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Archive: April 2007

Neighborhood Blogging

I wrote a little story about the Shaw neighborhood of Washington over the weekend - a suddenly Web-famous section of the District because of the bloggers there who take pride in where they live. Last week, a Brooklyn company called Outside.in named Shaw as one of the "bloggiest" neighborhoods in...

By Sam Diaz | April 30, 2007; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Who's Watching HD?

Many of you may not realize that having a high-definition TV set doesn't mean you're watching High-Def TV.You need an HD antenna (or an HD receiver from your cable or satellite company) to pick up that crystal clear picture. The Consumer Electronics Association reports 28 million U.S. homes with HD...

By Sam Diaz | April 27, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Global Blackberry

It's always a little confusing when companies play Technology Alphabet Soup. So allow me to translate the importance of an announcement from Research In Motion this week about the new Blackberry for Verizon Wireless and Sprint-Nextel. In the U.S., Verizon and Sprint phones operate on a technology known as CDMA....

By Sam Diaz | April 26, 2007; 3:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

When the Chips Are Down

3G is the next wave in cell phone technology, an advance that is already allowing users to exchange email, browse the Web and, most notably, watch video on their phones. For providers of cell phone service, 3G is the future. But that future has recently grown uncertain. In the relatively...

By Alan Sipress | April 26, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

For A Serious iPod Workout

It's no secret that the right set of tunes can make a workout feel less like work and more like fun. The iPod armband, which keeps your music player strapped to your arm during a run, was a handy little accessory that kept the iPod in place. Then came the...

By Sam Diaz | April 25, 2007; 3:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Report: More Than One-Third of American Adults Consult Wikipedia

In case you haven't seen it, there's a new study out by the folks at Pew Internet & American Life Project, who took a look at how often people consult Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia. Although there are many questions about the accuracy of entries on Wikipedia, the survey shows...

By Sara Goo | April 24, 2007; 2:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

FON Cuts A Cable Deal

Competition in the public WiFi business appears to be heating up now that cities across the nation are creating public areas (downtown districts, areas around convention centers and, in some cases, whole cities) where people can wirelessly Web surf free of charge. My colleague, Tech Columnist Rob Pegoraro, points out...

By Sam Diaz | April 24, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

When Is A Blackberry Not A Blackberry?

Could it be that the software that runs the Blackberry - the e-mail application, synchronization software and other tools - be more valuable that the device itself? Research in Motion, the maker of the popular Blackberry smartphone, said today that it will introduce software later this year for devices running...

By Sam Diaz | April 23, 2007; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (7)

Forgive and Forget for RIM?

When you love someone, it's easier to forgive. Looking around Washington yesterday, as people were once again tapping out messages on their Blackberrys, it seems that many have moved on and forgiven Research In Motion for an all-night outage earlier this week. The company has taken some heat in the...

By Sam Diaz | April 20, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Online World Grieves for Va. Tech

It comes as no surprise that grieiving Virginia Tech students turned to the Internet to cope with Monday's events, and it's probably even less surprising that the public went online to keep tabs on what was happening on campus. When phone lines went unanswered and e-mail was down in Blacksburg,...

By Kim Hart | April 19, 2007; 8:58 AM ET | Comments (8)

Mitt Romney Stumps in Local Tech Circle

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Northern Virginia technology executives this morning that government should be more like the private sector: more analytical, debate-intensive and data-driven. At least, that's how he said he'd approach the top job at the White House. He said he'd use the same approach he used...

By Kim Hart | April 18, 2007; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (7)

Counter-Strike & Va. Tech

A story that appeared on washingtonpost.com yesterday mentioned that the Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung Hui was a fan of the terrorist-vs.-counterterrorist game Counter-Strike. Small world. Counter-Strike was co-designed by a Virginia Tech student, Jess Cliffe, who graduated in 2003. Cliffe now works as a designer for famous game developer...

By Mike Musgrove | April 18, 2007; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (38)

Falco: AOL is Back

Six months after he took the helm at AOL, Randy Falco says the company has turned the corner, successfully shedding its former subscription business model for an open approach supported by advertising. "The headline is AOL is back," he said in an interview on the eve of today's "First Look"...

By Alan Sipress | April 17, 2007; 1:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Va. Tech: Dr. Phil & Jack Thompson Blame Video Games

That was quick: Seems that video games are already being blamed for the shootings at Virginia Tech. Yesterday, anti-video game activist Jack Thompson was expressing this opinion before anybody knew who the shooter was. Thompson says that the killer likely trained or rehearsed his actions in games like "Grand Theft...

By Mike Musgrove | April 17, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (21)

Top-selling Software for the Week: The Tax Edition

Is it a surprise that tax software has been selling fast in the last several days? Probably not. Research firm NPD Group shows no less than four Tax-related software products in its latest weekly top-ten chart. The list: 1. TurboTax 2006 Deluxe w/State 2. Spy Sweeper 3. PC-Cillin AntiVirus 2007...

