alcatel onetouch · handspring · hp · palm os · pixi · pre · touchpad · treo · web os

HP Sells the Palm Brand to Alcatel Onetouch (UPDATED)

According to a recent post over on WebOSNation website, HP has sold the Palm brand to the Chinese firm Alcatel Onetouch.

“We’ve been wondering for a while what is up with Palm.com domain, and it’s looking more and more certain that HP sold the brand and trademarks to Alcatel Onetouch. The first hints of this came from the teaser when the website started redirecting to mynewpalm.com, with a looping video of the Palm logo with the text “coming soon” and “smart move” beneath. “Smart move,” as it would be, is the slogan of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Alcatel Onetouch (a brand of Chinese electronics firm TCL). That’s not exactly a lot to go off of though, but it was enough to raise suspicions.”

The “coming soon” and “smart move” text and logo is actually a looping video file called “palm_animated5.mp4”.  Oddly, the video didn’t play on my iPhone 6 when I used it to surf to the mynewpalm.com website.  (It did work on my Mac with Safari 8.)

As a long, long time Palm fan boy I’m hoping that something good will come of the Palm brand.

UPDATE:

Upon further consideration, there are a few things that are still up in the air for Palm webOS fans.

1. I almost forgot that LG has purchased WebOS to power their line of Smart+ television sets.

2. I wonder what impact the sale of the Palm brand on LG, the Open WebOS project, and Gram (which is still online at gram.com) might be, if any.

3. What is to become of the HP/Palm webOS App Catalog store?  According to the WebOS Wikipedia page, the App Catalog site will go offline in 15 days on Jan. 15, 2015.

[Via WebOSNation.com…]

activity trackers · apple watch · fitbit flex · fitness · jawbone up · nike fuelband

Some Thoughts About the Jawbone Up Activity Tracker

I was walking through my local BJ’s wholesale club when I noticed that they are selling the Jawbone UP and UP24 for $30 and $40 off, respectively, and I thought it was time for a little experiment.

For those who don’t know, the Jawbone UP and UP24 are fitness/activity trackers just like the Nike+ FuelBand SE (I wear the original FuelBand) and the Fitbit Flex.  Unlike the proposed Apple Watch and the Microsoft Band the Jawbone devices don’t have a traditional “display”.  On their website, Jawbone describes their UP system this way:

“UP® is a system that takes a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. The wristband tracks your movement and sleep in the background. The app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.”

It’s the “and sleep” part that piqued my interest in the device.  You see, my Nike+ FuelBand, while I do like it, can’t track my sleep habits because it does not have actigraph sensor.  So, for $39.99 plus tax, I’m thinking about running a little experiment on myself to learn how well I sleep at night.  (I already know that I don’t get anywhere near the recommended eight hours of sleep.)

As you would expect, the UP and UP24 come in three sizes and a variety of colors by way of rubber accessory bands.  The default color is black/onyx. Personally, I think after two years of wearing a black Nike+ FuelBand, I’d like a nice blue, red or orange band.

The since the UP and UP24 don’t have any display, you can only see that data it has collected once the information is synchronized.  The data is transferred by way of a Bluetooth radio for an iPhone or Android 4.0 device on the UP24.  If you are like me and are considering the less expensive UP tracker, you will need to sync the data via your 3.5mm headphone jack.  It is unclear whether or not you have to plug your UP into your smartphone, the PC or if it doesn’t matter which.  My guess is the phone.  Always bet on the smartphone.

Once the data is synchronized, you can view and analyze the information on your iPhone or Android smartphone with the freely available app.

On a side note, there are a few things that I’m keeping in mind.  First of all, Nike has been a little vague about the future of the FuelBand line, as seen in a report on Re/Code back in April 2014. (Since the report, Nike did release a new color variant of the FuelBank SE with the same specs the other SE devices.)

Secondly, in my opinion, the UP represents “last year’s model” as it does not include Bluetooth connectivity.  At this point in the fitness tracking game, I see wireless connectivity as a must.  The trade of is that you can get the device for $40 and so, since I’m only playing with it from the onset, this isn’t a deal breaker.  There are other activity trackers on the market that can do more and sync wireless to your smartphone for twice as much money.

And finally, there is the Apple Watch on the horizon.  Apple has told us a little about what to expect, but it breaks down like this – the Apple Watch is a watch, has grandiose smart device ambitions for the future, tracks your activity, needs to be charged daily and with the pricing starting at $349, the Apple Watch will be expensive.  (I fully expect that the configuration I want to be closer to $549-649 when you add in an extra band.)

For the time being, I think I am going to stick with the Nike+ FuelBand as my “official” device.  The Jawbone UP will be the device I use to track my sleep with and to generally play around with to see what other companies in the activity tracker field are doing.  And lastly, I will wait until we have more information about the Apple Watch pricing before I make a decision about what device will be my new “every day” device.

For more information about the UP and UP24 activity trackers, check out the Jawbone website.

health · ios · kinsa

Kinsa Smart Thermometer

I was just perusing the online Apple Store ahead of a trip to the mall and ran across the Kinsa Smart Thermometer.

“The Kinsa Smart Thermometer neatly plugs into your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and takes rapid, 10-second temperature readings in conjunction with the Kinsa SmartHealth app. To make temperature taking as easy and enjoyable as possible, the app displays delightful screens that engage and calm your children.”

Kids around the world hoping to stay home from school by faking a fever are now saddened.  The thermometer to the light bulb trick will no longer work.

For more information, check out the Kinsa thermometer page at the online store.

browsers · internet explorer · microsoft · spartan

Rumor: Microsoft is Building a New Browser

A new report on ZDNet by longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, if true, suggests that Microsoft is cooking up a new web browser that is not Internet Explorer 12.

“It turns out that what’s actually happening is Microsoft is building a new browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to a couple of sources of mine.”

Even if we ignore the “Spartan” Halo reference (Microsoft has chosen to name the Windows 8.1 digital assistant “Cortana” after the fictional computer AI character of the same name that helps Master Chief in their Halo video game franchise), this sounds like a pretty interesting move by Microsoft as Foley goes on to report that the new browser “will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions.”

So far, I’ve been a support of where CEO Satya Nadella has been talking Microsoft’s products and services.  I’ve also been running the Windows 10 Technical Preview (in a virtual machine) for some time now and really like it.

Whatever “Spartan” turns out to be, I’m sure it will be part of the cloud services roadmap that Microsoft has been working steadily toward.

[Via ZDNet.com…]

apple · mac os x · yosemite

Apple Publishes OS X "Critical" Security Update

Earlier today, Apple published a “critical” OS X security update that closes a potential vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol service.

As is typical of Apple and other software vendors, the specifics of the vulnerability are not mentioned in the App Store Updates tab.  At the time we saw the update appear on our Macs, the Apple Security Updates web page had not yet been updated with the patch details.

The Network Time Protocol patch weighs in at 1.4MB and is available now via the OS X Yosemite App Store Updates tab.