Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mobile subscriptions to surpass 4 billion this year

It took just five quarters to amass the latest billion additions which had taken many years to reach the 1st billion, says Informa. There will be four billion mobile subscriptions globally at the end of 2008, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media.

However, the rise of global mobile subscription numbers is set to slow, with Informa suggesting the five billionth subscription will be signed up during 4Q 2011, with worldwide penetration reaching in excess of 70 per cent.

Only in Africa will penetration at the end of 2011 be below 50 per cent with most of the major countries surpassing at least 70% by then. It is obvious that the mobile industry will see a slowdown in growth as it is simply untenable for the extraordinary growth witnessed over the last 18 months to continue after all in many developed countries, it has reached critical mass.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Google Maps Mobile Streetview

The Google Team have made a swish little video demonstrating how it works. Have a watch of this to appreciate just how perfect is the mobile streetview experience. This is really the power of what mobile can do when you really in need of information when you are on the go. A simple search on google maps will give you the information required with direction and best of all some streetview shots that will give you an idea of where the location is. Perfect.... and i m sure location based mobile ads wil work perfectly in this respect.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Cut Down" iPhone will finally be launched in China soon

China Mobile is expected to officially launch the Apple iPhone on its network shortly but with some of the functionality removed to comply with Chinese regulations and of course no revenue sharing agreement. The South China Morning Post, citing a report from the Daiwa Institute of Research said that the 3G and Wi-Fi services would be disabled on the Chinese model.

China Mobile has been in on/off talks with Apple ever since the iPhone was launched. The talks broke down in January but resumed again in July.

While its a great news for the Chinese mobile market, but I m not too sure whether many Chinese will want to buy an iPhone with the wifi and 3G disabled. The user experience will lack severely. Downloading videos and YouTube would not be possible. And you can forget about MMS as well.

From my point of view, its simply unappealing for Apple to market the cut-down iPhone version for the Chinese market.

Gina Gershon Strips Down Sarah Palin

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die

Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s meteoric rise to fame from an obscure government official in a very cold place to a bona fide rock star known worldwide continues unabated. Ordinarily, I’d take this as just some politician bashing by a celebrity. But the thing is, Gina Gershon looks so freakin’ much like Sarah Palin that by the end of this (which involves the actual “stripping”) it’s hard to tell who’s who and which part is the joke.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wouldn't it be Great to be these kids?

The Vodafone commercial is shot in candid-camera style, where little boys ‘innocently’ expose and take advantage of attractive women. Ordinary guys like you and me would had been slapped and yelled at for doing any of these things, but the kids get a smile and hug instead, because they’re adorable. The commercial tagline drives the point home: “Some things work only until a certain age. So make the most of being young.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

Top 10 Biggest Bankruptcies in US history

CNBC has put together a quick slideshow list of the top 10 largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in US history. The size and magnitude of Lehman's bankruptcy is unimaginable making the 2nd largest bankruptcy of Worldcom seems small in comparison.

10. United Airlines; Assets: $25.2 billion; Date Filed: Dec. 9, 2002
9. Pacific Gas and Electric; Assets: $29.8 billion; Date Filed: April 6, 2001
8. Global Crossing; Assets: $30.2 billion; Date Filed: Jan. 28, 2002
7. Refco; Assets: $33.3 billion; Date Filed: Oct. 17, 2005
6. Financial Corp. of America; Assets: $33.9 billion; Date Filed: Sept. 9, 1988
5. Texaco; Assets: $35.9 billion; Date Filed: April 12, 1987
4. Conseco; Assets: $61.4 billion; Date Filed: Dec. 18, 2002
3. Enron; Assets: $63.4 billion; Date Filed: Dec. 2, 2001
2. Worldcom; Assets: $103.9 billion; Date Filed: July 21, 2002
1. Lehman Brothers; Pre-Bankruptcy Assets: $639 billion; Date Filed: Sept. 15, 2008

via Biggest Chapter 11 Cases [CNBC]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Dash

In July 2006, a short 3-minute movie was launched on the Internet called The Dash. Since then, over 40 million people from around the world have watched it; and over 20,000 a day continue to watch it as a result of people passing it along. The movie has been more successful than we could have ever imagined. More importantly, however, it has inspired many, many people to reflect on their lives and ask that all important question, 'Are my priorities where they should

I hope you enjoy this movie and share it with those who are close to you. Its truly meaningful and inspiring.

The Richest People in the Tech Business

Forbes has once again released its list of America’s richest people and, not surprisingly, Bill Gates topped the list with an estimated wealth of about $57 billion. See how they stack up. I m sure this list will change in the next release with the current financial meltdown in the US after all these wealth are as a result of "paper gains."

1. Bill Gates (Microsoft), $57 billion
3. Larry Ellison (Oracle), $27 billion
11. Michael Dell (Dell), $17.3 billion
12. Paul Allen (Microsoft), $16 billion
13. Sergey Brin (Google), $15.9 billion
14. Larry Page (Google), $15.8 billion
15. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), $15 billion
33. Jeff Bezos (Amazon), $8.7 billion
47. Rupert Murdoch (News Corp.), $6.8 billion
54. Pierre Omidyar (eBay), $6.3 billion
59. Eric Schmidt (Google), $5.9 billion
61. Steve Jobs (Apple), $5.7 billion
84. Gordon Moore (Intel), $4.4 billion
84. John Sall (SAS Institute), $4.4 billion
91. David Sun (Kingston Technology), $4 billion
91. John Tu, (Kingston Technology), $4 billion
105. Richard Shulze (Best Buy), $3.5 billion
144. Ray Dolby (Dolby), $2.9 billion
161. Mark Cuban (Broadcast.com), $2.6 billion
246. Irwin Jacobs (Qualcomm), $1.9 billion
246. Omid Kordestani (Google), $1.9 billion
262. Henry Samueli (Broadcom), $1.8 billion
281. David Filo (Yahoo), $1.7 billion
321. Amar Bose (Bose), $1.5 billion
321. Todd Wagner (Broadcast.com), $1.5 billion
321. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), $1.5 billion
355. Richard Egan (EMC), $1.4 billion
355. Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems), $1.4 billion
355. Theodore Waitt (Gateway), $1.4 billion

