CTO can’t keep TV out. Hot phones coming to Canada


Here’s a few tidbits from my recent trip with Xerox at the PARC research centre in Palo Alto, California. I quoted Xerox’s chief technology officer Sophie Vandebroek in my PARC tour story in the Edmonton Journal, but her most interesting comments came from our dinner the night before. Sure, the single and very determined single mother of three can handle the thousands of Xerox research minds with a $1.5 billion budget. But Sophie’s biggest challenge has been keeping TV out of her house. Despite her efforts to raise her children with wholesome family values, opting for reading, the outdoors and weekly family movie rental nights, TV has crept in her home via, you guessed it, the Internet.

“It’s impossible to keep TV away from a computer today,” said Sophie, a BlackBerry fanatic. “I even took the modem away a few times but the kids got back online with the neighbours’ wireless Internet connection.” The energetic Sophie who travels ten days a month and still has the curiosity of a child, can slacken the TV rules a bit now. Two of her children are college-bound. 


Check out my quick “workout” walking interview with Sophie at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg4Ee8VALxs


My Journal story on the PARC research was an organized event with lab managers from nine different projects. But the one that moved me the most was the Rare Cell Detection which oddly enough was presented by PARC administrator Nitin Parekh. Only when I asked to see the scanning device, did I meet the brains behind the project in a room tucked away in the farthest basement room. Dr. Richard Bruce who manages PARC’s biomedical systems research area and directs the Scripps-PARC Institute for Advanced Biomedical Sciences, was hard at work, forgoing all the media hoopla a few floors up. His comments, in my story, on what went through his head when the Rare Cell Detection project worked were moving.



Rogers Canada announced the hot Nokia N95 5 megapixel cellphone. I tried one out at CTIA in Vegas last month and must say this multi-media phone with 8 GB built-in memory is one piece of engineering. It’s available on May 6 for $399.99 (ouch!) with a three year plan. I will write about it in next Saturday’s Journal comparing it to the 5 megapixel CyberShot camera phone from Sony Ericsson. Is it worth the money and can it replace your point-and-shoot digital camera? Check out the demo at: http://www.nseries.com/index.html#l=products,n95



So, finally Rogers brings the iPhone to Canada, well not yet, but a deal has been signed. No doubt it’s a cool phone and I am surprised how many PDA users have converted to the iPhone. I still think its too nichy a phone for business. Got to see how it works in Canadian winters, closer to release date. Meanwhile, there are other touch phones from Samsung and LG I will be checking on before the iPhone is released here. One thing for certain. The iPhone will bring about the “all you can eat” fixed monthly plan, something Bell had until recently but I can’t seem to find anymore. Is it gone?


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