Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BlackBerry Storm is a netbook, says RIM founder

There's definetely something in the air, an airborne influence which is invisible by the naked eyes but spread across and accepted widely by everyone. Nope, I'm not talking about the Christmas spirit or the the new year hope. It's netbook...

Strange is indeed the phenomenon of netbook, the newly born category in notebook crowded pool which Steve Jobs himself calls it as a "nascent category". The Apple CEO even compared his beloved smartphone creation; the iPhone as Apple's netbook.

But apparently, it's not only Steve Jobs who feels that way. Now, it turns out RIM founder and co-CEO; Mike Lazaridis also calls the BlackBerry Storm as RIM's netbook. On a recent interview with CNet Asia at RIM Campus next to the University of Waterloo, Mike Lazaridis said:

"I think I can put Netbooks in here [referring to the BlackBerry Storm]. These are Netbooks. They are just smaller."

He then talked about many other stuffs surrounding the company's vision, its upcoming services and product roadmap. Head on to the Handheld Feature blog to find out more.

Visit Wallmart with your pajamas on and iPhone in your hand

Don't get too excited yet and hurry yourself to the nearest Wallmart with only wearing your hotpants, but hear me out to the end first ohkay. ;-p

Wallmart is going all out when it finally put iPhone into one of its mobile phone sells line-up in this year's end of holidays, iPhone users can now enjoy the specially constructed Wallmart web pages for mobile Safari.

Patrick J. from JAiB is liking the new iPhone-friendly Wallmart page so much, and he's already write a quick review of it:

"And a very good one at that. Well, I should qualify this right off by saying that it’s a very good one IF you like iPhone optimized pages. I like them very much. The glory of seeing the real internet notwithstanding, I find it much easier to work with sites that are specially (and intelligently) formatted for the iPhone - sue me."

Gmail now suggests users to dump IE

It's no secret to the geek society that Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) is a slow-poke web browser compared to many other competitors out there in the market, heck I even experienced few crashes when I use it to open heavy loaded Flash web pages. But apparently it has become no secret anymore for Google to begin suggesting its Gmail users to dump IE for its own Chrome web browser or Firefox.

Gregg Keizer from Computerworld is reporting; when users of IE6 reach, a "Get faster Gmail" message appears in the web-based service's menu bar. The message, in turn, links to a page on Google's web site that touts Chrome and Firefox 3 as being "twice as fast" at running Gmail.

Google currently lists IE7, Firefox 2.0 and later releases, Chrome and Safari as the only supported browsers for Gmail . Others, including Opera and older editions of IE, Firefox and Safari, can be used to access the e-mail service but aren't able to handle some of its features.

Hear your cellphone better in the cheapest way

No need to buy those expensive noise cancelling earbuds or wearing those high priced Bluetooth headset that makes you look like an alien from out of space talking in a party by yourself, because according to Neuroscientist Sam Wang, coauthor of Welcome to Your Brain, there's a better way and most important is a cheapest way to hear better: cover the mouthpiece.

How-to Wiki from Wired (via Lifehacker) tells us why the simple trick will deliver: Off the phone, one reason you can carry on a conversation in loud places is because your brain separates sound spatially by analyzing subtle differences in the signal from each ear. It can distinguish between a single source -- like the voice of your dinner date -- and the surrounding cacophony. Your mobile messes with your head by funneling both the caller's voice and the room noise into one ear.

MobileFiles Pro for iPhone/iPod Touch

iPhone users may rejoice now, because QuickOffice Inc. the company behind Microsoft's Office (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) app for Symbian platform has taken its Excel support for iPhone. MobileFiles Pro is only for working with Excel now, but at least it will gives a big boost for iPhone to penetrate deeper into business market.

Here's a short list of what MobileFiles Pro can do:

  • Access and transfer files between your desktop (Mac or PC) and your iPhone.
  • Remotely access your Apple MobileMe iDisk files and folders and the shared iDisk folders of friends and family.
  • View most common file format types including images, media files, Microsoft Office, iWork, PDF and many others.
  • Manage your files just as you would on your desktop with an easy to use, enhanced file manager.
  • Control your content by creating folders to keep all your digital files organized.
  • Share any file on your iPhone with others by easily transferring files to or from any local desktop.
  • And now EDIT! native Microsoft Excel 2003 documents just as you would on your desktop. Save the edited Excel file on your iPhone, send to your iDisk account remotely, or upload to your desktop using WiFi - all while maintaining perfect data integrity.

Sources are from Brighthand, via JAiB.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wired's version of vaporwares in 2008

Just a day before we're shifting gear to 2009, filled with hope of new life and more new shiny gadgets await next year, this is a good time to take a good look at the not so great achievements in year 2008 that we're about to abandon soon enough.

Wired has compiled top ten vaporware in year 2008, according to their own staffs' version. Among the top ten are Garmin's Nuvifone, Microvision Pico projector and surprisingly: Android phones other than the T-Mobile's G1.

But you're in for a big surprise to find out who's the winner; it's a game which we've been waiting for 11 years. Sources are from Wired, via TG Daily.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bono of U2 owns Palm now, rock 'n' roll next?

I didn't realized this until Owen Thomas from Valleywag wrote a gossip blog about the current relationship between Bono and Steve Jobs, or Apple in general.

The Irish rock star; Bono is one of the co-founders of Elevation Partners, a private equity firm that invests in intellectual property and media and entertainment companies, the firm is even named after U2's song (source: Wikipedia).

And as we know it from recent news, that Elevation Partners has injected a fresh blood into Palm in the form of $100 million, meaning Bono's firm now owns 39% of Palm stock share. It's hard to say the 39 number can gives you a total control of a company like Palm, but it surely gives Bono enough power to have a say on any important decisions related to Palm's future. Let's say like the new Palm Nova OS maybe...?

Actually, I'm more concern on whether or not Bono's celebrity status will affect Palm's future. Having a good yet eccentric public figure to represent a company is important, take Steve Jobs for an instance, the Apple CEO has been always connected to the success of the company he co-founded and his appearances are always awaited by the tech & geek world. This may sound like out of this world, but what if Bono becomes a spokesman for Palm, doing exactly like Steve Jobs: presenting Palm's new products on stage live at tech conventions or events. Can Bono adds the hype needed by Palm to rock the mobile world once again?

