By End of 2010, San Francisco Will Have SuperFast Wireless

For the longest time, San Francisco has been a bit of a laggard when it comes to wireless broadband. That is going to change as by end of 2010 city will have access to two 4G LTE networks, a HSPA+ 3.5G network and a WiMAX-based network.

Meet Sherpa, the Hottest Android App

sherpascreenshots.pngSherpa, a location-based services application developed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup Geodelic, is among the fastest-growing applications for Google’s Android. In the past week, the company claims that it has seen 50,000 downloads from the Android market. The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, which launched earlier today, has been providing the impetus for growth.
Nearly 4,500 copies of the app were downloaded today alone. Sherpa, as we’ve previously explained, constantly learns your favorite locations and starts to aggregate them. The more you use the application, the smarter it gets, thereby serving up location information that’s unique to you. Read More about Meet Sherpa, the Hottest Android App

T-Mobile’s MyTouch Worth the Wait

156012.jpgVisitors to Google’s (s goog) I/O conference earlier this year received a surprise gift: a new touchscreen Google phone made by HTC. The svelte gadget is the second major Google Android device on the market, and sometime in August, you’ll be able to buy one from T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile is going to sell it for $199 with a two-year contract. Sure, you can buy the new iPhone 3G S, but in case you don’t care much for either the iPhone or the network it runs on, I think the new Android phone might actually be worth the wait.

T-Mobile is calling this 3G handset (with built-in Wi-Fi), myTouch, not exactly the most original or mellifluous name, but from a device standpoint, it is a worthy smartphone. I’ve had the one given out by Google for a few weeks now, and I have found it to be a very worthy competitor to current smartphone champions. I’ve been using it in tandem with my BlackBerry Curve 2. The best part I like about this device: its sleek,¬†lightweight¬†design and how unobtrusively it slips into a top shirt pocket. Read More about T-Mobile’s MyTouch Worth the Wait

Mobile Data Growth Boosting Backhaul Demand

ms09_mbk_2h08_chartThanks to the emergence of superphones like the iPhone (s aapl), the BlackBerry Bold (s rimm) and the T-Mobile G-1, we have seen a steady increase in the demand for mobile data services. The easy availability of popular web services such as Facebook and Google Mail (s goog) on higher-end feature phones has only helped boost the demand for mobile data. And such demand has helped carriers overcome stagnating voice- and text-related revenues, especially in the U.S., as the quarterly results of major phone companies show.

Cole Brodman, chief technology office of T-Mobile USA, in a recent GigaOM interview said that the company is currently providing 6 Mbps per site. “Tomorrow I think the first steps are going to be something more like 20-25Mbps, quickly followed by 50Mbps, and eventually getting to 100Mbps-plus,” he said. T-Mobile isn’t alone in its scramble to bulk up the backhaul as according to some forecasts, there will be more than a billion mobile broadband phone subscribers by end of 2010. Read More about Mobile Data Growth Boosting Backhaul Demand

Running QuickBooks for Windows on Your Mac

quickbookswindows

QuickBooks is one of those key business applications that many people who are considering a switch to the Mac are worried about leaving behind. While QuickBooks 2009 for Mac might be the perfect answer for many, others do not want to give up some of the key features of the Windows version.

Intuit provides a list of key differences, and I think the most important ones are the industry-specific editions of QuickBooks Premier, multi-user access, and the ability to create an Accountant’s Copy of your company file. If you need any of those features, then you’ll want to continue to run the Windows version of QuickBooks.

