Archives for November 2007

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November 30, 2007

Check your carbon footprint -- on your mobile phone

cbf1.jpeg Do you have a big carbon footprint? Get out your mobile phone and check. Reuters India reports how.

"European scientists have devised an online application to measure how much greenhouse gas people emit from the way they travel, light their homes, choose dinner or watch television.

"The idea is to help people be aware of the impact that their personal behaviour can have," said Antonia Mochan, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, whose scientists came up with the new application.

"Climate change seems such a big story, people think 'Where can I start?' This can help," she said.

The application, which requires users to input information on their behaviour, is available via the mobgas Web site and is free of charge.

emily | 5:57 PM | permalink

SMS to find out your HIV status

A new SMS search service directs South Africans to their closest HIV testing site, thanks to a partnership between Levi Strauss South Africa and Karabo.org.za. [via iAfrica]

"To access the service, anyone (on any network) can SMS the word 'HIV' to 31771 followed by their post code or town name. Their two nearest testing locations will be SMS'ed back.

Six mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing units, or VCT units, are also traveling around the country. This partnership with well-respected testing experts New Start offers anonymous, confidential and free HIV testing and counseling."

emily | 10:41 AM | permalink

(Art) Phone Booth sells at Auction

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This wood and plexiglass phone booth art piece (in two parts), by Sarah Seager, titled Untitled Other, sold at a Philips de Pury & Company Contemporary Art Auction held in New York, November 16 for $5,000.

emily | 10:24 AM | permalink

'Exploding phone' death: co-worker confesses

phone1_wideweb__470x387%2C0.jpg What appeared to be a sensational case of a man being killed by an exploding mobile phone has instead turned out to be an attempt to cover up an accidental death. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"A co-worker of the man, who told police that he found the 33-year-old lying dead and bleeding from the nose, has now confessed he killed the man,The Korea Times newspaper reported.

"Kwon, 58, told police Thursday night that he hit Seo, 33, while reversing his excavator at a stone quarry in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong Province. The phone was on fire when he found Seo lying on the ground, and he was too afraid to report the incident, the police said. Kwon was arrested."

emily | 9:53 AM | permalink

Phones help deliver baby

A Russian woman gave birth by the light of dozens of mobile phones after a power cut plunged a town into darkness. Ananova reports.

"Emergency generators kicked in to keep incubators going at the local maternity ward at Shelehov in northern Russia.

But the room where Rima Pivovarova, 22, was giving birth was plunged into darkness just as doctors started to try and sort out complications with the delivery.

Quick-thinking nurses borrowed mobile phones from colleagues and other patients and used their light as they delivered the baby.

Nurse Nadezhda Stempkovskaya, who helped deliver the baby, said both mother and son are doing well."

Similar stories:

-- Vietnamese doctors use mobile-phone light to finish surgery

-- Cell phones light up operating room during blackout in Argentina

emily | 9:34 AM | permalink

November 29, 2007

BIC Wants to Flick Your Cell Phone

biclogo.jpeg BIC, leading manufacturer of ball point pens, lighters and shavers, is designing disposable cartridges for fuel cells, a kind of power supply that could someday eliminate the need to constantly recharge mobile phones or laptop computers.

Electronics makers are drawn to fuel cells because today's rechargeable batteries can't keep up with the demands users place on portable gadgets.

[via Business Week]

emily | 10:10 PM | permalink

SMS 'toilet' to find relief

stilllifewithtoiletpaper1.jpg West London "nearest loo" SMS service - blogged about last year - is up and running.

Harried theatre-goers, distressed shoppers and hard-pressed bar patrons in London's West End can now SMS the word "toilet" -- and receive an SMS back giving the address of the nearest public facility.

The system, which covers 40 public toilets, triangulates a user's position by measuring the strength of the phone signal.

