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Out of Sync

My desk at work looks a bit ridiculous as it is awash in cradles for the numerous handheld devices that I use, carry, and test. At the moment, I have cradles for the following four devices on my desk:

Toshiba e740
Handspring Treo 300
Palm Vx

I am running three software programs to keep all of these devices in sync and I am constantly having problems keeping all of my data up to date. Why are all of these sync products so bad? I have a few ideas.

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Why Early Adopters are Dangerous Customers

I am a self-described (or perhaps self-confessed) early adopter of most high technology products. I care passionately about the products that I test and use and often have some pretty strong opinions about what can be done to make those products more useful. For those companies looking to get feedback from early customers, there are probably a few things to bear in mind…

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Why “the when” Matters for Cutting Edge Technology

As a venture investor, one of the really difficult questions to get my hands around is this real question of the market and when it will develop. You can read lots of market reports from Gartner, IDC, or Forrester that predict the elusive $[x] billion market for technology 4-6 years in the future. Nobody believes these research reports, for the most part, but every private company that I see quotes them extensively and puts them in their slide decks. If you really think about it, though, the question of “when” a market really emerges and is addressable has very real consequences for anyone involved in cutting edge technology.

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Is the N-Gage a Gameboy Killer?

I am an avid video game player and am quite intrigued by what I saw from Nokia at the CTIA show in New Orleans. The N-Gage is the first real competitor that I have seen for my beloved Gameboy Advance. I was all set to purchase the Gameboy Advance SP, but the Nokia N-Gage has given me a reason to pause, at least momentatirly. The technical capabilities in these devices say a lot about where portable gaming is going…

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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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