Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Verizon Wireless To Open Up Walled Gardens

Verizon Wireless in a stunning move announced today that it will open up to 'Any device and Any Application' some time in 2008. That would mean a Verizon Wireless customer can bring any Mobile handset (that passes basic technical tests) and can install any application he/she likes to have on the mobile device. 

Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008.

In early 2008, the company will publish the technical standards the development community will need to design products to interface with the Verizon Wireless network. Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network. Devices will be tested and approved in a $20 million state-of-the-art testing lab which received an additional investment this year to gear up for the anticipated new demand. Any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices.

Verizon Wireless will continue to provide a full-service offering, from retail stores where customers can shop, to 24/7 customer service and technical support, to an easy-to-use handset interface and optimized software applications.

Verizon Wireless To Introduce ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ Option For Customers In 2008

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Q3-2007 Best Selling Handsets in USA

US Q3 2007, Best Selling Consumer Handsets: Note that 4 of the top 10 phones are by Motorola and not surprisingly Nokia is no where in the picture.

The Strategy Analytics ProductTRAX program released its Q3 list of top selling consumer handsets in the US market. Motorola, with its RAZR and KRZR, and LG, collectively accounted for seven of the top best selling consumer handsets.

  1. Motorola RAZR V3
  2. Motorola RAZR V3m
  3. LG VX8300
  4. Apple iPhone
  5. LG Chocolate VX8550/8500
  6. Motorola MOTOKRZR K1m
  7. Samsung SGH-A707
  8. LG VX5300
  9. Sanyo Katana II
  10. Motorola V323i/V325i

Over Half of Mobile Phones Sold in Usa are 3g Models

Samsung's FlipShot on Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless, the wireless company with the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung)  announced the online availability of the Verizon Wireless FlipShot™ by Samsung

Featuring a 3.0 megapixel built-in camera with a rotating display for optimal viewing while in camera mode and available in black, the FlipShot enables photo enthusiasts to capture picture-perfect moments while carrying a device that allows for full mobile phone functionality and high-quality digital photos. The handset features Bluetooth® capability for headsets, stereo, car kits, object push (for vCard only), basic image and basic print as well as a business card scanner.

Features of the new Verizon Wireless FlipShot by Samsung include:

  • 3.0 megapixel camera with Digital Zoom
  • Camcorder
  • Living Wallpaper
  • PictBridge printing capable
  • V CAST Music and Video capable
  • Speakerphone
  • Get it Now®
  • Messaging Services – SMS, EMS and MMS messaging, e-mail, Mobile IM and chat
  • VZ NavigatorSM
  • Mobile Web 2.0SM
  • Dimensions: 3.76” X 1.83” X .73” with standard battery
  • Personal organizer with Calendar, Calculator, Notepad, Alarm Clock and World Clock
  • Display: 240 X 320 pixel, 260K color TFT Internal

Verizon's website will offer the black version of the handset and Best Buy will sell the red handset starting on the 26th. Both versions cost $199.99 with a two-year contract. (Source: Fierce Wireless)

Play MultiPlayer Games - Right From Your Mobile Phone

Playing Video games on Mobile phone could be quite different and often difficult with smaller screens and cramped keyboards. And thinking of playing a multi player games right from your mobile phone could be quite unbelievable.

But Its possible. All you need is a very very simple mobile phone that can make calls. You read it right. All you need is a simple mobile phone that can make simple phone calls. No advanced smart phone. And of course,  a few other players that wish to join you in the game.

Enter MegaPhone.

MegaPhone is a phone-controlled, real-time, multi-player collaborative gaming platform for big screens in public spaces.

  • Anyone can use ANY phone from ANY service provider in ANY country as a game controller
  • Players join the game by making a regular phone call, and they can see their input (either voice or keypad) immediately

 

Since screens are quite small on a mobile phone, MegaPhone replaces the mobile screens with a giant stage Screen. Players join the game by calling a number on the screen. They can play by giving voice commands or by using keyboard. The DTMF signals generated by your cell phone when you press on keyboard while on the call will be used as commands to control the game. Its quite fascinating idea.

Watch the videos below on how it works and how players are enjoying the game.

Instant Messaging on Mobiles

As per an annual AP-AOL Instant Messaging Trends Survey, 25% of IM users are using Cell phones to send those quick quirky hip instant messages to their buddies.

The survey, which examined instant messaging trends and usage habits among 1,246 IM users, revealed that 25 percent of respondents send IMs from their cell phones, including one in three (32 percent) teens.

The proliferation of cell phones with full keyboards has made it easier to send mobile instant messages. All of the major instant messaging services also let users have their instant messages forwarded directly to their cell phones when they're on-the-go. In addition, IM users are instant messaging from within their social networking profiles.

PayPal goes Mobile

PayPal has unveiled Mobile Checkout, allowing people in Australia to buy movie tickets, flowers and other goods on-the-fly.

The internet has already brought the world's shopping malls into the bedroom but now shopaholics can satisfy their impulses with a few button presses while walking home or riding a bus - as long as they have a PayPal account.

PayPal Australia product director Dinuke Ranasinghe said people had long been able to surf the web on their handsets but there had never been an easy way to make payments.

Keying credit card and other details into websites manually was cumbersome using a mobile keypad, while shopping via the mobile provider's "walled garden" portal, which charged purchases to the customer's phone bill, was largely limited to ringtones and wallpapers.

