This week's review is of the BlackBerry Bold for AT&T. It's a pretty solid choice in the world of smartphones. As someone who has used a few touch-screen phones, I found myself getting impatient with just using a trackball for navigation. But it wasn't that big of a deal, because overall this was a really good phone. Read the full review in today's Miami Herald or watch the video below:
After being obsessed with Disney for years (and giving them all of my money), they are giving me a little love back in return! Watch the news clip below to see!
I love this kind of online marketing, don't you? To make your own, click here.
(*Some people with Firefox told me the video doesn't load, so if you have problems, view it in Internet Explorer.)
South Florida's InternetCoast is extending its Virtual Job fair until Monday. IT employers and job seekers can post job descriptions and resumes until December 15th.
It costs $10 for job seekers to register and respond to job postings. Employers pay $100 to register, and recruiting agencies pay $200 to list actual jobs.
A good chunk of the job listings are from Citrix, FPL and Telefonica. Among the listings are jobs for engineering, sales and web development. Learn more and register here: iCoast Job Fair
I got one co-worker hacking near me and another going on about getting a flu shot. So it's only fitting my post today is about viruses.
There's a new application T-Mobile G1 users can download to track the percentage of sick people are in their ZIP Code, and what symptoms are most prevalent. iPhone users can download it in mid-December.
It's called the Zicam Cold & Flu Companion, and aside from tracking sick people, you can also get coupons, news on the cold and flu... and like any good product-related application, they help you find the closest retailer for Zicam products.
I'm told the application works with Surveillance Data Inc., which collects info from doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals. The company also does random calling into the marketplace to gather information.
This is different than Google's Flu Trends, which tracks flu activity in the U.S. based on how many people are searching for flu-related symptoms.
And in other sickly news, PC Tools -- which is associated with Symantec -- announced this week that it offering a free download of iAntiVirus, which is security software for Mac users.
Now if you excuse me, I have to pop some vitamin C. Zicam is telling me the cold and flu risk level for my city is moderate. Oh boy.
Today Facebook launched a new application that lets you use your Facebook account on other websites. It's called Facebook Connect, and if you are on a participating website, you can connect your Facebook account to the participating site, and both sites can share the same info. The application is available to all interested third parties at http://developers.facebook.com/connect.php
The idea is that it gives you an easy way to log in to participating sites using your Facebook account, and you no longer have to recreate a new profile on every website. Friends will be linked across participating websites, and any action you do on a participating website can be shared through the Facebook news feed.
About 100 websites have already worked on Facebook Connect during a testing period, and are planning to release the feature soon. Some sites include:
- TheInsider.com (by CBS Interactive)
- Global Grind
- Inside Facebook
- Red Bull
- SGN iFun
Also, alumni associations at Oklahoma State University, University of Toronto, Oregon State and Ithaca University are planning to implement it, as well as services and plug-ins from Force.com, iModules, Pluck SiteLife and Six Apart.
(If you can't read the text and images below, click on it to view a larger image of it.)
With the year coming to an end, Yahoo! has put together a list of the most-searched-for terms in the world of technology.
Here are the Top 10 most-searched technology words:
- Digital camera
- Xbox 360
Yahoo! has other Top 10 topics, which you can find at its 2008 Year in Review page.
PCMag.com conducted more than 200,000 individual tests as part of its third annual study of fastest Internet service providers. After testing which ISP provided the fastest broadband and in which state, it found that Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic connections were the fastest overall service. Cablevision's Optimum Online was the fastest cable ISP in the United States.
Florida ranked 23rd in its search for the state with the fastest connection. Nevada, Virginia, and Pennsylvania were the top three.
To test the nation's best ISPs, PCMag used a custom-designed SurfSpeed application (a utility that grabs pages from several popular Web sites to measure actual Internet surfing speed) and sifted through data from over 17,000 unique IP addresses.
Cable connections were found to be 47 percent faster than DSL.
In case you missed it in Monday's paper, below is a story I wrote about a Miami-based social network for artists, ArtistaMundo, which just gained a new partner in Spain:
ArtistaMundo.com helps artists network
By BRIDGET CAREY
Becoming a successful artist is hard work. But Cristina Figueredo Zizold has been on a mission to make it easier.
She's the founder and creative director of ArtistaMundo.com, a bilingual social network for artists to showcase their portfolios of work and connect with other artists around the world. And as an artist herself, she knows first hand the challenges visual artists face to get exposure.
''There are so many roadblocks,'' Zizold said. ``You have to find something really unique to stand out. You have to be able to communicate. You have to know a network of people. It's a complex system for an artist to get to where they are within the galleries, and very few really get there.''
The 30-year-old University of Miami graduate student has been working on ArtistaMundo.com since 2003 with her family, and they are about to take the 1,500-member site to the next level. This week, the company announced a partnership with eBDSoft, a Barcelona-based software designer and manufacturer of Web applications for businesses, which is investing more than $200,000 in site improvements. eBDSoft had been contracted before by ArtistaMundo to do work on the site, but now eBDSoft will be owning 15 percent of the company.
