Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nokia's N810 Internet tablet

This thing is pretty damn amazing. It covers almost all the bases, all it needs is a cellular antenna. Luckily for HTC it doesn't. It can make calls via Skype though so if you are insistent on using this as your primary phone device you can figure something out. Along with WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and a 4.15" WVGA screen, browsing the web on Nokia's Mozilla based browser with Adobe Flash 9 plug-in will be a great experience. The VGA camera, miniSD, microSD, and up to 2 GB of on-board storage make this thing extremely powerful. It also has a TI OMAP 400 mHz processor is no slouch either.

The N810 has 4 hours of battery with the display on and LAN active and 10 hours when playing just music. It has a slide-out QWERTY and still manages to be a nearly anorexic .55" thin. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack and can support almost all forms of media. Coming out in a week or so at a price of $480. I am excited to see one of these things in action.

NBC Direct...not worth the hype

NBC's system for allowing viewers to rewatch or catch up on missed episodes, NBC Direct, is apparently a piece of junk. Of course don't take it from us but here is some info on the system. You need to have the newest security update on the newest Internet Explorer in order to get the content. The material offered is only 7 days old or newer and once downloaded, the clock starts and 48 hours later your episode of Heroes or Bionic Woman explodes.

NBC Direct also failed to make it portable media so we aren't sure why you would want to use it, but oh yeah it's free so we will shut up.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Steve Ballmer: Afraid of nothing

It seems that instead of innovating, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer just thumbs his nose at industry heavyweights. On the eve of the iPhone launch Ballmer said to an audience how silly all the hype was. Explaining how he thinks that having his operating system in the majority of the worlds Smartphones and PPC's is a far better business model than Apple's iPhone having a percent or so of the market.

Well now with Google's Android becoming a reality you may be wondering what the Ballmer has to say about it ? Fret not the big mouthed CEO is not shy. Stevie B says Android is "just a bunch of words on paper." He may be true but it is also a few million words on something called the internet which Google seems to own right now. Apparently he isn't totally brain dead he does admit, "In the realm of search specifically, Google would lead."

There may not be any phones running Android and it's that there isn't even a Developers Kit yet but maybe M$ shouldn't be so arrogant, they may find themselves slipping into IBM obscurity. Maybe not quite, but WinMo is nothing to brag about.

Helio, not down for the count yet

Six weeks back the MVNO Helio, makers of the Ocean and Fin announced they were "restructuring". Although they said it was not a result of slow growth, in the MVNO world it can never be good news. Both of it's parents SK Telecom and Earthlink had said they would inject $100 million for development and marketing. Now it seems that Earthlink is jumping ship leaving SK Telecom to monitor the situation. SKT must see something in Helio cause Earthink's share was not cheap, $70 million on top of the $100 million. We are cheering for you Helio.


RIM vs. LG - You have got to be kidding

RIM is no stranger to lawsuits but this one is kind of bizarre. The company known for the Blackberry Enterprise system and being business friendly is suing LG, the company known for trendy phones, music and CDMA affiliation.

What could these two possibly have against each other. A name of course. Blackberry does not like LG using the words 'Black', 'Blue' or 'Berry'. The real problems arose from a few LG headsets named 'Blueberry' and 'Strawberry'. RIM is asking that all the phones made bearing those words be destroyed. RIM, take a deep breath, please.

Criminals beware, secure may not be secure !

If you thought you could hide your nefarious activities by signing up with one of the numerous "secure" email account sites, such as Hushmail, then you are wrong. Take the case of Tyler Strumbo who just got busted in a large DEA sting posed against him in the much publicized nationwide effort to stop steroid distribution. Mr. Strumbo had been for the past year selling large quantities of steroids over classified ads and making a decent income from it.

Mr. Strumbo however did not keep a legit job on the side and the IRS and other feds got involved. Tyler was smart enough to use a e-mail service that would hide his illicit business deals and contacts the Hushmail service. After setting him up by making buys of the roids and tracing a UPS mailbox to his name, they swooped in and grabbed him and in the process got access to his e-mail.

Hushmail, to their credit does admit that if you use their web-based email system it is less secure, by way of Hushmail themselves having your password and being liable to a federal subpoena. Mr. Strumbo would have only had to have maintained using his Hushmail Java applet and the evidence would have been much thinner. Instead the feds have a whopping 12 CDs worth of e-mail, Ouch!

