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Posts Tagged ‘Brains’

Android iOS updated with Google Plus + app

iOS platform is being updated with the Google+ application which is needed to be taken in a brighter and perfect application. The mobiles and the comments are being taken in a way to consider the best in the forms of technologies that we are expecting. All the topics are being easily discovered in a way […]

A guide to efficient data management

The guide to efficient management of data illustrates the act of knowing why a bit of data exist, who exactly it is valuable to, for how long the data should be kept and when and how it should be discarded of.  This will entail doing information audits periodically and having users of information specify what data they […]

Dirty Dozen Ugliest and Lamest Cell Phones

Ugly only begins to describe what is wrong with these cell phones. Some of them lack such phone basics as keypads and displays.

Twelve Cell Phones We Love to Hate

Some cell phones really look great, but are impossible to use. Other cell phones have cool features, but are ugly ducklings. Then there are those rare mobile monstrosities that fail at both looks and usability. Some have pricing issues as well.

Now to be fair, many cell phone makers fail when they are too ambitious, adding cutting-edge features way before their time or taking a design risk. Without these noble failures, perhaps no iPhone would ever have been possible. 

The phones in our dirty dozen list all suffer from either design flaws or functionality failures, or both. While we hope you never get stuck with one of these stinkers, we also hope these phones have contributed to the greater good of the mobile world by letting handset makers learn from their mistakes.

Bang & Olufsen Serene

Launched in 2006, the Bang & Olufsen Serene mobile phone is a classic example of a phone that is all beauty and no brains–a phone suited more for a modern art museum than for your back pocket. Coming in at over $1000, the Serene sported an iPod-style click wheel with a numeric keypad around the wheel. Best of all, the phone’s display was placed under the keypad so, as Bang & Olufsen said, it wouldn’t get dirt smudges from your face. 

Our favorite touch: Bang & Olufsen’s decision to position the phone’s camera on the side of the phone. That meant that if you wanted to preview your picture using the Serene’s display, you had no way to face someone while taking a picture of them. 

Samsung P300

Because this model looks more like a pocket calculator than a cell phone, we wonder if Samsung was stealing design plans from Casio’s calculator division when it came up with the P300. 

This circa-2006 phone was packed with great features for its time, such as a camera, ample storage, and a 9mm-thick metal case. But the calculator-sized P300 never really had a chance because — well, who wants to be the oddball who makes calls on his pocket calculator? 

 Motorola ROKR E1

Way before the iPhone, if you wanted a cell phone that Apple helped design, your only option was the ROKR E1. This phone, debuting in 2005, was the disfigured child of a marriage between Apple and Motorola. The phone was one of the first to double as a MP3 player, allowing you to store a measly 100 songs from your iTunes collection. 

Part of what went wrong with the ROKR E1 was prelaunch hype followed by dashed hopes. When rumors first started to circulate that Motorola was joining forces with Apple, expectations were sky-high. But instead of delivering something that looked like an iPod-mobile phone hybrid the result looked more mundane — just another white, plastic, bulky phone.

Nokia 7380

If you owned the Nokia 7380 and had to send a quick text message to save your life, you’d be dead by now. This handset, which looks like a fancy pencil box, has to go down as one of the most unusable phones ever made. Critics commented that the only thing you could do fast with this phone is answer an incoming call.

Narrow but chunky, the 7380 lacked any sort of physical keypad. One might have thought that this concept was a bit on the nonfunctional side, but, going further, Nokia taunted fashion-savvy buyers with a tiny mirror screen that was completely illegible in strong light or direct sunlight.

Besides the cumbersome text input via the iPod-esque navi-wheel, the 7380 featured only 52MB of storage space (with no expansion slot) — not even remotely enough to hold a few pictures taken with the handset’s 2-megapixel camera (with flash and video) or many songs for the built-in music player (with FM radio).

Sony Ericsson W350 Walkman

Flimsy might be a bit of an understatement when it comes to describing Sony Ericsson’s W350 Walkman phone introduced last year. Mainly an entry-level music-oriented handset, targeted at the youth market, the W350 had no chance at withstanding the wear and tear it would be exposed to by the teens it was intended for.

Shortly after the phone went on sale, owners started posting to Internet forums that the ultrathin phone literally falls apart. Over the W350’s keypad was a wobbly flip cover with music playback controls on the front. Worse, the handset’s battery cover opened too easily, according to many users, who reported online that they lost this cover after only a few weeks of use. 

Nokia E90 Communicator

Note to Nokia: Bigger is not better when it comes to cell phones — that includes size and price. 

Nokia’s E90 Communicator debuted in 2007 for over $1000 (and is still relatively high). It’s a mammoth phone, geared, we can only guess, toward those with deep pockets. Deep pockets are required not only to pay the steep price tag, but to ensure that the phone fits in the pocket as well. The E90 measures 2.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches and weighs in at nearly half a pound (7.5 ounces).

