Archives for December 2006
December 31, 2006
Millions of mobile users, anticipating jammed networks on the cusp of 2007, skirted the congestion this year by sending out similar New Year wishes, hours or even days in advance.
150 million mobile users in India were expected to send out over one billion SMSes at midnight on December 31, a volume virtually equivalent to every citizen in India receiving an SMS. But as the week progressed, it was apparent that people had chosen to beat 'rush hour' by texting their greetings much in advance.
India farmers can get weather forecasts by text messages. The service, provided by Agrocom, a three-month-old startup linked to IIT’s Developmental Informatics Laboratory, requires farmers to pay a monthly charge of Rs 50, and provides text messages every three days — more frequently if forecasts are grim — from Agrocom that predict cloud cover and rain, profiles the Hindustan Times. Agrocom also posts expert answers to farmer queries.
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
Ben Hirashima points to TxtMan a threaded SMS program for Windows Mobile 5.0. It sends and receives text messages (SMS) and displays the messages as a conversation, like an instant messenger client.
TxtMan has been tested mainly on the Motorola Q, but has been reported to work on these devices:
Some details leaked from the Google project of building a cellphone cobranded with France Telecom's Orange. The device would be a Samsung's HSDPA device incorporates Google’s mobile search and Gmail applications, reports Mobile Entertainment (via 21talks). "Although both are, of course, already available as free over-the-air downloads to Java-enabled phones, this represents another aggressive move into mobile for the search giant. The Ultra 13.8 will launch in Europe soon."
Multimedia Messaging Service or MMS have been introduced for several years now. But they never catched on SMS, the earlier form. Nevertheless, some think 2007 might be a good year to see more of them. The reason? Adverts supporting the development of the message form. "Firstly, the advertiser pays for the MMS. This means that even the downloading of the MMS via GPRS is free," says Eddie Groenewald, CEO of Multimedia Solutions, in an article of MyBroadband. Phone calls are getting ad-supported, and in this scenario, MMS price would lower to null.
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
Operators are around the world are taking the New Year message surge seriously with a number of countries expected to join the 200 million club.
[thanks to 160 Characters]
Volumes typically increase each year, but this year Airwide Solutions predicts higher than average increases in SMS volumes, particularly in countries with developing mobile networks, such as Eastern Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia.
This year, the race is on around the world to reach the 200 million SMS message milestone. The U.K. is the most likely contender, with Airwide anticipating New Year celebration SMS volumes to easily exceed 200 million, up from 165 million last year (according to the Netsize Guide). However, Poland's fast growing mobile penetration and high number of expatriates now living in Western Europe contribute to expectations of 200 million text messages, up from 147 million last year.
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."
YellowPages.com, a joint venture of AT&T and BellSouth, announced the launch of a new "Send to Mobile" site feature that allows consumers to send search results directly to their mobile handsets for future use, says the release.
Additionally, the company has launched a mobile phone web browser and search a mobile-optimized version for taxis or any other local business services they need during the holiday season.
In the US, with all the investments and startups this year, it's quite obvious text messages will be adopted by anybody. To get sure of this, "M:Metrics, a mobile market research company, found that nationwide, the fastest growing group of text messagers is adults", reports the Chicago Tribune.
"Between September 2005 and September 2006, the number of text-message users from age 45 to 64 grew about seven times as fast as among teenagers under 18, according to their data. Telephia, a consumer research firm, found that among Cingular users, women in their 40s are the fastest growing text message demographic and fourth largest group."
But don't think it's easy for adult to switch to SMS because they were sending emails through their Blackberry. "A survey commissioned by Cingular this summer found that among 1,175 parents, nearly half said their children introduced them to text messaging, and 63 percent said it had improved communication with their child." The teacher became the taught.
A happy Christmas story. Fernando Rodríguez García, a Spanish 16-year-old was badly harmed in a motorcycle accident. He was in urgent need of blood transfusion -- O negative group -- but the hospital has no reserver left. Urgent, who say urgent, his family text messaged all their contact about the urgent need of blood. A micro-buzz campaign instantly sparked, and "over the next couple of days more than 50 people went to the blood transfusion center to give blood and of them around ten were O negative," reports Spanish newspaper SUR. Urgency + Network power is the way to go for 2007.
In Germany, to skip a day of work at her fast food restaurant, a 21-year-old woman sent her parents a text message saying she had been kidnapped, reports ZeeNews. Police in the Bavarian town of Straubing said they had launched a massive search throughout the region for the woman who disappeared on December 23 but turned up unscathed the following morning, saying the kidnapper had set her free. She told later the police she owed a colleague 25 euros ($32.9) and did not have the money to pay her debt. That must be for the Christmas party.
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."
The number of Chinese fixed and mobile telephone subscribers has hit 830 million, with 132 million of them could access the Internet, the state-run Xinhua news agency has reported, citing Ministry of Information Industry sources. That's a 11% increase compare to the end of 2005. By the end of 2007, the ministry expected figures to exceed 900 million.
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
FunTextFlirts.com launched a free two way text message (SMS) flirting service allowing users to reach out to that special someone.
The service goes without registration and allows users to receive replies directly to their email. FunTextFlirts supports all major and regional cell phone carriers across the United States and Canada and all email providers.
[by way of PR Leap]
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".
Simplicity in China leads to standardization. Just recently, they have announced that all handsets sold in China must use a standardized USB charger, reports Slashgear.
"This will cost accessories manufacturers to adjust to the new regulation, but many have yet to adjust because the details of the new regulation is not yet available." On top of this, it would impact on lower-income households, who'll cannot afford a computer to charge their phones.
When there's room for anonymous phone numbers providers, there's room for anonymous text messages senders. "Whether you're looking to send holiday greetings, anonymous tips, secret admirer messages, or you're just concerned about your privacy, you've come to the right place. AnonTxt.com was created for all of these purposes."
Of course, the message appends "anontxt" to the sender's name, so the recipient knows where it's from, notes Gizmodo.
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."