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1-800-Free-411 Offers Free International Calls

December 16, 2009

I have used 1-800-free-411 in the past and find it to be a useful service. The way it works - you listen to ads and get free directory assistance. Now the company allows free international phone calls. In order to get this feature to work you just say "free call" when prompted and dial the country code and the international number.

TMC Interviews in Boston Tomorrow

December 15, 2009

Fake Steve Jobs Suggests an AT&T Flash Mob

December 14, 2009

AT&T has told its users they use too much data - they are actively looking for ways of limiting their usage. One idea being thrown around is usage-based pricing. Forget for a minute that years back, carriers worldwide were trying to get users to adopt 3G networks and now that we are, their equipment is buckling.

Not surprisingly, many people are telling AT&T to suck it up and be happy that their customers find the products they sell on their network so indispensable that they use them constantly.

TeliaSonera 4G Screams at 80 Mbps

December 14, 2009

TeliaSonera allows 20-80 Mbps download speeds on a 4G-based LTE network allowing a theoretical 4 simultaneous HDTV streams at maximum throughput!

If you live or visit the central parts of Stockholm or Oslo you can now get blazing fast wireless broadband access courtesy of TeliaSonera's new LTE network based on equipment from Ericsson and Huawei communicating with a Samsung GT-B3710 USB modem.

Forget about how much more productive customers will be with this speed for a moment and focus instead on the embarrassment factor to wired carriers worldwide.

Case in point, just last week, AT&T announced U-verse Max Turbo which offers a maximum broadband speed of 24 Mbps downstream.

Debate Over In-Flight Calling Continues

December 10, 2009

The debate about using phones on flights has continued for a few years and currently through a mix of regulations and technology firewalls, passengers are prohibited from talking while in-flight. The USA Today reports that a coalition of manufacturers, carriers and consumer groups is trying to rally airline passengers this week to stop Congress from banning air-to-ground voice service.

The article cites comments from Rep. Peter DeFazio, who says he wants to protect travelers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones. To this I say, "How awesome is that?" Our politicians have decided where and when we can use a phone.

Droid Ads Say iPhone is Girly

December 9, 2009

Verizon's Droid ads pit the new phone against the Apple iPhone - comparing their manly device to one they infer is girly. To determine which phone has the most testosterone I put both phones through their paces. The verdict? Well, testosterone seems to have little to do with the basic functioning of each phone and there are enough men using the iPhone that I don't believe there are any technical or stylistic reasons why the iPhone should be considered a feminine device.

Nuance Dragon Dictation for iPhone Launched

December 8, 2009

The free program for Apple's iPhone is dead easy to use and the accuracy is OK as you can see from this blog entry below. Interestingly I said it worked quite well below but as you can see it need lots of editing. The point is you can use this tool to give others a rapid glimpse into the ideas you want to share, understanding what you convey will not be perfect. Corrections were added by me to help clarify meaning.

Video Streaming: The Future of Communications

December 7, 2009

I have mentioned in the past that the future of the web will be live video streams on social networking sites. I expect 2-4 video streams at a minimum from people who can't seem to share enough information about themselves. To get an idea of what this will be like I tested a new app called Knocking Live Video on the iPhone with Tom Keating. The idea of this application is to share your camera view with the other iPhone user.

Dear FCC: Please Ask Verizon and Others More Questions

December 5, 2009

Recently the FCC reached out to Verizon Wireless to inquire about why it is raising early termination fees on advanced phones and in addition, the commission wants to know how consumers will be notified that they are purchasing an advanced device and how they will be informed of the prorated charges associated with early termination. This inquiry is in response to Verizon doubling its early termination fees on smartphones.

It will be interesting to see how the wireless company responds to the increasing ETF question but to me it is still obvious these costs are going up because advanced devices the company sells will now have superior functionality, allowing for services such as free GPS which Verizon can charge for on other devices. In other words these new fees cover the loss of potential revenue from enhanced services.

Allow Free Markets to Solve the Newspaper Problem

December 3, 2009

The controversy between newspapers and Google has been going on for quite a while and recently Rupert Murdoch has threatened to pull the content from his various companies such as Fox News and Wall Street Journal off Google and instead allow Bing to have potentially exclusive access for a fee. In my opinion if enough content leaves Google and goes to Bing it will have an impact on Google's business model.

Moreover, Google's ability to index the world's information for free is coming into question as a result of Murdoch's ranting. To Google, the idea of having to pay for something they have free access to today is horrifying.

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