Sunday, November 27, 2005

Giving thanks

I'm a little late on this one, but the Thanksgiving holiday gave me some time to clear my head and think about what I'm thankful for. The list is fairly extensive because I consider myself a very lucky individual. I hope you took (or can take) a few minutes to give thanks for what you have and where you're headed. My list is after the jump...

- I have give thanks to Barb. She lets me spend countless hours between work and hobbies to let me do what love to do. Actually, it's not "countless" since she and I just went through a basic week and figured that I'm on the computer for about 14 hours per day, every day of the week. Ouch! I definitely spend too much time "working" and I don't want to jeapordize a happy future with her.
- I also have to give thanks to my many supportive friends that read what I write and let me go on and on about some of the silly things I do. Of special note are great folks like James, Dave, and Paul.
- Along the same lines are the folks that I only know through their comments to my blog; great folks like Mike, Josh, Kay and so many other great people that read what I write or listen to Barb and I on our commute.
I'm very thankful for the opportunity that Weblogs, Inc. has given me as the lead blogger for HD Beat. Matt and RJ help fill the blog with great posts and the readers make it all worthwhile with their feedback and comments. I'm especially thankful for the fantastic support and environment provided by Jason, Brian, Judith, Barb, Shawn and Jade.
- A special thank-you has to go out to my ex-wife. Our son Tyler lives with her most of the time and she does an outstanding job taking care of him and helping him to be the 8-year old version of me. Hopefully, he'll turn out even better; if he does, he can thank his mother.

I hope you each enjoyed your Thanksgiving; take some time to thank the important people in your life. At the very least, make sure they realize they are important to you!


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Time for a break and a change?

I've taken some time off from the personal blog, but I haven't taken time off from blogging. No, there are plenty of posts on HD Beat and if you're interested in building an HDTV WMCE PC for under a grand, take a look at my current series in progress. The Media Center machine is all set in the house, so we can now record high-definition television. Next up will be to use an Xbox 360 to stream the high-def content throughout the house, but you'll have to tune in to HD Beat for the details!

I've also used this time to think about my blog: where do I want to take it, how much time do I want to (or can I) spend on it, etc... One of the decisions I've made is to move the blog. Yup, in the very near future, I'll be powered by WordPress.com basically because I can do more with that platform. Blogger has been great to get me started over a year ago, but I've outgrown the functionality. I'll be forwarding folks from the kctsdigitalworld.com domain, so there's no URL change unless you use kctofel.blogspot.com. I'll handle the RSS feed as well, so there should be no impact to subscribers.

I'm still thinking about how often I want to blog and if want to make this more of a personal blog. I'm open to thoughts on that one, so suggestions are welcome!


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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Samsung i730 to get WM 5.0 upgrade?

News that the Samsung i730 SmartPhone might get a WM 5.0 upgrade in the spring might tip me in favor of that device over the Palm Treo 700w. Where are the VGA SmartPhones for Verizon Wireless? Will I actually have to sacrifice VGA for EVDO? I'd rather not since I have EVDO in the Tablet...



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Friday, November 11, 2005

Kevin & Scott: you're the first team to arrive

It's the WINStock Amazing Race and Team Philly has reached the pitstop first. Kevin & Scott traveled from Center City, Philadelphia over the Outercrossing Bridge to Staten Island, over the Verrazano, under the Battery Tunnel, up Broadway the wrong way (ouch!) and then spent 90 minutes going the last two miles to the parking garage.

Ana at the front desk indicated that we were the first to reach this pit stop. What have we won for our effort on this leg of the race. Nothing but pride. :)

One other solemn note: our route took us right alongside of the World Trade Center location. It was extremely moving to see nothing there other than the American people that still visit the site to this day. As tragic as 9/11 was, I am thankful that my route took me past. God Bless....



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I'm outta here for the weekend

OMG, how busy can one be? I did my full-time 40 hour job this week, published a Commute-Cast with Barb, recorded and published two MobileTechRoundup episodes, wrote a good 30 posts or so on HD Beat and now I'm off to the Big Apple for the weekend (take that Om Malik! ;) ) BTW: you can always see when the latest MoTR podcast is available in my sidebar now. Thanks Feedburner!

This weekend is the big "WINStock" blogger retreat at the AOL \ Time Warner offices at Rockefeller Center, so I'm outta here at noon today. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with some of the extremely talented bloggers at WIN; it should be exciting and fun!

Enjoy your weekend, folks!



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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

MoTR episode 3 is live!

MoTR 2 is 32:50 minutes long and is a 22.5 MB file in MP3 format.

Click here to read the full show notes and to download or listen.

Selected Topics from this episode:

Nokia 770 hits the United States this week and we have more thoughts on the specs.
Do you need voice services, data services or both?
Dave reports that Palm has patented a vCard popup function on the Windows Mobile Today screen.
Is unsecured WiFi going to become illegal in Westchester County, New York?

Watch for MoTR every Tuesday and Friday.

SUBSCRIBE: Use this RSS feed with your favorite podcatcher.



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Friday, November 04, 2005

Open WiFi: close it or advertise it

Barb is out for the evening at a special function and I've got Tyler and Sydney. What's the easiest thing to make for dinner? Reservations of course! We headed down to the local pub for something to eat; just me and the kids. It's nothing fancy, just a place for good food.

While I was waiting for the bill, I pulled out my Dell Axim and (like I often do) turned the WiFi on. Sure enough, there was an open WiFi network in the pub, called (what else) "Linksys". I did use it for a few minutes and I hit a few sites, I left a few comments; I even downloaded a podcast.

