Tuesday, July 31, 2007 

Google’s Wireless Plan

The Federal Communications Commission is going to set rules for the upcoming 700 MHz auctions tomorrow, a decision that could potentially alter the wireless landscape. The auction has resulted in a war of the words, with the Google Camp trading barbs with Verizon and AT&T. Cisco has weighed in with its two cents. Each side is making good arguments, though none of them impressive enough, at least from an average person’s perspective.

Google wanted the winner of auctions to build a network that not only allowed any device to connect to the network, but also it wanted the network to be open to other third parties including companies like Google. These requirements would make the new broadband wireless network more favorable to companies like Google.

Google even offered to bid at least $4.6 billion for the wireless spectrum if the FCC favored the rules put forward by the search engine giant. Not surprisingly, that drew a lot of criticism from the phone companies and their extended lobbying arms. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin came up with a plan that requires the winner to use frequencies to build networks that allow any device to connect to that network. Phone companies didn’t like that either. Anyway Martin’s proposal was like being “almost married.”

The Washington Post is now reporting that Google may end up bidding for the spectrum regardless of the rules. Google’s bid to get more clout in Washington D.C. is not going so well, and like many tech companies before, it is stepping on too many toes. Whether it ends up getting its way or not, there are many questions Google need to address before they can basically convince me that they are St. Peter.

For instance, does Google become the clearinghouse for the network and who is allowed to connect to the network, and where? Where are the rules that ensure that the network isn’t tilted in Google’s favor? If the company is going to spend shareholder money - $4.6 billion or more - and Wall Street as we know would want to know where is the return on investment? What makes us more skeptical: Google has teamed up with Clearwire, a company not a shining example of open access.

source: GigaOM


Monday, July 30, 2007 

PopCap Create Web-based Bejeweled For iPhone

PopCap Games' Bejeweled Game on Apple iPhone

PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games has just announced that it has launched a custom version of its flagship game Bejeweled for the newly unveiled Apple iPhone.

The Bejeweled game can be played through Apple’s Safari Web browser. What’s more; it is available free of cost.

This customized version of Bejeweled for the iPhone uses the Web 2.0 capabilities of Safari and the wireless capabilities of the iPhone, and has also been optimized to take advantage of the iPhone’s unique display and input controls.

PopCap has developed the the Safari-based version of Bejeweled in partnership with Polish developer Arkadiusz Mlynarczyk, one the first programmers to take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities for video gaming purposes.

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The 20 hot trends in mobile gaming

Pocket Gamer's mobile news editor Stuart Dredge brought the event to a close with a light-hearted but informative session looking at the 20 hot trends in mobile gaming.

A whistle-stop state-of-play tour for the mobile market, addressing new and emerging business models, Dredge also injected the session with a critical reviewers eye to give developers a taste of things to come.

We've summarised the 20 points below…

1. Loadsamoney
Despite a wobble in 2006 when a market dip was predicted, "analysts are predicting strong market growth," said Dredge, pointing out that Gartner was predicting a $9.6bn value of the mobile market by 2011. Surveying the booming revenues at the likes of Gameloft, he said it was clear that companies are making money in the sector, proving it is a strong market.

2. Local Brands
"Noel Edmunds has been the biggest thing to his the UK games industry since Tetris," said Dredge. Indeed, the Deal or No Deal game has been a big seller, proving "brands don't need to be big movies". Publishers are wary of this but, said Dredge, there are plenty of "local brands" out there like TV-host Edmunds and Deal or No Deal which are suitable for mobile adaptations.

3. Developers for Sale
With the recent run of consolidation in the mobile studio space, Dredge pointed out that acquisition has been spurred by more than growth: THQ bought Universomo for its porting, QA solution. This means specialists are likely to be acquired, with acquisition-focused companies looking to those more dedicated firms to add to their business.

4. Unified release dates
Already pioneered by ELSPA and big UK operators this is something that will be driven mostly by big companies but is still "good news for the market as the marketing spend will ramp up", helping draw attention to the individual releases and the market overall.

