Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Mobile Phone Concepts

Check out the new mobile phone concepts, particularly the multi-layer phone from KDDI—the Ply.

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Mobile Moves

Lots of strategic mobile moves were made during the last couple of weeks. Perhaps, the most important was Google's release of Android Development Kit.

You can also read about other mobile moves here,  and review Jeff Hoffman's presentation on Java FX and Project Nile.

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

A Suggestion for Skype

Although there are scripts that can be used to have Skype call a particular number at a particular time—acting as some kind of an alarm—it would be great if Skype adds a time and alarm feature with time zone capabilities. I've personally used Skype to join global teleconferences from the U.S., India, Norway and Germany, and this feature would be very useful to me. (Perhaps, such a component already exists. If so, please leave a comment and let me know.)

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Not Always Calling

From a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, it seems like text messaging has finally matured in the U.S.:

Sunday Oct 21, 2007

To Another Handset

I'm moving from my Sidekick II, which I've thoroughly enjoyed using in the last 3 years or so, to a Sony Ericsson P1i. I've already recorded the first few steps towards the move elsewhere. (By the way, P1i covers some amazing Java ground.)

Sunday Oct 07, 2007

From Sony P1i

Blogging from a Sony-Ericsson P1i @ the Sony Style Shop.

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

Wirless Broadband Planning

"Wireless Broadband Planning" is actually the name of a joint venture focused on obtaining WiMax licenses in Japan.

Essentially, WiMax extends WiFi technology over longer distances and larger throughputs. For a summary introduction to the technology, see here. WiMax Forum, the relevant standardization body, has grown in the number of participants as the base technology emerges and participants start thinking about actual applications. (For example, this August, Vodafone joined the forum.)

Friday Aug 17, 2007

Mobile Social Networks

Elsewhere, I point to a report on mobile social networks.

Wednesday Apr 11, 2007

Mobile Media and RSS Readers

Mobile RSS readers and aggregators seem to have come of age. For example, take a look at the list here. Many modern phones, like this one, carry browsers capable of loading RSS feeds.

On the other hand, many sources of news media are beginning to use a similar naming convention for their mobile editions:

These are no-nonsense text editions that are easy to load and read. Using this de facto naming convention seems like a good idea and a tradition that should probably spread and continue.

Sunday Apr 08, 2007

A Mobile Java News Reader for Financial Times

Try it out, starting here and comment below how you like it. Leiki, the company behind it, works out of Helsinki.

Friday Mar 23, 2007

New SMS Record for Noruz

Satellite broadcast of Jame Jam TV Network reported tonight that Iran broke its own SMS record on the first day of the Persian new year.

Mobile users in Iran sent 118 million SMS text messages on March 21st, 2007.

This is quite a large number when compared to other, more active mobile markets. I believe the largest operators in the U.S. have gone past an average of 200 million SMS text messages per day. (I do not have the current records for these operators but I believe the number I've given here may still be in the ballpark. If you have a public reference for more current records, please add it in the comment section.)

Monday Feb 12, 2007


Financial Times reports directly from The 3GSM World Congress:

The 60,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitors include not only those from the telecommunications sector but large entertainment companies. Operators continue to look for ways to recoup billions spent for the 3G spectrum auctions earlier this decade. For example, Vodafone has very recently announced partnerships with MySpace, Ebay and YouTube. Others have partnered with Google, Skype, Yahoo and Ebay with the hope of recreating some of the PC experience on the mobile handset.

My own view is that mobiles are best used as equipment to help turn our human-built environment into an intelligent scaffolding in support of many daily tasks such as navigation, transportation, etc. However, mass usage in such a way requires mass infrastructure and mass deployment of public services, more likely in Europe, Asia or even Latin America and Africa than in the U.S. where such public services are only found in some localities. Hence, the focus on entertainment when it comes to serving the U.S. market--a more likely venue which still under-exploits the possibilities a mobile, network-connected device offers.

Friday Jan 26, 2007

Identity and e-Government

Fulup Ar Foll, a Sun colleagues and one of my good friends with whom I recently had dinner in Palo Alto, is not only a true and rare genius but an engineer with a great reservoir of practical wisdom about computing, Internet and telecommunications protocols. It is out of pure good fortune that I came to know him better while representing Sun at the Open Mobile Alliance some years ago. Every time I have the chance to meet Fulup, I learn a great deal from him. No young engineer interested in systems, open source technologies, Internet and telecommunications can have a better mentor than him. If you want to catch him speak and learn something from him, try the Oasis Symposium 2007 (April, San Diego). He will be speaking on the "New Generation of Identity-Aware E-Government Applications." (I should add that Fulup also maintains and builds and supports SIP systems for the school in his local community in Brittany.)

