April 15, 2014

Mark Cuban Wants To Take Over Texting

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 7.12.32 PM.png Mark Cuban's latest start-up, the messaging app Cyber Dust, is designed to give him (and all its users) complete control over one major chunk of daily communication: texting. Forbes reports

quotemarksright.jpgDescribed as WhatsApp meets Snapchat, texts sent via Cyber Dust automatically disappear 24 seconds after being read. Importantly, these messages cannot be traced and are not stored anywhere not even on Cyber Dust's servers assuring all users a high level of privacy and security.

Disappearing text apps, however, are not new to the app world, but Cuban plans to take Cyber Dust to the next level by introducing further functionalities that would enable users to erase their entire digital footprint over time.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:08 PM | Text Messaging Apps | permalink

April 14, 2014

Cell to Cell: How Smuggled Mobile Phones Are Rewiring Brazil's Prisons

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 6.43.37 PM.png According to Motherboard, last year, Brazilian authorities confiscated an estimated 35,000 phones from prisoners, yet Brazilian organized crime leaders continued to have widespread ability to make calls, receive calls, organize conference calls, and even hold virtual trials where gang leaders from different prisons are patched in to a central line to debate the fate of gang members accused of betraying the group’s ironclad rules.

quotemarksright.jpgThey [prisoners] organize executions over the phone. You never forget it when you hear the crime bosses voting one after another – ‘kill’, ‘kill’, ‘kill’...I have heard this type of conversation many times,” said Marcelo Cristino, a federal prosecutor in São Paulo, as he described a conference call among an estimated seven PCC leaders.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

April 13, 2014

April 9, 2014

French president bans mobile phones from cabinet meetings

imgres.jpg Keen to ensure his ministers are paying attention, the French president, François Hollande, has imposed a ban on mobile phones during cabinet sessions.

quotemarksright.jpg Ministers will now be forced to leave their portable devices at the door when they join the French government's weekly cabinet meeting, government spokesman Stéphane Le Foll told reporters. "To focus on what we must do, the president has decided that there will be no more mobile phones in cabinet," Le Foll said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via The Guardian]

emily | 8:53 PM | SMS and Politics | permalink

SMS Enable Your Applications
Using Our SMS Gateway API
BulkSMS.com provides SMS Gateway delivery and desktop SMS Software for global text messaging to over 800 networks. Includes multiple routing options and 5 free test credits.
>>> Register a free account

April 7, 2014

New video aims to scare the bejesus out of texting drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a disturbing new 30-second video aimed to inspire drivers to keep their phones in their pockets while behind the wheel. [via Yahoo News]

StoreDot promises to recharge your phone in just 30 seconds

8e240e_f5e2fafd2829ba02a44360ba61c5d771.jpg_srz_p_397_180_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.jpg Israeli technology company StoreDot has developped a special battery and charger that can supposedly cut re-juicing time down to around 30 seconds. TheNextWeb reports.

quotemarksright.jpg The prototype charging unit, designed for the Samsung Galaxy S4, was demoed for the first time at Microsoft’s Think Next conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, today – but most of the innovation comes in the battery pack itself, rather than the charger.

As special batteries are required, there’s no need to worry about the effect on the long-term life of your existing battery pack. In fact, the company says that in addition to charging faster, StoreDot batteries will “withstand thousands of charge/discharge cycles, prolonging battery life expectancy considerably”.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:52 PM | Technology | permalink

April 5, 2014

Text message ban could undermine Afghan vote

afghan-election.jpg The head of the European Union's Afghan election observer mission condemned the suspension of mobile text messaging services across the country on Saturday, saying it threatened the transparency of the poll. The Straits Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgCellphone users were able to make calls but not send SMS messages in an apparent effort to prevent candidates transmitting campaign messages on polling day.

EU chief observer Thijs Berman wrote to election officials to warn the move would "seriously handicap" the work of candidates' agents, who monitor polling stations, and could even affect their safety.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image credit.

emily | 5:36 PM | SMS and Politics | permalink

April 3, 2014

EU Parliament votes to ban mobile roaming charges

Good news. Members of the European Parliament have voted to ban roaming charges from 15 December 2015, as part of its wide-ranging telecoms reforms. The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... For the past seven years the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges operators can impose and reducing that limit each year.