To be on stage, or behind the curtain, or steering the wheel from the rear, Bono might be the missing puzzle that Palm has been looking for since its glory days have slowly passed away not so long ago. But to be honest, I dunno about you but I still can't shake off that picture of Bono cuddling so friendly with two young girls in bikini from my mind. Talk about bringing the "hype" back into Palm... ;-p

OPhone pictured in comparison

Just in case you missed this news about OPhone, when you were busy opening up your Christmas presents; Gizmodo caught a bunch of OPhone pictured in comparison with iPhone first gen & iPhone 3G at a Chinese blog.

So this means we're stepping into the next level after the live photos previously published in dry condition, literally (the pics are taken on rocks). Aside from the obvious physical comparisons with the most desired phone nowadays: iPhone, according to Santa's wish lists, here are the scarce specs leaked:

  • CPU 624Mhz
  • microSD support up to 16GB
  • 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
  • microUSB slot
  • 500W under removable battery cover design
  • a dedicated side camera button
  • headphone jack placed on the bottom of the phone
  • dimensions: 115.84 x 61.57 x 12.03mm

Head on to the I love ophone blog to see the whole pictures, so you'll be sure what to write in your next Christmas wish list. ;-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The busiest Santa this year

Santa Claus has always been busy throughout the whole year because of so many letters of wishes from children around the world, yes that's mean you too, you big gadget addicts! ~LOL~

And it's obviously not easy becoming a full time Santa Claus at Himmelpfort's post office, a small village just 100 kilometers north of Berlin, Germany. Because this year there are about 256.000 letters with wishes from children of 80 countries arrived in the small village known as the home of Santa Claus because of it's name Himmelpfort (Heaven's Gate).

The picture on the left shows Santa Claus is picking up a bag full of letters, and on the right shows he's resting on bed after a busy night managing those letters.

So, kids and adults; please bear in your mind next time you sent your letter to Santa, that you should only send one short list of wish. Poor Santa... Let's give him a break next year, shall we? ;-D

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This is the time of the year where the wind feels so grippingly chilling, you're start sneezing like you're about to catch a cold. When you walk out from your house while reading email on your smartphone, you bumped lightly into a man, but he didn't give you a fast-rapping scold or stare in the eye like usual, instead he smile and give a small nod as if he's saying it's ok without a word.

You're puzzled, of course, thinking maybe you look radiantly more appealing this morning so people feel like to treat you nicer today. You walk into your regular coffee shop, still while reading tons of emails and RSS news on your smartphone, ignoring the new decorations inside the coffee shop. As you're busy composing an email, you order a coffee latte with mapple syrup on top. You draw the cash you've prepared in the pouch of your coat and quickly give it to the cashier, and wait for the receipt plus the thank you word while you scroll over a bulk of boring news faster than George Bush can duck from the shoe throwing incident. But you noticed the cute chasier stay still & silent, waiting for you to finish whatever you're doing for awhile and look her in her face. When you do, she said with a dazzling smile: "Thank you sir, and Merry Christmas!"

Then you realized, it is Christmas, today it is. After you grabbed your hot coffee and walk out the coffee shop, you finally see and feel the Christmas spirit is everywhere, the snow looks whiter and more sparkling than before, it begins to fill you up with joy and you start to smile without no apparent reason. You tuck in your smartphone back inside your coat's pocket to enjoy the wonderful white Christmas morning without any distractions of daily tech addiction, and start humming a song that starts like this: "It's beginning to look like Christmas, everywhere you go..."

That's when a woman busy text messaging with her phone bump into you lightly. She look at you like she's waiting to be mad at, and before she can speak, you smile politely and said the magic word: "Merry Christmas!" The woman gives a funny dumbfound face at first, but she quickly smile back (darn, she looks so cute when she did) and say the same magic word to you.

You both pause for few seconds while you look at each other's eyes, but as she put aside her mobile phone, she starts to walk away. You too start to turn around and put a smile knowing you've just remind someone today's Christmas morning is too bright to be missed for text messaging, but after two steps you get curious and turn your head to see. Seems like she's also walking slow and hasn't got too far away, you start to wonder if you should catch up to her pace and call her. Well, you do noticed there's no ring on her sleek fingers when she held up the phone. So...

What's next? I think I ought to let you finish the story yourself, giving the opportunity for your imaginations to run wild and free. ;-p

That's just a story I came up with this morning, where I woke up with so many joyous feelings knowing today is Christmas and start playing Christmas songs out loud with my Treo, like the wonderful cappella song "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by Straight No Chaser. I've finished all of my works & errands yesterday, so I feel fairy light without no homeworks to ruin today's holiday.

I hate to keep on repeating to say this; it's a strange world we're living in. Because for this Christmas I received the most unexpected gifts right from the people I never expected before: a valuable lesson, empathy and friendship.

So that's why I wish to share what I'm feeling today with all of you my dear readers, with the lame story above. ~LOL~ I couldn't find a better word to simply say it, so I'll use my version of dull & tech-self-centric wishes to Santa below:
  • May you who have Storm will receive a new software update to fix those annoying bugs,
  • a white colored G1 for you who have been craving for an Android phone,
  • a super cheap unlocked Android phones from China for those who don't live in T-Mobile wireless coverage area,
  • a new netbook design from Sony VAIO for you who want to stand out in the netbook crowds,
  • a cheap ultra-portable Dell's Adamo netbook for you who can't afford the expensive MacBook Air,
  • a dual screen laptop for those who believes one screen is no longer sufficient,
  • an iPhone Nano come true at Macworld 2009 for those who want smaller & more affordable iPhone 3G,
  • and of course a great and wonderful "new-ness" of Nova OS for all of us: Palm loyal fans. ;-)

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In Steve Jobs, we & Apple still trust?

The bees are buzzing over flowers which have the most juicy honey to devour, this nature act is also happening right now in blogosphere over Apple's announcement that its CEO Steve Jobs will not deliver the last Macworld attended by the Cupertino company next year.

The buzz continues to fold into greater and bigger wave with questions mainly surrounding the biggest inquiry scared by Apple fan-boys: "Is this mean Steve Jobs will never appear on stage to deliver his keynotes anymore? Is he retiring already?"

