Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Archives-January 2008

January 31

Digital Media Remote aka the Hermit-maker

Seriously, if I got my hands on this device I would never leave my easy chair...ever! I want this so badly that I am willing to start dropping major hints for next Christmas-yep, I'm willing to wait to get this one under my tree because one thing Im sure of is that it costs a bundle.

***A premium home theater remote control with WiFi connectivity to the Internet for downloading an electronic program guide (EPG) for TV listings, games, videos, messaging and web content as viewed on its high resolution color 2.2” mobile LCD screen. The tvCompass Digital Media Remote can receive new equipment device codes over the air, while safely storing all user remote set up data on the tvCompass network backup servers. Set up of home theater equipment can be done in minutes not hours and is accomplished “location free” -- in front of the TV and home theater equipment, and not while connected to a PC in another room.***

The $8000 bath experience

The Bath-o-matic is one of those overpriced, ridiculous gadgets that make you want to slap anyone who actually owns one. Its designed to draw your custom bath at your specified and desired temperature, height and fragrance. Now if it came with a happy ending, then perhaps I could be more forgiving.

Garmin® nüvifone™

Here's an innovative idea- instead of all these GPS enabled phones, how about a phone made by a GPS company? Garmin has put out a device (which will no doubt shortly be touted as the next iPhone killer) and from the photos on their site it looks to be pretty hot. Personally, keyboard-less devices just don't whet my appetite like they used to, but this one seems to be quite a well thought out piece of kit. Here's their press release with more info:

***New York/January 30, 2008/PR Newswire — Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) and the world’s leading GPS manufacturer, today announced its entrance into the mobile phone market with the nüvifone, an all-in-one, sleek and slim, touchscreen device that combines a premium phone, mobile web-browser, and cutting-edge personal navigator. The nüvifone is a work of art in features, design and functionality and is destined to transform how individuals connect, communicate and navigate their life.

“The nüvifone is an all-in-one device offering unmatched integration of utility and function in a single mobile device,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “This is the breakthrough product that cell phone and GPS users around the world have been longing for — a single device that does it all.”

The nüvifone is an innovative mobile phone that has a wide range of advanced yet easy-to-use features. The all touchscreen device is the first of its kind to integrate premium 3.5G mobile phone capability with an internet browser, data connectivity, personal messaging, and personal navigation functions in one device. When powered on, the 3.5-inch touchscreen display reveals three primary icons — “Call,” “Search,” and “View Map” which allow the user to effortlessly master the nüvifone’s functions.

The nüvifone is the ultimate multi-tasker. Calls are easily initiated by tapping the “Call” button and selecting a name from the contact list or by using the on-screen keypad. When the user is trying to juggle talking on their phone while entering their vehicle to start a trip, the nüvifone makes the transition simple. When the nüvifone is docked onto the vehicle mount, it automatically turns on the GPS, activates the navigation menu, and enables hands-free calling so that the user never misses a beat in the conversation and is able to begin routing to their destination with ease.

Customers familiar with Garmin’s industry leading nüvi® product line will feel right at home using the nüvifone’s personal navigation features. It includes preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or both, and allows drivers to quickly find a specific street address, establishment’s name or search for a destination by category using the nüvifone’s built-in database with millions of points of interest. Turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions guide the user to their destination. If they miss a turn along the route, nüvifone automatically recalculates a route and gets them back on track, speaking the names of the streets along the way.

The nüvifone is Garmin’s first device to include Google local search capability, which harnesses the vast point of interest information available from the world wide web. Nüvifone users can search for locations like “coffee shops” and Google will sort the results based on the user’s current location and relevance. Information provided by Google includes a web-based rating so that users can select the most appropriate destination and route directly to it. In addition, the nüvifone includes a web browser incorporating premium features and touchscreen operation for an optimum mobile browsing experience. The nüvifone also includes personal messaging functions, including email, text, and instant messaging.

For the ultimate in safety, the “Where am I?” feature lets users touch the screen at any time to display the exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations. The nüvifone also helps drivers find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot by automatically marking the position in which it was last removed from the vehicle mount.

In addition to navigation, the nüvifone includes access to Garmin Online™, an online service offering constantly-updating information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, sport scores, news reports, local events and weather forecasts.

The nüvifone also includes numerous mobile entertainment applications. The built-in camera allows individuals to take a picture that will automatically be tagged with the exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. The user may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the image to a recipient who can navigate directly to the location. The nüvifone also provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google’s Panoramio picture sharing site. The Panoramio photo search feature enhances the enjoyment and adventure of sightseeing in an otherwise unfamiliar location. Other multimedia functions of the nüvifone include a built-in video camera, MP3 and MPEG4/AAC.

Garmin anticipates that the nüvifone will be available in the third quarter of 2008. Specific details about pricing and sales partners will be announced in the future. Additional information about nüvifone is available at www.garmin.com/nuvifone ***


January 28

YouTube Pocket Down

My favorite YouTube scraper, YouTube Pocket is down until Tuesday. I guess until then we'll be forced to use the full version on our mobile devices :(

No, no, no

Amy Winehouse is some kind of trainwreck. The worst part is that she already made it clear that she has no intention of getting better... I mean, she sang a SONG about it, people! Come to think of it, Britney sang a song named 'Toxic' long before she became it. Hmmm...which other celebs gave us ssome insight to their character or behavior via song as a forshadowing?

January 26

You're fired! Now, pass the wonton...

