Monthly Archives: June 2004

Palm Webcam

From clievideo.com comes Palm Webcam 1.0 — a combination device/desktop application that turns camera-equipped Palm OS devices into a Windows webcam. I gave it a whirl with a Zire 72 and Treo 600 and it worked pretty well with Yahoo! Messenger. (Ahh, the best of both worlds…Palm and Yahoo!)

The video quality in both cases was pretty good with a slight nod to the Zire 72 (which has a better camera than the Treo 600). The speed was much better on the Zire 72 as well: at 320×240 resolution, the app reported 4.9 vs. 1.6 fps on the Treo; for 160×120 the difference was even larger at 1.9 vs 11.6 fps.

I like this solution — a $15 piece of software gives you a new function for your existing device. It probably won't be much of a threat to “real” webcams, but I can imagine it being useful for mobile travellers, for example (no need to bring a separate webcam with you).

[Via PalmInfocenter]

Gmail Accounts

As I mentioned earlier, I finally got a Google Gmail account and have been playing with it. They must be opening up the gates a little more because I now have several 'invites' of my own to give. Does anyone who reads this want a Gmail account? If so, send a message to cantoni AT gmail.com.

Update: All gone. If I get any more invites I'll post again.

Yahoo! Mail Changes

Today Yahoo! announced significant changes to the Yahoo! Mail service. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Free accounts have storage increased from 4 to 100 MB
  • Paid accounts (Yahoo! Mail Plus, SBC DSL) will increase to 2 GB (described as “virtually unlimited”)
  • Attachments supported up to 10 MB
  • More streamlined design for the mail interface
  • Faster, improved search
  • More account names being made available

Clearly this is in part a response to Google's Gmail service with free 1 GB mail accounts. Competition is a good thing — hopefully the expanded storage along with the new feature set will continue to keep Yahoo! Mail in the lead.

The free account storage of 100 MB is really cool and will probably be more than enough for most people. I believe Hotmail's storage at the free level is still an anemic 2 MB — wonder when they'll finally respond to Gmail?

While the storage will clearly get most of the attention, I'm excited to see the releasing of “more than 50 million Yahoo! IDs”. I'm not sure where these IDs are coming from — perhaps they are old, dormant accounts that have never been closed. (I've heard internally that it takes a really long time for an account to really go away.)