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demise of Clarions PND division I come across this press release in my feed readerthough Im sticking with my prediction.  Im not even going to blog it.  Direct copy right here
ZURICH, Switzerland, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ SVOX, the leading provider of embedded speech solutions today announced that Clarions newest Mobile Internet Device ClarionMiND features SVOX speech technology, according to CEO Volker Jantzen. The innovative device, which combines navigation and entertainment capabilities with Internet connectivity to realize connected navigation services, is destined for North American and European markets.
A combination of a high-resolution screen with the latest browser technology enables, for the first time, unrestricted PC-like Internet experience on a Mobile Internet Device with a built-in navigation capability. Connectivity to the Internet is available through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using mobile phone dial-up.
Andreas Augsten, Manager Engineering at Clarion Europe, said, For such a ground-breaking device as ClarionMiND, we were looking for a speech solution that both delivers the expected quality level and allows for fast integration and last-minute changes. SVOX Mobile Pro TTS solution fits the bill perfectly.
SVOX Mobile and SVOX Mobile Pro TTS solutions are available as part of the Elektrobit Street Director solution used by Clarion to enable navigation in ClarionMiND. Customers using SVOX Mobile and SVOX Mobile Pro TTS solutions can choose from 21 languages and 28 voices and benefit from a powerful, production-grade tool chain.
Martin Reber, SVOX COO, stressed the customer benefits stemming from pre-integration of SVOX TTS into the Elektrobit navigation software solution. When speech technology comes pre-integrated into the overall navigation software package, customers like Clarion have fewer technicalities to worry about and can instead concentrate their efforts in areas where the use of embedded speech allows true differentiation.
SVOX AG is the leading provider of embedded speech solutions for automotive and mobile device industries. The SVOX Text-to-Speech system, the companys signature solution, enables electronic devices to convert written text into natural-sounding and easily comprehensible speech. SVOXs focus on the embedded domain and the modular design of the Text-to-Speech engine means that the solution can be easily tailored to specific technical requirements and market needs.

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However, early iphone adapters are disappointed with Steve Jobs statement that the iPones price will go down by almost $200, 3 months after they bought the $599 Apple phone. The change in price came with the release of iPod touch an iphone without the phone. But 2 days after the announcement during Apples The Special Event, Steve Jobs sent out an open letter to the iphone owners that they will be receiving a $100 store credit reward. Now, the iphone owners are more than happy with the rebate after crying foul over the price cut.

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Some used cars include side-impact and side curtain airbags as standard, although it’s less common than in newer models. Cars.com’s “Used Cars for Teens” article lists models that include side airbags as standard or optional equipment, including side torso, torso/head and side curtain airbags. We’ve listed a few of those vehicles below that include a form of side-impact airbags as well as side curtain airbags as standard.

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The Samsung Behold holds a lot of promise as mid-level feature phone for users who want a 5 megpixel camera, multimedia capabilities, email syncing, Bluetooth, GPS, and some web browsing. One reviewer thought the full-featured camera was better than the Moto ZN5 while another thought the Samsung Behold camera was not as good as the ZN5.

All reviewers commented on the great 3G speed of T-Mobile with the Samsung Behold. They also noticed that all features were not top of the line. Web browsing was called lackuster because it defaults to mobile-friendly WAP pages when they are available. The on-screen QWERTY keyboard is small but functional.

Due to the constant iPhone comparision reviewers did not like that the Samsung Behold lacks Wi-Fi. It's mutimedia functions as music player were fine although it requires a propriety headphone jack. The Smasung Behold comes in rose and espresso and is considered by one reviewer to be a fun phone. Call quality was excellent.

To read summaries of the reviews reviewed for this "Review of Reviews" continue reading.

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A couple weeks back, Blackberry users on Verizons carrier network were reporting partially unlocked GPS on their phones.  Verizon has traditionally been a closed off carrier that forced users to navigate with its proprietary VZ Navigator software, but its been under pressure lately to fully unlock the GPS on its phones.  Finally, it seems the carrier is cracking.
A user nicknamed efudd from WMExperts apparently received the following letter from Verizon indicating itll be opening up GPS next year:
Verizon Wireless, like all carriers, orders devices to meet certain specifications inclusive of features. Each of these specs is tested to determine if it meets our performance goals. There are instances when the phone will pass our extensive testing process but a specific feature may not meet the standard. We will often choose to introduce the phone without that feature but ask that the manufacturer come back to us with revised software that has to be tested to make sure the service works the same across our entire wireless footprint from Maine to Hawaii. In the case of open standalone GPS, we are partnering with the Windows Mobile device manufacturers to provide a software upgrade that will add this capability to the existing assisted GPS capability. This is a complex development project to provide open standalone GPS while maintaining the assisted GPS capability with the level of performance and security that our customers expect. The recently introduced Windows Mobile devices including Omnia, Saga, and Touch Pro are targeted to add open standalone GPS in the 1st half of 2009.
Steve Schwed
Verizon Wireless
HQ Executive Relations Supervisor
So it doesnt appear that Blackberry phones will be unlocked, but a few Windows Mobile phones including the Omnia, Saga, and Touch Pro will.  At least its a start.

