Author
 Eric Ogren

Profile of Eric Ogren

News & Commentary Posts: 2323
Articles by Eric Ogren
posted in June 2008

California Says Hands-Free Law Will Save 300 Lives Per Year

6/30/2008
Beginning tomorrow, July 1, drivers in California will be required to use hands-free devices when behind the wheel of their car. A study conducted last month believes the law will save 300 lives annually. Does this type of legislation make a difference, and how will it be enforced?

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Apple To Developers: We Want Your Apps

6/27/2008
The iPhone Apps Store is open...to developers. This week, Apple sent out an e-mail to developers to let them know that they may begin uploading their applications into the store. With only two weeks to go before launch, is Apple cutting things too close?

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Google Retools BlackBerry Browser Support

6/27/2008
Starting today in the U.S., users of BlackBerry smartphones should begin noticing a number of improvements to their Google search results. Google has tailored its software to better accommodate the BlackBerry Web browser.

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Picture Messaging Could Be Coming To The iPhone

6/27/2008
One of the many features currently not supported by the iPhone is picture messaging, or MMS. Considering the device's other capabilities, this is a glaring omission (and one that happens to vex me grievously). According to a spied internal AT&T memo, the 3G iPhone may support MMS after all.

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Google Hears Your Complaints, Revamps Mobile Services Web Site

6/27/2008
Setting up services for your mobile phone often requires you to perform some configurations via the Web. This is true for a number of Google services, and apparently people didn't think it was easy enough. Google listened to all the feedback and launched a new mobile site today to help make it easier to set your phone up with Google services.

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LG's Dare A True iPhone Rival

6/26/2008
Other phones have tried hard to beat (or at least match) the iPhone at the touch screen game. None have come as close as the new Dare, from LG. I had a chance to get some hands-on time with it last week. Apple, watch out.

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Virgin Mobile USA In Talks To Buy Troubled Helio

6/25/2008
Speculation about Helio's future has been all over the place the last month or so, with reports surfacing that it was a potential acquisition target. Turns out that speculation wasn't far off. Sources indicate that Virgin Mobile USA, another troubled MVNO, may be buying out SK Telecom's stake in Helio. Can pairing two troubled MVNOs make for one stronger one?

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Battery Life Issues Delaying Launch Of BlackBerry Bold

6/25/2008
Last month Research In Motion announced the new Bold smartphone with much fanfare. The device was supposed to be available on AT&T's network starting in July. It looks like that ain't gonna happen. AT&T has yet to certify the device, which is suffering from battery life problems, as well as overheating. Um, oops.

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3G iPhone Parts Cost Apple $173, $53 Less Than The Original

6/24/2008
According to Silicon Valley research firm iSuppli, Apple was able to leverage its buying power to keep the hardware costs of the 3G iPhone to just $173 (for the 8-GB model). That's $53 less than it paid for the original iPhone's components. For the moment, analysts are suggesting that the unsubsidized cost of the device will be near $600. Pretty healthy margins, if you ask me.

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Study: Small Businesses Making More Use Of Smartphones

6/23/2008
According to the latest data from AMI, 31% of small businesses in the United States are using smartphones to access e-mail, contact, and calendaring information regularly. Trends indicate that SBs already are looking into location-based services and other functions such as CRM, field force automation, and sales force automation to power their businesses.

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Motorola Impresses With 5-Megapixel Camera Phone

6/23/2008
Motorola and Kodak officially unveiled the Motozine ZN5 today. This latest handset from Motorola boasts a Kodak-branded 5-megapixel shooter with Kodak-approved optics and flash. It also packs some serious Kodak camera software. Have I mentioned that Kodak helped develop the camera? Insta-review says: Darned good camera phone.

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What To Make Of Google's Android 'Delays'

6/23/2008
Reports are circulating around the Internet today that Google's Android platform is facing difficulties and won't see the light of day before the fourth quarter. Reuters cites technical integration hurdles as the issue, with some Open Handset Alliance partners not able to bring Android to market before next year. I say this isn't really news.

