Friday, September 17, 2010

19 new stories on The Next Web today

19 new stories on The Next Web today

Link to The Next Web

Mobiles Of The Future To Hold Three SIM Cards

Posted: 17 Sep 2010 02:45 AM PDT

You live in a country that faciltates fierce competition between its mobile carriers, each one fighting for your custom. Some will offer a very reasonable call package, others data, which one do you choose?

A future where you can include more than one, even two, SIM cards in your phone isn’t a distant reality, the technology is already upon us. Chinese semiconductor provider, Spreadtrum Communications have announced the world’s first triple SIM solution, allowing three GSM SIM cards to run simultaneously in the same handset.

The triple SIM solution is primarily aimed at markets where there are numerous different mobile networks attracting new customers with numerous promotions. It would also allow mobile users to switch between different numbers, useful for business users who wish to make a personal call on their own number. It would also be a fantastic innovation for high-profile sportsmen as they try to conceal their extra-marital affairs (‘sup Tiger?).

Whether the technology will be included in modern smartphones is another matter completely, I’m sure US and Chinese citizens would kill for the GSM/CDMA equivalent.Cellular News, Image Credit

Original title and link for this post: Mobiles Of The Future To Hold Three SIM Cards

iOS 4.2 To Allow Assignment Of Individual Message Tones?

Posted: 17 Sep 2010 01:52 AM PDT

9to5Mac have been busy, they have pulled apart the beta of Apple’s iOS 4.2 firmware and have come across some interesting new features that iPhone owners have been campaigning for the longest time.

Early reports, backed up with screenshots, suggest that iPhone owners are finally going to be able to assign an individual message tone to a contact, although we are not sure whether this will also allow owners to set custom tones outside of the default Apple selections.

Also included in the new firmware is the ability to change different sound options, adding the option to change the volume of the ringer and message tones using the volume buttons.

FaceTime has been given a mention in the messaging app, there is now a shortcut to FaceTime at the top of the contacts message screen.

Voice memos have been given a new icon, it looks at the moment that this is the only change to the app.

Parental controls have been added to the iTunes settings, enabling iPhone owners to impose restrictions on the installation or deletion of apps, location, email accounts and also in-app purchases.

YouTube now has a vote up or down function and you will be allowed to search for words within a webpage on Safari.

You can find the screenshots of these new features in the gallery below, thanks again to 9to5Mac.

Original title and link for this post: iOS 4.2 To Allow Assignment Of Individual Message Tones?

Facebook Places goes live for the UK

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 11:27 PM PDT

Launching only a month ago in the US, Facebook Places has finally shown its face to the UK audience. According to our UK staff members, they are seeing the service already on their mobile devices.

In London, Facebook held an 8am breakfast briefing to co-inicide with the launch. TNW’s James Glick was there. At the event, Facebook Places Product Manager, Michael Sharon said that they are “Striving for a rich and engaging social experience in everything we do”.

Michael takes us through the tagging process, and in particular the privacy controls which were always going to be a key talking point with the new service.

A nice hand out, summarises ‘What happens when a friend tags me to a place?

Michael continues on tagging, focusing on the importance that ‘only your friends can tag you, you’re notified whenever you’re tagged and you can always remove them’.

Now for the API, the Read API will be available today, partners, as we may know  already are Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp and Booyah.  The Write API, is still in closed beta but will be available soon.

Now for the Q&A…

When asked where the data will be stored, Michael confirms it will be held in the US with the rest of the service…

At this stage, there will be no commercialisation of Facebook Places in the UK, in terms of ads, just the ability to intergrate Fan Pages with locations.  You will be able to target users that are fans of particular page with location data attached.

Quizzed on whether you can tag a picture or video, ‘you can’t right now and have no more to say about this at this time’.  ’This is a version 1 launch and will be taking the development one step at a time’.

No specific rollout timetable for the rest of Europe but there are 150 million Places users at this stage across Japan, UK and US.

Michael mentions no plans to allow users to post only to other services such as Twitter, but 3rd party developers will be able to develop services to do this with the APIs.

