Archives for May 2006
May 31, 2006
The Firefox extension links every phone number on a website and can be clicked directly, similar to clicking an Email address in a text. A pop-up window opens, and the user can establish the call.
[via digg .
May 30, 2006
According to Reuters, Nokia has won damages of $1.36 million in a Florida court over counterfeit Nokia products. The 2 culprits were sentenced to 72 months in jail for trafficking in fake Nokia goods.
Mike Grenville for 160characters explains how SMS innovations have surprises in store in the near future as SMS is being enriched by some recognizable characteristics of email. For instance,
-- users will soon be able to customize their SMS communications with personal signatures that are immediately recognizable by the recipient.
-- To automatically duplicate or forward text messages to other people or to their email, and even utilize auto-reply, immediately informing senders of a user's temporary inability to respond, just like the "out of office" functionality on the PC.
-- SMS Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), for example, will let users exchange text messages using short numbers, such as four-digit extensions, instead of full phone numbers and the exchanged messages will feature the member's nickname or signature, or even a company brand.
-- Special VPN tariff reductions will further encourage intra-group messaging.
160characters reports that the popularity of text messages is growing. "SMS is riding a huge wave of popularity. Global consumption will increase from 760 billion SMS in 2004 to a mind-boggling 2,379 text messages.
SMS is one of the most accepted and popular communication channels in the world. Even with the advent of exciting multimedia content, SMS remains irreplaceable, certain to continue to reach new milestones as a global communications phenomenon".
USA Today claims that text messaging is wiping out teenager conversation and that employers and communications experts are anxious. "This generation may be technologically savvier than their bosses, but will they be able to have a professional discussion?"
"We are losing very natural, human, instinctive skills that we used to be really good at," says Sonya Hamlin, author of How to Talk So People Listen: Connecting in Today's Workplace.
Hamling claims kids today are used to re-reading an IM message six times before answering and no longer know how to improvise, banter spontaneously or chat face to face.
"A 2005 report for Achieve, a non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, found that 34% of employers were dissatisfied with the oral communication skills of high school graduates; 45% of college students.
Among teens who go online daily and own a cellphone, 53% most often communicate with friends via written messages, according to a 2005 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and 61% of the time they're chatting via IM. Texting wasn't prevalent enough when the study was conducted."
The above picture is from Sprint, offering text messaging.
Someone sent me this a while ago. A must see video which perfectly illustrates teenage interaction today.
"A team led by an Indian scientist, Jagadesh Moodera at MIT has developed a new material that not only increases the computing power and flexibility of these and other electronic devices, but also dramatically reduces their power consumption.
... Moodera and his team have developed a magnetic semiconductor material, a chromium doped indium oxide that is seen as a major development in the field of Spinotronics.
Spin electronics or spinotronics is the science of integrating the functionality of both charge and spin of the electrons in the computer chips for better functionality. The increase in the growth in hard disk capacity from 100 MB to 500 GB is largely credited to spinotronics".
"The program, called "SugarMama", lets people earn one minute of talking time by watching 30-second commercials on a computer or receiving text messages on their phones, then answering questions to prove they were, in fact, paying attention.
The company says that the program, scheduled to be available on June 14, is the first ad-supported cellphone service in the United States."
May 29, 2006
The Daily Telegraph is launching "a mobile version of its popular 'Alex' cartoon this week, which will allow mobile phone users to download it straight to their handsets free of charge.
Alex' has been running on the Daily Telegraph's business pages for the last 13 years."
"After subscription to the service, you receive a series of anonymous phone numbers that act as a bumping layer. When people call you using the given number, their calls are automatically forward to your real one. "
Related services: - Safe Talk offers anonymous divert mobile numbers
Hypermarket Carrefour in the UAE is offering people who purchase a Sony Ericsson J230i at their store outlets, the chance to enter a raffle and win a Gold Sony Ericsson J230i, specially made for this promotion.
"Each gold phone weights about 130 gms, and it takes approximately 72 hours to make one gold phone. In all, there are 10 gold Sony Ericsson J230i phones to be won."
The agency promoting China's wireless encryption standard has accused a U.S. engineers' group of waging a conspiracy that led a global organization to reject the Chinese system, the country's official news agency said Monday, according to the AP.
"China made the accusation in its appeal against the International Standards Organization's decision in March to reject its encryption system, known as WAPI.
Wireless encryption helps protect the privacy of wireless Internet users in places like coffee shops and universities.
China has been trying to promote its own standards for mobile phones, wireless encryption and other related fields, hoping they will give Chinese companies an advantage in promising industries."
Related anti cell phone-radiation fashion:
May 27, 2006
A Pakistani Christian has been arrested because he sent blasphemous text messages to Muslims from his mobile phone, reports the BBC.
"He says he did this as he was upset with attacks on churches in the country. ... Blasphemy can carry the death sentence in Pakistan although no-one has ever been executed for the crime".
