THE NEED FOR CELLULAR DATA PLANS

There are three Treo models (the Palm-based 650 and 750p and the Windows Mobile-based 700w), plus the Motorola Q, that are appealing combinations of cell phone and PDA. The Treos can send and receive e-mail from an Exchange Server running on Small Business Server 2003, and it’s easier than ever to mail photos. […] continued

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SKYPE AND WEBCAMS

Skype has a hard-earned reputation for handling Internet telephone calls with style – simple interface, great voice quality. Installing the software is a snap. Calling another Skype user anywhere in the world is free; it’s relatively cheap to add the ability to call conventional phones and mobile phones and to receive calls at a real phone number that connects to your Skype software, but it also adds a bit of complexity to the setup. […] continued

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SBC LOOKS FOR CONTROL

There is something about the communications industry that makes its executives go crazy – at our expense, and to our detriment. It happened to the CEO of Verizon in an interview in April (“Why in the world would you think your cell phone would work in your house?”). Now the CEO of SBC has given an interview to Business Week while he was off his medications, and it’s even more scary. […] continued

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TREO 650 – NOTES FROM THE FIELD

I’ve used a Treo 650 for a few months now. The Treo 650 is one of the most popular devices combining cell phone and organizer functions, and all of the major cell carriers are now offering their own versions of the Treo 650. Here’s a few notes for anyone considering them. […] continued

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THE COMING DEATH OF VOIP

Internet telephony – “voice over IP” or “VOIP” – is just now approaching the mass market. Consumer products are hitting the market from the likes of Linksys designed to work with AT&T and Vonage systems, for example, and Skype has built up millions of users.

John Dvorak, a long-time contrarian tech columnist, predicts that the phone companies will eventually own VOIP and charge their traditionally high rates, after pressuring regulators and legislators to put competitors out of business. […] continued

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CELL PHONES AND THE “DO NOT CALL” LIST

The last few months have been slow for e-mail hoaxes. DId you get any of the messages last week about registering your cell phone numbers with the national “Do Not Call” list to avoid waves of telemarketers? I got a few from well-meaning friends. It was a hoax. No deadline, no telemarketers getting lists of cell phone numbers, no worries. […] continued

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CELL PHONE NUMBER PORTABILITY

You’re now able to retain your phone number when you switch cell phone providers. The FCC mandate went nationwide last week. Theoretically you can even move your landline number around – transfer it to your cell phone, for example.

It’s a decidedly mixed blessing. If you’re considering a switch, read this article about number portability. […] continued

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CAMERA PHONES

Here’s an article about cell phones with cameras, which are the fastest-growing consumer technology ever, according to a recent study.

Eighty million camera phones have been sold worldwide. This year more camera phones will be sold than digital still cameras.

I’m not using a camera phone. You’re not using a camera phone. […] continued

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SKYPE

The buzz is rising to deafening levels for Skype, new software for making telephone calls over the Internet. It’s a new project from the Swedes who invented Kazaa, and in the last two months it’s been downloaded at a dizzying pace, setting new download records.

Skype is free software and the concept is familiar – armed with speakers and a microphone, you can “call” and talk to anyone else in the world who’s on Skype. […] continued

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CELL PHONE NUMBER PORTABILITY

The Federal Communications Commission is requiring that beginning Nov. 24 cellular companies offer customers the option of taking their phone numbers with them when they switch carriers. Here’s an article summarizing the status of the FCC guidelines and the games that have delayed implementation of this requirement for years.

The cell phone carriers hate this concept – they have a huge amount of churn in their customer base already and they’re afraid this will make it worse. […] continued

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CELL PHONE CONFUSION

If you’ve shopped for cell phone service lately, you’ll sympathize with the points in this article: the offers and services from the competing carriers are so complex that it’s essentially impossible to make an informed comparison. We’re at their mercy. The column is worth reading to get an overview of the things to consider – and to watch out for. […] continued

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