The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

Inbox Liquidation Part 55: Starbucks, Software, WiFi, Webcams, Telecoms, and Abra

This is a cross between an “inbox liquidation” and a “random thoughts that have been bugging me” post.

Pixy Me: I was given a redemption code so I could have a look at this application that lets you “personalize” stock photography with your name or some sort of message. The effects is really well done. There are limits to the personalization (number of characters) and the app could do a better job of noting the limitations. You can also personalize your own photos, but it’s more like an “add a border” personalization and not nearly as cool as the stock photography personalizations. A worthwhile purchase at $1.99.

Starbucks: Anyone who reads my Twitter stream knows I visit Starbucks on a regular basis. It is one place I relocate my home office to in the afternoons. I go there because of their rewards program (which I know some people aren’t fond of) and because the experience is generally predictable and consistant no matter which Starbucks I go to. And yes, I have Starbucks at home because I buy their “Custom Roasts” from Costco. And more recently, because Klout hooked me up with some free coffee (specifically Pikes Place Roast and Verona). Pikes Place is not one of my favorites (though in Decaf, I have no choice). Verona is much better, but my favorite so far on the Starbucks Tasting Tour is the Yukon Blend. I also remember Gold Coast Blend being good too (which is the coffee this week).

Boingo Offers Unlimited UK WiFi: Like the unlimited North America plan, Boingo now offers a similar plan for UK residents for £14.95 per month, with usage outside the UK being billed at £0.09 or £0.13 per minute. The version of their plan for mobile phones is £3.95 per month and is “worldwide” (though it is a subnet of the 125,000+ locations where Boingo is accepted). I have been considering getting Boingo again for my US travels as it is insanely useful to not have to worry about whether or not I’ll be able to use the WiFi.

Some Thoughts on CenturyLink buying Qwest: The landline business is going nowhere but down. Neither Qwest or CenturyLink has a wireless play of any sort (sorry, partnering with Verizon for mobile phones or AT&T for WiFi is not a wireless play). DSL (at least as these two companies currently deploy it) is not broadband, or won’t be considered broadband much longer. Size might matter for updating their infrastructure, but it won’t solve the lack of wireless problem? Maybe they buy Cricket and MetroPCS next?

LUNAR designs the outer case of Check Point Abra: According to their press release, “LUNAR’s challenge was to complete the expression of the Abra USB drive’s security features with an innovative design that evokes impenetrability and inspires confidence. The resulting solution approaches this goal from both a visual and tactile perspective, creating an object that is pure, iconic, and monolithic.” I haven’t seen the production Abra units up-close and personal, but if you’re interested, I’m sure your local Check Point SE would be happy to show one to you :)

FREETALK Everyman HD Webcam Coming: The team at Comunicano sent me an email today telling me the FREETALK® Everyman HD webcam (TALK-7140) will be generally available tomorrow (April 27) anywhere in the world via the Skype Shop. The TALK-7140 is an affordable new high-definition webcam that empowers Skype users with true 720p HD video and was unveiled at CES in January. Given the high quality of their previous products, I have no doubt this will be a fantastic camera. All the same, I have a review unit coming that I’ll take a look at once I get it.

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