Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Top 10 Most Expensive Mobile Phones in the World

1. Goldvish "Le Million" - $1 million. The Goldvish "Le million" is officially the most expensive mobile phone in the world, according the Guiness Books of Records.

2. Nokia's Vertu Signature Cobra - $310,o00

3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond - $300,000. Black Diamond will be available in 2007, not from Sony Ericsson but by a company called VIPN.

4. Nokia's Vertu Diamond - $88,o00. Only 200 of the handsets are being produced, the most expensive believed to be worth an estimated £50,000.

5. Motorola V220 Special Edition - $28,000

6. Nokia's Gold Edition 8800 - $2,700

7. Mobiado Pro EM (wood) - $1,900

8. Bang & Olufsen (Samsung) Serene $1,250

9. Lamborghini 8800 Sirocco from Nokia - Price to be announced soon.

10. Gresso Luxury Phone - Price to be announced soon and expect it to be very expensive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nokia opens World Largest Flagship Store in Shanghai

Nokia has opened a new Flagship store in Shanghai, China. The new store is the world’s largest so far, and like other Flagship Stores around the world also allow customers to try-out the latest Nokia devices as well as “experience the beauty and distinction of the Nokia brand.”

The Nokia Shanghai Flagship Store is located on Nanjing East Road in the prestigious fashion district and business center of Shanghai. It is the seventh of 18 planned Flagship Stores around the world and its the 1st one in China and 2nd in the region.

For those of you who live in Shanghai, its a MUST go. Its equipped and designed to provide an interactive multimedia experience with a state-of-the-art audio and video system.

Blatant Violation of Meebo's Trademark in China

Meebo AMeebo B

Can you tell the difference between the 2 Meebo's websites. Both have almost the same looks and design right? Some of you may even think that they are owned by the same company. I m a regular user of Meebo and I thought it was owned by the same people who brought us Meebo. Unfortunately, its not. Meebo A is the real Meebo whereas Meebo B is a clone made in China which apparently also carry a similar domain name by ends with a dot CN. Not only it carries the same looks, it even cloned the domain name.

I must agree with Luyi Chen, the blogger who had identified the violation that in some way copying from a developed nation is a faster track to learn what works but to copy entirely from the original and makes no additional effort to perfect it is not acceptable. Though the Meebo clone had incorporated QQ into its service offering, I still find this as a blatant violation of Meebo's trademark.

So far Meebo hasnt taken any legal action but i reckon they should be taking action anytime soon. Such blatant act must not be condoned.

Friday, October 26, 2007

17% iPhones are unlocked

Apple had sold 1,119,000 iPhones in Q4 2007 bringing the total up to 1,389,000. By comparing the number of iPhones sold to the number of iPhones activated on AT&T's network, Apple was able to figure out how many unlocked devices exist out there - somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000. Thats alot of unlocked iPhones representing 17% of all iPhones sold. Clearly Apple should be just selling iPhones and forget about making deals with Operators.

Apple have not even officially sold iPhones outside US and they had sold more than 1 million unit! Steve Jobs objective of achieving the sales of 10 million iPhones next year is as good as in the pocket. I just hope that Apple will release the unlocked version soon in China as I m head over heels with an iPhone.

The Future of Mobility through Nokia

There is no doubt that the convergence of the Internet and mobility is the wave of the future. While most mobile phone manufacturers will be keeping it close to their heart about their progress, Nokia is very transparent in sharing their innovations through a site dubbed as The Way We Live Next.

Many breakthrough technologies are shared by Nokia and its really interesting and informative too. And whats more exciting is the idea of consumer empowerment that Nokia believes will play a critical role in future innovation.

That's why Nokia also re-launched its Beta Labs to build an online community who will contribute exciting new ideas to shape future developments. This is a great way to engage users and develop ideas from them after all the devices are made for them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Microsoft beats Google to a Stake in Facebook

Microsoft has claimed a major victory over its all time rival Google, as the software giant has won the race to invest in the red hot social networking platform Facebook.

Microsoft just announced that it would take a $240 million equity stake in Facebook during the company’s new round of financing, which is being valued at $15 billion - a stunning figure for a business that did not exist prior to 2004. As part of that deal, Microsoft will also expand its existing ad sales relationship with Facebook, including the addition of international sales coverage.

