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Archive for November, 2004

Telephone game

November 30th, 2004, 3:47pm by Derrick

So Emily just got a new cell phone plan with ATT WS (now Cingular) so that she could switch over to GSM (and make full use of her T3 Bluetooth capabilities) and she got an INCREDIBLE deal in the process. Here’s how it happened…

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Packed Like Lemmings Into Shiny Metal Boxes

November 30th, 2004, 2:50pm by Mike

So Jake, Kelvin, and I have been having a disjointed conversation on IM — of course, it’s about our 4th member, Derrick — and the traffic woes he’s about to get himself into. Basically, we want to do something like this, but better. What good is that crappy thing that just gets publicly-available information and tells you (on a crappy looking device, no less) where the traffic is? Especially when you already have a GPS navigation system in the car that knows where you are in relation to the traffic, and where you’re going. Wouldn’t the perfect device do the following:
— Get the traffic info
— Figure out whether any of it impacts your current route
— Reroute you if necessary
All of this seems easily within reach for some enterprising people to put the parts together. The info is there, at sites like SigAlert and Caltrans. The GPS system already dynamically calculates your route, and already has the capability of rerouting given new information (like that you missed your turn). The to-do list, then is:
— get the data into the right format
— transmit the data to cars
— receive the data and get it to the GPS unit
— let the GPS do its magic — figure out whether you’re going to be on those roads, and when (given current position, speed, and expected route), and if necessary, re-route you.
Seems easy, no? What would it take to do this? Is it already out there? It’s so obvious that it must be out there. Then again, I thought a GPS system for golf players was obvious long before it was available to buy.

Number 9: WiFi etc.

November 28th, 2004, 9:55pm by Jake

Sorry for the delay in my post– I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for it! Actually, it was a planned delay, as I was just observing Thanksgiving. This post provides just a taste of all the WiFi & networking related posts we’ve made over the year’s. There could be a whole ‘nother category for free WiFi sightings or new products, but I’ve concentrated on new devices we got or got to work.

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My Latest iPod Accesory

November 26th, 2004, 3:02pm by Jake

Or, How I Doubled the Value of my Car with One Easy Purchase.
I’ve gotten sick & tired enough of staticcy FM transmitters and poor-sounding cassette adapters that I decided it was time for an upgrade. Add in the fact that my car stereo sucks (the LCD backlight is busted & the volume control flakiness is well known), and it becomes an easier decision. Since it appears that the Dension Ice-Link+ will not work with my stereo (factory or after-market) and I have no use for a BMW-only solution (since I don’t have a BMW), my best option is the Alpine iPod interface. Which comes highly recommended. So I decided to buy it along with a compatible Alpine CD player. Since Crutchfield has free shipping, includes installation kits at no charge (saving $20-30), doesn’t charge sales tax, gives me a $30 discount for buying the pair together, and has a $20 discount when being referred by a “friend”, I got the whole thing for $280 shipped! Pretty good deal, since that stereo alone retails for $230 + tax & installation. It shipped today, so it’ll be a good project for me & Derrick to work on next Friday. Oh, if anyone is going to buy any car stereo stuff, Crutchfield is highly recommended. If you spend more than $200, make sure you enter my referral code, pkaad-ys0f0-wrdq3 , to save $20 (which gives me a $20 credit as well). I’ll post again once I get it installed.

Eight TiVo Hacks

November 24th, 2004, 11:57pm by Jake

So many TiVo entries, I hardly know where to begin. For now, I’ll limit it to TiVo hacking. I think 3 of us have upgraded the hard drive and 2 of us have added networking. Since I only have 17 minutes to midnight & this is the 8th ALB post, I’ll just go with the 8 most interesting. I’ll leave out Kelvin’s recent posts about streaming/ syncing TiVo since that’s covered in ALB #7. As far as new TiVo features, competitors, and reviews… that’ll have to wait until next year when I’ll have enough material for my 100 favorite TiVo posts.

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7: Wonders of Pyslent

November 24th, 2004, 11:27pm by Jake

Well, I missed my last installment, but I’m back on track tonight. As long-time readers of The Board know, while most of posts are a paragraph or less, occasionally one of us writes what I’ll call an epic post. These are longer stories, reviews or general thoughts– and mercifully, they don’t include the previous 6 entries in the A Look Back series. Here are some of my favorites, what were yours?

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New U2 Album

November 23rd, 2004, 8:50pm by Kelvin

I did the right thing and bought the u2 CD that came out today. It was $9.99 at Best Buy… I redeemed some of the Best Buy Bucks I’d accummulated from McDonalds. In doing so, I was able to figure out the reasoning behind the way the u2 iPod is colored.
U2pod.jpg
Picture527_23Nov04.jpg

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A New Idea: TiVoPod?

November 23rd, 2004, 9:02am by Kelvin

I was just thinking last night that one gadget missing in our lives is a TiVoPod. As the name suggests, it would be a hard-drive based digital video player that mirrors your TiVo content with a single button press. Follow the link for my stream-of-thoughts.

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Tech Toys for Family

November 22nd, 2004, 6:16pm by Jake

As Mike pointed out yesterday, most of us have turned into key tech support resources for the rest of our families; whether it’s helping Mike’s dad pick out a cell phone and choosing the best MP3 player for Steph, the rest have been there to help. So what tech toys are your relatives planning to buy this year, and have you found any good deals?
Right now, Aaron needs a new computer, nothing fancy, but he wants Windows XP Pro with a DVD burner, Firewire, and enough RAM and HD space. Part of the reason for that is they’re probably gonna buy a DV camcorder– any recommendations on sub $400 selections? And after listening to his skipping CD player (from college!), I decided to buy them a new stereo for Hannukah. They’re simple folk, and don’t necessarily want a 5.1 system; on the other hand, with DVD 5.1 Home-Theatre-in-a-box available for less than $200, why not? My big question is how will these systems work if they don’t hook up the rear speakers.

PalmOne Opens Treo Store

November 22nd, 2004, 1:23pm by Jake

Just saw on engadget that PalmOne is opening their first Treo store at the Valley Fair Mall in San Jose. Has anyone visited it yet? I was actually at 2 PalmOne stores yesterday, it terminals B and T of the Atlanta airport. No Treo 650 on display yet, I did poke around with the T5 a little bit, and it has a nice feel, whatever that means. I guess it’s well-balanced. The T3s were listed at $299, by the way. The PalmOne store sold all the Palms, naturally, plus accesories for other gagdets like headphones, iPod cases, iPod voice recorder, and iPod mini cases. I was a little surprised, since I thought these stores were supposed to be showcases for Palm, but since there’s a great overlap between Palm & iPod users (and cell phones and other gadgets), they must have decided they could actually make money at the store selling these other products. Update follows
Faithful viewer Kelvin Li sent in pictures from his visit to the new Treo store, one taken with the Treo 600 and the other with the Treo 650.

Treo 600

Treo 650


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