Giantplus Technology: Capacitive Touch Panel Production Investment

Giantplus Technology, a small/medium LCD manufacturer based in Taiwan, announced that it will invest US$25M to establish a capacitive touch panel production line in Kunshan, China. Initial capacity is expected to be 1M units per month and increase to an eventual 2-3M. Sample production will commence in Q1’10 with volume production slated for Q2 or Q3. Source: DIGITIMES

Cinch

Irradiated Software: There is a feature in Windows 7 that dramatically improves window management, but is absent in OS X. Drag the window to the left of your screen and it automatically resizes the window to take exactly have of your screen. Same thing happens when you drag a window to the right edge of your screen. This is a must-have for me since I tend to open up two windows side-by-side when blogging. But resizing windows on a Mac is a pain, to say it mildly. Cinch is a simple, elegant and must-have utility for dramatically improved window management on the Mac. Perfect.

Update: I have moved on from Cinch to a much more affordable solution called DoublePane.

The General Purpose Device Will Win The Day

That’s part of Steve Job’s answer to a question about the Kindle asked by David Pogue a few months ago. He also mentioned that Apple doesn’t see e-books as a big market right now pointing to Amazon.com never sharing exactly how many Kindles it sells. John Gruber at Daring Fireball sheds some light on Apple’s position regarding a Kindle-like dedicated e-book reader in his post “The Tablet“:

Not enough people read it to make it worth creating a dedicated device that is to reading what the original iPod was to music.

The premise is that almost everyone listens to music, but not so with reading books, magazines or newspapers. I’m not so sure; it depends on the generation. I’m 38. Those who are quite a bit older tend to read more books, magazines, and newspapers, but not on the computer and certainly not on something like a Kindle. The same folks do listen to music but not in the way the younger generation listens to music: the older generation listens to music as background to enhance the ambience. For the younger, listening to music is more of a portable and personal experience.

Maybe it’s because I live in Silicon Valley but most of those toting iPods and iPhones are generally younger. I haven’t seen many reading books, let alone on a Kindle. I did see one person who works for Microsoft with a Kindle at a local Le Boulanger and he was probably in his forties. My point is this: a dedicated reading device like the Kindle has a very limited market not because no one reads but because those who do prefer to read, read the real thing and the younger who are enamored with high-tech devices don’t read as much.

Gruber also poses the question: “If you already have an iPhone and a MacBook; why would you want this?” Gruber’s best guess: “The Tablet is something you’ll buy instead of a MacBook.” Apple’s tablet, whatever the real name, will be the very first next generation computer, redefining what a portable computer is, according to Gruber: “I think The Tablet is nothing short of Apple’s reconception of personal computing.”

Again, I’m not so sure. The iPhone, even with all 100,000 apps, is primary an experience consumption device. You listen to music, watch videos, surf the Internet, read ebooks, access your bank accounts, etc. On the other end of the spectrum is the general purpose device like the MacBook that allows you to do all that the iPhone does but in addition enables you to create: create music, create videos, create websites, etc. Yes, you can take pictures and record videos using the iPhone but if you want to be creative with them you’ll need to sync to your MacBook, load up Photoshop, iMovie, etc. and get to work.

Will The Tablet primarily be an experience consumption device or a device that lets you create? Depending on the answer The Tablet will replace your MacBook, your iPhone, or both.

Sprint Overdrive Dual Mode WiMAX EV-DO Mobile Hotspot

For just $49.99 per month with a contract (presumably 2 years) you can get Sprint’s Overdrive that connects to WiMAX and EV-DO signals and pumps out WiFi. Nice. Verizon’s MiFi seems to be slightly limited and a bit over-priced at $60 per month for just EV-DO. But do I want these mobile hotspots to be blasting WiFi signals (strong enough for a 100-foot range for the Overdrive) through my biological spots? Maybe Bluetooth is a safer option. Source: Engadget

Nexus One: Fast and Beautiful

Google_Nexus_One_HiRez_Android_OLED_Smartphone26.7FPS on Qualcomm’s Neocore benchmark. This is about as fast as some results that are posted up on the Internet for HTC’s Hero.

Just as impressive is the extremely smooth Android UI transitions (YouTube link) and the interactive animated background wallpapers (another YouTube link). Be careful about that second link: at 1:55 or so there is a 2-second NSFW clip.

There are high-resolution photos of the Nexus One at BHeller. Finally.

The additional pixels (800 x 480) on the Nexus One allows for simply more and the OLED display shows off that blacks should really be black. Source: BHeller via Nowhereelse, Engadget

Paradigm Shift EER-051, EER-071: 5-inch, 7-inch Color eBook Readers

Engadget: Paradigm Shift’s EER-051 and EER-071 ebook readers are based on low-energy consumption 5-inch and 7-inch LCDs, respectively. Both ereaders are expected to ship in February via Delstar for US$149.95 for the EER-051 and $199.95 for the EER-071.

Do we need an ebook reader that lasts a week? Are we willing to sacrifice color? The answer seems to be yes and yes for a lot of folks looking at how the Kindle has sold. But for me, it’s no and no. All I need is about 24 hours–about the time I would need to get to a power outlet even when I’m out and about. Color? Absolutely, because I want to read but not just black and white text.

National Geographic: 1888 – 2008, Everything on HDD

National Geographic: All of National Geographic, from 1888 to 2008, is on a 160GB HDD. With 100GB to spare. National Geographic seems to have done a tremendous job of compressing 120 years worth of data, pictures, videos, etc. into just 60GB. I wish I could do that. For the convenience of having everything on a HDD instead of 6 separate DVDs you pay US$200, a $140 premium over the DVDs. A 64GB SSD would have been more useful.

Nexus One: Purchase Page

Google_Nexus_One_Android_OLED_Smartphone_Purchase_Page

There are two options:

  • Nexus One + T-Mobile Plan for $179.99 and $79.99/mo for unlimited text, data, mobile-to-mobile and 500 minutes of anytime talk.
  • Nexus One (unlocked) for $529.99

ETF is a stiff $350 if you cancel your contract within 120 days according to Gizmodo. Solid competition for the iPhone I believe. via Engadget