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All sorts of opinions are flying around about Dell’s recall of over four million laptop computer batteries announced yesterday.

A quick scan of blog posts in Technorati show some people saying it’s the largest product recall in consumer electronics history. Others say Dell has issued a recall for the computers themselves (no, it’s just the batteries).

Many posts I see make reference to the recent cases where Dell laptops have burst into flames, events that clearly triggered the recall announcement.

It’s worth mentioning that the batteries are manufactured by Sony not by Dell. But will anyone make any differentiation in relation to that? It’s doubtful. As far as most people will care, it’s a Dell computer battery. So on the face of it, it’s Dell’s issue not Sony’s, although Bloomberg reports that Sony may share the costs of Dell’s recall.

If I had a Dell laptop, I’d think twice about leaving it running unattended whether or not that laptop is on the list of models affected by the battery recall. And if I were in the market for a new laptop, this battery issue would add a big negative for Dell when I compare different brands and models.

Anyway, they’ve announced the recall and have launched a special website with detailed information.

Some people are saying this is a crisis for Dell.

Another new entrant into the blog editing software market comes from Microsoft with their beta launch of Windows Live Writer.

I’m trying it out in writing this post and so far so good. A very polished program for a first beta [but see my post-publish edit note at the end].

Although this free editor for Windows is clearly aimed at enabling you to write and post entries to a Windows Live Spaces blog, Microsoft says it will work with any blogging platform that supports the Movable Type API and the Metaweblog API.

What that means is that it should work with all the usual suspects – WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, Blogger, etc – who support either or both of those APIs.

It certainly works with WordPress as I set it up very easily. Or, rather, the program did that with little intervention from me.

Unlike every other blog editor I’ve used, this one automatically configured itself for my platform after I’d entered just the address of this blog. It figured out the correct API and everything else it needs to know in order to connect to the blog. It didn’t ask me to check or confirm anything remotely tech; it just got the settings, retrieved the categories I use and so let me get started blogging.


typepadmobileIf you have a TypePad blog and a cameraphone, moblogging just got a lot easier with Six Apart’s launch of TypePad Mobile.

This free program enables you to post photos from your phone to your blog via high-speed data connection (if your phone or service plan supports that) rather than by slower MMS or email. There are versions for smartphones that run the Palm operating system, Windows Mobile 5 and Symbian Series 60.

I’ve installed it on my Nokia N70, which runs the Symbian OS, and it works very well as the screen shot of my first test post indicates.

Downloading the installer is easy, either directly onto the phone or via your PC.

Installing the program is also easy although it wouldn’t install when I first tried, with the phone producing the rather cryptic error message “Installation security error. Unable to install.” You’ll get this error, too, if your phone is configured to only install applications that have a signed authorization certificate – the default on the Nokia N70 – which the TypePad Mobile installer does not have.

You’ll need to change your phone’s security settings to install this program. That’s not good – the installer should come with a signed authorization certificate.