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On November 14, Nokia reported that estimates for both the fourth-quarter of 2008 and the whole of 2009 would be lower than expected, and got burned. Today, Nokia added more fuel to the flames with its latest announcement that industry sales for 2009 would drop by a least 5 percent, and fourth-quarter sales would be lower than the previous 330 million unit estimate. At Nokias Capital Markets Day, there was also the standard spiel about reducing costs and the company being well-positioned, etc but the bottom line was that the mobile phone industry is hurting, and will be hurting next year too.

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Four classic automobiles will be auctioned by the American Concours Foundation with the proceeds going to charitable institutions like the Amelia Island Concours Foundation and the Concours Las Vegas.
The four classic automobiles will be sold separately and will be auctioned online. The four vehicles are totally unique and rare that the bidding will surely go through the roof. A Mercedes, a Lincoln and two Jaguars will be auctioned via eBay.
The first of the four classic automobile is a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Show Car. This timeless piece of engineering was first introduced to the public in 1954 at the New York Auto Show. It is distinct among it predecessors because of the fact that it did not debut during a European motor show.
Aside from that peculiarity, the Mercedes Benz 300SL is also best known for its gullwing or butterfly wing doors. The door configuration is now being used on sports cars and is also known to enhance the aesthetic value of a vehicle.
The 300SL is also the first car to be equipped with a gasoline engine with the direct fuel injection system. This means that the technology used in the 300SL is akin to diesel engine. The estimated value for this rare car is between $600,000 and $700,000.
The second car on the auction block is a rare 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Drop Head Coupe. This rare car is the forefather of the modern Jaguar XK which has captured the attention of performance enthusiast not only because of its high aesthetic value but also because of its high level of performance. The particular Jaguar XK to be auctioned has been thrice owned, with the current owner having owned the car since the year 1991.
The third classic car which will be auctioned is a 1933 Lincoln KA V-12 Model 513A Convertible Roadster. This is the oldest car in the group and is also the rarest of the four - owing to its age. The car can accommodate two or four passengers, and is equipped with rumble seat and side mounts. This particular model was designed by Dietrich and the body was built by the Murray Corporation.
The last of the four classic cars to be auctioned is another Jaguar. This time, a 1967 Jaguar E Type Vintage Roadster OTS Race Track Prepped. The car combines both beauty and strength. This street legal is ready for a race, thanks to its abundant supply of power. The car has seen life in the fast lane since it has begun its racing life way back in the early seventies.
The auction for the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and the Jaguar XK120 will end on the 11th of March. The Lincoln and the Jaguar E Type will be on the auction block until the 13th of this month. All these cars are born in the time of history where cars are equipped with high performance engines.

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Okay, so bear with my sappiness, if that's a word.

I'm sitting here at my desk listening to Christmas music, while it's freezing outside. There was ice on my car and ice on our trash can this morning. It will be 28 tonight. Winter is here. Christmas is here. And Baby Kelley is almost here.

Jonathan and Lauren are some of our favorite people. Jonathan is the student minister at Calvary, and we spend more time with each other than we do our wives, it seems. He's probably my best friend in the city, and I'm glad to have spent my first year working with him.

Their son, Spencer Vinsant, should arrive sometime today. Jenny and I are so excited to see how this changes their lives. I guess it's something you're more excited about after having a son yourself. If I didn't have a million things to do to prepare for the events of the coming weekend, I'd be at Baptist in the waiting room all day today. We cannot wait to meet him.

In the meantime, here are the lyrics to one of my favorite Holiday songs. And I'm pretty sure it's a favorite of my mom's as well. Enjoy.

"The Best Gift"

The best gift that I ever got
Didn't really weigh a lot.
It didn't have a ribbon 'round,
And it sometimes made a terrible sound.

The best of all it seems to me
It wasn't b'neath a Christmas tree.
And yet, I guess I'd have to say
That it made all the other presents twice as gay.

The best gift that I've ever known
I'd always wanted most to own.
Yet in my dreams of sugar and spice
I never thought it could be so nice.

The best gift that I'll ever get
Was sometimes dry and sometimes wet;
Was usually pink, but often times red
As it lay so innocently in its bed.

The best gift of the year to me,
The one I hold most dear to me...
The gift that simply drove me wild
Was a tiny, newborn child.

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nursing home neglect allegations, the ABC 7/NewsChannel looked at the D.C. Department of Health’s inspection reports from February and May 2008 and found that a number of deficiencies were noted at the Grand Park Care Center, including the failure to tell a physician that a resident was suffering from dehydration. There were also residents who were reportedly suffering from anemia and weight changes.
According to DC Long Term Care Ombudsman Jerry Kasunic, his team has filed over 100 complaints against Grant Park and says the DC nursing home is one of the “worst” he has encountered. He says dehydration and unattended wound care have led to malnutrition.
Grant Park Executive Director Sandra Durham says the nursing home staff remains committed to improving the quality of service that it provides residents. The home has also reportedly retained the services of a new compliance officer and nursing home director.
Malnutrition and Dehydration
Nursing home residents suffering from malnutrition and dehydration can be prone to serious side effects and illnesses, including a weakened immune system, memory loss, pneumonia, bedsores, muscle mass loss, infection, organ function impairment, anemia, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and death. Malnutrition and dehydration often occur at care facilities because of nursing home neglect.

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