Archives for June 2005

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June 30, 2005

July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Since 2002, Sprint has rallied the nation for Cell Phone Courtesy Month in July. But are things getting better?

“Unfortunately, no. Cell Phone Courtesy Month doesn't work if cell phone users aren't aware that they are not being courteous in the first place,” says etiquette expert Barbara Pachter. “A better idea would be to institute Cell Phone Jerk Assertiveness Month."

People need to stand up for themselves if they are disturbed by cell phone jerks—but they need to do it in the right way.
Here's Pachter tips to help people confront cell phone jerks:

1. KEEP YOUR COOL. If you can give a cell phone jerk the benefit of the doubt, you're less likely to lose your temper when dealing with one.

2. BE POLITE AND POWERFUL. Say something like, “Can you please lower your voice, your conversation is disturbing us.”

3. KEEP YOUR BODY LANGUAGE IN CHECK. You can say “Please” and “Thank you,” all you want, but don't clench your teeth or wag your finger.

4. USE A CPEG CARD. If you don't know what to say, or don't feel comfortable speaking up, hand the person a Cell Phone Etiquette Guideline (CPEG) card that says something polite and powerful like, “Hi. Can you please put your phone on vibrate? The ringing is disturbing us.”

5. LET IT GO. If it's a minor and passing annoyance, consider letting it go. If you're ever concerned for your safety, let it go.

(Press Release)

Regine | 9:36 PM | permalink

The Feature: the end of the road

Five years ago, TheFeature.com was launched by Nokia as an independent, non-branded site with the task of getting people thinking and talking about the future of mobile communications. With the dramatic changes in the Internet publishing landscape since then, and the rise of blogs in particular, TheFeature's role as a leader in the community perhaps isn't as necessary as it once was, with many quality sites discussing relevant topics and providing outlets for the vibrant community that's sprouted up around the mobile industry.

Sadly, TheFeature wrote its last post today and lets the conversation and community move forward on its own.

Regine | 8:51 PM | permalink

Phone scammers face £250k fine

At the moment premium rate crooks that con customers into running up huge phone bills can be fined up to £100,000. But companies that rip-off punters with dodgy premium rate services are to face increased fines of up to £250,000.

Said premium rate regulator ICSTIS boss George Kidd: "Our current fine limit of £100,000 is no longer sufficient to deal with the worst services we see."

Separately, ICSTIS is investigating Jamster, the Verisign-owned company behind the "Crazy Frog" ringtones. It has received more than 100 complaints, including from children, who say they were unaware that downloading the ringtone also signed them up to expensive premium rate services.

The investigation was launched in April and should conclude later this summer.

(via The Register)

Regine | 3:30 PM | permalink

Vodafone, MSN plan PC-to-mobile messaging service

Vodafone and Microsoft MSN unit plan to launch in several European countries an instant messaging service that will allow communication between mobile phone users and computers.

Users will be able to see the presence of their contacts and exchange IM between MSN Messenger on a computer and Vodafone Messenger on mobile phones and vice versa. The service aims to bring together more then 165 MSN Messenger users with nearly 155 million Vodafone customers around the world, and increase traffic on their networks.

The service will be charged on the commonly-used mobile commercial model of "calling party pays" and customers would be able to pay for the service through their mobile bills.

(via Reuters)

Regine | 11:16 AM | permalink

Largest SMS lottery in history

More than two million people applied by text message for the 150-thousand tickets to the July 2 concert in London's Hyde Park in what The Guinness Book of World Records said was the largest ever SMS lottery. Tickets began appearing on eBay shortly after recipients learned by text that they had been successful.

The three million pounds (US$5.4 million) raised by the ticket lottery will go toward the Prince's Trust, a youth charity established by Prince Charles. It will also go to Help A London Child, which campaigns to help children with mental health problems and on materials for the concert.

(via EiTB 24)

Related article:
-- SMS tickets to Live8 SuperConcert.

