Apple iPhone v2

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

announced new features of Firmware 2.0 and the SDK, including:

– contact searching
– complete iWork document support
– complete Office document support (now includes PowerPoint)
– bulk delete and move for Mail
– save images you receive
– scientific calculator in landscape mode
– parental controls
– language

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

The new iPhones will cost $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) with an unlimited 3G data plan costing $30/month. This is an increase from the current $20/month unlimited EDGE data plan for the 1st generation iPhone. Voice plans continue to start at $39.99, but no additional details are provided.

Meanwhile, AT&T reveals that Apple will no longer receive the revenue sharing from each users plans. It was highly publicized that AT&T paid Apple a portion of its monthly recurring service charges for each iPhone user. Under the new agreement, there is no revenue sharing. AT&T is presumably directing that money towards the $200 subsidy for the iPhone.

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

The new iPhones will cost $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) with an unlimited 3G data plan costing $30/month. This is an increase from the current $20/month unlimited EDGE data plan for the 1st generation iPhone. Voice plans continue to start at $39.99, but no additional details are provided.

Meanwhile, AT&T reveals that Apple will no longer receive the revenue sharing from each users plans. It was highly publicized that AT&T paid Apple a portion of its monthly recurring service charges for each iPhone user. Under the new agreement, there is no revenue sharing. AT&T is presumably directing that money towards the $200 subsidy for the iPhone.

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Gizmodo spoke with AT&T’s President of National Distribution Glenn Lurie, who revealed that all iPhone activations will take place in-store. This is in contrast to the current system in which customers may activate their iPhones from home using iTunes. Additionally, Reuters reports that AT&T has said that purchasers who do not activate their iPhones within 30 days will be subject to penalties. No details on these proposed penalties have been made public.

Apple – iPhone – Enterprise – Integration

f your office uses Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or 2007, iPhone 2.0 software will allow you to wirelessly push company email, calendar events, and contacts to iPhone over a 128-bit encrypted SSL connection.

Intel Nehalem 20-50% faster due in 2009

Early Version of Intel’s Nehalem Benchmarked, Much Faster than Penryn – Mac Rumors

Anandtech had access to a 2.66GHz Nehalem processor which they pitted against a 2.66GHz Penryn processor. Performance improvements ranged from 20-50% faster for the Nehalem chip. h.264 video encoding was tested and saw a 44% speed boost on Nehalem vs Penryn on the equally clocked processors. They claim that the 2.66GHz Nehalem outpaces the current top-of-the-line 3.2GHz Penryn.

Early Version of Intel’s Nehalem Benchmarked, Much Faster than Penryn – Mac Rumors

Apple will certainly adopt the Nehalem processors after they become available. While the first server-grade Nehalem processors are expected in Q4 of 2008, desktop and laptop models won’t be available until sometime in 2009.

Update on installing Chinese input on Blackberry

Well, I keep referring to my “own”:http://www.tongfamily.com/gadgets/blackberry/chinese_blackberry_and_cingular_blackberry.php page that explains how to install Chinese input on the Blackberry.

The two main steps that work for Blackberry 8700 and 8300 Curves is:

* “Hong Kong CSL”:https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads/entry.do?code=EEFC9E10EBDC4A2333B42B2DBB8F27B6 is still after two years the easiest way to get the Chinese versions. These are not multilingual. Chinese is handled as its own build.
* Delete c:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader\vendor.xml so it forgets to match your phone with the firmware version
* Run the Desktop Manager and do the application installatoin.

Beware! Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tire failure

I got the “Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D”:http://www.dunloptires.com/catalog/winterSport3D.html from “Tirerack.com”:http://tirerack.com a set of snow tires for the MDX. They were big and expensive ($136 each!) and 235/65HR17. I thought I was fine, but when the good guys at “Island Detail”:http://islanddetail.com took them off, they found the tread had separated on *all* four tires. Very dangerous and these were new tires.

So now, the question is what to do. This is one huge disadvantage of internet resellers, they basically say SOL. I have to go to a “Dunlop”:http://www.dunloptires.com/care/faqs.html#questions authorized reseller and convince them that all four tires couldn’t have failed with exactly the same time with identical symptoms (specifically, there is a concentric cut through the bottom of all the treads right down to the belts, like a knife at manufacturing cut through them all).

