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Odd And Interesting

Moshi for iPad
  • One need only look to the recent iPhone 5 hysteria, the raging legal battle between Apple and Samsung, or the righteous tone adopted in ads for most of the latest smartphones to know that some people take cell phones pretty seriously.


    Thankfully, however, there are still a few good laughs to be had when it comes to mobile devices, and Pure Mobile is counting down our list of the best and funniest cell phone ads throughout the years. They're a good antidote to some of today's more buttoned-up advertising, which deals in hard facts, or promises some great technical advancement for mankind.


    As much as we like heavy hitters like Samsung, Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry, we'd rather watch a middle-aged French woman breakdance, or the little green Android mascot burp than hear about specs any day.


    Korean Android ad


    We're not really sure what's going on in this Korean ad for Android, but the OS' little green spokes-alien sure sounds like he enjoyed his sandwich.



    AT&T's Family Rollover Minutes


    A mom guilt-trip at its finest. But the funniest part of this commercial isn't even seeing mom's typical “no waste” lecture framed in the context of cell phones, it's dad's resigned and exhausted little sigh. Watch for it.



    Motorola's Stripping Wife


    This older Motorola ad works the obvious appeal of an attractive woman removing clothing piece by piece – imagine the effect on a larger Galaxy or iPhone screen – but there's also a refreshing little punchline at the end.



    Postbank's Rich Husband


    This one isn't actually actually an ad for a cell phone, but we couldn't resist including it in this list, if only for the way it leads you astray right until the end. The ad's rich also handles things like a complete boss.



    Vodafone's Mom Ringtones


    This Vodafone ad from France has a mom acting sexy, looking like a zombie, and breakdancing, all at the switch of a ringtone. Classic.



    T-Mobile's “Who's in your 5?” ads


    These two ads from T-Mobile are so hilariously awkward that they definitely make our “Fave 5” cell phone commercials. One has two buds at odds over a secret crush (note the sly “foot massage” reference to Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction.)


    The other shows a teen boy hopelessly intimidated by his girlfriend's dad. Pops is a little scary, but somehow, you feel for him.




    Dutch Not-So Refreshing Dip


    This Dutch cell phone ad shows that IKEA doesn't have a monopoly on funny Scandinavian advertising. It's got an ick factor, but it's certainly, erm, refreshing.



    Vodafone's Breaking the News Quick


    Sometimes, less is more. So we'll follow the example set by Vodafone in this ultra progressive, ultra-abbreviated ad, and leave things off short and sweet. Hope this list gave you a few chuckles!





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  • While Apple unleashed the iPhone 5 last week, they’re being a little stingier with the Lightening connector – they aren’t in stores yet, and online orders won’t ship until October. This is causing all kinds of conniptions among even Apple’s most loyal fans.


    It was inevitable that Apple had to re-engineer its 10-year old 30 pin adapter. The Lightning’s eight-pin, all-digital connector is smaller, more durable and a necessity for the evolution of all Apple devices. But, the impact of the connector change on the whole system is just getting through to many Apple owners.


    Not only will you need the adapter to connect your iPhone 5 to all the old accessories and their 30 pin plug-ins, more substantial systems like your BMW’s electronic interface and the workout equipment at your gym will be useless without the Lightning adapter. Anywhere that there are iPhone-compatible systems will be affected.


    BMW is one of the companies that is already on the problem. They’ve made it clear to car owners that they will still be able to listen to music, podcasts and other audio over the built-in stereo, so yes, the tunes will continue to flow. However, the automaker’s PlugIn feature – enabling video playback while stationary and the mirrored Apple interface – is officially out.


    Have you thought about how Apple’s connector change is going to affect your Apple devices?




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  •  


    If the LIFX Kickstarter-funded project gets to market, you’ll be able to control your home's lighting system from your smartphone. Like the remotely-controlled thermostats that are also on their way, your home’s Wi-Fi connection can be used to remotely control “LIFX” LED bulbs.


    Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. As a result of their posting on Kickstarter, the inventors of LIFX raised $260,000 of their $100,000 goal in two days.  LIFX's position on top of the tech section for the social news website Reddit doesn't hurt either.


    Using the LIFX app that controls the bulbs you can turn them on and off and adjust their brightness from your smartphone. LIFX bulbs are designed to save energy and should last up to 25 years. The bulbs screw into the same light sockets as any other bulbs. The app will be available for both iOS and Android.



    In addition to turning the bulbs on and off, the project creators are designing the app so that you can choose brightness for individual bulbs, a room full of them or every bulb in your house. The lighting system in your home is directed by a “master” bulb that connects to your home router box via 802.11n and then onto all the other LIFX bulbs in your home via an IPV6 802.15.4 mesh network.


    In trade for funding dollars, backers of the project who pledge $69 get one LIFX bulb, $99 for two and $196 for 4. Serious investors willing to commit $5,000 receive 100 LIFX bulbs.


    Could you see yourself using a home lighting system that you can run from your smartphone or other wireless device? What would you be willing to pay for one of these bulbs?




