Monday, October 31, 2005

Welcome my father to the Digital World!

What a fun way to get folks involved in digital technology. Yesterday, I stopped over at my parents house for dinner, since today is my father's birthday. I'd been kicking around doing an interview with my dad, since his uncle has a unqiue connection to the 1952 movie "Stalag 17." The story doesn't stop there, however. There's a "Hogan's Heroes" connection as well, so I asked my dad to tell the story and sure enough: we did a podcast!

The interview-style podcast is only 12 minutes long and is featured over at Cinematical.com. Cinematical is a sister-blog to HD Beat on the Weblogs, Inc. network where I also write as the Lead Blogger. 'Nuff said: if you have 12 minutes, head on over and listen to the podcast. C'mon, you've gotta have 12 minutes: you just got 60 minutes back yesterday! ;)


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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Set your clocks (and cars) back

While Dave Winer wonders if his Mac will automatically adjust for DST [his original post on this was deleted], I can tell you that our 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid did not. This is actually surprising since the clock settings are on the touch-screen navigation system, which is hooked up to the GPS system.

Even more amusing is the nav system has a multitude of other functions; one of which is a full calendar where you can type in up to 100 memos or reminders for certain days. You'd think that a vehicle as advanced as this would have the calendar function integrated into the clock adjustment for DST, no? I did.



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Saturday, October 29, 2005

All it takes is one Press Release?


Strange how a press release has sudden impact. See, I applied to "The Hive" back in June when it started. If you don't know what "The Hive" is, it's basically an on-line community to keep communication open between Microsoft and owners of technical websites. I've had my blog out there for over a year now and I thought I could apply and gain acceptance. Well, I was one for two. I could apply, but I was promptly turned down. And I was OK with that. I'm not as prominent as many other leaders in the on-line world, so I fully accepted the rejection. (Yes, I definitely got a rejection!)

Here comes the funny part.

Yesterday was the press release for our new mobile technology podcast, "MobileTechRoundup". Less than six hours after the press release, I received a very kind e-mail from one of the folks over at "The Hive" stating the following:

"Hello Mr. Tofel,

We're not sure how this occurred, but a review of our records shows that in June your application to The Hive forum was disapproved. This was obviously an error. Please accept our apologies for the mistake. We would very much welcome your participation in the Hive. Your credentials are approved and should be available for immediate login."


First of all, "Mr. Tofel" is my dad! ;) In any case, I've logged in and I'm a proud member of "The Hive." I don't really care how this happened, but it got me laughing. Do you think it was coincidence that I got this note right after the press release? I don't know and I really don't care, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Regardless of the circumstances, I'm glad to be a member of "The Hive." I fully expect it will give me a unique perspective on Microsoft's approaches and I'll be sure to share them here when I can!


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Dave Winer is a little TOO proactive


From this morning's Scripting News:

"Don't forget to turn your clocks back this morning. Windows machines do this on their own. It seems my Mac does not."

Uh, Dave: it's actually at 2 a.m. tomorrow morning. Then again, it won't hurt to be an hour early for everything today!


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Friday, October 28, 2005

I hope this explains it!

I'm completely thrilled by the updated podcast. I had such a blast doing techADDICTION with James for the past 10 months and it's exciting to add Dave as a co-host to the new show.

Hopefully, this explains my lack of blogging here on the personal site. Do you forgive me? ;)



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techADDICTION podcast re-launches as MobileTechRoundup

Recognizing the growing public need for mobile technology news, “techADDICTION” co-hosts James Kendrick and Kevin C. Tofel add another mobile device expert. David Ciccone of the leading iPAQ enthusiast site, “Dave’s iPAQ”, joins the three-person bi-weekly show now known as “MobileTechRoundup” (MoTR).

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB via PR Web Direct) October 28, 2005 -- Currently enjoying an audience of tens of thousands around the world, the “techADDICTION” podcast is adding a third host, increasing the frequency of shows and re-launching independently as the “MobileTechRoundup” show. David Ciccone, owner and editor of the Dave’s iPAQ website, joins “techADDICTION” co-hosts James Kendrick and Kevin C. Tofel for the new “MobileTechRoundup Podcast”. The three mobile technology experts will record and release two 30-minute shows each week, starting with the inaugural episode on November 1, 2005.


