Our editor in chief, the illustrious Harry McCracken, attended the DEMO show. DEMO gives companies the stage--and six minutes each--to show their wares. I didn't attend, but that didn't stop the PR people from badgering me.
The one DEMO announcement that caught my attention was the one from JaJah. There's a way to use the company's call-for-free service on a cell phone. Catch up on how JaJah works by reading "Quick & Easy Free Internet Calls."
That's exciting for a lot of people. For instance, last year my Luddite brother-in-law and his technically savvy son gave up their landline phones. They use their cell phone exclusively to make calls--and pay through the nose for unlimited calling. Now they can use JaJah Mobile and save a bunch of bucks.
Inside JaJah Mobile
Once you register with JaJah and download a plug-in, you just place a call as usual. You don't need to use a calling card number, call a special phone number, or make the call from an Internet hotspot.
The first phones supported are based on the Symbian OS and Java, such as the Nokia N70 or Nokia 6630. Go to JaJah's site and see if yours is currently supported. If your phone's on the list (my hand-cranked Nokia 5160 isn't) download the plug-in that tells your phone to send long-distance or international calls through the JaJah network. You can change the settings to make only some calls, or all calls, go through JaJah.
The price structure is the same as with regular JaJah calls: free to other JaJah users, 2.5 cents per minute in U.S. and Canada, and slightly more expensive for international calls. Read the Mobile FAQ for more info.
Here are a few other quick takes from DEMO:
Web-Page Highlighter. I-Lighter is a cool way to highlight, grab, and save text and graphics from virtually any Web site and store it for future use. You can also add notes to a page. The tool is a free add-in for both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
DIY Web Sites. SiteKreator is a $15-per-month Web site creator and management tool for small and medium-sized businesses. The package includes hosting, and interfaces with third party systems such as PayPal, e-commerce solutions, Google Search, and QuickBooks.
Port Your Apps. RingCube's $30 MojoPac gives you a way to squeeze practically any application onto virtually any device that has digital storage space--USB flash drive, an MP3 player, or a cell phone. Take the device to another PC and run your application.
Dig This: Are you tired? Save the "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" for when you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Otherwise, you'll never be able to wrap yourself around the brilliant (or perhaps crazy) concepts.
Harry's DEMO Reports
- Widgetbox: little Web-based applets.
- Portable XM Satellite: Sirius's seriously handy, walk-around radio.
- USB Rechargeables: Moixa's AA batteries charge from your computer via built-in USB connectors.
- Retrevo: Search engine for gadgets.
- RealTime: RealNetworks' browser for Web-based feeds.
- Wi-Fi Rabbit: The DEMO product destined to be in our next "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time."
'Dig This' Bonanza
I was looking for a spot to cook up a quick greeting card. But you know how it is--you surf and end up finding a bunch of other nifty sites, and end up killing an hour. Here's what I bumped into...
- The Vinyl Record Generator lets you customize a 45- or 78-rpm record.
- If you want a fancy seal, try the Seal Generator.
- Need a warning sign? Generate one!
- If you have something to say, use the Comic Strip Generator. The site supplies dozens of comics; you supply the text.