It's not only fans who scared and express their dissapoinment, the stock market also shows reflection of fear the Apple company will loose its heart. Apple's stock (AAPL) closed down 6% today ($6.27) after the company announced in a press release late Tuesday.

"Until investors see Steve Jobs out there and healthy the stock will remain under pressure," speculates Karen Finerman President of Metropolitan Capital Advisors. "I’m surprised that Apple did something like this," Karen continues, as reported by CNBC.

So to calm down the market and its biggest supporters: the loyal Apple fan-boys & girls, Apple said that Steve Jobs will not cancel all future appearances or keynotes. He just won't be at this Macworld (2009) giving a keynote, as quoted from TG Daily.

But even with that calming statement, Apple enthusiast & loyalists especially those who have bought ticket and booked hotel room for the big expo are expressing their sorrow for not able to see the idolized charismatic (and also psychedelic) leader of Apple CEO. iPhone Savior has gathered around funny, yet heart breaking comments from these people:

"I'm gonna go straight home after work and bite my pillow," said graphic designer Kip Pippin who's attended the MacWorld Conference for the past five years. "It hurts me deeply to see Steve treat his faithful ones like this. It's a sad, ugly day for me and truly the end of an era."

"I'm still in shock and denial," said San Francisco resident Dionna Merkin. "I miss Steve already, but being here with others really helps. It's very comforting. I'll never accept Phil Schiller, even though he's like a big teddy bear. I hate bears!" ~LOL~

And for the last one, Rick C. Hodgin from TG Daily asks this about Steve Jobs' decision not to appear on Macworld 2009 stage: "Could it simply be that Jobs is ready for a change in his life? Maybe he's grown up and realized it's time to retire the jeans and black T-shirts, and to pick up a razor and embark on something new. Possible?"

Well, I don't know if Steve Jobs need to change his costume since it's possible even for regular Apple's events attendees to mistook him if he's not wearing his trademark clothing line. Yup, don't you know? Steve Jobs has opened up his own boutique to put his entire own line of apparels on display; a black turtle-neck shirt with long sleeves, blue colored jeans, and a pair of white sneakers with his picture as the logo. Like you can see on the snipped promo poster, pictured on the right (click to enlarge it). ;-D

Cheers up you guys, it's almost Christmas for Christ's sake. *grin* Have a happy & fun long holidays weekend y'all!

Are these the new Mac Mini?

Oh boy, here we go again... ;-)

Few more weeks before the now un-exciting Macworld Expo 2009, because Steve Jobs decided not to deliver his traditional keynote anymore there, and we're having the rumor mill up and churning out the heat again. This time is the smallest Mac, a.k.a. the Mini.

The rumors about new Mac Mini to be introduced at Macworld 2009 is found by MacRumors, "Configuration files buried within some versions of Mac OS X show evidence that the next iMac and Mac Mini will indeed be based on the NVIDIA MCP79 chipset." A configuration file found in the Mac OS X version that ships with the new MacBook and MacBook Pros reveal entries referencing unreleased "MacMini3,1" and "iMac9,1" models.

And because of that, the rumor inspired a young Mac fanatic Victor Anselme who ousted his flames of fanboy fantasies with new Mac Mini concept pictured above. Sources are from Flickr, via iPhone Savior.

Mean while Dr. Macenstein got a tip in a form of a blurry live photoshot (pictured on the right), might be taken with phone camera, of what could be the new look of Mac Mini. It is obviously a teaser, no more info is mentioned.

True or not, these images are as good as appetizers to wet our imagination before the Mac Mini really unveiled at Macworld 2009. Oooh, can't wait are we? ~LOL~

WiFi is the preferable connection for iPhone & iPod Touch users

I've thought so, Apple fans do love the nice gadgets but they are not blind to see the high data rates charged by wireless carriers like AT&T.

So with this AdMob report (via PC World) that says more than 40% of all U.S. traffic last month between Apple Inc.'s iPhone and the world's largest mobile ad network took place over WiFi connections, AT&T should worry... ;-p

The iPhone, in fact, accounted for 51% of all wireless requests to AdMob's advertisers, while Apple's iPod Touch -- a music player with all the functionality of the iPhone except for its cell phone -- was responsible for 28% of all wireless requests.

Because the iPod Touch lacks a connection to a mobile carrier's data network, all of its Web traffic is conducted over Wi-Fi. "iPhone Wi-Fi usage is generally higher on iPhone specific sites and applications than on normal mobile Web sites," added AdMob's report.

The iPhone's reliance on wireless backs up the thinking of analysts who see the device as Apple's defacto "netbook," the term given to the small, lightweight and low-priced notebooks that have been selling well because of the recession.

Koi Pond for iPhone/iPod Touch updated with Holiday mode

Koi Pond, the top paid app for iPhone & iPod Touch (software v2.0 or above required) is not a stranger to App Shopper visitors, because Apple has listed the app as #1 on its most top paid apps in 2008.

The stress relieving $1 worth app is now lightly updated to welcome the spirit of holidays; where according to Jonathan Seff from Macworld the holidays edition is available during November and December of this year and future years as well.

To activate the Holiday mode—via a button in the upper-left corner of the screen—adds holiday lights around the edges, seasonal koi, holly leaves instead of lily pads, and a sleigh bell sound effect that accompanies the shaking (feeding) motion.

Simplify Media for iPhone/iPod Touch

You've got to admit it, Apple got its own way to make the devices you're using right now. Take the iPhone and iPod Touch for an example, yes it is sleek and slim, but for a mobile device especially meant to become as an entertainment device, sometimes the maximum 16GB built-in storage capacity isn't enough for your enormous music library.

So this is where Simplify Media for iPhone/iPod Touch (requires software v2.0 or above) will come in handy to instantly expand the limited storage, in fact consider this as a way to leverage your way to access your music library not only at home network, but instead at everywhere and also share it up to 30 friends.

You'll need to install the desktop version (for Mac, Windows & Linux) and then the app into your iPhone, you'll also required to create a free account at Simplify Media server.

The user interface is very similar to iPhone's own iPod application to play music, while at the right top of the main screen there are song, artist & lyric buttons. The “song” mode is the default playback screen; tapping “artist” will give you a bio of the artist, pulled from music service, and tapping “lyrics” will download and display the song lyrics from LyricWiki, if available.

