Archives for September 2007

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September 24, 2007

Drug deal text sent to police by mistake

A man who thought he was asking a friend about a drug deal instead sent a text message to the UK police and was arrested, authorities say. Metro reports.

"Joshua Wayne Cadle, 19, allegedly sent the message on Wednesday, to a phone number that used to belong to an unidentified friend. The number is now held by the State Police, Trooper B.H. Moore said on Thursday.

'He text messaged that and asked his friend if he wanted to buy some reefer,' Moore said. "

Interesting, a same story was reported last year, in the US.

emily | 4:47 PM | permalink

Text messages from the front

_39642621_uswounded_203bodyap.jpg Families of British Merseyside soldiers in Iraq will be sent texts by the army if the regiment is targeted.

"They are so keen to “dispel rumours” about incidents and possible casualties that they introduced the scheme weeks before the latest battalion of the Duke of Lancaster regiment is deployed.

... “Families will get a flash message to tell them that something that has come out is not true and that the truth will follow as quickly as we can", said Commanding officer Lt Col Gary Deakin. “We plan to test and adjust as we go and see what is appropriate.

“If there are casualties then we would ask a casualty notification officer to go out to the family and break the news to them directly.”

Picture from the BBC

emily | 12:56 PM | permalink

Virgin Mobile Australia Sued for Using Teenager's Photos

A USA based family are suing Virgin Mobile Australia over an advertising campaign which features a photo of their teenage daughter - apparently without permission. Cellular News reports.

"The family of Alison Chang claim that Virgin Mobile (or its advertising agency) took a copy of a photo which had been uploaded to the photo sharing website, Flickr - edited it and reused it in their poster campaigns.

The photo had apparently been released by the photographer - who is Alison's youth counselor - under the Creative Commons copyright policy which permits reuse, subject to attribution to the photographer - which was included in the Virgin Mobile adverts.

However, Australian codes also require a model release form to be signed where a persons image is being used in an advert, and the family say that they never gave such a permission. The photo seems to have had its copyright permissions changed to "all rights reserved"."

emily | 12:15 PM | permalink

Kosher phone users sue phone companies

orthodox.jpeg Three haredi ( (ultra orthodox) plaintiffs are suing cell phone operators Cellcom, Partner, and MIRS for charging them for text messages that are supposed to be blocked under their user contracts for kosher phones. Globes reports.

"These Motorola handsets, launched in 2005, come with a special prefix, which blocks SMS messages and can not be used to surf the Internet.

The plaintiffs claim that the defendants charged their subscribers for SMS messages sent by them to subscribers who chose to disable receipt of SMS messages and/or mislead the senders by an indication on their cellular phones that such messages were sent."

emily | 7:45 AM | permalink

Myspace Offers Ad-Supported Mobile Version

According to an article in the Associated Press, social networking Web site MySpace is launching a free, advertising-supported cell phone version Monday as part of a wider bid o attract advertising for mobile Web sites.

... "The new version set to launch Monday will work on all U.S. carriers and will allow users to send and receive messages and friend requests, comment on pictures, post bulletins, update blogs, and find and search for friends."

emily | 7:35 AM | permalink

September 23, 2007

Armani to unveil fashion phone on Monday

2007_09_23t103835_450x334_us_armani_samsung.jpg According to Reuters, Armani, Italy's leading fashion designer, will unveil his Armani branded mobile phone on Monday.

It will be shown in Milan, September 24, at the Giorgio Armani women's fashion show for Spring / Summer 2008.

"The Armani-Samsung phone will be the size of a credit card and 10.5 millimeters thick, the companies said in a statement."

[via i4U]

emily | 5:34 PM | permalink

Indian mobile phone subscribers pass 200 million mark

capt.sge.cdv56.220907175650.photo00.photo.default-369x512.jpg The number of Indian mobile phone subscribers has passed the 200 million mark after the country added another eight million customers last month, industry figures show, reports the AFP.

"India's mobile revolution is mainly confined to the cities, but the real prize for phone companies is the vast rural market, where nearly 70 percent of India's 1.1 billion population live, analysts say.

The government is aiming for more than half a billion mobile phone subscribers by 2010.