Circuit City gets serious about Black Friday

The past week has been a rough one for retailers and with warnings from WalMart to Saks it shouldn't be a surprise if this holiday season is not a good one. October was the worst for retailers going back to 1995 and Novemeber seems to be on the same pace. Circuit City along with everyone else is going to have to muster up the nerve to cut prices to incredible lows to make corporate expectations. If electronics or gadgets are on your shopping list then keep on reading.

These deals on the venerable Black Friday (day after turkey day) at Circuit City are going to be unprecedented...Don't believe me ? Check out this site:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sneak peek at app for Google's Android

On monday Android was announced after months of speculation and now on thursday the first screenshots of an app that will run on Google's mobile OS has been leaked. It is no big deal considering we are only five days away.

It looks very interesting, no surprise there. A very polished directory to look up business hours. ValleyWag has got the exclusive, so hop on over and check it out.

Facebook's Social Ads

Facebook is rolling out a new aspect to their ad system which while not cluttering their streamlined social network will help both advertisers and users. Named Social Ads, this new method of advertising is a bit like AdWords. If a person adds a favorite new band, movie, or TV show the system will match them with extremely relevant ads. From now on when "Allison has added Green Day to her favorite music" pops up, you can expect Allison to get an ad or two for Green Day's next album, concert or whatever.

Not sure if you have noticed this system yet but soon you will. So log on and see if facebook can target you appropriately.

The ultimate secret mission gadget

This is pretty silly, but fun to think about. I would like to introduce; the PenPhone. You can pretty much figure out what's going on here just from the photo but here goes. MicroSD for no reason, USB charger on the clicker which acts as control for screen selections.

It's a concept phone but it would be fun to see it in action, if you can handle seeing someone talking into a pen.

Verizon opens pre-order for Venus and Voyager

It is LG's day over at Verizon and it's pretty exciting stuff. If you haven't heard of these two phones then you either aren't a CDMA fan or you are living under a rock.

The Venus is an update to the popular Chocolate slider. The Venus is a slightly taller and wider than the Chocolate but less thick. It will come in black and pink and offers two screens when in the closed position. The primary screen is 2" and the secondary touch screen just beneath it is 1.49" (see photo above). Features include a 2 megapixel camera, microSD support, Bluetooth and VCAST. Priced at $199 after rebates and a 2 year contract.

The Voager is even more impressive. Utilizing LG's new flare for touchscreen functionality this qwerty clamshell has a very impressive 2.5" screen on the outside with many short cut icons (think iPhone). Stepping up is game from the enV is what LG is doing here with a huge host of improvements. Priced at $299 after rebate with a 2 year contract.

Both phones will be shipping later this month. Check out to pre-order.

[photos via]

Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon prorate ETFs

Besides customer satisfaction I am not sure what caused three of the biggest mobile phone companies to re-evaluate the way they charge for early termination fees, but we like it!

A few days ago Verizon seemed to step up and announce that for each month you are into your contract you will be credited $5 off of the $175 ETF, if you plan on leaving. Not bad at all. They also stated that changing your plan would not extend your contract. Not long after Verizon's announcement T-mobile made a similar statement saying they were making pro-rating a part of their ETF policy but said the changes would come in early-2008.

Then a few days later Sprint announced a nearly identical plan. They sweetened the deal by also saying that they would make courtesy calls to new customers, give better deals to current customers, and send notifications when large overage charges are being incurred. More Sprint ETF information will be available in early-2008, just like Tmo.

Seems like either this is a long time due or these guys are shaking in their collective boots at what AT&T is doing. Now all we need is a 50% cut in Data pricing and SMS packages...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mobile Web Browsing- The state of things

Today I decided to start a review that I will occasionally go back to and re-evaluate. The importance of mobile web browsers is becoming something that mobile users cannot ignore. Most non-smartphone/PPC users are not familiar with the options and only know of mobile Safari because of iPhone commercials being pounded into our brains.

WebKit the technology that Safari is based off of is slowly expanding in development land and will eventually be available on all mobile phones. But there are many non-iPhone users like me who need instant satisfaction.

