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Showing posts from June, 2009

Facebook Going Public With Your Messages

This article from ReadWriteWeb highlights the dangers of Facebook's forthcoming changes to message availability. Potentially a minefield of mistakenly shared information, this looks like a very bad move for the majority of Facebook's twenty gazillion users, whilst also looking like a licence to print money to Facebook itself. Can you imagine the demographic data on offer here?

Touch Pro 2 First Thoughts

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You'd think that HTC would have this smartphone gig down to a 't' by now wouldn't you? After all they've been churning the things out under their own and other brands at a furious rate for years now.

The current leader of its line, the Touch Pro 2 manages to blend some brilliant touches with some rather poor design decisions. Even so its a very impressive device - the big screen and brilliant keyboard make an immediate impact, whilst Touch Flo 3D makes Windows Mobile very accessible for consumers.

Of course the main reason I have it is to compare it to its semi-stablemate the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1, which is a similarly strange kettle of fish. The X1 has a couple of immediate advantages, the 3.5mm headphone jack and a hardware shutter release. The latter is a particular benefit as it means you can pre-focus on the subject and catch the image you want, rather than hit the soft release of the TP2 and end up with an empty frame by the time the focus and shutter have f…

Smartphones Aren't Cool

I've seen a few sites recently claiming that their particular choice of smartphone is cooler than anybody elses. Sorry guys but you are wrong, so very wrong.

Let's be honest the only smartphone with any sort of 'cool' attached is the iPhone and that's because its an Apple product and is seen as a top spec iPod merged with a phone. I've yet to meet a single iPhone user who uses any smartphone features beyond email.

Anybody else who believes their smartphone gives them any semblance of cool is seriously delusional.

Blackberry users: those admiring looks you're getting, its people pitying you for being so sad that you're wedded to your work. Symbian users you're even pitied by other Nokia users who just use a phone for calls and laughed at by other smartphone users; and Windows Mobile users don't even think other Windows Mobile users are cool. Palm users? We'll see when the Pre arrives, otherwise the Treo is just a Blackberry to the disinterested…

Thriller - Best Selling Album Of All Time

Michael Jackson's death has brought his music back to the fore, I can't claim to be a big fan but it was part of the soundtrack of my teenage years and its good to hear some of those songs again. Of particular note and possibly Jackson's most notable legacy is the Thriller album - the biggest selling album ever (and likely to remain so given the changes in music buying habits); seven hit singles and this, the Thriller video, which changed the face of music video and music video television for ever. This is the full fourteen minute version (in reasonable quality) that probably sent shivers down your spine when it had its exclusive airing on Channel 4 all those years ago.


Sprint/Palm Go After iPhone Owners

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Here's an ad currently running for Sprint in the US, targetting those original iPhone owners who didn't upgrade to a 3G and are currently coming to the end of their two year contracts.

Its an interesting strategy because those users who didn't upgrade will now be looking at the mightily expensive 3GS or the now out-dated 3G. Against those choices the Pre looks a bargain (as the ad points out) and also pretty competitive feature-wise.

Some of the digs at the iPhone aren't strictly correct (the iPhone can multi-task, but only a subset of Apple's own applications) but on the whole its a well-directed campaign - almost a mobile version of Microsoft's 'you find it you keep it' laptop hunter adverts.

Be interesting to see how Pre sales look by the end of July when the buyers Sprint are targetting start to replace their iPhones...

Jackson Death Impacts On The Web

The internet may have been designed to withstand a nuclear attack but in the early hours of this morning as Americans went searching for news on Michael Jackson's death the internet suffered massive slowdowns and in some cases failures.

First casualty was the TMZ site, which failed under the weight of people chasing information from the site which first broke the news. Next to go was Twitter which failed as unheard of numbers of tweets pushed Jackson into all 10 of the trending topic positions. Google saw 'volcanic' activity with searches for Jackson, especially news searches, outstripping all other search activity combined by several magnitudes. The BBC reported that its news site saw an 87% increase in traffic in the period after his death.

