LGK500 – LG’s luscious mobile offering
At first sight the LGK500 looks like an iPhone copycat. However, after deeper inspection, this is far from the case. The user interface is almost totally through the touch screen, unlike the iPhone. It also isn’t a super high range handset – although it still packs in all the essentials such as Bluetooth, 3,2 megapixel camera, memory card slot, FM radio and wireless connectivity, all for a reasonably affordable price.
It does lack in the 3G department though; it uses standard GPRS and EDGE which are comparable to dial up internet speeds. I really did enjoy its desktop orientated interface which allows one to place widgets on the desktop, such as to-do lists, memos and clocks.
The LGK500 also comes with multiple desktops. When switched, the desktop images rotate like a cube, much like desktops available with Linux operating systems. The phone is slightly smaller and more compact than the iPhone, with an impressive 12mm thickness. It makes for an ergonomic handset that does not bulge in the wrong places.
As I mentioned, it’s not quite as smart as its HTC and Apple counterparts, but it does pack a punch in terms of price vs. capabilities. The user interface is intuitive and the display is impressive: the handset displays 256 thousand colours at a decent resolution of 240×400 pixels. It is also capable of handwriting recognition and rotation detection. The LGK500 is a perfect handset for anyone looking for a mobile device that isn’t bloated with unused features and is easy and attractive to use. The recommended retail price is R 2,789.
Hunch.com – The rock, paper and scissors of the 21st century
Have you ever had a decision that was close to impossible to make? Hunch.com is a new online service and social network which aims to remove the rock, paper and scissors from decision making. The Hunch.com service is based on a complex algorithm currently being refined. Hunch.com learns a user’s preferences and personality by initially asking a set of multiple choice questions on sign up and by aggregating the future decisions entered into the site. The site’s founders claim that: “In 10 questions or less, Hunch will offer you a great solution to your problem, concern or dilemma, on hundreds of topics.”
They add that “Hunch is designed so that every time it’s used, it learns something new. That means Hunch’s hunches are always getting better.” The intention, in essence, is that that the system will become increasingly accurate the more it is used. “It may not be awesome yet – a lot of people have to contribute to it before it knows much of anything,” say its creators.
According to Hunch.com I should get a tattoo, stick with my current style of underwear and, because I am not a bow-tie person, I should wear ties. I suppose one should take these results with a pinch of salt; basing your life on what a website says could be dangerous. On the upside though it is fun and does provide food for thought. Check it out at www.hunch.com.
HTC Android – A new mobile computing standard
Haven’t heard of Android? It’s the new open source mobile phone operating system based on Linux, initially developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. First conceived in 2007, it has finally reached a sufficiently stable stage to now be used in commercial production. The Android platform, seeing as it is based closely on a existing computer operating system, is pretty much capable of anything a standard pc is capable of doing.
What makes it sweeter is that since it is open source, you are able to legally (if you know how) to modify and enhance your device to your needs. Open source software is generally developed faster and is more stable than proprietary software, since it is a community effort. HTC, a leading mobile phone manufacturer in partnership with Vodacom will be launching South Africa’s second android based mobile handset titled the HTC Magic.
The HTC Magic is aesthetically well designed, it comes packed with an array of features, such as HSDPA, 512mb RAM, Memory Card Slot, 3.2 megapixel camera, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, usb support and tons of Google services support, such as Google Talk, Gmail, Google maps and more. What makes this gadget sweeter is its open source Linux heart; truly a handset geared for the future of mobile computing.
Based on Vodacom’s phone comparing data, the HTC Magic offers the ground-breaking iPhone a run for its money – with its features surpassing many of the iPhone’s capabilities. The HTC Magic is available to both contract and prepaid subscribers on the Vodacom network. The recommended retail price is R 8,269.
Firefox 3.5 – see the web again
This month saw the launch of Firefox version 3.5 – Internet Explorer’s biggest competitor. The Firefox web browser still firmly claims second place within the browser domain and the latest release innovates again. Remember when Internet explorer came along with its tabbed browser? That has been a Firefox feature since 2003. The Firefox browser boasts many attributes which sets it apart from its competitor such as impressive web page rendering speed, incredible security and extendibility. The features worth mentioning on the latest release are the new html5 capabilities, which enhance online media services. In short the browser is now capable of displaying many types of video inline with website content without the need for sluggish flash plug-ins. This opens door to richer and more entertaining websites and services.
Another notable feature is Firefox’s browsing history management. One is now able to delete history very selectively. For example, one can delete the past hour of all browsing history, erase any trace of a particular visited site, or browse in private mode, in which no history or information is saved. As a web developer, Firefox is, in my opinion, the most pleasant browser to use as it fully complies with internet standards. I also have peace of mind that the browser is quite capable of protecting my pc from most unwanted intrusions. Download it for free at www.firefox.com.
Meet Bing – the Google Killer?
There’s been much hype about the recent launch of Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, which is said to have market-leader Google in its sights. Some Microsoft critics aren’t that impressed, claiming that Bing is largely a renamed version of Microsoft’s previous Live Search.
The company, however, insists that Bing is a vast improvement on its previous service and existing engines in that it organises search results in a much more logical manner. As such, Microsoft prefers to call Bing a “Decision Engine” rather than a search engine. It says that it has done comprehensive research in how people use search engines in order to offer a more user-friendly and flexible engine.
Bing certainly sounds catchier than Live Search but, despite its much-touted new features, it will take a great deal to unseat Google from the search engine thron