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Bluetooth headset with buit-in camera

With the shrinking size of digital camera technology, it should be possible to fit a tiny camera into a somewhat enlarged Bluetooth headset. Transfer of photographs off the device could be via Bluetooth file transfer or via USB (which can also charge the headset!).

While the design of headsets still fluctuates to accomodate battery power, quality, features, and comfort, an innovator might be able to get this idea in motion and while the first rev may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, the idea could be useful.

Imagine the camera being oriented forward toward whatever you're looking at while you wear the headset. One of the wrap-around type of headsets could be designed so that the fit on your ear will generally get the camera to point forward, so that a mere touch of a button would snap a quick picture. With no viewfinder (unless we extend the idea to a Bluetooth earpiece/eyeglasses hybrid, or maybe a display on the handset) it would not be great for stunning photography, but if you see something happening and just want to grab a rough snapshot this should be great.

Seems like a difficult concept to get working, but possibly worthwhile.

Posted on November 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Microsoft's Ballmer: "we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability"

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer claims that Linux infringes on some as-yet undisclosed MS intellectual property, and that therefore Linux users owe them money! Computerworld has an article presenting both sides of what is sure to become a hotly-contested and closely-watched news story.

I recall that the SCO litigation made waves throughout the open source community, yet Linux still exists. When a company as large and powerful as Microsoft becomes involved, things should get very interesting. People building critical systems on Linux will now be forced to at least consider that they may be at some kind of risk...

It's kind of funny to think about "Linux customers" though. Is that like being an "air customer"? Sure you can buy air from certain suppliers, or have services built around air, but air is essentially available to anybody in its basic form at no cost :-)

But will this really hurt Linux? People reconsidering their server deployment choices may or may not hurt Linux, but I have my doubts about what this will do to the Linux kernel. By its nature, it can morph and essentially route around damage. Serious damage would take longer to work around, but it will be possible.

Who really stands to take some damage are the Linux software vendors. As much as I like Linux technologically, I might reconsider deploying a large, critical piece of commercial software on top of it. Something running on Windows, OSX or Solaris might be "safer".

Posted on November 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apple Teams Up With Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM & United to Deliver iPod Integration

The headline is lifted straight from Apple's site, and tells the story pretty accurately: Apple has made agreements with several airlines to build iPod integration into the seat back entertainment systems on passenger planes.

Due to debut in 2007, this system sounds awesome (for iPod owners, anyway) due to its total integration. You can charge your iPod in your seat's dock, while the seat-back display screen will play your iPod movies! No word on whether the system will support multiple media formats other than what Apple sells on the iTunes store, but presumably for the system to work well enough that people will actually use it they would have to support whatever iPod supports.

And so the iPod "ecosystem" grows and grows. Some have speculated that the days of iPod are waning, but with the integration of iPod into cars, multiple gadget accessories, and now airplanes, perhaps those prognostications are a bit premature.

It's almost as if the iPod is slowly evolving from a product line into a de facto standard for digital media integration at the consumer level. While individual superior mp3 players might come along, their success will be affected by whether or not they can play within this ecosystem.

Maybe I'm too excited about this, but if you're not at least a little interested in this development, then perhaps you haven't been wedged in the middle seat on an 8-hour flight. The entertainment system is sometimes all you've got if you are travelling light. Perhaps you didn't bring or can't get to your laptop; this integration will bring your choice of movies or TV shows to your seat with very little fuss.

Posted on November 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)