Regardless of the final ad sales details, Microsoft’s win over Google – which had been reported to be chasing down a stake in Facebook as well – is significant, as the tech company continues to play catch up in the online media/ad sector. Microsoft’s investment in Facebook could also be seen as a blow to another rival, Yahoo. The struggling portal had offered a billion dollar last year to buy the company outright, but Facebook had refused to accept the offer.

Who will win the Facebook deal? Google or Microsoft?

Google is threatening to once again beat rival Microsoft to the deal punch, this time in the white-hot Facebook investment sweepstakes. Its going to be a neck to neck race all the way to the finishing line.

Microsoft and Google are each vying to take a stake of between 5 -10 percent in Facebook, with a deal expected to be announced in the next 1 to 2 days, according to some reliable sources.

Google, in keeping with its past modus operandi, has been trying to drive the price up to a point that would scare away Microsoft. And Google may just win again causing another blow to Microsoft.

Despite recent comments by CEO Steve Ballmer that social-networking sites were "a bit faddish", Microsoft is hanging tough on this deal and from a long term strategy this time, I dont think they would want to lose this deal to Google on the final lap.

Facebook's investors are looking for a pre-money valuation of $10 billion-$15 billion in any deal. On the high side, that means Microsoft or Google would have to come up with $1.5 billion for a 10 percent stake or $750 million for a 5 percent piece

A lot is at stake and its not just a seat at Facebook's table but also hundreds of millions of dollars in potential advertising revenue. Sources said if Google emerges victorious one of the first things the company is likely to do is unwind Microsoft's advertising deal with Facebook. Conversely, if Microsoft wins, it will likely look to expand that agreement.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PetroChina, the Next World Largest Company

PetroChina, the state-controlled Chinese oil and gas group, this week overtook General Electric to become the world’s second-biggest company by market capitalisation. After it lists on the Shanghai stock exchange, which it is expected to do next month, it could even surpass ExxonMobil to become the world’s most valuable quoted business.

But PetroChina’s growth and potential, and above all the scale of its oil and gas reserves, suggest it deserves to rank alongside Exxon. Its total oil and gas reserves at the end of last year added up to 20.5bn barrels of oil equivalent, according to a new report from PFC Energy, a consultancy. On the same basis, Exxon’s were 22.8bn barrels of oil equivalent, and Royal Dutch Shell’s just 11.3bn.

The A shares to be listed in Shanghai, in an offer that could raise $10bn or more, could trade at a substantial premium over the price of the Hong Kong-listed H shares, putting the number one spot by market capitalisation within reach. With a flow of good news, that target might well be attained.

Below are the largest companies by market capitalisation data provided by Thomson Datastream (As at Oct 17) and there are already 5 Chinese companies listed as the top 15 just to note. It will be quite soon that the Chinese companies will dominate the top Fortune 500 companies at the rate the economy in China is rapidly growing.

RankGroupMarket cap
3General Electric$420bn
4China Mobil$382bn
9Royal Dutch Shell$273bn
12China Life Insurance$241bn
15BHP Billiton$224bn

Saturday, October 20, 2007

iPhone is 4th top-selling mobile phone in US

Mere months after its initial launch, the Apple iPhone, available exclusively through AT&T, has clawed its way to the 4th top selling mobile phone in the US, accounting for a full 13% of AT&T total handset sales.

MobileTechNews reports that data from Strategy AnalyticsProductTRAX program shows that 1.325 million iPhones have shipped since its launch.

Now, we all knew the iPhone was selling well, but the true test will be if Apple can attain the 1% global marketshare goal that it set for itself. But, even if the current iPhone doesn’t meet Apple’s self-imposed goal, the iPhone brand will undoubtedly continue to perform - the next-gen iPhone may carry the torch well into the future. Its probably the only mobile device that can be termed as "sexy" and surely a class way above the rest. The iPhone had certainly set a new standard and its now up to the other mobile manufacturers to match up to the iPhone.

