Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Windows Vista is HERE!!!

I have a copy of the 32 bit and the 64 bit Windows Vista. I have had it for a day now so I thought that I would link to a few other sites that have done reviews on the new operating system and then I will write something up later.


Most of the reviews same the same thing. Now we wait and see.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Box Support for VIA in Vista

VIA Technologies today confirmed the most comprehensive and flexible range of core logic solutions for Vista-based systems across all the major processor platforms for motherboard, PC, server and device manufacturers.

Five of VIA’s leading edge IGP chipsets have received the Windows Vista Basic logo from Microsoft: the VIA K8M890 and the VIA P4M900 for the latest mainstream AMD and Intel desktops respectively, the VIA K8N890 for AMD processor-powered notebooks, the upcoming VIA CN896 for VIA C7™ processor desktop and embedded systems, and the brand new VIA VN896 mobile chipset for VIA C7-M and Intel Pentium® M processors. All these PCI Express chipsets feature the latest VIA Chrome9™ integrated 2D/3D graphics processor supporting DirectX® 9.0 and the Chromotion™ CE video display engine.

The certification of these chipsets ensures that VIA customers can build desktops, laptops and ultra mobile devices with confidence that they are ready for the highly anticipated new Vista operating system. The testing involved in the certification process guarantees a reliable and trouble free installation and usage of the Ultimate, Enterprise, Business, Home Premium and Home Basic editions of Microsoft Windows Vista.

VIA also boasts leading edge discrete chipsets such as the VIA PT890 and the VIA K8T900 that, combined with DirectX 9.0 PCI Express graphics cards such as the S3 Chrome S27, make the ideal platform to power high-end systems that can really take advantage of the stunning visual effects of Windows Vista™ Premium.

“With the much-anticipated release of Microsoft Windows Vista, we are pleased to support it through our portfolio of feature-rich chipsets covering so many market segments, from the highest performance gaming PCs to handheld ultra mobile devices,” said Chewei Lin, Vice President of Product Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “Our chipsets offer proven and certified building blocks for Vista™ Capable and Vista™ Premium Ready PCs, allowing end-users to enjoy the full Vista™ experience and optimal system performance.”

Support for VIA chipsets is provided in-box with Windows Vista, while additional drivers for VIA Ethernet controllers, VIA Gigabit Ethernet, VIA HD audio, VIA Envy24 Family audio controllers, IGP chipset WDDM drivers for certified chipsets and VIA SATA/RAID controllers are additionally available for download from VIA’s International Technical support website, VIA Arena at

Friday, January 26, 2007


SEGA Europe Ltd. are pleased to announce the launch of the official website for Virtua Fighter 5, the hotly anticipated fighting game for the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. offers a range of content for both fans of the highly acclaimed series and gamers new to Virtua Fighter. includes a range of material covering everything from a game information section describing all the aspects of Virtua Fighter 5 to a detailed character section explaining everything there is to know about fighters old and new. An extensive media section allows visitors to view a selection of movies and screenshots, going great lengths to prove the undeniable beauty of Virtua Fighter 5 and also includes a variety of wallpapers and icons for fans to download.

Visitors wanting to brush up on their Virtua Fighter knowledge can browse through the history section of the site to get the inside information on the critically acclaimed and much loved game, helping to make the perfect site for fans of what is hotly tipped to be the world’s greatest fighting game.

For more information on Virtua Fighter 5 please visit

PS3 arrogance and a great site

I sat back yesterday after reading international web sites and realised that I have no idea when the PS3 will be hitting our sunny South African shores. Why do I not know when the PS3 will be hitting our shores? That is a damn fine question. Remember, all of this is happening in my brain, not out loud, that would be sad.

So after reading these international websites on the launch of the PS3 and how much it will cost and that only the expensive version will be available in Europe, I thought that I had better do some research. By the way, us lowly, bandwidth challenged South African form part of Europe. The Japanese might love our animals, and our animals love eating Japanese, but we are still European to them.

I clicked on and followed the link to the PS3 Website. 1st: I hate pop-up windows! Don't do it! But they did and I went, so I moved on. After waiting for 3Kb of Flash movie to load, I saw that the SA launch is in March 2007. WOW!!! Same as Europe, just no date.

Next step, I went to the Ster Kinekor website to phone the people who release all the PS's to South African stores. There are no contact details on the PS3 site. Again, be warned, you have to wait for pretty animation to launch. HAVE THESE PEOPLE LEARNED NOTHING FROM GOOGLE?

The only number you can find on the Ster Kinekor website is Ticket Line. I would love to copy & Paste it here, but the site won't let me. I can also not Skype it as it's all graphic. Anyway, I called the number and told them my story and they told me to call another number. Which I did.

Once I got to that number, a lady tells me to hold, which I did and I get through to a voice mail box that says it's full. GREAT, now what? No option to go back to the operator, so I call again and tell her that the voice mail box is full. She puts me through to another person who seems to know a little more than the ticket line guy.

