I've always felt that the Archos AV400 was the best personal video player in the market. It had a big, beautiful screen, great design, incredible ease of use and some very practical features. Well, now comes the Archos AV700. And it's... huge! This is not something you can fit into your pocket and use as a personal music player (which you can still do, to a point, with the AV400). No, this isn't meant to be tucked away. The AV700 is a real, honest-to-goodness digital video recorder that's portable but doesn't have much pretensions about being personal. And it's loaded! Featuring a whopping 7" widescreen 480x232 LCD, this is something you'd be glad to mount on your dashboard. Record shows from your home video devices using the easy-to-use cradle: the 40GB model can store 160 hours of video,while the 100GB (!) model can store up to 400. Video can be recorded at up to VGA resolution at 30 fps. USB 2.0 means fast PC connectivity. And the battery actually lasts an impressive 4 hours for watching onscreen video (and up to 30 hours for music). Unlike the AV400, this doesn't have a built-in card reader. But it does have something that's even better: USB Host Port capability (via an included adapter)! Simply plug your digital camera, card reader, or external drive directly to this device and upload or download contents! Regardless of brand, if your camera has a USB port, you can use the AV700 as your storage drive! It's not a personal device, but it's mobile enough and is very car-friendly. I drooled over the AV400 when it first came out (although I couldn't justify it in my budget, heheh), and the AV700 will give me something new to drool about now!
August 2005 Archives
I dropped by a Mobile1 event at the Alabang Town Center the other day and was greeted by Jed, their marketing manager - all beaming about one of their top selling products for the entire run. The Canon Selphy is a great mobile printing solution - it's easy to use, it's very portable, and it prints crisp standard 4x6 (credit card to 4x8 max) pics directly from your camera. As long as you have a mini USB cable for your camera, you can direcly plug it to the Selphy and print to your heart's desire. Don't fret, according to Jed, they will be selling these in the upcoming Mobile Pilipinas 2005, so get your P7,xxx.00 ready!
As I've written in my previous entry, I'm an avid reader and most of my reading materials are eBooks. On my PDA, my favorite application for reading is a nifty application called iSilo. There are a lot of reading materials on the internet that are already in iSilo format but sometimes I feel there's a need for me to create my own eBooks. That's where another application, iSiloX comes in. Using iSiloX, I can create my own eBook content. My "home-made" eBook contents are mostly news, manuals and other materials that are readily available on on the worldwide web. Here's a short HOW-TO on putting the latest news on your PDA:
- Download and install iSiloX on your PC (or Mac). You can get iSiloX here.
- Run iSiloX and create a new file and add any online document you wish to put on your PDA.
- Adding document to iSilo is a three-step process. First you need to type in your preferred title for the eBook you wish to download. Then choose your eBooks destination, which is either direct to your PDA via Hotsync/Activesync or by saving it into a file on your computer allowing you to sync the book to your PDA at a later time. The you'll have to add the URL of the web page you wish to convert into an eBook. For local news, I use [insert INQ7 link here] for news.
- One critical step that has to be taken into consideration is the "link depth" and if you will allow iSiloX to follow links that are not on the original URL. Too small "link depth" will not download all contents but too large "link depth" will increase the size of your eBook.
- Once everything is in order, highlight your document from within iSiloX's main window and click on convert. This will prompt iSiloX to go to the internet and download your document.
- Once completed, you can either perform a Hotsync/Activesync (if you chose it as a destination), or you can add the converted document manually if you chose to save it as a separate file. Either way, you'll have your own customized iSilo content on your PDA.
Here's a great accessory for the iPod shuffle. Finally, we feel the love. I just hate it when I bump it into things while it's docked. Scary stuff there.
