Monday, June 28, 2010

Despite iPad Success, eReaders Might Be Harder To Kill Off Than Expected

Maybe Amazon and Barnes And Noble are going about this the wrong way. Maybe Kobo Reader has it right after all. How so?

Maybe digital book readers should be a combination of the follow two factors that Kobo reader has:  simplicity and a relatively low price (though recently, the Kindle and Nook both had about $50 chopped off their retail price).  

Kindle/Nook Versus "Just Readers. Until the Kindle came on the scene, readers were fairly expensive and it was not easy to upload books into these readers.  Kindle made that iPod-like simple and has since been joined by Sony Reader and the Nook.  However, despite Amazon's claims of success, there is still no figure provided by Amazon about how many Kindles were actually sold and how may ebooks have been bought by Kindle owners since its debut.

But Kobo with its simple read-only device isn't shy about saying how well it's done in New Zealand.  According to Stuff, the first two batches of thousands of Kobo readers have sold out and a third batch is on the way in July.  And with books costing $10-15 (7.15-10.75 USD), this is cheaper than even what Amazon, BN, and Apple sells.

Kobo - Cinderella Reader? So what has made the Kobo such a large success?  It is more simple than the Kindle to install books?  First, the Kobo reader has no 3G or wireless access so the reader would need to buy books form a computer and then install it on the reader.  That might be cumbersome but it isn't any different from what many users do to sync media with Apple's mobile iOS devices for nearly a decade now.

What likely makes Kobo a success is that it just lets the user reader books.  It does not nothing else.  Just read.  And quite frankly, I, and likely many readers, find that refreshing.  I was not always impressed with the Kindle because it has a lot of features and yet it does none of them well.  Then along came the Nook and it was great to see the Kindle with a competitor and while it was based on Google's Android OS, my complaints against it was the same as that of the Kindle. It has features other than being a reader but none of them are easy to use.

Then the iPad came along but let's be honest. It's a great tablet and Apple has been hugely successful by selling three million iPads in just 80 days.  The complaints I had against the Nook and Kindle were solved with the iPad but the iPad isn't a great reader.  I've read only two books on it since I got it and I've got five others to read and I've been putting it off.  Plus, the iPad with its plethora of features, apps, and multimedia functions are a distraction.

And that's where readers like Kobo are different and might find success.  The Kobo reader just let users read books.  And just like a book, it offers no distraction.  When BN released a 3G-less Nook last week at $150, I nearly pulled the trigger (I've already bought two Nooks for family members) on it.  But then the old complaints about it still exist.  Honestly, trying to browse the Web or play games on the Kindle and Nook is very maddening and suffocating.

Borders is currently offering the Kobo reader for pre-order in the US.  So for anyone looking for a dedicated reader that is free from half-baked features like the Kindle or the Nook or isn't in the market for a full-featured tablet like the iPad, I definitely encourage anyone in the market for a good digital book reader to take a look at Kobo reader.  

So I think Kobo and other readers should do well in the market long-term.  I also foresee a significant price drop in the next year or so.  At $150 (Borders price), the Kobo is a still mildly expensive so it isn't out of the realm of possibility to see a $25-$50 decrease in the retail price.  Heck, just wait until a Chinese company come out with a $50-$75 reader in the next year or two.  

Conclusion.  The iPad is a success and its the standard bearer for tablets.  The Kindle and Nook will try to add features because the companies that produced them will try to match them with the tablets feature for feature.  But at the end of the day, book lovers just want to read.  And that where Kobo and others will dominate.

Note: I've included a link for Borders' Kobo reader page but I don't have any interest (ie. associate link) from any sale of the reader.

Green: Contacted Solar City For Lease And Consultation

I read an article with Money from CNN about Solar City. I'm sure I've also read other posts about them in the past but I finally decided to do something about it.

I went to their website and requested a free consultation for solar leasing. I suppose the way it works is that I would get power from the solar panels installed by Solar City guys.

I'll have more to say about it after the consultation whenever it is and I'm very excited about it. I'm not a green nut but like everyone else, we have our ideals about conservation and waste. And this is more than just feeling good about ourselves. We have a responsibility to the future generation and legacy of what our generations gave to the world.

How does a solar lease from Solar City work? From my understanding, I think it's a balancing act between actual power use and the lease. I'm going to explore the site for more information and come back when I found out more. But I encourage you to take a look at it.

Here's a video from CNN about Solar City and concept of solar leasing.

More at Solar City and Money.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How Will Video Chat Change Society?

In Star Trek, away teams don't exactly communicate with one another or their starships through vid chat. It has almost always been through a video-less communicators or other communication devices. And in our "reality", there have always been devices with video conference abilities. But the idea of chatting via video has always been plagued by a multitude of hurdles.

Apple's iPhone 4 isn't the first mobile device with to have a frontal camera for video communications but it is the first to overcome the hurdles I mentioned: quality of the video chat, lack of market saturation in the market, ease of use, and other technical and, likely, social obstacles.

We don't know if Apple's iPhone 4 will usher in a new paradigm in social communication through video but we should begin to talk about it now.

Apple posted a video of a father way from his family but being able to view his baby live from his hotel room. Staying in touch. That is going to be the key for video chat, not just Apple's FaceTime to be accepted as a viable mean for communication. Is society ready for this? Is it even necessary?

Imagine being able to examine a factory in China live using an iPhone 4 or another mobile device by the company's executives in the United States. Also consider the ability for a team of reporters to offer live broadcast of a breaking news event.

As good as the above scenarios look, this is going to take time. Right now, Skype is the dominant player in the VOIP market for consumers. Just last night, we conducted an hour long video chat with families overseas. However, Skype uses a closed and proprietary system to make that happen. Apple has open-sourced FaceTime but it remains to be seen if it will be adopted by others. Having either Microsoft or Google, two of its main competitors, accept this will go a long way in making that happen. And yes, MSN Messenger allows video chats as does Google Talk over the Web.

Also, FaceTime isn't available over 3G or other cellular wireless networks at this time and only works over Wi-Fi. Steve Jobs promised this ability next year. Nevertheless, it is a setback for Apple and video chat in general, not being able to over FaceTime calls over cellular data.

Thus, compatibility will be a key issue as is accessibility.

Still, this is very exciting for mobile users. I am waiting for a white iPhone 4 and when I get it, I look forward to trying it out.

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wi-Fi Is The Future Of Any Wireless Plan; So Meet "Wireless Broadband Alliance"

If you're new to wireless news, know that there are thousands of new wireless Internet subscribers joining the growing ranks of the mobile warriors, users who increasing use their mobile devices to conduct their businesses or personal lives. And at today's rate of mobile adoption and way of doing things, we're going to get a heck of a lot of congestions in the not too distance future.

