Blackberry Storm

blackberry storm

Obviously, the big headline Tuesday was the official unveiling of the T-Mobile G1, but turns out my own wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, has a little something up their sleeve. Here are some details about the smartphone.

First, the BlackBerry Storm will feature a 3.25-inch, 480×360 touch screen, which is better than the BlackBerry Bold’s and it will offer tactile feedback and auto rotation. For text entry, you will have the option of a virtual full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode and a SureType keyboard in portrait mode.

The handset will also be one of the most connected phones with CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A, quad-band GSM/EDGE, and 2100MHz HSPA support. Standalone and assisted GPS is reported to be onboard. There will be 1GB of internal memory with a microSD expansion slot; reportedly, a 8GB microSD card will come in the box.

The Storm will also include full HTML browsing with support for attachment downloads and video streaming; a 3.2-megapixel camera with video recording, auto-focus, flash, and zoom; built-in instant messaging clients (Yahoo, Windows Live, Google, and AOL; visual voicemail; and support for V Cast and VZ Navigator

If this delivers, it may be just what I was looking for; all the enterprise compatibility of the Blackberry line to handle my business needs, along with the excitement, fun and sexiness of the touch UI.

Wall Street Bailout

I think Marcy Kaptur of Ohio speaks for many of us about this turn of events and the insanity of letting the rich continue to gouge the taxpayers for money with no strings attached, no oversight and no real planning for how we will improve our national finances. While she  does not detail her bill in this video, she gives an outline of its objectives.

Wall Street Bailout

The update on Monday Nov 10 is that the Bush Administration is providing even more money to AIG than originally offered. The administration scrapped its original $123-billion bailout of American International Group (AIG) and offered a new one, for $170 billion, that extends the loan from two years to five. The deal is part of the $700-billion stash that Congress passed last month.

So far this morning, Wall Street seems to like the news. As for AIG, its CEO Edward Liddy said the new plan “is a significant step forward” that will help AIG divest itself of bad business loans. Tapped to lead the company amid its turmoil five weeks ago, Liddy also said it feels more like five years.

This is amidst revelations that the CEOs and account executives are continuing to get the big bonuses and perks that led to the loss of investors’ money in the first place.

The “Lame Duck” presidents have inflicted their fair share of pardons, gifts, etc during these last couple months. Lets not forget that the Bush Administration still has 70 days to wreak havoc. Lets not let these actions go unchecked.

Obama will have enough of an uphill climb without additional tom-foolery.

Handset Innovation Review 2008

telecom imageiPhones have started a revolution.

As of yesterday, we have the feisty upstart, the G1

For those who are interested in what mobile computing will look like in the future, or to help create it yourself;

The Telecom Council of Silicon Valley presents the Handset Innovation
Review, sponsored by Kotra.

Thu, Oct 9, 8:30am-5:00pm, Santa Clara

As the delivery vehicle, handsets a critical part of EVERY industry
stakeholders value chain. Handsets are such a rich topic; we could
talk about them all day and still have covered nothing but Nokia! In
this meeting on handsets we’ll try to bite off a more manageable
piece of the handset space, and one that is very important today: The
Handset development lifecycle and how to insert innovation into
handsets.

The iPhone set off a flurry of handset innovation: from UI to touch
screens, faster processors, Wifi, sleek designs, and an end-to-end
ecosystem. Now, the data is unmistakable, and every vendor wants to
mimic the look and feel of the iPhone, while every carrier wants to
see the spike in service use that the iPhone UI stimulates.

* So what are the elements that make phones successful?
* Is beauty only skin deep? Or changes start down in the silicon?
* How can entrepreneurs influence future handsets?
* Who controls and owns the UI?
* Touch, Haptics, icons, screen size, buttons, keyboards. What are
the physical elements of success?
* What are handset CVC and R&D groups looking for from Silicon Valley?

Join us as the Telecom Council, our Mobile Forum, and a roster of
speakers and experts discuss the topics above, and as the delegates
in the room decide how the UI of tomorrow will look and feel.

If you are interested, you can see more information here:
http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Agenda.aspx?e=6b543e20-38dd-4a97-abaa-37c12ca8242c

Microsoft Makes Key Hire in Researcher Danah Boyd

The importance and influence of social media and interfaces (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc) cannot be overstated. The big corporations are finally acknowledging their need to be a part of the WikiWeb that is constantly evolving and is a source for marketing that cannot be ignored. danah boyd has been at the forefront or research in this field and has been swept up by Microsoft.

Original article written by Marshall Kirkpatrick and available to read HERE

danah boyd cartoon

Microsoft Research has hired social network researcher danah boyd, probably the most high profile academic in the world focused on the emerging web and its social consequences.

Who is danah boyd? (She spells her own name with lower case letters.) You may have seen her when she hit the international spotlight for writing about the shift from MySpace to Facebook. She wrote that her research leads her to conclude that “The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other ‘good’ kids are now going to Facebook. …MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, ‘burnouts,’ ‘alternative kids,’ ‘art fags,’ punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.”

That paper was very controversial and widely misunderstood. It also argued what many people may were thinking quietly, though often not within a context sympathetic with underprivileged youth.

None the less, that was only one of boyd’s many writings on the subject of youth and social networking. Youth and social networking is a nexus point for one of the most significant cultural changes of our era and as the leading expert on the topic, boyd’s work warrants the attention it gets. If Microsoft is going to be relevant to the next generation of computer users, who better to pay attention to than the leading expert on how the next generation is using social networks?

Boyd’s new position will be at Microsoft Research’s newest facility, in Boston, which was just opened this summer. You can read boyd’s discussion of her new position in a blog post she wrote last night.
What Boyd Writes About

In addition to topics like socio-economic class and social networks, boyd also writes, for example, about early social networks like Friendster acting as “tools for scaling up social networks rooted in proximate social relations and–equally significantly–for representing this dynamic to the community in new ways.”

Her recent work in general might best be described with these lines from Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life:

While particular systems may come and go, how youth engage through social network sites today provides long-lasting insights into identity formation, status negotiation, and peer-to-peer sociality…I argue that social network sites are a type of networked public with four properties that are not typically present in face-to-face public life: persistence, searchability, exact copyability, and invisible audiences. These properties fundamentally alter social dynamics, complicating the ways in which people interact. I conclude by reflecting on the social developments that have prompted youth to seek out networked publics, and considering the changing role that publics have in young people’s lives.

Boyd’s Fascinating Gigs

Boyd is currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and a Fellow at the Harvard University Law School Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She’s also on the Board of Advisors of LiveJournal, along with Lawrence Lessig and Esther Dyson.

Previously boyd worked as a researcher at Yahoo! and did a year long internship at Google studying the ethnography of blogging at Blogger.

Now she’ll join Microsoft Research New England in January. She says she’ll be directing her own research, publishing frequently and doing pure, interdisciplinary science instead of focusing directly on the Microsoft bottom line. We hope that Microsoft can prioritize long term analysis and support more inspiring work by this trailblazing researcher.

Cartoon of boyd by Marc Scheff

Great New iPhone Application

iphone face

Last night I downloaded Avatron’s Air Sharing application. Although the software will eventually sell for $7, they’re offering it for free for the next couple of weeks. Air Sharing allows you to mount your iPhone or iPod as a wireless drive on any Mac, Windows or Linux computer. It made me giggle and smile when I turned it on and it literally did all the work for me. Totally seamless working with my macbook, and only a little fiddling to get it work on my XP desktop.

Wireless sharing is the wave of the future. I highly recommend downloading it while it is still free.