Tricks to make your phone smarter

Sure, you bought a great cell phone, but is it reaching its full potential? If you’re like most mobile phone users, the answer is no.
You can, however, make a New Year’s resolution to turbocharge your phone with five new capabilities. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a dime. It’s all free.

Five fantastic free phone tricks

Getting online with 3g and your Mac

Over the past year, a new option for getting online wirelessly—third-generation (3G) cellular data networks—has become increasingly practical for Mac users. In 2007, expect more hardware options, better network coverage, and (unfortunately) some confusion as new 3G network standards come on line.
With an account from a cell phone carrier and the right plug-in card, 3G cellular networks let you get online from pretty much anywhere you can get a cell signal and provide pretty respectable speeds. You no longer have to hunt around for an open Wi-Fi network.

Macworld: Feature: Living in a 3G world

Connect your smartphone to your Mac

The e-mail–focused BlackBerry, by Research in Motion (RIM), inaugurated the smart-phone category and is still largely regarded as a must-have accessory in corporate and government realms. Its Mac support is fairly limited, but e-mail junkies (and people whose jobs require them to be available at all times) can convince a BlackBerry to sync with their Macs.
RIM doesn’t offer desktop management software for OS X, but the company does freely distribute (as long as you’re willing to provide your name, address, and e-mail address) Information Appliance Associates’ PocketMac for BlackBerry 4.0, which is a Universal app.
PocketMac for BlackBerry works very much like Apple’s iSync—no doubt because it was formerly an iSync plug-in. The current incarnation functions better as a stand-alone program, avoiding some of iSync’s limitations. You use PocketMac to choose which data you want to synchronize to various programs on the Mac. This approach allows you to be eclectic—for example, using iCal for your calendar and tasks, and Entourage for contacts and e-mail.

Macworld. Get in Sync: BlackBerry

Looking ahead to new tech in 2007


Anyone seeking clues on the products that will most deeply affect the tech landscape next year needs to start with Microsoft and Apple. Both companies are releasing new versions of their main computing operating systems. Microsoft (MSFT) will release Windows Vista for consumers in January. Apple Computer (AAPL) is expected to introduce Leopard soon thereafter. The moves are likely to kick off a round of computer upgrades and change the way a PC looks and feels.

Tech: The Look Ahead to 2007

Taiwan earthquake damages communication lines

Four submarine cables used by Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) for international voice and data communications were damaged by a large earthquake off the coast of southern Taiwan on December 26, disrupting service to the US, Japan, China and Southeast Asian countries, according to CHT.
The earthquake registered a magnitude 6.7 on the Ritcher scale in Taiwan and was followed by strong aftershocks.
The damaged lines caused voice transmission capacity to be reduced by 60% to the US, by 90% to Japan, by 85% to both China and Vietnam, and 98% or more to other countries in Southeast Asia, CHT indicated. The reduction in data communication capacity was less, averaging 70%, CHT added.
It will take two to three weeks to repair the four submarine cables, CHT said. For the time being, CHT plans to temporarily use other lines for service, including a satellite system that is jointly invested by CHT and Singapore Telecom, CHT pointed out.

Quake damages CHT communication lines

Taiwan handset makers betting on smartphones

With only a small chance of seeing major expansion in the worldwide market share, Taiwan’s handset makers are looking upon smartphones to be their next major profit driver, according to industry sources.
According to DigiTimes Research, Taiwan’s handset shipments for 2006 will total about 146 million units, accounting for 15% of worldwide shipments, up from 10% in 2005.
However, the global handset market is quickly consolidating, with major vendors, such as Nokia, Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics, having a high proportion of in-house production. The slow growth for outsourcing will be an obstacle to Taiwan makers’ shipment growth, the sources noted.
Although Taiwan’s share of worldwide handset shipments, according to DigiTimes Research, may increase to 15-21%, the makers will have a mountain to climb to achieve the 40% goal set for 2008 by the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Competition has been growing strong from EMS suppliers, and increases in orders from major vendors can hardly be expected, the sources said.
But the makers are changing their strategy, developing smartphones as their next profit driver, the sources remarked.

