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5 years ago

Internet Radio Doomsday Postponed Again

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Internet Radio Doomsday Postponed Again

WOO HOO! First, we heard that SoundExchange was going to collect unfairly high fees from Internet Radio Broadcasters -- effectively shutting down anybody that wasn't Clear Channel. Then the deadline was pushed back to July 15th (i.e. 2 days from now). I was going to write a funereal "Goodbye Internet Music" post, but it looks like I still might not have to. Wired is reporting that:

The SoundExchange executive [Jon Simson, executive director] promised -- in front of Congress -- that SoundExchange will not enforce the new royalty rates.  Webcasters will stay online, as new rates are hammered out.

Read: Listening Post - Wired Blogs (via BoingBoing)

So it's not a total win for Internet Radio, but just a stay of execution. Actually, it looks like the firestorm the move created is actually causing SoundExchange to soften their position. Go on over to SaveNetRadio to whoop it up and help with the next move.

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5 years ago

HTC Touch vs. iPhone, Part 2: Video Smackdown

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5 years ago

CTIA: Don't Ban 3G Chips

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CTIA: Don't Ban 3G Chips

Just over a month ago we reported that the International Trade Commission wants to ban 3G chips from being imported into the US because they violated Broadcom patents (Story here). I know a guy who works for Broadcom, and he seems nice enough, but I'm starting to feel like maybe I should punch him in the neck (plus, they're in cahoots with that other popular phone).

In any case, CTIA (they of the superfun wireless conventions) is asking the President to veto the ban because, if it's allowed to stand, they think it will cause $21.1 billion (with a "B") in economic damage. This PDF link provides all the details about how the sky will fall if this isn't stopped. The Spice 3G Must Flow. You go get 'em, CTIA!

CTIA-The Wireless Association® is deeply concerned that the ITC order banning new models of wireless broadband handsets will cause unprecedented economic harm to tens of millions of American wireless consumers, and because of that we urge President Bush to veto the order

Read: MobileCrunch » CTIA Calls for Veto of ITC Chip Ban

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5 years ago

WM "Business Value" Calculator

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WM "Business Value" Calculator

So Microsoft has put up a fancy little web gadget that lets you punch in some key stats about your company and then find out just how much money you'll save/make by switching your employees to Windows Mobile -- thereby increasing their productivity. But Good Golly are the terms and whatnot in there above my head. One of two things is going on here:

  1. I am beyond clueless about the financial management of a mid-to-large size corporation. As clueless as I am about brain surgery. More, even. I understand what a "frontal lobe" is and have half a shot at telling you the primary functions of the hippocampus. But "Reduce Sales Force Lead to Order Sales Cycle"? No. Clue.
  2. The "business-speak" language is intentionally ramped up to obscure the details and maximize the chances you have of using this tool to impress the hell out of your boss so he or she will buy you that Sprint Mogul you've been eyeing.

...my guess is all of the above. So go calculate it, then go grab your superiors and explain how they'd be crazy not to buy you a shiny new smartphone.

the Business Value Calculator allows you to quantify the benefits and the direct and indirect costs of deploying mobile line-of-business applications, including measurable impact on revenue and income, operating expense savings, productivity enhancements, and other strategic business improvements.

Read: Windows Mobile Business Value Calculator via Smartphone Thoughts

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5 years ago

Palm's ROM Follies

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Palm's ROM Follies

Over at TreoCentral I've left the lion's share of reporting in the capable hands of Jennifer Chappell. My duties there have mostly been relegated to the TreoCast and to story after story after story after story after story after story about Palm's seeming inability to release a simple ROM patch for their PalmOS Treo 700p. It's really depressing, actually, even more depressing because Palm recently announced they're not going to be releasing the Linux Version of the PalmOS until next year. So much for somebody other than Apple pushing Microsoft to innovate the WM platform.

On the Windows Mobile side of Palm's world, things are going a little better. They've released an update for the the memory-aenemic 700w and the ready-for-prime-time 700wx. The update equalizes the two devices (except for the memory issue) and adds A2DP and improved DUN. What it doesn't add is Windows Mobile 6.

