If you don't like broad patents on potentially world-changing scientific developments like scientific genomes, well, then, build your own! Also, does the $97 iPhone 3GS mean the 4G model will be on sale at launch? And we find out why five inches just isn't enough. Sorry.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Boost Mobile is sweetening its $50 monthly unlimited deal--which includes voice, messaging, and Web--with a very nice bonus. Boost Mobile customers can now make free, unlimited 411 calls. This bonus is for both the $50 unlimited customers as well as those who are on the $60 a month BlackBerry unlimited plan. Boost Mobile also announced unlimited e-mail and instant messaging in addition to the 411 service.
Boost also announced that it will be offering a version of Sprint's Samsung Rant on May 19. The sliding messaging phone will be the first of its kind on the prepaid carrier. The … Read more
Femtocells, network widgets that ease the problems that many suffer trying to use their mobile phone at home, are going to be selling like hotcakes soon.
But here's what I'm thinking. You shouldn't have to buy yourself a $150 femtocell. They should be coming with your next-generation mobile phone--for free.
Let me explain.
Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of a femtocell. But don't be surprised if you hear more about them soon, because they're a hot item. Market research firm iSuppli forecasts unit shipments to grow from 571,000 in 2009 to 1.9 million in 2010--and to continue surging to 39.6 million by 2013.
Femtocells are small, lower-power radio transmission stations that provide a 3G network connection to your phone. They plug into your home broadband network. AT&T has begun selling them in the United States, Vodafone is doing so in the United Kingdom.… Read more
It's hard to argue the fact that this week's Apple iPad launch disappointed the tech crowd, and not just because of that inexplicable name. Despite its lovely design, beefier core apps, and new e-book features and store, the iPad is hampered by a well-documented string of missing features: a camera, 16:9 support, Flash support (seriously?), multitasking, SD card slot, HDMI or high-res video output support, USB ports, GPS, and so on. Plus, it's exclusive to the AT&T network (again: seriously?) in this iteration, the pricing scheme is overly complex, and while I'm not … Read more
If you own a camera or camcorder that uses SD cards, chances are you've confounded yourself at some point trying to figure out how fast a card you need (or want) for your device. This is complicated by a lot of factors, primarily that the Class specification defines a minimum sustained transfer rate--Class 6 is 6 megabytes per second, Class 10 is 10MBps, and so on.
That's like saying ais rated for at least 10 miles per gallon; it helps you filter a few other out of your buying decision, but it's not very helpful for sorting through the myriad others with a similar lowest-common-denominator rating.
Nor is there any official body that verifies the performance. The SD Card Association provides some guidelines and testing tools, you pay your licensing fee for the Class logo, and you're in business.… Read more
The Samsung Rant was released not long ago (in October 2008, in fact), but it seems Samsung and Sprint are already working on a successor. The Samsung Exclaim (sometimes I think Samsung plays Mad Libs with its product names) is slated to be the successor to the Rant, and the big difference is that it has a dual-slider design; the number keypad slides down, while the QWERTY keyboard slides to the left. The design is similar to that of the Pantech Matrix and the Helio Ocean 2.
It has a 2.6 inch QVGA display, EV-DO Rev. 0, support for … Read more
Guess what! Google is going to buy Twitter! No, Facebook's going to buy it! Or Yahoo--oh, wait, they can't afford it anymore. The latest and most absurd rumor, floated by Valleywag, suggests that Apple has been looking at buying Twitter, too.
Yes, Apple. It's a hardware company that really only markets and hypes up software as a means to sell more hardware--like how iTunes really exists to sell iPods--and yet apparently it wants to buy Twitter. I'm not sure Twitter could convince me to buy any hardware, except maybe a water balloon to carry around in … Read more
A couple weeks back, I strapped on my best convincing boots and had a little lovefest with Rhapsody. But all is not roses in the realm of subscription music, and Rhapsody is definitely no exception to the rule. In fact, I have yet to come across the perfect piece of music software or the perfect online music service. True, I am exceedingly picky and jaded, but I also believe that there is always room for improvement when it comes to technology, be it hardware or software.
Certainly, Rhapsody could use some improvement. As much as I love the service and would have difficulty living without it at this point, there have been multiple occasions when my irritations with it have led to frustrated utterances. Most of the problems I have with Rhapsody are tied directly to the software, but as you need to have that installed to organize your own music and use the service effectively with portable devices, such as the Walkman, I feel these gripes are perfectly justified.Software interface issues: The Rhapsody software just looks so...1997. If you don't believe me, open up the software alongside Windows Media Player. See that pretty stacked-album-art view in WMP? Nice, isn't it? I'm not particularly fond of how Rhapsody organizes music, either. You use a drop down to switch between artist, album, and genre views, which are listed on the left, while related songs pop up in the right column; programs such as WMP and iTunes offer more elegant navigation. I also don't like that in the artist, album, or genre window, you can't simply type a letter--say "H"--and be taken directly to the artists that start with that letter. Transfer hangups: In my estimation, my portable device transfers hang about 40 percent of the time. For example, I'll be transferring a list of 30 songs and the files will just freeze up at 17. Unplugging the player and reconnecting doesn't help, nor does shutting down and restarting Rhapsody. I just have to wait until the software decides it's "ready" to give me my music to go. It always corrects on its own and the timeline is completely arbitrary. Seriously...what the?? General bugginess: I've spent a lot of time using a variety of software jukeboxes, and they have all suffered from bugginess from time to time. However, the one that full-on crashes the most--by far--is Rhapsody. And this hasn't been a problem recently, but it suffered from a rather nasty, long-lasting bug that wouldn't let me sign into my account for certain periods...again, completely at the app's whim.… Read more
It's been a long time since I was this cynical about Valentine's Day. I guess it's not as bad as the year when it was freezing cold and I had the flu, or the year when I had a blind date with that pretentious guy who thought he was destined to be a famous economist. But this year, I'm kind of bitter about the advent of everyone's favorite love-to-hate-it holiday for a different reason, and I blame my job.
I write about the Web. I'm used to an in-box full of press releases from … Read more
Hey, guys, news flash: Twitter is good for something.
This morning, I crawled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make coffee, but upon turning on the faucet, I noticed that the water flowing out of it was a sketchy brown shade. Not good--especially since New York is one of those cities that prides itself on having a water purification infrastructure so advanced that you can drink right out of the tap.
My roommates weren't around. My landlord had no idea what was up. And an hour later, the water wasn't back to normal. So in … Read more