Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A New Day, Two New Blogs


Happy New Year! Well, been on a bit of an hiatus here as a dispute with the management at Creative Weblogging coupled with the ongoing technical issues that made posting there a daily exercise in frustration boiled over and caused me to rethink the relationship.

As the news of my "issues" made the rounds of the blogosphere I got two amazing opportunities; join Mike Arrington's "TechCrunch Network" and start a new blog "MobileCrunch" and join Russell Buckley and Carlo Longino at "Mobhappy" both were too good to pass up so now I have two new gigs.

Please make it a point to update your blogrolls accordingly. I am no longer writing for either The Mobile Weblog or The Wireless Weblog, I am writing for MobileCrunch and Mobhappy and of course here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nokia N90 First Full Photo Session

Had a lot of fun the other day testing out the new Nokia N90 I've been given as part of Nokia's Blogger Outreach Program.  I posted a bunch of the images over at my other site The Mobile Technology Weblog .  You can also check out the full set of images posted to flickr: HERE.
 
While you're at it, pay a visit to the site dedicated to the blogger outreach program: The N90 Bloggercom Blog
 
Through the Looking Glass
Looking across the courtyard from the old machine-shop to the main building (this was my second favorite shot on the day)
 
Well, I finally got the chance to really put the new Nokia N90 I've been entrusted with through a few of its paces, and while I'm hardly the photographer my brother's wife is
I was pretty pleased with the images that this masterpiece of technology rendered.
Interior of the  building, lots of interesting light, used Automatic settings and this result was surprisingly good.
 
 
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nokia N90: The User Experience


Barely time to breathe right now as I'm trying to get out the door for a pre-event breakfast at DEMXPO, where I will be enthusiastically testing a new Nokia N90 that has been generously provided by Nokia.
The testing program is the brainchild of Andy Abramson and Brooke Davidson of Comunicano. Who deserve endless praise (not only for having the wisdom to choose a phone phanatic like me) but for creating a promotional modality that is certain to do far more for the Nokia brand and the recognition and sale of these extraordinary phones than sending thousands of them to the popular press.
Of course there are some caveats to this. First of all, when sending something like these phones to hard core geeks, you'd better be awfully confident that your product is exceptional. We don't have Nokia advertising plastered all over our blogs, and while these phones are awfully nice, not a one of us would sully our reputation by giving an undeserved glowing review; if there are things about these devices that we don't dig, you can count on reading about it.
Of course if they're good, you'll hear that too, and you can be certain that the rigourous real world testing that these phones will survive (or not) will be as strenuous as anything the typical buyer could ever imagine.
This is real grass roots marketing, but what Brooke and Andy have devised (and which Nokia has bought off on) is a way to reach right to the heart of the mobile mind-trust. The NokiaN90 blog is a stroke of genius for what it comprises are the sum total experiences of some of the most luminous of all authors to clench a mobile camera in their mits and wonder why oh why it takes such crappy photos. And the joy that is clearly expressed in posts when, for the first time, a mobile portrait resembles the subject and not some Picasso-esque parody (and not in a good way).
I'm looking forward to seeing what this baby can do. As I commented late last night on the N90 Blog, this is a whole lot of phone. I hope I can handle it ;-)
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cingular = Painful Payments, Backwards Phone Routing, and Offers for Services You Can't Have.

"Stitch Talks to Cingular's Christian"
 
This is another one of those posts I wish I didn't feel the need to write.  Somehow I feel like a whining little brat when I bring up issues like the ones I'm about to mention.  On the other  hand, I feel strongly that if I don't make my thoughts known then I have no right  to complain when the situation doesn't resolve itself.
 
Here's what happened.  I live in Los Angeles, which means, among other things, that a good portion of my driving is spent on roads wider than football fields that are nevertheless so packed with cars that many times it resembles a parking lot more than a thoroughfare.  Fridays are the worst and Fridays between 3PM and 8PM are the worst of the worst.  So of course I have to drive to Orange County right at 5PM on a Friday.  Perfect.
 
