Friday Sep 04, 2009

links for 2009-9-4: iPhone MMS; Free Wi-Fi for fire; Brits headed to cloud?

  • An Update on iPhone MMS for our Mobility Customers - It's about time.  Not that I've ever been a big MMS user, but the lack of support was a glaring omission.  This is the key quote from the announcement: "The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone’s multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One."  i.e. they couldn't handle the expected MMS volume.
  • Media Advisory: AT&T and Starbucks Offer Relief During Los Angeles Fires - Good move by both.  Link from story above, but is oddly a bit.ly URL rather than the real one.  Wonder why.
  • British small biz falls out of love with Microsoft, heads to the Clouds - "In their poll of 1,400 Microsoft customers, all small businesses in the UK, they found that 13% of them intend to switch to Google Apps within 12 months while 22% are “undecided”. In other words a healthy number are either switching or probably poised to switch."  And "However, despite many remaining undecided about switching to Google Apps specifically, 62% would “prefer” or “strongly prefer” to have their business applications work through a browser, while the rest have no preference or plan to stick to desktop apps."

Friday Aug 28, 2009

links for 2009-8-28: Flight Delay Predictions; Store wind power as compressed air; WPA cracked; iPhone App Store trevails

  • FlightCaster - AWS-Powered Flight Delay Prediction - Cool idea, I'll give it a shot on my next flight. Blurb in story about it running on AWS and being built on a budget less than $1M. I'm not sure I'd call less than 60 minutes only "slightly delayed" though! Also interesting the web-site is free, iPhone app is $4.99, but then BlackBerry app is $9.99.
  • PG&E to compress air to store wind power - Sounds more efficient for handling bursts than the other alternatives.
  • Researchers crack WPA Wi-Fi encryption in 60 seconds - All the more reason to use WPA2.
  • Not wanting to expose NSFW links, 1 in 4 Firefox 2 users avoid upgrading to FF3 - This is hilarious.  Folks, if you don't want a trail, don't visit the site!  But the new feature is nice.
  • Dear Apple: Where’s Facebook 3.0? - If getting Facebook 3.0 out sooner will result in selling more iPhones and iPod Touches, Apple cares.  If not, they don't care about how quickly or even if apps get approved.  There are over 50,000 apps now and that is what they market.  And there is an existing Facebook app there already.  What difference does it make to the general population and thus their market, the consumer, if a few don't make it or this new Facebook app takes a little while?  Have we not learned that yet?  Further, if Apple were to give preferential treatment to approving this app quicker, that would only serve to set precedent that if you announce submission to the world you get better treatment.  I wouldn't be surprised if they actually drag their feet on this one to set an example.

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Skype and Mobile Phones

I had the occasion to have an early morning conference call with a prospect in Europe. Rather than run up a hefty phone bill on my cell phone I decided to give Skype a try.

Now, I've used Skype on and off for some time, and especially liked using it a year ago when I visited India and was able to call my wife using Skype for free. I've used it periodically since but generally have more than enough minutes to handle regular calling with my cell phone.

But international calling is different so I proceeded to purchase Skype Credit and placed the call at 5 AM this morning and everything worked splendidly. And all it cost was 1.39 Euros for a 55 minute call! Not a bad deal.

It is such a good deal, and they appear to offer unlimited calling for the US/Canada for less than $30/year and very reasonable international rates, I might consider using it more regularly. What would help though is not having to use a computer to do the calling, and there are certainly phones available that plug in to your router and offer a "non-computer" experience, but you can't transfer your home number to Skype service and it doesn't work for emergency calling, so I'm not sure I want to take the plunge and do a full switch.

What would be awesome though is if there was a phone that was the combination of a Skype phone (with WiFi support) and Cell phone. When in an office or at home where WiFi access was available it would operate like a Skype phone but otherwise when out and about, like a normal cell phone. Of course, this is probably highly unlikely to happen soon in part because it isn't in the wireless providers interest to (it would mean the phones would not be used on their networks all the time). If the providers are already disabling features in phones as Art Wittman and Dave Molta from Network Computing write, what incentive would there be to make a combination Cell/Skype phone?

Now, hopefully someone will comment on this blog and point me to such a device, and if so, great, I'd love to have one. But I don't think I'll hold my breath.

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