Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .
Verizon has said precious little about Motorola Droid 2 – the highly anticipated successor to the smartphone that is widely credited for kick starting the Android revolution. However, the steady supply of leaks and rumors has ensured that we already know a fair amount about it.
A North Carolina Best Buy store was careless enough to put dummy units of the new Droid on display. As you can see from the snap procured by Engadget, the Droid 2 will be available for $199.99 with a two year contract and for $599.99 without. There is nothing shocking about the pricing, but it’s always nice to have some confirmation.
Amidst all the media frenzy surrounding the Androids, the Blackberries and the iPhones, it might be quite easy to forget that most Indians still do not own a smartphone. While processor speed and the operating system are the main selling points of high-end phones, the budget phones simply try to stick to the basics and to do them well. Fly DS 110i is a light-weight candy bar phone, which falls in the latter category.
The Fly DS 110i – Available in Grey and Red Colours
The 110i is a dual SIM GSM handset featuring a 4.6 cm, 65 K TFT display having a resolution of 128 X 160 pixels. It has none of the fancy features like camera, Bluetooth, IrDA or USB data transfer. However, it does support expandable memory up to 2 GB and includes a FM radio as well as a FM recorder. Other notable features are torch with dedicated key, privacy protection, Indian calendar, SMS and MMS, contact and SMS backup, call reject and call recorder. The powerful 1200 mAh battery provides up to 10 hours of talk time and 160 hours of standby time.
The Fly DS 110i is available across India for Rs. 2,500.
Sony Ericsson’s flagship device, the Xperia X10, got rooted a couple of months back. While the root procedure described in our original post isn’t complicated, it definitely involves more effort than most iPhone/iPad jailbreak solutions. The good news is that a much simpler technique is now available.
If you have been putting off rooting your phone because you found the entire process to be too time consuming, go ahead and give the new method a spin. The app also comes with the option of “unrooting” your phone.
Universal Androot is known to work with multiple handsets including Motorola Milestone, HTC Hero, HTC Magic, Dell Streak and Acer Liquid. However, there is a major known issue with this approach. Multiple users have reported that ADB (Android Debug Bridge) doesn’t work after using the Universal Androot app. Stick to the old method, if you need the debug bridge.
HP CEO Mark Hurd resigned yesterday after an investigation revealed that he had failed to disclose a personal relationship with a contractor. HP’s current CFO, Cathie Lesjak, has been appointed as an interim CEO to fill the void left by Hurd.
“Hurd’s decision was made following an investigation by outside legal counsel and the General Counsel’s Office, overseen by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a claim of sexual harassment against Hurd and HP by a former contractor to HP”, read an official statement from the company. Although the investigation cleared Hurd of the sexual harassment charges, it found him in violation of Hewlett-Packard’s standard of business conduct.
This is obviously a big setback to the personal computing giant. Although Hurd has been criticized in the past for some of his actions, he is generally considered to be a successful CEO who managed to revive the company’s fortunes. The news of the scandal sent HP’s stocks plummeting by 10%.
Last week we reported that Sony Ericsson had begun rolling out a firmware update to the Xperia X10. The new firmware – R2BA026, introduced further performance improvements and made the entire user interface more responsive. However, according to reports coming in from multiple users, the new firmware also introduces a particularly annoying bug.
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, whenever your network signal drops to zero and then bounces back, the Wi-Fi gets automatically disabled. What makes this blunder even more unforgivable is the fact that the very same bug was also present in R1FA016 and was fixed later on. It definitely seems that Sony Ericsson needs better regression testers. If haven’t yet updated to the latest firmware, you might want to hold on till Sony Ericsson squashes this maddening bug through another software update.
Update: It seems that the R2BA026 update also suffers from fluctuating in-call volumes. According to reports on XDA, if you change the call volume during a call, the volume gets automatically reset to 50% after the call.
Google Wave might have had a short lifespan, and it might have failed to gain significant traction. However, make no mistake, it definitely had its fair share of dedicated users. Although, Google has promised to keep Wave alive till the end of the year, the long term future of Wave is uncertain to say the least. Many users are already speaking out against Google’s decision to axe Wave. In fact, some are even trying to change the search engine giant’s mind through initiatives like SaveGoogleWave.
WizeHive, a Google Wave competitor, has decided to capitalize on the buzz surrounding Wave’s demise to attract new users. If you or your company heavily relied on Google Wave, WizeHive is one of the many collaboration tools you can have a look at. While WizeHive might not have all the fancy features of Wave, it is better organized and offers a more coherent user experience. It allows you to instantly chat with people, share files, collaborate on projects and organize tasks.
