Archive for the ‘Wireless’ Category
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Feb 27, 09 - 8:14 am
Comments Off on FCC Approves CDMA Version Of BlackBerry Flip
If you’re a Verizon Wireless or Sprint customer and have longed for the chance to get your hands on the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, there’s some good news. The FCC has recently given the green light to a CDMA variant of the Pearl Flip.
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip has been available from T-Mobile for several months. RIM took the basic design of the original Pearl and turned it into a clamshell phone, which is a form factor that many Americans happen to like. For the last few months, if you’ve hankered for some hot Pearl Flip action, you’ve had to choose T-Mobile.
The government has approved a new version of the Flip for use in the U.S. This CDMA variant will work with Verizon Wireless’ and Sprint’s networks, and adds EVDO 3G to the mix, something the GSM version of the Flip lacks.
The only other feature confirmed by the FCC at this time is that the Pearl Flip will also have Bluetooth on board. We can probably expect most other features of the Pearl Flip to appear on the CDMA version. It has a 2 megapixel camera with video capture, microSD card slot and 3.5mm headset jack.
RIM has not officially acknowledged this phone, nor has Sprint or Verizon. Even so, it’s likely to be coming to a Verizon or Sprint store near you in the not-too-distant future.
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Feb 26, 09 - 10:35 am
Comments Off on Google Shortchanges Android Developers
Developers who paid $400.00 USD for the fully unlocked Android Dev 1 are being prevented from buying and downloading premium applications from the Android Market.
I can understand Google’s point of view on the matter. The Android Dev 1 — as it’s called in Android circles — is fully unlocked in the sense that its users can access the root file structure of everything on the device. This means any software and any application on the phone is totally exposed and vulnerable to being stolen.
By blocking the unlocked Android Dev 1 phones from accessing the premium applications, Google is protecting those companies that are offering products for sale from possible theft.
It should also be easy to understand the developers’ point a view. Here they are, the premium users of the Android platform, and they are blocked from some of the best applications available to the device.
Android Authority’s Michael Oryl writes:
“If I had gone out and paid $400 for this unlocked device, I know that I’d be pissed off about this limitation.”
No kidding Michael.
I have to wonder if Google attempted to find a happy medium before instituting this policy. Surely there could be a way to get the developers access to these applications with some sort of guarantee for the publishers of those apps that they won’t be ripped off.
Until a compromise of some sort is worked out, Android Dev 1 owners will get the short end of the stick.
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Oct 8, 08 - 8:42 am
1. The Camera
The Storm’s camera rates 3.2 megapixels. It also has autofocus, the ability to zoom, and a flash. These are all characteristics the iPhone lacks. Megapixels aren’t everything, but having software on the phone that allows the user to configure the phone’s settings is a bonus. It also records video at half-VGA resolution.
2. Rev. A
The Storm is not the first smartphone to have access to EV-DO Rev. A 3G speeds, but it is a really, really good thing. Why? The Storm is a BlackBerry email device. That means users will be sending emails from it. Some of those emails will have attachments (such as pix taken by that nice, 3.2MP camera). Rev. A allows for much faster wireless upload speeds compared to Rev. 0. I say hooray for Rev. A.
3. Euro 3G
The Storm not only has access to super fast 3G in the U.S., but in Europe as well. By including a 2100MHz HSPA radio, RIM has made the Storm the perfect business device for mobile professionals who find themselves on both sides of the pond. Whether in the U.S., or in Europe, you get the best 3G. Even if you’re not in Europe, but elsewhere in the world covered by GSM networks, you’ll still be able to roam.
4. Enterprise Integration
RIM’s bread and butter never tasted so good. The Storm is a BlackBerry. Your corporate email will be a snap to wade through and retrieve. The new user interface makes it easy to tap the message you want to open, rather than using the trackball or scrollwheel to find it.
The Storm also syncs to Outlook, so your calendar and contacts are all included. You’ll also be able to edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents right from your smartphone — something the iPhone can’t do. Oh yeah, and the Storm will support Java applications.
You’ll be able to cut information (phone numbers, URLs, email addresses, etc.) from one application and paste it somewhere else. This is something that all BlackBerries can already do, but for that capability to show up on this touch device is welcome indeed. Eat that, Apple iPhone.
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Sep 26, 08 - 6:54 am
Comments Off on Google Ponders The Future Of The Internet
In a blog post on The Official Google Blog, Google’s chief Internet evangelist lays out some thoughts on how the Internet will transform over the coming years. Essentially, he says that the Internet is a software artifact, and software provides for an endless frontier of possibilities.
“The Internet of the future will be suffused with software, information, data archives, and populated with devices, appliances, and people who are interacting with and through this rich fabric. The Internet of the future will be suffused with software, information, data archives, and populated with devices, appliances, and people who are interacting with and through this rich fabric.”
