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  • Blink Mobile

    As part of a consulting contract gig I have been recently working for www.blinkmobile.com.au.  As part of my sales role I also took on the redesign and re launch of the website.  For this site I decided the best platform to use was Square Space

    Square Space makes it easy to publish a very high quality website with a great CMS (Content Management System) to boot.  I chose this platform because I have used it before with MyVirtualHome and it offer point and click editing for the whole team once it is setup.  Checkout what I came up with at www.blinkmobile.com.au.  P.S.  If you visit this site from your mobile you will see a mobile optimised version to suit.

     
  • Opera Mini Approved

    Well bugger me… guess I was wrong. Apple just approved the opera mini browser. I am downloading it now to see it is all its cracked up to be.

     
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  • iPhone 4 Hardware

    This week saw the release of the iphone 4.0 operating system to developers.  The next step is the new iPhone hardware to go with it.  While there is much specualtion to go around below is what I think we will see.

    1. Front facing camera for video calls.  (It has been reported that the 4.0 OS has some refrences to dual cameras which firms up this one)
    2. 5 Mega pixel camera on the back.  The 3G had a 1.3 and the 3GS a 3.2 so a 5 is not to far out of the question.  Apple will never go to the bleeding edge (8-10) because it would effect the bottom line profitabily to much.
    3. Faster processor.  1Ghz.  Most likely the same A4 as used in the iPad.  The nexus one and several other phones already have 1Ghz processors (snapdragon) in them so this would be logical.
    4. More ram.  The last 2 revisions have seen the ram double so I see no reason this will not happen again.
    5. Same size.  Unfortunatley I would love to speculate on it being smaller or thinner but I doubt it.
    6. Higher screen resolution.  Most likely will be an increase to 800 to match the nexus one.

    Remaining the same will be the battery life (unfortunatley) the size (unfortunatley) and the single button (unfortunatley)

    So the big question is… do I stay with iPhone or make the jump to Andriod or Windows Phone 7?

    What do you think?

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  • Opera mini on iPhone

    I just read an article about the Opera mini browser being submitted to the app store to work on the iPhone.  It will be interesting to see what stance Apple take on this.  If you read their rules they have the right to reject anything that duplicates phone functionality that already exists.  So does a browser that works better duplicate Safari?  Time will tell but I don’t think we will be seeing it any time soon.

    I do love what they have done with their launch page though.

     
  • Digital Cameras that record video.

    For quite a while now digital point and shoot cameras have had the ability to shoot video of sorts.  All be it in low quality and short bursts.  I remember my first one was a Sony that you put a 1.44Mb floppy disk into and could record 10 – 15 seconds of video with.   I used this quite sucessfully to publish some very low quality/size videos onto one of my first web ventures skiwarehouse.com.au.  Fast forward a decade or so and now the quality is finally there.  I purchased our first ever video camera about 5 years ago now for the pending arrival of our first child (as most parents do).  This was a Canon MVX 200i which recorded in widescreen to mini DV tape.  I thought the widescreen thing was a good idea being that is was all heading that direction.  (Good decision in hindsight)   For the most part the camera served us well… well sort of.   As our digital cameras kept churning over every year or so and kept getting better I found that my wife was recording more and more with the still camera.  Why?  Simply put because she always had it in her bag.  So the not so big, but too big to carry around everyday video camera started to go the way of the dodo.

    So the challenge I was faced with was to find a digital camera that records decent video, takes a good still shot and is small enough to carry everywhere.

    I have always been a Canon fan and was very close to purchasing a Canon PowerShot SD890IS until I read a review about not being able to zoom while recording video.  What the?  How useless is that.  In the end I ended up going with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3.  I must say it has been one of the best purchases we have made for quite a while.  The WAF (wife acceptance factor) is extremely high which is as you know extremely important when purchasing anything electronic.  See my TiVo post.