Regine | 9:58 AM | permalink

Régine is taking over

Off to the US for 10 days. Régine from we-make-money-not-art will be taking over. So watch this space for great things!

hotdog.gif

emily | 7:46 AM | permalink

June 29, 2005

Kansai Airport tries delivering content using visible light

7784782935746668.JPG This week, Japan's Ministry of Land is demoing a technology at Kansai Airport that will transmit information to cellphones using the LED or fluorescent lights in the departure lounge, reports Engadget.

"NTT DoCoMo is supplying the phones, while NEC, Matsushita, Keio University and Japan Airlines chip in on the remaining technology.

Passengers will point the phones at the appropriate blinkenlights around the lounge to get information on departure times and shops and facilities, and to download music and video."

emily | 4:59 PM | permalink

T-Mobile teams with Google to open up mobile Internet: Web'n'Walk

webnwalk.jpg T-Mobile has announced it will use the Google homepage as the entry page for its mobile Internet service, in a bid to encourage more of its users to log on to the Web via their mobiles.

The deal is part of the mobile network operator's new strategy to offer its subscribers full access to the Internet, as opposed to network branded portals that restrict access to selected sites.

Ulli Gritzuhn, T-Mobile board member, said: "With the Google homepage we want tell our customers from the first moment that they are carrying with them the Internet they know from home.”

Current mobile internet services, such as T-Mobile's 't-zones' and Vodafone 'Live!', have so far failed to rouse consumer interest, with users finding the services too complicated and expensive.

T-Mobile, the mobile division of Deutsche Telekom, will promote the service with a new campaign, entitled "web'n'walk", launching across Europe from July.

It also plans to introduce mobile devices with larger displays that are better suited for web pages, along with cheaper tarriffs for mobile Internet use.

reBlogged from netimperative

picture and related article from Phonemag

emily | 4:42 PM | permalink

Text2Insure First To Sell Insurance Via SMS

txtins.jpg In another example of business getting the text message, a new company called text2insure plans to revolutionise the way insurance is sol in the UK by being the first to sell via SMS text messaging.

The service is available through a regular mobile phone and promises to provide quotes to your phone within 60 seconds.

[via bios]

emily | 4:32 PM | permalink

Teens prefer mobiles to the internet - report

Enpocker has unveiled second quarter findings from its survey, the Mobile Media Monitor. The survey reveals that mobile owners are increasingly loyal to the medium and, across every age group, would give up the internet before they gave up their mobile phones. Respondents were asked which medium they would give up last if they had to choose between TV, newspapers, mobile phone, the internet, radio and magazines.

mmm_28june2005.gif

Overall TV proved most popular with 31% choosing to give it up last. Mobile (19%) was ahead of radio (16%), the internet (13%), newspapers (10%) and magazines (5%) in terms of popularity.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 2:19 PM | permalink

Etch-A-Sketch on a mobile

etchsketch.gif You can now get the classic toy, Etch-A-Sketch on mobiles, following a license agreement with IN-FUSIO, reports Cellular News.

"The game, based on the original Ohio Art Company toy is available to UK gamers from Orange UK to a wide array of handsets.

The fun doesn't end when the artwork is finished. Remember shaking the toy to erase the picture? This is simulated in the mobile version, pressing the 0 key to wipe out the picture and start the vibrating function of the phone.

Players can save their drawings too. Up to three sketches can be saved onto a handset's memory to show to friends and family later in the day.

Launched in 1960, the Etch-A-Sketch toy has been used in over 100 million homes worldwide."

emily | 12:12 PM | permalink

True Lies and The Pinocchio Phone

pinocchiophone.jpg 21888714_6b1ee48ef9_m.jpg True Lies, by Angus Chan, is a service designed to help people manage and update their lies.

First you have to provide the True.Lies service with a record of your lies and your daily schedule. They catgorise and store the lies on a computer database.

As they monitor your schedule and your record of lies, constant reminders are sent to you at the appropriate time through post, email, SMS, cash machines, phone booths, etc. to let you know the record of lies you have already made to the people you're about to meet. Therefore avoiding any embarrassement.

