Monthly Archive for November, 2007Page 4 of 21

Blockbuster coming to the handheld?

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BlockbusterYeah, there’s a lot to be desired when it comes to watching movies on mobile, but movie rental powerhouse Blockbuster is testing the waters, with BlackBerry in particular. By using their recently-acquired Movielink digital movie service, Blockbuster CEO James Keyes was able to throw a flick onto a memory card and pop it into his BlackBerry. All of the hassle of sideloading hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he readily admits “The challenge is how do I make this convenient for everybody”. Streaming video support is available in OS 4.3, and combined with a solid 3G connection, renting a movie while on the fly doesn’t seem entirely out of the question. Technical possibility aside, selling the idea to consumers is going to be the tricky part. How many people want to spend more than an hour staring at a two-inch screen?

Wi-Fi Alliance establishes VoIP standards

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Wi-FiThe Wi-Fi Alliance, fine folks who set the standards for interoperability across Wi-Fi devices, has recently released a white paper which establishes a new certification geared specifically to handsets using VoIP. This Wi-Fi Certified Voice-Personal accreditation aims to ensure call quality by testing a, b, g, and n versions of Wi-Fi, protected-access 2, multimedia, and of particular interest to BlackBerry is the optional Power Save testing. These are all established certifications that the Wi-Fi Alliance has had for awhile now.

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Google Calendar syncing app seeking beta testers

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CalendarNot to be confused with GCal Sync, Mobiun is gearing up for a beta of its Google Calendar syncing app, Gcal. The beta proper isn’t set to launch until January, but you can sign up on their mailing list to get notified when the software is ready to roll. The software is set for all mobiles, so if you want to make sure they do it right for BlackBerrys, sign on up!

BlackBerry coming to Russia in Q1 2008

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Soviet RussiaComing shortly behind Ukraine’s release, RIM is set to launch its products in Russia. Security concerns from the KGB’s successor, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, effectively stalled earlier deployment, but a compromise has been reached to everyone’s satisfaction. The FSB wanted the encryption codes that RIM uses for its communications, so it’s a little iffy on where they found middle ground. It’s only a little over a thousand BlackBerry 8700s crossing the border, and there’s only a year-long allowance for the devices, so any Russkies looking to get in on the action will have to be quick to act. Check out your closest MTS or Vimpelkom outlet sometime in the first quarter of 2008.

BlackBerry rocks USB data transfer competition

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First placeRonen spotted a fairly technical review of data transfer rates between the BlackBerry 8120, the 4GB iPhone, the Sony Ericsson W910i, and the RAZR2. The times to transfer 4 GB of data from desktop to phone were 23 minutes for the iPhone, 5-6 minutes for the BlackBerry, 15 minutes on the W910i and 19 minutes on the RAZR2. So, why did BlackBerry rock the kazbah?

“The device behind the BlackBerry’s fast transfer rates is the Cypress CYWB0124AB west bridge peripheral controller. West bridge products directly connect peripherals, creating fast transfer tunnels without loading the main processor. Instead of routing files from the computer through the phone processor to the storage device, the west bridge sets up a tunnel running from the computer directly to the storage device.”

Free restauraunt tip calculator

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GeoTipJosep just pointed us to a handy, free, lightweight app that figures out how to split up restaurant bills, taking into account taxes and tips. Geotip even supports slightly more complicated taxing systems with more than one rate being applied to whatever you’re buying. If you go out often and usually split the bill, you can download this handy little thing to your desktop.