Thursday, February 26, 2009

Straighten Up And Fly Right...

We've added a new blog to the list of links recently. ...A Dog In That Fight is one that is close to my heart because it doesn't sugarcoat what's going on in this ever changing world we're living in. Because it's still Black History Month, I feel it is my duty to also acknowledge Nat King Cole as one of the greatest African American musicians in the ever growing list of talented artists. I can honestly say that my love of music has brought me far and wide when it comes to the various genres out there, and it is awesome to know that the current generation of musicians are reaching back to put a new spin on the old hits. Nat King Cole Re: Generations is just the kind of music mixtures that will always rekindle my love for music and art in general. Come March 10th, I will buy this album. It will be the first album I buy this year, and I look forward to more great music like this in the months ahead.

On a less related note, our situation with the 3pm Injection posts being removed has forced us to make a tough decision. We have come to realize that the 3pm Injections are a risk to NET9 due to the nature of how we present them. They will not go away, but they will be different from now on. Instead of directly linking to the mp3s themselves, we will list links of places you can access the mp3s. We love music, you love music, and when it comes to the battle between us and the people and companies that think they control how we experience that music, you can rest assured we definitely have a dog in that fight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Location-Based Everything

We are at the horizon of an era when just about everything you do will have some sort of connection to your location. Imaging has never been the same since the introduction of geotagging, and based on what Nokia is working on with it's new Nokia Image Space concept, it will get even more interesting. It doesn't stop at images, or even video. Prepare for a future when you will be able to get notifications of the latest deals based on your location, or detailed information on a monument as you focus on it with your camera. Then imagine being able to do what you want with that information. Post it to Flickr with the info or send the same coupons you are receiving at the store near your location to friends nearby.

Nokia is working on a more natural way of showing and sharing images, audio and video with this new concept and it will only get more interesting with the addition of augmented reality features. Combined with the upcoming features of Nokia's Ovi Store, this technology could change mobile computing forever. It's safe to say that location-based services for mobile devices will be a huge part of the mobile future.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mobile World Congress: The Aftermath

Lots of great new mobile tech was shown off at the 2009 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona Spain last week, and we could fill multiple posts with all of the thoughts and ideas we've come to gain from the multitude of new devices revealed at the conference. We have a few that impressed us much more than others, and we'll expand on those below. I have yet to physically attend one of these events, but I have to say, Nokia seems to be the best at presenting their part of the show virtually as well as interactively. It's like being there without being there.

Nokia's application store is officially named Ovi Store and will launch in May according to Engadget. The best parts of it's announcement have to be that it won't just offer mobile applications, but mobile wallpapers, tones, games, audio/video podcasts, images, and more. Plus, it will be a "smart store", which means it will be able to suggest content based on your location, personal preferences, and even recommendations from your friends. I've come to love Ovi as a service for my mobile, and I can only imagine it will get exponentially better with the launching of the Ovi Store. Oh, and you better believe NET9 and will be putting up content when it goes online this May.

Don't get too excited about this one just yet, but Adobe has announced that Flash 10 will be on most mobile phones in 2010. That's nice, but pretty much expected from most mobile technology aficionados. The thing about this news is that by that time, we will have gotten Flash version 11, 12, or even 13 for the PC, right? Maybe it's just me, but Adobe disappoints me to no end with news like this. All it is is "future hype" about things that should happen anyways and in some cases, should have already been happening. By early 2010, mobile devices will be more than powerful enough to make Flash 10 work. Adobe knows this, we know this, and it's just plain disgusting to hype Flash 10 for mobile in this way. Anyways, at least Adobe is letting everyone know that they are still working on it.

The GSMA have announced a deal with 17 companies (so far) in an effort to standardize mobile chargers by 2012. The proposed chargers will be Micro-USB style and potentially consume up to 50% less power while helping to decrease the amount of cable clutter consumers now have. This is just one of many ways the future of mobile will progress for the better. Just imagine the computer industry having multiple variations of power cords and you get the idea of how much of a mess we are in when it comes to mobile standards.