Hence, ATT and Verizon Wireless have joined the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), an organization working to make sure various carrier Wi-Fi networks can work with one another. And this move means 160 million users with tens of thousands of hotspots join a larger global Wi-Fi network.

This all sounds great but I'm guess it won't be so easy. Nevertheless, it's a great first move by these two operators who guard their fiefdoms jealously. But with ATT having issues with their 3G network, it has also been trying to offload a lot of traffic to its 20,000 hotspots.

And if you haven't been hiding in a cave or under a rock in the last decade or so, you know that Wi-Fi has true changed how people use their laptops. No longer were we tethered to an ethernet cable. We can move about. From one office to another. To the patio, dining room, or anywhere within the range of the access point.

And with the latest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11n, the theoretical range is 100 meters. Heck, I'll settle for even half of that any day. But the point is the newer protocol affords wireless providers to blanket larger area with Wi-Fi Internet access.

And let not forget that White Spaces is still be worked on. What WBA is doing is providing members with the ability to allow its users to move from one network to another with ease. And whether it's Wi-Fi or eventually White Spaces or something else with even greater speed and range, we mobile warriors should all benefit from this.

So, with ATT and VW a part of this network, we mobile users, whether its laptops, iPhones, Android devices, or anything with Wi-Fi capability, we can potentially gain access to faster Internet than what EDGE or 3G can provide.

Travel.  If you travel, I envision this should benefit you greatly.  This is a global alliance which means moving from one network to another region, continent, or country should help mitigate the problem of looking for Internet access and less the cost.

According to WBA's website, it has a network of 90,000 hotspots from Europe to the Middle East to the Americas.  A cursory check shows only T-Mobile USA from the US that has joined WBA.  ATT and Verizon Wireless at not yet listed.  There is no news of Sprint being a member or plans to join it.

This is the first time I've heard about the WBA.  When I've got more information, I'll post it.  And yes, this is very exciting news.

Lots more information at WBA, CNet News, White Spaces.

Laptops: Need A Battery Life War

One of the things about being a mobile warrior is the ability to take your work with you. With the introduction of the 10-hour plus battery life on the iPad and the 9-10 hours on the Macbook lines, Apple really does understand that its important that being mobile means not just using a handset or laptop but not worry about being near an outlet.

Now, this sounds like a fan-boy thing but it’s not. But if you pick up a Windows laptop from Best Buy or off Amazon, you are not going to get one with a 10-hour battery life. And if you do, it’s gonna weigh a ton.

I checked out stuff from Acer, HP, Dell, and Sony. You can get 9-10 hours of battery life if you are willing to pay more for a beefier battery (as in bigger or with a tail). So you have to pay extra and put up with the extra weight.

Okay, I’m willing but that’s exactly the point. Now, I’m not saying Apple is better, which they are in this area, but it’s time the whole industry really takes another look at mobile through the lens of battery longevity.

Make no mistake that a lot of progress has been made. Even my first generation unibody Macbook has 4-5 hours, longer if I turn off certain features. I think the cut off time for most notebooks geared for true mobile users need at least 5 hours of use.

Personally, I’m not hopeful. There are only two companies I think have the ability and interests to make this happen: Apple and Sony. Apple is already making it happen and Sony is kind of coasting at the moment, not sure of its own mobile future. As for the rest, it’s about a race to the bottom to maintain market-share. And they’re not interested in making laptops with 9-10 hours of battery life.

I think there ought to be a new war like the Mhz war fought between IMB, Intel and AMD in the 90s. This time around, it should be the battery life war.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nook: BN Puts Pressure On Amazon with Less Expensive Nook

I am now considering getting a Nook for myself.  I have already bought two for members of my family and I do have an iPad but the Nook as a dedicated reader is an entirely different beast.  I also want to disclose that in addition to buying ebooks from Barnes and Noble and Apple, I've also bought books in the past from Amazon.

But with this move by BN and as a support of Apple, I'm likely to leave Amazon's Kindle behind.  The giant bookstore has updated the Nook by lowering its price from $259 to $199 and released a newer Wi-Fi only version for $159.  This is a similar move like Apple's iPad line - Wi-Fi only and another version with 3G wireless connection (BN's Nook can only use the 3G to download books, no true 3G Internet access).

We'll likely see Amazon make a similar move in the months if not weeks ahead.  As a matter of fact, I fully anticipate Bezos and company to update the Kindle.  In recent weeks, Amazon's digital book plans has faced revolt from publishers to shift to the agency model as well as competition from the iPad.

Isn't competition grand?  How will this impact users?  A first-rate ereader at $159.  First, we have Amazon to thank for this.  With the Kindle, and Steve Jobs has said as much, Amazon has done a great job in bringing ereading to the forefront of the general public.  And while the original price of $400 of the first Kindle was steep, there were adopters.

Competition with the entry of BN and, more recently, Apple has heated up the ebook market.  As a result, we are seeing great readers for affordable prices.  There is simply no way anyone could have anticipated readers at $159 in 2010 before the Kindle was released.  Then the Sony Reader was over $500 and ebooks were more expensive than their print counterpart.

I've been an ebook reader since the Palm V and Zire days with the app.  I've read dozens of books, paying a premium at times, and I cannot be happier than what BN is doing today.  Now, we await Amazon's response.  Many bloggers as well as analysts think Amazon will respond with an updated Kindle.  Furthermore, Amazon is likely developing fully mobile computing solution for the Kindle.  Yes, a Kindle that is more likely a tablet than just a reader.

But today, it's all about the Nook.  Here is a comparison chart of the two Nook models.  After reading this, head over to BN if the Nook has been the reader at the right price for you.

More at BN's Nook page and Amazon's Kindle page (amazon offers two models of the Kindle based on screen size).

Note:  The link for is just that a link.  I am merely a mobile fan in this matter.  The Kindle link does have an association link where if you click on it and buy something from Amazon, I will make a couple of bucks.  I just want to let you know that.  You know, full disclosure and all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kids And Mobile

I don't have kids but I am in the fortunate position of being an uncle to a few little and adorable nephews and nieces. The best part about being an uncle is the absolution of any real parental responsibilities.

However, I am concerned about the mental and educational development of these kids. Instead of yielding their development to the Disney gang, Dora, and clueless blue dog, I tried to get them to work with games and puzzles. Of course, that doesn't always work.

But they were highly interested in my iPhone. And now, with my iPad. So, i make it a point to load up a page of apps suitable for their use.

Of course, it isn't just replace the TV with an iPad. A lot of it involves adult supervision. My three-year old nephew is adept with the home button and the swiping.

