Special Feature: Carnival of the Mobilists

Greetings! This week I have the great honor of hosting Carnival of the Mobilists, a weekly collection of the best writing in the mobile blogosphere.

FierceWireless CTIA Party
FierceWireless's 2005 CTIA party, "Olé"
It's almost like Carnival.

Let's start off with an interesting post from Open Gardens about Mobile Ajax - more than a pretty face. It's no secret that Ajit is a big fan of Mobile AJAX--he's the one who once wrote that AJAX will replace J2ME and XHTML. I agree that there's a huge potential for simple, zero-install mini-applications that sit on top of a common framework, but I'm not convinced that AJAX is the right way to go. It's hard enough to get AJAX working across different desktop hardware and browsers, and there are still some pretty serious limitations among mobile Javascript implementations and XML processing tools. Then again, Opera seems confident that they can make a successful product out of Platform.

Next up is my favorite post of the week. StayGoLinks takes on the walled garden and writes that the walls keep tumbling down. I couldn't be happier. It's great that carriers spend a lot of time creating their deck and loading it with content, but nobody wins in a strict walled garden. Users should want use the carrier deck because of its high quality, not because it's almost impossible to go elsewhere.

On the mobile gaming front, we turn to the Mobile Games & Gaming Blog (where else?) with a great post titled, Did Wii blow it?. The gist is that the Wii is being touted as the first gaming device for non-gamers because mobile game developers blew it. Mobile devices certainly had the potential to bring gaming to the masses, but it didn't quite pan out that way. "It just amazes me that some of the bigger companies (not naming them!) are fighting over who gets the title of 'biggest brand buyer' instead of designing good games that work on their own without a brand to sell it." Well said.

Russel Buckley has an interesting piece on some disappointing Mobile Web stats. The issue isn't that the latest numbers from the Mobile Data Association are so bad, it's that they're so hard to read. It's impossible for the mobile web to succeed if the industry can't even agree on how to measure success.

I've also got to mention an article I wrote for FierceDeveloper on mobile software piracy. If you're a mobile software author, you should check this out. Perhaps I'm just naive, but I was surprised at how sophisticated the mobile warez scene has become.


makingourway asks, Is there enough software available for the blackberry? There are plenty of enterprise solutions for the BlackBerry, but why isn't there more shareware? I don't believe that the problem is technical requirements; there are plenty of applications that work just fine on much humbler hardware. This could become an issue for RIM as they try to lure more "average customers" with phones like the Pearl.

C. Enrique Ortiz points to reports of a new SMS-based mobile attack. The report says that by sending "service SMS" or "binary SMS" attackers can simulate an OTA update and eavesdrop on phone calls, upload the victim's addressbook or do other nasty things. The attack sounds plausible, but does anyone know if it's for real? I guess I just assumed that the carriers had implemented some sort of encryption into those service messages.

Everything and the Mobile Software Universe has a post about a big challenge for the Ultra Low Cost (ULC) phone industry: dealing with complex language requirements. I know companies like Monotype Imaging have technology that solves this problem, but I don't know if it fits in the budget for the ULC manufacturers.

Other notables:

Next week's Carnival will be at MOpocket. Thanks for reading! -Eli