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Tom Keating
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Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones, cell phones

Razr Blade: Which Came First? Or Who's On First?

January 27, 2006

(Not So) Trivial Pursuit

January 24, 2006

Cell phones have become indispensable -- can you imagine not having one?

But can you guess how many people around the world now use cell phones? Do you want to even try?

Well, many more cell phones than jelly beans in that jar that we have always been asked to guess at school math night -- 2 billion to be exact, according to The McKinsey Quarterly, the online journal of the business consulting firm. With the world population approaching 6.5 billion (according to world and U.S. population clocks), that 2 billion figure is truly remarkable.

Mobile DTV Alliance Wants You! (To Watch!)

January 23, 2006

Just the other day I wrote about how the small screens of mobile phones directly affects what viewers want to watch on it – short stuff!

Now, today, a bunch of companies that are household names -- including Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments – are teaming up in an alliance designed to foster the growth of mobile digital TV and accelerate something called Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H), an open standard for broadcast digital TV reception on mobile devices.  The organization is called the Mobile DTV Alliance.

As mobile video entertainment gains increased awareness and achieves greater availability, the Alliance intends to focus on promoting the best practices and open standards that deliver premium-quality broadcast television to mobile devices for the North American market. The open, industry-supported standard is expected to foster growth throughout the wireless market with more choices and allow mobile DTV handsets and services to reach us faster and at a lower cost.
In their scheme, mobile devices capable of decoding DVB-H signals will enable us to receive live TV programming directly on our phones and other mobile devices.

Philips VP5500 WiFi VoIP phone launches

January 23, 2006

The Philips VP5500 WiFi VoIP phone was announced way back in September 2005 and it was finally launched today in the Netherlands of all places. No offense Netherlands, but how come you get first dibs on this cool phone? Anyway, the sleekly styled VP-5500 is powered by Linux and lets users enjoy live video calls using its built-in VGA camera (640x480 resolution) that rotates up to 240 degrees and supports 30 FPS. Video calls are displayed on a 2.2" color LCD supporting 64k colors. The VP5500 features a video out port that lets others watch the video on a TV.

Tello a near term solution?

January 23, 2006

Tello was launched today by Pulver with some help from Craig McCaw, telecom banker Michael Price and former Apple CEO John Sculley. What is Tello? Tello enables enterprise users to see the presence of the person they are trying to reach - whether the users is on a phone, cellphone, etc., regardless of which IM client service they use, i.e. MSN Messenger, AOL/AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, etc.

More on Apple's iPod Phone

January 19, 2006

Apple Mobile Me iPod phone

January 13, 2006

According to Yahoo/Reuters, Apple is developing the oft-rumored iPod mobile phone with a recent trademark of the phrase "Mobile Me". Hey, if they are going to marry an MP3 player with a mobile phone, they may as well marry VoIP too, right? I wonder if Apple's Mobile Me will run Skype? That'd be cool.

And speaking of marrying, just came across a CNet article saying two people got married using VoIP and two webcams.

Cell Calls from Planes On Their Way

January 12, 2006

Remember when airplanes had telephones in seat backs rather than LCD TVs? Expensive to use ($6 a minute seems to ring a bell), they were used sparingly (very sparingly) by most travelers. The ones still in existence are operated by Verizon.

Now the FCC is planning to auction off (everybody loves an auction!) the airwaves reserved for phones embedded in airplane seats -- May 10 looks to be the starting date.

Of Course! Poker on Mobile Phones

January 11, 2006

As if we don't have enough time to play poker (or watch all kinds of poker on TV -- even the Travel Channel!), now I hear how Harrah's (one of the oldest, not glitzy-est) gambling companies will offer the "World Series of Poker" on mobile phones.

Through the agreement with Glu Mobile, mobile phoners will not be able to bet or gamble, but will have access to special ringtones, wallpaper and other goodies. Any bets that betting will soon be coming -- can't see how such as friendly state as Nevada won't soon allow it.

Next we'll have to have multi-screen phones like the ones on the Nintendo DS or adapt picture-in-picture TV tech for the phone to keep up with all the stuff that we'll be able to watch on it; right?

The Smartphones Show online streaming video program

January 11, 2006

Steve Litchfield emailed me to tell me about his online video program, called the The Smartphones Show, which he positions as a new online 'TV' series looking specifically at smartphones. The show covers all software platforms and is currently free to download. I've actually come across Steve's past reviews of smartphones, GPS software (Tom Tom), and other technology-related stuff and his articles & reviews are usually pretty detailed..

Each 20 minute program is distributed as a Quicktime video (at quarter VGA resolution) that's been designed and encoded to have as wide an audience as possible, including all Windows PCs, all Macs, video iPods and even the most recent smartphones themselves.

According to Steve, programs will include introductions to various aspects of the smartphone scene, plus hardware reviews and 'how to' material, covering Symbian OS, Windows Mobile and Palm OS-based phones.

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