Amazon UnBoxed

Erick Schonfeld over at Business 2.0 Blog has been busy digging up the details on Amazon’s new UnBox movie download service. The details are on the Business 2.0 Blog. Amazon is apparently using Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, Digital Rights Management (DRM) and related technologies.

Kevin Kelleher, a frequent contributor to Business 2.0 was able to actually download the Unbox software when it was up briefly on the Web. Although he wasn’t able to try it out because Amazon’s server was not responding, he was able to copy the software’s terms of service.

Other fun facts about the Amazon UnBox:

– Rented videos can only be viewed on one device (like an authorized laptop)
– Conusmers will also be able to burn purchased videos onto a DVD, but it looks like it will only play on newer DRM-compliant DVD players.
– The service will only be available in the U.S at launch.
– You must download the videos within 24 hours of purchasing them.
– The Unbox Video Service will allow consumers to both rent or buy digital videos.

Since Apple is yet to announce its movie download service, it is hard to say the impact of this announcement on them. However it puts folks over at competitive services such as Movie Link and Cinema Now in a bit of a pickle. Don’t you think?

SafeBoot encrypts your Windows Mobile device

Safeboot_logoKeeping private and confidential data on a mobile device can be a risky proposition; misplace the device and you run the risk of the data finding it’s way to into someone else’s hands. One option to protect that data is SafeBoot’s Device Encryption for Windows Mobile:

"SafeBoot® Device Encryption™ requires both users and machines to be authenticated before the system boots, and its features include secure hibernation, pre-boot event logging, an optional data bomb, token support, and integration with SafeBoot® Management Center™ for password reset and policy synchronization with Active Directory®, Novell®, PKI, and others. Encryption of internal data, files, databases, and memory cards is performed transparently and automatically when the device is turned on and off." Check out the full press release at SafeBoot’s site.

(via Mobility Site)

-kct

jkOnTheRun reviews two Vaja cases for the Palm Treo 700w/p

Gadget cases are no doubt the most personal accessory one can purchase for that beloved device and the quest for the perfect case can be never-ending as a result.  Smartphone cases are especially personal as such a small device must meld perfectly with the case so the phone does not feel too bulky once safely ensconced in the case.  I have always found it difficult to find a good case for phones and especially so for the Palm Treo 700w since there are numerous controls situated all around the phone that I need to constantly access.  Finding the perfect case for the Treo was something I thought I’d never accomplish, until now.

Anyone who has used mobile devices for any length of time at all is no doubt familiar with Vaja cases.  The Argentinian case maker is renowned for their fine leather cases that are not only beautiful but extremely functional too.  The good folks at Vaja recently sent me a couple of cases for the Palm Treo 700w/p to evaluate and I have to tell you they don’t disappoint in the looks department.  Read on to see how they fared in the useful category.

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Most popular articles on jkOnTheRun

jkOnTheRun will be coming up on its two year anniversary in just a few weeks and it has been a wild ride.  The readership has grown astronomically during that time and it never ceases to amaze me how many people come to the site each day for a mobile tech fix.  Since there are new visitors almost every day I thought I’d publish a list of the 10 11 most popular articles (based on page views) on jkOnTheRun in case anyone missed them.  These articles run the gamut from mobile tech (of course) to some more personal ones that I have written.  I think all of them are just as pertinent today as they were when published.  Enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing for jkOTR. 

UPDATE:  I don’t know how I missed one of the articles that got Slashdotted so I’ve added it and changed it to the top 11.  The added article is the second on this list.

Sony U-70 review- is that a PC in your pocket?

FCC pics of the IBM Thinkpad Tablet PC– First look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet PC

A typical day for jkOnTheRun– a glimpse in a work day with a VGA Pocket PC as the main tool

A typical day with the Sony U70– updated look at a work day with an ultra-portable PC

From the Heart– my chronicle of emergency open heart surgery from the patient’s view

The Untapped Tablet PC Market– call to OEMs and Microsoft for a mini-Tablet PC

How to easily copy music from your iPod to your Windows iTunes music library– just what it says

Windows XP Recovery Console- the ultra-portables best friend– recovering from OS problems without an optical drive

Triple jkOTR Review- Complete desktop in your pocket– not the smallest desktop anymore but pretty darn close

Sitting down with DualCor Technologies at the CES– still not released yet but a nice machine

jkOTR review- Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000– Linux-based PDA with a hard drive