So I'm sitting on the Interstate 405 parking lot and I realize that I may as well make good use of my time so I decided that I would call Cingular to check my mobile phone bills and pay them.    I won't bore you with the details, but I have several phones, some belong to other people so I don't have them all in my possession.
 
Anyway, I work my way through their IVR...incidentally, if anyone knows why you have to either speak or physically enter your information while they route your call and then the first thing the customer service person does is ask you the same questions you've already been inconvenienced to answer; why is that?  Can't they  just get it off the same system?  It's annoying.
 
Ok, moving on. (well, I wasn't moving, but was trying to make progress paying my bill) I get my balance via the IVR and I need some additional information so I press ZERO for the next customer service person and I'm treated to a hold time of about 5 minutes during which I  hear...nothing.  Except about every 30 seconds the words "please wait".  This is also annoying, but nothing worth blogging.
 
I finally get my call answered and get to repeat the information I've provided to the IVR and then the representative asks me for my password I put on the account.  I give the rep a string of numbers he says that I am incorrect.  I try again; still wrong.  A third time.  Nope.  "Am I really Oliver Starr?"  I ask again if he's certain it's not the first string I had provided.  Turns out it is.  I should have realized at this point it would be better to do this whole thing another time for obvious reasons, but instead I push on.
 
Now those of you that have read this blog for a while might recall my trials and tribulations with this carrier, but let it suffice to say I am no stranger to this, as I used to spend a couple hours a month dealing with problems with my bill.  As a result, I don't ever pay these bills without at least a rundown of the charges; they're always billing me for something that I shouldn't have to pay for and at this point I no longer believe this is merely an oversight.  In fact, I suspect that this is symbolic of corruption in this industry on a vast scale as I have never once seen a phone bill were I couldn't get a credit for some mistake or other -which over the course of a year could add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  From the carrier's perspective (since the mistakes are ALWAYS in their favor) this amounts to quite a substantial source of revenue though I don't think they'll ever admit this.
 
In fact, I have a question for a carrier's representative (I know there are a few that read this blog); what does the carrier do when they've received funds for charges that don't belong on a customer's bill but for  which the customer has not made an inquiry?  Please don't tell me they issue a credit.  In a decade and a half of paying for mobile services I have never ONCE received a credit I didn't demand.  Can you say "slush fund"?  I thought so.
 
Due to this issue, I have the representative read me my bill item by item.  When he gets to the charges for SMS messages I am surprised that I am being billed for each message rather than the lump sum I expected.  The month before I had received a notice in with my bill that said that if I texted *smspromo (or some such) to their short code I would be subscribed to unlimited SMS messages for just a few bucks. I had done this and even received the "subscribed" response back from Cingular that was supposed to be my confirmation.  But now I'm finding that I didn't get the deal I was promised.

The representative explained that I couldn't possibly have this promotion as it was for Cingular customers and that as a former AT&T customer I wasn't eligible.  I asked why I had been mailed the promotion at all then.  The rep explained that the company that did the mailing had no way to distinguish between AT&T and Cingular customers so everyone got them, and AT&T customers got shafted.  The rep told me that I was far from the first customer annoyed that I didn't get a promotion to which I'd thought I was subscribed. 
 
Cingular; TIP NUMBER ONE.  Save time, your CS Rep's Mental Health and avoid customer ire...learn to use the asterisk!  If you can't discern your customers from a mailing perspective (which is ludicrous) then at least put an asterisk next to promotions for which certain groups aren't eligible and let them know.  It's simple and it won't cost you a penny (unless of course you wanted the extra money generated by people like me using twice as many SMS messages because we thought we'd purchased an unlimited plan when in fact we were still paying per message.  Silly me...that's exactly what you want.  Why would you EVER use an asterisk and miss out on that found money?  I mean, you're not going to  lose me over that right?
 
Well, I finally get my bill paid for that number and now the fun begins.  The third phone I have to pay for is no longer an AT&T phone...my pal Freedom (who's phone bill I seem to have inherited though I don't know why I am still paying it), wanted a newer snazzy phone so he went in and upgraded to a new plan.  Now all the AT&T side of Cingular sees is an account closed record for that number.  The rep is going to transfer me to the Cingular customer service to pay that bill.
 
