Announcement: Review: Native Union Moshi Moshi Solo Handset

By Richard V. Burckhardt

The Native Union Moshi Moshi 05 Solo Handset is aimed at cell phone users who want the feel of a regular, old fashioned telephone handset. It features a sleek design that fits comfortably against your face and even cradles up against your neck and chin easily like we used to do in the old days.

The Moshi Moshi Solo 05 Handset

The Moshi Moshi Solo 05 Handset

I got the black handset, which came with the expected coiled black cord and and adapter for use with a PC or laptop. I tried it out on my iPhone 3GS, plugging into the top headset plug using the native 3.5mm jack and the sound was nice and clear. There is an “Answer” button in the center of the handset that allows you to answer and hang up. On some mobile phones, this apparently will allow you to redial the last number you called with this button, too, but on my iPhone, it just started playing tracks on the phone.

The handset features noise reduction, is supposed to eliminate over 99% of phone radiation and work with most mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.).

The Moshi Moshi 05 Solo handset weighs about the same as my iPhone, which leads me to wonder why anyone would want to use this with most mobile phones (unless you are worried about radiation from your phone). It’s actually heavier than many and, unless you have your phone anchored securely to a charging base or maybe in your pocket, you run the risk of dragging the attached phone around as you swing in your chair or get up. Continue reading

Announcement: Review: Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset

By Richard V. Burckhardt

First, I just have to say that this bluetooth was a life saver for me, so I guess you know what kind of review I’m giving it!

The Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset for PC’s with Skype Certificationis a two-piece set including the ear piece and a USB adapter that plugs into your Windows XP/Vista/7 PC. It is Skype Certified and includes up to two hours of SkypeOut talk time (depending on where you call), which is a nice bonus.

Set up was a breeze. After charging the headset for a bit, I plugged in the USB adapter into my laptop, pushed a button on the adapter, turned the headset on and, boom, automatically paired. Continue reading

Review: Republic Wireless Beta Hybrid Calling

By Richard V. Burckhardt

LG Optimus

The LG Optimus (photo from actual shipping box) is the phone available for the Republic Wireless beta program.

I’m an original iPhone user, grabbing one of the 2G iPhones when they first came out. And, I love my iPhone (currently on a 3GS) but what I don’t love is being forced into a data plan that costs more than my home broadband, especially when my data use is primarily over Wi-Fi. I have frequently wished I could get a good smartphone that didn’t require a data plan, but relied on Wi-Fi alone.

That’s where the idea of Republic Wireless comes in. Their plan, currently in beta, is basically opposite of what most mobile phone plans offer. Wi-Fi is the primary carrier with cellular the add-on. They expect their users (their “community”) to offload the majority of their phone use to Wi-Fi. When Wi-Fi isn’t available, cellular talk and data kick in. They call it “Hybrid Calling.”

For someone like me, who works from home and is covered by Wi-Fi something like 70% of the time, this is brilliant! I’m currently paying for two iPhones with rarely used data plans that cost more than my cable Internet (plus being slow and limited). With Republic Wireless, I pay $19 per month (plus tax) for each phone, covering talk and data. It’s so low because the majority of use is over Wi-Fi. If you go over your target offloading to Wi-Fi (expected to be 60% or more) you get notified of your overage and, if you continue, I’m guessing you are asked to leave the “community” nicely (this IS a beta, but I think that’s the idea). Continue reading

San Diego Power Outage: Like a Bad Syfy Flick

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Made the 2½ hour drive over to San Diego after work yesterday for my partner’s chemo procedure at Sharp Hospital scheduled for Friday. Drove up to a dark hotel where we were told all of the San Diego area was without power, something like four million people. That meant no gas, no restaurants, no hotels, in some areas no water. It was like a really bad Syfy TV movie (of course, ALL Syfy TV flicks are bad). Kept waiting for the flying mutant Squidshark to appear…

Original iPhone 2g with T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

Screen capture from a previous post about how a jailbroken original iPhone 2g works with a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

Went to the hospital to find out what to do. As we pulled up, we discovered a voice mail that all medical procedures for Friday were canceled (the phone never rang, the voice mail just appeared). Went into the hospital, which had emergency power, to see if anyone knew how far this thing went inland. Were told it went as far as some parts of Palm Springs. As usual, my AT&T iPhone was useless. Not even a signal. Pulled out a jailbroken original iPhone I stuck a T-Mobile prepaid sim into and, voila, it worked. (I am so canceling my AT&T when the contract expires).

