The iPod Nano is Hot, Hot, Hot!

By  |  Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 10:32 am

It’s been months since I’ve seen a good story about the battery inside a gadget spontaneously bursting into flames. So today’s news of Nanos overheating (again!) manages to make the top of the T-List.

Nanos Afire?
The Japanese government is investigating two instances of first-generation iPod Nano audio players overheating, once of which managed to set fire to a tatami mat. As Engadget notes, these are just the most recent examples of apparent fire-inducing issues with the original Nano’s battery. I bought that first Nano and ended up not using it much; that used to make me feel guilty, but now I can feel free to convince myself that leaving a Nano sitting in the back of a drawer may be a safer usage strategy than actually listening to it.
Read more at: BBC, Engadget

Yahoo Gets Buzzy
Yahoo has officially opened up Buzz, its collaborative search engine for cool stories around the Web. “What is Buzz?”, Yahoo asks itself on the Buzz home page. “[It’s the] Web’s most remarkable stories, determined by people like you. Stories are ranked based on your votes, emails, and searches.” Or, to put it another way, Buzz is very much like Digg, with a slicker user interface and some new twists such as incorporating popularity based on Yahoo searches into the mix. Buzz is less tech-centric than Digg, which makes it even frothier: The two top searches at the moment are “Jennifer Aniston” and “Bigfoot.” Wonder if PBS or CSPAN has ever considered creating a weighty, dignified Digg clone? I’d use it…
Read more at: CNET, VentureBeat

Symantec Buys PC Tools All Over Again
Symantec, the company that eventually swallows up every other utility company, has acquired PC Tools, the Australian company behind Spyware Doctor, Registry Mechanic, and other Windows applications. Symantec says that PC Tools will be run independently and its products aren’t going away, but as my PC World colleague Steve Bass says, there are years and years of past Symantec buyouts that ended up with the acquired products fading away. I don’t have a personal emotional investment in the fate of PC Tools, but I do think it’s kinda funny that this is the second time that Symantec has bought something by that name: Back in 1994, it acquired archrival Central Point Software, purveyor of a fine package called PC Tools. Symantec said it would continue development of both the Norton Utilities and PC Tools. Wanna guess what happened?

Hey, Cell Phones Turned Out to be a Fad After All
Market research firm NPD has released a study on cell phones sales trends that’s chock full of interesting reading. Overall sales are down 13 percent; at first blush, you might interpret that as evidence that interest in phones is waning, but it’s likely more a sign that just about everybody who wants a cell phone has one, and that there are plenty of people who will happily use a phone until it croaks. NPD’s research also shows that 28 percent of phones now have QWERTY keyboards, up from only 12 percent a year ago. Another interesting tidbit: RIM is only the fifth largest phone manufacturer, but despite that, it’s the maker of the two best-selling handsets in the U.S.: the BlackBerry Curve and the BlackBerry Pearl.
Read more at: CNET

iPhone Update: Nirvana or Placebo?
Apple has released an update to the iPhone’s software, version 2.02, with its typically terse explanation that the new version’s changes involve fixing unspecified bugs. Naturally, many folks are wondering whether it does anything about the phone’s widely-reported problems holding a 3G signal and keeping calls from dropping. It doesn’t seem to be the expected update with a fix for those issues–when that upgrade arrives, Apple will presumably make clear that that’s what it is. But some iPhone owners are reporting stronger signal strength anyhow, and I’m convinced that Mobile Safari is significantly snappier than before. I have no idea whether the bug fixes in the current update improve signal strength or speed up Safari. But with technology, as with many things in life, perception is at least as important as reality.
Read more at: Computerworld

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