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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Using the Kindle iPhone App

Let me start by saying I don't own a Kindle. I've thought about purchasing one, but the $359 price tag seems a little steep. Last year I purchased a Sony Reader PRS505 as part of an inventory liquidation...meaning I got it cheap. While I've enjoyed the Reader, I must admit I've experienced Kindle envy with regards to available titles and wireless capabilities.

Yesterday Amazon released the Kindle iPhone app. Now we're talking. I love my iPhone. I was more than willing to give up the Blackberry for it. Analysts are already predicting that this is going to be huge. Amazon finally figured it out: give away the app (or appliance) and sell the books. Though I prefer the larger screen size of the Kindle and the Reader, I have no problem reading books on the iPhone.

Amazon has made it a simple process for me to purchase a book and have it sent automatically to my phone...very cool. The Kindle application is easy to use. Some features don't work exactly like other iPhone apps. You have to select the font you want from a menu at the bottom of the screen, you can't expand the resolution using your fingers. Instead, swiping your finger across the screen turns the page.

Overall, I give Amazon 2 thumbs up for this one. It has definitely made me an Amazon eBook customer. Oh yeah, my first iPhone eBook: William Gibson's Count Zero. Ironic?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Kindle 2.0?

It seems that pictures of the new Kindle 2.0 device, the one that Amazon is denying exists, are leaking out across the web. Here's the link on

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sony's New PRS-700 Reader

In case you haven't heard, Sony just introduced their new reader, the PRS-700. The big difference between it and the PRS-505, is a 6 inch touchscreen, faster processor, expanded memory, and a built in side-lighting. The biggest feature that is lacking: no wireless capability. That being said, the touchscreen should be an improvement as it allows for note taking and finger swipping for page turning. It is also still billed as an "open" reader that allows multiple formats. The price tag will be $400

The best news of all, Sony has redesigned their online store. For those of us who've used it, this is definitely good news.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tracking Stolen Laptops

Recently there's been a lot in the news about people recovering their stolen laptops through remote tracking (i.e. NY victim uses remote to nab theft suspect). Several companies provide commercial products for tracking lost laptops including products like Computrace Lojack for Laptops and CyberAngel. There are also open source solutions such as Adeona, created by the University of Washington.

After reading about Adeona in Technology Review, I tested it and am impressed with the results. The software runs on Linux, Windows, and Macs. It uses a cryptographic key and password combination to access information. And, if you have a Macbook, Adeona can use the iSight camera to snap a picture of culprit. When connected to the web, Adeona periodically records information such as internal/external ip, the network access point, and router information. The software sends the encrypted results to the OpenDHT distributed storage service. You retreive the information by installing the Adeona retrieval software on another PC and using the cyrptographic key and password.

Adeona's setup is simple. I've been running it for a few days now and it's working beautifully. If you're looking for a simple solution and don't want to spend a lot of money, check out Adeona.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Head in the Clouds

Here are some articles I forwarded to my team earlier today. The first is an interview with Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer. Mr. Mundie talks about composite computing and how the cloud becomes one aspect of it. The best quote: "People who started out and said, 'Hey, all software should just become a service,' started out with the misconception that the computing model that we know is mature and won't evolve anymore."

The second article is an interview with Richard Stallman, founder of GNU. Stallman has a whole different take on the concept of cloud computing. The best quote: "The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. "

What's the right answer concerning cloud computing? Personally I think it's somewhere in between these two camps. Cloud computing will become one part of the whole computing experience, and it is this season's buzz word for companies who sell technology stuff. The hype around cloud computing will settle and, people will find sensible ways to use it.

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