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Nokia: Stop Selling 1900 MHz-Only Phones Here
Written by Christopher Price   
Sunday, 18 June 2006
In the ever-evolving U.S. wireless landscape, Nokia has consisted in doing something rather pathetic, and it's time to take them to task on it. As we all know, manufacturers sell devices that don't always have GSM 850, but do have GSM 1900. This is usually to foreign carriers and users, who want the luxury of international roaming, especially in the United States.

However, no U.S. owner these days should be with a 1900-only device. Even if your local T-Mobile or Cingular market is 1900 MHz, you're passing up on free roaming from another tower. In addition, when you leave your market, coverage may go from great to zero in minutes. This is not acceptable for most users, in most cases.

Nokia however, continues to sell niche phones that are 1900 MHz in the U.S. The Nokia N91 has launched to huge "iPod Fighting" fanfare. However, Nokia doesn't even bother to drop the note that neither Cingular or T-Mobile would sell the device directly... because it is missing the critical GSM 850 band. This is paralleled in UMTS. Cingular, realizing that UMTS would eventually reach 850 MHz cancelled all 1900-only UMTS phones, thinking in advance for future networks. Now, tri-band UMTS is launching because of it.

Nokia, stop it. If you can't afford to tweak devices slightly to work fully in the U.S., don't sell them in the U.S. Savvy consumers know how to get them from abroad, and yes, some even really do know what they're doing with a 1900-only device. However, most won't. Most will buy the phone, and hate it for the better part of a year before it gets replaced with some other device, from another manufacturer.
 
More Upgrades
Written by Christopher Price   
Wednesday, 14 June 2006
PCS Intel was upgraded to Joomla 1.0.9 this morning. With over 175 changes, we're happy to deploy it ahead of our original timeframe.
 
More Phones Section Revamping
Written by Christopher Price   
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Over the next couple of weeks, we will fully complete the Phones Section listings. This will ensure that every GSM, UMTS, and CDMA2000 phone sold or coming soon to the United States will be in our database.

Once that is done, we will move on to adding new features to Phones Section, things that will make life easier for you. Specs are being batted around, as are better ways to inject the experience into the main site. We're looking hard into new ways to leverage the large amounts of metadata being created on the KB, and we think that it is finally ready to start being an essential part of the site.

You can help with this! Simply log onto the Knowledge Base and add anything you think is relevant.
 
About that Nokia Sanyo Branding...
Written by Christopher Price   
Monday, 12 June 2006
Awhile back, we ran (for all of 15 minutes) a news item covering the new standing of Nokia Sanyo. This was going to be on the podcast, but our next one is coming up and already too much to cover in it. So, on with the show.

Essentially, the article said that Nokia Sanyo was going to be branded as Nokia in the U.S. and Sanyo in Japan. This is due to the brand loyalty in the two countries. While Sanyo touts it's "most trusted cell phone brand" awards it receives at times, clearly Nokia is the larger of the two companies... having phones on every carrier instead of one. But, the folks over at Nokia weren't happy about us spilling this coverage. Since Nokia treated us kindly at CTIA, we took it down without any fuss (Sprint Legal knows what we mean about the word "fuss").

Some of the contributing evidence we cited was the lack of any presence from Sanyo outside of the Nokia meeting rooms, as well as Nokia CDMA being the primary brand, and clearly separate from the rest of Nokia (behind the scenes). So is it still a go? Nokia in the USA and Sanyo in Japan? It's been about three months since CTIA, anything can happen. However, it is the smartest branding move since the return of AT&T Wireless... and that's been four years in the making.

Want to comment? Hop on over to the PCS Intel Forums until we set up a dedicated comment system (in the near future).
 
Coffee Anyone? Reviews & Upgrades
Written by Christopher Price   
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Burning some more midnight oil...

The PCS Intel Knowledge Base has been updated to MediaWiki 1.6.7. This is a security and bugfix release, but does make the site just a little bit snappier as well.

Also we're wrapping up our review of the Nokia 6165i, which should be up in just a few hours.

Update: Yes, a couple of UI bugs did pop up in our upgrade. We hope to have them fixed later today.