Minors (13-17 year olds) will only be able to share their location with their friends, not publicly which covers a key privacy concern for many.

That’s all for today, not a great deal new for US users but for UK, we hope we’ve given you a brief overview of the UK launch and will be updating the post with further details later this morning!

Original title and link for this post: Facebook Places goes live for the UK

New image enhancements come to Google video chat via Labs

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 08:19 PM PDT

If you’ve not yet used video chat in Gmail, then you’re really missing out. However, even as much of a fan as I am, I can see room for improvements. The new features, it seems, will really help to provide some better image enhancements to all users sometime soon. For now, though, you can check them out through Gmail Labs.

According to the Gmail Blog, here’s a before and after of the image enhancement product:

There is a caveat to the service, however. Both you and whomever you’re chatting with will need to have the Lab function turned on:

The higher resolution video uses a new playback mechanism which enables widescreen VGA and frees up valuable resources on your computer. For it to work, both you and the person you’re chatting with will need to have the lab turned on. Remember that you can always revert to standard video chat by disabling the lab.

Give it a shot, and let us know what you think. So far, it looks great.

Original title and link for this post: New image enhancements come to Google video chat via Labs

The Next Web Podcast – Episode 27: Title? What Title?

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 06:54 PM PDT


Lots of news from around the tech world today as we talk about whether Macs or PC’s are the better choice. Uh oh, bring on the fanboys! Luckily, nobody died though we can’t make the promise that no editors were harmed in the recording of this podcast…

itunesSubscribe to The Next Web Podcast on iTunes!
If you prefer the good-old XML feed, we’re at

On this week’s show: Brad McCarty (Nashville), Matt Brian (Essex), Alex Wilhelm (Chicago), Chad Catacchio (Los Angeles), Michael Backes (Hamburg) and Tris Hussey (Vancouver)

Download / Listen:

In this week's episode:

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Mac

HTC's London Launch Event

Nokia World

Microsoft Reveals IE9 Beta With HTML5 Apps

Original title and link for this post: The Next Web Podcast – Episode 27: Title? What Title?

Samsung’s Galaxy tablet will land on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 06:10 PM PDT

Well here’s an unexpected twist. According to LaptopMag, Samsung will be shipping the much-expected Android-based Galaxy tab to four US wireless carriers. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will all have Galaxy tablet love though none of the carriers have released any information yet about pricing or contracts.

One glaring omission, however, is that there will be no 4G connectivity on the Sprint version, as opposed to the Galaxy S counterpart that Sprint carries as the Epic 4G.

The tablet, which features software such as Media Hub for downloading and renting TV shows and movies, should land in the hands of US carriers in early November or even as soon as late October. It will ship with Android 2.2 and feature a 1 GHz Cortex A8 processor with 7-inch capacitive touch screen.

The question remains, of course, about the price. While the first generation in the US will be carrier-based, and require monthly data fees, we’ve not yet seen pricing on a WiFi-only version that is rumored to be following soon. Beyond that, there is also the question of purchase price from carriers, and any subsidy that the carriers might do.

We’ve put our feelers out to both Verizon and Sprint, and hopefully will have a sneak peak at the carrier-based Galaxy tablets soon. While I personally would much prefer a Chrome OS-based device, there is definitely a market for the Android tablets, but they have to have some pretty serious pricing competition to hold a candle to the iPad.

Original title and link for this post: Samsung’s Galaxy tablet will land on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US

You Can Now Dynamically Track Flights On Google Earth

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 05:40 PM PDT

Google has just added a pretty cool layer to Google Earth – near real-time flight location of every flight over the US.

The KML file, provided by FlightWise, can’t be offered in real-time because of FAA regulations, so the flights you’ll see are 15-20 minutes behind on average. The layer shows the flight path of the airplane, and when you click on it you’ll be offered a pop-up that gives you more detailed data, as well as a download option to download a KML file of the entire flight that you can then replay.

Google Earth just continues to be one of the most fun applications to have on your desktop (we’ve been tracking the recent hurricanes with the new weather layer).

