Tag Archives: wireless

‘Verizon’s Blackberry Storm’

Sam Churchill over at Dailywireless has a nice write-up on the new Blackberry Storm where he pulls quotes from an AppleInsider review:

  • Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg – “Overall, the Storm is a very capable handheld computer that will appeal to BlackBerry users who have been pining for a touch-controlled device with a larger screen.”
  • Wired’s Daniel Dumas – “If you’re locked into a contract with Verizon, want a touchscreen phone, and are willing to put up with an OS that moves like a tranquilized yak, then yes the Storm is for you. Otherwise, your best bet is an iPhone or the very capable BlackBerry Bold.”
  • PC World’s Yardena Arar – “But people who were hoping for a credible iPhone alternative fortified with BlackBerry’s strengths as a mobile tool for corporate travelers will likely find the Storm a disappointment. When it comes to touch interfaces, Apple still has no peer.”

Read on…

WalkingHotSpot – Turn your mobile phone into a WiFi hotspot

Dailywireless has a story about turning your phone into a hotspot using Taproot Systems’ WalkingHotSpot.  From Sam’s write-up:

Taproot Systems has launched WalkingHotSpot that transforms a smartphone with built-in WiFi to a mobile hotspot (FAQ). It can support up to five devices.

WalkingHotSpot is currently available for Wi-Fi-enabled devices that use Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile operating systems. The company expects to have support for other major operating systems soon but provided no specific date.

Subscribers can obtain a free 7-day trial and then can purchase a subscription for $6.99 per month. The company also is offering an introductory annual subscription for $24.99.

Read on…

Could the Google/O3b deal signal the end of high latency problems in Africa and beyond?

Google, O3b and various investors have inked a deal to provide low cost, low latency Internet access to “the other 3 billion”.  I remember thinking, several years back, why doesn’t just think about launching it’s own satellites.  Hopefully, this development will prove fortuitous to the aid organizations working in these regions.  From the New York Times article:

Satellite company O3b Networks has linked up with Google and other investors to bring cheaper, high-speed wireless Internet access to areas unlikely to see investments in fiber infrastructure.

O3b stands for “other 3 billion,” a reference to the world’s population that still can’t access the Internet. O3b, which is based in the U.K.’s Channel Islands, said construction is under way on 16 satellites that will drop the cost for ISPs and operators to provide Internet access over 3G (third-generation) and WiMax networks.

Those satellites will provide backhaul capacity, also known as “trunking,” for ISPs (Internet service providers) and operators, essentially moving large amounts of data wirelessly between points where fiber-optic cable has not been dug into the ground, said Greg Wyler, O3b’s founder and CEO.

Read on…

‘The Much Anticipated DataCase Launches: Turn the iPhone Into A Wireless Drive’ – TechCrunch

TechCrunch is reporting that you can now turn your iPhone into a wireless drive using DataCase.  Michael Arrington states,

I’ve been testing it and it works, for the most part (I’m having trouble re-connecting after closing it down and re-opening). Definitely worth the $7. Any business user will want to download this immediately. One cool feature that I wasn’t able to test – DataCase says it can stream video from the iPhone to a computer.

You can pick it up here from the iTunes store.

‘DataCase iPhone App Video: Turn Your iPhone Into A Wireless Drive’

Michael Arrington over at Techcrunch has posted a write-up on a wireless drive App for your iPhone called Datacase.  Here is an excerpt from Michael’s post:

“DataCase, though, looks to be different. It will turn your iPhone into a wireless drive for file storage, and includes a viewer for most popular file formats (Office, PDF, etc.). The application has been highly anticipated but is yet to launch – the creator says by email that they want it to be perfect before releasing it.”

Read on…

Macedonia and Ubuntu

I am pretty proud of my adopted country, Macedonia.  (Full disclosure – my wife is Macedonian.)  At the end of 2005 Macedonia became the world’s first wireless country.  The full BBC write-up is here.  Two years later, in 2007, Macedonia became one of the few countries to roll out, en masse, Ubuntu throughout the educational system.  The story, from the Ubuntu website, can be found here and here is a BBC World video detailing the Macedonia Connects wireless story:

A few weeks ago, while my wife was still in Macedonia, I asked her to install Ubuntu on our old laptop which her parents had been using for years, primarily for Skype.  The machine had contracted a bug and I am not a fan of bootleg software.  With the popularity of Ubuntu it was easy enough to find someone to handle the installation (the neighbor) and within 24hrs she was back up and running.  It seems as if everyone in Macedonia keeps a copy of the ISO in their back pocket.

My wife left a few weeks later without explaining to her father how to navigate the new interface and fire up Skype.  She was bringing her mother home for a few months and she was worried about having an open line so her folks could communicate.  I am not sure if her father had ever used the machine while it had Windows loaded and I know he had never seen Ubuntu.  Computer literacy among older generations in Macedonia is quite low but it is improving.  Metamorphosis, an OSI/ Soros backed non-profit, has done a lot of work in this area and has a survey on their site detailing INTERNET penetration throughout the country.

Shortly after returning to the States my wife called her father and asked him if he had a minute so that she could explain to him how to get online.  His response was, “Don’t worry about it.  I figured it out on my own.”  When she told me that I started laughing.  That has got to be the ultimate selling point for a product – a complete neophyte simply sits down and starts surfing the web with little to no difficulty.

With such accessibility is there any argument for aid organizations not rolling Ubuntu out in the field?  I understand the compatibility issues but the stability of the application coupled with the ease of use is a strong argument for mandating that local field offices run Ubuntu rather than other the various versions of Windows that are available.  At this point I am not worried about bugs and even if our machine in Macedonia does crash I’ll just buy the next cheapest machine and load up the latest version of Ubuntu.

The beauty of forgotten networks

Jeff

Forgotten networks are beautiful things. They are the unheralded heroes of the rest of the world. They are the pathways through the rice patties along which the rickshaws of the internet carry all the world’s staples. Unacknowledged by the networking gods and shunned by their flashier, sexier counterparts they move the data that none of see but that all of us consume. Made of millions of always failing crappy connections infested with viruses and junk they somehow seem to function in spite of it all. Nobody wants them but everyone needs them.

I just spent a very pleasant evening with Yahel Ben-David of airJaldi.com at the Intel Research Lab in Berkeley discussing these forgotten networks. We discussed how we could detoxify them and breathe new life into them as he is doing in Dharmsala and as we have done in Indonesia. Yahel is developing some amazing technologies out of simple packages that have been around for years but that have proven their worth time and again. We found value in these same packages when we rolled them out in Indonesia in the form of Clark Connect.

Forgotten networks are veins of pure gold that may once again draw prospectors. They are the overlooked and undervalued information highways that, with a little maintenance and TLC, can bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and and ‘have nots’. To bridge the Digital Divide look no further. All that is needed now is that initial first step, that leap of faith.