A positive for Amazon was that very soon after the news broke Jackson's albums became hot items, with the first 15 chart positions occupied by his various albums.

In the meantime AEG - the promoter of the 50 date UK tour which is jus…

F1: Moseley Threatens To Go Back On His Word

It seems the future of F1 isn't secured yet, with Max Moseley threatening to go back on his decision to leave F1 and not seek re-election to his post at the FIA in October.

Turns out Max didn't like the loss of face which accompanied his backdown and was miffed by a FOTA releasing what appear to be a number gloatful statements. Claiming that he now considers his options open, Moseley made thinly-veiled threats of re-assuming control of the sport over the summer, with potentially calamitous consequences.

Which is, of course, the exact sort of behaviour which prompted the teams to rebel against him in the first place.

Its time to go Max and its far to late to worry about losing face.

Touch Pro 2 In The House

I think I'm drowning in smartphones... the latest arrival is the HTC Touch Pro 2, which I'll start using over the weekend. It'll be interesting to compare it to the Xperia, given their shared provenance.

Football: Samp's Finest Hour Retold By The Guardian

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Well its more than an hour, but for Sampdoria this was THE season, as retold by the brilliant Rob Smythe in the Guardian. Classy football, played with a verve and style that, even for an incredibly impressive Serie A, was beyond their opponents. I particularly remember Mikhailichenko's debut in a friendly against his native Russia, in which he played for both sides and scored from fully forty yards with a strike that would have killed the Russian keeper if he'd got in the way.

That the team never won the European Cup the following year was a travesty, Vialli's uncharecteristic profligacy in front of goal allowing Barcelona to steal the trophy in extra-time at Wembley.

Xperia X1 Review

Sony-Ericsson launched its first Windows Mobile handset late last year, killing development on its previous smartphone platform, UIQ, at the same time. Having been an early entry to the smartphone arena (with the P800) SE failed to deliver a compelling UIQ device despite turning out some interesting hardware. SE were able to concieve some remarkable designs but without fail managed to deliver a substandard experience. With the switch to Windows Mobile its a chance to see whether the company was held back by the OS or was incapable of delivering a true smartphone.

I'm not going to go through a full review here - there are plenty of excellent examples out there, so I'll pick up on the things that stand out from this device.

Taking the Xperia out of the box is an experience in itself, the phone is smaller and lighter than reviews and pictures would have you believe. Its also a beautiful thing to hold and look at, putting me in mind of a classic Swiss watch, elegant yet functional…

WebOS Downloads Hit One Million

Palm's Pre may only be available from one carrier in one country but that hasn't stopped WebOS becoming a serious hitter in the application download leagues - one million in the first three weeks since launch - an estimated six apps per user.

Now many people have been comparing this to Apple's multi-billion numbers in the iTunes App Store and calling it a fail. That's a whole different game isn't it?

Well I'm not so sure, remember that by the time the App Store launched the original iPhone had been on sale for a year so there were significantly more users already out there. I wouldn't be surprised if the per user downloads were around the same levels when the iTunes App Store launched last year.

The tough task ahead for Palm is to persuade more developers to support the platform and keep the device sales rising - a launch in Europe is key now - the two are so fundamentally linked that failure to achieve either would jeopardise all of Palm's good work in…

F1: Peace Breaks Out, Moseley Goes

Well that was the shortest, most decisive battle in F1 history. The FIA have pretty much acquiesced to all the demands of the breakaway FOTA group and saved the sport in the process.

Ultimately the writing was on the wall for Max Moseley when little mate Bernie cut him loose on Sunday (something of a coup for Martin Brundle there I think) and so it has transpired. Max has been relieved of all F1 related duties and will not seek re-election next year. The budget cap has gone and with it (hopefully) will come a new Concorde agreement to stabilise the governence of the sport.

Max was putting a positive spin on it when the decision was announced but its a complete victory for the teams and feels like a positve move for the sport.

I'll miss the prospect of a breakaway series visiting the tracks that Bernie's abandoned though...

