Skype has just come out with a 2.6 beta for Mac OS X for “experienced users only.” The service features automatic updates, DTMF tones for auto-answering services, and an improved audio quality. You can also call any Prime premium service provider and pay with Skype Credit.
SkypeIn is another new aid you can use if your buds who do not have the service want to call you on a regular number. Still available at the bargain price of $00.00, you can download Skype for your Mac, PC, or Linux system.
Since we last reported how to prepare for Daylight Savings Time, Gary Beach, publisher of CIO Magazine, said there were very few problems. But we are not quite out of the DST woods yet. There may still be a mini-Y2K this Sunday night, when those who didn’t upgrade may find themselves off-kilter. If you have an older computer or other electronic device, keep a close watch, for it may still change by an hour. If you are starting to get a bit panicky, contact the manufacturer of your device, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Read More | USA Today
Nokia has announced that it is now shipping its N95 to European, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets. The phone also has the ability to watch and record videos, play music from 2 GB of storage, take photos with its 5 megapixel camera, check e-mail, and browse the Net. With a 2-way slide design, it also has GPS capability, and WLAN, EDGE, and WCDMA network support. Available in black or silver, Nokia says that it will begin shipping in other markets in the next few weeks. Check with Nokia for price and availability to our side of the planet.
Read More | Nokia
Italian company Il Village has come up with a concept that is designed to give more mobility to the blind. The Easy Walk is a combination of a mobile phone with 2 keys that runs on Symbian operating system, a small Bluetooth GPS receiver with text-to-speech talk, and 2 dedicated keys.
The first key tells the user his/her exact location and the other is sent to a 24/7 call center that gives navigational instructions. Currently under testing, Easy Walk’s launch is expected this fall. We’re thinking that the innovative gadget might have other applications, such as assisting lost children or climbers who venture up on Mt. Hood.
Read More | BBC
You can help the less fortunate just by using your cell phone. Motorola already contributes $17.00 to the anti-AIDS effort for every RED RAZR cell phone sold. They also give 5% of their subscribers’ monthly bills to the effort. Buy a Bluetooth headset and they will donate an additional $5.00.
Amnesty International Wireless now allows their customers to chip in 10% of their monthly bill to that organization free of charge. They will even buy out your current contract (up to $175.00) and toss in a free phone to make it happen. AI’s plans start at $29.99. We’re hoping that other phone companies will take a hint and do the same.
Read More | Amnesty Wireless
Samsung is strutting its stuff this week at the CeBit 2007 with their innovative form factor messaging phone SGH-P110. At dimensions of 91 x 47 x 19.5 mm, it features a TFT 2.1-inch display that automatically switches, a QWERTY keyboard, and a 25 MB internal memory. It also supports IMS, e-mail, Bluetooth 2.0 and speakerphone. Available with a one year warranty, there is no news yet on the GSM 900, GSM 1800, and GSM 1900 price and availability. We are thinking that when swiveling phones become the norm, that they are going to need a name beyond “switching.” How does “biPhone” sound?
Paul Notzold has created TXTual Healing with large speech bubbles projected on flat surfaces such as walls outside an art gallery. They are arranged near windows and doors and participants are encouraged to SMS dialogue with the bubbles after they receive a flyer with a cell phone number and instructions. It is even possible to direct responses to specific ones with the users’ own bubbles.
Going one step further, there are also images inside the gallery such as “One of You Will Betray Me,” which allows the audience to create dialogue on an image of The Last Supper. Currently on display at the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore, check out this demo, then contact Mr. Notzol for his future travel schedule.
Read More | Paul Notzold
We have just discovered ShoZu, a free service that allows you to send and receive audio and video without the aid of a computer. Subscribe to the Zucasts you like, i.e. music videos, pod casts, or celebrity photos, push a button, and there it is. No endless menus or Internet connection needed. Currently there are 24 cell phone companies compatible with ShoZu and they claim more models are being added daily. Although the service is free, you will have to check with your network provider to see if you can get a flat rate fee, since this has the potential of being quite pricey.
Read More | ShoZu
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Read More | The Bleeding Edge
Congress decided to pass a measure to begin daylight saving time three weeks earlier, thinking that the longer the day, the less energy consumption. Now some scientists are thinking that because many of our electronic gadgets will not know this, they may have mini-meltdowns and we will experience a minor Y2K. You can either freak out about this piece of information (if you are one of those who did before the first scare,) or calm down, get yourself a shot of tequila, and see what experts suggest you do to prepare:
- If you have a fairly recent computer with Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2, or Apple’s OS X, you can probably breath a sigh of relief since it will either know it or has already received an online software patch. If your computer is older, don’t forget to change its clock Saturday night and again in April.
- If you own a Blackberry or similar handheld device, you may need an update. Check the company’s website for information.
- Most cell phones receive time signals from service providers, and most of the major ones have updated their systems. Contact yours if you think there may be a problem.
- Check your Tivo or preset VCR to make sure that your programs make the adjustment. You don’t want to be taping the latest episode of “Lost” and find out that you have accidentally recorded “According to Jim.”
Daylight-savings time would ordinarily have begun on the first Sunday in April. Instead, it’ll begin this weekend.
Read More | ABC News
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