Verizon did it, Sprint did it, and Cingular did it, now T-Mobile has too: raised the per-message cost of SMS messages. I guess they were just feeling left out. I'm still bothered by the fact that as the infrastructure costs of this data goes does that the price is going up, but oh well. I recently switched to an unlimited text plan, so I'm not sure I'll be able to use this technical breach of contract to break my contract, but if you're itching to leave T-Mo, here's your chance.
As has been the case when other carriers have made similar moves, this constitutes a material breach of contract on T-Mobile's part, allowing customers to jump ship without paying the hefty $200-per line ETF
This should have existed, oh, the moment GPS was commercially available. Nevertheless, I'm happy to hear that an Italian company is currently testing a GPS app written specifically for the blind. It's Symbian-only right now, but I have an extremely difficult time believing a similar app couldn't be written for Windows Mobile:
It requires just two dedicated keys on the mobile phone - one which, when pressed, tells the user their exact location including the house or building number and the other one alerts the call centre that the person needs assistance with navigation.
The next stage, the call from the call center, involved being given step by step directions from a human being in real time. Funny how my initial reaction to that is distrust (how many times have you been given bad directions?) - but not being blind means you can visually look around a map to see if something's accurate. So all in all, let's hope we see this sort of thing here.
amp'd mobile is probably the only MVNO that I respect, they seem to be doing well and offering more features to more folks than anybody else these days. Add "Canadians" to those folks, as amp'd has gotten itself attached to Telus's CDMA/EVDO network up north. That's one thing MVNO's have going for them -- you can launch services for an entire country without having to build all those pesky towers, eh?
With the partnership of TELUS and Amp'd Mobile, Inc. ("Amp'd Mobile"), Amp'd Mobile Canada is setting a new bar for mobile entertainment in the Canadian market.
...Winners check your spamboxes (I've learned that putting "Congrats" and "Winner" in the subject line is a sure bet that your server will call it spam.). Everybody else, check out this great smackdown by Jeff S/gadgetluva (if you clicked the little digg icon the right of that article, I wouldn't complain).
I didn't go to 3GSM, which made me weep. I didn't go to CeBIT in Germany either, which I'm not too sad about, as MobileBurn points out:
In case you haven't noticed, and I wouldn't blame you for not noticing, CeBIT is taking place right now in Hannover, Germany. As you might have guessed, the mobile phone industry has all but abandoned that show in favor of last month's 3GSM show in Barcelona.
Nevertheless, I suppose it's worth noting that a couple WM devices poked their head out at CeBIT. I'm not very sure these'll make their way to the US, but if you're an importing and unlocking fiend, you may want to take a look at the new E-Ten Glofish X800 that Engadget caught a nice photo of (a whole gallery, actually).
I've always had a soft spot for MobiTV because, in addition to powering several carrier's mobile TV solution, they - you know - don't do it exclusively through one carrier or another. All you need is a supported phone and an internet connection.
So this new deal they've recently announced makes me smile a little - kudos to NBC for recognizing that making is possible for more people to get your content means that more people are likely to get your content. Seems simple, doesn't it?
NBC has partnered with MobiTV to bring full-length prime-time TV shows to mobile phones. TV shows such as The Office and Heroes will be available for streaming for US$1.99 for a 24-hour period after the show has aired on traditional TV.
GrandCentral is a "Single Number" service that's been making a pretty big splash on the web today due to David' Pogue's recent review. I like the idea of Grand Central (which is currently free and in Beta, but they claim the basic features will remain free after the beta) and their feature list is impressive. But I have two qualms about signing up for a service like this:
The company damn well better not go belly up in the next, oh, five years.
Text Messaging. Come on, world, it's 2007. I communicate much more often over SMS than I do with voice. A centralized number to call me is all well and good, but if it can't redirect texts to whatever gadget I'm currently using, then count me out.
For #2, the geek in my almost wants to just buy a 2nd WM phone, plug it in at home, install PhoneAlarm, and then use that as my very own personal GrandCentral.
Actually, what I really want is something like OpenID - no phone numbers, IM nicks, email addresses, etc etc. Just one unique identifier (that's basically under my control and therefore completely portable) for all vectors of communication.
This is probably bad news for most of us, though potentially good news if you don't like, uh, the continuation of the species. Textually.org posts up a big list of studies showing a linkage between cell phone use and male fertility. The evidence for this seems to be a bit clearer than the evidence for brain damage from cell phones, but I Am Not A Scientist, so what do I know?
