Monthly Archives: September 2005

Nokia 3250 and Sony Ericsson W850


Definitely ‘Pantech & Curitel’ inspired phone. No other manufacturers have been crazy enough to keep up with the whole twista top thingy. No 3G, but it has 2 megapixels camera. Successor to 3230 with only a marginally small bump in specs.

Engadget Link.
Nokia Press Release.
Infosync World Link.


This is the successor to Sony Ericsson S700/S710, dubbed the Walkman W850 phone, featuring the same swivel faceplate, and button placements as the S700. But what it doesn’t have is dedicated music playing buttons, another camera to make video calls and it’s gonna be 3G. Pukka mate!

Engadget Link.

Portable Opera!

Remember back in the day when the only major portable browser was PortableFirefox [archived link]. Well not anymore.

I introduce to you, PortableOpera. The steps are quite lengthy, but if you follow them step by step, I’m sure you can have one of your own. Me, I’m posting this from Opera, after answering a comment from my recent posts. Good stuff, even remembers all the interface changes I made. I should be making this Portable one look the same as my PC’s version.

Viva la Opera.

[Update : Speak of the devil. There’s an Opera USB installer that does this, ala PortableFirefox. I haven’t tried this, so if you guys out there tried this, report back, k? K. Good.]

HI 2 U!

So… what’s been up? With me? Nah… Good… Stuff at school is bumming me out a bit. It’s a pity that the job you have been doing so well is taken over by people when they get to see how much fun I get doing it. I just can’t imagine if they can do anything better than what I’m doing. But let’s move along…

What’s been up eh? Yeah let’s talk about mobile phone providers for a bit. It seems that DST has been trying to regain lost customers, and trying to retain old ones I might add, with their new SMS rates and Internet surfing rates to curtail whatever advantage b-mobile is trying to leverage. Usually, DST charges around… Hmm… I’m not sure how much they charged, but trying to surf my site on my Nokia 6230, with all images turned on, cost me like $2.40 then. Now? Per megabyte download, is only $0.01. 1 cent. 1. That’s crazy. It’s like, I may be sitting on the loo and surfing for stuff (not that I do that, I’m pretty much a klutz and anything that involves the possibility of my favourite gadget going into poo infested water makes my hair stand on end).

It seems that they’re feeling the sting of b-mobile’s ever omniscient presence, being backed by a royal family member and all is not something you want to go up against. It’s not like the ruling head of Brunei is gonna come down to a DST roadshow or anything like that. No sirree. I still remember it as clear as day, me walking through the mall just after b-mobile launched their trials, stumbled upon an empty DST booth, once filled with eager customers wanting to get some merchandise thus making the DST seemingly filled with flocking customers. No Easi or Prima line customer is going to come up to a DST booth and ask about rates, discounts, new cool services, customer appreciation or whatever. The rates has been mind numbingly ingrained into our heads for the fact that it’s frickin’ ridiculous by modern day standards. Sure, 10 cents would cut it back in 1999, but this is the ‘noughty five. The big ’05. Malaysians customers get to have cheap SMS rates, cheap call rates. Cheap everything. And this is added with nicer service sets than what Bruneian Easi line could’ve hoped for.

Now, as I snicker at the thought of me sitting in class, being disturbed with a message from DST proclaiming ‘5 cents for SMS! Cheaper call rates after midnight! Stay with DST!’, I try to fathom, why oh why not give it lower? The reasons are there. A kick ass popular service looming at your doorsteps. A handful of Easi subscribers just itching to dump their GSM phone to get a new 3G phone at the drop of their latest paycheck. Minimized employee job satisfaction. The decline of the DST brand. We have been pounding this conclusion back and forth between ourselves. The conclusion is this; “They have the infrastructure in place. Why keep charging customer the high rates to cover the cost of installation?” They can afford to lower rates. They have the means to serve people, now. b-mobile can’t serve people in KB yet. DST can. Add more features to keep people wanting your service, that they feel they can’t live without. I know some people who work there, and they are a pretty talented bunch of people. All you need is to pay them more, and they’ll be happy to work some more.

I was planning a better segue to my next point of my nightly ramble, but I lost that opportunity two paragraphs up. I’m talking about Hua Ho, and the obscenely amount of money the organization spent on building Hua Ho Manggis. For a guy who started off a chain of department store from a humble beginning of a small shop just under the Kumbang Pasang overpass into a giant corporation pushing into construction, it’s a wonder how many right choices he has made.

While many question the recent choice of building a shop so close to another branch, which is just literally down the road, straight ahead I might add, after putting a bit of thought into it, and after mistakenly took a wrong turn when I try to park my car, I can conclude a couple of stuff.

1) They are trying to push into construction, and other means of generating income. Most of their shops are housed in buildings that are owned by other companies, and that means that they take a dent in earnings just to pay the rent. I can only imagine how much their 3 to 4 storey shops would cost in rent every month, but I gather it could be up to the tune of $50,000 upwards. If they can buy the primo real estate, and backed up by the stockpiles of cash that they might (or rather should, seeing how big his house is) be collecting, there’s no point not building it themselves. Then others would employ them to create other buildings, and voila, money.

2) It should be easier to locate the number of workers that need to run the whole organization into a place near a building that you have just built, i.e. build another apartment block right behind it. I kid you not, they have a new apartment building just behind the main building. Now that’s job satisfaction. This is of course, to facilitate easier travel into the work place (used to be a bus picking up workers to and from the branches). It can also place workers from other branches into once concentrated place, so as to facilitate easier management of workforce and general control. How do I know this? Well this Indian guy used to make me tea at the basement department store at the Bandar branch. Recent trips to the new building says to me that he’s a permanent there, not just temp-ing there until they get more workers. Why would he leave the Bandar branch, where people actually ask for him to make them their hot beverages? Simple. It’s a far shorter trip for him to make, and it may be because of his seniory that the organization feels it’s due time to give him a proper home.