Mercedes and its new 8 airbags

Mercedes introduces its new S500. And it has eight airbags... Would be nice to be constantly caress by those nice 8 airbags. Pretty well thought off and well executed press ad.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finally an unlocked iPhone

And you can only get it if you are in France. I m not sure whether what are the conditions to purchase the unlocked version but it appears that Apple will indeed be going ahead with Orange in France to offer unlocked iPhones (as per French law requirements). The French law prevents carriers from tying handsets exclusively to their networks - consumers have to be able to move to a different network provider and take their phones with them.

However, there’s lots of questions. Who can buy the unlocked iPhone in France? French citizen or resident or whoever who sign up with the Orange/Apple contract? I m sure the arrangement is a tricky one for Apple. What can it do to stop, say, British or German punters popping to Paris to pick up a SIM-free iPhone? Since its deals with O2 and T-Mobile are believed to be founded on taking a cut of the money the networks make from iPhone users, that's not an outcome Apple will be happy with.

Move over all the iPhone unlocked softwares and cracks, here comes the cross-channel iPhone shopping trip.

China's trade surplus hits $185.7 billion in first 9 months

China's trade surplus hit $185.65 billion in the first nine months, surpassing the full-year figure in 2006. September's trade surplus, though $1.06 billion less than the previous month, reached $23.91 billion, up 56.3% from the same period a year ago.

Last year, China's trade surplus soared 74.2 percent to a record $177.47 billion.

With Christmas holidays around the corner, exports will surely surge before the year is over and it will definitely be another record for China and sometimes I wonder how much more China can continue to break records. China had broken more records than any countries in the past 10 years. The local Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges had been recording new high every week for the past 6 months and even with cautions from the analysts, the local chinese are still taking position and nothing seem to prevent them from taking advantage of the greatest bull run on both the local stock exchanges.

While the stock exchanges in China are still recording new high weekly, i m still of the opinion that investors should take profit and continue to invest wisely on blue chips with good fundamentals. Just a note, Warren Buffet had just sold all the 8% stocks that they had invested heavily in PetroChina. There is no specific reason why they had decided to sell off but my takeway would simply be that Warren thinks the profit was good and its high time to cash out. I m not implying anything but i guess its good to take note.

Monday, October 15, 2007

China's Economy is the 4th largest in the World

China is the second-largest contributor to the World economy after the US, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) calculation based on World Bank statistics. The US contributed to 29.8 percent of world growth and China contributed 13.8 percent in the same period.

Its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an average of 10.4 percent during the 2003-06 period, much higher than the world average of 4.9 percent.

In 2006, China was the fourth-largest economy in terms of GDP, up from the sixth in 2002.
In 2002, China's GDP accounted for 13.9 percent of that of US; four years later, the ratio rose to 20 percent. The booming Chinese economy has brought substantial benefits to people's lives. China's per capita gross national income broke the $1,000 line in 2002 and reached $2,010 in 2006.

In 2006, urban residents' per capita disposable income rose 52.7 percent over 2002. Farmers' per capita net income increased by 27.1 percent during that period.

China has even created 108 billionaires over a very short span of time and the continuing growth in China will eventually top them on the World economy. China should surpass Germany as the 3rd largest economy before the end of 2007 according to some analysts.

The output of major industrial and agricultural products has risen as a result of China's strong economic growth making China the largest producer of :

  1. Coal
  2. Cement
  3. Chemical
  4. Fertilizer
  5. Steel
  6. Electricity
  7. Textiles
  8. Oil
  9. Agricultural products such as cereal, meat, cotton, peanuts and fruits
  10. Tea

From 2003 to 2005, China attracted an inflow of $186.5 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI), the largest among developing countries.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The New Fastest Super Car in the World - the SSC Ultimate Aero TT

The Bugatti Veyron which was once the World Super Fastest Car will now have to find a new unofficial claim to fame as the 2nd fastest car in the world. As for being the fastest car in the world the Guinness Book of World Records has official awarded that title to the SSC Ultimate Aero TT after yielding a record speed of 256.19 mph. The Ultimate Aero TT achieved its record run with a twin-turbo V8 with 1183-hp and 1094 ft-lbs of torque.