Apart from its size, the E90 was designed to be one top-notch phone: It comes loaded with HSDPA, Wi-Fi, a 3.2-megapixel camera (with flash and video recording), a massive internal screen, a QWERTY keyboard, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, and e-mail options. But with such a big casing, Nokia could at least have equipped the expensive E90 with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a sturdier battery cover. 

The Siemens Xelibri Line

The Xelibri phones from Siemens were all so odd and ugly that we decided to include the entire lineup here. Launched in 2003, the first wave of Xelibri phones were envisioned be a consumer must-have. Sadly for Siemens, they proved be successful as a spectacle, but were criticized for not coming close to being fully functioning mobile phones. 

The brand lasted only about 18 months, after which the Xelibri designs went off store shelves.

Toshiba G450

In the category of “What on Earth is that?” is the Toshiba G450. This strange device is a combination USB broadband modem, cell phone, and mobile storage unit. Talk about your digital split personalities! 

Basically, this is one of those all-in-one gadgets of 2008 that proves less is more. With only 160MB of internal storage, the G450 was a tad on the skimpy side for a decent storage device. The small screen and the odd split-in-two keypad made it very hard to have any sort of decent use as a mobile phone.

Left only with its metallic color (the phones came in black, silver, and pink), the Toshiba G450 proved to be used best as a wireless broadband modem, supporting 3G, HSDPA, EDGE, and GPRS connections. 

Hopefully, Toshiba learned that three crappy implementations of otherwise useful tools into one device doesn’t always work.

Samsung Bang & Olufsen Serenata

Bang & Olufsen teamed with Samsung to create another museum piece called the Bang & Olufsen Serenata cell phone. Launched in 2007, It adopted the same impractical design as its predecessor, the Serene mobile phone 

With the Serenata, Samsung and Bang & Olufsen kept to a similarly weird design, putting the screen underneath the input area, and doing away with numerical keys as well. Only an iPod-esque wheel was left for number and text input. Where you might have expected a keypad, a high-def surround-sound speaker was added (under the sliding top part of the phone). At least one could hear the phone ringing.

The Serenata had some pluses: The phone came with 4GB of memory for storing songs, 3G (HSDPA) connectivity, a 256KB TFT display, USB 2.0, and Bluetooth A2DP support. Bang & Olufsen claimed the device could provide 3 hours of music playback through the built-in speaker. On the downside, the phone had no camera and sold for $2000.

Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV

Who needs to kill time playing games on your cell when you have Virgin Mobile’s Lobster 700 TV Phone? The name is inspired by its lobster-claw-like shape, but if you ask us, the Virgin phone–with its dreary gray-and-silver color scheme–is no catch. 

Virgin does deserve some credit when it comes to features. With the unit’s unlimited mobile TV, the company made the Lobster the first phone to offer mobile TV without added data costs. The only problem: Who wants a phone that resembles a crustacean? 

The Lobster was first released on the Virgin Mobile network in October 2006. The phone is now no longer available, and the mobile TV service was discontinued in January 2008. 

Compulab Exeda

For a phone that runs both Windows and Android, you’d think Compulab’s Exeda would look a little more modern. The boxy handset resembles a squashed Palm Treo, and its multiple navigation buttons seem downright confusing. The phone will support both GSM and CDMA when released; it will also have a touchscreen and a QWERTY keypad with a mini-trackpad. Also featured on the phone are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an ethernet port, a 2-megapixel camera, and a MicroSD card slot. 

You may have to wait a little bit to get your hands on this ugly duckling — though the company’s Web site says the Exeda will be available for purchase starting this month, there is no word on price or whether a wireless carrier will have the guts to offer it to its customers at a subsidized cost. 

Vertu Bucheron Cobra

The undisputable king of ugliness is the Vertu Bucheron Cobra–with its sole standout feature being the ridiculous price tag of $310,000. Covered by a gold cobra with 439 rubies and crusted with one pear-cut diamond, one round diamond, and two emerald eyes, this phone from Nokia’s deluxe division is not for mere mortals.

Only 8 of these tacky monsters were ever produced, but you could get one of the 26 “more affordable” units, which were “only” $115,000, with a python instead of a cobra. If you actually shelled out the money for this grotesque piece of technology, you wouldn’t get any of the high-end specs one would expect for a (2006) phone: no camera, no Bluetooth — just gems!

However, for the hefty price tag you do get a 24-hour remote concierge (no joke) accessible from a dedicated side-button, which will give you local insight into where to go out, eat, and drink, anywhere in the world. Us mortals could get this feature from our much cheaper and more-advanced mobile phones, thanks to Google Maps.

