Thursday, January 29, 2004

Tired of the same old pictures? - Get a Digital Photo Frame

I just ordered a Digital Camera Today, and I was looking for accessories (as usual) to enhance it. I discovered that many companies (including Sony) are now making digital photo frames. Some like those from Pacific Digital let you download pictures directly from a camera. Other like those from Wallflower Systems let you copy files over a Wi-Fi network.

But one of the most popular frames out there is one from a company called Ceiva. Ceiva's frames connect to your phone line and dial-up a server every night to download new pictures that you designate. While I wouldn't necessarily buy this for myself, it is something that I would consider buying for my grandmother's birthday. She's turning 80 this year and I know that at least one of my cousins also has a digital photo frame. Maybe we could chip-in and buy her one of these, then we could upload digital pictures that we've taken for her and she can view them on her frame. Of course, we'd have to work out an agreement so that no one monopolizes all 30 slots :)

Monday, January 12, 2004

It's a Free World

I recently signed up for Free World Dialup. My number is 94802 in case anyone wants to give me a call :)

The Fat Pipe is finally getting filled up!

I am enjoying the recent spate of VoIP articles in the popular media. I am also enjoying seeing more and more of the Cisco IP phones in TV and Movies. I think VoIP is the way of the future, and companies like Vonage and iConnectHere are only the beginning. I see services delivered over broadband increasing at least tenfold over the next five years. If you have Video-on-demand through digital cable, you already have broadband video service, and as companies produce consumer devices that tap into the 'fat pipe' that is cable modem/dsl service, we will get our cable service from phone companies, and phone service from cable companies (the latter is already happening!). I currently bitch about how cable lines are still regulated to the point where the cable cos. have a monopoly. As much as I want the cable lines opened to competition, I won't need it. Soon, satellite braodband will mature, and so will other solutions like terrestrial wireless in the form of Wi-Max, as well as Powerline and Cellular broadband services. We might very well soon see cable companies offering their services a-la-carte so that we can pick and choose stations, and international delivery of tv becomes trivial. Because its done over the Internet, I can bring my subscriber info with me when I travel and still get the same channels as I do at home!

Kick Ass! - now we just need to wait for it to get here :)

Friday, January 09, 2004

Sure I'll buy an iPod Mini - when the price drops to $149!

So Steve Jobs big announcement was the $249 mini iPod. Although I must admit that I find the device to be very applesque - cool, and desirable, I also find that it just doesn't have any value as far as I am concenered. In his keynote her compared it to a $200 256MB flash-based MP3 player - but this isn't a true (pardon the pun) Apple to apples comparison. Firstly, because of the way that other companies sell their products, a list price of $199 means that, in reality, you can buy this device for at least $180, if not lower. Secondly, he specifically choose a bare-bones player like the Rio Cali. Why not the iRiver iFP-390T - it's just as small, costs under $200, and even comes FM Radio, Voice Recording, and an armband to boot - yes it only has 1/16th of the mini's storage, but again - there is a fine-line between the full-fledged players that can hold an entire music collection and players that have small capacities but are used for a 1-2 hour workout. The 4GB players are priced just below the higher-capacity players, and just above the Flash Players. My prediction - the prices on the smaller capacity drives will drop, and the ripple effect will be either a)A cessation of production of Flahs Players or b) A drop in the prices of Flash Players. The $GB Muvo from Creative is already available in the $250 vicinity, while it's 1GB flash cousin costs $400! I think I might consider a mini at the point at which it drops to $149, but by then we will all be wanting a Video iPod instead :)