Dream Job inThailand

Anybody interested? Only 500 positions available, start applying now. I m sure it comes with lots of fun and unlimited free samples that you can take it home with you to do you real test. Ha ha.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gmail giving out 6GB of strorage by Jan 2008

Good news for all you Gmail users out there as Gmail today updated their home page’s storage estimation. The new entries indicates that the storage will be:

2912MB by October 11, 2007 midnight Google time
4.2GB by the 23rd this month
6GB by January 4th next year
42GB by the year of 2038
and 2.70266701 × 1072 TB* by 1/2/3456 7:00

4.2GB by this month and approaching 6GB by January! Awesome and all this for free. Of course if you want more storage and cant wait that long, you can subscribe to Google paid storage.

What do you do next time when your mobile phone goes down the toilet

Its common these days to hear and even experiencing it ourselves one of the most regular screw up on mobile like "i just dropped my mobile phone down the toilet." Its a painful and messy experience. Not to worry, Jon Tickle, star of Big Brother and Brainiac explains what to do the next time your phone takes a swim! Its worth a try and you may end up saving those precious information on your mobile and even saving your phone too.

As I m unable to locate the link to the video, here is the full transcript of the video that i had obtained from Dial-a-Phone UK :

Every year, Britons drop 850,000 phones down the toilet! At a cost of over £300 million!
Next time this happens to you, don’t fret, and don’t worry about the buzzing and hissing, use our simple guide to nurse your phone back to full health!

Now different people swear by different methods of resurrecting a mobile phone, so were going to test three methods and see which one works best…the fridge method, the alcohol method, and the window method!

And for our experiment we’re going to use three identical Nokia 6230s, and some wee!

Obviously make sure you fish it out as soon as possible, you can always wash your hands later!

Immediately take the battery off. Electricity and water do not mix! Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source when wet.

Then take the sim card out! Your contacts may well be the most important part of your phone. The sim card actually survives water damage very well, so best just to take it off and leave it to dry.

Now here’s a little tip, if you happen to have gone for a swim with your phone in the sea for example, but don’t do it if you have dropped the phone into clean water. Briefly immerse your phone into deionised, or distilled water. This is to clean the phone of the impurities in the water, such as the salt in the sea which is corrosive and will damage the inside of the phone. First pat the phone down with a paper towel to get off as much of the excess water as your can.
Now the phone needs to properly dry out. The important thing is to be patient and to let the water dry out at an even rate. Do not stick the phone in the oven, in a microwave or under a hairdryer as excessive heat will just cause more damage to the phone. We’re going to test three different methods here, the fridge, the alcohol and the window.

Now it might seem a bit silly sticking your phone in the fridge, but they say a fridge apparently acts like a dehumidfier, and will dry the phone out nice and evenly.

Again, it sounds a bit daft soaking your phone with alcohol, but strong alcohol will displace water and sediments and will dry out quickly with little residue.

And finally we’re going to try a slightly more sensible method, leaving the phone in a gentle flow of air, such as by a window, or that found on top of a tv, or a computer monitor for example.

Now be patient! Leave it for a day, and don’t try to turn it on! Better to be without a phone for a day than to have to buy a new one.

Ok, so lets test the alcohol method, put the battery back in, try and turn the phone on, and… nothing! Oh dear!

Right, onto the fridge, that’s nice and cold, stick the battery in, and again, absolutely nothing.

And here’s our phone by the window, stick the battery in, turn it on, and, oh yes, its working!

There’s all the proof you need! The best way to recover a phone you’ve dropped down the loo, is to dry it out by an open window.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nokia N95 aka Made in China

Any difference? I m sure you will be able to see the clear difference. The Chinese has once again cloned another Nokia and this time its the high end N95. It looks almost identical other than the fact the clone is slightly bigger and has a magnificent 3" QVGA TFT screen. Clone's camera is on a decent 3 megapixels in comparison to N95 CarlZeiss lense with 5 megapixels.

An unique feature would be the ability to handle 2 SIM cards at the same time, ie you can have 2 phone numbers on one phone.

Its always difficult to nail these illegal manufactureres but on a positive perspective, perhaps legitimate manufacturers can learn something from them like the 2 slots for SIM cards and perhaps a bigger screen and much more.

