Mini USB (left) and Micro USB (right)

Mini USB (left) and Micro USB (right)

One of the most frequent issues that we deal with in the world of refurbished cell phones is confusion about Mini USB chargers verses Micro USB chargers. Most cellular manufacturers are moving towards using a common charging/data port, and Mini USB and Micro USB ports are definitely the two most common choices at this time.

Mini USB

Mini USB

Mini USB – The Mini USB port has been the standard charging/data port for most phones produced over the past five years, especially for Blackberrys, HTC phones, and Motorola phones.

Micro USB

Micro USB

Micro USB – The Micro USB port is newer technology towards which many manufacturers seem to be moving. Micro USB ports can be found on the newest Blackberrys, Motorolas, Nokias, and Samsungs.

Adding to the Micro USB/ Mini USB confusion is HTC. Virtually all HTC phones use a mini-usb charger; however, the chargers that HTC provide are shaped slightly different than a standard mini-usb charger so that you cannot use an HTC charger with a different, say Blackberry, phone. Customers purchasing a replacement charger for an HTC phone should not be alarmed when they receive a Mini USB charger that does not look exactly like their original HTC charger.

2010.01.11vicWell this is something I’d never think I’d see. While most congregations frown upon heavy uses of technology, especially during mass, England’s St. Lawrence Jewry, which is a church that dates back to the 17th century, is now embracing and actually blessing new and refurbished cell phones.

Rev. Canon David Parrott recently placed a blessing upon a pile of computers and smart phones because he feels that they are “our daily working tool, and it’s a technology we should bless.” He even encourages the use of mobile phones during mass as long as they are set on vibrate mode.

Parrott has chosen “Plow Monday,” a traditional ceremony that once involved the seasonal blessing of farm equipment, as the day to celebrate technology. Plow Monday is said to date back to Medieval Times when, on the Monday after Twelfth Night, farmers would bring their plows to church to be blessed. Apparently, on this Plow Monday, Parrot said, “May our tongues be gentle, our e-mails be simple and our websites be accessible.”

logo_redcross0206The Red Cross’s latest update confirms that over 5 million dollars of relief donations for Haiti have been made, over $1 million coming from peoples new and refurbished cell phones. On Jan. 12th, the worst earthquake in 200 years struck Haiti, which measured a 7.0 in magnitude on the Richter Scale. Red Cross immediately donated $1 million and set up the simplest way to send donations, which is via text message from your phone.

If you would like to donate relief money for Haiti, text “Haiti” to 90999 to send $10 to Red Cross. You can also donate to Haiti through other organizations found here.

nexus_one_list_ars-thumb-640xauto-10960Well the rumors proved true even in regards to the name of the new Google Phone – The Nexus One. Google fans are overwhelmingly excited about the Nexus one but even more excited about what the Google Store means for the new and refurbished cell phone industry.

The Nexus One is running the newest Android 2.1 software and comes with all of the awesome, pre-loaded apps like: Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Google Talk, and additional goodies like Maps Navigation and Google Voice. Its processor is insanely fast, it’s got a five-megapixel camera, and it shoots video as well. The Nexus one also has a really cool new feature, which is a voice-enabled keyboard for any text field. This means you don’t have to type at all anymore. Searching for a YouTube video? Just tell your phone what video you are looking for, and the Nexus One will type the search for you. It works the same for composing texts and emails. You can find more specs for the Nexus One here.

The craziest part of the Nexus One announcement is that it’s for sale at Google’s new web store as unlocked. For the first time ever in the US, you can purchase an unlocked phone from the manufacturer’s website and then pick the phone plan you want from any of the carriers that support the phone. Google’s store could seriously shake the pillars of what is the current mobile phone market in the US. It will be interesting to see how long companies like AT&T play along.

mylopp_blogLast week, Google launched yet another feature that will not doubt make your life easier. “Near Me Now” is Google’s newest feature, for iPhones or new and refurbished cell phones running Android software, which allows you to very simply find information about a specific business in your immediate vicinity or about several businesses around you.

There is a video on Google’s blog that illustrates how Near Me Now is useful when you’re standing outside of a restaurant, wondering if it’s good. With Near Me Now, you just go to, click Near Me Now, then click restaurants, and a list of the restaurants closest you appears. Just click the name of the restaurant you’re standing in front of, and their information appears including contact info, menus, and user reviews – all without having to type or say anything.

Near Me Now also makes things like finding a coffee shop after getting off an unfamiliar train stop simple. Just click Near Me Now, then Coffee Shops, and you get results for all of the coffee shops near where you are. Gotta love Google. They make everything so simple.

200545827-001The Economist did an article at the end of December that offers some interesting statistics about our new and refurbished cell phones. According to them, in one decade the World has gone from 500 million mobile phone subscribers to 4.6 billion subscribers. The Economist also claims that humanity is now using over 1 trillion minutes per month on mobile phones – that equates to 2 million years.

The article goes on to discuss some interesting cultural differences when it comes to the mobile phone industry. I was surprised to see the extreme difference is monthly minute usage between cultures. Apparently, Americans use an average of 788 minutes per month whereas the Germans only use, on average, 89 minutes. According to the article, Puerto Ricans are the most talkative people in the world, using 1,875 minutes per month.

Another part of the article I found interesting explains that in the US, we call mobile phones cell phones where as the British and Spanish refer to them as mobiles. Germans and Finnish people refer to them as “Handys,” and the word that the Chinese use for their mobile phones translates as “hand machine.” You can find the article in its entirety here.

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