Saturday, November 28, 2009

Slacker killed my radio, and i aint mad about it

I'm a music lover, from the Temptations to The Fugees, from Staind to Michael Jackson, from Tupac Shakur to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I listen to some form of music almost everyday, by way of a podcast, a music video, an old album, or something I pick up from a friend, that much hasn't changed, but what has changed is how I listen.  I find it easier and more enjoyable to listen to music through a streaming audio app such as Slacker,, or Pandora than traditional radio.  I'm guessing the reader knows what I'm talking about and if you don't, where the hell have you been.
I love the old radio, the music is always fresh, the DJ's are insightful, and there are rarely ads interrupting my musical enjoyment.  The problems with radio are: if I listen for an hour straight I can guarantee that at some point the same song will play again and I can't skip it, they don't always play the music I want to hear for example; my local DJ wont play that one song from 1992 that I cant remember the name of but it goes something like......
Here comes streaming radio, with customizable stations, no ads and no repetition, I can choose an artist and listen to just that artists music or choose songs from a genre and listen to similar songs from that same genre.  If I feel like listening to Red Foxx's old stand-up, I can just type in his name.  I get to skip songs that I don't like, and can even tell my radio to never, ever play that again.  I can listen to streams from across the nation or across the world.  If I'm feeling that song, I can buy it right from my device and transfer it to my home collection.  Best of all my music goes everywhere I go.
Of course streaming radio has its limitations, but they are minimal compared to the old radio.  I don't blame the local DJ for the demise of radio, in fact I kind of feel sorry for them, they probably don't like the music they're forced to play.  I put the blame on the music execs who pay program managers millions to get their artist on the hourly rotation.  I also blame myself for allowing my radio, once the medium for educated thought and discussion, to become a whore for advertisers.  Advertisers who in trying to monetize the airwaves destroyed the very essence that made people tune in.
Radio is dead to me but music lives on. The stories of artists like Soldier Boy (though I'm not a fan), Wale, and others rejuvenates my faith in music.  With streaming radio independent musicians worldwide can get mainstream exposure without losing their soul, and the soul is what makes music what it is.  I love music's ability to pass through any barrier (wood, metal, air, water, electricity, political), I love how music is always evolving, I love the fact that a song can be your mother, your doctor, your psychiatrist, and your voice all at the same time.  I'm not sorry to see the old radio go, because its lost its soul.  So as long as I have a data connection and 5% battery left, I'm a stream til the last song fades out.

Some of my favorite streaming radio apps:  Slacker,, iheartradio.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UStream mobile, live entertainment in your back pocket

USTREAM mobile allows you to broadcast live from your mobile phone, or if you like to watch instead you can also view broadcasts available on Ustream's main site right on your phone.  If you have an Android device go to your App Market, if you have a relatively new Nokia handset you should visit for more information and a link to download the software for your device.
Go ahead the world is waiting.

Swype a new way to input text on touchscreens

Above is a video demonstration of the latest improvement on text entry, the technology is called Swype.  It was invented by the maker of the T9 text input method used in most phones today.  Swype allows you to drag your finger from letter to letter while composing a message, hypothetically making typing on touchscreens faster, easier, and less painful.
This new technology will be available for Android and Windows Mobile based touchscreen devices soon but it is expected to be available for all brands before long.  Swype will make its debut on December 2 on the Samsung Omnia II through Verizon.  Looks like we're stuck poking at our screens until then.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Droid for $120, Curve 8900 for a cent, Droid Eris for $30, Sprint Tour $50

 Verizon's version of the HTC Hero, dubbed the Droid Eris is on sale for an insanely low $30.  The phone is available on an instant discount through LetsTalk and Wal-Mart, fore details, click here

The Blackberry 8900 is really a top of the line phone, and it comes with all the features that you would expect from a top of the line handset, specs here. The T-mobile and AT&T version of the phone are being offered for free with a new agreement from third party retailers.  You can visit Amazon, Wal-Mart, LetsTalk, and others for this great deal.

