Ford Focus Electric

I am not a “gearhead” by any stretch of the imagination. I know how to check my tire pressure, do some very basic maintenance and where to put the gas in my car. That is about it.

But what happens when you take away the gas tank and leave me with plugging the car into a wall socket? Things get intriguing.

During my most recent visit to the TechnoBuffalo offices, I was lucky enough to discover we currently had a Ford Focus Electric on-hand for review purposes. After all the talk you’ve heard about completely electric cars you tend to think of them as either a myth, or extremely underpowered. How could I resist when Jon Rettinger offered me the keys to the vehicle when I made a run to Starbucks? You have to accept and try it out and see if it is some form of joke to drive.

It’s not. Not by a longshot.

After you hit the start button and you see the dash come to life, all you hear is the AC and the radio – SiriusXM mind you – come to life, but there are no “normal” car sounds: You don’t hear that familiar rumble of an internal combustion engine, and you almost have to wonder if the car has even turned on. Deciding to try my luck, I applied the brake, moved the shifter to reverse, and saw the in-dash display change to a back-up camera, but I still opted to look over my shoulder. Slowly easing my foot off the brake, I moved. The only additional sound added to the hum of the AC and Rob Zombie on the radio was that of the tires rolling backwards, but yet the engine still remained entirely silent.

And that, if I had any, would be my only complaint about driving an electric car. The lack of engine sounds is so foreign that you feel somewhat removed from the driving experience. Gone is the sound of the increasing RPMs foreshadowing your change of gears, and it is replaced by instant torque. As Rettinger explained it to me, think of your electric drill. The second you pull the trigger, you are at full torque, and that is how it is with this car. There is no need to build up to the power, so you simply have as much energy going to the tires as you give them by pushing down on the accelerator. The pickup from 0 to 30 was amazing, but I never really got to try going faster than that due to the area our offices are in.

There is some mysterious beast called “regenerative breaking” that helps charge the batteries back up as you drive… I have no clue how it works, I just know it’s a good thing when the little circle spins and it tells you that you are somehow putting energy back in. Yay!

Two of my biggest concerns with the concept of electric cars have been what it would do to your home electric bill and being able to charge when you’re away. To the former, Rettinger told me he his home electric bill went up a whopping $14 last month when he had the vehicle in his possession for the entire billing cycle, and that was with plugging it in every night. Essentially about the cost of three gallons of gas for an entire month’s worth of driving. And as for charging when away from home, well, that is still a bit tricky. More and more places around Southern California are adding charging stations, but you still aren’t going to be using your average fully electric car on a cross-country drive. Perhaps a Chevy Volt which can also use gas, but definitely not the Ford Focus Electric at this time. (Tesla Motors has just launched “Super Chargers” that will allow its electric cars to travel cross-country, but they are specific to their vehicles)

I’m still intrigued by hydrogen as a fuel source, but electric definitely has my attention more than ever before. There was nothing half-assed about this car. You had all of your usual car amenities down to Bluetooth connectivity for your phone, but you get the added bonus of pointing and laughing at those poor saps standing at gas stations fueling up their cars.

Consider me won over. And should electric charging ever become widespread, I would definitely be giving this a lot more thought as an option to a future car purchase.


iPad 3Unless you live under a rock, you know that Apple introduced a new version of the iPad today. The big question, however, is what the heck it’s name is.

When Apple unveiled its third generation iPad today they merely called it “the new iPad.”  That’s it.  No numbers, no extra “HD”, nothing else, just plain old, simple, “iPad.”  Okay, fine, if that’s what they want to go with, it’s their call, but there is some potential confusion out there as the iPad 2 isn’t going away.  It will still be available – albeit for $100 less and in only one memory size – so isn’t there some potential for customers to get a bit befuddled.

Customer – I’d like an iPad please.

Employee – Sure thing, do you want the iPad or the iPad 2?

Customer – Oh, well I guess I’ll take the iPad 2 since that sounds newer.

Employee – Well, no, actually the iPad is newer.

Customer – (picks them both up) But the iPad 2 is lighter and slightly thinner and we all know tech gets smaller with each generation.  And it’s cheaper, so this must be the newest one!

