m|PH, the most visible home-grown magazine on mobile technology goes widescreen this March! With the influx of portable video systems, the guys at m|PH have decided to tilt their heads sideways for the very first widescreen issue in the country! To celebrate this blockbuster hit, m|PH invited media goddess Pia Guanio to grace this issue's cover as our damsel in distress. Pia talks about her stint behind the scenes in production, being up in the air as the country's most famous traffic angel, and her stories about how she resisted the temptation to open a sealed iPod for eight months. This issue also contains an inside look at digital video with the production team of the award winning movie, 'Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros' as well as an afternoon with Christian Bautista singing to his plants and recording his own music. On the gadget side, m|PH also reviews the new video-capable iPod, the O2 XDA Atom, MSI Megaview 566 player and the Nokia 7370 fashion phone. With portable video becoming the next domino-effect in the tech scene, the guys also did a shoot out of the smallest portable video players available in the market. m|PH, which stands for Mobile Philippines, is a monthly publication geared towards the Filipino who is always on the go. Faithful readers have always described m|PH as the most informative, witty and engaging read among all technology magazines because of its eclectic mix of writers and industry mavens. m|PH is available at all news stands and technology hubs for just P80.00 per issue.
February 2006 Archives
February 24, 2006. It's been an interesting day, to put it lightly. Mobile phones were being whipped out all day, with people receiving and forwarding tidbits of news. "State of Emergency declared!" "Randy David arrested!" Stuff like that. Those with mobile WiFi devices were logging onto the INQ7 news site until, by midday, it was already congested. Fortunately there was also Google News, the BBC and the CNN websites, thank heavens. But life went on. At least as far as our haunt at the Hinge Inquirer offices was concerned. We had our meetings, people worked on their respective publications, and we joked and talked and wondered what in the world was going on. Everybody was hungry for news. Times like these, I end up wondering... why in the world don't mobile phones come with AM tuners? AM radio, after all, is still the most efficient way to get the latest breaking local news anywhere. Unfortunately, all phones with tuners thus far only come with FM alone. Sometime last year, we asked Nokia's dashing country general manager PB Bhasin if we will ever see a Nokia phone with an AM radio, and he replied that AM radio is primarily a Philippine phenomenon, and so we can't expect to see regionally-targeted phones to carry these. Here's what I think though -- there's a big potential market for phones with AM tuners here. And the size of the potential market would be lucrative enough for any phone manufacturer brave enough to pay a little extra attention to the needs of our market. Because I've done studies before, and what I've uncovered was that AM radio is no longer just a broad market's tool -- a surprising number of upper-income folks listen to AM radio while on the road. Many senior businessmen who are stuck in traffic are opting for AM news over FM music. And there's a good chance that this would imply that even high-end phones may benefit from having integrated AM tuners. Heck, right now I wish my phone had AM radio. Hmmm. Perhaps I should just hunt for a cheap, mobile AM tuner to while me over for now.
Two House Bills of possible interest to mobile phone subscribers are up for Public Hearing next week: House Bill 1098 "An Act to Provide and Promote Number Portability for Cellular Mobile Telephone Service, and for Other Purposes" by Rep. Joey Salceda; House Bill 3408 "An Act Mandating Mobile Phone Service Providers to Give their Subscribers the Option to Retain their Numbers" by Rep. Joseph Santiago. Truth be told, HB3408 can be absorbed by HB1098 because number portability basically implies allowing subscribers to retain their numbers. But the question still remains... Are we finally on our way towards getting number portability? I wish. But we still have a long way to go. First things first Number portability allows you to keep your phone number regardless of which carrier you choose to provide you with mobile services. Thus, I may have a 0917 number (Globe), for instance, but, with number portability, I can actually decide to switch to SMART at anytime and still retain my 0917 number. The primary purpose of number portability is to remove the "switching costs" that prevent mobile users from moving from one service to another... mainly because telling everyone about a change of numbers can be bothersome. Henceforth, you can have just one mobile phone number for life. But it's going to be a tough road ahead before this Bill gets implemented. Because the telcos