Original title and link for this post: You Can Now Dynamically Track Flights On Google Earth

Rogers to Carry Galaxy Tab in Canada: Coming Soon They Say

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 04:58 PM PDT

I just got word that Rogers will be carrying the Galaxy Tab here in Canada, with a due of “some time soon”. I don’t know what that means in the rest of the space time continuum, but it’s a start.

The announcement came on the Rogers Red Board blog and is tied in with a Samsung press release giving the same info. No word if Bell or Telus will be carrying the much-awaited first “iPad killer”, but my gut feel is that Galaxy Tab might be a Rogers (Fido?) only deal.

The larger question will be: if this is a device that is really only available through cell providers, will consumers scoop them up as readily as the iPad?

I would like to try one out and see how it compares to my iPad. The Galaxy Tab is a cool device, the question remains…will consumers agree.Samsung, Rogers Red Board

Original title and link for this post: Rogers to Carry Galaxy Tab in Canada: Coming Soon They Say

Flipboard gets a massive update.

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 04:13 PM PDT

Flipboard, first chronicled here by our @Zee, and a favorite of @Scobleizer, is a stupendous app and was so popular that many users had to wait to get it on their iPad, has just received some very sweet updates.

Initially one could only add 9 squares of content to one’s Flipboard, the app wasn’t complete and at times could be slow to load, among other things.  Those issues have been addressed with today’s updates.

Here’s what Flipboard Version 1.0.2 has in store for you once you update the app:

  • More sections: Add up to 21 sections to your Flipboard. Facebook/Twitter accounts can now be removed completely.
  • Faster launch: Start browsing content immediately, with limited offline browsing too.
  • Fresher content: Automatically updates sections when new content is ready. Loads more pages when you get close to the end of a section.
  • Even better layout: Smarter page layouts. Web page snapshots are shown when text preview isn’t available.
  • Better recommendations: Easier to browse recommended sections and add custom feeds.
  • Other features: Retweet with comment, more reliable video playback, view original web page for cover images, better Facebook feed fidelity.

Here are some screen shots of from Version 1.0.2 of Flipboard:

Front page:

Individual Twitter Account Options:

Enhanced Page Layout:

Sharing Options:

Flipboard Version 1.0.2 is indeed faster and increasing the number of squares, and types of content you can add to your squares with faster search options are welcome additions.  Get Flipboard here, or update your current version, and let us know what you think.

Original title and link for this post: Flipboard gets a massive update.

When Toddlers Go iPad App Shopping Wild

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 03:40 PM PDT

We just had to pass this story onto you – a 3-year-old in Austraila recently racked up $50 of purchases on her mommy’s iPad. That’s like lunch money for a month!

How’d she do it? Well, instead of going into the App Store and trying to buy apps there that require a password, this enterprising little tyke figured out how to to in-app purchases, and clicked away at will until she probably got tired of it.

Said her mom, “”She uses it every day for a few hours, but I didn’t think anything of it. She was just playing with it until, later, when she had gone to bed and I was checking my email and I saw that I had paid for a whole bunch of apps that I didn’t remember buying.”

So mom went onto a Mac forum and finally figured out that the little one had made the purchases in-app (the app had her password saved of course).  Mom quickly learned her lesson though according to Associated Content, “”But the main thing is that I’ve completely turned off the Wi-Fi on her iPad so she has no chance of accessing the app store at all now,” but didn’t seek a refund as well, it was her fault.

If you don’t want to shut off your WiFi, and you have a little enterprising iPad user, you can close this loophole by turning off the ability to make in-app purchases in your iPad settings. Otherwise, beware the free spending toddler.

Image: Vanity FairAssociated Content

Original title and link for this post: When Toddlers Go iPad App Shopping Wild

New Yahoo! Mail to let you update Facebook and Twitter from your inbox

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 03:05 PM PDT

Yahoo! has announced that it will be rolling out a new Yahoo! Mail Beta to its 281 million users worldwide over the next few weeks. On the Yahoo! Mail blog, the company promises a “faster, cleaner, and safer” experience.