5. Herd Mentality
"There is a herd mentality in mobile gaming at the moment. You don't need to buy a Brain Training game to increase brain power - just count how many clones there are," quipped Dredge, adding: "Nintendo functioned as the unofficial R&D team for the whole industry." Indeed, the past two years saw a run of brain-boosting quizzes and Nintendogs clones. Not necessarily a bad thing, though, said Dredge: "I wish I could say this was a dreadful thing, but these games sell really well."

6. Lack of Innovation
Big publishers are ticking boxes and chasing "balanced portfolios". "This is understandable, but it means categories are dominated by a handful of samey games from just a few publishers. This creates an opportunity for developers to introduce new ideas. If you've got an interesting idea it can get published. The downside we are seeing as reviewers is that its hard to sell hard to describe games," he said, making reference to Skipping Stone: "A lot of the innovative ideas are hardest to sell." Plus, poor/average branded games were also contributing to this, narrowing the potential of mobile games by giving them a bad rep.

7. D2C opportunities
Direct to consumer opportunities are on the rise for studios - Payforit in the UK is selling games straight to players. Plus, as the internet opens up to mobiles via better browsers, consumers are using Google and web searches to find new games - web-based content shops present "an opportunity there to get games into people's hands".

8. Ad-funded Portals
Ad funded portals like Hovr and GameJump now exist, but Dredge warned they are still to be exploited by studios, with numerous questions still to be answered - even by the people who set the sites up.

9. The Gong Shows
Mobile developers are now witness to many more industry awards shows, from tech firms and handset companies looking to identify new ideas. At these events, "developers get special focus," said Dredge, and they often manage to get operator deals for following games as well.

10. Casual Crossover
Convergence between platforms is creating an area where casual games are spreading across platforms - another great opportunity, said Dredge as a brand can be built online, used to create word of mouth, then turned into a paid-for mobile game.

"We're also going to see games IP spread across platforms," he said, saying the casual skew of Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and Wii Ware are suitable to host these IPs in future.

11. New Hardware
A simple one, said Dredge: BlackBerries, consumers gadgets, iPhone and iPod all host games, widening the market overall.

12. 3D Improving
"3D is improving but it's still a bit rubbish," admitted Dredge. "There's still a sense of 'what is a good 3D mobile game?'" The key amongst all the confusion, he said, was to not devise games that emphasised 3D graphics, but 3D //mobile// games that took advantage of their portability. Special mention went to Eidos' Tomb Raider Legend 3D game which showcased 3D environments with simple player controls.

13. Going Native
"Switching to native formats changes the business and is quite a complicated process," said Dredge. It also presents bigger challenges for J2ME developers, yet invites console firms to move in as well. "I wonder if there are partnerships to be hand between mobile studios and console developers?" he postulated, suggesting that rather than console devs moving into mobile and being a threat to wireless studios, they could be an ally

14. Play Together
Connected gaming is still rare, with leader-boards and the likes slowly emerging and succeeding. "But its hard to see if there is really demand for this." Leader-boards also alienate players, as in global rankings only one or two players can be the kings of the leader-board. Friends lists like those in N-Gage will be the answer to this, making lists inclusive rather than exclusive.

15. User generated content
Another buzzword, but one relevant to mobile. Vivendi titles are actively inviting consumers to compete to upload their own images for use in current and future games. Games that use camera functions to incorporate pictures of the player are unique as they allow the player to shape the aesthetics of their experience.

16. Social networking
Another hotly watched buzzword, and already tested by Digital Chocolate's Cafe concept, which is a casual games area where players can play parlor games together. And what about the stars of YouTube, Facebook and MySpace?, asked Dredge: Can the personalities that have scored hundreds of thousands of hits and gained thousands of 'friends' become brands in their own right and sell games?

