Raspberry Pi Base Station

Several months ago when I first received my Raspberry Pi boards I said these tiny ARM boards could potentially change the world. Now I feel this is even more likely to be the case, and here’s some evidence.

Researchers put together a mobile phone base station running off a Raspberry Pi. This is a very low cost way of putting together something like this. It’s also just a prototype showing what this generic hardware is capable of. As time goes on specs will improve and costs will drop. What these little boards can do for us will become even more impressive.

Small capable computers in/around our environment could revolutionize the way we live, work and interact. These are low power, low cost, and highly flexible machines in a very small package.

SimCity For iPhone

EA Mobile games released the classic SimCity for the iPhone. Having played SimCity Classic, 2000 and the Palm OS version, when I heard about this version, I knew it was going to be on my short list of wanted apps. Truth be told most of the games in the AppStore are worthless, so spending $9.99 on a game series I’ve enjoyed before didn’t seem like a bad deal.

It’s essentially SimCity 2000 + a few things. If you liked 2000, it’s a pretty safe bet the iPhone version won’t be a let down. You can of course save your game and keep it going for months since this isn’t the typical 5 minute iPhone game.

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iPhone 2nd Generation

So more is coming out about the next iPhone, which we all know is going to be 3G. Someone found evidence of it in the recent update to the iPhone SDK. The SGOLD2 chipset will be replaced with the SGOLD3, which supports 3G networks (as we all expected). Looking at the specs some interesting things come out:

  • ARM 926 CPU capable of running up to 312 MHz – This isn’t that much more than the existing iPhone which is said to be underclocked to preserve battery life. Don’t expect much change here.
  • 5 Megapixel camera support – Capable, but don’t expect to see 5MP. I suspect it will be upgraded to 3MP and no higher to conserve costs.
  • MPEG4 / H.263 hardware accelerator – Sigh, no H.264 support. That’s a bummer. Apple could still use hardware support via another chip.
  • Support for video telephony, streaming, recording and playback – I wonder if Apple plans to utilize this. Video telephony could work over 3G networks (AT&T already did it with an LG CU500v). But it would require a potentially reworking the location of the camera on the phone.
  • 3G upgradeable with WCDMA coprocessor – Very interesting since this could allow Apple to offer the iPhone on CDMA networks, though the largest (Verizon) is going to become LTE a varient of GSM. That’s the largest CDMA network in the US. Still CDMA support will be needed for Japan.

Walt Mossberg initially said this is going down in 60 days, but now he’s retracted that statement. I still think a June timeline sounds about right. WWDC 2008 is June 9-13, 2008. Sounds about right.