India is the world's fastest growing market."

emily | 9:22 AM | permalink

September 22, 2007

Unlocking the locked phone debate

Internet law professor Michael Geist gets to grips with the legal implications of unlocking the iPhone. [via the BBC]

"From the moment of its debut, the Apple iPhone has attracted enormous attention. Its biggest impact may go beyond the consumer electronics market, however, as the iPhone has forced politicians and regulators to confront some uncomfortable policy challenges.

... Apple has indicated that some European countries will get the iPhone in late 2007 but wireless carriers in many countries do not provide consumers with data plans that are remotely comparable to AT&T's offer of unlimited data for the iPhone for $20 (Ł9.90) per month.

These concerns remain unresolved, yet a new policy issue has burst onto the scene in recent weeks. The iPhone, like many mobile phones in North America, is "locked" to a single carrier.

While many consumers may like the opportunity to purchase a phone for a fraction of the full retail price, others would presumably prefer the freedom of an "unlocked" cellphone that would allow them to easily switch between carriers.

The freedom provided by unlocked cellphones is particularly useful for people who travel, since they can avoid roaming fees by converting their mobile into a local phone in most countries by simply inserting a local SIM card.

This approach is standard in Europe and Asia, where consumers would not tolerate a market comprised solely of locked cellphones. "

Read full article

emily | 11:49 AM | permalink

Tracking Zebras by GPS

zebras_with_sensors.jpg Wireless networks have been used before to track animals, such as elephants, dolphins, koalas, and even pigeons. Now, U.S. researchers are using social networking software to track zebras. Blogs ZDNet reports.

They hope to discover how animals interact — especially when lions are near a herd. They also think their software can help ecologists devise new techniques to protect endangered species." Read more.

Links to other GPS animal tracking projects

emily | 11:30 AM | permalink

Virgin Mobile offers multi-party SMS service

Virgin Mobile USA has just launched a multi-party text messaging service.

The new, free-to-join service enables users to send a text message to any number of friends simultaneously, have everyone know who received the message, and allow subsequent replies to go to everyone using SMS.

Virgin Mobile customers can sign up on the menu of their WAP deck or at www.3jam.com/virgin. The SMS recipients do not need to sign up.

[via MobileBurn]

emily | 11:21 AM | permalink

September 21, 2007

The single function cell phone concept

jeremy_clarkson_phone.jpg Following Times Online columnist Jeremy Clarkson's rant against phone manufacturers for not producing a phone that just makes calls:

Not one single mobile phone company in this vast and glorious world is offering a phone that is just that. A phone. A device that enables you to speak with someone a long way away.

"What I want is a mobile phone with a battery that lasts for more than six seconds. This means no colour screen. A colour screen uses more electricity than the Pentagon. I do not want it to take photographs. I do not want it to play music. I do not want to receive e-mails. I want it to be a telephone."

Dialaphone has come up with a simple phone concept, just for him.

emily | 5:38 PM | permalink

New York City to Pilot Emergency Notification on Cell Phones

New York City has announced their plan to y (presumably by text messaging, it's not specified in this press release) using advanced cell broadcast technology.

The technology is also able to transmit the emergency messages geographically, so even when users are out of their local areas, they will receive an alert for any emergency.

The pilot program is scheduled to begin in early 2008.

[Press release]

emily | 5:28 PM | permalink

YouNeverCall offers $10k for the first mobile call from the moon

tN_moonphone.jpg File under fun.

YouNeverCall, the popular online cell phone superstore, today announced a $10,000 prize award for the first cell phone call placed from the moon.

This announcement follows on the coattails of Google's announcement of $20M in prize money for landing a craft on the moon by Dec. 31, 2014.

... In order to claim the $10,000 prize a cell phone call must be placed by a device or person present on the Moon's surface. This call must pass through a commercially available cellular phone to YouNeverCall's corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, CA.

Furthermore, the company is offering a $100 bounty to the first party who receives a cell phone call on the Moon that rings using the infamous Crazy Frog Ringtone.

[Press release via SMS Text News]

emily | 4:28 PM | permalink

Cell Makers Agree on a Single Charging Plug

Good news. Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Nokia have agreed to use micro USB as a charging-plug standard for phones.