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One-Quarter Of Current iPhone Users Upgraded From Motorola Razr

6/20/2008
The Motorola Razr was the iPhone of its day. Stylish and expensive, it was the it phone back in 2005. This recently revealed statistic, which should concern Motorola a lot, isn't all that surprising. The Motorola Razr has been a best-selling mobile phone for years, meaning a lot of people have it -- or in this case, had it. But going from a Razr to an iPhone is quite an upgrade, one that Motorola is clearly losing out on.

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Google Says: Bang, Zoom, Straight To The Moon

6/20/2008
Google is going to pay $20 million to the first team to land a rover on the moon, drive it around a bit, and return pictures, videos and other data by Dec. 31, 2012. That's just four and a half years from now. Competitors for the Google Lunar X Prize must be privately funded, though costs for such a mission are sure to run well over $20 million. Is the prize worth it?

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Google Docs Now Supports PDFs

6/19/2008
If there's one file type that lands in my in-box more than any other, it is PDFs. I typically have to download them to my desktop, open them in a PDF reader, and choose where to store them. Not any more. I can open them directly in Google Docs and store them online.

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Would More Megapixels Make The iPhone's Camera Worse?

6/19/2008
There's an interesting article over at Ars Technica about how boosting the number of megapixels in the iPhone's camera would lead to worse picture quality. The author explores the things that really matter: autofocus and lens quality. For the most part, I agree with his analysis, but Apple still could have improved the camera.

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Gadget Lovers Are Jerks

6/18/2008
According to an online survey, those who are first in line to buy the latest and greatest gadgets are not only assertive, but arrogant. If you go to just about any user forum on the the major tech blogs, you'll see firsthand how fanboys and haters alike prove the study true.

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Sprint Sets $129 Price Point For Instinct

6/18/2008
If you've been drooling over Sprint's forthcoming touch device, the Instinct from Samsung, the good news is that it is priced at $129 -- $70 less than the 8-GB 3G iPhone. The bad news is, a data plan and voice plan combo -- totaling at least $70 per month -- is mandatory. The Instinct goes on sale Friday, June 20. Is it worth it?

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Today's Teens: Breakin' The Law, Breakin' The Law

6/17/2008
Kids these days, I tell ya. Turns out most teenagers could care less about the law when it comes to driving and cell phone use. In fact, a recent study shows that in North Carolina, teen use of cell phones while driving has increased since laws preventing it were enacted. How is it they are failing to get the message?

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AT&T: No Tethering For The 3G iPhone

6/16/2008
Tethering a smartphone to your laptop and using it as a wireless modem to access a network operator's 3G data network seems like it should be a slam dunk. Even though the iPhone can access AT&T's 3G goodness, AT&T won't permit it to serve a modem.

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Best. Cellphone. Ever.

6/13/2008
Remember the standard desk phone from the '50s and '60s? You know, the huge, rotary phone that you could probably have killed someone with? Well, picture exactly that, but instead of using regular phone lines, the Port-O-Rotary lets you insert a SIM card and take it with you wherever you go. So what if it fills your entire carry-on bag?

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Google Eases Mobile iGoogle Usability

6/13/2008
Google has made customizing the mobile version of iGoogle a whole lot easier. Rather than do it from your phone, you can make all the changes and alterations to iGoogle's appearance from your desktop.

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70% Of iPhone Apps To Be Available For Free

6/11/2008
Update: Looks like current iPhone owners will have to wait until July 11 to upgrade to firmware version 2.0 and access the iPhone Application Store after all. Word was that the store would open for business as early as June 27. Turns out that report was false. The good news is, a survey of iPhone app developers indicated that 70% percent of all applications will be made available for free. Not bad!

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Sergey Brin To Quit Earth

6/11/2008
In the year 2011, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, will hop aboard a Soyuz rocket and get outta Dodge ... at least for a while. The ship will dock with the International Space Station, where Brin will likely discover just how fun zero gravity is (or isn't). Let's hope, for Brin's sake, that he doesn't get motion sickness.

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Where Is Google's Free FTP Service?