Although the removal of roaming charges could wipe 2 per cent off mobile operators’ revenues, the expected consolidation in the industry would allow greater economies of scale for the high costs of investing to build networks capable of handling ever-growing volumes of data.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Press release: Ensure open access for internet service suppliers and ban roaming fees, say MEPs

The ‘Tweet of Pigs’: US government used SMS to undermine Cuban government

1_241263_1_9.jpeg According to a new report, authorities within the US government created an SMS messaging service based on Twitter to undermine Raul Catro’s government and spread misinformation. Silicon Republic reports.

quotemarksright.jpg According to the Associated Press (AP), the service known as ZunZuneo, slang for hummingbird in Cuba, would let mobile phone users in the Communist state to receive messages 140 characters or fewer, just like Twitter, over a range of topics from sport, weather and entertainment.

...The US government, having funded the project, aimed to eventually send messages which would be critical of the Cuban government and its ruler Raul Castro, brother of legendary revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro.

The service became popular with Cuba’s young, tech-savvy population as aside from being a way of keeping up to date with the latest news, people could send messages between each other free of charge.

In the same way as Twitter, users could follow other users by sending messages to follow to their favourite ZunZeneo users.

At the height of its popularity, it had an estimated 40,000 daily users, however, no one was aware of its origins in the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which aims to spread democracy as one of its core goals.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Update White House denies 'Cuban Twitter' ZunZuneo programme was covert (The Guardian)

quotemarksright.jpgThe White House is claiming that a secret programme to build a carefully-disguised “Cuban Twitter”, in order to foment political opposition to the Castro regime, was “not covert” but rather a “discreet” form of humanitarian assistance.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday that while in "non-permissive environments" it was necessary for USAid to be "discreet", the secret social-media initiative was “not a covert programme”.

“It was a development-assistance programme,” he said, adding: "I am not aware of individuals here in the White House who were involved.” He also said the programme was subject to congressional oversight.

Carney denied suggestions the programme was “under the table” or had “roped in” unsuspecting Cubans.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 6:47 PM | SMS and Politics | permalink

Pay with Your Fingerprint

imgres-1.jpg Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is the first smartphone that can use a fingerprint to authorize payments in stores and online. MIT Technology Review reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAnyone with an iPhone 5 can use its fingerprint reader to unlock the device and pay for apps or music in Apple’s iTunes store. Owners of Samsung’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S5 smartphone, which launches on April 11, will be able to make much broader use of their fingerprints to pay for things. If they visit a website or app that accepts PayPal using the device, they can authorize payments by swiping a finger across the phone’s home button. And PayPal’s own mobile app can be used to pay for goods in some physical stores in the U.S.

Fingerprint payments are likely to be offered on many more smartphones in the near future. The Galaxy S5’s payments system is the first commercial deployment of a new protocol developed by the FIDO Alliance, a group founded by tech companies to end our reliance on insecure passwords. Indeed, fingerprint readers are expected to become commonplace on mobile devices over the next year or so.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:04 AM | Mobile Payments | permalink

Flone, The Flying (Drone) Phone

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.52.28 AM.png Flone is a drone which uses a smartphone as a flight controller and explores novel ways to "occupy" public space, in particular the air and claim the right to use it before legislation makes it illegal. [via we-make-money-not-art.com]

quotemarksright.jpgCreated by artist and computer engineer Lot Amorós, technical engineer Cristina Navarro, and industrial engineer Alexandre Oliver, Flone turns the mobile phone into a stand-alone flying apparatus which can go up to a height of 20 metres from the ground, come down, rotate and do the usual smartphone tasks, such as taking photographs or video recordings. It can also be remotely controlled by another smartphone with a wifi or 3G connection.

Its objective is to make air space accessible to everyone as a research platform, providing a range of applications for them to operate with a smartphone alone.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

April 2, 2014

Users spend 2 hours-plus a day toying with mobile apps

Time spent on the mobile Web declines, while app use rises with games, social networking, and messaging being US users’ biggest go-to categories. C/net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgNew data released by mobile analytics firm Flurry shows that average US users spend 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile devices -- 86 percent of that time is spent in apps and 14 percent on the mobile Web. While time in apps is increasing, mobile Web use is on the decline.

Users are spending more and more time on mobile apps, but the increase of time spent over last year has been relatively small. For 2013, Flurry reported users spent 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on their mobile devices -- that means just a four-minute increase to this year.


