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5 years ago

Sprint Selling off Cell Towers, Leasing Service

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Fire sale? Sprint is selling off a ton of its cell towers to a private equity firm, TowerCo, for an infusion of $670 million in cash. They'll then lease the towers back from the company. The reason? “Significantly, this transaction provides Sprint Nextel with additional liquidity which gives us greater flexibility in managing our company.” Yeah, that extra liquidity is probably something Sprint could use, but a less optimistic observer might suggest that getting rid of physical assets makes it easier for another company to buy them up. Of note -- this is very similar to the arrangement Sprint has set up for their WiMAX network: let somebody else handle the physical towers, Sprint just leases them.

Sprint is selling around 3,300 towers, give or take, which the Wall Street Journal says is “nearly all” of them, though that seems like a lowish number to us since Steel in the Air estimated they had 25,000 of them back in 2005.

Sprint Press Release

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5 years ago

Cancer doc warns staff, faculty about cell phones

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The arguments over the effects of cell phone radiation go on, but the head of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute is taking no chances.

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman has warned his 3,000 faculty and staff members to limit cell phone use, and he says children should only use them in emergencies because their brains are still developing.

"These waves have been shown to have the ability to penetrate into the brain," said Herberman, who based his advisory on international studies from countries such as France, Germany and India. "This provides a plausible basis for concern that it might be contributing to an increased incidence in brain tumors."

Score another point for Bluetooth headsets, I guess.

Read: UPMC memo: Cell phones pose cancer threat

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5 years ago

Swiss Mobility Legion Smartphone Case Review

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5 years ago

Review: Resco Explorer 2008

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5 years ago

Other Black Slab news: Touch Pro gets priced and a date (it was lonely)

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And speaking of trendy black slabs, HTC's much anticipated and feature packed Touch Pro has been picked up by Expansys.com for a expected release date of August 4th.

Hey, that's pretty close.

But sit down for the price. Thanks to our awesomely weak economy and dollar, this puppy will set you back just over $1k ($1,047.38 to be exact).

Yikes.

Perhaps if you're a CDMA user, you'd best sit back and wait for the U.S. debut, which we're hearing will be around December on Sprint.

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5 years ago

Battle of the Black Slabs: Round 1

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What do you get when you combine pictures of the upcoming Samsung Omnia, iPhone 3g (eww..) and the HTC Touch Diamond?

A whole lotta deja vu, that's what. (Or yawns if you're a cynic like myself)

PortalPPC managed to get their hands on all three and literally stacked them up against each other for some comparisons. You certainly get an idea of screen resolution, brightness and size between all three.

Too bad the writing is all in some bizarre alien language.

Oh wait, I'm being told by our crack team of linguists it's Portuguese. Never heard of it, but if you can read it by all means sharesies! (We imagine it will involve discussing how awesome "black slab" is for a phone).

Click the link to see their full gallery!

Thanks dim!

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5 years ago

AT&T's TeleNav goes global

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AT&T's TeleNav goes global

 

If you're anything like us, you're tired of getting lost for those weekly lunches in Paris. (Note to Dieter - start hosting weekly lunches in Paris.)

But if you're a fan of TeleNav, AT&T's got you covered. The company's subscription navigation service has gone live outside the U.S., offering 3-D maps, voice and turn-by-turn directions in 20 other nations. And that includes a number of cities in China, just in time for the Olympics, of which AT&T is a sponsor.

Currently, the only Windows Mobile devices AT&T lists as supporting its Navigator Global Edition are:

  • AT&T Tilt
  • Samsung Blackjack II
  • Motorola Q9h

Seems they only like integrated GPS. What, no love for us Freedom Keychain users? Hey, AT&T, if you're looking for testers, our passport's up to date. Just sayin'.

Via CNET

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5 years ago

Review: Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset

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Review: Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset

CrystalTalk is Motorola’s latest audio technology that is reported to deliver maximum audio performance in even the noisiest of environments.  The Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset ($89.95) is Moto’s first headset to incorporate this technology.  According to Motorola, CrystalTalk uses dual microphones to cancel out background noise, enhance your voice and channel pure, clear audio directly into your ear.  On paper, it would seem the H12 is leading the pack of mini-headsets on the market today.

To see if CrystalTalk and the Motorola H12 deliver the maximum audio performance, read on!

Out of the Box

The Motorola H12 is a lightweight headset, weighing only .4 ounces, and is very similar to the Motorola BH680.  Measuring 1.65 inches long and .7 inches wide, the H12 is a smidgen larger than the H680.  The best way to describe the headset’s diamond cut metal surface is sleek.