Speaking of not getting Windows Mobile 6, there's still no sign of the promised WM6 update for the Treo 750, despite the fact that there have been sporadic units running WM6 for a long time.

Look, Palm, I love you guys from the bottom of my heart, I'm even willing to believe that your Foleo will be at least half as successful as you seem to think. But being a Palm fan has been a lot like being a Vikings fan for a few years now: We believe in the team, every year it looks like they're going to get it together, most years they do much better than the naysayers give them credit for, but in the end -- no Superbowl.

The biggest deal is the addition of A2DP, though that couldn't have been that hard since people have been hacking it onto the 700wx for awhile now. TreoCentral forum member hannip posted a download for Sprint 700w/wx users back in February and made lots of Treo owners very happy.

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Software >> Palm Releases Verizon Treo 700w/wx Updater 1.22

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5 years ago

WhoNeedsAniPhone developing Flash iPhone-like Interface

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Add another site to the growing list of people making iPhone-like interfaces, only this time with a catchier name: WhoNeedsAniPhone.com. I can't say I'm on board with using Flash to develop the interface - yes, it's very fast and yes it lets you get "the pretty" relatively quickly. But in exchange for that it's a bit of a resource hog and (somebody correct me if I'm wrong here) it isn't going to be as compatible with the pantheon of WM devices as it ought to be.

In any case, if the iPhone has taught us nothing else, it's taught us that while using a stylus is acceptable for PDAs, it flat out sucks having to use it with a smartphone. If I can't use a smartphone one-handed, I can't use that smartphone as my main brain, period. That the reason that I'm anti-slider most of the time.

Let's just hope that the interface that rolls out of this beta program doesn't feature as many sentences in ALL CAPS as the about page does. :p

When I opened up a new project for a Windows Moblie device in CS3 and started digging around it became clear to me... THIS WOULD BE A FANTASTIC DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT TO BUILD A NEW COOL INTERFACE FOR A WINDOWS MOBILE PHONE! Thats when I started playing around... and within only a few hours I was able to have a new launcher screen up and running with shortcuts to several apps on my device sporting full PNG transparency support, a full screen interface, and interactive and dynamic content using the wonders of Flash itself!

Read: WhoNeedsAniPhone.com via Phone different

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5 years ago

Stay Calm. Breathe: Samsung SCH-i760 Sneaks onto on Verizon Website

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Engadget Mobile (et al) notices that the Samsung SCH-i760 has popped up on Verizon's site, in the form of a little photo demo gallery. Engadget calls it "arguably ugly", to which I reply: Form follows function, baby, and this function is beautiful:

  • 60 x 110 x 20 mm
  • 150 grams
  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • 400 MHZ Samsung (naturally) Processor
  • 128MB ROM
  • 64 MB RAM (54.5MB for the User)
  • 2.8" touchscreen, 320x240
  • EVDO (I think Rev A, but that's not for sure?)
  • MicroSD
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi (both B and G)
  • 1.3 mp camera

Of course, I'm a form factor nut and the thing I like about this form factor is the fact that they moved that 5-way down to the side to allow for more screen real estate. Plus, unlike the Vox, it looks like that slider keyboard is actually usable.

Final specs, release date, and price all unknown. My desire to check one out: known.

Check out a ton more pics after the break, including a real live, "I held this mother in my hand from our CTIA visit back in March.

the handset formerly known as I can do it all, is now up on Verizon's -- in some half-hidden way -- site.

Read: Samsung SCH-i760 spied on Verizon's site - Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Yes, there's an "iPhone Keyboard" for WM, But You Still Want SPB.

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I know, I know, everybody's all atwitter over various iPhone software elements making their way to Windows Mobile. The latest is this keyboard over at XDA-Developers, which would be nice if you had a screen as large as the iPhone's. You don't, so this keyboard is going to be a single-index-finger affair. That's nice, it also utilizes Windows Mobile's predictive text, which has an advantage over the iPhone in that it will auto-complete a word for you with a tap. No, it's not as smart as the iPhone's "fix it after you type it" style, but it's still pretty nice.

