Friday, 22 February 2008

Facebook's ponzi scheme about to end ?

One night stand and its supply

BBC reports reversal in Facebook's growth trends.
The rush might be gone.
The whole point, IMHO, is about sustainability of those businesess. Where are they ? I can't see it more than a fency ( IN ) night bars.

Tomorrow you might go to some other bar to meet new people ( or the bar will stay at the same location but will get a new owner ;))
A place could get boring and we might overestimate our ability to manage our digital personas and get hurt someday and become a victim of our fullish openess.

Mobile 2.0 Industry Report

Truly a Mobile 2.0 reference work

Glossy mobile industry yearbook is a perfect weekend read.
Just released by french firm Netsize.
It's the best in-depth free industry report documenting the state of the global mobile content and services market.

For those that do not have time and resources to travel to Barcelona ( or elsewhere for thee gathering with mobile enthusiasts ), it's a perfect subsitute and more.
I wish I could travel more , see more of the World, speak more with relevant people and have less worries ;)

Maybe one day.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Intel's fifth-gen Centrino and WiMax

Mobile Wimax connectivity nirvana

Intel gets pushy about WiMax mobile broadband in USA and they just funded joint venture with Sprint and Clearwire.

Given Wimax is a competitor to both cellular broadband solutions and fixed broadband, much of its market potential is shrinking even before this appears, IMHO.

But the rollout of HSDPA is tough business as well. We in Croatia do have some fast mobile broadband coverage, but only major cities are covered by now.

One of the first pioneers and WiMax operators here in Croatia is Novi Net d.o.o. from Merhatovec ( northern part of Croatia , Medjimurje )

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Nokia in the street

Drive, walk, be guided

Nokia Maps 2.0 hit the streets and pockets of mobile phone power users.
Novelties as explained by folks from
'' pedestrian mode, enhanced driving navigation mode, satellite maps, much improved search and new real time traffic information ''

A new multimedia computer N96 combined with those Maps could bring a magic in one's travel life :))

I wish myself N96 :)
Nokia wants you to pay for all those city guides and additional stuff.
Another Maps 2.0 review.

Nokia lacks true openess, IMHO.
Is it worth ?

Mobile Experience Company

What ? That too ? ;)

Not just mobile computer maker, but ''mobile experience company'' too ;))
Nokia speaks out.
You know, they would like to be called like that.

Nokia and Google team up around search products for upcoming Nokia models.

Monday, 11 February 2008

First Google Android Devices

Under the Mediterranean sun of Barcelona. Webphone dejour but SMS will rule them all ;)

Unusual suspects like british ARM and Texas Instruments got us first glimpse into practical prototype of Android mobile operating system.
It's not fancy release like iPhone's launch ( thank you ) , but it is of equal importance, IMHO ( although we have seen some of these interfaces few months ago ).

View full gallery. Still rough on the edges but it's no rush , the style will come later with handset makers and ''the switchers''.
( I like this one, tricorder someone ? ;))

The new mobile interface philosophy is beign seeded by Webkit SDK ( thank you iPhone ) . It's a magic carpet for mobile phone- programmable ( fluid ) interface. A webphone DNK.

Smartphone, indeed. Websmartphone ? Webphone ? What gives ;)
Is it finally smartphone for the ordinary people and mass market phones ?
I hope so, but let's wait.

It's a smartphone with ''mirror'' ( touchscreen aka iPhone ) and smarthphone with good ol' buttons. The hybrid approach, just like it should be.
There is plenty of room ( mobile screen ) for advertisers as well ;))

There is a plenty of icons. Someone for buried apps in the phone – those never used ? Could be an issue for some people. Power features might be used by individual preferences ? Yes, but the one thing should be straigtforward – a call.
Simple phone call.

But I have a trouble and doubt of how much progress is made when I see ''applications '' folder. Yes, it's nice for Google. Pure Google trojan horse into the handset. Gmail , Maps and other icons are in the one-button reach ( game-set-match for them ) and in the same ''game level'' like SMS.
But is it illusion made by product designers who put close observation onto current phone usage ? Will this all appeal to average users and be used by them ?

Where's search ? I can't see straigtforward ''search '' feature or something similar ( mashups ) ? Contacts folder with social networking ? Too much expectations, I shouldn't be so pushy ;)) It's not a sinn.

I would suggest only one keyword: connectivity.

I think it's the crucial ingredient for success ( too be truly useful ) of Android platform along the good battery time, IMHO. Android phones will be hungry of being alllways on. Not just allways connected to the internet, but those connection should be fast.
That means only one- fast mobile network services ( HSDPA or UMTS ). It's not something Google can do much about. It's a long, long road.

