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Apple iTunes is the largest music retailer in America

Posted in iTunes by Shane McGlaun on April 4th, 2008

Apple iTunes top U.S. Music RetailerThe digital music revolution is definitely here, all you need to do is look around and it seems that everyone is using an iPod or other PMP device. Digital tracks have quickly outpaced traditional CD sales and online digital music sales have skyrocketed.

Back in February we reported that Apple’s iTunes store was the second largest music retailer in the United States. Apple announced this week that it was now the top music retailer in America, surpassing Wal-Mart.

Mippin Maker makes normal websites mobile phone compatible

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on April 4th, 2008

Mippin Maker Site on a Mobile PhoneUnless you own an iPhone one of the biggest problems with mobile Internet access isn’t always the speed at which you can connect. The problem for many handsets is that the websites you can view on the phones are seriously lacking and many may simply not display at all.

A new service from Mippin launched today called Mippin Maker. The completely free service allows a website owner to take a normal website viewed form a PC and turn it into a site that is viewable on a mobile phone in four steps.

Report: Cell phone usage goes up, landline goes down

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on April 4th, 2008

Cell Phone Usage RisingA new report came out today that confirms something many of us already knew—cell phone usage is growing. The gains cell phones are making is at the expense of the old landline. Many people, particularly younger phone users, are going all mobile and eschewing the landline.

A poll from Harris Interactive shows that 1 in 7 adults use a cell phone exclusively. The report also shows that 1 in 5 have no landline. The survey polled 9132 adults in all. I for one didn’t have a landline for years, using cell phones exclusively. I only got a landline recently and I never use it. I only have it to get DSL service and make the occasional fax. I bet lots of landline users are the same way.

iHome lamp docks and charges your iPod

Posted in iHome by Shane McGlaun on April 4th, 2008

iHome lampEverywhere you look the proof of how successful the Apple iPod is abounds. It seems like everything is getting its own docking slot for an iPod. We have iPod clocks, iPod toilets, iPod stereos and the list goes on. 1000 years from now when researchers look back on this decade they will think we all needed help getting a woody and everyone needed a place to dock their iPod.

Naturally a new iPod docking device has turned up, this time in the form of a lamp. A company called Checkolite has a new iPod compatible, docking lamp for your desk. There are three lamp models that are available in black or white colors.

Slingshot to launch pre-paid wireless Internet service

Posted in Wi-Fi by Shane McGlaun on April 3rd, 2008

SlingshotThe last notebook I bought was a Dell XPS M1330. Part of the reason I opted for that machine was that I could get a Verizon wireless broadband modem inside the machine. The reason I wanted Verizon was that they would allow me to pay a day rate to use the wireless Internet service rather than paying $70 a month for something I would use a few times per year at most.

I have always wondered why if we can have pre-paid cellular phone service, we can’t have pre-paid wireless Internet? I guess I wasn’t the only who wondering about that, today Slingshot announced that it would be launching a wireless broadband pre-pay service in the US starting in June 2008.

Panasonic to build tiny plasma screen into cell phone

Posted in Panasonic by Shane McGlaun on April 3rd, 2008

Panasonic Cell Phone with Plasma DisplayWhen you say plasma display most of us immediately think of a big flat panel TV. In the home theater realm plasma is losing ground to LCD displays as LCDs improve in contrast and brightness. For years now LCD has been the dominate player in the cell phone industry for displays.

Panasonic and AbleComm announced today that Panasonic would be building a cell phone that uses a small plasma display to operate on the newly announced AT&T Mobile TV service. The small screen will require only 1.5 volts to operate and will require no special wiring or power supplies.

3Dconnexion 3D mouse compatibility for Second Life

Posted in 3D by Shane McGlaun on April 3rd, 2008

Second Life gets 3Dconnexion Mouse CompatibilitySecond Life is still a very popular game, or application depending on how you look at it. I was watching CSI: New York (yes I was that bored) and they even had an episode that was very intertwined with Second Life.

3Dconnexion, the Logitech company that makes the SpaceNavigator 3D mouse, announced today that Second Life will be a SpaceNavigator compatible application starting in mid-April. The SpaceNavigator promises more fluid control of an avatar and more.

Classmate: The Next Generation

Posted in Intel by Shane McGlaun on April 3rd, 2008

Intel Classmate: The Next GenerationThe idea of putting notebook computers into the hands of kids around the world to allow them to improve their education is a noble thought. The field was pioneered by the OLPC with its XO Notebook and an early partner with the OLPC was Intel.