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall Street on Fire, this is the new US note

Amazon preloads music store app on First Android phone

Internet retail giant Amazon.com announced its Amazon MP3 digital music store will arrive pre-loaded on the T-Mobile G1 when the phone, the first-ever device powered by Google's Android mobile operating system hits retail. According to Amazon, the store offers more than 6 million DRM-free MP3 songs from all four major labels and thousands of independent labels. The MP3s are compatible with virtually any music-enabled device and can be managed with any music software.

Amazon will optimize a new version of the Amazon MP3 application for the T-Mobile G. Users downloading music from the store will require a WiFi connection, but they may search, browse and listen to samples anywhere across T-Mobile's network footprint. Amazon MP3 prices its 100 bestselling songs at 89 cents, with more than 1 million more songs available at the same price point; its 100 bestselling albums are $8.99 or less, with most albums priced from $5.99 to $9.99, and more than 80 percent of its album catalog priced at $8.99 or less.

Obama's new anti-McCain ad uses brick phone to illustrate his OLD & Out of Touch age

This is one of Obama's new anti-McCain ads shows a old "brick" looking Motorola cell phone to illustrate how old the Republican candidate is.

Via SmasHits

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

T-Mobile introduces the G1 Google Android phone

Its officially out!! T-Mobile will be introducing G1, the world's 1st Android powered mobile phone. Here is the official press release from Google :

Introducing the T-Mobile G1 with Google, the first phone powered by Android, an innovative mobile software platform. Available for T-Mobile customers spanning two continents, the T-Mobile G1 combines full touch-screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Web experience that includes popular Google services such as Google Maps Street View, Gmail, YouTube and others.

With a fun and intuitive user interface and one-touch access to Google Web Search,
T-Mobile customers can now get instant answers on the go to all of their questions and stay connected in more ways than ever before. The T-Mobile G1 is also the first phone to provide access to Android Market, where customers can find and download unique applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their lifestyle.

Key Features will include:

· Intuitive user interface and hinged touch screen that slides open to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard

· Convenient trackball for one-handed navigation

· Three color options in the U.S. - white, brown and black

· One-click contextual search to instantly find relevant information with a touch of a finger

· Full HTML Web browser and zoom function that expands any page section by simply tapping on the screen

· One-touch access to popular Google applications including Google Maps Street View, Gmail, YouTube and others

· Google Maps provides map information, satellite imagery, local business info and driving directions as well as MyLocation to let users know where they are; Google Maps Street View syncs with the built-in compass on the phone – an industry first – to allow users to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by simply moving the phone with their hand

· Google Maps Street View for virtual street-level exploration while on the go

· Rich HTML email client, which seamlessly syncs e-mail from most other POP3 or IMAP mail services, including Gmail; displays photos and graphics right along with the text

· A beta version of Android Market for access to new, innovative software applications to personalize your device to fit your life from games, music and on-the-go shopping

· At-Launch Applications:

o ShopSavvy: designed to help people do comparative shopping

o Ecorio: developed to help people keep track of their daily travels and view what their carbon footprint looks like

o BreadCrumbz: enables people to create a step-by-step visual map using photos; customers can create their own routes, share them with friends or with the world

o Amazon MP3 Store (pre-installed on device): enables people to search DRM-free, full-track MP3 music and download that music from Amazon directly to their device using a Wi-Fi connection

· Built-in support for T-Mobile’s 3G (HSDPA) and EDGE network as well as Wi-Fi; T-Mobile G1 will seamlessly transfer between 3G and accessible Wi-Fi networks including T-Mobile HotSpot locations worldwide

· Built-in support for YouTube allows customers to enjoy the website’s originally-created content, easily navigate through YouTube’s familiar video browsing categories or search for specific videos

· Built-in instant messaging client with support for Google Talk, AOL, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger

· Support for advanced text messaging features to easily flag, delete or move groups of messages and keep track of group conversations through threaded text messaging

· 3-megapixel camera with photo-sharing capabilities

· Music player supports MP3, M4A (iTunes AAC, DRM-free), AMR, WMA, MIDI, WAV, OGG Vorbis

· Pre-installed 1 GB Micro SD memory card that can hold approximately 500 songs (device supports up to an 8GB memory card)

· 11 pre-loaded songs including tracks from The Helio Sequence, Kinski and Flight of the Conchords

· Bluetooth-enabled

· myFaves-enabled

· GPS capabilities

· Voice recognition, voice dialing and speakerphone


· 850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100Mhz

· Up to 130 hours standby, up to 5 hours talk time

· Dimensions: 4.60” x 2.16” x 0.62”; Weight: 5.6 ounces; Display: 3.17 inches

What I find most odd about the reported details of the G1 to date is its price of $199.

