Archive for May 21, 2008

The Asus e900 Crushes The HTC Advantage

May 21, 2008

I didn’t expect the weather to turn as bad as it did. I didn’t get much accomplished while walking the earth earlier today. Nor was it the pleasure I’d expected it to be when the sun was still out and shining.

But I did stop in J&R!

And they had the new Asus e900 — running Windows XP.

It. Is. Gorgeous!

The white plastic has a sleek pearlescent finish that gives it some class.

And that screen! It’s da bomb! Bright and sharp and evenly lit with vibrant colors.

Lengthwise, the e900 is the same size as the old EeePC. From front to back, it’s just about 1/4″ longer. Weight is a wee bit heavier (even without the battery), but not the brick the hp Mini Note is.

The keyboard is deceptive. It looks the same as the original EeePC, but I swear there is something drastically different about it.

I did notice the difference between the white and black keyboards that Laptop magazine posted about. But I didn’t post about that myself because I didn’t believe my own observations. I did notice the black plastic had a better feel and the keys didn’t tend to make me dizzy as they did on the white one — because the keys have a tendency to get all skewed, out of line.

The e900’s keyboard is a different beast. It has a better feel, it’s more solid, and I didn’t see the keys getting out of alignment. Plus, and this is weird, I didn’t have but about 2% of typos in the test sentence I just banged out on it in WordPad! Typically with the original EeePC, I’d have about 30% or more typos!

The larger trackpad is a significant improvement and was very responsive to my touch (I think some people have said they’ve experienced otherwise — I say get an RMA number!). The feel of the single-bar mouse button is better too and I had no problems clicking properly.

This baby is fast. It screams! It screams like my frikkin 1.8GHz desktop Celeron doesn’t scream. I launched that pig of program, Adobe Reader — and boom! Up virtually instantly! Everything had a crisp snap to it. It was XP as I’ve never before experienced it (which says a lot for the crappy hardware I’ve had!).

If all you’ve seen is the original EeePC with it’s 7″ screen, you need to see the e900 with its 8.9″ higher-resolution screen.

Unlike the original EeePC, the e900 does not scream Toy! It looks like a computer that can kick the ass of other subnotebooks that cost three to four times its price!

I’ve been thinking of the HTC Advantage. But no more. For less than the price of that pocketable device, I can have something that’s still lightweight with a hugely better screen and real desktop operating system and applications.

Matthew Miller, if you go see the new Asus e900 with XP, I think you might think differently about that Celio Redfly! J&R wants $550 for the e900. That’s just $50 more than the Redfly. For a hell of a lot more capability!

Now, if it turns out the MSI Wind somehow doesn’t work out for me, there’s the Asus e900. I’d definitely buy that and be content.

Put it away, Kendrick! The Asus e900 is its antidote!

I Must Walk The Earth

May 21, 2008

That’s what I feel like.

The miserable days of rain are gone.

The sunlight is out and it’s in the 70s (F).

I’ll go mad if I sit here behind this desk while that’s happening.

See? I don’t look too good, do I?

I’m escaping.

Might be back much later.

Then again, might not be.

Update: Bah! Since I composed this, the temperature has dropped into the 60s, the sun’s gone, and there’s a threat of thundershowers. I don’t care. I’m going anyway.

Nokia: We Already Have Your Money, So What?

May 21, 2008

Nokia: “If you want your N-Gage games on your new phone, you’ll have to buy them all over again.”

Nokia’s next gen N-Gage platform potentially ushers in a new age of high quality connected phone gaming. However, it now seems that there’s a rather large flaw at the heart of the platform: if you upgrade to a new phone, you cannot transfer any of your N-Gage games from the old phone. The only way to move your N-Gage library is to buy all your games again.

And people still think I’m out of my head for saying Nokia is in a death spiral and will be gone and forgotten in five years?

Previously here:

Will Nokia Finally Buy Palm?
The End Of Finland
My Personal Bitter Laugh Of The Day
Technovia Calls Reality To Testify
The Cure For Gadget Envy

YouTube Video Embed Options Test

May 21, 2008

WordPress doesn’t allow YouTube’s embed code to be used. They have some sort of trick where only the URL is used (which is pretty neat for those videos that actually disable embedding!).

YouTube has just put in some customization options for embedded videos.

But I can’t show them here on WordPress, so hop over to the Mike Cane 2008 on Blogger post.

(This is the one post with the same title that is actually different on each blog!)

Will Nokia Finally Buy Palm?

May 21, 2008

Nokia to manufacture Linux-based phones?

According to the Finnish business newspaper Kauppalehti, Nokia’s Chief Financial Officer said Nokia is considering manufacturing Linux-based mobile phones. The article quotes Rick Simonson, Nokia’s Chief Financial Officer, as saying “we are definitely moving in the direction (of Linux-based phones)” at a seminar in Boston run by JP Morgan Chase.

Look at it this way.

1) Nokia’s vaunted Internet Tablets have flopped (just compare its sales to that other Internet Tablet, the iPod Touch)

2) Their open-source Maemo OS becomes proprietary Maemo when they use it

3) That OS is not suited for cellphones

4) Palm has been working on a Linux-based OS

5) Palm has a worldwide brand name

6) Nokia needs something to stay out of the Dead Pool that the iPhone is pushing it towards

7) Palm needs better phone designs

Sure, there’s the Linux-based ACCESS, but who wants that?

Nokia has shown, with the failure of Maemo, that it can’t ignite developer desire.

Palm has shown, even with its misguided Foleo, that it can.

A match made in heaven? Or one in hell?