China has 108 Billionaires

China has more billionaires than any country except the United States, as soaring stocks and property prices helped to boost wealth among the country's super-rich. The number of Chinese worth more than $1 billion had almost 10 fold from 15 to 108 in just 1 year.

The average wealth of those on the list doubled from a year earlier to $562 million growing much faster than in western countries, Rupert Hoogewerf said in his 2007 China "rich list," which ranks the 800 wealthiest individuals in the country.

Here are the top 4 Richest people on the list :

1. Yang Huiyan, 26, tops the list after receiving $17.5 billion from her property developer father.

2. Last year's champion, Zhang Yin, fell to second place even as her wealth tripled to $10 billion

3 Xu Rongmao, owner of Shimao Property Holdings Ltd - $7.5 billion

4. Huang Guangyu, who founded GOME Electrical Appliances Holdings - $6 billion.

Seven of China's 10 richest people are mainly or partly in the real estate business.

Minsheng Banking Corp, the most prominent creator of super-rich of any Chinese company created 9 super rich to the list. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, China's second-largest life insurer, and Western Mining Co, a zinc and lead miner in China's far-flung western region, were each responsible for the wealth of seven on the list.

With the continuing fast pace of growth in China, it wont be surprising at some point that China will have more Billionaires than any countries in the World and possibly even top the Forbes List of 20 most richest people on earth.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kung Fu Ad For Motorola RAZR2

Motorola has seeks the help of Chinese animator to create a sleek "kung fu" version of the RAZR2 TV ad in the same style as the Xiao Xiao movie. Extremely fun to watch how the animated character interacted using the RAZR2 mobile while at the same time engaging in a "Matrix" like Kung Fu fighting sequence. Even make Jackie Chan movie looks 2nd grade. You got to see it to judge for yourself. Enjoy it.

Richest person in China is only 26-year-old

A 26-year-old worth $16.2 billion is mainland China's richest person and guess what the richest person is a married woman according to the business magazine Forbes, topping a list of tycoons whose wealth has soared amid a boom in stock and property prices.

The fortune of Yang Huiyan - also Asia's richest woman - is based on shares in Country Garden Holdings Ltd., a real estate developer founded by her father, Forbes said. It said the company's Hong Kong stock market debut this year made billionaires of Yang and four other people.

She is the second daughter of farmer-turned-developer Yang Guoqiang, who had for years planted rice, tended cows and mixed cement before founding Country Garden in 1997. Now the entrepreneur is managing a number of businesses such as property development and running hotels.

He followed Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing in cultivating his children to follow in his business footsteps. He brought his daughter to the board meeting when she was a middle school student, and sent her to an American university to prepare her to take over his company.

He handed over 70 percent of Country Garden company's shares to his daughter's company, before the IPO. And when it was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This newly-found wealth helped Yang surpass the "Queen of Wastepaper" Zhang Yin as the wealthiest person on the Chinese mainland.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nokia got smacked again in the face by the Operator in UK

The N81 is the flagship device from Nokia that has a built in music and game store, something that had upset quite a few operators (Orange, O2 and now T-Mobile) in the UK who already provide their customers with such solutions. They see this as a threat so they’re refusing to sell the device (subsidized of course) to their customers. It may may not sound critical as its just one model that they are refusing to sell but it just goes to demostrate how far operators will go to protect their own turf and its definitely no easy ride for Nokia.

This is just the UK, what about the rest of the world? Will Nokia’s attempt at providing content be a complete turn off for the operators? It is definitely going to be one long and tedious fight and i m quite certain that it will be many times harder for the Chinese market with China Mobile monopolising especially most operators would have similar offering too. When you use a third party internet service aka something that is not offered in your operators walled garden then you are surely going to upset them.

With Nokia Siemens bleeding money, the $8.1 billion purchase of Navteq and now operators lifting their noses in the air and ignoring the Finnish giants products, it going to be interesting to see how everything will pan out in due time.

Handsfree Device with Built-in Bluetooth for Infants made by "Gucci"

Well, it’s not really made by GUCCI, but this is pretty hilarious and it comes with built in "Bluetooth 2.0" too. This was featured in Yahoo's Taiwan Auction Site. Its so cute...

