Thursday, March 31, 2005

Commute-cast 03/30/2005 with kct & Barb

Last Commute-Cast on kct's digital world! Check out our new Commute-Cast website going forward!

Barb gets out of the intro again but the show must go on! Today we discuss technology in dentistry, open WiFi network dilemmas, and a few ways to extend a PSP, PDA or laptop for your home media content.

Length: 26:47
Size: 12.2 MB

Click the post title to listen (or get Doppler)!

- Intro by Paul J. Manoogian; it's Thick!
- Barb gets out of the intro again but gives the weather update
- kct combines Xbox with his workout and is now a video game character
- techADDICTION show 4 is an interview with Dave Ciccone of Dave’s iPAQ
- kct & Barb steam up the windows ;)
- Sony PSP is out and how you can put your own TiVo to Go content on it
- Barb’s digital technology experiences at the dentist. (If you need a great dentist in our area, let us know!)
- GottahavaWaWa = $.99 coffee at WaWa ends on April 3rd. :(
- kct uses an Axim X50v to show the dentist’s office that their WiFi network is wide open
- Should we tell people that they have open WiFi networks? What do you think?
- Access your home audio\video media content for FREE from any internet connection with Orb (I’d love to try it, but we need a Windows Media Center PC…hint, hint)
- Harley Davidson sighting at work means Spring is here!
- Will we make the Top 100 podcasts at Podcast Alley in March? Lend us a hand!
- Drive safely so we don't have to!
- Send us feedback!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tablet PC Buzz interviews HP's Ben Thacker

Rob Bushway from Tablet PC Buzz took a recent opportunity to interview HP's Ben Thacker. Ben is the Manager of the Specialized Products and Options Group for HP. The interview covered various insights to the Tablet PC strategies within HP, but most interesting to me was the analysis Ben provides on growth of the Tablet PC market. I've often said that I think the Tablet market is growing to slow, mostly due to marketing. Ben's answer to Rob's question might prove me wrong:

"What I found in my data analysis was that tablet pc growth is right on target with the way new technology advances on the adapter curve line. When significant new technology enters a market, volume usually starts in the niche areas or in verticals. After 5-10 years, if the technology is good, it advances into mainstream areas. This generally happens when costs come down and usefulness (software) to mainstream goes up. Verticals can afford the initial intro costs of the new technology as they have real solid needs for these solutions. Mainstream users have more trouble seeing the benefits due to higher costs and missing features (software) for mainstream usage. A great example to illustrate what I'm talking about is HDTV."

All in all, some great thoughts from HP are shared; click the post title for the full interview.

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techADDICTION show #4 available

What a fun show! In this edition, James and I host a half interview / half roundtable with none other than Dave Ciccone of Dave's iPAQ! We discuss the future (or is it the death) of the PDA as well as some other interesting mobile topics. The technical challenge was to record three people in three different areas of the country. Give it a listen and let us know if we succeeded!

Enjoy by clicking the post title!

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PocketBlogger post from my Axim!

I'm testing a new application that allows you to blog on the go if you have a Windows Mobile device with WiFi and a account. I created this post on my Dell Axim X50v on my wireless network. The application requires the .NET compact framework and is VERY small; the executable is only 56Kb!

I'll be trying this some more on the road, but if you are looking for mobile blogging, you might want to check PocketBlogger out by clicking the post title!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It's official, we're out of beta!

Our goal was to have a dedicated site and feed for the Commute-Cast by April 1st and we're happy to say: we did it and we're ahead of schedule! Previously, the Commute-Cast was hosted on this blog, but the listeners have spoken, so here you go! The new site is completely devoted to our commute, where Barb and I talk some tech and share some funny stories. Hopefully, you enjoy listening to the show as much as we enjoy sharing our commute with you.

As always, we would love to hear your feedback and constructive criticism. For that purpose, we have a dedicated Gmail account, so just send us a note. In the future, we might consider a call in line for comments and questions, but for now we'll stick with "good ol' fashioned e-mail"!

Currently the show is recorded once per week on Wednesdays, but we're considering more shows each week. If you like listening to our commute and would like to hear more, just let us know and we'll see what we can do. Thanks to our friends for the feedback, our listeners for listening and our families for supporting what we enjoy doing. I particularly want to thank Barb for her encouragement, friendship and love; without that, none of this would be a reality.

Be sure to update your RSS feeds for the Commute-Cast as we will begin to host them exclusively on the new site starting in April. Oh, and if you check out the new dedicated site, there's a little "Easter Egg" if you can find it (it's not too hard!) Drive safely so we don't have to! ;)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Commute-cast 03/23/2005 with kct & Barb

Rocky start in the rain as Barb just can't bring herself to introduce the show! All's well that ends well as we discuss online food shopping, sad Easter stories of local pigs, new HD DVR's,

Length: 26:30
Size: 12.2 MB

Click the post title to listen (or get Doppler)!