“People are more connected and more mobile than ever,” says co-host Kevin C. Tofel. “Our goal with the new show and additional host is to bring a broader perspective on mobile technology. The public is already riding the technology curve as more people utilize mobile devices everyday, ranging from cell- and SmartPhones, Personal Digital Assistants, Tablet PC’s, iPods and numerous other small but powerful devices. Our goal is to educate and entertain our listeners by providing timely news, commentary, tips, tricks and product reviews to maximize the benefits of mobile technology.”

James Kendrick offers this insight about the MoTR Podcast: “The addition of Dave Ciccone to the show is very exciting and I am thrilled. MoTR will be an informative podcast covering all facets of mobile technology with a humorous delivery by the three hosts. Kevin, Dave and I don’t just talk about gadgets and mobile tech; we show how they can be used in innovative ways to make the listener’s life a little easier. Most gadget consumers have limited budgets and on MoTR we tell listeners what works and more importantly what doesn’t, so if we save listeners some of their hard earned money, we’ve done our jobs.”

In addition to the show launch, “MobileTechRoundup” is proud to announce an advertising partnership with Battery Geek, Inc. Battery Geek, Inc. becomes the first sponsor of the new podcast, which will feature ads and product reviews of the company’s external battery technology.

For additional information on the new mobile technology podcast visit www.mobiletechroundup.com.

About “MobileTechRoundup”:

MobileTechRoundup is a bi-weekly podcast devoted to educating consumers about mobile technologies and best practices for using those technologies.

Contact:

Kevin C. Tofel
Tel: 215-913-3347

About Battery Geek Inc.

Battery Geek Inc. specializes in super long life external portable lithium ion rechargeable battery packs for laptops, portable DVD players, iPods, Sony PSPs, cell phones and many other portable electronic devices. They offer a distinctive ultra high density lithium ion battery technology featuring very long run times at reasonable prices. They also offer a free battery audit service on their website to try and help consumers select the right battery model for their personalized requirements. For further information, please visit http://www.batterygeek.net .

Contact:

Melissa Badillo
Tel: 306-791-5138

# # #


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Friday, October 14, 2005

video iPod: good case for Windows Mobile iTunes

So let's think about this for a second. Apple says "Let there be video on iPods" and it was good. Apple says "Let there be downloadable videos on iTunes" and it was good. On the third day, Apple rested and it was good. What does it mean?

For most people, it means more money to shell out; both for the video iPod and the content. Hey, Apple is a business, so I'm OK with that. It's just that I think it means more. I think it means there IS a Windows Mobile version of iTunes coming. Not just for music mind you, but for videos too.

Can anyone tell me what the resolution of iTunes videos are? Yup, they're QVGA or 320 x 240 on the new video iPod. Good. Now can anyone tell me what the most prominent screen resolution is of a Windows Mobile device? If you said QVGA or 320 x 240, you'd be right. Add the fact that Windows Media Player for Windows Mobile devices is one of the least advanced of the internal applications and we might be on to something here. My take is that we'll see iTunes for Windows Mobile before the holiday, along with plenty more QVGA content.

You might think that Apple wouldn't provide content for devices that compete against their iPods, but think about how many Windows Mobile devices are out there would love to show off a $1.99 video?


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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tablet PC show goes independent

Big news in the both the Tablet and podcast worlds: James and Marc are mixing up the Tablet PC Show podcast and going independent! New shows will be hosted right on James' blog and the new show looks to be called "OnTheRun with Tablet PCs". Looks like you can subscribe just by adding the JKotR feed to your podcatcher. Here's wishing the best of luck to James and Marc on the new show as well as best wishes to TPN for supporting the original show.

Congrats boys!


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Monday, October 10, 2005

Wives Of Tableteers Talk Tablet PC

I'm all for sharing the Tablet experience, but Barb's quite happy with her HP Pavilion DV4170 she just got. Unless she's willing to let me upgrade to a new tablet and take the M205 tablet off my hands, that is! Seriously, I think it's great to see spouses try the Tablet. I've yet to find someone to pick up a Tablet and say "Nah, that's not for me." If you really want to have some fun, try giving a Tablet to the kids and see what happens! Microsoft: are you paying attention here? I see a whole new marketing plan: "The family that inks together is linked together."


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Sunday, October 09, 2005

An "-ology" you've never heard of...until now!

