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5 years ago

GrandCentral's Nice, but I want SMS too.

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GrandCentral's Nice, but I want SMS too.

GrandCentral is a "Single Number" service that's been making a pretty big splash on the web today due to David' Pogue's recent review. I like the idea of Grand Central (which is currently free and in Beta, but they claim the basic features will remain free after the beta) and their feature list is impressive. But I have two qualms about signing up for a service like this:

  1. The company damn well better not go belly up in the next, oh, five years.
  2. Text Messaging. Come on, world, it's 2007. I communicate much more often over SMS than I do with voice. A centralized number to call me is all well and good, but if it can't redirect texts to whatever gadget I'm currently using, then count me out.

For #2, the geek in my almost wants to just buy a 2nd WM phone, plug it in at home, install PhoneAlarm, and then use that as my very own personal GrandCentral.

Actually, what I really want is something like OpenID - no phone numbers, IM nicks, email addresses, etc etc. Just one unique identifier (that's basically under my control and therefore completely portable) for all vectors of communication.

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5 years ago

Roundup of Studies: Cellphone Radiation May Reduce Male Fertility

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This is probably bad news for most of us, though potentially good news if you don't like, uh, the continuation of the species. Textually.org posts up a big list of studies showing a linkage between cell phone use and male fertility. The evidence for this seems to be a bit clearer than the evidence for brain damage from cell phones, but I Am Not A Scientist, so what do I know?

Apparently the effects come for men who "used their cell phone for more than 4 hours per day." Here's the Windows Mobile connection for me: WM's mulitasking makes it so freaking simple for me to be downloading emails, surfing the web, letting my weather app auto-update, check traffic, etc etc.. Add all that time up and my device is probably getting information from the interwebs for over 4 hours a day easy. I expect that data usage puts out a similar amount of radiation, so are we data-centric power users just as much at risk as the gabbers? ....eek.

One third of infertility cases go unexplained and in the coming weeks, a leading infertility journal, "Fertility and Sterility", will be publishing a full report by Cleveland Clinic researchers, that blames cell phones for the problem.

Read: textually.org: Cell Phones May Lead To Lower Fertility In Males

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, 4th Batch-O-Winners

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, 4th Batch-O-Winners

Here we go, the last batch of winners of our Prize-A-Day contest (the Grand Prize winner will be announced on Monday). Congrats to all - emails with details will be forthcoming shortly.

  1. Day 15 - Joe wins the Jabra JX10 Bluetooth Headset in Black.
    ...If I learned anything from your lists, I learned that I need to give FlexWallet another shot. I tried it out briefly, I'm going to try it again "less" briefly. :)
  2. Day 16 - Donna wins a game of her choice from the WMExperts Software store.
    ...Perhaps not too surprisingly, there's no "One WM Phone" to rule them all. Different strokes for different folks.
  3. Day 17 - Ken wins the Arkon Vehicle Mount.
    ...smthng definitely committed the biggest "Smartphone Sin", though. Purposefully making people's phones start beeping during a movie? For shame (although they probably deserve it for leaving their bluetooth set to "discoverable.")
  4. Day 18 - jkovacs wins the Moto DC800 Bluetooth Audio Transceiver.
    ...There are a few PalmOS -> WM like myself, a few WM diehards, but mostly everybody just wants the better OS of the moment. That's actually sort of inspiring.
  5. Day 19 - sbono13 wins Spb Backup.
    ...Ok, people: listen up. Maybe I'm paranoid about backups, but I figure if you're going to do it once a week you might as well also do it once a day. And test those backups. And consider an off-site backup in case of fire. And make sure those backups are backed up. And, uh, I guess I should probably relax. If nothing else, though, I recommend getting some sort of Exchange Server for yourself - easiest way to restore your PIM if you lose data, IMO.
  6. Day 20 - LT wins 40 bucks worth of merch from the WMExperts store.
    ...LT won for a review of the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard, which is my favorite BT keyboard to date also. It also will double as a nice "living room keyboard" if you happen to have some sort of Media PC set up in there.

Well, folks, it's been a ton of fun for me to put these contests up every day. I'm sort of sad to see it go. On the other hand, now I'll be able to spend a little more time writing. Right now I'm thinking about How-To guides (like this GPS for your WM device demo). So it's not for a prize, but go ahead and comment here anyway, tell me something you'd like to know how to do with your WM phone.

