Weekend fun: Horse Racing Unlimited

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Feb 292008
 

Horse Racing Unlimited

Horse Racing Unlimited brings the excitement of horse racing and betting on the races to your Pocket PC. Watch the realistically detailed horses race nose to nose and find out how you ranked based on your profit of the day. Will you leave the track as a rich man or completely broke?

The game features easy-to-read race programs to let you pick the winners, different bet types like Win, Show, Quinella and Trifecta and more. It is available for Pocket PC devices with QVGA touchscreens.

Horse Racing Unlimited is available for USD$12.95 from our affiliate Clickgamer.

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Sony XPERIA X1 delayed to 2009? (Updated)

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Feb 292008
 

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

According to what appears to be leaked Sony Ericsson product release information, the XPERIA X1 which was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress will only start shipping in February 2009, a full year after its unveiling. No reasons are provided that might explain the delay but some suggest that the release of Windows Mobile 6.1 might be the culprit.

Microsoft has not announced a release date for Windows Mobile 6.1. Widely expected at the Mobile World Congress, rumour suggests that it will now be announced at CTIA in April. If so, it might not be the cause of the delay.

If the delay is genuine, it is unfortunate as the buzz generated by the announcement at Mobile World Congress will have vanished by the time the X1 hits the street as people will probably have focused their attention on other devices.

Update: It appears that 2009 is well and truly the date as the XPERIA X1 release date posted on the Sony Ericsson web site itself is February 10, 2009.

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Bell Mobility introduces real-time traffic information to its GPS Nav service

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Feb 292008
 

Bell Canada

Getting around traffic jams in Toronto and Montreal just got a bit easier for Bell Mobility users. The company has just announced that its GPS Nav service has been enhanced to include traffic commute data. For example, if a traffic incident occurs on your route, you will get an alert and the service will provide an alternate route (in Toronto only at this time).

The GPS Nav service also added a new mapping feature that will give you a colour coded view of traffic congestion. For example, 2D map areas highlighted in red indicate that traffic is moving at less than 50km/h. Streets will be marked in yellow where traffic is moving between 50 and 79km/h and in green where traffic is moving at more than 80km/h.

The GPS Nav service with traffic enhancements is available on the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition and BlackBerry 8130 Pearl for CAD$10 per month, as well as the following phones for CAD$8 per month: Samsung m610, Sanyo 7050 and LG Muziq. The service can also be accessed on a daily basis for CAD$3.50. Data charges are additional.

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Windows Mobile General Mobile DSTW1 supports dual SIMs

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Feb 292008
 

General Mobile DSTW1

There is another dual-SIM mobile phone on the horizon. General Mobile is set to release the DSTW1 that sports not only the aforementioned dual-SIM support but Windows Mobile 6 as well. The first SIM slot supports quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity while the second supports tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity.

The DSTW1 is powered by two processors (200MHz TI OMAP850 and 104MHz Dragon Fly) and Windows Mobile 6 Professional (the specs mention Crossbow). It also comes with 64MB RAM and 256MB ROM, a 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen display, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2MP camera, and a microSD expansion slot. The DSTW1 does not come with Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity though.

General Mobile will also release two other dual-SIM phones but these will not run on Windows Mobile. The DST11 is a dual-band slider and the DST22 is a dual-band candybar phone.

The General Mobile DSTW1 is expected to launch in Europe in March. The price has not been disclosed yet.

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Over one billion mobile phones sold in 2007

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Feb 282008
 

For the first time ever, sales of mobile phones exceeded 1 billion last year according to market research firm Gartner. Some 1.15 billion mobile phones were sold in 2007 compared to 990.9 million in 2006, marking a 16 percent increase. Much of the growth is attributed to emerging markets like China and India where many were buying their first phone.

The top three were Nokia (its marketshare grew to 37.8 percent with an even higher 40.4 percent share in the last quarter), Motorola (its marketshare shrunk to 14.3 percent) and Samsung (its marketshare grew to 13.4 percent). Sony Ericsson and LG round out the top five.

In the fourth quarter, there were three new entrants to the top 10: Research In Motion (RIM), ZTE and Apple. It will be interesting to watch how these fare in 2008.

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Apple iPhone lands in Ireland in March

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Feb 282008
 

Apple iPhone

O2 Ireland has announced that it will begin to offer the Apple iPhone starting on March 14th. Both an 8GB model and 16GB model will be offered for 399€ and 499€ respectively.

Three 18-month service plans will be offered. The first, available for 45€/month, will offer 175 minutes and 100 SMS. For 65€/month, you will get 350 minutes and 150 SMS. 100€/month will get you 700 minutes and 250 SMS. All three plans will come with a 1GB data plan. Visual Voicemail is unsupported at this time and will not be offered (at least initially).

As in the UK, the iPhone will be available through both 02 and Carphone Warehouse retail stores.

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Windows Mobile trojan on the loose

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Feb 282008
 

While there have been a number of proof of concept Windows Mobile malware, it looks like a genuine trojan is now loose in the Windows Mobile world. According to McAfee:

WinCE/InfoJack sends the infected device’s serial number, operating system and other information to the author of the trojan. It also leaves the infected mobile device vulnerable by allowing silent installation of malware. The trojan modifies the infected device’s security setting to allow unsigned applications to be installed without a warning.

