Nokia, the makers of most of the annoying phones you have ever owned, has announce that they will be discontinuing the N-Gage brand. This news probably comes as a shock to most, who thought the brand was discontinued in 2005, but they would be wrong.
The original N-Gage, released in 2003, was a terribly designed little handset that looked like a combination of a Sega Game Gear and a T-Mobile Sidekick (pictured here). The theory was sound - one device for Internet, phone and gaming, but Nokia didn't seem to get any of the aspects right. It was a fairly large device, which made talking on the phone rather arduous. The cartridge slot for the games was lodged in with the battery, meaning you couldn't swap games while the device was on, instead you had to pop the battery off first.
Looks like Apple is going to have to call their lawyer after being served a lawsuit filed by Nokia with the Federal District Court in Delaware. Allegedly, the Apple iPhone infringes on Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS, and wireless LAN standards.
With one of the most extensive patent portfolios in the industry, Nokia has become the mastermind behind many discoveries in wireless communications, investing more than 40 billion Euro in research and development in the last twenty years. With license agreements (which include these patents) with almost 40 countries, the company has become one of the leading innovators in the wireless market.
On October 22nd. FCC finally released the rough draft for its Net Neutrality rules which will expand and codify the rules set in 2005 that limited telecom companies from stopping customers from using specific services such as conference calling and adult chat lines. Currently, the only way they are allowed to block services or devices is if they are "harmful" to the network. The rules are also expanding to broadband internet providers who will also not be able to limit how their customers use the internet. That's not all folks, Net Neutrality is going WiFi by extending its reach to networks like 3G, satellite and WiMax. They will have a little more leeway in shaping bandwidth but it only must pertain to better managing the network. Also, telecom companies and ISPs will be required to send reports on how they manage their networks to the FCC. The 107 page proposal will be open for debate for the next 60 days giving lobbyists on both sides plenty of time to try and change the wording in their favor. The Open Internet Coalition with members such as Facebook and Google welcomed the new proposals while others like Apple and AT&T are less than excited. Here is the proposed text to the rules which are up for vote:
1. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user's choice over the Internet.
2. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user's choice.
For the rest of the list, hit the break.
Who knew that Hulu would have turned out to be so successful? The backers for the endeavor sure didn't. Their original goal was to use Hulu as a bartering tool with companies like Apple or Google but with growing success and a changing industry it looks like competition might be forcing Hulu to change it's ways. It seems that they are not exactly sure how this is going to work but the joint venture between News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox, GE's (GE) NBC Universal and Disney's (DIS) ABC will in the future be offering a premium content package that will go beyond the normal free content that Hulu users are used to seeing. The site is already close to breaking even just off of add revenues but charging for content is a delicate thing so they need to be very careful not to upset their current users since less traffic to the site would hurt ad revenues and possible premium subscriptions. As of right now we can only speculate to how things will actually pan out.
Comcast and Time Warner have a similar idea with a service called "TV Everywhere." It's a premium service where the customer would be able to watch all the available channels under their current subscription over a broadband internet connection. So you would get your programming on more screens for free right? Right now it seems that way but if TV Everywhere catches on price increases can be expected in other areas in the future. TV Everywhere isn't all gravy to some. The "user-authenticated" model it uses is a threat to sites like Hulu and a possible barrier for competition in the marketplace. Critics had this to say about TV Everywhere.
Finally, a standard for phone chargers has been decided, thanks to the International Telecommunication Union, a branch of the UN. The universal charger will eventually work with every phone. This will be a huge relief to many people all over the world. For example forget your charger while travelling? Well, no more hassle trying to find the exact replicate to fit into your phone, every charger will be identical.
What's the reason for this you may ask? The International Telecommunication Union is enforcing this standard in an effect to eliminate the large amount of unnecessary e-waste being produced.
Have you ever wanted something that can actually suck in the light that surrounds you? Don't lie, you know you've at least thought about it. For the first time ever, an electromagnetic black hole has been created on Earth.
Evgenii Narimanov and Alexander Kildishev of Purdue University published a paper in early 2009 that suggested a design for a table-top black hole that would be able to trap surrounding light. By imitating the properties of a cosmological black hole, they created the first man made black hole. It included many characteristics of an actual black hole, like a massive amount of gravity that bends the surrounding space-time, which in turn causes nearby radiation to follow the warped space-time and spiral inwards.
This may be a new break in creating electricity! Operating at microwave frequencies, it has the potential to harvest solar energy and even trap visible light.
This new discovery is a first for researchers. It seems like everyone is determined to find a new way to "go green!"
*Image courtesy of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy