Mobile News Update – 3 Nov ’08

 2 mobiles

Google patches Android security flaw [CNet]- Google and T-Mobile have begun distributing a security patch for the first Android-powered phone, the G1 built by HTC. This is the update alert message

MasterCard via your mobile [MasterCard]- A similar service has been popular in Japan for a while now but last week MasterCard announced the launch of the MasterCard Over-the-Air Provisioning Service, the first program of its kind that enables issuers to perform over-the-air personalization of their cardholders’ mobile devices in an easy, one-step process.

Lower-Income Users Boost Sales of Apple’s iPhone [Sci-Tech Today]- Lower-income US consumers are flocking to Apple’s iPhone, sending an early signal that smartphones are changing from a luxury to a necessity, according to research company ComScore Mobile.

How to Unlock a T-Mobile G1 [Android Central]- Simple instructional video. Just need the sim unlock code from T-Mobile which they appear amenable to providing.

AT&T Device Holiday Lineup [Into Mobile] – Lots of goodies. The Pantech Matrix looks interesting.

RIM Blackberry Bold Review [PC World] – The BlackBerry Bold sports a revamped design and interface, but it falls short in other areas.

I like Windows Mobile and am not ashamed to admit it” [ZDNet]- The sheer number of WM devices may also be a weakness because there is no central way that the platform is being marketed. Apple and Google have it fairly easy with a single device to promote from a single manufacturer.

Phoenix Mars Lander Is Either Dying or Just Really Sleepy

Phoenix

Phoenix communicated with NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter Thursday. The communication reinforced a diagnosis that the spacecraft is in a precautionary mode triggered by low energy. Mission engineers are assessing the lander’s condition and steps necessary for returning to science operations.

NASA’S Phoenix Mars Lander, with its solar-electric power shrinking due to shorter daylight hours and a dust storm, did not respond to an orbiter’s attempt to communicate with it Wednesday night and Thursday morning

Flinging Cards At Friends

So when grabbing a postcard from a corner shop or a gas station is just too hard or painful for you, here comes Postcard.fm to your rescue!  You can’t get any simpler than this website, folks.  A generic interface asks you to submit a picture, choose a song, and enter your recipients email address, and you’re done.  Off goes your cybercard to your intended vict….er, I mean friend.  You can also choose to add a few words of your own before sending it off, just to add that special flavor 😉

postcardfm

I sent one to my wife…she thought it was hilarious!  Check it out!

100+ Incredible Open Courseware Resources for Science Geeks

Books

Kelly from advantageedu.com educated me on a gem of a blog article recently with a long list of links to open courseware resources on science topics.

My favorite from the list? It’s gotta be Satellite Engineering which is about the problems, solutions and the basics of subsystem design in engineering spacecraft. It’s by MIT and has topics like “Design of an Artificial Gravity Mars Mission“. How cool is that?

Great work pulling that list together, I’m saving this to my favorites.

Its Ninjas Vs. Freakin’ Zombies! Who Wouldn’t Watch This Film?!


 

Ninjas vs. Zombies is a film debuting in Tally Ho Cinema in Leesburg, Virginia on Halloween night. If you live in the area, get your butt to the web site and reserve a ticket.

Its ninjas versus freakin’ zombies! Who wouldn’t watch this film?!

This movie has been called:

An episode of ‘Friends’ meets ‘Spider Man’, with a side of Jackie Chan.  Oh – and then bloodthirsty zombies show up and start eating everybody. It draws inspiration from movies ranging from “Chasing Amy” to “Scream”, “Harry Potter” to “Dawn of The Dead”, and a good dose of “Highlander” and “Serenity”

Synopsis:

Seven friends, struggling with late 20s, early 30s life, find themselves in terrifying danger when a long-dead loved one is magically resurrected and starts devouring souls.  To make matters worse, three of them have been granted the power of the ninja, and now must lead the fight against a power they cannot hope to vanquish.  If they fail, the undead will overrun their little town, and maybe the world.