PivotDock, with its patent pending design, is the smallest docking station for the iPod Shuffle, freeing iPod Shuffle owners from the maze of connecting wires and large, bulky plastic docks. Featuring a positive-click 180 degree pivoting design, the PivotDock significantly reduces the spatial footprint of any docked iPod Shuffle, safely tucking it within a smaller space and minimizing the chances of accidental breakage. PivotDock also features a bright green LED status light that offers an additional “Bling
The "tingi" system of retail is, I think, a uniquely Filipino way of selling things. I'm not sure of this but I think its only here that a person can buy cigarettes by the stick, shampoo on a sachet, or even medicines per tablet/capsule. I remember when we had a sari-sari store back in the old days (I won't mention the decade to protect my real age), we sold cheese and "dari-creme" per slice (carefully wrapped in wax paper) and cooking oil through measuring cups. This system of retail may not be cost effective since consumers pay more for those "tingi" items than when they buy in whole packages or in bulk. Anyway, this way of selling and buying has already encroached on the local technology and like it or not, it has vastly affected the way technology is used by the common "tao". There was a time when internet connection was only available to people who are willing to pay a fixed monthly fee for a set amount of online time. Cellphone and land line telephone subscriptions were also for those who are capable and willing to pay fixed monthly subscription fees. It was during those times when only a few people had access to telephony (both fixed landlines and cellphones) and even fewer have access to the internet. Both services were seen as something only the elite can have. Now, telcos are adopting the "Tingi" marketing strategy. The telcos started making prepaid SIMs for cellphones, allowing people to only pay for the amount of time they actually use their cellphones for conversations and SMS. The same thing happened to land lines. This, of course, spawned a few problems. As it becomes easier to get SIM cards for cellphones, cellphone thefts have dramatically increased with the introduction of the prepaid schemes. The market for stolen cellphones has skyrocketed since its easy to acquire a line for a stolen unit (just go to the nearest phone retailer and buy a prepaid SIM kit). Scams involving SMS has also increased since its easy and cheap to swap out phone numbers. Despite of all these negative effect, the prepaid scheme for cellphones and fixed line telephone has one very positive effect on the country, communication has become very easy and accessible. The availability of prepaid internet cards has also created some boom in the ISP industry, though not in the scale achieved by prepaid cellphone cards. Because of the availability of these prepaid internet cards, more people are able to go online without having to worry about monthly internet bills. With the recent introduction of wi-fi hotspots locally a lot of people go online using prepaid wi-fi access. Again, using these prepaid wi-fi almost always ends up being more expensive compared to a monthly billing scheme but since wi-fi is not available everywhere, it makes sense to just pay for the amount of time you need to go online instead of paying for an unlimited monthly service you only use for a couple of hours per week. Again, despite its inherent and obvious disadvantage, the "tingi" marketing in tech today may not provide long-term cost effectiveness but it has become a way of bringing technology closer to the common "tao". ======= M|Ph July/August Issue SonyEricsson K750i Article Addendum In my review of the SonyEricsson K750i, I mentioned that one of the downsides of the unit is its 8-second limit in saving video files. It turned out that this limit can be changed from within one of the options in its menu. I was not able to fully explore this phone's capabilities when it was issued to me because of the real heavy workload (on my day job) I had at that time. To SonyEricsson, I sincerely apologize for this oversight.
Google is finally starting its bid to take over the world! Right after launching its revolutionary GMail, it is now starting to make a buzz in the IM (Instant Messaging) arena by launching Google Talk. Google Talk is an all-in-one client that enables existing GMail users to do Instant Messaging and VOIP (Voice-Over-IP). My initial tests shows that it has no trouble passing through firewalls and adding "buddies" is a snap, especially if your prospective buddies are GMail users. The client software is obviously in its early stages but if this is an indication of things to come from Google, I can't wait for it to get better.
Bought myself one of these a few weeks ago. And it's due time that i give a stress test based on my continous usage with my trusty iPod shuffle. The Airplay from Xtrememac fits into the iPod shuffle's USB port (automatic power on) and the other end goes to the car charger. A small LED shows the current station tuned with +/- buttons to switch stations. The device makes use of the iPod's volume controls to save on button real estate. In terms of the "total user experience" i would rate this product as a 3.5/5 given my current audio set up: I have one of the lower end Pioneer head units with Keff speakers at the back and another set of Pioneers in front. To top it off, I got some generic tweeters on top of the dash. Now it most likely has to do with my ugly tweeters, because I hear a lot of static when the volume of the shuffle is turned up loud. So what I did was to rip off the tweeters (oh noes! I did!) and fiddle with the volume controls. Best case situation is that my iPod volume is turned up really high and my head unit's volume is in the middle. Oh, and kill / dampen the tweeters. Turns out that the number one complaint about the product was the hissing sound that would dissapear every now and then. Don't get me wrong though, the Airplay is one of the better A+ FM tuners available to the general public. Do understand that the technology of streaming FM waves hasn't been perfected yet. So would I recommend it? Short answer would be YES, because it is small and portable, it doubles as a charger for the shuffle, and best of all, bursting with eye candy pops. SRP - P2,800.00. Stay tuned for next issue's full review of the Xtrememac Airplay FM Tuner.
