PDA News – New i-Mates, Software updates, Black Box Voting

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Two new i-Mate Pocket PC phones

Well, it’s just raining Pocket PC phones lately, this time into the i-Mate family. The first one today is a stock version of the HTC Blue Angel, a.k.a. XDA III, coming from Carrier Devices in Australia. It will feature the original 400 MHz processor, and will be sold under the name PDA2k.

The second unit, also being released by Carrier, is the pint-sized HTC phone that we mentioned just a few days ago. The HTC name for this design is ‘Magician,’ but Carrier is marketing it under the name JAM. Both units have quad-band GSM/GPRS.

This also increases the chances of these units coming to the North American market, though probably at very high prices. The existing i-Mate PPC phone, identical to the XDA II, has been doing very well on the export market.


Software updates from TealPoint, Chapura, more

It’s time for a round-up of software updates again, starting with TealPoint.

TealPhone 4.0, a contacts replacement and phone management program, adds support for a variety of screen resolutions, text auto-completion, 5-way directional pads, T3 enhanced contacts fields, and a new interface.


Chapura’s KeySuite 3.2 adds complete integration with the Treo phones, new sorting options, and filtering by dates.


WebIS and Phatware, makers of Pocket Informant and Calligrapher respectively, are teaming up to bundle PhatNotes Lite with Pocket Informant version 5.2. PhatNotes Lite is designed to take, organize, sort, and file text based notations.



PDAmill never seems to give up. They have new Pocket PC puzzle game out, called Traffic Mania, which features over 300 levels. A Palm OS version will also be available later this month. On top of that, they’re running a 50% off sale on their popular action game Snails all through September.



Windows CE tablets control fate of world

This next isn’t my usual beat, but it’s a slow news day, an important story, and it features Windows CE. Sue me.

Tiny touchscreen computers running Microsoft Windows CE may may decide the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election in November–at least, that’s the fear of voting rights activists. The WinCE-based voting machines, made by companies Diebold Election Systems and Election Systems & Software, have been shown to be marginally accurate in the best of circumstances, have been undetectably hacked in five minutes by persons with minimal tools and minimal skills, and fail to provide paper trails for independant recounts. Adding to activists concerns are that the companies in question are owned and operated almost exclusively by people with both strong partisan ties and shady business dealings. The glitches in the system are so gratuitous that the California Attorney General is pursuing fraud charges against Diebold for lying about their capabilities when selling the machines.

The crazy part is, despite all this, as many as half of all American voters may use a Touchscreen voting machine to cast their vote this year. All I ask is that if we wake up on November 3rd, and we have elected a 14 year old kid who goes by the name Ph33r, everybody is clear on who we should hang first.




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