Google crosses $600 per share

Shares in Google moved past the $600-a-share mark for the first time extending a rally that has lifted the internet search and advertising giant’s market value by about $25bn in just the past month.

Although the shares fluctuated around $600, their performance will serve as another reminder of the enormous wealth created by the nine-year-old Mountain View, California-based company since it went public at $85-a-share in 2004. Some pundits had predicted that it will even reach US$2,000-a-share. Nobody can tell how far Google's shares can continue to increase. They had broke all the psychological level from $200 all the way to $600.

Based on its current share price, Google has a market value of more than $190 billion – more than many bigger, more mature businesses such as Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

The biggest beneficiaries of Google’s share price surge have been Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company’s co-founders who now rank among the world’s wealthiest men with fortunes approaching $20bn each.

Both Larry and Sergey had worked hard and had given all of us an accurate and comprehensive way to search for information and certainly a flawless business model for the advertisers to be listed on the search engine. Not only that, Google had gone beyond just a search engine and had empowered us with lists of new apps like Gmail, Gtalk, Google reader, iGoogle, not to mention the blog platform that i m using and many more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Reality of the Stock Market

Its always the people with the brightest mind and sufficient resources who will win in this game. The sore losers are always the silliest of the silliest or fools of the fools. They never seem to learn and most will never as history had proven it over and over again. Its just human nature. But I do hope that the story below will present to you the reality of it and how those brightest minds will conquer the weakest and greediest of them all.

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared who announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10.00 . The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys in the forest, went out and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10.00.

As supply started to diminish and villagers started to stop their efforts, he announced that now he would buy them at $20.00.This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon, the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate was increased to $25.00 and the supply of monkeys became so scarce that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it.

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50.00. However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of the man.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers, "Look at all the monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $ 35.00 and when the man comes back, you can sell them to him for $50.

The villagers queued up with all their savings to buy the monkeys.After that, neither the assistant nor the businessman could be found anywhere but the monkeys were everywhere!

So the moral of the story, dont be greedy!!

Chinese banks report profits of $35.8 billion in the first 6 months of 2007

Chinese banking sector made a total profit of 268.97 billion yuan (35.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the first six months of 2007, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

The CBRC said the non-performing loan ratio of the country's banks had dropped to 8.98 percent by the end of June from 17.9 percent in 2003 when their combined profits stood at 32.28 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, total assets of the banks nearly doubled to 48.5 trillion yuan from 26.5 trillion yuan in 2003, boosted by the country's double-digit economic growth.

Thirty-one Chinese banks were listed among the world's top 1,000 banks, according to rankings released by the Banker magazine in July. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China ranked third and sixth respectively in terms of core capital. At the rate of growth of the Chinese banks in China, they will soon emerge as the largest bank in the world.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Magical Power of Make Up

They are not Divas from the Hollywood, and they aint no Ms or Mrs World. They are simply a product of make up. Its pretty amazing what make up can do for women. It can entirely change how a woman looks and magically reposition them and improving their self esteem.

The above picture was taken at a recent competition for the best make over in 2006. Look at the before and after make over. Its unbelievable how it had completely given them a whole new look. So in reality, there are no ugly women, just poor women..... and if women have more money, i m sure they can go under the knife and change whatever they aspire.

By the way, the winner of the contest was the 2nd woman from the left.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The World Most Extreme Game Show

The Endurance was an extreme Japanese television gameshow from the 1980s where contestants (students) have to endure humiliating, painful and often bizarre rituals. This made the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most Extreme Game Show." Having seen the clip myself and the kind of pain that participants had to endure, it has to be the most extreme of all that i had seen. I m not sure what was the ultimate price but i m sure pride and self dignity must had been one of the driving force for the participants afterall they are japanese.

I have to give it to the Japanese afterall they have to be the most creative people in game shows and certainly had never failed to provide us with all the laughters and humors.

Here is another cool game show from Japan! This time, contestants must yank the table cloth off a table without spilling the drinks and food. Looks like a fun competition which I would love to try my hands on! It sure looks easy....

22 million people logged into Facebook in August 2007

There was a great post a couple of weeks ago on the blog about how Facebook users spend their time. This is a great information visualization, packing in lots of useful information. Not unsurprisingly, people spend most of their time browsing profiles and signing new apps.

