Archive for the ‘ Wireless ’ Category

Green robot in an Armani suit: Ulysse Nardin Chairman upgraded with Android


Alright, hot shot, so you’ve been pining after that impossibly expensive Ulysse Nardin Chairman — you know, the world’s first “hybrid” phone — for nearly a year now, and the millions of dollars in those off-shore accounts of yours aren’t exactly spending themselves. What’s next? Well, fortunately, Ulysse Nardin and its hardware partner SCI Innovations have been locked away in the laboratory upgrading the Chairman with a fairly impressive new set of specs that includes a larger 3.2-inch touchscreen, an 8 megapixel camera (up from 5), 32GB of memory on board, “proprietary rotor improvements” for better battery life (that’s something you don’t hear too often when discussing a phone), and an Android core.

As with the first version, the new model will be limited to just 1846 copies — assuming there are that many people on the face of the Earth wealthy enough to afford it — and will be available in your choice of steel, “Stealth” (which is apparently colored or blacked out, up to you), or a selection of precious metals. Of course, no luxury phone would be complete without an equally excessive charging solution, and the new Chairman delivers with a lacquered wood dock that tops off the battery while simultaneously backing up the phone’s contents to an external USB drive and offering luscious, soothing sounds through a pair of Bluetooth-connected speakers. Then again, if you’re ever in a position where you need that backup — if you lost your beloved Chairman, that is — we’d say you’ve got bigger problems to worry about than a little bit of data.

Source: Ulysse Nardin

Official: Apple now offering iPhones contract free (updated: not unlocked)

We heard from 9 to 5 Mac that Apple was due to begin selling a contract-free variant of the iPhone in the near future “at list price.” And guess what happened when we inquired to an Apple store? That’s right folks — you can now pick one up for $499 (3G), $599, or $699 (3GS). We’ve confirmed this info at no less than five stores, so you should be hearing the same message at your local Appletorium. Given the current unfriendly climate between Apple and Google, this could be seen as nasty jab, though the devices are still carrier-locked to AT&T, so you’re not being given much freedom… and it’s certainly not much of a statement. In many parts of Europe (France and Poland, for example) you can pick up the carrier-unattached device (and we mean totally unlocked), but that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

These devices are still locked to AT&T — so you’re just looking at an off contract pricing scheme. Which is also totally lame.

Source:9 to 5 Mac

RIM demos new WebKit-based BlackBerry browser at MWC — it’s fast!

We weren’t expecting much out of RIM’s presser here at MWC this morning, but the company managed to bust out one surprise — a demo of the company’s new WebKit-based BlackBerry browser. We’re assuming this is what came out of that Torch Mobile acquisition, and the early build shown off on-screen looks pretty solid, rendering Amazon.com quickly and scoring a full 100/100 on the Acid3 test. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when BlackBerry users will actually be able to get their hands on this, but rest assured we’re digging for more info.

Google Buzz Explained

Google today announced a new service, Google Buzz, that automatically brings social networking into Gmail and the rest of the Google-sphere. Whether or not you’re big on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, Buzz offers a somewhat new and intriguing approach.

What’s Buzz All About?

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Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo compared at the macro level

We all love a good debate about how the tech giants of today are competing with each other, but rarely do we get a handy reference sheet like this to point people to. Nick Bilton of the New York Times has put together a segment-by-segment comparison between America’s tech heavyweights, which does a fine job of pinpointing who competes with whom and where. We find the gaps in coverage more intriguing than the overlaps, though, with Microsoft’s only unticked box — mobile hardware — raising habitual rumors of a Pink phone. Apple’s absence from the provision of mapping services might also soon be at an end, given the company acquired map maker Placebase in July of last year (see Computerworld). Anyway, there should be plenty more for you to enjoy, so hit the source for the full chart and get analyzin’.

source New York Times

AT&T Insiders Report iPhone Exclusivity Going Away On Wednesday

It’s sort of hard to believe that all the hype from CES is already over and done with. Larger companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to introduce and showcase new products at the show, and now all anyone wants to talk about in the tech world is Apple. Must be nice to be Steve Jobs (or an investor). The company that gave the world the iPod and iPhone is planning a media event on the 27th of this month, and while the world tends to believe a tablet or slate of some sort is planned, there has been no definite proof of that to this point.

We really have no idea what’s next from Apple; we just know that it’ll be something to unleash one’s creative side based according to a tagline in the invite. According to an inside source close to the going-ons involved in all of this, a new tablet of some sort may not be the only thing on deck for next Wednesday though. We have been led to believe by an inside source that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on the same day, though it’s not yet clear what other carrier (or carriers) will be stepping in to also carry the phone. For anyone who has followed the saga, you may notice that you haven’t seen AT&T fighting to extend their original exclusive agreement of late. In fact, they have spent most of their time fighting Verizon’s negative ad campaign.

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Android dual-boot could make Nokia N900 jack of two trades

Maemo’s already pretty open as open platforms go, but what’s better than a single open platform on your open phone? Two open platforms, of course, creating a vortex of pure, unadulterated openness the likes of which the world has never seen. Hacking is par for the course with Nokia’s N900, so it comes as no surprise to see that a motivated individual has managed to get his unit set up in a trick dual-boot configuration with Maemo on internal storage and Android on a separate partition loaded from the microSD card. He says it’s “proof of concept” for the moment — but to steal his words, “its [sic] real and it could be spectacular.” We couldn’t agree more, and as much as Nokia loves its own code, we can’t help but think this precisely the sort of tinkering the N900 was made for. Read more

McDonald’s starts dishing out free WiFi at most of its U.S. restaurants

McDonald’s promised that it would be make its in-restaurant WiFi service available for free in “mid-January” and, right on cue, it’s now kicked things open to everyone with a laptop and a fast food craving starting today, January 15th. That service previously cost customers $2.95 for two hours of use, and it’s already available at 11,500 of the company’s 14,000 locations. Incidentally, that also makes McDonald’s one of the largest providers of WiFi hotspots (free or otherwise) in the United States, with the company itself claiming that no less than 16% of reported WiFi hotspots in the U.S. are located at McDonald’s.

source: Reuters