6/10/2008
Google provides so many services for free, I am rather surprised that it doesn't offer a free FTP hosting service for small business customers. Sure, Docs, Apps, and even GMail and Picasa can serve as repositories of files, but they aren't super convenient for transferring large files back and forth. Will there ever be a Google FTP?

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RIM's Touch Screen Device Spotted

6/10/2008
While the world had its eyes on San Francisco yesterday, another noteworthy gem popped up on the Internet. A new, but unannounced, touch screen device from Research In Motion was photographed and shared across the Web. My question is, does this device even have a chance against the new iPhone?

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Five Reasons NOT To Buy The 3G iPhone

6/10/2008
To be sure, the 3G iPhone announced during yesterday's WWDC keynote is a big improvement over the original. But there are still a few detractors to keep certain people away. Here are five reasons explaining why you may want to avoid the 3G iPhone.

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Apple's WWDC Meta Liveblog: 3G iPhone Announced, Includes GPS

6/9/2008
The 3G iPhone is official! It comes with GPS, increased talk and stand-by times, better audio quality, a flush 3.5-mm headset jack, and will be available worldwide on July 11. It will cost $200 for 8 GB, $300 for 16 GB. That puts it on even pricing ground with dozens of competing models.

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Google Gives Third-Party Developers Access To LBS Tools

6/9/2008
Location-based services are a long way from reaching their potential. Applications we've seen from the likes of Google (think MyLocation) and other GPS-based developers are just scratching the surface. In order to uncover more of LBS's functionality, Google has given third-party developers access to its location server to power LBS apps of their own.

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Samsung's Omnia To Challenge Apple's iPhone?

6/9/2008
Curious timing, Samsung. Of all days, Samsung chose today, June 9, to launch its flagship device for 2008, a Windows Mobile-based über-phone. We all know that Apple is set to announce the next generation of its iPhone later today. Let's take a look at the features of the Omnia and compare them with what we believe will appear on the 3G iPhone.

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Google's Grand Experiment: You

6/6/2008
Google has opened up a testing bed of sorts for Gmail users to check out new, unreleased features and provide feedback. Called Labs, it's sort of an early peek at the behind-the-scenes world of what Google's developers are working on. I decided to take it for a spin.

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Google Adds Bus/Train Directions To Maps For Mobile

6/5/2008
A vital aspect of traveling to other cities is being able to get from point A to B when in unfamiliar territory. Depending on where you are, public transportation often makes the most sense. With that in mind, Google has improved its Maps for Mobile product by providing bus and train directions.

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Bloggers To Enlighten The World Come Jobs' WWDC Keynote

6/4/2008
Without mobile broadband, the world of all things Apple would seemingly go dark on Monday, June 9, between 10 a.m. and noon, during Steve Jobs' keynote address at the WWDC. Why dark? Because there will be no live video or audio broadcasts of the event. Instead, we'll have to rely on the hard-working, on-site bloggers to break all the news.

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Nokia: Video Calling Uptake Slow Because People Are Vain

6/3/2008
This is rich. Video calling services that send live video feeds to/from mobile phones use really interesting technology that has many potential uses. The problem is, most people have decided that the view of themselves captured by mobile phones "isn't very flattering."

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Google's 'GPhone' Delayed Until 2009

6/2/2008
Before you get all bent out of shape, it's worth pointing out that the GPhone and Android (Google's Linux-based smartphone operating system) are two entirely separate things. Was anyone waiting for the actual GPhone, anyway?

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New iPhone Likely Not To Be Subsidized

6/2/2008
A couple of weeks ago, AT&T's CFO Rick Lindner made some comments that raised the idea of subsidies for the 3G iPhone. Some think the price of the new hardware might be as low as $200. Analysts say no way, Jose. Is AT&T's 3G network playing a role?

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North Oaks, Minn., To Google: Get Lost

6/2/2008
Google's Street Views has caused a fair amount of controversy since its debut in 2007. Many have claimed that it violates basic privacy of everyday citizens going about their business who happen to be photographed by Google's crew. This time, an entire town has demanded that Google remove imagery of it from Google Street Views.

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