are not going to be happy. Too close for comfort Telcos are going to fight tooth and nail before number portability ever sees the light of day. It is to their interest to make it as difficult as possible for people to switch to some other provider. And they will claim to the highest heavens that it will simply be too expensive -- and almost impossible -- to convert their equipment to work with number portability. Well, okay, they may have a point. The ideal is for the telcos to link their databases together, so that anytime someone switches from SMART to Globe, both telco's databases are updated automatically so that they'd know who gets to manage a particular phone number from this point on. That's... a little too close for comfort for the telcos. It means Telco 1 communicating with Telco 2 to tell him, "Okay, I just lost another customer to you. Kindly update your database." (Or, alternatively, "Nyeh nyeh, I just got another of your customers, so there!") The other potential problem? The matter of prepaid SIM cards. While implementing number portability for subscriber ("postpaid") lines should be easy, doing this for prepaids can be a headache, primarily because of their anonymity. Does this mean that just anybody can show up at a telco's service center and demand that his prepaid number from another network be switched over, without having to say who he is or even presenting proof of ownership? Lastly, should number portability indeed be implemented, expect the telcos to slap a very high "switching fee" in order to artificially make switching difficult for consumers once again. They will claim that they need to charge the fee in order to offset the "difficulties in implementing number portability," but truth is they just want to give consumers a hard time. At any rate, if you want to toss your two cents into the debate on number portability, do attend the Public Hearing, to be held by the Committee on Information Communications Technology next Wednesday, March 1, 9:30am at Conference Room 11, R.V. Mitra building, Batasan Complex, Quezon City.
For our second poll, we've always wondered what format we prefer our books. Some would say that the good 'ol paperback can never be replaced. There's a classic and learned feel when you flip the pages - the smell of inked paper, maybe? Of course, the more digitally enlightened would go for eBooks, which are more portable for your PDA. Others too would prefer audiobooks which is basically your little recorded entertainment theatre in your little earbud world. One thing's for sure though -- these different formats present their own unique advantages and disadvantages. We would be glad to hear your thoughts too in the comments! Scroll down for our poll! Happy reading!
Hello Dumbo! If you have a 3G capable phone and are subscribed to SMART, here's a step by step on how to activate this wonderful piece of technology: Nokia 6630 and Nokia 6680 1. Main Menu - Tools - Settings - Network 2. Select Network Mode - Dual Mode - Press OK / Select Operator Selection and choose SMART 3G under Manual Nokia N70 models and up 1. Main Menu - Tools - Settings - Network 2. Select Network Mode - UMTS - Press OK / Select Operator Selection and choose SMART 3G under Manual * Nokia handsets will have a "3G" beneath the signal bar Sony Ericsson 1. Main Menu - Settings - Connectivity 2. Mobile networks - Select Networks - Choose SMART with bubble - OK * SE phones will have a small house with a purple icon beneath signal bar to semble 3G
The next 3iG thing is here. If you happened to be a SMART subscriber with a 3G-capable phone, you might have noticed something a little bit different with your user interface when you woke up on Valentine's Day. There was a little "3G" bar beside the cell signal meter. 3G is here in the Philippines and it was launched by SMART as a FREE SERVICE until further notice.
The most awaited innovation from the leader in wireless communications has arrived. Be the first to experience video calling, high speed internet browsing, video streaming and a host of other high-tech applications with Smart 3G. Starting today, Smart subscribers with 3G phones can avail of these services on a FREE trial basis in selected key cities nationwide.[SMART Corporate website] I was given a call from Arlyn Samaniego of SMART, inviting me to a "purely social" Valentine's lunch at the corporate office. Of course, knowing a thing or two about hidden agendas (as well as reading the context clues of 3G banners all over the SMART Tower), I knew she was up to something. So 3G was launched officially, making SMART the first to offer it as a public service. There are still no news about the rates and I assure you this won't be a cheap thrill. But until teh day they start charging for mobile video and video conference calls, let's enjoy the ride.
Damn. Shuffle prices are going down fast worldwide after the announcement of the 1GB iPod nano. The P99.00 promo is only until the 19th though. So hurry!