At this price point Android goes directly up against the iPhone which has been around for around 15 months and has sold millions of units. In addition, the iPhone has a slicker interface and is much “sexier”. As Android will be addressing a very similar market to the iPhone, i.e. early adopter, wealthy, high tech users thus, it's unlikely that we will see Gphones in the emerging or mass markets any time soon.

So T-Mobile and Google are going to need to work harder to persuade punters not to buy an iPhone. Much as alpha geeks salivate at the prospect of applications on their mobile, normal mobile users wont care less.

Alongside today’s T-Mobile G1 announcement, Google has also released v1.0 of the Android SDK to the masses. With this release, developers can make sure the compatibility of their development.

Unfortunately i m not able to provide much review of the phone as i have yet to try it out myself. I would love to get my hands on one as I m sure its going to be made available soon in China.

For demonstration on how Google-powered Android apps work pls check out the video below.

For specific information on pricing and availability, please visit www.t-mobileg1.com.

Swype - The Future in Mobile Texting

Check out the video below on Swype, the next generation input for text messaging created by the same people who brought us T9 predictive text messaging that you will find in almost all the mobile phones in the world including the one that you are using now. This new method of inputing text will be out in the market soon.

"Swype will let you swipe your finger across the keyboard when writing. No more lifting your fingers, no more pressing the wrong letters. It will even have support for stylus too, so you will be kind of ice-skating on the surface of your handset. There’s predictive text too and there are lots of editing choices."

Monday, September 22, 2008

US$1 Trillion losses!!!

Some mind boggling losses from the last few weeks of Wall Street madness. Here's a list of the losses in market capitalization for 25 of the biggest financials since their rough peaks in October 2007.

Keep in mind that these companies are not exactly emerging small cap coys but rather blue chips some of which had already been kicked out of the Dow Jones Industry average.

These losses include:

1. A I G -Then: $178.8 billion... Now: $5.46 billion. Down 96.95%
2. Bank of America -Then: $236.5 billion... Now: $123.4 billion. Down: 47.82%
3. Citigroup -Then: $236.7 billion... Now: $76.34 billion. Down 67.75%
4. Merrill Lynch - Then: $63.9 billion... Now: $30.2 billion. Down 52.74%
5. Fannie Mae - Then: $64.8 billion... Now: $0.45 billion. Down 99.3%
6. Morgan Stanley - Then: $73.1 billion... Now: $41.1 billion. Down 43.78%
7. Wachovia - Then: $98.3 billion... Now: $19.44 billion. Down 80.22%
8. JP Morgan Chase - Then: $161 billion... Now: $130.2 billion. Down 19.13%
9. Capital One Financial - Then: $29.9 billion... Now: $16.9 billion. Down 43.48%
10. Washington Mutual - Then: $31.1 billion... Now: $3.64 billion. Down 88.3%
11. Lehman Bros. - Then: $34.4 billion... Now: $0.80 billion. Down 97.6%
12. Goldman Sachs - Then: 97.7 billion... Now: $40.6 billion. Down 58.7%
13. Wells Fargo - Then: $124.1 billion... Now: $111.25 billion. Down 10.35%
14 National City - Then: $16.4 billion... Now: $2.8 billion. Down 83%
15. Fifth Third Bancorp - Then: $18.8 billion... Now: $7.9 billion. Down 57.6%
16. American Express - Then: $74.8 billion... Now: $37.5 billion. Down 49.87%
17. Freddie Mac - Then: $41.5 billion... Now: $0.16 billion. Down 58.7%
18. Suntrust Banks - Then: $27 billion... Now: $16.07 billion. Down 58.7%
19. BB&T - Then: $23.2 billion... Now: $18.4 billion. Down 20.69%
20. Marshall & Ilsley - Then: $11.6 billion... Now: $4.48 billion. Down 61.3%
21. Keycorp - Then: $13.2 billion... Now: $5.68 billion. Down 56.97%
22. Legg Mason— Then: $11.4 billion...Now: $4.96 billion. Down 56.49%
23. Comerica— Then: $8.3 billion...Now: $4.74 billion. Down 42.89%
24. Countrywide Financial: Then: $11.1 billion...Now: $0.00 billion. Down 100%
25. Bear Stearns— Then: $14.8 billion...Now: $ 0.00 billion. Down 100%

Together these 25 companies alone have lost investors a total of $992,690,000,000 over the last 12 months... or nearly 1 trillion dollars.

Driving While Texting Worse Than Drinking and Drugs

Do you know how these accidents had taken place? You are right, the drivers were driving under a heavy influence of TEXTING.

Texting while driving is more dangerous than being under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

U.K. researchers used a driving simulator to test motorists between the age of 17 and 24, and found their reaction time was slowed 35 percent as they sent or received texts. Comparably, it only dropped 21 percent under the influence of marijuana, and 12 percent after consuming alcohol.

Texting drivers also saw their steering control suffer at a 91 percent degradation, and had trouble maintaining a safe distance from the cars around them.

We'd just like to let this study's researchers know that if they ever need to do further testing involving drunk and stoned subjects operating driving simulators, they should immediately contact editor@asylum.com.

Nokia's The Fourth Screen Video Commercial

The video ad was conceived to launch Nokia’s new phones, gaming service and music store. This is one of my favorite video that i always used for my keynote speeches and presentation. The short video clip of 2 1/2 minutes manages to cover the impact that four screens - movie, TV, computer and cell phone screens have on our lives. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment in just 2 1/2 minutes, considering the scope the commercial covered.

The movie screen starts off as socially interactive as people meet in the cinema. TV and computers, however, did the opposite leading to people withdrawing into their own worlds. Nokia hopes that cell phones will be able to bring the community spirit back again.

