Carl Yankowski, who piloted Palm during the peak of the PDA boom, was tapped Wednesday to head Ambient Devices, a company that embeds wireless data into everyday products.
Yankowski, who was also president of Sony Electronics and CEO of Reebok in the 1990s, replaces David L. Rose, one of the company's co-founders, who is leaving "to pursue other interests."
Ambient's products include a $125 umbrella that lights up when rain is in the forecast, as well as displays that can show weather forecasts or sports scores.
The company was launched in 2001 to help commercialize technology … Read more
My 3-year-old Hewlett-Packard PC stopped playing optical discs a couple of months ago. Not only were the built-in DVD and CD-ROM drives out of commission, I couldn't even get a brand-new external DVD drive to work. I searched and searched for driver updates, but came up empty. It wasn't until I happened upon a Registry patch on Chris Pirillo's great Lockergnome site that I got the machine to recognize the optical drives.
The patch was provided by a volunteer who had no affiliation with HP, Microsoft, or the drive vendors. It's not uncommon for PC experts … Read more
Intel is making a "small" change to its lineup of solid-state drives.
The chipmaker announced late Friday that it is making a solid-state drive for handheld devices that is smaller than a penny and weighs less than a drop of water. The Z-P140 drives will be available in 2GB and 4GB sizes, and are intended for low-power, rugged devices, presumably gadgets like Internet tablets, smartphones, portable video players, and handheld computers. Intel says it is 400 times smaller than a 1.8-inch hard drive.
The drives use flash memory to store data, and have a PATA (parallel ATA) … Read more
Advanced Micro Devices said Wednesday it expects in the fourth quarter to take a sizable write-down for the declining value of intangible assets related to its $5.4 billion acquisition of graphics chipmaker ATI Technologies.
AMD, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, said it doesn't yet know the exact size of the write-down but expects it to be "material"--or in other words, substantial--when it concludes its review.
The chipmaker said it's planning to write off the value it assigned to the ATI acquisition that was above the actual value of ATI's assets, otherwise … Read more
It's not the amount that counts--it's the first few milliliters.
That's the word from Helen Lee, an associate professor at the University of Cambridge, who invented the FirstBurst, that device you see in her hands. It captures the first part of a male patient's urine sample and seals it off into a tube. Those initial milliliters are the ones doctors need for testing. Lee hopes to see the device get shipped into emerging markets to help health professionals. (She has also invented a device for rapidly testing for chlamydia.)
The FirstBurst testing has been fairly rigorous. … Read more
While Windows Vista is slowly adopted, subsequent waves of users may make the mistake of downloading the latest version of ActiveSync to hook up their Windows Mobile device.
This is a bad idea. ActiveSync withers when it comes into contact with Vista's radiant style sheets. Instead of creating ActiveVista, or some similarly named offshoot, Microsoft opted for an overhaul. And lo, Windows Mobile Device Center was born.
Sadly, Windows Mobile Device Center (for 32-bit and 64-bit desktops) only syncs your cell with up to two computers; hard luck for someone with an office rig, a laptop, and a desktop (… Read more
Finally, here's a phone plan that allows you to switch from the U.S. government's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network to the Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network with a single keystroke.
The National Security Agency has authorized military and government personnel to order up a bunch of General Dynamics' Sectera Edge secure, wireless smartphones, which will not only allow them to make secure calls but also to e-mail and Web-browse in either classified or unclassified mode.
The phones will still operate right along with everyone else on the existing high-speed Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), … Read more
When Winamp 5.3 came out a year ago, it impressed many who had written it off, although that may have been simply because it hadn't died a quiet death of obsolescence. Long-needed steps to improve the old-school media player were implemented, with support for AAC encoding, CD burning, and a robust file-management system.
Thirteen months on, Winamp 5.5 ups the ante again with strong support for portable devices, including iPods, the ability to sync non-DRMed files to your PC from your device, an optional new interface layout, a built-in browser for media discovery, and other nifty tricks.
Here's some welcome news from Novell: it is paying for an engineer's time to write free (as in cost) open-source (as in transparency and freedom) Linux device drivers for those who release the hardware specs of their devices. From the developer's blog:
Yes, that's right, the Linux kernel community is offering all companies free Linux driver development. No longer do you have to suffer through all of the different examples in the Linux Device Driver Kit, or pick through the thousands of example drivers in the Linux kernel source tree trying to determine which one is the closest to what you need to do.… Read more