My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: T-Mobile SideKick’s rides the Bobsled Lazarus Effect - Logan's Run

Sunday, July 31, 2011

T-Mobile SideKick’s rides the Bobsled Lazarus Effect - Logan's Run

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of Death.

Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III, 1

The Microsoft Kin and the T-Mobile SideKick are inextricably intertwined. This is as the Microsoft Kin is a descendant of the T-Mobile SideKick, probably the first phone to feature a Cloud Based service.

The phone, made by Danger, was a revolution which was killed by Data Server failure in 2008. This in much the same way that the failure of Amazon’s Data Center as stated in the articleAmazon failure takes down sites across the Internet”, published Friday April 22, 2011 9:26 am ET by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News and the article “Amazon restoring AWS, but slowly for some”, published April 22, 2011 12:12 PM PDT by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech is resulting in the company, better known for books, taking a serious hit in terms of the reliability of its service and commitment to the five 9’s i.e. 99.999% uptime.

This, Dear Reader, was long before Google Chrome OS, the Cloud based OS on Google soon-to-be-launched NC (Networking Computer) based smartbooks as stated in the article Google offers a peek at its Chrome Laptop. Hint: It's an NC”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010AD 9:50 pm ET by Robert McMillan, Yahoo News.

Aptly called Cr-48, the name being the sum of protons and neutrons in the element Chromium (Cr), it is made by Acer and Samsung for the Laptop Hardware and Intel for the Processor as stated in the article “Google's Chromes updates: Browser, Web Store and Notebook OS will redefine ‘Cloud Computing’”, published December 7, 2010AD, 1:02pm PST by Sam Diaz, Between the Lines, ZDNet

Google Chrome OS and the associated Cr-48 smartbooks as stated in my blog article entitled “Google Chrome OS and Open Source - Star Wars, a New Hope” is fodder for an article on Cloud Computing.

So back to Microsoft and Danger!

Microsoft purchased the company in 2009AD and attempted to resurrect the SideKick as the Microsoft Kin 1 and Kin 2 in April of 2010AD as stated in the article “Microsoft's Kin: What it is - and isn't”, published April 12, 2010AD 12:44 PM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary.

By June 2010AD it had died again as stated in the article “Microsoft pulls the plug on Kin”, published June 30, 2010AD 1:57 PM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary, only to later be revived as chronicled by my Geezam Blog article entitled “Comeback Kids: Design is Everything” and confirmed by the article “Microsoft Kin phones are revived - sort of - by Verizon”, published Thursday November 18, 2011 11:51 am ET by Ben Patterson, Yahoo News.

Prices for the Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two, now with its hardware that was built by Sharp stripped of its onerous Kin Studio and reduced to mere feature phones, are as follows:

Classic textbook case of the Lazarus Effect, the premise behind the series that I started with my Geezam Blog article entitled “Microsoft Kin, Sony Dash Chrome OS and Google Nexus One - The Comeback Kids”!

So I am rather please to report that the original T-Mobile SideKick has also been revived and rather successfully too, only this time using Google Android as stated in the article “Review: SideKick 4G is a Teenage Dream”, published April 18, 2011, 10:13am PT by Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM.

Interestingly too, it is now a touch screen deal, so heads up folks, as I rattle off the specs.

The new T-Mobile SideKick sports a 1GHz Samsung CPU and is powered by Google Android 2.2.1 aka Froyo, a disappointment, as I expected that with Google Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread on the Google Nexus S as stated in the article Google mobile head says Nexus One too ambitious”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010AD 12:20 am ET by RACHEL METZ, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News, it would have followed the standard Google had set.

It 5.6 ounce smartphone with dimensions 4.97″ x 2.42″ x 0.59″ sports a 3.5” touch screen with a resolution of 800×480 pixels and 350MB or internal Memory. Not anything to write home about but it manages to save itself from another early death again by supporting MicroSD Cards of up to 32GB in size.


