Archive: October 9, 2003

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Thursday,  10/09/03  08:26 AM

President Bush has a blog.  As does the Democratic national committee.

The Economist considers Peril on the Sea.  "Are terrorists now aiming to block shipping lanes and disrupt the flow of oil and other goods?"  Scary.

Here's an amazing map showing the distribution of Schwarzenegger supporters.  Looks like the North and South agreed, except for the Bay Area.  [ via Dave Winer ]

They've done it: Mari Cha IV obliterates transatlantic record.  "Mari Cha IV completed their 2,925 mile crossing in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, beating the existing record by over two days."  The fastest ocean-going sailboat ever built.  Wow.

Another man vs. machine chess match: In a few weeks Garry Kasparov will take on X3D Fritz.  Jeff Sonas thinks it is not true that machines will eventually become undeniably stronger than humans.  I think Jeff is wrong; this is a pure matter of CPU horsepower...

Bill Gurley is Watching the Digital Hand.  "Adam Smith proffered that an economic 'invisible hand' ensures that if companies act in their own interest, the good of the public or individual will also be optimized.  An equally powerful and unavoidable force controls high-technology markets today -- the 'digital hand'...  The invisible hand suggests that both companies and customers can profit simultaneously.  The digital hand is not nearly as charitable to the companies involved.  In fact, it can be downright brutal."  Ask the RIAA, or the MPAA...

Don't know whether this is Tivo news, or game machine news, but Sony has unveiled the PSX.  Seems to have all the features of a PS2, a Tivo, and a DVD recorder, along with a broadband Internet connection.  Wow.

Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC New Media & Technology, on TV's tipping point:  "Future TV will may be unrecognisable from today, defined not just by linear TV channels, packaged and scheduled by television executives, but instead will resemble more of a kaleidoscope, thousands of streams of content, some indistinguishable as actual channels.  These streams will mix together broadcasters' content and programmes, and our viewers' contributions."  He gets it.

CNN reviews SnapStream: "I have seen the future of television, and it lies within a computer."  Another money quote: "I'm surprised there aren't more startups springing up to capitalize on the combination of cheap hardware and the shareware and opensource programs out there to do it all."  Hmmm...

Oh, and Pioneer intros Media 9 compatible receiver.  It is hard work keeping up with this stuff.  This receiver would allow you to stream video from your PC directly to your home entertainment system's heart, the receiver.  Looks like Microsoft is really making Media 9 "a thing".

Wired covers Magnatune, "an upstart California record label trying to revolutionize the industry by making file sharing the heart of its business."  Their motto: "we are not evil".  It isn't clear what their competitive advantage would be over, say, Kazaa...

Here's a truly alien crop circle; Sandy Dougherty and his family have created a tribute to Indiana - and David Letterman - in their 7.5-acre cornfield.  In addition to being a crop circle, it's a maze; visitors encounter signs with information about Indiana and its residents.  I am not making this up.


the Second Treo 600

Thursday,  10/09/03  07:37 PM

So I was all excited about ordering a new Treo 600.  And then I saw this; Handspring has a trade-in offer for existing Treo owners!  Such a deal!

So I called Sprint, and cancelled my order.  This was not easy; I had to fight my way through their 'phone system and it took a while, but it was done.  Then I called Handspring, and inquired about their upgrade program.  They were all sold out!  Oh no!  I explained my plight to the Handspring customer service rep, and he took pity on me, and I eventually did get my upgrade order in.  Whew!

So I expect to get my new Treo in about a week.  Stay tuned.

 [ 10 minutes later: Okay, you're not going to believe this. ]

As I was blogging the item above, sitting next to me on my desk was a received package.  I figured it was from Amazon - they usually are - but no, it was from Sprint.  It was my new [and now cancelled] Treo 600!  I am not making this up.

It looks just beautiful.  The fit and finish are superior to those of the Treo 300, and the size is noticeably smaller (see pic).  The keys are closer together but actually easier to hit, because of their shape, plus there's that new little cursor control.  And of course the 600 has a camera (!) and an SD slot (!), while the 300 does not.  Finally the 600 is not a flip phone, which is a good thing; note the broken hinge on my 300...

So now I have to return it (sigh) and wait for the one from Handspring to arrive.  Stay tuned.


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