17. The Whizzy Stuff
In short, cameras, motion sensing and location based games. "A lot of the things we talk about with word of mouth may use these things," said Dredge, perhaps in sharp contrast to Glu's gimmick-eschewing opening keynote - it's possible you could show a friend a game that utilises new technology, and then get them hooked on mobile games that way.

18. Micropayments
Dredge listed extra-payment models such as the rise of 'Play for free, put pay to play well' - paying to do better at a game, and Capcom's episodic Phoenix Wright game for mobile. Customisation in games like Need For Speed could also take advantage of this, asking players to pay extra to modify their games but not impact gameplay.

19. Word of mouth
"This is what has been missing from mobile games as it's been so hard to get a mobile game out, " said Dredge. "You talk about spectacularly good games or spectacularly silly games, never 'a really good game that captured the mood of a movie licence really well." Evidence from operators, said Dredge, suggests that word of mouth can generate a spike in sales amongst a group of friends.

20. We love journalists
"Journalists haven't played a great role in the mobile industry's growth so far," said Dredge, "but that is changing." Mobile-focused publications now have more clout, he said, as the sites have more readers and a more demanding audience. "For developers journalists can be a really good way to get your message out to gamers." The key is for the industry to understand that as these sites could in future not be just editorial resource, but also another way to sell games as well.

source: http://www.mobile-ent.biz


Friday, July 27, 2007 

iPhone: More Hacks

Frustrated with the nearly $1,400 contract commitment that a new iPhone activation demands, hackers are doing what they do best: finding a way around the problem.

Cell-phone modding site hacktheiphone has posted detailed instructions for altering the iPhone to allow it to accept SIM cards from Cingular and AT&T phones activated under previous contract terms.

The creator of the site is careful to acknowledge that this hack does not constitute a full unlocking of the iPhone, and will not allow the use of SIM cards from any carrier other than Cingular or AT&T.

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Twitter lands VC funding

Twitter has landed an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Union Square Ventures and now it can proceed with its to-do list: Grab more users, develop its platform and find a business model.

That last point is likely to get some attention today, but a snazzy business model isn’t required–at least on the first round of funding. Twitter has potential and needs some dough to figure out how to reach it. Apparently, Union Square Ventures, Charles River Ventures and a who’s who list of angel investors will help Twitter figure things out.

Saying Twitter doesn’t need a profit making scheme yet falls into the “I can’t believe I’m writing this” department, but what Paul Kedrosky says about not worrying about business models early on makes a lot of sense.

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures says “after Facebook, I think Twitter is the most interesting API that people are building to these days.” He acknowledges Twitter doesn’t have a business model. But then again Delicious didn’t either and that worked out pretty well.

Wilson says the money will go toward making Twitter “a better, more reliable and robust service. That’s what the focus needs to be right now. We’ll have plenty of time to figure out the business model and there are many options to choose from.”

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 

Carnival of the Mobilists #83

 Harry Potter - Hogwarts

This week's Carnival is hosted by the Judy Breck at Golden Swamp.


Nokia Extends Web Push With Twango Purchase

Nokia Corp. announced today that it has bought an online photo- and video-sharing start-up in the latest of a series of acquisitions to expand beyond cellphones into Internet-related services in search of new sources of revenue.

The world's largest maker of cellphones by sales and market share is acquiring Twango Inc., a closely held Redmond, Wash., media-sharing Web site. The exact size of the deal isn't clear, but it is expected to be less than €70 million ($96.8 million), a person familiar with the matter said.

Amid increasing handset competition, Nokia Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is trying to develop new revenue streams such as music downloading and mapping. Since taking the helm last year, he has acquired two other software companies: digital-music distributor Loudeye for $60 million and a small German navigation-software company called gate5 for an undisclosed price.

Last month, Mr. Kallasvuo announced a restructuring of the Espoo, Finland, company to carve out a new unit focused on growth opportunities from Web-related services. Under the reorganization, to take effect Jan. 1, Nokia will divide its cellphone business into three units: mobile devices; services and software; and a markets division responsible for managing Nokia's supply chain, as well as sales and marketing.

