The PhoneBoy Blog


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Friday Roundup

It’s kind of a slow day, so I’ve got a few backlogged items I want to write about:

Ubuntu 6.10 is Out: Everyone’s favorite Linux Distribution has upped the version to 6.10, codenamed Edgy Eft. Included in the new features are Firefox 2.0, GNOME 2.16, Evolution 2.8 (Open-Source version of Outlook) and much more. I just started doing the upgrade dance on my Dapper (6.06) boxes, so it will be a while before I’m ready to comment on this much further.

Macromedia Adobe Flash version 9 in Beta for Linux:  At least some of the Linux whiners out there can stop it. Flash Version 9 is now available for Linux, at least in a beta form. Of course, those with PowerPC Linux platforms will continue to whine since there still isn’t a flash version for them. Can’t win them all, but still, it’s nice to see Adobe get us Linux fanboys up with the times.

Free 411 Service Raises $60 Million: I’ve told my wife about the fabulous 1-800-FREE-411 service. After having paid one too many $1.25s to the folks at Cingular and T-Mobile, we use this on our mobiles whenever we need to get a telephone number we don’t have. Meanwhile, Jingle Networks, the people behind 1-800-FREE-411, have managed to raise $60 million through four different rounds of funding. I guess costs a pretty penny. Hope the ad revenue is worth it. And where is Google’s entry into this space, anyway?

AOL Making Web APIs for IM: I’m trying to wrap my head around this piece that Om Malik wrote on what AOL is doing in regards to opening up their IM network with Web APIs (Applications Programming Interface for those not in the know). The ability to use AOL with third party applications has been around forever, albeit as a result of reverse engineering by the part of some open source folks. Of course, AOL also offered an OpenAIM for desktop applications as well. This is specific to web-based applications. If I understand this right, it looks like AOL is trying to monetize access to their IM network by third-parties. At least this is what it sounds like. I have to wonder what “value” paying for this kind of access gives you when you can get access to it for free.

Review of the Nokia E61 and E62:  I cannot believe how many of these phones I saw when I was in Finland. If I wanted one badly enough, I could have bought one at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport! However, Nicolas Fogelholm over at About-Nokia.com has written a nice review of the Nokia E61. I wish I had one of those instead of the WiFi-less Nokia E62, but much of the review of the E61 applies to the E62 as well, though if you prefer, you can read a Nokia E62 review from CrunchGear.

Faster 3G Access: Om Malik to the rescue again, this time letting us know about how Sprint is turning on EVDO Revision A in 20 cities, including the Seattle area. Unfortunately, I live just outside of Sprint’s footprint for voice service, let alone EVDO, else I would have ordered it for a project I was working on instead of the Verizon variant. The speeds they are talking here is 450-800kb/s downstream, and 300-400kb/s upstream. The downstream is only marginally better, but the upstream is a great improvement. Of course, these speeds will have to be seen to be believed.

Watching Movies on Mobile Phones: It looks like Nokia will be releasing Mission Impossible III on a MiniSD card for the Nokia N93. Garrett Smith doesn’t think that’s such a great idea. I disagree based on my own experience watching video on my Nokia E70. For my trip to and from Finland, I encoded a bunch of videos into 3GP format at 300k/s, 15 frames a second. The audio quality of 3GP wasn’t good (8000 hz mono), but I’m sure that can be improved. The video quality was pretty good. The hardest part of the whole process was holding my mobile phone for that long. :) The E70 doesn’t lend itself to being sit on a tray table, unlike the N93, which has a form factor where you could do that and still be able to see the screen.


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