Remember that huge phone that just launched a couple of weeks ago, for like $200.  The one that was supposed to do everything the iPhone cant and wont do?  The phone that offered free turn by turn navigation standard?  Are you getting warm?  Ok, the Droid is now just $119, on a 2-year contract through Dell Mobility.

Amazon seems to have some really incredible deals on their site, one of their best offers is the Blackberry Tour for $50.  As a reminder the tour is a world edition device that offers GSM 850/900/1800/1900, half VGA 480x360 display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, Bluetooth 2.0, A-GPS, Blackberry OS, 256MB memory, microSD expansion up to 8GB, and 3.5mm jack.  Check out Amazon's other great Sprint deals here.

Apple to Verizon: Look what our Network can do

After seeing AT&T/Luke Wilson's pitiful attempt to counter Verizon's attack, Apple has stepped up and made a commercial of their own.  Although the ad is a bit washed, it highlights Apple's ability to market it's product simply and effectively as they've done all along.  The ads are self explanatory, even if they don't address Verizon's claim that AT&T's network is unreliable and is plagued with spotty 3G coverage.
Apple has a vested interest in the well being of AT&T since their profits are directly tied to whether or not customers keep walking in the door to buy iPhones.  It makes sense for Apple to defend their partnership with AT&T, but they've managed to do so tactfully by not mentioning the V word.  Say what you want about Apple but there are some smart people in those offices.  This makes for interesting television and all, but what about taking that advertising dollar and using it to improve your network?

Verizon to Sprint: You cant say youre the most dependable network

After dismantling AT&T, Verizon now has its sights on Sprint.

Verizon filed a complaint to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (say that 3 times fast), that Sprint's claim of having "America's most dependable 3G network" was false.  Verizon cited the results of a Nielsen Co. test that showed Verizon's network had fewer dropped/blocked calls than Sprint.  The Bureau obliged Verizon's request and advised Sprint to stop airing commercials with this claim. 
Sprint wont be taking this lying down though, they have stated that they believe more than one set of test results should be examined to rule out various factors and they plan on filing an appeal with the National Advertising Review Board in this matter.  Hand it to Verizon though, they know how to cripple their competition, lets just hope this doesn't go to their heads.

The best Blackberry ever, for a really low price

UPDATE: LetsTalk has one-upped both Amazon and Wirefly by offering the 9700 for $9.99, the same 2 year obligation is required but this offer comes with no activation fee and no mail-in rebates.
The new Blackberry Bold 9700 has been reputed to be the best Blackberry ever made. I have the T-mobile version of the device and I am hard pressed to find any weaknesses of the device. While T-Mobile is asking $149.99, AT&T is practically giving away the device through its third-party retailers.
Amazon and Wirefly are both offering the new Blackberry for $50. Amazon's offer seems to be a bit better since it doesn't require a mail-in rebate and they are waiving the activation fee, but you do have to be opening a new line of service. It is possible to get this offer from AT&T directly, but you will have to visit an AT&T store to get this offer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blackberry Media Sync for all your media needs

If you're a Blackberry user, congratulations. You might or might not have a lot of pictures and music on your device. To be honest, I listen to Slacker, Pandora, or some other streaming app on my phone for my music needs, but for those times when data services are unavailable, you might want to carry your own collection with you.
Blackberry Media Sync allows you to sync your Blackberry device with the iTunes and Windows Media Player. The process is pretty simple, once you launch the app it connects to your Blackberry and asks you to choose between iTunes and WMP, next you select the Playlist you want to sync and then hit the green button. The same rules apply for syncing your pictures. Remarkably simple, and efficient, thanks RIM.

