Archives for December 2006
December 31, 2006
File under fun. Engadget has a story of a mother giver her son a toy cell phone for Christmas that came with an unexpected surprise; a faulty "6" key that vocalizes "profanity" when pressed.
"The phone was supposed to shout out numbers when the respective keys are mashed".
"More than 500 viewers took part in the show through text messages when it was aired for the first time this week.
Each episode is made up of 10 to 14 sequences since the plot must adjust according to viewer opinions. The crew has filmed some 80 scenes and recorded hundreds of separate spoken lines, which Tuomola says offer limitless number of potential story lines".
Related links: - BT allows TV viewers to choose outcome of new show
December 30, 2006
Tamil Sydney reports that Telekom Malaysia Group, Dialog Telekom, disconnected 36,000 cell phones since last August.
"More than 40,000 customers lost their connection when the Sri Lankan Military cut-off the wireless services following the break out of fresh violence on 11 August.
Sri Lanka Military consulted neither the wireless carriers nor the customers before suspending the services, and continues to bill them, according to sources."
Stockholm-based firm Ericsson recently got approval from New York's taxi commission to place mobile sensors in the trunks of at least 50 cabs in an attempt to better map dead zones in mobile phone networks. Fox News reports.
"The small devices, about the size of a computer modem, will automatically feed information about signal strength and clarity to engineers.
Because taxis in New York are on the road all day and all night, and ostensibly travel into every corner of the city, company executives said they are a cheap way of covering vast amounts of territory with limited effort.
Similar programs have been launched in several other cities since the 1990s using a variety of vehicles, but this is the first time it will be done in New York, the company said."
December 29, 2006
David Beckham joined Motorola in Tokyo today to formally kick off sales of Motorola's trend-setting MOTORAZR handset with DoCoMo in Japan, reports Elites TV.
"Appearing with leading Japanese sportscaster Tomoaki Ogura on Best Moments in Sports 2006, Fuji-TV's highly rated year end sports program, Beckham showed the MOTORAZR in each of its three colors.
In an exclusive announcement, the icon soccer player (with 9 tattoos himself) also unveiled a one-of-a-kind customized "MOTORAZR tattoo keitei by David Beckham" that will be auctioned online to raise money for UNICEF, in honor of Beckham's role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador."
More than four out of five people admit to telling little white lies at least once a day and the preferred way of being "economical with the truth" is to use technology such as cell phones, texts and e-mails, a survey on Thursday said. Reuters reports.
"The research by UK pollsters 72 Point found that "techno-treachery" was widespread with nearly 75 percent of people saying gadgets like Blackberrys made it easier to fib.
Just over half of respondents said using gadgets made them feel less guilty when telling a lie than doing it face to face, the study on behalf of financial services group Friends Provident found.
... The top lie was pretending to be ill
An Indian chess player has been banned for 10 years for cheating after he was caught using his mobile phone's wireless device to win games, reports Reuters.
"The player, Umakant Sharma, had logged rating points at a rapid pace in the last 18 months and also qualified for the national championship, arousing the suspicion of officials and bemusing rivals.
Sharma was finally caught at a recent tournament when officials discovered that he had stitched a Bluetooth device in a cloth cap which he always pulled over his ears.
He communicated to his accomplices outside the hall, who then used a computer to relay moves to him, Indian chess federation secretary D.V. Sundar said on Wednesday."
Another breathalyer from Japan. [via Tokyomango]
Related links to other Alcohol detectors and breathalyers
Asia's internet and phone networks were getting back to normal on Thursday two days after an earthquake off Taiwan severely disrupted services, reports the BBC.
..."The earthquake, of magnitude 7.1 according to the US Geological Survey, struck off Taiwan's southern coast. Services in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan have been hit.
An official with Taiwan's largest phone company, Chunghwa Telecom, said most of the region's internet and phone services would be restored on Thursday, as operators switched traffic away from the damaged cables. "
Bus riders in Honolulu will have to turn off their cell phones following Mayor Mufi Hannemann's signing of the ban into law on December 27th. The Star Bulletin reports.
"The ban still allows cell phone conversations on the buses.
City bus drivers pushed for the ban because they said cell phone rings distract them and sometimes sound like emergency sirens and walkie-talkie conversations.
The policy also requires riders to use headphones or earphones when using televisions, radios, recording devices, portable stereos and electronic games."
Related: - Music Free Bus campaign in London
December 28, 2006
Sony Ericsson, the world's fourth-largest mobile phone maker by shipments, plans to enter the highly competitive South Korean mobile phone market in 2007, a Korean wireless service operator said Wednesday.
... "Motorola, the world's second-largest handset maker, is the sole foreign vendor in Korea, with a market share of about 10%, according to Shinyoung Securities analyst Seung Woo Lee."
di-di-di-dah-dah-dah-di-di-dit (SOS!) , the Morse Code is in distress reports IHT-
"The American amateur radio community has been shaken by news that the U.S. government will no longer require Morse Code proficiency as a condition for an amateur, or ham, license. It was deemed dispensable because other modes of communicating over ham radio, like voice, teletype and even video, have grown in popularity."
Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it has developed a new mobile memory chip that is thinner and uses less power than previous generations of chips, a development that could affect a wide range of portable consumer electronic devices.
"Samsung claims it has developed the first 1-gigabit DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip for mobile products, using 80-nanometer process technology."
"While the rest of his family entered into the spirit of a Royal shooting party, Prince William appeared to be in a world of his own".
Hearing your cell phone ring in your purse and then finding it in time as you rummage through your mess, is a major problem for women. But now Esquire is launchng a bag which tells women when they get a call by a strong vibration warning mode and LED lamp. Fabulous!
