Monday, April 26, 2010

RIM Goes Voice over WiFi

RIM introduces enterprise voice over WiFi calling

Research In Motion announced a new version of its Mobile Voice System (MSV) that supports voice over WiFi calling. MSV gives business users the ability to use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry smartphones.

The addition of voice over WiFi calling means employees can make and receive enterprise phone calls from the BlackBerry over a WiFi connection and save on long-distance, international roaming charges and cellular charges, said Manish Punjabi, senior director of collaboration, mobile voice with RIM, in an interview. He said such a solution is ideal for the growing number of employees working from home along with workers that are often away from their desks in the healthcare, construction, hospitality, sales and professional services industries.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Seven Green Ways to Charge Handheld Electronic Devices

Some great ideas for Earth Day.
Seven Green Ways to Charge Handheld Electronic Devices
There are many green ways to power your handheld, rechargeable electronic devices. Here are a few:

  • A yo-yo charger. This keen device creates electricity to charge an internal battery that is then used to charge your device.
  • A portable solar charger works great if you are at the park, on the boat or anywhere sunny. A little time in the sun will charge your device.
  • A golf club is being developed that will generate power to charge an internal battery with every swing. Once charged, the battery is used to charge your device.
  • A crank charger is very inexpensive and with a few minutes of cranking, your device will be charged.
  • Another new development is a dance charger that charges a battery while you are dancing the night away. Later, you can use the battery to charge your device.
  • A hand exerciser used for grip exercises is being transformed to a hand grip charger. A bit of grip exercises will charge your device.
  • Mini Wind Generators can easily create enough power to charge your devices.

All of these chargers and more can be found in a brief web search.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SitePAD: Pocket Aided Design for your iPhone

UPDATED: Not getting very good reviews.

In response to an older post CAD for the iPhone, a reader points to
SitePAD: Pocket Aided Design for your iPhone. $10 dollars is a little pricey, but could be worth it for someone who needs to see/edit drawing on the go. Also might be hard to use on the small iPhone screen. The description in iTunes says that SitePAD is compatible with the iPad, but no screenshots yet. That would be interesting - a large screen CAD application optimized for multitouch.


The iPad is So Intuitive ...

that even a cat can use it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Praise of Community Colleges

Community College Times
U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan couldn’t wait to get away from the ‘little, podunk community college’ she had just graduated from to go to the University of California, Los Angeles.

‘I thought I would be rubbing shoulders with Nobel Prize winners and all sorts of elevated scholars,’ Ryan recalled during her stop at the College of Southern Maryland on April 2.

Instead, she had classes with 300 students that were mainly taught by teacher assistants. As a transfer student, she also felt alienated at the large university.  

‘I survived and I got my degree, but I came to understand that I had a much richer, more intimate educational experience at my little community college, which by the way had 800 students,’ she said, referring to her alama mater, Antelope Valley College (California). ‘And I had an English teacher by the name of Miss Foley who truly inflamed my love of poetry.’

Bizarre WePad Launch

The WePad is a purported iPad-killer from Germany. A fake demo from a device that's supposed to be able in June. Doesn't bode well.

The bizarre WePad launch – A chaotic press demo, only video of the UI
The widget-oriented user interface runs smooth on Intel’s Atom Pineview-M chip with 1.66 Gigahertz and the underlying Linux allows real multitasking as well as the pre-installation of Open Office on every WePad for a quick note, taking on the touchscreen or the external keyboard. At least that’s what I believed until I had to realize that the entire demonstration was just a screencast.

The only demo device in the room was running Windows 7 and a fullscreen video to give an impression of the WePad UI. It had to be polished every minute since so many journalists laid hand on it. So, in fact, there’s is still no information about how snappy the WePad will be in real life. Its first presentation was not a real-world demo, but a video of its UI.

Opera Browser on the iPhone

I just installed the newly available Opera browser on the iPhone. It's fast - noticeably faster than MobileSafari - and free. Pages seem to load/render more quickly and pinch to zoom and pan are really quick.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 12, 2010

Microsoft, We Really Just Don't Get It

Me either ... What In God's Name Is Microsoft Thinking With These New Phones?
Microsoft held a huge shindig today to introduce two new phones (called 'Kin').

The new phones:

  • Are not based on Microsoft's new Windows Mobile software
  • Do not allow third-party apps to be built on them
  • Are aimed at 'young people' (who, as far as we can tell, have phones coming out of their ears)
  • Emphasize 'social networking' (which was cool circa 2004).

We don't mean to rude, but what on earth is Microsoft thinking here? 

Has Microsoft not watched Palm introduce a wildly critically acclaimed phone (which these aren't) and then just flame out because the world doesn't need yet another smartphone? 

Doesn't Microsoft want to give itself some semblance of a chance in the smartphone market by putting all its weight behind ONE kind of phone (the kind that runs the new Windows mobile it's releasing at the end of the year)? 

Doesn't Microsoft understand how confusing all these phone and software announcements are to people who might want to buy phones or phone software from Microsoft?
We really just don't get it.

An Alternative to Mobile Safari

Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market.

Google Docs Updated

Official Google Docs Blog: A new Google Docs
Today, we’re pleased to announce preview versions of the new Google document and spreadsheet editors and a new standalone drawings editor, all built with an even greater focus on speed and collaboration. To get a taste of what’s new today, check out our video:


Gordon Snyder and I recently recorded a podcast on femtocells - here's a review of AT&T's 3G MicroCell
I tapped dial. There's ringing, and the call goes through. It's the first call I've made from my house in two years. All it took was AT&T's 3G MicroCell to give me 5 solid bars where there were none.