However - I much prefer one of two other options: a physical keyboard or, barring that, SPB Full Screen Keyboard. It's $9.95 and works great. SPB did try to put in some of that fancy predictive magic that iPhone users have, but in my experience it's not all that useful. What is useful is that it's in landscape mode (it can do portrait too, but I'd advice against it). This, my friends, is eminently thumb-able. If you are one of the strange / lucky ones with a WM touchscreen device sans physical keyboard, this is what you want.

See, the nice thing about a Smartphone* is that if the built-in functionality isn't enough for you, you can hunt down and install 3rd-party applications to fill the gap. :p

This application won't analyze your next possible character like the iPhone does, but it is a skin for the Windows Mobile keyboard so you'll still get the native predictive word functions that you normally have.

Read: jkOnTheRun: Does this Windows Mobile iKeyboard look familiar?

( * Yes, I know this "the iPhone isn't a smartphone" thing is fast becoming a losing argument what with some decent web-apps coming out and the likelihood of serious updates from Apple in the near future. It's still mostly true (especially on a plane, hey?) and it's still completely fun to write. )

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5 years ago

I-Mate on the Ropes

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I-Mate on the Ropes

I-Mate has been trying to, slowly but surely, break into the US market (or at least gain wide acceptance beyond the Middle East). The big push was supposed to be part and parcel with their new "Ultimate Line" of Windows Mobile devices, but it's not looking good these days. Their finance director had to step down, their devices (with the possible exception of the JAQ series) don't get much play, and they're not HTC.

It's a pity, too, because the "Ultimate" devices are indeed Ultimate - the specs are crazy good on every one of them.

I-mate, the mobile devices specialist founded by Glaswegian Jim Morrison, was punished again by the market yesterday after announcing the resignation of its finance director.

The Dubai-based maker of the rival to the Blackberry, dubbed the "Macberry" but sold largely in the Middle East, said Gregor McNeil would be stepping down for personal reasons.

Read: The Herald via MGN

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5 years ago

Sprint Has Horrendous Customer Service, Sky Still Blue

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I used to be a Sprint customer and a relatively happy one -- if only because their data plans are on the order of $25/month cheaper than what I'm paying now. But I needs me my GSM and SIM swapping. Apparently I'm lucky to have left, as the tech blogging world is all aflutter recently over Sprint and their evils. Check out the related stories:

It all adds up to a gigantic headache for Sprint and power-users on Sprint's network who suddenly feel much less secure about it than they once did. I'd like to say I could whole-heartedly recommend another carrier for those wishing to get away from such malfeasance, but I just plain can't. T-Mobile usually gets credit as the least-evil of the bunch because of their decent customer service. But T-Mobile... where the heck is your 3G? I digress.

Is anybody happy with their carrier or their carrier options these days?

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5 years ago

HTC Advantage is US Retail Stores

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HTC Advantage is US Retail Stores

So the HTC Advantage is available in the US, in retail even. Well, it's in CompUSA, as least, if you consider that a retail store and not a dying albatross hanging about the neck of whichever mall it happens to be attached to.

I'll admit, the urge to buy one of these, even at its $899 US pricetag, is growing stronger by the day. The specs on it are just out of this world:

  • 624 MHz CPU with ATi™ Graphic Chip W2284
  • Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6 Professional
  • ROM: 256 MB, RAM: 128 MB SDRAM
  • 133.5 mm (L) x 98 mm (W) x 16 mm (T)
  • 359g (with battery)
  • 5" Touchscreen, 640x480 resolution
  • HSDPA/UMTS/GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • Bluetooth® 2.0, 802.11 b/g
  • HTC proprietary 16-pin combined port (USB 1.1 host/VGA and TV Out)
  • 3 mega-pixel camera with autofocus and flash light
  • 8GB Drive built-in

It makes the Foleo look like, well, a PalmOS device. Yes, it's chunky and yes, the keyboard is too big to thumb and too small to touch-type easily. Otherwise, this thing is a powerhouse of a device by any reasonable standard.

