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Symbian’s New Web Tool Kit

The Symbian Foundation has announced the availability of its web application development toolkit for the open-source Symbian^3 mobile platform. The new platform allows programmers and web developers to augment their skills with the use of “just a few more JacaScript APIs” in order to access capabilities like contacts, camera, location etc. on a symbian powered handset.

According to a statement from the foundation, anyone who can create a web page can create an app for Symbian^3, as coders only need standard development tools including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. (more…)

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Device Manufacturers and the fleecing of consumers

I’ve recently had cause to wonder if device manufacturers purposely make sure their devices are of limited use to people who buy their products. A few examples:

I recently bought a couple of NAS devices and each one of them failed woefully to do what was advertised.

First is what I actually started calling the Great White Turd. It is the Netgear sc101T. I have come across ridiculous devices before, but this one takes the cake for its total uselessness as a NAS device. What is the point of hard coding a “NAS” to use DHCP and no option of setting a static IP address. What part of “network” was missing during the development of the product? The SC101T forces you to install a client software on all computers that may need access to the device. The software cannot be installed on a server class Operating System like Windows Server 2003 or 2008. You have to mount the drive and share it to be accessible but since it is assigned a DHCP IP address, anytime you restart the computer, the drive mappings are shot to hell and you have to do it all over. For a product that retails for $180, I am almost tempted to start a class action lawsuit so we can recover some lost revenue due to emotional distress caused by this piece of crap. (more…)

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Backup Options for Small Business Owners

You’ve heard it a thousand times: backup your data. But I still find it rather amazing to walk into a client’s environment and ask, “so what do you do for backup?” and get a blank stare or “oh, we are doing ok”.

The “it will never happen to us” syndrome is prevalent in the small business environment. The result is a constant break-fix scenario that ultimately turns out to be very costly.

The cost of hard drives has fallen so dramatically that it is inexcusable for a small business owner not to have at least, a removable USB drive for backing up critical data. There are even “cloud” offerings that are pretty reasonable, although they tend to be very slow especially if you have multi-gigabyte files to backup.

For example, Carbonite will back up any amount of data you have for about $55 a year, while Mozy (owned by Iomega/EMC) offers 2 gigabytes of free storage for those who purchase an Iomega external drive. (more…)

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