Archives for March 2008

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March 31, 2008

Report Says Apple's 3G iPhone Will Debut in May

The much-awaited iPhone with 3G is coming in May, according to a report by the Bank of America.

Both Apple and AT&T, its exclusive carrier partner in the U.S., have said a higher-speed version of the popular device is coming, but they haven't set a date.

The BOA's research report was authored by analyst Scott Craig and cited Friday by the Reuters news service.

[via NewsFactor Network]

emily | 10:25 PM | permalink

Western Union, RadioShack To Offer Mobile Money Transfers

westernunion.gif

Western Union is teaming up with Radio Shack and a small wireless company to offer a service that lets people transfer money and pay bills through pre-paid cellphones. The Wall Street Journal reports.

"The service is aimed at immigrants in the U.S. who regularly send money to family members in their native countries. Many of these immigrants don't have bank accounts and send the money by taking cash to a money-transfer service such as Western Union or a host of other firms."

emily | 8:47 PM | permalink

Verizon: 20 billion texts sent in February

Verizon Wireless announced that its subscribers sent and received close to 20 billion text messages in the month of February, just eight months after the operator's first 10 billion-message month, June 2007.

[via FierceMobile]

emily | 8:41 PM | permalink

Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile demands Engadget Mobile discontinue using the color magenta

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Last week Deutsche Telekom, owners of the global T-Mobile brand, sent Engadget a a hand-delivered letter from their German legal department requesting the prompt discontinuation of the use of the color magenta on engadget:mobile. Really.

Wild.

emily | 8:29 PM | permalink

Flirting by Text Message, Indians Test Social Limits

Text messages have become an integral part of courtships in many countries. But SMS is proving particularly revolutionary in India, where it is paving a way for the young to maneuver around deep-rooted barriers to premarital mingling.

... Because many young Indians will marry only someone their parents approve of, and in some cases choose, much of this text messaging is recreational.

[via The New York Times]

emily | 9:42 AM | permalink

Hands Free Holder

iphone-naja-king.jpg

Hands free accessory.

Spotted on flickr by tuaw.com.

emily | 8:04 AM | permalink

March 30, 2008

24ct gold iphone with red grain leather

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Goldstriker's 24ct gold iphone with luxury red grain leather by their chief designer Stuart Hughes. Beautiful.

It will be priced at approximately $1,800 and will be limited to 250 pieces. Other colors will be available such as ivory,black etc. Available from the end of April 2008.

[via Goldstriker e-mail press release]

emily | 4:03 PM | permalink

NY City City Subpoenas Creator of Textmob

30TEXT.190.jpg Tad Hirsch, the creator of a mass text-messaging system Txtmob used to aid protesters during the 2004 Republican National Convention is resisting releasing information on its users. The New York Times reports.

"Last month the New York City Law Department issued a subpoena to Tad Hirsch, a doctoral candidate at MIT who wrote the code that created TXTmob.

Lawyers representing the city in lawsuits filed by hundreds of people arrested during the convention asked Mr. Hirsch to hand over voluminous records revealing the content of messages exchanged on his service and identifying people who sent and received messages. Mr. Hirsch says that some of the subpoenaed material no longer exists and that he believes he has the right to keep other information secret.

“There’s a principle at stake here,” he said recently by telephone. “I think I have a moral responsibility to the people who use my service to protect their privacy.”

Links to related articles.

emily | 9:57 AM | permalink

March 29, 2008

Pressure mounts on Finland's foreign minister over SMS scandal

KanervaTukiainen.jpg According to the Herald Tribune, pressure is mounting on Finland's foreign minister to resign after he reportedly sent raunchy text messages to an erotic dancer, an unusual scandal in a country where politics and private lives traditionally are kept well apart.

"Ilkka Kanerva initially denied reports in a magazine that he had sent about 200 messages on his mobile phone to the dancer, Johanna Tukiainen. Then he apologized publicly, acknowledging he had sent some messages, but insisted they were all work-related.

Helsingin Sanomat reports that Hymy magazine has announced it will publish the content of some of the messages next week

Originally, Johanna Tukiainen's mobile phone and the text messages on it reached Hymy through a journalist acquaintance. The magazine still has the mobile phone.