Like many other apps for iPhone, Simplify Media app natively can't run on the background too. And the only drawback from sharing huge music library over the internet is it'll become slower, not to mention if the iPhone is running on EDGE network. The app needs to buffer the music first before it can play the songs for you.

Simplify Music is offered at $4 at App Store, and for more thorough review you can read Dan Moren's from Macworld, his verdict on the app: "The biggest advantage of Simplify Media is that it lives up to its name: the program is straight forward and easy, doing precisely what it sets out to do. The interface could use some tweaking, but overall it delivers on the promise that it makes: that no matter where you go, there your music library is."

Funny ad: Samsung Express Yourself ads

I just stumbled upon these Samsung poster ads at Publicidad 21's photo album in Flickr, I think the ad company who did this has made a great job. Although IMHO it would be better if they used high-end Samsung phones in it. ;-)

Funny fact: The Difference of Vista, XP, Linux and Mac OS explained in simple conversation

No matter how educated or conversant you are, you'll always meet with a person who can't fully understand the difference between Windows, Mac or Linux no matter how sufficient you have thrown the information at him/her.

But Phil Shapiro from PC World has made it easy with this simple explanation through fun conversation, check this out:

A middle school student I know asked me to explain the difference between Vista, XP, Linux and Mac OS.

Me: "You want to know the difference in real simple terms? Okay. Vista is bad gnews and GNU is good gnews. XP ain't such bad gnews, until you reach the blue screen of death, which ain't good gnews at all."

Middle schooler: "Okay, I think I understand. How about Mac OS?"

Me: "Mac OS is like a beautiful Bermuda island with a prison wall built all around it."

Middle schooler: "Really? How so?"

Me: "Well, Mac OS uses Digital Recreation Management (DRM), so if you want to build a sandcastle, you are forced to use an approved pail."

Middle schooler: "An approved pail? I want to use my own pail. That sounds to me like it's beyond the pale."

Me: "That indeed it is. It's beyond the pale. To use an approved pail is going to cost you $40 up front. Would you like to use Mastercard or VISA?"

Middle schooler: "I don't want to use Mastercard or VISA. I just want to use my own pail."

Me: "It sounds to me like you're ready to break out of prison and live a life with no bad gnews."


Funny story: A woman email friends while sleeping

A 44 year old Australian woman sent emails to friends while in her deep sleep, asking them to come over for wine and caviar.

The woman went to bed about 10pm but got up two hours later and walked to her computer in the next room, turned it on, connected to the internet, and logged on before composing and sending three emails.

Each was in a random mix of upper and lower cases, not well formatted and written in strange language, the researchers said. One read: "Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4pm,. Bring wine and caviar only."

"She was shocked when she saw these emails, as she did not recall writing them. She did not have any history of night terrors or sleepwalking as a child," the researchers continued.

Wow, if I could do that then I would have save hours of work time and wake up with less work to do in the morning. ~LOL~

Sources are from, via Switched.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Top ten banned apps from App Store

This is funny, I never thought this kinda list even exist in the first place. But I guess there are people who love silly crap apps more than any other apps which are not banned from App Store... ;-p

Without further ado, here's the top ten list of banned apps from App Store as compiled by Jason D. O'Grady from ZDNet:

  1. Steve Jobs Health Timer
  2. Battery Monitor Pro
  3. AT&T iPhone Contract for Dummies
  4. Chess (Free Version)
  5. iBong
  6. ThankGodCopyPaste!
  7. Backlit LCD Monitor Buyers Guide
  8. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the iLounge Lizards
  9. Zune Skins for iPhone
  10. Flash

Personally, I'm surprised anyone want to use Zune skin in iPhone, perhaps this app is meant for that Zune guy. ~LOL~ But apps #1, 3 and 8 seem like great time waster apps; and definetely money waster. What's your crap apps of choice?

More T-Mobile G2 info and first pic emerge

We've got one sweet teaser just few days before Christmas, and it's the new hot rumor of T-Mobile G2 Android phone.

I thought the G2 phone is just another prank to crank up Android hotness in this year's chilly holidays, since there haven't much of talk about Google's open source mobile platform.

But BGR got a tip on the information of G2, and possibly the first picture of the device. Don't take this as an actual news, but instead as usual take it as a handful of salt (read: rumor). Here are what BGR's tipster has said:

  • The product specs on the T-Mobile G2 that CellPhoneSignal ran weren’t actually all that far off, just the date was completely wrong.

  • The device is a full touch device and there is no physical QWERTY keyboard.
  • There is still a trackball at the bottom.
  • The launch was delayed from late February to April due to software issues.
  • We’ve been informed this device will actually launch on another global carrier besides T-Mobile as well, though they didn’t say who, and they said that the G1, G2, G3, etc., names are trademarks of T-Mobile and the other carrier would have a different product name for the device other than G2.
  • There is supposedly (oh, god) a G3 coming not that far after the G2 but our tipster didn’t see the G3.

Top ten Android apps list

Compared to Apple's App Store, and the more widely spread iPhone over the world, Android and its centralized app store named Market are like a toddler who's still learning to stand and walk. But apparently many mobile software developers are already making their own Android version apps, which some of them are even first made for iPhone.

And almost like the top apps distributed in App Store listed by Apple, games and fun apps are mostly dominate the list, so is in the top ten Android apps list according to a report done by Medialets (via Android Community). Here's the list of the top ten most frequently downloaded applications for Android:

  1. Pac-Man by Namco
  2. MySpace Mobile
  3. The Weather Channel
  4. ShopSavvy
  5. Ringdroid
  6. imeem Mobile
  7. Shazam
  8. Rings Extended
  9. Bonsai Blast
  10. Brain Genius Deluxe

Once again, this list simply proves that mobile users are more prefer to have fun and light apps, than serious and productivity apps.

Seven free must have BlackBerry Storm apps

Are you still waiting for the perfect Storm to come this year's holidays? With the increasing numbers of users who return their BlackBerry Storm handsets and critics/reviewers who shout in disenchantment of the extremely poor quality operating system which shipped within the device, even the latest software updates don't seem able to fully fix the messy Storm.