All she can do, though, is take my details and promise that someone will call me back.

That someone did call me back, yes, I know, it's amazing! She tells me that I am no longer on the mailing list and will check with her PR company if I can get on the list. HELLO!!! I am on a national radio station and run a blog and influence millions, if not tens.

So now I wait.

What I can tell you about the PS3 is what IOL are running this morning. I didn't want to put it up on this site as all of the numbers will be wrong.

But onto better things.

I found this GREAT site named AfriGadget. It features all of those "Boer maak a plan" things that clever minds in tough conditions come up with. You think that your new iPhone is cool, check out what people make when they HAVE to.....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Web Browsing and Mail Retrieval Alternatives for your smartphone

I've just been investigating how to best view my Gmail account on my Nokia N91 smartphone.

I've had the Gmail/mobile app installed for a while, and I thought it was a godsend. Unfortunately, it's FULL of limitations that makes it completely unsuitable for business use.

Here are the key Gmail/mobile limitations in my book:

1. It's not possible to save attachments in email you've received.

2. There is no way to resize downloaded photos, and they're actually not downloaded. They're simply in a view window that you can't save from.

3. When replying to a message, you cannot see the original text you're responding to. This means that if you're responding to a complex business message, you have no way of verifying what you're answering, until AFTER YOU'VE SENT THE MESSAGE!!!

4. There is no way to 'save a draft' of a message you're writing.

5. Gmail arbitrarily decides on a message-length limit, at which point, it simply truncates the message, without giving you any means to view the truncated part. So if someone sends you a long message, you most likely will not be able to read the entire thing.

6. If you've got the free document viewer loaded (this is a non-Gmail app available from Microsoft), Gmail applies the same arbitrary truncation rule to that. So, if you've received a big Word document, and you're viewing it, it's cut off at the point Gmail decides. And because you can't SAVE the document -- you can only VIEW it!!!! -- there's nothing you can do about this until you get yourself to a real computer.

7. Gmail prevents you from seeing any quoted text. So if I've responded to a message of yours using the traditional email quoting system, you actually cannot see the context that I'm quoting. Gmail strips it out. With no way of seeing it.

I'll give you an example...

Here's what I've typed to Mike...

Mike said:
>I really love the way your last Creativity Seminar ran, Roy

Roy replies:
Cool, dude! It was a pleasure!

This is what Mike actually SEES on his Gmail/mobile app on his phone:

Mike said:
Roy replies:
Cool dude! It was a pleasure!

NOT acceptable!

So far, the only way round this on a Symbian phone such as mine was to use the built in web browser. which is an authentic nightmare. It's the WORST web browser I have EVER encountered. And I've been on the internet since the very beginning.

So what's the answer?

Prabhu has it solved on the Gmail Help Forum. Here's his solution...

Dear All,
"Gmail mobile in India"
Is a big topic right now I just give small and very inportent
information to all gmail user in India

Option 1:-
Download "OPERA MINI" to your mobile
Start opera and type
Enter your User id and password in gmail window
And surprise your mailbox is open save this page as a bookmark on
starting window
Note:- you have to refresh this page every time for new mails as its
working great
And its free

Option 2:-
Download "Flurry" in you mobile
URL:- (you have to register with flurry and its free)
Enter your email id and password on up to 5 Accounts
Once you email address and password verified you can read and send your
email to others

Please try it and enjoy
I am using SE W700i with Airtel NOP service and it's great for me.

Thanks and best regards,

Thank you Prabhu! You've saved my life. And you've saved my phone. I LOVE my phone, make no mistake about it. But every single time I get a truncated message on my Gmail app, I have to restrain myself from flinging the phone against a wall.

I've just installed the free operamini webbrowser, and it's a dream. I see EVERYTHING in my Gmail account. Including the quoted text.

Blue skies


Arcor, a subsidiary of phones multinational Vodafone, is to offer German customers from March a telephone service that uses the internet only, without traditional phone circuitry, the company said Wednesday in Hamburg.

Spokesman Michael Peter said Arcor would be the first major phone company in Germany to offer home customers the all-internet-protocol (IP) service. Arcor demonstrated a white box the size of a large paperback book which will connect existing phones to the network.

Arcor is Germany's number-two fixed-line phone provider after former monopolist Deutsche Telekom and is 74.9-per-cent owned by London-based Vodafone. Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Bank own the rest.

Peter said Arcor was currently signing up about 200,000 new customers per quarter in Germany, Europe's biggest market.

Unnoticed by most consumers, many phone companies around the world have completely converted their backbone networks to IP, whereas home and small office customers have been hooked up through old-fashioned analogue phone lines or an ageing technology known as ISDN.

Arcor executive Zoltan Bickel demonstrated the white box, manufactured in Asia to Arcor specifications, which automates the complex task of reconnecting existing phones to the new technology.