Hymy paid Tukiainen a fee for the interview, but not for the publication of the SMS messages."

emily | 5:32 PM | permalink

Mexico gets the iPhone

mexico-sombrero4-01.gif Mexican media has reported that Apple has inked a deal with local operator, Telcel to launch the iPhone in the country this coming June.

Apple is also expected to launch the handset into several other Latin American countries, although the details have not been finalised yet.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 10:41 AM | permalink

KDDI cellphone model releases smoke on battery's short-circuiting

w42k4f.jpg KDDI Corp. called on users of its W42K cellphone model to apply caution Friday, saying some battery packs of the cellphone may short-circuit, generating smoke and blowing up.

The mobile phone service provider, known for its ''au'' brand, said it received 13 complaints from users of the cellphone manufactured by Kyocera Corp., including a user who reported suffering a burn injury.

A total of 214,000 units of the W42K model are currently being used nationwide, it said.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 10:36 AM | permalink

Insight on blogging moguls

Two fascinating and insightful articles about blogging moguls:

rafatali.jpeg michaelarrington.jpeg PaidContent vs. TechCrunch: Two Visions of Blogging’s Future (NY Times Bits)

There’s no love lost between Rafat Ali (leflt), the founder of PaidContent, and Michael Arrington (right), who runs TechCrunch. Both forceful, sharp-tongued, quick-tempered and plugged in, and both have built successful technology blogging ventures. So it’s no surprise that there is more than a little sparring between them.

brianlam.jpegryanblock.jpeg Gear Blog Rivals Engadget and Gizmodo Turn the Competition Up to 11 (Wired)

In the world of gadget blogs, where the stakes are as high as the readership figures, Engadget and Gizmodo are two of the most popular blogs in the world and like a couple of rival hometown newspapers with their competition developing into a full-blown feud, complete with charges of malfeasance and sabotage.

Pictured left, Brian Lam (Editor in Chief Gizmodo), right, Ryan Block (Editor in Chief Engadget)

emily | 9:16 AM | permalink

Handwriting recognition for the iPhone?

Spotted on engadget:mobile, a "Handwriting Engineer" job description posted by Apple.

"The recognition technology you create may extend beyond Mac OS X to other applications and the iPhone."

emily | 9:05 AM | permalink

March 28, 2008

Cuba lifts curbs on mobile phones

ArtCastroImg2.jpg Cubans are to be allowed unrestricted access to mobile phones for the first time, in the latest reform announced under new President Raul Castro. The BBC reports.

"In a statement in official newspaper Granma, state telecom monopoly ETECSA said it would offer mobile services to the public in the next few days.

Some Cubans already own mobile phones, but they have had to acquire them via a third party, often foreigners.

Cuba's rate of cell phone usage remains among the lowest in Latin America.

Now Cubans will be able to subscribe to pre-paid mobile services under their own names, instead of going through foreigners or in some cases their work places. However, the new service must be paid for in foreign currency, which will restrict access to wealthier Cubans."

Related: - Cuba should expand cellular network - It's currently estimated that out of Cuba's population of 11 million, only 0.2 per cent have access to the cellular network. In effect, most of those are government officials."

emily | 6:09 PM | permalink

Instant disease diagnosis: via cellphone

Japanese cellular operator, NTT DoCoMo, claims to have demonstrated a 'molecular delivery system' that it one day hopes to incorporate into cellphones enabling instant remote diagnosis of the user's health and emotional state. [via IT WIre]

"The cellphone would be equipped with a 'biochip' - a fingertip-sized microchip for biological and chemical analysis that would be capable of extracting single molecules from the user's sweat, or blood and by analysing these identify a range of diseases, or simply the person's level of stress, anxiety or excitement.

The data generated from the biochip would be transmitted to a medical specialist over the cellular network. DoCoMo says the system could be used, for example, for remote health checks or preventive medicine."

emily | 10:06 AM | permalink

S Korean police seek to equip GPS system to cell phone users

gps_satellite.jpg South Korean police are pushing a controversial plan to have all new mobile phones equipped with a chip that can locate the user through satellite-based positioning technology, reports China View.

