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Archives: October 2010

Cliff Lee Is Most Mentioned World Series Player on Facebook Through Two Games

San Francisco Giants fans may have bought into the “Fear the Beard” frenzy, donning jet-black goatees for Halloween in honor of closer Brian Wilson, but the beard hype was only good enough to propel Wilson to fifth place in World Series player mentions on Facebook through the first two games, according to Sporting News Today.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher (and game one loser) Cliff Lee took the Facebook crown through two games, with 67,133 mentions on the social-networking site. He was followed by Giants starter and game two winner Matt Cain, at 41,849; fellow Giants starter and game one winner Tim Lincecum, at 35,627; Rangers outfielder and American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton, at 32,357; and Wilson, at 31,692.

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What's On Frank's Android Home Screen?

Frank's Nexus One Home ScreenI use the Google Nexus One running Android 2.2 as my primary personal cell phone, and as you may know, the Android home screens can display wallpapers, widgets, icons, and folders. I thought I would share a screen shot of the main home screen on my Nexus One and provide an overview of what is on it for two reasons. One is that it enables you to have a better understanding of how I use my phone, and second is that it might provide you with an idea of how you can customize your own phone.

The wallpaper that you see in the screen shot is a picture that I took of the Mackinac Bridge at sunset. I use Wallpaper Rotator, which is a free app, to change the wallpaper on my phone every six hours. I could have the wallpaper changed more frequently, but I have settled on a six hour rotation and that seems to work the best.

Now, let’s go around the home screen counterclockwise, starting in the upper left-hand corner. First I have the Android Calendar widget that comes by default on every Android phone. The calendar widget might be a bit too large for many but I think the larger size makes it easier to read. The widget displays the current date and right below it my next appointment. Tap the calendar widget to start the calendar app. Next is the Evernote icon and below that is the icon to Dialer One, which is an alternate dialer for Android phones. Dialer One provides a smart dial feature similar to what is available on Windows Mobile phones. With Dialer One’s smart dial I can simply tap the dial pad numbers that have the letters of the contact I want to dial and it filters the contacts list with those letters.

Next is the icon to Handcent, which is a text messaging app that supports threaded text messages that looks like the iPhone messaging app. Next to Handcent is the Contacts and Gmail icons. Above the Gmail icon are two icons that display my e-mail that have specific tags. The one tag icon labeled Important displays all of my e-mail that were assigned the Important tag by Google’s Priority Inbox. The tag icon labeled ToDo displays all of my e-mail that I have assigned the ToDo tag, which I manually assign to e-mails that I need to follow-up on. You can create your own icons for Gmail labels by pressing and holding on the home screen, select Shortcuts and then select Gmail label.

In the upper right-hand corner of my home screen is the Weather Channel widget. The Weather Channel app includes three widgets and the one you see here is the small widget, which displays the current temperature and weather graphic for my current location. Tap the Weather Channel widget to open the Weather Channel app. Finally to the left is the Battery Left widget which shows the current time when the battery will run out, along with the percentage of battery left as a graphic and number.

There you have it, rundown of what is on my main home screen. Because this is the screen that you see the most often when starting the phone, what it displays is the most important information and the icons to my most important apps on my phone. Of course, there are five home screens on the Nexus One and all of them have additional icons that I consider secondary to what is on the main home screen. In future posts I will share what I have on my secondary home screens.

Box.net Increases Free File Storage to 5 GB

Back in April I wrote an overview on online file storage services that work with smartphones. I’ve been recommending Dropbox primarily because it provides 2 GB of free file storage, which has been the most you can get for free. Box.net is causing me to have to change that recommendation if the choice is based purely on the amount of free file storage and the existence of smartphone apps because they have increased their free storage from 1 GB to 5 GB. Box.net apps are available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry smartphones as well as the iPad.

One reason I’ll continue to use Dropbox is that it synchronizes files to my desktop platforms. Dropbox runs in the background on my Windows and Mac computers and whenever I add a file to my Dropbox account it gets automatically downloaded to the computers. Box.net only provides file synchronization for business and enterprise users.

If you need more than 5 GB of storage you will need to pay for it, and I recommend SugarSync, which provides 30 GB of storage for $49.99 per year. The minimum paid version from Box.net gets you 25 GB for $119 per year, and Dropbox provides 50 GB for $120 per year. Google actually provides the cheapest online storage with Google Docs providing 20 GB for $5 per year but unfortunately there are few, if any. smartphone apps that work directly with Google Docs.

Sprint Feels iPad Love

Despite the fact that the iPad only works on AT&T’s 3G network and that only Verizon and AT&T are selling the iPad, Sprint CEO Dan Hess says that Sprint is benefiting from Apple’s success with the iPad. According to Hess, sales of Sprint’s Overdrive MiFi wireless access point has increased since Apple started selling the iPad. Apparently a lot of people are buying Sprint’s MiFi, which has the fastest Internet speeds thanks to Sprint’s 4G network, to provide Internet access to the WiFi-only version of the iPad.

Verizon recently started selling the iPad bundled with Verizon’s 3G MiFi and special data plans. Sprint is proving that it doesn’t need to enter into a deal with Apple to benefit from iPad sales presumably because the Overdrive MiFi is better than the ones from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Sprint actually was one of the first mobile carriers to jump on the iPad bandwagon when they provided free iPad cases to people who bought the Overdrive at Best Buy back in April. The cases had a special pocket to hold the Overdrive where you could just leave the device and access the Internet on the iPad.

Missing Geocities? Download It.

If you have about a terabyte of spare space on your hard drive, why not fill it with the contents of the ever-memorable Geocities?

The Archive Team has saved the user-generated content of the hosting site after Yahoo! decided to shut down what The Los Angeles Times deemed, “the most significant virtual museum in recent history.” And they have decided to torrent Geocities in its entirety. All 900 GB of it.

“While it’s quite clear this sort of cavalier attitude to digital history will continue,” says The Archive Team on their website. “The hope is that this torrent will bring some attention to both the worth of these archives and the ease at which it can be lost – and found again.”

Email geotorrent@textfiles.com to be notified when it is ready.

This Week in Social Games – Shopping in Games, Action RPG Vindictus, and Social Times PRO

This week we saw: Mertado launch shopping feature for social games, launch of a new action RPG title called Vindictus, and AT&T’s partnership with mobile payment providers. We also discussed the state of the job market in the gaming industry, announced our latest Social Times Pro Report, and pondered whether FarmVille players would ever really stop playing.

Read more

Week In Review: Nook Color, Amazon iPad Shopping App, James Patterson

Happy Halloween! Have a fun and exciting holiday weekend. Before you head out, here is a roundup of our top stories in eBooks this week:

Barnes & Noble launched Nook Kids and announced the Nook Color eReader.

Amazon got caught selling US titles in the Kindle UK store.

James Patterson sold a million Kindle books and got an iPhone app.

Scholastic launched a social network.

We created the best eReader Twitter feeds list.

iPads hit Verizon and AT&T stores.

Kobo updated its app to include newspapers.

We rounded up our favorite literary-horror films that are streamable on Netflix.

Borders dropped the price on select eReaders.

Amazon launched a shopping app for the iPad.