Is The Internet Warping Our Brains?

Image from Esther’s Space

From Live Science:

The Internet is no doubt changing modern society. It has profoundly altered how we gather information, consume news, carry out war, and create and foster social bonds. But is it altering our brains? A growing number of scientists think so, and studies are providing data to show it.

What remains to be seen is whether the changes are good or bad, and whether the brain is, as one neuroscientist believes, undergoing unprecedented evolution.


My Comment: I do not know about my brain …. but my hands suffer from carpel syndrome.

A Major Advancement In Controlling Artificial Limbs

Amanda Kitts was fitted with a bionic arm after she lost her arm in an automobile accident in 2006. (Shawn Poynter for The New York Times)

From International Herald Tribune:

Amanda Kitts lost her left arm in a car accident three years ago, but these days she plays American football with her 12-year-old son, and changes diapers and bear-hugs children at the three Kiddie Cottage day care centers she owns in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Kitts, 40, does this all with a new kind of artificial arm that moves more easily than other devices and that she can control by using only her thoughts.

“I’m able to move my hand, wrist and elbow all at the same time,” she said. “You think, and then your muscles move.”

Her turnaround is the result of a new procedure that is attracting increasing attention because it allows people to move prosthetic arms more automatically than ever before, simply by using rewired nerves and their brains.


Digital Overload Is Frying Our Brains

From Wired News:

Paying attention isn’t a simple act of self-discipline, but a cognitive ability with deep neurobiological roots — and this complex faculty, says Maggie Jackson, is being woefully undermined by how we’re living.

In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, Jackson explores the effects of “our high-speed, overloaded, split-focus and even cybercentric society” on attention. It’s not a pretty picture: a never-ending stream of phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, text messages and tweets is part of an institutionalized culture of interruption, and makes it hard to concentrate and think creatively.


Reading This Will Change Your Brain

Jeff Sherman / Taxi-Getty Images

From Newsweek:

A leading neuroscientist says processing digital information can rewire your circuits. But is it evolution?

Is technology changing our brains? A new study by UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small adds to a growing body of research that says it is. And according to Small’s new book, “iBRAIN: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind,” a dramatic shift in how we gather information and communicate with one another has touched off an era of rapid evolution that may ultimately change the human brain as we know it. “Perhaps not since early man first discovered how to use a tool has the human brain been affected so quickly and so dramatically,” he writes. “As the brain evolves and shifts its focus towards new technological skills, it drifts away from fundamental social skills.”


Scientists To Football Players: Give Us Your Brains

Brains! Brains!!: Gaetan Lee (CC Licensed)

From Popular Science:

Amidst a growing body of evidence tying severe health problems to multiple concussions, researchers are tapping NFL stars for a more hands-on corroboration

Whenever rich people gather, charities flock hoping to solicit donations of time and money. But Chris Nowinski is asking NFL players at the Super Bowl this weekend for something a bit more personal. He wants them to donate their brains to science. And he’s getting what he wants.

Nowinski is the founder of the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), which along with the Boston University School of Medicine is conducting autopsies on former athletes to research the effect of concussive impacts. To date eight former NFL players have promised to donate their brains to science after their death. Nowinski is a former professional wrestler who understands firsthand the potential ramifications of head impacts.


Fringe Fact v. Fiction: Could Your Brain Actually Turn to Goo?

From Popular Mechanics:

In its 12th episode, Fringe brought back one of the all-time greatest, grossest sci-fi horrors: Liquefied brains.

While investigating a string of murders, the agents find viscous liquid oozing from victims’ orifices–something has turned their brains into nothing but goo. Sure enough, drilling a hole into a victim sends brown goo, all that’s remaining of his brain, dripping out of his skull. “The brain goo that they made is maybe the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” Fringe star Joshua Jackson said in a promo for last night’s episode, “The No-Brainer.” But is the brain science as far off the mark as it has been in past episodes?


One World, Many Minds: Intelligence In The Animal Kingdom


From Scientific American:

We are used to thinking of humans as occupying the sole pinnacle of evolutionary intelligence. That’s where we’re wrong

* Despite cartoons you may have seen showing a straight line of fish emerging on land to become primates and then humans, evolution is not so linear. The brains of other animals are not merely previous stages that led directly to human intelligence.
* Instead—as is the case with many traits—complex brains and sophisticated cognition have arisen multiple times in independent lineages of animals during the earth’s evolutionary history.
* With this new understanding comes a new appreciation for intelligence in its many forms. So-called lower animals, such as fish, reptiles and birds, display a startling array of cognitive capabilities. Goldfish, for instance, have shown they can negotiate watery mazes similar to the way rats do in intelligence tests in the lab.