On my Tumblr blog I posted about The Boy Genius Report getting a hold of some pictures of the Palm Treo 850, but now TamsPPC has found out what the full specs of the Treo 850 are.
GSM, EDGE, and UMTS HSDPA 3.6
assisted GPS receiver
2 megapixel camera
micro-USB for both power and sync
Bluetooth 2.0 EDR + A2DP
256MB NAND-Flash (~175MB for user)
32MB of SDRAM
Windows Mobile Pro 6.1
For someone who is still a big Treo fan or can’t stand to lose the physical keyboard this looks like it is going to be a great option. But, unless you absolutely need the physical keyboard I don’t know why I would suggest this to anyone.
I hate to be the one who is always comparing new phones to the iPhone (although I know I’m not the ONLY one) but at this point it’s hard not to.
I actually first heard about the aTV Flash a month or so ago but decided not to write about it because it seemed a little fishy to me. But, now that some of the bigger blogs out there decided to write about it I figured it must actually work.
The idea behind the aTV Flash is very simple, it is basically just a USB flash drive preloaded with some software that once plugged into the Apple TV it automatically hacks the Apple TV to add multiple codec support, the Couch Surfer browser, SSH access, etc.
The aTV Flash is compatible with all Apple TV’s including the old software and Take Two and the makers of the aTV Flash offer free updates for a year. It is a little bit expensive, coming in at $59.95 it isn’t exactly cheap, especially since all of these hacks can be done by yourself for free but the convenience may be worth the cost.
To most people Oppo isn’t a familiar name but for geeks, we know they make some of the best up-converting DVD players on the market. But now they are making a portable media player. The player has a 3-inch 400×240 touchscreen, 4GB of internal memory, microSD slot, and a video out port.
There are a few apps that come with it including a photo viewer, calender app, stopwatch, calculator, along with a couple of games. The player supports MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, and APE audio files and AVI, DivX, XviD, RM, RMVB, and FLV video formats.
The players design is pretty slick and at $163.99 it sure gives the iPod Touch a run for its money. Check out the video below for a nice demo.
I absolutely love the idea of geotagging, the ability to look back at old photos and be able to know exactly where you were when you took that picture could be incredibly useful when years and years have passed and you need to figure out what exactly is in a picture.
Well geotagging is coming to the iPhone. In the latest beta of the 2.0 (5A292g) firmware distributed to select enterprise beta testers has had a new preference added called “Location Services” and within the Camera app some geotagging hints have turned up.
When the “Location Services” feature is turned on and you take a picture using the iPhone’s Camera app it asks to check for your current location and one would assume that when firmware 2.0 is released it will add that data to the pictures metadata.
Firmware 2.0 for the iPhone is going to be huge and is turning out to have way more features than I could have ever imagined.
“sources close to the 3G iPHone launch have told Gizmodo that Apple will announce their new model at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th. The second-generation iPhone will be available worldwide right after the launch.” –Gizmodo
That is a pretty bold statement but I have to be honest, I believe it. It is clear that Apple is going to release a 3G iPhone, it is the next step in cellular technology for them, the only question was when, and Gizmodo just answered the question.
Some other things mentioned in the post though is that in Spain the new iPhone will be available on June 18th at the grand opening of Telefonica’s megastore availability of the phone would come to other stores shortly after that (in Spain). This seems a little weird to me, I can’t recall a time where Apple released a product only at one location and then made it available in other locations later, I don’t know, it just seems strange.
Gizmodo also stated that the 3G iPhone will no longer be available at a fixed price point, and to me, that means nothing, unless it means that you could purchase the iPhone without a contract for a higher price, which is possible. They also say that the launch will bring new sales policies. I don’t know what more Apple could do with the sales policies they currently have, you can’t purchase with cash and there’s only one phone per customer at Apple stores.
This launch was inevitable and it makes sense for Steve Jobs to announce this at the keynote, it is relative to developers.
Yesterday Roku and Netflix released the first of a few set-top boxes that stream content from Netflix’s Watch Instantly service. The service which began early last year allows subscribers with the $8.99 plan and up the ability to stream a set of movies and TV shows from the Netflix library
This Roku Netflix Player is available immediately for a reasonable price of only $99.99. The set-top box is fairly small, 1.75-inches tall, 5.25-inches wide, 5.25″ deep. In that small space the player has HDMI, component, composite, and S-Video output as well as digital optical (no surround sound) and analog stereo audio output. Keep in mind that there are only a set of composite cable in the box so if you want to use another output you’ll have to find your own cables. Composite shouldn’t be too horrible an option though since the box is only capable of outputting 480i no matter what cables you useonly outputs 480i unless you use HDMI in which it can then output 480p, although a firmware update could technically change this in the future.
When it comes to connectivity the player has an ethernet jack and Wifi, supporting WEP and WPA encryption. The device also has a simple and easy to use 9-button remote.
To be able to watch movies and TV shows on the device though you are going to have to populate your queue online with your computer, that means you can’t browse the watch instantly library on the device itself and if you want to watch something new you have to walk over to your computer and add it. But, once the movie/TV show is added to your queue it takes only a minute or so to show up on the Roku player and you don’t have to have your computer on to watch video.
Movie playback starts in less than a minute and you can fastforward and rewind with you remote, but you can also navigate through the movie by viewing thumbnails of the movie at 10 second intervals. Video quality is the same as it is on a computer and the video bit rate maxes out at 2.2Mbps.