He said new customers would be offered the "next generation network" from the time of the Cebit computing trade fair to be held in Hanover, Germany from March 15 to 21 and promised there would be no deterioration in voice quality.

Combined phone and internet access charges would remain the same as at present. There would be no compulsion: users could retain traditional lines if they preferred. Arcor also announced Wednesday a new television service using its broadband connections.

VIA Announces PCI Express Chipset for Vista-Ready Mobility

VIA VN896 with VIA Chrome9 IGP core supporting DirectX® 9.0 and Chromotion™ 3.0 offers rich visual Hi-Def™ experience for notebooks and ultra portable devices

Taipei, Taiwan, 24 January 2007 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the launch of the VIA VN896 digital media mobile IGP chipset, certified Vista Basic-ready by Microsoft and designed to provide users with unsurpassed visual clarity for notebooks and the new breed of ultra mobile devices.

The VIA VN896 chipset features the VIA Chrome9™ HC integrated graphics processor (IGP) featuring a DirectX® 9.0 3D accelerator for high performance and a 2D accelerator for productivity applications. The 3D graphics engine of the VN896 chipset offers the industry’s only simultaneous usage of single-pass multitexturing and single-cycle trilinear filtering, providing stunning image quality without performance loss.

Also integrated is the latest generation Chromotion™ video display engine, featuring advanced video processing, including acceleration for MPEG-2 decoding, and picture enhancement through adaptive de-interlacing technology and video deblocking, all executed in hardware to offset the processor workload. The VIA VN896 also features versatile LCD panel, CRT and TV-out support, to as high as 1080i high definition, while separate display engines enable two outputs to display at the same time, with different information at different resolutions, pixel depths and refresh rates.

By passing the Microsoft® Windows Vista™ 32bit/64bit Basic logo tests, customers can integrate the VIA VN896 PCI Express chipset into their products with the assuredness of digitally signed drivers and trouble-free installation of Microsoft Windows Vista, including Ultimate, Enterprise, Business, Home Premium and Home Basic editions.

“As computing increasingly goes mobile, the VN896 mobile chipset offers unparalleled visual quality for a rich digital media experience,” commented Chewei Lin, Vice President of Product Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “Coupled with its advanced power saving features, it’s an excellent choice for notebooks and even smaller, ultra mobile devices requiring superior performance and extensive peripheral connectivity.”

The VIA VN896’s robust graphics controller implements dynamic CKE and clock grating to minimize DDR SDRAM power consumption and achieve maximum power savings.

Details on the chipset can be found here...

Garmin’s Two-Wheeler GPS Announced

Avnic Trading has announced the availability of the first full-featured, no compromises GPS navigators designed specifically for motorcyclists, the all new Zūmo 500 and Zūmo 550.

Motorcyclists have particular requirements that standard automotive navigators fail to meet: they wear helmets and gloves, and they and their equipment are exposed to the elements. The new Zūmo units use Bluetooth1 to link to compatible cell-phones and in-helmet speakers and microphone, allowing the rider to place hands-free calls or answer by simply tapping on the screen. Navigation prompts are also given over the Bluetooth link, announcing full street names so you can keep your eyes on the road. The screen is designed to be used left-handed, with riding gloves, with oversized icons and menus on a high-brightness, sunlight readable and UV-resistant display. The device comes packaged in a rugged waterproof casing (industrial rating IPX7) with a choice of silver or black caps with other optional colours available to match your bike’s colour scheme (and attitude!). An optional external microphone is available.

For entertainment on long trips, an MP3 player is included: songs are loaded onto the Zūmo just by dragging and dropping – no special software is required – and for additional storage there is an SD card expansion slot.

A locking motorcycle mount securely attaches the Zūmo to the bike with a standard 4 hole AMPS mounting, and is supplied with special security screws and screwdriver. Further security is provided by the Garmin Lock anti-theft feature: when enabled you need a PIN to use the device, which is de-activated when you are within 50 meters of a security location that you designate. The 550 additionally comes with a car suction cup mount with built-in speaker and a car power cable, so you can use it with four wheels as well as two.

A console shows trip information, including a re-settable fuel gauge, and proximity alerts can advise you of custom Points of Interest (POIs) such as safety cameras and school zones. If you are interested in knowing exactly where you have been, and possibly sharing that with others, you can export and view routes in Google™ Earth and join in online rider communities through

The units are supplied with carrying case, removable Lithium Ion battery, and AC charger, motorcycle power lead, USB data cable and the Garmap Southern Africa Version 1 CD and pre-loaded SD card for immediate use. The Zūmo 550 also includes City Navigator® Europe NT data and DVD.

Monday, January 22, 2007

“Gears of War” Juggernaut Continues With More Than 3 Million Units Sold

Gears of War®” has gone triple platinum, reaching the 3 million-units-sold milestone in just 10 weeks on store shelves, ending 2006 as the top-selling game among all platforms during the month of December.

