Q4 2004 mobile device shipments grow again

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Jan 312005
 

Research firm Canalys reports that global mobile device shipments hit another high in Q4 2004. Among the highlights:

  • Overall global shipments of mobile devices up 51% year on year in Q4 2004
  • Data-centric devices (handhelds/wireless handhelds) up 5%
  • Voice-centric devices (smart phones/feature phones) up 101%
  • Nokia ships almost 5 million smart phones in the quarter, remains leader and increases share
  • PalmOne smart phone shipments rise 154% on year-ago quarter, but handhelds fall 6%
  • RIM and Fujitsu post highest growth – both more than 200% up on Q4 2003

HP saw its shipments increase by only 1%. One highlight though was the new h6340 shipping well in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The small increase in shipments was attributed to the fact that HP’s new models had made it over into the channel in the previous quarter.

RIM meanwhile is closing the gap on HP pretty quickly (HP has an 8% share, RIM 7.6%). Numbers like 200% growth from Q4 2003 are definitely impressive.

The data-centric devices (PDAs) only recorded a 5% increase – If the overall numbers are as impressive as they are, it’s due to the growth in mobile phones.

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Pocket Painter 2.10 adds VGA support

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Jan 312005
 

Pocket Painter

Pocket Painter is a painting and image manipulation software for the Pocket PC. It comes with support for JPG, GIF and BMP file formats, 24 bit colour and offers a variety of drawing tools (3 line tools, 16 painting tools, image filters and more). Version 2.10 adds support for WM2003 SE, landscape display and VGA mode.

Pocket Painter can be purchased for $24.95 USD from our affiliate Handango. A trial version is also available.

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PocketNow reviews the hx2755

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Jan 302005
 

PocketNow has done a thorough review of the iPAQ hx2755. They look at the device itself, compare it to similar PDAs, take a closer look at its display, biometric security and software and also run some benchmarks. And the review is accompanied by plenty of pictures.

I’d say that HP’s iPAQ strategy has been a bit misguided as of late. It seems that each iPAQ in their new line can do one thing well, but nothing more. For instance, one of their devices has a VGA screen, while another has a larger memory storage, and yet another device having a smaller size. In an effort to tie in more than just one strength, HP has released the iPAQ hx2755 Pocket PC. Is it enough to breathe life back into the once proud iPAQ line?

Read PocketNow’s review to find out their verdict.

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Stream your iTunes collection to your PDA

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Jan 302005
 

Although this software is still in pre-release alpha, it looks very promising. Aspecto Software has released an early version of WifiTunes. It will let you stream your mp3’s from iTunes to your PDA over your local network.

More functionality is planned: Support for AAC and improved buffering to better transition between songs.

Note: WifiTunes will not run on Pocket PC 2002. And remember that this is still very much a work in progress.

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Windows XP SP2 compromised?

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Jan 292005
 

A Russian security company called Positive Technologies claims that it has found a way to beat Windows XP Service Pack 2’s Data Execution Protection. This SP2 tool is meant to prevent the insertion of rogue code directly into a computer’s memory and tricking the computer into running it. Positive Technologies reports that two minor mistakes in the implementation of this protection allow it to be sidestepped.

Apparently, Microsoft was notified on December 22nd. But no patches for the flaws have been released so far and no reason was given as to why Positive Technologies decided to now go public with the flaws.

Will this ever end? Yes, I know the answer.

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ROM updates for Axim x50 and x50v

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Jan 282005
 

Dell has released the new A02 ROM updates for its x50 (QVGA) and x50v (VGA) Axim PDAs. You’ll find:

  • Improved SD and CF read performance (x50 and x50v)
  • Updated wireless button usage scenario to avoid enabling / disabling wireless accidentally (x50 and x50v)
  • Allow the WLAN auto power-off feature to be enabled and/or disabled in the WLAN utility (x50 and x50v)
  • Added feature in the power applet to change the color of the battery power bar to reflect the battery capacity (x50 and x50v)
  • Improved touch panel performance and sensitivity (x50v)
  • Enhanced the video driver to be more robust (x50v)
  • And more…

Links:
x50 (QVGA) ROM update

x50v (VGA) ROM update

A new word game: Wordpop

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Jan 282005
 

WordPop!

Do you enjoy word games? If the answer is yes, check out WordPop! from Smart Box Design. Create words from the available tiles, watch them pop but make sure you plan ahead so that you can clear the level.

The Windows Mobile version features audio and visual effects designed to take advantage of the high-resolution screens and audio capabilities of the latest devices based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 2003 platform, such as the Dell Axim, HP iPAQ and Toshiba e-series devices.

You can get WordPop! at our affiliate Handango for $14.95 USD. A trial version is also available.