Ranasinghe said merchants had largely avoided mobile commerce to date because of the telcos' prohibitive fees, which added as much as 50 per cent to the product prices.

With the PayPal system merchants setup their own mobile website, bypassing the telcos, and are charged up to 2.4 per cent of the sale price and a flat fee of 30 cents per transaction.

Mobile commerce gets a PayPal boost - Technology - smh.com.au

Smart Phones With Artificial Intelligence

The mobile phone has long ceased being a simple two-way communication device: today's handheld is a mini personal computer, complete with multimedia players, maps, and Web browsers.

Now researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) want to push the phone farther. They have developed software that turns a phone into a thoughtful personal assistant, one that helps people find fun things to do. The software, called Magitti, uses a combination of cues--including the time of day, a person's location, her past behaviors, and even her text messages--to infer her interests. It then shows a helpful list of suggestions, including concerts, movies, bookstores, and restaurants.

When a person first opens a phone that has Magitti software, she will instantly see a list of recommendations. If it's noon, the software might suggest local restaurants. If it's 3 P.M., it might recommend a nearby boutique for shopping. If it's 9 P.M., a list of pubs might appear. Over time, these recommendations will change as Magitti learns more about the user's behaviors and preferences.

The software employs artificial-intelligence algorithms that have traditionally been used in research to make tailored recommendations. If, for instance, a person prefers to eat inexpensive lunches and more-expensive dinners, Magitti will pick up on this (by comparing the GPS location of the restaurant with a database of establishments) and offer up corresponding recommendations.

Source: Technology Review: Smart Phone Suggests Things to Do

(Pseudo) Scientific Web Design ??

For sure, every web designer and blogger wanted to know if there is a better web design approach to get more traffic. And once, there is traffic, wanted to know if there is a better visual layout that can monetize the traffic.

Eye Track Research

While there are many observations and theories based on induction and preachers who claim they know everything about web design and can teach you in two day seminars priced at $1999, I do not agree with any of these.  But if you are interested and wish to save a couple of thousand dollars,  help yourself by visiting the Eye Track III research result web site here. The study is quite old, I would say, captured in 2003--04 well before the surge of blogs and social networking or I would say well before Web2.0 kicked in.

The Eyetrack III research released by The Poynter Institute, the Estlow Center for Journalism & New Media, and Eyetools

In Eyetrack III, we observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.

If the information on that web site is too much to take for you, here is a nice 23 actionable point summary.

Does these observations really matter? Take a test.

I don't think so. These suggestions may be good for an average web master who could not figure out why there was no traffic to the web site and really desperate to make any change anybody could tell.

Based on how I read blogs and websites, none of those points mentioned in the research really matter and in few cases my observation is completely opposite.

If you don't believe just observe what you read on a site that you love the most. And compare these rules with your own observations.

Apple iPod/iPhone Packaging

If Apple had followed similar research results or 10s of scientific packaging principles, you wouldn't have seen those gorgeous and yet elegant iPod/iPhone packaging at all. You would have seen just another package, no matter what is written and where is it written you will never read a word. Watch this mockery of scientific design of iPod packaging by Microsoft.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Getting Smarter : Smart Phone Sales up by 163%

As per a report by NPD Group, Smart Phone sales were up by a whopping 163% compared to Q3 sales in 2006. Smart Phones sales increased to 11% in the 3rd quarter of 2007 while they were only 4% of total sales in Q3 of 2006.  Overall, there was a 16% increase reported on quarter-to-quarter basis.

Another important trendy feature of mobile phones sold is about 50% of mobile phones can play music. This trend has been nothing but increasing in the last two years. 

Motorola is the preferred manufacturer with a 31% market share dropping Nokia to 4th place with a 11%. LG surprised with second position with a 17% market share while Samsung settles for a 3rd position with 16% market share.

The percentage of smartphones sold during the third quarter increased from 4 percent of all phone sales in the third quarter of 2006 to 11 percent during the same timeframe in 2007 – an increase of 163 percent year over year.

“The mobile phone market is not only growing, it is growing smarter,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD. “The nearly threefold increase in smartphones shows that this once negligible niche is becoming a more influential force in the consumer market -- attracting entrants such as Apple and the Open Handset Alliance.”

NPD Press Release - November 20, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

New push to raise H1B and Green card quotas

New Push to Raise the H1B and Green Card Quotas
On October 23, 2007, sixteen members of the New Democrat Coalition, led by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, requested that "the House take action this year to resolve the immediate talent crisis that is facing U.S. employers." The group is pushing for reform that would increase H1B and employment based permanent residence, or "green card" quotas, before Congress adjourns this year. The New Democrat Coalition is comprised of 59 Democratic members of Congress who are interested in modernizing the Democratic Party and the entire country.

The New Democrat Coalition is urging Congress to pass the new reform this year, before the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 H1B filing season opens for the filing of new cap-subject H1B cases on April 1, 2008. In addition to requesting more H1B visas and employment-based permanent residence, the group is pushing for modernized student visa programs.

Source: Murthy.com

Technorati Tags: , ,

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Charlie Rose Interview with India's Top Entrepreneurs

Found this interesting interview of Charlie Rose with Top Indian Entrepreneurs at  Charlie Rose. Little old, I guess recorded in March 2006. But I find this specific excerpt with Anil quite relevant and interesting.

Video URL

You might also find the following quite interesting.

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...