Wednesday, January 21, 2009

iPhone arrives in Thailand Now

The long-awaited Apple iPhone has finally arrived Thailand on Friday.

The TrueMove iPhone 3G launch, handled by True Move, was held at the Royal Paragon Hall at Siam Paragon from Friday to Sunday.

There are few devices that have caused such a stir, and the iPhone has shaken up the mobile phone industry with manufacturers trying, one way or another, to duplicate what makes the iPhone what it is. Inevitably they, and those who bought unlocked iPhones, miss the essential ingredient - the integration of hardware, software and services. True does seem to grasp this point.

Supachai Chearavanont, chief executive officer and managing director of True Move, outlined the iPhone's arrival in Thailand. During much of his presentation he pushed the idea of convergence and of the device as part of a "lifestyle". He mentioned the multi-use features that may not be familiar to many users - phone, music player, games, pictures and Internet.

He also mentioned that True has its own apps for the iPhone. There are 12 currently available via the App Store, and while some are specifically for the iPhone, some also work on the Generation 2 iPod touch. This reveals that there has been a considerable amount of work going on behind the scenes.

During his introduction, he took time to thank Apple, which is only fair, but as an indication of the fact that this is True's baby in Thailand, there was no one from Apple at the briefing or the subsequent Q&A session. Apple personnel were there, but as advisers on the installation, and were not openly involved in the project management. Supachai also showed what appeared to be a couple of nicely made advertisements for the iPhone 3G with a Thai voice-over, ending with the Apple logo.

By: GRAHAM K. ROGERS @ Bangkokpost

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girls really do want games about fashion

Since the launch of its brand Imagine the end of 2007, Ubisoft has confirmed what we already suspected: There is gold in the girl players. The company has put out 15 titles that focus on girls from last year - games such as "Fashion Designer, Film Star," "Master Chef" and "Babyz." It sold 8 million copies worldwide of the games.

However, some experts - and lay people - which refers to gender-specific games can send the wrong message to girls. When the games launch, more than a few bloggers took the company to task for which it seems to trade in tired old stereotypes.

"I wonder what else is doing Ubisoft for girls, except shopping, fashion and pets. Anything?" Alice Taylor wrote in his blog wonders. Even Kotaku definitely a type of game-heavy site, put a snarky post with the title: "Ubisoft puts women in their place."

As a child of age, I admit that my first reaction to the brand Imagine being annoying. (Seriously. "Babyz Party?"), But then he started thinking about my own childhood old. I loved the building of strong and play the ball in the impasse. But I also loved ballet and figure skating. I was crazy about horses. I was the neighborhood babysitter.

Ubisoft did not enter this market cold - raising animals virtual "Petz" games have been super popular with the girls together. And the company made decisions on what we imagine the line, said Senior Vice Ubisoft President Tony Key, based on information obtained from real live girls.

"Almost all of our online games is the result of a classification system that put us in front of girls, (asking)" What's interesting to you? "He says." The list is not just 'the fashion designer "," Babyz "and" Wedding Design "... that is the existence of archeology, which is the existence of attorney, which is a professor there, had the doctor there. "

To be fair, the sparkle Imagine loaded games include titles like "Animal Doctor", "Master" and "Interior Designer" - all the professions that women are not as stereotypical. But the best-selling title for now, in line with Imagine? "Fashion Designer".

Karen Shanor, a neuropsychologist based in Washington DC, said it was limiting - and damaging - to tell the girls that these games are "just for them."

"The girls say they are because they want to love this, because they think they should, and that is what their friends are getting. We gender label things," he says. "I'm a girl, so I must enjoy the shopping and cooking and get a manicure and there is nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with a guy who has, either."

Key, but said that overall, girls respond differently to different rides for children. To create girls and boys want to destroy.

"These girls love customization, they love the creative part of" Fashion Designer "and the social aspects of showing your friends what you've created. Considering that children are the opposite - they're very interested in action," said Key . "You can not sell the same game for both, as a rule."

Nonsense, said Shanor, also found a toy expert and author. "Children want things to fly because that is what they are is their territory, he said."

Key points to the sales of the games as proof that they are resonating with the girls. "Stereotypes? That is something like a paint brush against a product line that really well and the public has told us (that) they really want," he says. "We are still largely without the girl in space."

