Haicom’s Bluetooth GPS: perfect for a small notebook or UMPC

Hi408handSince I can’t use the GPS in my USB 727, I might look into Haicom’s itty-bitty GPS module. The HI-408BT looks small, light and runs continiously for 10-hours on a single charge. The 75x30x17mm module weighs just 48 grams and has an integrated Bluetooth radio, so it will connect with the computers and UMPCs I carry around. Haicom indicates that the GPS module has only a 38-second time to first fix from a cold start; I’m sure there are GPS modules that acquire a signal faster, but for something of this small size, I think I’m sold. Now it’s just a matter of finding one to purchase since Haicom is based in Taiwan. In Japan, the MSRP is 9,975 Yen, which works out to around $95 US. There’s no mention of any software included, so you might be on your own with that.(via Akihabara News)

Open Thread: What’s Your Cafe Drink of Choice?

latteIf you’re a digital bedouin who works out of WiFi caf├ęs, you get to drink yummy drinks while you aim for inbox zero. But make grande mochas a habit and you might start looking pretty grande yourself. Starbucks wants to help with a new set of low-fat, low-calorie drinks. Are you buying? Or do you already have a favorite drink?
So far, Starbucks’ new offering doesn’t sound too promising. Baristas are none too thrilled with the so-called “skinny” platform that means a drink with sugar-free syrup, nonfat milk, and no whipped cream. And customers may not like it either, if early reviews are any indication.
Read More about Open Thread: What’s Your Cafe Drink of Choice?

An Ad by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Networks are trying to figure out replacements for the 30-second spot in online television, realizing they can do better for the engaged (and someday, better measurable?) web audience. Options include interactive games and scrolling tickers of ads, writes the L.A. Times, using many of the studies and examples we’ve mentioned on this site.

The variety of terminology used in the article is good a measure of how foreign the concepts are for networks. There’s definitely some round peg-square hole action going on.

On ABC.com, the made-for-TV commercial has all but disappeared from the media player, which won an Interactive Television Emmy last year. The network calls promotional breaks in an online show “ad pods” or “containers” because advertisers can fill them with “experiences” such as games, clips or trivia contests, said Rick Mandler, vice president for digital and new media at ABC.

At NBC, Peter Naylor, senior vice president of digital sales, calls online commercials super-spots.

Apple Adds “My Alerts” to iTunes Store

If you are a frequent customer of the iTunes Store, you already know you can ask to be alerted by e-mail on specific artists, to learn if they’ve released any new material. Alternatively, you can also ask to be alerted by e-mail to all new releases from all artists from whom you’ve ever purchased anything.

myalertsToday, the “Alerts” option expanded beyond e-mail, as when logging into the iTunes Store, I saw a “New” tag on the right side under Quick Links, called “My Alerts”. By clicking on “My Alerts”, I can view all new music or music videos from artists I’ve flagged, without having to wait for the weekly e-mails from Apple.

I’ve included two partial screenshots showing the two options in “My Alerts”, for “Music” and “Music Videos”. Looking ahead in speculative mode, it’s not too farfetched to think eventually Apple could extend the alerts program to TV shows or movies and offer alerts by actor, director, or subject, much as TiVo does with its “Wish List”.

myalerts_music
iTunes Store: My Alerts: Music

myalerts_video
iTunes Store: My Alerts: Music Videos

The move is just one more way Apple is looking to better personalize the iTunes Store experience, as Amazon.com and TiVo have before it. From the “Just for You” feature which tries to guess at other tunes I would like and the addition of a more-embedded “My Alerts”, Apple is certainly making strides to make it even easier for me to find and buy what I want quickly. To visit your own “My Alerts” page in the iTunes Store, Visit “My Alerts”.

Keeping up with the G-Men

This comes from a reader: Yesterday Yahoo announced it would begin offering 100 megabytes of storage to its non-paying e-mail subscribers in a direct attack on Google’s fledgeling Gmail service which promises 1 gigabyte. Currently Yahoo e-mail only stores 4 megabytes for non-paying customers. This could make Yahoo e-mail (questionably?) more attractive than Gmail, as Yahoo e-mail will have comparable storage without the privacy (non) issues associated with Gmail. Currently Yahoo charges $49.99 a year for 100 megabytes of storage, which begs the question, how will they make up that lost revenue?