Employee – You know what, yes, yes it is.  Buy the iPad 2.

It would seem Apple is moving away from numbering its products, and that’s all well and good, but when you have two products in the marketplace, and one is named “iPad” and the other is named “iPad 2,” well, perhaps dropping the numbering wasn’t the brightest idea after all.


Magic TrackpadI’ll be the first to admit that when I first heard about Apple’s Magic Trackpad, I mocked it. I don’t remember where I mocked it, but I made fun of the concept somewhere.

Last Sept. I went to Philadelphia on vacation, and with some time to kill one morning, I swung by the Apple Store to just poke around and see what was new.  (mind you, the closest Apple Store to my home is a three hour drive, so being within walking distance of one is actually intriguing to me)  While there I was trying out all of the gadgets I hadn’t before as Apple doesn’t usually send out review devices.  With a large smirk on my face, I tried the “Magic” Trackpad … and instantly fell in love.

While I’m not a huge fan of trackpads on computers – I actually travel with a full-sized mouse – this is a completely different experience.  The size, the smoothness, it’s just a joy to use.  Add in the multi-touch gestures that allow you to do things like go backwards or forwards in your history in a browser and just kicks up the computer experience another notch.

I still use a mouse with the iMac for things like photo editing, but the “Magic” Trackpad sits next to my mouse pad, and quite often I find my hand going there before it goes for the traditional device.

Accuse me of drinking the Apple Kool-Aid if you must, but I am now a fan of the “Magic” Trackpad.  What I’m not a fan of … that blasted “Magic” in front of its name.  Until this thing pulls a rabbit from a hat, it’s not all that “magic.”

Before you go thinking I’ve totally lost my mind to Apple seeing as last week I discussed switching to an iMac as my main computer, next Sunday I will be spitting fire about what turned into a multi-day battle with iTunes.  “It’s never been easier to switch to a Mac” my hiney!


DC Comics logoDC Comics is going to take a huge roll of the dice this fall by not only relanching almost its entire line of books, but also deciding to release them digitially the same day they come out in print.

In an unprecedented move, on Aug. 31st DC comics will launch a new series of its premiere super team book, Justice League.  This will be followed by the relaunch of an astounding 51 titles in Sept. in an effort to revitalize the aging heroes.  “We really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC , told USA Today. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

While relaunched are nothing new in the world of comics, the next idea is the one that has never been done before: Each of the titles will be available day-and-date as digital downloads on mobile devices and via the publisher’s website.  “We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look,” Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC along with DiDio, told the paper.  “Having the ability to give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”

Jim Lee Justice LeagueWhile Mr. Lee is right, he’s also wrong.  While accessibility both physically and story wise has been an issue for the industry for years, now you will have people saying, “I’m paying $2.99 a month for a digital download?  No thanks.”  Other publishers have seen initial excitement over their digital offerings, but a year later they are barely selling enough copies to warrant the continued production of the publications.

There is also an issue of what this will do to comics retailers.  While the majority of people who frequent stores are die-hard collectors, those on the fringe, those who truly only buy the books to read, will be very tempted to go digital as it will eliminate clutter in their lives and allow them to remove an errand from their to-do list.  Speaking as a former comic retailer, I can tell you that if enough of those types of customers were to move on, the stores would very definitely be in trouble.  If enough of these customers move on to cause a handful of stores to close, the bottom line of DC would end up getting hit, and this forward thinking move could actually turn around to bite them in the behind.

There is also a potential for a loss of serious collectors.  When I ran the comic shop and a major book would relaunch as a #1, some long time collectors of a title would take it as an opportunity to drop the title as it changes the numbering structure.  Combine the loss of casual readers and those wishing to move on, and the hit on all fronts gets worse.

And, yes, there is one last potential overlooked issue here, and that is the free time of readers.  Years ago I went to a video rental store conference, and the wisest thing I have ever heard at any sales conference was said there.  The speaker said, “We aren’t just in a battle for the customer’s wallets, but we’re also in a fight for their free time.”  My jaw literally hit the floor when he said that, and he was a 100% right.  Things are even worse now between the Internet, video games, streaming video and a plethora of other distractions.  Comic books, no matter the medium by which they are delivered, are just another thing in that fight.

