News Bits: FranklinCovey Announces Updates and New Gadget for Windows Vista, Samwell Releases Rugged Tablet PC, Electrovaya Introduces New PowerPads, OLPC Dispels Rumors of XO Consumer Sales?

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FranklinCovey Announces Updates and New Gadget for Windows Vista

FranklinCovey recently announced updates to its productivity applications, PlanPlus for Windows and PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook, which will be compliant with Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 by January 29, 2007. This update includes their Task List Gadget for Windows Vista, which allows users to add and sort tasks by rank and priority using the FranklinCovey planning methodology. Both applications assist users in getting organized and focused on their priorities, to increase overall effectiveness using a desktop, notebook or Tablet PC.

PlanPlus for Outlook and PlanPlus for Windows also includes Tablet PC support inking notes, calendar items and tasks. The gadget will be included with the 30-day trial offer or for purchase of PlanPlus for Windows 5.1 or PlanPlus for Outlook 4.1 at $99.95. For users who already own PlanPlus v.4 for Microsoft Outlook or PlanPlus v.5 for Windows, the update is free.

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Samwell Releases Rugged Tablet PC

Samwell’s Ruggedbook is designed to meet the mobile computing needs of the professionals on the go and their demands. The IP54 rugged feature has a magnesium enclosure, and is shock resistance, vibration resistance, spill resistance, dust and dirt resistance and hot and damp resistance. It was developed especially for harsh environmental conditions and physical stress.

(view large image)


  • Compact size : 284 x 209 x 63 mm with 4 bumpers
  • 10.4″ XGA ( 1024×768) TFT ; outdoor sunlight readable supports (optional)
  • Resistive or Dual Mode touch panel
  • ULV Intel Pentium M Processor (1.1 GHz)
  • RAM: 768 – 1280MB DDRII 400
  • HDD: 2.5″ 40/80GB shock mounted
  • OS: Windows XP Tablet PC edition
  • Build-in WiFi 802.11 a/b/g, Bluetooth Class II
  • Optional: GPRS/CDMA/GPS
  • Meets IP54 standard and MIL-STD-810F
  • Wide temperature range: -20 – 60 C

The Ruggedbook is available for ordering now and has a suggested retail of $3500.

Thanks to GottaBeMobile for the tip.


Electrovaya Introduces New PowerPads

Electrovaya announced that it is launching a new series of PowerPads that not only meet the needs of mobile notebook computer users, but also powers other products like an IPod, cell phone, PDA, Blackberry, Palm and Pocket PC. This will cut down on all those chargers, which is great for mobile users on the go.

The PowerPad series 95 and 130 are compact at only 10.6″ x 8.2″ x 0.6″ and weigh only 1.8 lbs and 2.1 lbs. They are also compatible with almost every mobile notebook computer. The PowerPad 95 and 130 series deliver longer run-times than a notebook’s internal battery. Both have digital fuel gauges and let you charge multiple mobile devices simultaneously. Pricing starts at $199 and $299.

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OLPC Dispels Rumors of XO Consumer Sales

The non-profit OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) organization has announced that they have no plans of selling the XO to the public, dispelling rumors that said otherwise. The OLPC will be officially launched in Libya, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uruguay.

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the OLPC, said in a statement:

“Contrary to recent reports, One Laptop per Child is not planning a consumer version of its current XO laptop, designed for the poorest and most remote children in the world. XO will be made available to governments in very large quantities to be given to all children free, as part of the education system. Many commercial ventures have been considered and proposed that may surface in 2008 or beyond, one of which is ‘buy 2 and get 1.’ In addition, OLPC is launching OLPC Foundation later this month, specifically to accommodate the huge goodwill and charity that has surfaced around the idea of a $100 laptop.”

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