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Mobile Phones

Japan's taxis fit wind-powered cellphone chargers

March 30, 2005

From Engadget:

We’ve come across Tokyo taxis with cellphone chargers before (hell, we’ve come across taxis here that are fitted with most things), but Kyoto taxi company Ecolo21 are playing up their planet-friendly image by fitting the roof-mounted lights on their fleet with miniature wind-powered generators that you can use to charge your cellphone in the back seat. There are only two minor flaws in their otherwise laudable plan; one, the generator charges directly so you only get juice while the fan on the roof is spinning, and two…they’ve only fitted out one car so far. They do promise to introduce a version that charges a battery and to fit them to more of the fleet in future, however.

(Gareth Edwards) Read more from this post.

“The Single Gadget Theory”: Consortium Pushes Convergence

November 2, 2005

A major consortium of cable and telecom announced today that they are banding together to accelerate the convergence of video entertainment, wired and wireless data and communications products and services, including the development of “converged next generation products for consumers.” 

Starting next year, Sprint Nextel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications plan to develop and introduce products that combine the best of cable's core products and interactive features with wireless technology to deliver services anywhere, any time, all on a single device.  They are calling this “a wireless ‘third screen’ beyond the TV and computer screens."

This announcement comes only days after Bill Gates predicted that single handheld devices will be introduced to meet all our audio/video/communication needs
(http://blog.tmcnet.com/gadgets/gadgets/gates-on-gadgets.asp).

These co-branded products and services will be offered to customers through a combination of 1,600 Sprint retail stores, cable retail outlets and other third-party distributors, including thousands of Radio Shack stores.

Xingtone: Ring Tones Were Meant To Be Free

November 14, 2005


Why should you pay $2.99 for a 20-second clip of music that isn’t your first choice or from a song you already own as the ring tone for your cell phone?  Xingtone’s Ringtone Maker 4.1 enables cell phone users to make their own personal ring tone for free from their own favorite audio files.
 
Unlike ring tones from wireless carriers, Xingtone enables cell phone users to create and install their own custom ring tones from their personal MP3, CD or WAV collections.  The software allows ring tones to be edited or customized to suit personal tastes; exact portion of songs can be sampled.  Users can even sample their own voices and use it on their phones!


A simple software interface allows audio clips to be chosen, trimmed, adjusted, previewed and then sent to their mobile phone via the company’s patent-pending over-the-air transmission method. 

The software works with a wide variety of mobile phones and most networks, including AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile and Sprint (Verizon is in the works).  Mobile subscribers must have a plan that includes text messaging and Internet connectivity.

Price: Free (for a single ring tone) or $19.95 (includes coupons good for $20 worth of exclusive ring tone content from the company’s partners, including comedian John Cleese, Grammy winner Toots & the Maytals and many independent artists.
www.xingtone.com


It's Better To Give Than To Receive

December 1, 2005

The old holiday adage that “it’s better to give than to receive” really rings true at the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to recycling old cell phones and used rechargeable batteries (www.call2recycle.org). Since its inception in 1996, it has collected 13,000 tons of materials in the U.S. and Canada.

RBRC collects the Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead (Pb) rechargeable batteries that power a variety of portable electronic products such as cellular and cordless phones, power tools, laptop computers, camcorders, two-way radios, and remote control toys.

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