Archives for November 2005
November 30, 2005
The Flight 93 Memorial to be built near Shanksville, Pa, honors the 40 passengers and crew who died on the plane on 9/11.
According to the The Associated Press, The Tower of Voices is a tower that marks the entrance and exit from the memorial site at Route 30. The tower will be set on a planted mound within rings of pine trees and it will house 40 wind chimes symbolizing the 40 passengers and crew killed on the plane. The noise of the wind chimes is also symbolic because many of the victims had their last contact with loved ones on cell phones.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is being joined by telecommunications giant, Vodacom South Africa (Vodacom), in fighting the war against HIV/AIDS. Mobile Africa Reports
"Vodacom will be selling a 46664-branded Vodacom Prepaid Starter Pack in what is to be its first commercial initiative in an ongoing involvement with the 46664 campaign.
The concept behind the Vodacom 46664 Starter Pack is simple. There is no donation on the sale of the 46664 Starter Pack, but each time a person recharges, Vodacom will contribute a portion of the money to the 46664 Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS - at no cost to the customer."
"FreemantleMedia has licensed Player X the worldwide rights, excluding the US, to create and produce original mobile phone games based on game shows including The Price Is Right, Family Feud, Blockbusters, Sale Of The Century and Strike It Lucky.
The games, created by developer Qbranch Wireless, are available from this month and replicate the format of the shows by allowing contestants to play along to the original game show rules.
Player X has exclusive distribution deals with more than 70 global operators."
Remember when your grandparents sent postcards from strange and exotic places around the world and you would stick a pin on the map to follow their progress? Welcome to the Internet version.
Jumpclaimer! enables a traveller to stick digital pins on a world map. Friends and family can then follow the progress. They do this by accepting a simple SMS containing the nearest town to you. They do some analysis to find the latitude/longitude coordinate of the nearest town with that name using your previous location. This is then plotted on a Google map.
It's small, blue and more likely to end up in children's mouths than in their hands where it belongs. This week a British company launched a teddy-bear shaped mobile phone for four-year-olds. The Guardian reports.
Teddyfone uses the most basic mobile phone technology (click here to see how it works). It has four buttons - one on each paw - to speed-dial four numbers. It also has two panic buttons - one close to each ear - that a child can press in an emergency. The speaker is concealed in the nose. There is no keypad and no screen. There is also a child-tracking service for worried parents who, for 50p, can find out out where their son or daughter is.
The manufacturer claims its handset is safer than others on the market because the emissions are up to 10 times lower, but yesterday the campaign group Powerwatch expressed concern.
Paul Liesching, Teddyfone's managing director, said: "There is no evidence that mobile phone radiation is bad for the health. I understand that parents are concerned about radiation, but I would encourage them to do some research and make their own minds up. Parenting is all about making decisions.
Six thousand key-rings are being given to local school pupils to help them use Peterborough City Council’s innovative Text-&-Go bus timetable information service, reports UK's eGov Monitor.
"The key-rings and Text-&-Go leaflets have been distributed to pupils at eight secondary schools to raise awareness of the mobile phone-based system and to show pupils how to identify the SMS code for the bus stops that they regularly use."
November 29, 2005
For those who feel frustrated when looking into tiny images displayed on the screens of mobile phones or iPod, myvu is for you! according to MobileKorea.tv.
MicroOptical, a US based portable eyewear developer, showcased myvu, a video eyewear that enables users to view large-size video or pictures of digital devices.
In another example of SMS used as evidence in court, the US government combed through page after page of carefully selected text-message exchanges between convicted crack dealer Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and the Gotti brothers with New York Police Detective William Courtney — all within Judge Edward Korman's courtroom in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon. MTV.com reports.
"Before Korman allowed the evidence, and away from the ears and eyes of the jury, both sides butted heads over the two-way transmissions.
Defense attorney Gerald Shargel blasted the prosecution for drawing inappropriate inferences from the abbreviated text-message records provided by the Gottis' pager service.