Twango was founded in 2004 by five former Microsoft Corp. senior managers and has 10 employees. Unlike some larger, better-known competitors such as Yahoo Inc.'s Flickr photo service and Google Inc.'s YouTube video Web site, Twango works with a range of media, including photos, video and audio. Co-founder Serena Glover said pairing with Nokia will give it access to distribution and resources. Inc.'s Flickr photo service and

Nokia, which is likely to rebrand the Twango service, plans to incorporate software into its phones to ease sending content between phones and the Internet. Twango's service is free, but Nokia plans to add elements for which customers will have to pay. The handset maker has agreements with Flickr and Six Apart Ltd.'s blogging service, Vox, which handles video, to ease uploading photos and videos from its phones. Nokia plans to continue these relationships in order to provide choice for customers.

Nokia tried to expand into content in the 1990s, offering game and ring-tone downloads, but cut back that service in 2003 and later halted it as premature

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IPhone Flaw Lets Hackers Take Over

A team of computer security consultants say they have found a flaw in Apple’s wildly popular iPhone that allows them to take control of the device.

The researchers, working for Independent Security Evaluators, a company that tests its clients’ computer security by hacking it, said that they could take control of iPhones through a WiFi connection or by tricking users into going to a Web site that contains malicious code. The hack, the first reported, allowed them to tap the wealth of personal information the phones contain.

Although Apple built considerable security measures into its device, said Charles A. Miller, the principal security analyst for the firm, “Once you did manage to find a hole, you were in complete control.” The firm, based in Baltimore, alerted Apple about the vulnerability this week and recommended a software patch that could solve the problem.

A spokeswoman for Apple, Lynn Fox, said, “Apple takes security very seriously and has a great track record of addressing potential vulnerabilities before they can affect users.”

“We’re looking into the report submitted by I.S.E. and always welcome feedback on how to improve our security,” she said.

There is no evidence that this flaw had been exploited or that users had been affected.

Dr. Miller, a former employee of the National Security Agency who has a doctorate in computer science, demonstrated the hack to a reporter by using his iPhone’s Web browser to visit a Web site of his own design.

Once he was there, the site injected a bit of code into the iPhone that then took over the phone. The phone promptly followed instructions to transmit a set of files to the attacking computer that included recent text messages — including one that had been sent to the reporter’s cellphone moments before — as well as telephone contacts and e-mail addresses.

“We can get any file we want,” he said. Potentially, he added, the attack could be used to program the phone to make calls, running up large bills or even turning it into a portable bugging device.


Monday, July 23, 2007 

Nokia kicks off Mobile Rules! 2008 competition

Nokia is launching the second annual business plan and application competition, Mobile Rules!. As stated by a Nokia spokesperson, Mobile Rules! is a way to encourage and promote innovation in mobile services. There are two tracks in the competition, one for qualified developers working on applications for Nokia platform devices in the categories of multiplayer and connected games, multimedia, enterprise, and infotainment. The second track is for entrepeneurs, small businesses, and more who demonstrate outstanding business plans in the mobile space.

Prizes include Nokia devices, memberships of Forum Nokia Launchpad, promotion of the winning application/plan through channels owned by Nokia or other competition sponsors and expert advice from Nokia specialists. The five overall winners will also be offered the chance to develop a contract with one of the competition sponsors or a significant cash prize if no contract is awarded. Check out all the rules and details of this contest. The development competition starts now with the business plan track starting in a couple months and the entire competition ends in Spring of 2008.

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Friday, July 20, 2007 

IMGA Seeks Entries

The International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA), an annual awards program and competition, is now open. Headquartered in Marseilles France, the group is inviting entries from mobile gaming studios, individual developers, groups of individuals, students, researchers and companies involved in mobile games to submit their titles.

