Archives for January 2008

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January 31, 2008

Nokia Facing Massive $17.7 Billion Patent Lawsuit

A German company, IP-Com has sued Nokia for US$17.7 billion over claimed patent infringements. Cellular News reports.

"The lawsuit was filed at the end of last year in Mannheim, but was only confirmed yesterday after it was revealed in the Handelsblatt newspaper.

IP-Com holds around 160 patents, and the lawsuit is understood to involve six families of patents related to mobile communications. It is not clear at this time which specific patents are in dispute, although they are known to be patents originally filed by Bosch."

emily | 6:42 PM | permalink

Snow In China Freezing Cell Phone Sales?

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The president of China's top handset maker, MediaTek, said today that the company's Q1 outlook remained "conservative" because of the US subprime mortgage crisis and "the winter storms in China that were preventing people from traveling home to visit their families, thus depressing sales of mobile phones bought as gifts," according to a story in Taipei Times.

[via The Raw Feed]

emily | 8:50 AM | permalink

Man called directory assistance 10,000 times

A 37-year-old Japanese man has been arrested after placing 10,000 calls to directory assistance. He did not need to get phone numbers, rather, he called because he enjoyed having the operators chide him.

According to News.com.au, his calls usually came late and sometimes exceeded 200 times a night.

[via boingboing]

emily | 8:45 AM | permalink

$94K Tiffany Phone Coming in February

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Tokyomango reports that Tiffany & Co. has teamed with Softbank Mobile Japan to launch a $94K Tiffany Phone in February. The handset will be covered with 400 diamonds totaling more than 20 carats.

[via News on Japan]

emily | 8:33 AM | permalink

US mayor shamed by phone scandal

The mayor of Detroit has issued a televised plea for forgiveness after he allegedly sent sexually explicit text messages to a top aide. The BBC reports.

Kwame Kilpatrick is being investigated over claims he lied under oath last year when he said he had not engaged in a physical relationship with Christine Beatty, his chief-of-staff. Sexually explicit text messages dating from 2002 and 2003 were found on Ms Beatty's mobile phone.

emily | 8:30 AM | permalink

Cell phone directory rings alarm bells

nc_cellphonedirect_080128.300w.jpg An online directory that claims to provide 90 million mobile telephone numbers is raising concerns among cell phone users and privacy advocates about unwanted callers who rack up the minutes on their calling plans and the difficulty of opting out of the list. MSNBC reports.

"The directory service, offered by Intelius Inc. charges $14.95 a pop for the numbers, which it says it collects from public sources, such as property records and other businesses. The owner of a number has no say in the matter.

Intelius claims that it has about half the mobile phones in the country in its database, which means a lot of searches come up as false negatives.

“Trolling the Internet, using data mining techniques and simply buying lists to create a directory are actions that clearly violate a consumer’s right to privacy,”Verizon Wireless said. “Verizon Wireless has long refused to release our customers’ numbers and we call on legislators and policy makers to ensure that what a consumer wants to be private stays that way.”

emily | 7:34 AM | permalink

T-Mobile faces class action suit on text messages

According to Electronista and RCRWireless News, T-Mobile USA is currently the target of a class action suit regarding customers that have no interest in text messaging but are still being charged for the service.

"... T-Mobile USA allegedly refuses to disable text messaging features on user accounts, while most other carriers – such as Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextell – offer their customers the ability to turn off the service if it is not desired."

emily | 7:29 AM | permalink

January 30, 2008

Turkey Dinner Telephone

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Spotted on Spluch a phone shaped like a turkey drumstick.

Why? comes to mind. Fortunately, Custom Phones provides the answer:

What will they think of next? TV personality Dick Wolfsie asked Mike to make this crazy phone for his Thanksgiving show.

Related: - Your very own uh, Hamburger Phone

emily | 7:56 PM | permalink

Continental to Add Wi-Fi, Satellite TV to Some Planes

continental.jpeg Continental Airlines said it will offer in-flight satellite television and Wi-Fi Internet access beginning in January 2009 through an agreement with LiveTV LLC, a unit of JetBlue Airways Corp. The WSJ reports.

"The Houston-based airline said the programming will be available on U.S. flights at every seat on next-generation aircraft. Satellite television will be free in first-class, and will be available to economy-class customers for a $6 fee.

In addition, Continental said LiveTV is testing Wi-Fi connectivity services that will allow access to email and instant messaging. LiveTV's Wi-Fi service would give customers the ability to use Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, BlackBerrys and laptops.

Unlike the satellite television service, Internet access will be free for all passengers, said Continental public-relations director Julie King."

emily | 6:11 PM | permalink

January 29, 2008

What's the actual cost of sending SMS messages?

"What's the actual cost of sending SMS messages?" This article does the math and concludes that, for example, sending an amount of data that would cost $1 from your ISP would cost over $61 million if you were to send it over SMS.

[via slashdot]

emily | 9:29 PM | permalink

Shake SMS: Shake it - Read it - Shake-it!

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Intomobile has a video demo of a new application called ShakeSMS that utilizes the accelerometer inside Nokia’s Nseries lineup to bring up your text messages in one easy motion.

