Mae : Wireless Mobility Blog
| News and views on everything wireless and mobile, from WiFi and WiMAX to 3G and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

Tiny Pictures Pulls in $7.2 Million Financing for Radar Photo/Video Sharing Service

February 26, 2008

Yesterday I blogged about a company called Radar Networks that just completed Round B of its financing series. Well, it turns out that Radar must be a winning name. Another company, Tiny Pictures—which offers a mobile photo and video sharing service called Radar—also just completed Round B of its financing series, pulling in $7.2 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mohr Davidow Ventures.   Previously, Tiny Pictures raised $4 million from Mohr Davidow Ventures and “angel invetors” Reid Hoffman and Joichi Ito. Funds raised during Round B, the company said, will be used for international growth and development of its recently launched ad platform.   Radar from Tiny Pictures enables real-time sharing of photos and videos between cameraphone users.

Radar Networks Pulls in $13 Million Venture Capital During Round B of Financing Series

February 25, 2008

Radar Networks is on a role. The company announced Monday completion of Round B financing series, during which it brought in $13 million from several venture capital firms. This brings total venture capital funding for the company to $18 million, including Round B and Round A (which closed in April, 2006).   What’s drawing venture capital firms to invest in Radar?

Architecture Redundancy Would Help RIM Avoid Future BlackBerry Outages

February 14, 2008

The power of Google’s ability to perform fast and accurate Web searches comes in large part from the its distributed nature—using a geographically dispersed network of computing power to deliver results to users quickly. Distributed systems like Google’s have another advantage, too: they inherently protect against any single point of failure since if equipment in one location goes down the slack can be picked up somewhere else.   In a Thursday post, ZDNet MobileTech blogger Eric Everson suggested that, in light of two major outages within a year, RIM might want to consider a more distributed type of architecture to provide service for its BlackBerry devices, rather than feeding everything through a centralized system.   Everson quoted a Canadian Press report as pointing out that, “The concentration of RIM's BlackBerry service at a single network operation centre in the Ontario city of Waterloo, through which traffic such as e-mails are routed, exacerbates such problems and leaves it open to more crashes.”   Everson added in his post, “If at a network level everything is routed through a bottleneck configuration it likely doesn’t take the Founder of to point out that there may be some mobile security issues users should consider.”   In other words, there is power in numbers and RIM might do well to consider adopting a distributed network architecture to avoid such a major outage again in the future.

Rumor Mill: AT&T to Launch Centro Smartphone on Feb. 19

February 14, 2008

A Closer Look at Apple's MacBook Air Laptop

February 4, 2008

If you’re among those considering whether or not to buy Apple’s new MacBook Air laptop, there are now some pretty thorough reviews available to help with the decision. One of those is from Engadget.   Engadget’s review examines all aspects of the new laptop, including hardware (processor, battery life, display, keyboard, audio, wireless connectivity, ports, etc.) and software (OS, multi-touch gestures, Remote Disc, etc.).   The review is quite thorough, and concludes that although MacBook Air is supposed to appeal to road warriors, it compromises on some of the things such users most need (like ability to swap out a second battery). Given the laptop’s limitations, Engadget thinks it’s unlikely road warriors will pick the Air to replace their primary computer (which may very well be a laptop with more connectivity options), and as such Apple might be more successful if it lowered the price to roughly $1500 and included an Ethernet dongle and SuperDrive into the package.   “The Air isn't supposed to be everything for everyone,” Engadget said in its review.

FCC 700MHz Auction Update

February 1, 2008

Update as of 5:10 p.m. on Friday, February 1, 2008: after 25 rounds of bidding, the FCC’s 700MHz auction has pulled in just over $18 billion.   Earlier in the day, after 24 rounds of bidding, RCR Wireless News noted that the bidding had slowed, with only 1.8 billion coming in during the first three rounds Friday morning (compared with $4 billion for all round on Thursday).   The eight C Block licenses did not receive any new bids, RCR Wireless noted, which means bidding on this block may be done.

How Many iPhones Has Apple Really Sold?

February 1, 2008

It just doesn’t add up. During Steve Jobs’ Macworld keynote, he reported that Apple shipped four million iPhones so far. But AT&T says it had only about two million iPhone customers at the end of 2007. Even taking into account the fact that Apple now has service agreements with carriers in countries other than the U.S., it appears there is a discrepancy. 

MacBook Air: Heart or Head?

January 31, 2008

There has been time now for industry analysts to really take a good look at Apple’s new MacBook Air laptop computer. The initial infatuation with the world’s thinnest laptop has worn off, and some people are now willing to note its drawbacks as well as its advantages.   For example, BusinessWeek reporter Stephen Wildstrom said that MacBook Air “set off an intense struggle” between his heart and his head. On the heart side: this computer is really sexy, one might even say a work of art. It also crams more into a very slim package than probably seemed possible before Steve Jobs’ latest Macworld keynote.

700MHz Spectrum Auction Update: D Block Floundering

January 30, 2008

As of Tuesday, the FCC had conducted 12 rounds of bidding for sections of the 700MHz spectrum, over a span of four days. But one of the blocks up for bid isn’t garnering much interest among potential buyers, Reuters reported.   That is “Block D,” also known as the “public safety block” because it’s designated for use by police, firefighters and other public saftery officials, Reuters reported. So far there has only been one bid for this block—for $472 million, far below the FCC’s reserve price of $1.3 million.   If things don’t pick up soon for the D block, the FCC may be forced to modify its requirements for the spectrum and/or lower the price.

700MHz Auction: Will Google Rescue Open Access?

January 24, 2008