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Visiarc streams mobile e-mail attachments

PALM DESERT, Calif.--Among the many companies pitching at the DemoSpring conference, newcomer Visiarc is trying to solve an annoying problem. In this case, it's accessing and sharing large e-mail attachments on underpowered devices on congested networks.

While those two problems are slowly being solved by hardware-makers and the carriers, Visiarc wants to make the transition a little less painful with an app called Mobile Documents that simply streams in large attachments.

The tool, which is being launched first for Symbian 60 devices, changes the way your phone handles e-mail attachments. It lets users browse attachments page by page … Read more

Ambit Control spies on your kids' phones

Introduced at Demo, Ambit Control is parental spyware for kids' smartphones. In addition to telling you where a kid's phone is, via the phone's GPS radio, a phone with Ambit on it will tattle when a kid installs an app. You can also configure an Ambit phone to allow calls or texts to only specific numbers. Children can be told that their phone is tapped, or, as the company CEO said from stage, you can just give your kid a phone with Ambit without telling them that they're being watched.

Since the app needs to run and … Read more

Don't laugh, Venuegen's virtual meetings can work

My co-workers will attest to the fact that when I started reading the materials about Venuegen's virtual-meeting-room service, I audibly groaned. I've had enough of companies trying to make meetings work in Second Life-ish virtual worlds. It's too cute an idea for too serious a need. Or so I've always thought.

A demo of the service, which is being unveiled at the Demo conference Monday, opened my eyes a bit. Built on a gaming platform but decidedly not a game or "virtual world," like Second Life or There, Venuegen is a world of 3D … Read more

Five to watch at DemoSpring 2010

The Demo start-up-launch conferences are always grab-bags, but this edition of the show, which kicks off Monday, is more of a mix than usual. The show is light on established companies, which is a relief. No Cisco Systems or Ford stuffed shirts. Instead we get a mix of fresh consumer and enterprise companies, bringing software, services, and even some hardware to show off.

Josh and I, who will be covering the best demos as they happen, have received a few pre-show briefings. Some are quite interesting--see the list below. Some, though, left us wondering if the e-mail pitches came from … Read more

ThickButtons reduces fat-fingering

I was very pleased to get the world's shortest demo a few days ago of ThickButtons, a new smartphone keyboard technology that's made by a small Ukranian company. All this little tool does is dynamically re-size buttons on an on-screen keyboard. It makes the letters you're most likely to want to press bigger. For example, if you want to write "Funding," after you've typed "Fun," the "d" would be slightly bigger than the "s" and "f" on the on-screen keyboard, making it easier to press.

The … Read more

InVisage aims to remake camera sensor market

People are flocking to a new generation of smartphones with rich applications, high-powered Web browsers, and large touch screens. What those products lack, though, is a camera that's equally transformative.

A start-up called InVisage expects to change that for consumers next year with a new approach to digital camera image sensors. Its technology, called QuantumFilm, is four times more efficient at capturing light than traditional silicon-based image sensor chips, meaning the company's sensors will offer either higher sensitivity in low light or more megapixels in resolution.

"With a tiny smartphone 3-megapixel sensor, we could make that a … Read more

Going beyond Flash, Adobe shows off Web tech

Sure, Adobe Systems spends a lot of effort developing and promoting its Flash technology. And sure, a lot of the new "Open Web" technologies are a competitive threat to Flash.

But that doesn't mean Adobe isn't interested in HTML5 and CSS3--the updates to Hypertext Markup Language for describing Web pages and to Cascading Style Sheets for Web page formatting--that are two of the most important parts of that Open Web work. After all, Adobe does have its DreamWeaver product for Web site development.

But there's a new sign that Adobe is taking more interest in … Read more

A peek at Unreal Engine on Palm Web OS

SAN FRANCISCO--While at the Game Developers Conference, we just got a peek at Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 running on a Palm Pre Plus. It's the same technical demo that's been shown off on the iPhone, both at CES back in January and on Wednesday at Epic's talk about changes it had to make in order to get the engine running on Apple's iPhone OS.

According to Epic Games' Vice President Mark Rein, with whom CNET spoke earlier on Thursday, Palm was only given a test version of the Unreal Development Kit two weeks ago and … Read more

Sony hopes to patent game demos that 'erode' over time

Game demos have become de rigueur for publishers. To help entice gamers to plunk down their hard-earned $50 or $60, companies will often put a sample level from their games on their Web sites, Xbox Live, or the PlayStation Network. Until now, those demos have remained static, meaning publishers effectively give away a chunk of their games in the hopes that it will lead to consumers scooping up the whole thing.

Sony, apparently, wants to change the demo paradigm. Its application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office became public on March 4 and was uncovered by Siliconera. In … Read more

CNET TV Apple Byte: All about the iPad

Brian Tong attends the Apple iPad Announcement and offers a hands on demo of the latest Cupertino gadget. Check out some of the cool Apps, some reactions from those in attendance, and a closer look at the New York Times application for iPad.

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