"The new proposal is submitted in a bid to combat the increasing incidence of kidnapping and other crimes against women and children, the police said.

The measure will risk infringing on the privacy of mobile users and raise the prices of cell phones, the Chosun Ilbo reported on Thursday.

In addition, the system does not work well indoors, where satellite signals are blocked."

Related: - Wireless carriers in the US are rolling out services for people-tracking, made possible by GPS. (WSJ)

emily | 8:49 AM | permalink

March 27, 2008

Verizon Wireless sued for game show contests

The lawsuit that began in early summer against Verizon Wireless for charging customers a premium for entry into TV promotional contests has entered the courts. Beta News reports.

"The class action suit states that Verizon Wireless' 99 cent charge to enter contests related to TV shows such as "Deal or No Deal," and "Sole Survivor" via text message are tantamount to illegal gambling.

While he games were free to enter online, since nothing was given in exchange for the 99 cent text message entrance fee, the contest violated what is known as the Standard Lottery Rule."

emily | 10:23 PM | permalink

Don't drive distracted, says distracting ad

distractions_5.jpg

Spotted on AdFreak, a billboard in Wisconsin (above) warning motorists not to get distracted while driving which is itself getting criticized for being too distracting.

Saatchi New Zealand recently did a more creative safe-driving billboard campaign (below), which showed a succession of family snapshots on roadside ads clustered closely together. “Don’t let your life flash before you,” said the final boards. “Slow down.”

Flash-before-your-eyes_upload.jpg

emily | 9:28 PM | permalink

When the only connections in bed are wireless

MSNBC on how laptops, smartphones and big-screen TVs are destroying sex.

"In the US, thirty-seven percent of laptop owners say they “frequently” use the computer in the bedroom

In Britain, eight of 10 people boot up a variety of high-tech gadgets before bedtime.

Almost one-quarter of UK respondents said they left their cell phones or smartphones on — using them as alarm clocks and one in three sends or receives text messages or e-mails while in bed. "

emily | 2:52 PM | permalink

Maoists shun gun for mobiles in Nepal poll campaign

nepal_maoists.jpg For 10 years, Nepal's Maoist guerrillas waged a bitter "people's war." Now they are waging an election battle -- with mobile phones. Reuters reports.

" With a peace deal in place and elections planned next month, Maoists say they have started using text messages to win voters after the election commission enforced a ban on putting up posters, banners and slogans in public places.

The Apr. 10 elections are a key part of the 2006 peace deal which ended a decade-long Maoist civil war that killed more than 13,000 people.

.. Maoist activist Deep Sikha said he had already sent about 5,000 text messages to prospective voters requesting for their support for his party. "Nepal now has about 2.5 million mobile connections among its 26 million people. SMS are being sent to voters by other members throughout the country," Sikha said."

emily | 11:55 AM | permalink

CBS News to launch smart mobile site

converter.jpeg CBS News is launching an improved mobile site that will recommend relevant headlines based on what people with similar tastes are clicking on.

CBS has partnered with a company called Aggregate Knowledge, which sifts through click-histories of every story on the site and looks at users in aggregate in order to find patterns in those clicks so that it can recommend the most relevant content.

[Press release via Cyberjournalist]

emily | 11:26 AM | permalink

Poor Americans Could Get $11 Billion Boost from Prepay Phones

Cell phones play a much bigger role in helping Americans get work, make money and respond in emergency situations than previously was thought to be the case, according to a report by Nicholas P. Sullivan, at MIT Media Lab .

The Sullivan report concludes that providing cell phones to the 38 percent of America's 45 million poorest households now without them -- including millions of seniors, Hispanics, African-Americans and rural residents -- could help them get work or make money worth $2.9 billion-$11 billion.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 10:21 AM | permalink

Motorola to split into 2 companies

26motorola550.jpg

Motorola said Wednesday it would split into two publicly traded entities to separate its money-losing handset division from its other businesses. The company's shares rose more than 10 percent, reports the IHT.

"Motorola has been losing handset market share and is now ranked third in the world. The two entities it plans to split into are Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions. The latter consists of its network equipment, enterprise and public safety businesses.

