Logging into Facebook to check up on my old college roommate yesterday, I noticed there was a giant message telling me to use Facebook Mobile. Technically, Facebook has had basic mobile features for quite some time (looking at your profile, reading messages), but my friends and I never bothered to use them, specifically because of their lack of support for my carrier T-Mobile. What is new is their mobile tab, which gives you live previews of what different parts of the site will look like on your device. There's also a Fire feature that lets you "set fire&… Read more
A new Web site that helps people get out of their cell phone service contracts early has publicly launched. Cellswapper.com is billed as a social network in which members can exchange cell phone plans and phones.
For example, someone who wants to get out of a cell phone contract before it expires and not have to pay an early termination fee can transfer the remainder of the contract to someone looking for a free, short-term contract who doesn't want to pay an activation fee. It costs $14.95 to sell a plan on consignment, with no charge unless … Read more
Come to think about it, it's surprising that the current wave of Web trends hasn't moved more into the realm of the nonprofit. You'd think that the focus on "people power," citizen media, and user-generated content would have sparked the imagination of some Bono acolytes with Web development skills. And indeed, there are a few sites out there--Care2 comes to mind--but most of them actually existed well before anyone was talking about "Web 2.0."
At last night's NY Tech Meetup, one of the New York Web start-ups showcased was BitWine, a networking service based on providing paid advice; or, as exec Alon Cohen put it, "a market for knowledge." A Web user may come to BitWine looking for advice that ranges from how to train for a marathon to how to pitch a new company to investors; experts in all subjects may come to BitWine to find a way to cash in on their esoteric and not-so-esoteric knowledge. The site was established about a year ago and launched in full about … Read more
Last night, while CES and Macworld were both raging on into the after-dark hours, I was at the Great Hall of NYC's Cooper Union for the first NY Tech Meetup of 2007. The monthly event was hosted, as usual, by Meetup founder Scott Heiferman, who proudly announced that the NY Tech Meetup had spawned parallel events in 20 cities, and that in the month of January there would be around one thousand meetups held across New York City that ranged from yoga enthusiasts groups to political activist organizations. While some meetups number only a handful of people, this one … Read more
The headline on Dish Network's press release says "free high-definition DVR," but the fine print is a bit less exciting. The company introduced two new programming packages, called DishDVR Advantage and Dish DVR Advantage HD, that are said to reduce the cost of items purchased separately--as much as seven percent for the first package (woo hoo!). The "free high-definition DVR," a ViP-622 normally available for $199, is part of the HD version. For the reasonable cost of $69.99 per month, customers will receive the DVR, the satcaster's 30 national HD channels (more info), … Read more
To date, the SlingPlayer viewing software has let owners of the Slingbox watch their home TV on a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Windows Mobile device anywhere in the world they have a broadband connection available. Symbian smartphone software is already available in Europe, and Palm software has just been announced. Those software players will soon be joined by a hardware option in the form of the recently announced SlingCatcher, due to hit stores in mid-2007 for under $200.
At CES 2007, Buffalo Technology announced a Draft N dual-band wireless router, the AirStation Wireless-N Nfiniti Dual Band Router & AP (WZR-AG300NH), which supports all current Wi-Fi standards (802.11a/b/g) as well as the Draft N spec. Buffalo deviated from its vertical design with a flat-sitting base unit and a separate (cable-attached) three-antenna unit. The three antennae are arranged in a circle, and the unit resembles a small toy helicopter.
The benefit of including 802.11a support is stability when streaming voice packets or high-def video, because 802.11a operates in the 5GHz band. Common household devices such … Read more
You know, it's about time. It's been a while since one of Silicon Valley's big guys snapped up one of the Web's start-ups du jour--so long, in fact, that all sorts of wild and speculative rumors had started to swirl about which companies would inevitably be buying Digg and Facebook before 2006's end. Neither deal happened. But yesterday's uber-late-night reports from Forbes' Quentin Hardy and GigaOM's Om Malik have revealed that, as speculated, it looks likeYahoo has purchased the pseudo-social-networking service MyBlogLog for an undisclosed price, though it's rumored to be … Read more
Many companies at CES are working on products that combine TV programming with related content from the Internet and distribute it throughout the home (Microsoft demonstrated some of these capabilities with Vista and Media Center Extenders during its keynote on Sunday). But Sharp is the first company to demonstrate a prototype product that can stream two simultaneous HD feeds and Internet content over the existing power lines in your home.
The technology, called Network AQUOS, uses PowerLine Communication modems to connect the TV and PC, and transmit high-quality audio, video and online content over Homeplug AV, a high-speed networking standard. … Read more