In other words, when you get an SMS, take your phone and shake it and the text message will appear. Shake it again and the phone goes back to the home screen."

emily | 8:06 PM | permalink

Wireless Charging Cell Phones from MWg

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Singapore based MWg has announced that they will be launching cell phones that feature wireless charging sometime this year, teaming up with Splashpower.

[via Gizmo News]

emily | 9:35 AM | permalink

Airlines to Launch Mobile Phone Check-In Services

Air travelers in Korea can now use their mobile phones to check in for international flights, reports Digital Chosunilbo.

"Korean Air and Asiana Airlines said Monday that they will launch mobile check-in services in cooperation with SK Telecom.

Upon arriving at Incheon International Airport, they can issue their boarding pass using self-check-in machines by inputting a barcode downloaded to their phone and their passport number. Luggage must be checked at a separate counter."

emily | 9:31 AM | permalink

‘George Bush Lie Detector’ for cell phones

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I only picked up on this this morning - via SMS Text News so it's too late to try it out, but it was an innovative idea - funded by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

During last night's State of the Union adress, you could have turned your cell phone into a Bush Lie Detector by signing up for live fact checks.

By texting "facts" to shortdoce 30644, whenever the President told a lie during the State of the Union, you could have receiveed a text with the truth.

In their own words:

"In his final State of the Union address, he will lie and deny, wrap himself in the heroism of better, braver men and women who wear the uniform, and try to tell us the economy is strong and the occupation is a success.

While we focus on a better future, we can't let him rewrite history."

emily | 8:28 AM | permalink

Guiness Certifies the Worlds Most Luxurious Phone - $1.2 million "LeMillion"

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Goldvish has had one of their limited edition jewel phones certified by Guinness World Records as"the most expensive cell phone in the World".

The 18 k white gold phone is designed by Emmanuel Gueit and has 120 carats of diamonds. It's priced at $1.2 million.

[via TrendHunter Magazine]

emily | 8:10 AM | permalink

January 28, 2008

Liquid Flask Phone

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Spotted on The Gadget Blog, the Nec Flask Cell Phone powered by a liquid fuel cell that disappears as power is drained away.

emily | 4:29 PM | permalink

LG Phones to Appear in Hollywood Blockbuster

ironman.jpg LG Electronics has partnered with Paramount Pictures to showcase the Korean company's high-tech mobile phones in the upcoming Hollywood movie Iron Man. Digital Chosunilbo reports.

"Set to open before June, the action film based on a comic book tells the story of a weapons designer who builds a robotic suit of armor to battle evil.

In the movie, actor Robert Downey Jr. who plays Iron Man will use an LG mobile TV phone while his co-star Gwyneth Paltrow will use a touchscreen smartphone that was released in Europe last October.

"The futuristic film coupled with the phones' high-tech, innovative image will likely produce immense brand promotion effects," a senior official at LG's North American cell phone unit said. "

emily | 11:23 AM | permalink

Cell phone can read documents for blind

The next generation of computerized aids for the blind and visually impaired will be mobile, according to Associated Press, describing a smart phone that snaps a picture of a $10 bill and a few seconds later, the phone says, "Twenty dollars."

"The Nokia cell phone is loaded with software that turns text on photographed documents into speech .It also allows users to read anything that is photographed, whether it's a restaurant menu, a phone book or a fax.

While the technology is not new, the NFB and the software's developer say the cell phone is the first to incorporate the text-to-speech ability.

The inventor plans to begin marketing the cell phone in February through K-NFB Reading Technology. The software will cost $1,595 and the cell phone is expected to cost about $500, Kurzweil said.

emily | 10:46 AM | permalink

China's mobile network: a big brother surveillance tool?

Chinese_mobile_user.jpg Serious concerns were raised at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos last week about the ability of the Chinese Government to spy on the country's 500 million mobile phone users. ABCnet.au reports.

Wang Jianzhou, The head of China Mobile, China's biggest mobile phone company which has more than 300 million subscribers, stunned delegates by revealing that the company had unlimited access to the personal data of its customers and handed it over to Chinese security officials when demanded.

The admission, described as "bone-chilling" by US Congressman Ed Markey, sent shivers through an audience of telecom experts at WEF who immediately saw the potential for misuse and surveillance.

"We know who you are, but also where you are," said the CEO of China Mobile Communications Corporation, Wang Jianzhou, whose company adds six million new customers to its network each month and is already the biggest mobile group in the world by users.

He was explaining how the company could use the personal data of its customers to sell advertising and services to them based on knowledge of where they were and what they were doing.

When pressed about the privacy and security implications of this, he added: "We can access the information and see where someone is, but we never give this information away ... only if the security authorities ask for it."

emily | 10:29 AM | permalink

January 27, 2008

P-Per mobile concept phone

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Spotted on Yanko Design from the Chocolate Agency, the P-Per; a concept mobile phone to satisfy both environmentalists and tech nerds.

"The design consists of just 4 layers, a printed circuit board, extruded polycarbonate, recycled titanium, and a wrap around flexible haptic LED touchscreen. By minimizing materials, the design is highly sustainable.

