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Motorola to Add Google to Mobiles

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the google-google-everywhere dept.

Google 99

Kijori writes "Motorola has announced plans to enable users of its mobile phones to access Google's internet search engine at the touch of a single handset button, the BBC is reporting. "The US mobile phone maker said it would introduce Google's software technology to many of its new handsets. The companies said they wanted to encourage more mobile users to access the internet using their phones." While mobile-phone internet use is currently low, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is optimistic: "People are going to spend all their time on it eventually," he said."

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Does this mean all my calls will be archived? (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416784)

or is that already being done by the NSA?

Re:Does this mean all my calls will be archived? (2, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416801)

Does this mean all my calls will be archived? or is that already being done by the NSA?

No, the NSA doesn't do that, your calls are being monitored and archived by a dif@#*(@#&$@#($&*NO CARRIER*

Re:Does this mean all my calls will be archived? (1)

heavy snowfall (847023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417537)

It will be interesting to see when google starts doing something with their huge collection of data. I suspect the first will be person-targeted ads in adsense. That should be a little disconcerting for people who haven't thought about it.

okay. (3, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416788)

The companies said they wanted to encourage more mobile users to access the internet using their phones."

Well, they could do that by offering screens with an acceptable resolution for browsing the internet. Even the *brand new* Treo 700w only has a 240x240 screen. WTF?

Re:okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416920)

I personally wouldn't want to carry a huge screen around...

Re:okay. (4, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416945)

I personally wouldn't want to carry a huge screen around...

It doesn't have to be "huge". A 400x400 screen would be more than fine. The treo 650 has a 320x320 screen.

So the 240x240 in a newer model is especially bizarre. Isn't technology supposed to advance, not regress?

Re:okay. (2, Insightful)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416999)

Perhaps we should have a 3" LCD with 1024x1024 resolution? At a certain point, those pixels are going to get tiny and useless. Most people don't like small fonts and difficult to read text. My mother-in-law runs a 17inch monitor at 800x600. It kills me when I see it...

Re:okay. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417055)

The VGA (640x480, or actually 480x640) screens on PocketPCs look great. They're too wide for a phone, but a 640x240 screen, held in landscape mode, would work great on a phone in combination with a scroll wheel. From my own experience browsing on various Palm and PocketPC devices, the main thing to allow normal rendering is adequate width.

Re:okay. (2, Interesting)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417094)

I have a Treo 650 (which I hate) and get accused of "talking on a calculator" when I use it as a phone. I'm from England originally and when I took back my Treo to the UK for the "holidays" one year, my brother laughed really hard and said "what the fuck is that?". He of course pulled out his cool, small phone.

So we have this conflict. People want smaller, less obtrusive phones, and they want larger screens so they can do more on them! Ultimately, the maximum size of the screen is the phone itself, and there's the problem. I think PDAs for the most part are dying, and *nobody* (except the true ultra geek) wants to talk into one as a phone.

So the Internet gets richer (640 width isn't enough for most sites any more - 800 or 1024 is the norm), and phones get smaller. A new miniNet must be developed! And WAP can fuck off if it thinks it's part of that miniNet!

Re:okay. (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417189)

I'm thinking of getting a Nokia 7710, but only because it has a decent sized screen and has Flash capabilites (and me, being the showoff I am, want to brag about my stuff).

Of the course, it might be 186g, but the thing looks like Nokia's answer to the XBox - it's a clunky, square piece of crap. The obvious solution? An earpiece. Is there a major difficulty getting one where you are?

Re:okay. (2, Insightful)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417226)

Earpieces are a pain (admit it) and almost as bad as putting a calculator to your ear... I've tried bluetooth headsets and they're OK, as long as you remember to charge the damn thing!

I'm coming from a situation where I've had all the gadgets, and have got fed up of having an oversize and unreliable phone. I'm also fed up of charging all these damn gadgets all the time. I'm ditching the bluetooth headsets, ditching the huge phone/pda/unreliable-piece-o-crap and going back to as basic a phone as I can find!

Re:okay. (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417344)

So the Internet gets richer (640 width isn't enough for most sites any more - 800 or 1024 is the norm), and phones get smaller. A new miniNet must be developed! And WAP can fuck off if it thinks it's part of that miniNet!

Opera is doing some cool stuff with their browser, though. For instance, automagically resize the page for mobile devices, magnify/focus on specific places on the webpage. Also, the Norwegian websites (mostly news) that I have visited have been optimized for mobile browsing.

Re:okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417464)

"People want smaller, less obtrusive phones, and they want larger screens so they can do more on them!"

If only Dilbert could comment...

Re:okay. (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417649)

PDAs are dying because cellphones are trying to replace them. They shouldn't be. What would be nice is having your cellphone in your pocket, whipping out your PDA/tablet (with reasonable screen and a nicer interface) and having it get online via bluetooth to cellphone's GSM network. But you'd also need cell data plans that don't suck, so I doubt this will happen any time soon. Its really silly when all our devices are trying to become eachother instead of work with eachother. Why have a cellphone that can play mp3s when you could have a cellphone that can play audio/store data on your mp3 player?

