News Nibbles: New Shuffle, Windows Mobile Store, Palm and Kindle

  • Apple announces a new iPod Shuffle today.  The new Shuffle is small and buttonless.  In a spectacular design coup, Steve Jobs dream of a truly buttonless device is made a reality.  The new Shuffle has no visible controls on the casing.  No, in the greatest design and social move of this century, Apple has placed the device controls ON THE EARBUD wire.  Yep.  So, now if you want decent sounding earbuds, you’ll have to pay the ‘Apple tax’ and buy a pair of earbuds that have said controls.  The new Shuffle sells for eighty bucks (US) and that decent pair of earbuds is another eighty bucks (US).  So…for one hundred and sixty dollars (US) you can pay forty dollars more than a Nano with real controls (or a Zune.)   Hey, it they did bump up the storage from one to four gigs. Oh, it also talks to you.  It will attempt to tell you the track information, assuming it is there.  You all BUY your songs from iTunes, right?
  • Microsoft announces the new Windows Mobile Store as well as details on how a developer can get into the action.  For $99 (US) you can join the club.  For $99 (US) you can submit your application to store.  If sold through the store, you can share 30% of the revenue with Microsoft.  This has a familiar ring…Microsoft does say that they will not erect those walls like THAT OTHER COMPANY.  Hmmm…I wonder who THAT could be?
  • Palm announced the PRE way back in January, creating tremendous buzz.  Palm was/is hoping that the PRE will save the company.  The PRE certainly looks slick.  I’m waiting for it to come out as I will be right there at the Sprint store to buy one.  The problem, though, is that everyone who thought about buying a Palm phone is also waiting…which means few Palm phones are selling and that is a problem for an already cash-strapped company.  After all, this same type of thing killed Osborne computers back in the eighties.  Palm had to sell more stock to raise funds just so they can introduce the new phone.  I certainly hope they live long enough to get the thing to market.
  • Olympus Imaging manager says the megapixel race is over and the consumer wins.  Well, he actually said that twelve megapixels is enough, saying the few actually print any of the photos they take and fewer will ever need higher resolution.  Really?  Well, thank you, Mr. Wannabe, er, Watanabe.  I’m so glad someone knows what I am going to do with my photos.  And, no, twelve is NOT going to be enough, thank you very much.  I didn’t realize Olympus STILL made cameras.  Who knew?
  • FINALLY! The Kindle has been hacked!  Well, not really.  Someone figured out that Kindle 2 can connect to the internet via YOUR computer’s connection, bypassing Whispernet (what Amazon calls the Sprint high speed data network.)  Yeah, now you can connect to your computer’s internet connection VIA USB.  So…this three hundred dollar (US) WIRELESS, PORTABLE device can be tethered to your computer to do something that is far better on said computer.  Count me in.
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