PDA News – Palm rumors, WiFi world record, New i-mate JAM

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Rumors: New OS testing; no Treo this year

Take this for what it is: a completely unsubstantiated rumor. But allegedly, some time in late August or early September, certain developers will be receiving Palm handhelds loaded with a new operating system for beta-testing. Not specified in the rumor, just to keep everyone guessing, is what operating system this is. It’s far too early for Palm Linux, leaving the abandoned Palm OS Cobalt and longshot Windows Mobile as the only obvious entrants.

The beta unit is reportedly a traditional handheld, not a Treo smartphone, which would seem to disconnect it from the various rumors of Cobalt and Windows based Treos.

Also, reported from the same source, the next-generation Treo won’t be released until early next year, due to difficulties with the Push-To-Talk functionality on the soon-to-be-merging Sprint-Nextel network. New Treos traditionally appear first through Sprint, giving the company a considerable exclusivity period. Palm has usually released Treos late in the year, around October/November.

The reliability of either of these rumors is effectively impossible to determine, since they’re entirely speculative. Either or both could possibly be true, but we won’t know for certain until we get more evidence.


Unamplified WiFi connection at 125 miles

A team of WiFi enthusiasts have broken their own record for the longest successful WiFi network connection, stretching 124.9 miles. The connection was made from Mt. Potosi, 22 miles south of Las Vegas, to St. George, Utah, on the Arizona border. The group sustained an 11 megabit connection for approximately 3 hours.

The catch? It requires a 10-12 foot dish antenna on either end of the connection. Despite the size of the antennas, the distance was achieved without the use of independent amplifiers, placing it far beyond the previous records. The system also broke the record for amplified WiFi connections, which previously stood at 82 miles.



i-mate JAM “Limited Edition” with 128 MB RAM

Carrier Devices, a reseller of HTC PocketPC phones under the i-mate brand, has announced a new “Limited Edition” version of their popular i-mate JAM. The main difference from the standard JAM, also known as the HTC Magician, is that the new LE comes with 128 MB of RAM and a charcoal grey casing. Smaller additions include preloaded software: an antivirus app from Consumer Associates (unnecessary given the lack of PocketPC viruses) and Skype, along with a two-year warranty and a free 512 MB SD memory card.

What is not offered is an upgrade to Windows Mobile 5.0, which is due out later this summer. That being the case, it appears that what is “limited” about the JAM is its life cycle. It’s hard to see this as anything other than trying to clear out existing stock before the new OS arrives.

The JAM LE is expected to be available mid-August.



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