Thursday, March 09, 2006

UMPC and the Big Reveal

Click to enlargeThis will be my last post from Austin for a little over a week as I will be heading home tomorrow afternoon. If I'm lucky, my camera will be waiting for me (it shipped from Kansas early this morning) and I'll be able to share some photos with you. Do you remember that video I plugged yesterday that looked like Intel's answer to the Origami project? Guess what? They're one and the same. Origami was just a codename for the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), and they're actually created by other companies (Samsung and Asus being the biggies), but they feature the Microsoft Tablet OS, an Intel microprocessor, and Microsoft Touch Pack (a suite of touch-based applications). They'll become available next month, and they're aimed at the common consumer featuring some of the stuff the video promised: GPS, digital TV tuning, accessing the Internet wirelessly, instant messaging, and taking pictures among other nifty things. There's a site up for it now that provides real information (though obviously stuffed with propaganda), and I noticed that on the interface shown there it has an icon for Movielink, which allows you to rent movies online (though it's growing). This means that they're definitely trying to attract an audience that want to watch television shows and movies on a bigger screen than the iPod. No concrete pricing yet, but they range they give is what I had estimated: $500-$1,000. Expect the higher end of the spectrum now followed by price drops later. Oh, and they'll have Vista when that comes out. The biggest drawback is its 3 hour battery life, which is similar to a laptop with less of the functionality, though I'm sure that Intel will be able to work on that given the devices limited uses. I still think it's cool, though I'd like to see some hands-on feedback with the real thing before debating its usefulness.

Google had something to reveal themselves: they've acquired the online word processing collaboration application known as Writely. I'd never heard of it before today, but it sounds extremely useful for school projects and real world projects in companies, especially since its compatible with Word. Is this a trend? Will Google compete with Office? Well considering these new screenshots from Office 12, they'd probably be rather hard-pressed to do so without some really revolutionary stuff. I'm extremely impressed with what I'm seeing here, and what's especially neat is that you will be able to choose the skin for your Office applications if you don't like Microsoft's default. Everything is so much cleaner now. Don't feel too bad for little old Google though, their employees seem to be doing just fine. IGN put up a brief editorial about the Revolution aiming more for gameplay than graphics, and I'm happy to have heard the Big N say that video games need to get back to their roots rather than this hardware race. There are skeptics, but it would be hard to argue with a $150-$200 price tag when compared to the behemoth Xbox 360 and almost certainly pricey PS3, and if the less powerful DS managed to clobber the PSP then I don't see why they couldn't do it in the living room. Lastly, Firefox will be getting a phishing shield in its second version release, which really puts it above the top in my mind against the other browsers given how much phishing is out there nowadays. I love how much effort Mozilla is putting into security. Bravo!

The final trailer for Cars hit today, and it's better than the old ones, but I still don't have a whole lot of faith in it. At least it has some good-looking cars in it though. Yahoo! Movies acquired a few cute teasers for Happy Feet, and I really hope that movie turns out to be good because I just love the animation and CG I'm seeing so far. If that wasn't enough for you, IGN has some clips from Fox's new upcoming comedy show called The Loop, and I actually really like the second clip so I hope that this will be funny as well. It's during Spring Break anyway, so I should be able to catch it. JoBlo seems to have stumbled upon some mockups of Sentinels for X3 rumored to have been commissioned by Bryan Singer way back when he was the director (oh how I miss those days), and they look interested so I hope that Ratner stuck to them (or maybe he had them made himself, who knows). Quint at AICN conducted a good (though fanboyish, albeit) interview with V for Vendetta comic creator David Lloyd, but it looks like he's had very little to do with the movie's production itself. He saw it and liked it though, so let's hope that they really did stick to his vision. Lastly, John Cusack will be in an adaptation of Stephen King's 1408, which is a novella that I think sounds suspiciously similar to The Shining (main character is a writer, he's investigating a haunted room), but I'm sure that it's good stuff since it is King.

Now for the 3x Thursday meme:

1. Do you stand up for yourself well? To put it more clearly, when the situation needs to be about you, are you good at saying so? Why/why not? What do you do?
I would think so. If it's a worthwhile situation, I have no problem making a big ruckus if my integrity or my rights are called into question. However, if someone is drunk and just being an ass, I care much less. I don't get physical or anything, but I feel fine about stepping up if I need to (though I haven't had to in a good while).

2. Do you have re-occurring dreams? Do you think that our dreams tell us things about us, or do you think it's BS? Why/why not?
I have had them in the past, but the problem is that I can't remember them! I have definitely had a few repeats where I die though. I think that they may tell us things about what our mind has been focused on or maybe something we secretly want, but that's about it. It's just garbage that's spun from you subconscious, after all.

3. Are you very patient? Why/why not? When can you be the most patient person in the world? When can you be the least patient person in the world?
I'm semi-patient. I'm way too anxious right now about my camera, but I've waited many years for it just because of the money, so I'd call that pretty patient. I can be the most patient person when it comes to forming solid friendships, but I can be the least patient when dealing with a chick I'm interested in. It's just an inherent behavioral trait; what can I say?

Bonus Question: Are you afraid to die? Why/why not?
In general? Not really. But I'd prefer to live a little more before it happens. I'd like to really fall in love before I die at the least, and it would be nice to accomplish something truly great in computing, though I suppose that's more of a lifelong dream. I've come to terms with the fact that one day I must join my Lord though.

The rest of this post was too big for me to mention this, but I did see this week's 24 episodes and they totally rocked my world. This season may surpass the second one.

1 comment:

Connie said...

have a great spring breakk! :D