Read more.

emily | 8:37 AM | | permalink

April 1, 2014

Florida law proposal: 30-year jail sentence for causing death while texting at the wheel

Texting behind the wheel in Florida could land a driver in prison for 30 years, if a new bill comes to pass. TCPalm reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThat's the punishment some Florida lawmakers are pushing through the Legislature if a driver kills someone while texting and driving.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg, will go to a final vote in the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill would also punish typing anything into a phone. That includes social media, or punching in an address into a GPS. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

March 30, 2014

Apple Files Transparent Texting Patent To Help People Who Walk And Text

Apple has filed a patent for “transparent texting,” for people who walk and text at the same time.CTV News reports.

quotemarksright.jpg A user who is walking while participating in a text messaging session may inadvertently collide with or stumble over objects in his path because his attention was focused on his device's display instead of the path that he was traversing," according to the patent originally filed in September 2012.

The technology uses a smartphone's rear-facing camera to replace the text message's background with a live video feed of whatever’s in front of the user, thereby reducing the chances of stumbling over or bumping into an object while texting.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

There's an app for that too that's been around for a while : Type n Walk

March 28, 2014

Smartphone overuse may 'damage' eyes, say opticians

Opticians are warning overuse from phones and other devices like computers, tablets, and flat screen TVs can lead to long-term damage. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIt comes as a survey of 2,000 people suggests under 25s check their phones thirty-two times a day.

Optician Andy Hepworth said: "Blue violet light is potentially hazardous and toxic to the back of your eyes. So over a long period of time it can potentially damage your eyes.

"When you're looking at a smart phone, the light peaking out of that is blue violet."

He says tests have found that over exposure to blue-violet light has the potential to put us at greater risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

SMS gives a voice to Africa

_63701139_img_0527.jpeg Response rates for surveys via texting in developing regions typically are well above 20 percent; in the United States, 0.5 to 1 percent is considered good. Tech Page One reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWhen the World Bank surveyed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011, it used text messaging. ?A traditional survey would have cost $3.5 million, taken 18 months and reached 2,500 people,? recalls Steve Gutterman, president of GeoPoll, the organization that conducted ?DRC Speaks!?

The 10-question survey about conflict, security and development was GeoPoll?s first survey in the Congo using SMS and feature phones. ?We reached 100,000 people in a single day for a fraction of the cost,? Gutterman says.

Similar results are being repeated throughout the developing world. Although the specifics vary, organizations know that in regions with little infrastructure, virtually no cabled Internet and very real physical dangers, text messaging is the most effective and accurate way to hear from a meaningful cross section of people who often have little voice outside their own communities.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

March 26, 2014

A woman has been diagnosed with the first-ever case of 'WhatsAppitis'

The patient, a 34-year-old doctor, ironically enough, spent six hours on Christmas Eve sending WhatsApp messages to her friends and family. During that time, “she made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages,” according to a report in The Lancet, one of the most well-respected medical journals in the world.

She woke up the next morning with pain in both wrists, which was diagnosed by a doctor as “WhatsAppitis”.

Read full article in Motherboard.

Text messages a potential life-saver in flood-prone parts of Africa

3.jpg Text messaging may be dying out as a means of communication in many parts of the advanced world, but it may yet prove to be a vital life-saver in flood-prone African villages. Sri Lanka's Sunday Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAn early-warning system that aims to capitalise on the explosive growth of mobile phone penetration in Africa could soon be in place to broadcast alerts to all users at risk from natural disasters such as flooding or hurricanes.

Millions of people in Africa have only limited access to television, radio or Internet but mobile phone ownership has grown exponentially, even in poor remote villages.

Now Spain’s Nvia, a mobile phone company, has developed the Gooard project, a technology based on geo-targeted alerts that sends text messages to a specific geographical area.

A network of satellites and weather stations will detect the threat and send a text to villagers within 15 minutes, hopefully allowing time for evacuation.

“The technology is able to identify all the active cellphones in a certain area, such as a shopping mall, a village, or a park, and send messages straight to the terminal without any previous subscription,” Alberto Perez, Nvia’s Africa manager, told AFP.

“With the same system, we can also send vital information to people about natural disasters that can save their lives and minimise damages”.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image credit.

March 25, 2014

Texting for long periods 'could lower life expectancy'

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.07.52 PM.png The United Chiropractic Association (UCA) warns that bad posture due to mobile phone use could shorten your life (!). The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe forward-leaning posture that many people adopt when texting, going online, sending emails or playing games on phones and other mobile devices increases the risk of an early death in elderly people, and there are fears that younger people could also be knocking time off their lives.