Read: CompUSA.com via pocketnow

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5 years ago

HTC Touch Tutorials

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HTC Touch Tutorials

I'm going to go ahead and count this new site detailing how to use the HTC Touch as evidence for HTC releasing the rumored CDMA version (Codenamed "Vogue") sometime in the near future. Why? Well, mostly because HTC seems to be throwing much more than their standard marketing weight behind it. The Touch currently occupies almost the entire HTC homepage, which I like except for the fact that they're trying to create a new word, "touchnology". Ugh.

Anyhow, the online tutorials detail how to bring up the Touch Cube (which, by the way, only has three sides. I would kill for a fourth that I could add apps to) as well as how to get around in the standard WM6 bits. I like the Touch, like it better than the iPhone, even. So while the standard interpretation of this site is likely just that HTC is positioning the Touch against the iPhone, my reading is that HTC really intends to release this to a wider audience.

Read: HTC's Touch Tutorials

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5 years ago

Toshiba G900 Reviews Trickling In

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Toshiba G900 Reviews Trickling In

The Toshiba G900 is the very definition of mobile power. Check out some details on it courtesy of Tracy and Matt's blog: They have a Toshiba G900 and they aren't being reticent with the gadget pron. There's an unboxing, a few hi-res screen grabs, and a video of the ginormous screen.

Engadget has an unboxing gallery as well. US release is still unknown, but obviously it's available in Europe and Japan, as expected. If you're multilingual, check out the review at SoloPalmari.

800x480 resolution on that screen. I can hardly stand not having it.

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5 years ago

Good iPhone Review

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Good iPhone Review

Over at Phone different, Mike Overbo just posted his full review of the iPhone. There are a lot of little surprising bits in there, so it's definitely worth the read. Since I'm slowly becoming the "iPhone troll in residence" amongst our little family of sites, I'm going to post the relevant 'graf for WM users (For featurephone users, it's a 9/10, btw):

It will take some big software updates to compete effectively against Blackberries and Windows Mobile and the like in the business segment. Heavy email users will want to utilize their business webmail interface (in Exchange, it's Outlook Web Access) and the VPN option for security. **On the business side, the iPhone is currently 7/10**; a "C" if you want arbitrary letter grades.

Read: Phone different: Review: Apple iPhone 8GB

I'd say I agree with that, actually. Maybe a 6/10 for me on the productivity side, but where Mike dings the iPhone for certain problems I sideswipe it. It's not that the problems can't ultimately be fixed via updates (they could) or that they're that monumental (I'm undecided), it's just that they exist in exactly the places where I need a smartphone to be powerful - Mail, ToDo, and yes, 3rd party apps.

I've been using the iPhone for a week and after a week's worth of use I was impressed, but ultimately it's not for me. I'm back to using the HTC Touch as my main brain right now. I'll explain more later this week in Part 2 of my iPhone vs. HTC Touch articles. In the meantime, check out Mike's review (and no, I'm not just linking it because it's my name on the test email and text pics).

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5 years ago

HTC Cavalier Clears FCC

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HTC Cavalier Clears FCC

Honestly, we've been waiting a long time here for the HTC Cavalier. Looong time. We heard about it first in January's HTC roadmap, then again in January when BGR fondled one. Heck, we even saw somebody else bury the Cavalier in the snow(!). So after all that, it's good to see the FCC will let it be used here in the US.

But will anybody pick it up? The Cavalier is essentially a T-Mobile Dash with HSDPA. But T-Mobile still hasn't gotten their 3G act together, so I wouldn't hold my breath that they'll do it. That leaves us with AT&T, obviously, but I can't really see them doing anything other than sticking with the Blackjack for their 3G WM Smartphone. And I have to say I can't blame them - I'll take a better keyboard over included WiFi any day - is that crazy?

Anyhow, maybe HTC will just release the phone on their own, unlocked and ready to rock, without any carrier support. I hope they do, actually. Wouldn't it be nice if all phones were sold that way instead of with the horrible contract system we're still saddled with?

Read: FCC

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