Well, there's plenty of "-ology's" out there; they're the study of various things. There's physiology, kinesiology, and even Scientology (you're welcome Tom Cruise). How about the study of Tablet PC's? Simple: it's Tabletology, the newest Tablet PC blog from Olga and Lynette!

What a great Tablet PC resource site that covers various aspects of Tablet PCs in various locations. I especially like the pics of the Tablet in different places; in fact, it's given me an interesting idea that I'll implement within the next few weeks (thanks ladies!). If you're looking for another great Tablet site to add to your favorite RSS reader, give Tabletology a click. I'm sure you'll do what I did and subscribe to their RSS feed.


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What is Google searching for?



I typically look at my website stats several times per day. Today is no exception, but there is something different. Someone (or something?) over at Google in Mountain View, CA was on the site a short while ago. If you click the image above, you can get an up close look. I know that Google spiders the site, but those hits have never showed up here before. Either something has changed with the spidering, which I doubt, or someone was looking around.

Hey, that's cool; that's why I write: so people will read. Quick hint though: if you're looking for anything in particular here, just use the Google search box I've added to search the site! ;) What's really interesting is that all of the OS, browser and resolution stats are blank or unknown. Google, what are you hiding from?



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Google Reader review

Brad Hill over at The RSS Weblog has a good overview review of the new online Google reader for RSS. I find it similar to, but much slower than Bloglines, at least initially. I only imported about 100 feeds via OPML and it took a few hours for everything to appear. That could be due to everyone hitting the "Google Grid" at the same time during the ramp-up. For now, I'm sticking with Onfolio because it provides so many advanced functions. Hmm...I smell a review post coming!


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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Goodbye eReader...on the PDA that is!

Looks like I'm giving up the most used app on my Dell Axim X50v. Surprisingly, it's eReader! I read books wherever I am, whenever I have time. Since I carry my Axim with me everywhere, it's the perfect eBook reader for me.

With the Windows Mobile 5.0 powered Palm Treo 700W due out in two months, I'm already trying to get used to living without my 3.7" VGA screen. As a result, I decided to install eReader on my Tablet, and so far, I'm happy with the outcome. Sure I can't carry books in my pocket, but I can see more words on the page and the res is even better!

What are you using these days to read eBooks?



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I finally got to interview a billionaire

I had the very fortunate opportunity to interview Mark Cuban for HD Beat earlier this week. If you have any interest in high-def television, I recommend the read; not because it was me who was interviewing, but because Mark is a very bright man. Forbes estimated his net-worth at $1.8 billion last year. Hmm...last I checked my net worth, I think it was on the plus side, but just barely! ;)

Seriously, Mark is a great interview because of his intelligence and candor. In case you don't know who he is, he co-founded HDNet in 2001; a network devoted to nothing but high-quality high-definition programming. Mark also owns an NBA team: the Dallas Mavericks, so to get any of his time was just huge for me and I'm very appreciative.


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TinyScreenfuls.com: Blogger.com Finally Adds Trackbacks. Er, "Backlinks"

Nice to see this implemented; I just turned it on for my blog. One disappointment though: you need to click it to see if there ARE any trackbacks. It would be nice if it told you if there were any and how many there are. I hate clicking links that provide me no value.

One nice feature for any Blogger users: if you are reading a Blogger post somewhere and want to blog it on your Blogger blog, there is a link to let you do that. It creates the trackback and also creates a post on your blog. That's how I did this post: via the original post at TinyScreenfuls. I also think thats a record for using "Blogger" and "blog" over and over in the same sentence. ;)


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Thursday, October 06, 2005

AOL: "You've got blog!"

If you follow the blogosphere at all, you're already aware that AOL purchased Weblogs, Inc. Network (WIN). I contribute to HD Beat for WIN, but there's not much more to contribute to the story. Are you shocked? You pretty much know what I know and vice versa. So why write about it then? Simple: it illustrates why I thoroughly enjoy writing for WIN.

WIN appeals to me as a blogger for two reasons. First, it's generally a transparent entity. That's why I said earlier, "you know what I know." The transparency goes from the top down. You can often find Jason (the co-founder) discussing some details of network traffic or advertising revenue right out in the open on his blog. I don't get internal e-mails from WIN that say "OK, Jason said X, but it's really Y."

Secondly, there's the organization itself. It's generally horizontal; there's no "inter-departmental" strife that you see in corporate America today. The org is nimble and empowered through and through. There's a minimal amount of framework in place; just enough to let everyone do what they need to do and focus on doing it well.