Good luck with that! “Goodyear”:http://www.geckmapping.com/maps/googlemaptest.asp?Lat=47.6167&Lon=-122.3324&Zoom=4&Address=1105%20STEWART%20ST&City=SEATTLE&State=WA&Zip=98101&Phone=(206)624-0984&LocName=GOODYEAR%20AUTO%20SERVICE%20CTR%20%238841&PageTitle=GOODYEAR%20AUTO%20SERVICE%20CTR%20%238841&Acct=demo&Splash=true&ID=5367122590884198472918 owns Dunlop brand, so I have to trundle over there and pray that someone listens.

There is a “warranty”:www.dunloptires.com/dunlop/warranty.pdf. You have to bring your invoice and where you installed it as well. “Tirerack Forums”:http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?referrerid=103730&t=1108286 have a big debate as background on the 3Ds which are essentially performance winter tires (that is, they work OK in the heavy snow, but perform well elsewhere).

I’m not the only one seeing manufacturing defects:

Dunlop SP Winter Sport M2 Tire Reviews & Ratings – Rate or Review a Tire

Developed many thin cracks on inside sidewall. Discovered it when one blew out on the highway at 20,000 mi of use. All four had same problem to different degree. Obviously a manufacturing defect. I’m hesitant to use Dunlop again even with rebate

Dining with company

So here is my own list of dining for a great occasion:

* Nishino. Omasekase dinner and get the private room too!
* “Art of the Table”:http://www.artofthetable.net/reservations.html. This is the latest trend, semiprivate dining. Reservations are impossible and you have to do weeks in advance. Only for thursday, friday and saturday.
* “how to cook a wolf”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=51151&s=nws. what a great name. From the guy who did Tavolata and Union. In Queen Anne, with handmade italian pasta.
* “Opal”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=47533&s=nws on Queen Anne with a short but very creative menu.
* “Tavolata”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=45891&s=nws in Belltown with hearty Italian.

Cloud Computing

Well, “Igncap”:http://igncap.com is nearly fully in the cloud. Our Exchange server is hosted (thank you “Applix”:http://applix.com) which is the main thing. Our fax service is as well (thank you “Metrohispeed”:http://metrohispeed.com) and is conferencing (thank you “FreeAudioConferencing.com”:http://freeaudioconferencing.com), as it our external website/blog (thank you “WordPress”:http://wordpress.com and “BlueHost”:http://bluehost.com) and intranet/wiki (thank you “Wikka Wiki”:http://wikkawiki.org) so what is next:

* “File and Backup by Egnyte”:http://egnyte.com. We are on a 15 day trial, but if you have 100Mbps or higher, then this might really work. It’s a server that let’s you back things up and have scratch storage. Right now, we have a pair of terabyte TimeCapsules, so it isn’t really too bad. In combination with TimeMachine, we’ve got a decent solution. We’ll give this a try.
* “Phone by Fonality”:http://fonality.com. The main issue is that We still have to buy a box for our IP PBX which is too bad. Maybe we’ll find another service that is all in the cloud in the next few years. . Fonality is kind of the right idea, but the box isn’t user configurable and they only work support 8-5PM. So really unacceptable for enterprise level. Trying “Pingtel”:http://pingtel.com next. Our trunks out are handled by “Broadvox”:http://broadvox.com.
* “Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations”:http://google.com. We are still using Mac Office, but maybe google apps will change all that someday soon.

All of this is really thanks to “Cogent”:http://cogentco.com, which we’ll love or curse if the Internet is unrealiable.

Best Restaurants by KIRO, 10Best

“KIRO”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030549/detail.html has a restaurant list. Let’s see how good they are:

“Pike Place Market”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030543/detail.html

* Alibi Room. I have to try it.
* Campagne. I actually like Cafe Campagne way better
* Chez Shea. Haven’t tried in a long time
* Il Bistro. Same need to try
* Le Pichet. Another one to try
* The Pink Door. Haven’t tried in a long time
* Matt’s in the Market. Really good
* Michou. Have to try
* World Class Chili

To this I’d have to add Steelhead Diner.