I think there is an inherent advantage to this. Not only I am able pull these kids away from the TV, which is the biggest win of all, they are learning something. At least, that's what I am hoping.

So far, the app that had the cutest animals, the noisiest, and large buttons seem to my nephews favorites. With an alphabet app, I worked with the kids to repeat the sounds. I think in two weekends of playing with the apps, my oldest nephew has learned quite a bit.

And that is what is going to make mobile work. Most the important mobile lesson I got out of this experience. Parents, teachers, and caretakers don't have to be tethered to a desktop to work with children. The convenience of a robust mobile platform with child-proof hardware (this includes drops, banging, excessive pressure on the screen, and, of course, drools).

More importantly, adult supervision is a must. Yes, there isn't any technology available that can supplement an adult working with a child. No technology that can replace a parent. Nevertheless, I am encouraged with what mobile tech can offer our children these days.

-- Post From My iPad

Friday, June 18, 2010

T-Mobile's new "4G Speed" 3G Network: Anyone Feeling It?

Yesterday, I checked and many new cities are live with the faster HSPA+ network.

So has anyone experienced the faster love from T-Mobile? Personally, I've yet to see anything. As a matter of fact, I wonder if it has anything to do with the Android 2.1 that I installed in my G1.

Who can blame me since HTC has given up on the G1ers. Still I love to know if anyone else might have seen faster download speeds since T-Mobile flip the switch on for the 21Mbps network.

Here are the cities that should be seeing faster 3G speeds:
  • Los Angeles; Dallas; Atlanta; Houston; Seattle; Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; New Orleans; and Charleston, S.C
Also, this should take us to the map for T-Mobile's coverage but it's been down for a while now. What gives?  here's the original press release.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lakers Are The 2010 NBA World Champions!!!!

I would like to thank Ron Artest's psychiatrist for a job well done.

-- Post From My iPad

Gulf Spill: Meet Joe Barton, Oil Industry's Darling

Today was a day of reckoning for BP CEO Tony Hayward who went before Congress to br blasted and grilled. There was going to be firework. It was going to be brutal. Drama?

No but Texas Congressman Joe Barton provided some by apologizing to BP for the $20 billion "shakedown" by the White House.


Talk about trying to remind the oil industry who their number one support is, it doesn't get any better than that. Suffice to say, once Joe retireds, don't worry about him. His petro buddies are going to take good care of him.

Barton has received more than $1.4 million since 2001 and more than $100,000 in 2009 alone from the oil industry.

I don't care that he took their money. Dude's from Texas. Still, I wonder had BP dumped a barrel full of oil on his lawn if he could be apologizing to BP if his insurance agent demands that BP pay for the clean-up and housing for his neighbors who had to be moved away.

I suppose I should be surprised anymore when these politicians no longer put the national interests ahead of partisan bickering. Oh, and don't let me get into what a waste of time the hearing was. 90 Minutes of pompous politicians blasting Hayward and we found out nothing new about what caused the explosion at the platform and why it has taken so long for this leak to be plugged.

More at Yahoo News

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Game Center: Social Network For More Than Gamers

It isn't unusual for Apple to change names of a product. And Game Center, being billed as a social gaming network, can grow beyond gaming and Apple is likely to change the name as it becomes a full fledged social network.

That's what it is going to become over time. A full network but likely much with more to offer than anything we have in existence today. You want a couple of examples? Look at what Apple has done to the mobile market. And also look at what it plans to do with iAd in advertising.

One of the reasons I started thinking about this is because I've made a couple of long distance friends while playing Chess With Friends and Words With Friends. Even with such a rudimentary set of social interactions, I come back to it again and again.

It is absolutely rare such happens now but as more developers integrate Game Center into their gaming apps, developers will discover that it is not only gaming apps that can benefit from a social network. And users will find it more useful than to keep track of high scores or tracking achievements.

Don't be surprised if Apple eventually integrate a friend list as part of the evolution of Game Center.

For those of us who are familiar with MobileMe, it would make sense for Apple to integrate Game Center into its online services. There was word that Apple will making some of the MobileMe services free for all who wants to use it.

Furthermore, I fully expect Apple to provide the option for its iTunes customers to be become MobileMe users. And by default, Game Center users as well. In one stroke, it will have more than one hundred and fifty million members just like that.

MobileMe integration will be key. Imagine being able to create a list for friends and a separate list for gaming buddies. This will afford users greater privacy. And let's not forget why Apple is doing all this. iAd will help Apple and developers make money.

Of course, all this is conjecture on my part but this is the likely course of development going forward.

Game Center is going to be huge. You just watch. It will be the backbone of anything iOS, OS X, iDevices, iTunes, and Macs going forward. And depending on how you see it, this Apple social network will have Steve Jobs as the wizard.

Note: I am sure it didn't escape Apple and Steve Jobs' attention that Facebook CEO Zuckerberg dissed the iPhone 4 on his own Facebook page. So here's message for you, Zuckerberg: Apple might look like it's got its hands full with Google. But trust me, it can fight more than one war at a time.

-- Post From My iPad

WiMax? Who? T-Mobile Bring 4G Like Speed To the Masses

Full disclosure. I am partial to T-Mobile USA. And Sprint PCS was my first mobile service provider back in the, well, dark ages of cellular service. It's it's difficult for me to pit the two against each other but since I'm with T-Mobile now, I'm going to plug them a bit here. And there's good reason.

And T-Mobile has announced its next generation 3G service, HSPA+ for 25 metropolitan areas including major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, and Atlanta. I've waited and waited and its finally here for my city. By the end of June, HSPA+ service will cover 75 million users. Devices that work includes 15 handsets and a dedicated USB modem, the webConnect Rocket.

Between now and then, T-Mobile hope to blanket over 185 million users with the service. Furthermore, T-Mobile doesn't seem to imply it has issues its bigger rival, ATT, has. Recently, ATT announced pretty anemic wireless plans that ration wireless Internet access.

T-Mobile, as well as Sprint, do not have any such plans. In fact, T-Mobile is considering metered speed rather than rationed access. Personally, with my two-year contract up and despite my love for the iPhone 4, I am not sure I'm going to migrate over to ATT just to use the latest and greatest mobile device from Apple.

More impressive is that T-Mobile seems to imply they've got plenty of bandwidth to go around. I've advocated Apple bring the iPhone over to T-Mobile in the past and, recently, this seems more plausible.

So while Sprint has EVO, Verizon has Droid, and ATT has iPhone 4, T-Mobile has HSPA+ with devices like myTouch, Garminfone, and the upcoming Galaxy S from Samsung, T-Mobile's stars could be aligned for once: strong lineup and the network to back it up.