Update 2: It turns out our UI bugs on the Knowledge Base were due to an undocumented change in HTML-style code processing. While MediaWiki (thankfully) had noted they changed this code parsing, they did not note that it could result in strings of mixed MW/HTML code not processing. All pages affected by this issue have been fixed.
 
Enable CAB Downloads from Windows Mobile Devices
Written by Christopher Price   
Friday, 09 June 2006
Downloading applications over-the-air (that's wirelessly for those of you in Overland Park) on Windows Mobile has never been an easy process. I don't understand why, but developers (including Microsoft) haven't ever made it easy. While the Palm world has been content with PRC's for years... for some reason... Microsoft and its developers have been apprehensive.

And the weird thing is, it's easier to deploy OTA than it is on the desktop. When you deploy on the desktop, you're wrapping the OTA file (a CAB file) in an installer, which passes the CAB to ActiveSync and ActiveSync then passes the CAB to the device. The device takes it from there.

I don't know why any WM developer would pass up on having a CAB option. Yet, even the ones that do, often find a way to screw it up. The primary one is not setting up their web servers properly. See, Palm devices usually sense when a file is formatted with .PRC at the end and realize "hey, this is a download... I should do something with it".

Windows Mobile, unfortunately, has yet to learn the wonders of the .cab extension. So, you have to hold your web server's hand to format the MIME type to kick IE Mobile into realizing that the download is something that isn't just plain-old-text.

To do this, you need to add the MIME type to the server, identifying CABs as application/octet-stream format. In Apache, this is as such...

AddType application/octet-stream .cab

Now, developers, go forth! Offer your evil setup.exe or setup.zip files alongside a CAB, and make sure it actually works by doing the steps above!
 
Syndication Buttons Improved
Written by Christopher Price   
Wednesday, 07 June 2006
No, we're not running PCS Intel on Joomla 1.0.9 just yet (though Sprint PCS Info is... with a couple of formatting bugs that you may see). However, we have vastly improved the layout of our syndication buttons. In addition, we've added buttons for Google and Yahoo syndication. Please let us know if you want to see any other syndication options.

As for Joomla 1.0.9? We're waiting on forum integration code to be updated before deploying it. It should be up fully within the next couple of weeks, including testing time (yes, we actually test code).
 
OGradys MBP Battery DiesĶ
Written by Christopher Price   
Thursday, 01 June 2006
Weve never been so happy that someones technology failed (though, were pretty fed up with this whole debacleĶ).

Apple called us a bunch of liars for telling the world what AppleCare told us. Now, even Jason OGradys own MacBook Pro battery has suffered the same capacity issues our MBP suffered from when we told the world. O'Grady's MBP falls exactly in-line with the targeted production runs of MacBook Pro, W8607 (same as ours).

You were saying about there being no known issues or silent recalls Apple? We made clear this only affected the very first units, so, the batch certainly is isolated. That said, come on Apple, dont shoot the messenger next time.

Discuss
 
Sorry for The Overload...
Written by Christopher Price   
Wednesday, 31 May 2006
Our servers are under extreme loads right now (don't hate us because we're popular). Because of this, it may take longer than normal for pages to load. We're working on it right now with our server managers...
 
Coffee Anyone? Bugs Aren't Fun...
Written by Christopher Price   
Wednesday, 31 May 2006
Our Senseo is on its fourth cup so far, but we do have good news. We've fixed several bugs in our content management system (CMS) that prevented things such as some links not being formatted properly (driving you, the viewer, to a not-so-pleasant error page). Which, brings me to a rant on software versioning.

Software should be progressive, if there are known issues about a CMS, it should be handled like any other software that has a logical upgrade system... with a sub-point release. Joomla 1.0.8 should have had these types of issues fixed in 1.0.8r1 (or 1.0.8.1 if you prefer). Simply knowing issues exist isn't good enough, be quick in responding to them and deploy updates that are clearly needed. That said, don't get us started about Windows and its "version numbers are evil" style of updating... I don't think we'd ever use a CMS that had 1100 hotfixes followed by a service pack every 18 months.
 
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