Fortunately, there are several good methods to accomplish this feat that won’t break the bank or leave you pulling your hair out. Just remember that you are still running Windows (with one exception pointed out below). You will need to make sure that you are protected from viruses and spyware. You might be tempted to turn off networking entirely to avoid the anti-virus tax, but QuickBooks receives frequent updates over the Internet and many people use the DirectConnect features to pull down their financial statements through the intertubes as well.
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Santa Brought Googlers Unlocked G-1 Phones

Whether the (unofficial) Google Phone, a.k.a. the T-Mobile G-1, is going to set sales records or not, remains to be seen. But Google (s GOOG) is doing its part. My source says that on Friday, the Mountain View, Calif.-based search and online advertising company gave away a special unlocked version of the Android-powered G-1 device (with an Android logo etched on its back) to its employees. It’s nice for more people to get familiar with a device that represents a big part of the company’s future. In related news, there has been some talk about a new G-2 version of the device. (Related Post: What I Love & Hate About T-Mobile G-1.)

The Mobile Linux War

A recent report from ABI Research highlights the rise of mobile Linux, estimating that 23 percent of the world’s smartphones will have a Linux operating system by 2013. It appears that much of that growth will come at the expense of Nokia’s Symbian, and that LiMo and Android will be the main beneficiaries. What the report doesn’t note is that last year ABI predicted that 31 percent of smartphones will have Linux by 2012.

Either there’s something to explain the change in numbers, or we should perhaps take our analyst reports with a grain of salt. However, Linux is undoubtedly moving fast: 15 handsets were launched earlier this year with LiMo, and after several demos and prototypes, anticipation for the Android is running high. But the jury is still out on which framework will win out with carriers and application developers.

LiMo has the backing of NEC, Motorola and Samsung as well as SK Telecom and Verizon. Android, through the Open Handset Alliance, has T-Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, China Telecom, Telefonica, Google and several others. The stated goal behind both efforts is to eliminate some of the costs associated with developing mobile applications for multiple operating systems by using open source. It’s a laudable goal, but the fight between the two for market share demonstrates how hard it will be to lower costs, as developers will still have to build for multiple platforms.

photo courtesy of the LiMo Foundation and NTT DoCoMo

Qualcomm Backs Femtocell Maker, ip.access

With an undisclosed investment in femtocell company ip.access, Qualcomm is raising the profile of the nascent market. Femtocells are tiny base stations that connect to a consumer’s existing broadband connection to improve cellular reception in a home or office. Carriers such as Sprint, Orange and TMobile are all deploying or have plans to deploy femtocells. Carriers (in most cases) like femtocells for their ability to improve coverage without requiring network build-outs in rural areas and to offload users from increasingly strained 3G networks.

Qualcomm’s backing is noteworthy because it has hinted that it will develop a femtocell chip of its own and also because CEO Paul Jacobson had previously cast doubts on the technology saying interference from femtocells could cause problems for other home networking equipment. With this investment, perhaps Qualcomm intends to solve those problems and reap the rewards of a growing market.

In another indication of the market’s growing maturity, today the Femto Forum said it has come up with a standard that will make femotocells interoperable with a variety of carrier equipment and gateways. That means carriers may feel more comfortable trialling the devices without being locked in with one vendor. However, the resulting standard is likely to force equipment makers such as ip.access, UbiquiSys and Alcatel-Lucent to revamp their existing equipment. So it’s a good thing ip.access has deep pockets behind it.

Securing the Network’s Edge

Acme Packet on Tuesday said it is testing its secure session border control product, with the goal of deploying it in Europe and America before the end of the year, highlighting the growing interest in helping carriers secure and manage the edge of their networks. It joins Stoke, NextPoint Networks (created by the merger of NexTone and ReefPoint) and Starnet Networks in providing equipment that manages and secures data when a call or data session hops from a secure network to one that isn’t.

As handsets come equipped to offload calls and data transfer from cellular networks to Wi-Fi, WiMax or femtocells plugged into a broadband connection, and as more carriers offer such services themselves, managing and securing the transitions from network to network becomes more important. At the moment it’s not a huge issue, but as European and rural carriers in other parts of the world deploy and promise to support femtocells (TMobile and Sprint are looking into it here), using jerry-rigged Cisco boxes won’t cut it.

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