... "The government's making assumptions," Shargel challenged, adding that some of the transmissions could be misconstrued even further because jurors — as opposed to listening to a recorded conversation — wouldn't be able to "tell inflection, so they won't be able to tell if these messages are jokes or not."
According to Vibe.com, text messages sent between Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and druglord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff raised about a connection to the shooting of 50 Cent."
Family members want to use SMS and e-mail messages to reach and maintain contact with personnel working with the elderly. These are some of the findings of a survey that TeliaSonera has conducted to poll 6,000 private persons and 250 municipal decision-makers all over Sweden.
"It is already clear today that family members want to reach and maintain contact with personnel in home-help services and nursing homes in a simple manner by sending and receiving e-mail and SMS messages. Increased usage of modern communication services in the care sector can simplify day-to-day life for many and also help municipalities save money."
[via Cellular News]
November 28, 2005
This experiential event generated over 5. 4 million text messages as contestants played out a text version of ‘battleships’ to win great prizes and the ultimate right to Push The Button and sink the F69.
Over 90,000 registered to play but in the end it was all down to Jo Smith, a 22-year-old student from Te Atatu to do the deed.
This campaign also went on to become the biggest TXT game event in NZ’s history."
According to the Enfield Independent, "radiation from a typical cell phone mast is at least 1,000 times weaker than a handset held to the ear - a fact confirmed by the Mobile Telecommunications Health Research Group (a government scientific panel).
"The only valid logical reason for objection to placing of masts is on aesthetic grounds, and the 'not-in-my-back-yard' concern operates where people fear a loss in value to their property. Since the level of saturation has now reached a figure whereby 80 per cent of the population owns at least one mobile phone (youngsters often have two according to sales records), it is obvious that vast numbers of parents are paying for them.
Apologies for the double postings lately. I'm trying to figure what's wrong. Many thanks for your patience.
Voice over wireless LANs may soon provide mobile users with a single device that will keep them in constant contact, reports the Information Week.
"Voice over wireless LAN, or VoWLAN, makes it possible to make and receive phone calls over a Wi-Fi network. And because coverage is based on your wireless network, it provides service in places a cell phone might not.
This concept has been around for more than five years, but the necessary pieces have been slow to come together. Until now, the handsets have been too pricey for the mass market, and the technology has lacked standards for roaming, quality of service, and power usage."
According to Local6.com, the website of South Florida's WKMG TV, "a problem solvers investigation has discovered that several Web sites will sell the last 100 phone numbers you have dialed to anyone who knows your phone number.
The report found that sites like Locatecell will sell the private phone numbers for about $100.
Once the fee is paid on the Web sites, anyone can get access to the phone numbers, including bank, doctor and work numbers, Local 6 News reported.
The Web sites are not illegal, according to the report."
In a follow-up of Friday's post on a serious accident due to a teenager text messaging at the wheel, today the The Washington Post reports that "the bicyclist died Friday, two days after the accident. The 17-year-old driver will probably face misdemeanor charges after allegedly losing control of his car while text messaging and hitting a bicyclist.
"We do not believe it was an intentional act, but it was inattentiveness to the roadway. The investigation showed that he was text-messaging on his cell phone" at the time of the accident, said Lt. Alan Stanton, spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Under Colorado law, the teenager could face as much as a year in prison.
When the system is active, each call is channeled through a recording switch before it is picked up by the receiving party, allowing you to record all of your phone calls on your cell phone, home phone and business phones.
BT is to take on leading mobile phone operators such as Vodafone and O2 by enabling customers to make free calls on their mobiles. The Business Online reports.
"The service has been under development at BT for the past 18 months. It will be available to customers owning smartphones, the latest devices made by companies such as Nokia and Motorola. The phones use software that routes calls free of charge through local area wireless connections to the internet.
BT is expected to announce details of the service before Christmas and it will available early next year. The calls will be free, but there will be a flat charge to use the network."
