It doesn't have a screen nor does it use a fancy operating system that syncs with your computer, but for $50 the Sandisk Photo Album will let you view photos and watch videos on your TV. It's a multi-card reader with audio/video-out ports that can be connected to a TV. Aside from displaying JPEG files, it can play MP3, Motion JPEG and MPEG-1 files. It can read CF cards (type I and II), SD/MMC cards, Memory Stick cards, and Smart Media/xD cards. What’s really interesting is that it has a USB port where you can plug in a flash drive and view photos or watch videos off it. Although nothing’s been said about it, imagine the possibilities if you could attach an external hard drive containing your favorite movies through that USB interface. The Sandisk Photo Album should be available in time for the Christmas season.
September 2004 Archives
I've never seen a Java game this good. I've always been a fan of the Might and Magic series, having played the party-based installments since the late 90's and then moving on to the turn-based Heroes of Might and Magic. Now behold ... Gameloft's Might and Magic for your mobile phone! This 181kb J2Me application will work with some Series 40 all Series 60 Nokia phones, SE K700 / T6xx and Samsung V series. If you do decide to download this game and install it on other J2ME enabled phones, do inform us if it works. This is the best looking java app I've ever seen! Check out Gamespot's review of this wonderful game. It received a 9/10 superb rating and an Editor's Choice Award for graphics and gameplay. You can preview Might and Magic from the Gameloft website. It costs a measely $3.00. A Happy Meal costs a lot more.
Wireless Internet Service Provider Airborne Access has made available its Wireless Pathfinder application which enables the budding road warrior to get up to date with the wireless hotspot information in his general vicinity. Path Finder 1.0 is a downloadable 10MB file from the Airborne Access website. "It lists the establishment name, its location, and the type of work area you will be working in (Internet cafe, restaurant) so you can gear up accordingly. Now you have one less reason to spend an additional 1,000-2,000 pesos per night just to get in-room Internet access when away from your office. So if you’re happy with your Baguio hostel, just scout for the nearest hotspot in the area." Full article here. Useful? You tell us!
September’s m|ph is Out! The September issue of m|ph is now out at your friendly magazine stands! This issue centers on the aspects of digital photography, with features on professionals who use digital cameras, the thinning line between digital SLRs and digital prosumer cameras, and setting up your own digital photo workstation. You’ll also get a feel of one of the most incredible digital cameras in the market, the Canon Mark II. But wait, there’s more! There’s a primer on batteries for mobile devices, setting up your wireless email, and a discussion of Nokia’s Series 40 phones. And of course there are the device reviews! Get to know the Archos AV400 personal digital video recorder, as well as the Sony Ericsson K700, the Samsung SGH-E600, and the Motorola E398 cell phones. There’s also the Aiptek PocketDV 3500 all-in-one device, the Samsung SCD250 digital videocam, and the TwinMOS Go2Music P11 MP3 player. And since this issue is dedicated to digital photography, we review digital cameras as well! Learn about the Canon EOS 300D, the Sony Cybershot DSC-P150, the Samsung V5, the Nikon D70 and the Canon Powershot Pro 1. Lastly, if you love taking pictures using your digital device, do join our Mobile Snaps Contest! Every issue for the next few months, m|ph in partnership with GBX shall be choosing the best set of shots as submitted by our readers. If we choose your shots, you get to win a pair of GBX shoes! So even if you don’t love taking pictures but own a device that has a digital camera on it, then this is a pretty good excuse to start getting snap-happy! The September issue of m|ph is simply packed! Get your copy now!
I bought myself an early Christmas gift today. I was on the lookout for the perfect budget vis a vis performance camera, which was relatively "new" in the market. Say hello to the Olympus C-310 Zoom (D-540 Zoom in other countries) After a few days of research on the net as well as window shopping in Abenson's, Electroworld, and other digicam stores in Makati, I finally shelled out P11,4xx.00 for this darling. I was on the lookout for a sub P13,000.00 camera that had at least 3 MP on it and optical zoom. Glad was I to find this wonder from Olympus. I've been reading superb reviews from websites about this cheap little shooter. What I like about it: - 3.2 megapixels so I can print on A4 - 3x optical zoom is just for "pogi points" - lightweight and sturdy - 2 cm of super macro mode (this is what convinced me to get it since I love macro shots) What I don't like about it but bought it anyway: - weak battery life (so I bought myself some rechargeables from Sony) - does not come with a AC Adapter - xD picture card format is understandable since it's proprietary for Fuji and Olympus Bottomline: 4.5 out of 5 stars accourding to PhotographyBLOG I would really recommend this camera for those who want to be semi-serious with point and shoot photography but at the same time have a very limited budget. It's features actually outweigh the cost at the sub P12,000.00 consumer camera bracket. I am content! Now I can go on being a cam whore! n.b. For a limited time, Abenson's (Electroworld) is offering a 12 month 0% interest plan for this camera for only P950.00 a month.
This statement was according to Jun Lozada, a former Alcatel telco executive who is also the founder of a local group called "OGSM." Now where I work, OGSM stands for that time in the year when we deliberate our company objectives, goals, strategies and measures ... but for Lozada, his brazened group stands for "Organisasyon na Galit sa Magnanakaw." It's more straightforward in English: "Organization of People who Hate Thieves." Eh? Though we would agree on how broad the scope of his group is, (I hate thieves too!) his group specifically targets victims of cell phone snatchings., particularly by giving them a rostrum to air out their bitterness. In the long run, Lozada hopes that 100% of cell phone snatching cases are reported. Lozada said it was likely that the number of mobile phone theft cases in the country were much higher than official figures as many cases went unreported. "Which is why we want them [victims of mobile phone theft] to report these cases. Without these reports, we will never have objective data," he added. Having objective data on snatching incidents will thus prove the gravity of the situation, pressuring the NTC to block stolen cellphones through the unique IMEI code engraved on each phone. Click here for the full article.