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5 years ago

Microsoft to Purchase Tellme

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Microsoft to Purchase Tellme

It looks like future versions of Voice Command on WM are going to be a whole lot smarter after this acquisition. Tellme Networks does voice recognition and has also been running the voice search service at 1-800-555-TELL (8355). A quick check of the service just now tells me (cough) that Tellme seems to do a better job at voice prompt recognition than most of those annoying call centers I have to use (How many times have you said "Operator. Operator! Shut up and let me talk to a human!"?).

Microsoft Corp. today announced it will acquire Tellme Networks, Inc., a leading provider of voice services for everyday life, including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search.

Read: Microsoft to Acquire Tellme - via Backstage at MED

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5 years ago

Asus P526 (Pegasus) Announced

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Asus P526 (Pegasus) Announced

We caught a brief glimpse of the P526 in our 3GSM Mega-Roundup 2, and now Asus has made it official. Their press release keeps using the word "trendy" to describe it, which I find a touch odd, but that's their prerogative.

The P526 stands a decent chance (for an Asus device, at least) of making its way here to the states, as it sports a quad-band GSM Radio (EDGE only, though). It also has GPS integrated. I'm telling you, my next "main brain" phone will have GPS built-in. Oh, and it'll rock WM6 when it comes out - signs point to May.

"The P526 is the perfect trendy PDA phone for users who want to utilize the user-friendly and "Live" functions of Windows Live," said H C Hung, Head of ASUSTeK's Handheld Business Unit.

Read: ASUS P526 PDA / Cell Phone Announced

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5 years ago

Giant ATT-Cingular 3G WM5 Smackdown: Treo 750 vs. 8525 vs. Blackjack

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5 years ago

Review: Newsbreak 2.0

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5 years ago

Great MEDC Preview Video

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Great MEDC Preview Video

Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded DevCon is a little more than a month away and it's looking to be a great conference to WM developers. They have a cool blog up where I caught a great video (embedded after the break) "interview" with WM Product Manager (and MEDC organizer) Derek Snyder.

There are a few bits of insight into how Microsoft tries to help developers interact with carriers (Developer "Speed Dating" FTW!) plus a bit more about why Microsoft moved to the new naming scheme (which, by the way, I'm now on board with). It's funny, too, wouldn't you know? I like that not only is there a lighthearted attitude amongst Microsoft's WM team, but also that they share it with the world.

Dave and Rich from the NxtGenUG tried to capture an interview with me for their video podcast. Little

Check out the video after the break.

Read: moGadget » Blog Archive » NxtGenUG Video Podcast gets hijacked


Video: Dave and Rich Try to Interview Derek Snyder

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5 years ago

WMExperts Prize-A-Day, FINAL DAY

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WMExperts Prize-A-Day, FINAL DAY

That's right, it's your last chance to enter to win the Smartphone of your choice plus $300 worth of accessories, or one of those two Slingbox Pros, or today's prize: $40 worth of whatever you'd like from the WMExperts Store.

How to Win

The WMExperts Store has been generous in sponsoring this contest, so it's only right that to win for today we send them some love one more time. Head on over to the store and enter a review for any accessory - be sure to enter a full review with your email address in order to qualify. Any review posted between now and noon EST tomorrow, March 14th, will qualify for the prize.

This is your last chance to get an entry in for the Grand Prize and the two Second Prizes!

(Full contest rules are here)

I'll announce the last of the Prize-A-Day winners tomorrow afternoon and the Grand Prize and Runner-up winners on Monday.

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5 years ago

HTC to Sell 2 Million Handsets in Q2

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HTC to Sell 2 Million Handsets in Q2

HTC is already the undisputed king of Windows Mobile phones - they make so many handsets it literally causes one's eyes to glaze over -- and that's before you take all the rebranded HTC devices into account -- and that's before you take the Treo's they manufactured for Palm into account. They make a lot of smartphones. A. lot.

Looks like they expect to sell even more, though, in part because they have so many sweet WM6 phones in the pipeline. It looks like nobody's going to be taking their crown anytime soon.

High Tech Computer (HTC) is expected to ship 2-2.4 million handsets in the second quarter of 2007, up from the 1.6-2 million units it shipped in the first quarter, according to estimates by sources at Taiwan-based handset component makers.

