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eBook evolution marches on

The publisher Hachette Book Group USA, a member of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), has decided to go with the digital publishing organization’s recommended standard for distributing books in digital format.

Starting with its December 2007 launch titles, HBG plans to release its bestsellers in the .epub eBook …

 
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Vringo video ringtones, the ultimate caller ID

Vringo logo

David Goldfarb’s phone won’t stop ringing.

The Vringo CTO is giving me a demo of Vringo’s video ringtone service, now in public beta, to demonstrate how users can assign phone-formatted video clips as their outgoing ringtones. David has chosen a humorous singing cartoon of a green bear as his video calling card. He’s set it up so that any phone he calls with a Vringo client will light up with his chosen video. If so desired, he could limit the output to his wife and send everyone else a much more sober video to announce his call.

Vringo reverses the conventional ringtone concept of users choosing songs to differentiate between contacts, entertain themselves with favorite songs, or make a stylistic statement. Here individuals control how they’re perceived by friends, and can use “vringos” as a gift or personalized greeting. Users can upload their own clips on Vringo.com or record clips from within the Vringo phone app. It’s easy to see how users could create happy birthday messages or video gifts….

 
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Emdigo 3D: Spidey, Hello Kitty animate mobile screens

Emdigo logo

Thumb open an ordinary flip or slide phone and nothing happens, except maybe the triggering of a robotic greeting (Hello to you, too, Moto.) Do it again with a phone enriched with Emdigo’s 3D offering and football players might rush by.

The carrier-partnered content distributor isn’t one I’…

 
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3Guppies' Facebook app sends photos to phone

3Guppies logo

The only things you need to send a Facebook photo to any cell phone is 3Guppies’ (review) Facebook app and a working US or Canadian phone number. The app does a curious thing, pulling up all the photos in your friends’ albums as well as your own. Grabbing the photo …

 
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Latest E-Ten Glofiish–a few downers

(Credit: Crave Asia)

The QWERTY-enabled E-Ten M800 slider now has an official image and specifications, and everything said about it previously was true: It includes a VGA display, HSDPA connectivity, a SiRFstar III GPS chip and a 500MHz Samsung processor.

What wasn’t confirmed then was the amount of RAM. …

 
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New UMPC priced to sell in Asia

When the Kohjinsha SA1 was released outside Japan, it made waves as the first UMPC priced as low as $658. Though the coming of the cheaper ASUS Eee PC has stolen the former’s thunder, we were still excited to see the SA1’s successor as it could well be …

 
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I-mate's Ultimate quartet of smartphones

I-mate Ultimate 8150

I-mate Ultimate 8150

(Credit: I-mate)

I-mate may be the leading wireless device manufacturer in the Middle East, but it doesn’t enjoy quite the same popularity here in the United States. However, today’s announcements are sure to turn some heads here. I-mate introduced its Ultimate line of four handhelds …

 
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Samsung BlackJack II makes official debut

Samsung BlackJack II

Samsung BlackJack II

Well, well, guess who decided to show its pretty little face at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote address this morning–mmm hmm, the Samsung BlackJack II. Today, Samsung and AT&T officially introduced the successor to the BlackJack, but it won’t be available till “later …

 
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Reuters, Nokia collaborate on project for reporters on the go

Reuters and the Nokia Research Center have announced that they are working on a joint project to enable journalists to file and publish stories and multimedia news content from handheld devices instead of computers. Called Reuters Mobile Journalism, the initiative relies upon connecting peripherals to Nokia’s high-end N95 device–a …

 
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Living up to the 'Ultimate' smartphone's name

The 9502 has the most features in the series but is also the largest

(Credit: Crave Asia)

i-Mate is not the most famous of brands when we talk about handhelds, but the Dubai-based company created quite a buzz a few months back when it introduced the Ultimate series of PDA-phones. …

 
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Digby: Impulse shopping app for BlackBerry

Digby has partnered with well-known retailers like Barnes & Noble and Fossil to create a downloadable shopping app that lets you purchase goods from your (RIM 4.1 or above) BlackBerry smartphone.

Digby logo

Digby has done a good job minimizing typing and fast-tracking purchases with select retail partners. Simply scroll through the brand list, clicking deeper within the stripped-down interface to see items and special deals. You can set the alert function to nag you to buy a gift before an important occasion. You’ll have to do much of that buying on faith, though–there’s no built-in functionality to preview an item or research product ratings for items, at least none that I perused.

When the purchase is nigh, enter your locally-stored password and Digby will do the rest, passing the transaction along to the vendor to process. Credit card information is password protected and stored, encrypted, on the device….

 
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Using the phone to pay for bus rides

(Credit: Crave Asia)

As part of a public experiment, some commuters in Singapore need only tap their mobile phones for bus and train fares.

They’re part of the Near-Field Communication (NFC) phone trial jointly organized by Singapore service provider StarHub and partner EZ-Link. According to the press release, the …

 
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