I'm writing this from Kuala Lumpur, where I'm attending the Asian portion of Nokia's worldwide launch of several new phones - five to be exact. The launch, called Toast To The Classics, was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in KL, Malaysia, where I'm attending as part of the Philippine delegation. Aside from stuffing us full with food and wine last night (they launched the phones under a culinary motif, where a specially invited Australian Chef prepared new dishes corresponding to each of the new phones, resulting in a three-hour dinner), they stuffed us with a special hands-on demo and presentation for the new products. Generally, the new units are for the upgraders among us, those who want to update their phones with the newest improvements in telecommunication technology, and refresh and renew the look of their cell. These phones take advantage of the latest multimedia developments, particularly in the audio and video aspects, and in email and 3G technology. The units are supposed to be available in the Philippines beginning in April. I'll do a more detailed report, along with the precise features, specifications and improvements in the next issue of mPH, but here's a flash preview of how they look: The Nokia 6233 The Nokia 6131 The Nokia 6125 The Nokia 6103 The Nokia 6070
I used to think that I was a pretty fast texter. In fact, there was even a time many years ago when I thought it to be unthinkable for anybody to text any faster than I and my Nokia 5110 could, pardon the egotistical lapse. And then I read that the world record for texting was held by a Singaporean woman. And my world view shattered. Well okay, not exactly. But it was a pretty challenging, er, challenge. And I couldn't help but think that since we are a country of text messengers, it is only fitting that a Filipino should hold the record. So think of this as a call for time trials! Here's the challenge: Use a cellphone with a standard numeric keypad. Turn off T9 (or whatever predictive text method is in place). And then type the following as fast as you can: The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human. This is supposedly the official Guinness 160-character text-speed sentence. And the Singaporean woman, Kimberly Yeo Sue Fern, typed it out in 43.2 seconds on June 27, 2004. Now I'm thinking, whether or not we do the impossibly fast 43.2, I'd like us to at least try our hands in typing out the above. And then let us know how fast you can go! And if any of you out there does manage to break 43.2 seconds, I'll see to it that we at mph are going to bring the Guinness team here to the Philippines and we can have a go for the record! (My time so far-- 72 seconds, with typo corrections et al. )
A fellow PhilMugger posted this at my online home and I must say that I'm intrigued by the idea. Basically FON is a Global Community of people who share WiFi. Share your WiFi broadband access at home/work and enjoy WiFi all over the world! (from their website). Now, in order to use FON, a wi-fi router should have the FON software installed in it and people who wants free FON access should have a FON client on their computer (for authentication purposes). This takes care of the risk of people simply leeching bandwidth and doing crazy things on a network. The system basically goes like this: If you have wi-fi at home, you register at FON and install the FON application on your router which allows you to share your wi-fi bandwidth to other FON users. Since you share your bandwidth, you are entitled to freely use other FON-enabled wi-fi hotspots, allowing you to have roaming internet access basically for free. FON is currently in Beta but once it is fully operational, there will be a facility to bill "Alien" users for using any FON hotspot. Lofty ideals! But will it be legal considering that most of the broadband contracts have clauses that prohibits these types of sharing. Shameless-self-promotion.org: I originally posted this at my own personal tech blog - Talkin' Tech.
About a month and a half ago I had the chance to get my hands on a K600i. It was on loan from a client that we were doing tests for. So apart from doing the work I was contracted to do, I took this opportunity to give the phone a spin. I didn't have much time to really go through it with a fine tooth comb but here's my take so far. I must say that when I first saw the K600i I wasn't too thrilled about the design. It looked too simple. Then as I was using the K600i, it kinda grew on me. I was reminded why I like my Powerbook in the first place, because of the simple but detail oriented design. Plus the build quality of the K600i is superb. The phone feels really solid and well built. The keys although they're a bit small feel sturdy. The 260k color TFD screen is bright, crisp and easy on the eyes. Perfect for viewing the animated icons, looking at images and for video calls. Not to mention for playing games. I liked the the Vijay Singh golf game that came pre-loaded on the K600i. I'm not much of a gamer but I was quite amazed at how they can make the 3D games for phones now. Once 3G becomes widely available here in the Philippines you'll be able to make full use of the K600i's dual cameras. A video call button on the side makes video calling a one-click deal. I also like the the lens cover that activates the 1.3 megapixel camera when opened. The camera is quite good considering the small package. Features such as wireless connectivity (bluetooth, infrared), usb connectivity, FM radio, media player, organizer, calendar, etc. come standard on this phone. All in all at 4.1 x 1.8 x .8 inches and 105g, this is a great phone in a small package. In fact this is a great candidate to replace the K700i that I use.