-- Death penalty in blasphemy case - In November 2003, a man was been sentenced to death for making insulting comments about the Prophet Mohammed. The 55-year-old Muslim pleaded not guilty to the accusations and was expected to appeal against the verdict.
May 26, 2006
The enforcement of the cell phone ban at New York city schools is forcing teenagers to find creative places to stash their phones - using trash cans, bushes and even sewer grates as hiding places, reports The New York Daily News.
"The ban even inspired one Brighton Beach deli in Brooklyn to charge $1 each to baby-sit kids' phones and gadgets during school hours - a business proposition that raked in $45 a day. Each gadget was put in a bag with the student's name on it.
... Brighton Beach homeowner Gary Collier said he's caught students retrieving phones from his backyard twice - and his jaw dropped when he learned one of the gadgets was a $400 T-Mobile Sidekick."
Picture left: Omar Sharhan at store on Brighton Beach Ave. that made $45 a day by charging students $1 to hold cell phones
In Ringtonia today.
Following the surge in interest in the "Teen Buzz" ringtone - the ultra-high sound emitted from the Mosquito device only audible to teenagers - that UK kids have turned into a ringtone, Compound Security Systems Ltd, have decided to produce a version of their Mosquito’s sound for mobile telephones and a range of Mosquito wallpaper.
They are looking for a ringtone content provider that could set this up for them. Interested parties should contact Simon Morris, Compound Security Systems Ltd's Commercial director, by email at email@example.com
According to Morris: "We have decided to produce a version of our Mosquito’s sound for mobile telephones and a range of Mosquito wallpaper. This will be sold on our website – hopefully in conjunction with one or more of the big ringtone re-sellers – and ALL THE PROFITS DONATED TO ONE OR MORE CHILD ORIENTATED CHARITIES.
Cingular Wireless announced today it has shattered its own record for wireless text messaging during the fifth season of "American Idol".
Cingular recorded more than 64.5 million text messages throughout the show's season, breaking last year's record of 41.5 million text messages. Text messages include votes, trivia, sweepstakes entries, TXT chats, fan club and vote number reminder. [Cingular press release]
Yet another study on cell phone side effects - this one claims they excite parts of the brain - but can't say whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. IBN Live reports.
"A new study by Italian researcher that investigates the effects of mobile phone emissions on the motor cortex has found that electromagnetic fields generated by cell phones produce an increase in excitability within the brain's cortex.
"The study by a team of researchers led by Paolo Maria Rossini, a neurologist with the Fatebenefratelli IRCCS Research Centre of Brescia, said that further research was needed to know whether this 'excitability' was potentially dangerous or beneficial to brain functioning.
... "We still do not know whether this effect is neutral or potentially dangerous or beneficial to brain functioning," Discovery News quoted him, as saying.
Some interesting mobile stats from Malaysia's Star:
-- One billion mobile phones will be sold in 2006 (812 million sold in 2005)
-- The mobile phone is the most common electronics device in the world and considered the fourth window of content after television, the big screen and the personal computer.
-- Asia Pacific is the world’s largest mobile phone market
-- There are 409 million mobile phone users in China as of the end March 2006.
-- There are more mobile users than landline customers in China.
-- During the recent Chinese New Year season, 2.7 billion SMS-es were sent.
-- About 50% of all handsets shipped around the world are cameraphones
IM has the potential to overtake text messaging in popularity, according to analysts, reports ZDNet Asia.
"The main replacement for SMS (short-message service) will be mobile IM," Ovum's John Delaney said on Wednesday.
Citing a "faltering of growth" in the SMS market--outside the United Kingdom, at least--Delaney told delegates at the Global Messaging Congress in London that mobile IM "does it better, but if operators price it right it doesn't do it any cheaper".
He later told ZDNet UK that he believed "IM will gradually take over from SMS in the next five years in Europe".
For Korean football fans, a mobile phone case to wear around your neck - in the shape of the red shirt of the Korean national soccer team.
Air mesh fabric is used to protect mobile phone from outside impact. Three designs are available. Each has different phrases like “Fighting KOREA” and “We are Proud KOREAN.
More pictures here
"The owner of The Venetian hotel-casino said it would introduce games such as black jack, roulette, poker and slots before year end on handheld devices. ... It also plans to introduce the devices at The Palazzo, a $1.8 billion resort scheduled to open next door in late 2007."
The U.S. Treasury Department has abandoned its legal dispute over the federal excise tax (FET) on long-distance telephone service.
The 108 year old FET was instituted in 1898 to finance the Spanish-American War, and adds 3% to the monthly bill of every wireless user in America. Today, there are more than 214 million estimated wireless subscribers in the nation.