Read: HTC expected to ship 2-2.4 million handsets in 2Q, say sources

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5 years ago

End User Study Says Pocket Outlook Easiest to Configure

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A press release put out yesterday by "The Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab" claims that Pocket Outlooks beat out Blackberry and Symbian for ease of setup (Odd that they didn't compare it to Palm's VersaMail, which has actually improved greatly). Full report to paid subscribers only - but it's nice to see WM come out on top.

users find Windows Mobile Pocket Outlook to be the easiest mobile email client to configure for a POP3 email account

Read: Strategy Analytics: Windows Mobile Outlook Easiest to Configure

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5 years ago

MS Release Device Emulator 2.0

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MS Release Device Emulator 2.0

If you're running Vista and interested in developing for Windows Mobile 6, it's worth the download I'm sure. It'll also work on XP (and heck, Win2000sp4), if you're not bleeding edge. Then again, if you're a WM6 developer, you probably are. :)

Looks like the WM6 SDK and Adaptation Kit are included in this release. One neat feature, the "device" you're emulating can be "cradled" within Windows Vista's Mobile Device Center so you can test syncing. Snazzy.

Yesterday our team released the Device Emulator v2.0.   This version of the Emulator has upgraded performance and some new features

Read: Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile! : Microsoft device emulator v2.0 released

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5 years ago

InterDigital Communications: Patent Heroes or Villains?

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Thanks to Dave for pointing out this Kiplinger Article about InterDigital Communications - a company that's been getting anywhere from one to three percent of the wholesale price of many modern cell phones based on their patent enforcements.

Founded more than 30 years ago, it has pocketed more than $1 billion in royalties, primarily from the sale of cell phones. Owning intellectual property is a marvelous business because there is no manufacturing cost and no inventory.

You may remember the (sadly) successful legal hijinks of push-email patent holders NTP, who forced Research in Motion into a settlement almost exactly a year ago. InterDigital isn't as nefarious as all that, though, as it appears they're working on augmenting their "growing base of 3G patent licensees" with actual hardware design. (Their CFO has recently resigned, for whatever that's worth.)

The point is they're holding all sorts of patents for TDMA, CDMA, HSDPA, GSM/GPRS... you name it. Even if a small percentage of your last phone purchase didn't somehow make it's way to this Pennsylvania company, chances are it'll happen with your next purchase. They've pulled some hefty settlements out of Nokia and Samsung in the past few years and I suspect they'll continue to have a steady cash flow from settlements and licensing agreements for some time to come.

What I can't decide is how I should feel about them - evil sketchy patent enforcers or (relatively) small engineering firm making good? Reuters has a nice little company profile and history that seems to imply the latter. Had you heard about InterDigital Communications before? Hit us up in the comments and educate this poor ignorant blogger.

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5 years ago

WM6 devices with WiFi: Dramatically Better Battery Life?

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Are the days of WiFi chewing through our batteries like a beaver through soft wood over? ZDNet seems to think so, based on an interview with truphone's CEO James Tagg. Now Tagg obviously has an interest in convincing people that WiFi on their phone is a good thing, since he's running a VOIP company. Nevertheless, his claim that, with WM6:

"A lot of work [has been done] with the manufacturers of the Wi-Fi chips [together with] some proper thought around the software stack," Tagg told ZDNet UK on Monday.

...makes me wonder if we won't see other little surprises when WM6 becomes widely available.

Read: Mobile Wi-Fi battery issues 'solved' - ZDNet UK

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5 years ago

Carriers Looking to Limit Number of OSes They Support

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Here's more bad news for the PalmOS (Until it moved to a Linux base): Carriers are tired of supporting multiple OSes. Vodafone specifically wants WM, Symbian, and Linux only (though it's likely they won't be turning away the iPhone when given the chance). The "Linux" is sort of amusing to me, though, as I suspect that's going to be an awfully big umbrella in the near future.

Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone company in terms of revenue, has been leading a push to limit the number of operating systems, declaring in November that it would eventually sell only phones that ran on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Symbian Series 60 or Linux. For more than a year, NTT DoCoMo of Japan has concentrated on Symbian, a privately held British-based company in which Nokia of Finland has a nearly 50 percent stake, and Linux.

Read: New York Times, via mocoNews. There's also some discussion at Slashdot.

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