I m sure by the end of the clip you will agree that the powerful 4th screen had brought us back out to the community and re-engage ourselves with the world and sharing what ever we see and experience. In fact, i had used my Nokia N95 8G to capture the birth of my new baby girl, Arianne both on photos and video clips and posted them on a special blog at PrincessArianne.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Video : Religion is bullshit - George Carlin

This video clip is simply awesome, you will surely laugh your ass off. Enjoy it....

Cool underwear commercial

The new Bonds underwear commercial stars an Australian YouTuber who became a star for his skills and tricks with soccer balls. Kane’s YouTube account is full of videos of him busting all sorts of cool moves with a soccer ball, freestyle.

This goes to show you how our world is changing. From famous bloggers to stars and models that were discovered on YouTube and Myspace. It’s easier than ever before to promote yourself when you have real talent.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Enjoy the ride as there is no return ticket - George Carling

This is a great concept of Aging by George Carlin that I would like to share with you. You would had probably read it from somewhere but i still think its a great concept to be reminded and if you can perfect George's concept, you will be feeling great all the time. This is how the story goes.....

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life! You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS ....

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.
But! wait!! ! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, and REACH 50 andMAKE IT to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into ! your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST ; 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.'

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3.Keep learning! Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio. Never let the brain stayidle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's family name is Alzheimer's .

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5.Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them , at every opportunity.



If you have any great moments, you are welcome to share with all of us.

World Champion Cup Stacker

Check out this amazing 10-year old from Massachusetts who is dominating the sport and can stack around 40 cups in 6.21 seconds. The video isnt on fast forward mode, the little boy is lightning fast.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Three new non-Seinfeld Microsoft Commercials Are Live

Check it out! The latest commercial has Bill, but no Jerry. It actually drives home that a lot of people use a PC and not everyone looks like Apple’s PC character. Inspiring and intelligent...

China eases telecom ownership rules for foreign investors

This is going to be a welcoming news for foreign investors as the government in China has relaxed access for foreign investors to its booming telecommunications industry by cutting minimum required investments, but retained a ban on foreign majority ownership of ventures. The Cabinet decision could help to attract new investment into an industry that is undergoing a sweeping government-mandated restructuring aimed at boosting competition.
The minimum capital required for a foreign-financed company to offer national-level or local basic services was cut by 50%, according to a notice on its web site. But the Cabinet retained a restriction limiting foreign investors to owning no more than 49% of a company offering basic services and 50% for value-added services. It cuts minimum required capital for a foreign-financed company offering basic services at a national level to 1 billion yuan ($145 million) and at a local level to 100 million yuan ($14.5 million).

The industry overhaul, announced in May, is meant to revive competition by rearranging state-owned phone companies into three large groups, each with mobile and fixed-lined operations.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sony Ericsson launching Unlimited Music TOO

According to a report in the FT Sony Ericsson is planning to announce an unlimited music download service later this month. The service, which would rival the similar offering Comes With Music which was announced by Nokia recently, will be ready for a public launch by Christmas.

Sony Ericsson is in discussions with the large music labels about the service which would be a perfect added value product for it’s popular Walkman phones.Despite producing some of the higher quality music phones Sony Ericsson has seen a decline in market share recently and analysts feel they are now being pushed into the “all you can eat” music service by competitors.

There is no doubt that bundling unlimited music downloads will help sell mobile phones but Sony will have to pursuade networks such as EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG (current partners in the pay as you download PlayNow Arena operated by Sony Ericsson) that unlimited downloads are a viable business model.

Nokia’s planned service includes DRM so if Sony Ericsson can offer unrestricted downloads they would gain an early advantage over their competition.

With all the hypes on unlimited music download, i m not sure whether both Sony Erisson and Nokia will see big money as there is little the service could do to immediately prop up their revenue. I m not even sure whether phone buyers will fork out the extra money to pay for the music download service especially they can rip it off from the internet and CD for free at the present moment. Lets see....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Google showcases Android handset

With the first Android-powered handset launch by T-Mobile on the 23rd sept, Google’s finally getting around to showing the OS up and running on a live handset although not mentioning the maker of the handset but its a known fact that HTC will be the 1st to use the Android software.

They showed the goods today at Google’s Developer Day today in London, the video is not on high res though but i m sure you get the feel of it and hopefully the high res clip will be out soon.

Hangzhou top the list for best business city in China

Hangzhou was named the best place to do business in China for a fifth consecutive year according to a recent Forbes survey.
Shanghai came in at No 2, with Beijing remaining in sixth position for the second straight year. Wuxi was third, Nanjing fourth and Ningbo fifth.

Forbes China short-listed 194 mainland cities from a pool of 652 candidates with an annual GDP above 19 billion yuan in 2006.

Of the top 42 cities, 10 are from Jiangsu province, nine are from Zhejiang and seven are from Guangdong. Cities in the Yangtze River Delta rated well, despite the gloomy global economic outlook, the survey said.

In Zhejiang province alone, over 5,000 SMEs emerged this year. Jiangsu province's Changzhou, with its environmental protection industry and great market potential, has outdone other cities to move into ninth place.

Forbes list was based on each city's climate for business start-ups and private capital, which is why Hangzhou beat Shanghai for the top placing. In Hangzhou, more than 92 percent of the city's GDP is created by private companies, but Shanghai is the traditional business center for foreign investment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am a Father again

At 955am sharp today (16 Sept 2008), baby Arianne Foo was borned into the wonderful arms of both me and my wife. I m already a dad twice and this is my 3rd time becoming dad again. Its a feeling thats hard to explain and i dont think there will ever be a word to describe my joy and happiness. You can check out for more info about my new baby at Princess Arianne's blog that i had started just days before her delivery.

