19/08/2006

Gillette Fusion

5 blades, well 6 really as there's one on the back for trimming.

It feels like a razor should and actually seems to work pretty well. It looks pretty funky too.

The 5 blades do seem to make the razor glide over your face and give a very smooth shave.

Better than the Mach 3.

18/08/2006

Internet for planes scrapped

Boeing has dropped plans to launch its Connexion service which offered high-speed Internet access to planes.

Though intial trials went well and high-speed access was made available via satellite connections, it failed to attract enough interest from the airlines as passengers didn't want to spend between $10 and $30 for service.

Airlines are probably waiting for cheaper services with newly auctioned in-flight air-to-ground services which could also offer Internet access.

17/08/2006

Ofcom Website | Making it easier to switch broadband provider

Ofcom are proposing new regulations to  allow users to easily switch broadband providers by forcing them to supply the Migration Authorisation Code (MAC). If the provider doesn't offer the code it will be made available from a 3rd party.

This should simply things and hopefully make it easier for customers to migrate to new services with a minimum of downtime.

Currently this is a consultation which closes on 5 October 2006

Link to Ofcom Website | Making it easier to switch broadband provider

Slim Devices Transporter

The Register have my review of the Transporter on their site.

It's a high end audiophile streamer. It looks to be a very nice (although expensive) system.

Micosoft Blogging tool

Windows Live Writer is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) blog authoring tool. It's designed to work with Windows Spaces, but will work with other services such as Blogger, Wordpress etc.

It supports standard text as well as photos and integrating maps. There's a full SDK (software development kit) so it can be extended too.

This is all part of Microsoft's Live environment where they are trying to make a dent into an already crowded market, but it does seem they are coming out with useful tools.

16/08/2006

Leap Wireless chooses Huawei

Leap Wireless an operator in the US has chosen Huawei to provide CDMA2000 technology for networks in Spokane, WA., Boise, ID, and Reno, NV.

Huawei first became known for making Cisco clones, while charging considerably less. Their big rise to fame came when they won a contract with British Telecom for their 21st Century Network, which crippled Marconi who were counting on getting in on the deal.

They have a huge range of equipment that will encroach every area (ISP, telecoms, SME networking, etc) other players are going to struggle to compete.

Huawei are definately a company to watch.

14/08/2006

nVidia supports Quad SLI

nVidia SLI technology allows multiple cards to cooperate by splitting the screen real-estate between cards. Until now only two cards have been supported, but now quad SLI can work.

Currently dual GeForce 7950 cards work (as they already have two graphics controllers on board).

Gamers also need a very high spec system as the display must support 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.

Convert an old rotary phone into a Cellphone

Sparkfun have an article on how to convert an old rotary phone into a mobile phone.

It may not be very practical, but probably very trendy with those into retro fashion.

IEEE 802.11n delayed again

The IEEE is the standards body for Ethernet and it's wireless equivalents. In May the group that dealt with the new 802.11n standard couldn't reach consensus and there were over 12,000 comments to the draft 1.0 proposal. Even so manufacturers raced to announce product based on what has become known as pre802.11n which is unfortunate as there could still be major changes to the specification which may mean firmware updates aren't enough.

Current vendors silicon may not interoperate when operating in 802.11n (sorry pre802.11n) mode, though it will fall back to 802.11g which should work. Some vendors are selling hardware based on different chipsets so this can be a problem.

The next vote on the draft has now been pushed back until January 2007, which means real 802.11n devices are unlikely until at least 2008.

IEEE 802.11n delayed again

The IEEE is the standards body for Ethernet and it's wireless equivalents. In May the group that dealt with the new 802.11n standard couldn't reach consensus and there were over 12,000 comments to the draft 1.0 proposal. Even so manufacturers raced to announce product based on what has become known as pre802.11n which is unfortunate as there could still be major changes to the specification which may mean firmware updates aren't enough.

Current vendors silicon may not interoperate when operating in 802.11n (sorry pre802.11n) mode, though it will fall back to 802.11g which should work. Some vendors are selling hardware based on different chipsets so this can be a problem.

The next vote on the draft has now been pushed back until January 2007, which means real 802.11n devices are unlikely until at least 2008.

IT Week

Thanks to Martin Veitch for quoting Euro Tech News in his article on increased power limits for 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz in last weeks IT week

Microsoft opens Xbox 360 gaming

Microsoft is going to offer XNA Game Studio Express as a free Windows XP download which will allow gaming development for the Xbox 360. This wont allow games to be distributed, but MS may allow games developed under XNA to be modified and uploaded to Xbox Live where they can be downloaded and played by others. Autodesk has said it will make 3D Studio Max compatible output.

There's a $99 pa program that gives developers access to a wealth of Xb0x 360 information.

The Express version should beta this month.

There will be Professional version early next year which should allow real distributable games.

This is a potential blow to Sony who's PSP3 is due for launch later this year, but at very high pricing (Blu-Ray costs and expensive chips) as Microsoft could get a real lead from amateur developers.