Motorola in Mexico earlier this week announced the upcoming release of the MOTOROKR W6 handset, which hopes to combine music with a set of fitness-tracking apps. I think it sounds very cool, honestly. I am sure you can get apps like that for other gadgets, but to have it all come in one piece that’s set and ready sounds like a great idea.
Users can enter their name, age, sex, weight and height into a fitness app that will then create a training plan based on that information. There is also a timer that keeps track of the duration of workout and the theoretical number of calories burned. The handset can export this information into a Microsoft Excel document for tracking progress over time.
Internal memory can be expanded with a card of up to 2GB.
AT&T is offering a new service that allows parents to track loved ones using their phones.
AT&T’s service called FamilyMaps allows people to track the location of any cell phone on AT&T’s network from a mobile phone or PC. The person being tracked receives a text message informing him or her that he or she is being watched. The service periodically informs the tracked individual that he or she is being watched.
I can hear the tweeny boppers sighing now.
The service uses satellite GPS technology and cell tower triangulation to pin-point the location of the phone. The service is not supported on prepaid or AT&T Go Phones. And the service costs $9.99 for two phones and $14.99 for up to five phones.
Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and Alltel have each been offering “tracking” services for more than a year. Sprint Nextel has even lowered the price of its service from about $10 a month to $5 a month.
What’s different about these social-networking location services from the service AT&T is offering is that these other services often require those being “tracked” to also run the application on their phones.
Microsoft’s Office team has officially announced a Service Pack 2 for Office 2007, which adds some speed, reliability, and printing improvements across the board. The major new new thing? Native support for OpenDocument files (ODF), the major format of OpenOffice.org, without a plug-in, and printing to PDF. SP2 should arrive on April 28.
Delegations from across the Western Hemisphere will descend upon the twin island Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago this week for the fifth Summit of the Americas. A hemispheric agenda on energy figures prominently among the issues they will be addressing.
A key component to such an approach would be the reduction and eventual elimination of the United States’ 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on ethanol imports, as well as revision of current agricultural subsidies in the United States.
Enhanced regional collaboration on alternative fuels is a logical next step to the efforts begun by Brazil and the U.S. two years ago. However, overcoming U.S. domestic politics that have allowed debate on ethanol to be influenced by the corn lobby remains a robust hurdle for follow-through on such an initiative.