Archives for November 2006

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November 30, 2006

Peter Rojas on Rocketboom on the next big thing for mobile phones and more

rockprojas.jpg Engadget's Peter Rojas on Rocketboom on the next big things for mobile phones.

And some personal insight:

- Peter has 7 laptops
- Prefers e-mail over voice calls
- His zune "has yet to lose his virginity - mate with another zune ( lonely Zune 15)" - so few people own Zunes - even in Manhattan
- Peter's apartments looks like the Samsung Experience.
- Engadget is getting ready for the Consumer Electronics Show in early January , the most hellish week of the year with 150 posts a day and 16 to 20 hour days, daily podcasts, video- a comprehensive coverage in real time.
- The most low-fi gadget he owns? A royal typewriter from the 30s given by his grandmother.

emily | 7:06 PM | permalink

Ringtones dealer is arrested and Brazil Indians sell chanting ringtones

In today:

-- Brazil Indians sell chanting cellphone ringtones - "The project has generated tens of thousands of dollars for the Xavante and several other impoverished rural communities".

-- Dealer to face music over ringtones sale - A mobile phone dealer in Malaysia was arrested Tuesday in PENANG and will be the first person charged for selling ringtones illegally.

emily | 6:55 PM | permalink

Webby Awards Going Mobile

picture-1-1.png The very prestigious Webby Awards are going mobile, reports New Ideas in Mobile.

From their press release: Setting the standard for excellence in the rapidly expanding world of mobile content, The Webby Awards has launched The Webby Mobile Awards presented by dotMobi, the first major awards honoring sites designed for mobile devices.

Reflecting how mobile devices have become a part of everyday life, The Webby Mobile Awards will feature three categories which will honor sites selling products and services.

-- Listings & Updates

-- News & Entertainment

-- Mobile Marketplace

An entry may be entered into multiple categories if appropriate. Entries in multiple categories will be reviewed separately for each category entered and may win multiple awards.

Deadline for entries is December 15. Nominees will be announced in April and winners will be honored at The 11th Annual Webby Awards in June.

emily | 2:28 PM | permalink

Mobile Flash Art: cell phone as artistic platform

mobileflashartfirst.jpg Picture left of Kawai! Little jumping penguins from artist Taka designed for your mobile screen – thanks to FlashLite art.

"Cell phones have become a creative playground for designers, illustrators or animators: a platform for visual expression, though somehow small in size, writes Verena in an article for PingMag, The Tokyo based magazine about "design and making things".

The article is illustrated and links to the works of many Japanese artists. It's a rare treat and explains what an important market this is in Japan where the average high-school girl spends around $127 per month for mobile content.

"Up until now most people are used to take pictures with their mobile camera and use that as wallpaper. Thanks Adobe's Flashlite – an application that does all sorts of animated magic and is now so common on Japanese gadgets – artists take over this tiny screen and create their version of an animated wallpaper, screensaver or calendar. Or they even create designs for the menu trying to find new ways of customizing the mobile user interface."

-- PingMag talked to Tokyo-based Mao Sakaguchi about his mobile art project called Gendai Geijutu Hakurankai.

-- This April Mao’s newly founded project Gendai Geijutu Hakurankai started collecting Japanese illustrators, graphic designers, street artists or character designers to make cute little animated interfaces. You can browse through his Modern Art Expo Mobile Website and through the works of 20 currently linked artists via the mobile.

Continue reading PingMag for more on other mobile artists and their projects.

emily | 1:10 PM | permalink

Mobile Catcher: a mobile ap to read major news on your cell phone

top-banner.gif Mobile Catcher is a powerful mobile application that allows consumers to read their favorite news on their mobile phones, aggregated from major news sources such as Reuters, The New York Times, BBC, Sports Illustrated and ESPN, by utilizing RSS technology and seamlessly delivering it to mobile devices.