Re:okay. (1)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418178)

I totally agree, but then how would a multitude of service providers rape you on a monthly basis for a data plan for each of your devices? Share connectivity? You must be crazy!

Re:okay. (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418614)

'Magical device interconnectivity fee: $10(per device connection)' ought to do it

Re:okay. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417032)

At least they're partnering with google instead of some cluttered "portal" like msn.com. As web pages go, google stands a better chance on low-res screens than most others.

Re:okay. (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417707)

Better yet, they could allow internet usage at reasonable rates.

Re:okay. (1)

RVonder (942241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14422640)

I have a new 700w, and agree that screen size is a real limiting factor. Just FYI, try using Google Mobile (I'm using their XHTML version) to search for a site and then click over to that site directly from within Google Mobile. They must be doing some kind of proxy access to 3rd-party sites, because Google is using AI-based logic to drop images, reformat text, etc. for decent display of conventional websites on a tiny screen. It's not perfect, and of course it's not as visually pretty, but it certainly helps you extract the real information and links from a complex website. I can definitely say that these devices aren't going to go mainstream for awhile. Any Palm or WM-bsaed "advanced device" (like the Treos), or even a less-powerful smartphone, is simply too hard to configure and use at this point. I'm in the software biz and consider myself a serious "techie", but I've spent hours trying to set up this phone to be productive. It makes learning to use XP or MS Office seem like a cakewalk -- between the tiny screen, lack of configuration options, limited documentation, and very few wizards to guide you it's a lot like going back to NT from XP. True end users are faced with tons of pure text boxes to enter server names, usernames, passwords, and other low-level info just to get connected. Email is the worst of all: If you're OK with periodically pulling all your existing POP3 mail and having it pushed to your mobile, it's relatively easy to set up. But who's going to use a mobile as their only email device? You really want the mobile and your laptop/desktop to stay in sync - and unless you run MS Exchange server, that's where the horrors begin. I've been forwarding all my personal mail (POP3, Gmail, etc.) to a third-party IMAP mail provider (SlashMail.org - only $16/year with unlimited storage!!) and it works perfectly keeping my laptop and desktop mail in perfect sync. So I figured I'd just access that IMAP store via the Verizon web email client, and I'd be all set. Wrong -- stupid Verizon only supports basic old IMAP, not secure IMAP which uses SSL encryption. That's the best way to use IMAP, and it's all that most decent providers allow. So I'm out of luck again. Anyone using mobile advanced devices (other than maybe a BlackBerry) is definitely on the cutting edge right now, and I can't see that changing for at least a few years. It's not only an issue of advancements in the mobile devices, op sys, and software -- but a need for the rest of the Internet infrastructure to become "mobile-aware". When I access a website via a mobile browser, for example, it should automatically display a text-only version formatted decently for the small screen. That's what happens today when you hit www.google.com, but it's not common elsewhere. And we also need to break the model of having every additional mobile software utility cost $30-40. Even things like AIM, which is totally free for PC users, costs real $$ if you want a mobile version of the client. Rob

No they're not (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416793)

While mobile-phone internet use is currently low, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is optimistic: "People are going to spend all their time on it eventually," he said."

Not at the current access rates they won't. I've used WAP once, and after getting my bill, I was through. Many people I know had the same experience with it.

Re:No they're not (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416814)

Not at the current access rates they won't. I've used WAP once, and after getting my bill, I was through. Many people I know had the same experience with it.

Sprint's got a pretty decent thing going: it's $10/month extra for unlimited wireless internet usage, and it doesn't eat into your minutes. I use it with my laptop + PDANet [junefabrics.com] , which basically utilizes the treo as a wireless modem

Re:No they're not (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416977)

Wow. What provider is that? The providers I checked were all around $40/mo. for a dribble of access, $80/mo. for unlimited. Some were even higher.

More points about the Sprint Vision service (1)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418059)

I, too, have this service from Sprint on my Treo 650. Some notable points:

  1. The service is now $15/mo, I believe. Perhaps you can get the $10/mo deal if you are grandfathered in or know how to haggle.
  2. Tethering your notebook to Sprint Vision is, strictly speaking, against the terms of service. However, the reality is that they don't really care as long as you are using it lightly.
  3. You don't need to purchase the PDAnet shareware anymore to tether to a Treo 650; Bluetooth "dial-up networking" profile support was added in a patch this past summer, so you can tether via bluetooth without the use of third-party applications. It was just my luck that I registered PDAnet the week before this patch came out. :) If you want to use a USB cable for tethering, then you'll probably still need PDAnet.
  4. Sprint Vision uses the 1xRTT network.
  5. In my opinion, it's worth the money.

To the ancestor poster who expressed concern about high bills due to paying per kilobyte -- the idea is to get an unlimited plan. I'd be really scared about non-unlimited mobile data plans. :o

For "legal and proper" laptop access (if you're going to be using this more than occasionally), you can get the $80/mo service from Sprint or Verizon ($60 if you are also a cellphone customer), which gives your laptop direct access to their 1xRTT and EV-DO networks.