I wish DC a lot of luck with this, but I hope they are also ready for the possible ramifications of their experiment.


“What is CES?”

I have been getting this question a lot as of late as I prepare to head off to the event next week. CES is the abbreviation or the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is a trade show that covers all of the Las Vegas Convention Center and spills over into several of the casinos. For four days a year the electronics companies descend on Vegas and show off all of their wares for the upcoming year, announce new services and basically make you drool all over yourself with all of the pretty new gadgets.

The show officially runs next Thursday through Sunday, but those of us in the press get in earlier in the week for press briefings, keynote speeches, preview events and so on.  I will actually be getting into town Monday afternoon and start things off bright and early on Tuesday morning.  From there on out its a rocket sled ride until I leave the following Monday.

While I have attended many trade shows over the years, most notably the International Toy Fair in New York City, this does sound like the largest I will have ever attended clocking in at 1.8 million square feet of display space.  Comfy shoes will definitely be in order.

I’ll be covering the show for TechnoBuffalo.com, so you can follow all of my posts over there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some thoughts don’t spill over to here also.

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It’s a long boring story about how I came to draw this “P” on Monday the 29th, but I swear it wasn’t my intention to do so.

I originally headed south to Columbia, MO, and then a car problem caused me to have to head back home.  Well, my dad met y mom and I in Macon, swapped cars with us, and as we were in desperate need of a stop at a Sam’s Club, we headed over to Quincy, IL.  After I got home it crossed my mind what my Google Latitude history might look like.

For those of you unfamiliar with Latitude, it is a GPS service offered by Google that allows you to see friends around you and create a history of where you go.  Due to my family’s extensive travelling, we have it turned on, but share it almost exclusively between ourselves.  It’s a safety thing if we should break down somewhere or be in an accident.  For fun, it’s just interesting to look back at where you’ve been, and sometimes you end up with cool designs … like a deformed “P”.

I’ve heard of people doing this on purpose, but it just isn’t something I would ever have time to do.  If I hadn’t had a car break down, I wouldn’t have drawn this “P”, but hey, it’s something to take an interesting screenshot of.


Rumors of the iPhone coming to Verizon have circulated since the phone first came out in 2007. To be honest, I’d given up caring some time back, but these latest rumors are the strongest yet, and it does appear that the Apple phone will show up on the Verizon network some time next year.

The big question is: Why does it matter?

People have been acting like this will somehow change the entire world.  The feeble will walk, the blind will see and somehow I’ll finally understand the “comedy” of Emo Phillips!  HUZZAH!  No, what it will do is increase the ongoing war between Google’s Android operating system, and Apple’s iOS program, which has been losing ground to the Big G.

The iPhone coming to Verizon (and possibly other carriers) has nothing to do with giving consumers what they want, it is merely a way for Apple CEO Steve Jobs to fend off Android, a contender I think he really didn’t see coming.  By limiting the iPhone to one carrier the company surely got a bigger percentage of each sale, but they also cut out huge sections of the possible customer base.  People, such as myself as a loyal Sprint customer, wouldn’t change over to AT&T for anything, but back in 2007 that was fine because enough people did that Apple grabbed a huge chunk of the market.  Well, those of us on other carriers now have Android at our disposal, and suddenly we don’t feel envious enough of the iPhone to even ponder switching.


The second component to this is that the iPhone has gotten huge off the back of its wide array of apps, the vast majority of which are built by small developers.  As the Android phones have grown in popularity, so has its app market.  Developers are going to go where the consumers are, and with new Android devices popping up seemingly every day across all the carriers, those all important coding geniuses are going to start looking elsewhere to sell their wares.

Apple has become a victim of its own hubris.  It could do no wrong with the iPhone there for quite a while, but when faced with the double attack of a decent new OS on the market, and the fallout of the antenna issues from this past summer, the company has to be wondering where all the new customers are.  The only way to get them is to open the phone to more carriers, and the sooner the better.  The next regular iPhone update will happen in summer 2011, but the company can’t wait that long, they need fresh customers as soon as possible, so expect something to happen in very early 2011.