Unlimited Music Downloads from Nokia Launching soon

Nokia is ready to launch what many analysts believe to be a real competitor to iTunes next month. The service, called Comes With Music, will be released in the UK during October and rolled out in Europe shortly afterwards. Its not going to be available in Asia yet but at some point Nokia will surely be launching it.

Its going to be a great Christmas gift as the service will be pre-installed on pay-as-you-go and contract handsets and will offer users unlimited music downloads for the first year and definitely first of its kind in world.

Prices are unavailable at present but according to Nokia market research indicates that customers may be willing to pay up to £300 for handsets with unlimited downloads included.

Just in case if you are unaware, Nokia has already signed up some of the biggest record labels like Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music and are confident of having EMI on board by the time of the UK launch.

Monday, September 15, 2008

China - A Biblical 7 Years

This is a very good article by Thomas Friedman published recently. Thomas provides the perfect perspective of China and the real issues facing the US. Below is the full transcript of his article taken from NY Times.

After attending the spectacular closing ceremony at the BeijingOlympics and feeling the vibrations from hundreds of Chinese drummerspulsating in my own chest, I was tempted to conclude two things: "Holymackerel, the energy coming out of this country is unrivaled." And,two: "We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin.
"However, I've learned over the years not to over-interpret anytwo-week event. Olympics don't change history. They are mere snapshots— a country posing in its Sunday bests for all the world too see. But,as snapshots go, the one China presented through the Olympics wasenormously powerful — and it's one that Americans need to reflect uponthis election season.
China did not build the magnificent $43 billion infrastructure forthese games, or put on the unparalleled opening and closingceremonies, simply by the dumb luck of discovering oil. No, it was theculmination of seven years of national investment, planning,concentrated state power, national mobilization and hard work.
Seven years ... Seven years ... Oh, that's right. China was awardedthese Olympic Games on July 13, 2001 — just two months before 9/11.
As I sat in my seat at the Bird's Nest, watching thousands of Chinesedancers, drummers, singers and acrobats on stilts perform their magicat the closing ceremony, I couldn't help but reflect on how China andAmerica have spent the last seven years: China has been preparing forthe Olympics; we've been preparing for Al Qaeda. They've been buildingbetter stadiums, subways, airports, roads and parks. And we've beenbuilding better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones.
The difference is starting to show. Just compare arriving at LaGuardia's dumpy terminal in New York City and driving through thecrumbling infrastructure into Manhattan with arriving at Shanghai'ssleek airport and taking the 220-mile-per-hour magnetic levitationtrain, which uses electromagnetic propulsion instead of steel wheelsand tracks, to get to town in a blink.
Then ask yourself: Who is living in the third world country?
Yes, if you drive an hour out of Beijing, you meet the vast dirt-poorthird world of China. But here's what's new: The rich parts of China,the modern parts of Beijing or Shanghai or Dalian, are now more stateof the art than rich America. The buildings are architecturally moreinteresting, the wireless networks more sophisticated, the roads andtrains more efficient and nicer. And, I repeat, they did not get allthis by discovering oil. They got it by digging inside themselves.
I realize the differences: We were attacked on 9/11; they were not. Wehave real enemies; theirs are small and mostly domestic. We had torespond to 9/11 at least by eliminating the Al Qaeda base inAfghanistan and investing in tighter homeland security. They couldavoid foreign entanglements. Trying to build democracy in Iraq,though, which I supported, was a war of choice and is unlikely to everproduce anything equal to its huge price tag.
But the first rule of holes is that when you're in one, stop digging.When you see how much modern infrastructure has been built in Chinasince 2001, under the banner of the Olympics, and you see how muchinfrastructure has been postponed in America since 2001, under thebanner of the war on terrorism, it's clear that the next seven yearsneed to be devoted to nation-building in America.
We need to finish our business in Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly aspossible, which is why it is a travesty that the Iraqi Parliament hasgone on vacation while 130,000 U.S. troops are standing guard. We canno longer afford to postpone our nation-building while Iraqis squabbleover whether to do theirs.
A lot of people are now advising Barack Obama to get dirty with JohnMcCain. Sure, fight fire with fire. That's necessary, but it is notsufficient.
Obama got this far because many voters projected onto him that hecould be the leader of an American renewal. They know we neednation-building at home now — not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Georgia, but in America. Obama cannot lose that theme.
He cannot let Republicans make this election about who is tough enoughto stand up to Russia or bin Laden. It has to be about who is strongenough, focused enough, creative enough and unifying enough to getAmericans to rebuild America. The next president can have all theforeign affairs experience in the world, but it will be useless,utterly useless, if we, as a country, are weak.
Obama is more right than he knows when he proclaims that this is "our"moment, this is "our" time. But it is our time to get back to work onthe only home we have, our time for nation-building in America. Inever want to tell my girls — and I'm sure Obama feels the same abouthis — that they have to go to China to see the future.

Friday, September 12, 2008

China's Multiple One Year Entry Business Visa will be issued in October 2008

Sources close to China’s Public Security Bureau have told Dezan Shira & Associates that China will finally relax its current strict visa issuance policies for business visas following the national holiday in October.

