Treo 800p rumor just a joke
There was a recent rumor originating from TreoCentral about a Treo 800p smartphone. The 800p, ostensibly shown off in a hotel lobby bar to the user who reported it, was supposed to be thinner than the existing Treos, 128 MB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.0, EVDO, and with a 3.2 megapixel camera. Now, if your Falsity Alarms didn’t start going off when we hit the phrase “hotel lobby bar,” they should be now. There is no realistic way that the device described existed, much less that it would be available on March 15th as reported.
Today, logical assumptions were backed up by a withering rant from the person who made the original post, clarifying that it was intended as a parody of the dozens of other wild and unsubstantiated rumors flying about, and that it was not a serious report. He went on to add that he was horrified by the number of people who took it at face value. This admonition was immediately followed by a large number of messages whose contents could be best summarized as “You suck, liar.” The incident also earned the user a one week ban from posting in the forums at TreoCentral.
iPaq hx4700 OS upgrade March 1st
Remember the promised Windows Mobile 5 upgrade for the iPaq hx4700 series? Don’t feel bad, neither does anyone else–except the poor folk stuck waiting for it. It was way back in August of last year that HP announced they would be delaying the upgrade–planned for a September/October release–until “early 2006.” What exactly this meant baffled many, but now we have a solid answer: March 1st, 2006, thanks to HP’s support site. The upgrade will cost around $40, if anyone actually still cares to buy it.
Handheld sales figures for Q4 2005
IDC has released their worldwide handheld sales figures for the last quarter of 2005. While total sales were down 18% compared to the same period last year, they were better than the Q3, increasing by over 37%.
The Big Three were back in the big three slots: Palm at #1, HP at #2, and Dell at #3. This follows two quarters where Dell was bumped into the #4 slot by upstarts like Medion and Acer, who have mainly been capitalizing on the enormous boom in GPS navigation handhelds in Europe.
Palm sold approximately 1.0 million units, more than doubling sales of the previous quarter, despite a 14% drop from the year ago period. HP rose a modest 17% from the third quarter, to 465,000 shipped, following a brutal year for the #1 PocketPC manufacturer. Dell, the most insulated of the big three from seasonal buying spikes, rose 10% from Q3, to about 178,000 devices shipped.
Rounding out the list are Acer, who doubled their sales from a year ago, rising to over 126,000 units, and Medion, who slipped to just under 97,000 units sold.
Public service announcement: save Fair Use
This is off the regular beat, but it needs to be said. There exists a principle in copyright law that it is acceptable to use trademarks and copyrighted materials, without the holder’s permission, for the purpose of news reporting, parody, education, and other non-infringing uses.
There’s currently a bill in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee called the Trademark Dilution Revision Act. It effectively eliminates the Fair Use doctrine, allowing a trademark holder to take action against previously protected uses on the grounds that their trademark is being “diluted,” a phrasing which could be taken to mean almost anything. Taken to extreme, for instance, you could get sued for using the phrase “where’s the beef?” without written consent of Wendy’s.
This bill would affect many areas of life, including the ability of sites like ours to offer frank discussion of various products and services. Envision a site like ours not being able to use the name of a company, product, or service in a negative context without the risk of being sued. If you’re a concerned U.S. citizen, please use the information below to contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and tell them to prevent this ridiculous proposition from becoming law.