F1: Broadcasters Sound Warnings Over Loss Of Teams

And so it goes on, Max and Bernie's battle with the teams has brought the question of TV rights to the fore. In particular the broadcasters reasonable claims that a F1 without FOTA, with a single engine supplier and a bunch of teams that no-one has heard of doesn't relate to the expensive contracts they signed.

So far the BBC, Sky Italia, RAI and Germany's RTL and Premiere networks have all fired shots across the FIA's bows.

Time for a very high-profile climbdown before the FIA are thrown into serious turmoil and the prospect of years of expensive litigation face the teams and their owners.

Max, its time to do the right thing - fall on your sword for the good of everybody in F1.

F1: The Case For Change

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The wires have been going crazy with stories of the split in F1, reaction has been fairly evenly split with those who have known and loved the sport for many years keen for FOTA to end the tyranny of the Max and Bernie show, whilst those with a shallower understanding of the sport confused as to why the teams object to the budget cap.

There are two real bones of contention here, one financial the other regulatory. Looking at the latter first, in previous years F1 was regulated by the Concorde Agreement, which very effectiely determined what could be changed about the sport and what couldn't. Primarily it required the agreement of all the teams for major rule changes. That agreement lapsed a couple of years ago and no replacement was ever agreed, which has meant that the FIA have been able to chop and change rules at their whim. For businesses making long term financial commitments to the sport that kind of governence is rightly unacceptable.

One of the results of this freedom to ch…

F1: Prince Albert Sides With FOTA, No Monaco Race Without Ferrari

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Well that's about the end of the road for the FIA I think. Prince Albert has effectively said that the Monaco Grand Prix will be run for the championship which has Ferrari - and as there is no contractual agreement forcing Monaco to run their race with the FIA the FOTA Championship now has all the aces, the big teams, the big name drivers and now the biggest race of all. If FOTA can secure a race at Indianapolis - and given the team's desire to race in the US that's probable - then the FIA might as well shut up the F1 shop.

Here's hoping that the resolve of the FOTA alliance is strong enough to finally break the stranglehold of the Max and Bernie show and they go on to build a championship for the much neglected fans to enjoy.

F1: FOTA Teams Split, Sport In Disarray

Not a huge surprise really, given the stance of the FIA and the strength of feeling amongst the teams, but the launch of a competing series by FOTA will really test the resolve of sponsors and the WMSC alike.

So where do we go from here?

If the teams setup their own championship they'll need to agree governence and management of the sport before the end of the year. Should be a process eased by the adoption of the current regulations for 2010. They'll need to arrange a calendar and for that will need to get circuits to support the championship, something they'll face the wrath of Mosley for doing. Given the teams involved I'd imagine that sponsorship and funding won't be a big issue...

Alternatively pressure could be brought to bear, by the World Motor Sports Council, sponsors, TV companies, etc. to force the teams and the FIA back to the negotiating table. Whether that will ultimately produce a resolution or not remains to be seen.

Lastly, and least likely, the FIA co…

Night Jack - Censorship By Any Other Name

A high court ruling which allowed the unmasking of award-winning police blogger Night Jack has led to the officer involved being disciplined and the blog removed from the internet. It has effectively removed the internet voice from serving police officers.

The reasons given for the decision are weak at best - removing anonymity allowed readers to better judge the blogger's level of 'authority' - especially knowing that the effect of the publication could have serious implications for the author. The net result is a gagging order banning police officers from expressing social or political opinions on the internet, exactly the sort of thing that we criticise countries like China and Iran for.

Unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable.

Samsung Delivers Avalanche Of New Phones

As expected Samsung delivered a feast of new gadgets at CommunicAsia, including a 12 megapixel camera phone, the first 8 megapixel Windows Mobile phone, a feature with smartphone-rivalling functionality and a new non-touchscreen Windows Mobile Standard phone.

Most interesting (to me anyway) is the new Omnia II which packs that aforementioned 8 megapixel camera as well as an OLED WVGA screen and up to 48GB of storage (16GB of that onboard). It looks every inch as competitive as the Omnia did at launch and if the camera experience is as good as the original this might the smartphone that kills off your digital compact camera.