The H12 comes packaged with two charging cradles, the AC adapter, a few ear buds of assorted sizes, a Quick Start Guide and a clip that allows you to snap the headset to a shirt button.  The headset also has a clear plastic ear hook that can be reversed for left ear use.

I don’t understand Motorola’s thinking on providing two chargers.  One is a charging case (just like you get with the BH680) that the headset sits down into that the other is a stylish cradle that the headset leans on.  Both charge through magnetic contacts and with only one AC adapter, having one in the office and the other at home doesn’t make sense. I would have preferred a single charging cradle and a means to charge the H12 in the car instead of the two cradles.  As is, the cradle is the only way to charge the H12 and probably the H12’s greatest limitation.

The H12 has a dedicated power button which is nice because there is no doubt as to whether the device is on or not.  Volume keys are found on the top side of the headset and a main button rests on the top surface of the H12.  The buttons are large and easy to manipulate while the headset is worn as well as when it’s not.  A small LED light is just below the main button to alert/confirm functions through various blinks and colors.

Performance

The H12, after fully charged, goes into pairing mode when first turned on.  Pairing the H12 with my Samsung BlackJack II was uneventful and in a matter of seconds, I was connected.  The Bluetooth connection between the phone and headset was strong.  No static was present when carrying the phone on the opposite hip in a case.

The H12 was extremely comfortable to wear.  While you can wear the headset without the ear hook, the hook was not uncomfortable and added a level of security to the wear.  The shirt clip is an interesting accessory which allows you to clip the H12 to a shirt button.  It’s essentially a “U” clip that goes around a button and the H12 snaps in between the thongs.  Using the shirt clip is a little awkward and takes some time to get used to.  While it adds a level of convenience, I prefer a lanyard carry option better.

I was interested to see if CrystalTalk was as good as Motorola claimed.  Earpiece volume was good but a little muffled.  Increasing the volume helps but you still have a slight muffle to the volume.  In looking at the ear bud design a good portion of the earpiece is covered with the rubber ear bud.  At first I thought the cut out was dependant on the ear bud size but the other ear buds had small cut outs for the speaker as well.  Taking the ear bud off noticeably improved the volume but made the H12 noticeably uncomfortable to wear.

Microphone performance and volume was good, maybe a touch better than any other headset on the market.  In using a normal tone and volume, my voice came in clear.  Background noises such as traffic and the air conditioner were almost eliminated.  Louder noises such as the car stereo were filtered out nicely.

The H12 has a nice feature set including last number redial, call reject, voice dialing (phone dependant), call mute and call hold.  The H12 also has the ability to answer a second call or reject a second call.  The LED confirms these actions as well as alerting owners to low batteries through a series of colored flashes.  Battery life is rated by Motorola to be approximately 8 days of stand by time and 5.5 hours of talk time.  With the limited charging options, battery power should last you the day or in between destinations when traveling. 

Overall Impression

So is the Motorola H12 Bluetooth Headset ($89.95) with CrystalTalk technology leading the pack of Bluetooth Headsets on the market today?  The H12 is a solid performer that is comfortable to wear, has good microphone performance, a good feature set, and decent battery life.  But with the volume muffled by the ear bud design and limited charging options, if it’s leading the pack it’s not by much.

I have to recognize the dedicated power button one more time.  This feature of the H12 is something that other headset engineers should strongly consider.  I’ve tested several Bluetooth headsets that power on through the call/main button and it is difficult at times to tell if the headset is on or off.  I’ve caught myself staring at headsets waiting for the blinking blue light and turned the headset off when I thought I was turning it on too many times.  It’s refreshing to look at the headset and know for certain the thing is on or off.  It may be a minor feature to some but I think Motorola hit the nail on the head by having a dedicated power button.

Compared to the Motorola BH680 Bluetooth Headset ($59.95) the H12 is more comfortable, has slightly better microphone performance but the BH680 has slightly better speaker volume and battery life.  Otherwise these two headsets are almost equal. 

I really think if Motorola redesigned the ear buds the H12 would be very hard to beat even with the limited charging options.  As is, the H12 simply makes choosing a mini-headset a little harder to make.  It should be on everyone’s short list.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Build: 4/5 (those darn ear buds)
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Battery Life: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Really comfortable to wear
  • Strong Microphone performance
  • Dedicated Power Button

Cons

  • Ear Buds seem to muffle headset volume
  • Limited Charging Options
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5 years ago

Sweet Windows Mobile Car

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Sweet Windows Mobile Car

Renault has been producing cars since late 1898 and a hundred and ten years later they get it right. Years after they launched the Renault Voiturette 1cv, they bring Windows Mobile into the picture to control a car! The company that was started by a family of brothers has come so far from when they sold their first car to a friend. Not even their Nissan alliance is as big as Windows Mobile controlling your cars lights, doors, and

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia X1 comes out of hiding

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Sony Xperia X1 comes out of hiding

It seems like an eternity since Dieter got some serious hands-on time with the Sony Xperia X1. And in the tech world, it certainly has been, what with the launch of the HTC Diamond and that other "smart" phone taking center stage recently.