Okay, so going wireless is glamorous. Thanks to all those images of surfing the net while sipping espresso at some overpriced coffee shop. Or of rough riding on a mountain bike while chattering with a loved one over a Bluetooth headset... But I still love wires. And for good reason. Wires are still a faster, more energy-efficient and more secure way of getting your devices to communicate. Which is why, despite having both Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, I still prefer to link my phone to my PC via a USB cable. The battery lasts longer, and it's a faster link. And just a few days ago, my Bayantel DSL has been upgraded to 896 kbps. EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY SIX! Ten years ago, that would have been enough to feed the whole of Asia... and it's all going into my home PC! Try getting 896 kbps over a wireless link. Sure, wireless networks are becoming ever faster. We have, after all, been moving through the 802.11 alphabet, from a to g, and there's now the promise of WiMax. But whatever speed they can toss at the wireless world, the wired world can outmatch. As Nicholas Negroponte notes, the trouble with aerial broadcasts is that your frequencies are limited, while the wired world offers unlimited potential. Your cable getting congested? String a new one and you've just doubled your capacity. So I still love my wires, my USB cables, my DSL line... Of course, with all that spaghetti, I eventually had to get myself a Bluetooth headset to keep me from strangling myself...
Apparently without much fanfare, the Sony Ericsson Walkman Phone W800i has finally slipped into the local market, at a retail price of PhP 27,990. It comes bundled with a pair of earphones and a 512MB Memory Stick PRO Duo card. So how does it stack up? As a Walkman Phone, the W800i allows you to listen to your music just like a regular MP3 player. Whenever a call comes in, your music automatically stops, to be automatically resumed right after your call ends. It comes with a 2-megapixel camera, photo light, 34MB of internal memory, FM radio, Bluetooth, infrared port and a 262K 176x220 pixel LCD display. Its Media Player plays MP3 files so, thankfully, the W800i isn't force-feeding us with Sony's proprietary Atrac music file format. And at just 99 grams, it's a surprisingly light phone, with a rated talk time of 9 hours and 400 hour standby time (no word on music-playing time). It's a richly featured phone (at 28 grand, it better be). Hang on and we'll see to it that we get to review this orange and white beauty soon.
I admit! I'm *fairly* addicted to gadgets! Each year, I allocate a portion of my bonus for my "gadget budget". However, whenever I get a chance (and the funds) to buy something new, I'll grab the chance to do so. But faced with the current state of economy here in the Philippines, I have to somehow restrain myself from splurging. But a couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon a post at PhilMUG.Ph announcing that one of the local Mac dealers Ynzal has a new batch of pre-owned Macs for sale. I followed the link on the post and something caught my eye: a Tangerine iBook is for sale and the price is Php 10,700.00. Since I was at my office at that time, I immediately called Ynzal and inquired if the said unit was still available. The person who took my call told me that the unit is still available but there are some hairline cracks on its screen bezel but according to him, they do not affect the unit's performance at all. I know that I have a potential bargain here so I told him to hold on to the unit and I'll be inspecting it during lunchtime. So I took an early lunch break and headed on over to Ynzal (which was in QC and I work in Makati). Upon reaching Ynzal, I immediately asked for the Tangerine iBook and I was flabbergasted when one of the staff told me that it was already sold! When they asked me if I was the person who called earlier, they confessed that they were holding the unit for me (and I heaved a sigh of relief). I had them boot the unit up and I explored its folders and some applications. The apps ran pretty fast and the hard drive has already been upgraded to 30 GB. I promptly paid for the unit (they shaved off Php 200 off the price because I complained about the hairline cracks) and went home contented that day. Before going home, I had one of our "gophers" fabricate a Ethernet cross-cable so that I can connect my Chiclet iBook to my "new" Tangerine iBook. Upon reaching home, one of the first things I did was to interconnect the two iBooks through my newly fabricated cross-cable. I simply enabled Appletalk on both 'Books and they promptly "talked" with each other. I was able to backup most of my files from the Chiclet iBook to the Tangerine iBook. Then I configured the Tangerine iBook so it can dial-up to the 'net. Configuration was a real breeze and it's gone online at no time at all! Now, the Tangerine iBook stays at home and is being used mainly as my home computer (while my Chiclet iBook resumes its mobile computer functions for me). Although not blazingly fast, the Tangerine iBook is nimble enough to create MS Office documents and is robust enough to run Adobe Photoshop CS without hanging. It works pretty well with my son's MacOS 9 games and connecting to the internet poses no problems at all. The thing I love about it the most? I can surf the web "au naturel" without fear of getting adware, trojans, viruses and other malware. My only gripe about the unit? Well, its screen resolution can only go as high as 800 x 600 but I don't need to do full-time graphics manipulation on this baby so that's just a minor thing. I intend to get a USB Dongle-type wi-fi adapter for this iBook so that I can do wireless networking at home. I also plan to have its batteries repacked so that in case of emergencies, I can still use this baby as a mobile computer. Now, who says you can't find good bargains nowadays???