Facebook is of course getting a lot of attention these days, as one of the fastest growing sites (now #3 in Pageviews according to Compete) and one with lots of developer buzz and its definitely having a greater pull than MySpace.

Facebook received over 26 million visitors in August, a little over 22 million end up signing in. Thats alot of signing in for 1 month.

Of the 22 Million people who logged into Facebook in August, nearly 21 Million go on to check their profile or their friends. Beyond that,

  • 14 million people interacted with Facebook Applications in August.
  • Applications are also highly engaging; capturing more time per session than any other activity on the site.
  • Over 16 Million people browsed photos in August. On average, they viewed nearly 150 per month.
  • Only 80,000 (or .3% of total active members) “poked” someone in August.

If you are not on Facebook, i strongly recommend that you go check out Facebook and please help yourself to register and have fun. If you do need some instructions, you can go click on this link to direct you to my previous blog on the Unofficial Dummies Guide to using Facebook.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Verizon's answer to Apple iPhone

Verizon just came out with a so called "iPhone killer." Take a look at the clip and you will agree that the new Verizon Voyager is a good phone with features much better than the sexy iPhone. Verizon Wireless Chief Marketing Officer believes that it will kill the iPhone. Its a bold statement but i dont reckon that the Voyager will get anywhere close to the kind of hype that the iPhone is enjoying currently though i must admit that users on Verizon will definitely enjoy a much faster speed and user experience on mobile internet with the Voyager.

The Voyager has a nice touch phone exterior (like the iPhone) and users will be able to unclamp the phone to reveal a second screen that comes with a full qwerty keyboard! This feature makes the Verizon Voyager a much more viable option for consumers taking full advantage of mobile internet access.

Here are some of the features that comes with the Voyager :

  • HTML browser
  • Full V CAST-capabilities
  • V CAST Mobile TV
  • V CAST Music
  • Ability to play .mp3, .wma and unprotected .aac files
  • V CAST Video
  • High-Speed Wireless Broadband Access
  • Removable microSD memory (8GB) for users wanting to take advantage of the Voyager’s incredible multi media platform.
While its more superior than the iPhone, somehow i m still going to wait for the version to be released to Asia next year.

Extraordinary Breastfeeding

Most babies will stop breastfeeding when they turn 1 year old but not Veronica. She still breastfeeding her 2 daughters, one is 5 years old and the other is 8 years old. Her kids love them and rather have breast milk than anything else. Its the best food on earth for them and they will never want to stop.

Friday, October 5, 2007

516 million mobile users in China, August 2007

There were 515.67 million subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of the end of August 2007, growing by 1.40% on month and by 17.87% on year, according to China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) on September 24.

Also at the end of August there were 372.45 million subscribers of fixed lines in China, translating into a user density of 28.4%.

Mobile phone subscribers in China sent 50.08 billion short messages in August, averaging 3.15 short messages per phone number a day.

Broadband Ad from Hong Kong

100 Mbps of broadband speed commercially available in Hong Kong for HK$298 or about US$ 35 a month. Its truly an amazing speed for such a low price. Frankly i like the tv commercial better. Its in chinese but i m sure you get the picture. Enjoy it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nokia N series new website

Check this out. Nokia has launched a new website with the simple message: Nokia thinks your phone should be open for anything. With the rift between Apple and many other mobile manufacturers including Nokia, its going to be interesting to see what other phone companies are doing.

Nokia, the largest mobile phone company in the world and no stranger to great design is now adding good marketing to their strategy including the recent poster campaign in New York.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How about Quitting Smoking for good

If you would to quit smoking, this is the site for you: Pretty good user interface with lots of information on why you should quit smoking and engaging enough to convince me too to quit smoking.

Also, if you click around, you'll find the 1st Web 2.0 program called FixNixer that should help you quit smoking in 21 days for free. All you need to do is to enter some particulars about yourself and it will guide you through the whole process of quitting and occasionally sending you encouraging notes to keep you going till you quit.

Cheeky Nokia ad aiming at iPhone

Nokia is plastering in New York city with ads taking aim at Apple's locked iPhones. Not only does iPhone prohibit the installation of third-party apps, and for users who unlocked their phones will soon discover that Apple's latest "update" actually bricked their phones, rendering them useless (and Apple says that illegal unlocking your phone voids your warranty).