But the X1 has been lurking and still appears headed for a fall release. IntoMobile recently mentions a November launch on Australia's 3 network, and inexperia's got a French connection stating mid-October, for about $1,000 sans contract.

As for the U.S., we're still hoping for a September release, with AT&T the likely carrier.

Check in after the jump for Dieter's hands-on specs.

What's under the hood

  • HSDPA/HSUPA (Quad Band, too)
  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • aGPS
  • 3.2 Megapixel Camera
  • 110 x 53 x 16.7 mm
  • 145 grams
  • 1500 mAH Battery
  • Qualcomm's MSM7200A CPU, 528Mhz (confirmed)
  • 800x480 resolution Touchscreen (flush)
  • MicroSD for expansion
  • MiniUSB for data and charging
  • 3.5mm headset jack for music
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5 years ago

Windows Live Updated For All: Push Email, More!

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The Windows Live for Windows Mobile team blog drops the news, the Windows Live client (not to be confused with Live Search) has been updated and is available for everybody to download at http://wl.windowsmobile.com/. The client already provided push sync for email and contacts; the new version adds:

  • View graphics, web links and contact photos in emails
  • Respond to emails with voice recordings
  • Upload photos to your Windows Live Spaces

It does appear that this is still the 'lite' version we mentioned back in April, which doesn't provide for MSN Messenger unless your carrier allows for it. According to MSDN, you'll want to uninstall the previous version from settings before installing the new version, FYI.

Apple's Mobile Me service has been having all sorts of issues, so go ahead and give this app an install and show those iPhone folks how push email (just Hotmail and Live mail) is supposed to work. :p

[via]

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5 years ago

Qik Now in Public Beta

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Qik Now in Public Beta

Qik has been on select Windows Mobile devices for awhile now, but the beta has been opened up for everybody without the need for an invite. You can check it out at http://qik.com, but be warned it might just start playing video automatically (which is annoying). The “Beta” part of Qik is no joke -- it works very well as you can see from the above video but it also has some account management issues to work out (like switching phone numbers associated with an account). Qik currently only works with a few Windows Mobile phones, the Motorola Q9c, Q9h, and the Samsung SGH-i600 and BlackJack II. More should be coming in the future, though.

Oh yeah, what does Qik do? It's a live-video-streaming app that lets you share videos either with the entire internet (as above) or just people you select, plus the videos are archived for future use (as above). All in all, it's pretty slick. They've added a heap of new features with the new beta, which you can find detailed on their blog.

[via]

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5 years ago

SlideIT Brings New Power to Your Stylus

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5 years ago

'Hype vs. reality' - Putting everyone in their place

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Not wanting to be swallowed amid a sea of Apple hype, Microsoft's Scott Rockfeld sat down with ComputerWorld to remind us all that the iPhone is far from dominating the cell phone world, and enterprise in particular.

In Eric Lai's article, Rockfeld mentions:

  • 325 enterprises bought at least 500 WinMo phones in the last fiscal year. (That's 162,500 devices).
  • Seven of the 10 biggest companies in the world bought WinMo devices, and one unnamed company purchased 100,000 on its own. (CW's thinking that could be Wal-Mart. But AT&T's on the list at No. 10, and we've seen numbers fudged worse.)
  • 20 million WinMo licenses sold in the last fiscal year.
  • 500 iPhone apps at the 3G launch, versus the more than 18,000 apps available for WinMo.

And, yeah, BlackBerry's still mentioned as No. 1 for business. There's no denying that. But it appears, at least to Rockfeld in this article, that Apple is still just nipping at the heels of the big dogs.

Read Microsoft: Forget iPhone; we're still No. 2 in business

[Via]

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5 years ago

WM 6.1 Updates for Touch and Mogul are Official

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Likely you've already managed to snag your update because we caught these upgrades early as they were posted (early) late last week (Here's your Mogul Update and here's your Touch Update). If you haven't or if you're the sort who rigorously follows the rules, now you can get the official Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the Sprint Mogul and the Sprint Touch. Both will get you EVDO Rev A, A-GPS, and some Sprint TV Action, but strangely the Touch gets an on-board Opera browser while the Mogul is left out in the cold, freezing (literally?) winter of PocketIE.

Anybody applied this yet? We'll hit up the official update ourselves in just a bit, but we're curious to know exactly which version of Opera the Touch is rocking, let us know in the comments!

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