Beginning in the second week of October, China will start issuing one year multi-entry F visas, making it far more convenient for those traveling to China on business to enter the country. The new measures will certainly be the best welcome news to China-bound business people visiting the country. For those who had left the country, this is your opportunity to make a come back to China.

Microsoft $300 million ad campaign, not sure whether the investment was well spent

The is the long-awaited $300 million ad campaign that Microsoft launched to counter Apple’s successful “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign aired during the Thursday night kickoff to the NFL season. If you havent seen it yet, check it out here.

Honestly, i dont get it. Here are two elderly men who were practically talking about discount shoes for almost 1 minute and it was not until when both of them got out of the shoe shop that the started talking about Microsoft. And, don’t forget the gratuitous subtitles for the Spanish-speaking onlookers. What’s that all about?

And for that Jerry Seinfeld gets $10 million! Thats easy money for him of course. I m disappointed with how the ad came out as i had expected more from Microsoft. If this was what they could do to counter the Apple's Mac vs PC campaign, they havent done enough. At least Apple’s commercials, which highlight Windows as old and stodgy compared to the young and hip Mac OS X, talk about computing and it hits the message hard and clear.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Winners of World's Best Presentation Contest

Here are the winners of the Slideshare World's Best Presentation Contest. Check them out!

The Champ
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: design crisis)

Second Prize

Foot Notes
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: design inspirational)

Third Prize

Zimbabwe in Crisis
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: refugee hyperinflation)

Google takes on App Store with Android Market

Google announced the pending launch of the Android Market, an App Store. The objective of the system is to ‘help end users find, purchase, download and install content using Google's expertise in infrastructure, search and relevance’.

Developers will be able to make their content available on an open service hosted by Google that features a feedback and rating system. Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it. It will also provide developers with a dashboard and analytics to help improve their offerings.

The first Android phones are planned to arrive later this year (presumably led by the HTC Dream, expected from T-Mobile USA this fall), Google expect the initial phone-based Android Market application to be a beta version that might only support distribution of free applications. A subsequent update will support premium content and features like versioning, multiple device profile support and analytics. There is currently no mention on how the revenue will be split.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What is Facebook good for?

Facebook has to be the most talked about, and the most misunderstood, web service/platform right now. If you haven’t gotten drawn in by the hype, it may surprise you to learn that many people have already found Facebook to be an essential addition to their web working toolbox. Why? Because the Facebook social networking experience can be precisely what you want to make of it. Think of Facebook as a professional tool, and that’s what it is. It doesn’t matter how millions of high school and college students are using Facebook to get out of doing homework. You can make it into whatever you want, even your own personal media broadcasting channel.
Let’s look at ways Facebook can benefit the web worker, particularly those who are home-based. The more connected you are to your co-workers and clients without being intrusive, the better your working relationship.

I suggest that you go to Facebook.com and create an account so that you can follow and understand better the points below.

Think of it like personalizing your desk. You can’t help it. When you walk by someone’s desk, your eye is drawn to the pictures and the way they have personalized and organized their space. You pick up on clues to their lives without realizing it. Mary is a Mom whose desk is filled with pictures of two young children, and there are “To Mommy” pictures pinned to the side of her cubicle. You know what her weekends are probably like. John is still dating his high school sweetheart. He likes to scuba dive and he got some great shots of his last trip to Bonaire. You can see the paperback that Bill is reading on the corner of his desk. “Hey, I’ve been meaning to read that. Can I borrow it when you’re done?” Sally has a collection of labels from her favorite wine bottles. You know what to get her for her birthday.

Only display on your profile what you’d put on your desk. Just because Steve owns a picture his buddy took of him getting sick after an all-night party doesn’t mean he’s going to frame it and put it out for his co-workers to admire. Don’t add anything to your profile that you wouldn’t display for your supervisors, co-workers and clients to see as they’re walking by your work environment.

Look for old co-workers and current connections. I found more contacts on Facebook this way than I did on LinkedIn. Former colleagues have “Googled” me, and after a few emails to catch up we don’t communicate again. By adding these people to Facebook, I feel more connected to them without having to actively maintain a conversation via email. Look for business opportunities out of shared interests.

Add friends selectively. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook isn’t about “collecting” friends. There’s no reward for quantity, and you can have a rich experience on the platform with only a handful of connections. The quality of your Facebook experience will be based on the quality of the people in your network. Create a limited profile for those people that you are on the fence about whether to include. By default your limited profile contains everything in your full profile, so take the time to edit it down.

Add apps selectively. Right now, there are over 2000 apps you can add to your Facebook profile. The temptation may be to try them all. Don’t. Just because you can add Love Quotes to your profile, it doesn’t mean you should if you want Facebook to be a professional tool for you. Pick apps that won’t waste your time when you visit your Facebook home page, so avoid those that involve playing games. Read/Write Web offers a selection of top apps for work. Read the app description carefully and know exactly what you’re getting, and what the privacy settings are before you go. It helps to see how your contacts are using the app first. But never fear, worst comes to worst you can remove an app as easily as you added it.

Think of your apps in two ways…what do you want to see (that will appear on your Facebook home page) and what do I want the world to see (that will appear on your profile)? You might consider adding an app that you don’t display on your profile at all, but it uses the collective wisdom and usage patterns of your network to provide you with valuable information. Or, if you visit your Facebook home page often it can help keep you organized having nothing to do with your friends’ actions.

Edit your news feed preferences. You don’t necessarily have to know the moment someone adds a new picture, but you may want to know when they’ve made a new connection you may have in common. Click the “preferences” button on your Facebook home page and use the sliders to give preference to the type of information you want. The more you fine-tune this information, the less time you’ll waste sifting through useless updates.

