2243614857_2ba59b372a_o.pngI’ve always wondered if there was a way to make a WiFi hotspot out of a smartphone. Now there is and it’s called JoikuSpot. This small application can run on many smartphones with WiFi (like the N95 or E61) and allow you to share your 3G connections with others around you, or simply to provide connectivity to any WiFi device like the iPod Touch or Nintendo DS. To me this is one further proof that what people want is WiFi, not 3G.

Once you have installed the app you can quickly start a connection and your phone becomes an access point, with an open WiFi signal to which you can connect using your laptop or other devices. It’s faster and easier then sharing a connection via Bluetooth!

JoikuSpot is still in beta, but FON is already in talks with the guys at JoikuSoft to provide Foneros with a Fon enabled version of their software so if you want to share but limit the bandwidth you share or charge for it, or only share with Foneros, you can.

Daniel Alvarez Perez, a Fonero from Spain, sent me these provocative images that illustrate what cutting the cord or making an effective connection can mean. To me these images explain Fon in a better way than some long text in our web site. This is why I think that there is something flawed in the super successful Google AdSense and that is that Google AdSense abandons graphics. I think that even Google will rediscover a graphical way of advertising as I am convinced that it is for a reason why people like Daniel Alvarez Perez are called graphic artists: there is art in graphic design. Having said this I think European advertising in general is more pleasant to the eye than US advertising which is less graphic and more direct.

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The Fonera is a plug and play product in Europe in the sense that if you plug the Fonera into most ISP routers or routers like Linksys, Netgear, D Link and you wait an hour the Fonera works (this issue of waiting an hour is very important as routers get their firmware when they are plugged for the first time). But in the States we get many cases in which the Fonera is not plug and play and we have been getting some bad reviews at Dell because of this. In the States we know the Fonera is plug and play when connected to all the private label routers like Linksys, Netgear, but unfortunately the management console is needed to connect the Fonera to many routers provided by operators such as Comcast, Verizon, Cablevision. One of the problems we have is that in the States large ISPs and Cable Operators change their routers very frequently and we don´t really know their inventory. This is a very different situation from what we find in Europe with BT for example. BT, or Neuf are operators which control the services they give to customers using sophisticated boxes with tons of features including TV over DSL. In the States operators give very inexpensive boxes with very few features and constantly change to find the cheapest suppliers. I don´t know if there are companies in the States that actually do this type of testing meaning that they get a WiFi router and can test it against the most common DSL and Cable Modem installs that people have in the States.

I think it´s funny that this web site says that the walking hotspot is a patent pending solution. At Fon we have been writing about this for two years. One of our ideas was to give foneras connected to 3G to homeless people so instead of begging they would offer WiFi. In any case JoikuSpot is my favorite so far. To me all these solutions only prove once more that if given a choice people prefer WiFi over 3G. And my general view on patents btw is that they should only be allowed in fields in which clear proof can be given that without patents there would not be investments, like medicine. I think patents in software and electronics just don´t make sense. The few times I have done something with patents was as a defensive move. I had a bad experience after inventing CallBack and allowing anyone to copy us and then somebody patented and said that we had to pay him to do call back. We then proved prior art and won.

Alekseij, a Fonero from Italy, today posted on our forums photos of his unique modding of our Fonera: a Ferrari Fonera! He replaced the case of a common Fonera with a Ferrari toy car.

Here is the result:

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continental.pngFON is proud to announce that the Continental Diamond Plaza in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, is now the world’s first fully FON-enabled high-rise building. Continental Diamond Plaza has 29 floors, and hosts many restaurants and bars in the heart of the city. You will find FON_FreeWiFi signals at every floor, which takes us yet another step closer to covering the entire planet with WiFi!

caring.pngIn other news from Hong Kong, it is with great pleasure that we announce that FON Hong Kong was awarded the Caring Company logo 2007-2008 for its efforts to give back to the community. FON’s operations and charitable activities, donations, and initiatives for the past year were reviewed by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, who then awarded FON for achievements in all six Caring Company criteria (volunteering, employee friendly, employing the vulnerable, caring for the environment, mentoring, and giving).

Last week FON Japan organized an event to celebrate and thank Foneros, bloggers, media and corporate partners in Japan. I introduced the event and we gave an update on FON’s success in the country, our second most popular country after the UK, but the first in terms of connected foneras.

Some of our great partners in Japan gave presentations on their companies and products, as well as on their collaboration with FON: Livedoor, Panasonic, Tsukumo, Sony, Internet ITS Consortium, Mobile MediaNet, Kyushu University, Flight System Consulting and Google Japan.