But don't you worry Storm owners and early adopters, your investment on RIM's endeavor to enter the full touchscreen handset category is not going to go to waste. Abundant apps are on the work by mobile software developers, many of those apps are beginning to appear on the net. And the best is: many of them are free.

Naw, don't be affraid dear readers, I ain't gonna count to seven. ~LOL~

Al Sacco from CIO (via PC World) has gathered around seven free must have apps for BlackBerry Storm, although not all of the following applications were developed specifically for the Storm, but each and every one functions well on the device--with the exception of a few minor bugs.

Note: All of the recommended applications were downloaded and tested using a Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm 9530 running OS Here's the quick list of the apps:

  1. WeatherBug for BlackBerry Storm
  2. Viigo for BlackBerry Storm
  3. Facebook for BlackBerry Storm
  4. Flickr for BlackBerry Storm
  5. TwitterBerry on the BlackBerry Storm
  6. WorldMate Live on the BlackBerry Storm
  7. Opera Mini 4.2 on the BlackBerry Storm

For more complete explanation of each apps mentioned above, head on to PC World page to read all about them.

OpenOffice Portable 3 will drives storage maniacs go crazy

This is the type kinda news that will drive storage maniacs and Linux die-hard fans go crazy at the same time, did I say storage? Yes indeed, storage. That's three times mentioning storage for you. ~LOL~

A'write, here's the news: 3 has gone portable and ready for your thumb drive. Portable is a full-featured office suite that's compatible with Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, Lotus and other office applications. It's easy-to-use and feature-rich, performing nearly all of the functions you'd expect in an office suite, but at no cost. Portable is an integral part of the Suite™.

By default, the 86.4MB (download), ~240MB (installed) portable app includes the Galaxy icon set. To add the Classic, Crystal, High-Contrast, Industrial and Tango icon sets users can install the Portable 3.0 Image Pack.

Strange enough, this 3 Portable is only available for Windows, or via Wine under Linux/UNIX. Hopefully this doesn't dissappoint open source enthusiasts, and keep on cheering for a Linux version soon.

Sources are from PortableApps, via Lifehacker.

New Evernote's feature allows sync across platforms: Mac, Windows & iPhone

Evernote has updated its premium only service for Windows and for Mac with new feature: file and document synchronization.

Evernote Premium users can now add any type of file to a note. Once a file is added to Evernote, it’s synchronized with the Evernote Service and made instantly available across all version of Evernote, even mobile

Evernote says in its company's blog that when using the desktop versions of Evernote, if users open a file contained in a note, make changes, then save the file, Evernote will automatically update the version in users' notes to the latest. This feature applies to files supported in Free accounts, as well.

The ability to add any type of file to a note is only available to Evernote Premium users. The Premium account offered at $5/month or $45/year, and for the free account there is a limitation to be aware of: the total size for a single note cannot exceed 25MB.

Watch the video demo below, sources are from Evernote blog, via Gizmodo.

IE Mobile 6 launched early as custom ROM for HTC Touch HD

Love how the free minders are taking their own actions to make IE Mobile 6 available before its official release, the main reason is probably because previously the Windows Mobile Team has confirmed that this upcoming IE Mobile 6 will only available for new WinMob devices.

Paul over at MoDaCo has built a custom ROM for the HTC Touch HD that includes IE Mobile 6; Engadget Mobile reported. Unfortunately, it's only available as a ROM update, not as an individual application installer.

I wonder if someone will be kind enough to create a custom ROM for Treo 750 with IE Mobile 6 in it too? ;-)

Google optimized search result pages for Android & iPhone

Wow, Google is on fire this week. Those smart guys at Google's Software Team are pushing the envelope every now and then, where there have been some improvements before this one, click on this link to see all of Google updates for this weekend.

And now Google Mobile Team has optimized the search result pages for Android and iPhone/iPod Touch (with software v2.0 or above), all of Google search options for Android and iPhone lead to results that load faster and are formatted to fit the screen so you don't have to zoom or scroll side-to-side. They've also added touchscreen-friendly buttons and expandable maps for local business results.

The optimized search results pages are currently only available in U.S. English language. And If you prefer, you can always view desktop search result pages by selecting the "Classic" link at the bottom of any page.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Google Enterprise Appliance server now has cross-translation option

Google's offering of total solution for organizations of all sizes: Google Search Appliance is now armed with new cross-language and search ability in the box.

"Many of our enterprise search customers have dozens of offices all over the world with tens of millions documents indexed in a host of different languages," said Cyrus Mistry, Google's enterprise product manager, in a blog post (via Business Tech). "Cross-Language Enterprise Search instantly translates your Google Search Appliance query from one language to one or more other languages using Google's best-in-class translation engine." Existing customers can try the feature by downloading it through Google Enterprise Labs.

Google is showing aggressive moves to penetrate enterprise and corporate businesses, and also targeting middle business as well while adding more features every day. No wonder Microsoft is worry...

TouchResponse gives instant tactile feedback for Windows Mobile

It's a strange world we're living in, well I shouldn't say strange but good instead, because when I was wondering how does it feel to use a touchscreen with built-in haptic feedback feature like in HTC Touch HD or BlackBerry Storm, I thought I'll never gonna know how it feels since I'm sticking with my aging Treo.

But here comes a free app called TouchResponse, which is basically a touch driver to handle the touchscreen presses and vibration. If TouchResponse is installed within your Windows Mobile devices, it will vibrate on touch giving you a sense of tactile feedback. Just like that haptic feedback in those savvy phones, you too can have it in your old WinMob phones now.

I've tested it out with my Treo 750v, and I must say it works nicely. The app has advanced settings to change the response time to vibrate the phone, and TouchResponse automatically runs whenever my Treo restarted, there's no need to launch the app separately.

TouchResponse is still in its infant stage, but the software developer plans to add more feature in the future like vibration tweaks and sound on touch. Nevertheless, TouchResponse gives a new life to my Treo, enabling me to follow the new tech trend in mobile world without sacrificing money to buy new phones just to experience it. ;-)

Source is from FreewarePocketPC, via Ubergizmo.

Nokia Mobile Email out from Beta

I'm getting confused by Nokia here, Davis Fields from Nokia Messaging team has announced that Nokia Messaging is graduating from Beta Labs. But the banner (pictured on the left) says it is Mobile Email, not Nokia Messaging.