After clicks and beeps and ten minutes on hold the line goes silent and I realize the call has been dropped.  Luckily I have the direct Cingular number committed to memory.  I call, work through IVR hell once more, enter the numbers...but wait...the phone I am calling from does not match the number of the account I've dialed.  I must speak to customer service!
 
Please hold...after five minutes I get my call answered and explain the situation to another CS Rep.  Although he is pleasant enough, I don't think he was trained to deal with the likes of my problem and perhaps he wasn't having his best day.  After about ten minutes of going in circles and being quoted the amount I had previously paid on my AT&T lines it becomes clear that he can't access my other record for the Cingular number.  Why?  He's on the AT&T side of the business. 
 
Get this:  Cingular's customer service closes at eight.  So where do they route their inbound customer service calls?  AT&T!  Only AT&T reps can't access Cingular account records.  Brilliant!  An endless loop.  What Cingular's rocket scientists that came up with this routing need is a cyclic redundancy check.  Or maybe a simple IQ test?  In any case, this is where my annoyance with the carrier goes from hovering to pegged in the red.
 
CINGULAR TIP #2:  make it possible for a customer service rep to handle accounts if you are going to route the calls to them!  (this should be a no brainer.  I am not a mechanic, that's why I don't put up a sign in front of my home that says car repair; yet the way your system is routed this is EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND CUSTOMERS!
 
I request a supervisor to whom I am eventually transferred.  I explain the situation.  She's a bit defensive but does listen, and, thankfully, is able to process the payment I want to make.  Only took me an hour and thirty seven minutes to pay my phone bills this month, which was less time than it took me to reach my destination.
 
During the call, I explain to the representative that although it certainly isn't her fault, her employer really needs to fix some things.  I tell her that I am a person that has something of a following on the Internet for topics of this type and that I am going to be writing about this today.  I do. I am. I have.  Christian (this is the name she provided) this post is for you.  Please run it as high up the flag pole at Cingular as you possibly can.  I'd gladly talk to a few executives there if they want to do more than annoy me with a survey at the end of a call.  I promise I can tell them a dozen places where things are broken.
 
Heck, I won't even charge them my usual rate.  If they can just get my bill right so I don't ever have to call again, that would be payment enough!
 
 
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Will Disrupting Carrier Domination Free Content?

Locked Down Mobile Content
 
My recent post on Walter Mossberg's thoughts had the good fortune of catching the eye of none other than Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media, Inc who re-blogged it over at the O'Reilly Radar blog
 
In the comments there, a reader by the name of Douglas Turner (sorry no link provided) made the following astute comment:
 
"Since the carrriers so completely suffocate innovation in the mobile wireless space, I'd like to hear from folks about scenerios for how they get disrupted, routed around, etc.

Mossbergs prediction are essentially meaningless unless there is a way to displace the carriers."

-Doug

Posted by: Douglass Turner at November 14, 2005 10:21 AM

You can read my lengthy response here:  Mobile Weblog

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wall St. Journal's Mossberg says "Mobile Phone Most Important"

 
 
You can't help but know who Walter Mossberg is if you've got any tech pedigree whatsoever.  Even my Mom has probably read the words of Mr. Mossberg.  His Wall Street Journal Personal Technology column has appeared every Thursday since 1991 and he's been a part of the technology scene almost as long as there's been a technology scene.
 
As talented a speaker as he is a writer, I was eagerly anticipating Walter's lunch time Key Note at the Venture Wire Consumer Technology Ventures conference.  Speaking to a capacity crowd...in fact the biggest crowd I saw assembled during the entire conference, Mr. Mossberg made my day when he echoed a number of things I've just recently predicted including the fact that mobile devices will far exceed the PC in importance for most people, that security is something that must be addressed before the enterprise will be able to successfully accommodate mobile devices and that the ultimate incarnation of the ideal mobile device is something that still hasn't been realized and which might end up being quite surprising when it finally is.
 
