PDA News – 2 GB SD card, BN ebooks discontinued, DLink beta drivers

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Sandisk rumored to be prepping 2 GB SD memory card

A rumor is curculating that says Sandisk is close to announcing a 2 GB SD memory card as part of its Ultra line of high-speed memory cards. MSMobiles.com has aquired a purported image of the new card.

Sandisk 2 GB SD card

No information is available on release date or pricing, though for a 2 GB SD card a base price of $2000 is not unthinkable, possibly more. Make no mistake, this isn’t really meant for the largest segment of the handheld computing market, it is intended to boost SD cards in the high-end photography arena, where gigabytes of Storage can translate to only a couple hundred pictures. Currently CompactFlash cards are dominant in this space due to their large size and established hardware support.



Barnes & Noble halts ebook sales, phases out downloads

Barnes and Noble has sent notices out to customers saying that they have decided to stop selling electronic books, effective September 9th. Current ebook customers have 90 days to download any books that they have bought before the download server is deactivated. If, after December 9th, you ever lose the book file or the MS Passport account, you will not be able recover your book. 

If this isn’t an appropriate place for a rant, I don’t know what is. It’s exactly this kind of half-hearted customer service that makes encrypted, locked-up books such a bad idea. One decision about cost-effectiveness by a vice-vice-president, and all BN’s ebook customers are suddenly out in the cold, sitting on ticking time-bombs that no matter how much care is taken will sooner or later become unusable because Microsoft felt that readers needed to be treated like dangerous felons. And, or course, using one of the freely available tools to convert the books you own to a less restricted form would be highly illegal–at least in the United States, where legislators are half-off every Thursday.

If any booksellers are reading this, put your head up to the monitor. To sell ebooks, you have to offer the customers a simple, elegant, and flexible system rather than demanding a strip-search and fingerprinting. Look over at Palm Digital Media, and behold the people who will be beating you mercilessly for as long as they exist, because they are a lot smarter than you are.


Beta drivers for DLink under WinMobile ’03

Networking manufacturer DLink has posted beta drivers for its DCF-660W WiFi CompactFlash card for use under Windows Mobile 2003. This partially addresses the lack of driver support for the card under the new OS.

Users are reporting the mixed results one would expect from beta drivers, including some people for whom the PocketPC 2002 drivers functioned properly. In other words, if your current setup works, don’t change your drivers, and wait until full and final drivers are available before buying a 660W for your new PocketPC.



6 GB CompactFlash card on order

MobilePlanet is taking pre-orders for the new Pretec 6 GB CompactFlash card that will be shipping at the end of this month. 6 gigs of flash memory–that’s enough to hold 40 movies at PocketPC resolution, or 100 hours of CD-quality audio, or 15,000 books. The price is equally impressive, at US$4500, which is enough to buy 300 PocketPCs.



McDonalds WiFi service expands to Seattle

McDonalds has decided to expand their in-store WiFi internet service to their Seattle area stores. I can’t help but think that McDonalds is trying to get blood from a turnip here. The entire Seattle area is honeycombed with WiFi access points to such an extent that even the listed free access points run by local businesses run into the scores, and the unlisted ones run by individuals and co-ops like PersonalTelco probably number in the hundreds. Not to mention competition from TMobile’s presence in Starbucks. I suspect McDonalds’ experiment with high-tech won’t last long.



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