*FYI, you might want to create a Playlist of the songs you want synced before you start, and it might not be a bad idea to create a folder with just those precious pictures you want on your phone as well. Download Blackberry Media Sync 3.0 here

Fring rolls out Skype video calling to your Nokia S60 device

Finally, if you have a Nokia X6, N97, mini, N97, 5800, N95 or basically any Nokia device with a front facing camera, guess what?
Fring, the company that brought VOIP calling to the US through their Apple iPhone and Android app has added a new feature. Skype video calling is now available through Fring on Nokia s60 devices. For this to work, your friend will need to have the Fring app on their Nokia device or they can use the desktop version of Skype. The demonstration above features a glitchy test call, but the idea is compelling and I'm sure they are working hard to enable this feature for other devices as well.
But there's another hurdle, how will I use this on my Blackberry if the camera is on the back of the phone? Umm, wheres Macgyver when you need him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Google Turn by Turn Nav now on Android 1.6

Google has released its infamous turn by turn navigation system first introduced in Android 2.0 and the Motorola Droid for the rest of the masses. If you have a Android device running 1.6 OS you can go to the Android Market and download the application right now, and of course as with anything Google its free. What are you waiting for, get lost.

Some new phones that you might have missed

The stylish handset you see above is the Sanyo Incognito SCP 6760. This beauty will be available through Sprint online on November 30th, and in stores Dec. 6th. Surprisingly, the phone will cost $50 after mail in rebate. Here's what you'll get:
A really cool OLED external display with light-accented buttons that provides haptic feedback when touched. A full QWERTY keyboard with a 2.6-inch QVGA display. A 2.0 megapixel camera, social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and your IM applications are included as well as some of Sprints standards such as Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, and Sprint Radio. Click on the picture above for a brief hands on video.


The Motorola I410 is a clamshell phone for Boost Mobile customers. Check out the pics/specs Here. A price/launch date have not been announced but Motorola and Boost promise to have this device out before the end of the year. The phone is pretty basic, I mean it doesn't even have a camera, but hey its got Walkie Talkie functionality built in, seriously, Boost.

Check out these cellular deals for you on Black Friday

Black Friday is here and so are the savings. A lot of carriers and retailers are offering phenomenal deals before the holiday's even arrive. Here's a few of the special's out there now.

Walmart is leading the way with great deals all over the place, they're practically giving stuff away. For example:
Online now at you can get the AT&T Tilt 2 Touchscreen Smartphone Value Bundle, which comes with Screen Protector, Car Charger, and Bluetooth Headset for $o.o1, on a 2-year contract of course. Click on the pic for a review of the device (Mobiletechreview).

Looks like the folks at Apple are also in a charitable mood this holiday season. They recommend you check back in after the Thanksgiving feast for some really incredible deals on everything in their stores. According to Boy Genius Report buyers can expect iMacs starting at $1098, iPod nanos starting at &138, iPod touch starting at $178, MacBook Pros starting at $1098, Apple TVs starting at $208 and much more. It's too bad you have to wait til Friday, isn't it. Click on the Pic above to go to Apple's store.

Not to be outdone, T-mobile seems to also be in the gift giving mood. In fact they encourage you to buy a phone for a friend. Starting now, anybody on a T-mobile Even More plan can purchase a phone at full-retail ($300+) as a gift for a friend. If you don't have all $300 you can spread the payments out over the life of your own contract. So if you have a buddy that is just dying to get a T-mobile account, and they are ready to switch, why not hook them up, after all they'd do the same for you right?
On top of that come Friday, T-mobile is shaving off $50 from some of their top-tier phones. That means you can get the Motorola CLIQ for $149, Blackberry Bold 9700 $149, and the Samsung Highlight for $50, w/ 2-year contract of course.

If you are looking to upgrade your plan to a new two-year deal or shopping for a new carrier, check out Best Buy from 11/26 to 11/28. They will be offering the Palm Pre for a low low price of $79.99. For more info go Here

Have fun shopping this week and don't forget to pick something up for me as well.

Samsung and T-mobile giving away phones and TV's

Samsung is giving away a new Behold II every hour and an LCD TV every day. No kidding, check out the details. Here

Just about anyone can enter the sweepstakes, as long as you are 14 prior to entering the competition. There will be a total of 840 Behold II's given away during the course of the promotion and the daily drawing for a TV will take place every day for a total of 35 days, Nov 18, 2009 - Dec 23, 2009.

Even if you didn't win within the hour you registered, you can go back every hour and register to win again and again, until you do.

Good luck