One Phone, Many Identities

TalkPlus CEO Jeff Black's resume demands a new cliché: uncontrollable entrepreneur. Black loves being at the leading, bleeding edge. His history includes launching the first U.S. retail computer store (Tandy Radio Shack), the Alta Vista search engine, and the first Internet maps, just to name a few. And he's been dabbling in VoIP for two decades. At DEC in the 1980s, he worked on an early DECnet phone. "The problem was, there wasn't enough DECnet in the world to ship one," Black recalls. … [Read more...]

Nokia and Mobile Nirvana

Nokia Mobile Nirvana

There is no such thing as the perfect mobile phone -- and there probably never will be for two reasons. First, as in all else, what is right for one may not be -- and in the cell phone world, probably isn't -- right for another. Second, trying to balance functionality and portability necessitates ideal-busting compromise on the part of mobile phone manufacturers. I'll list my off-the-cufff requirements for the cell phone I want to carry permanently, and you'll see both these limiting reasons … [Read more...]

The iPhone Rumors Are Right . . . And Wrong

Linksys CIT400

While the unwired world has been buzzing about Apple's putative mobile-phone-cum-music-player, the busy elves in Santa's workshop have been getting the Linksys iPhones ready for Christmas delivery. You read that right — iPhone. Cisco/Linksys has owned the trademark on that name since its 1999 acquisition of InfoGear. While it may not be as sexy as the mythic Apple iPhone, the Linksys iPhone is here now, and delivers very useful features at down-to-earth prices. Today Linksys announced … [Read more...]

The FCC Thinks Truth is Wrong

One of the biggest gripes about cellular service in the US is that the carriers' year-long and longer contracts give the customer no way out if the service is less than adequate -- say, as is often the case, beset by frequent outages. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can go a long way to helping consumers make an educated decision before they agree to a long-term contract. But it refuses to do so. MSNBC's Bob Sullivan reports that the FCC has maintained a detailed database of cell … [Read more...]