Today's podcast is a laugh riot. OK, not really, but it's certainly action-packed. We kick things off by addressing the rumors of a Facebook phone and reports that the BlackBerry PlayBook will run Android apps. We also sort through the carriers' confusing smartphone data plans and take a look at the phones from Motorola's past, present, and future. All this plus the latest reviews and reader e-mails on this week's episode of Dialed In.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)
AT&T has quietly revised its data plans for iPhone users, allowing some to switch back to unlimited data. The move comes just weeks before the heralded Verizon iPhone launch, which many analysts believe will cause a great number of AT&T customers to jump ship.
Verizon announced that it would be offering an unlimited data plan for new iPhone users, something AT&T got rid of last summer. Now, AT&T has backtracked, allowing some users that previously had the unlimited plan to switch back if they so choose.
This policy does not cover new … Read more
LG has started sending out invitations to an event at next month's Mobile World Congress. Though it stops just shy of unveiling a device, LG says that it plans to take us into a "new dimension" on February 14.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the company will be showing off a 3D phone, presumably the LG Optimus 3D. A phone bearing that very name was found this week on a Dutch Web site, and subsequently got removed. There's not much to tell from the accompanying image, except that it closely … Read more
According to City A.M., HTC will introduce two Facebook-branded smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2011. It's said that the high-end devices will run a tweaked version of Android and have the user's Facebook feed displayed on the home screen.
The handsets, which are being compared with Google's Nexus series, will also feature Facebook branding and colors. Interestingly, the article points to a mock-up created by HTC, but as far … Read more
Remember the dream of the Concorde? It was that supersonic passenger jet that would ferry passengers from New York to London in less than 3 hours, but supersonic travel never took off because of the loud sonic booms that the planes would generate as they broke the sound barrier.
NASA is working on new technology that would dampen or eliminate those booms, and the space agency is hoping that this will usher in a new era of supersonic travel.
Early experiments add a 24-foot-long spike to the plane mounted on the nose of the aircraft that creates three smaller shockwaves to greatly reduce the noise as the aircraft hits Mach 1. It could mean shorter travel time for consumers, but Jeff is more excited to wean himself off the sleeping pills he takes every time he boards an aircraft.
In less exciting historical innovations, New Yorker Till Krautkraemer is touting a beverage that offers a new way to supplement your protein intake: drink it! MeatWater is intended as a meal supplement with flavors like Peking Duck, Beef Stroganof, and Fish'n Chips; but the liquid contains zero animal byproducts, so vegans and vegetarians are encouraged to consume it for their daily dose of protein.
This is not a joke. According to the Web site, MeatWater has 22 amino acids that aid in performance recovery and decrease body fat when ingested with liquids, and it's recommended that you drink MeatWater warm, as the flavors and aromas are heightened this way.
And while we're solving first-world problems with technology, check out this double USB concept that hopes to save precious microseconds and the frustration you experience from "plug rejection."
Finally, Intel is following in the footsteps of Polaroid and Lady Gaga by introducing its own celebrity employee: Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am has been appointed director of creative innovation, a role that places him as an ambassador to the company and collaborator in "new technologies, music and tech advocacy."
There's not much to say about this should-be joke, so we're just waiting to hear the BEP single that samples the Intel Inside chime. Wait, he's already doing that.Episode 744 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Subscribe in iTunes video | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Samsung's global family of Galaxy S Android smartphones is growing. Today the cell phone maker announced four more members: Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Fit, Samsung Galaxy Gio, and Samsung Galaxy Mini. We won't get a chance to see the new global devices until Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona, Spain, and the phones are all headed to Russia first (the Fit is available there now), with expansion to the rest of Europe, India, and China. The Galaxy Fit will eventually head to South American countries as well.
We do know a little about each device. Like … Read more
For some lawmakers, Cathy Cruz Marrero's now-infamous fall into a fountain while texting couldn't have come at a better time.
In California, State Sen. Joe Simitian has reintroduced a bill that would fine cyclists $20 for texting. In Oregon, State Rep. Michael Schaufler wants to fine cyclists $90 for wearing headphones or earbuds. In Virginia, lawmakers are considering whether to broaden such a ban to include any handheld communication device.
And in New York, a bill before the legislature's transportation committee would ban the use of electronic devices while crossing streets.
This is the second time State Sen. Carl Kruger has introduced this legislation to stem what he calls "tuning in and tuning out." As if to prove his point, a 21-year-old man listening to an iPod Nano in a crosswalk on Madison Avenue in New York last December was killed when a Mack truck backed into him and dragged him 30 feet. Presumably, the man did not hear the beeping of the truck in reverse.… Read more
Now that we're done speculating about the Verizon iPhone, the next biggest rumor to grip the wireless world is the expected Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone. Due next month at Mobile World Congress, the device made another Internet appearance today in a full hands-on post by Engadget.
Though Engadget's screen time isn't the first we've seen of the Android-powered PlayStation phone--over the past few months it's been sighted everywhere, from Greece to China--the photos and videos are the clearest so far. Indeed, previous shots look like they were taken by someone who had enjoyed too … Read more
A new portable device will soon be able to help people make cell phone calls in other countries without relying on local 3G networks.
That bit of technical magic comes courtesy of a new device called an attocell, or a personal femotcell. Created by U.K.-based femtocell company Ubiquisys, the device is a small base station that can provide broadband Internet access to an iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone, and virtually any other 3G mobile phone. But since it's smaller than a traditional femtocell, the attocell is designed to be portable.
The attocell from Ubiquisys connects to a laptop through a USB port, providing both the juice and the Internet access, according to Ubiquisys. From there, the device figures out which country it's in so it can determine the allowable 3G power consumption, which then dictates the range of the attocell to the phone. Depending on the country, the 3G range of the device could be as small as a fraction of an inch or as large as an entire room.
If the range is small, the user can place the phone on top of the device and make calls via a headset or speaker. Otherwise, the caller is free to roam around the room.… Read more
My test of an LG Optimus One smartphone began inauspiciously with a combination of consternation and revulsion at its keyboard. But after two months using it as my primary phone, I wound up with a much more favorable impression of it and the prospects for Android on lower-end phones.
The Optimus One's dismal keyboard is a touch-screen version of the numeric keypad so poorly adapted to typing letters. It reflects LG's effort to cater to new arrivals in the world of smartphones. As I see it, the sooner they fumble through the settings to switch to a more … Read more