Where have we been, where we are headed and my stupid-ass mistakes with fonefrenzy

Yep, it’s been a while since we had a post (or an actual site for that matter) hasn’t it? Well fonefrenzy wasn’t completely dead, we just took some twists and turns along the long bloggers road. And I can say that it has been a humbling learning experience. Basically, I fucked up, more than once.

Before starting fonefrenzy (the website) in 2009, I was on twitter as fonefrenzy pretty much just retweeting cell phone news and especially webOS. This guy named Phil got a hold of me and asked to me to write for his site. I started writing for PreThinking and broke the news with the first screen shots of webOS. It was pretty exciting to say the least, having every major blog in the world link back to PreThinking for our exclusive story. The site was started by Philip ‘Phil’ Lam, the same brilliant kid that got busted for selling authentic white iPhone 4 conversion kits to the masses. I guess since he spoke fluent Chinese, he was able to find a connection for the parts. I wasn’t privy to the entire story of what happened because by this time, I had already moved on my own with fonefrenzy. Though I did have a ball writing for PreThinking during that period of my life, and I thank Phil for giving me a change to get started.

I hooked up with Daniel Rodriguez from SoCal on twitter and asked him if he wanted to write for FF. We were both pretty jazzed by webOS and both of us started becoming mobile tech addicts. Later, I met with James Patterson, over Google buzz when I posted I was looking for mobile tech writers and we became friends since he was local. James told me about his friend Dillon Hanson, who at the time was stationed in Germany as a medic in the Army, but he has some pretty decent mobile chops too.

Twitter was an avenue to meet a lot of interesting people and I was very fortunate to meet tnkgrl (Myriam Joire) and Matt Bennett. We shot a several mobile video podcasts together called “talking with tnkgrl” (I showed up in the later episodes), Matt and tnkgrl had already been doing this for a while. I was always impressed with tnkgrl’s ability to get hardware. Not only did she have dual degrees but she was a mobile addict too. Myriam and I become pretty cool friends. I just wished I lived in the city, that way we could have shot many more podcasts together. We had hard times with our schedules, particularly mine at the time, to get together for more podcasts. It was fun because I would roll up from the central valley and meet her and Matt at Farley’s coffee, and she would litterally pull out a bag full of phones. Matt and I were awestruck with the shear amount of hardware she’d be packing every time. We would have audio or video problems occasionally but all in all, we had fun and got information out to the masses.

Later on, I went out to cover webOS events like the first dev meetup at Pivotal Labs (the company that coded the Tweed twitter app for webOS). Then I covered the webOS first big dev meetup a Palm’s HQ accompanied by tnkgrl. I met Luke Kilpatrick who, to this day I still have not had the opportunity to have a board session with on the coast. But we will soon Luke! Both tnkgrl and I got to meet and speak with Mitch Allen, Palm’s CTO at the time and he was one of the most down to earth people in the world. I remember earlier when my soon-to-be wife at the time saw Mitch at the Pivotal Labs dev event and she proceeded to tell me as we were leaving that she thought Mitch was hot for an older guy. I was like whatever, because had I said the same about same about Tomomi Imura, I would have received the stare-of-death from my girl.

From there, I attended the Mobilize in 2009 event in S.F., again with tnkgrl and got to meet two of the nicest guys in the blogosphere, Chris Ziegler and Ross Miller, both editors at Engadget at the time. Both of them were really cool and remembered me from emails I had sent them. I also caught up with Chris and tnkgrl earlier this year at the S.F. Engadget meet up when I brought my other buddy James Patterson editor/coder/hacker along with me to the event. And then went to CES the following January as a blogger. I got to peek inside the Engadget trailer and see their setup which was sponsored by Sprint. In retrospect, I truly had no clue as to how to put all that I saw in writing, all by myself, as it was so much information to cover in a short amount of time. I had no direction or plan for the show and that hindered me. Also, I had really lame laptop and a cheap camera I got a target. The whole experience was pretty overwhelming, but I learned what it took to become a blogger, in addition to the tools that were required to get the job done. I felt pretty lost.

Time passed and we kept sporadically writing when each of us had time. Looking back, we were trying to hard to be like the bigger tech sites: Engadget, BGR, Gizmodo, Android Central, etc., doing reviews, reporting news and such. Instead of focusing on ‘our voice’ we tried to emulate these larger sites, competing with paid writers and the ability to write full time – which we didn’t have the time, nor money to do so. None of us had that ability and we were all struggling to bring fresh daily content to the site. So in haste, I made a very bad decision to get more readers on our site; I turned fonefrenzy into a scraper site. I did this to test and see how it would affect our stats. While they improved slightly, our bounce rate was off the charts. We didn’t keep eyes on our site because content was coming from other sites. I did shut down the incoming feeds on my own because ‘our’ posts was getting lost in the massive amount of news that was coming through the site each day. And then I got a phone call earlier this year (2011) from Myriam. She never called, so I knew something was up.