I have always been a voracious reader. Ever since I can remember, reading has been a constant in my life. Back in my elementary days, I remember reading some of my literature textbooks even before the start of the class. My room, when I was younger, was a virtual library and half of the mess found in it were books, comics and magazines. Fast forward to the late 1990’s: I got my first Palm PDA (a 3Com Palm III) and I was really thrilled to have one. After playing around with it for a couple of weeks, I discovered that it can be used as an eBook reader. The Palm III is woefully short on memory and I was only able to load one eBook at a time. But that did not stop me. Back then Memoware.com was my constant source of eBooks for the Palm. It provided me with more than enough reading materials than I can read in one sitting. Memoware has files compatible with different eBook readers available for the Palm. Then I discovered iSilo. A Palm application that is actually designed to be an offline web browser. But using a companion PC-based app called iSiloX, I was able to create my own eBooks. By then my virtual library started to grow because I was able to convert books on my own… most of which came from the Project Gutenberg website. This does not include other reading materials I obtained through the web (how-to’s, product manuals, etc.). I’ve gotten used to using a PDA as an eBook reader that I can’t imagine myself without a PDA at all. The fact that I can bring a couple of books with me and read any of them whenever it hits my fancy is a big factor why I think my PDA is a gadget I can’t live without. Another reason why I prefer eBooks over their "dead-tree" counterpart is it provides me with an easy way to put bookmarks, allowing me to quickly start off where I left without having to fiddle around with *real* bookmarks or even rabbit ears. A couple of months ago, I decided to take the plunge and move over to the “dark side
When I got word that I’ll be the m-ph blogger of the month, I got real excited and started cataloguing my brains for things that might be of interest to the regular visitors of the m-ph blog. But before I do my thing, I think its appropriate to do some introductions first. I’m Bernie Janda (berniej of PhilMUG and MaPalad) and my day job involves working as the resident geek at an I.T. company in Makati. My official designation is “Open Systems Specialist
Globe Telecom has just transmitted the very first 3G video stream in the Philippines. It's a test broadcast that marks our being one step closer to having a 3G environment. Terrific. But the real problem is this: will the people bite? We're still at 2.5G right now, and thus far we haven't been taking the bait (except perhaps for Howard, who seems to be burning up the GPRS lines). Then again, changes might be in the air. Away we roam Take PLDT's WeRoam package, for instance. In an aggressive marketing move, WeRoam has produced product bundles that include some pretty interesting IBM laptops (the ThinkPad R50e and the X40). Along with this comes unlimited access to Wi-Fi and GPRS/EDGE. Translation: surf via Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop, and continue surfing via GPRS while you're on the road. Theoretically, you can be online 24 hours a day, anywhere you go, so long as there's a SMART or Airborne signal around. The killer app that will make GPRS (a.k.a. 2.5G) finally take off (after all these years, and with PLDT crossing their fingers) would still just be good old Internet access. For a fixed fee, that is. Note that the cheapest product bundle being offered by PLDT now is P4,299/month for 18 months, including ThinkPad installment (!). After that, it's just P2,000/month. PLDT is betting that by giving aggressive installment deals on laptops, the local mobile computing market can grow in the same way that bundled phone packages made the cell phone market explode. Good luck to PLDT. And good luck to 2.5G. Which leads us back to 3G. Mobile TV, anyone? Without any aggressive GPRS bundling programs in its hands, Globe is probably gambling that people would leapfrog over 2.5G and hitch a ride with 3G instead. After all, the 3G phones are here, and the network is apparently on its way as well. But what killer app will make us embrace 3G? Nokia for one is gambling that we'll embrace the viewing of TV shows on our phones. But if so, who will the 3G providers count on for the content? Will they rely on current free-air TV broadcasts? Because if they do, then mobile TV is screwed because there's nothing good on morning TV these days. But if they somehow manage to tie up with a Direct TV type of satellite system, fitting an entire satellite tuner into a phone, then maybe we have something here. (Note that Korea has their DMB Mobile TV satellite system, and this may be an option for true-blue Korea-novela addicts.) The other option is to have prepackaged content that will be made available for downloading, which seems to be Nokia's preferred direction, given their directive that Mobile TV programs should only be 30 minutes long. For this business model to work, however, the proponents will have to charge per download. Which --ouch!