Expanding upon its reign as the fastest-selling title of 2006 and the fastest-selling original exclusive Xbox® game of all time, “Gears of War” has captivated gamers across the globe with its action-packed single-player campaign.

“Like blockbuster titles from Microsoft's ‘Halo®’ franchise and the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Zelda’ franchises, ‘Gears of War’ is tracking to be one of the best-selling video games of all time and has established itself as the most successful new IP of the next generation,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Global Marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft Corp.”

“Gears of War” continues to wow consumers and critics alike, garnering more than 20 nominations for game of the year. The game is a truly global phenomenon: prestigious Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu recently gave “Gears of War” the coveted Platinum award; “Gears of War” joins “Blue Dragon” as the second Microsoft Game Studios title in the past two months to receive this high honor.

Not just a gaming sensation, the acclaimed “Gears of War: Mad World” cinematic trailer was featured in Advertising Age’s Book of Tens as one of the top creative concepts of 2006. With more than 2.4 million views of the trailer online, the campaign has inspired not only tremendous sales, but also a number of hilarious parody videos currently circulating around the Internet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

LG Show Up the new iPhone

Do we really need the iPhone? My answer is "No". The capital letter is there on purpose.

Check out Engadget's new article on the KE850 PRADA from LG. I like it, I like it a lot!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

LG's Pretty new phone

LG Electronics (LG) has named February 2007 as the UK launch date for its stunning new handset, LG Shine (Shine). The UK launch is the first stage in Shine's global programme, with the handset being available in all major global markets by Q2 2007.

LG has already sold more than 180,000 Shine handsets in Korea since its launch in November, with more than 3,500 units a day still being sold. As the second handset in the Black Label Series of premium mobile phones Shine has already created a massive amount of interest globally with its wide 2.2 inch ‘magic mirror’ screen, multi-functional scroll key and brushed full metal body.

“With Shine, LG has yet again pushed the boundaries of mobile phone design,” believes Michelle Potgieter, National Manager, Sales and Marketing: LG Mobile Telecommunications, South Africa. “Inside its sleek, full metal body, LG’s cutting edge design technology delivers a high specification of features coupled with impressive battery life. With superb music, photography and video capabilities, we’re expecting Shine to be even more successful than Chocolate, which continues to sell exceptionally well worldwide, 12 months on since its launch.

Full technical details of Shine will be announced at the launch event in May 2007.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The iPhone isn't all 'dat

Nokia are not getting worried. That is the news from people in the know. In fact, I think that Nokia are laughing so loud now, the little blonde-haired PR girls aren't sure what is going on.

I put up the post on the new iPhone, mainly to get hits to the site. OK, I admitted it. Most bloggers have done the same thing. Even sites that normally show naked women and silly videos from the great WWW put up pictures and stories about the iPhone. Also, please not how many times I am typing iPhone so that Google knows I am talking about the iPhone.

But it seems that the iPhone is a joke. I would have told you that. The iPhone can do what my year-old phone can do. WOW!!! It has music. WOW, it has video. I am not impressed. The new Nokias have those and more. In fact, go back in the site, or click here if you are too lazy, and you will see that back in September last year, the N95 could do all of the cool things the iPhone pretends to do.

The only difference is that it's not an Apple. Will that be the selling point that Mr Jobs uses?

Even have a great piece that shows just how the iPhone sucks.

First, Apple is late to this party.

Next, the mobile-phone industry depends on cooperation with the big networks.

Lastly, the iPhone is a defensive product.

So there!!!! Don't say I didn't tell you so.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Beckham move sparks cybersquatting frenzy

The announcement of David Beckham's move to the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team sparked one of the biggest cybersquatting frenzies ever seen, experts said on Friday.

Dozens of Internet-savvy hopefuls pounced on key domain names in a bid to cash in as soon as news emerged on Thursday of the former England captain's multi-million pound move.

Within just over an hour they had registered just about every possible combination of the words "Beckham" and Galaxy" to earn lucrative, Google-style pay-per-click keyword advertising.

One cybersquatter in Milton Keynes registered every version he could of the LA Galaxy team name, hoping to cash in on people looking for more information on the Beckham move.

All his domain names now point to Web sites that feature pay-per-click adverts and the squatters could make thousands from misdirected Internet surfers.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, an eagle-eyed fan in Arizona managed to register which points to a Beckham fan site.

Another Arizonan registered Californian swooped on

"This is some of the fastest cybersquatting I've ever seen," said Jonathan Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of NetNames, which manages domain name portfolios for a third of the FTSE 100 companies.

"David Beckham is a major international brand and there are clearly many people who have seen an opportunity to cash in.

"Securing these domain names after Beckham's announcement on Thursday was the online equivalent of the first day of the Harrods sale as opportunists fought for the domain name rights."

Victoria Beckham, though, hasn't been quite so popular with cybersquatters.