Once Intel caught a glimpse of what the market could be for ultra low cost notebooks it entered the fray with its own low cost notebook called the Classmate. Intel announced today that it has the second generation Classmate ready for use around the world.

Aircell receives two critical FAA approvals for its in-flight broadband service

Posted in Wi-Fi by Shane McGlaun on April 2nd, 2008

Aircell In-flight BroadbandLast week we talked about the completion of Aircell’s coast-to-coast network for providing Internet access to passengers on commercial airlines. This service marks the end of one of the last locations that we can’t get broadband access. You would think if a company could set up a coast to coast network for providing in-flight Internet that we could roll broadband out to rural areas of the country as well, but I digress.

Aircell announced today that it has received two FAA certifications needed before its service can become operational. The first certification is a Supplemental Type Certificate that permits the installation and operating of Aircell’s network on commercially operating Boeing 767-200 aircraft. What’s not clear to me is if that is the only aircraft that is approved to operate the network.

Sprint announces smallest broadband modem in the country

Posted in Sprint by Shane McGlaun on April 2nd, 2008

Sprint Sierra Wireless Compas 597 USB ModemMany mobile pros and road warriors have used USB broadband modems before. Typically they are large, ugly devices that hang from your sleek notebook’s USB port like a giant tumor. A tumor you can’t treat so long as you want to have Internet access.

Sprint and Sierra Wireless announced the nation’s smallest USB broadband modem called the Compass 597 USB modem. How small is the modem you cry; how about 1.2” x 2.4” x 0.4” or about 70% smaller than the AirCard 595U. Those dimensions make the modem roughly the size of a typical flash drive.

Samsung announces svelte WEP350 Bluetooth headset

Posted in Samsung by Shane McGlaun on April 2nd, 2008

Samsung WEP350I’ve mentioned before that I have an issue with people I see walking around chatting away on a Bluetooth headset when the headset really isn’t needed. In this day and age I don’t think anyone is impressed that you have a Bluetooth headset.

In some states the only way you can talk on your phone while driving is by using a Bluetooth headset so there is definitely a place for them. To meet this need Samsung has announced one of the thinnest Bluetooth headsets available called the WEP350.

HTC Touch Dual heading to US this quarter

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on April 2nd, 2008

HTC Touch DualThe sweet Apple iPhone spawned a whole host of me too devices that looked to cash in on the ground breaking touch screen navigation Apple introduced. HTC was one of the players that jumped into touch in a big way.

HTC announced that its HTC Touch Dual handset would be coming to the U.S. this quarter and would be powered by the new Windows Mobile 6.1 OS. HTC says that Best Buy will be the first retailer to offer the HTC Touch Dual device.

Novatel announces a pair of HSPA USB modems

Posted in USB by Shane McGlaun on April 1st, 2008

Novatel MC992DJust ask anyone who knows me; I can hardly stand to be without Internet access. If my connection goes down I begin to get cold chills at the thought of missing an email within five minutes. To stave off an Internet restricted diet in case of emergency I have my iPhone and laptop complete with EVDO modem to keep me from being offline.

I have often considered getting a USB EVDO modem for use with my desktop computer, but haven’t bitten the bullet and done that yet. Novatel Wireless introduced a couple new USB modems today that look very tempting. The MC992D and MC990D are both wireless broadband modems that can operate on multiple frequencies including HSPA, WCDMA, EDGE and GPRS networks.

Sound ID announces HD300 Bluetooth headset

Posted in Bluetooth by Shane McGlaun on April 1st, 2008

Sound ID HD300I’m not a big fan of Bluetooth headsets in most instances. Sure they are welcome and much safer when driving in a car than holding your phone up to your ear. However, when you are walking around at the mall just stop being lazy and put the phone up to your ear so we don’t all think you are crazy.

That said I realize some people won’t stop using them when walking at the mall, so this is for you. Sound ID announced its latest Bluetooth headset today called the HD300. Sound ID says that the device was created with the help of hearing specialists and top acoustic scientists.

Palm sells 1 million Centro smartphones

Posted in Mobile Phones by Shane McGlaun on April 1st, 2008

John West and his Centro SmartphoneTypical smartphones run well into the $500 range making them more than many cell phone users are willing to spend. Despite the high cost of smartphones they remain one of the fastest growing segments of mobile handset sells.

Palm bucked the trend of expensive smartphones when it released its Centro handset last September as a Sprint exclusive device. The phone sold for only $99 with new activation. In February 2008 AT&T started to carry the Centro and also sold the device for $99.