Will it be Verizon only?  Who knows, but I do think eventually Apple will have to have the iPhone on every major U.S. carrier if it hopes to stave off the little green robot from Google.


Working in the world of tech blogging, I have to write about pretty much all of the companies out there, but I have discovered that any time I say anything positive about Apple, I am immediately labeled an “Apple fanboy”, and anything I have to say is dismissed out of hand.

Huh … funny I’m writing this on one of my many Windows-based machines.  Oh, and my Android-based HTC Hero is laying in front of my keyboard.

I’m currently sitting in my office at work and thought I would list all of the computers this “Apple Fanboy” works with:

  • I have two totally separate Windows-based towers, both running Windows XP SP 2, here at work.
  • Behind me is computer running Windows Me which I only use on occasion as a file server.
  • There are four other computers in this room, all running Windows XP SP 2.
  • My main laptop is running Windows 7 Professional, which is my newest computer, and I have to say I am loving Windows 7.
  • My backup laptop is running Windows XP SP 2.
  • My parents, whom I equip their computers for them, have a Windows 7 Home-based laptop and a Netbook running Ubuntu.
  • There are other laptops in various states of usability, all running Windows XP SP 2.

Now, as for my Apple products:

  • I have a 160 GB iPod Classic
  • A 1st generation iPod Touch, which I bought used off of a friend when he switched to a first gen iPhone.  Yes, I have the Touch since about 3 months after launch.
  • A 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad … which I also bought used off a friend when he decided he wanted a 3G version.
  • A 27″ 2010 iMac.  This is my first ever Mac … as in I bought it at the last refresh.

As I stated earlier, I carry an HTC Hero phone, and before those I carried various models of BlackBerry handsets.  I have never owned an iPhone.  I hate AT&T and I have this funny habit of liking to be able to make phone calls that don’t get dropped because I held the phone in the wrong way.

You know what I’m a “fanboy” of?  Technology.  Plain and simple, I love technology.  I use the tech that best suits my needs, and I don’t really care who makes it.  The only reason I bought an iMac is I’m getting into more media production, and Macs are hard to dispute for their ability to produce and edit audio & video.  I don’t even turn it on on the days I don’t have any editing to do, there’s no point as I’m still much more comfortable in a Microsoft environment.

People have tried to convince me for ages I should buy a MacBook Pro, but I think they are horrendously over-priced.  I always hear the argument, “but they last longer!”  So?  It is still a huge amount of money to lay out initially, and at the speed with which I break down laptop keyboards I can buy three Microsoft laptops for the same price.

If I am guilty of being a “fanboy” to anything related to Apple, it is that I’m a fanboy of Steve Jobs.  I think the man is a marketing genius, and I fully expect there to be courses taught someday in the future over his business decisions.  He pulled Apple from the brink of bankruptcy to become one of the biggest companies in the country with revenues in the billions each quarter.  How can you not respect that?

For whatever reason, this silly Microsoft/Apple war still rages, and humans, for whatever reason, feel the need to label everything in this world.  Nothing can be ambiguous.  What does it really matter what equipment I use?  What does it matter what I’m a fan of?

Oh, in case you think I am always positive about Apple?  Check out the MacBook Paper post I wrote after the introduction of the MacBook Air.  Yeah, I thought the Air was silly, and I still do.

I suppose there are worse things to be called then an “Apple fanboy” — and oh, I’ve been called most of them — but this one truly puzzles me every time someone says it.  My next computer?  A Windows 7 desktop.  I love it on my laptop, and can’t wait to get it on my desktop, but I’m sure that in spite of that, the next time I say something positive about Apple the “fanboy” term will be thrown in my face again.

Bring it on.  It amuses me.


Yes, that disturbance you felt in the force was true … I bought a Mac.  A 27-inch iMac to be precise.

This is something I have wanted to do for years, but I never really had a “need” for such a system, it was always just a “want”.  With the amount of media I’m producing now, and with a lot more to come, I finally felt like I needed the editing power of a Mac.  With the refresh of the iMac line last week, I jumped on it, and here I am … staring into the face of an enormous 27-inch screen.  (seriously, this is almost too much screen!)

