Sleek Android Handset HTC One X Debuts for AT&T

HTC One X Android Phone for AT&TThe HTC One X is a slim and sleek new handset available today on the AT&T network. It runs the latest Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Android operating system, and features a large 4.7 inch (1,280 x 720px) LCD screen, superfast 4G LTE data transfer speeds, a solid camera, and HTC’s comfortable Sense 4 user interface.

Though this is a fast-running machine, it doesn’t feature the latest quad-core processor, perhaps improving its battery life. Speaking of which, the main drawbacks to this phone, likely irrelevent to many, are that it’s battery is not-removable and it does not include an SD memory card slot for additional storage.

All in all, this is a powerful and stylish piece of kit that should delight any Android fan or new smartphone user.

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Windows 7 Phone on its way

windows-phone-7The Windows Phone 7 is soon on its way, which is a pretty big deal by some accounts. This is Microsoft’s attempt to rival the Apple iPhone smartphone stronghold.

A number of manufacturers are releasing Windows Phone 7 smartphones, such as Dell, Samsung, HTC, LG. The platform was released in Europe and Asia today, October 21, and will be released in the United states on November 8.

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More Americans Have Cell Phones Than Computers

cell phone landfillAccording to a recently released Pew Research Center report, 85% of Americans now own cell phones, including 96% of people in the 18-29 year old age range.

This is compared to 76% computer ownership (desktop or laptop), 47% mp3 player ownership, and 42% video game console ownership.

This is based on a survey of 3,001 American adults.

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Join the Canon PowerShot S95 User Community

canon-powershot-s95The Canon PowerShot S95 is quite easily the best pocket camera currently on the market. Naturally, there are quite a few ins and outs to such a sophisticated tool. S95site is the place for Canon S95 users to come together and discuss how to improve their photography with this powerful piece of equipment.

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Cell Phones the Central Technology of Developing Countries

lagos-cell-phone-marketThis interesting article in the New York Times asserts that cell phones are even more important a technology in many third-world and developing countries than they are in many heavily industrialized countries like the United States.  Many countries are building cell phone towers in areas that never even had wired networks, spreading telecommunications for the first time by way of cellular technology.  By some counts, more people have access to a cell phone today than to a toilet.

Photo: Cells phones at an electronics market in Lagos, Nigeria (Associated Press)

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Mexican Government Seeks to Register All Cell Lines

The federal government of Mexico is requiring all cell phone lines in the country to be registered in a central database with identifications of their users.  Most cell phones in Mexico are not operated on contracts with carriers, so the government has no means to identify the user of a particular number.  This is proclaimed as an attempt to fight crime syndicates.  From AFP:

Tens of thousands of Mexico residents could have their cell phones cut off this weekend for failing to register their numbers under a government scheme to tackle organized crime.

Congress voted in the move last year in a bid to reduce widespread crimes, particularly extortion and ransom demands, carried out via untraceable cell phones.

If cell phone users fail to register by Saturday midnight, “their line will be suspended with no responsibility from their service provider,” the Federal Telecommunications Commission said on its Internet site.

Out of around 79 million registered lines, just under 55 million had been registered by Thursday, or 66 percent, according to the commission.

Thousands rushed to register by SMS or on the Internet as the deadline loomed, but bottlenecks slowed down the process and some — including Mexicans without birth certificates and foreigners without Mexican identity numbers — were unable to comply.

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Homeland Security Developing Poison Sniffing Cellphones

The United States Department of Homeland Security is reportedly developing poison gas sniffing capabilities for embedding into cell phones.  This of course raises privacy concerns about future mandates requiring cellphones to “phone home” to government intelligence agencies, but the DHS claims that such a capability would be optional.  From PCMag:

…all manufacturers would need to do is embed a small chip into the phones–costing a little less than a dollar–that would detect toxic chemicals in the air while a user goes about his or her normal activities. Depending on the nature of the gas detected, the phone could alert a user with a vibration or a noise to indicate that unsafe activities are amiss and, “getting the heck out” should commence.

For more potent chemical activities–like a toxic gas attack–the phone would anonymously send a message back to a centralized service to report its findings. But here’s the fun part. Rather than raise the alarm and force authorities to take action, which would prove costly should numerous phones glitch and fire up an occasional false alarm, said reporting service would take into account the reports of phones across a larger geographic area.

For example, suppose a poisonous gas was released at a shopping mall. Instead of relying on one phone’s report of a problem–which may or may not be a true indication of what’s really going on–the service would look for correlated reports across a number of devices in a particular location. According to, the entire process of detection, reporting, and notification could take place in less than 60 seconds. And since all users equipped with chemical-sensing phones would be serving as their own walking sensors of-sorts, emergency responders could use the more comprehensive analysis to pinpoint exactly where they need to concentrate their efforts.

The privacy implications of having a phone that’s always in touch with a centralized reporting service–likely run through Homeland Security–might put some at bay. However, officials insist that the service would run on an opt-in basis and provide anonymity for submitting devices. That’s a pretty wide concession given how antithetical it is for a distributed reporting service to rely on users “opting in,” especially since said service relies on a wide range of submissions from its user base to operate.

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3D TV on the Horizon

The recent success of the Avatar in the theaters has proven it: 3D is going big. With technologies in rapid development allowing 3D home theater and 3D television viewing at home, 3-dimensional content is sure to hit big by the end of 2010.

As a homebase  for early adopters and 3D enthusiasts, we’ve just launched 3DTVUG — The 3D TV Users Group.  Here’s a place to discuss the ins and outs, the hopes and the hype surrounding the developing world of 3D home viewing.

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Scammer Alert: 714-916-3051 and others

Another cell phone fraud alert, this time from the phone number 714-916-3051.  If you receive any calls or text messages from this number, I recommend that you disregard and delete them.

Here is the message they sent, likely trying to take advantage of the recent news on changes in federal credit card policy:

If you are $10,000 or more in Credit Card Debt, you qualify for our Debt Settlement Program.  Reply “YES” to be contacted today with info.

At best they are trying to recruit people for some exploitative refinancing program, but more likely they’re phishing for personal information to commit identity theft. Do not reply.

Update (March 3, 2010):  Looks like this scammer is operating from multiple phone numbers.  Received a similar message today from 714-861-9714.

If you are $10,000 or more in credit card debt, you can qualify for our Debt Settlement program.  Text “YES” to learn more.

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Video on the Go: Portaprojectors for Cell Phones


If they’re yet showing up on your radar, they soon will be.  Portaprojectors (aka pico-projectors, pocket projectors) are pocket-sized video projectors that can be hooked up to a camera, a laptop, or yes, even a cell phone.  Imagine their uses: travelling business presentations, portable movie theaters, video games in bed, etc.  Some upcoming cell phones should even be released soon with micro-projectors built in.  Who said 2010 wasn’t the future?

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