BlindType for TouchScreen Phones

We’ve seen several variants of touchscreen typing mechanisms but BlindType is too good to be true. Watch this video how they use this virtual keyboard, once mastered will not require any keys shown on screen, saving valuable screen space for you. See BlindType in action in this video:

Smartphones in Battlefield

Soldiers will be using smartphones in the battlefied. Here’s what this latest Reuters article says:

Raytheon, which makes the Patriot missile defense system, is developing software which could enable a soldier to find enemies in his or her surrounding terrain using a mobile phone running Google’s Android operating system.

The software could potentially be powerful enough to pick up aerial images from an unmanned aircraft or satellite and then focus in on details such as license plates on cars or a person’s facial features.

A typical soldier’s use case:

  • Searching for a UAV nearby
  • UAV found, Connected!
  • Requesting enemy unit locations nearby
  • Enemy units and buildings found at these coordinates, touch to view photos
  • Incoming orders, move north, keep moving, wait for further orders
  • Incoming missile, take shelter
  • Your primary weapon is running low on ammo, reload!

🙂

And then there can be problems with the software or the handsets:

  • Cannot retrieve orders, network not found
  • UAV connection lost
  • Battery low
  • Uh.. the phone software stuck … urgh!
  • Waiting for GPS ………………….
  • … why dare you touch the phone, it’s an iPhone, remember? 🙂

Here’s the whole post.

Fring alternative for VOIP calls

NimbuzzSkype is down on Fring and its not a good news. The way things are going, I don’t see it coming back to Fring at all, at least not in a few years to come. What do I do? If you are one of those lucky ones who have a phone that supports the native Skype client, stop reading here 🙂

If you were using Fring because you have no Skype option on your phone model, you have to look around for an alternative now. Nimubzz is the only alternative now that gives free voice Skype to Nimbuzz calls so that you can use your cellphone to make and receive Skype calls. I used Nimbuzz a couple of years ago and it was not impressive at all. When I installed it again today, it has grown up to be a stable application with several other cool features including voice calls to and from skype. The only issue I can see is the lack of video call capability (may be it’s my phone?).

Go ahead and install the app from Nimbuzz.com and don’t you forget to leave a comment below saying thanks if it works out for you 😉

Green Computing Note

User your phone for voice and video chat instead of your computers. Phones take less power hence more environment friendly.

Skype vs Fring – Skype says Fring was being illegal

As we’ve covered already, Skype calls and instant messaging is not available for Fring users anymore. Fring calls it a cowardly act by Skype. Skype on the other hand says that they have not blocked out Fring without any reason. According to Skype, Fring was using Skype API in a way it is not supposed to be use, hence violating the API use agreement. This is what official Skype blog says about it:

Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably.

However, over time, Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers. On Friday, for example, Fring withdrew support for video calls over Skype on iOS 4 without warning, again damaging our brand and disappointing our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience.

Whatever is cooking between Fring and Skype, its turning out to be a nightmare for a lot of Fring users. Some believe its a move  by Skype because they are now coming up with their own Skype client on many mobile platforms, so they are trying to keep Fring’s competition at bay. Whatever is the case, all those users are suffering real bad who have been using them on mobile phones which do not support the native Skype clients and they are left without the capability of making or receiving skype calls on their phones.

Mobile Phones are better than Computers – Green Computing

Mobile Phone Power Consumption
Mobile Phones consume very low power

What do you use your computer for? Surfing Internet, chat, gaming, social networking, downloading, desktop computing including documents, spreadsheets or presentation making or just watching your photos and videos? Today’s mobile phones are capable of doing it all, rather sometimes more than the traditional phones. They have faster processors, more ram, faster  wireless Internet connectivity and larger memories.

Today I will start another series of posts that will tell you how to use your phones to do things that you usually do with your computers including desktops, laptops and netbooks. This series of posts will include tips, tricks and software that you can use to avoid the use of computers and just use your phone 🙂

Why are mobile phones better?

If you have not done so, you can read my earlier articles that prove that laptops are better than desktops, because they take around 60 watts of power as compared to a few hundred watts. Then we also discussed that netbooks are even better than laptops taking half the power as compared to a full sized notebook. Today we will move one step ahead.

To prove my point I used this app called Nokia Energy Profiler. The app is a free download available on Nokia OVI store for almost all Nokia devices. The application gives you exact numbers in terms of power consumption, network bandwidth utilization and a few more important things that you never come to know when using a  mobile phone. Just like any other computing device, Nokia phones consume low power when idle and take more power when performing more computation.

Here are a few screen-shots. As you can see, when the phone is idle, it takes 0.18 watts on average. When navigating the menu and viewing simple content like photos on the phone screen, its consuming 0.23 watts on average. In the third screenshot, the phone is being used for a voice+video call over a wifi network and the battery usage is at it’s top, that is around 2 watts.

Idle State
Phone Menu Use
Skype Video Call - High Power Consumption
Sudden Spike when receiving call

In the last screen shot you can see the sudden rise in battery consumption when there’s an incoming call ringing and picked up.

In any case, this particular cellphone is using less than 2 watts of power which is way less than the other computing devices we listed above.

Conclusion

Use mobile phones for your computing needs whenever and wherever possible. You’ll save power and will contribute your efforts in keeping this planet green. Happy Green Computing!

No Skype on Fring anymore

Skype Blocks Fring

This has been a shock for me. I have been using Fring for voice and video calls for years now and all my Skype calls simply land on my mobile. Skype has suddenly stopped working on Fring and I was wondering what happened? Just a simple search and I find all Fring users ranting all over the web about this latest change.

How Fring describes it is a cowardly act by Skype. This is what a post titled “Skype Cowardly Blocks Fring” on Fring Blog says about the recent development:

we are very disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness is now trying to muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users.

I’ve been using Fring on Nokia and then on Android. Why I use Fring+Skype is the lack f the native Skype app on my favorite handsets. Well, Skype has been developing clients for the new platforms but we still have a big gap between supply and demand of this app on different platforms. Skyp is still not available on my BlackBerry 9700 and its not available for another number of handsets running on Android and Symbian while Fring was filling up this gap quite well.

Now this is what you call pulling the plug. I’m an unhappy fring+skype user 🙁

p.s: Do you have an alternate app in mind that will let me make and receive Skype voice and video calls over data networks. This is really frustrating