Mitch Wagner

Profile of Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 1161

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

Articles by Mitch Wagner
posted in July 2008

iPhone Free Software: Zenbe Lets You Make Checklists

One of the biggest frustrations of the original iPhone was the lack of a simple utility for making checklists. I want to make a list for a project, tick off each item when completed, and re-use the list when I have to do the same project another day. I don't want to prioritize the items on the list, or color-code them, or categorize them, or tag them, or make origami cranes out of them. I just want to make a checklist.

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Open-Source Advocates Spread Anti-iPhone FUD

The Free Software Foundation thinks you shouldn't buy the iPhone if you value freedom. They make some valid criticisms of the pocket-sized wonder. But they go too far in trying to make a consumer choice into a political decision. I value free software, but I like my iPhone 3G quite a bit, too, and I don't have to choose between them.

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Are You Going To Comic-Con?

Comic-Con is more than just a comic-book convention. It's like Cannes for the geeky arts. It showcases comics, cult and science fiction movies and TV shows, and nerdy crafts. I'm sure there'll be at least a hundred different varieties of light sabers on sale in the dealer room. It even showcases books, for those of us who are still quaint enough to read print books anymore.

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iPhone Free Software: Google Mobile App Streamlines Search

Google Mobile App boosts the already powerful partnership of Google and the iPhone, making searches even faster and more efficient. The app searches Google of course, and it uses your iPhone's built-in location awareness to perform local searches. It also searches your contacts. You can do these things from your iPhone without Google Mobile, but the app provides a slicker and more streamlined interface.

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Loopt Trips Over Privacy

The location-based social networking service Loopt is trying to recover from a privacy fumble, as users accuse it of spewing text-message spam and disclosing user cell phone numbers and whereabouts without permission. The controversy is sure to be a forerunner of privacy battles to come, as GPS-enabled cell phones like the iPhone enable businesses to track -- and disclose -- where people are at any given moment.

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The iPhone iFiasco

Customer satisfaction is the foundation of Apple's recent success. Many companies treat their customers like cattle, but that's not how Apple rolls. Apple's customers love their products. And that's why Friday's fiasco at stores selling the iPhone 3G is a real crisis.

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Extending Battery Life On The iPhone 3G

Battery life is the iPhone 3G's Achilles' heel. The original iPhone's battery life was marginal -- able to get through a full day of moderate usage, but only barely. The iPhone 3G's battery is worse, because of the energy-sucking needs of the 3G chipset.

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Confessions Of A Guy Who Stood In Line 7 Hours To Buy An iPhone

I used to wonder what kind of person stood in line for the better part of the day to buy a product when it first became available. Now I don't have to wonder -- I am one. I spent most of Friday on line at the Apple Store in Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. What kind of person does something like that? A really tired, bad-tempered person with aching feet.

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Review: iPhone 3G Software Is A Sweet Upgrade

We put the Apple's iPhone 2.0 software through its paces, along with a half-dozen top apps. Despite a couple of bugs, the new software makes a great phone even better and gives first-generation iPhones and the iPod Touch an extreme gadget makeover.

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Let's Go Buy The iPhone 3G Together -- On Twitter

I'll be first in line tomorrow morning to pick up an iPhone 3G, and you can come with me -- if not in person, then on Twitter. Follow me here for the event, which is sure to stretch my physical and mental limits to the maximum. Fortunately, I've been on a rigorous training program for the past six months, and I believe my body and mind have the reserves to stand up to the strain.

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Can't Wait For The iPhone 3G? Torment Yourself By Watching These Videos

To whet your appetite for the second coming of the Jesusphone, check out videos from The New York Times's David Pogue, who provides a cheesetastic and informative review of the iPhone 3G; online video tutorial service MonkeySee, showing you how to import your SIM card, contacts, and other information from another phone; and a meaty overview and how-to of iPhone 3G features and capabilities from Apple itself.

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Boing Boing Fends Off Censorship Charges

The three things that Americans love the most are sex, the Internet, and flamewars. That's why Boing Boing's decision to remove posts about sexblogger Violet Blue was such a juicy opportunity for the people who hang around and post pissy comments on Internet discussion boards.

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Hot iPhone 3G Apps To Watch

Third-party developers are busy cooking up hot apps for the iPhone 3G. Our top picks for those likely to be winners include Quickoffice, NotepadSync, Nuance OSV, and OmniFocus.

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New Firefox Versions In The Works

Firefox 3 has only been out the door for a couple of weeks, but, which develops the browser, is already looking ahead to the next versions. I talked with about what users can expect in future 'foxes, and when we can expect them. Bad news for you haters of the smart location bar: It's not going away, Mozilla is committed to it, although they're thinking of ways to modify it to make it more palatable.

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Firefox 3 Video Tour: Faster Bookmarks

In Firefox 3, developers completely revised the way bookmarks and history were handled, making them much more useful to contemporary Web users. You can use tags to organize your bookmarks more flexibly, and save searches to help you find groups of bookmarks again and again. This video walks you through what's new in bookmarks and history.

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Vint Cerf Says Government Needs To Encourage Internet Competition

Vint Cerf said this week that he never intended to seriously propose that the U.S. government should nationalize the Internet. But he does think the Internet is seriously broken, with an economic system that discourages competition and innovation and encourages harmful monopolistic practices. He argued that the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which governs Internet service providers, is obsolete and needs to be revised.

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