Microsoft, the company known for dissappointing (I am a stockholder, I can say that) has been working on a mobile browser called Deepfish. Having tried it out after waiting months for a activation code I was impressed. It looked as though Microsoft had grasped the idea of "zooming" in to specific locations of a webpage, instead of scrolling. Microsoft, may however leave this as prerelease vaporware-like app because for the past two months Deepfish has been deactivated. That and an ambiguous press release from M$ led to suppose the project may have been just to test the waters and is now discontinued, but that is just rumor. Keep checking this site for updates.

Just like the Blackberry browser I don't think there should be any mention of the Pocket IE experience. It has been a fact of life for most WinMo users and is downright depressing to use. Unless you are using a mobile friendly website like, say: (shameless plug)

If you don't remember the days before Firefox or Safari then you may have forgotten about a company named Opera. They first introduced tabbed browsing a while back and I was a fan of them on my old Thinkpad. They make two mobile compatible browsers Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Opera Mobile is ready for any WinMo user to download (.cab) and run and some may see it as an improvement over PIE, to me it's a mess of bad font and awkwardly unfamiliar layout. It lacks the ever important zoom feature that makes Safari king and has kept Deepfish looking promising. Surprisingly it''s little brother Opera Mini that wins my highest praise. It requires a version of Java installed to run, which makes WinMo users have to scour the net, but it is hands down the best web experience. Infact my entire Blog is updated from a WM5 smartphone running Opera Mini 4.

If you need Java, Google: IBM MIDP2
Today Opera Mini 4 came out of beta,

Nokia N82, What else could you ask for ?

Thanks to for the photos of this N82 in the wild. In case all this gPhone, iPhone news has kept you occupied let us remind you of that other mobile kingpin Nokia, here is some great symbian OS news. This puppy spotted in the wild has it all, and maybe more depending on what you have come to expect.

- 5 megapixel sensor, with a Xenon flash
- Bluetooth
- Integrated GPS
- WiFi
- A rotating screen smilar to the iPhone
- 3G connectivity, whic will make access too Nokia's music store a breeze
- NGAGE ready with two demos on board

Not sure if everyone will like the chrome finish and those keys look like they might not have the best feedback, but since there hasn't been any release date or price there is still a bit more time to mull it over.


Blackberry Pearl finally comes to Verizon!

Known as one of the best smartphones out there the pearl has long been available only on AT&T stateside. Recently T-Mobile got on the bandwagon but there was still a bit of waiting for Sprint and Verizon CDMA folks.

A week ago Sprint made it known the time had come for the Pearl's coming out party and now it seems VZW has joined in, I for one am excited. Features include Bluetooth, SureType keypad, 2 megapixel camera with video recording and of course 1xTT and EVDO. Hop on over to BGR for the rest of the gallery.


Google gas pumps, we're not kidding

Incase the Google streetview vans driving around your neighborhood, the increasingly high-res satellite imagery of your backyard, and gMail ads that match your email content weren't enough to scare you now Google will be with you at the gas station.

No they don't plan on selling us gas though we do admit ad-based gas sounds great. The plan is to rollout gas pumps with a bit more intelligence. Allowing you to find the museum you are looking for without having to ask a human how many left turns and stop signs to pass. It will have some sort of ads, ofcourse, but probably only in coupon form. This sounds great as long as I don't have to wait to fill up behind some guy plotting his day trip through the city.

The brand is pump is branded Encore S and soon 3,500 pumps across the nation will be printing out directions thanks to Google innovation.


Yahoo! joins social networking trend

Yahoo! Is hoping to fill a void between the popular social network site Facebook and the somewhat struggling LinkedIn. Kickstart! ( is hoping to ride the wave of young professionals that adopted the Facebook craze during college but now need something a bit more serious and polished but not as uptight as LinkedIn.

This make sense considering the staggering amount of people 18-23 who are a part of a social network (some studies say 70%). Rolling this connection over into a company recruiting tool only makes sense. Factor in that people tend to play favorite with fellow alumnae, Kickstart! could help link you from beer guzzling frat brother to fast track corporate lifer.

If that didn't sound good Yahoo! is also offering a $25,000 prize to a person's alumnae group who recruits the most zombies to kickstart Kickstart! Check it out.