MobileCatcher is currently offered as a free download here. [via Press release]

emily | 1:03 PM | permalink

Theater Chain arms theaters goers with cell phone busters

102803_regal2.jpg According to Reuters, the next time you talk on your cellphone in a movie theater, beware: Your neighbors are listening.

"Regal Entertainment Group the largest U.S. movie theater chain, is arming moviegoers with a new gadget that allows them to call in the ushers and remove unruly audience members with the press of a button

Regal is testing devices at 25 of its theater locations, handing them out to frequent customers and may roll it out nationwide in the next year if it proves successful, Campbell said. Regal operates 6,400 screens nationwide.

About the size of a pager, the gadget has four buttons. One alerts theater managers about a disruption in the audience, such as a fight over a cellphone.

A second button gives notice of faulty movie projection, a third button can be pressed if the room temperature is off and a fourth button, marked "Other" covers any other problem.

... The bigger problem seems to lie with a whole generation of youngsters who cannot disconnect from their cell phones, instant messaging and other devices even as they sit down in a public theater."


-- Sydney Pollack Teams With Cingular to Promote Cell Phone Courtesy at the Movies

-- US movie theaters may ask to jam cell phones

-- Cell Phone Jammers Authorized in French Theaters

-- US Lawmaker may propose banning cell phones in theaters, stores

-- NZ Cinema Owners Seek to Curb Phone Rage

emily | 8:38 AM | permalink

November 29, 2006

Reporter admits tapping royal phones

nofwh.gif A New of the World reporter - the country's most popular Sunday newspaper, which has a circulation of more than three million, and is owned Rupert Murdoch - pleaded guilty on Wednesday to plotting to tap the telephones of the British royal family, reports Reuters.

"Royal correspondent Clive Goodman was facing charges at the Old Bailey of unlawfully intercepting communications in Prince Charles' household.

... The latest charges were brought after police said they had received complaints from three members of Charles' staff who suspected someone was listening to the voicemail on their mobile phones."

emily | 5:51 PM | permalink

Nokia to offer Yahoo services on mobile phones

Mobile phone maker Nokia and Yahoo said on Wednesday that they were expanding their partnership and offering Yahoo services such as e-mail and messaging on new Nokia phones, reports Reuters.

"Yahoo services will initially be available on the newly announced Nokia 6300, Nokia 5300 XpressMusic and Nokia 5200, and will eventually added to an wider range of devices, the companies said in a statement."

emily | 5:42 PM | permalink

Sony Ericsson Pink Camouflage Mobile

sonyericssonZ530i.jpg Sony Ericsson’s fashion phone, the Z530i, geared towards the youth market, comes with camouflage covers in either black or pink, reports PinkGadget, a gadget blog devoted to "the Latest, Vintage and Must-have gadgets and gears in pink from around the globe".

"Also included is limited edition Skullcandy HESH headphones in a matching camouflage design." [via digg]

emily | 2:11 PM | permalink

The Ziricote (wooden) PHONE. One of a kind by Hulger

hulgerwd.jpg Made by master craftsmen, Hulger have produced their first ever wooden PIP*PHONE. Fashioned from the distinctively grained African hardwood Ziricote, long used for decorative objects, the phone blends innovation with tradition. [via Core 77]

The Ziricote comes in it own wooden box and is accompanied by a pot of wax, for treatment.

The Ziricote PHONE is currently one of a kind, unavailable anywhere else in the world, available for £2000.00 from the Digital Wellbeing Showroom where it will be on display as part of the Into the Wood exhibition.

