Friday, October 06, 2006

Telstra get their HSDPA on - early

Telstra has finished rolling out its brand-spankin' new HSDPA network, the largest of its kind in the world, in a gobsmacking 10 months. The 850 MHz network, covering one quarter of the countries landmass and 98% of its population is 3 months ahead of schedule.
"This is a tremendous feat of engineering, demonstrating the versatility of the technology to reach across both metros and vast regional geographies," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association. "Scaling across one of the world's most challenging environments, this launch is positive proof that the most cost-effective and efficient way to bring high speed Internet access and other media rich services to remote rural areas is to exploit the massive investment in wireless networks already made by the global mobile industry," he added.

That is all gobbledygook for Australia is fast, is serious about fast, and have rough terrain. We like them for that - plus they use the same frequency we will use here in Canada. How shameful that Australia has Doc Martin 50 hole boots compared to us just learning how to put on sandals over here. I need a longer string for my "office to home" phone.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Virgin Mobile's Lobster 700TV - Wins best mobile phone name - ever.

Ok, that they won is a lie, but it does deserve the moniker AND it is quite hideous. It reminds me of half of a Nokia 6600's ugly stepchild.
If you can get past the face, the Lobster 700TV does have a decent feature set with things like:
  • Windows Mobile 5 for Smartphone
  • DAB-IP
  • QVGA screen
  • 1.3MP camera
  • microSD
What is DAB-IP? Digital Audio Broadcasting, DAB-IP is a system to deliver video over DAB. It is just too bad that the first handset to do it is this evil red-clawed monster, aka the HTC Monet. We really love you High Tech Computer Corp, but stop with the freaky designs.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sony Ericsson sets its sights on being one of the big 3

Sony Ericsson plans to be one of the top 3 cell phone companies said company CEO Miles Flint in a newspaper interview. 5 years ago a newly founded and very ambitious Sony Ericsson planned to be number one by this year, but seem to have fallen a wee bit short. Perhaps the Sony Ericsson store opening in London next week will help to boost sales and help preach the word.

Nokia is number one with 33.5, Motorola is number 2 22.22 percent and Samsung number 3 with 11.2 percent. Sony Ericsson has a small 6.7 percent slice of the pie.

The easy way for them to get this done is to just give me phones - lots of them.
Oh yeah, way to be inspired to greatness there SE... shoot for 3rd.

This week will be a hellish one..

I hope to get something up in the a.m, again at lunch and once I get home... I know nobody reads this but me - but still... I am dedicated to it.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

i-mate *-jar *-jam mock-up pics

The lovely folks at msmobiles have this interesting looking mockup on their pages today. Not a clue if this will ever see the light of day or is real - but the name sure rings true :)
Perhaps it will be called the JamJar? i-mate will need to sort something out for mobiles now that they have been unceremoniously dumped by HTC.
Here are some completely made up specs:
  • AKU3
  • BT
  • Wi-Fi
  • TI CPU
  • Mini-SD
  • Two displays
  • And more
Thanks to those crazy cats at msmobiles

Orange SPV M700 (HTC Trinity) nudie shot

The HTC Trinity appears "in the wild" as the SPV M700. If you look carefully, you can see a navigation program running on the screen. Never-Get-Lost technology without a dongle!! Yes, it has built in GPS.
This handset will quite likely end up on our shores in the coming months, thanks to Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and Quad-band GSM including EDGE. With connectivity features like Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, and of course USB, this diminuative device will do it all just about anywhere.
This is a company to keep your eyes on kids - anybody who can pack that much fun in something so small and make it pretty deserves our love and respect. Oh, and Free Hugs, did I mention free hugs?

Thanks Mobinaute for the lovely pic

BenQ Siemens Black Box concept phone is gorgeous

Though BenQ Siemens have closed German operations - it seems thing are still alive and well elsewhere, even if that elsewhere is only a design team. The idea behind this micro-thin candybar phone is the touchscreen inteface. Peeking at the interface we can see (in our phone-loving hopeful dreams) icons for phone functions, gaming, radio, camera, and apparently the little icon in the bottom left can make snow.
This beautiful bit of concept phone received an iF Design Award China 2006 award(Quite a mounthful).
I wonder what the people at Apple think? This is what the next-gen iPod is expected to look like.
While I don't have any hopes that this will end up at the local Cingular shop - ideas like this just make me excited and drooley.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Apple OS X 10.4.8 and Aperture 1.5 updates drop

Just when you think it's safe to go home for the day, Apple adds all sorts of new updates to grab. Now I know you can just run software update and get all of this automagically - but I love to type update over and over... Head on over here to get the goods.

