users who pay €2 a month for Skype Pro--but the problem is that Skype Pro isn't yet available. In the meantime, subscribers to Talk For Britain, or Skype Unlimited in the U.S., won't have to pay the extra connection charge. In fairness the fee amounts to only about 5 cents for American users, but considering that Skype calls were the next best thing to free, this is in fact a major cost increase!

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Skype Announces Free Calling to Any Phone in US or Canada

Tags: Technology | Skype | Britain