What follows is a whirlwind of magic, swordplay, hand to hand combat, gunfire and simmering sarcasm. From high flying flips to a full-on melee, from a claustrophobic last stand to a Star-Wars worthy katana battle, NINJAS VS ZOMBIES is a chilling, laugh out loud, edge of your seat adventure.

 

[via Zombie Pinups]

City of Ember: How Not to Build an Underground City to Survive the Apocalypse

City of Ember

Bill Murray & Tim Robbins’ new movie, City of Ember, was released about 3 weeks ago. Based on the lukewarm reception it’s had, i take it you missed it?

Sci Fi channel’s editorial column Lab Notes has a breakdown on one facet of the new movie. What the author looks at is how *not* to build a city underground if your goal is to survive Armageddon…in a giant cavern.

See the trailer at the bottom of this post, if you like that then perhaps you’re better off reading the book The City of Ember (Books of Ember) (amazon).

Here’s a summary:

Ember is a city built to last 200 years. The Builders of this city left instructions to the mayors in a box that would open by itself, unfortunately, one of the mayors was corrupt, and tossed the box into a closet, to be forgotten about for centuries. The year is 241. Lina Mayfleet, and Doon Harrow are two children in Ember that find themselves on a mission to save their dying city. For the citys lights are beginning to flicker, and the food supplies are running out.

Doon lands a job in the Pipeworks, to see if he can fix the generator. Lina’s job is simple, she is a messenger, but she soon finds herself in over her head when she discovers the instructions left by the builders so long ago. Her and Doon find themselves on an adventure when they discover the way out of Ember, but corrupt officials, and a treacherous mayor stand against their wishes of saving the city. With courage and heart they brave the darkness, all to help their citizens escape the dying city, and lead them to another world.

 

5 Reasons Why Luke Skywalker Is A Complete Idiot

raygun2

Only George Lucas can really tell us why Luke is so danged stupid.

#3 His Insanely Stupid Plan To Rescue Han Solo from Jabba The Hutt:

You: “Okay, if you can just use your Force powers to get in to the palace and all the way to Jabba, then let’s just have you go in right now and get Han out.”

Luke: “No, that’s stupid. I’m going to get myself captured. Because then you see, we’ll be taken to the sarlacc pit and then, when we’re on the skiff, I’ll get sent out first and then R2-D2 will manage to get to the top of Jabba’s sail barge and shoot out my lightsaber, and then with Lando’s help, we’ll just—rescue everyone and then everything will be fine!”

You: “That is the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard of.”

Luke:“I’ve thought of everything.”

India’s Moon Shot On The Way

moon

There goes the neighborhood.

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first spacecraft to Moon, was successfully launched yesterday (October 22, 2008) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR. 

All systems onboard the spacecraft are functioning normally. Further orbit raising maneuvers are planned in the coming few days.

The objective for the craft if to be placed in orbit around the moon and conduct mineralogical and chemical mappings.

Bill Gates’ Mysterious New Company

bgc3

The graphic above is the logo for Bill Gates’ new company: bgC3. Yes, that’s right, several months after departing Microsoft, BillG is heading up a new company and it’s not too forthcoming with details, though Techflash has talked to an insider to get a sneak peek. I wonder if he’s going to invest in some kind of open source idea or possibly find himself heading up another big money machine.

As you can tell from the bgC3 homepage, there’s not too much to be gleaned about this business.

Possessed Hoarders

Hoarders

I found this short video documentary on compulsive hoarders (wikipedia), people whose lives are dominated by their relationship to possessions. The video is fascinating in a clinical sense, but could be scary or possibly revolting if you’re lacking in empathy for these folks because clearly there’s a psychological issue going on here.

The video is called ‘Possessed’, is about 20 minutes long and you meet 4 very different hoarders. If you enjoy watching medical mysteries or science shows, then I highly recommend watching it.