Quick list:

Cleveland Gets Cingular 3G

Go Cleveland!
Cleveland residents woke up to be the 52nd community to enjoy the new(ish) world of 3G joy this morning. Cingular runs the worlds first widely deployed HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network in the world. Buy a plan and slap a compatible card (or tether your mobile) in your laptop and you can be surfin' at speeds of 400-700Kbps.
Wow.. of all the luck - I am stuck up here in the great white north with nothin' but EDGE..thanks FIDO, for nuthin'

Read more over here

iSkoot Introduces iSkootDuo

iSkoot announced a breakthrough software today for dual-mode handsets (no, it means GSM/CMDA and WiFi enabled) to connect to VoIP servies like Skype, AIM, Messenger. Using a Java-based thinclient phone application and a network server, you, dear reader, will be able to chatter away with friends and fam from just about all 4 corners of the globe. Now doesn't that just warm your heart?

iSkoot needs to add more devices to the line up and watch out with that name! I can hear Mr Steve grumbling already

from prnewswire

Apple release updates for iWork 06, iLife 06

Apple pushes its 2nd batch of updates this week. iTunes 7.0.1 was updated on Wednesday and today we see another slew of fixin/improvements.
Here is a a quick rundown on the lovin' and polishing that Apple gave to some of its most popular tools.
  • Keynote 3.0.2 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in Keynote.
  • GarageBand 3.0.4 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in GarageBand.
  • iDVD 6.0.3 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iDVD.
  • iPhoto 6.0.5 This update to iPhoto contains new calendar, greeting card, and postcard themes for use with Apple print services, including a variety of holiday card designs. It also addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iPhoto.
  • iWeb 1.1.2 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iWeb.
  • Pages 2.0.2 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in Pages.
  • iMovie HD 6.0.3 This update addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iMovie HD. It also improves overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues.
Busy day for all your little updatin' fingers. So leave now and sort out 'yer apps.

Apparently I can now blog from my mobile

Testing testing

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Apple iPhone to be Cingular exclusive?

Like the hugely successful Motorola ROKR *cough* before it, could the iPhone be headed to a Cingular store near you? Apparently set to be announced at the Macworld Expo San Francisco in February 2007, whispers say it will be exclusive to Cingular for 6 months in North America.
The iPhone is rumored to be packed with gee-golly features like a 3-mega pixel camera, and a 2.2 inch display. With Apple's track record for gorgeous design and functionality, I have no doubt it will be something special. I hope we see a iPod replacement with phone functionality and maybe that touchscreen we keep hearing about.

More info at Thinksecret

(credit Symphonix over at for the stellar pic)

Sony Ericsson launches the Z550a, Z558, W830 and W958c Walkman phones

I love days like this.. why? because new phone releases mean new demo units and that of course is the best thing goin'
Sadly nothing too too exciting - except for perhaps the clamshell with stylus???
Without further ado -welcome to boatload of new(revamped) phones from Sony Ericsson day...

Z558 is a Tri-Band GPRS 900/1800/1900 clamshell featuring a touch screen for Chinese character input, as well as Thai and English text recognition and one-touch SMS access . It is the first phone non-Symbian based phone in the Sony Ericsson range to offer a touch screen & stylus; and will be available as both the Z558c for mainland China and the Z558i for other selected markets.

Finished in a combination of brushed metal and high gloss material, the Z558 is equally at home during the busy working day or helping to organise family life. It features a bright 262k colour touch screen and a 1.3 Megapixel camera for work and leisure. With 18MB of onboard memory expandable to 1GB, the Z558 has plenty of storage and connects easily to a PC for fast transfer of multimedia files and synchronisation with your phone book and calendar. Available in ‘Expresso Black’ from October 2006.