“Downtown”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030615/detail.html

They have a pretty expansive view of what is downtown

* Assaggio. It’s really in Belltown. Haven’t been there in years.
* Canlis. It’s really near Queen Anne. View is spectacular and menu is now updated. A good dinner spot
* Daniel’s Broiler. Its really in Lake Union. Traditional big meat place.
* Georgian Room. Stuffy but good at the fairmont
* Palomino. I would say corporate food really. Decent not great.
* Tulio. Really amazing for lunch. Very good
* Union Square Grill. Haven’t been there in years, supposed to be good
* Wild Ginger. IMHO over-rated

To these I would add

* Purple. The food is so, so, it is the cheese plate and wine tasting that is wonderful
* Bambuza. Haven’t tried it but look promising across from Convention Center on Pike.
* Oceanaire. Just stick with what’s recommended. Big restaurant, decent food.
* Andaluca. Very intimate. Spanish nouveau.

“Belltown”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031074/detail.html

Some good ones to try when it is sunny

* Afrikando. Have to try this one African cuisine
* Brasa. Haven’t been there in a while. Need to try
* Cutters. Just Ok, wouldn’t really recommend except for the view. But they you should go to Waterfront
* El Gaucho. Red meat galore
* Etta’s. Decent, i’m burnt out on pacific northwest fish I guess
* Flying Fish. Grear presentation
* Marco’s Supperclub. Need to visit again
* Palae Kitchen. Haven’t been in a while
* Shiro’s. Supposed to be incredible. need to try

“SoDo”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031190/detail.html

Where do you go on game days. Seriously, there isn’t great food here, but decent

* FX McRory’s. its a pub, enough said
* Kolbeh. Persian and Mediterranean
* Pecos Pit. BBW galore, need to try

“Pioneer Square and I district”:http://www.kirotv.com/station/2031268/detail.html

It’s just a short bus ride from downtown and some good choices:

* Il Terazzo Carmine. I still like this place
* Maneki. 304 6th Ave S, it is very basic sushi. Good to traditional

“Capitol Hill”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031363/detail.html isn’t known for its fine cuisine, but more basic grunge fair. A cut above the U District though

* Angel’s Thai. I thought this one had closed
* Galeria’s. Really in central district on Madison, I’ve never been brave enough to try it
* Monsoon. Worth the visit. New age Asian.
* Hana. Haven’t been there in years.
* Siam on Broadway. It’s Ok, but has slipped from it’s heights. Go to Ayutthaya instead.

And ones they didn’t name are:

* Machiavelli. A great spot for classic Italian. Not fancy

“Queen Anne”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031316/detail.html

They ahave some nice places there now like

* Buongusto
* Kaspar’s. I think I’ve been there. Decent.
* Melting Pot. Just fondue. A good novelty spot

Places they didn’t mention

* Boat Street Cafe. Kind of on the wter really

Some other places I’m surprised didn’t get mentioned are Rover’s for amazing French, Crush and Harvest Vine in Madison park.

“10Best.com”:http://www.10best.com/Seattle,WA/Restaurants/ is another high page rank site, but don’t know how good it is.

# Metropolitan Grill. It is really good for the classic steak. It is at the top rank like Daniel’s Broiler
# Canlis. Agreed it is a classic high end place, just not that exciting cuisine wise
# Nishino. A great spot, but you have to get the omasekase dinner to really enjoy it.
# Campagne. A classic french spot.
# Crush. It’s trendy and modern and nice, but I wouldn’t have picked it as a top 10
# Assaggio. I do have to try this again.
# Ray’s Boathouse. I wouldn’t have picked this one for the food, but view is great.
# Elemental. It is very chique with folks describing every ingredient. Tastes OK.
# Seastar. While this one in Bellevue is nice, I wouldn’t call it a 10 best.
# Andaluca. Very nice but I wouldn’t have thought it was one of 10 best.

Other I would have thought would have rated high are Cascadia as an example.

The Seattle Times’ “NWSource”:http://www.nwsource.com/peoplespicks/2007/ does lots of reviews.

Bengal Tiger. Best indian in Seattle I have to say
Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon. It is decent I’d say, but no more. I like the handmade noodles at Black Pearl better
Le Pichet. Keeps coming up. Got to try it again, supposed to be very french.
Perche No. Its in Wallingford and run by chinese folks. go figure, but supposed to be great. I like Cafe lago’s for sure
Cocina Experanze. Never heard of it, so probably good Mexican. Way out of the way near Golden Gardens Park in Ballard.
0/8 Seafood Grill. Its in the Bellevue Hyatt Regency. Go figure. From the chef who used to be at Salty’s Chandler’s
Buddha Ruksa. Best thai but its all the way in West Seattle.
Pho Cyclo. In Capital Hill and Sodo, supposed to be cheap and good.