Quick Impressions:
Nokia N86 8MP - As an obvious update to the N85, the N86 is the only phone that I would wait for if the N97 never existed. However, the 8 megapixel camera, OLED screen, and styling update still don't justify a worthy enough upgrade from my N95-3. The N97 has what it takes to get me to upgrade though. Touchscreen, sliding QWERTY, and S60 5th edition. The next phone after that will have to have the combination of the N97 and N86 features along with at least 3 new features not on any of these two phones.

Sony Ericsson Idou -If an 8MP camera isn't enough for you, Sony Ericsson's Idou has 12.1MP for your to chew on. And from what little we've heard, it seems this will be one of the first Symbian Foundation OS powered phones to be shown off in public. It's good to see so much advancement and adoption of mobile technology and open software from Sony Ericsson. Companies like Nokia, Samsung, and even Microsoft would not be the same without Sony Ericsson around to mix things up a little bit. I think the Idou has a real good head start in such a competitive market and it will sell very well.

Samsung Omnia HD (i8910) - This is one phone that sneaked up on us here at NET9. Samsung's Omnia HD will not only be able to capture 720p video, not only have HDMI-out, not only have an 8MP camera, not only have a 3.7 inch AMOLED touch display, but it will also be running S60 5th edition! Way to push Nokia's button's Samsung. This is probably the only phone shown at MWC 2009 that made me second guess my Nokia N97 commitment.

This Quick Impressions segment brought to you by Engadget Mobile.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

3pm Injection 02.19.2009

It seems we've found out why our 3pm Injection posts were getting deleted. It's pretty messed up, but we'll keep trying to bring you links to cool tunes as much as possible. Should this post be deleted, we will repost it. It has worked the second time around for previous posts, so let us see how this goes...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Smell Singularity...

We are quickly coming to a point where mobile technology is becoming the next major paradigm in computing and will provide many more avenues of connectivity, interactivity, and creativity than ever before. With the number of mobile devices growing at an exponential rate, I imagine it will not be very long before we start building some of this technology into ourselves. Many are worried about this inevitable future trend, but it will be not much different than getting a piercing or tattoo. In fact, it will more likely be similar to picking a pair of new shoes or clothes. I would go so far as to say that my next 6 mobile devices will be the last ones that I will have to put down or accidentally leave somewhere. I could elaborate in so many words how this would be possible, but it would probably take the fun out of actually making it a reality. That said, here are some cool new developments that will give way to that future.

More Mobile Traffic, Faster Networks
According to Cisco, global mobile traffic will increase about 66-fold between 2008 and 2013. With the advent of 3G and the upcoming 4G mobile broadband technology in place, I find the projection to be fairly realistic. Online video for mobile will be huge. Real time editing of online documents, photos, even video will blur the lines of how necessary a dedicated PC will be when those features become available to mobile devices between this time frame. Of course, technologies such as GPS, accelerometers, and augmented reality that would be useless for PC are quickly becoming big hits for mobile. Cisco is on to something here, and I'm sure they and many other companies will be key to fostering this rapid growth in mobile network usage.

Electricity When Needed, Less Needed
What if you could power your mobile device by pressing it's buttons, walking with it in a pocket, even just by talking on it? The technology is one step closer to reality thanks to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology. The nano generators developed have the ability to convert biomechanical energy into electricity. Once this technology is made efficient enough and cheap enough to produce, It could be possible for on-demand powered mobile devices (think phones that don't need batteries). Combined with microchips that use 30 times less electricity while still running seven times faster than today's best technology, you'll have some interesting new mobile devices to choose from in the future.