Z558 - Features at a glance

    Imaging and Messaging:
  • Handwriting Recognition
  • 262k colour TFT touch-screen 220 x 176 pixels
  • 128 x 36 pixel STN sub display
  • 1.3 mega pixel camera
  • 4 x digital zoom
  • Video recording/playback
  • 18 MB user memory
  • QuickShare™
  • One-Touch to SMS
  • SMS, EMS and MMS
  • Email (POP3/IMAP4)
  • Push e-mail

    Music & Entertainment:
  • MP3/AAC Support
  • FM Radio
  • Streaming Audio/Video
  • PlayNow™ Ring tones
  • PlayNow™ Games
  • Polyphonic 40 ring tones
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • 3D games
  • Music DJ/Video DJ
  • OMA DRM phase 1

  • Tri-band 900/1800/1900
  • GPRS class 10
  • Memory Stick Micro™ - (M2™) slot (support up to 1 GB)
  • USB 2.0 support
  • WAP 2.0
  • Bluetooth™
  • PC Tools & Software
  • Speakerphone
  • Full HTML browser

  • Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV705
  • Memory Stick Micro™ – M2™ up to 1 GB
  • Desk Stand CDS-60: talk, charge and transfer files simultaneously
  • USB Cable DCU-60

The W830 Walkman® phone is a specially adapted EDGE version of the recently introduced W850 Walkman® phone. It will be available in two versions; W830c will feature a Chinese keypad whereas the W830i will be aimed at other SE Asia markets. This addition to the Walkman® phone line-up is aimed at a youth audience that demands a phone with cool looks, a first rate music experience and a quality camera, all in one package.

Available in Precious Black & Golden White, the W830 is a good looking ‘slider’ phone that offers fast music downloads direct to the handset. W830 is configured out-of-the-box for the PlayNow™ 3.0 direct music download service featuring Sony BMG artists. The phone is also configured for operator over the air (OTA) music download services and accepts many popular music file formats including e-AAC+, which reduces download time and space needed for tracks. Storage for music tracks is plentiful; a 1GB memory stick PRO Duo™ is supplied in-box, which is enough for around 900 songs in e-AAC+. This can be expanded to up to 4GB.

The Walkman player 2.0 simplifies navigation through music genres, playlists, individual songs or music albums. Plus there is also TrackID™, which allows you to record a few seconds of a song, either via the microphone or the in-built FM radio. With one click you can then send that clip to the Gracenote® worldwide music database which will identify the track and relay the information back to the phone. So no more arguing about who sang that song on the radio!

W830 – Features at a glance
  • 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo – storage for approximately 900 tracks in eAAC+
  • Walkman Player 2.0 [MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, m4a playback]
  • Up to 30 hours music playing time
  • Full-length music download OTA and Playnow™ 3.0 full track music download support
  • Music/video streaming
  • TrackID™
  • RDS FM Stereo Radio
  • Audio out via system connector
  • Dedicated A+B gaming buttons
  • Java 3D gaming
  • OMA DRM v. 2.0

    Imaging and Messaging:
  • 2.0” QVGA TFT 262k
  • 2 mega pixel
  • Landscape Imaging
  • 4 x digital zoom
  • LED Light
  • Video Recording/Playback
  • Push e-mail
  • Macromedia Flash

  • EDGE 900/1800/1900
  • USB 2.0 Mass storage
  • Full Access Net front HTML browser
  • RSS feeds
  • Bluetooth™ 2.0 (A2DP)
  • Landscape browsing
  • Expandable MS PRO Duo™ slot
  • PC Synchronization
  • Flight mode
  • FOTA
  • Kit Content:
    • 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo™
    • Stereo headset
    • USB Cable
    • PC SW

  • Audio cable out
  • BT stereo music headset (A2DP)
  • Advanced car handsfree
  • Media Center 3 – for wireless plug & play connection to PC an HiFi
  • Music Desk stand speakers (Sony Branded)
  • FM transmitter

The W958c Walkman® phone is a GSM/GPRS variant of the ultra stylish W950, and has been developed specifically for Chinese market. It is equipped with a large 2.6” touch screen for simple navigation through music genres, playlists, individual songs or music albums. The W958c is Sony Ericsson’s second Symbian v9.1, UIQ 3.0 based handset for the Chinese market, the first being the recently launched M608c.