When installed, WinCE/InfoJack sets itself up as an autorun program on memory cards (allowing it to install on any device that used the card) and protects itself from deletion by copying itself back to disk. It also replaces the browser’s home page and allows unsigned applications to install without warning.

The trojan originated in China and is part of a downloadable software package that included games, stock trading application and Google Maps. The site where the package could be downloaded is now shut down but the developer claimed that the malware was used simply to collect information on the types of mobile devices accessing the site.

Now that Windows Mobile malware is a reality, will you be installing anti-malware software on your device?

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Apple iPhone 1.1.4 update now available

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Feb 272008
 

Apple iPhone

Apple has released a new software update for the iPhone. Version 1.1.4 is now available through iTunes. What updates it contains is described simply as bug fixes.

A number of jailbreaking schemes appear to have been unaffected by the latest update but you’ll still want to check carefully before doing the upgrade.

The update is also available for the iPod touch.

Apple iPhone SDK event planned for March 6

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Feb 272008
 

Apple iPhone

Apple has announced that it will unveil its “iPhone software road map” at an event on March 6th at their Cupertino head office. The expected SDK will allow developers to create third party applications for both the iPhone and the iPod touch.

The event also promises to reveal some “some exciting new enterprise features”. These could (and hopefully will) include synchronization with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.

Apple had promised to release the iPhone SDK in February and went as far as planning an event for today, February 26th, according to some rumours. Then came word that Apple was pushing the release date into March.

It’s not clear though whether the SDK will be available as of March 6th or if it will be released at a later date.

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Three more GIGA-BYTE mobile devices coming at CeBIT

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Feb 272008
 

After unveiling a number of new devices at the Mobile World Congress earlier this month, GIGA-BYTE is set to unveil three more at the upcoming CeBIT show.

First up is the MID M528 which will sport a 4.8-inch display and come with GPS and a conferencing camera. There are no other details yet on it.

Second is the M704 which GIGA-BYTE themselves leaked a while back. Powered by a 1.2GHz VIA processor and Windows Vista, it will come with a 7-inch screen (1024×600), 768MB RAM, an 80GB hard drive, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 and a built-in camera.

The third device, the M700 (not to be confused with the MW700) is called a brand new versatile 3C product with a minimalist and white stylish design in appearance. It will have a 7-inch screen, an Express card slot, 3.5G and WiMAX connectivity, dual cameras, and integrated GPS.

All three devices will be on display at CeBIT which will run from March 4th to 9th, 2008.

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Gadgetorama family update

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Feb 272008
 

As you can tell, I’ve resumed news coverage. The situation at Gadgetorama headquarters has improved somewhat and things are looking much more promising than they were last week. I will continue to have to spend a lot of time at the hospital but the overall situation is much more stable now. When the patient in question starts to complain that she is bored and that things are moving too slowly, I know that they’ve started to recover.

Many thanks again for all those who wrote in expressing their best wishes.

HP may break ties with Inventec over iPAQ 600 delays

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Feb 272008
 

HP iPAQ 610 Business Navigator

The Chinese-language Commercial Times is reporting that HP could end its relationship with Taiwan-based Inventec Appliances due to the delays in getting the iPAQ 600 delivered to HP. The iPAQ 610 is the first OEM 3.5G handset to be manufactured by Inventec.

Earlier this month, HP canceled the release of the iPAQ 600 Business Navigator in North America. At the time, it blamed recent legal issues between suppliers of mobile phone technologies. According to this latest report, the devices delivered by Inventec have failed tests carried out by HP.

HP still plans to release the iPAQ 600 and 900 in the UK.

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Apple now the second largest US music retailer

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Feb 262008
 

Apple

The NPD Group, a market research firm, reported today that the Apple iTunes Store is now the second-largest music retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart. Apple surpassed Best Buy to gain that second spot.

Apple indicated that it now had over 50 million customers and the Apple iTunes Store has now sold over 4 billion songs.

Overall, the amount of music purchased increased about 6 percent in 2007 but music spending per capita dropped about 10 percent.

One stat that surprised me (but probably should not have) is that 48 percent of U.S. teens did not purchase a single CD in 2007!

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Build your own arcade machine like Rasmus

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Feb 262008
 

With gaming consoles making their way into homes everywhere, the video arcades of yesteryear are disappearing quickly and going the way of the dodo. Rasmus Soerensen is not quite ready to let go of the era of the massive gaming machines though and went as far as building his own. He did not take the easy route and simply buy one. Instead he built one from scratch!

Best of all, he has posted all the details that show how he went about doing so for those who are curious to see how he did it or those who want to follow in his footsteps. You’ll find pictures, work drawings and a list of all the hardware that went into his console.

Seeing the completed console definitely brought me back to the times that my best friend spent hours feeding quarters into the games in an effort to walk away at the end of the day with bragging rights!

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HP UMPC to launch in April?

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Feb 262008
 

Rumoured HP Compaq 2133

DigiTimes is reporting that HP will probably launch its upcoming UMPC in April. It also reports that the HP Compaq 2133 will be manufactured by Wistron and HP has apparently placed an order for two million units.

Different configurations will be offered with prices that could range between USD$480 and USD$800. Unlike earlier rumours, it appears that there might not be an SSD option after all.

DigiTimes also reports that Acer will also launch a UMPC in April and ASUS is scheduled to unveil second-generation Eee PCs in May.

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