ZipIt Z2 Mobile Messenger

I will just go out and say it. The world needs more gadgets like this. This is sort of an iPod Touch meets Motorola Two-way pager. Marketed towards teens that have the IM itch at all times this device uses a WiFi connection to support AOL, Yahoo and MSN mssaging services sans monthly fees. It also offers miniSD storage which allows up to 4GB, ok for a few songs and photos on the go. Available in the next few weeks for $150. Http://


Make your site Mobile friendly in 60 seconds with MoFuse

When I first heard of MoFuse I thought, "Oh wow just another mobile site creator" but since the guys at had such rave reviews I gave it a shot. I would only have been impressed if after a quick five minute walk I would be able to have Technofilic mobile friendly. After walking two blocks I found my self staring at my smartphone in minor shock that without even checking an e-mail I had a "Congratulations!" page.

All you need handy is your sites RSS feed address and you are basically done. They even have it ready for mobile ads courtesy of who else but Google, if thats you bag. So check it out for yourself at Also be sure to bookmark Technofilic on your mobile of choice at


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

JAJAH: Free Ad-based VoIP

I wasn't a fan of Google's data mining practice when advertisements for snowboards started popping up next to an e-mail about a skiing trip, but like all of us Google sheep I gave in over time. Now it seems a VoIP company called JAJAH has done what they call an Adwords like method of target marketing on free phone calls.

Using that valuable time that's being wasted when connecting a call to target your demographic geographically and making it an acceptable form of advertising is what JAJAH claims to have done. Personally, I am sold. I will take any ad based system within reason to make a service free. However, give it some thought and think about how you feel about some bot listening in on that conversation with your grandma.


Ahhhhh real tactile feedback atlast!

I haven't adopted the iPhone experience quite yet and one of many reasons is the lack of tactile response. Technoflic reported earlier this week Samsung's new touch screen only M4650 that featured some form of tactile feedback, likely a slight vibration. Which is cool, but by no means new technology. Well it seems that Nokia after 10 years of research has done something of note.

Apparently not much response is needed to sooth our needy nerve endings. Being shipped soon on Nokia's S60 this response is just 0.1mm of feedback. Done by letting the screen move 0.1mm and coding software to respond in the same way a standard button does is all it took. Really Nokia ? 10 years ?

Internally named "Haptikos" or "to touch" this technology was developed because of hardwired human need for not only the push of a button but the subsequent "push" back that occurs. When this new technology was tested on a user familiar with non-tactile response the user was convinced they were typing faster, even though this was not the case. When tested on someone who was not used to a normal touchscreen they did not notice this responsiveness, but when taken away they were upset. Basically, tactile response is part of human nature and thanks to Nokia it is now part of our tech nature.


Hello Kitty, Hello Money!

Fancy piggy banks are all the rage these days and besides the generic version I recently saw while watching TV this is one has style. If you are into Hello Kitty and pink color schemes that is. This is meant as a great way to teach kids the value of money by allowing them to insert change and bills into a fake ATM machine which tallies their savings and allows for withdrawl when money is needed.

No word on whether the ATM will eat your card or what over draft fees will be, but atleast you won't have the little ones asking you for $10 every five minutes.

Brits heart text messaging

If you thought that us silly American's enjoyed the ease in SMS then this bit of news probably won't surprise you. The folks across the pond text message like maniacs. The magic number is 1 billion per week. Do they ever even talk to each other in person or on the phone anymore ?

Up 25% from a year ago, and up from 1 billion text's per year in 1999 it doesn't seem to be letting up. Ease of use and price seem to be the largest factors for this staggering number. Prices have always been on the high side for mobile carriers in Europe and this may be the leading reason.

Google's social networking baby steps

This may not have struck you as Facebook-like 3 years ago but this month you may want to give it a closer look. You may not be aware of it right now but besides MySpace, Facebook or LinkdIn or whatever your fix is you may be part of another social networking site; the early stages of maka-maka. If you are still reading and don't think I am typing jibberish, pay attention. Google is slowly rolling out another internet portal to gain complete and utter control over your life.

Code named "Maka-Maka" is going to be a more free and open app based social site that may compile Orkut, iGoogle and gmail accounts in order to compete against an ever threatening Facebook. The people over at good ole Goog are no dummies and if they utilize every web users need for their search results and link them to everyone they care to contact then I see this as a vital step towards the Google mission of "Organizing the world's information."