Other wooden phones:

-- Gresso's mobile phone made of African Blackwood and Gold

-- Wooden handmade Cellphones from Mozambique

-- Hand-carved wooden phones from Russia

-- Fand-carved wooden "phones" from Helsinki

emily | 8:44 AM | permalink

November 28, 2006

The Hideaway Trenchcoat

122953-1.jpg 122954.jpg

Though the Hideaway Trenchcoat and Hideaway Corporate are not presented specifically as isolation from cell phones' concepts - but as "hideaways for withdrawing in style at a busy office", they work for me. By Rosalie Monod de Froideville.


emily | 2:18 PM | permalink

Second Life population gets virtual cell phone

slync4.jpg YouNeverCall, the popular online cell phone store, has ventured into a new dimension of cell phones - the virtual one. The resident-owned Second Life population can now get a virtual - and functional - cell phone, for free. [digg via and YouNeverCall press release]

"At YouNeverCall, we have decided to venture beyond our traditional customer base," states Sam Michelson, CEO of YouNeverCall, "and Second Life offers us more than a 1.5 million potential new customers".

The virtual cell phones we are offering on Second Life are more than just a fun accessory. The cell phones let Second Life residents send and receive text messages, as well as hold the virtual phone to their ear.

They ring like real cell phones and, best of all, require no special download. YouNeverCall's Second Life cell phones also offer valuable information like the exchange rate of the Linden dollar.

While many things in Second Life are available for a fee, the phones at the YouNeverCall kiosk are completely free.

emily | 1:47 PM | permalink

Lamborghini 8800 Sirocco from Nokia

p338005.jpg Nokia's Sirocco has come out with a new 500-piece limited Lamborghini model featuring special Lamborghini themes and ringtones as well as a video documentary.

Inspired by the luxurious and prestigious car manufacturer based in Italy, Nokia has designed a timeless piece of art which embodies the Lamborghini brand, uncompromising design and latest technological standards. Combining these characteristics with the nokia world of telecommunications, the result is a master-piece of design and technology.

[via MobileWhack]

emily | 1:20 PM | permalink

Zimbabwe military says cellphones a danger to security

Zimbabwe's military has said the country's cellphone operators are threatening national security by using independent connections to the outside world, reports the Mail&Guardian Online.

"Zimbabwe Defence Forces director for communications, Colonel Livingstone Chineka said the three cellphone firms should route international calls through the state-owned fixed-line operator TelOne, and not use their own gateways, in order to make it easier to monitor international traffic.

There was no immediate comment from the three operators."

emily | 1:01 PM | permalink

Blood Perfusion Cell Phone Strap

cell straps.jpg

One of the stranger cell phone strap concepts. Spotted on via Spluch.

emily | 8:13 AM | permalink

Body-wired headphones

Sony's Tokyo research lab has found a way to connect headphones to portable music and video players without the need for fiddly wiring. They simply feed an audio signal straight through the listener's body. Another patent find by wonderful Barry Fox for New Scientist.

"The new system uses the listener's body as a capacitor that carries a tiny electrostatic charge. A music or video player sends a fluctuating signal to a conductive cloth pad – such as a wrist band – and this slightly charges the wearer's body. A pair of conductive ear pads in the headphones pick-up the signal and rapidly convert it back into sound."

emily | 8:02 AM | permalink

NEC introduces "tag": a concept soft-shell mobile phone

nec-tag.jpg NEC engineers have come up with the concept of a soft-shell mobile phone made of rubbery material that is able to remember its previous shape.[via Uberphones]

In their own words:

"tag" is a new, malleable, casual communicator. It is not only soft but also flexible, for example, it can be hung from a belt or wrapped around the user’s arm. Shape-memorizing material and multiple pressure sensors allow the phone to change its shape according to the mode. The user can also alternate the mode by changing the shape.

emily | 7:59 AM | permalink

November 27, 2006

Texting 101 For Parents

The NY Times reports that Cingular Wireless is organizing a series of nationwide "texting bees" designed to give parents a crash course on the basics of texting. [via Information Week.]