Source: Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google.
He has some interesting thoughts about how the Internet will be used in the future — and what will be connected to it. It will not be restrained to just computers. I found Cert’s comments about how mobile devices will interact with the Internet most interesting.
In the next decade, around 70% of the human population will have fixed or mobile access to the Internet at increasingly high speeds, up to gigabits per second. We can reliably expect that mobile devices will become a major component of the Internet, as will appliances and sensors of all kinds. Many of the things on the Internet, whether mobile or fixed, will know where they are, both geographically and logically. As you enter a hotel room, your mobile will be told its precise location including room number. When you turn your laptop on, it will learn this information as well–either from the mobile or from the room itself. It will be normal for devices, when activated, to discover what other devices are in the neighborhood, so your mobile will discover that it has a high resolution display available in what was once called a television set. If you wish, your mobile will remember where you have been and will keep track of RFID-labeled objects such as your briefcase, car keys and glasses. “Where are my glasses?” you will ask. “You were last within RFID reach of them while in the living room,” your mobile or laptop will say.
RFID tags have some shrinking to do before they’ll fit onto a set of keys or eyeglasses. There’s also a lot more at play than just the Internet in this scenario. Wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and GPS, will be required. The important aspect is that they will all interact to share and retrieve information seamlessly.
This is already beginning to happen today.
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Sep 19, 08 - 6:42 am
Comments Off on Apple Patent Shows ‘Today’ Screen For iPhone
The basic home screen of a Windows Mobile 6.1 device gives you a nice overview of your recent missed calls, messages, calendar appointments and other items.
Looking at a recently-granted patent, looks like Apple may be taking a page from Microsoft’s playbook.
The “today” screen in Windows Mobile is one of the better features of the OS, especially in the 6.1 version of Windows Mobile.
At a glance, you can see what you’ve missed while you weren’t minding your phone, and what you might still have to accomplish in a given day.
MacRumors saw a patent that was granted to Apple, and the drawings accompanying the patent clearly show an “at a glance” style screen on the iPhone. MacRumors reports:
“The proposed screen would allow users to quickly jump to the desired notification simply by pressing on the corresponding notification. At present, the iPhone’s notification lists is a list that disappears when the phone is unlocked. This sort of notification system may become more important once 3rd party ‘push’ notifications are activated, as the number and variety of these notifications will likely increase significantly.”
The idea of being able to see a list of all your missed calls and messages is not privy to just Windows Mobile. Nokia’s S60 platform can be set up to provide a similar display of notifications.
I think this would be a welcome addition to the iPhone’s software. If and when it will ever be included in a future firmware update is unknown.
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Sep 16, 08 - 8:02 am
Comments Off on Are Text Messages Responsible For 25 Deaths?
Saturday’s Metrolink train crash was a tragedy and may have occurred because the engineer was distracted by text messages sent to his cell phone.
The possibility raises the issue of how companies are to handle personal technology in the workplace, especially when lives are at stake.
The Metrolink crash that took place in California on Saturday happened because the train failed to yield to a stop signal.
The passenger train then rammed into the back of a freight train that was sitting on the same track, killing 25 of those aboard and injuring more than 100 others.
Why didn’t the engineer stop the train? Federal officials are investigating the possibility that the engineer was distracted by text messages.
Apparently two teenagers were interested in trains and had befriended the engineer. They sent him text messages to ask him about his work, and were sending him messages in the minutes leading up to the crash.
“We have been in contact with them and their families. They have been fully cooperative,” Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board said. “We are going to be obtaining records from their cell phones and of the deceased … to begin to determine what might have happened and what if any role [cell phones] might have played in this accident.”
Metrolink train engineers are not allowed to use their cell phones while on duty, and for good reason.
Nearly every adult in the U.S. has a cell phone. Odds are, most of them are bringing them to work. Many keep them tucked away in their briefcase or purse while in the office.
However, others are not so quick to ignore what is increasingly used as a link to outside social networks. Let’s discount whether or not they are being used to breach corporate security or simply waste time while on the clock.
How are companies to govern their use when safety is a priority?
Sure, businesses can put policies in place that forbid their use at the workplace, as Metrolink did, but that doesn’t mean those policies will be followed. They certainly won’t be followed if the policies aren’t strictly enforced.
Could Metrolink have taken any more steps to prevent the train’s engineer from bringing his cell phone onto the train on Saturday? Would that have prevented the crash and saved the lives of the 25 who were lost? Should Metrolink be held liable in this case, or does the blame lay fully with the engineer?
Should different rules be set in place for those who are responsible for the lives of others, such as train engineers, airplane pilots, bus drivers, truck drivers, etc.?
I think they should but what form those rules take, how they are enforced, and what consequences are tied to them need serious consideration.
Picture Source: CNN via KTLA News Channel