"Regardless of whether you set a lamp mode or vibration mode on a cell phone, the hand bag makes vibration warning 3 times as strong as that of the conventional cell phone. So, you will never miss the call."
Using mobile phones while driving is now banned in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan's neighbour, according to UzReport.
"President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed the Law "On introduction of amendments to the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Administrative Accountability" on 26 December 2006 and will go into effect January 1, 2007.
... Uzbekistan has thus joined 77 countries, where a ban has been placed on the use of mobile phones while driving".
December 27, 2006
December 26, 2006
"China, the world's largest mobile phone market, had 455 million mobile-phone users at the end of November, up 61.6 million since the end of last year, the ministry said in a statement dated Friday. Subscriber numbers were up around 6 million in November alone." [fec China]
"At the end of November, there were 33.9 mobile phones for every 100 people in China, and 28.3 fixed-line telephones per 100 people, both unchanged from the end of October."
In their own words:
All the parts you can see are vintage, but with a state-of-the-art microphone, wiring and cord, they work like they're brand new. Russell Johnson and his crew in Argentina collect thousands of antique phones to find the perfect parts for each restored model, and it can take up to five phones to have enough parts to create just one beautiful vintage telephone. Available in red and baby blue, the phones are fully tested and ready to plug into a modern phone jack. Restored by hand in Argentina.
Beginning early next year, Verizon Wireless will allow placement of banner advertisements on news, weather, sports and other Internet sites that users visit and display on their mobile phones, reports The New York Times.
"Verizon officials said their initial foray would be a cautious one — they will limit where ads can appear, and exclude certain kinds of video clips — and thus may invite greater demand to place ads then they can accommodate.
In absolute terms, the amount of money spent on advertising on mobile phones has been small but it has been growing rapidly. In 2005, advertisers spent $45 million on such messages, and should spend around $150 million this year, according to Ovum Research, which projects that such spending will reach $1.3 billion by 2010."
December 25, 2006
The mobile, almost unlike any other device, has changed the way we work, socialise and live our lives. The BBC reports.
"But although many of us could now no longer live without our mobiles, according to Sir David Brown, Chairman of Motorola, the mobile industry had no idea how successful they would become.
Speaking at a conference in 2006, he admitted that in the mid-1980s the mobile phone industry estimated that by the year 2000, there would be a market for about 900,000 mobile phones worldwide.
When we reached the millennium, he said, 900,000 phones were being sold every 19 hours.
And although the mobile market is now mature it still continues to grow at a phenomenal pace.
At the end of 2006 there were nearly 2.7 billion mobile phone subscribers globally, according to research firm Informa Telecoms and Media.
In 2007 Informa predicts that the total number of subscribers will top three billion for the first time, almost half of the world's population."
Buzz about an iPod cellphone has propelled Apple shares to near-record highs, reports the The WSJ. "The anticipation is extraordinary in the financial community," says Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
"In the past six months, talk about an Apple device that combines the entertainment functions of the company's hit iPod digital music player with a cellphone has reached new heights. Wall Street analysts and investors believe a device will likely debut next month at MacWorld.
... In a research report last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Rebecca Runkle estimated Apple could sell six million cellphones next year and 12 million in 2008, generating $5.41 billion in new revenue for both years combined.
Ms. Runkle wrote that she had been told that two cellphone models went into production this month with four-gigabyte and eight-gigabyte storage capacities, similar to the iPod nano and enough to store as many as a few thousand songs She has Morgan Stanley's most positive rating on the stock. Apple is an investment-banking client of the bank.
Image from iPhone Concept Blog
December 24, 2006
According to mobile14.com, prison guards at one of the Australia's biggest jails in Auckland are under police investigation for selling mobile phones (for up to $ 500 a phone ) and other contraband to inmates.
One of the inmates went public "because the guards welshed on the deal - they tipped off other prison officers who searched his cell and confiscated the phones."
Your mother may not approve of your doing this in public, and I'm not sure if this is really acceptable behaviour in Japan either. Anyway, favorite Tokyomango has come up with another crazy cell phone strap, this time it's an ear scratcher - the shape of an elephant..
Fifteen counties across New York do not have the ability to pinpoint the locations of people calling 911 from their cell phones despite state funding for the technology, reports The Democrat and Chronicle.
"Auditors from the state Comptroller's office charged that the New York Department of State is failing in its responsibility to oversee the implementation of the service. The state has allocated almost $150 million for the project, but only $60 million has been spent.
According to the report, the Department of State has been tracking which counties have implemented E911, but has not been providing aid to counties that still lack the technology.
The report calls on the department to step up the effort by working more closely with county call centers."
December 22, 2006
LG Electronics has launched a special edition cell phone called Shine Designers, the second from the company’s Black Label series inscribed with Korean alphabet motifs, the work of Sang-bong Lee, fashion designer. Beautiful! [via MobileKorea.TV].
"U.S. Cellular brought various types of wireless telephones to the shelter and residents could make free long-distance calls, anywhere in the world, as part of the initiative.
“We wanted to help make the holidays a little brighter for the homeless,” said Alicia Ellis, retail store manager of the Beckley."
"Next to providing the public with mobile phone booths, these public phones also offer a great small-scale business opportunity for the owners of such handsets. And for those who obtain their pre-paid scratchcards at a wholesale price, there’s a 5% revenue coming along. These public phone booths are just a perfect way of helping people start their own business where the initial starting costs are quite low.
... Another Afrigadget-solution: Cheap fixed-line phones from China which are taken apart, with different displays replacing the one that came along with the phone.
DIY-handsets for public phone booths come at a price range of about Ksh. 2.000 - 5.000 /= (~ US-$ 28 - 70) and are about half of the price the “official” handsets are selling for."