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iTunes Music store downloads hit 250 million

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Jan 282005
 

Apple’s iTunes store has recorded the download of over 250 million songs (or a quarter billion songs as Apple’s press release puts it). The iTunes store is now averaging over a million downloads a day! Should this pace continue (and there is no reason that it shouldn’t as iPods and iPod Shuffles continue to fly out of the stores), iTunes should see sales of almost half a billion songs this year!

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Microsoft and Engadget settle differences over WM2005 leaks

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Jan 272005
 

At least one site has managed to avoid having to make changes to their article about the new WM2005. Back in early January, Neowin.net featured screenshots of the upcoming WM2005. Shortly thereafter, they pulled them down at Microsoft’s request. But the story had caught on and even before Neowin.net could pull it down, other sites were featuring the information. But where most got warnings, Engadget actually got a formal letter from one of Microsoft’s legal firms. Fortunately, it appears that the matter has been resolved.

A report by the Industry Standard attributes Calacanis as saying “we have been talking to the people at Microsoft and we’ve basically worked it out,” he said. “We’re not making any changes to the article.”

See the oririginal article at Engadget

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Vajas’ line of SD, MMC and MS carrying cases

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Jan 272005
 

Vaja SD case

Vaja makes some pretty awesome carrying cases for various PDAs. Just ask Marc over at iPAQabilities.com and he’ll start singing their praises.

Now, you can also get cases to carry your SD, MMC and MS storage cards. The i-Volution line offers two cases: One to carry 2 SD / MMC cards, the other to carry 4 SD cards. In the classic line, 3 cases are offered with capacity for 6 SD cards, 4 MS and 2 SD cards or 6 MS cards.

Prices range from $29.90 USD to $39.90 USD.

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Paparazzi-proof cameras?

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Jan 262005
 

HP has submitted a patent for technology that would blur faces in any images captured by the camera if the subject of the photo used a “image inhibitor module”. Essentially, the user of this module would signal to nearby cameras that the wearer does not want to be photographed. If a picture was taken, the image-analysis software of the camera would render only a fuzzy outline of the person’s face.

Maurizio Pilu, an engineer in HP’s Bristol, England, labs, says in the application that such a system would balance the proliferation of digital imaging capabilities with growing concerns about privacy.

But what’s to prevent someone from getting a camera that does not recognize the image-blocking signals?

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More rumours of a Cingular iPAQ h6300

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Jan 262005
 

First it was Marc over at iPAQabilities.com reporting that Cingular was about to offer the iPAQ 6300 (one camera model and one camera-free model). Now it’s iPAQ HQ’s turn to report that sources at Cingular have told them that they should begin offering the HP iPAQ h6300 Pocket PC Phone Edition smartphone around the end of February.

As with Marc’s report, no additional details are available yet.

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Care for another memory card standard?

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Jan 262005
 

A consortium of Taiwanese companies is proposing yet another memory card format. Fortunately, the new format might have a few things going for it: It will be compatible with SD and MMC formats (with additional drivers), it will offer twice the speed of USB 2.0 and will be cheaper to produce. It will also consume only one-third or one-fourth the power that USB 2 requires. The new format will be called an M¼-Card (for micro ¼ card).

Rather than using the SD I/O protocol, the M¼-Card will use the USB protocol. Apparently, the latter protocol is much easier to use and will result in cheaper production costs.

No street date information is available – the consortium is still working on the specification.

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PIE Vulnerabilities

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Jan 262005
 

It’s not enough that Internet Explorer is patched nearly every month. Now, Airscanner has revealed that Pocket Internet Explorer (PIE) is also vulnerable and can be exploited to compromise sensitive data such as usernames and passwords.

The potential for exploiting these vulnerabilities are restricted only by an attacker’s imagination. However, Pocket IE is not as powerful as its big brother, and as such, an attacker is limited in what techniques she can use to launch the attack. For example, Pocket IE has no support for the IFrame tag, which is extremely useful in XSS and browser-based attacks. In addition, Pocket IE does not support every JavaScript command commonly used by attackers.

Airscanner describes 3 flaws: A Unicode URL Obsfucation flaw, a flaw where certain local files can be opened to reveal sensitive local information (example, opening up an ini file), the third, involving possible XSS using a <div> tag, is not strictly a flaw but can be exploited to again compromise data.

Airscanner has notified Microsoft.

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Update on computer woes

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Jan 252005
 

Good news! My primary computer is back up and running! After some initial bad news that I might be without a computer for up to 2 weeks, I got the awesome news today that my local computer dealer had been able to find a solution that would avoid that scenario.

Many thanks to David and the folks at eSkynet for getting me back up and running in 24 hours!

And now, back to the news…