One anonymous US cybersquatter said, "It's all about David in this instance. He is the one being singled out as the true worldwide brand. Few of us in the US know or care about Victoria."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The new iPhone

It's just not right, while most of the World's Techno blogs and sites and journos are in LAs Vegas for CES, I sit here in Johannesburg and drool over the new toys.
It's also not right that we sad poor little South Africans will be lucky to see these things at all, let alone before the rest of the world.
The two biggest things over the last year were the maybe yes, maybe no launch of the Google Phone and the iPhone from Apple. The latter had finally made it into the real world and Gizmodo have the details.
Funny thing from them is why would Apple have a demo of a music phone without headphones? Also, haven't Nokia been doing this for 2 years already and all of the other phone makers? What makes Apple think that they can better something that is already out there?
Also, for us low lives that have no access to the iTunes store, why would I want to spend the dosh on a new iPhone?

Monday, January 08, 2007

JVC's new HD HD Camcorder

JVC will soon add to its Everio range of hard-disk drive camcorders with a model that can record high-definition (HD) video, it said today.

The GZ-HD7 can record a widescreen image at 1080i (1080 horizontal lines of resolution and interlaced), which is just below the 1080p (progressive scanning) system judged to be the highest of several video quality levels that fall within the high-definition bracket. It packs a 60G-byte hard-disk drive that holds five hours of video when captured at the highest of several recording modes. The camera records in the MPEG-2 format and capacity can be extended to around seven hours in "SP" mode by cutting down the vertical resolution.

Features include 3CCD (charge coupled device) image sensors, 10X optical zoom, optical image stabilization and USB (Universal Serial Bus), HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and iLink interfaces. JVC said the USB is primarily for saving data, the HDMI for playback to a high-definition TV and the iLink for streaming. Conventional analog component, S-Video and composite outputs are also installed.

The GZ-HD7 will be available in April in the U.S. and cost around $1,800. Details of availability in other countries was not announced.


The industry group that promotes Wi-Fi technology standards for wireless Internet access is launching a simplified method for configuring the security settings between a wireless router, laptops and other devices, addressing a long-standing complaint that keeps many users from protecting their home networks.

The Wi-Fi Alliance was set to announce Monday that it has certified the first products featuring the new specification, which is called Wi-Fi Protected Setup.

By making the setup easier and reducing the number of steps, the industry group hopes to encourage more consumers to turn on the security features that already come standard with Wi-Fi equipment, but frequently go unused due to confusion and complexities.

A survey last year by JupiterResearch found that 40 percent of consumers had either not activated the security on their Wi-Fi networks or weren't sure if they had, with more than half of them saying they thought their Internet firewalls were sufficient and many others pointing to setup difficulties.

An unprotected network can be vulnerable to hackers or, at the very least, slowdowns in an Internet connection due to neighbors and passersby "borrowing" the wireless signal. The industry alliance views either scenario as a threat to the proliferation of the hugely popular Wi-Fi standard into devices beyond laptop computers, from cell phones and cameras to televisions and video game consoles.

The first generation of the new security specification supports two modes of establishing an authorized connection between a Wi-Fi router and a computer or other wireless device.

The first approach involves PINs, or personal identification numbers, that would come with each device, with a computer serving as the control center. When the PIN is entered on the computer, the device is allowed on the network.

As an alternative, manufacturers can install buttons on their hardware. To authorize a connection, the user would press the button on the router first, and then the button on the device.

While devices that consumers already own will be compatible with new products featuring Wi-Fi Protected Setup, the simplified security configuration will only be possible if both are set to the new specifications. Manufacturers of existing products may offer software upgrades to add the easier setup capability, the Wi-Fi Alliance said.

By mid-year, the alliance also plans to introduce security setups that use Near-Field Communication, an emerging technology where a short-range radio tag embedded in a small token or card could be touched to a device also containing a radio tag.

"Wi-Fi has quickly become one of the most pervasive wireless technologies, but consumers have told us they want it to be easier to set up and protect," Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the alliance, said in a statement. "Wi-Fi Protected Setup reduces by half the number of user steps required to set up a network."

The specifications were developed by members of the alliance, including Broadcom Corp. and Atheros Communications Inc., two leading producers of semiconductors used in Wi-Fi gear.



Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to watch live TV over a network constructed by Qualcomm Inc.

Verizon will launch its new service, dubbed V Cast Mobile TV, sometime in the first quarter, the company said Sunday at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Verizon said it would release details on pricing and availability closer to the launch of the service.

Verizon also announced an upgrade to its FIOS digital television service that will let users use their cell phone to program their home digital video recorders, change parental controls and perform other functions.

Many of the channels on the V Cast service will be live feeds from major broadcast partners, including NBC, CBS and Fox. Recorded full-length programs will also be offered, such as episodes of late-night talk shows.

