Archive for August 2011

RIM announce BlackBerry Curve 9360

RIM announced 3 new BlackBerry Curve running the latest BlackBerry 7 OS yesterday. The BlackBerry Curve 9350 is on CDMA, BlackBerry Curve 9360 is on GSM and BlackBerry 9370 is on CDMA & GSM.

We will most likely only see BlackBerry Curve 9360 in Singapore since all 3 telcos are using GSM network.

PS: I’ll just talk about the BlackBerry Curve 9360. But most of the things mentioned here should also apply to the 9350 and 9370 except for the network.

The Curve edition has always been the budget BlackBerry Phone. Although cheaper than the rest of the BlackBerry series, it is not short in features. The Curve 9360 has a 2.44 inch HVGA+ display capable of 480 x 360 pixel resolution at 246 ppi. 512MB on-board memory, expandable up to 32gB via microSD card. 5 Megapixel camera with VGA video recording. Standard stuff like WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS.

What surprised me was that RIM included NFC (Near Field Communications) on the BlackBerry Curve 9360. Most phone makers only put NFC on their high end model. It’s good to have NFC on the Curve. Although there isn’t much applications that uses NFC currently, we are expecting more NFC devices and applications in the next few years.

No news on when it will be available in Singapore or the pricing yet. But since this is the Curve, expect the price to be very attractive.

Portal: No Escape

I think all the Portal fans will love this short film.

Surfing the net at work may improve productivity

Nope, this is not a joke. According to a recent study titled “Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement”, surfing the net can actually refresh tired workers and enhance their productivity.

The researchers conducted two studies. In the first, they assigned 96 undergraduate management students into one of three groups: a control group, a “rest-break” group and a Web-surfing group.

All subjects spent 20 minutes highlighting as many letter “E”s as they could find in a sample text. For the next 10 minutes, the control group was assigned another simple task; members of the rest-break group could do whatever they pleased, except surf the Internet; and the third group could browse the Web. Afterward, all of the subjects spent another 10 minutes highlighting more letters.

The researchers found that the Web-surfers were significantly more productive and effective at the tasks than those in the other two groups and reported lower levels of mental exhaustion, boredom and higher levels of engagement.

The study was done by Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim of the National University of Singapore and was presented last week in San Antonio, Texas, at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, an association of management scholars. Maybe it’s the nature of the report, a lot of news agencies and blogs are talking about it now.

Remember to tell your boss about this study.

PC Gaming is not dead

It seems like Razer is launching something this coming Friday (26 Aug). The company put up an advertisement recently on The Wall Street Journal.

Check out the microsite at PCGamingIsNotDead.com or join in the Twitter hashtag #PCGaming. Got a feeling that it might be something big.

Could it be the Razer Switchblade? We will find out on 26 Aug 2011, 11pm (Singapore time).

8 million patents and counting….

Congratulations to the US Patent and Trademark Office for issuing the 8th million patent recently. YES! There’s a freaking 8 million patents in America.

The 8th million patent was issued on 16 Aug 2011 to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., for a visual prosthesis apparatus that enhances visual perception for people who have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration. I have no idea what’s that.

Looking at the history of patent in US, it seems like they are issuing patent at a faster speed. The 7th million patent was issued in 14 February 2006. It took them 5 years to issue 1 million patent. And the speed will only become faster as more people file for patent and technology help speed up the process.

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of patent. I think that it is slowing down inovation. All the patent lawsuits among companies aren’t benefiting consumers. The only people benefiting from them are the patent lawyers. More and more people are calling for patent law reform. We shall see how it goes.