    So if you are looking for an all in one video and still camera check out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3

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  • Windows Phone 7 Series from LG

    Engadget just broke a story that LG are sporting a prototype Windows Phone 7 Series (seriously guys you need to look at this name it is alphabet soup)

    This really shows that Microsoft are going to be back in the smartphone game in a big way.  Who will be the next vendor to showcase their wares and the big question… who will be first to market?  Post your comments on who you think it will be.

    Video below and full story over at Engadget here

     
  • Is Microsoft back in the game?

    After much speculation and rumour it looks like Microsoft might be getting back in the mobile game (catching up that is) with Phone 7.

    I was always a big fan of windows mobile and have owned many of them right from the very first version back at my days with Retriever.  Peter one of the programers now works for the big M in on this project.  With this and Android (Googles phone operating system) the market is really starting to heat up.  Might be time for me to look at alternatives to the iPhone later this year.

    Original post at http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/15/windows-phone-7-series-hands-on-and-impressions/

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  • Free GPS with turn by turn for everyone

    Well it seems that the free business model is starting to catchup with GPS companies now.  The email below just came to me via a friend.  This looks like it is in direct response to Nokia announcing that turn by turn will now be supplied free on their phones.  Ad the newly released Google phone (Nexus One) which also sports free turn by turn using google maps and the landscape for what was once a very premium product is changing… fast.

    Can companies like TomTom hold out in a market that is moving to a free model?

    I personally use a TomTom Go720. (Pictured)  However I don’t always carry it with me like my iPhone making it a redundant device if I decide to install TomTom for iPhone or a competitive app.  The question however remains why would I pay for it when I can get it for free.   Apple has some competition in the market now with the flow of Andriod based phones (Google phones) hitting the market.  I think within the next 12-24 months turn by turn GPS will just be expected just like a camera in a phone is today.

    One company down lots to go.  Garmin, Telmap, Wayfinder, Navman, TomTom… be afraid be very afraid

    ==============================

    Sent: Fri Jan 29 17:33:10 2010
    Subject: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28-01-2010 16:30 GMT+1

    Subject: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

    Letter to 27,625,631 Nav4All navigation customers

    Dear Customers,

    It is with the deepest regret that we hereby notify you that the
    global navigation of Nav4All and the Tracking & Tracing will go
    offline in 3 days. The reason for the same is that the data licence
    agreement with Navteq (a 100% Nokia subsidiary) was not extended, in
    a totally unexpected manner. It is not possible to implement data
    from another supplier in our Nav4All systems within the short term.
    The Nav4All navigation system was developed for Navteq data. Nav4All
    has therefore been constrained to stop.

    We greatly regret the fact that we have to suspend the operation of
    our service. With your help, we have developed Nav4All into a global
    product with 27.5 million users in 56 languages, in 5 years. This has
    made Nav4All the largest navigation supplier. This large number of
    users also has to do with the fact that Nav4All works on hundreds of
    different mobile telephones of many makes such as Blackberry, Sony
    Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, Android, HTC, Nokia, LG, Iphone, Ipod
    etc.

    After 5 years of testing and market development, we witnessed rapid –
    in fact, exponential – growth during the last two years. That growth
    was reported in the licence reports to Navteq. In mid-December 2009,
    the global coverage was extended to include the Philippines, Morocco
    and Kenya.

    Please contact the Nav4All support desk in case you have any
    questions: www.nav4all.com/support. If there is any further
    information from Nav4All concerning the subject of this letter, the
    same will be published on our website: www.nav4all.com. For reasons
    of privacy, Nav4All does not have the email addresses of all its
    customers, and we therefore request you to forward this email to the
    maximum extent possible, in order to ensure that everyone is
    informed.

    Kind Regards,

    Hennie J.M. Groot Koerkamp (CEO)

    Nav4All BV

    Keizersgracht 62-64

    1015 CS Amsterdam NL

     
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  • The Benefits of Mineral Makeup

    Cosmetics can & should be good for the skin.

    This is the philosophy behind Visible Efffects Mineral Makeup; a wholly Australian owned and operated Wholesaler.