Among the other comments that I felt were important to be reiterated, Mossberg's views on the role of the carriers was interesting and could be crucial to consumers though it probably didn't make any representatives of Verizon, Cingular, or Sprint terribly happy as he feels that these companies have spent quite a lot of money to build out their network infrastructure and that they do deserve a return on their investment, but that's it.
 
He continued by saying that he didn't think it was right or reasonable for the carriers to exert control of the devices that use these networks.  He feels that unless this changes it could stifle innovation and put the brakes on progress.
 
Another trend Mossberg identified is wireless...by this he means all wireless, but particularly WiFi and how much range and speed has improved.  He also spoke about the deployment of Verizon's National Broadband Network, claiming that he has been online with this network, that it is 3 times as fast as the European 3G and that it is available essentially nationwide.  (I haven't been a Verizon subscriber in a few years and never with their EVDO product, so if someone has some comments on this statement I would love to hear them and so, I'm sure, would all the readers of this blog.
 
I think it is worth mentioning as we begin to see more and more kinds of content migrate to the mobile device that Walter made some very strong statements about copyright laws in this country.  He feels that they have the potential to negatively influence advancement of technology and he believes that they need to be changed.  While he agrees that some form of protection must be in place, his view; that copyright laws only protect the publisher were certainly popular with the audience though I am sure that others in positions of power might not agree with this opinion.
 
Personally, I think we are going to see huge challenges mounted in this space over the next decade or so.  Every time a technology is deployed to limit the consumer's ability to use, share, morph or duplicate content, before the standard can even begin to become entrenched, some brilliant geek smashes the encryption and publishes the hack on the Internet. 
 
It was exactly for this reason that Sony is in the news right now.  For those of you that have somehow missed the news, Sony's new DRM for CD's installed a rootkit, which is essentially a covert program installed in such a way that it is invisible to the end user and can't even be viewed via the registry editor. 
 
Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals (an amazing FREEWARE program that you really ought to try) has written on this extensively.  The point being that it is this sort of draconian behavior that can have incredibly negative consequences for both the consumer and the company that DRM and Copy Right need some serious revisions.
 
All in all Walter Mossberg's keynote was entertaining and informative and I considered myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear his thoughts on the future of consumer technology.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday, November 05, 2005

MultiMedia Phones, MobileTV, Music Drive Increased Mobile Data Use

Youthful users with high-tech phones and an appetite for music, mobile TV, ringtones and other custom content are driving increased adoption according to a new report from Management Consulting Firm A.T. Kearney.  The report, quoted below, and comprised of some 4000 users of mobile data services has some surprising statistics that clearly show a trend towards increasing data utilization (though nothing approaching my couple gig a month) with a particular slant towards games, music and to view and send pictures (are MMS finally catching on? Perhaps a topic for another post, what do you, the readers think?)

To see the rest of my thoughts on this study and what it portends for carriers and handset manufacturers, go HERE...

 

o Report: Mobile Data Service Adoption Rises; Cost Remains Factor

Chicago - A global survey of 4,000 mobile phone users who subscribe to mobile data services found that over half now access the Internet monthly, and one-third download music to their phones, while mobile data costs are an obstacle to wider adoption, according to a report from management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Thirty-three percent of users with multimedia phones said they downloaded music monthly, up from 21% in 2004, while 16% said they downloaded mobile games monthly. Seventeen percent of all users -- and 27% of those under 24 -- said they were interested in mobile TV. The survey also found that one-third of multimedia phone owners now use MMS to send pictures, photos and video clips monthly, a service that is used regularly by nearly half of all 19 to 24 year-olds. However, half of mobile users surveyed said they are not willing to pay more than $5 per month for a mobile data service; currently, U.S. mobile data services cost between $10 and $20 per month. "The growing penetration of new multimedia phones is the catalyst for mobile data adoption," said, A.T. Kearney vice president Mark Page. "There is a clear relationship between the average revenue per user and the age of the phone the customer uses. People who have recently replaced their handsets are more likely to be heavier users of data services."

