Archives for December 2007
December 31, 2007
Comedian Amy Borkowsky will ring in the new year with silence, vowing to do what seems almost unimaginable to every other New Yorker - ditch her cell phone for two months. The Daily News reports.
She is so sick of her phone becoming an almost permanent fixture at her ear, she has vowed to cancel her service and shelve her cell for the next eight weeks.
Borkowsky is determined to get back to face-to-face communication with friends, family and the rest of the human race.
She plans to document it all in a Web project, Cellibacy, at myscellphone.com.
From the Website.
The project is called “Cellibacy”, but as comedian and advocate Amy Borkowsky explains, “It’s not about giving up sex. I’m giving up something much harder than that.” On January 1st, Borkowsky will attempt to ring in 2008 with a lot less ringing, as she officially turns off her cell phone service for sixty days, becoming America’s first advocate for moderation in cell phone use.
Not related to cell phones, just New Year. Messages and wishes for the new year from people around the world will float down on the New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square when the confetti is dropped.
Anyone can get a message printed on a piece of the multicolored confetti by visiting the Times Square Information Center or by using the Internet to type a message at "Wishing Wall Online".
The message-carrying pieces will be mixed among the more than one ton of confetti, organizers said.
So far, messages have included everything from wanting to be taller or having a smarter boss to healthy children and asking for the safe return of a child from Iraq. "Peace in the World," reads one posted on the "virtual wishing wall. How about "Let Ingrid Bettancourt and the hostages go".
After fragrance, sunglasses, watches and handbags, now fashion designers want to add mobile phones to the 2008 list of fashion must-haves with a series of launches to cash in on a multimillion-pound market. The The Independent reports.
"Dior and Swarovski will be the latest luxury giants to unveil handsets next year, while Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer is expected to be the first timepiece maker to release one early next summer.
... Experts predict that in the next three years non-traditional brands, including fashion designers, will grab 20 per cent of the global market, selling around 200 million handsets a year.
Andrew Harrison, UK chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, said his customers were increasingly buying more than one handset, with around a fifth owning two or more. "These handsets have different uses: business, going out or even special occasions. We expect this trend to continue." he added.
... Analysts believe fashion and mobiles make perfect bedfellows because with a new product every three months, the handset industry is one of the few able to keep pace with the world of fashion.
According to The Telegraph, electronics companies plan to use military technology, developed to protect soldiers from chemical attack, to make mobile telephones and other equipment waterproof.
"The technology works by bonding a protective layer to the device using a plasma - a gas that has been electronically charged. The chemical properties of the layer allow it to repel water and oil. It was developed for treating soldiers' uniforms, so they would repel toxic vapours and liquids in a chemical or biological attack."
... It has been developed by UK Ministry of Defence scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Wilts. A spin-off company, P2i, is in discussions with three leading phone makers about using the coating, Ion-Mask, on their products."
December 29, 2007
Acording to ThinkGeek, the Digerati use this device to keep all of our cellphone contacts straight.
"Simply copy your SIM card contacts to the backup tool's internal memory, and in seconds, you can dupe them back down to another SIM card. "
Spotted on Just Another Mobile Phone Blog, a water and shock resistant Chinese cell phone.
New Yorkers who suffered a tough 2007 took their anger out on photographs of ex-husbands, old letters and annoying cell phones on Friday, consigning their bad memories to a giant shredder. The AFP reports.
"The event took place in the Times Square intersection. Most of those at the "Good Riddance Day" came with bad memories they were keen to forget.
I shredded the obsession to drink, the obsession to use drugs, the obsession to women," said one man in his 40s.
Others threw in files of paperwork. One threw in documents relating to a home loan that he -- like so many other Americans -- was unable to pay off.
One woman was destroying a pile of papers: "10 years of a bad relationship," she said, smiling.
Joe Costanella brought along the bane of his life: a garbage can bought by his wife. To the surprise of onlookers, he took a sledgehammer to the can, prompting others to throw in cellphones for similar treatment.
At the end of the event, a garbage truck took away the shredded papers for recycling. A 250 dollar prize for the most creative act of riddance went to New Yorker Eileen Lawrence, who symbolically shredded her former boss.
In an ongoing Gizmodo poll, it appears that nearly two-thirds of people prefer to check the current time on their cell phone rather than on a conventional wristwatch.
The poll, at the time of this post, is showing that 64.7% of people look up the time on their phones, compared to just 31.0% of people who still use a wristwatch. The missing option from this poll are people who use both.
The Gizmodo poll also revealed 28% of their (savvy) readers used iPhones. [via Mobile Mag]
A panel for Japan's National Police Agency is recommending prohibiting bicyclists from using cell phones or wearing headphones while riding. The Daily Yomiuri Online reports.
"The report says bike riders should not use cell phones or wear headphones that prevent them from hearing external sounds. "
December 28, 2007
The folks over at Thumbplay have created a whole slew of ringtones to help you keep your resolutions -- or at least keep you entertained while you break them one by one.
For $2.99 per tone -- or a $9.99 monthly that gives you 20 ring tones on the spot and another 10 every month -- you can download ringers that remind you to hit the gym, quit smoking, and even tolerate calls from your mother in law.
Apple is seeking to patent a system that would make it possible for a person to use a wireless gadget to place an order at a cafe or fast-food restaurant and pickup the order without waiting in line. The EETimes reports via ars technica.
"The specific patent application in question, which Apple first applied for back in 2006, is titled Wireless communication system.
Recently uncovered by EETimes, the application describes a number of mechanisms for allowing users to wirelessly order products or services when approaching a store.
The user could then enter the store and pick up waiting items, possibly skipping any lines or, at the least, cutting down on the amount of time needed to stand in a line."