That's not entirely true. Disney Interactive (formerly Buena Vista Games) has been making games based on its popular television programs over five years, starting with the vehicle Girly Hilary Duff, "Lizzie Maguire." And Bellevue, Wa. Her Interactive has been doing based PC-based Nancy Drew games for girls in a decade.

Megan Gaiser, CEO of Her Interactive, says that in 1999, sat with publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision and Hasbro and were told that girls are computer phobic and never play video games. Its interactive but found a way to get your first game "Secrets can kill," the market: They became the editors of the Amazon. And sales of the game off.

"The New York Times dubbed us the 'Un-Barbie computer games," laughs Gaiser. "We are really proud of it."

The success of the line of Nancy Drew - 6.6 million copies sold - shows that there is an appetite for intelligent and courageous heroines in games. And I wish there were more of them. I have no problem with the games on the ballet and clothing, but why are not more women adventurers (other than Lara Croft), in video games? Where are the female soldiers? Women athletes? They do not have the good people of EA Sports heard on Title IX?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Palm Pre :first impressions

User interface and OS

To me, the real highlight of the Pre is the user interface and OS. The UI reminded me a little of HTC's TouchFLO interface, with the various swiping gestures and cool animated motions, but Palm certainly put a fresh take on it. It's beautiful and smooth, and just plain cool. It's pretty evident that Palm put a lot of thought into the UI, as everything seamlessly works together to give you the best user experience, and making the smartphone a really useful tool in your daily life.

The smartphone makes multitasking easy with the Deck of Cards feature that lets you scroll through various applications and toggle between them without having to open and close windows. It's slick, but most importantly, it's easy. I also think Synergy is a huge player, since it brings all your e-mail accounts and contact and calendar information from various sources into one place. Again, it's about simplicity. And whether you're a consumer or business user, you have to love that.


To facilitate all this is a best-of-breed design. First, you've got a multitouch screen that's absolutely sharp and brilliant in color with its half-VGA (320x480) resolution. Not only can you use the screen to navigate, there's a gesture area right below the display where you can use finger swipes and touches to launch menus, toolbars, applications, go back, or advance. Of course, my favorite part might be the slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. I've made it no secret that I'm a huge texter and need physical buttons, so I was more than delighted when I saw that the smartphone had a keyboard. The Pre's keyboard is similar to that of the Palm Treo Pro; the buttons are a little on the smaller side, but there is a good amount of space between them to reduce any problems.

Again, looking at the design of the phone, I could tell time and thought was spent on the device. The hardware feels solid and not as plasticky as the Palm Centro. When you slide open the Pre, it has a slight curve that makes it comfortable to hold against your cheek when talking on the phone or even when typing out messages. Also, going back to the touch screen, it felt responsive and -- hooray! -- on Web pages, you can pinch the screen like the iPhone to easily zoom in and out of pages.


Speaking of the Web, the Pre's browser is pretty outstanding. It renders sites onscreen as you would see on your desktop, and quickly at that. When asked about Flash, Palm said they were not commenting on that at this point. We do know that there will be an app store, and Palm will release an SDK to developers. The company reiterated throughout the press conference that the Palm Web OS was built with developers in mind and based on HTML, CSS and Javascript, so that's all one really needs to know to develop apps for the Pre and other Web OS devices.


As far as multimedia, the Palm Pre offers a 3-megapixel camera. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to snap any photos, but early reports say that the quality is pretty good. Disappointingly, the camera won't have video recording capabilities at this time, but those could be added in the future. In terms of music, like the T-Mobile G1, Palm has partnered with the Amazon Music Store, so you will be able to purchase songs over the air from your Pre.

The rest

The Palm Pre offers so much that I could write on it forever, but I'll save some for when we actually get the unit in review. (By the way, I'm not sure when that will be, but I don't expect it to be anytime soon. I know. I'm sad, too.) Just to cover some quick specs: the Pre offers integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 (with support for stereo Bluetooth), EV-DO Rev. A, and GPS. There's 8GB of storage, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and high-speed USB 2.0.


The Palm Pre and Palm Web OS isn't necessarily going to revolutionize the smartphone market, in that it doesn't offer any crazy, new features, but it definitely brings a fresh look into the way you interact with a device and how it organizes information. It also brings innovation and life back to the struggling company and has certainly set the tech world abuzz. Palm's undeniably taken a beating from the media and general public, so it's good to see the company respond and take action.