Archive for June 2011

First Look: Nokia N9

Nokia announced the Nokia N9 at Nokia Connections 2011. This is the first Nokia phone running MeeGo Operating System.

The industrial design of the Nokia N9 is an example of extreme product making and craft. The body is precision-machined from a single piece of polycarbonate and flows seamlessly into beautiful curved glass. The laminated deep black display means that the user interface just floats on the surface of the product.

There’s no home button on the front of the phone. On the side, there’s volume control button and power button. To unlock the phone, you can either press and hold the power button or double tap the screen and swipe upwards from the bottom edge of the phone.

The N9 makes use of swiping from the edge of the phone gesture to switch from application to the home screen. Seems like more and more devices are using this type of gesture for navigation. The 3.9-inch AMOLED screen is made from scratch–resistant curved glass. The curved glass make swiping on the screen very smooth and natural.

The Nokia N9 will be the first Nokia phone with Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. Nokia is also launching speakers and headset with NFC. The NFC is used for pairing. After pairing, audio is transferred using Bluetooth. This is a great implementation of NFC. One of the biggest problem with Bluetooth is pairing of devices. With NFC, pairing of devices will be a piece of cake.

The Nokia N9 has a 1GHz processor. Comes with 16GB and 64GB option. There’s a 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with wide-angle lens, HD-quality video capture and large lens aperture that is great for low lighting conditions. There is also a front facing camera on the bottom right hand corner of the N9.

Surprisingly, the Nokia N9 uses MicroSIM card like the iPhone 4 and iPad.

The Nokia N9 comes in black, cyan, and magenta. Will be available later this year

First Look: BlackBerry Bold 9900

Managed to get a sneak peak at the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9900. The Bold series is RIM’s flagship model and the Bold 9900 certainly live up to expectation.

The Bold 9900 is the slimmest BlackBerry ever with just 10.5 mm thick. It has a beautiful and elegant forged, machined stainless steel frame. It has a 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen. (640×480 resolution, 16 million colours and 287 ppi) 1.2GHz processor with 8GB memory. 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video recording.

The Bold 9900 is the first BlackBerry phone that comes with Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. This is great as we are expecting more and more new phones with NFC chip. Hopefully we will see more services using NFC. I understand that RIM haven’t release the NFC API to the developers. I guess the developers are dying to get their hands on the API so that they can jump on the bandwagon first.

One thing I love about the Bold 9900 is the wide keyboard. The keyboard on the Bold 9900 is much more generous than the keyboard on the BlackBerry Torch and Bold 2. It feels very comfortable when typing on the keyboard.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the first BlackBerry phone to run OS 7. The look and feel of OS 7 is very similar to OS 6. I guess most of the changes are in the background like NFC support, improved performance, better web browser, voice search etc etc. Sadly, the older BlackBerry phones like Torch and Bold 9780 will not be getting the OS 7 upgrade.

There’s no exact launch date or pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 yet. Expect it to be out sometime this year.

PS: This is a very early first look. Some of the things here might change as we approach the actual launch date.

Tourism Malaysia spent RM1,758,432 on six Facebook pages

I was shocked when I saw the article on Marketing Interactive. Tourism Malaysia spent RM1,758,432 on six Facebook pages. When you convert that to Singapore Dollar, that’s roughly S$714,566. Which translate to roughly S$119k per page.

Wow!

Here’s the name of the 6 Facebook page by Tourism Malaysia. Strangely, I could only find 2 of them on Facebook.

Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia
Citrawarna 1Malaysia
Karnival Jualan Mega 1Malaysia and Karnival Jualan Akhir Tahun
Festival Pelancongan Seni Kontemporari 1Malaysia
Kempen 1Malaysia Bersih, 1Malaysia
Fabulous Food 1Malaysia

S$119k is quite a huge amount for Facebook Page. At first I thought maybe they did really fanciful stuff on the Facebook page. But I was wrong. There’s nothing fanciful. I’m managing my company’s Facebook page. I’m pretty sure those things don’t cost $119k.

