Judie’s Gear Diary – 2006-09-22


This morning at 5:30, I was awakened by a call from Steve
telling me that Sarah had shaved several seconds off her events at
her just completed varsity swimming time trials! I hate that I
missed them, but talking to Steve and then Sarah made it almost as
good as being there. Yay Sarah, I am so proud of you – you rock!

I waited until a little bit later, then called Joel to see if he
wanted to walk with me to breakfast. Once there, Eric joined us and
we enjoyed another fabulous meal before walking down the hall to
our morning sessions.

Derek Snyder was the first presenter, giving a quick overview on
Windows Mobile. He quickly moved into a demo of Mobile Windows
Live. He also showed the new WM5 integration with XBox Live, for
those of you that are gamers. Derek then demonstrated some
Smartphone power toys and soon to be released applications,
including: Photo Browsing App, which allows you to look at
thumbnails of stored photos from the Smartphone Today screen, and
Speed Dial Today, which shows a photo for each speed dial contact
on the Today Screen, and even allows on the fly “ranking” of the
photos. Hurricane Tracker is an amazing new program (out today)
that shows live tracking of…wait for it…hurricanes! MobiTV is a
no-fuss solution for people that want up to 50 channels of live TV
streaming on their device. Lobster broadcasts streaming content
from the user’s PC. Mobile Medical Visualization, a new application
for doctors. Holy cow! this app allows doctors to look at patient
information, stream CT scan information, 3D heart scans, we
actually watched a movie of some woman’s colonoscopy…wow, just

Derek gave a demonstration of Tony Hawk (THPS2) on an
Axim…then on a Motorola Q. Point being that this was an app that
had been made and optimized for an advanced PocketPC device, but
was also running quite well on a “lesser” device – his words, Q
users, don’t hate!

Derek ended his talk with a massive information barrage
including details on the latest WM5 AKU3 release. One of the
coolest features was Language Pack which allows the user to choose
the operating language their device will run. This is huge! So for
instance, Dopod could ship a device in China, but if an American
user wants to use it in their own language, they can simply set the
language to English during the initial setup. There is also a new
Auxillery Display which allows the user to choose what they see, a
new Quick Start Wizard, Email Account Setup walk-through, various
ActiveSync updates, easier WiFi connectivity, changes and updates
in Messaging, updates to Windows Media Player – video scaling, and
so many other updates that it was near impossible to keep up with

Next, Nick White gave a presentation on Windows Vista which
really made me want to try out the beta…possible bugs and all.
Any time I see the latest and greatest operating system, it just
makes me drool. Maybe is is a “grass is always greener” thing, but
wow, Vista looks slick. Nick’s demo nearly made my mouth
water…okay, not nearly! It did!

At one of the breaks between sessions, we were given a Dopod/HTC
Hermes, a custom Vaja case, and a CD containing a release candidate
for Windows Vista…hey now! There was no need to jump in that pool
after all!

Dion Wiggins, Vice President and Research Director of Gartner,
and a man with more credits in his curriculum vitae than…well, I
can’t even think of a good example, but anyway, he stood up and
gave an amazing presentation on what the future holds for mobile
devices. Some of the topics he touched upon included: managing how
you control your time and productivity with the disruption of being
connected 24/7; the many technologies demanded by wireless
solutons; multimodal user interaction – like the term
“nouse”(…have you heard of this before? Believe it or not, it is
an image recognition that uses your nose as a mouse!); Technology
that uses such facial recognition as gaze sensing, gestures,
‘doubleblinks’, lip sync; the many challenges of being a mobile
operator; the “internetization” of mobilty; the dimension of
design, which covered convergent devices and the idea of a device
changing its primary use with the switch of a button that has been
programmed to activate a desired profile. Also covered were key
trade-offs from various form factorsand future display

Sebastian Schmidt, with SPB Software House gave a
mostly confidential speech about their futre Windows Mobile 5
software product roadmap. If you are unfamiliar with their
products, take a look at the Pocket PC Software list on the sidebar
of my gear diary. What I can tell you is that they have some
very nice upcoming applications along with some really
excellent already available programs, so keep an eye on the SPB
site and definitely give their software a try. I have personally
purchased their Diary, Weather & Backup solutions, and I
recommend them highly.

Hey, have you noticed the WM5 trend in today’s discussions? I’ve
been loving it!

The next presentation was given by Olaf Lohman from ComVu. This is an amazing program and
service that allows you to broadcast live content on the net. You
can even set up pay-per-view events, so yes…jokes about how the
porn industry would love this service abounded. But really, it was
one of the most innovative ideas I have seen for imidiate content
uploading – almost like having your own television broadcast.

After Olaf’s presentation, we had 30 minutes before we needed to
meet in the lobby for dinner and an evening of Muay Thai –

For dinner, we went to the most amazing local open-air
restaurant, Tangke, where we saw about 30 huge water-filled vats
all in a row. Inside these vats were every variety of seafood
imaginable – horse-shoe crab, soft-shell crab, different types of
fish, mussels, prawns, lobster…we knew we were in for something
special! No sooner had we been seated than the meal began. Plate
after plate of family style entrees came to the table, along with a
soup toureen. About an hour later, we had eaten our fill and were
ready to see the fights!

We pulled up at the Muay Thai arena, and the place was teeming
with locals. We had ringside seats (1000 Baht each) from where we
watched several fights between young boys weighing just 60 (or
less) pounds, and there were girls fighting, too! We winced
as they punched each other in the face and kicked the crap out of
each other…these girls were amazing – they had no fear!
Then the 130 pound men came out and the fights got much more
serious. I saw (and video recorded) my first knockout fight…holy
cow! When the guy was decked in the mouth, the spit flew!
Those sitting on the front row, and even those of us on the second,
got covered in it! I was thankful for that Hep B shot I’d received
before leaving, ha! We were back to the hotel around midnight, and
I was so exhausted that it wasn’t long before I was in my room and
fast sleep.

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