Microsoft explains why you cannot close Windows Mobile apps

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Oct 152006

Mike Calligaro of the Windows Mobile Team has posted a new blog entry called “The Emperor Has No Close” in which he provides an explanation as to why the Windows Mobile button that looks like it should close applications only minimizes them. Essentially, the philosophy is that users should not have to manage their memory. Instead, it should be up to the OS. But users still want a button that can make an application go away. So, Microsoft implemented up with the X button.

I just have one question: For a company that apparently pays so much to user interface principles, why would you use the same button to do two different things? Why not use the desktop’s minimize button instead and keep the interface consistent?

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Acer announces C510 and C530 PDAs

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Oct 132006

At a recent GPS technology fair in Italy, Acer announced that it will replace its N35 PDA with the C510 and C530 PDAs in Europe. The two new models are nearly identical: Powered by 300MHz Samsung processors and Windows Mobile 5.0, they will feature 2.8-inch QVGA screens, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, GPS using SiRFstar III chipsets, Bluetooth, SD slot, miniUSB port and built-in MP3 player. The C530 will also include Wi-Fi capabilities. Both models will also come with ALK Copilot 6 navigation software, including maps of France on a 256MB SD card.

The new models are expected to go on sale in November with an expected price of 350€ for the C510 and somewhat higher for the C530.

Source: Pocket PC Thoughts

Weekend fun: CityPipe

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Oct 132006


CityPipe is an arcade puzzle game that combines elements of the classig games Plumber and Tetris into an interesting variation. As a head of a water company your job is to supply your customers with water, simultaneously reducing the cost of the pipeline to maximize your income. Pick falling pipes, rotate them and build a pipeline connecting all the customers.

CityPipe comes with 40 levels, a high-score table maintained on the lttl Soft web site, smooth gameplay, alpha blended graphics and more.

CityPipe is available for $11.95 USD from our affiliate Pocketgear. A trial version with 5 levels is also available.

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Apple unveils RED iPod nano

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Oct 132006

iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED

(RED) is a private company that uses its funds to fight AIDS in Africa. It partners with companies across the world who make a five year commitment to create unique (PRODUCT) RED products and contribute a significant percentage of sales or portion of profits from the sales of those products into Global Fund-financed AIDS programs with a special emphasis on women and children affected by AIDS in Africa. Apple is one of those companies and today, it unveiled the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition. $10 USD of the purchase price of each (RED) nano will go to the fund.

The iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition comes with a 4GB capacity and a bright red paint job. It will sell for $199 USD ($229 CAD) directly from Apple.

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Skweezer Selected by for New Ask Mobile Search

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Oct 132006


Greenlight Wireless Corporation announced that its Skweezer technology, which optimizes Web content for mobile devices, has been integrated into the new Ask Mobile which was launched today. Skweezer’s proprietary compression algorithms, developed and refined over the past five years, significantly reduce Web content typically to 15% or less of its original file size. This allows Web pages to load much more quickly and has the added benefit of greatly reducing bandwidth requirements. Web pages viewed through Skweezer are also intelligently reformatted, providing intuitive and convenient access to content from a small-screen device.

The new Ask Mobile web site can also load RSS feeds through Skweezer, again letting users benefit from lighter weight versions of the feeds that they are interested in.

Skweezer technology is completely platform independent and can be used with Pocket PC, Palm, Symbian, MS Smartphone, Blackberry, PSP2, and XHTML-based cell phone devices.

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E-TEN X500 Pocket PC Phone surfaces

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Oct 122006

Pictures of E-Ten’s upcoming X500 Pocket PC smartphone have now been posted on the web. It will not win many style points and its specifications will not make it stand above other devices though. Powered by a Samsung 400MHz processor and Windows Mobile 5.0, it comes with quad-band GSM/EDGE support, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, a QVGA screen, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS support using a SiRFStar III chipset, a microSD slot, 2MP camera with auto-focus and an FM radio tuner. Not bad specs but nothing that has not been seen before.

The pictures of the X500 show up on the second page of the thread (Title link).

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PalmSource changes its name to ACCESS

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Oct 122006

PalmSource, a wholly owned subsidiary of ACCESS since it was acquired late last year, has announced that it will change its name to ACCESS. This is not a big surprise given that the rights to the “Palm” brand had been sold to Palm Inc. just before the purchase by ACCESS.

The transition has already begun: Some graphics for the a just announced Treo 680 shows that PalmOS is Powered by ACCESS.

ACCESS also unveiled a new logo and web site to go with the announcement.