And So Much More...
With so many new technology developments surrounding the mobile industry today, it's a safe bet that the mobile devices of tomorrow will blow your mind. I envision the world having biological enhancing mobile devices available soon afterwards such as contact lenses with wireless connections to ultra high speed networks, capable of augmented reality and enhancing services (things like real time language translation, location based advertisements, and night vision or automatic tinting). Of course all of these features will be thought controlled with the same ease as reading a screen, typing, and using a mouse used to be. Most are waiting for, fewer are dreaming of, and only a handful are working towards always on always connection to the world and all that it holds. And even though the world seems to be growing ever so small thanks to our technological advancements, it's also growing so much larger at an amazing pace thanks to human ideas and creativity. All we want is a faster way to access and add to the collective human knowledge database. It has the potential to transcend time and space and right now we are using very "disconnecting" (i.e. keyboard, mouse, screen) tools to connect to it. The tools will change gradually over time to become more a part of us as our hands and eyes and ears are. The funny thing is, those tools are closer than you think.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nokia N97 Teaser Video

Another great showing of my future Nokia Nseries purchase. The more I see of this amazing device, the more excited I get about the future of mobile. I've almost saved up enough to get one (no mater how high the price).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

3pm Injection 02.12.2009

This weeks selection of mp3s were chosen with some input from my wife Keita... "With Valentines Day right around the corner we are taking you to the zone. From being unpredictable to catering to your man, to recognizing that you got a bad lady on your side from feeling it coming in the air at night taking you so high. And then just some other random songs that could not wait to be posted. Over and out. Have a Happy Valentines Day!!" ~ Keita Coleman

Update: Okay, something really strange is going on with our 3pm Injection posts. Once again this post was supposed to be for the 6th, but was removed for some odd reason...

Around The Corner And Back Again

With the GSMA Mobile World Congress right around the corner, the web has been buzzing with all sorts of cool mobile rumors and even some true and official announcements of new devices. The first exciting word from the web is that the North American version of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will arrive February 26th at a price of about $400 according to The Nokia Blog. Personally I think the price is a bit steep, but the fact that it's an "unlocked" device with a nice big touchscreen and running the latest S60 5th edition OS makes it almost worth the price of admission. If it were not for the Nokia N97 coming a little later down the road, I may have gone for the 5800. It will be interesting to see how well the 5800 XpressMusic sells in the states.

Speaking of XpressMusic phones, there's been word that a slim and trim Nokia 5630 XpressMusic phone is also around the corner. Interestingly, it will be powered by S60, have HSUPA, and will be N-Gage capable.

Next up, Archos is set to deliver an Android-powered internet tablet at the Mobile World Congress also. The specs so far are pretty amazing, but we'll see if their Android tablet hybrid is powerful enough to compete with other Android-powered devices along with WinMo, Palm, and Symbian powered smartphones. Oh, and don't forget about the possibility of Nokia showing off a new Internet Tablet update of their own. At the very least, Archos would benefit from the Android Market when the device ships.

And of course we can't talk about Android Market without mentioning that Nokia is to launch it's own application store and may announce it at Mobile World Congress as well. It really is amazing how many application stores have cropped up in such a short amount of time. First we have the Apple iPhone App Store, then we got the Android Market, we heard earlier about Samsung launching their application store at MWC, and now Nokia is jumping in on all the fun. I think the whole me-too approach to the mobile application store phenomenon is still a bit too immature, and some may even say it's just a fad, but this is where the future of mobile is headed and I see this as just another paradigm shift that coincides with the history of the personal computing industry.

We've seen similarities between how computers were and how mobile is becoming before, but the similarities blur quite a bit when you can put a device as powerful as yesterday's computers in your pocket comfortably. I imagine many incredible and unique applications will arrive that will bring a new dimension and richness to the mobile experience going forward. It's one thing to have a few major companies provide software that works on a particular mobile platform, but another thing all together when anyone with a good idea can offer everyone a chance to experience that idea directly. The future is very bright for mobile indeed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Google Latitude

Hide-n-seek is history, stalking is easier than ever, and the world gets to be a much smaller place thanks to the new Google Latitude feature in Google Maps for mobile. If it's not enough to let your friends and family know how you are, you can now show them where you are. I think it's a very cool feature, and could be very useful/dangerous in some cases. I'll be using it, and I'm sure many of my contacts will also.