 
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nokia Successfully Test UMA: Seamless Voice and Data Calls Passed between Cellular and WiFi

The image “http://mobile.kaywa.com/files/images/2005/8/mob51_1125241800.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. by Oliver Starron Convergence
Nokia Achieves Convergence Milestone
As a significant milestone in its fixed-mobile convergence strategy, Nokia has completed both voice and data calls with Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology in a Nokia Solutions Experience Center in the United States. ~WirelessIQ
 

This is the news I've been waiting to hear.  Combine this with the announcements yesterday by Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox and you have a recipe for a major shake up in the near future....

 to read the rest of this post, please click here

 
 
 

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Fuel Cells Finally Here?


Fuel Cells seem to be finally coming of age. So says I over at the Mobile Weblog.

If you've been reading this blog and been disappointed at the paucity of posts lately, you should pay a visit to my two principal blogs these days: The Mobile Technology Weblog and The Wireless Weblog

There is enough overlap in the content between this and those that I haven't found much to post just over here.

However that looks likely to change as I am considering refocusing the content of this blog in my experiences as an Executive in Residence at a $300 Million Venture Capital Fund that is focused on a huge array of early stage start-up ventures.

If you're in favor of this idea, please comment and let me know.

Cheers,

Oliver Starr "stitch"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Man Becomes Machine




RedTacton: An innovative Human Area Networking technology that uses the surface of the human body as a transmission path:
- Communication through natural human actions: touching, holding, walking -


Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. President and CEO, Norio Wada) is pursuing research and development of an innovative Human Area Networking technology called RedTacton (*1) that safely turns the surface of the human body into a data transmission path at speeds up to 10 Mbps between any two points on the body. Using a novel electro-optic sensor (*2), NTT has already developed a small PCMCIA card-sized prototype RedTacton transceiver (see Fig. 1). RedTacton enables the first practical Human Area Network between body-centered electronic devices and PCs or other network devices embedded in the environment via a new generation of user interface based on totally natural human actions such as touching, holding, sitting, walking, or stepping on a particular spot. RedTacton can be used for intuitive operation of computer-based systems in daily life, temporary one-to-one private networks based on personal handshaking, device personalization, security, and a host of other applications based on new behavior patterns enabled by RedTacton. NTT is committed to moving RedTacton out of the laboratory and into commercial production as quickly as possible by organizing joint field trials with partners outside the company, under NTT's comprehensive producer (*3) program."


Stitch says: this is the kind of stuff that Matrix fans dream of..."Jack me in, I wanna learn Kung Fu" is a vernacular understood by many but only embraced by a few. As the reality of augmenting human capabilities far beyond natural endowments becomes more possible and augmented humans more prevalent, we'll have to come to a better understanding of ourselves and what it means to be truly "human". For myself, I would love to think more faster and process information more efficiently, see better, and in the dark, be able to lift object three thousand times my size and...oh wait...that's my alter ego talking...but seriously, if the option to increase various aspects of my physiology became available, I'd partake.

To learn more about this technology and the applictions envisioned for it today, go here.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

News: Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper: Paper and Digital Media Converged


Reblogged from Overclocker's Club

News: Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper: "Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper
Posted: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 01:52:18 GMT
Author: Matt Cameron

Fujitsu today announced their joint development of the world's first film substrate-based bendable color electronic paper with an image memory function. The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity. The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, thereby making it ideal for displaying information or advertisements in public areas as a type of new electronic media that can be handled as easily as paper. The jointly developed electronic paper will be showcased at Fujitsu Forum 2005, to be held July 14 and 15 at Tokyo International Forum.

Electronic paper offers all of the same characteristics of paper such as being thin, flexible, and lightweight. It also boasts low power consumption in that it does not require electricity except during screen image changes, making electronic paper especially suited for advertisements or information bulletins in public places for which paper is currently used. Electronic paper is especially convenient for use on curved surfaces, such as columns. In addition, electronic paper can be conveniently used in conjunction with mobile devices as an easy-to-read and portable display device.