    Recently, there has been a drive from cosmetic companies to ensure the ingredients comprised of and the cosmetics themselves actually benefit the skin.

    Mineral Cosmetics seem to be an industry ‘buzz’ word at the moment with traditional cosmetic companies adding their own version of the Mineral Foundation to their ranges. However check the ingredients.

    Before and after mineral cosmetics
    (Above) No. 10 Foundation. Ideal for pale skin types with no or little redness
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup

    True Mineral Foundations are made up entirely of minerals, which when pulped, become a silk-like powder consisting of Mica, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides.

    These Minerals, by nature, scatter light, so light is deflected from the skin rather than be absorbed by it; this reduces the appearance of fine lines, larger pores and ‘Gods Flaws’, all the while offering excellent sun protection.

    Mineral Cosmetics are also anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, non-comedogenic and water-resistant! Ingredients to avoid when choosing Mineral Foundation include Clay (sometimes disguised as ‘Kaolin’), which can dry the skin, or Bismuth Oxychloride, which can irritate sensitive or inflamed skin and if it contains talc – we all know this ingredient is to be avoided.

    Visible Effects use Z-Cote uncoated Zinc which is standard by which all Zinc’s are graded, some companies use lower grades of Zinc Oxide to save money but these grades can often allow sun damage and the true excellence of Mineral Foundation is the natural built- in Sun Protection offered by the addition Zinc to the formulation.

    Visible Effects Mineral Foundation is gentle enough to apply on freshly derma braised skin or waxed skin!

    Choose Mineral Cosmetics – Your skin will love you for it!

    Visible Effects Mineral Makeup
    (Above) No 8 Foundation. Ideal for pale skin with small to moderate redness
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup


    (Above) No 8 Foundation. Ideal for pale skin with small to moderate redness
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup


    (Above) No 8 Foundation. Ideal for pale skin with small to moderate redness
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup

    Visible Effects mineral cosmetics
    (Above) No 14 Foundation. Ideal for medium beige skin complextion
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup


    (Above) Number 18 Foundation. Ideal for olive complexion
    All makeup by Visible Effects using Visible Effects Mineral Makeup

     
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  • MiFi Makes WiFi more fun

    I have been a big user of mobile broadband for many years now dating back to my time working with a wireless startup called Retriever.  Back in the dim dark days we used GSM dial up at a whopping 9.6Kbps (Max)  In reality it was more like 4Kbps of throughput.

    Leap forward a decade and I have just purchased my first Wifi 3G modem.

    So why is it different?

    Most of the modems you see at the moment are usb plug in ones.  These work well most of the time.  However I currently demo a live application called MyVirtualHome and sometimes coverage can be an issue.  With this little baby you just put it over next to the window, it hooks up to the 3G network then connects back to your laptop via WiFi.  So simple.  In the opposite case (when I have great coverage)  I just leave it in my bag open my laptop then connection is auto established because it is just a WiFi profile and you are away.

    The other big benefit I got by moving to this was gaining dual band capabilities.  I am curently with Optus (although the modem was purchased via Dick Smith on Virgin – which Optus own anyway).  Optus has been rolling out 900Mhz 3G to go with its existing 2100Mhz and to compete better with Telstras 850Mhz nextG network.  As far as I understand 2100 supports way more users but does not go as far from each tower or into buildings as well.  900 goes further and gets into nooks and crannies better but does not support as many users.  I must say since switching from my Huawei E220 USB dongle the speed and coverage has been excellent.

    I did a speed test just the other week at Sydney Airport and got about 6Mb down and 1.5Mb up.

    The other theory I have (and it is only a theory) is based around the fact that Optus is the number one in iPhone marketshare in Australia.  We all know that iPhone users are bandwidth hogs (me included) well guess what… they all operate on 2100.   I think this is contributing to the woeful performance I was seeing with my old device or put another way the fantastic response I am seeing out of my new device.  Here is hoping Apple add 900 support with the next gen.

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