Archives for July 2005
July 31, 2005
Here's a freeware add-on to iPodder that exports the Podcast to the Mobile Phone audio format (AMR). This way, everyone can listen in to Podcast, even without an MP3 player, or an MP3 mobile! (Thank you Vui Huang Tea)
According to Scotland Today, more than 100 school pupils have failed exams this year - not because they cheated - but because they broke the rules by taking mobile phones into examination halls.
"The pupils involved will learn they have been penalised when exam results are delivered on 9th August. The Scottish Qualifications Authority say a further 41 pupils have failed for copying the work of other students or authors."
July 30, 2005
The UFJ banking group said Friday it will start offering a service Aug. 10 in which customers can use their mobile phones to obtain cash advances from automated teller machines, reports Forbes.
"The new credit service will require cellphones featuring Sony Corp.'s FeliCa noncontact smart card technology.
To obtain cash advances, UFJ Card Co. credit card holders will only need to hold their compatible phones close to ATMs at UFJ Bank branches, which will link them to the UFJ Card website.
The service will initially be available in eastern Japan and will later be expanded to western and central Japan, the group said."
Italian investigators say police used cell phone records to track down one of the suspects in the failed suicide bombings in London on 21 July, reports the BBC.
"Osman Hussain was arrested on Friday in his brother's flat on the outskirts of the Italian capital, Rome.
He was traced using call records from two cell phone numbers, supplied to the Italians by UK police.
The suspect's constant use of cell phones betrayed his attempt to find refuge. As well as calling his brother in Rome, he talked to his father who lives in Brescia, in northern Italy."
Here's something new to worry about.
"As carmakers adjust on-board computers to allow consumers to transfer information with MP3 players and mobile phones, they also make their vehicles vulnerable to mobile viruses that jump between devices via Bluetooth that connects them, reports The Hindustan Times.
Companies so far have seen no reports of viruses in auto systems, and studies have shown it is not easy to transplant a virus into a car, but carmakers say they are taking the risk seriously."
According to the The India Times, with network problems, SMS volumes have soared following heavy rains in Mumbai.
"The messages are full of concern, “R u safe & dry' or “Hope you and your family are fine” or “To prevent Leptospirosis, those who walked through water yesterday must take tablet of medicine ..... Single dose, Make others aware also.”
... Since the SMS messages remain in the network for about 24 hours (at times even 48 hours), the SMS may be delayed, but will be delivered as soon as the subscriber reaches an area where the network is alive.
Picture from the BBC.
"The site, which provides similar options to the main Technorati site, could actually end up being more popular amongst bloggers, as it seems to be quicker, and in this humble authors opinion, looks better and presents more cleanly than the hello kitty layout employed on the main page."
Emergency alerts may soon be delivered by more than just your television set or old-fashioned radio: The US federal government is considering alerting you via text message should a possible natural disaster or terrorist attack directly affect your area, reports PC World.
"The Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Prevention and Prediction met this week on Capitol Hill to discuss creating a national, integrated all-hazards alert system that uses digital technology to efficiently send public warnings to Americans".
The Advertiser has an article on Jam Texting, first first written up in 2002 - but hasn't made the papers in a while - which conducted from a car while waiting in traffic, enables a mobile user to text someone interesting-looking in a car nearby.
"Singles register their number plate and mobile details with the service provider and are given a number they can send their message to.
It is forwarded to the mobile phone of the object of their desire - if that person is also a member. If they are not a member, the message is stored and revealed to them later if they join?
July 29, 2005
Wireless operator Telefónica has been obliged to withdraw from the Brazilian market 200'000 pre-paid calling cards depicting US soldiers capturing Saddam Hussein.
"The card belongs to the series "History of the World" and has generated a lot of negative reactions and a legal action which forced Telefónica to retire it from the market."
Equally in bad taste: - Cell Phone Toy Shows Picture Of Osama Bin Laden
Purdue University audiologists have found that cell phones or portable digital music devices could lead to hearing loss among college-bound adults, reports New Kerala, this a few days after an Israeli study found cell phone radiation causes damage to the visual system.
"We're starting to see hearing loss in young adults that we expect to diagnose in middle-aged adults."
People, especially young adults on a college campus, have something in their ears almost all the time as they walk from class, visit the library, work in the computer lab, drive in their cars and rest in their apartments. Their ears have very little quiet time to recover from noise exposure."
A Senior detective has told The Cumberland News, how “cutting edge” forensic analysis helped trap a Carlisle man who murdered his girlfriend in their city flat.
