Tagged: Facebook

Nokia Makes Turn-by-Turn Ovi Maps Free for All

In an unexpected move, Nokia have announced that the new version of Ovi Maps will feature free walk and drive navigation, a change from their previous subscription based model for this service.  Ovi Maps was always free of course, but if you wanted it to tell you where to go – in the nicest possible way – then you had to cross their palm with silver.

The maps cover 70 countries worldwide and in addition to the walk and drive navigation, provide Lonely Planet and Michelin guides, plus localized event details.  You can add favorites and share you location via Facebook, and just like previous versions, all future updates will be free too.

The new platform is available now from the Nokia Maps website, and is compatible with a variety of Nokia smart phones including the new X6, the N97 Mini, the E52 and E55 and the other ‘navigation’ editions of the 5800, 5230, 6730 and the 6710.

Nokia’s decision to make the full Ovi Maps service free has obviously been influenced by the latest version of Google Maps, which includes free turn-by-turn navigation too.  Just how this will affect the makers of standalone GPS units remains to be seen, but there are likely to be some concerned faces in boardrooms across the country this morning.

Source: http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/

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Playstation 3.10 Firmware Brings Social Networking Features

The new PlayStation 3 firmware 3.10 update, set to be launched later this week, will have a Facebook application, Sony has confirmed, proving the leaked images of Facebook integration with the PS3 platform.

The update will allow the players to link their Facebook accounts to their PlayStation Network account providing them with an option to set auto updates of Trophy and PlayStation Store activity to Facebook News Feed.

Eric Lempel, PlayStation Network Operations director, commented in a blog post on Sony’s official PlayStation blog that the collaboration with the popular social networking website was only a beginning and the users can expect further new features in the future that will enhance their PS3 experience.

The gaming console market has witnessed a frenzied competition amongst it top players for increasing their market share and after Microsoft’s XBOX 360 integration with Facebook, it was only a matter of time that Sony came up with a similar update.

It has also been reported that the new firmware will have an update for the Photo app allowing easier viewing of images on the gaming console. The users will also be able to choose colors of their PlayStation Network ID and the PSN friends list according to their preferences.

 

Source: http://www.itproportal.com/

Xbox Live comes of age?

xbox-live-og-content1

Interesting times for Xbox Live, the online service for the Xbox 360. This week saw a user record set, with more than 2 million users connected at once. As you may have guessed this total was hugely bolstered by Modern Warfare 2, with nearly half of the 2 million users playing Activision’s new shooter. No real surprises then. Actually what I’d love to see is figures for the game with the lowest number of players at any one point. Is anyone still playing Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts online for example?

Next week will also see the launch of Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM on Xbox Live. Expect those tweets and status updates to be dominated by Modern Warfare 2 then. I’ve been on the test service for these and while the integration isn’t quite as slick as I imagined – the need to login to separate applications means they all feel a little detached from the core Live offer – you can see the benefit if you are in between games or undecided what to do next.

Xbox owners then, what do you think? Your friends lists dominated by MW2 players? Any excitement about Facebook and co appearing on Live next week?

 

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/

Nokia begins shipping N900

Nokia_N900

The device, which runs the Linux-based Maemo operating system, features a 3.5in touch-screen, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, fast web browsing and access to Nokia’s online app store, Ovi. Nokia said the N900 was designed to bring the desktop computing experience to mobile devices.

It has a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor and 1GB of dedicated application memory, which enables it to handle multiple apps simultaneously. It pulls in contacts from a variety of social networking sites, such as Facebook, and “threads” conversations by person, regardless of whether communication took place via email, text messages, chat service or through Facebook. The device boasts 32GB of storage, and can be expanded to 48GB using a microSD card.

Nokia dominates the mobile phone market, accounting for 40 per cent of all handsets sold worldwide. But it is wary of losing ground to the likes of Apple and Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.

“The Nokia N900 has generated a lot of interest since its public launch in August, which has been reflected in the device pre-orders,” said José-Luis Martinez, a vice president with Nokia. “What’s exciting is the Maemo software, which takes its cues from the desktop computer and offers a full browsing experience like no other handset.”

The N900 will be available free on some networks, depending on contract and tariff, while a SIM-free device will set users back around £500.

Technology experts say the N900’s arrival will be crucial for the future growth of the Finnish mobile phone giant. Nokia is expected to use its Maemo platform to power an increasing number of devices in order to meet the growing needs of consumers to remain connected to the internet and their social networks at all times.

“Maemo will deliver the next generation of ‘computer-like’ experiences,” says Geoff Blaber, an analyst with CCS Insight. “The emphasis on rich visuals and multitasking is key. Multitasking will become increasingly important in a world where the phone is being used to access multiple functions, applications and services. It’s a challenge that Apple faces with the iPhone.”

 

Sources: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/

Analysis: Google’s Dashboard Tackles Transparency

Google Dashboard

One product stood out this week amongst the standard flurry of Google product releases. It wasn’t a Gmail Labs experiment or a new parameter for search. It was a fairly unassuming new product called Dashboard, which aggregates users’ personal information from more than 20 Google services into a single, password-protected page.

Google unveiled the new service with a blog post titled, “Transparency, choice, and control – now complete with a Dashboard.” The choice and control parts of the equation are pretty clear – users can update their account information directly from the new Dashboard, which is far handier than being forced to visit each page individually.

However, the fact that Google opted to lead its Dashboard blog post with the word “transparency” speaks to a fundamental concern about the company’s current position in the world. Some time ago, the company adopted the admirable motto “Don’t Be Evil,” a slogan pundits have often suggested is a dig at Microsoft.