International Modeling agency Elite Model Look is launching a line of mobile phones "for women who live for fashion".
The phone models will be customized by ModeLabs. Other than the cell phone collection, Elite will be launching a line of mobile accessories to go with it.
No pictures available yet.
Imagine a city where every lamp post provided wireless internet access, solar-powered street lighting and a power point to charge your mobile phone. You might expect to find this in a sophisticated western city – but it will actually appear first in Africa. FT reports via World Changing via del.icio.us/blackbeltjones.
Starsight (Starsightproject.com) is a project designed to supercharge street lighting and power in developing counties. Essentially it is a network of pylons, each with a solar panel, linked not by cables but by antennae which use wireless internet protocol.
... "One study puts the number of night-time street vendors at 40m across Africa – and almost all of them use paraffin lamps. A power outlet at the base of a Starsight pylon could resell power to these vendors – which they could use to light, to cook or to charge mobile phones."
... "Morocco, China and India are said to be next on StarSight's list for potential sites for the system. And the set-up is not limited to lighting and communication -- other potential uses include disaster warning systems, pollution monitors, and other location-aware network services".
Mike Butcher at the FT writes: A technology to roll out green energy street lighting along with telecommunications and power could well be the great leap forward for which Africa is looking.
Yannick Gaillac, founding partner of the Kolam Partnership, is enthusiastic: “This project will definitely change lives for the poorest people in the world and that’s what I wanted to do. We didn’t invent these basic technologies, but we are gathering them together in one solution.”
The UK's Mobile Data Association (MDA) has reports that a new record has been set in the UK, with a staggering 2.9 billion SMS's being sent during last month and an average of 93.5 million text messages sent per day.
Person-to-person texts sent across the UK GSM network operators last month show an increase of 25.7% on the total sent during the same period in 2004. The MDA's annual forecast for 2005 is 32 billion with a cumulative total to date of 29 billion. [via Cellular News]
In their own words: It is the result of a state-of-the-art bio-wave technology that was developed in Japan. Positive 'chi' energy released by 'Chi' WaveGuard neutralizes the negative effect of electromagnetic fields radiated from electronic appliances.
Just attach on electronic appliances such as cellular phone, computer, etc. Positive effect of 'chi' energy can be tested with the Energy Sensory Chain."
November 27, 2005
Australian VCE students have been caught sending messages on mobile phones, taking calls during toilet breaks and getting others to sit their final exams, according to News.com.au.
"Official documents show struggling and outstanding students alike have turned to cheating. ... Breach of rule reports for 2003 and 2004 exams obtained under Freedom of Information show:
-- A legal studies student was caught using a mobile phone to SMS during the final exam. A fellow student reported seeing the boy twice typing on the phone.
-- A Maths student was reprimanded for receiving a call on a mobile phone in the toilets. Mobile phones are banned in all exams."
The Wireless Weblog has picked up on a story in the Salt Lake Tribune, of a leading Catholic cardinal who warning Catholic parents to be careful when buying iPods and other wireless devices as Christmas gifts because they could be used by minors to access pornography.
Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, co-chairman of the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, said iPods, PDAs and video cell phones can easily send and receive pornography, much of it unsolicited.
Keeler urged bishops to warn pastors and parents that the devices used to download music and movies also make pornographic photos and videos more accessible, and warned of an ''approaching perfect storm'' that will inundate consumers with pornography."
Not a first, in 2003, Motorola offered a limited edition of an Aston Martin and Motorola co-branded handset, the V600. "Branded with the Aston Martin logo and feature the sound of an Aston Martin engine as a ring tone".
Related Sportscar Cellphones:
-- Vodafone has launched a Ferrari branded cellphone - A unique model has been produced in partnership with Sharp, namely the 902 Ferrari Edition. Ferrari fans will be able to access unique content including 3D games, videos, screen savers, wall papers and ringtones.