Here are are list of the changes:

  • New “cleaner, sleeker” interface – for the browser, mobile and tablet.
  • A faster system that leverages Yahoo!’s, “cutting edge cloud technology”
  • Ability to update Twitter and Facebook right from your inbox
  • Enhanced features including video, photo sharing, a new version of Yahoo! Messenger, easier ways to send SMS, and “a refurbished inbox search page”.

As our Alex said earlier today, Yahoo! today held its Project Runway event and this is part of the announcements (obviously, Alex doesn’t think too highly of the company’s direction). Also, this update follows the already rolled out iPad interface of Yahoo! Mail – though we’re not sure if that will be the same “tablet” interface that today’s post mentioned.

The big question of course is: will this be too little too late for Yahoo! Mail? Right now, Gmail is almost unquestionably the best web-based email service, and just last week, Google announced that it now supports OpenID integration with Yahoo!, in a clear message to users that it is now easier than ever to make the switch to Gmail. That said, Yahoo! Mail has been a pretty strong fixture not just for Yahoo! but for the Internet as a whole for a long time, and if Yahoo! can make its mail service into a more modern version, we suspect that many mainstream users that haven’t already jumped ship, won’t in the near future.

Of course, Gmail continues to rapidly improve, and if Google’s social “layers” plan (not to mention Google Voice integration) takes off, Gmail will be that more attractive to “the mainstream”.

We’ll keep an eye out for the new Yahoo! Mail and give our thoughts after a test drive.

Original title and link for this post: New Yahoo! Mail to let you update Facebook and Twitter from your inbox

No Windows Phone 7 On Verizon In 2010

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 02:26 PM PDT

While Verizon remains committed to releasing a Windows Phone 7 (WP7) device in the future, their time frame has become clearer. The largest US mobile provider will not be offering any WP7 handsets this year, putting a damper on Microsoft’s hope for a big launch.

As BusinessWeek noted, a phone does not have to be on Verizon to succeed as evinced by the iPhone. However, for a new, largley untested platform like WP7 it is best to be in as many places as possible from the get go.

Verizon downplayed any possible strain between themselves and Redmond: “our relationship with Microsoft is solid.”

Microsoft has shed nearly half their mobile market share in the last year. The company now controls a mere 5% of the market. Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s play to salvage its share of the pie, and it will now be doing it without ‘Big Red’ for the entire holiday season.

You can see our previous coverage of Windows Phone 7 here.Image Credit, Source

Original title and link for this post: No Windows Phone 7 On Verizon In 2010

Facebook unofficially creating official iPad app.

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 02:03 PM PDT

According to a story on Buisiness Insider, Facebook is working on an iPad-specific app, which will debut soon.

Facebook, after updating their iPhone app with Places, their checkin feature which I have used 1 time, has given no hints about an iPad app, that is until today, or so it seems.

Business Insider cites a conversation with Cyril Moutran of Oecoway, the developer of Friendly, a $0.99 Facebook app which very slickly mimics Facebook's site, and which is one of the most popular apps in the app store, who reveals that Facebook is indeed working on its own app for the iPad.

From the story:

"Based on talks with with people at Facebook, Moutran says Facebook is building its own iPad app, and he infers it will be coming out soon. (Of course, he says that could be 2 months from now, or 6 months.)"

After thinking about it and commenting below, here’s why Facebook would create their own app.

  1. Photo uploads – Facebook obviously wants you to upload your photos, and they want you to do so through their app, not that of another.
  2. Places – Out at a coffee shop?  Giving a presentation? Teaching or taking a class?  Check in using Places with a dedicated iPad app.
  3. Hot Potato -  When Facebook acquired Hot Potato I was none to pleased.  I loved Hot Potato.  After Places though, what does Facebook tackle next?  The success of media check in services like GetGlue and Miso.  Hot Potato’s talent and an iPad app can help them do this.

Of course, when we learn more, we will let you know.  Does the absence of an official Facebook app for the iPad bother you at all, or do you use Friendly, another app, or simply one of the iPad's web-browsing options to check Facebook?