The mobile carriers will need to create special flat rate plans for Android phones. So, even if we have agile and proactive Google and its partners, I don't see that much agility on the carriers side nor mass enthusiasm among the average users.

Not until the Web on the mobile phone becomes ''status'' issue ;)) Status like ''I am important'' with that thing in my hand and ''status'' like Facebook presence ( mobile edition ) and super-light-fun-apps as well.

Time to wait. Time to explore and think more. Nobody knows...
One thing is for sure, ''the switch'' is going on.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

USB stick modem for wireless internet access

Wifi hotspots are yesterday. 3G dongles are today. Affordable for consumers, not only businesses.

In essence, mobile lifestyle ( mobility ) is all about your mobile devices and connectivity . Right ?
Your phone, laptop or other gizmo makes true communication device when connected to a wider network.
Yet, it's not on cheap and it 's not much about convenience.

The business usually pay montly subs on 12 or 24 month contract and get PCMCIA card ( if they are not in mood to mess with WiFi , we have only few commercial hotspots in Croatia , but there's VIPNET's Mobile Connect modem only still too expensive ).

But 3G networks are reaching much more these days and perfect plug & play solution for connectivity seems to be USB dongle ready to access the Web without much intervention from the average user. No configuration at all.
I spotted this issue writing last year about Sony Ericsson's MD300.

Now, I've seen that Vodafone sells 3G dongle ( USB stick modem ) as well. The price of data and network bottlenecks are still important issues for widespread adoption.
Dean Bubley comment is right spot on:
'' Operators in the UK, Austria, South Africa, Portugal & others are definitely going after the consumer 3G dongle market.
Typical user is someone (student, recent immigrant etc) who doesn’t want a 12-24mo fixed-broadband contract at home, because either they share apartments, don’t have a current landline (which would cost £££ to get re-connected), move flat every 6 months or don’t yet have a local bank account / credit record.
Another segment is people who want a 2nd broadband line (maybe families, maybe young professionals).

While I do agree with most what Dean says, I think this type of connectivity is ideal for professionals on the move ( as a second broadband line ) and people without broadband connection in rural places.

The prices in Australia , for example, have dropped dramatically in the last year. AU$100 to AU$14.50 a month on a two year deal + free dongle.

When will those mobile data plans for laptops go hand in hand with mobile phone data plans ?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wistron GW4 – Android prototype ?

Turbo. Fun. Brrrrm, brrrrm ;))

A bit late on this ( stuff from CES 2008 ) and it is a smartphone made by chinese NeWeb. Supposed to be Android phone by March ;)
Sounds like new Volksawagen model  It runs Montavista Linux.
Other things to note: touchscreen, Bluetooth, WiFi, QWERTY, 2,5 inch QVGA ( 240 x 320 ), 2 megapixel camera.

( via Stephan Mot )

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Soros: The worst market crisis in 60 years

Not just an usual boom and bust cycle. Dollar fall off the race.

George Soros isn't writing a blog but he writes a column for the London's Financial Times. His last column is diagnosis for the financial crisis just upon the World.
More or less, it's all what more couragous analysts and finance expert do talk for years. Now, the mess is huge. I would need to buy the book ''The Long emergency'' by James Howard Kunstler ( who talks more about oil crisis, not financial crisis ) and perhaps his new book '' World made by hand''. Still, there's is conclusion in the Soros article with a bit of relief when he says:

Although a recession in the developed world is now more or less inevitable, China, India and some of the oil-producing countries are in a very strong countertrend. So, the current financial crisis is less likely to cause a global recession than a radical realignment of the global economy, with a relative decline of the US and the rise of China and other countries in the developing world.

Mobile internet devices are reality

Forget the mobile internet ''phones''. Cloud computing puzzle going on with Intel's mobile leg. Only ( mobile ) internet infrastructure is just not keeping ahead. Yet.

Intel is a close partner of Google and Apple and it is a piece of a puzzle for ''cloud computing '' of which mobile component will be just one important leg to the brave new world of personal computing. Intel's Silverthorn chips are ready for mobile internet devices.

Apple confirmed the first Silverthorn products to be released in 2008. Well, those new shiny iPhonish devices on the market will most likely get decent energy consumption ;) If Apple is in the game with Silverhorne, then some handset makers couldn't be far away .
Maybe those partners in Open Handset Alliance are already building Android gPhones with those chips ?
I already wrote ( part 1, part 2 in 2007 about Intel MID and challanged some of my previouse dogmas.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Motorola to axe mobile phone business

Sinking ship. Siemens was just first suitable for ''big bang''

Motorola said it is considering "structural and strategic realignment", according to the Guardian article.
No Razr in sight. Carl Ichan was right after all and this could be concession to him.