[via Gizmodo]

emily | 4:20 PM | permalink

Most iPhone buyers were college degree males, 35 or younger

iphonepursaer.jpeg iPhone accounted for 1.8% of all mobile-handset unit sales to US consumers during July 2007, according to iSuppli.

Most iPhone purchasers in July were male, 35 years of age or younger and possessed a four-year college degree or more.

[via ZDNet Research]

emily | 4:18 PM | permalink

Google plans move into UK mobile and broadband market

Google is considering a move into the UK wireless market after the regulator Ofcom yesterday proposed grabbing back more than a third of the mobile phone spectrum that Vodafone and O2 have been using for 22 years to auction it for new entrants.

... Acquiring a slice of the airwaves in Britain would allow the Californian search engine to launch its own fully fledged mobile phone service or push for the sort of open standards-based wireless broadband network it is proposing in the US.

[via The Guardian]

emily | 12:47 PM | permalink

Kam Kam Mobile Alert

kam-kam-mobile-alert.jpg Spotted on Coolest Gadgets.

These plush toys from CatConnection detect incoming and outgoing mobile cell phone calls by wagging their tails.

In their own words: This adorably cute Kam Kam Mobile Alert is designed to auto detect incoming and outgoing mobile cell phone calls by wagging it's tail.

The plush Kam Kam tail is activated up to 5 feet away and will wag for up to 15 seconds.

emily | 10:32 AM | permalink

September 20, 2007

Foot-and-mouth disease updates by SMS

The Government of Wales has just launched a text messaging service in response to complaints that farmers are struggling to get the latest information on the foot-and-mouth disease crisis.

Mobile users can sign up by textingt the word “ALERT” for updates in English, or the word “GWYBOD” for updates in Welsh to shrt code 64118.

[via Daily Post]

emily | 9:23 PM | permalink

Manhattan subway to get cell phone coverage

20cellphone-600.jpg Good news for New Yorkers, all 277 underground stations in the subway system are to be wired for cellphone use, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced yesterday.

But riders may have to talk fast, because the subway tunnels will not be wired, out of consideration for riders who do not want to be stuck in a subway car full of chattering cellphone users.

The cellphone network will start in six downtown Manhattan stations in two years. Once it is shown to be working properly, Transit Wireless will have four more years to outfit the rest of the underground stations."

[via The New York Times]

emily | 6:02 PM | permalink

Crime prevention tips via bluetooth

Shoppers in Seaham and Peterlee will be among the first in the UK to benefit from text messages aimed at beating crime, according to the Sunderland Echo.

"Durham Police will send text messages warning people about the dangers of leaving valuables on show in cars, urge shoppers to ensure their purse or wallet is kept safe and appeal for help to find missing people.

A sending device would be activated in the town centres to send messages to all mobile phones with Bluetooth technology within 10 metres."

emily | 2:49 PM | permalink

Want a free phone line? Make rooma for Ooma

baigx-1.jpg Monthly telephone bills have long been the way of the world. A promising Palo Alto, Calif., start-up called Oomahopes to make them a thing of the past. USA Today reports.

Ooma turns the traditional phone model on its ear. You shell out $399 ($599 starting in 2008) for a slick gray-and-white box that is smaller than a typical answering machine.

This Ooma Hub connects to your high-speed broadband Internet service and whatever telephone handset you have lying around. From then on, all local and long-distance calls in the USA made through that phone are free. "

Read more.

emily | 2:34 PM | permalink

Solution to rice farmers' problems just a text away

Inquirer.net reports that rice farmers in the Philippines who have problems on their crops are now finding it easy to get assistance from scientists and experts of the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

"Using their own or borrowed cellular phones, they just text their queries or requests for information on rice production problems to the PhilRice's "Farmers' Text Center" here.

If the question was too technical, it was sent to scientists or experts of the agency.

Some farmers, through their cell phones' multimedia messaging service (MMS), would now send photographs of their rice plants afflicted with disease.

Through these photos, the experts can readily tell what kind of disease has hit the plants and give the proper procedure on how to control it.

