Smartphone Sales Explosion Predicted For 2011

Currently smartphones make up approximately one-third of all phones used in the U.S., with usage in other countries lower than 10%. But this may all start to change as we enter into 2011, which promises smartphones priced at under $100 and possibly as low as $75. Before you run down to your local retailer to get one of these cheap phones, it may not be for another 3 to 6 months before these phones become a reality. Smartphone sales have increased from 173M in 2009 to an estimated 269M for 2010.

The big news is that sales for 2011 could surpass 500M smartphones worldwide, when the new smartphones hit the street mid-year. These new smartphones will host a dual core ARM processor, Bluetooth, GPS, 5-megapixel camera and will use the Google Android operating system. Android is the ideal candidate for these low-cost smartphones with chips coming to us from Broadcom.

Currently Android activations top at about 300K activations a day. When these new smartphones hit the market, that number could increase dramatically. In one recent article it stated that:

“How cheap smartphones change the American cell phone market

Perhaps more importantly, at $100, many first-world shoppers will forgo the subsidized two-year contracts and instead choose month to month plans. That price point takes the power away from the carriers. If T-Mobile is having a special and I can just take my AT&T phone over without being hit with early termination fees, the carriers are much more likely to compete for customers.

Consumers used to feature phone monthly costs of $30/month may even opt to forgo wireless data altogether, instead choosing to use the smartphone’s built-in WiFi radio to surf near-ubiquitous WiFi in homes, at work and about town. To entice low-end smartphone users away from just using WiFi, carriers will have to make affordable data plans.

Cheap smartphones could change the way carriers price contracts here in the U.S.”

What is also being predicted for 2011 is that smartphone sales could surpass the sale of computers for the first time. As more people turn to mobile devices to meet their computing needs, the box computer or laptop could become an antique in a few years. These inexpensive smartphones could also eliminate the subsidy that phone carriers pass on with higher fees and could actually benefit the consumer with cheaper cell plans in the near future.

Here is a question that many of us will be asking ourselves in 2011. Is it time to make the switch and dump our old dumb phones?

What will your answer be?

Comments welcome.

Source – Fortune

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Rescued Chilean Miners To Get Apple iPods – They Can Jam To Tunes While They Jog

The world has watched as 33 Chilean miners were rescued after spending an incredible 69 days trapped in a mine. The miners have received celebrity status and could be in line for book deals, a movie and have received $10,000 from a local singer turned businessman. It has also been reported that Steve Jobs has given each of the rescued miners Apple iPods.

In a recent article it also stated that:

The events that unfolded in Chile, while traumatic for those who were trapped, has ended with the best possible outcome. All 33 miners have made it safely back to the surface after the nightmare that will surely go down as one of the greatest rescues of all time.

I am sure that these men will want to go jogging and jam to tunes after being trapped in a mine for over 2 months. The one miner who may find the iPod useful was the one who was met by his mistress while his wife stayed home. He will need the iPod to block out the sounds he will be hearing when he gets home. LOL.

Comments welcome.

Source –

“All the 3D at the show had one thing in common: It’s lousy.” Is It Really That Bad?

We are going to be entering into an era, where the television manufactures are going to try to convince us that 3D is going to be the next big thing. At a recent electronics show held in Berlin,  the largest televisions companies showed off their latest offerings of 3D devices. There were 3D games, 3D Blu-Ray players, 3D broadcasts, 3D LCD sets, 3D plasmas plus 3D projectors. But one reviewer from Technologizer made an interesting observation and in his review stated:

All the 3D at the show had one thing in common: It’s lousy.

But he went on to say that not all of what he say was equally lousy:

I’m not saying it’s all equally lousy: Some of it (especially at Panasonic’s booth) was at least somewhat better than I expected. Much of it was unusually blurry–some of the sets that required glasses looked only slightly better than Fraunhofer’s no-specs technology  demo. None of it rose to the level of being good, and I came away thinking that the level of hoopla was bizarre given the lackluster products being hyped.

3D TV occupies so much IFA real estate because the electronics industry thinks that teeming masses of people are going to be willing to buy new TVs and don uncomfortable, expensive glasses in order to watch three-dimensional content. I think consumers are smarter than that. I think will prove to be a fad–or, at least, a mistake.

As a medium, 3D remains remarkably self-trivializing. Virtually nobody who works with it can resist thrusting stuff at the camera, just to make clear to viewers that they’re experiencing the miracle of the third dimension. When Lang Lang banged away at his piano during Sony’s event, a cameraman zoomed in and out on the musical instrument for no apparent reason, and one of the company’s representatives kept robotically shoving his hands forward. Hey, it’s 3D–watch this!

But there was this one statement that I personally believes says it all:

The more  3D TV I saw at the show, the more irritating it all got. I’ve been writing about technology for twenty years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an alleged Next Big Thing that’s left me so cold.