Established in 2004, this is the fourth edition of the competition, which offers total cash prize of $40,000. The IMGA is platform independent and entries are open for un-published mobile games on flash, J2ME, Brew, i-mode and other formats. All game developers wishing to participate should have their entries to the international jury by September 24, 2007.

A total of $40,000 in prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Connectivity (Multi-platform, social networking)
  • Excellence in 3D
  • Excellence in Game Play
  • Best-licensed IP-based game
  • Best Casual Game (Flash, Java, etc.)

International Mobile Gaming Awards

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 

Leaflets: Apps for your iPhone

Leaflets are fun, useful applications designed to run fast on your iPhone—even over AT&T's EDGE network. Just visit getleaflets.com on your iPhone and you’re good to go.

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Ubisoft Sells Stake in Gameloft

Ubisoft Entertainment has sold its 18.89 percent stake in French mobile gaming firm Gameloft reports AFX. The final sale price for the 13.37 million shares was 6.08 Euro per share, for a total of about $111 million. to Credit Agricole's corporate and investment bank unit Calyon, and has signed an equity swap deal with the bank,

Under the equity swap agreement, Calyon has 24 months to sell the Gameloft shares on the market. Any changes in the Gameloft share price will then be recorded by Ubisoft, so the deal will only affect Ubisoft's income statement when Calyon sells the Gameloft shares. Ubisoft said the equity swap enables it to stagger the placement of the Gameloft shares so that Ubisoft can keep benefiting from the company's development potential over the next two years.

The two companies said they will continue to collaborate, especially when it comes to utilizing Ubisoft's brands on mobile phones. More info in release.

Mobile-Ent: The move ends an historic association that began when Gameloft was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of the French company in 1999. Over the years its stake has reduced to just under 20 per cent, although the Guillemot brothers that founded Ubisoft retain a private holding. More on Gameloft's history in this Wikipedia entry.

source: MoCoNews

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 

Gemalto has a Brazilian promotion

The service will offer entertainment and information services about the Pan-American Games Rio 2007. The solution is based on the Gemalto LinqUs platform and is available seamlessly to Oi’s current and new customers.

As part of the service, users can accumulate points and win prizes in an electronic auction through SMS. During the 13 weeks of the games, 52 customers will scoop Samsung products like K5 MP3 players, DVD players, mobile phones and home theatre equipment.

"We believe that SMS based services like news, quizzes and alerts on medal ranking will be the services that subscribers will request the most, as these are already well known to the public,” says Fiamma Zarife, Oi's director for content and applications. “At the same time, we will also make available a very large range of content for downloads and handset personalization. Our experience shows that VAS success is based on ease of access and promotion through Oi chip.”

source: http://www.mobile-ent.biz

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Thursday, July 12, 2007 

Telefonica Offers $4.1 Billion For Portugal Telecom's 50 Percent Of Brazilian JV Vivo

Telefonica is offering €3 billion ($4.1 billion) for Portugal Telecom's 50 percent stake in their Brazilian mobile JV Vivo. The bid could have a strong element of content consolidation behind it, reports Variety.

Taking full control of the mobile operator would give Telefonica an opportunity to "streamline operations" between Vivo and Terra, Telefonica's ISP in the country. This could have ripple out to Vivo's content partners, which include Fox, local broadcaster Bandeirantes, Warner Bros., and Nickelodeon. For its part, Terra has developed some content partnerships of its own to promote its broadband service, including a special children's portal with Disney and another that it runs in conjunction with Discovery—coincidentally also a partner of Vivo's.

The Spanish incumbent has had some money to play with since closing a deal earlier this month to sell its 75 percent stake in Endemol to a consortium that included the company's founder John de Mol, Italy's Mediaset and Goldman Sachs, for $4.6 billion. But this doesn't mean that PT will sell. PT's CEO Henrique Manuel Fusco Granadeiro told Reuters today that it is not interested in giving up its stake in Vivo. The European operators invested in Brazil—they also include Telecom Italia—have long been embroiled in attempts to wrest control from each other in the market


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007 

Skype Now Available for the Nokia N800

Skype(TM) is now available on the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet, bringing Skype conversations anywhere in the world where there is an available wireless internet connection (WiFi).