-- would be too much of an outlay particularly if you are already paying an arm and a leg for 3G service in the first place. So yeah, it's back to free TV. Which sucks. Big time. And then there's... There is one possible killer app that may just make 3G an attractive proposition for thousands of Filipinos though. And that's MMORPGs. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games has become a nine-digit industry here, and there are people like Howard who just can't get enough of it. Imagine this scenario: Nokia's N-Gage evolves into a true gaming pad with a huge screen and a powerful processor that, wonder of wonders, can connect to a 3G network. Add to that a stunningly killer MMORPG game that is designed primarily to run on this new N-Gage and Whoa! Who cares if you look like an idiot whenever you smack this huge pad onto your ear to answer a call? It's the ultimate mobile gaming machine! And it could just make 3G worth it! Beyond games, however, it's still tough to imagine any other killer app that can make 3G a viable proposition. In the meantime, however, we have 2.5G. With an IBM ThinkPad to boot. That should tide us over for the meantime.
If good fellow Art was able to hold the N91 (*hmph* he didn't tell me he had one!), I was able to drive around the Ferrari 4000, Acer's new pseudo-gaming notebook for a spin for one whole week! I almost drooled on the 4000's carbon fibre body (actually I think I did but promptly wiped it off with Mr. Clean!). The 15.4 inch widescreen dashboard provides the framework for the laptop's real estate. Thus you have a computer that is as heavy as four magazines, has a spacious keyboard, a very wide screen for your viewing pleasure, and is wide enough to sit comfortably on your lap. The Acer Ferrari 4000 is screaming game! With a built in 128MB X700 Radeon video card, it was a treat playing World of Warcraft and Guild Wars with all visual settings moved to the extreme right! The X700 card is supported by the system's 1GB of DDR RAM and a 1.6GHz AMD Turion Processor all in stock. If you want to get some work done, the Ferrari 4000 comes with a combo drive and a 5-slot multimedia card reader. Bluetooth and Wireless LAN are not optional, for they come with the package. An interesting thing to note with the design of the 4000 (as opposed to the previous 3200 model) is that the laptop itself was designed to look classic and conservative, thereby extending its market to young executives who need to be taken seriously - "I work hard but play even harder, noob!" My verdict? Well, you should pick up a copy of the upcoming issue of m|ph to find out. But it's no secret that the Acer 4000 has work and play packed into the 4000's hood. Make this your first Ferrari, for only (SRP) P120,000.00
I got my grubby hands on a beta unit of the Nokia N91 at a press briefing that was held earlier today. The N91's claim to fame is its 4 gigabyte hard drive. That's a Lifedrive in your phone, so to speak. Or perhaps a comparison with the iPod mini would be more appropriate, especially since this seems to be the direct target of the N91. But what gives the N91 an edge over the iPod mini (aside from the fact that it's a phone, natch) is its wireless connectivity. Not only can you share playlists via Bluetooth (or MMS, or email), but this unit will include Wi-Fi as well! As in, you can share music and files between your PC network and the N91 wirelessly! Whoa! (This should give Steve Jobs something to sweat about. After all, shouldn't the iPod and the AirPort be getting along in the first place?) The N91 is scheduled to hit the market on January of next year. That's still a long way off. And by then, perhaps the iPods would have upped their gigabytes once again as a preemptive strike. Nevertheless, the beta unit is promising: the N91 is not as heavy or as bulky as I thought it might be. And the solid metal casing is reassuring in the hands. I'd say it's one phone that I'm really looking forward to finally seeing in the market.