Edit your profile and security settings. Give careful consideration to exactly who sees your profile and when. Don’t take the default settings which tend to expose more information than you may be comfortable. Take the time to go through each link in the Privacy area and make necessary adjustments. Maybe you don’t want people who are casually searching to know who your friends are or “poke” you. Maybe you don’t want a public profile (accessible to people who are not on Facebook).

Incorporate the tools you’re already using into your profile. Web workers like playing with all the latest toys. Do you blog? Do you Twitter, Pownce or Jaiku? Do you read feeds? There are Facebook apps available for all these services. If you have already use these tools professionally, why not add them to your Facebook profile? After you add the respective app, you simply do what you were already doing and let the app do the work. You can see the Twitter updates from your Facebook contacts without necessarily following their updates in Twitter itself. If your blog is on Wordpress.com, you can add the Wordpress app and your posts will automatically be pushed to your Facebook profile, along with recent comments. If you don’t host your blog with Wordpress.com, you can easily use the built-in Notes application to post your blog feed as you publish. It will let your contacts know through your mini-feed when you’ve posted a new entry. Since your friends can edit their news feeds as easilly as you can, they can control how much of your life they really want to see.

The Google Reader Shared Items app publishes to your profile those items you’ve shared in Google Reader, as the name implies. Do you think your contacts would like to read that interesting post? Don’t disturb them by emailing them, click the “Share” button in Google Reader and now it’s right there on your profile with minimal added effort on your part. The “Top Shared” panel takes a del.icio.us/popular approach to showing the most shared posts across everyone who has installed the app.

Join Groups related to your business interests. Many groups on Facebook are nonsense, but there are quite a few that can provide useful information and professional connections. Don’t miss the already existing groups for our parent site, GigaOm and sister site NewTeeVee. Each group can feature a Wall (like a guestbook…a continuous scroll of messages) and threaded discussion lists. Rather than trying to search for groups, watch the groups that your friends are joining, as often you will find them of interest for yourself. After all, they’re in your contact list because you have something in common, right? You might even think about using Facebook to virally address a business cause, as some are doing in their effort to save Business 2.0 magazine from going under. I only wish there was a way to see updated discussion threads on one screen rather than clicking group to group.

Limit time wasted on Facebook. Facebook can suck you in easily. Remember, you have work to do. You won’t help your career if you fall behind on projects because you were too busy playing in iLike. If you find that you’re spending too much time reading Facebook message boards or reading about your friends’ favorite book selections then set limits for yourself. Facebook is a black hole. In order to get the most of Facebook, you have to be on the platform. Consider the Facebook toolbar for Firefox which will notify when you have a reason to go check the home page. You can also work with Facebook from your mobile phone, so think about babysitting your profile while you’re waiting in line or otherwise bored and not being productive anyway.

Be philanthropic. And look good to your friends while doing it. Can Facebook change the world? Probably not. But you can do your part and show it off. You can add the Causes app to specifically benefit nonprofit organizations. You can join groups that stand for actions you believe in. Use your Facebook profile to show the best side of you to your contacts, and if the environment or a cause benefits from your actions then all the better.

Ask Questions. Tap into collective intelligence with the My Questions app. Don’t know the best resource for a particular problem? Maybe your network can provide some insight. Many of us have used our blogs for this very purpose. Asking your question on Facebook instead filters out the general public, and doesn’t leave a trail for Google to follow.

Look for events. It’s not all concerts. There’s some opportunity for good, face-to-face business networking if you’re open to it. If you are already using the Upcoming.org site to find and track conferences and other events you can add that information to your profile. Or you can use Facebook’s built-in events application to see what conferences and events your connections may be attending.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nokia N96 Shipping NOW

Nokia's highly-anticipated N96 smartphone started shipping last week, Nokia said on Wednesday. The N96 is the company's new flagship model and it is now available in selected countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and China. The handset will retail for about $795 before taxes and carrier subsidies. A version for North America is expected in the fourth quarter, for about $895.

The smartphone is powered by Symbian OS v9.6 S60, a version of theOS that has been optimized for multimedia applications as well as security. The handset measures in at about 4.1 by 2.1 by 0.7 inches, and it weighs 125 grams.

The handset has many features for the mobile professional. It's capable of push e-mail and instant messaging, and there's an Office documentviewer built-in. Users can also surf the Web with the HTML browser and check the news on the RSS reader.

Workers on the go also have multiple ways to connect, as the N96 has integrated Wi-Fi, EDGE, and 3G support up to 3.6-Mbps downlink speed. There's also built-in GPS that can use cellular data for location-based services like search and navigation.

But this smartphone is not just for work, as Nokia is emphasizing the handset's multimedia functions. The N96 is capable of playing multiple codecs of music and video, has a stereo FM radio, and is capable of receiving DVB-H mobile television. Users will be able to store the media on the 16 GB of internal memory, and that can be expanded up to 8 GB via the microUSB slot.
The handset also has a dual slider design and it sports a 2.8-inch screen that can automatically adjust depending on how the user is holding it. There also a 5-megapixel camera that has Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, video recording capability, and a flash.

I m certainly off to get one for myself. Will blog on it once i have completed my own evaluation and will let you know whether the new N96 lives up to my expectation. Although not quite as groundbreaking as the N95, the N96 still adds plenty of new features inside its modern casing, so expect this to be instantly popular.