"Cingular also hopes the classes will help it boost sales of handsets and use of text messaging among parents."

emily | 6:03 PM | permalink

Billboards on droped "calls" and an anamorphic illusion

Cingular showcases the issue of dropped calls on this billboard outside the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. [via AdWeek via Advergirl]


T-Mobile's billboard version of lost calls posted on flickr [via billboard room]


One of those anamorphic illusions painted on the sidewalk to promote Canada's cellphone service. [via billboard room]


emily | 3:30 PM | permalink

Lost in Translation: The beef tongue cell phone strap

7-KOPM-004.jpg A cell phone charm from Japan whose appeal somewhat loses something in translation: The beef tongue cell phone strap.

Part of a Korean BBQ accessory series for cell phones that are a huge hit in Japan.

[via favorite Tokyomango]

emily | 3:05 PM | permalink

Facial spray to protect skin from cell phone radiation

logo_clarins.gif French beauty group Clarins will launch in January what it says is the world's first spray to protect skin from the electromagnetic radiation created by mobile phones and electronic devices like laptops, reports News

"The spray contains molecules derived from microorganisms living near undersea volcanoes and from plants which survive in extreme conditions such as alongside motorways and in Siberia."

emily | 12:11 PM | permalink

Converge Digest: 10 Predictions about the Cell Phone Industry in 2007

Ten Predictions about the Cell Phone Industry in 2007 - (always a brave thing to do) - by Roman Polz, Senior Marketing Manager of the Mobility Division for Converge Digest.

1. CD-Quality Music Will Be The Killer Cell Phone Application

2. Mobile TV Use on Cell Phones Will Grow, but Not as Fast as CD-Quality Music

3. The Earliest and Most Frequent Users of Mobile TV Will be People RidingTrains To and From Work

4. Digital Cameras on Cell Phones Will Have Less Customer Adoption Compared with Music

5. The Entry-Level Cell Phone Market Will Be the Sweet Spot for CD-Quality Music Applications

6. India Will be the Fastest Growing Cell Phone Market for the Next Several Years

7. Simultaneous Cell Phone Applications Will Be Crucial; Those Who Don't Offer Them Will Lose Out to Those Who Do

8. More Feature-Rich Cell Phones Will Be Key in Enabling Wireless Service Providers to Boost Their Average Revenues Per User

9. 3G Cell Phones Will Not Be All About Merely Enabling the Connected Lifestyle, but Rather Perfecting the Connected Lifestyle

10. More Collaborations Will Be Necessary to Survive and Thrive in the Cell Phone Market

emily | 12:00 PM | permalink

Time to Rename the Cell Phone?

In Time to Rename the Cell Phone?, one of Business Week's articles from their Special Tech Report on Mobile, we learn that the cellular system got its name because it divided cities into small cell sites. The frequencies overlapped across a city, handing off contact from one tower to another as you walk or drive so that millions of people can use cell phones simultaneously without losing a call..

"Problem is, they were designed mainly to accommodate voice calls. And now technology leaders feel the name is antiquated.

New multipurpose handsets soon will easily switch between cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and WiMax, a longer-range broadband network. "I don't think we have a good name," says Intel (INTC) Executive Vice-President Sean Maloney. "If it's just doing voice, a cell phone is a great name."

Already Nokia and Samsung have changed the names of their new do-all gadgets: Nokia refers to them "multimedia computers" and Samsung Electronics calls this new category of devices the "mobile informational terminal".

emily | 11:42 AM | permalink and the weaknesses of user generated content

A couple of negative articles about point out two of the major weaknesses of user generated content: accuracy and quality of content.

First, Cyberjournalist refers to a post by Seve Rubel pointing to a fake Reuters news story - about a recall of the Sony Playstation 3- that fooled hundreds of Digg users and many more readers.

And Busines Week complains that the new posts on Digg look like junk or geek tabloid fare. Quoting Niall Kennedy , Business Week writes: "socially driven Web 2.0 sites are on the verge of becoming spam farms".

I agree with both of them and have reached my own level of disappointment with digg too. I no longer spend any time reading through new posts.

For anyone interested in a specific field, such as technology, searching for new and relevant articles in digg is just too unproductive (too many repetitive stories) and also a dangerous practice as articles can be several months - or even years old - and posted because someone who just discovered them, found them interesting.

