That annoying staccato sound that a Blackberry makes when in close proxomity to speakers actually has a name. It's called the "Blackberry Buzz." A week ago, a RIM spokesperson promised to get me an explanation to why it happens and I have yet to hear back. The buzz has afflicted each of the three Blackberries I've had including my current unit, 8700c (Cingular).
I've heard but cannot confirm that a fix is a long way off. EDN Senior technical editor Brian Dipert blames it on the GSM radio in the unit synching up and searching for base stations. A technical explanation ran in sister publication EDN early last year, but said users rarely encounter the problem in a "quality cell phone." Either the author is mistaken or I don't have quality cell phone in my Blackberry. The buzz is more than a passing annoyance. It usually occurs when the Blackberry is within 7-8 feet of the speakers and is as loud as you have your speaker volume set. More than once, I've tossed my Blackberry across the room to get it to stop (my Motorola RAZR suffers from the same problem, but to a far lesser degree).
No, this is not dump-on-Blackberry day, but I've long thought the strength of the Blackberry phone left much to be desired. Compared to my Motorola RAZR, the Blackberry phone is inferior, often dropping calls or not making the connection at all. I've also had a problems with the Blackberry making calls on its own when it rattles around in my pocket and right key is accidentically struck. On a couple of occasions, I've really sweated it out that someone overheard 30-60 minutes of my conversations. Guess I need to get into the habit of locking the keyboard. The belt holster automatically locks the keyboard, but has has pinched my love handles too many times to make me a regular user. Ouch! If you want listen to a short clip of the buzz buzzing me, listen below.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.