Apr 19, 2011

Researchers use GPS, accelerometers to boost smartphone data rates

Well, this might be a good reason for The Powers That Be to know your exact whereabouts. According to a team of MIT researchers, speeding up data rates on mobile devices could be as easy as tapping the various motion sensors found in run-of-the-mill smartphones. The scientists believe our wireless infrastructure is at the root of bottlenecks, with a handful of weak transmitters clumsily "handing off" data to one another as you move out of range. The solution: use GPS radios, accelerometers, and even gyroscopes to infer where you're headed, and then choose an access point near where you're likely to end up. The difference, they report, is dramatic: a 50 percent boost in throughput, along with improved success in choosing the best bit rate. To boot, if a base station is armed with location-based info, it can better predict when the devices connected to it are on the verge of losing contact. That's all good news, but sadly we doubt any amount of promising science is enough to make the pink lady go away.

Fujitsu and DoCoMo's new dual-boot handset: Windows 7 and Symbian together at last?

Ever wished you could have a Microsoft main course with a side of Symbian? We haven't either, but if the rumors are true, Fujitsu and DoCoMo are teaming up to unleash a dual-boot device this year that can go from Windows 7 (the desktop OS, not WP7) to Symbian at the flip of a switch. According to the always untrusworthy interwebs, the LOOX F-07C will come with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a four-inch 1024 x 600 display, an Intel Atom CPU, and a 32GB SSD. We don't know if this latest handset with multiple personality disorder is real or not, but we do know its odd couple OS pairing has piqued our somewhat morbid curiosity.

Google Latitude, now with 100 percent more check-in deals

A couple of months back, Google brought check-ins to Latitude, its location-sharing service, throughGoogle Maps 5.1 for Android. Naturally, iPhone users only recently received the same functionality, but some would argue they should be grateful to be included at all. (Kidding. Sort of.) Now, Latitude's inching closer to direct competition with Foursquare and Groupon by offering check-in deals at retailers like RadioShack, American Eagle, Quiznos, and Finish Line. Google is currently namechecking over a dozen nationwide partners, and that list will surely grow as the bandwagon approaches Mach 5. Curious as to how this all works? Check in at RadioShack, for example, and you might receive ten percent off an in-store purchase. Offers are tied to check-in frequency, building on Latitude's three-tiered status system; higher status means better deals. If you'd rather peek nearby offers before you decide to leave the house, head to Google's official check in page in the source link below.

Nokia's Ovi Mail relocates to Yahoo, takes the scenic route to get there

Nokia's mantra for 2011 is change, and lots of it. A full-on shift to Windows Phone 7 ain't the only thing making waves in Espoo, though, as the overlooked Ovi Suite appears to be facing a plethora of alterations as well. Starting this month, Ovi Mail moved from its own platform and began migrating to Yahoo, the fruits of a "worldwide strategic alliance" between the two companies announced in May of last year in which Yahoo agreed to offer its Mail and Chat services to nine million registered Ovi users in exchange for access to Nokia's navigation and map services. Ovi Mail users have the option to either agree to the new terms of service with Yahoo within 90 days, or face the haunting reality of having the mail account nixed forever. For those who bite, the good news is that you'll now have access to Yahoo Chat as well as every other Yahoo service. The downside? Your contact list and emails may not all show up right away. 

According to Nokia's Ovi blog, the massive amount of information being moved to Yahoo has been causing delays, and many users are being left in the digital dark -- you know, completely without their contacts and emails. It could be anywhere between several days and a couple of weeks (!) before the missing data is accessible again, so we'd suggest using this golden opportunity to act on those vacation dreams you've been having. If we had to guess, we'd say you'll never be this hard to get in touch with ever again.

Video - White Nexus S with AT&T


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