Anyhow, the now official Nokia Email service which was first released as beta in August 2008 is available on a country by country basis starting with Australia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. You are free to continue using the service until it’s commercially available in your location. Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Support for Yahoo! Mail
  • Support for more Nokia S60 phones
  • Support for up to ten email addresses
  • Support for subfolders for IMAP email accounts
  • Support for Google Apps hosted email and other vanity domain email addresses
  • Flagged messages will automatically become starred messages in Gmail
  • More intuitive inbox navigation via a discoverable control bar
  • Faster opening of inbox
  • Sent email will be synced to your webmail’s sent folder for all email addresses

Just go to to download the latest version if you're in one of the above mentioned countries, and remember you'll need to pay for the service. Source are Nokia Beta Labs blog, via Engadget Mobile.

TomTom fights back

I've just saying awhile ago if Google puts more efforts to make its Earth & Maps better together, then we could be ditching GPS devices soon enough. All of a sudden, came this news from Webware about TomTom's newest take to fight back Google dominance.

TomTom Route Planner is a free service from the GPS maker that provides door-to-door route planning options to any address in the U.S. or Canada, it's an online mapping solution to compete with MapQuest and Google Maps.

According to Don Reisinger (Webware): Using TomTom's MapShare technology, the service provides users with continued map improvements made by TomTom users that see flaws and correct them. According to the company, improvements are uploaded regularly to provide up-to-date driving conditions.

TomTom's IQ Routes feature will offer more accurate arrival estimates by accessing average speeds for each road instead of employing posted speed limits to determine arrival. The service is currently in beta and available now to all users.

And while we're talking about GPS and TomTom, may I ask how you use your GPS device while driving? Do you use it just like Martin Burns (pictured above) when he was trying out his new TomTom? If you're navigating with a GPS device in car, I hope you bring a friend/partner along to help you. Stay safe! ;-)

O2 XDA Guide introduced in German

O2 Germany has breathed out a new life into XDA line-up with the device that's maxed up for GPS usage: O2 XDA Guide.

GSMArena is reporting the O2 XDA Guide XDA Guide comes with built-in GPS, TomTom Navigator 7 and maps of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A car kit in the package: mount holder and charger.

Among the most interesting features of the new O2 XDA Guide are the footprint function and the dedicated footprint button. The footprint feature lets you send pictures taken with the built-in 3.2 megapixel snapper along with positioning data. On a compatible device, the pictures can be used for navigation. Whoever received them will be able to navigate to the photographed location by a single click.

Since this device is made by HTC, it's no wonder users will be greeted with TouchFLO UI (User Interface) found in other HTC smartphones. And here's the quick rundown of the XDA Guide's specs:

  • 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7225 processor
  • 2.8" QVGA touchscreen
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 512 MB of ROM on board
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • HSDPA data connection
  • microSD slot
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth (2.0 and A2DP)
  • Opera Mobile 9.5

The O2 XDA Guide will start shipping in mid-February 2009, price tag still not known.

Garmin Nuvifone received the green-light from FCC

We almost forgot about Nuvifone, although the full touchscreen GPS device with phone feature from Garmin made some ruckuss back when it first seen in January, we barely hear news about it after so much delays.

But according to GSMArena; the first mobile phone by Garmin is cruising past FCC and might as well keep the announcement to release gap down to a year. Here's the specs we know so far: a 3.5" touchscreen, built-in GPS, camera with geotagging and web browser. HSDPA support is confirmed on the 850 and 1900 MHz bands.

That's it? Yup, so for GPS lovers please cross your fingers and pray this is a good sign. No more delays, or otherwise we might as well say good bye to Nuvifone forever...

See Big Apple in almost real 3D rendered photos from Google Earth

I've always wanted to see New York City, it is said to be the center of world's civilization. And as time passes by, I guess I've missed my chance...

But with this feature added into Google Earth, which is able to add thousands of textures to flesh out virtually every buildings in Manhattan, I just got a second chance to see the Big Apple with my own eyes. Heck, I can even visit NYC while wearing my pajamas. ~LOL~

The picture you see above is not a real photo, it's actually a photo-realistic 3D model from many photos of New York contributed by community members. Even so, I must agree with Mark Wilson from Gizmodo: it's simply breathtaking!

I wonder how this will look like in mobile devices with supreme wide screen such as iPhone, G1 Android, HTC Touch HD, or BlackBerry Storm. If Google can deliver more rendered photos of cities around the world, and paired it with Google Maps, then we can seriously consider to ditch GPS devices.

Sources are from Google Earth Blog, via Gizmodo, via Lifehacker.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

CameraBag for iPhone/iPod Touch

If iPhone or iPod Touch owners asked what they are still not satisfied with those two marvelous devices from Apple that they want to upgrade, one of the answers in the list will be: the camera to capture good quality pictures.

Ever since the first camera in mobile phone is introduced, software developers have been able to push a little bit more the outcome of the poor mobile cameras with photo editor app. This is the easiest trick to fix the mediocre results, and at the same the app can help users to put additional more touch to enhance the photos into a better state. That way, you'll not be embarassed when your friends take a look at the photo library in your iPhone/iPod Touch. ;-p

CameraBag for iPhone/iPod Touch (software v2.0 or above required) can do the job for you, the app is simple and intuitive, with a minimal interface to easily enhance photos from your built-in iPhone camera or iPhone/iPod Touch photo library using CameraBag's advanced filters that emulate several different camera and film styles in these filter:

  • "Helga" - A square-format toy camera feel with washed-out highlights and old-school vignetting.
  • "1974" - This is your father's camera. Faded, tinted, and hip.
  • "Lolo" - Shoot from the hip and take life as it comes with vibrant, colorful shots.
  • "Cinema" - Dramatic, moody, wide-screen stills from the movie of your life.
  • "1962" - Dynamic black and whites from the photojournalists of a bygone era.
  • "Ansel" - Smooth gradation from black to white.
  • "Infrared" - Simulation of the popular landscape photography technique.

If you want more control, an options panel is available for camera behavior, image size, cropping and border effects, and more. CameraBag is available exclusively in the iTunes App Store for original price at $3, but Nevercenter the developer is offering it now at $1 for this holidays only.

