Archives for April 2007
April 30, 2007
IBM has unveiled their 'IBM Next Five in Five ' study, which is its view on five innovations that have the potential of changing the way people the world over work, live and play over the next five years. [via Rediff News]
1. We will be able to access healthcare remotely, from just about anywhere in the world
2. Mobile phones will start to read our minds: Advanced 'presence' technology will give mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) the ability to automatically learn about their users' whereabouts and preferences as they commute, work and travel. 'Presence' technology -- used in instant messaging -- already makes it possible to locate and identify a user as soon as the user connects to the network.
3. Real-time speech translation -- once a vision only in sci-fi -- will become the norm
4. There will be a 3-D Internet
5. New technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance
Motorola says that it has obtained an order granting summary judgment of non-infringement in a patent case brought by the University of Texas. University of Texas System had sued Motorola for the claimed infringement of U.S. Patent No. 4,674,112 ("the '112 patent"), along with over 30 additional handset manufacturers. Cellular News reports.
Movie theater owners looking for new ways to boost their revenue from advertising have cautiously been reviewing an innovation whose pioneers have included the Army National Guard. The Jounral&Courier reports.
"The Guard, which has deployed recruitment ads to theaters before, fielded a new weapon: text-messaging moviegoers before the previews.
A slide in about 1,100 theaters in December invited patrons to use their cell phones to text in their age and let the Guard tell them about its required fitness level.
Those who opted in were messaged back sit-up, push-up and running requirements. They also got follow-up messages that touted enlistment benefits, such as tuition assistance.
For youth-focused marketers, texting is a "great conversation starter,"says Jason Fulmines, account executive at the Guard's ad agency, LM&O Advertising. He says the time before movie previews - when people are often bored and fidgety - is ideal for initiating a dialogue. "You have a captive audience. And after they're looking at ad after ad, this gives them something different to do."
"During the shootings, the university tried to get warning messages out via e-mail, even though it's been well established college students don't use their campus e-mail to communicate.
While the administration of Virginia Tech was e-mailing students, students were already communicating with one another via SMS (define), blog postings, IM (define), and plain old cell phone calls. The school desperately tried to get the official story to those who needed it as the wireless airwaves pulsed with rumors, misinformation, and speculation."
"Introduced by the Haryana Agriculture Department early this year, the free SMS service enables farmers to ask a wide range of questions from experts, who replied within 24 to 48 hours.
According to the Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Agriculture, SP Sharma, the service has been a great success with the department receiving 800 SMS to date (since it's February launch) of which: 599 were SMS queries about agricultural problems, 192 were about horticulture, 4 were related to fisheries, three to animal husbandry and two were forestry related.
The New Generation online two-way bulk school SMS service is able to warn parents and help schools to take action in cases of dangers to students.
Activated from a school's computer, it instantly contacts all parents via SMS; the replies are collocated and reports produced by the system that help account for the safety of every student every 10 seconds online.
An i-phone-like touchscreen Mobile Watch, with a built-in stylus featuring the usual cellphone bells and whistle features such as SMS texting, audio, video and bluetooth.
Six politicians awaiting trial on murder or abduction charges in lawless northern Uttar Pradesh state have been using cellphones to campaign for re-election from prison, police said Sunday. Canada.com reports.
"The politicians call their supporters who broadcast the speeches live to rallies from their mobile phones, using a microphone hooked up to a public address system, police spokesman Surendra Srivastava said.
“It is not a hush-hush affair. The meetings are well organized and at the stipulated time the leaders address their supporters using mobiles,” Srivastava said.
Indian law only bans people from serving in public office if they have been convicted of an offence."
April 29, 2007
Spotted on Spluch, a picture of Sarah, 51 - who is not a beekeper - but one of a growing number of people who claim to be experiencing extreme - and incapacitating - sensitivity to electrical appliances, as well as to certain frequencies of electromagnetic waves.
"Wi-Fi, or wireless broadband networks, seem to be the worst thing," she says. "Closely followed by mobile phones - particularly if they're being used in an enclosed space - the base stations of cordless telephones and mobile phone masts.
Her headgear is made from a special "shielding fabric".
April 28, 2007
A mobile phone game developed by academics at the University of Portsmouth will be used to help international students cope with 'culture shock' and university life in Britain - including moments of cultural awakening such as going to the pub and watching people being affectionate to each other in public.
