■ Presentation of the Ford Sync™
system, designed to change the way
consumers use digital media players
and mobile phones in their vehicles.
patent-pending “TRU Technology,”
which provides session management
between high- and low-speed networks
for more reliable service. The device
will set you back $399, and the monthly service charge is $49.
entertainment system that will be available in 2008 models of various Ford,
Mercury, and Lincoln autos. Basically,
Sync will allow you to operate nearly any mobile telephone or digital media player in your vehicle
via voice command or the
steering wheel or radio controls.
Among the features are voice-activated calling, text messages that
are converted to audio and “spoken”
for you, voice-activated dialing, voice
recognition capabilities, “multilingual
intelligence” (i.e., fluent in English,
French, and Spanish), and support for
as many as 12 different phones.
Supported music players include
iPods®, Zunes™, and most USB drives
using MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, and
PCM formats, and you can stream
music to the car’s sound system from
a Bluetooth-enabled device.
No price tag has been attached to
the system yet, although rumor has it
that it will be something less than
$1,000, and perhaps significantly less.
For details, visit www.syncmyride.com.
HARD DRIVE STORES 1 TB
■ Hitachi’s new DS7K1000
the DS7K500 shown)
is offered as the
1 TB device.
PHOTO COUR TESY OF HI TACHI.
TURN YOUR CAR
INTO A HOT SPOT
If you’ve been short
on storage space for
video, photos, music, and
other byte-intensive files,
you may welcome the new Deskstar®
7K1000 from Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies ( www.hitachigst.com).
Said to be the industry’s first 1 TB hard
drive, it should be available by the time
this goes to press or shortly thereafter.
The 3.5-in, 7,200 RPM drive offers some
nice features, including three low-power
idle modes to boost power efficiency,
adaptive error recovery, and “bedroom
quiet” acoustics (assuming you use it in
the bedroom for some reason).
But the main claim to fame is
capacity, equivalent to nearly 250
hours of HD video programming,
which will allow you to lose truly amazing amounts of data if it ever crashes.
The suggested retail price is $399,
which is a mere $0.40 per gigabyte.
Also addressing the needs of folks
who live in their cars (figuratively
or otherwise) is Autonet Mobile
( www.autonetmobile.com), billed as
the first Internet service provider for
cars. The company’s wireless broadband network device allows passengers to check email, surf the web, play
games, or communicate via any WiFi-enabled device, and it is said to work
on 95 percent of US roads, regardless
of driving conditions or location. You
just plug the unit into a cigarette lighter
or standard wall plug, and it’s ready.
Operation is enhanced by Autonet’s
It was recently reported that Mozilla’s
Firefox browser jumped in popularity
by 46 percent in 2006 and is now used
by 14 percent of all computers.
(During the same period, Internet
Explorer’s market share dropped from
85.1 percent to 79. 6 percent, in spite
of the release of a new version.)
Firefox users may recall that the
Mozilla Foundation once offered a
complete Internet application package
called the Mozilla Application Suite
but dropped development of the
all-in-one product to focus on Firefox
and the Thunderbird email client.
However, a group of people in the
Mozilla community have resurrected it
in the form of the SeaMonkey Project.
SeaMonkey is basically a combination web browser, email, and
newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and
HTML editor in one package, and it is
available free for Windows, Linux, and
Mac operating systems. You can learn
more about it, download the latest
version, and even get involved in the
project by visiting www.mozilla.org/
PHOTO COURTESY OF INTELLISCANNER CORP.
■ IntelliScanner Comic Collector, its
personal barcode scanner and
companion software package for
automatic comic collection management.
Let’s say you’re a truly pathetic nerd
who still lives with his parents and has
built his world around gillions of comic
books piled so high that nothing but an
occasional silverfish can penetrate
them. Well, believe it or not, the folks
at IntelliScanner Corp. ( www.intelli
scanner.com) have been thinking of you.
Earlier this year, they introduced
IntelliScanner Comic Collector, a personal comic organization system that automatically identifies issues and organizes
your collection with barcode technology.
Designed for both PCs and Macs,
Comic Collector automatically pulls up
detailed information and artwork for
each series and issue and allows you to
sort, organize, inventory, categorize,
and share comic details with fellow
geeks around the world. All you have
to do is log onto www.intelliscan
ner.net to make the connection.
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