Verizon, man... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416917)

$5/month, unlimited WAP day or night... and unlimited text and pix.

Or under any normal plan just use it after 9 or weekends (Verizon FTW)

-everphilski-

Re:Verizon, man... (1)

cwj123 (16058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417520)

While it's true that Verizon offers $5/m unlimited WAP ("Mobile Web") they have no such plans for unlimited text and pix (unless you count their "IN" txt and pix offerings, though it's extremely limited if you message people on other providers)

Re:Verizon, man... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14419943)

True, thanks for the correction, just so happens all of my family (parents, siblings, wife...) and most of my friends are "in" so I forget that part...

-everphilski-

Re:Verizon, man... (1)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417831)

$5/month, unlimited WAP day or night... and unlimited text and pix.

Or under any normal plan just use it after 9 or weekends (Verizon FTW)


Not if you have a Treo. Then it's $30/month for limited access (15? MB free, then $8/MB or so after that) or $70 or $80 for unlimited access. Plus as far as I can tell you can't even use the Treo as a modem via bluetooth (I have a 650). You may be right about unlimited access after 9 or on weekends, I haven't really wanted to risk a huge bill to find out.

Re:Verizon, man... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14419954)

With any Verizon plan after 9pm-7am is free nights and from 9pm Friday-7am Monday is free Weekends. WAP is charged as a "data call" which will show up on your phone bill as a phone call to a certain phone number (I forget what it is... been awhile since I've used it. Can't carry a cell phone to my current job so I don't really use a cell phone anymore:) ) Hence, any activity during the "free nights and weekends" since it is call activity is really free. At least it was a year ago when I did it, quite frequently.

-everphilski-

Re:No they're not (2, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416927)

Not at the current access rates they won't. I've used WAP once, and after getting my bill, I was through. Many people I know had the same experience with it.

Exactly - using GPRS means constantly watching the amount of bandwidth I use. Orange charge me something like 3ukp per month for a whole 4MB of bandwidth, and anything over 4MB gets charged at 10ukp per megabyte, it's crazy. I want pay as you go bandwidth charged at sane rates - the whole point of GPRS is that it's an "always on" thing but I can't even leave an XMPP client running on my phone because the keepalives alone eat up several hundred kilobytes per day.

Re:No they're not (1)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417013)

o2 has never charged me for GPRS use over the three years and two contracts I've had with them. Nor do they seem to be charging friends of mine on o2 either (though they only use GPRS occasionally).

Re:No they're not (1)

horza (87255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417527)

Greed by the mobile operators really killed WAP. It was over-priced and content-poor. WAP died a deserved death.

However Google isn't being that short-sighted. Opera now do a light-weight fully-featured web browser (HTML, not WML) that will run on a mobile phone, and the upcoming Nokia N90 has WiFi built in. This means you can sit in any WiFi hotspot, which in many areas now means any coffee/fast-food joint (or in enlightened areas municipal services covering the whole city), and browse away on your mobile. Now how long before someone hacks it to run VoIP? :->

Phillip.

Re:No they're not (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418164)

I have $3/month, flat rate.

This includes unlimitted text messaging.

Google Mobile from within regular sites & Bitt (3, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416798)

fwiw, you can also use Google Mobile from within regular pages -- you can see what I mean via my new Web-doodad, Bitty Browser [bitty.com] .

Re:Google Mobile from within regular sites & B (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416847)

off topic:
aren't you violating the adsense terms of service by running yahoo network ads on the same page as adsense?

Re:Google Mobile from within regular sites & B (1)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416897)

AdSense only prohibits *contextual* ads from other networks appearing on the same page as AdSense, and the Yahoo ads in Bitty aren't contextual.

But I don't like those Yahoo ads anyway, so I'll likely take them out. I'm getting close to releasing the next version of Bitty, and it'll be *lots* better.

Any /.'er interested can feel free to email me via the Bitty site... -Scott

Re:Google Mobile from within regular sites & B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417318)

I don't know if you've ever seen "Little Britian", but if you have you'll understand why the name "Bittie" makes me laugh and feel a bit uncomftable.

(Worst spelling ever, I know, but I am in a hurry)

Re:Google Mobile from within regular sites & B (1)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417353)

I didn't learn about Little Britain until after I launched Bitty -- coincidentally, my choice of the name Bitty was inspired by my new baby girl -- so, at least it seems breast feeding is still on-topic... ;)

Babies can use google too! (1, Troll)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416803)

This is a mobile [babysupermall.com] .

I hate that use of the word, "cell phone" worked just fine, IMO.

Re:Babies can use google too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416834)

cell phone is an american thing. The rest of the world does not use "cell phone"

Re:Babies can use google too! (3, Informative)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416846)

Mobile Phone - Cellular Phone.

Cellular Phone is AFAIK, largely a US thing - we've called them mobile phones (because they're mobile, and they're phones), in the UK for donkey's years now.

