February 28, 2009

Gone Viral

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikecane @ 12:05 pm


I don’t think the flu actually goes that far — but it sure felt like it!!

Perhaps things will return to normal here on Monday.

Add to the list of things I need my Palm Pre to have: Flu Detector!

February 24, 2009

Closed For Today

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikecane @ 3:52 pm


That illustrates what’s been happening with my body these past few days.

Too ill for brain to function properly for sensible blogging.

Back when better.

February 23, 2009

The Palm Pre In 2013

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 3:55 pm

Oh get your fear of the number thirteen on!

I’ve been given a glimpse of the Palm Pre in 2013!

It uses webOS extensions from Palm founder Jeff Hawkin’s newest venture, Numenta, which will bring intelligence to digital objects.

As you can see, they’ve redone the packaging:



The slider has been retired along with the keyboard. All commands are via voice! Notice the fingerprint reader at left. It also samples DNA. So even if it’s stolen, it can’t be used by someone else!

By 2013, Numenta Matrix Intelligence has been embedded into everything that’s digital. Which is fantastic. You can take the new Pre 13 (note, they might change that name) into any casino and know which slot machine will pay off:


Also, using casino camera triangulation, it can forecast which number any roulette wheel will land on and advise you in betting strategy:


There’s just one nagging problem they have to work out before it gets out of the hand of the poor guy who beta tests it. It doesn’t like to be shut off!


There’s a nasty bug in Numenta Matrix Intelligence they’ve dubbed the Sleepless Threat. I’m sure they’ll work that little thing out!

OK, all of that was a joke. It’s from a new movie opening this week, Echelon Conspiracy. Here’s the wicked trailer:

Let me just say this is the first time I’ve wanted to see a movie because of a smartphone in it.

As for Echelon itself, I hope its predictive powers are actually weak. Look at this! I asked:


It replied:


The Gesture Area: What’s Possible?

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 2:38 pm


One of the distinguishing differences between the Pre and regular smartphones is its Gesture Area, below the screen, highlighted below:


It’s bilateral, separated by the center button which invokes the Card View.

We’ve seen three gestures demonstrated.


Back, which I’ve illustrated on the left side above. It can also be done on the right side of the Gesture Area, with the same leftward swiping movement.


To invoke the Wave Quick Launcher, begin in the Gesture Area and swipe and hold towards the interior of the screen. Again, this can be done on the right side too.


To call up the full Application Launcher, begin in the Gesture Area and swipe and lift inside the screen. As well, it can be done on the right side.

Those are the three Gestures we’ve seen.

Are others possible?

What about this:


Two fingers beginning at the outer edges of both left and right sides and moving inward?

Or this:


Two fingers beginning near the center button on both left and right sides and moving outward?

For that matter, what about using the Gesture Area for tapping?

No, don’t ask me what these other possible gestures could be used for. That’s up to application developers — if Palm hasn’t already reserved those movements.

Bluetooth Keyboard, Palm. We Want!

Filed under: Groundwork — mikecane @ 9:48 am

It’s still a constant source of frustration to me that the iPhone cannot work with a Bluetooth keyboard. Apple has its own gorgeous Bluetooth keyboard that just weeps at night from not being to interface with the iPhone. It weeps, I say!

Hackers have gone so far to create proof of concept videos such as this one:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "apple_bt_keyboard_4_iphone_01 on Flic…", posted with vodpod

At least two Comments at that site cry Fake! And it could be.

But the point is, Palm, we want the Pre to work out of the box with the Bluetooth keyboards we already have. Yes, we know you want to make money with your own keyboard later on — but give us the goodwill first to use our own. I’m sure your keyboard will be better — and we’ll buy it. But in the meantime, we want to type.

Let all the blogs bloom on Pre Day One with posts that begin, “I’m typing this post with my Palm Pre and a Bluetooth keyboard!!!”

February 22, 2009

Paging Andrea Butter & David Pogue

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 4:26 pm


In 2002, I wrote a review of that book for Palm Infocenter.

Are you guys planning a sequel book or updated edition?

The book’s website seems to be back too. (For a while, it was 404 — for me at least.)

February 21, 2009

CSS/HTML/JavaScript: What’s Possible?

Filed under: Groundwork,Video — mikecane @ 6:32 pm

Not being a coder of any sort, nor really a techie of any sort, I still wonder just how Palm’s webOS gambit will work out.

So I keep my eye out for things that illustrate the promise of webOS.