Numerous R&D efforts are in progress in the field of electronic paper. However, thus far there had been no color electronic paper available that uses flexible film substrate capable of being bent without affecting the screen image and which features a memory function.

No electricity required for continuous display, minimal power consumption when changing screen image


* Features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image even when electricity is turned off therefore no electricity is required for continuous display.
* Screen image can be changed using minimal electricity consumption equivalent to the weak radiowaves used in contactless IC cards.
* Fujitsu's new technology significantly conserves energy by consuming only one one-hundredth to one ten-thousandth the energy of conventional display technologies.



High-level display performance


* The new electronic paper is constructed of three displaying layers - red, blue, and green. Since no color filters or polarizing layers are required, it features color that is significantly more vivid than conventional reflective-type LCDs.
* Proprietary Fujitsu technology ensures that screen color is unaffected even when the screen is bent or pressed with fingers.
* Because the screen image does not require repetitive updates to be maintained, the screen does not flicker.



Flexible film substrate


* The film substrate employed in Fujitsu's new electronic paper can be flexibly bent and thus significantly widens the range of potential applications.



Anticipated Applications
By leveraging the features of this technology, a wide variety of applications can be envisioned for Fujitsu's new electronic paper as a digital medium that can be handled like paper. Following are some examples:

Transit advertising on trains, information displays on curved surfaces, and other public display applications that could take advantage of its light weight and flexibility. Information displayed can be updated based on the time of day, enabling more effective advertising and informational signage.

Electronic shelf display tags, point-of-purchase displays, restaurant menus, and other in-store uses. Can also be used for pricing displays or product information displays that stand out in full color and can be readily updated.
Operating manuals, work orders, and other short-term information displays, facilitating the trend toward paperless offices or factories.

Text or images from mobile phones or other mobile devices can be transferred wirelessly to larger displays for easy viewing.

Use in the home can offer more convenient digital-media devices that can be carried from room to room.


Future Developments
Fujitsu will conduct test marketing and practical-use testing, targeting commercialization within fiscal 2006 (April 2006 to March 2007) to promote field innovation using its new electronic paper.

Stitch Says: I could stay up nights thinking about potential applications for this. If they can make it flexible and durable enough you could suddenly totally change the mobile web. Your cell phone becomes a modem for downloading any newspaper in the world in full color a section at a time, but with fully searchable, indexable, taggable results. Truly, if the capabilities of the paper support navigation, and the phones have enough processing power to deal with full blown html/xml the possibilities are endless...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

WiMax VoIP Delivered : Converging Acronyms?



WiMax VoIP Delivered: "*

WiMax VoIP Delivered

By samc on 802.16 News

WiFi Planet notes that San Francisco based Soma Networks has completed interoperability validation with Broadsoft's BroadWorks, paving the way for VoIP application delivery over WiMAX.

Broadworks is a VoIP application platform that manages call routing and provides a number of core web-enabled telephony services including voice mail, call waiting, conferencing, and auto-attendant functions. Soma Networks' part of the equation includes a wireless end-to-end IP telephony solution that offers a fully integrated VoIP wireless broadband gateway that allows VoIP application bandwidth efficiency over a broadband wireless infrastructure.

Soma's wireless broadband gateway is a converged device that integrates a SIP User Agent (SUA), analog terminal adapter (ATA), wireless broadband modem and WiFi route into a single unit. According to Soma, users can plug any standard analog voice phone or FAX line into the device and use their web browser to register for VoIP services.

The SOMA solution is targeted at service providers looking to offer landline quality voice and high speed data services to residential and SoHo customers. Broadband Wireless (WiMAX) based VoIP compares favorably from a price, technology, and security point of view with wired VoIP solutions according to Soma."

Stitch Says: better get your notepad out, we've got a new acronym coming...any guesses? Possibilities include VoMax, VO-WiMax or they could depart from the standard, try something different and fun and go with MaxVox, Wi-Vox, or how about VO-Wax? Their are so many new acronyms being generated today you need a dictionary to keep them straight. And if you want to actually tell someone what some of the acronyms stand for you'd better have your engineering degree. How about orthagonal freququency division mutiplexing?