This image is from PPC Addict in an entry about Sprint employees being laid off, but it got me thinking- how great would it be if this were a prop on Apprentice? Imagine, they all sit down to a dinner of Chinese food, and at the end they crack open their fortune cookie to reveal...

January 25

Don't bid on that Sidekick!

Apparently $8.2 Million dollars worth of phones, mainly Sidekicks were stolen from a TMobile warehouse so the next logical step is that the culprits will probably be trying to quickly offload them on eBay. Before you're tempted to buy a hot one, remember that the IMEI number will be transmitted once you try to use the phone...and once the feds show up you'll have a whole lot of 'splaining to do!

January 24

Twitter Novel

Here is an innovative way to use Twitter...user MollyGood has embarked on a novel, 140 characters at a time. Check out the exciting tale as it unfolds here  and be sure to follow it to get the latest installments in whatever application you use to keep track of Twitter updates.

'Kindle' your Windows Mobile device

Here's good news twofold- first of all, eReader for Windows mobile is now freeware. In itself, that is pretty exciting, but to make thing even better, it has undergone some major improvements. The most important is the ability to use your Wifi or GPRS connection to browse, buy and download ebooks directly from your device! With this new functionality now my pocket pc is suffering from a little less Amazon Kindle envy!

January 23

HTC- Trick or Treat?

Depending on who you're listening to these days, HTC is either having a stellar year or a really crappy one. On the one hand their HTC Touch alone has already sold 2 million units (sure to increase when the Verizon branded version is released soon). On the other hand they are the recipients of a class action lawsuit based on issues users are having with their video driver/chipset. I attribute both these issues to the Apple iPhone, and I'll explain why- suddenly TouchFlo and audio-visual eexperience are very high on the average users list. The presence of those features create what is dubbed an 'iPhone-killer', and the absence create...well, clearly, a class-action lawsuit.

January 22

Talking about Heath Ledger found dead in NYC apartment - Celebrities- msnbc.com

  Just too sad....his 2 year old daughter will grow up without a father.
Heath Ledger found dead in NYC apartment - Celebrities- msnbc.com

Image: Heath Ledger
January 21

"Can I interest you in something in 3G?"

Here's my idea of shopping...being able to go into a store and sample various phones and pdas regardless of my service provider. Japan seems to be heading in the right direction according to Engadget Mobile with the concept of cellphone sommeliers.
About 3 years ago I remember pounding the streets of New York city with a friend determined to find a store that had any version of the HTC Wizard to demo. We went to every Tmobile, Cingular and Sprint store in Midtown. How much easier would our day have been in there was some kind of boutique we could have just popped into to see it!

PizzaHut Mobile Portal

Add PizzaHut to the growing list of companies adding mobile access to their website. Now you can order from your phone or pda while on the bus or train without having everyone in your business!

January 15

Funny Signs

Here are some pretty funny signs as seen during a typical day in Lagos. I especially love the explanation for why the business is closed.

January 14

AT&T...Are they or aren't they?

For the past few days the web has been a-buzz with news that AT&T is making changes to its data plans effective January 20th. The gist is that they will supposedly be putting a 5Gb cap on their unlimited plan, although some sources are saying that the cap only refers to tethering. As an AT&T customer I can tell you that I have not received any email to them to that effect, nor is it indicated anywhere on their website. So, fact or fiction on this one?

January 11


Yes! Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) finally in a place where I can stand her...in a sack. Now someone zip that up and I'll be one ecstatic lady!

January 10

Fring! Now we're talking!

Let me start by saying that I have become obsessed with turning my UBiQUiO into a true communication device. So far as I showed in an earlier post, I had been using a host of different programs to achieve this:
TinyTwitter for Twitter
OctroTalk for AIM,MSN,Yahoo and GTalk
SkypeMobile for Skype
Facebook Mobile for Facebook

So,of course, by the time I had all these programs running, I had the problem of memory starting to run low. TinyTwitter seemed to have a memory leak and would randomly shut down and Skype was kind of resource heavy. But, I persevered since I didn't think I had any other options.
Today I found out that Fring had added AIM and Yahoo functionality- something that had been sorely missing from an otherwise intriguing looking product. So I decided to give it a shot, and what a pleasant surprise I received! In one low resource program (using under 900kb of program memory according to Memmaid) I can:
-Chat with my MSN, AIM, Yahoo and Google buddies
-Chat and talk to my Skype contacts
-Update my twitter status
-Receive notifications of my Twitter friends
And, later I'll share how I've been able to incorporate my Facebook and Blog into this mix. In the meantime, head over to www.fring.com And get your free copy (yup, that's right- its free!)

January 09

iRiver Wing

This is one cute UMPC that I can quite see as a companion to a white iPod for those who have it. I wouldn't mind playing with this one for a few hours to see if its as portable/useful as it looks.

Rainbow Pearl

While on the one hand its nice to see Blackberry offer the Pearl in different colors, its kind of inconvenient that the color availability is driven by carrier. Here are the red Pearl for Sprint and the pink (ugh!!) for Verizon.
Photobucket          Photobucket

January 06

Failure to Learn

Even though the Palm Foleo was a spectacular failure that lowered almost everyone's opinion of the company (to be redeemed somewhat by the release of the Centro), Celio is now releasing the Redfly Mobile Companion which is the Windows Mobile replica of it! What's so hard to understand- if I spend up to a few hundred dollars to get my dream Pocket PC, I am certainly NOT going to shell out $500 for a companion which depends on my PPC for operation! Get your act together, people! You should be working to create new and innovative designs for WM, not all this stop-gap nonsense!