The one thing we all need to remember is that 3D has been around for some 60 years. It never really took off before. Why is it going to take off now? Next, it is going to come down to economics. I personally not going to throw out my 2D plasma HDTV’s to buy 3D, when these sets I bought are only about 3 years old. I don’t care if 3D HDTV sets serve me breakfast in bed. I just don’t have the interest. I am enjoying 2D HDTV very much and believe it puts SD to shame. Just my two cents.

Comments welcome.

Source – Technologizer

Does Journalism Need To Be Reinvented? Only If You Want To Pay More Taxes!

The FCC is looking into several ways to bail out newspapers in the U.S., including additional taxation. According to a recent survey from Rasmussen Reports, 84% of people surveyed rejected a proposed 3% tax on monthly cell phone bills to raise an estimated $3B to help struggling newspapers.  In addition another survey indicated that 74% of those questioned rejected a 5% tax on consumer electronic goods such as the Kindle, iPads, and computers to bail out the newspapers and journalists.

On the Rasmussen site it also states that:

One of the FTC’s central concerns is that the quality of local news reporting is suffering as financially struggling newspapers tighten their belts. Yet while Americans continue to see their local newspapers as more reliable than online news sources, they also have consistently questioned government assistance to keep those papers in business.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans are confident that online and other news sources will make up the difference if many newspapers go out business.

Is this just another example of greedy newspaper moguls crying in their beer and hoping to get a sympathetic bailout from Washington? Do we as a nation intend to bail out every industry that hits on hard times? If BP has to file bankruptcy will we bail them out as well?

When is this insanity going to end?

Comments welcome.

Source – Rasmussen Reports

No More Taxes On Cell Phones!

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Plasma vs LCD HDTV – And The Winner Is?

It seems at least once a year or so, we need a new lesson on the differences between plasma HDTV and LCD HDTV.  The folks over at PC World have completed a fairly accurate article and have described the basic benefits and  disadvantages to both technologies. Yes, there are good and bad features to both types of HDTVs, which could make your purchase decision difficult if you don’t do your homework first. It is actually fairly simple to understand, if you just consider the basics.

One of the best things that the article pointed out was how  buzz words such as refresh rate and contrast ratios need to be considered, but not be worth the higher cost. In fact, the reviewers at PC World pointed out that, while the benefits between 60Hz and 120Hz were noticeable, they felt that going to 240Hz may not be worth the additional cost. Next, when it comes to contrast ratios, this seemed to be something that HDTV manufacturers made a big thing about, but that this wasn’t that important for most HDTVs.

So what should you buy: plasma or HDTV?

Plasma HDTVs use more energy, so if you live in an area with high electric rates, you want to take this into consideration. Most consider that the plasma picture is better than a LCD, but that is purely personal taste, IMHO. You will get a better picture from a plasma set when viewed from most any angle.

LCD HDTVs are currently the most popular sets on the market. They are energy efficient and provide a very good picture. The only downside is that, when viewing from an angle, the picture may appear washed out.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the new plasmas or LCDs.

For the people who already own an HDTV or two, what brand are you using and why? Also, is it an LCD, plasma, or DLP? Most important, would you buy the same HDTV again? Share your experience with us.

Comments welcome.

Source – PC World

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Use Straight Quotes Instead Of Curly Quotes In Word 2007

When you add quotation marks, Word 2007 can automatically change them from straight quotes to curly quotes (referred to as smart quotes). If you prefer to use straight quotes, you can easily prevent Word from changing them.

To accomplish this in Word 2007:

  1. Within Word, click the Microsoft Office Button.
  2. Click Word Options.
  3. Click Proofing and then click AutoCorrect Options.
  4. Click the AutoFormat as you type tab.
  5. Under Replace as you type, click the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” option.
  6. Click OK.

Picking Private Apart

During his speech on the final day of CES, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that users no longer have an expectation of privacy. Mark said that privacy is no longer the “social norm,” and that we are seeing drastic changes in people’s attitudes towards that privacy. Privacy issues online have always been of great concern to most people, but that no longer seems to be the case. Says Zuckerberg: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

This raises a lot of interesting questions, especially in my line of work. We have quite a large community. Granted, we don’t have as many users as does Facebook or Twitter, but I like to think we’re a large group! Reading through our various sites, I can’t help but notice how right Mark is. People aren’t hiding things as much as they used to. They aren’t as careful as they might have been even last year.

Are people more comfortable with revealing information about themselves online? Or, as I fear, are too many people simply unaware of what can happen when they reveal too much? Identity theft isn’t the only concern… marketers can be quite aggressive once they find information about you online. Where should you draw the line when posting things in a place such as Geeks or Lockergnome?

Yours digitally,

Chris Pirillo
@ Twitter
@ Facebook

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Lockergnome, now is your chance!

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Which device has the best screen: iPhone, Droid, or Nexus One?

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Conventional Futurism

At the time of this writing, Traci Toguchi is on-scene at CES 2010, capturing moments for us to use in our community. If you’ve never been to CES, it can be very overwhelming. There are a lot of product launches, press releases, and announcements coming at your from every direction. There are parties and after-parties. There are demonstrations, keynotes, and sessions to attend. It’s nearly impossible to know if you’re missing something.

