I tend to think of the Nokia Communicator (aka The Brick) as a somewhat retrograde device, popular to folk who haven’t quite caught up with the shape of things to come (aka The Smartphone). But Indonesians and Germans don’t agree (link to a podcast I did on the subject for the BBC), using the Communicator in such large numbers that Nokia tends to focus most of its promotional energies in those two countries. This may explain why a German company is about to launch a Communicator lookalike: the HandyPC.
Tony Smith of The Register reports that Berlin-based phone maker ROAD GmbH has announced the HandyPC, a clamshell device based on the Linux operating system and Trolltech’s Qtopia GUI. It’s a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE device with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board too. No date has been given for when the product will be sold, or how much it will cost.
Always looking for a new way to carry my USB key drive. Here’s another option (via Ubergizmo):
Designed by Berlin-based Tonia Welter, the cufflinks are a prototype, but with plans to build with a capacity of up to 1 GB. A bracelet is in the works, which looks not unlike Imation’s Flash Wristband’, and will be released by Koziol in the autumn. Koziol currently sells Neil USB Station, which, er, “positions a USB port on your desktop, putting an end to acrobatic antics underneath it. One end of the the cable is simply plugged into the computer. NEIL keeps the other end on his back as he waits patiently by the keyboard, ready for take-off!” No, I don’t know what it means either.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, how about a USB Memory Stick, fresh from the wood?
This has absolutely nothing to do with technology, except that surely there’s some technology to prevent this kind of outburst of law enforcement official mastication by members of the post-death personal care industry? From Reuters: Hearse driver arrested for biting policeman:
BERLIN (Reuters) – A drunken hearse driver has been arrested in the western German town of Krefeld after biting a police officer taking him in for an alcohol test, police said on Monday.
Police had called for a hearse at a funeral home to transport a body to the cemetery.
“The hearse driver nearly fell over when he got out of the car. Then he had to hold onto everything he could find as he stumbled to the house,” said police spokesman Dietmar Greger.
Police decided to take the man to the station to test his blood alcohol level, but when they tried to get him out of their car he started a fight and bit an officer several times in the hand.
The man was confined to a cell until he sobered up and has been charged with civil disorder and drunk driving.
Interesting story about how Linux seems to be catching up with Windows in its user friendliness, at least among Germans. According to an article from ComputerWorld’s IDG News Service, “study findings suggest that it’s almost as easy to perform most major office tasks using Linux as it is using Windows”. The study was conducted by Relevantive AG, a Berlin-based company that specializes in consulting businesses on the usability of software and Web services.
Linux users, for example, needed 44.5 minutes to perform a set of tasks, compared with 41.2 minutes required by the XP users. Furthermore, 80% of the Linux users believed that they needed only one week to become as competent with the new system as with their existing one, compared with 85% of the XP users. But when it comes to the design of the desktop interface and programs, Windows XP still has a strong edge: 83% of the Linux users said they liked the design of the desktop and the programs, compared with 100% of the Windows XP users.