Two handsets will be available at launch - one from Samsung and another from LG. More handsets and TV channels are expected to be added by year's end.

Verizon is the first wireless carrier use the network created by Qualcomm Inc. The MediaFLO system broadcasts signals to mobile phones over a different portion of the wireless spectrum than cellular calls and data services.

The phones have dedicated TV keys that launch the service. An antenna can be extended to strengthen the signal.

In a demonstration Sunday, the signals were strong and the picture quality sharp, without delays or hiccups caused by buffering data as often happens with video carried over current wireless networks.

The service comes with a program guide and customers can "channel surf" using the phone's keypad. The screens on the phones are about 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) diagonally.

The live programming will be available in U.S. East coast and West coast feeds. Local programming might be added later, said John Stratton, Verizon's vice president and chief marketing officer. Parental controls are included to block objectionable programs.

The same advertising that appears on the live feed will also appear on the V Cast service, the company said.

"We think that potentially the market is very large for this," Verizon president and chief operating officer Denny Strigl told The Associated Press. The market will grow over the next two years, he said.

"We think the advantage we have here is that we are first to market and it is something that will not degrade the existing network that we have."

Samsung Electronics Co. also said Sunday it was working on technology that will become available sometime in 2009, after U.S. broadcasters make the switch to digital TV signals.

The system, called Advanced-VSB, is designed to strengthen the digital signal sent from local broadcast stations so that mobile receivers can lock into it, even if moving at high speed, such as in a car or train, or in cities where buildings and other objects often interfere with the signal.

The system would allow a wide range of mobile TV applications, such as signals sent to a handheld device or a laptop computer, using the same broadcast signal sent to television sets.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Roy Blumenthal's 'Virtual Surf Report' rides the waves again with Jon Gericke on SAfm

Friday, 5 January 2007
If you've got the time, I've got the inclination!* World time clocks to keep you from second-guessing.

A bunch of tools to help you with your multinational time-management.

Firstly, there's the freeware/shareware application, Qlock. It sits on your desktop, and is hugely configurable. So you can see what time it is anywhere in the world. You can set alarms for any of those cities. And you can hide or show the clocks with a click of your mouse.

Next in the list is a site for people who don't have a need for a clock on their desktops 24/7. If you have an occasional need to check times, this is the place to go... This site also offers you a free widget to add to your blog... you can pop an analog or digital clock to your site.

And if you want to customise a countdown, and see the time displayed as days, hours, or seconds, head for As of this very second, I'll turn 50 years old in exactly... 382 363 170 seconds! Send me a birthday present. You've got time!

*Said the Leaning Tower of Piza to the Big Ben.


Thursday, 4 January 2007
The fine art of dusty car windows -- meet Scott Wade, dust artist extraordinaire

When I first came across the work of Scott Wade, I thought it was a prank. But a quick Google of his name yielded dozens of sites showing his work. He seems to be real!

He's an American artist who works in a particularly transitory medium... the dust on car windows.

He waits for dust to accumulate, and then hacks at it with paintbrushes and such to remove bits of dust to make masterpieces.


Wednesday, 3 January 2007
Toddler-friendly videos online that'll 'blow your baby's mind'

Jeremiah McNichols has a brilliant blog called 'Z Recommends'. Z is his two-and-a-half year old daughter. And the blog is about the stuff that she likes and loves in the world.

In this case, Jeremiah found animations by unusual or forgotten artists, and showed them to Z. And ranked them. Each artist gets a detailed description on the blog, and you can watch the videos yourself to make sure they're good for your kid.

Thanks to the editors of Drawn!, a blog 'devoted to illustration, art, cartooning and drawing'.


Tuesday, 2 January 2007
Track your progress and boost your success on 'Joe's Goals'

The second day of 2007, and you've probably got some New Year's resolutions that you're still committed to. Here's a free online tool to help you do the things you want to do. Joe's Goals is a website that let's you define your positive and negative goals, and then track your progress. When you do something towards a goal, you click on the goal. And the online software keeps count.

There's also a Joe's Logbook option, which is really a goal-tracking tool for a particular project.

For me, one of the best things about the site is that you can set it up to email you a reminder if you haven't updated your goals for a while. It really helps you to be mindful.


Monday, 1 January 2007
Resolved to get out of the rat race? Get some inspiration from 'Escape From Cubicle Nation'

Happy New Year! May it be filled with learning, loving, and laughing!

And if one of your resolutions is to remove yourself from a job you hate, and to get into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship, then Pamela Slim's 'Escape From Cubicle Nation' is the blog for you.

Crammed with resources, ideas, inspiration, and interviews with successful escapees, you'll certainly find it useful.

What's more, the comments threads form an amazing network of people all set on the same course. International networking for the new entrepreneur. An instant mentor network, if you like.


