Mobile Computing: Low-Price Gift Ideas

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PDAs & Gadgets

Hands On: Satellite Radio to Go

On a recent road trip, PC World contributing editor Dan Tynan tried out the $99 Audiovox Satellite Radio Shuttle for Sirius and the $13-per-month Sirius satellite radio service. Dan grooved along to Barry White, marveled at Pamela Anderson's radio program (yes, that Pamela Anderson), and listened to Radio Slovakia. Installing the radio was a snap, he says. Overall, though, the radio service "is like eating string cheese--bland and ultimately unsatisfying."

News: Digicam on a Key Chain

The Veo Mini Capture ($70) is a 1.3-megapixel digital camera that measures just 1.5 by 2.4 inches and is designed to fit on a key chain. The camera has a sliding cover to protect the lens and viewfinder from getting scratched. It's also got an SD slot.

Trend: Bluetooth's Growing Pains

After a long and checkered buildup, the short-range wireless technology known as Bluetooth is finally beginning to gain popularity. Some 1 million Bluetooth-enabled devices, mostly mobile phones, are shipping every week, according to Mike McCamon, executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. The majority (65 percent) are being sold in Europe, with 25 percent shipping to Asia and 10 percent to the Americas.

Meanwhile, a new Bluetooth specification (version 1.2), which adds faster connections between devices and increased reliability and security, has just been released. Devices based on the new spec should begin appearing in the next few months.

Still, problems persist. The Bluetooth specification defines basic connectivity between devices. But not all products are compatible, and some support different Bluetooth "profiles." The upshot: Your Bluetooth device may not do everything you expected. (Make sure your device supports the profiles used by the products you're considering.) Also, the software interfaces vary among vendors; and newer technologies are emerging that threaten Bluetooth's widespread adoption. For more details, read "Whatever Happened to Bluetooth?"

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