I've discussed open WiFi networks before, and while you can argue both sides of using it for free or not, I've got a new message for everyone: If you have a WiFi network, do one of two things so we don't have to debate the ethics: either close it up or advertise it as open. If folks did one or the other, we wouldn't have to make a decision to "borrow" bandwidth or not and we'd all sleep much better.



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Nokia 770 available in U.S. next week

Om Malik just broke the news a little while ago on the U.S. availability of Nokia's Internet Tablet. How ironic that we just spoke about this device on MoTR? We figured the device will run about $300, but there's no word on the exact price just it. It fetches 245 Euros overseas and that's around $292 over here, but we'll see. You'll be able to order direct from Nokia starting on 11/10.

The device is appealing to me based on it's small form-factor and apparent ease-of-use. I've never owned a Linux device (the 770 runs a flavor of Debian), but I have used Opera, which is the browser out of the box. Nokia is betting heavy on WiFi here since there is no cellular or other broadband capability; odd for a phone company, but the old days of cellular service are over. 3g data schemes like EVDO and EDGE as well as WiFi and soon, WiMax, are what Nokia figures we'll all use for connectivity.

Hmmm....$300....Christmas is coming, but everything I can do on the 770 can be done on my Tablet or PDA....hmmmm....thoughts? Anyone?

UPDATE: I was just reviewing the official product specs of the 770 and noticed this; too bad my cellular carrier cripples the Bluetooth in their phones! "The Nokia 770 Inernet Tablet is designed to meet Bluetooth Specification 1.2, Dial-up Networking, Generic Access, SIM Access, File Transfer, and Serial Port profiles. To ensure compatibility with other devices with Bluetooth technology, check with the device manufacturer. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc."



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MoTR episode 2 is live!

MoTR 2 is 31:29 minutes long and is a 21.7 MB file in MP3 format.

INTRO: Based on “Time v2.1″ by Meta Sektion, additional mixing by James Kendrick.

HOSTS: David Ciccone, James Kendrick and Kevin C. Tofel

TOPICS:
Hello, hello, helloooo...
Thank-you BatteryGeek Inc. for sponsoring MoTR!
BatteryGeek product testimonial by Kevin.
Sony's new car stereo with 1-gig of flash storage.
Nokia 770 Internet Tablet now available in Europe for under $300.
E-mail from Mark on prevelant audio services for consumers.
What do the MoTR hosts use for listening to music?
Freeware of the week: ppcPodcast from Geoff Denning.
Dave and Kevin want a Burton jacket. James does too, but it's too hot in Houston for jackets.
Does the world still need Fax machines?
Bonus freeware of the week: ePrompter manages up to 16 differnet e-mail accounts (tip via Paul Manoogian)
Don't forget our contest giveaway! Use this link to send us a screen-shot of your MoTR subscription and you could win the DSP-500 from Plantronics. Entries due by 11/8.
Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye!
Watch for MoTR every Tuesday and Friday.

CONTACT US: E-mail us or leave us a voicemail on our SkypeLine!

SUBSCRIBE: Use this RSS feed with your favorite podcatcher.



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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yes, CNET, I read you too

Although I've been blogging for a shade over a year, it's really been the past 6 months that my blogging "career" has taken off. I might not blog too much here on my personal site, but I can put out anywhere from 3 to 10 posts a day over at HD Beat. That gig has really helped me become a better blogger; I still have a LONG way to go, but I think I'm providing value based on comments my posts get.

Today I found out that something I wrote on HD Beat was excerpted over at CNET, which is another positive sign, and a first for me. Is it a big deal? Nah, not really; especially to you folks. Did it make me happy? Yeah, just a little. It fits in nicely with my goal of a career transition and validates in a small way that I'm on the right path, which is nice to see every now and then. It made me smile so if you read this, give a little smile up for me, would ya? Besides, everyone could stand to smile a little more. ;)



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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Is there a virus in the blogosphere?

See, I thought it was just me. I've been sick as a dog since the weekend. Now, it seems that my RSS reader is filled with other "germy" bloggers. Chris Pirillo just announced that a cold is kickin' him around (he give a rather 'cutesy-wootsy', but logical, description that you just have to read!). I was IM'ing with Jason over at WIN, er AOL, today and he isn't feeling well either.

Is it me or is someone spreading a cold virus around the blogosphere? C'mon Symantec, don't you have something to combat this?



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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

iPod nano cases for pre-order at Sena

Got an iPod Nano? Need a case? Of course you do and so do I. I've taken good care of my little four-gigger, but she's in need of some serious protection. As I mentioned a few weeks back, one of my favorite case manufacturers has one coming soon. In fact, SenaCases is now allowing you to pre-order a custom, leather case for your nano in your choice of ten luscious colors. I'm a pretty traditional kinda guy, so I usually opt for the tan.

Sena is offering the pre-order cases at a 10% discount, so you can order one today for $25.19 and expect it to ship around the end of November. As usual the Sena design team thinks of everything. There are cutouts for your headphones and for the hold button. There is full screen protection and if you unsnap the case, it looks like you can USB synch the nano without removing the case. I'm gettin' one, how about you?



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MoTR episode 1 is live!

MoTR 1 is 32:00 minutes long and is a 21.9 MB file in MP3 format.

INTRO: Based on "Time v2.1" by Meta Sektion, additional mixing by James Kendrick.

HOSTS: David Ciccone, James Kendrick and Kevin C. Tofel

TOPICS:

CONTACT US: E-mail us or leave us a voicemail on our SkypeLine!

SUBSCRIBE: Use this RSS feed with your favorite podcatcher (iTunes link coming soon!).


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