Re:Babies can use google too! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416997)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] explains why they came to be called cell phones -

"Term used currently in the United States and Canada (and in other countries as well during the 1980s) to refer to most mobile phones. It technically applies specifically to mobile phones which use a cellular network. In developing mobile phone technology, American electrical engineers saw the main technical problem as achieving a smooth handoff from one radio antenna to the next. After they gave the name "cell" to the zone covered by each antenna, it was a natural choice for them to apply the term "cellular" to both the technology and the phones that ran on it."

(Bolding is mine)

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417059)

mobile phones (because they're mobile, and they're phones)

Well, technically, all phones that aren't bolted down are mobile. Your number won't follow the phone line to which you hook it, but the phone itself can be moved. Hence my dislike for "mobile phone". My dislike for the shorthand "mobile" was expressed earlier: That's already something!

Now, if the phone followed you around of it's own volition, that'd be different : )

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

PHPfanboy (841183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417342)

Mobile, cell phone, handy, celly, whatever, my favourite one that I read recently is "mofo" (in the Salman Rushdie book "Fury"). I have this great mental picture of someone wrong-numbering a gangsta rapper "hey mofo, get off my mofo"...

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417906)

I have this great mental picture of someone wrong-numbering a gangsta rapper "hey mofo, get off my mofo"...

Verbing weirds the English language...

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416860)

I believe the article blurb has been written from an English POV :)
Usage of mobile-phone is practically the norm over here, we only really hear about cellphones from American media.

Re:Babies can use google too! (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416861)

This is a mobile. I hate that use of the word, "cell phone" worked just fine, IMO.

This is a cell [postcardsfromprison.com] . I hate that use of the word, "mobile phone" worked just fine, IMO.

Get off your high horse already, and realize English is a living, changing language. This isn't France for crying out loud...

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417027)

Get off your high horse already, and realize English is a living, changing language. This isn't France for crying out loud...

Hmmm, random cultural bashing aside, how the fuck is having an opinion and stating so "being on a high horse"?
Did I say anything about how my opinion is the only valid one, or did I explicitly state it was an opinion, jerk?

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Xemu (50595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417180)

This isn't France for crying out loud...

Actually, it is. You may not realise this but slashdot can be accessed here too.

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417506)

Sacred blue!

changing by country... (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417586)

In the US it's a cell phone. It parts of Europe, it's a mobile phone. In other parts of Europe (Germany?) it's sometimes called a "handy".

I see no reason to change what I'm saying, and I expect those who use other phrases don't plan on changing either.

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416930)

I'd hate to see your other definition for "handy" :P

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417038)

I'd hate to see your other definition for "handy" :P

Huh?

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417376)

Germans use the word "Handy" for mobile phones, which is, imho (and in the opinion of the language assistant at my school), completely daft . It was chosen for the English meaning of the word which of course disregarded the obvious fact that we call them mobiles. It's a common phenomenon in recent years (past decade or so). Germans adopt English words (mostly with their original meanings, unlike this case) which are in current use and their usage becomes mainstream. However, since the two cultures are moving at different speeds and in different directions, when the word goes out of use in the UK/US it remains a part of German speech. Of course it's not that bad, it gives us language students something to giggle at when 90s German textbooks are using 80s English words seemingly arbitrarily ;-)

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417437)

Germans use the word "Handy" for mobile phones

Ah... well... I guess... they are handy... I mean, yeah... crazy krauts :P

But using a foreign word in a deformed manner to use for something new is a classic. I don't mind when it's in another language so much because they don't know any better. Though it is sometimes quite hilarious.

Babies can learn/adapt too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417023)

In relation to our portable telephones, which are capable of being moved from place to place, tend to travel and relocate frequently, and can be used in the course of intermixing different social groups:

I. Mobile phone is a term recognizable in the US and used throughout much of the world.

II. Cell phone is a term unrecognizable throughout much of the world although used in the US.

---------------
mobile (adj.)
      1. Capable of moving or of being moved readily from place to place: a mobile organism; a mobile missile system.
      2.
                  a. Capable of moving or changing quickly from one state or condition to another: a mobile, expressive face.
                  b. Fluid; unstable: a mobile situation following the coup.
      3.
                  a. Marked by the easy intermixing of different social groups: a mobile community.
                  b. Moving relatively easily from one social class or level to another: an upwardly mobile generation.
                  c. Tending to travel and relocate frequently: a restless, mobile society.
      4. Flowing freely; fluid: a mobile liquid.

(Ruthlessly stolen primary definition.)

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417308)

I'm English. It's the word we use in England. When you write about them you're free to use whatever term you want, but I like mine.

Re:Babies can use google too! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417383)

It's the word we use in England.

I know, you're like the 3rd or 4th to needlessly point that out.

Re:Babies can use google too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417750)

I know, you're like the 3rd or 4th to needlessly point that out.

He's the one whose choice of words you were whining about to begin with. It seems perfectly understandable that he chooses to reply, regardless of what other people have said.

Is he on drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416805)

While mobile-phone internet use is currently low, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is optimistic: "People are going to spend all their time on it eventually," he said."

It's low because it's a pain in the ass to type in a URL, a search word or post a comment on Slashdot. Until phones come with real keyboard (like a BlackBerry) and don't cost a small fortune, it won't catch on.