The game - called C-Shock - is the brainchild of University of Portsmouth academic and games technology expert Nipan Maniar (picture left) who, himself, arrived in the UK from India five years ago as an international student.
"I found some aspects of British culture very novel, and certainly things such as interacting socially with others, say, in a pub were very different to what I was used to in my own culture in India," Nipan said.
The game follows an international student arriving in the UK for the first time. The aim of the game is to reduce the character's 'culture shock' rating from a default of 100 to zero by performing a series of tasks that introduce culture shock-inducing incidents and images.
... The game is in the final stages of development and is expected to be available for download from the University of Portsmouth website later this year.
Spotted on Spluch, odd looking phone booths from Japan.
Computers with wireless internet should not be placed on children's laps, says the head of UK's government's committee on mobile phone safety research. The BBC reports.
"Professor Lawrie Challis told the Daily Telegraph children using wi-fi networks should be monitored until research into potential health risks is completed. He says children should keep a safe distance from the embedded antennas.
The Health Protection Agency has said wi-fi devices are of very low power - much lower than mobile phones.
Prof Challis, retired professor of physics at the University of Nottingham, said: "With a desktop computer, the transmitter will be in the tower. his might be perhaps 20cms from your leg and the exposure would then be around one per cent of that from a mobile phone. However, if you put a laptop straight on your lap and are using wi-fi, you could be around two centimetres from the transmitter, and receiving comparable exposure to that from a mobile phone."
April 27, 2007
Nap Enterprise Co. will launch next month in Japan, an earbud microphone that enables cell phone conversations to be carried on in even very noisy settings such as concert halls and construction sites, reducing ambient noise by 30 decibels. Nikkei Net Interactive reports.
"The inCore features a microphone that is built into the earbud speaker and picks up the spoken voice not from the mouth, but from inside the ear. The person need not speak up to be heard, and a special sound-damping pad works to both block outside sounds from the microphone and let the user clearly hear the other end of the conversation through the speaker. ..."
-- Coaches find loophole, use texting - College coaches have found a significant loophole in the NCAA recruiting regulations which is drawing popularity across the nation.
Text messaging is the new craze which allows coaches to contact recruits an unlimited amount of times after Sept. 1 of their junior year. Basketball coaches can start texting June 15 of a student’s sophomore year.
-- Coaches turn to text messaging to woo recruits - more football and basketball coaches are text messaging recruits and finding it more effective than traditional recruiting tools in communicating with prized prospects."
"NTT Resonant, which operates the Goo Internet portal, launched the http://wpedia.mobile.goo.ne.jp/ of "Goo Wikipedia" this week. The service includes only documents from the Japanese-language version of Wikipedia. The top page shows the current five most searched for terms."
Beach-goers in Spain's Catalonia region can check their email directly from their towels, as the town of Castelldefels just outside Barcelona began offering free wireless Internet on its beaches on Monday. IOL reports.
"The connection, enabled by five Wi-Fi antennas installed at various points along the beach, will cover five kilometres of shoreline by the end of this week, and eventually extend another kilometre out into the Mediterranean.
The signal can be picked up by laptops, PDAs or any other wireless Internet receiver."
Picture from Core77
A couple of weeks ago, Scientists claimed that radiation from cell phones were to blame for the mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees - as it interfered with their navigation systems, preventing them from finding their way back to their hives.
But this week, other scientists are saying the wide-spread catastrophic death of honey bees is both due to a virus and a parasite which they have been able to identify.
Update: The Guardian via Engadgetmobile claims that the scientists who claimed bees were being rerouted bevause of cell phone radiation, were misinterpreted and that "the study actually looked at DECT phones and base stations, which transmit a "different frequency than mobiles."
GeekSugar reports that at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening of Star Wars earlier this week - part of a series of 3Oth Anniversary celebrations - guests were treated to tailor made Star Wars message before the start of the movie, warning them to turn off their cell phones.
-- Steve Martin fights rude mobile phone users - Funnyman Steve Martin filmed a new public service announcement in a bid to urge filmgoers to turn off their mobile phones at the movies.
-- Sydney Pollack Teams promotes Cell Phone Courtesy at the Movies - Last July, a public service trailer directed by and starring Academy Award winning filmmaker Sydney Pollack in cooperation with Cingular Wireless, was to debutin movie theaters nationwide promoting of all things -- silence.