James Kendrick On Microsoft Windows Vista

May 21, 2008

I need Vista, I like OS X

The situation with Vista is quite a different matter because it is the operating system that is running most of the computers I use. It is running four computers in my office right now and I depend on it to get work done. I don’t blame Microsoft when I have hardware problems because they don’t make hardware and it would be silly to do so. But I do blame them quite fairly when the OS doesn’t do what I need it to do especially when I believe it is something that it should do properly My heavy usage of Vista-running PCs exposes me to a lot of situations when Vista drives me crazy. I’m not going to get into specifics here because that’s not the purpose of this article but it is a hard, cold fact that every single day something happens on one of my PCs that makes me angry at Vista. That’s a terrible thing to say about any product but it’s absolutely true. At least once a day I end up saying “I hate Vista” because I’m trying to do something and Vista gets in my way to get it done.

For Kendrick to write that, things must be FAIL bad.

This is a man who loves Microsoft products and has used them as long as I’ve known him. (Look at how he torments me with the HTC Advantage!)

I’ve followed the posts he’s made since he first started using Vista. They’ve documented a heightening frustration.

But still, I never expected what he wrote today!

For James Kendrick, that’s going nuclear!

If Microsoft doesn’t now understand that its future is in dire jeopardy and that Vista’s problems must be addressed right now, if they don’t see this as a slap in the face to wake them up, then we can count on that company to join Nokia in the Dead Pool within the next five years.

Microsoft can keep issuing Wunnerful, Wunnerful Vista press releases — but I’ll take James Kendrick’s word over theirs any day.

So should you.

CopyNazis Attack Redlasso

May 21, 2008

Party’s Over, Bloggers: CBS, NBC, Fox Threaten Free Clip Service Redlasso

Redlasso, a TV clip service favored by bloggers everywhere, is being threatened with legal action by three of the major media conglomerates: Fox (NWS), CBS (CBS) and NBC (GE). The three companies have sent the Web firm a cease-and-desist letter for recording television and distributing it without their permission, and are giving them until May 29 to stop or get hauled into court.

What’s Redlasso? It’s hard to imagine media and political blogs like Huffington Post, Perez Hilton or Hot Air without it. The company records live TV and allows users to search for clips, grab them and embed them on their own sites. It’s pretty sweet! It’s also a version of what Sling Media is trying to do — except Sling is going through the laborious process of getting the networks, producers and the countless other rights holders to give it permission.

What I find interesting is that talk radio uses audio clips from TV shows all the time.

Are they securing the rights to do that beforehand?

Or are the CopyNazis going after the Net because they can?

Previously here:

Reference: Video Clipping

The Daily YahooMail Still Sucks Post #3

May 21, 2008

Bloody hell! It took two minutes to sign in!

Now it’s taking that long just to get into my mailbox!

What the hell is wrong with them over there?!!?

Previously here:

The Daily YahooMail Still Sucks Post #2

The Daily YahooMail Still Sucks Post
I Accuse YahooMail Of Deliberate Delays
Is YahooMail EVER Going To Be Fixed?
YahooMail Is Still Screwed
YahooMail: Redefining Suck

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #106

May 21, 2008

Oil rises above $130 a barrel for first time

Oil prices rose above $130 a barrel for the first time Wednesday in Asia as supply concerns mounted and the dollar weakened.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery swept to a trading record of $130.47 a barrel in electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange after closing at $128.98 in the floor session. It later retreated to $130.36 a barrel, up $1.38.

The June contract, which expired Tuesday, settled overnight at $129.07 a barrel.

The dollar had become less of a factor as attention turned to supply and demand concerns, but that seems to have changed this week.

“We’ve seen an about-face turn on the dollar in the last couple of days,” said Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Bank in Melbourne. “It looked like it was starting to recover, but I think there’s a less certain outlook at the minute and … enough reason to be buying commodities as a currency hedge again.”

In Tokyo’s currency market, the dollar was trading at 103.25 yen, down from the 104-105 range last week. And the euro has started to climb again against the dollar, rising above $1.5750 in Asian trading.

Investors see hard commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation and a weak dollar and pour into the crude futures market when the greenback falls. A weak dollar also makes oil less expensive to buyers dealing in other currencies.

It was the 11th time in the last 13 sessions that crude prices have hit trading or closing records, if not both.

Emphasis added by me.

Any doubters left for $200/barrel oil in 2009?

Yes? Then maybe this convince you:

Shortage fears push oil futures near $140

Fears of a shortage within five years propelled long-term oil futures prices to almost $140 a barrel, further stoking inflationary pressures in the global economy.

The spot price of Nymex West Texas Intermediate hit a record $130.30 a barrel on Wednesday. On Tuesday investors had rushed to buy oil futures contracts as far forward as December 2016, pushing their prices as high as $139.50 a barrel, up more than $9.50 on the day.

Veteran traders said they had never seen such a jump and said investors were increasingly betting that oil production would soon peak because of geopolitical and geological constraints.

Neil McMahon, of Sanford Bernstein, said: “Peak oil views – regardless of whether right or wrong – are seeping into the market and supporting high prices.”

Anne-Louise Hittle, of Wood Mackenzie, added that investors were shifting their focus from the short-term to the medium-term, where supply fears played a bigger role. Since January, long-term futures oil contracts, such as those for delivery in 2016, have jumped almost 60 per cent, while near-term prices have gone up 35 per cent.

That trend was exacerbated by T. Boone Pickens, the influential investor who believes world oil production is about to peak as aging fields run dry. He warned that oil prices would hit $150 a barrel by the end of the year.

“Eighty-five million barrels of oil a day is all the world can produce, and the demand is 87m,” Mr Pickens told CNBC. “It’s just that simple.”

Emphasis added by me.

And none of you yet believe Depression 2.0 has begun?

Look at those dates again: 2015 and 2016.

Your future has already been poured. The concrete will soon begin to dry.

Gentlemen … Krypton is doomed!