After our partners’ presentations we enjoyed a live performance by Ochi “Dainoji” Yosuke, a Japanese celebrity comedian and air-guitar performer (air-guitar world champion for the past 2 years!).

Here are photos and a video of some moments from the event (including the air-guitar performance!)

Today the US death toll in Iraq reached 4000. The death toll on the Iraqi side is a matter of dispute it goes from 85,000 to 600,000. Being a pacifist myself it´s been hard to me to understand why do so many people willingly go to war. This morning I was doing some research on the subject and came up with some unusual reasons for dying at war. On the US side it turns out that many of those who are counted as US death toll are not really US citizens…until they die. How post mortem citizenship can make somebody from Guatemala die fighting for the US in Iraq escapes me. Most likely the unfortunate soldier was trying to obtain both, US citizenship and a lifetime to enjoy it after the war and sadly just got the former. But the citizen reward pales in comparison to the reward offered in the other side, that one of the Virgins waiting for you in heaven.

In August, 2001, the American television channel CBS aired an interview with a Hamas activist Muhammad Abu Wardeh, who recruited terrorists for suicide bombings in Israel. Abu Wardeh was quoted as saying: “I described to him how God would compensate the martyr for sacrificing his life for his land. If you become a martyr, God will give you 70 virgins, 70 wives and everlasting happiness.”

Considering the enormous amount of violent deaths that are occuring in the Middle East there must be an endless supply of virgins in heaven.

The first casualty of war is common sense.

Here´s an idea I had today that I don´t think exists (can we still have an original idea?). In any case here it goes, I call it the photostory. And no it´s not like Twitxr, nor like Flickr, nor like Seesmic, nor like Youtube, it is close, but not that. What I would like to see digital cameras and phones to have is the ability of allowing me to do a photostory. How would that work? Well a photostory would combine a voice recording with a person taking pictures. The idea is that somebody would walk around say, Tokyo, telling a story of what he is seeing, his reactions and documenting the story with pictures. Why would you want a photostory and not a video? Because as flickr and youtube show a pictures is a picture and a video is a video (although Sevenload is the only smart side I know that collects both from your SD card). And with a photostory you can have people focus more on your story and quality pictures and not in the poor quality video that we so frequently see on the internet.

I live in Spain. I am Jewish. I am sometimes in favor of the international policy of the government of Israel but during the governments of Ariel Sharon and Olmert I have been mostly against these policies. For example I was against what I considered a disproportionate retaliation to the Hizbollah attack. As a result of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon I created a spontaneous vehicle to donate to the Lebanese who were victims of this invasion called Jews For Lebanon. And my personal opinion is that again the Israeli government over reacted to the attacks of Hamas last week and killed many innocent civilians in Gaza including children. Now that is my opinion. But the problem with El Pais, Spain´s leading newspaper and Jose Maria Ridao in particular the journalist who writes the article, is that in order to disagree with the policies of the government of Israel they simply lie. The one page article in El Pais written by Jose Maria Ridao says that the Israeli government declared (and this is clearly false) that should Israeli civilians continued to be bombed from Gaza the Israeli government would undertake a “holocaust of the Palestinian people”. Yes, in those words, a holocaust as if this is something that the Israeli government could possibly say. And moreover in order to illustrate this anti Israeli article, Nazi imagery is used that includes in big letters and in an illustration that occupies a quarter page the horrendous Nazi phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” (image is not in the online edition). But as you can guess these images do not mean to remind us of the 6 million Jews and other victims of the Nazi Holocaust but instead to show us how committed the Israeli government seems to be to its own holocaust. As I said I live in Spain. And I am by now a Spanish citizen. And there are many, many things I love about Spain. But it is hard and sad for me to see that the majority of the Spanish people, and I mean what I say, probably believes the article. Indeed El Pais contains a voting platform and other than my vote all other votes were extremely positive.

Addition after reading comments:

Even though an Israeli official evidently made those comments that I was not aware of and then the Israeli government immediately clarified that it did not mean that it was its plan to commit a holocaust on the Palestinian people I still think that my general comment about El Pais stands. The question really is this. We all know what the holocaust was, it was the systematic killing in gas chambers of the vast majority of European Jews plus other minorities including gypsies. So the key issue here is. Does El Pais really believe that that is the plan of the State of Israel, to systematically kill every Palestinian person in a way that is similar to Hitler´s final solution? I don´t think so.

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