December 27, 2007
Subway riders in Boston can use cell phones, text-messaging and e-mail on hand-held devices, thanks to a wireless system installed in the tunnels at four of the busiest stations, reports The Boston Globe.
[via ITBusiness Edge]
The Projection Telephone projects the number on the ceiling or the wall automatically, whenever a call comes in. And the power saving LED light can last about 100.000 hours.
The Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, will continue to lead the growth of mobile messaging worldwide next year, according to a research study released by Gartner.
"The analyst house estimates the 1.5 trillion messages sent by the region's subscribers this year will grow to 1.7 trillion in 2008, making up the bulk of messages measured across "major markets worldwide" including North America and Western Europe.
North America is expected to send 189 billion messages by the end of 2007, a number that is forecast to reach 301 billion in 2008.
Western Europe will send a total of 202 billion mobile messages by end-2007, and is projected to send 215 billion next year, according to the Gartner figures."
[via ZDNet Asia]
A new book claims to have definitive evidence of a long-suspected technological crime - that Alexander Graham Bell stole ideas for the telephone from a rival, Elisha Gray. Physorg.com.
" In "The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret," journalist Seth Shulman argues that Bell - aided by aggressive lawyers and a corrupt patent examiner - got an improper peek at patent documents Gray had filed, and that Bell was erroneously credited with filing first.
Shipment volume of the China's mobile phone industry is expected to increase 6.9% sequentially to 179.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2007, with its share reaching 50.7% of the world's total in 2007, up from 48.1% in 2006, according to Taiwan's Market Intelligence Center (MIC). [via Tech-On!]
December 26, 2007
The three largest mobile phone service providers in the country said more than 62 million messages were sent on December 24 and 25 - five million more than in 2006.
Spotted on intomobile, a (fake) Mercedes-Benz branded cell phone. From China, of all places.
"Junkie Blake Fielder-Civil, 25, is hiding a mobile in his cell while on remand for alleged trial rigging.
Sources claim he has been using it to call and text troubled singer Amy, 24, and music industry associates.
... Fielder-Civil is awaiting trial, with another man, for assaulting barman James King in Hoxton, North London, and then offering him £200,000 ($396.000) to change his story."
Korea is preparing a new rule that will allow landline phone customers to switch to Internet-based telephone carriers without changing their phone numbers, officials said Wednesday. Korea.net reports.
"The new rule will be a boon for consumers, but could cause severe damage to traditional telephone companies such as KT Corp.
The government plans to introduce the "number portability" rule for landline and Internet telephony customers in the first half of next year, officials said."
India added a record 8.3 million wireless users in November, taking the total subscriber base to 225.5 million, the telecoms regulator said.
... Including fixed-line users, total telephone subscriber base grew to 264.8 million by November, 8.2 million more than the previous month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement late on Monday.
Ian Simpson, 29, was sent a bill for £27,322 ($54.129) for four weeks' service after wiring his mobile up to a laptop to download TV shows - and only then found out his £41.50-a-month deal didn't include unlimited web use. The Mirror reports. [via Techmeme]
"Last night the factory worker, from Darlington, Yorks, said he feared he could be made bankrupt.
... "The intensity of Ian's downloading was such that by the time our systems flagged anything up he had already racked up a massive bill" said Vodafone.
"Our advice would be to never use a mobile as a modem. We will try to come to some sympathetic arrangement. And we hope he won't make the same mistake again."
Just recently: - Canadian gets $85k mobile phone bill
December 25, 2007
Japan's top mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo will join with Internet search engine Google to provide Internet search and e-mail services on the company's handsets, news reports said Tuesday.
According to UK's Daily Mail amid growing fears that listeners could cause irreversible damage to their hearing - the highest setting is as loud as a chainsaw - Apple is developing an automatic volume control.
"A new patent reveals that the next iPods and iPhones could automatically calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level.
The device will also calculate the amount of "quiet time" between when the iPod is turned off and when it is restarted, allowing the volume to be increased again to a safe level.
The patent states: "Since the damaging effect on users' hearing is both gradual and cumulative, even those users who are concerned about hearing loss may not behave in a manner that would limit or minimise such damaging effects."
According to Investor's Business Daily, Israel's wireless penetration rate is 117%.
"If that sounds impossible, well, that's because people with more than one wireless device get double counted. Analysts estimate that about 80% of Israelis have at least one mobile phone."
According to a report by the Ministry of Information Industry, by the end of November, the number of China's mobile phone users had increased by 78.3 million compared with the number at the end of last year.
There are 7.1 million more users each month and now a total of 539 million mobile phone users.
Text messaging increased to 535.1 billion by late November - 37.5 percent more than in the same period last year.
Mobile phone access has reached 39.9 percent.
[via People's Daily Online]
December 24, 2007
December 23, 2007
A New Zealand student, who sends up to 100 text messages a day on her mobile phone, has been diagnosed with the country's first known case of text-messager's thumb. The Brisbane Times reports.
"The 20-year-old has texting tenosynovitis, an inflammation of the tendons in the thumb caused by constant text messaging.
There have been only two other reported cases of the ailment - a school-aged child in Singapore and a 13 year-old girl in Australia."
Links to related Text injuries.
While charging our mobile phones is the least of our concerns, there is a small village in India where people have to walk about 20 kilometers every single day just to charge their mobile phones. Mobile Weblog reports.
"What is more interesting in this news covered IBNLive is the popularity of mobile phones despite the absence of electricity. Talk about mobile revolution at its finest.
For more than 50 years this village named Karaj in the Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh has no electricity and no decent roads, causing many people to get sick during the monsoons. Mobile phones have given the people in this powerless village entertainment and power to connect with their family and close friends."
Related: - Romania. Five mile walk to recharge phones