Seriously, though, WiMax is starting to show some promise. More than one company has managed to demonstrate real-world functionality for fixed and mobile acess deployed over not one but multiple different frequencies. As analog broadcasts vacate large swathes of the airwaves, the rapid deployment of new high speed data services is going to be a boom for consumers looking for better service offerings and competitive prices.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Handheld Wireless Gambling: Now Slot Jockeys and Poker Fiends Can Converge on the Casinos from Home

Nevada Legalizes Wireless Handheld GamingBy Peter Rojas

Wireless gambling handheld

We can already tell that next year’s DefCon is going to be a hoot: the state of Nevada just passed a law that would make it legal to gamble using a wireless handheld device in any part of a casino except a hotel room (because it’d be tough to for them to stop kiddies from playing, and you know how much the kids love video poker). It’s actually illegal to gamble online here in the States, so the idea here is that casinos can offer their patrons handhelds that connect up to a local wireless network and which would allow them to continue, uh, winning and losing (well, mostly losing) money even when they’re hitting the buffet or watching Zumanity. Then again, if you’re just going to go all the way to Vegas to play Texas Hold ‘Em on a tiny PDA screen, you could probably save yourself some time, trouble, and expense and just kick it at home, but hey, we’re doing our best to understand your addiction.

Stitch Says: and you thought kids of PlayStation Portable were bad...I'm not much of a gambler myself, I have enough stuff to do without adding poker to my vices, but for those that are, I'm curious about things like user experience, bandwidth, security, etc. Anyone? What's the table limit? What happens when a call drops fbefore the ball does? Is static grounds for failing to pay up when you lose a big pot? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mobile Pipeline | Trials Start On Hybrid Wi-Fi, FLASH-OFDM Network

Mobile Pipeline | Trials Start On Hybrid Wi-Fi, FLASH-OFDM Network: "Trials Start On Hybrid Wi-Fi, FLASH-OFDM Network

Courtesy of Mobile Pipeline...

Japan Telecom said it will begin trials on a wireless network that combines Wi-Fi and FLASH-OFDM wireless broadband technology.

The telecom operator said it will conduct the trials with a research center in Tohoku University.

'The technology trial objectives are to verify high-speed Internet access and seamless roaming, as well as mobile-to-fixed handoff with wireless LANs using the IEEE 802.11b/g/a standard and FLASH-OFDM, 'Professor Kazuo Tsubouchi, said in a statement. 'Our goal is to help prove the ability of IP-based technologies to work in harmony to help create a seamless broadband experience for people, government and public safety organizations, using fixed and mobile networks.'

FLASH-OFDM is a wireless broadband technology, championed by Flarion Technology, that competes with WiMAX. Japan Telecom noted that it already has deployed public Wi-Fi service in a variety of locations. It is aiming at providing a more ubiquitous wireless network to its customers, the company said in a statement. It did not say, however, when it might commercialize the combined technologies.


Stitch says: I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of these announcments soon. Carriers are beginning to realize that voice over Wi-Fi or other IP based protocols is not going to go away and that by responding proactively they'll have a much better chance to innovate ahead of the curve and find themselves in an advantageous position relative to fighting the trend with every ounce of strength and then losing the battle only to find that meanwhile, they've lost time and marketshare to opponents that are suddenly the ones playing on their own turf.

Moreover, the adaptation can actually serve to reduce traffic costs; backhaul of voice to the ip core will free up the cost and capacity sensitive network components making it possible to handle more simultaneous voice and data traffic and as the networks move through and beyond 3G, the carriers will have the opportunity to reshape themselves to make money off of content, and other services.








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KVM-over-IP: Centralized, Simplified Management
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What major mobile applications will emerge in the next few years?

Mobile music.
Mobile TV/video.
Wi-Fi location and positioning services.
Use of cell phones as payment devices.
Other.
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