Sony Ericsson has announced the launch of M-BUZZ, a music service that will be an extension of their existing PlayNow service. While PlayNow features sampled music and games, M-BUZZ will offer a small selection of Sony/ATV music to start, and will be adding new selections monthly. You can also view videos and recording artists’ biographies and travel schedules, and listen to full-length audio tracks.
Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson, claims, “M-BUZZ enables music fans not just to hear new, unsigned acts, but also to find out more about the musicians through interviews, home movies and more, creating a new mobile music experience.”
M-BUZZ will be available on W850 and W950 music phones as of October 2 in markets that already feature PlayNow. Check out the M-BUZZ preview page for a sneak peak.
Read More | Sony Ericsson Press Release
T-Mobile has added the diminutive Samsung Trace to its product line. Weighing in at only 2.5oz and a size of 4.5 X 2.0 X 3-inch, the Trace has a 262k color TFT display of 220 X 176 pixels. It has a microSD memory slot, a 1.3 megapixel cam, USB connectivity, and speakerphone. Other features include an MP3 player, bluetooth technology and caller ID.
The Trace is available for $199.99 in retail stores and T-Mobile, with a $50 instant rebate and $50 mail-in rebate with a 2-year agreement. With up to 6 hours of talk time or 8 days of standby time, the champagne-colored Trace can keep even the fussiest princess from whining.
Read More | Mobileburn
You just can’t beat free. Verizon has started shipping its LG VX3450, a replacement for its VX3300 entry-level clamshell. The basic blue unit features a speakerphone, TXT messaging, a custom ringtone composer, voice dialing, is M4/TR hearing aid compatible, and meets the FCC SAR limit. At a weight of 3.3oz and a size of 3.4 X 1.9 X 1-inches, the VX3450 claims a usage time of up to 150 minutes and a standby time of 165 hours.
Verizon is offering a price of $29.99 on a 2-year contract or $79.99 on a 1-year contract. Optional features include a car charger, earbud headset, belt clip, and case. It may not be all bells and whistles, but if you order online, your discount is a free phone.
Read More | Verizon LG VX3450 Product Page
The LG Chocolate VX8500 debuted in the United States to much fanfare. Verizon pushed it as the next big thing in mobile entertainment phones, and even went all out with a television commercial campaign. Focusing on a cool music playing experience along with V-Cast entertainment over 3G EVDO, the hype machine seems to have paid off, as quite a few people that we know have ended up with an LG Chocolate phone. We took the VX8500 for a spin, and report back with our full review which you can check out after the break.
Inventor Mark Howe, who has been banned from casinos since the 1990’s, claims that his roulette computer can give you an advantage of 20% to 100% over a casino. The result is that the house’s normal 2.7% edge will be overturned. Because the UK gambling industry will be deregulated next year, amatuer and professional gamblers alike are scrambling to jump on the roulette bandwagon by purchasing such devices.
The UK based newspaper Guardian Unlimited reported that, “Keith Tayler, an ex-croupier and gaming inspector, says regulators are unwilling to ban predicting devices because it would amount to an admission that wheels can be biased.”
The gadget itself consists of a clicker that records deceleration speed of the wheel’s rotor and ball. You are then instructed by earphone which zone the ball will land in. In 2004, a group using this device actually won £1.3m at the Ritz Casino in London. At a price of US$5,000, the basic package includes the computer (inside a Nokia cell phone), an electronically shielded data input cable and button or switch, a DVD with footage of a wheel for practice, and an instruction manual. Let the games begin.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced that he will sign into law legislation that bans the use of handheld cellphones while driving. Although 38 state legislatures have considered similar bills, only New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. have actually passed them. Under the new law, which takes effect in 2008, a minimum of a $20.00 fine will be given when using a cell without a headset, speaker phone, or other wireless device.
“Public safety is the governor’s No. 1 priority,” said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson, “and this bill will make the streets and highways of California safer by ensuring that drivers have both hands available for driving.”
Senator Joe Simitan (D-Palo Alto) has taken five years to bring his idea to fruition. The California Highway Patrol indicates that last year alone there were 775 accidents involving drivers who were using hand-held cellphones. Statistics show that the risk of death is 9 times greater for those drivers. Our only question is if public safety is Arnie’s #1 priority, why are they waiting until 2008?
Read More | LA Times
If you like Chocolate, but prefer it in a clamshell, here is a sneak-peak at the LG VX-8600. Similar to its VX-8500 mate (it has a lower resolution display), this model features EV-DO high-speed data, stereo Bluetooth, a 176 X 220 main screen with 262k colors, a 128 X 128 external screen with 65k colors, a 1.3 megapixel cam, a microSD card slot, and music player with external WMA/MP3 controls. Although no pricing or launch date has yet to be set, rumor has it that this exclusive Verizon Wireless gourmet Chocolate will be available for our stockings this holiday season.
Ever since the 2004 tsunami, scientists have been searching for a better method to detect and warn us of upcoming earthquake-generated tidal waves. Austrian Michael Stadler may have devised an answer. Stadler has developed a program that accesses and analyzes data that comes from hard drive vibration sensors. Once the data is analyzed, it can be shared with other computers.
The program can ignore minor vibrations and differentiate between normal seismic and tsunamic activity. When “the big one” is about to occur, the system sends warnings to the other connected computers. Unfortunately, there is so much interest in the freeware download that his site seems to have crashed (no pun intended). Hang onto the link and try again in a day or two, or visit his suggested site of Dr. Eduard Heindl. Dr. Heindl has also created a warning system that can alert you by cell phone through a GSM network in any country at a price of EUR 9.95 (~$12.60) for a 1 month trial or EUR 29.95 (~$38.00) per year subscription.
Read More | Michael Stadler Website
Our favorite bunny’s parents, Energizer, has just introduced Energi To Go, a battery pack that can plug into most cell phones. With this new product you can recharge your phone’s battery almost instantaneously (except for some PDA and smart-phones,) even if your phone is completely powerless. The ETG comes with an adapter and a pair of Energizer e2 Lithium batteries. At an MSRP of $19.99, it’s available at your favorite department, grocery, or drug store.
Energizer claims that it is compatible with 80% of cell phones now on the market, including Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, and Motorola, as well as mini USB devices developed after 2003 such as BlackBerry, SLVR, and RAZR. Now, if that bunny could just learn to catch a cell phone before it hits the ground.
You won’t have to spend your break time at the water cooler any longer. Sprint is now offering Sprint Movies, the first pay-per-view service of full-length movies for mobile phones in the U.S. More than 45 titles are offered at this time, including flicks such as “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Village”, from Buena Vista, Sony, Lion’s Gate, and Universal. Each title can be viewed for 24 hours to 1 week (depending on the title.) Two additional 24 hour extensions are available for $.99 each.
Sprint Movies is being powered by mSpot, who is handling the video production as well as operations. In December, Sprint started carrying mSpot at a monthly subscription rate, but will now offer their service for $3.99 - $5.99 per movie. All of their titles will be edited to TV-14. God Bless America.
Read More | Sprint Press Release
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