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Spy shots leaked of OpenMoko running Android

I’m really tired of spy shots being so blurry. Sometimes I think there’s no such thing as a “leak” and it’s always some marketing guy playing games with the internet. The blurry pics back up this theory because it keeps a hype going without actually revealing anything. BTW how boring is this post? Sorry.

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[Via]

Does Google Street View violate basic privacy rights?

I’m not a huge fan of the Big Brother style arguments for a few reasons. I’m not doing anything illegal so why do I care if there are cameras around? Also, it’s simply illogical to think that the government or some watchdog agency can possibly police millions of people at the same time. That being said, there are examples of people’s privacy being violated. The above picture shows 2 obvious examples of Google Street View violating people’s privacy. Girls sunbathing and a guy walking into an adult book store. They definitely didn’t know the Internet was watching.

A group of Japanese lawyers and professors asked on Friday that Google Inc stop providing detailed street-level images of Japanese cities on the Internet, saying they violated privacy rights.

“We strongly suspect that what Google has been doing deeply violates a basic right that humans have,” Yasuhiko Tajima, a professor of constitutional law at Sophia University in Tokyo, told Reuters by telephone. “It is necessary to warn society that an IT giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service.”

What do you guys think? Are you with them?

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The Android Dev Phone 1 is a completely unlocked device

Google

The T-Mobile G1 is available unlocked for $399 under a new name: The Android Dev Phone 1. The Android Dev Phone 1 is the same device as the T-Mobile G1, except it is completely open. Forget going online and giving a stranger your IMEI or following an online guide for some sketchy hardware unlock. All you will need is an Android Market account to qualify. Head over to the Android Market site for more info. There is a $25 registration fee.

The Android Dev Phone 1 is a SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked device that is designed for advanced developers. The device ships with a system image that is fully compatible with Android 1.0, so you can rely on it when developing your applications. You can use any SIM in the device and can flash custom Android builds that will work with the unlocked bootloader. Unlike the bootloader on retail devices, the bootloader on the Android Dev Phone 1 does not enforce signed system images. The Android Dev Phone 1 should also appeal to developers who live outside of T-Mobile geographies.

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Japan’s NTT DoCoMo developing an Android device

With Android UI

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo have put out some incredible concept devices and proven their ability to think outside of the box when it comes to mobile phones. According to the Business Standard, DoCoMo is planning an Android device next year. The device will be co-developed with Korean telecom KT Freetel of which DoCoMo owns 10%.

Being the first Android handset in Japan, there are huge expectations. With a country that has such an incredible mobile educated population, combined with a completely open platform, I’m hoping Japanese consumers and developers will push Android to its limits. The phone is also expected to be about 20% cheaper than other smartphones because of the savings with an open source OS. Stay tuned!

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Google voice search for the iPhone (video)

A little while back we told you about the new Google voice-based search for iPhone. It comes in the form of an update to the Google Mobile App for iPhone. As the above video demonstrates, the search is incredibly easy. All you have to do is say search queries such as “how big is a giant squid?” and the app will read your voice and plug it into Google search.

Although both Yahoo (OneSearch and Nuance) and Microsoft (TellMe) both have voice-based search programs, I have downloaded and tried Google’s product and I can tell you that it worked PERFECTLY for me. Check it out on the app store for yourself.

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Voice-based web search for Google Mobile App for iPhone

And not Android

Personally, I don’t find typing in search queries into Google all that difficult, but Google plans to have a mobile application that will allow you to say your search terms rather than type them. The strange fact in this news is that it’s going to launch on the iPhone first.

The reason for this is that Google has separated its mobile division from its Android division. The mobile team is therefore only concerned with getting apps out the door and selling, rather than creating a better mobile community for a select group of device owners.

“I want to bring the most valuable applications to as many users as possible,” said Gummi Hafsteinsson, senior product manager for the mobile team. “We treat all high-end [mobile] platforms equally.”

In order to get the voice search, all you have to do is have the Google Mobile App for iPhone. The voice search will come in the form of an update. To use speak search, simply open the app, hold the phone up to your ear and tell the Google Genie what your heart desires. Stay tuned for the update!

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New Google search for the iPhone

The new Google search for the iPhone is much more like the Google search you see on your desktop. This is great considering the iPhone is constantly trying to replicate the desktop browsing experience. With the new Google search, you’ll get a map, contact info, address and related search results, all with a single touch.

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iPhone firmware 2.2 update coming soon

Unlocking and jailbreaking

It’s important to note that a firmware update is technically different than an OS update. The blogosphere tends to use the term firmware update loosely because it can get really tedious when you’re being a nit picker about technical jargon. As a general rule, firmware updates will generally unlock hardware features that have been dormant and the consumer won’t usually see any changes. An OS update will affect the look and feel in a much more noticeable manner.

In any case, the iPhone 2.2 firmware update contains elements of both a firmware and OS update. Here are some examples of what improvements we can expect to see in this coming update:
Click through to see what you can expect in the new updates

Google Earth now available for the iPhone

Google Earth for mobile is such a great idea and I’m surprised it didn’t come pre-loaded with the G1. Although it isn’t the most practical piece of software in the sense that I am much quicker to use a maps program in my daily life, it’s still a great talking piece.

If you ever meet someone and you’re all “so where you from?” and they’re all “I’m from Nunavut.” Then you can be all “really? Let’s check it out on my phone.”

Google Earth for the iPhone also uses some great user interface design:

  • Just swipe your finger across the screen and you fly to the other side of the globe
  • You can pinch to zoom in or out
  • Double tap with one finger to zoom in and two fingers to zoom out
  • With the My Location feature, you can fly to where you are in the real world on your phone
  • In addition, we have over eight million Panoramio photos, which are geo-located photos of places, and you can view any and all of them from your iPhone. Besides being beautiful, high-quality pictures, they’re specifically of places, so you don’t have to see some guy’s family on vacation in Thailand–you can see the beaches, the temples, all the things that give you a real sense of the place.

    [Via SlashPhone]

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    Gmail for mobile 2.0 - BlackBerry and Java rejoice

    Gmail for mobile has gone 2.0 and there are a ton of updates. The new Gmail mobile is directed at J2ME and BlackBerry devices. Here are the highlights:

  • Overall performance improvement: You should experience significant raw speed improvement, smoother scrolling, and no freezing.
  • Multiple accounts management: If you have both a Gmail and Google Apps email account, you can easily switch between them quickly. You will no longer have to use two different mobile apps to access personal and work emails.
  • Continue reading about all the great updates to Gmail mobile