Friday, 29 December 2006
A free graphic novel online -- SHOOTING WAR -- my favourite read of 2006

Written by Anthony Lappé, drawn by Dan Goldman, SHOOTING WAR is a tangy, vicious, sexy, gritty, frighteningly-realistic depiction of a near future.

In this gripping graphic novel, the main character is a guy who, using the video camera on his phone, accidentally vid-blogs a bombing. He's then catapulted to fame by a tv network who gets hold of his footage. They make him an offer he can't refuse... to go to the Middle East and vid-blog the ongoing war there.

Beware... if you START reading this, you WILL spend several wonderful hours absorbed in the story!

Links: *Update: The original MP3 recording of the show was corrupted so badly that I was unable to open it. I did a search on the internet, and found a piece of freeware that completely solved the problem. It parsed through the corrupt file, removing the bad portions. What was left was about three-quarters of the material, so I just edited out the gaps, and worked it into a coherent podcast. The freeware is called JFileRecovery. Download it at:

Thursday, 28 December 2006
Two views of a superpower... the left-wing 'Huffington Post', and the (obviously) right-wing 'Right Wing News'

In the interests of transparency, I have to state up-front that I'm a leftie. So I'm biased in favour of leftie things. That said, I'm also very much a 'devil's advocate'. I'm MUCH more interested in a balanced, well-argued opinion than I am in a one-sided opinion. So... to today's Virtual Surf Report.

We're looking at two news sources covering politics in America.

I'm a fan of The Huffington Post, a left-wing journal that takes an in-depth look at many of the issues facing Americans today. I find their opinion pieces to be very cleanly written, well-researched, witty, and clever. When I finish reading one of their articles, I come away from it with the feeling that I'm not being fed some kind of propaganda angle.

I'm NOT a fan of Right Wing News, which is an online journal dedicated to 'Conservative News and Views'. I'm n ot a fan because I really just wish they would ARGUE their points sanely and rationally. I don't really get any sense of balance from their articles. I'm left with a feeling that I've been smacked over the head with a hunting rifle. They sneer at the left, instead of answering their concerns. However, it's deeply important to get acquainted with 'the other side'. Their fears are real. Their concerns are real. Just because they don't argue them well doesn't mean they should be dismissed.

Two fascinating reads. Enjoy being caught in the middle! And make up your own mind.

(And for some help in being able to make up your own mind, you might want to read an article from one of my favourite books on thought hygiene. The book is called STRAIGHT AND CROOKED THINKING by Robert H Thouless. It appears to be out of print, but the article on the web is the core of it. It's titled 'Thirty-eight Dishonest Tricks Which Are Commonly Used in Argument, With the Methods of Overcoming Them'. A must-read.)


Wednesday, 27 December 2006
The quirky humour (and marketing savvy) of GapingVoid

Hugh MacLeod's GapingVoid blog is one of those must-reads. His quirky business card cartoons are a treat, and you can insert a widget onto your website to feed them to your own viewers.

Read Hugh's blog if you want to:
  • Be more creative.
  • Become a better marketer.
  • Have wine and suits shoved down your throat via the eyeballs.
  • Laugh.
  • Groan.
  • Nod your head in agreement.
  • Change your mind.

Tuesday, 26 December 2006
Print a better present for yourself with Flickr and Creative Commons

Someone gave you a present you don't really WANT? Replace it with something that works for you!

Enter Flickr, the photo sharing site, in collaboration with Creative Commons. You can browse through around 26 million photos that are licensed under one of the Creative Commons variations that allows any user to download the photo, take it to their favourite photo printing outlet (where you would take your digital pics to be printed), and make an art print to adorn your walls (or even a t-shirt, if you're adventurous).


Monday, 25 December 2006
Change This

This is a site dedicated to challenging the way ideas are created and spread. In their words: 'We're on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds.'

On the site, you'll find free, downloadable manifestos on a whole host of topics. Here's their definition of a manifesto: 'It's an argument, a reasoned, rational call to action, supported by logic and facts.' My definition of their manifestos is this: 'Interesting, fascinating, entertaining, thought-provoking knowledge-snapshots.'

One of my favourite manifestos of the moment is The Power of the Marginal by Paul Graham. You'll find all sorts of useful topics too.


Every Christmas, Jon Gericke runs a midday special for two weeks, focussing on holiday fun. And I'm one of his regulars.

Every weekday for the two weeks from today, Monday 25 December through to Friday 5 January, the show runs from 12 noon till 1pm. The show is on SAfm, which can be found in South Africa on 104 to 107 fm, or on the web via streaming audio at Safm / Streaming Audio (hosted by Ant Farm).

I'll generally be on during the closing minutes of the show, cos Jon figures that we've had a long enough radio relationship (around 5 years or so, if my brain is estimating correctly) for him to cut me off fairly abruptly if he runs out of time. And he's right. I have no hassle with it. And anyway, I structure my chat with him in such a way that the important stuff is in the beginning, with embellishments coming in at the end. So I'm ready to shut my mouth at any time.