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  • On Apple’s big day there was pi in the sky
    Posted on September 13, 2012 by kduggan

     


    Pi in the sky

    Yesterday an awesome and inspiring event took place in San Francisco, but it didn’t have anything to do with Apple’s big day. It was all about pi.


    Up in the San Francisco sky three jets succeeded in writing the first 10,000 numbers of pi. That’s right, pi: the old ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Most of us know it from high school math class as “3.14159… - the number that never ends.


    The planes wrote the numerals in smoke in dot matrix format a quarter-mile high. Each plane wrote every third number in a string that extended for 150 miles around San Francisco.


    An artist and a design company came up with this incredibly creative work of art. They may have just eclipsed the launch of the latest flagship product of one of the most innovative companies in the world. As expected, Apple provided a terrific iPhone, and we can’t wait to see the iPad mini unveiling. The project on the ground was impressive, but it wasn't as hypnotic as what Apple used to deliver. But those on the ground couldn’t keep their eyes off what was happening in the sky.


    Someday soon Apple, please hypnotize us again.



    This post was posted in Apple, Odd And Interesting and was tagged with San Francisco sky, pi in the sky, pi, Apple iPhone 5 launch

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  • According to their latest campaign slogan, OIS is on. But Nokia's marketing team is way off in recent ads for the Lumia 920.


    As Mashable reported the day of the device's September 5th unveiling, Nokia's been left with pants ablaze after two independent bloggers discovered that images and video used to promote the new Lumia 920 were misleading.


    To clarify, the campaign's entire raison d'être was to pump up the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology used for the new Nokia Lumia's “Pure View” camera. The argument here is that OIS makes for better pictures and video.


    The campaign, shot in Helsinki, presents a model in different scenarios, with split screens labeled “OIS Off” and “OIS On.” Obviously, the images and video clips labelled “OIS On” are clearer, and even have a more artistic appeal. The only problem is, they're fakes.


    Light diffractions in the Nokia Lumia 920 campaign images show they can't have been taken with the device

     


    Neither the campaign photos nor the video were shot using the Lumia 920. Instead, a leaked picture of the photo shoot showed artificial lighting and professional equipment.


    Since the story's emerged, Nokia has issued an apology, while still trying to cover its own ass. In an emailed statement, Nokia spokesperson Brett Young told Mashable:


    “The video was produced while the Nokia Lumia 920 was in early prototype and still not ready to show the full benefits of the amazing innovation it contains.”


    An independent blogger posted this photo of the proffessional lighting and camera equipment at Nokia's shoot for the new Lumia

     


    That's like McDonald's saying the Big Mac in their ads only looks so big and juicy because the squashed sandwich you received with your order wasn't ready to display yet.


    Nevertheless, says Young, “while there was no intention to mislead, the failure to add a disclaimer to the video was obviously a mistake.”


    Apology aside, the campaign video now also contains a disclaimer that clarifies the footage is a “simulation of OIS technology.”


    Nokia posted genuine photos on their site taken in low light with the latest Lumia 

     


    Meanwhile, Nokia has posted some real photos on their site that were shot in low light with the Lumia 920 and without “artificial lighting or stands.” These are compared with similar images shot with competitors' devices. Assuming the new Lumia's pictures are the real deal, they do look quite good.





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  • During last weekend’s Disrupt SF Hackathon events, 147 teams had 24 hours to design, build, test and present their products to judges. Only three teams had the chance to demo their projects in front of the crowd. The first place team was awarded a $5,000 grand prize.


    Techcrunch, the sponsor of the event, invited hardware hackers to “Build toys, robots, Arduino cases, or whatever you want and enter the Disrupt Hackathon as an inaugural hardware hacker. We dare you.” 400 hackers took TechCrunch up on their challenge.


    While the Sirious Margarita Maker “a highly complex system that allows you to tell Siri to make you a margarita, and the Memstash app “that helps you memorize anything” gave the winners a run for their money, three other teams beat them and everyone else out of the top prize.


    First Prize: Livebolt


    Livebolt is a cloud-based identity management system. It consists of a metal block that slides on the back of a physical lock. The block responds to an order from an iPhone app. Once a user passes authentication, the iPhone app can authorize the metal block to lock or unlock the user's door.


    Runner-up #1: Autopus


    Autopus is an app that lets sellers on sites like Craigslist to conduct auctions on their own listings. As bids are placed on their stuff, sellers gets notified and can monitor activity in almost real-time.


    Runner-up #2: HeatData


    HeatData provides a way to track the gestures of mobile website users. Knowing how users interact with pages helps vendors determine how to improve the design and UI for their mobile app.


    Many of the other teams didn’t go home empty handed. Sponsors like AT&T, Evernote, dotCloud, Ford, Locu, Microsoft Bizspark, Dropbox, New Relic, Pearson, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Qualcomm Labs, SAP HANA, SkyDrive, TokBox, Twilio, and Zypr all awarded prizes to the teams that made the best use of their services.


    TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year, and it's underway this week through Wednesday.


    Hold onto your smartphones, tablets and any other device with a broadband connection. There's a lot of innovation going on out there.