The Omnia Pro features a Touch Pro style sliding keyboard whilst the Omnia Lite looks like a cutdown (read bargain priced?) version of the original Omnia.

Exciting times for Windows Mobile fans...

Its Nearly 3 Day

Yep, its just a few short hours until iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to download and I have no doubt that Apple will provide a near seamless update process, through delivery to install. Its one area where Apple is clearly ahead of the game and will no doubt contrast nicely with the disaster that was Nokia's last Maemo version release which ultimately had to rely on the good will of Maemo users who seeded it to a variety of other download services as Nokia's servers wilted under the load.

I won't be rushing to update my iPhone - after all its been sat in a cupboard for the last four months - instead I'll be watching to see whether Apple have delivered a finished product or there are a smattering bugs as the 2.2 update introduced.

Windows 7 Stripped Of IE For EU

So the EU's continuing action against Microsoft has finally started to bite and as a result the newest version of Microsoft's OS, Windows 7, will ship without Internet Explorer installed. Presumably the installer will be provided on the disk or pre-loaded onto the machine, because otherwise some users are going to find themselves in a position of having no browser and needing one to download the browser of their choice...

A far more sensible solution would have been to require Microsoft to deliver Windows 7 with a number of browsers available and give the user the choice of installing one on first boot.

Oh well, very little of what the EU does makes a whole bundle of sense anyway...

A Few Shorts

Not worth a posting of their own by a couple of stories worth commenting on.

First of all rumours that Dell are looking to buy Palm have surfaced again, which would give someone nightmares. Not sure whether that would be the Palm faithful or Apple though.

Unofficial shots are starting to filter through of new Windows Mobile devices from Samsung - what looks to be a WinMo equivalent to the device formerly known as the Omnia HD - and a new Xperia from Sony-Ericsson, the X2, which appears to be sporting a Psion series 5 keyboard, which will please those who loved that particular device.

And talking of Xperias, the latest ROM from Sony-Ericsson seems to have cured the stability issues that I was experiencing with my X1, which is now a much more pleasant device to use. I'll hopefully put together a fuller review of the X1 sometime next week.

Penguin/WHSmiths Deal: Good Or Bad

WHSmiths will shortly be removing travel books from publishers other than Penguin from its 280 travel book shops in a move which has enraged publishers, authors and travellers alike. I can see why the deal has angered the former two groups, who are potentially going to lose valuable income but its not a move that's going to hugely restrict options for travellers and may even lead to better pricing on the books stocked.

In terms of a commercial decision this is great business for WHSmiths and Penguin, the latter gaining exclusivity in one book purchasing arena whilst Smiths must be getting the sort of discounts that will allow them to turn significantly better income from smaller sales. And that's the key, Smiths is not the only place where you can purchase travel books and people who buy them at a travel location (airports or stations generally) aren't going to hugely concerned with large selections. The backlash against WHSmiths seems hugely unwarranted as the large majori…

Prodrive Denied F1 Entry

I'm not sure how the FIA decided who was having first dibs on the additional F1 entries for 2010 but whatever the basis for the decision it looks like some of the teams expected to be on the list failed to gain entry, notably Prodrive and Lotus.

Presumably these teams will be offered places should the FOTA teams decide to pull out and pursue their own format, but whatever the outcome there are going to be some very shocked entrants today. Not least Dave Richards who was hoping to gain an entry as Prodrive before switching to the Aston Martin branding which would have been a feather in the cap of the sport... Or not apparently.

Xperia X1 Isn't looking So Hot In Use

So I posted that the X1 was a lovely thing to hold and look at. Given the run of excellent Windows Mobile devices I've had recently I'm disappointed to say that the X1's software isn't looking quite so good. I've had Opera and Live Search crash out on me quite regularly, memory errors (despite having over 115MB of free RAM!) and stalls and slowdowns. I'm going to try a ROM update to see if this sorts things out, but so far I'm unimpressed.