Wednesday Jan 17, 2007

SMS Record in Iran

Tonight's JJTVN reported that celebratory SMS notes sent for Eid Ghadir Khumm on January 7 resulted in the biggest SMS revenue day ever for the Iranian mobile telecommunications industry.

Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

Rich Presence

Years ago, at OMA we were looking at presence services. Now, a series of crude and ad-hoc solutions are taking form to enable rich presence. Solutions that enable contextual information create pathways to scaffolded intelligence as some AI experts have coined the trend. In an interview with IHT, a social information scientist describes the other side of the coin:

"I worry that people attribute too deep a meaning to raw information," said Danah Boyd, who researches social media at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

"An increased flow of information should not be confused with a deeper bond."

Boyd stressed that this also applied to other social media that gather large amounts of personal information, like blogs or digital photo accounts.

"The situation these technologies create is similar to what happens with Angelina Jolie or another celebrity," Boyd said. "Just because I know a lot about a person does not mean they will help me on a tough day."

An added risk for the location-announcing services is that people might find themselves unable to break away from following friends or old lovers, Boyd added.

"The problem is that people really, really love stalking," Boyd said. "When you have just ended a relationship, it is not necessarily healthy to follow the exact location of your ex- lover minute-by-minute on your phone."

Tuesday Jan 02, 2007

phoneME Project Moves On

Developing and maintaining software targeted to hundreds of millions if not billions of devices can become a daunting task, and learning to use the tools of trade can be equally challenging.

Fortunately, when tinkering and development is in the open, knowledge--or should I say "know-how"--flourishes.

Developers learn from each other's work, and users can suggest (and make) useful changes. There is something akin to case law here. Unless cases are written and analyzed in a hierarchy of courts by communities of lawyers and judges, other cases cannot be judged and analyzed on the foundation of existing case experience.

Example: Java ME went open source recently under the guise of phoneME Project. Subversion commit messages can be found here. Discussion forums for phoneME Feature and phoneME Advanced can provide useful information. Some good weblogs to check for phoneME and Java ME are those by Hinkmond Wong, Stuart Marks, Terrence Barr, Mark Lam and Darryl Mocek

Friday Sep 22, 2006

What Mobile Device Will You Carry?

Which mobile device will you carry? [Read More]

Thursday Jul 27, 2006

Nokia Tests Seamless Unlicensed Mobile Access

After years in the laboratories, seamless wireless raoming between UMA and LMA networks goes into test.
[Read More]

Thursday May 25, 2006

Barcodes and Cell Phones

There are even more innovative applications! [Read More]

Thursday May 11, 2006

No One is Listening

IHT reports on a recent article on wiretapping in the U.S.

The article, in USA Today, said that the agency did not listen to the calls, but secretly obtained information on numbers dialed by "tens of millions of Americans" and used it for "data mining" - computer analysis of large amounts of information for clues or patterns to terrorist activity.

Anne Marie Squeo of The Wall Street Journal covers the same story. (A paid subscription may be required to access this article.) She and Shawn Young, another WSJ contributor, give a nice summary of the technical aspects involved.

There is no disputing that the sheer volume of modern digital communications has made surveillance more difficult. Billions of emails are sent daily. The number of international calls made from the U.S. climbed to 7.4 billion in 2003 from 200 million in 1980, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Intelligence agencies are threatened with information overload.

Older analog communications mostly traveled over dedicated voice channels, making interception much easier. In a December 2000 report provided to incoming President Bush, the NSA warned that the digitization of voice, data and multimedia created volume, velocity and routing problems. As a result, the report said, intelligence analysts need to continually monitor communications traffic.

...When the communications data come ashore, they flow through a device known as a demultiplexer, which directs them to their destinations. By attaching a piece of equipment called a duplicator, investigators can copy everything traveling through the fiber-optic pipe.

Among other things, signals traffic reveals who is contacting whom and what circuit they are communicating over. Every time a phone call is placed or attempted or an email is sent, a record is generated. There is an international protocol for this information, called Signaling System 7, which makes it easier to track.

Data-mining technology also lets the government use other types of data to establish connections between individuals. Jeff Jonas, chief scientist for International Business Machine Corp.'s Entity Analytic Group, created link-analysis software that searches through readily available databases of phone numbers, addresses, frequent-flier numbers and the like to establish ties between people. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he used the software to connect two names already on the U.S. terrorist watch list to all 19 of the hijackers.

There was a time when physics had controversial uses. Now, it is the turn of algorithms.




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