- Intro by Paul J. Manoogian; it's Thick!
- Barb doesn't want to intro the show, she just wants to whine
- Weather update
- kct & Barb's online food shopping experience at Acme.
- Peapod is still in business.
- Is online food shopping worth your time?
- GottahavaWaWa while Barb holds the DJ.
- Dish Network has some great HD DVR's that integrate OTA listings in the television guide.
- kct's neighbor wants to give him a hug & kiss since kct showed him how to get free HD!
- You've got mail! Mike sends a note indicating that Gmail might be providing random invites.
- If you like what you hear, vote for us at Podcast Alley!
- Drinking WaWa coffee in front of a WaWa
- Local pigs we used to know...happy Easter?!?!?
- Microsoft licenses ActiveSync to Symbian.
- Newest Commute-Cast fan: Dave Ciccone of Dave's iPAQ!
- Toshiba has TabletPC commercials and some great prices on new Tablets!
- Drive safely so I don't have to!
Send us feedback!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Personal Vehicle Manager from TwoPeaks

If you're like me, I feel sorry for you. Oops...let me start that again! If you're like me, you're on the run often and you like to track details on your vehicles. Great news! You can do this on your Windows Mobile device SmartPhone with the new 2005 version of Personal Vehicle Manager from TwoPeaks Software!

PVM provides functionality to track and store TONS of great vehicle data, such as:

- Fuel consumption
- Repairs and maintenance
- Detailed trip mileage
- Insurance info and more!

This new version of PVM also supports VGA devices for both Portrait and Landscape viewing! If you are are current PVM owner, check their site for a generous 75% discount on the upgrade; normal price is $24.95 which includes a desktop version that synchs via ActiveSynch! For the meek, there is a 14 day trial available.

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Why IE7 won't support CSS2

Last week, it was generally announced (or assumed) that the next Microsoft version of Internet Explorer will not support the Cascading Style Sheet 2 specification (CSS2). If you're wondering why, take a good look at this article by Dean Edwards:

"Microsoft won’t support CSS2 in IE7 because they can’t. Not with that “summer release date” anyway.
I’ve had a good look at IE’s rendering engine, Trident. I’ll qualify that by saying that I’ve spent a lot of time testing it and playing with it but I’ve never seen the source-code. From what I can tell, to support CSS2 layouts properly, Microsoft would have to re-write Trident. Not a trivial task and certainly not one that you can perform in six months. It occurred to me that they might use some unreleased engine, part of the Longhorn arsenal of weapons. But it would be equally difficult to integrate a new engine with the existing shell and maintain backward-compatibility."

The whole article is a great read, but the gist of the above exerpt makes it clear to me. Microsoft doesn't have time to adopt their rendering engine to support the spec before a mid year release. One on hand, the Microsoft folks are looking to adhere to standards, but on their other hand, they're battling a market share that continues to drop due to the likes of Mozilla's Firefox. What do you think of a quick but possibly flawed approach?

Click the post title for the full article.

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eReader version for Symbian

I was digging around the eReader site in regards to a comment on the techADDICTION Skype-line when I noticed this:

"eReader Pro is an award winning application used to read eReader eBooks on your Symbian Smartphone.
eReader Pro has also earned the Symbian Signed Certification. As a Symbian certified application, our eReader has been independently tested to follow industry-agreed quality guidelines. As a result of our quality and testing, eReader is a signed and trusted Symbian application. As a customer, you can rest assured that our Symbian certified eReader is designed and tested to enhance your eReading experience."

I don't have any devices running on the Symbian platform, but if you do and you're looking for one the best eBook software applications around, click the post title for more info. eReader will even throw in 4 books with the reader application that will set you back $14.95.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Yahoo to start a blogging service: Yahoo 360

Following in Google's footsteps, Yahoo is planning to offer a blogging service of their own, presumably to compete with Google's Blogger and Microsoft's MSN Spaces. (Author's disclaimer: this blog is hosted on According to InfoWorld:

"The service will include the company's first blogging tool, according to a company executive. Called Yahoo 360, the service will enter a restricted beta period on March 29, when it will be available to select users invited by Yahoo to try it out. Yahoo will expand the beta testing in coming weeks, and has set up a waiting list for interested users at"

With so many blogging services and platforms available, is there room for another? I think there are plenty of choices in the market and don't expect to see Yahoo's service considered "revolutionary". What it all comes down to is: how much control over your blog do you have, how reliable is the service and what extras are available to you? What do you think: do we need another blog service or is this market space already crowded?

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techADDICTION show #3 available

We had fun with this one but still kept it "tech-worthy" and informative! James even let me intro the show, but that cost me $1. I STILL think he cheats on these coin tosses via Skype! ;) Speaking of Skype, we give you a demo of Skype for PPC via Bluetooth in this show. We also talk about how we create the great sound quality of the 'cast, tell you about our new "Skype-line" for the show, and most important: we've got some KICKIN' new intro\outro music from Paul of One-Egg-Ticket and Paul's Blog!

Show notes are available after the "Read More" jump and you can listen to the show by clicking the post title.
The techADDICTION Show - 22nd March 2005 (43min 19sec): MP3 - 14.9MB

00:16 Intro music- Konundrums by One Egg Ticket (thanks guys)

Paul’s Blog

Kevin watching NASCAR and podcasting

01:50 MyWebEx PC

Kevin hacked JK’s computers

10:00 Skype on a Pocket PC with a Bluetooth headset

11:25 Skype recording over WiFi with a Bluetooth headset quality sample

13:40 How techADDICTION is recorded


KCT & JK are vain


KCT & JK sound good

A face for podcasting

16:25 The techADDICTION Skype line

17:55 Skype Answering Machine (SAM)

New version- significant new features

22:25 Pause for the cause

23:30 RSS/ Podcatcher for the Pocket PC- FeederReader

27:18 Fictionwise has their own ebook reader device

eBookwise-1150- electronic ebook reader for $100

31:25 2.6 gigs of free music!