I have unlimited web browsing on my cell phone plan and I very rarely use it because of this reason.

Re:Is he on drugs? (1)

SPYvSPY (166790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416879)

Surf to Google Mobile on your PC. Enter your phone number. Google will SMS you the URL. Store the SMS for future reference. How easy is that?

Nokia 6820 (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417132)

You want the nokia 6820 [theregister.co.uk] , with an even easier to use keyboard than the blackberry, that folds away. I got one about a year and a half ago, and I've never looked back. Amazing device.

Re:Nokia 6820 (1)

megan_of_wutai (649071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417403)

The E70 is going to be out soon, and that's quite an upgrade from the 6820, not least because it's series 60 instead of series 40 so you can actually install programs properly. I'd definitely wait for it.

How to make cellphone internet use take off (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14416808)

It's simple, really, build bigger towers in smaller towns. My father lives 5 miles from one such town (1200 people) in Minnesota. He has no DSL, no cable, satellite works only when the dish is not covered in snow, and worst of all, even if he drove into town, he can get about two bars on an analog signal on his cellphone.

You want a natural monopoly? Move in, build a handful of tall digital towers, and cover the farmers and the townspeople in the digital age. Charge $50 a month just for access, add in some more for usage. Sell $400 bluetooth cellphones uncrippled so that they can connect real computers to the cellphone. Sure, some farmers might distrust those new fangled intarweb thingies, but many will get it, if only to keep their kids from getting bored and running off to the city and leaving the farm behind.

Re:How to make cellphone internet use take off (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417349)

Sounds like a waste of investment capital to me. The farmers would just watch about 5 minutes of zoo porn before realizing they can see the same thing in the barn out back, then call and disconnect the service.

been doing that for a while (5, Informative)

chrismtb (778837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416865)

I have been accessing google and other wap sites for a long time, including my school email, gmail, weather, mapquest, yahoo and more. With verizon, WAP / wireless web only uses minutes (free on nights/weekends), as long as you use your own proxy server (or a free one). What you pay verizon $5/month for is use of their proxy server. Note that there are exceptions to this: some of the newest phones require a data plan and wireless web may not be charged as minutes.

I run my own proxy server [nowwap.com] on my PC and log on to that with my phone. I set up a free WAP homepage [tagtag.com] , with links to a bunch of useful sites. If you set up or find a reliable proxy server, it is just a matter of doing some very basic on-phone "hacking", which usually just consists of accessing hidden menus. More information than you would ever need about phone hacking is available at Howard Forums [howardforums.com] . Mail2Web [mail2web.com] is a site that lets you check virtually any email through WAP.

Noob note: if you are going to run your own proxy, make sure to password it, especially if you are on a network. Slashdot may not let you post if you are running a proxy.

Not any time soon (5, Interesting)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416868)

While mobile-phone internet use is currently low, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is optimistic: "People are going to spend all their time on it eventually," he said."

Not any time soon, they aren't.

With carriers charging obscene rates for data transfer (my plan with Cingular is $15/month extra for 5MB), charging by the kilobyte for overage, and the realistic speed you get off their gee-whiz-bang-super-ultra new networks delivering an experience similar to visiting a Flash-heavy site on a 9600 baud modem, and phones so absurdly underpowered (yet still overpriced) that they choke running a text-only browser, you'd have to be delusional to think mobile phone internet access will increase by any substantial amount in the near future.

Case in point: about a year ago, I got the much-hyped V3 Razr from Cingular. Remember the commercials? This thing was supposed to be a home entertainment center, PDA, and PC all in one device. Obviously I was skeptical, but I liked the form factor. And it's really hard to do much multimedia work with only 5MB of memory and no flash card capability.

Turns out, even in an area covered by what Cingular claims to be their hi-speed network, it takes me roughly a minute just to launch the browser and get my text-only home page loaded (it may have a Cingular logo on there, too, admitedly). Just the other day, I was sitting in the pharmacy, waiting on a perscription to be filled, and really wanted to know what time the Red Wings game started. It took ten fucking minutes to load a page only 3 clicks deep off my homepage and find out the start time.
 
...and this is on a supposedly high-end phone. Sure, if you buy one of those PDAs with a phone tacked on (i.e. the Treo), the experience is dramatically better, but the Razr is (sadly) still one of the better (best?) phones on the market, and if this is the dismal experience I'm getting now, how long until phones progress to the point that going online is tolerable and affordable for Joe User and the phone that came free with his plan? Quite a few years, I'd imagine.

It's sad, really. The biggest barrier to the adoption of mobile phone-based internet usage are the people trying to sell you the service in the first place. And the phone manufacturers aren't helping any. Cell phone providers suck the big one - who knew? ;)

Re:Not any time soon (2, Interesting)

blork101 (889544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416932)

I think that's Schmidt's point. Eventually, when the technology has been further developed, when we get the replacement to 3G that has obsene transfer rates, when companies like Google take an active role in the development of these phones (or at least the software). Google are just laying the foundations for another avenue of revenue for themselves.

Oh, and how long before this gets added to the Opera buying Google rumours? Remember, Opera's mobile browsing techology makes them a big target.