For anyone knowledgeable in a specific field who submits a story, the voting process does not reflect it's true value. Great stories don't make it to the front page if they're not posted by the major contributors - who may not be knowledgeable in that field and don't recognize it's value- they carry no weight. So specialists stop submitting their stories, because there is just no point.

I really believe to be truly valuable, user generated content should be submitted by a mix of both popular contributors and recognized experts.

Update 28.11.06: Case in point. A story I submitted to digg yesterday, on a new facial spray which aims to protect skin from cell phone and computer radiation got all of 4 diggs. For anyone interested in the cellphone industry, this was a fun story and was picked up from my blog by many cell phone related and gadget blogs, including Gizmodo. But such a story today will never make it past go on digg, if it's not submitted by a contributor with voting power.

emily | 10:12 AM | permalink

November 26, 2006

Fan hacks Linkin Park singer's phone

200px-Chesterkill4.JPG According to Engadget Mobile , celebrity stalking has reached new heights with the news that a 17 year old female fan of Linkin Park's lead vocalist ,Chester Bennington, was able to break into his Verizon account and hack his cell phone, obtaining call records and cameraphone shots.

"Apparently she also got access to his wife's email and went so far as to verbally threaten the poor Mrs. Bennington.


-- 21-yo breaks into T-Mobile for a year, gets caught - In 2005, a sophisticated computer hackeramused himself and others by obtaining the passwords of Sidekick-toting celebrities from the hacked database, then entering their T-Mobile accounts and downloading photos they'd taken with their cameraphones. (Security Focus)

emily | 9:56 AM | permalink

South Korea: Mobile phone users top 40 million

cphfpo.gif The number of mobile phone subscribers in Korea topped 40 million at the end of last week, industry officials said yesterday, according to The Korea Herald.

" This means 82 out of every 100 Koreans now have a mobile phone connection nearly two decades after analog cellular services were first introduced into the market.

... Around 30 countries, including many in Europe such as Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Italy, are now known to have a penetration rate of over 100 percent while many other developed countries have stabilized at around 80-85 percent."

emily | 9:48 AM | permalink

November 25, 2006

More than 15% of people carry two cell phones

Numbers from an In-Stat survey via ZDNet Blog IT Facts

-- More than 15% of people carry two wireless phones

-- 80% of the people that have a camera phone say they regularly carry their digital camera

-- 75% of SmartPhone users also carry a PDA

-- More than 50% of users of multimedia phones also carry their MP3 player

-- Only 43% of the respondents to an In-Stat survey stated that higher productivity would be obtained with a SmartPhone

emily | 4:17 PM | permalink

Hating or loving your cell phone depends on the job you do

2611N_ELECTRICIAN_narrowweb__300x427,0.jpg A new study entitled Ring Ring … Why Don't you Leave me Alone? by the National Institute of Labour Studies at South Australia's Flinders University, has found that whether you love or hate your mobile phone very much depends on the job you do and the demand for you to do it. The Age reports.

"he unhappiest mobile-phone users were those on-call or paid commissions, such as real-estate or IT workers. For them, mobile calls encroached into all areas, including the bedroom."

"For most people it is very much seen as a double-edged sword — a wonderful tool, but, also, that it makes people available all the time," Diannah Lowry said, co author of the study.

... Dr Lowry said mobile phones were invading the private space of even quite lowly paid workers, such as those in hospitality. She said the mobile phone had become a tool used by managers who had failed to accurately predict busy times and called workers on days off to cover them."

emily | 4:05 PM | permalink

November 24, 2006

Verizon Offers LG Chocolate in New Red and Green Flavors

Verizon customers now have four color options from which to satisfy their Chocolate craving - Cherry, Mint, White and the traditional Black. [via Mobiledia]

chocolate-green.jpg chocolate-red.jpgchocolate-white.jpg

emily | 8:05 AM | permalink

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