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Palm Treo 680 announced

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Oct 122006

Palm Treo 680

We knew that Palm would announce a new Treo today. Now, we know which one. At the DigitalLife conference taking place in New York, Palm announced the Treo 680. Powered by Palm OS 5.4.9 (Garnet) and an Intel PXA270 312 MHz processor, the latest Treo is much like its Windows 750v sibling in that it lacks the external antenna of older Treos. It features quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, comes with 64MB non-volatile flash memory available for user storage, a 320×320 pixel screen, a VGA camera, Bluetooth 1.2, a full QWERTY keyboard (no backlighting) and an SDIO slot. It will also come with Documents to Go Professional, a a suite of applications to let you view and edit Microsoft Office files, a web browser and email application. The 680 will be available in four colours: Graphite, Copper, Arctic, or Crimson.

As expected, there is no support for UMTS or HSDPA networks.

Today’s announcement did not have any information on which carriers would offer the 680, when and for how much. But Palm expects the 680 to be available in all four corners of the world.

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Zune Dock coming from Altec Lansing

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Oct 122006

Altec Lansing Zune Dock

As the launch of the Microsoft Zune nears quickly, expect to see lots of accessory announcements. Altec Lansing is one such company. Alhtough there is no formal product announcement, a picture of the upcoming Zune Dock have now appeared on the web, courtesy of Details are scarce but expect the dock to be available around the same time as the Zune (November 14).

Will Altec Lansing offer different colours to match with the different Zune colours? I’m no fashion expert but black and brown is one pretty ugly colour combination.

Source: Gizmodo

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Today only: Dell Axim X51v on sale at

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Oct 122006

Dell Axim X51v

Dell Canada is once again running its 10 Days of Deals promotion. Today (day 4 of the promotion), a Dell Axim X51v can be yours for $349 CAD instead of the usual $529 CAT. Yes, it is not the latest and greatest Pocket PC out there but it is still one of the few to offer VGA capabilities (3.7-inch screen) and an integrated Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator with 16MB video memory. The Axim X51v also features a 624MHz processor, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, Windows Mobile 5, 802.11 b Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and both CompactFlash Type II and SDIO slots.

Remember, this offer is only valid today.

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T-Mobile USA announces Dash Smartphone

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Oct 112006

T-Mobile Dash

T-Mobile USA has announced that the Dash Smartphone will soon be available on its network. The Dash (based on the HTC Excalibur) is a superslim device with an integrated keyboard and a touch-sensitive navigation bar. It runs Windows Mobile 5.0 and features quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, a 2.4-inch landscape screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, a 1.3MP camera and a microSD slot. The Dash will also include T-Mobile’s myFaves function.

Without a contract, the Dash will sell for $349 USD. Add a service contract and the price drops for $249 USD (1 year contract) or $199 USD (2 year contract).

The Dash will be available on October 25.

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VHS turns 30 years old

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Oct 112006

Back on October 9th, VHS video celebrated its 30th birthday. That was the day that JVC released the VHS Deck and received an IEEE milestone for the accomplishment. Some 900 million players have been sold since. VHS technology also allowed people to watch shows when they wanted to, led to the birth of the video rental industry and played a significant role in letting people record their own movies with camcorders. Along the way, VHS buried the Beta format developed by Sony and released a year before.

While VHS decks are still selling, the technology is clearly making way for newer technologies such as DVDs and digital downloads.

Source: Gizmodo

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New Palm Treo to be announced tomorrow

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Oct 112006

Palm is set to announce a new Treo smartphone on Thursday, October 12th, according to a press release. Details about the upcoming device were not revealed. So, the rumour mill kicked into high gear. Could Palm be planning to unveil a US version of the Treo 750v offered through Vodafone in Europe? Or will we see the rumoured Palm Treo 680 announcement? The 680 is intended for price sensitive customers. Although it shares the same form factor as the 750v (no external antenna), it is not likely to include 3G capabilities and will likely only come with 64MB RAM.

We’ll find out for sure tomorrow!

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Hammer Combat: Arena combat on your Pocket PC

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Oct 112006

Hammer Combat

Storm Mill has released Hammer Combat, a game it describes as a bloody beat-em up game. How can you resist with a description like that?

You play as one of four heroes and challenge opponents in one of five arenas. Each hero comes with his own special combination move. And if you are good enough, you will face the Terrible Boss as the end of the game. Inspired by Mortal Combat and Soulcalibur, it features both Campaign and Fight modes as well as three difficulty levels.

Hammer Combat is available for $11.99 USD from our affiliate Clickgamer. A trial version is also available.

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The HP Mobile Innovations tour

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Oct 112006

HP personal hub device

HP is presenting its idea of the future holds for technology in its Mobile Innovations tour. The HP vision centers around a personal hub that will hold all of our information. This hub would be your personal identification, PIM and wallet, all in one convenient device that could look like a watch or a credit card. This hub would also wirelessly connect to devices in its vicinity as required.

Technologies such as flexible displays and web services would allow for devices like a bendable, portable mat that would display content accessed through the hub. Notebooks and tablet PCs would be thinner and lighter and would integrate with every day furniture items like tables which would recharge them and provide bigger displays.

No word though on whether HP sees flying cars in our future.

Source: PDA France

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