Apparently the effects come for men who "used their cell phone for more than 4 hours per day." Here's the Windows Mobile connection for me: WM's mulitasking makes it so freaking simple for me to be downloading emails, surfing the web, letting my weather app auto-update, check traffic, etc etc.. Add all that time up and my device is probably getting information from the interwebs for over 4 hours a day easy. I expect that data usage puts out a similar amount of radiation, so are we data-centric power users just as much at risk as the gabbers? ....eek.
One third of infertility cases go unexplained and in the coming weeks, a leading infertility journal, "Fertility and Sterility", will be publishing a full report by Cleveland Clinic researchers, that blames cell phones for the problem.
Here we go, the last batch of winners of our Prize-A-Day contest (the Grand Prize winner will be announced on Monday). Congrats to all - emails with details will be forthcoming shortly.
Day 15 - Joe wins the Jabra JX10 Bluetooth Headset in Black.
...If I learned anything from your lists, I learned that I need to give FlexWallet another shot. I tried it out briefly, I'm going to try it again "less" briefly. :)
Day 16 - Donna wins a game of her choice from the WMExperts Software store.
...Perhaps not too surprisingly, there's no "One WM Phone" to rule them all. Different strokes for different folks.
Day 17 - Ken wins the Arkon Vehicle Mount.
...smthng definitely committed the biggest "Smartphone Sin", though. Purposefully making people's phones start beeping during a movie? For shame (although they probably deserve it for leaving their bluetooth set to "discoverable.")
Day 18 - jkovacs wins the Moto DC800 Bluetooth Audio Transceiver.
...There are a few PalmOS -> WM like myself, a few WM diehards, but mostly everybody just wants the better OS of the moment. That's actually sort of inspiring.
Day 19 - sbono13 wins Spb Backup.
...Ok, people: listen up. Maybe I'm paranoid about backups, but I figure if you're going to do it once a week you might as well also do it once a day. And test those backups. And consider an off-site backup in case of fire. And make sure those backups are backed up. And, uh, I guess I should probably relax. If nothing else, though, I recommend getting some sort of Exchange Server for yourself - easiest way to restore your PIM if you lose data, IMO.
Day 20 - LT wins 40 bucks worth of merch from the WMExperts store.
...LT won for a review of the Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard, which is my favorite BT keyboard to date also. It also will double as a nice "living room keyboard" if you happen to have some sort of Media PC set up in there.
Well, folks, it's been a ton of fun for me to put these contests up every day. I'm sort of sad to see it go. On the other hand, now I'll be able to spend a little more time writing. Right now I'm thinking about How-To guides (like this GPS for your WM device demo). So it's not for a prize, but go ahead and comment here anyway, tell me something you'd like to know how to do with your WM phone.
It looks like future versions of Voice Command on WM are going to be a whole lot smarter after this acquisition. Tellme Networks does voice recognition and has also been running the voice search service at 1-800-555-TELL (8355). A quick check of the service just now tells me (cough) that Tellme seems to do a better job at voice prompt recognition than most of those annoying call centers I have to use (How many times have you said "Operator. Operator! Shut up and let me talk to a human!"?).
Microsoft Corp. today announced it will acquire Tellme Networks, Inc., a leading provider of voice services for everyday life, including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search.
We caught a brief glimpse of the P526 in our 3GSM Mega-Roundup 2, and now Asus has made it official. Their press release keeps using the word "trendy" to describe it, which I find a touch odd, but that's their prerogative.
The P526 stands a decent chance (for an Asus device, at least) of making its way here to the states, as it sports a quad-band GSM Radio (EDGE only, though). It also has GPS integrated. I'm telling you, my next "main brain" phone will have GPS built-in. Oh, and it'll rock WM6 when it comes out - signs point to May.
"The P526 is the perfect trendy PDA phone for users who want to utilize the user-friendly and "Live" functions of Windows Live," said H C Hung, Head of ASUSTeK's Handheld Business Unit.
Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded DevCon is a little more than a month away and it's looking to be a great conference to WM developers. They have a cool blog up where I caught a great video (embedded after the break) "interview" with WM Product Manager (and MEDC organizer) Derek Snyder.
There are a few bits of insight into how Microsoft tries to help developers interact with carriers (Developer "Speed Dating" FTW!) plus a bit more about why Microsoft moved to the new naming scheme (which, by the way, I'm now on board with). It's funny, too, wouldn't you know? I like that not only is there a lighthearted attitude amongst Microsoft's WM team, but also that they share it with the world.
Dave and Rich from the NxtGenUG tried to capture an interview with me for their video podcast. Little