Robert Scoble


35:30 GM puts MP3 player jack in new cars

Belkin TuneCast II

38:35 Cordless Skype Phone

Seattle vs. the UK

41:00 Music kicks in!

The Podcast Network Survey

Call the techADDICTION Skype line with your feedback, comments, questions

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Skype your questions to techADDICTION

Got a question or a tip for James and me? Want to know something more about a topic we spoke of on the show? Have a burning need to compliment the hosts? Now you can!

Skype us at "techADDICTION" on Skype, if we're not in, just leave a voicemail.

NOTE: If you don't want your name to be mentioned on the show or you would prefer not to have your voicemail on the show, please let us know. We'd love to have you and your questions on the podcast, but we certainly respect people's needs for privacy.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Podcatching on a PPC: FeederReader

I can't pull podcasts directly on my Windows Mobile device via WiFi...or can I? Greg Smith says, "Yes I can!" with his application called FeederReader. According to Greg: "FeederReader is a program running on Windows Mobile 2003 used for downloading and reading RSS feeds and listening to podcasts on a Pocket PC. It is designed to be run without the assistance of a host computer. You can update the feeds when the Pocket PC is connected to the internet (through a LAN, Mobile Phone, or ActiveSync) and read them while offline."


FeederReader is designed to support enclosure tags for podcasts as well as OPML imports and exports of your RSS subscriptions. Normal RSS reading is also built in to the application which requires the latest .NET Compact Framework to run.

Greg has released an alpha of his application and I'll be installing it shortly. Look to the next techADDICTION show for my thoughts, bearing in mind that this is a pre-release version. If you would like to give FeederReader a try, take a look at Greg's site.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Commute-cast 03/16/2005 with kct but no Barb!

Barb couldn't join us today and there was some excitement in our little town: a big fire! Hey, I even throw in some tech too....isn't that what it's all about? This show is dedicated to Kurt: be safe overseas and we'll celebrate St. Patrick's Day next year bud!

Length: 29:13
Size: 13.3 MB

Click the post title to listen (or get Doppler)!

- Intro by Paul J. Manoogian; it's Thick!
- No Barb and I'm heading North to go South!
- There's a fire in our little town.
- Weather update
- Coffee sale at WaWa! (Any size coffee: $.99 until 4/3: no milk jugs allowed!)
- Two-factor authentication in future Windows versions.
- CeBIT: kct doesn't feel the love!
- WKYW traffic update: why is it all about Philly?
- kct likes his phone to be a phone! (and he's out of wiper fluid!)
- 180 million people in the US have a mobile phone
- Gmail goes live! kct and James Kendrick figure out how they rolled this out
- in beta! Coming soon!
- What would Barb say if she were here? "Vote for us at Podcast Alley!"
- Gottahava WaWa!
- World of Warcraft beta and REAL CRIME! People are buying "cyber-gold" for real money! What's next, cyber-prostitution???
- We need a Bluetooth phone for Barb's this it?
- Barb's teaser for the next show: On line food shopping at Acme. Stay away from the creepy dude!
- HP's new tablet PC, the tc4200: Chris James has a GREAT review.
- kct misses Barb! (And so do the rest of the listeners!)
- Drive safely so I don't have to!

Send me feedback!

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A day late and a dollar short

For you regular listeners of the Commute-Cast, I'm a day late and dollar short. What does that mean? Well, I recorded the show yesterday, so I'm a day late. Today I got a message from my server host that I'm at 90% of my bandwidth quota for the month and that each additional GB of bandwidth will cost me $.99: that's the "dollar short" part!

I guess that's the price of success, so I can live with it! ;) However, if you do listen to the Commute-Cast show or you get some good information from kct's digital world, I am humbly asking for something to help offset my bandwidth cost. I don't intend to make a gazillion dollars on this site, but I don't want to lose money either! So if you find this of any value, please consider clicking on the PayPal button and donating. I hate to ask this, but it would help. Even if you pulled down a podcast and then gave back a quarter, I'd be happy! ;) Thanks!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Finally! Another Bluetooth phone for Verizon

It's about time! Barb and I have been waiting for another Bluetooth capable phone for the Verizon Wireless network. Currently, the only mobile Bluetooth they have is the Motorola v710. We're looking for another choice here so Barb can take advantage of the integrated Bluetooth hands-free system in the Acura TL. Looks like LG to rescue!

According to MobileTracker, the LG VX8100 will fit the bill for us. Aside from Bluetooth, the VX8100 also sports a 1.3 megapixel camera and EV-DO data network compatibility.

Click the post title for the full story from MobileTracker.

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Podcasting survey

Now that The Podcast Network has launched no less than eight podcasts, with many more to come, the founders are looking for your input. Mick Stanic and Cameron Reilly have put together a brief survey that will take you less than five minutes to complete. There's even a free prize if you complete the survey, but I don't want to spoil the the post title to take the brief survey!

Oh, and if you see a question about your favorite podcaster, don't forget the every-sexy, super-smooth talkin' co-host of techADDICTION. [No, James, I didn't mean you...I meant me!] ;) I'm joking...the question doesn't exist.....(but you might want to mention it in the comments!)

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IE 7.0 (aka:"Rincon") details slowly becoming available

A few weeks back both here and in the weekly "Commute-Cast" podcast, I shared some very preliminary information on Internet Explorer 7.0. Slowly but surely, additional details are becoming available. Microsoft-Watch has information on the new browser that was anonymously shared with key Microsoft partners. Among the highlights:

- Tabbed browser support; i.e.: multiple tabs in one browser instance, each tab showing a unique web page.
- Portable Network Graphics (PNG) support providing transparent graphics and image overlays.
- Potentially, a built in news aggregator for RSS support.

