Not so long ago…

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Rockr
The Motorola Rockr

this was the first iTunes enable phone. We’ve come a long, long way.

More Rogers phone news

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Apparently Rogers
has revived the $30 for 6 GB data plan, originally offered at iPhone launch.
Also, they’ve
added MMS to the value pack while also increasing its cost from $15 to $20.

On top of all this, it is expected that Rogers will announce
a new high-capacity data plan for phones/mobile that will top out at 15 GB/month for $150. Yikes!

It’s phone season

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
HTC Android phone
HTC Android phone – click for larger

Rogers
has announced
[1]
[2]
availability of the HTC Dream and HTC Magic phones, both running Google’s Android OS, which is not dissimilar to the iPhone’s OS.

The major concern with the previous Android phone, the G1, was the battery life.
It would last an hour.
Apparently this is no longer such an issue.
According to
ZDNet Asia:

Inevitably the connected nature of many of the HTC Magic’s applications means that you’ll push the battery pretty hard. The quoted life is up to 7.5 hours of talk and 420 hours on standby. We found we needed to charge the battery every day at first, but after the initial burst of heavy use this settled down to a couple of days between charges.

The phones cost the same – $150 – and Rogers offers a $45/month, 500 MB data plan.
Quite a bit less data than the 6 GB plan early iPhone users are currently enjoying.

Another phone on the horizon is the
Nokia N97.

4G networks + net-enabled-device = death of traditional cell phones

Friday, May 1st, 2009
verizon
Verizon LTE: 50 Mbps

On this week’s MacBreak they talked abour the much-rumoured Apple tablet (iPadd?).
But then they mentioned something I haven’t been keeping track of very much:
the next generation of wireless internet technology: 4G.

It’s fast.
Like 50 Mbps fast.
Theoretically 100 Mbps/50 Mbps down/up.
That’s pretty frickin’ fast.

Verizon is calling it “LTE” for “Long Term Evolution”,
and the rumours have Apple and Verizon talking about using LTE in the tablet.

Huh.

That got me thinking about how Rogers and Bell up here in Canada
really could use a good kick in the pants.
The whole cell phone industry is nickel and diming their customers to death.
What we need is someone to come along and say “here’s 50 Mbps and no cap — have fun”.
I would drop cell coverage and move to Skype in an instant.
Hell, I could get rid of my home internet connection too and get one of these instead.
With those speeds, they could deliver digital TV as well.

globalive yak

There is a player that could deliver this kick, and it’s
Globalive,
better known as the provider of Yak.
TMCnet describes Globalive’s strategy a month ago (Mar 17th):

New cellphone player Globalive will hire more than 1,000 employees as it works to become a major wireless player in Canada, aiming to take away customers not only from Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Telus (TSX:T) and Bell (TSX:BCE) but also their discount brands.

Globalive Wireless Management Corp. isn’t going to position itself only as a discount cellphone player where there’s already competition, CEO Anthony Lacavera said Monday.

“Really, we’re going to be split into two brands,” Lacavera said from Toronto.

Globalive is looking to be Canada’s fourth major wireless carrier, with a national presence except for the province of Quebec.

Lacavera said that means fighting the three established cellphone players on two fronts.

One brand will give Globalive’s Yak long-distance and Internet customers the opportunity to have cellphones, taking on Rogers’ Fido, Telus’ Koodoo and Bell’s Solo discount brands.

The other higher-end brand will take on Rogers, Bell and Telus with mobile phones, including smartphones, with more features and fixed price plans with no contracts or limited contracts, he said. Its name and launch are still being worked out.

“At the end of the day, it’s easier for us to have a two-pronged strategy because we already have the Yak brand in the marketplace with customers.” Toronto-based Globalive said it services more than a million customers with brands such as Yak, Canopco and OneConnect.

While the weak economy is a concern for Globalive, Lacavera said it’s “monitoring” competitors Rogers, Telus and Bell even more closely.

Globalive plans to have its wireless network up and running in Toronto and Vancouver with fixed price plans around Christmas, Lacavera said, with other areas coming into service in 2010.

Ottawa held an auction last spring for radio waves over which cellphone networks to create more competition and more choices for consumers in the mobile phone industry, currently dominated by the big three players.

Globalive spent more than $442 million for spectrum in the auction which raised about $4 billion for the federal government’s coffers.

Analyst Troy Crandall said the discount end of the market is full.

“Everybody has been going after this lower-end market,” said Crandall of MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier in Montreal.

“So who’s left? I guess the people who can’t afford to spend $15 a month,” he said, referring to Rogers Fido, which has plans from $15 and no system-access fee.

Globalive is one new entrant, along with regional networks being planned by Montreal-based Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B) through its Videotron cable unit and Toronto-based Public Mobile, which was born out of BMV Holdings.

Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B), which owns western Canada’s largest cable company, also bought spectrum but hasn’t announced plans for a wireless network.

Analyst Mark Goldberg said it’s still not clear what Shaw and Toronto-based DAVE Wireless will do with the spectrum they purchased, noting that new wireless players have come forward and the three established players have said they need it to increase capacity.

“DAVE and Shaw have written cheques and they’re sitting on an asset which is spectrum and it’s an expensive asset,” said Goldberg of Toronto-area Mark Goldberg and Associates. “I think people want to know when they’re going to make use of the asset.” Globalive said Monday it has officially been issued its wireless spectrum licences from Industry Canada and will make a significant investment in its network.

Lacavera said Globalive will hire a couple of hundred people to build its network, 300 to 400 people for its call centre in Windsor, Ont., where it already has 100 employees to support its Yak customers. The balance of the employees will be in support, billing, marketing and management.

Globalive has about 300 employees and Globalive Wireless has 70, he said.

Qik on the (jailbroken) iPhone

Friday, August 15th, 2008

So they seem to have worked out the kinks with the beta Qik client for the iPhone.
Actually, the kinks were in their website’s handling of iPhone-originated video.

In any case, you can go to qik.com/rae
and see my short masterpieces.
Plus, if I happen to be recording at that moment, you can watch it live!
Ooooh, ahhh.

I will embed the video I just took at work for your edification and amusement. :-)

Jailbreaking an iPhone

Monday, August 11th, 2008

This is just a note about living with a jailbroken iPhone. I think I’ll update it over time.

Current jailbreak tool is PwnageTool_2.0.2.tbz,
which works with the first iPhone 2.0 update, 2.0.1.

If you find you can’t use WiFi after jailbreaking, try:

  1. removing your WiFi network and adding it back again
  2. use BossPrefs to “repair user dir permissions”

Interesting apps for jailbroken phones include:

NetShare
manually installed; it was pulled from the App store
NES emulator
play tons of old games!
Quake 1
BossPrefs
Lets you tweak lots of stuff, including jailbreak-specific things like “SSH Server” on/off

How to install a *.app file

cribbed from MacRumors forums.

Using an SFTP application (I use Cyberduck), drag the NetShare.app folder from the desktop into the iPhone’s /Applications folder.

Open a terminal window, and open an SSH session with the iPhone:

$ ssh root@192.168.0.5

(replace the IP address above with your iPhone’s IP Wi-Fi address.) The default root login password is “alpine”.

Next, go to the NetShare.app folder:

# cd /Applications/NetShare.app

and change the access file mask of the main application file:

# chmod 755 NetShare

Reboot (or re-spring if you know how) your iPhone.

You’re done!

My Installed Apps

Here are links to my 9 app screens:
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]

Fun, eh?