One cool feature about viewing video on this is that when you stop the video the box tells the Netflix servers where you left off so if you want to pick up the movie again on your computer or on another Roku player in another room you start off right where you left it. Netflix currently allows each subscriber to link up to 4 devices to their account.
Right now there isn’t a whole lot of content available but Netflix is making new deals all the time with content providers.
I don’t know if I would suggest anyone to buy one of these, we already know that Netflix has also partnered with LG and two other yet-to-be-named manufacturers to make similar boxes, so I think it would be best to wait until those set-top boxes are announced to make your decision.
As you may already know the current iPhone is only capable of purchasing music from its iTunes Music store application when you are connected to a Wifi network. Well, Apple is in talks that would allow them to sell music to iPhone owners over the 3G data network as well.
The New York Times is reporting that to convince the record labels Apple may have to pay them more than 70% of the revenue from it.
Apple is also looking to expand the number of songs that are able to be converted into ringtones, they are also planning on adding ringback tones to the available options.
These talks seem to be very early on so it is unlikely that Apple would sign the deal in time for them to be announced on June 9th, but these announcements aren’t really the kind of thing that Apple would talk about at WWDC anyway. It is more likely however that Apple would announce a new iPhone with 3G networking and have a special event a month or so later to talk about these features and officially release them to the public.
I have been thinking a lot about DVRs lately, mostly because I saw the Nueros OSD and thought it was pretty cool, but I started thinking about what would be the perfect networked DVR and here’s what I came up with.
The DVR would have an ATSC tuner and a H.264 encoder, this way the programs recorded onto the DVR would be in H.264 and would be able to record that way on the fly (not saved in MPEG-2 and then exported as H.264 later).
I want the device to have easily removable hard drives so that I can either replace a bad hard drive with a new one or upgrade the hard drive later on. Now the coolest idea I had was the idea of the DVR being completely headless, so the way that you would schedule recordings and change settings would be with an application installed on other computers on the same network as the DVR, or maybe even a browser based configuration tool. The application would list to you all of the TV Shows that are available to you that will be airing in the next week and then present them to you as a list with check boxes next to them, you could then choose which shows you want to record all episodes of, only new episodes of, or don’t record at all.
The DVR would automatically tag the video files with the correct information, episode name, show name, season number, episode number, etc. using information taken from somewhere like TV Guide or even Schedules Direct (a organization that came about to give open source software program guide information). Because of this guide information whoever builds this DVR could charge users a monthly fee of $5 or so (similar to how Tivo works), and with that they may also be able to charge less for the DVR itself.
All recordings would be saved in an iPod friendly format 640×480 H.264, unless the program is in HD in which case it could also have the option of saving it in Apple TV friendly 720p H.264.
Once the programs are recorded they are shared over the network through iTunes (like) sharing so that Apple TV’s could watch the programming or anyone on the network with iTunes could watch the programming (you would also have the option of password protecting the content. With the DVRs configuration program though it would also present to you a list of all of the programs recorded and you could transfer those files to the computer you are at and also manually delete them or change settings on when they are automatically deleted, which could be things like, one week after recording, one week after play count changes, or manually deleted.
As you can see I have thought a lot about this and I really think that someone could make a lot of money selling one of these boxes. To be honest though someone could probably build the software right now and using a Mac Mini, a TV Tuner, and the Turbo.264 (a USB H.264 encoder) make it work right now. And, I guess I probably could get most of this working right now too, but I think I would need to know some programming to get the remote management working and the auto deletion working exactly how I would like it to.
If anyone wants to actually build one of these things be my guest, but I hope that since I gave you the idea for it, if you’re going to be selling them maybe you could send one my way free of charge.
Nvidia recently informed its partners that they would be changing the name for the upcoming Geforce 9900 series to the GT200 series. I don’t know if this was to confuse us but it surely will.
So now, what was previously referred to as the Geforce 9900 GTX is now the Geforce GTX 280 (oh, how wonderful *sarcasm) and the Geforce 9900 GTS is now the Geforce GTX 260 (even more confusing because of the dumb GTX).
Nvidia has also decided to release these new GPUs a little earlier to coincide with the RV770 which will launch sometime around the third week of June.
I don’t know why these companies (Nvidia, AMD, Intel) seem to think that it is a good idea to change their naming scheme, why can’t these idiots come up with some kind of naming convention that will last a little longer than 5 or so years?
The RAmos V8 is a pretty nice looking PMP coming out of China (although I don’t know if it is going to be sold in the US) and I know it looks a lot like the iPod Touch, but it is still worth talking about.
The V8 has a 4.3″ screen and 16GB of storage but still manages to be only 78mm thick.
Currently there is no pricing and no photos/videos of the user interface but if it’s priced nicely it would could be a worthy competitor to the iPod Touch, unless of course that whole iPhone/iPod Touch SDK thing does well (which it will).
The 901 is also supposed to be sporting Bluetooth, which is a first for the Eee PC lineup. What’s interesting about this release is that the MSI Wind is going to be released on the same day as the 901 and the Wind is going to be $250 cheaper and have a larger display (10″), so I wonder how Asus is planning to fight off the Wind, unless of course the $650 price point is for a Windows XP version, or one with a larger solid state drive and a cheaper version of the 901 is also going to be released.
Taiwan-based ePrice has managed to snag an early model of the brand new handset and documented the unboxing process. And of course everyones favorite (well maybe not favorite but they sure are on the top 5 list) cell phone website spent some time with the HTC Touch Diamonds user interface which you can view below.