Skype for the Nokia N800 will be available for download for existing users. There will also be Skype download links on the latest release of Nokia N800 devices which will be available at retail and on the Skype online store. From coffee shops and public parks to offices to hotels or even on the beach - users will now be able to make Skype calls anywhere they can find a WiFi hotspot.

Today, Skype is enjoyed by over 196 million people worldwide. Users download Skype software to make free voice and video calls and send instant messages over the Internet, between Skype users. Skype also offers paid-for services which let users make and forward calls to landlines and mobile phones at low per-minute rates. To enhance the Skype user experience, leading manufacturers such as Nokia have developed products that give users the additional flexibility to place and receive Skype calls wherever they are.

Support for Skype for the Nokia N800 is available with the feature upgrade release to the latest OS 2007 edition. The feature upgrade also introduces Adobe(R) Flash(R) 9 browser plug-in taking a step forward in web compatibility, support for largercapacity memory cards and considerably enhanced online use-times among other improvements. The OS upgrade is immediately installable from www.nokia.com/N800

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Top 12 Twitter Apps for Your Phone

Miniblogging tools like Twitter are growing like mushrooms, but despite some strong newcomers in this space over the last few weeks, Twitter is still the leader when it comes to mobile. And although Twitter works great through SMS, there are a large number of mobile applications that let you save on SMS bills and get the best from Twitter on your phone: here are the 12 that stand out.



Fring is a well known mobile application that not only lets you easily communicate with all your Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk and regular phone contacts, but also with your Twitter friends from one, integrated contact list. You can save on your SMS bill, since Fring works with Wi-Fi or your fixed data plan.



Jtwitter is a Java application that you can install on your phone. It allows you to send Twitter updates using your phone without having to send SMSs. You can also view your timeline, your friends’ timelines, public and featured timelines. Jtwitter only refreshes when you request it to, so you can set it to download data according to your needs. To download Jtwitter you just need to go www.jtwitter.com/wap using your phone web browser and the app will install automatically.



Mobio produces a lot of widgets that work together and are based on mash ups of web services. The mobile application GetMobio allows you to view all your Twitter updates in one place, separate and apart from your text messages. You can publish an update to your public Twitter timeline, get updates from your friends and track the public Twitter timeline. It works on most of the popular phones.

Abiro Jitter


Abiro Jitter (which stands for “Java Twitter”) is a tiny Twitter client for mobile phones. You can list messages or users, view friends, public and user timelines and send direct messages. Abiro Jitter supports all languages, but your phone needs to support fonts that include local characters and symbols. Jitter communicates directly with the Twitter server, increasing performance and reliability.



Twitteresce by MadPilot allows you to download public and private tweets to your phone and post updates. All you need is a Java J2ME enabled mobile. Unlike SMS, which can bombard you, you can choose when to receive Tweets. Plus, a very nice feature gives you the ability to close Twitteresce and leave it in the background; it will then pop up and alert you when you have a new tweet.



Cellity is a web app that you can easily install on your mobile phone and which will let you use Twitter while on the go. You need to register for the website in order to receive the download link. Cellity makes it easy for you to invite your friends to use Twitter, since you can do it from within the application itself.



Jargong is another application that allows you to bring all the best web apps to your phone and never miss a twit. You can send and receive direct messages and browse into a user’s timeline from another timeline. You also can set Jargon to automatically or manually refresh data. When updating your IM status message in Jargong, the status message in Twitter can automatically be updated.



TwitterBerry is a mobile client for posting updates to Twitter that works only on the Blackberry (hence the name). TwitterBerry quickly lets you post twits to the Twitter website, without loading the XHTML form in your browser. Besides posting new twits, you can view your friend’s timeline or the public timeline. The timelines show the user’s icon, the message and the username.