$150, no monthly fee, with no strings attached—but it counts against your monthly cell minutes. It's $20 a month for unlimited MicroCell calling. If you get an unlimited plan, the MicroCell drops to $50 after rebate. (If you have AT&T broadband, it knocks another $50 off.)

It's a Lifechanger
A box about as big an oversized cable modem, the MicroCell is a mini cellphone tower that plugs into and passes calls through your existing broadband connection, giving you about a 40-foot radius of solid cell reception. Dead zones crackle to life; calls can be made without dropping.

The setup process is mostly plug and play—if you've got a router, it jacks into that, or if you plug your computer directly into a modem, it has a port for passthrough. You just activate the MicroCell through AT&T's website and then wait for about an hour as it springs to life (which is agonizing if you're revving to make the first call from your house in over two years. The MicroCell's only inconvenient installation requirement is a view of the sky for GPS reception—a necessity for 911 location services (and presumably the way AT&T prevents you from using it overseas).

It only works with AT&T numbers, and you can only have 10 numbers registered at once tapping into the MicroCell. Since you have to assign the numbers through AT&T's site every time you want to add one, friends who're just stopping by (or your neighbors) won't be able to take advantage of your newly awesome reception, unless you add them to the list.

300Mbps WiMAX 2 in the Works

hmmm ... I'm stilling waiting for WiMAX 1.

Intel, Motorola, others back 300Mbps WiMAX 2 alliance
Intel and several partner companies today kicked off the launch of the WiMAX 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI). The alliance, which includes original WiMAX supporters like Motorola, Samsung and ZTE, will help develop and test the faster wireless standard. They hope to get peak speeds over 300Mbps versus just 16Mbps or less for the current technology.
The technology should also cut down on the lag that often comes with long-range wireless and would allow more room for VoIP calls.

A completion of the formal standard, 802.16m, is due in the second half of the year. Clearwire has said it expects 120Mbps urban access sometime in 2011.

The jump in speed may be a deciding factor for WiMAX, as it has fought to get traction. While Sprint in the US as well as carriers in both Korea and Eastern Europe have embraced WiMAX for 4G, most have preferred the competing Long Term Evolution standard. It runs at up to 100Mbps and in practice is roughly twice as fast as first-generation WiMAX, at 12Mbps versus 6Mbps in real conditions.

Playing Catch Up

The iPad is not the first tablet, but it is the first to capture the attention of the masses and is spawning a new generation of tablets.

After iPad, Rivals Offer Hybrid Variations
Just as Apple’s iPhone shook up a complacent cellphone industry, the company’s iPad is provoking PC makers — and non-PC makers — to fight back with new devices.

Google — a search and advertising company — is soon expected to begin selling its version of a slate computer, like Apple’s iPad, while Nokia — the world’s biggest cellphone maker — is planning to enter the digital book market through a slate-cum-e-reader as well.

Microsoft, the maker of computer software, is flirting with the idea of selling its own version of a slate, joining traditional computer companies like Hewlett-Packard that have already committed to such products.

Peeking Inside the iPad

ipad mmultimedia.png

Great interactive feature on the internals of the iPad from the New York Times. Ironically requires flash -
Peeking Inside the iPad

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Why is the iPad Important?

Many are saying the the iPad is an inflection point in computing and the user interface. Watching this 2-1/2 year old use the iPad, it's hard to disagree.

Via Boing Boing

Monday, April 05, 2010

The iPad - What Changed?

Alex Payne was not a fan of the iPad
Back in January, I wrote that the iPad wasn’t something “I want to bring into my home”. But right now, there’s an iPad in my home.
Alex Payne — The Moderate's Position on iPad Openness

What changed? He spent some time with an iPad
Human-computer interaction has found a sweet spot on the iPad. It’s all the power of desktop computing, plus the valuable constraints of mobile devices, minus the limitations of both. It just makes sense. Use one for a couple hours and your desktop or laptop will seem clumsy, arbitrary, and bewildering. It is, simply, how (most) computing should be.

You can be as cooly aloof as you like about the device, but it won’t change the fact that it’s a fundamental step forward in computing. Many consumers can surely afford to sit this initial release out until the costs come down and the quality goes up. But if you work in tech, you should spend some time with an iPad. If it doesn’t change the way you think about what you do, you’re either a genius or an idiot.

Is the iPad Work-Ready?

Steve Rubel's observations from his The Tablet-Only Challenge - Day One
the rest of my day - like most - was consumed with meetings and calls. This is where the iPad shined.

In some corporate cultures, it's more than OK to bring a laptop to a meeting for note taking. However, I often find that it puts a barrier between you and others. If you're taking notes on a smart phone, people just think you're checking your email. A tablet computer changes the dynamic because everyone can tell you are taking notes. I used the iPad to take notes throughout the day, which was terrific since I have terrible handwriting.

However, it also unleashed more collaboration as well. During a meeting when I was trying to explain a concept, I opened up the free brand new Adobe Ideas app (Adobe is a client) and sketched out a schematic that illustrated my thinking. This was terrific since I could plop it on the table and we could sketch together. Even better, I was able to attach the doodle and send it with my notes to attendees.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Open Leadership

Great presentation from Charlene Li on Open Leadership from the South by SouthWest (SXSW) conference. Li you might remember is co-author of the book Groundswell. If you are a Dean or Department Chair or have any leadership aspirations, you should really give this idea of Open Leadership some consideration.

A Nice Summary of Early iPad Reviews

First iPad reviews hit the web

Here Come the iPad Apps

CourseNotesApp - a great app for students re-done as an iPad app. I wonder if students at Seton Hill University will try this.

BTW - the iPad reviews are starting to come in. Most reviewers feel it's "transformative" or "game-changing."


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