I’ve been playing with it for several hours now, teaching myself to do various things, and I have to say I finally enabled right clicking on the mouse, I just couldn’t take it any longer.  I have been right-clicking on things for so many years that I just don’t know what to do without it at this point.

Of course I am not fully switching away from the Windows platform, quite the contrary actually.  I may go days without turning on this Mac as it was bought for specific jobs, but it’s here when I need it.

Overall it’s not a horrible experience, although it’s taking some getting used to not having programs fill the entire screen most of the time … and learning how to save a file to where I wanted it to go took some learning.  Once you get those things down though, it’s pretty quick.  Now … learning the “new” keyboard shortcuts may take a bit of time …

(yes, this post done entirely on the iMac … a first for me.)


The Internet is filled with companies offering all kinds of services, and one of the perks is that the majority of them are free. What happens, though when these free services let you down and you have no real recourse for complaining because, after all, you aren’t paying for it.

You’ll notice that there was no episode of Braindead Techcast last night. It wasn’t because Steven or I didn’t show up, because we both did.  We did our usual pre-show rituals (i.e. coffee was needed), and I went to set up the show as I always do.  What took place was 15 minutes of hell as neither Steven or I could get Talkshoe, the service we use to record the show, to load.  We tried multiple browsers, and seeing as we we are in different countries, we also knew it wasn’t a regional problem.  There simply was no logging into the service.

Now, it is difficult to really complain too much about a service we don’t pay for, but we have both said on the show that we would be willing to pay a monthly fee if it meant we could get better access to the service.  The only subscription they offer is to remove advertising from the chat room, which is something we couldn’t care less about, but there is no way for us to give this company money.

We also looked into switching to Blog Talk Radio, but, alas, after weeks we still have never received our confirmation e-mail to allow us into the service.  Even after Steven wrote a post about this, and got a comment from someone at the company saying they would look into it, but we have gotten nothing back from them.

Free is great, but there also comes a time where you have people who would be willing to pay you so that we could get more reliable service, and they just seem to have no interest.  Hopefully we can do Braindead tonight, but that will rely on Talkshoe actually letting us into the site so we can even attempt it.

Be sure to follow @StevenHodson and @SeanPAune on Twitter.


At last the Apple Tablet rumors can die, but was it worth the long wait?

Steve Jobs finally lifted the veil of secrecy around the Apple Tablet today and revealed it as a device named the iPad. The unfortunate name choice aside, is it going to be worth the purchase?

The answer to that depends entirely on what your needs are going to be with such a device.  Unlike other items in the market, the iPad does not solve an existing problem.  The iPhone made smartphones truly smart, netbooks solved size problems for those that didn’t want to lug full sized laptops around, the iPod solved music issues, but the iPad … solves nothing.  There is no doubt that it is intriguing, and the implications of this device could be far reaching for years as other device manufacturers try to come up with their own solutions to answer this new challenge.

What you have could easily be described as over-sized iPod Touch, but at the same time it isn’t.  Yes, it will run the majority of the current 140,000 iPhone/iPod Touch applications, but due to its 9.7-inch screen, it will be able to handle a lot more.  App developers were able to download a new SDK (software development kit) that will allow them to develop for the 1024 x 768 resolution and the 1GHz processor.

Beyond the usual iPod Touch features, the iPad will also run the iWork office suite which means you can do word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, and although the screen will have a robust touch keyboard, writing a full document that way could quickly get tiring.  That’s why Apple is releasing a keyboard dock that allows you to plug the device into a physical keyboard, and to me that is where this device gets interesting.

Unfortunately no price was mentioned for the keyboard, but as a professional blogger I see where this could have a fairly large impact on journalism.  Yes, laptops are portable, but say you go to a news story, quickly pound out some notes on the screen keyboard, and then get back in your car, plug into the dock, and you can write up your full story on the fly.  You can then transmit the story via Wi-Fi or 3G depending on the model you purchased.