With a 4GB flash memory, the W958c Walkman® phone can store up to 4,000 songs. It’s quick and easy to get these onto the phone in the first place, with transfer speeds of music from PC to phone of approximately 3 minutes per gigabyte. And thanks to the graphic-rich interface on the Walkman 2.0 player, it is simple to navigate around the music library by song, artist or playlist. It is also possible to search visually by browsing through downloaded album covers.

The W958c Walkman® phone is also fully configured for the PlayNow™ 3.0 full-track music download service featuring Sony BMG artists. It offers all the benefits of a combined phone and music player, enabling multi-tasking between listening to music, emailing and browsing the Internet.

W958c – Features at a glance

  • Walkman® player 2.0
  • Supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV and m4a
  • 4GB flash memory
  • Touch-screen with album art support
  • Polyphonic ringtones (40 voices)
  • Graphical equalizer and Mega Bass™
  • Disc2Phone music management software
  • Stereo headphones with remote control (in-the-box)
  • RDS FM radio
  • MusicDJ™
  • Speakerphone
  • Music/video streaming
  • TrackID™
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • 2D and 3D gaming
  • 10 hours music play time
  • PlayNow™ 3.0 full track music download

  • QVGA TFT 2.6’’ Display (262K Colours)
  • Video playback (30fps)
  • SMS, MMS and e-mail
  • Handwriting Recognition
  • Touch screen
  • Word completion and Auto correction

  • Opera™ 8.0 Full HTML browser
  • RSS Feeds
  • Bluetooth™ 1.2
  • Infrared port
  • USB 2.0 Mass storage, High speed (480 Mbps) & charging
  • USB cable in the box
  • GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900
  • External antenna connector
  • PC Synchronisation
  • Flight Mode

The Z550a is a Quad Band GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 clamshell phone, developed specifically for the Americas market. It features a 1.3 Megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and bright 262k colour display. With 25MB of onboard memory, expandable to 1GB with Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) support, it is possible to store a large collection of pictures; or share them using MMS, Bluetooth™ or e-mail. A thumbnail gallery feature makes it easy to search your shots both visually and according to the date they were taken.

The Z550a also has full HTML internet browsing and optional Bluetooth™ headset and car-handsfree kit for wireless freedom on the move.

Z550a - Features at a glance

    Imaging and Messaging:
  • 262k colour TFT display, 220 x 176 pixels
  • 128 x 36 pixel STN sub display
  • 1.3 mega pixel Camera
  • 4 x digital zoom
  • Video recording/playback
  • 25 MB user memory
  • SMS, EMS and MMS
  • Email (POP3/IMAP4)

    Music & Entertainment:
  • MP3/AAC Support
  • FM Radio
  • Streaming Audio/Video
  • PlayNow™ Ring tones
  • PlayNow™ Games
  • Polyphonic (40 voices)
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • 3D games
  • Music DJ/Video DJ
  • OMA DRM phase 1

  • Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900
  • GPRS class 10
  • Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) slot (support up to 1 GB)
  • USB 2.0 support
  • WAP 2.0
  • Bluetooth™
  • PC Tools & Software
  • Speakerphone
  • Full HTML browser

  • Bluetooth™ Headset HBH-PV705
  • Memory Stick Micro™ – M2™ up to 1 GB
  • Desk Stand CDS-60: talk, charge and transfer files simultaneously
  • USB Cable DCU-60

Sony Ericsson and Fossil team up on MBW-100 Bluetooth watch

Cool toy! Who wouldn't want one of these? With features like: call handling, caller-ID, SMS message alerts and even the ability to control your music - it is an awesome little device! Now with a casual peek at your watch you can know who is calling without digging out the phone.

Sony Ericsson are a delicious bunch - no doubt about it.
More info can be found here.

Xbox360 1080p update, is it all Marketing Crap?

Microsoft announced plans to release an update for the Xbox 360 to support 1080p this fall. 1080p is currently the Holy Grail of Television resolutions. We also expect to see a HD DVD addon (USD $199.99) for the 360 in the mid-November timeframe.