[via Mail&Guardian]

Related:

-- Dial-a-toilet launched in China

-- MizPee: Mobile Loo Locator USA

-- London launches "Restroom Locator" SMS Service

emily | 9:52 PM | permalink

Global cell phone use at 50 percent

thumb.nyjs10202141650.verizon_merger_nyjs102.jpg Worldwide mobile telephone subscriptions reached 3.3 billion -- equivalent to half the global population -- on Thursday, 26 years after the first cellular network was launched, research firm Informa said. Reuters reports.

"... But although mobile subscriptions have reached the equivalent of 50 percent of the population, this does not mean that half the people in the world now have a mobile phone, since Informa said 59 countries have mobile penetration of over 100 percent -- where some owners have more than one phone.

According to the International Programs Center of the U.S. Census Bureau, The total population of the world reached 6,634,294,193 on Thursday.

At the same time 2,571,563,279 people were using the most widely used mobile technology, GSM (Global System for Mobile communications), according to global trade body GSM Association.

The second largest mobile technology, CDMA, had 421.4 million users at end September."

emily | 9:23 PM | permalink

Black Hole Phone Bag

Black-hole-phone-case.jpg

This cell phone pouch from Brando comes with two slots. One let's you hear your ringtone, the other blocks out all signals.

Spotted on I4U

emily | 6:57 PM | permalink

iPhone buyers on the Champs Elysées

orange-iphone-07.jpgorange-iphone-01.jpg orange-iphone-11.jpg

French Journal du Geek has posted some good pictures from lat night's first iPhone sales on the Champs Elysées. [via I4U]

We feel so left out here in Switzerland where there has been no official news at all as to when the iPhone will be available and which operator will be offering it (probably Swiscom). It's available unlocked though here, at a retail price of Sfr 960 ($858) but there are so many posts on updates and on what not to do or the phone will be blocked, it seems safer to wait for an official channel.

emily | 12:29 PM | permalink

Updated Mini Brick Phone

miniMOBmobilephone_small.jpg Remember when cell phones were bricks and weighed a ton? Well one company believes some people might just be nostalgic for that era and has come out with an updated version of the brick phone; the Mini Mob Mobile Phone.

The block phone is back, but with a difference, it is a mini version of the classic block phone. Measuring 11 cm in height and 3.5cm in depth

[via The Red Ferret]

emily | 11:57 AM | permalink

Employer fined $17,000 after worker sacked via SMS

A NSW childcare provider has been fined nearly 17 thousand dollars for underpaying an employee for 15 months and then sacking her via a phone-text message.

[via Live News]

Links to other fired by SMS stories.

emily | 11:47 AM | permalink

Apple to Unveil Faster IPhone

Apple Inc. will introduce a version of the iPhone next year that can download from the Internet at a faster rate, AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said.

The device will operate on third-generation wireless networks, some time next year.

[via Bloomberg]

emily | 8:59 AM | permalink

Bank of America Claims Half a Million Mobile Banking Customers

mhd_reg_logo.gif Six months after rolling out its Mobile Banking service to consumers in the USA, Bank of America says that it has reached a record 500,000 active mobile customers.

According to a recent Tower Group report, that's more than all other U.S. banks combined.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 8:53 AM | permalink

November 28, 2007

Google gives location on your phone without GPS

Google is updating its Google Maps for Mobile with a new location finder feature that allows users to find their location even though they don't have a GPS chip in their device. The My Location feature, which is available as a beta, helps the more than 85 percent of handsets that don't have GPS functionality.

[via San Francisco CHronicle]

emily | 10:05 PM | permalink

PM's texts 'insult' to Queen

_44251021_aii_queen203.jpg According to the The New Zealand Herald, Prime Minister Helen Clark has been accused of insulting the Queen by text messaging while the monarch was making a speech.

Daily Express newspaper in England reported that Helen Clark was seen texting during the Queen's opening address to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda last Friday.

... The Republican Movement of Aotearoa NZ says the incident shows Helen Clark is "clearly half-hearted" about the monarchy."

emily | 9:49 PM | permalink

Late night explosion fright prompts Nokia investigation

Nokia has launched an investigation after a phone battery exploded while it was charging next to the bed of an Auckland man. stuff reports.