Traci is doing a fantastic job for us so far, despite this being her first time at CES. She was able to interview the CTO of Light Blue Optics to talk about their hot new product, the Light Touch. Everywhere you look online, you’re going to find even more news from the conference. There are videos galore to sift through, as well as news items to read.

If you’re following the action, what do you feel is the most important announcement thus far? What gadgets are you most excited about? I’m interested in comparing everyone’s answers to my own thoughts.

Yours digitally,

Chris Pirillo
@ Twitter
@ Facebook

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Prevent Format Hyphens As En Dashes And Em Dashes In Word 2007

When you type two dashes in Word (–) that are preceded by a space, Word automatically changes the two dashes to an en dash (–). When you type two dashes that are not preceded by a space, Word automatically changes the two dashes to an em dash (—).

You can prevent Word from formatting hyphens as en and em dashes by disabling this feature. To do so in Word 2007:

  1. Within Word, click the Microsoft Office button.
  2. Click Proofing.
  3. Click AutoCorrect Options.
  4. Click the AutoFormat as you type tab.
  5. Click the Hyphens (–) with dash (–) option.
  6. Click OK.

Change The AutoRecover Directory In Word 2007

As you are working on your document, Word automatically saves a temporary copy of it in the event that you run into computer problems. This is referred to as AutoRecover.

When Word saves an AutoRecover file, it is saved in the same directory as the original document. You can have Word save your AutoRecover files to a specific location. This requires you to modify the AutoRecover location as outlined below.

  1. Within Word, click the Microsoft Office button.
  2. Click Word Options.
  3. The Word Options window appears. Click the Save option.
  4. In the AutoRecover File Location box, type in the path to the folder in which you want to autorecover files saved.
  5. Click OK.

Create A Radial List In Word 2007

A radial list shows all the parts that come together to form a main idea. If you use Word 2007, you can create a radial list using a SmartArt graphic as described below.

  1. Open Word 2007.
  2. From the Insert tab, within the Illustrations group, click Smart Art.
  3. Within the Choose a SmartArt Graphic gallery, click Relationship and then double click Radial List.
  4. If you want to add a picture in the central circle, click the picture icon, select the image you want to use and click Insert.
  5. If you want to add text, click [Text] and type in the appropriate text. Alternatively, click in a circle in the Smart Art Graphic and type in the text.

After you create a radial list, you can easily add additional circles to the list using the following steps:

  1. Click the SmartArt Graphic to which you want to add an additional circle.
  2. Click the existing circle that is closest to where you want to add a new circle.
  3. Under the SmartArt Tools, from the Design tab, within the Create Graphic group, click the arrow under Add Shape.
  4. Select either Add Shape Before or Add Shape After.

Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 For $79.99 Until Midnight, November 30th, 2009!

There should be an image here!I got an email from my friend Rick Gardiner yesterday that I figured might be prudent to share with my fellow Gnomies who might be looking for some online Black Friday deals (for themselves or someone else):

Hi Chris,

Happy Turkey Day! Last minute I know (and sorry to email you on Thanksgiving), but we are selling Microsoft Office 2007 Home & Student for $79.95 (reg. $149.95). This program is running from 11/26 12:01 AM PT (Thanksgiving Day!) through 11/30 11:59 PM PT and will run until funds have run out.

Black Friday Deal: Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 for only $79.99 (Usually $149.95). Hurry, offer valid from 11/26/09 through 11/30/09! – Download Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 today, at a $70 savings!

CE Pro

There should be an image here!CE Pro (Custom Electronics Professionals) magazine is the key resource for custom electronics professionals.

It helps dealers and installers stay current on products, understand technology and run profitable businesses. Each issue contains articles to help your business grow, adding insight to home networking, whole-house automation, digital media, distributed audio and video, home theater, lighting control, structured wiring, energy management and security.

Get your free subscription to CE Pro today!

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Circuit City Deals Through November 22nd, 2008

There should be an image here!First, here’s a heads up on some Circuit City deals that won’t be around for very long:

Also around for only a limited time, here are some outrageous deals good from now until Saturday, November 22nd:

  • Save up to $100 all hard drive camcorders on sale
  • Save up to $300 on laptops
  • Save up to $30 on networking
  • Save up to 46% on Kodak memory cards
  • Save up to 20% on digital cameras
  • Save up to 20% on refurbished GPS
  • Save up to 10% all TVs $799 and up on sale
  • Desktops starting at $329.99
  • iPod nanos starting at $146.99
  • GPS starting at $129.99Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates

    Order by these dates in order to have by Christmas:

    Free shipping – 12/19 (basic, standard and 3-day shipping)
    Toys free shipping – 12/16 (These are shipped direct from the vendor)

    2-day shipping – 12/22
    1-day shipping 12/23

    Toys 2-day shipping – 12/17
    Toys 1-day shipping – 12/18

    And, as always, there’s free shipping on orders $24 and up!