Archive for October, 2009

Zatz Not Funny: FlipShare TV, Netflix on PS3, Roku, Slacker

A periodic roundup of relevant news from our friends at Zatz Not Funny


Introducing Cisco’s FlipShare TV

Dave Zatz: Recorded video, accessed on a computer via FlipShare software, is wirelessly streamed via the FlipShareTV USB stick to the small FlipShare TV set-top box.

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TwitterPeek: a device for tweeting and nothing else

twitterpeekI love me some Twitter (follow me @sohear) and I have a thing for mobile QWERTY devices too. That said, the TwitterPeek is probably taking these two obsessions just a little too far. It does one thing and one thing only: Tweet.

Building on the company’s original email and messaging-only concept, users put down a one-off payment for the TwitterPeek (available in the US-only) and get a lifetime’s worth of tweeting, with no additional data charges. Unless the company goes bust of course.

[Update: Unlike the original Peek messaging device, it’s not a lifetime’s service. “Includes 6 months of service, $7.95/month thereafter”.]

Put a camera in this thing and dead easy support for Twitter-based services such as TwitPic and maybe, just maybe, for less-tech savvy celeb types who have a large base of Twitter followers to please (or their PRs operating on their behalf) there could be some appeal for a single purpose device. What do readers think?

(via Engadget)

Free Sat Nav! Google Android 2.0 sticks it to TomTom, Garmin, Navigon and others

The next version of the Googe-led mobile OS – Android 2.0 – is already encroaching on the work of HTC, INQ, Palm, Motorola and others in the universal address book space, and now we learn that the search giant has an even bigger target in its sights: Satellite Navigation systems.

TechCrunch has published a short video of Google showing off the upcoming Google Maps Navigation, which offers free turn-by-turn navigation, along with other features such as text search, voice search, and sat nav versions of Street View and Satellite View. The app will only be available on phones running Android 2.0 or at least that’s what Google tells TechCrunch.

Update: Much more info over at the official Google Mobile blog.

Video: Android 2.0's cloud-savvy address book and more

The Google-led Android mobile OS continues its rapid development with version 2.0 nearing release. A 2.0 milestone is rarely insignificant and Android doesn’t disappoint. Perhaps the biggest enhancement isn’t an end user feature as such but a new API that will enable handset makers and other third-party developers to add additional ‘Cloud’ syncing capabilities to Android’s contact application, taking it far beyond the existing support for Google Contacts. This could be Facebook or any social network or web app and to the end user will feel very much like the contacts element of Palm’s Synergy feature, Motorola’s MotoBlur, the work that INQ have done or HTC Sense on the Hero and Tattoo, two existing Android-powered devices.

In other words, this whole cloud-savvy universal address book concept is already in wide circulation and now Google just made it even more pervasive.

NewTeeVee Live: Join CBS, Cisco, Viacom, Netflix, Comcast, Adobe and more

I’m interrupting normal transmission to remind readers one last time of the upcoming NewTeeVee Live 09 conference being run by our friends over at NewTeeVee, part of the excellent GigaOM staple of blogs.

Last100 is a media sponsor of the event and once again, readers who wish to attend qualify for a discount.

More info after the jump…

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Is Sony Ericsson short changing Satio users?


I’ve just got back from the Symbian Exchange and Exposition (SEE09) at London’s Earls Court where I had a one-on-one press briefing with Anders Westin, Sony Ericsson’s Head of Software Relations, Symbian Software.

We had an interesting chat about the company’s “commitment” to Symbian, whether or not Sony Ericsson can continue to afford to support a multi-platform smartphone strategy (Symbian, Android and Windows Mobile), and the issue of app store fragmentation. I was quite direct in my questioning and Westin kindly played game.

However, it was when I raised some of my criticism of the company’s flagship Symbian smartphone, the just-released Satio, that things turned a little odd.

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I've published my full UK Palm Pre review over at Mobile Industry Review

tweed_2009-23-10_161744I’ve posted part two of my Palm Pre UK (GSM) review over at Mobile Industry Review. Here’s the intro:

It’s been just over a week since I took loan of a Palm Pre, a device that bears the weight of Palm’s future success on its shoulders. Or so the story goes.

And it’s far too good a story for most pundits not to have written, me included. The truth, of course, is a little less dramatic but significant nonetheless.

While the Palm Pre is undoubtedly the company’s comeback device, the big bet is the accompanying webOS that powers the Pre along with the subsequently released Palm Pixi. In fact since the second device running webOS was unveiled, Palm have announced that, moving forward, they’re dumping Windows Mobile to pursue a single OS strategy. Thanks Redmond for easing the transition away from the dying PalmOS to the newly born webOS. But make no mistake, that’s all you were good for.

It’s in this context that when reviewing the Palm Pre it’s more tempting than usual to consider the phone’s hardware as separate from the operating system it runs on. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

(Spoiler: The hardware is OK but webOS is where things get really exciting.)

Click over to Mobile Industry Review to read the full post, and if you have any further questions, leave a comment here or on MIR and I’ll try to answer them before I return the device.

3 and Spotify point to the future of music purchasing

hero-spotify-3UK carrier 3 has teamed up with Spotify to offer a mobile tariff that includes a premium subscription, no ads and mobile usage, for the popular European (US launch pending) music streaming service. While the offer in itself is news worthy – it’s quite an attractive deal (more below) – perhaps more interesting is that the model may well point to the future of paid-for music.

Prior to 3’s offering, those wanting to utilize Spotify’s service on their handset were required to take out a premium subscription costing £10 per month in the UK. That’s quite high when competing against “free”, such as ad-supported offerings (including Spotify’s own, which prohibits mobile access) or illegal file downloads and the like.

However, by burying the premium subscription within a user’s monthly mobile tariff the service begins to enter the needed “feels like free” territory that self-proclaimed media futurist Gerd Leonhard has been talking about for years.

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Weekly wrapup: GSM Palm Pre review, Macbook melted key mystery, Sony Ericsson Satio launch, Adobe Flash vs Apple iPhone, 7Digital and BlackBerry, and more

Here’s a summary of the last two weeks’ digital lifestyle action on last100. Note that you can subscribe to the weekly wrapups, either via the special weekly wrapup RSS feed or by email.

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Gadgets and canapés: PR, Paranoia and the Palm Pre [review]

I’ve written up my Day One impressions of the UK version of the Palm Pre, along with a tongue-in-cheek description of the PR back-story, in my debut column — working title: Gadgets and canapés — for Ewan MacLeod’s Mobile Industry Review (MIR).

The unsolved Macbook Melted Key Mystery

Late last night I looked down at my unibody Macbook’s keyboard and, shock-horror, the zero key had melted!

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Video: YouTube on the WD TV Live HD Media Player

WD-LiveI gave Western Digital’s original WD HD Media Player a glowing review, describing it as a ‘kitchen sink an all’ media player that just works. As readers may remember, the set-top box does away with local networking or an Internet connection, instead featuring two USB ports only, to offer a near fool-proof way of watching almost any video downloaded from the Internet on the TV.

However, the lack of network connectivity, a potential shortcoming for some, has been addressed with the newly released WD TV Live HD, which adds an Ethernet port and support for YouTube and Flickr, Internet radio from Live365 and Pandora (US version only), along with content stored on a Windows PC or Mac on the same local network.

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