1080p sets are *mostly* designed to accept that signal via a HDMI (fancy cable - that transfers digital video AND audio between two devices) interface. The Xbox360 has component and VGA outputs - both analog. No HDMI will mean potentially no 1080p for the average user. The signal will leave the 360 as 1080i (over component or VGA) and then get upscaled to 1080p by the television. This begs the question, why oh why no HDMI?

The guys over at IGN asked MS a few questions:

IGN: Will games begin to be developed with 1080p as the native resolution, or is the 360's new 1080p support an advance in the console's internal scaling abilities?

Microsoft: If developed, the Xbox 360 will support playback of native 1080p games and all existing Xbox 360 titles can be up-scaled to 1080p.

IGN : Does the Xbox 360 have the internal bandwidth between CPUs and graphics processors necessary to move a full 1080p image? There's a big difference between 1080i and the 3GB/s of 1080p.

Microsoft: No Comment.

IGN: There are very few 1080p native HDTVs that accept 1080p via Component connections. The signal will only come in as 1080i and be de-interlaced back to 1080p. How is the 360's new 1080p support, in practical application, going to be any different than what was already possible?

Microsoft: We can offer 1080p support through both the VGA connection and the Component connection.

IGN: Could Microsoft theoretically release an HDMI dongle-cable like the various other cables already available for the console? Is the current 360 hardware able to output a digital signal, or is it restricted to analog?

Microsoft: Xbox 360 supports HD Component video output, which is compatible with nearly every HD ready TV on the market today. That's not yet true for HDMI. We are watching the market closely and will continue to evaluate our solution, in the face of consumer demand.

At least Microsoft, like Sony, can now use the 1080p term in marketing docs and on shiny billboards... The "Ultimate Console" becomes the ultimate joke -- this neverending one-upmanship is silly and in the end hurts us, the gamers, and that bites my ass.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Playstation 3 Gets FCC approval

It seems our good friends (who often let the cat out of the bag) at the FCC has given the golden seal of approval to the PS3 as of yesterday.

Sadly because of confidentiality agreements, the FCC filing for the PS3 - AK8CBEH1000 won't have pics of the test setup etc until October 28 2006.

I flip the bird at confidentiality agreements.

More eggheaded goodness over here

Today is Zune Day

Today is ZUNE day. Microsoft held a press event announcing the arrival of their "iPod killer" (anything-killer is irritating)

Here are a few specs for the Zune:
  • 30 GB
  • 3 Inch TFT LCD
  • Mechanical Switches for interface (you can read that as no working wheel system like the iPod it is killing *cough*)
  • FM Tuner - this is delish IMHO
  • Wireless LAN - useful to share, stream and such
It comes in black, brown and white. I wonder if these colour themes are some sort of inclusive pc scheme...
Over all I am pretty underwhelmed

Wiiiiii - finally, some juicey details

Nintendo's Press conference divulged all the (mostly) hidden details about the Wii's launch.
The retail price in Japan is going to be ~$250.00 USD
Adding some neeea-neeeea to the whole affair is that North America is set to lead the launch with Japan getting it in December...

Here are the rest of the important bits (scooped from Engadget):
Wii ¥25,000 (including tax in Japan) retail box will contain:
  • Console
  • Remote (and strap)
  • Nunchuck
  • AC adaptor
  • A/V cable
  • Console stand
  • Sensor bar and stand / mount thinger
  • Two AA batteries
  • Virtual console games will be paid by credit card of Wii points
  • NES games: ¥500 ($4.25)
  • SNES games: ¥800 ($6.80)
  • N64 games: ¥1000 ($8.50)
  • 30 Nintendo games / 30 Turbo-Grafx & Genesis games in 2006; ten new games each month thereafter
  • 16 titles from ten publishers at launch
  • ¥4,800 - ¥6,800 for new titles ($40 - $58)
  • Zelta will cost ¥6,800 ($58)
Device prices:
  • Remote: ¥3,800 ($32)
  • Classic controller: ¥1800 ($15)
  • Nunchuck: ¥1800 ($15)