Digital pen, GPS PDA top gadgets at electronics show
By JIM BROOKS
you have had a TV on over the past week or so, you've most likely
seen reports of the latest electronics devices debuting at the annual
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
show is the industry's chance to highlight its latest gadgets, hardware
and software. Gadget freaks like me love to see reports from CES.
More than 2,000 companies hauled their latest wares to CES for the
biggest electronics show of the year.
of the most interesting new gadgets are improvements on two devices
I already own -- a cellular phone and a handheld Personal Digital
International was at CES showing off its new iQue 3600 PDA. It looks
similar to the Palm I carry around, and even runs the same Palm
operating system mine uses. But Garmin has merged a fully operational
(and state-of-the-art) PDA with its GPS global positioning hardware
to create the iQue.
GPS PDA features a large color screen and 32 MB of memory. It'll
be available this Spring with complete mapping software for $589.
phone maker Nokia was promoting its new flip-top 6800 phone. The
phone appears much like its other phones, but with a difference.
Turn the phone sideways and the keypad opens up to reveal a complete
mini QWERTY keyboard. The image on the screen even rotates 90 degrees
to accommodate the phones additional capability.
no touch-typing with this keyboard, but if you've ever tried to
type a message using a phone keypad, you know it is frustrating
and time consuming. The 3600 not only offers a keyboard, but lots
of new features, including voice dialing, built-in speakerphone,
e-mail software, a Web browser, FM stereo radio and a number of
PDA applications built in.
Nokia 3600 is already being promoted on the Nokia Web site (complete
with animated demo) at www.nokia.com. This top-shelf model will
likely command a top price, though Nokia's Web site doesn't mention
its anticipated retail price.
3600 was one among several high-tech cell phones at CES. Phones
from Hitachi and Samsung also offer built-in PDA functions and digital
Hitachi Multimedia Communicator looks more like a PDA than a traditional
cell phone. It resembles a PDA with a mini-keyboard attached. The
unit is powered by the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system, and
is designed for use on the Sprint PCS network.
no price was announced, but expect it to be aimed at the high-end
cell phone users haven't clamored for the extra-feature cell phones
so far, but the latest crop of high-tech phones surely will appeal
to the gadget-obsessed person in your family.
PEN. Probably the most affordable gadget I've seen (and the
one most likely to benefit someone who scribbles lots of notes like
me) is the Logitech io.
is well known for its computer-input devices like mice, keyboards
and game controllers. You can add a new input device to that list
-- computerized ink pen.
io is an ink pen that captures what you write as a digital file.
It can capture up to 40 pages of information -- notes, drawings,
whatever -- which is then downloaded to your PC.
pretty neat, eh? The pen requires "digital paper" -- Logitech's
name for paper preprinted with a tiny dot-pattern background. A
built-in optical sensor scans what you write as you write it, saving
it until you download it as a file to your computer.
io is like an ink pen that makes a digital copy of your notes, something
that could be handy for people who do lots of note taking or drawing.
The notes created by the io can be printed on your printer or e-mailed
to others as an attachment. At $199.95, it's probably the most expensive
ink pen you'll ever buy, but if you're looking for the gift for
the person who already has everything, chances are they won't have
OF 2002. The month of January brings with it the usual gaggle
of newspaper stories and TV segments that look back on the events
that occurred during 2002. We're near the beginning of the awards
show cycle -- the Grammys, the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe
Awards, to name a few -- during which honors are bestowed on performers,
artists and entertainers.
you won't find a category for "Most Annoying Celebrity"
among any award show nominations. To find that, you'll need to visit
the Web site to answer a single question: "Am I Annoying?"
site, AmIAnnoying.com, gives Internet users a chance to vote for
their most annoying celebrity, complete with reasons why he or she
totals for 2002 are in, and Martha Stewart was voted Most Annoying
Celebrity of 2002. Of the nearly 600,000 voters who voted on Stewart,
79 percent voted she was annoying.
the site's simple premise, it has attracted quite a following. More
than 45 million votes were cast on 6,707 celebrities last year.
who followed Stewart in the Most Annoying category include cooking
show star Ainsley Harriott (No. 2), psychic John Edward (No. 7),
16th-century scholar Nostradamus (No.8), Yoko Ono (No. 11) and Geraldo
Rivera (No. 14). The Web site itself was ranked No. 15 in annoying
can also cast votes for celebrities who are not annoying. The list
of Least Annoying Celebrities of 2002 was topped by TV and film
actress Mischa Barton, followed by actresses Holly Marie Combs,
Mary Louise Parker and Amber Benson, and WNBA point guard Sue Bird.
The only men in the Top 25 Least Annoying category were actor Brian
Dennehy (No. 13), musician Rob Thomas (No. 15), and actor Pierce
celebrity voting booth for 2003 wasn't open yet, but a discussion
board is available for chat related to your favorite annoying or
not-so-annoying celebrity. For more details, visit www.AmIAnnoying.com.
BAN. The popular Ask Jeeves search engine is joining the growing
chorus of sites that are eliminating advertising banners.
Jeeves is scrapping banners and following the lead of other search
engines that have turned to paid listings and targeted ads to create
to Steve Berkowitz, president of Ask Jeeves, the ads weren't worth
the visual distraction they caused site visitors. The banners pushed
search engine results further down the page, forcing visitors to
scroll down to see results.
Jeeves joins search sites Google, Yahoo and AltaVista in the move
to boot banners.
acknowledged the shift is aimed at improving the site's appearance.
Ask Jeeves is struggling to keep pace with other search engines
as the competition for users increase.
FADE. For the owners of an estimated 300 million PCs, the end
is near. The world isn't ending, but technical support for the Windows
98 and Windows NT 4.0 will be cut off by Microsoft later this year.
software will continue to function just like it always has. The
June 30 cut-off means the company will no longer officially support
the two operating systems, and will no longer offer updates and
security patches for them.
two operating systems will join other Windows operating systems
Microsoft no longer supports, including Windows 95, Windows 3.1,
Windows 3.11 and earlier versions of Windows NT. It is estimated
that millions of older PCs still use these versions of Windows.