In order to foster honesty, the project includes the Pinocchio Phone: the more lies you tell, the longer the phone gets and the less privacy you have."

[via we-make-money-not-art]

emily | 9:28 AM | permalink

June 28, 2005

Lost SMS opportunities @ Glastonbury unveiled

glflood.gif According to The Inquirer, the Glastonbury Festival was a lost opportunity to unleash the full power of text messaging, the only medium available to festival goers.

"For example, a rumour swept the whole site that the entire water supply had been contaminated during the flash floods on Friday morning. Did we get any clarifications on the water situation by SMS? Nope.

During the whole weekend, nothing really useful ever arrived in our text Inbox.

Instead Orange – the official mobile network sponsor for the festival – chiefly contented itself with sending messages urging attendees to join co-sponsors – such as Budweiser in its Crown pub..."

emily | 3:46 PM | permalink

‘Techno-Rage' threatens UK business

computerrage.gif New independent research commissioned by service management company Tertio SMS, shows that a large number of consumers (45%) are experiencing ‘techno-rage', an acute level of annoyance with organisations over technology hitches in service delivery, according to esato.

"The study reveals that technology-based service failure is a widespread problem. On a weekly basis nearly a quarter (23%) of the population find themselves unable to use services, such as cash machines, mobile phone networks or the Internet, when they want to. And one in ten people encounter problems on a daily basis.

... Techno-rage is fuelling this and big business is facing a serious threat from ‘silent attrition' within its customer base.

emily | 3:37 PM | permalink

Russel Buckley's MobHappy

RussellImage(05).jpg To all Russel Buckley fans and readers of the excellent Mobile Weblog, please note that Russel will now be reporting from his new blog, MobHappy.

Pass the word!

emily | 10:11 AM | permalink

Your SMS can light up city roads

Chandigarh (India) drivers may soon be able to lodge a complaint by SMS if a street light is not working, by texting the special "ID code” assigned to each pole. The complaint number will be sent back automatically to the cellphone of the complainant.

And after the streetlight is repaired, the complainant will receive an SMS telling him that it's been fixed.

According to Chandigarh Newsline, "the UT Traffic Police conducted a survey in the first week of June to assess the working of streetlights on the four busiest city roads — Himalaya Marg, Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg and Sukhna Path.

The survey revealed that one-third of the streetlights (492 out of 1,062) were non-operational.

Surprisingly, the survey found out that neither the Municipal Corporation nor the UT Administration had information about the non-functional streetlights".

emily | 10:00 AM | permalink

Nokia Opens First Concept Store in New Delhi

11328-nokia-1.jpg Following the three Nokia branded Concept Stores opened across the Middle East, Nokia India has launched its first state-of-the-art Nokia Concept Store in New Delhi, displaying its full range of mobility products.

The retail outlet has an 'Experience Zone' and a 'Nokia Lounge', which are designed to provide customers with a complete mobility experience.

The store measures approximately 2,200 square feet and follows the international format for Nokia Concept Stores, to facilitate an interactive and informative shopping experience.

[via Channel Times]

emily | 9:42 AM | permalink

SMS Heat wave alert as Europe swelters

To deal with the heat wave hitting Europe, governments are rushing to put in place emergency measures. The southern region of Andalucia (Spain) has already put in place a text-messaging alert system to warn the elderly and the infirm living alone, as well as parents of young children, of impending high temperatures above 41 degrees Centigrade. [via Cape Times]

emily | 9:00 AM | permalink

PIN it down

secure_password.jpg Bluetooth, the wireless connection used on PDAs and phones, is not safe unless you use an eight-digit PIluetooth, the wireless connection used on PDAs and phones, is not safe unless you use an eight-digit PIN to secure devices, an industry group has warned.N to secure devices, an industry group has warned. [via ZDNet Asia].

"The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has told people to set eight-digit PINs when pairing two devices and to take other precautions, after a report described a way for hackers to crack the security codes on Bluetooth devices and seize control of them."