Bizarrely however, even with these issues I'm still finding it almost impossible to resist the X1, its such a lovely piece of hardware to hold and use. There are other compensations too, the camera is unbelievably quick (for a phone anyway) and takes great stills and video, the panels interface is good fun. S-E have updated most screens to include fullscreen touch scrolling, allowing you to drag through lists without using the scrollbars. This even extends to Internet Explorer. Not that you'd use IE when Skyfire wo…

Palm Promises Pre Exchange Fix Within 60 Days

One of the issues that users of the Palm Pre are reporting centres around the use of Exchange Activesync and security profiles. Users who are connecting to an Exchange server in an enterprise environment are finding that the Pre lacks support for enforced PINs and Remote Wipe policies - pretty much defaults in any enterprise worth its salt.

Palm have recognised the problem and have committed to fix it via their auto update feature within sixty days (of launch? of today? they didn't say).

In the meantime Palm suggest activating the manual PIN and using Palm's own remote wipe feature.

iPhone 3GS To Bisect App Store?

One, probably intentional, unmentioned result of the launch of the new iPhone on Monday is the potential for application separation across the App Store. How So? Well one of the big pushes was the new faster hardware and better graphics support, which I expect developers to take full advantage of as the penetration of the 3GS rises.

Potentially that means newer games (in particular) and applications aren't going to run as well on the older handsets. Of course with 40 million iPhones and iPod Touch units out there I don't think any publisher will be rushing to drop support for hardware version 1 any time soon.

I suspect over the next 6-12 months though that we will see software that requires the later hardware become more common. An extra reason to upgrade? I suspect it will be the final push for some.

Xperia X1 Is A Thing Of Beauty

As mentioned yesterday the other new phone in my possession is the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1. Having unboxed it this morning I can tell you that the hardware designers have done a stunning job, this is a piece of industrial design on an epic scale. Of course what matters is what's inside. Here's hoping that S-E haven't done the same half-arsed job on software that spoiled their UIQ smartphones...

Treo Pro: Nice Work Palm

Here's a thing, last Friday I was due to receive three new phones for compatibility testing and to give users a feel for the different hardware options available to them. Of the three I was most hotly anticipating the arrival of the Xperia X1, with its super high-res screen and big slide out keyboard.

What I wasn't expecting was the Palm Treo Pro to make much of an impact, despite having been a Palm fan in the past. That's because Palm have delivered some pretty ropey stuff since the Tungsten T and I'd pretty much sworn off the brand since the T|5 disaster. I'd also seen some damning reviews from people whose opinions I trust.

So I'm more than a little surprised to be telling you just how good the Treo Pro is, ie. Very very.

There's a whole host of reasons for this, great screen, brilliant keyboard, excellent battery, class leading reception and phenomenal performance being the main ones.

The amount of free RAM is just game-changing. Previously I've been ca…

Palm Pre Sales Pegged At 60k

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With no official figures yet released by Sprint or Palm analysts have been second guessing the success of the Pre's launch last weekend. I'm not altogether sure how they've been calculating the numbers, but most analysts seem to be suggesting that more than 50k and maybe as many as 60k Pre's found homes over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

That's nowhere near the 146k that the iPhone did in its first weekend, but then Palm doesn't really have the same kind of brand recognition outside of tech circles and to me that's looks like a pretty healthy number. How things progress over this week remains to be seen. It looks to me like Palm got a 'Get out of jail free' card from Apple, whose iPhone 3GS looks like a pretty weak upgrade. So long as Palm stamps on the bugs that have started to see some media coverage today, they've got a pretty good chance of hitting that 1.5 million target by year end.

Those bugs amount to a heat-induced screen problem and…

O2: No Upgrades To iPhone 3GS

O2 will have the iPhone 3GS available from June 19th in both 16GB and 32GB versions. There will be no upgrade path for current 3G owners however, they will have to buy themselves out of their existing contract to take out a new 18 month contract for the new phone. Not sure why anyone would want to do that for its fairly limited range of additional features but there's no accounting for taste...

Costs are £185 and £275 for the 16GB and 32GB models respectively on the £30 and £35 tariffs and tethering will cost you an extra £15 or £30 per month for 3GB or 10GB. Presumably on the higher rate contracts that buy price will be somewhat lower.

