QR Codes 101: Make Links to Your Website from Anywhere

If you’re still wondering what those funny black-and-white squares are, here’s an introduction. QR codes are an increasingly-popular way of converting data like website addresses into a form that can be scanned. Thus, users can go to a website without having to type in the address.

Come Talk With Us About the Open-Source Enterprise

The promise of a completely open-source enterprise is near, but the nagging question remains: Will it work as a business for the technology industry? On Sept. 29, about 75 entrepreneurs, executives and investors will gather at the GigaOM San Francisco offices to discuss that very question.

ConveyThis for Android: Simple Translator in Your Phone

Travelers know that trips abroad can go much smoother when you can convey your needs in the local language. Phrase books have been popular for years but an electronic version that sits in your phone would be just the ticket. ConveyThis, which offers simple translation into 40 languages, has just been released for the Android (s GOOG) platform.

The free program offers on-the-go translation of simple words and phrases. The translated phrase appears on the screen and can be played in audio with the tap of a button. Having a translator in your pocket can turn a difficult situation into a good one and the program is free, so trying it out is simple.


Why T-Mobile’s BlackBerry Curve 8900 is Worth Buying

It’s been almost a month since I broke up with my iPhone and switched to the new T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900. And while I sometimes yearn for my iPhone’s awesome sleekness and its admirable browser, the new BlackBerry Curve is proving to be a worthy and admirable replacement. Instead of boring you with details about the innards of the device, let me stay focused on what matters most to typical BlackBerry owners: usability.

Facebook Was Made for the iPhone

It’s been about five days since I ditched my iPhone (s aapl) and made the BlackBerry Curve 8900 (s rimm) my primary device. There are many things I miss about the iPhone, such as surfing the Internet with a full-blown browser. More importantly, I miss Facebook Mobile. And I am missing it even more on the road, since I’m trying to limit my computer usage while on this trip.

The Facebook for iPhone app allowed me to get through a whole lot of stuff really really fast. It was easy to click and upload photos, approve friends, respond to events and send short messages. I constantly changed my status and, most importantly, enjoyed checking out photos of my friends.

The Facebook for BlackBerry app allows me to do all of those things, too, just not nearly as easily. While one would think that a full keyboard would make things better, the app is challenging to use (other than, admittedly, answering messages, which is actually much faster — but that’s about it). It’s like driving around a sleek Aston Martin (Facebook Mobile on iPhone) for a year, only to have it replaced by a Honda (Facebook on BlackBerry).

Related Post: Why Facebook’s Future Is Mobile

The Standalone Kindle Won’t Stand Alone for Long

amazon-kindle-21Amazon (s AMZN) unleashed its second-generation Kindle device as expected today, and it doesn’t fail to please in the looks and specs department. There’s seven times more memory, advanced eInk capabilities for 16-color grayscale and faster page refreshing, plus an updated design that addresses some of the original Kindle’s shortcomings. The device even reads text aloud. You can now pre-order the $359 device, which starts shipping on Feb. 24.

While I have no doubt the new device will attract some who passed on the first one, I still have to wonder if there’s room for a standalone device whose main strength is tied to a single wireless carrier. Read More about The Standalone Kindle Won’t Stand Alone for Long

Save Music — Disconnect the Internet!

If I believe the music industry, the Internet and ISPs enable illegal downloads and that has singularly led to the downfall of the music business. Given these apparent facts, I am doing a political flip-flop and will actively support proposals to have governments force ISPs to disconnect users suspected of downloading illegal content. I love listening to music and apparently there is no other way to save it. Right?