I totally disagree with the saying that a six-year-old can start a Facebook page and it shouldn’t cost a single cent. You need to pay developers to write Facebook Apps. You need graphic designers for pictures. You need hire people to manage your Facebook page. You need to spend money on marketing. Facebook page can be created for free. But a free Facebook page might not be able to do what Tourism Malaysia needs.

But at the same time, the Facebook page shouldn’t cost S$119 per page. It is possible to spend S$119 on a Facebook Page. But if I throw S$119, I expect it to be much better that what we are seeing on Tourism Malaysia Facebook page now. Did someone overcharge Tourism Malaysia?

Tourism Malaysia tried to explain the RM1.8million budget by releasing a media statement on Tourism Malaysia Facebook page. Personally, I still don’t think it explains the cost. The things they do cost money. But certainly won’t cost so much.

Which makes me wonder…. which social media agency is behind this project?

Anyway, it’s none of my business since this is Malaysia’s internal affairs. Just find it sad that there are people paying so much for something that can be done for less than 1/2 the price they are paying.

Going to be an interesting week for Singapore Tech scene

This week is going to be an interesting week for Singapore Tech Scene. A lot of tech news and announcements are going to happen in Singapore.

For a Start, it’s CommunicAsia 2011.

Nokia will be returning to CommunicAsia after missing for 11 years. And they will be returning to CommunicAsia with a big bang. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, EVP Mobile Phones Mary T. McDowell and Senior VP, Developer & Marketplace Nokia Marco Argenti will be in town for Nokia Connection 2011. Expect Nokia to announce new products at Nokia Connection like they have been doing for the past few years in Singapore. I’m guessing we will be seeing Nokia’s new Windows Phone 7 and MeeGo phone. (or at least one of them)

Social gaming company Zynga will be at CommunicAsia for the first time. Zynga will be demonstrating their games including Hanging With Friends which was launched recently.

Research in Motion, the Canadian company that makes BlackBerry, will also be at CommunicAsia 2011. Expect to see the PlayBook and also the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9900 with OS 7.

Huawei will be showing their LTE technology at CommunicAsia. Perhaps we will also see their new MediaPad on the show floor.

This is the first year that CommunicAsia is going to be held at Marina Bay Sands. Broadcast-Asia will be held at Suntec City.

Although Sony Ericsson is not taking part in CommunicAsia 2011, they will be having a Global Media Launch event here in Singapore on Wednesday. Not sure what phone they are launching yet. Maybe the Xperia X10 Mini Pro 2 or the Xperia Duo that have been circulating rumor mills lately.

Besides CommunicAsia and the product launches, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be having the Second Public Meeting of the year this week. Many crucial issues that would be discussed by ICANN during the week long meeting in Singapore. Perhaps one of the most widely anticipated is the ICANN’s Board of Directors voting on whether to finalize the Applicant Guidebook for Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD). If the Board approves the Guidebook as final, it will path the way for gTLD and we should expect to see hundreds of gTLD by 2013. Wait a minute…. I thought ICANN has already approved gTLD long time ago. Hmmmmm…..

Anyway, it’s going to be a very interesting week for Singapore Tech scene. I’ll be attending Nokia Connection and Sony Ericsson launch this week. So keep a lookout for my twitter updates for the latest news.

All iPhone 4 and Beer lovers should get this

I love surfing Kickstarters. There’s always some interesting projects trying to get fundings whenever I visit the site.

So I was surfing Kickstarter just now when I stumble upon this. Opena – iPhone Bottle Opener Case.

Opena is a very simple product. You see, iPhone have tons of apps. Apple even has this slogan “There’s An App For That”. Indeed, there’s an App for almost everything EXCEPT an app for opening beer bottle. Well, you can’t open a beer bottle with iPhone App. So 2 guys from Australia came up with this idea of having a bottle opener iPhone 4 casing.

Isn’t that cool?!?! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

And hey, since there’s a iPhone 4 casing with a beer opener, why not create an App so that it makes some interesting sound when you open a bottle with Opena? Wouldn’t that be even more cool?

For those who are interested in getting the Opena, head down to the Kickstarter page now and pledge US$30 (+ US$10 for shipping outside US/Australia). Hurry!!!

Seriously, all iPhone 4 and Beer lovers should get this.