I've got to say that this looks like an unspectacular phone at an unwarranted price - which probably explains why O2 have been looking at the Palm Pre and Toshiba TG01 phones, both if which make much more sense.

iPhone 3GS - Warmed Over, Still Old

Apple did indeed launch a 'new' iPhone at WWDC, however its still loaded with out of date features and bare minimum specs. Performance-wise it looks like Apple have upped the game, but these changes were necessary both for improved game performance and improved app launching speed (which isn't great for a single-tasking OS).

Otherwise an upgrade to a 3.0mp camera is way behind the curve - Symbian is at 8.0mp and Windows Mobile is about to jump from 5.0mp to 8.0mp with the launch of the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X2. Oh, and now it does video too... like we've never seen that on a phone before.

Apple looks to have squeezed an extra 30% out of the battery, which will please those upgrading from the 3G, however its still not removeable, so no chance of carrying a spare when you know you'll be pushing the limits of the built-in one (which every other phone is capable of doing, smart or otherwise). On device encryption and remote wipe are standard features of both Windows Mobil…

A Sad Day For Britain

It is the supreme irony that on the day we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the D-day landings and the deaths of so many brave men, Britain returned two MEPs for the BNP.

Would those men have so readily made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat the Nazis if they'd known that just three generations later people would be choosing to vote for them?

I'm not sure who disgusts me more, the 8% of the electorate who voted for the BNP or the 60% who couldn't be bothered to get off their arses to stop it happening.

It really is grim up North today.

Palm Pre TV Advert

Its the Zen of Palm... in an advert. This is the first real TV ad I've seen for the Pre and I'm not so sure it will be a great success for Palm, especially judged against Apple's brilliant and successful iPhone adverts.

Call Failed

Funny, very funny... the iPhone ad you'll never see.

Is There Really A Need For Yet More Big Brother?

Oh joy, yet another run of the garbage that is Big Brother on C4. Why oh why haven't the drooling halfwits who lap this up moved on to something else yet? Another summer avoiding work colleagues with double digit IQs caring about media obsessed luvvies, desperate for super-stardom and ready to do anything to get it.

The first series was an interesting experiment and comment on human nature. Nothing good has happened since then. Here's an idea, why don't C4 employ a sniper to blow the contestant's heads off as they leave the house. Now there's an eviction night I could get excited about...

Pre Hits Sprint Stores, But Is Apple About To Spoil The Party?

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Very soon customers in the US will be able to head for the nearest Sprint store and pick a Palm Pre up on a two year contract, some were able to pick theirs up yesterday via special invitation from their Sprint store. The Pre has had very positive reviews, with only a few niggles spoiling an otherwise perfect launch - far fewer than plagued either the original iPhone or iPhone 3G launches it has to be said.

However whilst Palm's development and marketing teams congratulate themselves on their achievements, which look to have saved the company, there's an elephant in the corner of the room about to try and spoil the party. The elephant's name? Apple.

Up until January when the Pre was announced Apple could do no wrong with the iPhone. Technology gurus, the tech and general media just ignored its flaws and shortcomings and enjoyed the sort of bandwagon ride we haven't seen since the 2G iPod became a worldwide smash. Suddenly by besting the iPhone in so many areas Palm threw…

F1: An Alternate Schedule

So Max has proposed that the teams form their own Championship, is it a feasible option? Well the rules are a cinch, as the teams have said that they want to retain the current rules, so what about venues? Fortunately Bernie's push for new venues has left a lot of perfectly suitable venues just begging to be part of a new Championship. Here's my schedule for a non-FIA season in 2010.