Among what I think is missing (or as yet not disclosed) is a simple and open way to add and extend the browser. This is one of Mozilla Firefox's biggest advantages and Microsoft would be wise to adopt a similar strategy. It is also unknown if Rincon will support the Cascading Style Sheet 2.0 standard.

Read the full story at Microsoft-Watch.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Track your golf stats on a PPC for free

Now that winter is just about over here in the northern hemisphere, it's time for me to clean up my golf clubs and pretend I know what to do with them on the course. I'm a terrible golfer, but being the 'information junkie' that I am, I love to keep detailed statistics, no matter how bad they are. What better way than to keep the stats on a Windows Mobile device? It fits in your pocket or can sit in your golf cart; the perfect way to capture your golf data. There are plenty of good programs out there to buy for this purpose, but today I'm focusing on the free beta of LinksTrak:

LinksTrak is a no frills but functional way to keep details of your golf rounds for up to 4 players. You will need to enter course information but by using LinksTrak, you can gather statistics on your score, score in relation to par, fairways hit, greens in regulation and my best statistic: balls lost.

LinksTrak runs on the PocketPC operating system or better and requires the .NET Compact Framework. You can download LinksTrak by clicking the post title to visit the developers site. Thanks to FreewarePPC for the info!

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

HomeHub automation beta

One area of tech I haven't yet explored is Home Automation. Luckily, someone I know has, so I can let him spend the money! ;) Paul has just signed up for the HomeHub beta, so be sure to watch his experience at Paul's Blog. Paul is a big "home automation" fan and I think it's amazing that he can be anywhere the world and still turn lights on at his house or find out the indoor temparature!

"With HomeHub, you'll be able to control your lighting, appliances, security cameras and entertainment systems through a range of devices whether you're at home or anywhere else in the world. Which is pretty cool, 'cause how many times have you wanted to change the channel on someone, or have left your curling iron on and wanted to turn it off. OK, maybe that's a little far-fetched, but not impossible!
HomeHub is designed to allow all levels of Home Automation user to create and control an automated home based around existing standards and technologies using devices that are available today. You can control your house through one easy to use browser based interface, from any computer on your home network, or from other networked devices such as wireless PDA’s and from the TV using a 'suitable adaptor.'"

Click the post title for more on Paul's thoughts.

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techADDICTION show #2 available

This one's a little more about tech and little less about James and I. :) Hope you enjoy it! Full show notes after the "Read More" jump. Click here for the show and please let us know what you think!

The techAddiction Show - 13th March 2005 (47min 34sec): MP3 - 16.4MB

00:00 Intro- The Podcast Network, James Kendrick, Kevin Tofel

Listeners don’t care about us

01:40 Kevin reviews the Cybook from Bookeen

06:20 JK sighting in Starbucks; No ones knows what JK looks like; branding; internet company converts photos to icons; KCT is an icon in his own mind

10:00 Google Desktop Search goes gold; Copernic problems; GDS privacy concerns addressed?

19:00 Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 Linux based PDA

Thanks to Dynamism for review unit

25:40 No iPod video; KCT doesn'’t like PMCs; iSod; iPod saved Apple

Pocket Music for the Pocket PC; streaming Shoutcast music streams to the PPC; no WiFiPod; will Apple Bluetooth headsets still be white?

iPod Shuffle

33:10 Agenda Fusion 7.0 new release; project management functions at last; Pocket Informant responds with beta then removes it

35:58 Battery extenders-

37:30 iSun solar charger

39:05 JVC Interlink XP741 subnotebook from Dynamism

41:30 HeadsetPresenter- use BT headset as a PowerPoint remote control

42:55 Why does JK get all the cool Japanese toys?

Manufacturers and resellers- send us free stuff, we don’t mind.

44:20 Motorola HS820 Bluetooth headset with Skype on the PocketPC

45:30 Wrap up; check out the techADDICTION blog; KCT’s Digital World; jkOnTheRun; can’t fire unpaid podcasters

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Like the commute-cast? Vote at Podcast Alley

Mainstream media seems to have latched on to Podcast Alley as the podcast reference site. I registered the weekly Commute-Cast over there back in February and now that the show is gaining a following, I'd love to see it move "up the charts" to the top 100 or so. In fact, now that Barb has joined, we're gunnin' for Dawn & Drew who continually show up in the Top 10 over at Podcast Alley! Actually, they are a COMPLETELY different kind of show and good in their own way, so I'm joking about "dethroning them". I am serious about the voting though! If you like the show, click the post link to vote. You can only vote once per month under the new system there, so how about it. Is March the month you vote for kct & Barb on the Commute-Cast?


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Learn a new language in just 10 minutes!

I started my adventures in computing programming BASIC on various computers back in the early 1980's. While my fellow grade school friends were outside playing, I was pounding away on membrane keyboards. My how things have changed. My friends are still somewhere else, but now I have a nicer keyboard! ;) One of the computing areas I've never had the joy of experiencing lie in the UNIX world. I think that's about to change thanks to a post I saw over at

"I love it when people on the Internet make things easy for me by, say, compiling a healthy helping of basic information on a subject into one document. A generous soul has done such a thing by creating a document for learning UNIX in 10 minutes."