More at Engadget, TmoNews,

Note: HSPA+. This is T-Mobile's "4G-like" 3G service with a theoretical upload of 21Mbps. In reality, it's not even close but for the moment, users could care less as T-Mobile was a late comer to the 3G wireless services. However, with this deployment, it has really surpassed Verizon Wireless as well as ATT and rival Sprint's WiMax, a true 4G wireless connection.

Another note: On June 19th, T-Mobile will be offering phones to users who sign up for qualified plans. A lot of these phones are Android-based. This is one of the best deals I've seen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo 3DS: Gret, But Could Have Been Better

Nintendo officially unveiled to the world the 3DS at E3 today. If you had a chance to follow the live blogs, what was your impression? Well, a huge sigh of relief. The 3D works as advertised. Mario and Company quiets the crowd.

Personally, I will need to see this for myself but I am excited about the 3D aspect. More than that, Nintendo is once again moving ahead of the pack.

At the same time, I can't help but hope that the DS would evolve into something more than a gaming platform but also a mobile platform. Honestly, Apple has quickly become a player in the gaming business.

And while much of the games for Apple's mobile platform lacks much of the depth offered by the DS, how long before that advantage is equalized? I had hope to see a Webkit browser in there for instance. I wanted to see a radically different form factor that allows the 3DS to be more.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind Nintendo focusing on gaming. But it might be time to move beyond that. For instance, with millions of kids using the DS, maybe Nintendo can create a Mario-themed manager for homework and school scheduling.

Now, we wait and see how Apple and Sony will respond. Isn't it interesting? We are now including Apple into the discussion.

More at Engadget

-- Post From My iPad

Toy Story 3 And Owls

If you don't know this, it's been 11 years since Toy Story 2. That's how Steve Jobs likes to do it. Until they were okay with the whole story and graphics, Pixar was not going to do a Toy Story 3. Imagine had Disney produced a straight-to-video version like ousted CEO Michael Eisner (he did make Disney a force to be reckoned with) wanted.

But as I was trying to find the show-times to take my nephew to watch the movie this weekend, I came across "Legend of the Guardians Owls of Ga'Hoole". I thought "wow, first penguins and now owls". Well, it's by the same folks who brought us "Happy Feet".  And I like "Happy Feet".

Here are a couple of trailers. One for Toy Story 3 and the other for Owls. Enjoy. Definitely need to catch both movies, my fellow mobile warriors!

Toy Story 3 opens this weekend! Owls will be released September 24, 2010.

ALERT: Some Customer Info Exposed by ATT, This Is New (Not Last Week's iPad Episode)

Apparently, some folks who tried to sign up and pre-order this upstart...cough, iPhone, cough, four...were greeted with data that really shouldn't be there.

This is the second episode in the last couple of weeks where ATT didn't take their customer's data and privacy seriously.  Last week, hackers (who claimed they did it for the good for the world or so they said, FBI investigating) exposed the e-mails of some iPad owners.  Hard done but not the end of the world.

However, an independent contractor blamed a rollout of servers over the weekend.  What's worse is that some customer who log in ended up with information of another customer.

So, be aware, folks.  Now, the contractor is telling folks not to upgrade because of this.  I don't see the problem of upgrading (provided you can access the sytem on this crazy pre-order day for the iPhone 4) since the exposure is going to happen no matter what.

Still, watch out for funny activities.  I can't say Apple is happy with this latest episode.

Note:  for folks who pre-ordered the iPhone today like I did, no credit card information was taken down.

More at Daily Tech.

Mobile Tip: Pre-Order iPhone 4 At Local Radio Shack Store

It's pretty much hit and miss for anyone trying to order an iPhone 4 online.  Mostly, it's misses as the server connection would time out.

So the best way is likely to go to Radio Shack if you're fortunate enough to live or work near one.  And if you don't but really want an iPhone 4 on launch day, drive there.

I decided to go there after having issues with both Apple and ATT's online ordering.  It's just brutal.  Then around 10AM PST, I drove to the strip mall where there was an ATT store as well as a Radio Shack.

The ATT store had a long long line.  I was in despair.  So I decided to see if Radio Shack was accepting pre-orders.  Before I left for the little iPhone pre-order trip, some folks were saying Radio Shack would not be part of the retail stores accepting pre-order.  Maybe this is why there was no line there.

When I walked in there was one guy in front of me.  He had just came from being the second to the last person at the ATT store.  Now it was first at Radio Shack. And Radio Shack was accepting pre-orders.

What's also cool was that the folks there were very knowledgeable and had me all set to go.  I left before they were able to get through the pre-order process but the guy who helped me called me an hour later telling me that my order went through and that they would call me to set up an appointment for activation.

So give Radio Shack a go.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steve Jobs Emails Chinese Developer Mugged in SF, Likely Generated Lots of Postive PR

A developer from China goes to Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference at Cupertino's invitation.

So he comes to SF and ends up getting mugged and his IPad gets damaged during the commission of the assault. So what does Apple do? They hooked him up with a new iPad never mind that the iPad isn't even officially available on the Chinese market.

That right there is create PR. I am sure this was leaked to the Chinese and international media. Great for the developer and even better for Apple right? It's not over.

Steve Jobs emailed the guy to wish him a safe journey home. Contrast this to when an ATT subscriber emailed ATT's CEO and got a cease-&-desist letter for his trouble.

So, Chinese developer dude, on behalf of all peace-loving and mild-mannered Americans, I apologize for your experience. But you certainly picked the right mobile platform to develop for and, while I rather see no one s victim of this kind or any other kind of crime, I am glad this happened in SF and not LA.

More at 9to5Mac for this incredible story.

-- Post From My iPad

iPhone: Comparison Chart From Tmo or it iPhone 4 Coming to Tmo

I don't want to get ahead of myself here but there is something I want to share with you. Tmo-News got a hold of what looks like a comparison chart between three of T-Mobile's top existing mobile devices and the iPhone 4 (except in the picture, it is that of the 3GS).

Now, that could be just what is it: a comparison chart. Or is it? It doesn't seem to be making any disparaging remarks about the iPhone. Rather, it seems to be playing up both the strengths of iPhone 4 and iOS4. The three devices also in the chart are myTouch Slide (lame because it's using two-year old tech), HTC HD2 (lame because it's using last decade's OS), and Garminfone (no comment because I honestly know nothing about it but welcome it to the market because more competition, the better).

As with other comparisons released by, say, Verizon, Verizon make sure not to make the iPhone sound good at all (like what "Droid does"). Not one single good thing about the iPhone at all.

Again here, the descriptions for the iPhone 4 could have come from Apple or ATT because they all sounded very good. Lots of Apps. New OS. Thinnest iPhone. Better battery life. Frontal camera. Better display than the other devices.