Nevercenter also offering the free version of the app, it is CameraBag Lite: Retro. The only difference is the free version has three filters from the fully paid version.

See the results of using CameraBag by other users at CameraBag Flickr Group, and if you're interested in good review of the app, check out Jonathan Steff's from Macworld.

3D holographic model of Mini Cabrio advertised on a piece of paper

This is a very cool idea to advertise a product; the Mini Cabrio has put an ad on the back of a German automotive magazine. At first, the blank back cover of the magazine appears to only show words, and there are no pictures of the Mini Cabrio on there.

But the page gives instructions to readers to use a computer and internet connection, geared with a web cam to see a 3D holographic model of the car through the Mini Cabrio website.

The result, you can see for yourself on the picture left there. Yes, it's so troublesome just to see the rendered 3D model, but if you have the time and the gadgets, why not? ;-)

See behind the making of this virtual ad from the video below. Source is from Gizmodo.

AT&T also offers refurbished Centro

Looks like AT&T is feeling good this year's holidays, the U.S. wireless carrier company is not only want to share the spirit of Christmas by offering refurbished iPhone 3G, but also the famous ultra-affordable smartphone from Palm: the Centro.

Caught the offering from TamsPalm blog; where the refurbished Palm Centro - Obsidian Black is offered with price as low as $29.99! That's basically a rip off (for AT&T), but I guess it's okay. This is indeed the time of giving, not taking... ;-p

There is one small problem though, till I write up this post, the refurbished Centro is still temporarily out of stock. Perhaps the demand is too high while the stock is limited, for you who're interested, you better run to the nearest AT&T stores to get it before it runs out on you.

Huawei to offer Android phones for Australia in 2009

Chinese mobile industries are invading the world with more Android-based phones in 2009, first there's QiGi i6 and then Lenovo follow suit with OPhone. And if we are to add Taiwanese manufacturers like HTC, or the Wistron NeWeb Corp which never heard from again, mobile market in general will be flooded with Android phones mostly made at Asia.

This leaves us with the remaining option: Kogan Agora, but even this Android-based phone made in Australia will face competition from Huawei. When last week Huawei officially joined Google's Open Handset Alliance, Huawei plans to make its own Android phone brand.

"Australian telecommunications companies would be able to start selling Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies' Android-based phones by the third quarter of 2009 if they wanted to", the company said this week as reported by Suzanne Tindal from CNet's Wireless blog.

There would be no launch apartheid where some nations were excluded from the first round of access to the phone, according to a spokesperson, who told that if Australia got the phone later it would be the choice of the telcos and not Huawei.

Google Scoreboard for Android

This free app from Google, called Scoreboard which is specially made for Android, has been getting lots of good feedbacks from everyone who installed and use it with their G1 Android phone. And only by looking at its UI (User Interface), it definetely attracts people like me who easily fall for cute icons and bright cheerful colors like that. ;-p

As a company who got the biggest search engine in the world, it's easier for Google to find the games scores you're looking for and push it to Android platform with interactive UI. Google actually has done this for quite some time, before Android came out and before Google made Scoreboard app. Google is using its SMS Service to sent the sport's information you requested via text messaging, I've told you back then in June.

But with Scoreboard, Google has brought a new experience for Android users to take advantage of its vast search services. Here's the following description of Scoreboard: “Access daily sports scores for Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, and College Sports. Get Live in-game notifications for your favorite teams."

Scott Webster from AndroidGuys said this about the app: "It took all of ten minutes for me to decide that Google’s latest Android application, Scoreboard, will replace all three of my Plusmo apps. In fact, I even had to log onto my My T-Mobile account and remove my sports updates. Why? Because Google handles all of this, and more, for me in one nifty app."

While Rob Jackson from Phandroid has said: "After having used some of the Pro Football, College Football and College Basketball applications on Android Market, I can safely say that Google’s Scoreboard for Android blows them all out of the water. It is neat and organized, quick to load, features all of the relevant data, has notifications and much, much more."

Scott (AndroidGuys) also gives a tip about using Scoreboard; users are encouraged to longpress and swipe. According to the Tips and Tricks built into the app, anything that can be pressed, can be longpressed.

And for you who loves to dig deeper to find easter-egg, use this simple 3 steps found by Rob (Phandroid):

  1. Open the Scoreboard application Home Screen
  2. Open the keyboard and type “” without the quotes and WITH the period
  3. You’ll see a message, indicating the unlock was successful and all you need to do is power your phone down, turn it back on and all the new leagues will be revealed when you relaunch the Scoreboard App!

Scoreboard is available at Android Market for free.

DinnerSpinner for iPhone/iPod Touch

It feels like a long-long time ago when I first mentioned UrbanSpoon, which is a great app for iPhone/iPod Touch to randomly choose a place for you to eat when you're out of idea.

But now, here's another similar app for you iPhone or iPod Touch users (software v2.0 or above required) called DinnerSpinner. The difference of this app from the one above there is that you'll be eating in da house, not outside.

This free app from Allrecipes allows you to shake your iPhone and spin the surprise recipes, it has three categories that'll come up: type of dish you want to make, the main ingredients, and how much time needed to prepare the dish.

Allrecipes promises detailed ingredients, cooking directions, nutritional information plus ratings and reviews for every dish you pull out of DinnerSpinner. And according to Adam Pash from Lifehacker; If you actually know what you want, you can lock in individual categories or lock them all in and check out the results.

IMHO the idea of DinnerSpinner could become a fun game to play with family or friends, let's say no body is having a clue on what to have for dinner. And after spin for a dish to make, everybody scramble to get the ingredients either they're in the kitchen or must go out to buy them in grocery stores. The first team to finish the dish, will get bigger proportion of the other team's dish. I'll bet somebody is going to get really hungry afterwards... ~LOL~

SimCity for iPhone/iPod Touch

Just a quick mentioning here, SimCity for iPhone and iPod Touch (with software 2.0 or above) has arrived at App Store.

Previously a PalmAddict reader; Kenneth has told us about it, and Sammy posted the news here at PalmAddict.

The addictive building game is offered at $9.99, click on this link to get it (opens iTunes).