As a blogger, I am really intrigued by the possibilities here.  Could I blog easily from anywhere without carrying around a much heavier laptop?

Where this really gets complicated is when you look at the new iBook e-reader app.  You have a full book store you can purchase from, and while the Amazon Kindle better be quaking in its boots, the true star of this is the potential down the road.

Text books.

The game changer the education system has been waiting for may have just dropped into their laps.  A full-color e-reader that could properly display any type of text book.  Art?  No problem.  Statistics that needs to show all sorts of graphs?  Go for it.  Every college book store better start thinking now about what their futures will be like without … well … books.  There is no way that textbook publishers aren’t going to study the heck out of this thing and analyze that huge costs they will be able to cut in materials, printing, transport and so on.  I would say within 3 to 4 years you will see the first text books that have no print counterpart.

And don’t even get me started on what this could mean for comic books.

So, down to the business part of this:

iPad Specs

So, what is under the hood of the iPad?  What will be powering this newest entry from Apple into the consumer market?

  • Memory capacities of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • 1GHz Apple A4 chip
  • .5-inches thick
  • 1.5 lbs
  • 9.7-inch screen, 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Speaker & microphone
  • Accelerometer & compass
  • 10 hour battery life, one month standby
  • 3G connectivity for $30 a month via AT&T without contract.

iPad Price

And then comes the price.  The prevailing rumor leading up to today had been that we would be seeing a price of $1000, which Steve Jobs made mention of on stage at the introduction, and then he floored us with the following price chart.








WiFi + 3G




So, what say you? Is it going to be worth it?

Check out my other posts from today on the iPad:

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blackberry tourResearch In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry phones, couldn’t have timed their new phone better.

I know the BlackBerry isn’t as sexy as the iPhone, but until Apple and AT&T part ways, it’s what I’m sticking with.  I’ve been using my BlackBerry 8830 since October 2007, and while I’ve loved it, I’ve been getting that upgrade itch.  As I was looking around for my next phone, I wasn’t finding anything I liked, and was actually starting to wonder what I was going to do when my upgrade time was officially upon me.

Enter the BlackBery Tour.

Also known as the 9630, the BlackBerry Tour is the direct successor to my 8830 in that it is the next generation of world phone.  This means that due to the multiple bands the phone uses, I can use the phone in 185 countries around the planet.  For those who have not had the fun experience of travelling with your cell phone to other countries… they don’t work.  The United States decided to be different from the rest of the world… just like that damned metric system.  So your phone is pretty much useless outside of our country, so this makes life far easier.  Not that I travel outside the USA that often, but it’s still nice to have.

They really went all out on this upgrade, and I am most excited about the camera as that has been one of the things I have really wanting in my next phone.  Here is the official list from the press release.

  • 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording(i)
  • Full HTML web browser, including support for streaming audio and video (RTSP)
  • Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth(R) Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • 256MB Flash memory
  • Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available
  • Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry(R) Maps and other location based applications and services
  • BlackBerry(R) Media Sync allows customers to quickly and easily synch music from iTunes(R) and Windows Media Player with the smartphone(ii)
  • Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, enhanced background noise cancellation, a low-distortion speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
  • Preloaded DataViz(R) Documents to Go(R), allowing users to edit Microsoft(R) Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset
  • Easy mobile access to Facebook(R), MySpace and Flickr(R), as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry(R) Messenger, Yahoo!(R) IM, AIM(R), Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger(TM)
  • Support for BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include travel, productivity, entertainment, games, social networking & sharing, news & weather, and more
  • BlackBerry(R) Internet Service allows access to up to 10 supported personal and corporate email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts
  • BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server provides advanced security and IT administration features within IBM(R) Lotus(R) Domino(R), Microsoft(R) Exchange and Novell(R) GroupWise(R) environments
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time

I am really excited about how many of the new features used to be optional applications, so nice to see they are watching how their users are really using the phone out in the wild.

Rumor is the phone will be release July 13th, and even though my 2 year contract isn’t up until October, they’ve already approved me for the upgrade price of $199 (it probably helps we have five lines on our account at Sprint…).  I’m ready for it, and thanks RIM for the unbelievable timing of the release.