So, I submit this: this is not a comparison chart but a chart of a line-up of mobile devices that T-Mobile has and will have in the near future that includes the iPhone 4?

Why with the wrong pictures for the iPhone? My theory is that No one has been given the right marketing pictures (comparison chart or otherwise) of the iPhone 4. T-Mobile can't very well go to ATT and Apple's websites and rip off the pictures they need.

Also, to keep in mind. Most of Tmo-News' commenters do not think this is anything other than a comparison chart that really made some of them want to get an iPhone 4.

What do you think it is?

Note: This may well be just that, a comparison chart that was trying to be "fair and balanced" (take notes, Foxnews) and nothing more. Historically, folks unhappy with ATT have unlocked their iPhones for use with T-Mobile running on the slower EDGE rather than suffer through the network issues or whatever problems they may have encountered with ATT in the past (for me, it was bad coverage and worst customer services in the industry). Or, though not likely because of Tmo-News' connection, is that this is a fake chart to make us think the iPhone is coming to T-Mobile.

More at Tmo-News

-- Post From My iPad

Airships Satellites; Not Just For Football Games Anymore

Long before airships were used to advertise Goodyear products at football games, Airships had practical use.

It was used as long range surveillance and for transport.  And for years, people thought about using it to provide communications for urban use as well as battlefield communications.

Now meet Bullet 580:

  • With a 48 hours hang-time
  • Up to 80 mph (cruising at 40mph)
  • Payload: 2,000 lbs
  • 235 feet long (goodyear blimp, 195 feet, Hindenburg 804 feet)
  • Cost:  $8 million a pop.  Talk about cheap.  
  • 20,000 feet
  • NEW TERM:  Stratellite
  • Runs on algae - so it's green as well
  • Functions: weapons platform, communication broadcasts and monitoring, GPS, weather monitoring, defense shields, and possibly transport in larger versions of the Bullet
Yes, I am very very excited about this.  This is both a big retro in a futuristic sort of way.  In anime and scifi movies, you can occasionally see airships.  Especially in steampunk societies.  

In our world, I'm sure there are tons of applications for just such a use.  And this is still first generation airships.  I'm sure bigger and faster versions can be built should this one really take off and operate as expected.  The skin is made of kevlar which is a pretty good thing if these might end up over the skies of battlefields.  I'm sure cheaper and stronger materials will also be available soon.  

Personally, I cannot wait for this thing to happen.  Oh, and did I mention that if the uses of these airships take off, it'll create thousands of jobs?

More at:

eBooks And Possibly Paying Taxes On Devices To Read Them

We believe that Amazon is doing quite a number on the number of eBooks since the Kindle came out. It's not sure just how the shift away traditional to digital copies has resulted with the number of ebook readers on the market. After stating they've sold 2 million iPads, Apple said 5 million books have been downloaded.

It's not known how many of those are free and what the percentage of the iPad owners have downloaded iBooks, Apple's dedicated ebook app reader. Still, it's quite impressive. Personally, I can't wait to see how much more growth Apple, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble can generate through 2010.

Barnes And Noble's Nook is a popular device and I imagine the bookseller, which based it on Android OS, will expand its usability and entice more people to its popular platform for reading. Recently, BN updated the Nook for Web browsing and added games as well.

Of course, it'll be a while before the Kindle and Nook matches the iPad in its multi-use and ecosystem. Therefore, I'm looking for near-term growth in ebook consumption from additional iPad sales and sales of other tablets running on Android and Windows through 2011. As of now, I'm not seeing the love from Amazon and Barnes and Noble on my G1. Plus, we'll see Google get into the game soon.

Taxing your iPad and Droid. During a brainstorming session, one of the "brilliant" (lots and lots of sarcasm here) idea is to tax mobile devices to save the print industry. Absolutely brilliant. Of course, some EU nations tax music players to save the music industry there.

Furthermore, Rassmussen Reports released some polling results showing very little support for this concept. So, tax devices that people when they exercise but, wow, don't tax our sugared and other high-calorie snacks. Brilliant guys.

More at Teleread.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Juniper Research: $32 Billion In App Sales By 2015

According to Juniper Research, anyone who looking to make some money, got some programming mojo, and the motivation, you can get yourself a piece of $32 billion in app revenue by 2015.

And thats just 2015. So when better to start writing apps than today?

Here's what I got from this post at Read, Write, Web. Less than $10 billion worth of apps were sold and to this date, for all the billions of downloads Apple likes to brag about, Apple has paid out $1.5 billion. Not bad but not the dominating performance I expected.

There's going to be a lot of growth and I believe Juniper added mobile ads as well. Still, a lot has to go write for this to happen. Like making sure we don't go into a double-dip recession but that's nothing to do with app developers.

Keep the apps coming. Me? Back to hitting the Objectie-C and Java books, after this Lakers-Celtics game.

More at Read, Write, Web

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Some Ideas About Download And Upload Via 3G - How much bandwidth and speed do you need?

Ever wonder how much speed and bandwidth is needed to do some tasks on your mobile device like the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or Android device?

Well, I can help out a bit here.  I've got the iPad tethered to the my G1.  Currently at work and there is no wireless Internet.  So, this is what I've been able to get.