Mobile Marketing for Beginners

Mobile is a powerful marketing platform. But do you know how to use it? Paul Martecchini will talk about how other companies are using text messaging and WAP in their marketing campaigns in this video clip. Please click here for the link to the video clip.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mobile Advertising - The Growing Pain

2007 may not have been “the year of mobile marketing,” but with the iPhone launch and other under-the-hood improvements, mobile marketers moved past the experimental stage. Still, compared to other interactive platforms, in 2008 mobile will remain small in overall spending.

eMarketer forecasts that worldwide mobile marketing and advertising spending will reach $19 billion by 2012. Its good growth, but not great if you compare it with the total Global Ad Spend which should be between $600-750 billion.

True market maturity will require huge investments of money, time, talent, and negotiation among brands, agencies, mobile carriers and mobile service providers.

A recent report published by Screen Digest predicts that mobile media ad spending in the US will increase from $88 million in 2008 to $700 million over the next 4 years. The report, titled “Mobile Media Advertising Opportunities: The Market for Advertising on TV, Video and Games“, also predicts that more developed mobile markets, such as Japan and South Korea, would have higher ad revenues than the US for mobile TV, gaming, UGC and VoD services.

Juniper research predicts that mobile ad spend will pass $1 billion in 2008 driven by mobile TV and reach $7.6 billion by 2013. The report also estimates that mobile TV will be the most lucrative service in mobile advertising by 2010 ($2.5 billion in 2013), while idle-screen advertising will become an important part of mobile advertising (reaching $500 million in 2013).

According to Juniper, China and the Far East will remain the largest regional market for mobile adspend with revenues reaching more than $2.1 billion by 2012. Until critical issues such as lack of inventory, reach and common metrics are resolved, advertisers will not commit big budgets to mobile advertising.

Data pricing structures, handset and mobile web usability, content quality and the lack of audience metrics to measure effectiveness are preventing mobile advertising from reaching its market potential.

Although the promise of millions of iPhones and other devices to deliver a mass mobile media audiencein the US is great, it remains more promise than mainstream reality.

Only 15% of responding ad executives in the Screen Digest study said that they had used mobile advertising. Similarly, more than six out of 10 responding agency executives in a December 2007 study by iMedia said they would not put a large portion of their 2008 online budgets into mobile.

Adspend in the mobile environment will continue to be limited when compared to the budgets allocated to media such as magazines, television, cinema and the Internet, the opportunities it offers –personalized advertising with very high response rates, delivered to a device which is always in close proximity to the individual will make it an increasingly attractive proposition for leading brands.

There remain clear growing pains ahead for mobile advertising. Better contextual targeting (for example, location, time, history) is a prerequisite for mobile advertising to succeed. But how to get there in the short-term remains the billion dollar question.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Interesting facts and figures about China

200m : The number of people in the Chinese middle class
10% : Average economic growth per year for the last 15 years
$1.3 trillion : Beijing's total foreign exchange reserves
800pc : The increase in output per head over the last 30 years
3rd : In 1978, China was 23rd in the league table of trading nations; last year it was third
45% : The rise in the value of the Shanghai stock exchange since February
15% : Average growth in exports per year between 1990 and 2005
1st : China is the world's largest consumer and producer of steel, cement, colour televisions and meat
60% : Thirty years ago, more than 80 per cent of the Chinese population lived in the countryside; today, less than 60 per cent do
$18 billion : The total trade deficit the US ran up with China in March alone
3rd : 25 years ago, the chinese film industry was almost not heard of. Today its the 3rd largest in the world after India's Bollywood and Hollywood

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Gartner: Q2 handset sales up amid gloomy economy

The latest Gartner study into worldwide mobile handset shipments found that sales rose almost 12 percent year-on-year to reach 304.7 million units in second-quarter 2008, though the market positions of the major vendors remained unchanged.

Despite the rise, Gartner said that the economic environment continued to negatively impact mobile phones sales in both mature and emerging markets. The firm said it expects 11 percent unit growth in handset sales in 2008, while revenue growth will be lower at around 9 percent as competition and the economy affects the average selling price of devices. Some 1.28 billion units are expected to be sold this year, Gartner said.

According to the study, market-leader Nokia sold 120.4 million units in the quarter, lifting its market-share to 39.5 percent, compared to a 36.7 percent market-share in the year-earlier quarter. Nokia is expected to increase its market-share in the second half of the year due to price cuts and a wider product portfolio.

In second-place, Samsung sold 45.7 million units for a 15.2 percent market-share, compared with a 13.3 percent share in second-quarter 2007; Motorola was third with 30.4 million units (10 percent share, down from 14.5 percent); LG was fourth with 26.7 million units (8.8 percent share, up from 6.8 percent); and Sony Ericsson was fifth with 23 million units (7.5 percent share, down from 8.9 percent).

Monday, September 1, 2008

World smallest mobile Karaoke machine

For karaoke lovers, you are in luck, Japanese inventors have developed Hi-Kara, a tiny portable karaoke system that you can carry anywhere with you.

Being hailed as the world’s smallest karaoke cube, Hi-Kara measures 70x70x70mm and features a 2.4” LCD screen which displays lyrics. It also comes with a headset that can be shared between two people.

The only drawback is that you can’t upload any format you want. You have to visit the Hi-Kara website and download songs onto a proprietary cartridge. Guess its their way of milking money from their customers.

Cant see why mobile operators and manufacturers in China cant jump onto this business idea afterall karaoke is a big business in China. I m sure the mobile phones can be karaoke-enabled easily and songs to be downloaded straight into the mobile over the air or even sideload it from the PC.