I gave this a quick look and the basic ins and outs of UNIX are nicely documented in a brief web page. Click the post title and spend 10 minutes learning a new language. Thanks to ForeverGeek for the tip!

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Samsung's Magneto based phone

I know I just posted about Samsung at CeBIT and I should give equal time to the other manufacturers, but this product has me really excited! Samsung previewed their i300 that will feature the new Windows Mobile Magneto operating system.

This phone will feature a 3GB hard drive and an iPod like directional wheel. Running the latest and greatest Windows Mobile platform should provide plenty of great functionality and the phone sports a 320 x 240 (QVGA) color screen. A 1.3 megapixel camera sits in the back of the phone for quick pics as well. Need connectivity? How about IrDA and Bluetooth? From a cellular network standpoint, it appears that the phone is GSM based, which makes sense to me since it's featured at a European trade show.

Click the post title for plenty of great photos on this, as well as other, phones that Samsung is showing at CeBIT, all courtesy of Mobile-Review.

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PocketBlogger: blog on your handheld

Looking to blog using a handheld? If you have a Blogger account and a PocketPC, you can do it! PocketBlogger was recently released and with that many decimals in the version number, I'm thinking we'll see many versions and enhancements. Either that or the next version will simply be called "v 2"! ;)

This freeware was created according to the developer because "I have an Audiovox 6601, and a blog. I tried posting from the website, but because PocketIE doesn't support JavaScript very well, I couldn't make a post. This gave me the idea to create an application that would allow me to post to by blogs. Using the Atom API, and the Blogger API, along with web services I created, and the .NET Compact Framework, I created PocketBlogger."

In true mobile handheld fashion, the download is nice and small: only 36Kb! The developer also has a blog where he openly discusses the product and solicits ideas for new functionality. Now...if I can pair this up with some Windows Mobile speech recognition I can do some SERIOUS blogging on my Axim X50v!

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Commute-cast 03/09/2005 with kct & Barb

The people have spoken: this is the "kct & Barb" show!
We're moving "commute" to a Wednesday recording so we can all commute together on Thursday...and Friday...and Monday...and, well you get the idea.

Length: 36.5 minutes
Size: 16.5 MB

Click the post title to listen (or get Doppler)!

- Intro by Paul J. Manoogian; it's Thick!
- Weather and time.
- Fixing the satellite dish on a dark and windy night.
- Navigating through the tree-trimmers.
- WaWa coffee plug #1
- MSN Remote Record via Paul's Blog
- 4WD needed at the infamous "look left, right, left again" intersection
- Sydney wants a Windows Media Center PC for her 5th birthday
- AOL to offer VoIP service starting next month
- Sony combats the iPod Shuffle with 3 new flash players. Great battery life!
- Last weekend's dinner with new HDTV converts. kct got to see World of Warcraft (and fights the temptation to play!)
- Look for my WiFi Skype on PPC with Bluetooth experiment on a future techADDICTION podcast.
- Barb doesn't like headphones OR wet willies!
- kct will buy tech gear so you don't have to...unless RadioShack has demos.
- Wireless USB on the way; will it replace BlueTooth? (part 1)
- Barb tells the story of why kids say "blah, blah, blah" when kct speaks.
- Why you shouldn't buy a 2WD pickup truck = it's half a car!
- WaWa plug #2: GottahavaWaWa!
- Wireless USB on the way; will it replace BlueTooth? (part 2)
- 1,000,000 Tablet PC's sold; Christopher has a TC4200
- Mark Jen landed a job at Plaxo. Congrats Mark! :)
- Google Desktop Search arrives out of beta and is better.
- Do we have enough gas to get home today?

Send me feedback!

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Samsung's 7 megapixel camera phone @ CeBIT

Just months after Samsung introduced a 5 megapixel camera phone, they take the wraps off of a 7 megapixel version. Regular readers know that I'm generally "anti-convergent" with devices, but the SCH-V770 from Samsung has my attention. Anytime you can meld two or more devices without sacrificing functionality in either, I'd say you've got a winner.

According to The Korea Times, "The dual-face bar-type SCH-V770 boasts 16-million-color liquid crystal display (LCD), 32-megabyte external memory card, auto focus & optical zoom functions, and digital power amplifier that produces high quality sound and video recording function.
SCH-V770 features functions of high-end DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras that are designed for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts, such as manual focus, shutter speed controller and auto-exposure-lock and manual exposure controller.
Users can also attach a telephoto lens or wide-angle lens on the mobile handset and view picture on the television screen while shooting a photo or video just by hooking up the device to the television set with a cable, said Samsung."

Pricing, availability and detailed specs are pending. Click the post title for the full article.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

AOL: You've Got (Voice)Mail!

Is there room for one more in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market? America OnLine seems to think so as they have announced a VoIP service that integrates with their AOL Instant Messenger service. No pricing details are available yet, but AOL expects the service to launch within the next month. I still think the VoIP market is for the early adaptors and I don't equate most of them as "AOL users"; maybe I'm off base. Still, a simple interface like the AOL Instant Messenger client might help the VoIP adaption rate for that market as whole. The most important question I have is: does this mean they might finally stop sending me CD's?

Click the post title for the full story from eWeek.