I was left with a frantic message to call her back right away. I was at work and had a client with me, so I called her as soon as I could. When I returned her call, she proceeded to tell me that she was now the Senior Mobile Editor for Engadget. At this time, several of the Engadget editors split to form their own site This Is My Next, soon to be renamed The Verge. She called to offer me job as a mobile writer for Engadget. I was stunned. She told me to submit an app and she would talk with Darren Murph, the managing editor for Engadget, about hooking me up with a job. I had an ‘in’ for a dream job of my life. And believe me at the time, I had gone through two different employers and was not happy in my career at all. I am an extremely hard and dedicated worker but my compensation plan changed several times, and not for the better. In addition, my hours got worse each month.

So I submitted my application and three stories to Myriam and she passed them along to Darren. Well, my decision to ‘scrape’ other sites content totally backfired and bit me in the fucking ass. You see, all of the articles we wrote, over 1,000+, were obscured by all the feeds I had pulled into the site as a test run like Techmeme. Myriam gave Darren my URL and he started reviewing the site. He then saw posts from scraped posts from Engadget. Myriam hadn’t checked my site in a while and wasn’t aware of what transpired at all and was a little taken back. So I wrote an email explaining that I had written over 660 articles by myself on FF, not including the 160+ over at PreThinking. But the damage was already done, and I was not given the opportunity to write for Engadget after that fubar of a decision. To put salt on the wounds, I got a C&D letter from AOL’s attorneys, which weren’t happy about me scraping content from their newly acquired flagship tech blog. I fucked up and I had nightmares about it for weeks. I got so depressed, I wasn’t even associating with my coworkers, friends and family at all. It was pretty disheartening to have such a wonderful opportunity to do what I LOVE, only to be stripped away from me because I wanted more content on our FF. So I decided to shut down the site and start over with another blog with James.

Well, although the concept was pretty good, an all tech site with ‘buddies’ didn’t seem to work out to well. Dillon got back from the Army and started going to back to school and wanted to spend time with his family. Daniel didn’t like the direction of the site and had other stuff going on in his life, so he took a vacation. James and I had been working crazy hours and we both had families, which made it hard to contribute to content of various formats of technology. I want to say that James put a shitload of time into coding the new tech site to make it all pretty and running smooth, but to no avail, besides James and I throwing up posts, no one else contributed much. So I decided to shut it down.

So what now? Well, my first love is mobile tech and always will be. Each day we get glimpse of how much better the future will be every six months with better processors, better hardware, better cameras, refined OS’ and the like. Fonefrenzy will continue as a site dedicated to mobile news, just not ‘breaking’ mobile news. We are going to become a more tutorial/opinionated site, whereby we try and strive to give you unbiased and sometimes hard core fucking biased thoughts of products, services, business related news, hardware reviews, video and audio podcasts and other mobile tech tidbits. Basically, back to our roots but better. If you love us, great. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you don’t, leave your hate filled, profane rants in the comments section and if they are good enough, we will respond accordingly. If they suck, we’ll just ban your IP 😉

And last, thank you the many readers over the years for checking out our blog.

[Video] HP’s Todd Bradley all but confirms webOS tablet only one piece of ecosystem

HP’s Tom Bradley talks with CNBC about what HP plans for their February 9th event. In his conversation, he states that “webOS tablet is only one piece of the ecosystem – one piece of that connected experience that we are going to create” and “a broad set of public announcements – and a breadth of products we are going to unveil.” You heard it directly from the horses mouth. We expect Palm to come out swinging with a multitude of products, including tablets, phones and possibly PC’s. I know that a few of here at fonefrenzy can’t wait to see what HP/Palm has in store on February 9th.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[via Engadget]

HP/Palm to hold WebOS event on February 9th

I feel like I am in dreamland when I typed out that headline. It has been just over 7 months since the merge between Palm and HP. We knew they would be working on something, we just didn’t know when. It seems as though February 9th is when they feel comfortable announcing everything they have to announce. That is fine with us, I was expecting them to wait even longer just because the time of the merge to the time of having a new product could take forever. They are ready though and it seems as though they are going to have more than just a new phone announcement. Their teaser slogan is ‘Think big, Think Small, and Think beyond’. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a Tablet, a Phone, and whatever else HP can throw WebOS on. We don’t know much, but we are very excited to see what comes to fruition. With the recent announcement of Android 3.0, soon an iPad 2 with iOS 5, and the new Blackberry Playbook, HP is going to have a tough road ahead.