-- LG's Sports Car Mobile Phone with Vroom Vroom Ringtone - The LG M4300 shaped like a car, has an interesting (and obvious) featured missed out by most; it comes with a "car starting engine ringtone, to give users more speedy vibe" (2005).
-- Aston Martin branded cell phone - A limited edition of Aston Martin and Motorola co-branded handsets, the Motorola V600, are being made. They will be branded with the Aston Martin logo and feature the sound of an Aston Martin engine as a ring tone" (2003).
-- Grand Prix cell phone - Siemens, who has partnered with the Formula 1 racing series since 1998, will premiere official Grand Prix cell phones in Barcelona (2003).
And, well, not exactly a racing phone but more of a roadster:
-- Keitai Vyuun! or Mobile Phone Zoom! This is one of the stranger features to come along, stick-on, wind-up wheels for your mobile phone.
“I have seen students,” a high school teacher here sighed, “who made nonsensical excuses to leave school early on days when they forgot to carry their cell phones to school.” A middle-school student in Seoul carries two cell phones, and a backup battery for each. It’s not that she’s a junior tycoon, she says, but just that it’s important to her to always be in touch. "Once I left both of them at home, and was nervous the whole day because I couldn't answer calls and text messages immediately," she said. [viaJoongAng Daily]
Exceptional cases? Perhaps, but a recent study said that nearly half of Korea's teenagers are addicted to their mobile phones. A survey of 1,100 youths aged 14 to 19, conducted in Seoul by the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion, an arm of the Ministry of Communication, said that four out of 10 students send and receive text messages during class and that the same proportion sends more than 1,000 text messages a month.
A third reported jangled nerves when they forget to carry their cell phone. A fifth even said they kept their cell phone next to them while bathing. The little instruments are not just a way to communicate, it seems; they are a part of their owner's psyche."
At the largest annual mobile wireless exhibition in Asia, in Hong Kong, Stephen Cole assesses the mobile phones vying for our attention in 2006 for the BBC, and finds that many see a turning point on the horizon.
"... Despite all the fancy offerings, it turns out that most people use their phones to make telephone calls and send the occasional text. ... But new upgrades to networks such as HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) and EV-DO (Evolution, Data Optimised) could spark a change in 2006.
We will not know it is happening, but these upgrades will mean we can download data from one place to another at between two and three times the speed. This makes large files like music or video a far more attractive proposition.
... Internet telephony, or IP calling, promises to help bring down the cost of calling next year, with wi-fi in the home and office likely to lead to landline rates on our mobiles while inside these hotspots".
November 26, 2005
British mobile phone major Vodafone is introducing a business-oriented "push" mobile e-mail service and plans to market it alongside similar services from Blackberry and Microsoft, which it already sells. [via Viploan]
The current issue of Developments – The International Development Magazine features the impact of mobile phones on people in poverty. [via Smart Mobs]
. . . . "in poor countries, mobile phones have no obvious downside and have already delivered remarkable beneﬁts, in terms both of economic growth and personal empowerment. They may even enable poor countries to leapfrog over some of the traditional stages of the development process. . . .
In conclusion, then, it is time to update the favourite motto of development policymakers. Yes, it is better to teach a person to ﬁsh than to give him a ﬁsh. But give him a mobile phone, and you’re really talking."
Japan-based NTT DoCoMo Inc. is planning the launch of a new cellular parenting service next March, which will allow parents to track their children’s location through their cell phonea, according to Teleclick.
"The new service will be called Imadoco, which is Japanese for “where are you now?” It gives parents the ability to track the location of a child’s phone, and even receive periodical email updates with its current location."
Nokia said the company's handset sales in the China region rose 77 percent in the first nine months compared with a year earlier on increasing demand.
The company sold 23 million mobile phones in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the nine months ended September, Chief Executive Officer Jorma Ollila said at a seminar yesterday in Beijing. [via Taipei Times