Category: "Mobile & wireless"

iPod car integration: not quite!

On the last Apple special event, Steve Jobs was almost bragging about the fact that 70% of new cars sold in the US this year had (optional!) iPod “integration” available…

Obviously, he didn’t talk about the rest of the world. But most of all, what Steve didn’t tell us, is how crappy the existing “integration” solutions actually are!

At the very same time, I was at Apple Expo 2006 in Paris, checking out what the car manufacturers had to offer…

iPod & Audi TT

iPod "integration" with the Audi TT
iPod “integration” with the Audi TT

Audi was showing off their new TT. Nice car. Wanna check the inside? You gotta ask the blonde to unlock it for you…

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Apple Mighty Mouse goes wireless... but how far away?

Wireless Mighty Mouse
Wireless Mighty Mouse

Until now, Apple had a cool mouse called the Mighty Mouse with all the advanced features you'd expect from a mouse (right click, scroll weel... even better: multidirectional scrolling ball)... it just wasn't wireless.

Apple also had a Wireless mouse... but it had only one button! :(

Today, you can finally get the best of both worlds! The mighty mouse with all it's buttons becomes wireless! Apple has even improved the pointing technology which is now a laser instead of an LED. This should allow for smoother movement on more surfaces...

...except this one little detail: the problem with the Apple wireless mice is not the pointing technology... it is the bluetooth technology! Apple bluetooth is just not reliable any more if you get more than 2 meters away from your Mac. (Home entertainement use... Of course you have less issues on a desktop... but do you really need a wireless mouse on a desktop?)

It seems that the mouse can operate on either one or two batteries. So you might expect it to have more power and greater operating range when you insert a second battery. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that will be the case. The "old" wireless mouse had 2 batteries already... :-/

Ironically... I think I'll buy it anyway... yeah, even at 69 €... I just want that thing in my living room! :P

The Flash Virtual Machine

Sometimes I wonder if Macromedia isn't going to succeed with Flash where Java failed... on this particular topic of harware and OS abstraction. Flash Lite makes their virtual machine (aka "player") more real than ever. Russ has all the details so I won't even try to repeat them here! :P

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

At first this looks plain stupid.

However, one would hope there was actually careful planing in building the new road AND in moving the pylons but that they were just not executed in the right order... and it was probably better for the road contractor de build the road anyways, letting the electric people deal with removing the pylon later and leaving only -- maybe -- a small pothole in the road... And fixing the "pothole" later is only a small job/problem compared to building the whole road later.

Trendspotting: mobile SPAM :(

It's already making me sick... and it's only the beginning :(

Mobile SPAM is coming in all flavours! First there is SMS spam. Your phone beeps in the middle of a meeting as if you just received an alert, you check what's going wrong... but no, it's just an ad from your carrier!

Then there is voicemail spam. This is even worse. You are driving and suddenly your phone beeps as if you just missed a call and got a message. You actually try and find a place to pull aside and listen to the message... but that was a worthless effort: you just got another f*ing ad from you carrier!

Right now, carriers can afford this because it's virtually free for them. But sooner or later, more companies will be willing to pay for that kind of mass messaging! And this is far worse than e-mail spam: it really interrupts you in whatever you are doing! (Something like instant messaging spam!)

I have called my carrier (Bouygues Telecom, France) numerous times demanding they stop it. Nah! Everytime, after a month or so, spam comes back! I am wondering what kind of bozo there just makes that stupid decision to reset the opt-out flags! So eventually I cancelled my contract! (With the added benefit of being able to get a new (smart)phone cheaper when I sign up for my new contract... but I would not have gone this way if those guys had been a "little" more customer respectful!)

Anyway, I guess we'll be able to install SMS/MMS spam filters on future "programmable" (smart)phones... but I wonder how we'll be able to handle the voicemail issue... :-/