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HP's TC4200 Tablet PC

Drool away folks....Christopher over at has a new HP TC4200 Tablet PC:

Watch for his thoughts; I know I will! In case you missed it, the TC4200 was announced at the January CES show in LasVegas. Here are the nuts and bolts of the specs:

Screen size: 12.1"
Screen resolution: 1024 x 768
Processor type Pentium M
Clock speed 1.86 GHz
RAM installed size 512 MB
Max supported RAM 2 GB
Memory speed 400 MHz DDR SDRAM
Storage Hard Drive: 60 GB IDE

I still don't get why people keep using magic marker on their Tablet; maybe it's just me.... ;)

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What's the 'Google' outside? (i.e.: the weather)

Looking for a quick 4 day weather forecast? Look no further than: Google!

Just Google the word 'weather', followed by a space and then either your zip code or your city and state (in the U.S. that is!) and you've got a quick 4 day forecast.

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Office Communicator to replace Windows Messenger

I'll disclose up front that I don't use Windows Messenger. I'll also disclose that I might use the successor to Windows Messenger, which is called Office Communicator according to BetaNews:

"Microsoft has given a name to its Windows Messenger successor: Office Communicator 2005. The new communications client, formerly known by its code-name Istanbul, integrates IM, voice, video, telephony and Web conferencing capabilities into a single interface and makes them accessible in Microsoft's Office applications.

Communicator serves as the preferred client for Office Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, which streamlines business communication and is the core of Microsoft's real-time collaboration vision. With Communicator, users have access to presence features that rout incoming messages based on a schedule, or offer additional availability data such as the next available meeting."

This is great way to leverage one of of the most successful Microsoft products, namely MS Office. By integrating real time communication features in Office, Microsoft is effectively morphing Office into a more collaborative suite of software. Collaboration is good!!! ;)

Click the post title for the full story.

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Sony to offer music service on PSP

Do we really need another digital music player on the market? Sony seems to think so and they are calling their latest addition the...wait a second...the PSP???

"Speaking at the iHollywood Digital Living Room forum here, Yair Landau, vice chairman of Sony Pictures, said the Japanese giant plans to release software that would let the PSP synchronize with Connect, Sony's entertainment download service. The company also plans to launch software that would let the PSP link to PCs and Macs within a year, he said.
Although the PSP is mostly viewed as a game player, Sony believes that the device--which went on sale in Japan last December and is expected to hit the United States on March 24--will become a versatile mobile device. Consumers, the company says, will use it to watch videos, listen to music or connect to the Internet through a built-in Wi-Fi connection."

Although this is a good extension of the WiFi connectivity on the PSP, I'm starting to wonder now many functions need to be crammed into a handheld gaming console. If Sony wanted to be really innovative, how about a Mini Disc slot for their new 1GB HiMD media? Then we'd be talking some serious music! What do you think....too much in one device or is this a "I gotta have one!"?

Click the post title for the full story from CNET News.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Astronomy for free on your PPC

If you're into astronomy and have a Windows Mobile or Pocket PC device, check out Orionic. This freeware is like a personalized star chart to help you find what you're looking for in the heavens.

This is a great use of mobile technology as is provides all of the information you need to enjoy a night out stargazing. Previously, I've used paper star charts, but those are outdated soon after you print them. I've also brought a laptop outside with me, but that gets a little clunky after a while. Plus, you really need a place to put the laptop down which gets tricky on a "dewy" night. Orionic provides everything you need and lets you carry it your pocket!

Orionic v1.2 is available for free by clicking the post title. The install is 1.25MB and requires the Pocket PC (or better) operating system.

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One millionth Tablet PC sold

According to Evan's Weblog of Tech and Life, 1,000,000 Tablet PC's have been sold:
"The 1,000,000th Tablet PC was sold during February! Now it's on to the next 9 million. There's all kinds of interesting stuff being done for the platform... when are you going to buy one?"

If you haven't considered a tablet, consider it! Moving from a traditional notebook to Tablet PC has definitely increased my productivity. It's no longer a platform for the early adapter or just for the "cool" factor. Tablet PC is a legitimate productivity booster; with the right marketing to inform the public and a few tweaks to the hardware specs, the Tablet PC market will heat up quickly.

Thanks to Robert Scoble for the tip!

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Friday, March 04, 2005

New tech from VS isn't wireless

OK, this one's for all of the techie women out there. By now most of us have seen the new "IPEX" commercials from Victoria's Secret. This is supposed to be the most technologically advanced bra on the market. Let's have a look at that claim, shall we?

According to Barb's recent catalog, this bra took two years to develop. Hmmm...Microsoft puts operating systems out faster than that, so I'm not impressed yet. Apparently the technology to produce this type of bra simply wasn't available until now according the company.

Next we have a patent pending, which amazes Barb; why do we need a patent for this bra? It doesn't look that much different than any other bra. So, what's the magic? It appears that the tech is with the lightweight fabric and the way it is "feathered to shave multiple layers of material to form the perfect pad: maximum coverage at the center, virtually weightless as the edges."

I'm ordering one for Barb right now and we'll see if it passes her review. From a geek standpoint, I'm not impressed with any new technology that still uses wires! ;) I will say this: the colors are nice.....

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How does Google work anyway?

I've often wondered how Google can not only index a gazillion pages, but also serve up the search results so accurately and quickly. Then again, I'm a geek! Maybe you don't think about things like this; if you do, you will appreciate this peek behind the scenes that internetnews provides:

"Urs Hoelzle, Google vice president of operations and vice president of engineering, offered a rare behind-the-scenes tour of Google's architecture on Wednesday. Hoelzle spoke here at EclipseCon 2005, a conference on the open source, extensible platform for software tools. To deal with the more than 10 billion Web pages and tens of terabytes of information on Google's servers, the company combines cheap machines with plenty of redundancy, Hoelzle said. Its commodity servers cost around $1,000 apiece, and Google's architecture places them into interconnected nodes. All machines run on a stripped-down Linux kernel. The distribution is Red Hat, but Hoelzle said Google doesn't use much of the distro. Moreover, Google has created its own patches for things that haven't been fixed in the original kernel."