The season opener at Adelaide - a fine circuit, at least on par with Melbourne. From Oz to Argentina and the Buenos Aires circuit before returning to Europe and Jerez for the Portuguese Grand Prix, a Spanish race at Valencia, followed by races at the A1-ring and Hockenheim, a French race at Magny Cours before the start of a North American double header at Indianapolis and Montreal. Back to Europe for Silverstone and the Hungaroring. Round 12 at Spa and a race at Imola to finish the European season and a trip across the water to Kyalami and Fuji to close the season. Yes its only a 15 race season, bu…

Palm Treo Pro In The House

This morning I received a nice package in the post containing the forgotten Palm, the Treo Pro. With all the hype surrounding the launch of the WebOS based Pre in the States tomorrow I thought that it was an approprate time to be looking at Palm's outgoing flagship model.

First impressions are excellent, the packaging is classy and well thought out and the Treo Pro is a beautifully made device, better than previous Treos and very nice in the hand.

In use the Treo seems quite responsive and the software build looks well thought out.

All in all the first impressions are excellent and if Palm carries this across to the Pre Apple have serious competition on their hands.

F1: Moseley Calls FOTA's Bluff

Max Moseley has rather blown apart the myth that the FIA and FOTA made progress towards a compromise solution at Monaco by telling the teams to go and form their own championship.

I suspect that Moseley was playing for time to see how many entries were lodged for the 2010 Championship. With a sufficient entry to fill grids without the backing of FOTA, Moseley has revealed his hand. The ball is now back in the teams' court.

Can the teams put together their own championship in a little over ten months? I would guess they can. Much will hinge upon the contract between Monaco and the FIA, this being the jewel in the calendar. However putting their own championship together would allow the teams to re-instate the North American races which they feel are key to their business needs and also deliver economic change at a rate they are comfortable with.

For the fan no good can come of this, devaluing the sport and damaging the reputation of the FIA. Unfortunately we, as the group who ultimat…

F1: Kubica On The Move

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F1 Live is reporting on Robert Kubica's apparent unhappiness with all things BMW at the moment. In particular the Pole is unhappy that last year's title challenge was sacrificed in order to concentrate on the 2009 car. A car that has been something of a dog so far, with Monaco being a special low-point in the team's history.

With Kubica being on Ferrari's most wanted list and pobably the sort of driver that any of the manufacturer teams would jump at, BMW are going to have to make great strides very quickly if they are to retain the services of one of the quickest men on the grid.

T-Mobile G1 On New Lower Tarrifs: New Android Phone Imminent

Its now possible to get the T-Mobile G1 on significantly lower tariffs than before - which would strongly suggest that we're going to see the next generation Android phone hit T-Mobile sometime soon.

Given the low price of some of the tariffs (£15 per month if you forego internet services - not that you would) the G1 looks something of a bargain at the moment.

A Netbook Can Now Be A Netbook

Yes, Psion and Intel have come to an undisclosed settlement to their dispute and Psion have relinquished their trademark registration. We can now call a netbook a netbook without any fear of a visit from Psion's legal team.

Now that's cleared up maybe Psion Teklogix might like to introduce one of their own... Psion Netbook? Has a sort of familiar ring to it...

WVGA For Under £160

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Expansys have had the Toshiba G910 for under £160 for a little while now and at that price its numerous flaws start to look like less of a problem and more like niggles.

I'm seriously tempted, even though the last thing I need right now is yet another smartphone cluttering up the place...

Fujitsu U1010 UK Bound After All

After enviously watching US and Eastern ultra mobile fans enjoy the new Fujitsu U1010 micro tablet its good news for us this autumn, as Fujitsu will be launching the official UK version in September, with availabilty set for October/November and a price of around £800.Whilst that's more expensive than the smaller UMID and Viliv devices (that should hopefully be here by then) the Fujitsu does have the benefit of a decent keyboard and a rotating screen to allow it to be used in laptop or slate modes.I'm hoping that I'll have a chance to look at the UK model ahead of its launch to see how it measures up.

Microsoft Announces Last.fm For XBox Live

Amongst the absolute plethora of new XBox content announced at E3 in Microsoft's keynote comes an absolutely blinding bit of news: Last.fm, free for all Xbox live customers. The number of people looking to scrobble from their XBox 360s is an indication of how well this will be recieved, I'm just disappointed its not live already.

0h well, they say patience is a virtue...