Verizon Getting Ticked Back

As an update to our post replying to Chris Lindquist's article on the Verizon implementation of the Motorola V710, comes a class action lawsuit.

Slashdot is reporting, as are others like engadget, that California law firm Kirtland & Packard has filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Verizon and Motorola for crippling the bluetooth on the device.

Maybe CDMA phone manufacturers and carriers will come out of their network centric mobile and wireless world and join GSM vendors with more customer friendly connectivity options.

eBooks

I have truly come to enjoy reading story books novels on my Palm using the Palm Digital eReader. Now, I haven't stopped buying good, old fashioned hard bound books. But eBooks allow me to enjoy the content without actually cracking open the book, endangering it with coffee droplets or spilled brandy.

Of course, the disaster of dropping my Tungsten into the tub is far and away more devastating than dropping the book. 88|

Right now, I'm reading the last novel in Robin Hobb's series that started with the Farseer trilogy, went to the Liveship Traders trilogy, and is ending with the Tawny Man trilogy. She is a magnificent author. It is very rare that an author can make me so empathetic with her characters. And that each character is so richly filled-out and distinct from every other character.

And of course, I wasn't reading the story in this meeting, nor blogging on my Palm. I'm taking notes. :D Mobile and wireless tools make things much more interesting.

Pepper Wireless Pad

Pepper Computer is showing off their Pepper Wireless Pad at CES. It looks like an interesting addition to the tool kit of those leading the TeleInterActive Lifestyle and others wanting to web surf from the couch while using the Pepper to channel surf at the same time. &#59;D However, their approach to software is reminiscent of the defunct 3Com Audrey, as described by C|Net.

Here is the Pepper, linked to their specifications page...
Pepper Pad Specifications

The Audrey was a great wiki(Internet appliance). And it was the tool I used to get my parents, both in their 70's, onto the Internet, so that they could stay in touch with family and friends when they moved to SF from Pennsylvania.

One reason that the Audrey failed, and one reason for misgivings about the Pepper, is locked-in software. The Pepper is a linux based tablet, slate or pad computer. [They call it a "Pad", others might like the term "tablet" or the older term "slate".] They've written their apps in Java, using the Mozilla framework (a.k.a. Gecko Runtime Environment). The Pepper is not due until the Spring 2005, so we can't be certain until then, but from their web site, it appears that...

  • There seems to be no way to install additional software [unless downloaded from Pepper] nor any command-line interface or GUI to the underlying OS. (MontaVista ™ CEE 3.1.1) The spec sheet contradicts the marketing in that a "Customizable & extensible user experience available" is promised. Let's hope so, as the Audrey also only allowed new software from 3Com downloads.
  • The Pepper Desktop 2.0 (interestingly enough also available for MS Windows) seems to provide standard and enhanced web-browsing, email, IM (AOL only) and media tools.
  • The collaboration software, available for download in the spring with more in the summer 2005, appear to allow for collaboration primarily with other Pepper users.

Why use open software to build a closed system?

Hopefully, the above is more marketing than reality, and Pepper will provide a more open approach to user add-ons and customizations. Otherwise, I fear that this neat looking device will fall into the same pit of disuse as the Audrey, and other Internet appliances.

Engadget recently posetd their impressions of this Pepper, and had also posted earlier about the Pepper Pad 2, which is not on the Pepper website. The only difference between the two seems to be that the 2 has 802.11g, while the Pepper has 802.11b WiFi. The Pepper 2 was promised for "around $800" when announced, the Pepper is $899. Perhaps, just speculating, the fall from 802.11g to 802.11b is for price reasons.

BTW, my parents still use the Internet - through a laptop now. The mouse and the touch pad gives them problems both physically and intuitively. If I can add Y!M rather than AIM to the Pepper, it might be the next device I try for them. A touchscreen is much more intuitive than a mouse.

One Lesson of Death

Today, news of 2 deaths reached me. One was my cousin who was a few years older than myself and the other is the father of a friend. During days like this I reflect on this basic fact of life: Everything has an end. Fire does not burn indefinitely. The flower blooms then withers. No matter how hard the situation is, death teaches us that “this too shall pass”.

Tools that Support the TeleInterActive Lifestyle

Information is essential. It helps us make better decisions whether it is personal or business. The TeleInterActive Lifestyle refers to the work and living habits of anyone who needs or wants to interact with information remotely.

There are many tools today that help us to remotely interact with information and people. Here are some tools that I use and find useful:

1. Cell phones: Cell phones are great. Anywhere you have a signal, you can get in touch with someone. I have participated in a conference call while watching the waves at the beach. If you have a data service for your phone, you can send email, surf the web or exchange SMS. Over the holidays, while at the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, I was able to use my cell phone to get the weather in Arizona and California. Hence my sister and I were able to decide properly whether we should drive back or stay longer in New Mexico to visit White Sands National Monument.

2. Handheld Devices: Handheld devices can be used not only for calendars and contact information. With the abundant software for the Palm or PocketPC, one can use handheld devices for almost anything even as MP3 players. With the eReader for Palm, I now read novels in my Palm which is quite convenient because I don’t have to carry a thick novel around. Of course, the downside is, my Palm needs juice so when I travel, I am always on the look out for electrical outlets in hotels or the airport &#59;D

3. Instant Messaging and Webcams/video conference: Instant Messaging is good way to keep in touch. My family is geographically distributed. We have family webcams during special occasion like Christmas and birthdays to “be” with one another. Instant messaging and webcam/video conferencing can also be used as a means for business communication. For instance, a distributed project team can instantly exchange ideas or ask a project team member a question without making a phone call. If you are like me who loves "cut and paste", I use instant messaging to cut and paste a url for someone in my team to access a website. :))

4. Laptop: If one is a “road warrior”, a laptop which serves as one’s desktop replacement is essential to do one’s work. Unfortunately the form factor and capabilities of handheld devices can not replace a laptop. So, even if they are heavy or bulky, it is still a tool I need.

5. Collaboration Software: There are many collaboration software around to support a distributed workforce. Some tools we have used are Service Cycle and intranets.com. Collaboration software enables file exchange and group calendar management.

6. Blogs: Whether it is a personal blog or a business blog, blogs provide a means to share information. I read my nephew’s personal blog to find out what is happening with him. For work, blogs can be used to communicate ideas. E.g., project blogging is a great way for a distributed project team to find out the latest project information or a means of exchange technical information.

If you Live the TeleInteractive Lifestyle, whether you call it by another name or not, you may find the article Road Tools, February 2004 issue of PC World magazine useful. It lists “30-plus travel-worthy products, accessories, services, and strategies that can help”.

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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