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Gadget

Fring on iPhone Mini Review

October 8, 2008

I downloaded Fring for the iPhone this past weekend and have been testing it over the last few days. My take is when it works, it works very well. When it doesn't -- well, it just plain doesn't.

As you may recall, Tom Keating calls Fring the Swiss Army Knife of VoIP/IM communications.

In my tests I chatted and called a few different people. Sound quality in my home was excellent.



UMPCs Selling Strong

October 8, 2008

Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. is doing very well thank you. Why? The company behind the Eee PC is seeing strong sales. Chief Executive Jerry Shen said the company is expecting revenue will grow 26 percent to $834.3 million in September with the prospects for October and November even brighter.

According to the AP, On Tuesday, Asustek unveiled a new Eee PC model, the S101, aimed at Christmas shoppers in Europe and the United States that costs $699.

Apple's Developer Can of Worms

October 7, 2008

In a perfect world, a company who decides to control which applications can be downloaded to its devices would have no problem doing so. We live however in a world which is far from perfect and Apple is having serious issues controlling what can be downloaded and what cannot.

Recently the Cupertino-based company decided that a program called Podcaster which allows multimedia files to be downloaded wirelessly should no longer be downloaded to iPhones because as the company says, the software duplicates the functionality of iTunes. It would seem to someone like me who is not allowed to "legally" download the software anymore that this ruling is to protect Apple from a software program which seems superior to iTunes.

After all, it makes little sense to have to plug a wireless device into a PC when you want to download music, podcasts and other files.

I have a theory that iTunes will soon go wireless as well and this move by Apple is a defensive play to ensure the market for wireless multimedia downloads is there when Apple is ready.

But that article will have to wait for another time. For now, Podcaster has turned to Cydia, the open-source iPhone application installer and will focus on installing on phones which have been jail-broken -- referring to the concept of breaking the walled garden locks Apple has placed on its devices.

The question worth asking here is whether the negative PR buzz is worth it for Apple and should they open up?









MicroThoughts on MicroBlogging

October 7, 2008

I signed up for a Twitter account over a year ago and it can be found at www.twitter.com/rtehrani. The question is do I need to Twitter at all when I have a blog? It seems in fact I haven't used twitter in over a year. At the last ITEXPO, I spoke with many people ho have blogs and separate Twitter accounts where they post microthoughts.

When I mentioned I have an email to blog solution, most people I spoke with said I really don't need to Twitter at all.

Dream WiMAX Phone Coming to Russia

October 5, 2008


I have it on good authority that this new WiMAX phone designed by Art Lebedev will be coming to Russia -- in about 30 days. Apparently, no one wants to go on record but multiple sources tell me this phone is going to be a game changer. As engadget discusses in their prototype article, this phone will have a touchscreen which supports 850x480 (I could not confirm these specs sadly  ) which should blow the iPhone away. In addition, those who have used prototypes tell me this phone will blow away the iPhone because it will give you access to broadband speeds without the need for a WiFi hotspot.

Sure, that is what AT&T is supposed to provide with their 3G network but the reality is their 3G network does not seem to be able to handle the massive subscriber data load at the moment.


Navigating the Financial Crisis

October 4, 2008

I have been getting more and more questions on where the communications market stands in light of macroeconomic conditions. It is a constant in my frequent conversations. In most cases, when I get this question, people tell me their business is good but they wonder if the housing market problems will trickle down into the telecom space.

The answer is simply, I do believe there is risk to all sectors of the global economy. For the first time in my memory, US and other political leaders have come on TV and mentioned the term global crisis on a frequent basis.

James Bond: Forget Q -- Try eBay

September 30, 2008

Talk about an embarrassing situation. London's Secret Intelligence Services or MI6 lost a camera full of Al Qaeda names, fingerprints, academic records and a bunch of pictures of rocket launchers and missiles.

MI6 is the sister agency to MI5 made famous by James Bond movies.

Nikon Coolpix S51 8.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Vibration Reduction and Zoom

The camera showed up on eBay and was purchased for about $31. A casual Amazon search shows the camera if purchased new, wouldn't be worth more than about $400.

The question worth asking is which is more embarrassing? Having your agencie's camera full of top secret info lost or disappointing millions of people who would have hoped British Intelligence agencies would use a camera which is embedded in the agents fingernail with a viewfinder disguised as a contact lens?









Help Save Internet Radio

September 29, 2008

If you aren't aware, traditional US broadcasters have done their best to kill internet radio. The reason is simple... Internet radio can be better than traditional radio and using the power of listeners, internet radio stations like Pandora allow a crowd to determine the best songs to play for others.

If you haven't tried Pandora, you should. It allows you to enter a song or artist to seed a station and then plays similar songs which you might like.

iPhone Tip #1 Battery Life

September 24, 2008

To maximize your Apple iPhone's battery you need to be proactive. A few tips to ensure the battery lasts as long as possible are to disable the wireless networks you do not need. For example bluetooth and WiFi are naturals to turn off at first.

The next step is to turn off the 3G network and revert to the much slower but less power-hungry Edge network. Personally, I have never done this and I understand if this is too drastic for you to undertake.

The next step is to reduce screen brightness.



Big Mobile Week

September 23, 2008

Boy has there been tremendous mobile news this week. A few of the more interesting news announcements I have seen are the release of the Google T-Mobile G1 Phone which is based on Android/OHA. What is really interesting about this story in particular is that Android looks like it will find its way into many devices beyond phones.

This phone could be very interesting and it remains to be seen how Google competes with Apple in the UI game. While Apple has a simple but elegant design to its solutions, Google's solutions are simple and plain.

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