The UCA claims that poor posture is as big a health risk as obesity. Studies suggest a link between forward-leaning posture in older people and hyperkyphosis, which is associated with pulmonary disease and cardiovascular problems.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

United Chiropractic Media Statement Warning: Bad Posture Caused by Mobile Device Could Shorten Your Life (pdf)

China’s trillion dollar mobile payments industry is under attack

Chinabride.jpeg Things aren’t looking great for Chinese firms working in the world of mobile payments. The fast-growing trillion dollar industry—which includes online investment funds, virtual credit cards, and e-commerce–is facing new pressure from Chinese regulators and state-owned banks. Quartz reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThis week, China’s central bank said it is considering placing limits on how much cellphone users can spend via their smartphones. The regulator is also considering requiring online money market funds, like Alibaba’s Yu’e Bao, to begin holding minimum reserves on the deposits they collect.

Over the past few weeks, China’s top four banks, all of them state-owned, have set limits (paywall) on transfers to mobile financial products. And earlier this month, China halted the use of virtual credit cards and QR codes, used for online shopping.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Artist Secretly Takes Photos of People Texting While Driving and Puts Them on Billboards

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.52.07 AM.png

Brian Singer started TWIT (that’s texting while driving, for the uninitiated) after the he noticed how many people he saw staring at their screens during his commute.

quotemarksright.jpgThe San Francisco-based artist started posting his images to a website and now encourages users to send in shots they take while traveling.

The resulting pictures are rarely exciting in their composition, but it’s utterly terrifying to scroll and see person after person caught redhanded using a phone while operating a moving motor vehicle. Singer generally posts several photos per week, each with an appropriately snarky headline about the person’s unsafe behavior.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

March 24, 2014

The Text Message sent by Malaysia Airline to MH370 Families Today

Below is the text message that Malaysian Airlines sent to relatives of the passengers of missing flight MH370 today to inform them of the latest development in the search.

In the SMS, Malaysian Airlines tells families that it is now believed the plane went down in the Indian Ocean and that there are no survivors, reports The Journal.


Why you need an SMS-enabled two-factor authentification system for passwords

logo_tyntec_rgb_xs.jpg New global research by the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by mobile interaction service provider tyntec, has revealed that on average almost 50% of One-Time Passwords(OTPs) fail to arrive due to invalid mobile numbers provided by end-users.

For the report titled ‘Unlocking the Security Potential: The Key to Effective Two-Factor Authentication’ the Ponemon Institute surveyed more than 1,800 IT and IT security practitioners around the world.

The research also revealed that 65% of respondents felt the traditional username and password approach was insecure. As a result, 90% of global IT managers say their organisations plan or consider the possibility to adopt SMS-enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) in 2014 in order to improve online security.

... Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute, added: “Enterprises and internet companies know that the traditional username and password is simply not enough anymore. However, companies deploying SMS-enabled two-factor authentication need to ensure that one-time passwords aren’t being sent to invalid mobile numbers. As a result, the research confirmed that 67% of respondents said customer experience improves when SMS-enabled two-factor authentication is combined with real-time verification of the receiver’s mobile number.”

Read full press release.

Link to White Paper: Unlocking the Security Potential: The Key to Effective Two-Factor Authentication

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.42.17 AM.png

Click on graphic for larger view.

March 21, 2014

Text messages as a weapon against sex trafficking

In Canada, anti-human trafficking and women’s groups say the use of the Internet as the primary way to sell sex has made it almost impossible for them to make initial face-to-face contact with women in the sex trade.

quotemarksright.jpgProject Backpage, a pilot program in Edmonton, Canada that started in 2012, is using FrontlineSMS software created to effect social change through text messaging.

The program sends text messages offering support and contact information to phone numbers scraped from ads on the Edmonton “adult” section of Backpage.com, an online classified advertising website similar to Craigslist.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Thomson Reuters Foundation]

Banned in Turkey, Twitter offers SMS workaround via SMS

Twitter has been banned entirely in Turkey, according to a report from Istanbul-based media outlet Today’s Zaman. In response, Twitter’s official policy account offered Turkish users a workaround: SMS.

[via VentureBeat]

March 20, 2014

Ukraine is fundraising for its army via text messages

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.34.47 AM.pngUkraine's military has been on alert over the past weeks as Russia began to annex a portion of its land and widespread protests led to the ouster of its previous leader.

quotemarksright.jpgFor support, Ukraine has been running a fundraiser to bring in money for the military, and it's been attempting to do so over the phone: by texting or calling a number, Ukrainians have been able to automatically donate 5 UAH (about 49 cents USD) to the country's army. Its defense agency has been advertising the phone number on its website and Facebook, and so far, Ukraine reports that it's brought in over $375,000.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via TheVerge]

Malaysia Airlines to send out SMS blasts to families

masoneworld.jpg Malaysia Airlines will begin sending out SMS blasts with brief updates to the families of the passengers and crew onboard MH370.