Thanks to Rene Ritchie from TiPB for so quick posted up the news, there'll be plenty of iPhone/iPod Touch owners who are not going to have enough rest from now on. ;-p

Study believes we'll be digitally naked in 2020

Thanks to the studies conducted by analysts, panel of experts, poll results, researchers, in general smart people who got the time to project what the world will become in the future; they say in 2020 mobile phones will be the primary Internet devices for most people in the world.

"The mobile phone -- now with significant computing power -- [will be] the primary Internet connection and the only one for a majority of the people across the world," the Pew Internet & American Life Project writes in a new "Future of the Internet" report (via PC World).

Here are some results from the Pew report:

  • 55% of experts say people will routinely interact in artificial spaces through virtual worlds and other types of "augmented reality." "Most well-equipped Internet users will spend some part of their waking hours -- at work and at play -- at least partially linked to augmentations of the real world or alternate worlds," Pew states. "This lifestyle involves seamless transitions between artificial reality, virtual reality, and the status formerly known as 'real life."
  • Voice-activation and touch will be common technology interfaces by 2020, according to nearly two-thirds of experts. "Air-typing" will become common because of "a small handheld Internet appliance [that] allows you to display and use a full-size virtual keyboard on any flat surface for those moments when you would prefer not to talk aloud to your networked computer."
  • By 2020, people will be more open to sharing personal information, opinions and emotions because of Internet technology, but experts are split down the middle on whether this new transparency will heighten individual integrity and forgiveness.

Yes sir, you hear/read that right. We'll not be able to tell the difference between virtual and real life in 2020, and by that time our personal life is being shared and known by millions of people thanks to the internet and mobile technology. Scared? Naw, don't be. You should be excited instead. ~LOL~

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Intel adds a twist to netbook category with Convertible Classmate

Intel teases netbook fans with a new device to drool over at CES 2009 next year, actually it's Laptop Magazine who posted up the early hands-on review on Intel's Convertible Classmate.

It has an 8.9-inch swivel screen with touch and stylus input, a Web cam, and 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 60GB hard drive, and Windows XP. Newly bundled software includes a virtual keyboard and handwriting recognition to take advantage of the responsive touchscreen—plus there should be more apps from developers on the way. Also, integrated accelerometers successfully tracked whether the computer was in portrait or landscape mode, adjusting accordingly in 2 seconds.

Laptop Magazine reports that it will begin shipping in mid-January. While Intel says that the price for the convertible Classmate will be slightly more than the original Classmate. The range will likely be somewhere around $250 and $400, exactly falls into netbook's price category.

If Qualcomm can deliver its Snapdragon processor in the same time CES 2009 takes place, then it'll be interesting to see the heated up netbook wars. Where right now, Intel still hold the control over netbook category with its Atom processors.

Sources are from Laptop Magazine, via Crave & Gizmodo.

Be a "Mapple" person with Duracell's "MyPhonies"

We're all had a "Mapple" person inside each one of us, what we need is just a fake pair of "MyPod" earbud, or known as "MyPhonies" to bring it out and show it off to everyone.

If you've been searching for one in your whole life, then look no more, because Matt Hickey from Crave has found one for you. It even bundled together with eight Duracell AA batteries, priced only at $5.99 (he already teared off the other four when he took the picture on the left).

So how's the "MyPhonies" quality? Well, you can't really expect it to has the same quality as the pricey $30 original one, right? Head on to Matt's page to see more photo shots, and his verdict on the new found knockoff earbud.

* Special note: Just in case you still don't get why I kept saying "Mapple", "MyPod" or "MyPhonies", then I suggest you watch the Simpson's "Mapple" episode at my previous post. ;-p

NanoPhone for Android

I deliberately didn't write much on the title up there, so I can lure you to click open this post. If you're reading this, that means it's working. Yeesss! *grin* ~LOL~

I didn't mean to misled you there, honest. But this NanoPhone is not the same as the rumored Nano phone I told you before. This is actually a security suit for Android, made by Mocana. Mocana’s NanoPhone™ Suite for Android is the first and only open-standards-based software package offered right now.

Using NanoPhone, developers can quickly add much-needed firewall, VPN, and encryption features to Android handsets without compromising the performance, throughput or battery life of the platform. “We hope to encourage the adoption of Android by the enterprise and by security-conscious consumers by giving developers the critical security components they need to protect Android smartphones, their users and the information that resides on them,” said Adrian Turner, CEO of Mocana; as reported by Android Community.

There's a long list of NanoPhone features which you can download in a PDF file, but for a quick introduction watch the video demo below. I got to go now, before you throw a shoe at me. ;-p

Google gave Andoid an arm extension to edit Maps

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Google is giving all of its attention and resources to build new apps for its one and only mobile child; Android.

But what really surprised me is, that this new My Maps Editor app for Android is created in just four months, using only of Brian Cornell's (the Google Software Engineer who made this app) 20% time and with a little help from the 20% time of his coworkers. This really demonstrating the ease and power of developing on Android, Brian says in Google Mobile blog.

With this app, Android users can edit Google Maps directly from their handsets such as T-Mobile's G1 or the upcoming Kogan Agora, and perhaps even Lenovo's OPhone as well.

My Maps Editor allows users to have full editing functionality like markers, lines, shapes, create, edit, share, and view personalized maps; plus the ability to mark your location using GPS or attach a photo directly from your phone. Your maps are automatically synchronized with your My Maps on the web.

Brian gives three examples of using his app creation for holidays, one example is for keep track of your travels. You can map out your travel plans and take them with you wherever you go. Add markers while you travel to mark interesting places, and take lots of pictures and attach them to the markers. Then when you get back, you can share the map with your friends and show everyone what your did on your vacation with a map and pictures to help them really visualize the trip.

My Maps Editor app is already available in Android Market, go get it tiger. Sources are from Google Mobile blog, via AndroidGuys.

And while on the desktop version, Google also has put in a new feature into Google Maps: YouTube videos add-on. According to Josh Lowensohn from Webware; by choosing the video layer from the "more" menu, which also houses photos and Wikipedia entries, users can now browse and watch YouTube videos that have been geotagged. The interface has also been slimmed down to exclude the video information and view count, letting the player fit in a smaller amount of space.

Now if just this YouTube add-on also for Android, the world seems like whole again... until we begin to want for more features. ~LOL~