The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

Really, Let’s Clear Out The Inbox Now

I have been avoiding my Gmail inbox for some time now, trying to get to things that have been sitting there for a month now. I feel like a failure every time I look at it. Time to do something about it, with my changed blogging focus. Makes deleting those emails a bit easier.

Meanwhile, I did run across some juicy tidbits:

Fonolo is in Public Beta: Fonolo, the company that takes the pain out of working your way through the typical, large-company phone tree hell, has opened their doors. Anyone in the U.S. and Canada can sign up and use this service for free. You can scroll through their list of companies, look at the phone tree, and click a button. You’ll be called from that point in the phone tree, so you don’t have to waste time navigating that far down.

Telestial Prepaid SIM Cards: Telestial provides both global roaming SIMs like my friends at MAXroam and SIM4travel, but they also offer local SIMs in many countries, which often give you better rates in the country you’re in. They do offer a couple of U.S. SIMs–one that is basically a T-Mobile SIM, the other is a SIM that allows you to make calls on all 3 major GSM networks in North America: T-Mobile, AT&T, and Rogers. If they could do away with the $0.59 connection charge per call, it’d be a worthwhile SIM for a North American resident to carry full time!

RIAA vs. Joel Tenenbaum: This is a rather interesting case where, of course, the RIAA is suing Joel Tenenbaum for downloading songs off the Internet. He’s countersuing, challenging the constitutionality of the process and statute being wielded against him. The “Digital Theft Deterrence Act of 1999,” which was designed as a civil statute, is essentially a criminal statute, punitively deterrent in its every substantive aspect. Civil courts–where he is being tried–should not be handling criminal cases, which Tenenbaum argues this is. Looks like the case is progressing nicely, will have to keep an eye on this.

Evolution of Mobile Phones: A graphical, albeit U.S.-centric view of how mobile phones evolved. The Nokia 6100 series (which included several models) where the shiznit back in 1999 and 2000, and I’m not just saying that because I worked there then. I recently recycled mine since it’s impossible to use the U.S. models anymore, thanks to 64k SIMs and the discontinuation of TDMA.

Skyfire Goes Worldwide, Open to All: I really like the Skyfire browser available for Nokia S60 devices and Windows Mobile. It was originally restricted to U.S. folks, but now you don’t need to even sign up to use the browser. It does a fantastic job of taking a regular web page–complete with plugins like Flash and Silverlight, and makes it available on your phone. It does do this with some server side magic, so while they claim not to snoop on your private transactions, if you’re paranoid, you might want to wait until you get back to your desktop to check out your bank or PayPal account. :)

NAVTEQ offers Mobile Traffic: If you don’t feel like loading up Google Maps on your mobile (or can’t), NAVTEQ (which is owned by my employer, Nokia) has http://mobi.traffic.com, which provides a mobile-friendly way of checking on traffic in major cities. Unfortunately, I live just outside of the areas it covers, though Google Maps will give traffic data up to Gig Harbor, but not any farther up the Kitsap Peninsula. Still might be worth a try if you live in a major metro. They also offer traffic alerts via SMS and you can call 1-866-MY-TRAFC to get up-to-the-minute traffic information.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.