The airline is also setting set up an e-mail address for family members as a means for them to communicate with the national carrier. Updates are also available via the MAS website.

[via The Star Online]

March 17, 2014

Samsung's Ultrasonic Smartphone Case Helps The Visually Impaired Sense Their Surroundings

3027742-inline-us4.jpgSamsung has developed a smartphone case that helps the visually impaired by enhancing their awareness of their surroundings. The Ultrasonic Cover for its Galaxy Core Advance smartphone helps owners sense the presence of people and objects up to two meters away.

quotemarksright.jpgThe cover includes a number of physical buttons to aid disabled users. The Ultrasonic Cover emits a high-frequency sound, listening for the sound wave that bounces back. When it detects a nearby object, the phone lets the smartphone owner know by sending a vibration alert or text-to-speech notification. In some sense, it's almost like the case can see for its owner.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via FastCompany]

Europe backs call for universal smartphone charger. Hurra!

_73578115_a10ef4c4-1d41-4a4a-8be6-80b3fda6661d.jpg The maddening scramble to find the right charger for your smartphone could be coming to an end - by 2016. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgEuropean politicians have backed a regulation that will force smartphone makers to use just one type of charger.

On Thursday MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the regulation, which will see a common charger used for smartphones by 2017.

The regulation is still only a draft law and must be approved by Europe's council of ministers. However, that body has already given its informal backing to the law, suggesting it will win final approval.

European member states will have until 2016 to translate the regulation into national laws and manufacturers will then have 12 months to switch to the new design. The process of getting manufacturers to agree on a common design began in 2009.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

March 14, 2014

Phone call metadata does betray sensitive details about your life – study

Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata. The Guardian reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWarnings that phone call “metadata” can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls.

Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.<&o>

The research aimed to answer questions raised by the NSA wiretapping revelations, where it was revealed that the US intelligence agency collects metadata - but not content - of millions of phone calls on mobile networks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

March 13, 2014

The First Cellphone Went on Sale 30 Years Ago for $4,000

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 9.10.58 PM.png Somewhere in either Chicago, Baltimore or Washington, someone plunked down $3,995 to buy the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the first handheld cellphone, on March 13, 1984 — 30 years ago today. Mashable remembers.

quotemarksright.jpgWe don't know who that first cellphone buyer was. At the time, the occasion didn't register as historically auspicious. After all, in 1984, the terms "cellphone" and "mobile phone" didn't refer to handheld phones; those terms referred to car phones, which had been around since the mid-1940s. What was celebrated at the time was the kick-off consumer cellular call — made to the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell — six months earlier.

A handheld portable phone was considered a gimmick, a "look what I got!" rich man's toy with dubious utility. Measuring 13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches and weighing 28 ounces, the 8000X was so big and heavy, even its creators had nicknamed it "The Brick." Plus, you could only use it for a half an hour before the battery gave out. Who would pay a quarter of the average salary in 1984 — more than $9,000 in 2014 dollars — to carry around such a useless load, especially since payphones were everywhere and only cost a dime to use?

The lack of commemoration of that first portable phone sale is understandable. What has turned out to be the most ubiquitous gadget in history started life as a publicity stunt, prompted by panic.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Older Entries

March 12, 2014

March 11, 2014

March 9, 2014

March 5, 2014

March 4, 2014

February 28, 2014

February 27, 2014

February 24, 2014

February 16, 2014

February 15, 2014

February 13, 2014

February 6, 2014

February 5, 2014

February 3, 2014

January 29, 2014

January 28, 2014

January 27, 2014

January 24, 2014

January 23, 2014

January 22, 2014

January 21, 2014

January 16, 2014

January 15, 2014

January 13, 2014

January 11, 2014

January 9, 2014

January 8, 2014

January 5, 2014

January 2, 2014

December 27, 2013

December 23, 2013

December 22, 2013

December 21, 2013

December 20, 2013

December 18, 2013

December 16, 2013

December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

December 7, 2013

December 4, 2013

December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013

November 28, 2013

November 26, 2013

November 21, 2013

November 16, 2013

November 14, 2013

Google+ FaceBook Follow Me on Pinterest
Home | About | ArchivesCopyright © 2014