The FTTH Update & IPTV Numbers

Mark Sue, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets has put together a great overview of the state of the fiber to the home market, and has thrown in a nice update on the IPTV deployments as well. In his estimate, there are about 6 million fiber-connected homes worldwide, up 140% from last year, and a majority are in Japan. James Enck, who is in town for VoN explained that is because NTT has adopted a scorch earth philosophy and is using fiber to snuff out pesky upstarts like Softbank.
Most of the other deployments, however are in the early stages. In China, China Telecom and China Netcom are conducting FTTH trials while in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Broadband, a company I have written about in the past is passing through nearly 1/3 of total homes with fiber. Only telcos in the Scandinavian countries, as well as the Netherlands and Magnet Networks in Ireland are building-out large FTTH networks. Instead, we are seeing a lot more action from the municipalities which are sinking fiber in the ground.
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Michael Capellas, Playing Clean-Up Pays

Michael Capellas has made a career out of taking over sinking ships, applying a slick paint job, and then flipping them to someone willing to buy. A few months after doing that, he exits, whistling and with a few million dollars in his pocket. He sold Compaq to HP, and pocketed about $20 million. Then more recently he sold MCI to Verizon, and has now left the building with $39.2 million. (He’s done really well in playing clean-up.) (AT&T’s David Dorman made chump change in comparison, for actually selling a company that was finally turning the corner.) Now as one reader points out that given MC’s history, Verizon should be worried. Look what Compaq did to HP!

Intel Macs Going Into Production?

Quanta and Asustek will be the main manufacturers of Apple’s Intel based laptops, according to a news report in EMSnow. Apparently, the big ramp on production is likely to come sometime in the first quarter of 2006.

Quanta and Asustek are the main ODM notebook partners of Apple. Quanta is responsible to high level model, Power Book and Asustek is in charge of entry level model, i-Book. This working module for Intel ODM will maintain for next year. Asustek will work on the consumer type of products and Quanta will be in charge of high-level model M1.

How real this story is, its hard to say. You can read it and decide for yourself.

Seagate announces 8 GB 1 inch drive

Seagate has announced a number of new hard drives and the one that should have the greatest impact for mobile devices is the ST1. This drive is a one inch drive that has a storage capacity of 8 GB, making it a great storage solution for handheld devices.

"The ST1 Series – the first 8GB 1-inch hard drive designed for use in handheld and CompactFlash applications. It will let users store the industry’s largest libraries of music (200 hours – or 4,000 songs), video and digital photos for this class of product. Seagate’s unique RunOn Technology improves performance while in a high-vibration environment, such as jogging. The ST1 Series supports low-power modes, and the drive’s time-to-ready is a mere 1.2 seconds."

VDSL2, 100 MBPS over Copper Next

Very High Bit Rate DSL 2 (VDSL2), a new standard is likely to be ratified by next week, making it possible for carriers to provide upto 100 megabits per second connections (both up and down) over copper lines. VDSL2 standard has been under review with the International Telecommunications Union for sometime now, and the decision on the standard could come early next week.
VDSL2 is really really fast. How fast? According to Ikanos estimates, it takes an “ADSL network more than 45 minutes to transmit up to 50 high-resolution photos at 3 Mb per photo. Sending the same number of photos can take less than a minute over VDSL/VDSL2 networks.”
VDSL, though once thought of as a good solution for bringing more bandwidth to the home has lagged because of its lack of reach. It has become popular in the overseas markets because densely populated countries like China and Korea have central offices that are much closer to consumer premises. VDSL2 standard, which uses about 30 MHz of spectrum (versus 12 MHz in VDSL) allows more data to be sent at higher speeds and over longer distances. BellSouth and SBC have plans to use super-fast DSL to connect their fiber nodes to consumer homes. Qwest for instance has about 40,000 customers who are using VDSL technologies.
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The Alpha Bloggers

MSNBC has an article about the "Alpha Bloggers" and the impact they have on not just blogging but on mainstream events.  The A-listers discussed in the article are all well known to anyone who has been involved in blogging and the author looks at how they have become blogging heavyweights.  You will find such names as Dave Winer, Doc Searles, Robert Scoble, and Adam Curry mentioned in the article.  The author points out (not surprisingly to me) that these A list guys spend a lot of time blogging about blogging, and they link to each other a lot.  That’s what helps make them big shots.  If you have any interest in blogging then the article is worth a read.  Who knows, maybe these guys will all see this mention in their "vanity feeds", otherwise known as ego-surfing, and if they all link back to me then I can be an Alpha Blogger too.  🙂