  • A Skype VOIP call to a regular telephone number took about 30-35kbps.  That's both upload and download.  It's incredible how little bandwidth and speed we need.  Another observation.  The same call via the 3G iPad should take similar amount of bandwidth and speed.  However, while I"ve got full set of bars on the G1, my 3G iPad has not been able to get a full set of bars.  Plus, the quality varies.  You need a minimum of half the set of bars to get good call quality.  I don't understand why that is.  Perhaps, the Skype app thinks I'm on an access point versus the 3G iPad isn't, that might matter.  I think it'll take a while longer for Skype to tinker with the quality of the Skype app.
  • I'm watching "V" right now via the ABC player app.  I can tell there is a lot of buffering.  At times, I don't see any data going through.  For the most part, the app seems to link to the server when it needs more data for buffering.  It's taking anywhere between 450-800kbps download.  Average is about 650kbps.
  • With the Sling app, the speed is about 370kbps to my box at home where I've got 512kbps upstream.  
    • With another Slingbox half a world away, I am getting 300-500kbps.  My friend does have one of those insanely fast Internet connections that we can only dream of here in the US.  
  • app is the next one I tested.  
    • I loaded up an episode of NCIS "Good Cop, Bad Cop".  The video started but then I got the "Carrier network supportin audio only.  Video resumes when connectivity improves".  So, I can hear the audio but no video after 30 seconds into the playtime.  
    • Not watching to give up, I loaded up a CNet clip about the iPhone 4.  The Intel commercial about the robot Geoffry loaded just fine but when the video started, I am getting between 50-300kbps from the G1.  The the "Carrier network supportin audio only.  Video resumes when connectivity improves" came on.  
    • Again, I refused to give up.  MacGyver?  Failed.  An episode of the original Star Trek?  No go.
  • So, I decided to do something easier.  So I streamed a podcast on NPR.  "Tips For Coping With Bad-News Burnout" from Science Friday.  I wasn't not able to get a good read.  It switches between 0kbps and about 200kbps.  I'm guessing the speed isn't an issue here.  Being in Los Angeles, I asked the NPR app to find me the nearest NPR station and it used the GPS function (the iPad with Wi-Fi only has no GPS) to find it for me.  It also switches between 0kbps and about 200kbps.  Perhaps, audio isn't that big of a deal for the wireless network.  
  • Now, we come to the big one:  Netflix.  This is the one where I think most iPad folks and mobile warriors want to hear about most  After all, what good is a 10" screen if not for viewing and streaming TV and movies.  Rumor has it that Hulu will be joining Netflix soon.
    • Blue Clue.  It was the first thing that popped up when I opened up the app.  I was entertaining my nephews over the weekend.  400kbps.  Alright, I had enough.  After about a minute or so, it chewed up about 5MB.
    • Since this is an iPad, I picked "Up".  I was seeing 450-800kbps.  I think the mean speed is about 500kbps.  I stopped the movie at about the 10 minute mark.  I dont' want to be sad going beyond that point.  In ten minutes, 45.5MB were streamed.  "Up" is a 96 minute long movie.  It would have taken 436.8MB to finish the whole movie.
    • How about a TV show?  "Weeds" looks good.  Episode 1 of Season 4 was up next.  Again, the average speed was about 350-400kbps.  I was not able to pin down an average speed because the meter fluctuated widely.  There was a small hiccup at the beginning.  The 30 minute-ish episode chewed up 150MB. 
I just want to note my G1 is about to get about 600-800kbps through various mobile speed tests.  It's a far cry from the 3.6Mbps that T-Mobile advertises.  However, I am hopeful that once HPSA+ becomes available, I will be able to get much better video quality.

Now, video quality. The reason I mentioned video quality is because it is worth noting ABC video quality over 3G isn't as good as when I watched the same episode of "V" at home with Wi-Fi.  There are a lot of graininess as well as artifacts.  Even though the iPad was tethered to the G1 and it was acting as an Wi-Fi access point, I wonder if some how it knew that it was pulling data from a 3G network.

With Slingplayer, The quality is on par with what I've got at home. Also, keep in mind that the app has not been optimized for the iPad  Pretty satisfied.

Finally, we come to Netflix.  The Blue's Clues quality was quite good.  Perhaps it's a cartoon and for kids so it's not that big of a deal as far as quality goes.  I certainly could care less.  The quality for "UP" was a bit better than "V" and close to Wi-Fi quality.  I think Netflix put a lot of work into the app and it really shows.  I can't wait to see what they do with the iPhone version.  "Weeds" wasn't bad either despite a lower download speed.  But then, it could be because my girl, Mary Louie Parker, looks good at any kbps.  

The audio only stream did not give me any measurable speed.  I suppose we will know once people start using their NPR or Pandora app on the iPhone 4 with their metered wireless access. I came away with this in mind: I love my T-Mobile unlimited wireless plan and I don't think I want to give that up so easily just yet to go with an ATT metered plan.  For all the mobile warriors who are being lured to the iPhone 4 but will have to give up wireless plans on other networks, stay strong or at the very least, be sure you know you will be giving up quite a lot.  

Note:  This is not a scientific experiment and I did not apply my past statistical training from my days running organic chem experiments in college.  I only want us to have a good idea what we're dealing with when we're on a 3G network.  

Another note:  ATT's 2GB limit is dismal and an insult compared to what Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile offers.  But just maybe, they are not that far off in that the average user doesn't go beyond 2GB.  But by golly, ATT is basing their data on pre-tablet information.  I think that's just as flawed as my data collection here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Safari 5: Reader Feature Is Changing Reading Habits

I can enough about Safari. Version 4 was pretty good when it came out but with Google doing a great job innovating with Chrome and, let's be honest, really out paced every veteran browser on the market.

But with Safari 5, Apple has signaled to the world that it intends to compete in the browser market. Forget about extension support. Been here, done that as far as the browsing experience goes.

It's the Reader feature that has changed to game now. And it has the markets backpedaling. And I do mean markets. Reader basically strips away the nonessentials like ads and visual distractions on a webpage and intelligently displays the main article or content in a pop-up screen.

In Apple's words, "Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles. So you get the whole story and nothing but the story. It works like this: As you browse the web, Safari detects if you’re on a web page with an article. Click the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field, and the article appears instantly in one continuous, clutter-free view. You see every page of the article — whether two or twenty. Onscreen controls let you email, print, and zoom. Change the size of the text, and Safari remembers it the next time you view an article in Safari Reader."

First, the advertising market. Web operators are still going to get the views but click-throughs might go down. How will this affect ad revenues? Safari 5 has only been out about 24 hours. I think users are still trying to get used to Reader and it is unclear how the online ad guys are reacting to this.

With Reader, Apple is able to provide users with a great non-distractive way to consume text while potentially hurt it's main competitors in the battle for the future of computing, Google and Microsoft.

For the publishing and content market, this is a potential game-changer if not a wake up call. Any Internet property that relies on ad revenue may be affected. At the very least, they need to figure out other sources of revenues.

For me, I found myself loving the Reader feature very very much as it makes it easier for me to concentrate and see how long the article or post really is without the trappings of modern Web payout like videos, ads, and other miscellaneous links that are not pertinent to the article.

-- Post From My iPad

Mobile Tip (Security): Beware of Copier Security Risks

Did you know some that some copiers have a hard drive inside of them? At our office, we use cheap ones that, I hope, has the memory wiped each time a fax is sent or received.

However, some of the more advanced copiers have hard drives in them that can constitute security risks as they may not get a good decent memory wipe. As you can see in this video from CBS News, it's very very scary.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Find the right copiers and it can contain a gold mine of corporate as well as personal information as you can see from the video. I am among the 60% of folks who were not aware that these high tech digital copiers have hard drives (2008 Sharp Survey).

So, considered yourself warned. And this goes for your mobile devices like the iPhone and hard drives in laptops, netbooks, or desktops.

Note: Thanks to Dave the Mobile Warrior for this information.

