Hone Your Global Nomad Skills by Practicing Locally

Chance are, if you are a web worker, you occasionally have to travel for your job. That means taking your work on the road, possibly using different tools than usual, and very likely using different connectivity, depending on where you are.

If you’re a frequent traveler, i.e. a global nomad, you’ve likely got a set of tools–both hardware and software–that you use when you travel. If you’re relatively new to the whole travel game (you do it infrequently, or you just want an occasional change-of-pace from working at home or your office) try to practice working remotely–without the expensive plane trip.

What does it mean to “practice?” Go someplace local you don’t normally go and attempt to work as if you were hundreds or thousands of miles away. Depending on whether or not you have a mobile broadband solution, you might need to scout the area first to ensure that there are adequate connectivity options.

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MacBook Air: The World’s Thinnest Notebook

MacBook Air

The rumors were true. Today Apple released the MacBook Air, “The World’s Thinnest Notebook”.

The competition specs in the “thin notebook” world are around 3 pounds, 1 inch thick, miniature keyboards, and slow processors.
The new MacBook Air is 0.16″ to 0.76″ at its thickest part and has a 13.3″ widescreen display.
A few features:

  • LED backlit display
  • Built-in iSight
  • Ambient light sensor for keyboard
  • Multi-touch trackpad – Move a window by double-tap and move. Rotate a photo by pivoting your index finger around your thumb
  • 80GB drive as standard, 64GB SSD as an option
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo as standard, 1.8 GHz as an upgrade
  • 45w MagSafe
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Micro-DVI
  • 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1/EDR
  • 5 hour battery life
  • 2GB memory as standard

The processor on this thing is unreal. Intel shrunk the Core 2 Duo by 60%. It’s the thickness of a nickel and the width of a dime.
Something worth noting here is that the MacBook Air does not have an optical drive. Jobs says we’re moving towards an age of not needing one. You can get movies via iTunes purchase or rental, use Time Capsule for backups, and install things from CD/DVD via their new “Remote Disc” feature that lets you “borrow” the drive from a nearby machine.
Base price for the MacBook Air is $1799. They are taking pre-orders today and it will be shipping in two weeks.

Vuze (Azureus) Raises $20 Million

P2P platform Vuze, nee Azureus, has raised $20 million in a round led by New Enterprise Associates, which was joined by existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Greycroft Partners, BV Capital and Jarl Mohn. As well, NEA venture partner Mike Ramsay, the co-founder and former CEO of TiVo, has joined Vuze’s board.

Like BitTorrent, Vuze is based on peer-to-peer software that became highly popular for less-than-legitimate purposes before it turned the corner and built a business. And the company is on an upswing: it’s had 15 million client downloads since relaunching at the beginning of this year. Though requiring a download is an impediment to acquiring new users, it allows Vuze to differentiate from web video sites through delivering higher-quality content, in fact it’s offered HD video since it came online. The company says it now has some 100 premium content relationships.

Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa participated in the peer-to-peer networking lunch at our NewTeeVee Live conference. He recently petitioned the FCC to stop ISPs like Comcast from interfering with BitTorrent traffic. We’ve also written about Vuze’s efforts to bring independent content creators onto its platform.

Vuze announced just about a year ago that it had raised $12 million in second-round funding. BitTorrent has at least $35 million in funding, Veoh has more than $40 million, and Joost has $45 million, among many well-capitalized companies in the space.

Bluetooth keypad combines RAZR keys with credit card

SlimFreedom claims this to be the knockout product of Christmas 2007. I’m not going to disagree, but if they want to be right, they better hurry up on the pricing and availability. The Freedom Slim Keypad takes a RAZR-like approach to the Bluetooth keyboard market. At 4 x 2.25 x .625 inches, the wireless keypad isn’t much bigger than a credit card. With the etched-look keys it actually looks like one too, which comes in handy when you slip it in a pocket. Just don’t confuse it with your AMEX at the register or you might have some ‘splaining to do.The internal battery gets recharged via mini-USB and you’ll get 4 hours of pecking or 100 hours of standby on a charge. The blue backlight function can be switched off to save some juice and really, do you have to tap out those SMS messages in the dark? BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile and Symbian are all supported, so you’re in good shape if you switch devices a bunch.