HTC Smartphone Is So Big That HTC Had To Give It A Little “Phone Call” Friendly Brother.

HTC Butterfly with HTC MiniDr. Evil would be so proud. In an effort to build the next big thing in smartphones, one manufacturer is now producing a “mini-me” version of itself in order to be more useful. It’s the Mini and HTC has added it as an accessory for the 5.5″ HTC Butterfly to make it more phoning-friendly. From Gizmag:

“The device (HTC Mini) connects to the Butterfly via Near Field Communication (NFC). It’s small, light, and could be dropped in a shirt pocket while the much larger Butterfly sits in a deeper pocket or purse.”

So here’s the recap: HTC built a phone that was too cumbersome to use as a phone so they built a separate phone to work with the original phone in order to be a more convenient phone. Makes me wonder if cutting out the middleman (HTC Butterfly) would be the best way to go. [Gizmag]


Office Supply Retailer Staples Will Shrink Stores By 15%. The Culprit: iPads And Smartphones.

Staples - The Office Superstore

“The No. 1 reason for softness in this [office supply] business is the iPad…look at how much less we print today.”

Gary Balter, retail analyst at Credit Suisse (from WSJ)

This is good news. Thanks to technology like the Apple iPad, people are moving away from paper related products (filing cabinets, printers, binders etc.) and are pressuring the big office supply retailers, like Staples, to shrink their stores and pare down their product offerings. Moving to the cloud is also aiding this transition.

We think it’s great that Staples is Jubblingly reacting to changes in the marketplace by reducing their paper related product offerings and shrinking their stores. Our guess is that none of these positive changes would’ve happened at Staples had they kept that paper-pushing Dwight Schrute on staff. Just sayin. [The New Republic]


Future Apple iPhone Could Include A ‘Shake-To-Charge’ Feature.

Apple's Shake-To-Charge PatentThe whole shake-to-charge idea isn’t a new one but adding the technology to a mobile phone could be a boon. Gizmodo (via Apple Insider) is reporting that Apple Computer has applied for a shake-to-charge patent for use in future devices. If this feature is added to an iPhone, it’ll allow the user to kind of shake-weight it in order to extend its battery life. The shake-to-charge patent points to electromagnetic induction that converts deliberate and everyday motions into additional battery life.

When we will see this feature included in smartphones? Probably not right away; according to the Gizmodo article, mobile devices consume more power than a space-limited, shake-to-charge feature could replenish internally.

But one thing is for sure – if you think it’s weird watching people talk to themselves using their Bluetooth headphones, just wait until the suggestive shake-to-charge feature is added to cellphones. Because that’s when people, in public, will manually manipulate their devices in an up and down fashion to get some extra battery life. Sorry. It sounds bad but the reality may look even worse. [Gizmodo]


Hay-Sous! Just Sell Me An LED Light Bulb Without Smartphone Control And That Other Unnecessary Crap.

Insteon Networked Dimmable LED Light BulbIt’s like cracking nuts with a sledgehammer. I’m so tired of hearing about overly complicated green products that make us unnecessarily consume more in order to consume less. Crave posted an article, Control this LED bulb with a smartphone, about the $29.99 Insteon networked and dimmable LED light bulb. The Insteon LED light bulb can be dimmed and turned on/off by a remote control or with the addition of a $99.99 Insteon SmartLinc Hub, controlled via a iOS or Android mobile device.

Getting an LED light bulb: good. Super-sizing your Insteon LED with the SmartLinc Hub just so you can monkey-around with it with your smartphone: dum. [Crave]


2XL Games’ XLR8 App For iOS And Android Will Make Your EV Sound Like It Has A Pair (Inside Car Only)

Now, if you could only blast outside your Nissan Leaf what you’re hearing inside with 2XL Games’ XLR8 app…

The XLR8 app uses the accelerometer in your iPhone or Android device to track your speed, braking and cornering. It then converts your driving data and lets you hear through your car’s audio system* the sounds of driving a V-8 muscle car that shotgun’s fuel versus sipping or not consuming it at all. It’s the spanx / toupee for your EV or hybrid.

For an additional fee, you can unlock the engine sound produced by Ferrari, Lamborghini, NASCAR vehicle and Ford GT40. Giddy up! [Wired]

* XLR8 App is compatible with Bluetooth or wired connections


Which One Is More Jubbling: SmartPhone Or Phone Books?

Treehugger posted an interesting article that attempted to answer what was better for the environment – a lifetime of iPhone’s or phone books? The article’s author, Pablo Paster, calculated that a lifetime of iPhones has 11 times the carbon footprint of a lifetime of phone books. He then went on to point out that an iPhone replaces a bunch of carbon-creating devices (GPS, TV, video camera etc.) making the difference a lot less but still in the phone book’s favor.

For me, it’s not as much about the phone book’s carbon footprint. Instead it’s about getting the phone book when I don’t want or need it. And to opt-out I have to give the Yellow Pages Association information about me, including my email address, that they didn’t already have.

Check out the article and when you’re done, you can choose to give up your personal information and opt-out or you can continue to annually get your phone book (aka emergency booster seat or hot dish pad). [Treehugger]