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  • Now we know a few more details about Nokia’s new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 phones. The big unveiling took place yesterday in New York City, and what we saw was pretty impressive.


    The Lumia makes a big splash with its accessories. It seems that Nokia is determined to pioneer the cause of the wireless charging station.


    The Lumia 920 and 820 both incorporate Qi (pronounced “chee”) tech for wireless charging (an option with the Lumia 820.) Rather than connecting to a dock, all that’s needed to charge one of the phones is to place it on top of a (plugged in) pad. We’d already heard rumor about the design of the wireless charging pad, and what Nokia unveiled was actually three different styles.


    The basic dock that looks like the same type of design as the phone case. It’s streamlined and shiny, and comes in a few bright color choices – red, blue, white, black and yellow.


    The Fatboy Recharge Pillow is a puffy base that looks like a pillow. Its length and width extend at least one inch beyond the edges of the phone when it’s centered on the Pillow. The color choices are the same bright hues as those for the basic dock.


    The JBL PowerUp Charging Speaker is definitely the star of the group. The charging stand includes an NFC chip that will trigger an app launch when you place it in the dock. Just put the smartphone on the stand where it will charge and automatically open your music player or alarm clock. The stand is equipped with high-quality audio speakers and a retro style. Its color choices are black, gray and blue.


    In addition, Nokia said it has made deals with Virgin Atlantic and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to have charging stations in various public locations. Eventually, Nokia wants to see charging stations in public places all over the world.


    Nokia is part of the Wireless Power Consortium. One of the Consortium’s goals is to build a true wireless-charging network with open standards. Qi is part of that design ethic. If your device is equipped for Qi wireless, you'll be able to charge it on any charging base that uses the Qi wireless charging standard.


    No word on pricing or launch date for either phone.




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  • Think you’re pretty good with an iPad? Can you draw like this? An 84 year-old woman created this incredible self-portrait in the first thirty minutes of having an iPad in her hands.


    According to her grandson’s Reddit thread, “She’s 84 and never had a tablet, and wanted it for ‘art’.”


    As his story goes, he installed the app ArtRage and left his grandmother for thirty minutes. When he came back, she had created this work of art. The image was posted to Reddit and quickly shot to the front page.



    This post was posted in Apple, General, Odd And Interesting and was tagged with reddit post, grandma app, app, iPad

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  • Finally some pictures have surfaced with close-ups of a device that might be the next generation of Nokia phones.Up till now, we’ve only had leaked pictures, component images and patent application drawings to fuel speculation about what Nokia’s very unique Windows Phone 8 might look like.


    The phone in the pics has a boxy design, like the shape of a deck of cards. One of my first thoughts: if you aren't connected by Bluetooth or a headset, the edges might make it tiring to hold for a long period of time.


    The views also show elongated speaker grilles down one whole side. The phone is  supposed to feature DTS sound - multichannel audio technology that is known for surround sound formats. The poor quality of speaker sound in portable devices today is almost as big a deal as battery life. DTS could mean a big leap forward in the audio experience. From a design standpoint, we can't imagine speakers extended the whole length of the handset. Maybe it's just for effect.


    There's a lot that pictures can't tell. So the rumors of specs like a quad-core SoC, 12-megapixel camera and 4.5-inch HD screen should be taken with a big grain of salt.


    Of course, this is all just a guess at whether these models are sourced from Nokia or rendered from legitimate hardware images or specs, but they are interesting. Maybe, we'll hear more on September 5th when Nokia and Microsoft hold their press event.



    No matter what, a boxy design like this would be a real departure from the Apple, HTC and Samsung smooth, rounder edged and stylized cases we love right now. Windows 8 or not, I'd feel like Nokia's new device is drawing attention to my hand the way my eyes can't help but notice to a Nissan Cube on the street.



    This post was posted in News and PR, Nokia, Odd And Interesting and was tagged with DTS, Nokia Windows 8, box phone, Windows 8, microsoft, Nokia

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  • Just in case you haven’t sprung for the Galaxy S III, extended your contract for another 2 years to get that HTC One X, or aren’t a Apple loyalist, you might be glad to hear that we’ll finally be getting the official word on Motorola’s new Droid RAZR M 4G LTE next week – September 5th to be exact.



    If even that’s too far away, the specs have been leaked. This looks like a pretty sweet phone.


    • 4.3-inch, 960 x 540 pixel, Super AMOLED Advanced display
    • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
    • 8 GB of storage
    • 1 GB of RAM
    • 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3-megapixel one on the front
    • Gorilla Glass 2 display glass
    • Kevlar-reinforced back
    • Virtual navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen
    • MicroSD expansion
    • Wi-Fi
    • Bluetooth
    • GPS


    NFC, GSM / UMTS / HSPA+ global roaming are on board and the whole package will be powered by Android 4.0 - Ice Cream Sandwich


    No word yet on price and availability. It would have been nice to hear about the battery, too, but September 5th isn’t far away. If you’ve got a purchase decision to make, you might want to hold off a week.




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