The wrap around screen allows for endless user interface possibilities not to mention bezeless picture/movie taking and watching."

emily | 2:06 PM | permalink

Never answer a cell phone while it is being charged

thumb_.jpeg A cell phone safety tip: Never, ever answer a cell phone while it is being charged.

Specially if you live in Gahna - where I'm hoping this deathly accident occured because safety norms are different than where I live. ModernGhana.com reports.

"A few days ago, a person was recharging his cell phone at home. Just at that time a call Came in and he answered it with the instrument still connected to the outlet. After a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained and the young man was thrown to the ground with a heavy thud.

His parents rushed to the room only to find him unconscious, with a weak heartbeat and burnt fingers. He was rushed to the nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival."

emily | 12:47 PM | permalink

Deutsche Telekom says has sold 70,000 iPhones

German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom said on Saturday it had signed up 70,000 iPhone customers in the 11 weeks since November 9, 2007.

French operator France Telecom said on January 10 it had sold more than 70,000 iPhones since they arrived on November 28.

Apple Inc said on January 15 it had sold 4 million iPhones since the launch at the end of June.

[via Reuters]

emily | 12:43 PM | permalink

SMS from legend inspires Sharapova

20080126_anna.jpg Maria Sharapova powered her way to a first Australian Open title with an impressive straight sets victory over Ana Ivanovic - and revealed a text from legend Billie Jean King had inspired her to glory.

... A text from the great of the women’s game read: “champions take chances and pressure’s a privilege”. And Sharapova said: “I had those great words in my mind during the match.”

[via 7Days]

emily | 12:14 PM | permalink

January 26, 2008

Mobile phones and young brains

babyonmobile_wideweb__470x343%2C0.jpg Australian scientists are investigating if children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of radiation from mobile phones. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"A study of 110 adults at the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research, partly funded by the Federal Government, confirmed mobile phones cause a change in brain function by altering brainwaves known as alpha waves.

The centre, at Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology, is now investigating the effect on 40 children aged 12 to 13, and 20 people aged 55 to 75 years."

emily | 6:04 PM | permalink

Davos 08: what the future of mobile devices will bring

How many mobiles does a business person need? Two, at least, is the Davos answer: half the crowd at this afternoon's session on mobile technology had a phone and a BlackBerry. The boss of China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile phone company, had four phones in his pockets - down, he said, from his usual five.

Everyone wanted to know what the future of mobile devices would bring, including the people who make them.

According to Google's boss Eric Schmidt, there arethree big questions: technology, finance and content. ... The thing on the way that no one wants, except business, is mobile advertising.

[via Guardian blog commentisfree]

emily | 5:58 PM | permalink

The CulArt concept phone

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Spotted on Yanko Design The CulArt (pronounce Cool Art) concept phone designed Sby eungchan by Designer Seungchan.

Internally you have your typical smartphone design; touchscreen, camera, slim but the physical design differs greatly. First off you’ll notice the wood paneling, you know… to invoke the idea of trees. That’s the nature bit of the design.

The included bluetooth headset/remote uses a series of knobs to control the phone’s most basic functions. Clearly retro and clearly pre-80’s. Flip the phone around and you’ll find a rocky textured surface which prevents slippage and reminds you of how much you suck at rock climbing.

cul_art2.jpg

emily | 4:53 PM | permalink

Patent granted on smartphones, everyone sued

Patent-%26-Trademark-Office-Plaque%20M.jpg According to Engadget, the US patent office gave the go-ahead on a far-reaching, non-specific application filed for a "mobile entertainment and communication device".

So the holders of the aforementioned patent have just sued Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, AT&T, HP, Motorola, Helio, HTC, Sony Ericsson, UTStarcomm, and Samsung... amongst others.

And so eager was this company to sue, in fact, that legal papers were filed a day before the patent was granted, and subsequently had to re-submitted."

[via techdirt and slashdot]

emily | 4:37 PM | permalink

Do text messages disappear or are they permanently stored somewhere?

Do text messages disappear — like oral conversations — or are they permanently logged somewhere for potential retrieval — like e-mail usually is? A good question raised by the Associated Press.

"For standard consumer text-messaging technology, the answer is largely that they disappear. According to Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Erica Sevilla, "Unless you have something stored on your phone or on a recipients' phone, it does not stay on our network for a long period."

AT&T Inc. keeps text messages for up to 72 hours until delivery is successful, spokesman Howard Riefs said. "If a message can't be delivered, it is removed from the system and can't be retrieved."

emily | 10:23 AM | permalink

American Airlines Adds Services For Mobile Phones

amair.jpeg American Airlines this week introduced a mobile version of its Web site in hopes of improving the customer experience for its passengers.

Customers will be able to check in for flights and view itineraries on their mobile phones, check schedules, flight status, and get weather information at airports.

... The airline industry is increasingly embracing mobile technology to improve the way passengers travel and to speed up the check-in process in many cases."

[via TechWeb ]

emily | 9:56 AM | permalink

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