Not with T-mobile (1)

Xshare (762241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416979)

4.99 a month unlimited WAP access. They block some ports so that you don't hook it up to your laptop and get free internet, but I constantly go to google to look stuff up (google can search regular internet and convert the pages to format for wap). I get directions, weather, news, sports, and email online. All for pretty much pennies. :)

Re:Not with T-mobile (1)

presidentbeef (779674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14419507)

Seconded...I've read a bunch of posts on this page about how expensive it is for internet on your cell phone. I have the T-Mobile WAP access for $4.99 a month. It isn't blazing fast or anything, but you can go anywhere you need. I can check mail for school or work (through OMA) or gmail. If I want to go to any site that doesn't have a WAP page, then I can go to Google and do a search, which automatically proxies the pages for me.

It's a pretty sweet deal

Less complaining, more looking into competitive rates!

Re:Not any time soon (3, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417176)

Cingular is really bad about their data services.

I recently tried downloading a game to my phone to see what it was like. Note that this wasn't the internet proper, but was over their minimalist phone network. The game preview images took nearly 30 seconds to load, and the whole process took about 20 minutes. After I bought the game for 5 dollars, I went online to check my bill and found out that the process of finding and downloading the game took an additional 6 dollars worth of bandwidth. It's like buying 100 dollars worth of groceries and getting a 150 dollar "lingering fee" when you walk out of the building. Bandwidth just isn't that expensive.

I hear Verizon is a lot better with their data. Bandwidth is still tiny, but prices are closer to what you would expect to pay for a service like this.

Of course, I live in an area with three free open WAP points at any given location, so the whole thing is somewhat moot. But I won't buy a network-centric phone until the cellphone companies get off of their high horses and become network providers rather than end-to-end monopolists. After all, none of them have figured out yet that I want to SSH into a machine at work, so why should I expect them to be able to take responsibility for the entire experience chain?

It is my phone, I'll install what I want and run what I want. You can choose to provide the network connection or not. That's the way it works in the rest of the world, and man does it work better.

Re:Not any time soon (2, Insightful)

macpeep (36699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417303)

Perhaps not in the USA. But the USA isn't the only country in the world, and in particular when it comes to mobile services, it's definitely not representable of the rest of the world. In Asia and in Europe (I live in Finland) people use the Internet a lot - directly and indirectly. Directly in the obvious ways; web, email, download of games, etc. And indirectly by using various applications that access the Internet - for example online multiplayer games, news readers (like the Finnish "Kanavat" application that downloads compact web-like content from various media sources and allows these to be read offline and/or with zero-wait between page switches).

The prices are obviously not as cheap as they could and should be, and crazy expensive relative to home broadband Internet. But in absolute terms, it's not that bad. I pay 18 euros a month for 100 MB of data traffic. 100 MB is a huge amount to download over a cellphone link (with EDGE or 3G UMTS, the real-world speed is at best somewhere above 200Kbps). I typically read the news from a couple of websites each morning on the subway, and that results in total data downloads of maybe 50 megs per month. 18 euros for that is around 50 cents per day for this pleasure. Like I said, in absolute amounts, that's really not so bad!

Rumor has it that flat-rate fees for unlimited traffic are coming (to FInland) in 2006 and the prices will be around 20 euros a month.

Peppe

Re:Not any time soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417958)

But the USA isn't the only country in the world...

Are you serious? When the fuck did this happen!?

Re:Not any time soon (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14420504)

Rumor has it that flat-rate fees for unlimited traffic are coming (to FInland) in 2006 and the prices will be around 20 euros a month.

T-Mobile has had unlimited GPRS (now EDGE) for over four years in the US for $20 a month. Sprint offers unlimited 1xRTT/EV-DO for $15 a month.

You clearly don't understand or care to understand the US wireless market. Actually go and compare prices between the US and Europe - we consistantly pay less per minute, are never charged for calling customer care (as you sometimes are in Europe), generally get unlimited night/weekend calling, and frequently get unlimited calling to other phones on the same network.

This myth is pervasive on Slashdot, but it hasn't been true for years.

Re:Not any time soon (1)

Adelle (851961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417427)

The Razr is not Motorola's best phone. I think the phone manufacturer's market research must have told them that noone was using their technology. My *old* phone (purchased more than 2 years ago) has 64Mb built in.

Better cell phone options (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417474)

Internet web use? Like everyone else says, not with the prices they're charging.

However, items that would be obvious to have on your phone:
1) iPod/MP3 player (why carry both if one will do?)
2) limited PDA (they're almost there now, just add a few additional capabilities, you'll have a full address book/calendaring capability. Add voice recording on the phone itself, and you have almost everything anyone needs. I'm neglecting that 1% of the most vocal population that wants hand-writing recognition capabilities)

Both of the above imply full interaction capabilities with PCs. If cell phones would have the brain-dead limitations removed (ie, locked phones) they'd be more useful to the consumer.

Re:Not any time soon (1)

puto (533470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417480)

Well,

I work for Cingular, and will say this. I cannot recall us ever advertising the V3 as an all in one, yep we we never plugged it as an entertainment center, pda, nope. I even just scanned through some of our old commercials.