The Web's most viewed photos on one site

While we are all waiting for the guys over at to implement a picture section to their social bookmarking juggernaut it looks like have managed to not only snag Digg's fantastic selection of user submitted photos but also get a plethora of pics from other sites such as, Reddit, Flurl, Flickr just to name a few.

While the condensing of a few sites is always a good thing and the fact that they support RSS feeds is nice they fail to give any props in Link form to the sites that made their content from random internet image to image of the day. Not only is this suspicious but this community could also use more of a community cause after last check there were no comments under any of the top photos. So Picurls we love you but show your fore-fathers some lovin' and link 'em.


Monday, November 5, 2007

What will THE MAN let you download ?

First it was Comcast that began to disallow the use of Bit Torrent P2P sharing and in case you did not hear a rather substantial net uproar began. Now it seems the Canadian ISP Bell Sympatico is practicing in similarly nefarious activity. Right out of the Comcast public relations playbook this ISP also claims that they are doing this in order to improve the customer experience. Riiiiight.

Throttling Torrent speeds during peak hours is their solution...instead of say spending profits on increasing their network strength. It is important to mention that some customers pay more for higher speeds which should be used for whatever they want. You would think.

What's next no more than 10 YouTube videos a day ? Stateside, Verizon hasn't been accused of this activity so I suggest checking them out.

Google's Android, mobile platform announced!

Google has announced Android as its mobile operating system. Partnered with nearly all of the industries heavyweights sans Nokia, Apple, MSFT, RIM. The OHA, or Open Handset Alliance is a group made up of Motorola, Deutsche Telekom, T Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and 28 other companies that are partnering with Google for an OS that will be Linux based and no doubt take over the way we think of mobile devices. So does this mean the end to Windows Mobile and all other mobile OS ? The partners of the OHA, including Apple board member Eric Schmidt does not think so. The OS will be open platform and will be open to most hardware sets. A 200mHz ARM9 processor is needed and this platform will work on both QWRETY and non QWERTY keypads.

And for the Billion dollar question: "The networks these devices will run over... how does this platform relate to the 700MHz auction?"

Eric Schmidt:"Two sep initiatives; Android will run very well on all existing data networks. We think the 700MHz network auctions are a matter of public policy and for public benefit, but Android will run well on it..."

Well that wasnt enough information but I guess you cannot have everything in one conference call. The long and short of it is that Google has taken a HUGE step into the mobile phone industry by developing a Linux based OS that many phone, chip, and Telecom companies will adapt in the upcoming year. 2008: The year of Google.

Apple iPhone..LG Prada..HTC Touch..Nokia N95...oh yeah and Samsung's M4650

The iPhone's popularity has really fueled a touch screen revolution in the mobile phone market with all the major players releasing very attractive handsets in the past few months. Now it is Samsung's turn. It calls itself the M4650 Multi-touch, which we will cough up to a translation error because unlike the iPhone and Touch it has only single touch features. It will however support haptic feedback (maybe in the form of small vibrations?) to let the user know the tap was recognized which will be nice on its sizeable 2.8" screen. It's hard to guess what percent of handsets will be touchscreen only a year from now, one thing is certain; As screen size becomes more important those qwerty key pads may look more and more like a valuable waste of space. So go on tapping away on your silly Blackberry with real keys it may soon be an antique.

Oh yeah, unless you want to travel via Seoul Air to pick up a domestic only (for now) release then sit tight with the rest of us...if you do however don't forget to pick one up for Technofilic!


Fourth Annual DARPA Urban Challenge: CMU claims 1st

For the past four years researchers from America's top universities have assembled extremely intelligent SUVs that are run entirely by remote for the purpose of racing other teams of life-sized remote control SUVs over a difficult desert course in a remote part of southern California. It may sound a bit silly but it has helped spawn a wave of new technology and help inch humanity closer to that elusive dream of SUVs that can drive themselves across California...The prize of $2 million is nothing to balk at however and CMU loves winning it every year a winner has been awarded.

In 2004 with only three teams participating CMU did the best. This year there were three teams out of eleven that finished in the 6 hour maximum. Finishing first was Stanford followed by CMU and Virginia Tech in 3rd. CMU was declared the winner on sunday because of other criteria such as safety and control, however, Stanford and VA Tech didn't go home empty handed with a $1 million and $500,000 second and thrid place prize money respectively.