ArtistaMundo has been quite the project for the Cuban-American family. Zizold's father, Fernando Figueredo, was with her from the beginning as co-founder and chair of the board. He is chair of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Florida International University and previously worked as a vice president of corporate communications at AOL Latin America.
Zizold also works on the site with her two sisters: Annette Figueredo, 33, who manages marketing and sales, and Alexandra Figueredo, 27, who is an assistant vice president at Gibraltar Private Bank and works as an financial councilor for the site.
Fernando said investors have estimated the value of ArtistaMundo.com to be somewhere between $3 million and $5 million, and they are speaking to two major Internet service providers about potentially becoming their arts channel. The company is projecting that it will reach 11,000 members in a year and 300,000 in four years.
''We're at the point where we have investors who are interested and proposals that we've been asked to submit,'' Zizold said. 'A venture capitalist I spoke to this week said, `If you have a few more members, you can come talk to us,' so that's not too bad.''
Jeremiah Owyang, analyst at Forrester Research, said he's seeing niche social networks like this being made for every single type of variable and interest group. But he says to do one that's global in nature can be a challenge.
In a 2008 survey, 35 percent of U.S. adults said they used a social network in the past 30 days, Owyang said. But each culture is different. In Europe it's 16 percent.
''Technology and culture impacts adoption. A single strategy to approach each culture the same is not an effective way to do it,'' Owyang said.
Right now the site is in English and Spanish, and a Portuguese translation is in the works. The company also owns the domains artistamondo.com and artistemonde.com for the option to build niches for Italy and France in the future. Zizold said the company is still figuring out which direction to take when it comes to expanding to more languages. But language hasn't been a factor for some members from other countries.
''We have artists from Korea and from Japan, and you can tell their English is not great,'' Fernando Figueredo said. "But they managed to find us and build their virtual studio in English.''
Future plans include adding a commerce feature so artists can sell their work -- something Owyang said is rarely seen within social networks. Zizold hinted that there might be a way for users to trade with others, but she wouldn't give too many details about how it would work because, ''my older sister won't allow me,'' she said with a laugh. "We're still working on different things. It wouldn't just be an eBay store. It would be different.''
The company also plans to add a strong educational component, such as artist webinars and collaborations with local universities.
''From working in a museum, I found that one of the more important aspects of art was the history of it,'' Zizold said. "What about the artist? Where did they come from? What are their ideas about it?''
Miami Dade College, University of Miami and FIU have expressed interest in getting students involved in using the site, Zizold said.
''If there's anything we can do to help those artists get there or to make a sale from any place in the world to exhibit their work, that is something that is very satisfying to me and makes me feel very passionate to keep on working harder every day,'' Zizold said.
She knows quite a bit about Web design, which comes in handy for showcasing her artwork. She studied Web development as part of her undergrad degree at Florida State University. But things weren't as easy for her peers. Artists who depended on Web developers had websites that weren't updated often -- sometimes not for years -- and keeping a portfolio current is important to an artist's success.
''I see a tremendous frustration in people because they need quick turn-around time. They need their stuff up to show to a gallerist,'' Zizold said.
In 2003 she began tinkering with an idea of an online global artist community. Studying art gave her the idea to create an online guild -- much like the idea of guilds in the Renaissance -- to protect and promote artists.
''I started creating this idea on a very basic level,'' she said. "But it started to become a piece of art in itself.''
And with many peers asking her for help with building their websites, she was confident that there was a definite need for a site like ArtistaMundo.
''I knew it was going to be a challenge from the beginning, just because the two things were at opposing ends: technology with the arts and the traditional arts,'' Zizold said. "It's a beautiful thing to see those two things come together.''
Well folks, I'm back from vacation with a new review. But this review is extra meaty... it's two phones in one video! Crazy, I know! But before you get too giddy, I should say that the Sprint HTC Touch Diamond and the HTC Touch Pro are pretty much the same phone, 'cept the Pro has a keyboard and a video-out feature to hook it up to a TV or projector... which could come in handy for PowerPoint presentations.
The Pro was my fave out of the two phones, mostly because of the keyboard. Both phones worked best when using the stylus (or my long fingernails). But the truth is that I'm not a big fan of using a stylus, which is why I say in my review that I like other touch-screen phones better. I know some of you love your stylus. It all comes down to what works better for you. I did use my fingers now and again on the screen, but it just worked better for me when I whipped out the stylus.
But the bottom line is that this phone had some pretty sweet features, including a full HTML browser, Wi-Fi and an auto-focusing 3.2 megapixel camera that also records video. And Sprint always has a great multimedia package with it's Sprint TV offerings, but I'm a TV junkie so I can't help but love mobile TV. It's got a snazzy interface with TouchFLO™ 3D, making you forget that you're using Windows Mobile.
Read the full print review online in today's Miami Herald or watch the video below.