Related articles:

-- Bluethievery

-- New hack cracks 'secure' Bluetooth devices

emily | 8:02 AM | permalink

June 27, 2005

Engadget Japanese / Engadget Spanish

Just a few weeks following the launch of Engadget Chinese, the first foreign language version of Engadget, Peter Royas announces today the launch of Engadget Japan and Engadget Spanish.

Engadget Japan is edited by Liam McNulty of excellent TechJapan.

Engadget Spanish will feature translations of Engadget posts as well as original content for readers in Spain and Latin America.

Well done!

emily | 6:10 PM | permalink

Philippines overturning government with a ringtone (and a car horn!)

Where the Philippines was the first country in the world to use text messaging to topple a former president, they may soon be the first country to overturn a government with a ringtone (and car horn!).

It is my voice on poll tape (and ringtone), admits embattled President Gloria Arroyo.

[via Ringtonia]

emily | 5:45 PM | permalink

Women, bigger SMS flirts than men

fflirt.gif According to the The Sun, via The Hindustan Times, a survey conducted by mobile entertainment providers LAB, has found out that nearly three quarters of the British population have sent flirty text messages or emails behind their partners' backs, with more women offenders than men.

"The poll also stated that while 69 per cent of the men indulged in flirting, the percentage of women was higher with 72 per cent cheating on their partners."

emily | 5:17 PM | permalink

Mobile phone 'pranksters' face prosecution

Mobile phone "pranksters" have been warned they face prosecution if they send a malicious voicemail which threatens to "knee cap" its victim, reports The Register.

"The recorded message claims to be from a man who says he's found your number on his girlfriend's mobile phone.

During the message he says he "knows where you live" and threatens to "knee cap" you.

Police have traced the source of the message but report that it is now being sent to mobile phones as a "joke".

According to Orange, the recording first surfaced some six months ago after being downloaded from the net. Earlier this year police issued a warning about the message but it is still being sent".

emily | 5:09 PM | permalink

Kerala Bars mobiles and fashion shows in schools & colleges

27new.jpg The Kerala government (India) has barred mobile phones, fashion shows and gyrating dances at educational institutions, less than a week after Mumbai University proposed imposing a strict dress code on college campuses, reports the Calcutta Telegraph.

Both have cited the same objective — to ensure that students do not cross “the limits of decency”.

The new norms prohibit school students from carrying mobile phones. Teachers are allowed to carry cellphones but are required to switch them off before entering classrooms. College students have to switch off the phones once inside the campus.

emily | 1:25 PM | permalink

Watch Out for Your Appliances in the Rain

More sound advice on protecting your cell phone from the rain and what to do in case it does get wet, via Digital Chosunilbo.

"As the rains lash Korea it is important to remember that water is fatal to electronic devices, while the danger of being struck by lightning in a storm should not be underestimated, experts warn.

When your mobile phone gets wet, you must separate the battery and take it to a service center as quickly as possible. Operating a wet handset will disable the inner circuit. Cell phones have indicators that tell you if they got wet.

Samsung Electronics technician Park Yong-gu warns, “If you come to the center an hour or more after getting the handset wet, in 90 percent of cases it can't be repaired.” He adds it is crucial to take in the phone as soon as possible and get the water to evaporate with alcohol.”

Related articles:

-- How to protect your phone during the monsoon

-- The "Aqua Talk Flex Plastype 'Phone even in the Bathroom'"

-- Waterproofing: the Last Frontier in Handset Development

emily | 12:54 PM | permalink

Beaming Text and Images in the Air

skt_airbeam_01.jpg SK Telecom announced Monday that it would launch an Air Beam service that displays text messages or images in the air.

You can spell out messages in the air by waving your handset after downloading relevant program.

A total of 16 beamed messages can be stored in the handset and a variety of emoticons are downloadable on Nate, SKT's portal website.

An acceleration sensor is deployed and the messages can be seen up to 20 - 30 meters away. [via Telecoms Korea]

More on air texting/wave messaging:

-- SMS Messages in the Air - Sun Data, a handset accessory company, announced it developed AirBeam that can display SMS or image stored in handsets in the air using LED. (December 2004).