Monday, June 7, 2010

iPhone 4 Possible on T-Mobile? Need Someone With Tech Understanding To Clear This Up

Is it possible for the iPhone 4 to get 3G speed on T-Mobile's network? We'll need someone with technical or expert engineering skillz on this one.

Towards the end of the WWDC 2010 keynote today, I kept hoping Steve Jobs would tell us about this "one more thing" in stored for us. That one more thing being that the iPhone 4 is coming to all the other networks in the US. At the very least, given that T-Mobile uses GSM as does ATT and my current network, I had hope that to be the case.

No go. The disappointment was not as acute as the Lakers loss last night but it weighed in me a bit into the afternoon. So this is what I tweeted:

iPhone: no iPhone for T-Mobile...sniff, sniff, sniff...AT&T, guess I'm gonna have to be your bitch...

T-Mobile tweeted me back about myTouch Slide. Right. iPhone 4 or myTouch. I am not that stupid.

So I trolled the Internet for more details and I came across an interesting comment about the iPhone 4 and T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. A couple of things happened.

On MacNN, the FCC page for iPhone 4 stated it is now a five-band phone. Penta-band? Anyway, none of the frequency is the 3G frequency used by T-Mobile's 3G network. 1700Mhz.  That's the end of the story, ain't it? Well, maybe not.

And this is where we need someone who knows what ins-and-outs of 3G technology and how everything works.

Over at TAUW, I read a post about the iPhone's new world-phone ability.  It's the exact same topic as the MacNN post except, now, read the 3rd commenter.  An astute observer no doubt who pointed out that the new HPSA+ network currently being deployed by T-Mobile in select markets but will be coming to more than 200 million users uses many of the frequency supported by iPhone 4.

The evidence is the Web Connect modem being sold by T-Mobile, which supports 850, 900, 1800, 1900, and 2100Mhz.  No mention of the current 1700Mhz that the current T-Mobile 3G network is running on.

And the iPhone 4?  It supports 850/1900Mhz in the US and 800/900/2100Mhz in the internaitonal realm.  Like the reader, MacNN pointed out the lack of support of the new iPhone 4 for 1700Mhz but not what the T-Mobile HPSA+ network and iPhone 4 both support.

Does this mean anything?  See why I am hoping someone with wireless engineering backgrounds can help us out.

Will the iPhone 4, officially or otherwise through unlocked means, support T-Mobile's fast 3G network?  Does this also mean that the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will soon run on T-Mobile's 3G network?

If this is the case, there could be another positive possibility.  That being that the iPad will also run on T-Mobile's HPSA+ network as well.

Introducing the Facetime App From Apple - Video Chat On the iPhone

Facebook is the new video chat app for the iPhone 4. Here is a demo of what it can do.

Note that users can toggle between the frontal and back camera. Brilliant. A reporter's dream if you ask me.

Also, it's based on open source coding so the prospect of chatting with other folks on other mobile platforms or devices that support this protocol is very real.

Apple Video on the New iPhone 4

Here is the video on the new iPhone 4. A lot of updates coming tonight after we've got some time to digest the information. All is good except one thing. We're still stuck with AT&T.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weddings and Mobile

I am currently at a wedding fot a very good friend from college. It was an honor and privilege to be invited.

I have been to many weddings and as you probably know, they vary in a wide range of social interaction and fun. I have been to ones and part of ones where I knew a lot of people and others like this one where I knew few people.

In mobile, I am so glad to have my iPhone with me. It might be wrong of me to say this but I am able to keep occupied instead of sitting in silence through the whole wedding.

I am blogging now. Earlier, I was able to make a few moves on Chess with Friends and Words With Friends and built out my empire on We Rule.

But mobile should have a bigger role to play in such an event. For instance, we were given the wrong location to park. Many of the wedding guests were stranded including myself.

Do I wonder of it's possible for someone to create an app that allows the wedding party to keep track of the progress and status of guests.

Such an app can work for more than just weddings. It can include parties, funerals, and any event that requires coordination.

Anyway, gonna go talk to the ladies now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Mobile Causing Bee Extinction?

I want to caution that we need no jump to conclusions and this appears to be a preliminary step in this direction as far as trying to figure out why the bees are dying and whether radiation emitted from mobile devices is a cause and may have a wider impact on the ecosystem.

After three months of study, the proponents of the study, Panjab University of India has found a disruptive link between the collapse of bee colonies and radiological emissions from mobile devices. Queens impacted by the radiation laid less eggs while while less honey is made.

Furthermore, worker bees stopped returning to the hive, either their innate navigation system is disrupted by cell signals or for the same reason that radiation affected the queen and the hive, the worker bees refused to return.

More studies need to be conducted given that not all hives are observed to be affected by cell signals.

I think we need to more study in this area just as I am not entirely sure that mobile radiation doesn't have an impact on humans. I also think the climate change as well as increase use of pesticides and other non-farm chemical leakage into the environment.

More At The Independent Nature and Yahoo News and Telegraph.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Green: Oil Slick Might Travel Up Eastern US Coast

Though no one knows for sure, the oil spill might travel up the eastern coast of the United States. This information is from a computer simulations not unlike those used in weather modeling.

However, one has to keep things in perspective. It's bad but we're not likely going to see a thick black ocean surface. It will be quite diluted. Still, you have to wonder what this will do to the sea life and the whole food chain.

Note: Increasingly, Onxo is going to talk about other things that are not just mobile tech or computing. But also about things that impact self-sufficiency and conservation. Yes, we need oil to power our economy but more and more, no matter what your political views are, self-sufficiency, no matter where you life in this planet, is in all our interests. Though many dispute the notion of climate change, conservation and going green should appeal to liberals (we know that), conservatives, and libertarians.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ChargePoint America Program: Nationwide EV Charging Stations

Coulomb Technologies will be installing 4,600 charging stations in metropolitan areas nationwide as more and more EV vehicles hit the road. It will officially be called the ChargePoint America Program. This is what the goal of the program is:

ChargePoint America is a program sponsored by Coulomb Technologies to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure to nine selected regions in the United States. The is made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy and the objective is to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles to substantially reduce petroleum consumption, reduce greenhouse gas production, and create jobs.

This will be partnership between Smart, Chevy, and Ford that should have more than 1,000 stations installed by the end of 2010 and the rest by the end of 2011.

What's amazing is that I've heard about electric cars since I was a kid back in the 80s. Read about it and saw it in a variety of anime. But through the years, it hasn't happened. Part of my drive for something like is the idea of self-sufficiency. It's why I always love longer and longer battery life in my mobile gears.

The problem before was the chick or the egg problem. Without electrical cars, there was no need for charging stations. And without charging stations, these cars could not go long distance.

