Feb 22, 2011

The World Of Nokia Users, Literally!

The last few years haven't been kind to Nokia with all sorts of failures and a sense that the company was stumbling along with little real direction. It's easy then to forget that Nokia is still the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in the world with 1 million S30 and S40 devices being sold every day. With that phenomenal selling ability in mind here is a map of Nokia users around the world. Every dot of light in the map below represents a Nokia phone user and it is hard not to be impressed by the sheer reach of the company when you look at it.

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Video - Ittiam shows off four-way 720p HD video conferencing using Android, OMAP 4

Being Mobile World Congress, quite a few software vendors found themselves tucked into corners of bigger booths, eager and willing to showcase their latest work. Ittiam is one of those companies, relying on Texas Instruments' OMAP 4 platform to power its new HD video conferencing system. The demo shown here at MWC involved a foursome of TI development boxes, but the underlying platform was most certainly Android 2.2. Anil Kumar, the manager of Ittiam's video communications division, noted that the system would work just fine on Gingerbread and Honeycomb, enabling up to four devices (smartphones, tablets, whatever) to link up and enjoy a multi-faced call over a standard 3G network. 

Of course, the demonstration that we were shown used an Ethernet network for maximum stability, but the low-bitrate technology would allow bearable results on 3G networks (and better-than-average results on a 4G network). We were told that the company is in talks with "numerous" phone makers, in hopes of getting their VCS software integrated onto Android devices by the year's end -- think Qik, but for video conferencing -- but he couldn't hand out any specifics. Head on past the jump if you'd like to see a demo (and hear an awful lot more). 

Video: Google's perpetual conveyor belt of Android

You know those sushi places that have the pre-packaged rolls hypnotically scrolling by your face endlessly on a little conveyor belt? Well, picture exactly that... but with virtually every major Android device ever made instead of sushi. That was just one of the many visual treats we experienced at Google's Android booth at Mobile World Congress this year -- along with a dozen or so brightly-painted giant Android statues and a fully-functional slide from the second floor down to the first. We'd estimate there were perhaps 200 phones and tablets on the belt, ranging all the way from the original T-Mobile G1 up to prototype versions of the HTC Desire S and Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. We'll admit, it was nigh impossible to resist grabbing at the clear acrylic capsules as they slid silently by, but fortunately, you won't have that problem when you check it out on video -- a safe distance from Barcelona -- after the break.

Windows Phone 7 camera settings keep going to default, Microsoft says it was 'a decision by the team'

"It's not a bug, it's a feature" is one of the time-honored mantras of computer engineering, and Microsoft is using it to full effect with a behavior occasionally cursed by users of Windows Phone 7devices: the camera settings return to their defaults every time you load the camera app. Responding to a comment in the official Windows Phone Blog, a Microsoft rep says that the settings reset was actually "a decision by the team," noting that if you need to pull out your phone for a quick shot, you'd rather not have to fiddle with whatever wacky settings you had set up on the prior use. Continuing, he writes that "feedback from folks like [the commenter] has the team seriously looking at that option to see if there is a more optimal option," so it could change -- so your dream of shooting absolutely everything in sepia tone might be realized with a little less strife down the road.

Google details some of the Honeycomb features coming to Ice Cream: action bar, 'hologram' visual style

Google has already confirmed that its Honeycomb and Gingerbread iterations of Android would be combined in the next version of OS -- dubbed Ice Cream by all accounts -- and it's now also providing a few more details about what Honeycomb features will be carried over to smartphones. Speaking toPhone Scoop, Google Android Engineering Director Dave Burke said that the contextual "action bar" at the top of the screen on Honeycomb tablets will be used on phones as well, but that the system bar at the bottom of Honeycomb might not make the transition. You can apparently expect the so-called "hologram" visual style of Honeycomb to carry over though, along with the multitasking app switcher that provides a snapshot of each app running. That's about all the details there are at the moment, but you can be sure we'll be digging for more.

Memjet: ink-on with the world's fastest printer

Sure the world of digital printing might not catch many people's eye, but there's something otherworldly about just how fast this thing spits out pages. Memjet's office reference printer is fast. How fast? 60 pages a minute, fast. Print quality looks fine at 1600 dots per inch and reportedly half the cost of ownership of other color printers. The trick behind the speed are the 70,000 nozzles firing more than 700 million drops of ink per second that print the page in one pass rather than the several passes of traditional inkjets -- or enough for a page a second. We're pretty sure if we had one of these at our disposal we'd be throwing as much material as we could at it just to watch the magic on the output side.


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