April 26, 2007
"Bus shelters in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary were equipped with built-in two-way radios that connect commuters between different cities, in real time, with just a push of a button. "
In London, Nokia gives you something to do while waiting for the bus: You can play a game of memory on The interactive Nokia N95 touchscreen ad.
Soldiers may no longer need to rely on satellite navigation to pinpoint themselves or targets, if a new US military research project succeeds. New Scientist reports.
"The Robust Surface Navigation programme, funded by the US government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aims to extract accurate positioning information from "signals of opportunity". These may include television and cellphone transmissions, if satellite signals are unavailable.
Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers pinpoint their location by measuring precisely how long signals from several satellites take to reach them. But these signals can be difficult to receive in built-up urban areas, or inside buildings, and can also be jammed by an enemy.
To overcome this problem, the Robust Surface Navigation project is intended to replace missing GPS information by using other incidental signals to calculate location. "
April 25, 2007
Régine is wearing an "Office Collar" designed by Simone Brewster.
They exist in different shapes, there's one open at the bottom to let you drink your coffee, another is open at the top for people who watch upwards when they need to concentrate and think...
In a detoured way, they could also be used as a cellphone isolation concept. Isolating you from your co-workers and manifesting your disaproval of their cell phone chatter.
If a British research team has its way, surveillance system operators will have yet another new tool to use in their fight against crime and terrorism: automatic lip recognition. Electronic Design reports.
"Computer-based lip-reading technology would help video surveillance systems spot people planning a crime or terror attack by literally watching suspects’ lips for clues. Once it finds someone speaking certain key words or sentences, the system would automatically send an alert message to a central console, mobile phone, or other communications device. Police or security agents could then be dispatched to the scene to question the individual.
Image from CNN
Nokia, and European mobile operators have solidified a global initiative to turn mobile phones into wallets, reports ZDNet.
"... Nokia, alongside two other major mobile phone makers, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, will embed a wireless chip into its phones.
The world's biggest payment card company, MasterCard, is also involved in the initiative, which is cheaper and much faster than other wireless payment experiments, like those using SMS text messages.
Trials with the new standard are set to start in October."
a href="http://www.police.uk">police.ukPolice Portal, a system which hosted Suffolk's Police Direct Service cost £5.1million ($10.2million) to run last year. An on-line petition has been created to remove the costly service. The Evening Star reports.
"The service provided an on-line crime reporting system in Suffolk as well as Police Direct messaging service which sent crime and appeal information via text message and e-mail to about 25,000 subscribers."
For all 53 police forces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. police.ukPolice Portal consists of a web presence, online non-emergency crime reporting system and a public messaging system which makes use of inbound and outbound sms/mms and telephony capabilities."
The rising popularity of text messaging on cell phones poses a threat to writing standards among Irish schoolchildren, an education commission says. Reuters reports. "... In many cases, candidates seemed "unduly reliant on short sentences, simple tenses and a limited vocabulary."
In 2003, Irish 15-year-olds were among the top 10 performers in an international league table of literacy standards compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development".
This issue by the way, is almost as old as text messaging itself. And for every negative study, there is one that claims students who text frequently, score well in standard spelling tests.
Postive studies on the effect of text messaging on student's writing skills:
Links to negative studies:
Swimwear modelled by water ballet champion Gemma Mengual on the catwalk of Triumph Lngerie fashion show in Valencia, during the America's Cup festivities. The bathing suit is covered in solar panels for recharging the cell phone while you sunbathe. [via La repubblica]
The bathing suit is most probably by Andrew Schneider, (a student at Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts of New York University ).
Previously : - Solar Powered Bikini Recharges Mobile Phones
Txt2ad.co.uk is a site in the UK where you can place a classified ad direct from your mobile simply as an SMS or MMS. The message can be just text (SMS) or include an image or short movie (MMS). The site accepts submissions from any UK network and requires no sign up. [via digg]
HULGER teamed up with communications specialist Associate to present a specially built HULGER-powered Confessional Booth (pictures top left: inside and out) at Designersblock Milan 2007, offering visitors the chance to play the priest or the penitent.
And under close guard (pictures bottom left), Hulger announced ASTOR & SOPHIA, two limited edition Bluetooth phones shown at the infamous Spazio Rossana Orlandi - one of Milan’s premier showrooms for design.
Previously: - Hulger in Milan
Spotted on mobile|blog.it, another Ferrari phone, by SonyEricsson, the K800i Ferrari lmited Edition.
Other Ferrari branded cell phones:
Other sports' car related cell phones: