Archive for November, 2009

Bell Mobility MiFi 2372 on sale today

Bell Mobility MiFi 2372 on sale today

Dear Canada, you've been very patient but your MiFi wait is over.  Having announced back in October that the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 "intelligent mobile hotspot" was coming to Bell Mobility in November 2009, the carrier has waited until the very end of the month to put the 3G-sharing battery powered router on sale.  However, on sale it is, and as of today Canadians looking to share a single 3G HSDPA/HSUPA connection between up to five WiFi devices can do so for $99.95 with a new, three year agreement.

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Chumbophone mixes chumby with Steampunk styling

Chumbophone mixes chumby with Steampunk styling

Since you can now pick up a set of chumby guts without bothering with the standard casing, the real fun for the platform is in fashioning a unique housing for the internet-connected widget display.  That can be as basic as the cardboard box the components come with, or you can go the route of one particular Etsy seller and put together a somewhat Steampunk-esque retro enclosure.

Called the Chumbophone, as far as we can tell the various brass horns, controls and other appendages are all decorative rather than functional.  The only real controls are the power button, the front panel key and the chumby's 3.5-inch 320 x 240 touchscreen, which is still enough to browse various web widgets, control music - either streaming or local - and do everything else that makes chumby so appealing.

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CrunchPad axed amid legal wrangling

CrunchPad axed amid legal wrangling

The CrunchPad has gone from steamrolling to just getting run-over, with project founder Michael Arrington reporting that not only has the 12-inch touchscreen web-slate been axed but a storm of legal arguments created.  In a long post on TechCrunch, Arrington details the sudden discovery that their manufacturing partner, Fusion Garage, was looking to cut them out of the business and threatening to push ahead without full ownership of the CrunchPad IP.

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BlackBerry Pearl 9100 stars in pre-announce video demo

BlackBerry Pearl 9100 stars in pre-announce video demo

Leaked photos are one thing, but we do enjoy a video of a pre-release device to really see how it fits in the hand.  Having seen the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 (aka Striker) a little over a week ago, now comes a video of the compact smartphone in action courtesy of Salomondrin.  No word on how he acquired the Pearl 9100, but he gives a decent overview of its form-factor and the changes from earlier handsets.

Video demo after the cut

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Official Google Phone supposedly spotted again: launch “a certainty”

Official Google Phone supposedly spotted again: launch “a certainty”

After the last batch of "Official Google Phone" rumors, now comes Gizmodo with a source of their own to quote.  That unnamed source claims to have seen the device themselves, describing it as "Google-branded hardware running a version of Android we haven't yet seen".  As for that hitherto clandestine OS build, not only was it spotted running on a smartphone but on a laptop as well, and the source is convinced they weren't looking at Google Chrome OS.

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AT&T LG eXpo with detachable pico-projector coming Dec 7th [Updated]

AT&T LG eXpo with detachable pico-projector coming Dec 7th [Updated]

There's no sign of an official press release yet - nor a product page - but AT&T are tipped to have unveiled their latest LG smartphone, the LG eXpo.  A touchscreen Windows Mobile 6.5 handset, the eXpo's secret magic is a detachable Texas Instruments DLP projector, which can be used to project videos, images and webpages.

Update: The LG eXpo product page is now live - thanks Alejandro!

Update 2: Pricing is confirmed at $199 for the LG eXpo itself (assuming a new, two-year contract and a mail-in rebate) and $179 for the pico-projector attachment.

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Social networking and the mobile context

Social networking and the mobile context

There's a growing call to deliver desktop experiences on mobile devices, and in general that's a good thing. I don't want to be limited to cut-down, plain-text "mobile" versions of websites when I have a large smartphone display and speedy 3G connection that could readily handle the full version, and the push for full-HTML browsers (and things like Flash support) has already trickled down from a must-have on smartphones to a common feature-phone element. What's lagging behind, it seems, is an understanding of how mobile device use differs from desktop use, and nowhere is that more evident than in social networking integration. Several devices promise to bring your online social life to the screen that's always with you, but the experience is patchy at best.

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txtr ebook reader loses WiFi; €299 pre-orders from Dec 1st

txtr ebook reader loses WiFi; €299 pre-orders from Dec 1st

Of the flurry of ebook readers we've seen over the past six months or so, one of the more interesting has been the txtr, if only because it promises to embrace the open-source community with its freely-available APIs.  Unfortunately, txtr seem less open with their launch updates; the reader is supposedly launching in Germany tomorrow, but the German startup has just revealed that it won't actually have WiFi.

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