In light of the political minefield that the Middle East represents and the changing climate, we need this more than ever. I am hoping that three charging stations will have some solar component to them as well.

Adding wind or solar sources, which might not provide all the energy needed, it may help run the facility.

Of course, we'll need to see just how far the program goes. Of the $37 million funding for the project, $15 million will from the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act, you know, the stimulus package.

More at Arstechnica and ChargePoint America Program.

-- Post From My iPad

Amtrak Offer Free WiFi On Boston-DC Route

Amtrak's Acela Express trains will now have free Wi-Fi for everyone.  Currently, it's only available on the Boston-DC route.

According to Electronista, California should be next in line to get Wi-Fi service.  

There was technical challenge involved as Amtrak tried to make sure each car was self-sufficient with its own connection as reliability becomes an issue. Furthermore, sometimes, cars get switched around.

This is fantastic news as a mobile fan for the mobile warriors who commute on these trains.  Furthermore, I'm looking for not just trains but municipals with dense populations to hook up Wi-Fi, and eventually white spaces networks to serve its population and businesses.

The future start with one train car at a time.

More at Electronista.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Can Now Google App To Find Link

CNet is reporting users can google for apps on their mobile devices, iPhone or an Android device, through mobile search to find the app they're looking for. It is a unique and pretty neat feature but CNet is a bit perplex as to why Google is indexing app search when users can simply go into the App Store or Marketplace to find the app through the built in search.

I can think of a few reasons. First, Google is about search. So it makes sense for Google to offer its services in this respect. Second, Google is trying continuing to improve mobile services as well as mobile presence. That means offering app search for Android as well as the iPhone.

There really is no redundancy on Google's part in offering search for the iPhone. If Google can do a better job for searching for the right app in the store's own search function, users, particularly iphone users, will rely more on Google.

However, another likely possibility is that Google, who we all know is prepping an webapp store for Chrome and Chrome OS, will be using what it learns from mobile app search and apply it to its endeavor.

Regardless, we will know in the near future if this will go beyond just searching for apps. Chrome OS is slated to be released in the second half of 2010.

More at CNet

-- Post From My iPad

Wireless Providers Should Play With Speed, Not Limit Usage

I called Apple about an hour ago to inquire about getting the the 3G iPad. The 2-3 week wait was disheartening and that's only if you're at the head of the reserved list they've got going in the store.

The reason I wanted to get a 3G model now, even though I've got a wifi-only version, is because I wanted to lock in the $30 per month unlimited 3G usage.  The reason is because starting on June 7th, AT&T will be do away with the unlimited data plans and replaced them with limited metered ones.

$15 For 250MB or $25 for 2GB. An extra GB will cost $10 more.

That's the wrong way to go. A better way would be what the DSL and cable market does: price different speeds at different prices but without limits.

This isn't just affecting the iPhone but other mobile devices as well - Android, Blackberry, Pre, Windows Mobile, and others. Furthermore, this will greatly affect innovation as people will find some apps or innovations hindered by the lack of wireless access.

Rationing becomes critical at this point. We'll see just how this works out and which provider or providers follow AT&T's lead.

Prediction: iPhone Exclusivity Over This Summer

Some subscribers on another network other than AT&T is gonna get pretty lucky this summer.  I'm going to call it.  The exclusivity that AT&T enjoyed over the last three years is over and done with.  Soon, we will no longer have to go to AT&T for the iPhone.  

How did I come to this conclusion?  

It's always been my suspicion that Apple secured an exclusive deal with AT&T to have unlimited Internet access for the iPhone For whatever reason, AT&T's network not coming through as expected as a breach of contract or something else, Apple is expanding the iPhone to one or more other networks.

It also means that new iPhone users will no longer be able to get unlimited data plan.  Hence, AT&T used this opportunity to come out with brand new data plans that ration data usage. ($15 for 200MB, $25 for 2GB - seriously, 2GB?!)

What will be interesting to see is what kind of data plans will be offered by the other users.  I think if Verizon Wireless is the provider, I'm guess we're going to see something similar to what AT&T's data plans are like.  VW has always towed the "party-line", if you will, about data use and rationing.  Don't expect them to outshine AT&T in this respect.

If it's Sprint and T-Mobile that will get the iPhone, I think they might be more liberal and generous with their plans.  Personally, I am rooting for T-Mobile and/or Sprint.  And so should you.

Note:  Many folks are noting that after Apple advertised the exclusive unlimited data on the iPad, AT&T is now change that.  Some are calling it an invitation for lawsuits.  I'm not an attorney but at the very least, I think it's wrong.  Maybe it is false advertising on the part of Apple and AT&T.

Video Clips Of Steve Jobs At D8

I've put together some videos released by D8 folks from last night's Steve Jobs interview.

Nothing juicy as far as we know. We find out that Apple was working on the iPad before they realized the technology they developed worked better on the iPhone. I suppose Steve wasn't a believer in the handset market as everyone always thought from the beginning.

Plus, Steve will not going into search to compete against Google but will bring a whole new concept of virtual personal assistant to the mobile experience.

Also, Steve explains why he's not allowing 3rd party analytics into the App Store right now and why he's pissed off at one particular one. But will talk to them once he's calmed down.

More at On Apple.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Steve Jobs: Future Is Virtual Personal Assistant

At D8, Steve Jobs was asked about competition with Google. Steve Jobs said Google went to mobile to compete with Apple. And that Apple will not go into the search business to go after Google.

While that is technically correct with search as we know it, I believe Apple's recent purchase of Siri represents a direction which no search engines will be able to follow. Apple will be going one step (many steps as a matter of fact) beyond search and into virtual personal assistant (VPA).

With a VPA, it will reside on your mobile device and basically do things for you that no calendar or search engine along can do. I never had a chance to play with the Siri app but with a sophisticated AI system, it will help the user provide a richer mobile experience and, over time, it gets better with use as it learns the user's habits and needs.

And should you ask your VPA to do a few searches, well then, it'll just have to search. Maybe it'll involve Apple creating its own search engine or pass that off to Bing or Google. However it's done, the VPA can do more than just search.

Here is a video demo of the app in action before it was bought by Apple:

KEYNOTE: The Game Changer: Siri, a Virtual Personal Assistant from Semantic Universe on Vimeo.

I am sure we'll hear more about this from Apple pretty soon. Yes, I am very very excited about the prospect of an AI keep my live in order. Too bad, it doesn't vaccum...

More at Macrumors.

D8 Video: Steve Jobs on Flash, iPad

This is a clip just released from tonight's D8 event from Palos Verdes, California with Steve Jobs.

It's about Flash and the iPad.

I am sure a full video of the interview with Steve Jobs will be available over the next few days through All Things Digital or iTunes.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...