Edward Tufte in SF

Edward Tufte book images

I am registered for the Dec. 8 course and am looking forward to meeting Edward Tufte as well as pick his brain on Interaction Design, graphs, charts, data and statistics.

I highly recommend going to see him in SF, San Jose, Austin or Houston. At the very least, take a look at his books which are indispensable if you deal with information.

Blackberry Storm is Here!

waiting in line

I am headed to the Verizon store right now to get my hands on the Storm.

Five reasons this device could really be an iPhone killer:

  1. It has a better camera –
    The iPhone 3G comes to the table with a puny 2 megapixel camera and, at the moment, doesn’t offer video capture. The BlackBerry Storm, however, features a 3.2 megapixel camera with video capabilities, variable zoom, auto focus and a flash that has the ability to provide continuous lighting while recording video. For many smartphone buyers, a decent camera is becoming a more important component. And the BlackBerry Storm does it right. In the day and age of content sharing, the Storm makes it easy to snap and upload high-quality photos while also sharing video — a win-win.
  2. It has better ‘push’ email for corporate email accounts -While the iPhone is capable of making e-mail look and work pretty much exactly as it does on a home computer and supports e-mail from Yahoo, Gmail and AOL, along with most IMAP and POP mail systems, it’s BlackBerry that takes the biggest piece of the e-mail pie.The Storm continues BlackBerry’s 10-year legacy of mobile e-mail, working with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise. It also ties in e-mail access for consumers with most popular personal e-mail services. While the iPhone does now integrate with Microsoft Exchange, it doesn’t have the proven track record of corporate e-mail greatness that BlackBerry brings to the table.
  3. You can edit documents, spreadsheets, etc -The BlackBerry Storm comes preloaded with the DataViz Documents to Go suite for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the handset. For mobile workers, this capability has become a must. The iPhone, however, offers document viewing, but not editing for Microsoft Office applications, though there are downloads available that will enable editing.Still, having that capability out of the box puts the BlackBerry Storm one more notch above the Apple iPhone 3G.
  4. The Storm’s touch screen is “clickable’ -Maybe a minor feature, but the BlackBerry Storm’s “clickable” touch screen could be a deal breaker when considering what smartphone to buy. Sounds a bit petty, but you know you want to check it out — it’s the world’s first. I am truly excited about this considering the haptic research I have been involved in relates directly to this technology.The clickable display responds like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multitouch and gestures. The BlackBerry Storm’s clickable touch screen depresses slightly when the screen is pressed, allowing users to feel the motion, and is released with a click, similar to that of a physical keyboard or mouse button. The clickable screen gives users confirmation that they have made a selection. Certainly, someone at Apple central will devise an application that makes the screen clickable, but having the first device with that feature will make it a draw.
  5. Blackberry will launch its own app store -Last month, RIM unveiled plans to launch its own application store, similar to the AppStore for the iPhone and the Android market for the Google Android-based T-Mobile G1.BlackBerry’s Application Store Front will enable users to find and download applications to their smartphones. It’s set to launch in March 2009. The storefront will let developers set their own prices for applications, similar to Apple’s AppStore, and developers will retain 80 percent of the revenue their applications bring in. BlackBerry users will be able to buy directions directly from their smartphones and pay for them through eBay-owned online payment service PayPal. Apple’s AppStore caught flack for offering dozens of applications deemed as useless and unproductive. While there’s no proof yet that BlackBerry’s application store won’t fall into the same hole, BlackBerry has said it plans to allow companies with BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software have control over which applications users can download and use.

For those who just want to know the final details, there is a great specification sheet

Specifications

* 360º
* Photos
* Videos

* BlackBerry 101
* Specifications
* Where to Buy

Features Available

BlackBerry Storm

* Wireless email
* Organizer
* Browser
* Phone
* Camera (3.2 MP)
* Video Recording
* BlackBerry® Maps
* Media Player
* Built-in GPS
* Corporate data access
* SMS
* MMS

Size and Weight

* 4.43″/112.5mm (Length)
* 2.45″/62.2mm (Width)
* 0.55″/13.95mm (Depth)
* 5.5 oz/155g (Weight)

Data Input/Navigation

* SurePress™ touch screen
* On screen keyboard: portrait SureType® and Multi-tap, QWERTY landscape

Voice Input/Output

* 3.5mm stereo headset capable
* Integrated earpiece/ microphone
* Built-in speakerphone
* Bluetooth® v2.0; mono/stereo headset, handsfree, phone book access profile, and serial port profile supported
* M3 (Rating for hearing aids (PDF))

Media Player

* Video format support: MPEG4 H.263, MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.264, WMV
* Audio format support: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WMA ProPlus

Display

* High resolution 480 x 360 pixel color display
* Transmissive TFT LCD
* Font size (user selectable)
* Light sensing screen

Notification

* Polyphonic/MIDI ringtones
* MP3 ringtones
* Vibrate mode
* LED indicator

Approximate Battery Life

* Up to 15 days (Standby time)
* Up to 5.5 hours (Talk time)

Memory

* Expandable memory – support for microSD™ card
* 1GB onboard memory
* 128 MB Flash (flash memory)

Modem

* RIM® wireless modem
* Tethered modem capability

Email Integrations

* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Microsoft® Exchange
* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for IBM® Lotus® Domino®
* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Novell® GroupWise®
* Integrates with an existing enterprise email account
* Integrates with existing personal email account
* Integrates with optional new device account

Device Security

* Password protection and screen lock
* Sleep mode
* Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
* FIPS 140-2 Compliant (FIPS Validation in Progress)
* Optional support for S/MIME

Wireless Network

* UMTS/HSPA: 2100 MHz
* North America: 850 MHz GSM®/GPRS networks
* North America: 1900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Dual-Band: 800/1900 MHz CDMA/Ev-DO networks

Additional articles and videos are available here:
Blackberry Storm Articles

Zend PHP & Flash/Flex

zend icon

Adobe is now cooperating with Zend, a PHP company so that developers can create applications, content and video across different platforms so they will run in a browser using Flash or Flex, or on the desktop using AIR.

This is an exciting development and there are free tutorials and videos to teach you how to use it at the Adobe Developer Center.