The V3 does not do edge, just regular GPRS. The V551 does edge. You should have done a little research.

I know our network well, because I service customers every day on it. If your phone cannot connect to it(read does not have the capability) how can you complain? 40k is all you will get. V551 and other edge devices will do 110-140, and if you are in the areas with UMTS it even gets better.

Also, if you are not tethered to a laptop, you can get the umlimited data package for that phone for 19.99 a month. Call in and ask for the medianet unlimited.

Data Connect plans are different.

The V3 is a fashion plate phone. A decent phone, but never really advertised as an all in one.

Puto

move to a normal country that doesn't suck, dumbas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417698)

no text

Re:Not any time soon (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417885)

Cingular's dataplan is called "MEdianet". It costs $15/mo for 10mb of data, and $20/mo for unlimited data.

(confusingly, the "rateplan" section of their website lists a "dataplan". But that's different).

google stories on slashdot? (4, Insightful)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416871)

what is the record for the most google stories at the same time off the slashdot homepage?
right now there are 3...
wonder what the record is for any single topic having the most slash-share at a given time...

Ballmers new (broken) mobile (4, Funny)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416896)

(Throws the mobile across the room)

I'm gunna fuck'n kill Motorola
Steve Ballmer

Data mining (1)

msid (943658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416925)

Like I have said many times before, it's all about google and their data mining tactics. Gmail, Google toolbar and now this. Who knows what else we are not aware of. The invasion of privacy has become ridiculous. So ridiculous that nobody really cares anymore. Take a look also at what google-watch.org has to say about google.

Goo goo gaa gaa Google (1)

MoBetta (944027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416980)

I'm really curious, does Google own Slashdot or have some serious stake in it? I can't remember a day on Slashdot where there hasn't been a post about Google. I like Google but I am tired of hearing about every time it wipes it *#$.

Slashdot: Google Mouthpiece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417025)

Yeah, seriously. No one even mentions a similar deal from Yahoo with Nokia. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060106/wr_nm/electron ics_yahoo_go_dc_10 [yahoo.com] . Can someone try to compare the technical merits of the Motorola-Google deal with the Nokia-Yahoo deal? Not to mention that Yahoo is going to do the same with Motorola -- it's not an exclusive deal.

See for yourself -- is Slashdot a huge Google fanfest or what?

Why would I want to use Internet on mobiles? (2, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14416992)

"People are going to spend all their time on it eventually,"

My experiences with Internet on mobiles so far has been that it's slow, expensive and awkward to use. If you spend a lot of time on buses or trains I suppose I can understand a desire for mobile Internet access, although using a laptop and data card would seem a much better solution anyway. The only time, ever, that I didn't have easy Internet access, and it was an issue, was a sys-admining problem that I'd have needed ssh to fix, anyway (and the idea of doing sys-admin work on a mobile screen with the standard keypad gives me nightmares).

Anyone, why would I want this?

Re:Why would I want to use Internet on mobiles? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417088)

The only way I can see approaching "all the time" is if I were streaming music or news to listen on the go.

But honestly, I don't even have a cell phone anymore. I just don't like the providers and their policies and rates.

Re:Why would I want to use Internet on mobiles? (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418099)

I suppose this may apply more to people who are heavy mobile phone users - to me it's a useful tool for anyone that needs to contact me when they have no idea where I am (home, office, in shops), or need to contact someone and am not near a phone (it's brilliant for co-ordinating meeting up with people), which is about 20 minutes a month of usage...

Re:Why would I want to use Internet on mobiles? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418907)

My experiences with Internet on mobiles so far has been that it's slow, expensive and awkward to use... Anyone, why would I want this?

One application that seems useful (to me) is Google Local for mobile [google.com] . If you've never used Google Local [google.com] , it's an integration of Google Maps (with directions) and business directory. Another non-Google application is stats/rosters while watching a sporting event, since many venues now have free wi-fi.

Besides those two, I can't think of more uses (and I'd rather do them on an unfashionable PDA). I don't see many people "spending all their time on it."

Party like it's 1999 (2, Interesting)

grumling (94709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417009)

Anyone have one of these keyboards? [salon.com] I know it must look like Google will be on top forever and ever, but anyone who used to use Alta Vista knows better (and anyone who knows about Alta Vista is an old man now). This phone is not going to make much of a difference in the long run.

single button access, big deal (1)

rheotaxis (528103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417063)

Article says: "...access...search engine...(with) single button."
Can we get a single button to access /. instead?

www.fuckedgoogle.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417086)

read this for a good laugh and some new thoughts about Google...

www.fuckedgoogle.com

Re:www.fuckedgoogle.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417149)

Thank you for the link.

Slashdot is really becoming googledot. Digg is stupid but in the last year slashdot became n-times more stupid than every other news site in existence (except, offcourse, osnews, which has the most childish and frustrated self called "editors")

Is there a good, I mean *good* news site these days?

Re:www.fuckedgoogle.com (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14417191)

Good point. I don't know anything better than slashdot either, which I also find slowly deteriorating.