It's big! It's beautiful! And it's very, very purple! The July|August issue of m|ph has hit the news stands, and have we got a lot in store for you! It's all about the games, and Howard gives you a rundown of the best games to stuff into your cell phone (as well as the best gaming phones out there). We also have a rundown of the best LAN party games, as well as the games that make up the MMORPG world... Carlo and Art show you some of the most interesting mobile gadgets from Computex Taipei 2005... Get to know the life of a hacking, uploading, pira... well, a cell phone technician. And it's anything but a life of drudgery... You'll also get a Step by Step on setting up an Instant Messaging app on your cell phone. Plus a Primer on GPRS. And a look into Taiwan's biggest consumer electronics brand, BenQ. And the REVIEWS! Oh wow, the reviews! This issue is jam-packed with them! From cameras (Casio Exilim EX-Z57, Canon PowerShot S2 IS) to phones (Motorola RAZR V3 BLK, Samsung SGH-D500, Nokia 6681, Sony Ericsson K750i, Alcatel One Touch 757, Siemens SK65) to PDAs (Acer n30), to multimedia devices (MSI Megastick 528, DigiLife DDV-7000), to laptops (MSI MegaBook S270) and smartphones (O2 Xda IIi, BenQ P50). (And lest you forget, m|ph provides the most authoritative, most analytical reviews of mobile devices out there!) But wait! There's more! Your m|ph editors pit Nokia against Sony Ericsson in this issue's Talk, our literary reviewers go through ebooks about the young and the valiant, we offer a roundup of the best cleaning products for your precious devices, we feature apps for getting email into your PDAs, and we even have Mobile Man to keep you company! All in all, a truly packed issue! So get your copy of m|ph now! And do tell us what you think about it! :)
I fell in love with the concept of the iTech Bluetooth PowBOX, so much so that Howard and I went on a little bidding war for it during its press launch last December. It is, after all, an MP3 player that also served as a Bluetooth headset. And isn’t that a truly complementary pairing? (Pardon the geeky pun.) Well, after more than half a year living with the PowBOX, here’s my time-tested verdict. Connectivity First and foremost, the PowBOX is a 256MB MP3 player. Now 256MB may not sound like much these days but, trust me, it’s enough to get by—provided you remember to update your playlist before you leave the house. After all, unlike mobile hard drives (such as the iPod) that allow you to bring ALL your music with you, flash players require careful planning on a daily basis. …Which means that if you’re having a really melancholy day and the only music that you have on your player is from the Beastie Boys, then you’re basically screwed. The PowBOX connects to your PC via a USB cable. The downside is that it uses a proprietary connector (the port does double-duty as a power socket). You can’t just use any standard mini-USB cable for it, so don’t lose the cable. The unit is detected as an external storage device, as should be the case. While it’s connected to your PC, all onboard functions are disabled and the PowBOX serves basically as a dumb drive. Annoyance: the cable’s PowBOX-side connector is not idiot-proof. It is easy to connect it the wrong way if you press hard enough, so keep an eye on how you’re plugging the thing in. The PowBOX also supports wireless data transfer (receiving only) via Bluetooth. But don’t try it. Just… don’t. Transferring a single 4MB MP3 file alone threatens to take up to 30 minutes, meaning that the Bluetooth link is about as sluggish as a dial-up connection. You can, however, still use the Bluetooth link for uploading small work files, and this can be useful when your officemate needs to hand you something and he happens to have Bluetooth (and you didn’t bring your proprietary USB cable). To pair your devices, press the “Bluekey
ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. And it's now becoming the recognized standard as the phonebook entry to call in cases of emergency. Rescuers often have a tough time figuring out who to call when something bad happens to somebody. With a standard phonebook entry, however, life gets easier, and ICE is the emerging entry of choice. After the recent London Underground bombings, ICE awareness has increased tremendously. ICE-ing your phone is as simple as storing "ICE" as a phonebook entry, with the phone number of whoever it is that you want to be reached in case something bad ever happens to you. The advantage of this approach is that you can give the number of anyone you trust. Which is good because not everyone wants his or her mom (or even spouse) contacted in an emergency. Next stop: increasing ICE awareness locally. But we can all start by first putting an ICE entry into our own phones. Just cross your fingers and hope that when an emergency does happen, nobody steals your phone...