Taiwan handset makers betting on smartphones

The best tech of 2006

The last year has seen a rush of high profile launches for device, software and gadget lovers.
Apple’s MacBook made a big impression on many earlier in the year, whilst many people are eager to get their hands on Microsoft’s latest offering, Windows Vista.
In the run up to Christmas both Nintendo and Sony launched their new games consoles.
So what was the best of 2006? Our panel of technology experts guides you through their picks of the last year.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Hot picks: the best tech of 2006

Merry Christmas

If it wasn’t for my kids I likely wouldn’t realize that Christmas was upon us at all, such is this season in Asia. Most of us spend this day working. Luckily for me I am taking most of the day off to eat enormously overpriced cooked turkey bought from a local super market. Last year I spent the day playing on the beach, this year I’ll be staying in the city.
Merry Christmas to you and see you in a week.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile TV

With Mobile TV being hyped as the next big thing in the telecoms world the big question is whether the experience is sufficiently compelling to draw people into become paying subscribers. Mobile TV faces significant competition for people’s time, not least from other applications on the device itself. Where, how and why do people watch Mobile TV? What elements need to be in place to offer a seamless and compelling experience? What are the real world barriers to a achieving this and how can they be overcome? And ultimately what are the characteristics of this emerging medium that set will it apart from its competitors and help it both find and cement its niche in the media landscape?

Jan Chipchase – Future Perfect Mobile TV, Personal Experiences

Guide to US Airport Wireless Pricing’s definitive, comprehensive guide to airport wireless connections in the USA. From top US airports like Atlanta Hartsfield International to smaller airports like El Paso International, we provide the most complete listing of wireless Internet access, service providers, airport coverage areas, wifi in airline clubs and lounges, and Internet subscription pricing plans available. With’s guide to airport wifi, travelers can easily determine which airports offer wireless Internet access and make layovers more enjoyable and productive.
If you are considering a subscription to a wireless Internet service plan, use this guide to find the provider that best meets your needs based on which airports you use and your pricing and access requirements. Provided with each airport is a link to the hotel directory including hotels with wireless Internet access.

Airport Wireless Internet Access Guide

Toiletry travel case

My toiletry bags have gotten completely saturated with soap and other scum producing cleansers from frequent use. Since I no longer carry much in the way of ‘personal care products’ – nothing much can be done to improve my looks anyway – the toiletry travel case designed by Björn Dahlström should work well to protect my clothes from spilled soap du jour. “This lightweight, hard-shelled travel case transforms into a caddy for organizing toiletries when the lid is opened and inverted. Stand it, or use the carrying cord to hang it in the shower and conserve space in the bathroom. Made of polypropylene with a polyester-coated rubber cord.” $28.00US at MoMA.

First Class Set

This carry on comfort set will not only keep you comfortable on a long haul flight, it might just help alleviate the pangs of envy for the ‘luxurious’ trappings of first class passengers. The 3 piece set includes blanket, disposable socks, and eye mask. Blanket is 100% soft fleece, machine washable, and dries in 10 minutes. Packaged in a transparent vinyl drawstring bag for easy carrying. Flying comfort is extremely important and this just might help. Cheaper than an upgrade at $25.00US from Flight101.

Windows For Basic Phones Is Ready

Soleus, the Windows CE based operating system for non-smartphones, reached version 1.0 today, according to developer Intrinsyc. That means it’s ready to go – but no retail cell-phone manufacturer has committed to building phones with the new OS yet.
Most non-smartphones right now run on proprietary operating systems, such as Motorola’s P2K, used in their RAZR phones, and Nokia’s Series 40. Manufacturers then layer either Java or BREW programming environments over these OSes, to allow for third-party program development. But the proliferation of different OSes and different capabilities on mobile phones makes software development very tricky.

Windows For Basic Phones Is Ready — But Who’s Buying? – Yahoo! News