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By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2005-05-24 Print this article Print

How will they be powered? "These laptops will be windup-able," promised Negroponte. "Youll be able to crank them. We expect to get a 10-1 ratio. One minute of cranking will give you 10 minutes of operation including Wi-Fi." The device will not have a hard drive, but will have a gigabyte of flash memory, along with USB, Ethernet and 128MB of DRAM, and it will run on Linux, along with Google, Web browsers and Skype. Negropontes in the process of setting up a company to make these devices and plans on selling 6 million or more of them in the first few years.
Next up was Motorola CEO Ed Zander, who did a quasi-demo of the new iTunes phone. "Its awesome," bragged Zander, as he showed off "one thing that no MP3 player can do"—play music through a built-in speaker. It sounded terrible, but I guess thats not the point. The phone will also sync up with iTunes on a Windows or Mac via Bluetooth.
When will it launch? Zander was cagey, saying that was up to Apple and hooking up with a major carrier. But he did promise to "show a lot at our analyst meeting in July." Expect new devices and new music partners at that event. Apples Jobs announces at D: iTunes Podcast support. Click here to read more. Zander was at his best contrasting his time with Sun in the 80s and 90s with his current role. "I used to do very sophisticated computer stuff, and now Im schlocking phones," he said. "Were like the 1980s in the computer industry. We have to build the whole client/server model, and then we have to build the applications." Zanders enthusiasm was contagious, as he described the amazing things, and the huge hurdles, his company is trying to overcome. Motorolas not standing still either. Zander was very bullish on WiMax. "Theres a tremendous opportunity for this stuff. 802.16 does present a very huge disintermediation opportunity," he said. "It has the ability to change the rules. A number of companies like ours are figuring out how to embrace both." Expect hybrid WiMax/mobile phones in the next year or two. Finally, Lotus 1-2-3 creator Mitch Kapor showed off an update to his hotly anticipated open-source Outlook killer: Chandler. The ongoing project finally has shape and substance, with group calendaring, a rudimentary publish and subscribe, and the ability to share events, photos and more. "Were going to reinvent the PIM," claimed Kapor. "The benefit at the end should be more choice for people." Chandler provides an open model for exchanging temporal information. "Until now there just hasnt been a standard for calendaring between clients and servers," explained Kapor. "What you really want is an open standard, and thats one of the things weve taken on, and weve created CalDAV [extensions to the WebDAV]." Chandler (named after Raymond Chandler, the mystery writer, because the nature of the product was a mystery) has tremendous potential. But theres a long way to go until its commercially viable. However, fans of the late Lotus product Agenda should be particularly intrigued—Chandler looks like Agenda Version 2.0. The benefit for users, according to Kapor: "No Exchange servers or IT departments. Well be doing a hosted service at least for the first 50,000 to 100,000 users. And if 100,000 users are using it, the dynamics of open source will take over and people will develop free and paid versions." And that was the end of Day One. Stay tuned Wednesday for more from the D: conference, and perhaps from FiRE as well. Its heavy lifting, but someone has to do it.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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