Records of the center showed that it had received 5,327 text messages from January to July this year or an average of 761 text messages a month."

emily | 2:30 PM | permalink

Revolt Over Cellphone Tower

PH2007091900080.jpg Sprint Nextel's proposal to build 106-foot cellular tower in the shape of a silo (in the village of Philomont in rural western Loudoun County), was rejected by home owners.

"It's visually obscene," said Ken Rothschild, who lives near the proposed site.

"The monstrosity will be in plain view of my house," said Tim Hubbard, one of 20 neighbors who spoke against the tower at a county Planning Commission hearing late Monday.

Sprint has three silo towers in Fauquier County, three in Rappahannock County and one in Prince William County. The towers are 80 to 108 feet tall."

Image left: A Sprint "silo" tower filled with minutes located near Haymarket

emily | 2:23 PM | permalink

Why iPhone Faces Tough Sell in Europe

As Apple nears the introduction of its closely watched iPhone in Europe, it will likely face a tougher sell there than in the U.S., analysts say, reports the WSJ.

"... Apple's major risk in Europe is the iPhone's lack of support for "3G" mobile networks, common in Europe, which offer high-speed Internet surfing on mobile handsets. So using the iPhone's many Internet features may frustrate Europeans.

Apple and O2 are attempting to lessen the problem by giving iPhone users in the U.K. free access to 7,500 Wi-Fi hot spots around the U.K. run by wireless company the Cloud."

emily | 2:13 PM | permalink

UK mobiles are highest text users in Europe

6104Y1SA9VL._AA280_.jpg People in the UK send more text messages than any other nation in Europe, new research shows, reports The Guardian.

"An average of 100 text messages are sent by UK mobile users each month, according to a worldwide survey of 10,000 mobile phone owners by media agency Universal McCann.

That compares with an average of 65 for Germans and 32 texts each month for Americans

The study also showed that the British are more inclined to use their mobile phones for texting than for talking. UK mobile owners dedicate less than half their mobile usage to direct conversation."

emily | 7:42 AM | permalink

Cell Phones May Cause Hearing Loss

Long-time mobile phone users who talk more than an hour a day on the devices may be may be more likely to have high-frequency hearing loss, researchers say. CBS reports.

"Our intention is not to scare the public," says Naresh K. Panda, MS, DNB, chairman of the department of ear, nose, and throat at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, and researcher for the study.

"... His team found that people who had talked on cell phones for more than four years and those who talked more than an hour daily were more likely to have these high-frequency losses. These losses can make it difficult to hear consonants such as s, f, t and z, making it hard to understand words.

But another hearing expert familiar with the study says there is as yet no cause for alarm."

emily | 7:29 AM | permalink

Home Phones Add Cell Phone Features

wooden-phone.jpg In recent years, as phone companies have beefed up their cellphones with a steady stream of enhancements, innovations to the old land-line phone have been slow to come.

But now, in a move largely designed to keep consumers from ditching land lines, phone companies are adding to home phones some of the features popular on mobile devices, like address books and text messaging.

And equipment makers' latest home and office phones include a range of new features like in-home video baby monitoring, instant messaging, and access to email and the Web.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

Antique wood wall phone image from mobility watch

emily | 7:20 AM | permalink

September 19, 2007

No mobile means poverty, say children

Almost half of children in some parts of Britain think that not having a mobile phone means a child is poor, according to a poll commissioned by Dare to Care, a new volunteering campaign aimed at tackling child poverty.

[via SMS Text News]

emily | 8:27 PM | permalink

Mobile phones killing written word in Japan

kanji.jpeg Dictionaries are giving way to cellphones when it comes to checking kanji, according to a survey by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, reports asahi.com.

The survey found nearly 80 percent of people in their 20s turn to cellphones more frequently than to print, electronic or online dictionaries when they do not know how to write Chinese characters.

... "For young people, kanji is something they type (from the cellphone pad or the personal computer keyboard) rather than write with their hands," said author Tatsuro Dekune. "The ability to write correct kanji may be considered inconsequential someday."

[via Tech.co.uk]

emily | 6:30 PM | permalink

IPhone confirmed for T-Mobile Germany

Engadgetmobile confirms that the rumors are true: iPhone will be sold exclusively on T-Mobile Germany starting November 9th, which is the same time as the UK launch.

emily | 6:25 PM | permalink

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