As Google quickly discovered, however, the adherence to such an abstract notion is at times inversely proportional to the size of a company. As a company grows, opportunities for evil become more numerous, and the ability to police them decreases. Things get even trickier when a company’s stated objective is to gather and catalog all the world’s information.

Over the past few years, concerns about the “anti-evil” corporation have grown at nearly the same rate as the company itself, from its cooperation with the Chinese government to the cameras it perches atop its Street View vans. The sheer breadth of Google’s knowledge base is staggering, something that becomes far more apparent on a personal level when one investigates their own Dashboard.

But if Google has always been so devoted to transparency, why are we only seeing this feature rolled out now?

The answer is that, ultimately, even the most noble corporation is only as transparent as they have to be. The good news, however, is that in this post-Web 2.0 world, the bare minimum is ever increasing. As personal information becomes more publicly available, the same goes for corporate information. The informational megaphone that is Twitter and the blogosphere makes protests all the more powerful.

Remember Amazonfail, the Twitter protest against a seemingly homophobic move on the part of the online retailer? What about the online kerfuffle surrounding Facebook’s new Terms of Service? When information moves at the speed of the Web, corporations must operate at a similar pace. This means more than just creating a corporate Twitter account, it means offering information in anticipation of complaints, which is where the concept of transparency comes into play. Companies that make information publicly available have less to hide, and it therefore becomes more difficult to bandy about words like “evil.” Sunlight, as the saying goes, is the best disinfectant.

While the advent of Dashboard can be seen as a response to past criticism and an attempt to avoid future accusations, the availability of information like our Web history does have the effect of bringing to light even more questions — such as what exactly does Google plan to do with our information? It’s a reminder that, as we hand more and more of our own personal information over to a company like Google, we need to keep asking questions.

Fortunately, the Internet is history’s most powerful suggestion box, and if corporations want to operate in that world, they have to listen.

One product stood out this week amongst the standard flurry of Google product releases. It wasn’t a Gmail Labs experiment or a new parameter for search. It was a fairly unassuming new product called Dashboard, which aggregates users’ personal information from more than 20 Google services into a single, password-protected page.

Google unveiled the new service with a blog post titled, “Transparency, choice, and control – now complete with a Dashboard.” The choice and control parts of the equation are pretty clear – users can update their account information directly from the new Dashboard, which is far handier than being forced to visit each page individually.

However, the fact that Google opted to lead its Dashboard blog post with the word “transparency” speaks to a fundamental concern about the company’s current position in the world. Some time ago, the company adopted the admirable motto “Don’t Be Evil,” a slogan pundits have often suggested is a dig at Microsoft.

As Google quickly discovered, however, the adherence to such an abstract notion is at times inversely proportional to the size of a company. As a company grows, opportunities for evil become more numerous, and the ability to police them decreases. Things get even trickier when a company’s stated objective is to gather and catalog all the world’s information.

Over the past few years, concerns about the “anti-evil” corporation have grown at nearly the same rate as the company itself, from its cooperation with the Chinese government to the cameras it perches atop its Street View vans. The sheer breadth of Google’s knowledge base is staggering, something that becomes far more apparent on a personal level when one investigates their own Dashboard.

But if Google has always been so devoted to transparency, why are we only seeing this feature rolled out now?

The answer is that, ultimately, even the most noble corporation is only as transparent as they have to be. The good news, however, is that in this post-Web 2.0 world, the bare minimum is ever increasing. As personal information becomes more publicly available, the same goes for corporate information. The informational megaphone that is Twitter and the blogosphere makes protests all the more powerful.

Remember Amazonfail, the Twitter protest against a seemingly homophobic move on the part of the online retailer? What about the online kerfuffle surrounding Facebook’s new Terms of Service? When information moves at the speed of the Web, corporations must operate at a similar pace. This means more than just creating a corporate Twitter account, it means offering information in anticipation of complaints, which is where the concept of transparency comes into play. Companies that make information publicly available have less to hide, and it therefore becomes more difficult to bandy about words like “evil.” Sunlight, as the saying goes, is the best disinfectant.

While the advent of Dashboard can be seen as a response to past criticism and an attempt to avoid future accusations, the availability of information like our Web history does have the effect of bringing to light even more questions — such as what exactly does Google plan to do with our information? It’s a reminder that, as we hand more and more of our own personal information over to a company like Google, we need to keep asking questions.

Fortunately, the Internet is history’s most powerful suggestion box, and if corporations want to operate in that world, they have to listen.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/

Sony Ericsson Embraces Android With Xperia X10 Smartphone

sony_ericsson_xpera

Sony Ericsson has officially launched the Xperia X10, formerly known as the X3 or Rachael, a smartphone that is the first device build by the company using Google’s Android platform.

(ed: no confusion here with the X10 Wireless Security Cameras ads that flooded the net a few years ago) Just like HTC with its Sense user interface, Sony Ericsson has chosen to overlay the default Android UI with a new touchscreen user interface which it calls the UX platform and will provide “unrivalled” integration of “social media services” – think Facebook, Twitter, MSN and will allow the phone’s users to “truly humanise the way people interact with their phones”.

One executive vice president of Sony Ericsson, Rikko Sakaguchi, said in a statement that “With the X10, we are raising the bar we have set ourselves with entertainment-rich phones like Aino and Satio by making communication more fun and playful, multiplying and enriching opportunities to connect.”

The Satio and the Aino were two Symbian-based smartphones that were released back in October but aim at a slightly less upmarket audience compared to the X10 which will be the flagship model in Sony Ericsson’s 2010 range of devices.

Sources: http://www.itproportal.com/