In this post, I'll give links every day to the sites I talk about.

I'll also be podcasting as many of my slots as I can... I recorded today's, but due to an 'operator error', only the first few seconds actually recorded. (Yes... I was the 'operator'. No idea what happened. It recorded five minutes of program BEFORE my bit. Then when I came on, it got jinxed. Blah.)

VIA Announces EPIA Mini-ITX Platform for x86 Consumer Electronics

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the VIA EPIA EX-Series Mini-ITX mainboards, the first of VIA’s compact platforms to feature the new VIA CX700M2 system media processor. Powered by the highly efficient 1.5GHz or fanless 1.0GHz VIA C7® processor, the VIA EPIA EX has an average operating power consumption of just 13.6 watts.

Specifically designed for the fast-growing x86-based consumer electronics market, the VIA EPIA EX mainboard features full consumer I/O, including ports for composite, component and S-Video, S/PDIF audio, and onboard connectors for LVDS and DVI displays, with USB2.0 and IEEE1394 peripheral connectivity, full featured SATA II RAID, and 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet for seamless broadband connectivity, with a Gigabit Ethernet option.

The VIA EPIA EX also boasts the VIA CX700M2 advanced system media processor, an all-in-one digital media IGP chipset integrating the VIA UniChrome™ Pro II 2D/3D graphics core and an extended array of high end video and audio technologies, including hardware decoding acceleration of MPEG-2/-4 and WMV9 video, a built-in HDTV encoder up to 1080i, 720p output, and VIA Vinyl Multi-channel HD audio for a richer listening experience.

“We see the consumer electronics market increasingly adopting the x86 platform for the extra performance and comprehensive compatibility with all popular media formats, and the fully integrated, off the shelf VIA EPIA EX fills this need perfectly,” said Daniel Wu, Assistant Vice President, VIA Platform Solutions Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. “Leveraging the power efficient VIA processors and the extensive feature set of the VIA CX700M2 media system processor, the VIA EPIA EX speaks directly to the demands of CE developers.”

Combining such a range of leading-edge features and the richly integrated VIA silicon platform onto an ultra compact mainboard reduces the need for add-in cards and compatibility testing, greatly reducing time to market and significantly lowering the total cost of development for SIs and OEMs.

The VIA EPIA EX mainboard will be on show at the Lunch@Piero’s press event from Jan 8-9 during CES 2007.

More details about the VIA EPIA EX-series Mini-ITX mainboard may be found on the VIA website, while information on the VIA CX700M system media processor can be found here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

5 Reasons Why the PS3 Isn’t Selling

Families want to play together.

All my friends have a 360.

Nobody cares about Blu-ray.

PS2 is too strong.

$600 for a DVD player?

Read the details behind the thinking here...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Next Generation Gaming Wars

So which gaming console will be the dominant one when the FIFA World Cup comes to South Africa? A website is asking for your opinion AND is showing which console is being sold the most. NextGen Wars is tracking, real-time, the sales of the Wii, the Xbox 360 and the PS3. So far, the XBox is way in the lead with sales but more than half of the votes for the winner are going to the Wii. Put up your vote and see the sales at NextGen Wars.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How the web made cleaning dirty

Ever thought of hiring a naked cleaner? At first glance, this isn't the kind of question that occurs to many people. But a recent survey of online commerce showed that some of the most successful internet adverts - in terms of responses - were ads for 'nude' or 'fantasy' cleaners.

There are now thousands of people offering these services across the developed world. Some people find these fantasy housemaids (or naked plumbers - these services are just as popular with women) so alluring they get hooked. A few weeks ago an English ex-magistrate, Michael Lee, admitted he had turned to crime: to fund hi £250,000 naked cleaning ladies habit. Of course, he found them online.

And this is the crux. The net is changing sex.

More from The First Post...

The new Skype is GREAT!

Let me start by saying that Skype aren't paying a cent for this review. I could only wish.
I have just downloaded the latest update for Skype 3.0 and it rocks. But why, I hear you ask, what makes it so good?

1st, I love the free calls to the whole world at local call prices. No matter what Telkom and the new people try and do, they will NEVER beat those prices. The calls are made with such ease that you simply push a button and it works. I have also just bought a new headset with built-in microphone, so making calls is even easier.
The newest feature that I LOVE is when Skype asked me to import all of my contacts from Outlook. Not only did it do that, but it checked to see if any of those contacts were already on the Skype database. Of the 200 odd people I have on my list, 50 were already on Skype, without me knowing. OK, most of them probably won't use Skype as much as I will, but it's good to know that I can call them for FREE when I have to.

I still have a couple of issues about Skype. Why can't I buy airtime in my local currency? If you can do business in South Africa, then let me pay in South African. Euros and Pounds and Dollars are very confusing. Either that, or work it out for me please.

You can find out more about Skype here or you can contact me on my Skype address.