This is a very informative overview of how the Google workstations function together and how the system's redundancy is built. Well worth a read to see how the "magic" works!

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Commute-cast 03/03/2005

No Barb today; is the show still good?

Length: 25.5 minutes
Size:11.6 MB

Click the post title to listen (or get Doppler)!

- Intro by Paul J. Manoogian; it's Thick!

- Remaining show notes to be added later on 3/4/2005

- Leave me Skype Voice Mail for the beta test.
- Drive safely so I don't have to!

Send me feedback!

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Safe podcatching

A few days back, I inadvertently posted an executable in the link to a post title. IN some sense, I think it was actually a good thing. Since the .exe was the first file in my post, the SmartCast service I use from Feedburner embedded the path information in an enclosure tag in my RSS feed. The intent of SmartCast is to embed audio files for podcasting in the feed, so that podcatching applications can download the file.

Though my action was unintentional, I received some e-mail indicating that an installation package kicked off as the result of my mistake. In fact, it happened to me, as I indicated and apologized one I recognized the issue. This really got me thinking about safe podcatching; to read my potential concerns and the proactive approach of one developer, click the "Read More" link.

As I indicated, this entire situation was a mistake. I posted the direct link to a Microsoft Power Toy that creates a custom font based on handwriting. I meant to post a link to the page that provided the .exe. So what's the concern?

Well, we can't change the RSS specification; we have to abide by what it says. What it basically says is: any type of file type can be embedded in the enclosure tag. For podcasting, we use that for .mp3 files, .wma's, torrents, etc.... We can also use the enclosure tag to provide the link for a video file, such as a .mov, for example.

Here's the kicker: what prevents the RSS feed from providing a malicious executable, a VB script or some other virus mechanism? The only thing that can prevent it is the client software as far as I can tell. I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with the RSS spec and I fully intend to mail this post to Dave Winer for his thoughts. However, we need to be aware of any potential "gap" here so that we don't begin to see virus proliferation through a new back door.

As a Doppler user, I immediately contacted Erwin van Hunen who develops and supports Doppler. I will disclose up front that I do not feel that this issue is the result of bad software and I continue to recommend Doppler and other podcatchers on a daily basis. Erwin has done some testing and hasn't seen the same potential for malicious software spreading just yet, but I have to commend him for two reasons:

1. He took the time to listen and look into the issue.
2. He has indicated that he will do further research and potentially close off any security holes as the result of the way the specification can be used.

My intent isn't to scare anyone off from any podcatching software, nor is it to create a scene over a non-issue. If we find that my fears are unfounded, I will be the first to say I'm sorry. I'd rather err on the side of caution, however, so I bring this up for the community to review and comment.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

DVD to PocketPC software

Aside from reading eBooks on my Windows Mobile device, I also LOVE to catch movies on it. The Dell Axim X50v that I currently use has a 640x480 VGA screen so it's made for catching a few flicks when the time is right. Getting the movies to the device is the trick. In the past I've used some procedures that require no less than 4 unique pieces of software and hours of manual setup, not to mention the encoding time! Nowadays there are some good "all in one" applications that do the dirty work for you.

I haven't tried PocketDVDWizard, yet but Pocket PC Thoughts reports that the newest version (3.2) is available from Handango for $28.95. That might sound like a steep price, but having gone the free & manual route, it's actually not bad. There is a trial that allows you to compress and encode 5 minutes of a DVD, so click the post link to check it out. It's simply amazing that you can compress a whole DVD onto a 256MB CF or SD card and still have a movie with decent quality!

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1,700 "tweaks" for $8 = X-Setup Pro

What can you buy for $8 (U.S.) these days? Well, you could get about 4 gallons of gas, or you ride your bike and use the $8 to pick up X-Setup Pro for your PC. This inexpensive package is a consolidated set of computer and application tweaks in an all-in-one Explorer-like interface. X-Setup Pro runs on literally EVERY Windows 32 bit platforms, from Win95 on up! So what can it do for you? Well, more than I can fit here, but I'll give you a few highlights:

* X-Setup Pro is the most complete "hacker" ever available: nearly 1,700 hidden functions can be controlled with some simple button clicks (e.g. Windows, Internet Explorer, Instant Messaging, Office, Explorer appearance, Server options, Network settings, Security...)
* By using an Explorer-like layout and the famous back and next buttons (you already know from your Internet browser) navigation is very simple.
* The features "Load computer registry" and "Load user registry" allow X-Setup Pro to apply changes of nearly 1,700 settings to a different user or even a different computer. Using these features, you can easily lock down a different user on the same computer without the fear to lock down your own user also.

A free download is available; I'll be sure to grab the file and kick the tires...more to follow!

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Inaugural techADDICTION show available!

Direct from my co-host, James Kendrick:

"Well, the first techADDICTION Show is in the can and Kevin Tofel and I hope all you listeners find lots of useful information you can take away with you that will help you be more productive in your mobile lifestyle. Actually, we just had a lot of fun making this first show for your listening pleasure and don’t really care if you find it useful or not. We do think you will find it entertaining and not your run-of-the-mill geek show, even though it is. We’ve written up some show notes for you so you can find the wheat amongst the chaff."

