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Amazon Kindle, an all-in-one wireless reader


Amazon recently released the Kindle ($399), an electronic reader that can wirelessly download books without a computer.  Once you buy a Kindle there are no service contracts or recurring fees and you can shop Amazon's selection of books, magazines, newspapers and blogs right from the Kindle.  The Kindle has a 6" electronic ink display that sips power and offers a reading experience very similar to paper.  The Kindle is definitely a breakthrough device and it's already being compared to the iPod.  But if the Kindle is the iPod of reading, where's the iTunes of reading?

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Dell Multi-Touch Tablet Revealed

I thought I knew a thing or two about multi-touch.  I know that Jeff Han's multi-touch displays and Microsoft's Surface use cameras behind the screen to detect finger contact.  I know that Microsoft hasn't (publicly) been that successful in scaling a multi-touch screen into a really thin (or practical) form factor.  I know that Apple bought FingerWorks several years ago.  I know that Apple has a ton of IP related to multi-touch.  But one thing I didn't know is that Dell was going anywhere near the technology.  Now out of the blue this video drops of Dell's new Latitude XT Tablet sporting 5 finger multi-touch.  With all of Apple's multi-touch IP I was sure it would be first with a multi-touch tablet, but it looks like Dell might beat them.  Unless of course the long rumored ultra-portable MacBook Pro is going to be a multi-touch tablet and beats Dell to the punch.  Which now seems pretty likely.

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YouTube for Audio, Reprise


One of the top search terms that land people here at They Should Do That is "YouTube for Audio."  It turns out that there are a handful of services out there that pretty much do exactly what I proposed in my original entry.  I haven't actually used any of these, but they all seem to make creating a podcast and embedding audio into a webpage pretty easy.


Apple Needs an Equal Rival

Daring Fireball has a very eloquent entry on how Apple has no rival to push them to be better and give consumers more choice.

If Apple is BMW, who is the Audi pushing them to be more elegant, or the Acura or Lexus pushing them to be more reliable?

The sensibility and technical expertise that Apple brings to its product is simply unmatched in consumer technology.  And while I'd love for a rival to emerge, I don't think any major tech company actually wants to play the same game as Apple.  Although if one were to emerge, my money's on HP, I think Sam Lucente is doing amazing things.

Gas Pumps with Google Maps


These new gas pumps with access to Google maps are pretty much the coolest thing I've seen in a while. I wonder if you can use Google Maps without buying gas.

Image from Engadget.com

The Palm Centro Should Include a Daily Alarm Clock


My girlfriend's new Palm Centro smartphone doesn't include one of the basic features we've come to expect on a cell phone: a daily alarm clock.  I don't know how Palm missed this; by comparison the iPhone has a great alarm clock.  The Centro's "World Clock" application has an alarm, but it will only go off once; you have to manually turn it on before each time you want to use it.  To add insult to injury, Palm knew that this would cause confusion, so they included this handy tip:

Like a typical alarm clock, the World Clock application only allows you to set an alarm clock within the next twenty-four hours.

Ok, seriously, what "typical alarm clock" does that?  And why should that behavior be replicated in an alarm clock software application?  Instead of actually resolving this problem, they tried to just explain it away.  Sure you can create a daily recurring event on your calendar, but that can get pretty cumbersome.  And while there are alarm clock applications out there, having to use a third-party app for something as basic as an alarm clock almost discredits the product.  I thought technology companies had finally figured out that what makes a product great is how well basic features are executed, and how functional the device is right out of the box.

The Palm Centro Comes Home


My girlfriend recently became the proud owner of an adorable red Palm Centro.  Needless to say, I'm pretty jealous.  The phone is super cute, amazingly responsive and user friendly.  I think it's the best consumer smart phone out there after the iPhone, and it's for Sprint!  Read on for a more observations and details...

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HP TouchSmart uses Cameras to detect touches


When I first came across the HP TouchSmart, I thought it was just a cool all-in-one with a touchscreen display.  But what makes the TouchSmart really unique is that it uses cameras to detect finger touches, as described in this great NY Times article.  The only other touchscreens (I know of) that use cameras are big ticket multi-touch systems like Microsoft's Surface, and Perceptive Pixel's huge interactive wall, which use cameras mounted behind the screen to "see" touches.  The HP TouchSmart has two cameras on the outside of the screen in each of the upper corners.  This allows the TouchSmart to use a conventional LCD screen instead of rear projection and maintain its slim profile.  Since finding this out I've started to wonder if the HP TouchSmart may be able to detect multiple finger touches with some modification.

ShouldDoThis.com, the site I should have thought of...


ShouldDoThis.com is the site I wish I had thought of.  It allows anyone to submit a suggestion for anything, then the user community can vote on the suggestions.  To submit an idea you need a user account, which takes about 5 seconds to create.  From there, all you have to do is type in who the suggestion is for, and what the suggestion is.  When you find an suggestion you like, you can click the "Should do this" button and it adds you to the list of supporters, you can also write an entry giving your two cents on the suggestion.  You can easily search suggestions, and view all the suggestions for a particular entity, which actually gets it's own subdomain like http://google.shoulddothis.com/.  The site is attractive, easy to use and the developers are incredibly responsive to user suggestions (go fig).  If you like this website, I strongly recommend checking out Should Do This.

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A2DP Support Now In Leopard, Could an Apple Bluetooth Audio Gateway Be Far Behind?

The newest version of Apple's OS X, Leopard, finally brings A2DP support to the Mac.  A2DP is a technology that allows audio to be wirelessly streamed from a device, like a computer or cell phone, to a set of speakers or your home stereo.  One can only expect that A2DP support will soon be coming to the iPhone too.  Apple was a pioneer of wireless music when it created AirTunes, a nifty feature of it's Airport Express Base Station that enabled iTunes music to be played over your wireless network.  But now that Leopard supports A2DP, it seems very possible that Apple will create it's own Bluetooth Audio Gateway.

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