 

[Via Precentral]

Watch out iPad, PalmPad Is Drawing a Bead

While it pains me to quote, credit, or otherwise refer to FoxNews, it appears as though they’ve got their hands on some rather tasty exclusive information.  It looks as though Palm (HP) is joining the rest of the mobile community and jumping head-long into the tablet throng with not one, but four PalmPad tablet devices.  According to Fox (shudder), Palm plans to unveil three of the four devices at CES 2011, the fourth of which is to be directed at University students will be announced at a later time.  Minor hardware differences will separate the four devices in the PalmPad line, hit the link to see what we know so far.

Read more of this post

webOS lover Rahul Sood Leaves HP

Well this is really sad. Rahul Sood, a 20 year veteran of HP, just announced that he is leaving the company and he was the “go-to” guy for webOS inside of HP.

“It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to resign from my position as the CTO of Global Gaming for Hewlett-Packard, my last day will be December 1 2010,” Sood said in a post to his blog. “I’ve struggled with this decision for many months. I have effectively been employed with one job for 20+ years (voodoo+hp) so it is the most difficult move that I have ever made in my life.”

This just goes to show you how many great webOS backers have left the company since the merger.

Palm Pre 2 not going to get any Euro-carrier love?

Pocket-Lint is reporting that UK’s Orange is not going to carry the Palm Pre 2. This could be a huge blow to HP with it’s bet on the Palm webOS platform.

“The Palm Pre Two will not be available on O2. We offer a range of the best handsets through our product portfolio and regularly review this to ensure it continues to meet the demands of our customers”, the company told Pocket-lint. “We’ve always offered our customers a choice of experiences when they come to buy a new phone and we were excited to add webOS and the Palm Pre to our range. We’re still fans of webOS – the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus are available from us today – but won’t be taking the Palm Pre Two”.

We will just have to wait and see what HP-Palm will have in the near future when it comes to different handsets.

[Pocket-lint via Engadget]

Devs working on a webOS port to HTC Hero

In what might be one of the best ports ever attempted, the crew over at XDA-Dev forum are working on porting HP-Palm’s webOS to the HTC Hero. It is not surprising to see this port take place, what is surprising, is why did it take this long with all of the great hardware on the market today? I for one cannot wait to take this puppy for a test drive. If they make this a successful port/build, I might have a to put in a request for a dual-booting webOS/Android HTC EVO4G based build. Maybe HP will now hear the cries of webOS fans all over the world and give us a 4.3″ 1.2 Ghz monster with some serious ROM and RAM.

[via BGR and XDA-Developers forum]

[Video] Palm Pre 2 hands-on

Looks like the latest chapter in the webOS saga will be the introduction of the Palm Pre 2. This new handset will sport a 1Ghz cpu, 5mp camera, streamlined design, support for Adobe Flash 10.1, better keyboard, new Stacks feature and a universal search capability.

  • Stacks – logically groups together your open apps so they work the way you do. Stacks keeps related items together so managing multiple tasks is even easier.
  • Just Type – Whenever you want to do something on your phone – whether it’s emailing, texting, searching or almost anything – just type! is open to developers, so they can integrate with the search function and add their own user-customizable shortcuts, called Quick Actions.
  • Flash Player 10.1 Beta – webOS now supports a beta of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 in the browser, which provides access to rich, Flash based web content.

More information about Palm Pre 2, including features and specifications, is available atwww.palm.com/Pre2.

Talking with tnkgrl TWTG #27

WebOS 2.0 video preview hits the Tube

WebOS users have been waiting with bated breath for the latest version of WebOS to finally be released to the world. Well, like with any mobile OS before it is released, there is some video footage that hit YouTube. It is a very short video, but wow WebOS 2.0 does look pretty amazing. The only thing that really seemed disappointing was how long it took Quick Office to load in the emulator. It gives me reason to believe that WebOS 2.0 is still going to suffer from the lag WebOS 1.4.5 still has today. I hope this isn’t true, but we will see. On the other hand, the new ‘Stacks’ feature is pure amazing for the browser. You can have multiple taps displayed in these stacks of cards. Just amazing. I really can’t wait to use this. Check out the video walk-through after the break… Read more of this post