Kieran Grieve strangled Miss Flanagan in a “jealous rage” after discovering that she had a secret lover.
He then went to extreme lengths to cover up his crime, even cutting Lisa's fingernails to remove any forensic evidence that may have linked him to the killing. Grieve then set about sending a series of bogus text messages from Miss Flanagan's mobile phone in an attempt to give the impression that she was still alive when he fled with Holly to Portsmouth.
Detectives turned to three specialist companies in an attempt to discover how what Grieve claimed had happened compared with what the mobile phone evidence revealed.
Using tracking techniques used in the Madrid bombing investigation, experts were able to show that Grieve lied about where Miss Flanagan was when messages were sent. The text messages he claimed she sent from the city centre were almost certainly sent from the couple's flat by Grieve himself."
Just for fun, Logogle, the Google logo maker.
[via The Red Ferret]
As America is grappling with loud cell phone behaviour and rudeness, in South Korea, people have become paradoxically quiet, as new means of communication are replacing the spoken word; Chat programs and text messengers are cheap, convenient to use and accessible everywhere, according to Digital Chosunilbo.
... "There are people who say they could live comfortably without saying a word all day, and who send so many SMS and chat online so much that sometimes they find it awkward to talk.
Yet it is the telephone that is at the heart of these changes, a device that is rooted more than anything else in the attempt to allow people to talk. As mobile phones grow more sophisticated, they are eradicating the very purpose they were designed for.
In the case of telecom provider KTF, the SMS sent in June (2,000,008,616) for the first time outnumbered mobile phone calls (2,000,004,669).
... There are concerns that the silent society could aggravate alienation and isolation. But experts say there is no need to expect the worst: it is merely that communication is changing, from face-to-face to other forms, yet the flood of communication itself has not stopped.
Yonsei University sociologist Kim Ho-gi says young-generation “cool” means a preference for writing over speech. "Speech is loaded with feeling, and because young people prefer communication styles that convey meaning simply and clearly while keeping their own emotions in check, they like communicating through text messages."
A trail of casual cell phone use that tripped up the 19 purported CIA operatives wanted by Italian authorities in the alleged kidnapping of a radical Muslim cleric, reports The Associated Press.
"The suspects used at least 40 Italian cell phones, some in their own names. A track of their cell phones also showed them on those streets "nearly 100 times" during the month before Abu Omar's disappearance, the prosecutor said.
Why they would use their cell phones so openly has baffled experts.
Unless the power or the wireless antenna is turned off, a mobile phone remains in constant contact with the nearest cell towers even when it's not being used for a call. Information processed by the cells can be used to precisely locate or track the movements of a phone user."
Nativi, the military expert, called the use of regular cell phone accounts "a huge weakness in the operation." It would have been more difficult to track anonymous prepaid cards, satellite phones or radios, he said."
A new text messaging service called EggAlert is an innovative program that will notify cell phone users when they are ovulating.
EggAlert, developed by PDAHealthWare, Inc., calculates a woman's next ovulation time, and sends a text message telling them their day of ovulation, fertile period to increase the odds of conception, and when to expect their next menstrual period.
In addition, using research that employs theories about the timing of conception and its influence on conceiving a boy or girl, EggAlert can also allow couples to implement this strategy which may increase their ability to select the gender of their child. Press Release
-- Mobile phones may woo women with birth advice - A mobile "ovulation" application will tell women when is the best time to try to get pregnant.
Taking personalization to a new level, Sony Ericsson on Style Up!, offers mobile users the option of designing a mobile cover with their own images and text.
In their own words:
Use photos of your loved ones, cartoons – any picture that stirs your imagination!
The Electoral Commission (EC) in Uganda sent out short text messages to remind potential voters of yesterday's referendum polls on change of political system. [via AllAfrica.com]
"The advantage of SMS messages is that whoever receives the massage automatically reads it before deleting it. We have been stressing patriotism and reflecting voting as a national duty," SMS Media's Clients Executive Mr Chris Ssali said.
The eighth Human Scale Chess Game in Oakland will take place on Saturday, August 06.
The organizers need 32 volunteers with working cellphones to play the roles of the chess pieces. Sign up now by email to select the role you will play. To participate, you will need a working cellphone and a couple of free hours on Saturday August 06. Costuming is strongly encouraged; the campier, the better.
Human Scale Chess is a project of Glowlab contributor Sharilyn Neidhardt.