And tonight I came across Appcelerator’s Titanium.


I don’t know how applicable it is to what Palm is doing, but this video seems to offer a great deal of promise for what’s possible with the tools used to develop for webOS:

The Flow Of webOS

Filed under: Musings — mikecane @ 5:21 pm

I was thinking about the way webOS assigns each activity a Card and allows quickly moving from one task to another.

I was also thinking about what a miserable experience my Palm OS 5 LifeDrive has been.

And then I recalled what a joy my Palm OS 4 Sony CLIE S320 was to use.

How could it be that a Palm OS 4 device with 160×160 monochrome screen and a weak CPU was better than a more powerful larger- and color-screened LifeDrive?


Palm OS 4 allowed the use of Hacks.

And they were the Joy Juice of OS 4.

I could, for example, be in SmartDOC and need to quickly refer to something in MemoPad.


A stroke in the Graffiti area would call up MemoPad in a pop-up window over the SmartDOC document. How wonderful is that?

Another stroke, no matter where I was, could call up a tiny Calculator.


Another stroke would call up a list of the last ten apps I’d used (a feature that was added to OS 5 itself).

Yet another stroke would call up a display of special characters, such as the Copyright or # symbols, so I wouldn’t have to memorize the Graffiti strokes for those.

I also had one to call up the current date and time and battery meter.


Really, it was simply lovely the way I could move from one thing to the next. It was speedy and graceful. It didn’t get in my way and I could get things done effortlessly.

webOS will bring back some of that.

I’m especially excited by having more than one email open — from more than one account! — at the same time. Having multiple web pages open. And the wee Notifications area at the bottom to bring in live information.


webOS will bring back what’s been missing from Palm’s hardware: Flow!

Another reason for me — and you — to be excited about the Palm Pre!

On The Buzz Radar: Spotify

Filed under: Groundwork — mikecane @ 2:43 pm


I heard about Spotify several weeks ago and went to its home page, only to learn it’s not (yet) available in the U.S..

Spotify wikipedia entry:

Spotify is a Sweden-based proprietary music streaming program, which allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with virtually no buffering delay. Music can be browsed by artists, albums or created playlists as well as by direct searches. Although it is not possible to save the streamed music for use outside the application, a link is provided to allow the listener to directly purchase the material via partner retailers.

Spotify provides the transfer of soundfiles via internet through the combination of server-based streaming and peer-to-peer technology (P2P) involving the listeners themselves (see also: mesh networking). Even with slow internet connections, there are no great delays when playing music. An internet connection of at least 256 kbit/s is recommended, as the bitrate of the stream is up to approximately 160 kbit/s. The sound files can be played on demand, as if they were installed on the hard disk of the user. Songs are cached on the client computer to prevent wasting bandwidth by streaming the same songs over and over. The audio codec used is Vorbis.

So far, Spotify only works on desktops (well, notebooks too, I’m sure). I’m not techie enough to know if its reliance on P2P for the underlying distribution structure means it requires a persistent broadband connection and would therefore be unable to work with hop-on/hop-off clients via WiFi. I don’t see any software for smartphones listed, so perhaps this is marooned at desktops.

Here’s an interesting article about Spotify and the future of music:

Let me clarify. There’s a good chance the iTunes Store could be toast, a veritable sideshow. Because soon, the majority of people will not own their music, they’ll rent. And they’ll be happy to do so. True cheapos will pay in advertising, those with more sense than time will pay. But nobody will bother paying by track to own in an evanescent format, they’ll just want to stream.

I think that will very much depend on the price and selection.

Contrary to the history of digital hardware, “analog software” has a tendency to be in the hands of those who are greed-driven instead of — for lack of a better term — “improvement-driven.”

Just look at the history of pricing for CDs, magazines, books, movies, and even cable TV. If those had mimicked the Silicon Valley model of constant improvement, we’d be whizzing along with the fastest Internet connections on the planet — both wired and unwired — and enjoying all “content” (a word I very much dislike) in digital form at pennies (or even fractions thereof) per sip.

We still have a long way to go to get there.

PrePoint Via RSS

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikecane @ 1:08 pm

I’ve added the RSS widget to the sidebar now, right at the top.

I hope I’ve configured it correctly.

If you’ve been getting PrePoint via RSS before, let me know if anything has changed.

In fact, leave a Comment to let me know if it works at all. There are options there and they seem to do unpredictable things.

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