Nokia's N-series phones are designed to run third-party code, and Nokia encourages users to be as creative as they want with their phones. N 95 is a terrific phone, except for battery life, which is apparently a real problem.

Personally, i think mobile phone should be as open as they can just like their PC counterpart so as to encourage developers and users the flexibility and creativity with what they can do with their phones. While i can understand where Apple is coming from especially with the exclusive partnerships that they had signed with the Operators, the mobile device shouldn't be locked in totality. Apple should consider having an arrangement with Operators where users can buy an outright unlocked version where its entirely up to the end users or developers' discretion with what they want to do with their phones.

A 2 pricing strategy for the iPhone maybe the best solution giving the end users whether to sign up for a locked iPhone version or a higher price for an unlocked version.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

CEO Niklas Zennstrom stepping down at Skype

The co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom will be resigning as CEO as of today, retaining the role of chairman.

It was a hefty acquisition from day 1 for eBay as the price was way too high in consideration of the value that Skype could bring to eBay. While Skype is great service by any VOIP standard, $4 billion is alot of money to pay to a VOIP startup.

Clearly, Skype’s master plan wasn’t working, and revenue targets that were supposed to determine the earnouts weren’t met. So instead of a billion-dollar-plus earnout, Niklas Zennstrom and co-founder Janus Friis will have to settle for $530 million. As predicted, Skype will unlikely meet its revenue target and the founders should be happy even with a 1/3 earnout having taken the bigger chunk when they were 1st acquired in 2005.

eBay will be writing-off of $1.43 billion in connection with the transaction. Skype merger is really not working out for eBay based on the performance of the deal to date but for Skype’s stockholders it was most definitely a home run. For Niklas this is a good time to go afterall he has a growing portfolio of companies he has invested in.

Nokia acquires Navteq for $8.1 billion

Finnish handset vendor Nokia continued its march into the services arena, through the acquisition of US mapping and location based services (LBS) firm Navteq for $8.1 billion, making it Nokia's largest acquisition to date.

Navteq's digital map services span 69 countries across six continents. In 2005, the firm teamed with Nokia to create mobile search solutions for the handset giant's smartphone range. In addition to Nokia, Navteq powers many in-car navigation services for manufacturers like Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Navteq is also one of the providers of mapping data used in Google Maps. Every mobile device should include mapping services. It’s a natural fit.

Purchasing a company which specialises in digital mapping, including gathering a wide range of information on local points of interest, is a smart move for Nokia. These kind of data will provide the essential contextual underpinning of an integrated mobile service strategy, enabling Nokia to deliver more relevant information based on a user’s location.

The Navteq negotiations represent Nokia's latest move into the mobile services market--in early September, the company Nokia introduced Ovi, a new Internet services brand developed to expand its focus beyond mobile devices and platforms to embrace a range of web services. Ovi ("door" in Finnish) promises to enable consumer access to social networks, communities and content as well as provide a gateway to Nokia services. Nokia trumpeted the music download capabilities of Ovi, which drew on its August 2006 acquisition of digital music firm Loudeye. Its Nokia Maps navigation service also falls under the Ovi range of services.

Last month, Nokia bought mobile advertising specialist Enpocket for an undisclosed sum, an event which coincided with the launch of Google's Adsense for mobile service.

Nokia commands almost 40 per cent of the handset market but evidently believes that, at least in part, its future success rests on securing a share of the services market. At the launch of Ovi, Nokia chief executive, Olli Pekka Kallasvuo, announced: "Devices alone are not enough anymore."

I m not sure how Operators around the world are taking this new positioning of Nokia for the long term as Nokia is certainly dipping into the business territory of the Operators. While there have been suggestions that Orange in particular reacted warily to the launch of Ovi, other operators are more sanguine. My view is that Operators will remain the strongest point of contact with the end users and supporting an open mobile internet experience and working with multitude of partners including internet players like Myspace, Facebook, Google Maps, eBay and Youtube (similar to the i-Mode business model in Japan) will certainly be a better long term strategy for the Operators.