3) He is crazily rich. My estimate, the building as is, is around $40 Million. That’s my rough estimate. Not sure whether the oft rumored theater or bowling alley at the top floor (the building has a crown for a reason) might add some more value to the place.

4) Ok. The theater. There is a cordoned off area at the present top floor, which suggest there’s something more upstairs. It’s not a VIP place where the owner’s family could relax or what not, else it’d be covered. And there’s a restaurant nearby and another planned eatery next to it. And if you make a mental trip from the basement floor to the top, you can see you can make a direct trip. As Hua Ho usually closes at 10.00pm everyday, which would mean a sucky theater experience to be out by 10.00pm, the trip from basement to top is separated by the main department store by itself. So I guess the next movies I’ll be watching will be there, meaning there would be no chance in hell I’d be late for a movie anymore.

There ya go. I’ve been thinking about all this for a while now, and it’s a great relief to put it all down.

Opera is now Free!

I always have the utmost love for Opera, and this move of them to remove the banner ads usually found on the free versions of Opera is a smart one. In my opinion, Opera is more superior than whatever the Firefox and it’s anally inserted Extensions could ever hope for. And I personally detest the SpreadFirefox movement. I mean. WTF. Seeing the affiliate id in the link makes my blood boil. It’s like… ‘Yo spread Firefox and you can get stuff or something!’

The currs.

If you Firefox users decide to get uppity on me, just try moving your tabs from this current position to another.

Ha’ah I thought so.

Viva la Opera.

What in God’s green Earth? Nintendo Revolution Controller?

Well… That’s the craziest idea for a controller I’ve ever seen. Well say goodbye to normal games, sports games, fighting games, etc. But hey, that means you can say hi to new games, new concepts in controlling games we know and love. Imagine controlling Metroid with that thing. ANd gasp. Lightsaber games! Woo!

iPod nano. Ok. Apple, you got me this time.

iPod nano

That is one hot piece of hardware. I admit that. I admit that. But… but! But, I won’t see myself getting one. I’d be ok if someone given it to me, but I just don’t see myself getting one. I mean, the 4G iPod is a bit more expensive and it has 20GBs of storage. Bad deal to get a ‘too slim’ device.

But now onto something more interesting. Some Japanese enterprising hardware hackers have been dissecting the thing to see the innards this sexy beast. And the most compelling piece of information is that the memory used is Samsung flash memory.

Some Korean MP3 player manufacturers are apparently getting all uppity because Samsung has been supplying Apple with a super discount on memory amounting of up to 50% in some cases. Which is understandable, as Samsung is of course a Korean company.

You can find more pictures of the packaging the guts of the nano on this translated page.

While the introduction of the nano gets rave reviews, some iPod lovers are quietly mourning the passing away of the iPod Mini, as it was effectively killed off to not give any semblance of competition to the nano. Engadget has a story on the iPod lineage, with the article titled “The iPod family cemetary“.

KDDI Talby

With all this talk of the nano being thin and all, I vaguely remembered a phone released by KDDI of Japan titled the KDDI Talby. Part of the ‘au design project’ commisioned by KDDI, they had famous designers design these wonderful, functional phones, and the one that caught my eye was the Talby that was thin by comparison with other phones out there currently out in the market.

More info here of the Talby. Click on the orange English link and you can find more phones there like the INFOBAR, W11K and PENCK at the top, and you can go to the main site to find more phones under the ‘au design project’.

Q&A With MDA IV aka HTC Universal

Excerpt:

Can you attach a hard drive to it via WM5.0’s USB on the Go support?

Yup.

OH HELL YEAH!

Oh. Price? It’s selling now at £664.95 or around BND$ 2,048.04.

DST coming out with $10 Easi Cards. Too Little, Too Late.

It seems like they’re so scared of bmobile’s well-received 3G mobile service, that they seem to be doing anything to stop the outflow of customer’s… well (knowing DST) short off actually giving something what the customer really wants. Like cheaper SMS rates. Or cheaper call rates. But no… They just lowered international rates, which no one rarely uses anyway. No lowering of MMS rates. No introduction of new features (No call waiting? No call diverts? What’s up with that?). Nothing spectacularly mind blowing that would actually stop customers from migrating over to bmobile.

One thing that Bruneians do is that they would sell their babies, their body parts, their everything to get the latest and greatest phones here. So the progression of GSM phones to newer, more expensive 3G phones is a no brainer. That means there’s no question of them not getting a 3G service. Hell, a quick rummage through bmobile’s site shows an actual improvement of rates. I’m sure they’re just undercutting DST, but it’s a subsidiary of JTB here. They’d get out of their way to charge more for a service to screw a customer over. But in this case they didn’t. The prepaid service is cheaper than DST. The postpaid service is also better than DST. Hell for the kind of money people pay for DST’s post paid service, they can get unlimited calls on bmobile. All for BND$168! How kick ass is that? Even the Mid plan is good enough, with 3000 free minutes, and tons of free SMS for $58. And remember, you don’t just get plain vanilla voice calls here. Video calls! VIDEO CALLS!!!

Man. I kinda feel sorry for DST. But at the same time, I’m rubbing my hands together, laughing sneakishly at their current misfortune. But time will tell what being pushed to a corner would make a company do.

(Oh. bmobile? After this glowing review… shouldn’t I get something? A phone maybe?)

SD + USB. Again.

Well it’s a silly article really. There has been other companies making the same thing, so they’re a bit too late in the inventive department. But it’s a fresh idea really. At least there’s no hinges to lose. Just… the… plastic… bit…