Original title and link for this post: Facebook unofficially creating official iPad app.

Foursquare Goes To School With 20 University Partnerships

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:42 PM PDT

Foursquare has just announced its “Foursquare for Universities” program with 20 university partners and “dozens more” represented by Foursquare “campus ambassadors”.

From the Foursquare Blog:

“With foursquare, universities can help students explore their campus by sharing school traditions, information about classes and building hours, and insider tips. Students can now unlock new badges from an exclusive campus badge pack, rewarding them for their late nights at the library and attendance at sports games. Now, not just seniors will know about campus shortcuts, dining hall secrets, and the can't-miss campus events.”

Foursquare lists Syracuse, Harvard (below), Stanford, and Texas A&M as having already launched, and from the sound of things they have a lot of other universities lined up.

In addition to earning new badges (below), Foursquare says that some of the pluses of universities using Foursquare include:

  • Encourage students to explore their campus and participate in campus events and student-run activities.
  • Communicate campus traditions and historical facts about the university as students experience campus life.
  • Direct students to campus facilities, such as computer stores, dining halls, and book stores by providing targeted specials and promotions.
  • Facilitate social connections by providing a tool to help students easily find friends and foster deeper school pride.


Of course, this move makes perfect sense for Foursquare, and frankly would for any location service. Not only are universities the perfect places for check-ins and mayorships/badges (many different locations , classes, events, etc) but also target the exact people that Foursquare and others would love to lock into their services – college students.

I’ve checked into a number of universities since I started using Foursquare last year, and I can say for certain that there is strong adoption on campus. One issue, however, is the location data – as so many places are so near to each other and campus buildings aren’t really always given a street address, often it is hard to find the exact building you’re looking for. Also, classes and events will also have to really rely on users to add them to the service, although Foursquare could theoritically enable a dashboard for certain stakeholders on the university to fill out those places/classes/events as well.

Good move by Foursquare and now the fight will be on to see if they can corner this very important market quickly, especially before Facebook Places rears its powerful campus head.

Original title and link for this post: Foursquare Goes To School With 20 University Partnerships

Yahoo’s Big Plans Are A Complete Snooze

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:31 PM PDT

Today Yahoo held a press conference in which it pitched its future prospects. The goal of the event was to spread Yahoo’s vision for itself, to sell the venerable company to a group of writers who view it as big, stodgy firm stuck in the muck as a modern company with a guiding vision.

Instead of announcing new products, Yahoo issued a roadmap that outlines how they are going to catch up their me-too products to industry-leve parity and integrate with other companies. That is not what I was hoping to hear from Yahoo, which seems to consistently underutilize its talent.

Let’s get into what they are working on:

  • Better email service
  • Better search product
  • Twitter integration
  • iPad app
  • Better advertising for their sites
  • Yahoo/Television integration

Those are very respectable goals which on paper keep the company relevant. Whether or not they can catch Gmail in ease of use and features remains to be seen, but competing in email is important. Ditto for search. With Bing under the hood Yahoo should be able make changes to its search property that will help it hold onto part of its marketshare.

Twitter integration is a complete no-brainer, and it’s something they should have done a year ago. The integration of Twitter and the release of an iPad app seem to be such minimal items in terms of complexity that I am surprised that they made it onto the ‘big list.’

The push for better advertising is put like this: “Customized Content Ads with creative formats that leverage an advertiser's robust content and enable social sharing.” Or, as I like to call it, what everyone else is trying to do.

The last bullet point is the only really innovative thing on the list. Yahoo and Toshiba are linking up to squeeze Yahoo into their hardware. The goal is to “provide consumers with thousands of video-on-demand content sources, social networks, games, music, shopping, and more — all while watching TV,” which sounds rather nice. this is the only point on the list which sounds like an even somewhat original idea The rest is the Silicon Valley edition of Keeping Up With The Joneses.