... In recent months, the Internal Revenue Service had come under increasing pressure from wireless consumers to repeal the FET after five separate U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals had found the federal surcharge to be illegal. The antiquated tax can be levied on phone calls wherein the charge varies based on the call's duration and distance traveled. The wireless industry abandoned such a tariff scheme several years ago in favor of offering consumers "all-distance" minutes.
"With the FET tax finally taking its rightful place aside the Spanish-American War in our history books, wireless consumers can now turn their attention and efforts to repealing discriminatory wireless taxes on the state and local level," said The Wireless Association President and CEO Steve Largent.
Largent was referring to the numerous state and local wireless-specific surcharges that contribute to the average wireless user in America paying 17% of his or her monthly bill in taxes and fees.
May 25, 2006
"It has long been recognised that one of the most effective ways of fighting crime, anti-social behaviour and terrorism is through public vigilance.
There are only 158 cameras in Cambridge, Ely and Soham but potentially there are something in the region of 170,000 pairs of eyes living, working and playing in these areas — who can see a lot more than the police or CCTV cameras ever can.
The CCTV system has worked hard to establish partnership working with several organisations but now we must try and establish joint working with potentially one of the most important partners of all — the public.
This is we believe a new concept for CCTV which has not been tried anywhere else."
May 24, 2006
In Ringtonia today. Techno-savvy pupils have recorded the ultra-high sound - audible only to under-20s - from the ultrasonic device called Mosquito onto their cell phones, and are now receiving calls and text messages in class - without teachers having the faintest idea of what is going on.
Other stories in Ringtonia.com today:
According to Telecoms Korea, the pace of India's mobile phone market growth is accelerating and is on track to surpass Russia and the US in total subscribers".
"The number of mobile phone subscribers added each month in India has more than tripled over the past year.
... "Adding five million subscribers per month, India will become the world's second largest mobile phone market by 2008." The study indicates that India's wireless boom is largely the result of government decisions favoring competition".
India's Economic Times reports on a new global mobile messaging product called Micro LMS, developped by Micro Technologies India, which enables users to send text messages up to 800 characters, instead of the usual limit of 160.
"This product, which has been recently developed for Global markets and has been tested live in US, is useful for transmitting information service messages like news, promotional schemes and transaction statements."
Teen obsession with their cell phones can be a sign of unhappiness and anxiety, according to a new medical study, reports The Press Democrat.
"... The study, presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, was among the first to explore the emotional significance of teens' cell phone habits as the device becomes more entrenched in today's youth culture.
Two of every five youths in the United States from age 8 to 18 own a cell phone, according to a recent survey. Students in grades seven through 12 spend an average of an hour a day on their cell phones - about the same amount of time they devote to homework.
Dr. Jee Hyan Ha, lead author of the latest report, said heavy cell phone users involved in his study weren't clinically depressed.
Rather, Ha said, the students probably were suffering from some serious cases of teen angst. The youths may have been unhappy because of a problem in their lives or anxious about their social status. "They are trying to make themselves feel better by reaching out to others," he said.
... Dr. Bruce Spring, assistant professor of Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said that in some cases, light or no use of a cell phone might actually be a more serious warning sign.
"Teens who are really anxious and depressed won't be sending messages or making calls," he said.
The number, 666 6666, sold for £1.5m ($2.8m).
Why is the number 6 considered lucky? Click here to find out - and for all Apple fans, the first Apple Compute was sold for $666.66.
Related: - Numbers count:
-- A mobile phone number in Bahrain has been put on sale for $13,200, because it has an unusual number sequence. Abdullah al-Hammadi, who specialises in mobiles and car licence plates, told AFP news agency the number 9111119 was coveted by Bahrain's "in-crowd". "
-- In Switzerland, Orange is also selling "premium" numbers, but the cost is considerably less $250-$400.
-- A Chinese bidder who offered to pay 9 million yuan ($ 1.1 million) for a "lucky" mobile phone number. The number, 135 8585 8585, when prounounced in Chinese sounds like "let me be rich be rich be rich be rich". Numbers related to birthdays and lucky numbers generally sell between 100 yuan ($12.-) and 100,000 yuan ($12'000.-)
-- Killer numbers. Nigerians are panicking over rumours that it is possible for a GSM phone to kill people. "Local media reported that the stories claiming people have died after they received phone calls from certain numbers owned by the local GSM operator, Vmobile.
Russel Buckley announces on MobHappy that Khosla Ventures have agreed to sponsor the Carnival of the Mobilists from June 2006 until the end of the year, which will help us extend our presence and profile in the Blogosphere.
The sponsorship will take the form of cash prizes every month, as well as the Best of the Year Carnival prize which we run in December. Every month, the best Carnival Host will win $500 and the best Post will win $250. Of course, if you host and post, you could win the lot!
In December, we’ll be running the Best Post of the Year again, hosted at MobHappy, where we’ll be awarding two cash prizes before the holidays, of $1,000 and $500.
In the best traditions of democracy, the prizes will be awarded by popular vote. ...