Its really tough to figure out what Sony's up to. Not long after they announce that they are drastically scaling down their PDA business by pulling out of the US and European markets, they drop a mini bombshell on the PDA community by being the first PDA-maker out of the gate with an OLED screen. Their new model is the PEG-VZ90, which has a landscape oriented, 480 by 320-pixel, 65k color OLED screen. These new screens are typically lighter and thinner, and use much less power to produce much brighter colors than traditional LCD screens (although the new model doesn't seem to have benefitted from it size-wise, since it's nearly an inch thick). The VZ90's specs are pretty close to those of the UX50, including the same 'handheld engine' with a 123-Mhz processor, but it adds a Compact Flash slot which can take an ordinary CF memory card. Of course, this new model is for the Japanese market only (and it's damn expensive, costing more than $800), but here's hoping that such screens soon find their way into other PDAs from other manufacturers.
Ive been living with a GPS receiver since 1999. Its a Magellan GPS 300, which is a pretty basic unit as far as global positioning is concerned. It can tell you your coordinates (give or take a hundred meters or so), your altitude (give or take a hundred feet or so) and your direction (at least when youre on the move). No, it doesnt do temperatures. I had long harbored fantasies about living a completely free, untethered lifestyle, driving my 4x4 off into the uncharted wilderness on impulse and getting lost for the sake of getting lost, uncovering exotic civilizations and pitching tents in the middle of nowhere, eating from tins and sleeping under the stars. Armed with a winch and a GPS unit, I was supposed to be able to get back to civilization no matter where I end up getting lost in. That was five years ago, and I still havent gotten myself lost in any exotic wilderness. Heck, the closest I have come to uncovering exotic cultures is my mingling with carefree weed-smokers in Sagada. In other words, my GPS has not really seen any serious action at all, as my travels have basically been mostly along traditional tourist routes. The rest of the time, I am immersed in front of the TV set. A Device for Useless Information So whats the point of having a GPS unit then for a serious couch potato like me? Ill tell you what its good for: its a pretty good source of useless information. For instance, I am happy to know that Megamall is about 5.1 km. from my place, while Clark is 77.1 km. away. The mouth of Baguio is 202 km. away while Subic is 83.9 km. off. Sagada is far out at 273 km., but Dubai is farther at 6,903 km. Mind you, all of these are in straight lines, which is why youll wonder why the receiver says that Morong, Bataan is just 81.3 km. away and yet it takes you forever to get there. In the United States, GPS services have become an industry of sorts. Mate the receiver with an electronic map and you get a Dick Tracyesque device that tells you exactly where you are on a road grid as displayed on an LCD screen. It can even recommend a good restaurant or two in the area to boot. But here in the Philippines, the market for such graphical telematics services would be a pretty small one. After all, few people even bother to use maps The Way of the Waypoints Seriously, a GPS receiver is good for finding your way back home. If you, like me, are bad with directions, you can mark down waypoints every time you hit an intersection. This is the digital equivalent of dropping pebbles onto the ground. Need to get back home from some uncharted place? Just follow the pebbles home. Once the waypoints have been set, then you can easily go back and forth in the future. And if someone has already marked and published the waypoints for places of interest, then you already have the foundations for an electronic tourist map. Which is precisely what WaypointsDotPH has managed to do. This very useful site serves as a repository of waypoints as collected by helpful souls, featuring routes such as Manila to Hundred Islands,
The Hong Kong Palm User Group has posted a photo (more like a CG rendition) and specifications of a new Palm OS smartphone under development by Chinese company Group Sense Limited. The GSL Xplorer M28 is supposed to run Palm OS 5.4 on an ARM OMAP processor, have 32MB of RAM, and a 176 x 220 pixel color screen. There isn't much to go by except for this single post, but it should be an interesting model that falls somewhere between the Treo 600/650 and the company's G88 Palm OS 4 smartphone. As with the G88, it features a front face that slides up to reveal a numeric keypad.
I found this Engadget post about PC Magazine's review of Canon's $50 PIXMA iP 1500 photo printer. Although not the fastest nor the best inkjet photo printer available, PC Magazine gave it 4.5 stars (out of 5) for offering an "astounding" combination of speed, quality, and price. Not bad for a printer that costs less than P3,000 (assuming that the $-to-Php rate doesn't get any worse). The local Canon site says that these printers are coming soon, and those who print photos only occasionally can look forward to saving themselves a trip to their neighborhood photo developing store.
Don't get me wrong -- I like the idea of a device that lets you carry a library of videos with you that you can watch whenever the fancy strikes you. It's just that Microsoft's PR hacks and every other analyst have hailed last week's launch of the first Portable Media Center device as the coming of the 'video iPod.' Which it definitely is not. And never will be. Setting the philosophical and legal considerations aside for the moment, the PMC will never take off as the iPod has for the following practical reasons: - You might enjoy listening to a song -- or even an entire playlist -- several times a day but you won't be watching the same movie more than once a day. Maybe not even once a month. - You can listen to music while working out at the gym, walking around campus, driving your car... but you obviously won't be able to watch a video while doing the same things. - You could load your favorite movies onto a PMC for later watching. Oh, wait, ripping your own DVDs so that you can load them onto the PMC means breaking the DVD's encryption, a no-no according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. - You could load recorded TV shows onto a PMC for later viewing. But first you have to buy a Windows Media Center PC (about $2,000 for a set-up with a really nice and big LCD screen), or rig up a TV tuner card to your PC and get software to make it work like a personal video recorder. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Bottomline: this is a product that will send the hearts of certified geeks aflutter but will not strike fear in Steve Jobs' heart. At least not anytime soon.