Canada's other carriers building out new networks for iPhone

This would certainly be big news for Canadians if someone isn’t getting their lines crossed. The Toronto Star Business Section is reporting that Bell and Telus, the "other two" national carriers are building out HSDPA networks so that they can carry GSM-class devices like the iPhone.  Rogers, the sole Canadian iPhone carrier and GSM provider currently enjoys a monopoly on the device in Canada.

Sources say the two former phone monopolies are set to roll out a joint $1 billion upgrade of their wireless networks as early as this fall, months ahead of schedule, that will allow them to support a range of GSM-based devices including Apple Inc.’s iconic iPhone, which so far is only available in Canada through rival Rogers Communications Inc.

Details are scarce, but the buzz among industry insiders is that both Bell and Telus have negotiated deals with Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, although one source suggested the price being paid "is going to hurt".

 

The networks have already planned a GSM push for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and had originally expected to have rollouts going by then.  Moving the rollout dates up by a year would be a significant achievement.

In the US, Verizon has no announced plans to do any kind of HSPA rollout, instead opting to wait until LTE equipment is available in 2011.  Sprint is currently rolling out 4G WiMAX networks in various US cities, but nothing compatible with current iPhone equipment.

 

Apple, others agree to Micro-USB standard in Europe for mobile devices

According to Reuters, Apple and many other phone companies have agreed to use the micro-USB standard for phone chargers in the EU.  

Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, the European Commission said on Monday, hailing the pact as good news for consumers and the environment.

"People will not have to throw away their charger whenever they buy a new phone," said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, estimating that unwanted phone accessories accounted for thousands of tons of waste in Europe each year.

The other companies named by Reuters include:

Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, NEC, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung and Texas Instruments.

Technically, the iPhone is currently (har!) charged and synced by USB so making an adapter that works for micro USB is just the changing the shape of the connector.  A free adapter could also be included with the iPhone to clear the requirements.

 

PSPhone rumors re-ignited

Reuters (via MacRumors) re-ignites the old PSPhone rumors today with a report that indeed Sony is looking into building an iPhone competitor.

Sony Corp is considering developing a cellphone-game gear hybrid in a bid to better compete with Apple Inc’s highly popular iPod and iPhone, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.  Sony plans to set up a project team as early as July to develop a new product that combines functions of its portable game player and Sony Ericsson’s mobile phones, the Nikkei said.

Sony has been rumored to be developing an iPhone competitor for years and frankly, if they don’t have something already in development, they’ve really really missed the boat. 

They already have Skype running on the PSP.  All they really need is a 3G radio built into the PSP and they are done.  Are they smart enough to know this?

 

Toys: Samsung 2233SW Full 1080P HD Widescreen LCD Monitor – $160

From the Toys section:

Amazon offers this new Samsung 2233SW 1080P Display for $160 after $20 rebate + free shipping.  This lineup offers full high quality 1920×1080 Full HD resolution in a much smaller/lighter form factor.  The monitor and stand weigh less than 13 lbs.  It comes with a distinctive soft design with rich piano finish and features 5ms response time, up to 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and Samsung Magic technologies for rich, natural color.  Full specs from Samsung.

 

Samsungs details below:

 

Dynamic Contrast 15000:1

How can we make 15000:1 dynamic contrast ?
Monitor adjust its brightness and gamma of each frame and makes optimized contrast between frames
– Bright image : higher backlight with gamma control
– Dark image : lower backlight with gamma control

16.7 million colors

16.7 million colors

Maximum Colors. Be the recipient of clearer brighter imagery with the wide spectrum of colors offered by SAMSUNG monitors.

HDCP

HDCP

DVI delivers video images with very high resolution and essentially perfect quality You can enjoy digital contents with DVI interface (HDCP supported)

MagicSpeed (5ms)

MagicSpeed (5ms)

monitor supports fast response time to reduces blurring image.

MagicBright 3

MagicBright 3

MagicBright3 provides optimal combination setting for the various contents for User working environment. With mouse, users can control OSD easily.

Color Effect

Color Effect

* Enjoy the picture with your favor :
photographic effect
* Supports 4 color effect :
Grayscale, Green, Aqua, Sepia

 
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Dude drops iPhone3GS into pool while recording video…still works?!?!

This is pretty incredible…IF true.

iPhone 3GS user KhenaKara accidentally dropped his iPhone 3GS into a pool while video recording and amazingly it kept recording.

Since he was recording you can watch the whole experience in the video below. Days after the event the phone still works fine.

It seems Apple may have taken some steps to make the device more watertight. A friend dropped my iPhone 2G in a puddle and it stopped functioning immediately.

Also, the mic kept working as well.  Even the autofocus and the light adjustments were working at the bottom of the pool.  You know what they say…"Don’t try this at home".  Drop happens about half way through the clip….

iClarified via Mike Elgan

New in Snow Leopard: Activity Monitor shows you exactly what is killing your CPU

Before, you’d just see that Safari was nailing your CPU. Now there’s a more specific breakdown, which shows the true culprit.  Plug-in sandboxing is good thing.  It is especially helpful when a plug-in is not responding and you want to quit it without killing your browser session (below).

 

 

This has been around for a few weeks but comes in very handy.

Dock Expos

Snow Leopard Beta Testers were greeted with a surprise Friday night.  Instead of having to burn a dual layer DVD and install the newest Snow Leopard build manually, Apple delivered the newest release via a 700MB Software Update. 

We got to playing around with Dock Exposé and found it to be pretty much as advertised (below).

  • Activate Dock Exposé by clicking and holding on a running application’s Dock icon
  • Click any other running application to switch to that application’s Exposé.
  • Preview the window in Exposé by selecting it with the mouse or hitting spacebar.  There is a nice blow up transition between windows.
  • When you go into Exposé mode you can click on the different apps to see the windows of that app

Dock Exposé isn’t a going to change the world, but it is certainly a nice addition that can speed up worflows.

As for other stuff, Safari and other GUI elements feel … snappier™.

Michael Jackson posthumously tops iTunes charts

In the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, fans are lining up to listen to his music in record numbers.  In fact, the current iTunes Top 25 has songs from the Jackson’s songs 19 timesNine of the top 10 albums are also Michael’s.  No previous artist, living or dead, has achieved that level of popularity on the music service since it opened in 2003.  Oh, and he is 15 of the top 15 on Amazon.

Love him or hate him, he could sell albums.

French iPhone Cr

According to French blog Nowhere Else, a white iPhone 3GS, while under a lot of CPU load, left faded brown streaks on the back plastic cover.  According to the site, the user said:

I did the test several apps warning radars in the car when I was a passenger, the apps using the GPS chip as well as 3G, after a while my iPhone was very hot but not burning hot.


more picts below

 

The user apparently called Apple customer service who wanted the iPhone to do some "analysis".

Via Engadget

Intel to begin to release game changing SSDs in two weeks

The Inquirer reports that Intel is set to release a new round of SSDs which might bring hard drive replacements into the hands of many more laptop owners. 

We’ve been told that with these new 34nm NAND SSDs, users can expect higher performance, higher capacities, and most importantly, lower prices.  Amongst the 34nm offerings hot off the production line will be a 320GB drive, plus 160GB and 80GB capacities too. But there very well could be more. Our sources tell us there will be drives big enough to replace the HDDs in most, if not all laptops.

That is a pretty bold statement, especially with retail 500GB laptop hard drives falling significantly below the $100 price point.  Currently, the best retail SSD price/GB ratio of SSDs has been $227/128GB.  That is a lot of space and a lot of $ difference.