Welcome to the 28 minute introductory show, which you can get at The Podcast Network. Feedback is welcome of course and be sure to look for the next show VERY soon! I'll even make it easy for you: use the link in your podcatcher app for the subscription feed....oh, what service.... ;)

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Adam Curry does his OWN commute-cast!

Hmmm.....crazy idea or ahead of curve? Hey, like they always say: if you can't come up with a good idea on your own, just use someone else's! I'm joking of course, but it's funny to see the similarities. Now if I could just get 80,000 listeners like HE has! ;)

Today Adam records his commute while he takes his daughter, Christina, to school.
Click the post title for a link to get Adam's show. Don't hesitate to read the comment I left him too...

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Changes for the commute-cast?

Thanks for the continued great feedback on the weekly "commute-cast"! I hope that the show continues to entertain and inform; I'm sure you'll let me know when it doesn't and that's the time for me to pull the plug. Don't worry, I don't think that will happen for a long while based on the positive comments! ;) I would like to solicit feedback on two ideas, however:

1. Last week, we had my "much better looking than me" significant other, Barb, on the show. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so we're thinking of continuing the show together as a two person podcast. Any thoughts? [Sorry guys, no video clips for download; yes, she's easily beautiful enough to be on TV, but let's keep her on the podcast-waves for now :) ]

2. I did register "" as a domain. I'm thinking of setting up a simple page just for the commute-cast as a central place for them. I envision a separate RSS subscription feed for that as well. This would give an RSS feed for the "digital world" blog and an RSS feed for the podcasts. I don't want to put the effort in if folks don't want it or need it, so give me a shout and let me know.

You can leave me your thoughts via my Gmail account or leave me a voicemail through my Skype account as I participate in the Skype VM beta. Thanks!

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PC Mag reviews Verizon EV-DO card

I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for roughly 4 years. I've always been satisfied with the network coverage and call quality, but less than impressed by the available hardware. I just read a review that may begin to change my mind; PC Magazine has a brief, but informative, review of the new Verizon Wireless PC 5200 EV-DO compatible card:

"Verizon delivers high-speed Internet practically everywhere in 32 metro areas with its BroadbandAccess PC Cards. It's no exaggeration to say that these cards, which include the entry-level Verizon Wireless PC 5220, are a revolution in mobile computing, although they will set you back about $80 per month in subscription fees."

When I see someone call a product "a revolution", I tend to raise an eyebrow. This might be the real deal, however. Tests of the wireless card indicated transfer speeds in the 700Kbps range, with some tests topping out at 1.2Mbps! All this speed on a cellular network is remarkably impressive. The current downsides I see is that if you're not in one of the 32 metro areas that supports EV-DO service, you're out of luck. If you are "lucky" and in one of the service areas, the cost of your prize is another $80 monthly bill! I look for this service to expand in area and come down in price as public hotspots proliferate; until that happens, this is a great alternative for those that can afford it.

Click the post title for the full review.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

E*TRADE offering Digital Security ID

As an E*TRADE customer, Barb recently received an e-mail to get a free Digital Security ID like the one pictured here.

This keychain sized device changes it's 6 digit password every 60 seconds and is used in conjunction with the E*TRADE ID and password for greater security. I've seen these types of devices previously working in large data centers and it's outstanding to see this type of protection appear at the consumer level.

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Apologies to subscribers

I'm not sure how many people this affected, but I wanted to correct the issue quickly and post an apology. Yesterday, I posted a story on how to create a font based on your handwriting. I used digital ink in Windows Journal on a Tablet PC to create the post, which is nothing more than a .jpg image of the text I wrote.

However, I inadvertently linked the post title to the actual installation executable for the Tablet PC Power Toy that provides this function. For regular web readers, it's no big deal: don't click the post title or cancel the install. It's a different matter for subscribers as I found out this morning. As I've mentioned many times before, I use Doppler on a daily basis to pull the podcasts that I subscribe to. I do subscribe to my own blog, simply to ensure that the feed is working. This morning I watched Doppler download my subs and guess what happened? Exactly what should have happened....Doppler downloaded the installation and kicked it off since the executable was embedded in the enclosure tag of the XML. Not a problem for me because I have a Tablet and wanted the Power Toy! For those that didn't want or need it, please accept my sincere apologies if the installation kicked off. This was not an error on the part of Doppler's software, nor was an error of the Feedburner service that I use to burn my RSS feed. It was simply an oversight on my part and I hope that you understand. I've since fixed the post link from yesterday. It will now take you to the Microsoft Power Toys for Tablet PC page. Again, my apologies....

Interestingly enough, this got me thinking about security and safety of podcatching applications. Is this something to consider in the future to protect from spyware, malware or viruses?

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First Sony Walkman branded phone

Mobileburn has some nice pics and a few specs on the new Sony W800 phone I mentioned in the"commute-cast" podcast from February 17th.

This is an interesting convergence device to me, simply because of the expected 30 hour battery life when playing music; that and the capability to actually PLAY music, of course. If I could gain "iPod" functionality in a cell phone without losing any features of the phone, I would call that an SDC ("successful device convergence"). Just for kicks, Sony appears to have included a 2 megapixel camera in the phone as well. Hmm.....adaptation of the .mp3 format a few months ago and now this? Is Sony on the comeback trail?

Click the post title for more pics and the full story over at Mobileburn.

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