WHERE produces a series of mobile apps, including one that brings Twitter to you phone. You are allowed to post GPS enabled twits because the application automatically checks the zip code of your current location and memorizes it. Moreover, your friends can see both desktop and mobile map views of your twits.



TreoTwit is another cool application that you can use to send your twits from your mobile device, but this one is specially made for the Palm OS Treo and Palm OS PDA. It includes shortcuts that easily open the more common Twitter pages in your mobile web browser. In short, it optimizes Twitter for the Treo.



Twibble is a Twitter client application for the Nokia N95. In addition to some basic Twitter functionality, it can leverage the built-in GPS of the N95 to add your current position to a twit. The position can then be automatically displayed by Twittervision and Twittermap.

Tiny Twitter


Tiny Twitter is a mobile application that works on any Java enabled device and any Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone. You can send direct twits to any of your friends and hide twits from specific users (which will not be deleted from your message stream). Additionally, you can set the automatic update interval to whatever you prefer to keep your friends’ timeline fresh.

source: Mashable.com



.mobi to Launch Global Device Database

Scheduled to launch in late 2007, the database should make developing mobile applications easier and less expensive. Information will be obtained from – as well as shared with – the global development community and published online.

dotMobi has appointed Andrea Trasatti as director of device initiatives. He’s well-qualified. He co-founded the Wireless Universal Resource File (WURL) community project containing information on hundreds of mobile phones.

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Monday, July 09, 2007 

Tira Wireless raises $5m

Mobile content deployment specialist Tira Wireless has secured $5 million in Series D funding from existing investors Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, Flagship Ventures and Export Development Canada.

Having completed phase one and two of its Jump platform, which tackles headaches such as porting content across multiple handsets, asset management, deployment planning, code re-use, collaboration and interoperability, Tira is preparing to cater for a wider developer base.

Tira says its potential new targets are those that offer single applications, like messaging or GPS-enabled location based services, and companies with Web 2.0 and interactive apps for social networking and blogging.

source: http://www.mobile-ent.biz

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Thursday, July 05, 2007 

More on iPhone Unlock

Very good article from
RoughlyDrafted about IPhone unlock dificulties. Things are always more complex than they might seem.


How to Unlock iPhones

Where there is a walled garden, there's a way: five day into the iPhone launch, hackers are busy trying to "unlock" the iPhone: meaning trying to find ways where it will function as at least and iPod+Wi-Fi tablet of sorts, without being locked in AT&T's two year contract. At least two and possibly three claims have come out, where you can activate the iPhone without going through AT&T, or another variation where you use AT&T to activate the phone, then cancel and use a pre-paid AT&T SIM to do a workaround.
-- The first one, described by TUAW here, is pretty harmless...more a workaround than a hack.
-- The second one, by Jon Lech Johansen, aka the fearless "DVD Jon"...he says he has found "a way to activate a brand new unactivated iPhone without giving any of your money or personal information to AT&T NSA." The code is here, but only for the very technical minded.
-- The third one is a collaborative effort, where they claim to have released a "proof of concept activation program for the iPhone" that makes it possible to activate the device without an AT&T account, or re-activate after an AT&T account has been terminated. More described in this BB post.

source: MoCoNews

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Ojas Rege interview

Mobile Crunch has published an interview with Ojas Rege, Yahoo’s vice president of global mobile products. Great Job! Check it out.

Mobile Crunch: What impact, if any, will the iPhone have on the mobile market?

Rege: We’re thrilled. We’re convinced that it’s going to have an impact. When it comes down to it, it will drive consumer demand for wonderful, easy to use, cool services. It expands the art of the possible in the minds of consumers.

It makes all players in the industry say to themselves, “Hey, it’s absolutely possible to create compelling and intuitive applications.”

Mobile Crunch: Will its impact be lessened because of its high price point, i.e. would it have had a bigger impact at a lower SRP?

Rege: iPhone is a high end device right now. Over time, price points can change. We’ve seen this across the board in other technologies. It’s fair to say the price points will evolve. At Yahoo, we want to see these types of platforms going to as many people as possible.

