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Bluetooth Tracking

Research from Purdue University shows that Bluetooth would be a very good way to track travel time. Bluetooth devices give off unique IDs which could be used to measure speed and movement of pedestrians and vehicles. But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be possible to track people via their Bluetooth signal, if you knew one of their device IDs? Anyway, here’s the abstract (thanks, Roland.) Travel time is one of the most intuitive and widely understood performance measures. However, it is also one of the most difficult performance measures to accurately estimate. Toll tag tracking has demonstrated the utility of tracking electronic fingerprints to estimateContinue readingBluetooth Tracking

Technology Makes You Fit, Not Smart

I’m trying to use technology as much as possible in my new environment (Singapore), and it’s not working well out that well for me. I have no useful Internet connection, my Nokia N95’s GPS locks in just in time for the journey to finish, and I’m eating off the tops of plastic containers. Otherwise everything is going well. I’ve just been trying Streetdirectory.com’s useful tool, for example, for arranging trips by public transport. I know I’m not in tiptop condition, but I was slightly unnerved by this step in the nine-step process of going from one part of the island to the other: You needContinue readingTechnology Makes You Fit, Not Smart

Getting Your Treo in Sync via USB

Here’s another one of those public service announcements for a very specific problem. Skip it if you haven’t had problems not being able to synchronize your Treo with a PC. In some cases an error message will appear “USB device not recognized” or somesuch. Here’s what worked for my Treo 650, after lots of messing about with more complicated solutions that didn’t (thanks to Palm for some of these, as well as some forums here and here): First off, try removing the USB cable and sticking it back in again. Try sticking the cable in a different port. Try a different cable. The cable that comesContinue readingGetting Your Treo in Sync via USB

The Treo Zombies

Faintly distracting, but ultimately unsatisfying, ad for the new Treo, where people walk across an intersection doing different things depending on what feature of the Treo the ad is pumping. I have a couple of questions: Why do none of these people ever look left and right before crossing the road? Why is there no traffic? Why if this is about the Treo, is only one of the characters sporting anything that could remotely be a headset? Why is no one talking on the phone? (Maybe they read this alarming report) Why have I wasted a good 10 minutes of my life watching this adContinue readingThe Treo Zombies

The Law of the Missing Remote

There must be a law that describes this, but I can’t find one. We have four air conditioners in our flat, and four remotes. Each remote used to sit snugly in one of those wall clasp things, and everything was hunky dory. No missing remotes, no mess. Until one of the remotes broke, so now we have three, to operate four units. So now, of course, the remotes have to be moved around to operate air conditioners in other rooms. So now we have no idea where the remotes are. We are now, one week into this crisis, down to one remote. I have no ideaContinue readingThe Law of the Missing Remote

An Idiot’s Guide To Prepaid GPRS

Further to my earlier post about GPRS traveling woes, I asked Syd Low of AlienCamel to offer his thoughts on the subject. He’s something of an old hand at the game. For the last two years I’ve gone “on the road” to the Alps. My journey goes through Asia, then Switzerland and finally Austria. In 2004 I had a Treo 600 and this year a Treo 650. I’ve used GPRS with prepaid SIM cards in five countries will almost perfect success to stay in touch with friends and colleagues using IM and Email. In Europe, I usually look for a mobile shop at the airport orContinue readingAn Idiot’s Guide To Prepaid GPRS

Play Your MP3s Underwater

I’m told that Korean MP3 manufacturer iRiver and waterproof audio specialist H20 will later this month launch what they’re calling the “First Personal MP3 Player for Action Sports. Enthusiasts can for the first time enhance their experience with music while participating in sports such as wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding and waterskiing.” I don’t have any pictures or URLs yet, but an early copy of the press release quotes Kristian Rauhala, CEO of H2O Audio as saying that “combining music with high-energy action watersports is a natural fit now all sports enthusiasts can enjoy iRiver music players just as cyclists and runners have for years.” The H2OContinue readingPlay Your MP3s Underwater

Bill’s Vision Of Our Home Future

Bill Gates gave his big speech at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) yesterday, and there’s been plenty of commentary on it. Here’s a view from WinNetMag’s by Paul Thurrott, that helps explain why the computer is more likely this year to make its way out of the den and into the living room. It all revolves around the Media Center PC, a PC running a new version of XP that works as a kind of hub for all your other entertainment devices. (Yes I know this doesn’t sound new, but it seems more likely to happen this than before, apparently): With a MediaContinue readingBill’s Vision Of Our Home Future

Eight Gigabytes Of Stuff On One DVD

In the next few weeks, expect to be able to buy DVD discs that can store up 16 hours of video or 8.5 GB of Data. Verbatim said yesterday they would this spring release “the industry’s first Double-Layer DVD+R (DVD+R DL) discs”, nearly doubling the storage capacity on DVD recordable discs (from 4.7GB to 8.5GB) on a single side. Verbatim says these discs will be compatible with existing DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives. That ’16 hours’ bit needs some clarifying: in fact, you could only store up to 4 hours of DVD-quality video — the 16 hours refers to VHS video quality. The wayContinue readingEight Gigabytes Of Stuff On One DVD

DVD Burners, Going Even Cheaper

Further to my column last week about how DVD burners may be worth investing in, Slashdotters are debating their rapidly falling prices — in some cases to below $100. The discussion is here; the original article reviewing sub-$100 burners is here. Having just spent more of my weekend than is healthy backing up my MP3 collection (20+ gigabytes) I have no doubt about their appeal for storing large quantities of data. That collection went onto six DVD discs. If I’d done the same thing to CD-ROM it would have taken, er, a lot more.

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