"Norman Sievewright said he was given a "huge fright" when he awoke to a loud bang in the in the middle of the night.

He found his phone in pieces and the carpet singed. "It was very scary. . . especially with the fumes." he told One News.

Nokia said it had the remains of the charger and phone and would be investigating the cause of the explosion.

In August Nokia issued a global advisory notice that it would replace its bl-5c batteries made between December 2005 and last November, after about 100 of them had overheated or exploded.

The company had produced about 46 million of those batteries worldwide."

Other story in the news today involving an LG phone Man Killed by Cellphone Explosion and links to related incidents.

emily | 6:08 PM | permalink

Man Killed by Cellphone Explosion

A Korean man was apparently killed by his LG cellphone today.

He was carrying the phone in his left shirt pocket when it exploded, puncturing his heart and lungs. It happened in the North Chungcheong Province of Korea as the man was working on a construction site. He was found dead by one of his coworkers.

[via Gizmodo]

Click here for related incidents involving cell phone batteries exploding.

emily | 6:02 PM | permalink

Shoogle : shaking cell phones reveals what's inside

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Cellphone users could soon tell when their handset is running low on juice or laden with new messages simply by reaching into their bag or pocket and giving it a quick shake, thanks to Shoogle's intuitive interface. New Scientist reports.

"A new system uses a phone's speaker and vibrator to make a device feel and sound like it contains liquid when it is running out of power. The same technique can be used to indicate when new messages have arrived, by simulating the sense of balls rattling around inside a box.

Both tricks let a user check the state of their device quickly and without having to actually look at it."

... Different sounds could be set to correspond to different people. The sounds used range from metallic clinks (.wav format) to wooden thuds (.wav format).

Watch video demo

emily | 2:02 PM | permalink

"30 Rock" rolls Verizon Wireless ads into story lines

30rock.jpeg In the November 15 episode of NBC's "30 Rock," Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, in their roles as Jack Donaghy and Liz Lemon, sang the praises of Verizon Wireless before Fey looked right into the camera and asked, "Can we have our money now?"

At least in this case, art did indeed imitate life. Verizon said it handed over an integration fee to NBC, in addition to some marketing support, for the mini-commercial within one of the network's hottest shows.

... "We talk with NBC on a consistent basis about opportunities," said Lou Rossi, director of media and sponsorships at Verizon Wireless. "We had engaged them to think about some ways we could help increase our presence in the marketplace, and they came back to us with the '30 Rock'-specific opportunity."

[via Reuters]

emily | 1:55 PM | permalink

iPhone France pricing

Orange France has revealed its iPhone tariffs and details of the iPhone unlock deal it is forced to sell under French law.

Prices range from €49 to €119 per month, while the iPhone costs €399 ($588).

Orange is also offering iPhone at €549 ($808) to customers who do not wish to benefit from one of the four "Orange for iPhone" plans and at €649 ($956), without a plan.

The cost of unlocking the handset is €100 euros ($147) during the six months following purchase of the handset.

[via MacWorld]

emily | 1:38 PM | permalink

Judge jails everybody, gets fired

gavelREX_175x125.jpg A judge in America was removed from the bench on Tuesday for jailing 46 people after none of them would admit to having a cell phone that began ringing during his court session.

Judge Robert Restaino "snapped" and "engaged in what can only be described as two hours of inexplicable madness" during the March 2005 session, Raoul Felder, chairman of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, wrote in the decision to remove the judge.

Everyone is going to jail," the judge said. "Every single person is gong to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now. If anybody believes I'm kidding, ask some of the folks that have been here for a while. You are all going."

When no one came forward, the judge ordered the group into custody and they were taken by police to the city jail, where they were searched and packed into crowded cells. Fourteen people who could not post bail were shackled and bused to the Niagara County Jail in Lockport, a 30-minute drive away.