So what will be the outcome of all this? I couldn't tell you; I didn't get the internal memo! ;) Congrats to Jason, Judith, Bryan, Jade, Peter and the rest of the WIN team. The hard work and the business model are a lesson waiting to be learned by thousands of other companies.



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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

HDTV "Easter egg"

Most, if not all of you, know that I contribute to HD Beat as the lead blogger covering HDTV. I typically don't do much self-promotion on that here, but this is something you just have to see. Apparently NBC has a sense of humor because they tucked what I could call an "HDTV Easter Egg" into last night's episode of "My Name is Earl".

The picture above is what the HDTV or widescreen viewers saw. If you look closely on the left of the screen, Earl's brother is holding up a sign that says "High Def Rocks!" We've got a close up of the sign over at HD Beat, so click the post title for the full scoop.

Gee, I remember finding the Easter Eggs in the Atari 2600 "Adventure" game. Does this mean I need to record all of my high-def programming and start looking for these things? ;)


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Monday, October 03, 2005

Sena case for iPod nano coming soon

Long time readers (heh, I can say that now that "I'm one") will know that Sena Cases won me over a long time ago. Ever since the first leather Sena case for the Dell Axim X5, I was hooked. I got one for the Toshiba e805 and have one for my current PDA, the Dell Axim X50v.

Now that I picked up the iPod nano, I've tried to be very careful with it, which isn't easy. It's so small and thin that you forget you have it. I reached out to the good folks at Sena and sure enough, they'll have an iPod nano case in the works. I don't see mention of it yet on their site, but they confirmed that it should be out in a few weeks. Additionally, it should be available for pre-order even sooner; perhaps as early as this week.

I often take advantage of the pre-ordering because Sena gives a discount to pre-orders. I already believe in the quality of the product, so I don't mind pre-ordering and saving money at the same time.


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Holy crap! I'm a year old!

I just realized that it's October already. Son of gun, wouldn't you know that I started this blog on October 1st, 2004; one year ago this past Saturday! I can't believe I missed that and more importantly, I can't believe I've been doing this for a year.

It's always fun to "go back in time", so if you click the post title, you'll see the very first profoundly silly post. Thanks for tuning in this past year. I hope you learned something interesting here; I know I do every day.


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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Keep your Intel Pro 2200BG drivers updated


James wrote about various WiFi issues with the Intel Pro 2200BG chipset back in August and I had to revisit it today. My 802.11g connection is sporadically dropping and disconnecting again.

I did find that there are some newer drivers; the latest version is 9.0.2.31 from Intel. I've just upgraded about an hour ago, but still seeing issues. It's as if the WiFi chip decides to drop me and do a scan for nearby networks. Quite a few WiFi networks have popped up at my neighbors houses lately, so I'm wondering if this is a network contention issue. If you've had the problem, do you have multiple WiFi networks in range of you?

I've tried to exclude the other networks but it doesn't seem to matter. Intel, what's the deal? Oh, and to my neighbors: please set up some type of security on your open WiFi networks!


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nano is smaller than you might think

I couldn't wait for you guys to tell me if I should get one, so I grabbed a black, 4GB nano after work. First impression: it's smaller than it looks on TV. It's super-fast in terms of music transfer over the USB 2.0 cable. 615 songs took a mere 3.5 minutes. Yowza, that was quick! The sound quality is excellent, even with the included earbuds. Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase.

To help illustrate the minuscule size of this thing, I put it next to some of my gear that's easily recognizable. Here's how it looks next to a Dell Axim x50, a Compact Flash card, an EV-DO modem in the PCMCIA form factor and a Toshiba Tablet PC pen. Keep in mind that I can just fit the Axim in a shirt pocket; with the nano, I can carry it in a jeans coin pocket with no issue at all.

As far as thickness, well, there isn't any. I should actually call it "thinness" because that's more appropriate. Here is a side-shot of the nano in between the Compact Flash card and the EV-DO modem. Yeah, see the slim silver thing in the middle there? That's the nano! As an experiment to see how intuitive and simple the iPod is to use, I handed it to my eight-year-old son, Tyler. He's never held an iPod before, so I did this on the Commute-Cast podcast on our drive home yesterday. Hop on over and see what he has to say in episode 35!



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