-- Wave Messaging - By waving the Nokia 3220 camera phone from side to side, the LED lights of the Nokia Xpress-on FunShell light up to "write" a message that appears to float in mid-air (May 2004).

-- In March 2003, the WSJ reported from CeBIT about a phone called Kurv, made by Kyocera Wireless Corp which featured airtexting: "The company believes airtexting will be one of it's most popular features, especialy in night clubs. To airtext, you type in a text like 'call me' then wave it back and forth in the air. As the phone moves, a row of blinking red lights along the top of the phone leaves the phrase trailing behind it."

-- A company called Wildseed actually tested airtexting with teenagers - which was a big hit. cf post in Textually on airtexting.

-- And an article from Wap.com (no longer online) several years ago, featured a California company called Neoku.com which developed a platform called haikuhaiku. The article described a form of mobile graffiti, using a cell phone as a paint spraycan, "by waving it into the air to form a word, the text would appear onto the screen of a person passing by".

Audio interview explaining smswave

emily | 12:42 PM | permalink

SMS Real Name Technology

Shanghai Fengzhong Information Technology Company has developed a new communications product called SMS Real Name that ties someone's name to their mobile phone, reports China Tech News.

"With SMS Real Name, users do not have to send a short message directly to a mobile phone. Instead, the sender only needs to send it to the name obtained earlier when the short message was displayed on the receivers' mobile phone. In this way, the sender only needs to remember the name, instead of the long mobile phone number."

emily | 12:13 PM | permalink

LiteOn Awards - Cellphone concepts

Akihabara News has posted a selection of concept designs from the LiteOn Awards. The ones below are related to cell phones:

2.jpg 3.jpg

4.jpg

emily | 12:05 PM | permalink

Lack Of Interest When It Comes To Advanced Mobile Phone Features

The Q4 2004 Consumer Technographics European Study by Forrester Research has found a lack of interest in advanced features of mobile phones, with 63% of respondents saying they just needed a mobile for voice and messaging, reports Moco News-

"It took six months to come out because Forrester interviewed more than 18,000 consumers in the five largest Western European markets — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK — so collating data would have taken some time. Still, considering the pace of the market it does make the figures somewhat dated… six months ago consumers may not have seen any content worth getting, but that could have easily changed.

Anyway, six months ago “more than 60% of mobile users aged 16 to 24 have an Internet-capable mobile phone, but only 18% of them actually use mobile Internet services. We see the same lack of interest when it comes to mobile phone features”.

emily | 11:26 AM | permalink

Deafblind slate 'senseless' tech

teenagers3.jpg Deafblind people find technology difficult and frustrating to use, a survey has found, reports the BBC.

"The study by the national charity Sense was the largest ever asking the views of deafblind people.

All most half of those surveyed who use assistive technology were experiencing difficulty.

The devices causing most concern were everyday items like remote controls, cookers, mobile phones and washing machines.

UK Deafbllind charity Sense commissioned the survey among deafblind people and their families to mark the start of Deafblind Awareness Week and to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Although many of the UK's 23,000 deafblind people rely on technology for communication, access to information and achieving independence, the survey reveals a high level of dissatisfaction.

Among the most commonly cited problems, respondents mentioned:

-- A lack of help when buying items

-- Information not being available in alternative formats such as audio, large print or Braille

-- The trend for mobile phones to get smaller

-- The print size in instruction manuals being too small.

Sense says companies can improve their designs by:

-- Getting advice from deafblind people at the design stage

-- Using tactile devices like large raised buttons on phones and keyboards

-- Using large text of colour that contrasts well with the background on buttons and keys

-- Fitting large screens to devices like mobile phones and allowing the user to customise the text size

-- Ensuring consistency so that similar types of controls are operated in the same way

-- Making sure that instruction manuals are written in plain English with large illustrations and in a variety of formats.

emily | 10:49 AM | permalink

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