Yahoo has mojo and a great team to boot, but it seems to not want try anything new This is a mistake. Yahoo must do more than update what they have already built if they want to reclaim their crown as internet king. Google is doing just that: developing and launching new ideas. If something succeeds (Gmail) they continue development, while the failures (Wave) get the can. Yahoo seems timid, unsure of what else to do but update its email service.

Yahoo needs a few crazy dreamers to walk down the halls and go, “hell, I’ve got an idea, let’s build it!” Let’s hope they find them.Image Credit

Original title and link for this post: Yahoo’s Big Plans Are A Complete Snooze

Greenpeace Launches Impressive New Anti-Facebook Campaign [Video]

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:00 PM PDT

Every now and then you find a little gem online and this is one of those. The video below comes courtesy of Greenpeace, in one of their many anti-Facebook moves. Their aim is to get Facebook to ‘unfriend coal’ and it’s a fantastically timed campaign, given the imminent release of The Social Network. This will hopefully raise huge awareness around the initiative and I look forward to what response we might get from Facebook out of this. Watch it and it’ll have you in stitches!

Original title and link for this post: Greenpeace Launches Impressive New Anti-Facebook Campaign [Video]

TV soap Coronation Street to launch Farmville-style Facebook game

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 12:46 PM PDT

There’s a lot of money to be made in social gaming, and UK broadcaster ITV is  preparing to tap into the market via Corrie Nation, a game based around long-running soap Coronation Street.

Essentially, it sounds a lot like Zynga’s mega-hit game Farmville translated to the north of England, with a dash of The Sims thrown in. As Josh Halliday over at The Guardian reports, “Users will compete against their friends to build the 2D Wetherfield, adding on-screen characters and performing tasks to progress to further levels.”

The Press Association describes it as an “parallel soap world”, with players able to influence characters as they see fit. Virtual currency will be an important part of the game, allowing players to unlock extra buildings from the soap.

Interestingly, the game will cross over with the TV version of the soap. Players can also use virtual currency to reveal story spoilers. Although the game will be free to play, ITV is learning from the successful  Zynga model of charging for extra features and customisations.

ITV is launching the game to help connect the soap’s brand with younger audiences who increasingly multitask while watching TV. The game will launch on Facebook and on on 1 November.

Original title and link for this post: TV soap Coronation Street to launch Farmville-style Facebook game

Big surprise – Microsoft makes Bing Maps default in Windows Phone 7 SDK

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 11:49 AM PDT

Yes, that title is ironic. Microsoft has announced today that Bing Maps is now the default mapping application in the Windows 7 Phone SDK. Are we surprised by this announcement? No. Is it important? Well, that depends on how well Windows Phone 7 does frankly.

If Windows Phone 7 turns into a hit (yes, that’s a big if at this point), then having Bing Maps baked into the all of those phones and apps could be a challenge to the dominance of Google Maps on mobiles. Bing Maps is certainly coming on strong with features, and if developers just stick with Bing Maps as the default mapping service, and Windows Phone 7 does well, it can only help the overall adoption.

In a post on the Bing Community blog, Microsoft doesn’t even mention iOS, instead just going right after Android, saying, “If you’re new to Windows Phone development, it’s super-easy – we’ve seen reports of 3-hour-dev cycles vs. two weeks or more for similar-functioning Android builds.” It will be interesting to see if Microsoft/Bing continue this approach, i.e. focus on attracting Android devs, at least at first.

Original title and link for this post: Big surprise – Microsoft makes Bing Maps default in Windows Phone 7 SDK

“Best” AT&T wireless network coverage area is anything but.

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 11:13 AM PDT

To begin, some background information before we get into the crux of my issues with AT&T.

My first cell phone experience was as a customer on Voicestream's (now T-Mobile) network.  To date myself, that was at age 17, 12 years ago.

When iPhone 3G was launched, I switched to AT&T.  Prior to anyone crying, "fanboy," let me say the following: yes, I am a huge supporter of Apple products, but one of the main reasons for switching to AT&T was the 17% corporate discount off my monthly bill I receive from my straight gig.

