PDA News – Access platform pictures, RIM and NTP dig in, Palm Bluetooth headphones

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Pictures of upcoming Access Linux Platform?

Images are circulating which appear to show the early-stage user interface of the Access Linux Platform. The images, published by Mobile-Review, depict a Haier N60 Linux-based phone running Palm applications, as well as a new style of launcher.

The most interesting photo shows the N60 running the Palm OS “Memos” application. This would seem to back up the idea that this is a preliminary version of the Access Linux Platform, complete with Palm OS emulation. Still, with the Access Linux Platform not likely to ship to manufacturers until the end of the year, these images could change considerably before ALP makes even an informal debut.



RIM and NTP dig in; chances of deal “slim”

The odds of a settlement in the long-running patent infringement lawsuit between Research In Motion and patent-holder NTP seem to be dwindling, based on statements by both companies. Research In Motion’s co-CEO said on Wednesday that the amount of money involved wasn’t the problem, but rather that NTP wouldn’t offer terms that would allow RIM to continue doing business as they have. He did not elaborate on what the terms were. NTP is no less adamant on the subject, refusing to budge, and issuing a statement slamming RIM for what it described as the use of “inappropriate influnce” to try and get NTP’s patents overturned. The two companies are currently locked in holding pattern awaiting the ruling of a Virginia court. Earlier this week, the court declined to provide an immediate decision on shutting down the Blackberry service, but would issue a written ruling at some point later. 


Bluetooth audio support for Palm OS

Yes, it’s true. Softick, the company that made it possible to go online via a Palm’s sync cable, has provided Bluetooth stereo audio to most current Bluetooth enabled Palm devices. Softick Audio Gateway works with Bluetooth devices that use the A2DP protocol, sometimes referred to a High Quality Audio: headphones, stereo receivers, and other similar devices. And cool functionality aside, you’ve got to give points to any program with this kind of slogan: “Softick Audio Gateway: Listen Palm wirelessly!” 

Audio Gateway supports the Palm TX, Lifedrive, T5, T3, E2, Zire 72, and Treo 650. No indication of whether the company intends to make a Windows Mobile version for those devices left without an A2DP option.



Altoids USB charger–for that minty fresh voltage

There’s a long history in mobile technology of building what you need out of whatever you happen to have. See, for instance, the famous “cantenna,” a WiFi signal booster built out of a coffee can. But I have to admit, this is the first time that I’ve seen a battery charger that could “refresh” your handheld in more ways than one.

Yes, it’s the Altoids USB battery charger. Apparently, some iPod user built a battery charger out of an empty Altoids tin. Not to be out done, a fellow named Aaron Dunlap decided to build a full USB port into an Altoids tin, so that it could charge any device for which there is a USB cable. The charger runs on a single 9 volt battery, and apparently uses a single 7805 voltage regulator to provide a standard 5 volts. Add a simple switch, a USB socket–say, from a disassembled USB extension cable–and an indicator LED, and you’re ready to go. Of course, if you don’t know what any of that means, or how to do it, the guy who built it is selling kits along with instructions (but minus the tin casing) on his website for $9.50.




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