Mobile Crunch: How will the iPhone affect mobile advertising? How will the iPhone’s unique Web browsing method affect the ads or types of ads Yahoo sells on its space?

Rege: There are three components to this.

1. Anything that drives people to mobile data services is good. That creates more critical mass to be able to sell advertising into.

2. At Yahoo, we don’t build the same experience for all phones. We optimize our services on different phone platforms. Anything that lets us do more stuff also opens the door for more advertisers.

3. The single most important thing is: You’ve gotta have the ability to make advertising relevant to the user. Simple ads with high relevance are highly effective.

Mobile Crunch: That’s a natural seque to Yahoo SmartAds.

Rege: The high level concept of SmartAds is: Use the stuff you know about the user to customize the ad. We’re using personalization to target ads more readily. Everything we’re doing in SmartAds for the PC platform is applicable to mobile–we’re not limited by media type.

In all our services, we’re moving towards personalization–that is, making sure we can provide services tailored for the user and the platform. Make sure the services actually matter to them.

Mobile Crunch: Can we look down the road and ask what kind of trends will we see in advertising or mobile two years or even a year from now? Or is technology moving too fast to make predictions like that?

Rege: New technology like the iPhone opens up the door to a lot of people to say, “Wow, I can do a lot of cool stuff on my phone; it’s more than just voice and text.” We’re going to see a transition as users realize this lifeline they have—the phone—is also relevant for a lot of the things they want to do in the world. As I mentioned before, it expands the art of the possible in the minds of consumers. That brings a lot of folks in and creates a lot more demand for advertising. This whole notion of increasing demand by expanding what users can do with the technology drives how we look to deliver our services.

Mobile Crunch: How is measuring mobile advertising metrics different from standard Internet ad reporting and measurement?

Rege: When you’re an advertiser creating a mobile campaign, do you want it a brand extension of what you’re doing on the PC? People are experimenting. This is very early market. The standard metrics: impressions, conversion—these are applicable to mobile. The core metrics will be the same but the expanded metrics will be different. Mobile is ripe for experimentation.

Mobile Crunch: Do you expect the user metrics to change as mobile technologies become accessible to more people?

Rege: As mobile usage becomes more mass market, the nature of things people do will change. Our mobile offerings are global. Each country is in a different stage of evolution. In the United States, we have so many different ways of connecting: high broadband penetration, high PC penetration. A lot of countries in Southeast Asia don’t have those options. In many areas, people don’t have another option to do them. We have to have a product that doesn’t rely on a user having access to a PC. We have to provide service in a mobile-first context.

Mobile Crunch: Are we moving towards a standardization in the way mobile gadgets view the web? Or is the speed of technology moving companies in different directions?

Rege: There might be some day when we have true standardization, but I’m not sure how old I will be. We’re not going to hold our breath. We believe the world will continue to be fragmented on the OS and browser side.

Mobile Crunch: What does Yahoo see as the biggest challenge in the mobile marketplace?
Rege: Helping users figure out what’s possible. Sometimes this industry gets too caught up in technology. The key is finding simple, compelling applications.

If I had one wish about driving usage to the mobile platform, it would be to come up with great ways for users to understand what they can do on the phone and provide services to them in a way that is not complicated.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007 

Nokia Launches Photo Printing Service For Smartphones

Nokia has launched a service across most of Europe which lets owners of Nseries phones order prints of the photos they take with the device. The Nokia XpressPrint application is a free download and the service is accessible from the phone's Gallery application. The cost of the prints (printed by CeWe Color) isn't detailed, and it's probably different for different countries. The Nseries have pretty good cameras (the N95 can get 5 megapixels, for example), and the prints come out well. You can also get the images printed on stickers, jigsaw puzzles, mugs and t-shirts. Payment is made via credit card and some local payment solutions—there's no mention of offering payment via the mobile bill. (release)

source: MoCoNews

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Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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