The usual motley crue of smartphone standards communication protocols, that being Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.1n) and Bluetooth rounds off the specs, with GPS and accelerometer pushing this device firmly into the smartphone category

Its 3 Megapixel VGA (Video Graphics Array) camera leaves much to be desired, but its ok for basic point and shoot. The inclusion of a front facing camera is a nice added touch, however, as since it’s packing that much speed from Telecom Provider T-Mobile 4G Network Video Calling!

Obviously from the processor, the T-Mobile SideKick is based on hardware from the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and supports Telecom Provider T-Mobile’s 4G Data Network, which is actually 30MBps capable HSDPA+ as stated in the article “ITU blesses U.S Data Networks as 4G”, published December 20, 2010AD 3:12 PM PST by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In and my blog article entitled “CLARO, LIME and HSDPA+ - CEO Michelle English, The Maverick.

Its snappy slide out QWERTY keyboard has a dedicated keypad with keys assigned with emoticons and an assignable function key, makes this resurrected Cloud Phone great for SMS (Short Messaging Service) or texting smartphone reminiscent of the original SideKick from Danger.

Teenage Dream indeed!

Interestingly, the US$99 T-Mobile SideKick, which supports Group Texting out of the box, also has another interesting feature that hearkens back to its Danger days: Cloud Texting. This is a Telecom Provider T-Mobile Feature that allows you to send SMS from your mobile device and then pick up the conversation on the Internet, hence the term “Cloud”.

But it is its latest Partnership with Social Networking giant Facebook that makes this Lazarus Effect so exciting to write about. Telecom Provider T-Mobile is a long time supporter of all things Google Android, having carried the first Android phone, the HTC G1 as stated in the article “A former no-Name from Taiwan Builds a Global Brand”, published October 28, 2010AD, 11:20AM EST by Bruce Einhorn, TECHNOLOGY - BusinessWeek that brought fame and fortune for the no-name Taiwanese company.

Telecom Provider T-Mobile, soon to be gobbled whole by Telecom Provider AT&T as stated in my blog article entitled “AT&T buys T-Mobile - Prince of Persia in a Series of Unfortunate Events, is no stranger to innovation. With assistance from Bobsled, an app made by Vivox, a VoIP Platform within Facebook that allows Voice and Video Calling without phone numbers, just your name as stated in the article “Look out Skype! T-Mobile powers Facebook VoIP”, published April 19, 2011, 11:00am by Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM.

Currently, Telecom Provider T-Mobile now offers the capability of calling friends via Bobsled on the T-Mobile SideKick, but eventually this app will spread to other phones.

This is a dream come true for many, especially technology writer Kevin C. Tofel of GigaOM, as like him, I too have thought it rather archaic to call someone by punching in phone numbers when one could simply use their name.

Facebook is quite ubiquitous and is effectively one’s identity online, so why not use your Facebook Profile name as a point of contact VoIP style? Truly this is not only a Lazarus Effect, but may also qualify for the title of Game changer.

This as if the Vivox-powered app were to be ported to other smartphones on other Networks, thus putting Social Networking competition on Google Voice, which thus far has managed to integrate itself into Voice Mail and International Calling on Telecom Provider T-Mobile phones “Sprint dials up Google Voice for all subscribers”, published March 21, 2011 5:00 AM PDT by Jessica Dolcourt, Dialed In - CNET News and in the article Google voice goes Mainstream with Sprint Integration”, published March 21, 2011, 5:00am PT By Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM as a counterpoint to Telecom Provider AT&T’s acquisition of Telecom Provider T-Mobile.

The Telecom Provider T-Mobile SideKick is obviously revived, demonstrating Open source software to revive even old brands as opposed to just old hardware. But what of the fortunes of the Vivox powered-Bobsled app and Social Networking VoIP Calling on smartphones in world increasingly going SMS?

Stay tuned for a future follow-up on what is now effectively a Logan's Run (1976) of Cloud Texting…….


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