Called the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, where Jim (my partner) works, and they had power. Since they are only a few minutes from where we live, we took a chance on our remaining half a tank of gas and headed towards Palm Springs and home, passing a lot of cars on the side of the road, obviously out of gas. Mercifully, we found gas an hour or so into the drive home. It took a 45 minute wait for a pump, but it was worth it as the remaining drive was through the mountains.

Got home at about 11 pm last night.

So, who wants to talk TV movie rights?


This is a post from The Web Optimist – SEO in The Desert.

+Richard Burckhardt

Observation: T-Mobile vs AT&T in Unlocked iPhone 2g

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Original iPhone 2g with T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

Original iPhone 2g with T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

This post is more of an observation than a review. After reading Danny Sullivan’s post How To Give Your Old iPhone To Your Kids, Cheaply, which explains how you can use AT&T prepaid SIMs in your old iPhone, I decided to give it a shot with my old original iPhone, which I keep around for a backup in case my iPhone 3GS bites the dust. I could always pop the SIM back into the old iPhone.

To be honest, I am researching ways the I might be able to use my old iPhones. I love the “i” part of the iPhone, but with the “Phone” part, the service has been extremely spotty. For example, my partner has liver cancer and we have spent a lot of time in medical offices and hospitals over the past two years, here in the Palm Springs area, Dallas, Los Angeles and in San Diego. A common occurrence in all of these buildings has been low to zero signal on my iPhone, yet other folks walk past me left and right talking on their cell phones!

Argh! I’m paying for a cellular plan PLUS $30 a month on top of that for a data plan for this? Continue reading

Mophie Juice Pack and Rechargeable Battery for iPhone 3G, 3GS

By Richard V. Burckhardt

I recently upgraded from the original iPhone to the iPhone 3GS so that I could take advantage of the increased speed, both hardware and Internet-wise, because some of the apps that I had installed, many purchased, just weren’t working well on the old phone.

For instance, the TVU Networks app, which lets you watch a lot of Internet based TV, was just too much for the old girl. The picture would freeze and the audio and video would be completely out of sync, even on a fast wi-fi network. Other apps like and Pandora would sputter on the Edge network while I was out on my daily walk in the Palm Springs sunshine.

Anyway, it was with much anticipation that I brought home a brand new iPhone 3GS to play with. The apps worked ever so much better!

The battery in the phone was a totally different story, however. With the new 3GS phone, I would find myself recharging two or three times a day as the little power bar would start plummeting after just a few phone calls or other use. I was getting frustrated and firmly believe that Apple should be ashamed to have introduced a phone with such sucky battery life. Apple will tell you to disable all of the things you got the phone for to prolong the battery – 3G, bluetooth, etc. Lame!

Fortunately, someone heard my cries of dispair and I was given a Mophie Juice Pack Air Case and Rechargeable Battery for iPhone 3G, 3G S (Black) as a gift. This little jewel effectively doubles my battery life with just a small bit of added bulk to the phone. This is especially handy if you are traveling or out of the office all day and have no way to plug your phone in to charge it. Continue reading

Review: Griffin 9696 AirCurve Acoustic Amplifier for iPhone

The Griffin AirCurve Acoustic Amplifier for the iPhone is a solidly built, attractive clear station that gives the iPhone’s tiny speakers a bit of a boost. It can be used with a charging cable for use as a charging station/music dock or it without the cable as a pure music dock.

Griffin 9696 AirCurve Acoustic Amplifier for iPhone (Clear) is only $14.99 with free shipping as I write this. A deal in my opinion!

See all of my reviews and videos online.