[Associated Press via Metro]

emily | 1:20 PM | permalink

Yellowing pages offer a glimpse of phone history

genImage.jpeg The old home phone numbers of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, composer Edward Elgar and poet John Betjeman are among millions being made available online for the first time on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

Genealogy Web site Ancestry.co.uk has spent three years transferring nearly 2,000 old phone books to the Internet to help people research their family tree.

From the first slimline directory of 1880 that contained just 248 names to the heavyweight volumes of the 1980s, the collection traces the inexorable spread of the phone network.

... Directories for London were published online last year. The project now includes all the 280 million historic names, addresses and numbers from across Britain."

emily | 12:55 PM | permalink

Brunton's Solar Rolls

Brunton_SolarRoll_4.jpg

Brunton's SolarRoll is available in three sizes and can power a variety of things including laptops, GPS devices, cell phones, video camera, digital cameras... . They even claim that the SolarRoll can charge your car battery as well.

[Newlaunches via Crave]

emily | 12:21 PM | permalink

Cell phone college class opens in Japan

logo_01.gif Japanese already use cell phones to shop, read novels, exchange e-mail, search for restaurants and take video clips. Now, according to the Associated Press, they can take a university course.

"Cyber University, the nation's only university to offer all classes only on the Internet, began offering a class on mobile phones Wednesday on the mysteries of the pyramids.

For classes for personal computers, the lecture downloads play on the monitor as text and images in the middle, and a smaller video of the lecturer shows in the corner, complete with sound.

The cell phone version, which pops up as streaming video on the handset's tiny screen, plays just the Power Point images.

... The cell phone lectures may be expanded to other courses but for now will be for the pyramids course, according to Cyber University, which offers about 100 courses, including ancient Chinese culture, online journalism and English literature.

Unlike the other classes, the one on cell phones will be available to the public for free, although viewers must pay phone fees."

emily | 12:17 PM | permalink

New store on the Champs Elysées to sell iPhone

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A new store on the Champs Élysées which will sell the iPhone from Wednesday evening onwards.

[via the IHT]

emily | 8:42 AM | permalink

ACLU warns High School about reading students' cell phone text messages

Students and parents at Mason High School, Ohio, have complained that administrators are confiscating cell phones and reading text messages "to determine if the students attended private parties off school grounds during the weekend." Middletown Journal reports.

The ACLU sent a letter to the principal at the High School, warning that the school"'s "current practice of seizing student cell phones and reading personal text messages was poor policy and unconstitutional".

School district spokeswoman Tracey Carson said if a student tries to hide something on the phone, that can send up a red flag to an administrator. She said students may get in trouble if there is pornography or any references to drugs or alcohol on the phone.

... The ACLU's Gamso said the complaints referred to administrators wanting to know what students were doing off school grounds. "Attendance at a private party that does not disrupt classes and does not occur on school grounds is none of the school's business. Private student social activities are issues for parents, not the school."

emily | 7:48 AM | permalink

November 27, 2007

CellQ - an end to queuing

cellq_small.jpg CellQ is a virtual queuing system that lets you book your place on a ride via mobile phone and get a call when your place is ready. [via The Red Ferret]

In their own words. "Using CellQ, visitors are free to move around the park, visit shops and restaurants, or just relax while they wait their turn. Their phone automatically calls them to the ride when they reach the head of the line. At the ride they enter through a special entrance and board almost immediately."

emily | 6:45 PM | permalink

Do not call, say 380 million telephone users

More than 380 million Indian telephone subscribers, who do not want to receive telemarketing calls or SMS messages, have registered with the National Do Not Call Registry, the telecom market regulator said Tuesday. [via Indian Muslims.info]

emily | 6:30 PM | permalink

Verizon Wireless opens up to ‘any app, any device’

VerizonLogo.jpg Verizon Wireless announced this morning a major shift in its position on non-carrier-offered devices and applications, saying it will begin activating any device that meets a “minimum technical standard” and will allow “any application the customer chooses” to be used on the devices.

The carrier said the new option will be available to customers throughout the country by the end of next year.

[via RCRNews]

emily | 6:27 PM | permalink

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