The most frustrating thing for me right now is Google though.
They destroy the whole value of URLs, so independent people cannot see each other any longer in the pile of Google ad-spam, penis-enlargement pills, home mortgage loans.
wikipedia is already the better search engine for >50% of my searches.
The other day I wanted to learn about solid state disks, and Google was just horrible. I then used webcrawler.com, which was slightly better. Until I found a specialized website/search engine, www.storagesearch.com, then I could finally see through all the junk of the 1-person scamster linkfarm bs.

the free URL-linked Internet for the masses, 1995-2005, RIP
taken over by greed and deceased way too young

In other news... (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417106)

Google has Googled the entire Googley Google. Google Google world park in Googleville has a Googleplex of Googish Googles Googling to Google your Googles. "We Google Your Google so you don't have to," said one Googliscious Googler.

A spokesperson for MSN was Googled as saying: "Crap"

Or you could just use it now. (1)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417294)

It's been around a while, and I've found Google SMS [google.com] to be both intuitive and useful at time. But hey, that's just me.

In developed Asia, the PC is dying. (3, Interesting)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417360)

Kids and young adults in Japan and Korea are only interested in SMS and phone-oriented Web services rather than a PC:

http://www.ojr.org/japan/wireless/1047257047.php [ojr.org]

In South Korea, meanwhile, the government has institutionalized the death of the personal computer in a program call the Post PC Era Initiative (formally, the "IT839 Strategy"):

http://www.hardware-depot-online.com/xybernaut_est ablishes_korean_operations_to_benefit_from_post_pc _era_db.jspx [hardware-d...online.com]

You can scoff and say that "well, that's fine for the Asians, but it will never catch on here." I said the same thing 20 years ago when I saw my first Japanese anime and manga stuff. "Nah...this stuff is too tied in to a completely foreign culture and lifestyle and is too out-of-context for kids in the West to relate to. Never catch on here." Now I have a 24-hour anime channel on cable--in rural Texas. Proving once again (as has been proven countless times over the past 40 years if I had been paying attention) that whatever it is that the Japanese youth are doing now, we in the U.S. will be doing in another decade.

Re:In developed Asia, the PC is dying. (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417379)

In other words: In Korea, only old people [slashdot.org] use PCs.

(Come on! Someone had to say it!)

That's essentially true. (1)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14417573)

I'm 50 years old and you can't pry me off a desktop for the Internet and messaging (I don't even care for laptops, I'm that much of a desktop purist). A decade ago I was living in an "interesting" ethnically mixed neighborhood in Dallas (OK, Oak Cliff for those of you who know the area) and noticed a parallel trend among African-American and Hispanic kids among my acquaintances: Mom and Dad had the PC in the family, Junior had a cell phone instead. Phones were extremely popular (to the point of being a fashion statement) and I got the distinct feeling it tied in to the Gangsta culture, where cell phones and Tek-9s were the preferred tools and the local atmosphere was saturated with a worship of gangs and drug dealers. Owning a PC or laptop was acting too much like Whitey for this youth culture. I can think of very few families in the neighborhood where members under the age of, say, 30 owned a PC--although a sizeable percentage of the parents and grandparents did.

You can argue that this was due to the relative poverty of a disadvantaged urban area, rather than a youth culture turning its back on PCs, but I'm seeing the same thing here in a small, rural Texas town that is extremely wealthy and 90%+ white. Everybody owns a cell phone, but it seems like the number of folks under age 30 who are passionate about personal computers (the way my gang was back in the 80's) just isn't there anymore. I've worked on audio editing and CD cover art production for 3 local musical acts, all folks under age 25 or so (and 2 of the 3 are Hip Hop acts here in rural Texas, go figure), and it's striking that the kids come to me to do their computer work because they just don't want to be bothered with a PC. It's not like they're poverty-striken and can't afford the gear. These kids think nothing of dropping $5,000 on amps and instruments and mikes, etc. And you can bet your last dime that each and every one of them has a cell phone and depend on the things like you and I depend on air (an amazing number of them don't even have land lines), but a personal computer just isn't considered a necessary lifestyle/career enhancement. PCs seem to be Old School and the kids who are trendy and whom other kids look to as peer leaders just don't seem to desire them.

I would never have been able to predict this personally, because back in '86 or so everybody I hung with or worked with was drooling over the prospect of shelling out $3,500 for a Mac or a PC. You could do graphics on 'em, you could do your bookkeeping, if you were a musician or music producer, well, you just weren't in the Game unless you had a Mac set up to process MIDI from your keyboard.

Not anymore. I guess not only am I old, I'm Old School as well. :(

Bill (2, Insightful)

michelcultivo (524114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418101)

Wait the first bill and you will see if you need it anymore.

UNLIMITED Plans cost waaaay too much!!! (1)

ElectroBot (554775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14418942)

Here in Ontario, Canada unlimited cellphone internet access cost $80 CDN (approx. $69 USD), "UNLIMITED" means 25MB, roaming data plan can be up to 5 cents per KB and they wonder why few people use cellphone internet access???
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