[via networked performance]
"A letter to members of the Senate and House Commerce Committees said the telecommunications industry is targeting young children as its next growth market, a move called "one of the worst ideas to appear in the American economy in a long time."
The letter, written and organized by Commercial Alert, a consumer advocacy group that monitors advertising, cautioned federal lawmakers that once cell phones "are in classrooms, playrooms, and in children's bedrooms, it will be too late." Even though cell phones for children are marketed as a tool for children to contact parents in an emergency, in reality the phones allow advertisers of all kinds to better market to children, the letter said".
Phone to heaven by Harada Keigo is about trying to contact the dead.
The bubble maker is activated by a voice sensor in the telephone: The faster you speak, the smaller the bubbles are. The slower, the bigger bubbles. This provides a visual representation of a message floating to heaven.
Harada Keigo explains how she got the idea for Phone to Heaven:
"I was very close to my grandfather, but as we lived far from each other in Japan, most of the time my relationship with him was through the telephone.
After moving to England at the age of 13, I called him less and less. After he died, I found out that he was always waiting for my call and kept asking if it was me when the phone rang."
reBlogged from WMMNA
The explosion in text messaging may be damaging the ability of sales people to talk over the phone to sell products and services, according to research findings, reports The Telegraph.
"...Almost 60 per cent of buyers surveyed gave a rating of fair to poor for the way sales people used the phone to try to drum up business.
The research also showed that texting is a turn-off as a sales aid either because it was disliked or the abbreviations cause irritation. More than 80 per cent rated the text messages they received as poor while only 10 per cent said the quality was fair".
July 28, 2005
London Transport and mobile firms are warning people about an e-mail spreading rapidly containing inaccurate safety information, reports the BBC.
"The message claims that passengers on the London Tube system can contact emergency services via a satellite signal from their mobiles underground.
Mobiles do not work in the London Underground, and satellite signals cannot reach there either." Nor will cell phones divert to a satellite signal.
"Even with a satellite mobile phone (which very few people have), you would need to have a clear line-of-sight to the satellite. You would have to be outside, not in a building or a tube tunnel."
A spokesperson from mobile operator Orange reiterated that if you do not have a signal on your mobile, wherever you are, you simply cannot make a call."
A false rumour that terrorists had contaminated Rome's water supply spread throughout the Italian capital on Wednesday, partly by telephone text message, prompting calls for calm from the mayor. Reuters reports.
"It was the latest scare to jolt the Italian capital, where polls show citizens are convinced it is a question of when - not if - Islamic militants will strike, just like they did in London on July 7.
Like other European capitals, Rome has also endured a wave of bomb scares in recent weeks, including at the international airport.
But the water scare was unusual, gaining momentum throughout the day with a circulating SMS telephone text message that warned people not to drink the water. Concern sparked a flood of calls to police and hospitals."
The Pew Internet and American Life Project report on teens and technology, released Wednesday, claims that teenagers prefer the land-line telephone to cell phones, text messages and instant messaging - because parents foot the bill.
They also prefer instant messaging, or "IM," for casual online conversations. E-mail, they say, is for "old people" and formal institutions.
[via Knight Ridder Newspapers]
A gang of teens beat up a student outside a Bronx school yesterday and then hacked off his thumb with a machete, because they mistakenly believed he had stolen one of their cell phones, his relatives said. [via The New York Daily News]
‘Thrill Noir' is an all-new, dark, edgy graphic tale presented in cartoon strip format that's building a cult following in the UK. But you can't get this in any bookshop, newsagents or even specialist comic book store.
‘Thrill Noir'is available exclusively via mobile phone, according to creativematch.
"All fourteen episodes of the first series are already available to fans via Gobspeed and can be downloaded, simply, anytime, anywhere on WAP enabled phones."
Mobile messaging is at an all-time high, KTF said Wednesday, according to Digital Chosunilbo.
"It said the number of SMS (2.086 million) exceeded voice messages (2.047 million) after surpassing the 2 billion mark for the first time this year, seven years after it started the service in1998.
Other networks report similar figures. SK Telecom said that it saw the number of SMS increase from 1.358 billion last June to 2.813 billion this June, while voice messages remained almost unchanged at 3.849 billion from 3.813 billion on-year.
Revenues for the three mobile operators earned from SMS rose by W86 billion (US$86 million) from W320 billion in 2003 to W406 billion last year".
"There's even an RSS feed so you can get the info pushed to you, rather than having to keep checking back for updates. The pages provide useful information on Cabir and Commwarrior, Bluetooth security, and keeping mobile malware off your devices."