By Mike Musgrove | April 16, 2007; 5:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Friday Afternoon Laugh

Those zany folks at Google Maps sure do have a sense of humor. Ask for driving directions from New York (or Washington) to Paris, France and the detailed map will pop-up with basic turn-by-turn directions. Merge on to Atlantic Ave for 0.8 mi Turn right on Central St. for 0.1...

By Sam Diaz | April 13, 2007; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Gadget That Offers Less

It's not often that you see a new version of a tech gadget that markets itself as offering LESS. But T-Mobile is doing just that, stripping away the mp3 player, 1.3 megapixel camera and Bluetooth functionality in the new, lower-priced Sidekick iD. The Sidekick device is already popular among the...

By Sam Diaz | April 13, 2007; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Federal Agencies Improve Grades in Information Security

The federal government got an overall grade of C-minus for their cyber-security efforts in 2006, a congressional oversight committee said today. The report card, first reported yesterday by washingtonpost.com's Brian Krebs in his Security Fix blog, shows the grade is less than stellar. But the House Government Oversight and Reform...

By Kim Hart | April 12, 2007; 3:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Future of 9-1-1

There's a certain expectation that comes with dialing 9-1-1. It's the nation's panic button, a hotline to a helping hand when we need it most. But the system is aging or, rather, telecommunications technology is surpassing it quickly. A growing number of households have dropped the landline phone in favor...

By Sam Diaz | April 12, 2007; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

A High-Tech Dinner Bell

Last summer, I wrote a story with Yuki Noguchi about the Mosquito ring tone--a high-pitched sound that teenagers can hear but their elders (most importantly, teachers and parents) cannot. Teens started using the ring tone so they could receive undetected calls and text messages during class, where cell phones are...

By Kim Hart | April 12, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tolkien's Middle-Earth Goes Online

In the upcoming online subscription game based on the Lord of the Rings books, players who are rusty on Tolkien lore will be able to brain up on "Middle-earth" by using an in-game Wikipedia and find their way around using Google's handy map service. Turbine, the company that created the...

By Mike Musgrove | April 11, 2007; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Patently Clear

For more than four months now, a small - but not inconsequential - group of U.S. Supreme Court watchers has been waiting anxiously for a ruling in the most important recent case you've probably never heard of. There have been repeated reports of an imminent ruling and they've all,...

By Alan Sipress | April 10, 2007; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

The iPod: 100 Million Sold

Apple announced today that the iPod has just passed 100 million mark, in terms of units sold, in five-and-a-half years of its existence. That's equal to roughly half the number of cell phones in use in the U.S. It's also equal to the number of households in the U.S....

By Mike Musgrove | April 9, 2007; 5:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Easter Eggs & Videogames

Good Friday is also, sometimes, a slow Friday. So let's talk about Easter eggs-- not the kind you hunt for on the White House lawn, but the kind you find in video games and, sometimes, on software & DVDs. Easter eggs are hidden little treats, jokes or messages planted in...

By Mike Musgrove | April 6, 2007; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

Week Two for the New Tech Podcast

Hey there. We've done it again. We've got a second-ever podcast up a little early this week. Sam Diaz is on vacation so I'm hosting this week's edition. Mike Musgrove joins me to talk about the future of digital music, off the news earlier this week that EMI plans to...

By Sara Goo | April 4, 2007; 4:45 PM ET | Comments (2)

Booted From World of Warcraft

Last night I got an automated e-mail from Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of World of Warcraft. My "WoW" account has been put on a 3-day suspension. As I wrote about for Sunday's paper (and talked about in this video), I recently paid a "power leveling" service a few bucks to...

By Mike Musgrove | April 3, 2007; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (18)

From the Makers of Guitar Hero: Rock Band

The folks behind Guitar Hero just shared, a few minutes ago, some details a new game they're working on called Rock Band, scheduled for release this holiday season. The best-selling Guitar Hero games have let players tap in to their rockstar fantasies while banging away on a plastic guitar controller...

By Mike Musgrove | April 2, 2007; 12:33 PM ET | Comments (24)

No Beatles on iTunes

So, there are probably plenty of people excited about the joint Apple-EMI announcement in London this morning -- that Apple's iTunes will begin selling songs that are not burdened with digital-rights management (DRM) restrictions. The DRM-free tracks will cost $1.29. You can still buy EMI tracks with DRM for $.99....

By Frank Ahrens | April 2, 2007; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (5)

Beatles to iTunes?

There's an intriguing announcement this evening out of EMI, one of the Big Four music companies and, more importantly, home of the Beatles catalog. At 8 a.m. Monday, EDT, EMI and Apple Inc. topper Steve Jobs will reveal an "exciting digital offering" at EMI's London headquarters. Could the Beatles finally...

By Frank Ahrens | April 1, 2007; 9:04 PM ET | Comments (8)

 

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