In order to grab a premium account, all you need to do is signup for the free account and send an email to [email protected]. The first 500 people to request an account will get their 30-day trial changed into a 1 year standard account worth $588.
Remember Google Wave? The product that many of us thought would change the way we communicate, forever. Sadly, a little more than a year after it was first announced, Google has decided to pull the plug on Wave.
Wave was one of the most hyped web services in recent history. The artificially created scarcity of invites even prompted many to shell our hefty cash for invites to an essentially free service.
I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.
Earlier today, Urs HÃ¶lzle, senior VP of operations and Google Fellow at Google, acknowledged in a blog post that Wave has not seen the user adoption Google would have liked. As a result of the lack of interest surrounding Wave, Google has decided to pull the plug. Although the standalone service will be available til (at least) the end of the year, Google will not be developing Wave as a product any further.
Over the past few years, Google has tried and failed repeatedly at making inroads into the social web. While Google was busy dealing with one failed product launch after another, Facebook went from strength to strength and is now in a position to dominate not only the social web, but also the web in general. At this point of time, Facebook is quite possibly the biggest threat to Google, and Google knows it. The closure of Wave demonstrates that Google is looking to cut its losses and focus on the impending launch of its new social network – Google Me. Make no mistake, Google Me might be Google’s last chance to fight back. If it fails again, it might be too late to stop Facebook.
Earlier this week, LG officially announced three new handsets aimed primarily at the youth. These stylish handsets will kick off the new Wink series, which aims to offer touchscreen mobiles phones at a reasonable price.
LG Wink, Wink Style and Wink 3G
The three handsets are -LG T300 Wink, T310 Wink style and T320 Wink 3G. The T300 Wink, which is the cheapest of the lot, sports a 2.4” screen and includes all the standard features including 3.5 mm headphone jack, FM radio, macroSD slot (up to 4GB), and handwriting recognition. Multimedia is not the Wink’s strongest aspect, but the 1.3 megapixel camera with autofocus and the media player (MP3, eAAC+, WAV, MP3, eAAC+, WAV) covers all the basics.
The Wink Style features a 2.8 inch display and will be available in multiple attractive color combinations. It also comes with a slightly better camera (2 MP).
The T320 Wink 3G supports HSDPA, besides packing in some extra goodies including accelerometer and expandable memory up to 16 GB. The Wink Style T310 and the Wink 3G T320 will be available with and without Wi-Fi.
Interestingly enough LG has decided to continue using its Cookie brand name in Europe. So Wink, Wink style and Wink 3G will be known as Cookie, the Cookie Style, and the Cookie 3G in Europe.
Last month, I had previewed Trillian 5, a major update to the popular multi-protocol instant messaging and social networking tool. On paper Trillian 5 appeared to be a stunning update to one of the most powerful instant messengers out there. Now that the public beta has been finally released, I can confirm that Trillian 5 lives up to the expectations.
As always Trillian is packed to the brim with features. However, unlike before, it doesn’t feel congested or bloated. The UI is sleek, intuitive and gorgeous. Trillian 5 supports Twitter, Facebook as well as LinkedIn in addition to Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, AIM, Skype and E-mail. Future beta builds will also introduce cloud syncing for chat history, so that you can access your social graph on the move.
Facebook might have had an Android app since last year, but I (and most people I know) never really bothered using it. The half-baked official app lacked many of the basic features, insisted on opening the browser for pretty much anything and everything, and was simply too frustrating. Last week, when it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was also using Android, many of us hoped that the official Facebook app for Android would finally get a much needed overhaul. The good news is that the new Facebook app has arrived and it is indeed a major improvement.
The updated Facebook app boasts of multiple new features. The most obvious changes, which are visible from the home-screen itself are:
Support for Events: This new section allows you to view your upcoming events, learn more about each of them and even RSVP.
Support for Friend Request Notification: The home screen now includes a new Requests button, which enables you to monitor and accept/reject all friend requests from the Facebook app itself.
Photo Reel: The bottom half of the screen has a nifty little photo-reel (see screenshot above), which pulls in the latest pictures and videos from your Facebook activity stream. The app should also be able to playback Facebook videos (H.264).
Improved Navigation: You get single click access to all the basic features including status updates, friend search, notifications and more. Even more importantly, you don’t need to open your browser to do any of these tasks.
The Facebook app is not complete by any means. There are still plenty of missing features including Chat and Reshare. Nevertheless, it’s a huge improvement over its predecessor. There are still some annoyances. For example, it still insists on using the browser for responding to notifications. Let’s hope that this update is just the beginning and Facebook will continue to regularly update its app for one of the fastest growing mobile platforms.