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Why Great Gadgets are So Hard (and expensive) to Build

As a self-professed gadget geek, I often think about why it is so hard to build a great gadget that really works for a meaningful number of people. I have talked to a number of people who both invested in and supported very successful gadget companies and I think that I have identified two of the main issues that make this such a difficult space to penetrate.
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Is McWi-Fi a Good Idea?

I am here at Esther Dyson’s PC Forum, an annual suaret for the high technology community. Larry Brilliant, now Vice-Chairman and former CEO of Cometa Networks spoke on a panel regarding the company’s strategy to build a wholesale network of 20,000 hotspots around the country in partnership with IBM Global Services, AT&T, and Intel.

One of Cometa’s first announcements is with McDonald’s. I initially thought that this was a bad idea, but I am beginning to rethink my position.
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Why Mobile Gaming is Real

I must admit that I have come full circle on the issue of mobile gaming. Early on, I did not really believe that mobile gaming was an opportunity that would emerge in a significant way. I have come full circle and now believe that mobile gaming is a very real, near-term opportunity and potentially more lucrative than “data” in the near term.
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Palm Tungsten W — Disingenuous Comment?

As I was writing my review of the Palm Tungsten W, which I finally got my hands on at the latest CTIA show in New Orleans, I came across this curious comment made by a Palm executive in October 2002 (several months before the product’s oficial launch):

“This is not a replacement for a mobile phone,” said Palm senior product manager David Christopher. “We don’t see people trying to use this to make a call while traveling down the highway. But if you are sitting in the airport and want to review a presentation, respond to e-mails and make a call, this would be the device for you. ”

Hmm, I am suspicious here. With a suggested retail price of $549, not counting the cost of ongoing wireless access, that sounds like a very high price for anything but a primary access device.

I am going to take it on faith that the Palm folks did not really mean what they said — they are just smart enough to have realized that these integrated devices do not represent the death of the mobile phone.
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Sony Ercisson t68i

Yes, I know that the first two handsets reviewed on my site are Sony Ericsson offerings. Please bear with me — this will change over time. I am working through my CTIA backlog and want to address as much as I can.

I am a *huge* fan of the Sony Ericsson t68i. I am currently using this phone as a supplement to my work phone and have a number of pros and cons that I would like to point out to the interested observer:
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Thanks to Sindy Lee

Welcome to my new blog! I have changed hosting providers and am now using Simplehost, which is a great deal for those of you on a budget. Many thanks to my good friend Sindy Lee who got my MT site up and running in about an hour.