“Best New”:http://www.nwsource.com/restaurants/guides/restaurants_081707.html

For people who are easily board:

* Ama Ama Osyter Bar. West Seattle.
* Art of the Table. Wallingford. New themed menu each weekend that is for catering and there is a small dining room
* Austin Cantina. Ballard. Tex-Mex feasting
* “Barolo”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=41271&s=nws. Home-made pastas. It’s in the Westlake Tower
* Betty. Sister to Crow. it is super creative. I’ve been to Crow and it is urban noisy and Ok on food.
* Boom Noodle. A nice causal spot
* Cafe Presse. Gourmet and casual from the folks who run Le Pichet. south capital Hill
* Coupage. Madrona. It is combon French/Karean.
* Gaudi. Tapas and Paelia in Rvenaa.
* How to Cook a Wolf. Italian delicacies, supposed to be good. Loer Queen Anne.
* Joule. Eclectic menu
* Julia’s Indonesian. What more can I say?
* Opal. Queen Anne. nouveauo at its best
* Qube. Downtown with Australia/Frnech.
* Steelhead Diner. Definitely a great spot.

“NW Source Fine Dining”:http://www.nwsource.com/restaurants/guides/finedining_031704.html

Don’t disagree with any of these:

* Andaluca
* Cafe Juanita
* Campagne
* Canlis
* Cascadia
* Earth & Ocean
* Le Gourmand
* Rover’s

PC Joysticks

This genre of games is pretty much dead now. Too bad. After you are done with Call of Duty 4, it is nice to just fly a plane. In the old days, Falcon was something i could play for hours. Now you can’t even really find a review of a PC joystick anymore. “Consumersearch.com”:http://www.consumersearch.com/www/computers/game-controllers/ has one dates from 2006 if you can believe that. Way back then I got a Thrustmaster Top Gun Fox 2 Shock Joystick (what a name!) and it still works. Purchase patterns on “pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/p/52/st=category/ show that the most popular are the Saitek X52, the CH Product Fighterstick, Saitek Cyborg EVO Force and the ThrustMaster T.Flight Stick X Joystick (only $37!).

In summary I’d say get the T.Flight if you are a basic user, the CH Products CombatStick if you are intermediate. See more notes below…

Net, net, the only vendors that are left are speciality ones like CH Products, Saitek and ThrustMaster. Here is what they have in the midrange of $50-100. So not junk, but not more than a computer:

“ThrustMaster T.Flight Stick X”:http://gear.ign.com/articles/843/843580p1.html is the only relatively new product. Nice thing is it works on Mac, PC or PS3. It is like the Top Gun 2 that I had previously. I’ve actually also had an older Thrustmaster as well that I don’t use anymore because it needed the old game interface.

Saitek X52 for $100. “Justenun.com”:http://www.justechn.com/reviews/articles/2006/09/10/saitek_x52.php says it is huge with lots of switches and a separate throttle. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/6335703/search=saitek/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $100.

Saitek “Cyborg evo Force Feedback”:http://www.justechn.com/reviews/articles/2005/01/04/saitek_cyborg.php which is an old product with a 2005 review. It is force feedback which is nice. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/8428461/search=saitek/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $70. “3dxtreme.org”:http://www.3dxtreme.org/index.php?id=saitekcyborg1 has a review of it as well. The main issue is that since it is force feedback, you need to connect it to a wall wart and plug it in. OTOH, “Thetechlounge.com”:http://www.thetechlounge.com/article/266-3/Logitech+Force+3D+Pro+Joystick/ mentions that Forcefeedback works very well on Combat Flight Simulator 3.

“CH Product Fighterstick”:http://www.chproducts.com/retail/j_fighter_usb_reviews.html is a top end product. These things are speciality with a good reputation. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/513209/search=ch%20products/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $104.

The essentially identical “CH Products CombatStick 568”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/513210/search=ch%20products/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline is $86, so a little cheaper. The “CombatStick 568”:http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_014c.html is supposed to look something like a F-16 stick (whiel the Thurstmaster Cougar is an exact match). Also, CH Products is one of the few companies to support the Mac, so good to know.

As an aside if you’ve time for it “Simhq.com”:http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_014a.html still has folks who play those games.