As an AT&T wireless customer for over 2 years now, I have owned or now own the following products which use AT&T's wireless network: 2 iPhone 3G devices – one for myself and one for my wife. (since upgraded to iPhone 4), 2 iPhone 4 devices – one for myself and one for my wife, 1 Android device – the other phone I carry, and 1 iPad 3G +WiFi – my iPad. Monthly bill, with aforementioned discount, roughly $200.

For the most part, I have been content, if not pleased with AT&T's service.  That is until recent events have caused me to consider that perhaps maybe I was missing something.  Maybe some that decry AT&T's service as spotty, or much worse, may be on to something.

Last night, the issue came to a head when I went to a baseball game.  What follows is my experience as an AT&T consumer, living in Dallas, home of AT&T’s headquarters.

6:30 pm: Arrive at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  Address – 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011.  Devices carried, 2 iPhone 4s, 1 Android device.

7:05 pm: Get 6 hotdogs, 3 for me, 3 for my wife.  It was dollar hotdog night, and this has nothing to do with my story other than the fact that you know I wasn't conducting my research on an empty stomach.

7:35 pm: Take our seats, Section 208, Row 5, Seats 13 and 14.  Link to stadium picture here, my picture below:

8:10 pm: Try to send out a tweet using Twitter for iPhone. Full bars, 3G indicated, network-related message received below:

8:18 pm: Try to send out a tweet using Twitter for iPhone. Network-related message received below:

8:28 pm: Try to send out a tweet using Twitter for iPhone. Network-related message received below:

8:36 pm: Try to send out a tweet using Twitter for iPhone. Network-related message received below:

8:56 pm: Try to send out a tweet using Twitter for iPhone. Full bars, 3G indicated, network-related message received below:

46 minutes, no cell phone connection on both iPhone 4s and the Android device, meaning no tweets, no Facebook updates, no calls received, no emails received, ect… So I examine AT&T's "Coverage Viewer" once I arrive home.  To my shock, I was smack dab in the "Best" coverage area AT&T has to offer.

Best is described by AT&T as, "BEST: In general, the areas shown in dark orange should have the strongest signal strength and be sufficient for most in-building coverage. However, in-building coverage can and will be adversely affected by the thickness/construction type of walls, or your location in the building (i.e., in the basement, in the middle of the building with multiple walls, etc.) This AT&T owned network provides GSM, GPRS, and EDGE service."

Best?  Right.

Then I examine cell towers located in and around the ballpark.  There are over a hundred towers, some cell towers, some not, located around my location.

Those owned by AT&T? 3 within 4 miles of my location, not to mention, one of the largest sponsors of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium across the street? AT&T.

AT&T, I have defended your service and thought there may be an issue with iPhone 4, which in part, is why I carry an Android device too (the other is to review, and use, great Android apps), but I have been out to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and the surrounding areas too often recently and had NO service.

This is unacceptable from a company whose headquarters are roughly 20 miles from both my home and my location last night, and has me convinced now, more than ever, Verizon's red map is spot on, Sprint's increases in network speed are formidable, and both are strong candidates to receive my business in the near future if economically feasible.

Original title and link for this post: “Best” AT&T wireless network coverage area is anything but.

Loopt Star Running Nationwide Sports Authority Promotion

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:23 AM PDT

Users who check-in at certain pro sports team stadiums with the Loopt Star iPhone app will receive a $10 gift card to Sports Authority. Also, Loopt Star users that check-in at any of Sports Authority’s 462 stores in 45 states will receive $10 off a $50 purchase. The promotion includes MLB, the NBA and the NFL.

As far as free stuff goes, the pro sports stadium deal is a pretty good one – people are certainly already going to the game to see the game, so its not like they have to do anything that they wouldn’t already be doing – they just have to have the app and check-in with it. Of course, that’s the rub – will people remember to check-in? Also, if Loopt Star has enough scale (and/or the word really gets around about this promotion) think about it for a second – NFL stadiums can seat 70,000+ people and MLB stadiums 40-50K. So if word got around, that’s a lot of discounts.

The promotion ends on December 15, 2010.

Original title and link for this post: Loopt Star Running Nationwide Sports Authority Promotion

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