It said the creation of two companies would improve flexibility, increase management focus and provide more targeted investment opportunities for shareholders."

Related: - Motorola insider tells all about the fall of a technology icon (Engadget)

emily | 9:37 AM | permalink

Ten million 3G iPhones ordered by Apple?

The launch of a 3G iPhone looks more likely than ever, according to Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney who claims Apple has already placed an order for ten million of the second-generation handsets with an Asian manufacturer.

Dulaney cites sources in Asia, and suggested the order for ten million units of the new model was in addition to the ten million V1 iPhones Apple has ordered.

[via Computerworld]

emily | 9:29 AM | permalink

March 26, 2008

Cell Phone Shutdown Angers Afghans

xsd10108281206.hmedium.jpg Taliban attacks on telecom towers have prompted cell phone companies to shut down service across southern Afghanistan, angering a quarter million customers who have no other telephones, reports the Associated Press.

"Even some Taliban fighters now regret the disruptions and are demanding that service be restored by the companies.

The communication blackout follows a campaign by the Taliban, which said the U.S. and NATO were using the fighters' cell phone signals to track them at night and launch pinpoint attacks.

About 10 towers have been attacked since the warning late last month — seven of them seriously — causing almost $2 million in damage, the telecom ministry said. Afghanistan's four major mobile phone companies began cutting service across the south soon after.

The speed with which the companies acted shows how little influence the government has in remote areas and how just a few attacks can cripple a basic service and a booming, profitable industry. The shutdown could also stifle international investment in the country during a time of rising violence."

Links to related articles. mage from related article on MSNBC.

emily | 9:35 PM | permalink

Austrian chancellor's iPhone stirs up controversy

gusenbauer-iphone.jpg The Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) is calling for an investigation into chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer's use of an iPhone captured on camera at an EU summit one day ahead of its official Austrian release. engadget:mobile reports.

"It looks like the questions center around whether the phone was unlocked; if it was unlocked then whether it was legal or moral to do so; if it wasn't unlocked whether Gusenbauer was getting special treatment; and above all, whether the government footed the bill."

emily | 8:15 PM | permalink

Ofcom approved mobiles on aircraft

_44515725_mobiles-eyewire203.jpg The use of mobiles on planes flying in European airspace has been given approval by UK regulator Ofcom, reports the BBC.

"It has issued plans that will allow airlines to offer mobile services on UK-registered aircraft. The decision means that mobiles could be used once a plane has reached an altitude of 3,000m or more.

... The decision to offer the services now falls to individual airlines. However, there are other regulatory hurdles to overcome before the technology is considered to be fully approved.

The European Aviation Safety Agency needs to approve any hardware that would be installed in aircraft to ensure that it did not interfere with other flight systems. "

emily | 5:39 PM | permalink

A global perspective of the "texting gap"

always%2Bon.jpg Naomi S. Baron, author of Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World, is Professor of Linguistics at American University in Washington, DC., putting our concern about the "texting gap" into a global perspective on OupBlog via Ypulse.

"Viewed from the other side of the Atlantic, text messaging by adolescents in the United States seems reminiscent of the early days of desktop publishing. Once we reveled in experiments with point size, font style, and color. The results were often graphic disasters, as we failed to heed the Delphic warning, "Nothing in Excess." Gradually word processing became a workaday tool, and our documents calmed down.

In Europe, text messaging (generally known as SMS) first appeared in 1993, giving young people a decade more experience with the medium than their American counterparts. What is still often a toy in America, played on with youthful abandon, has settled into a pedestrian appliance elsewhere, particularly as teen mature into young adults."

emily | 11:24 AM | permalink

Studio Leung: Printable Offerings

printable_offerings.jpg

Studio Leung's new project Printable Offerings re-interprets the Chinese tradition of burning paper gifts for family and friends who have passed away.

These gifts are made of paper and come in many product types which are purchased in selected Chinese shops and supermarkets worldwide.

Printable Offerings aims to preserve this Chinese tradition with an updated selection of gifts,ready to be downloaded as PDF files, assembled and offered to loved ones who have passed away.

The selection ranges from the aspirational iPhone to quintessentially Hong Kong objects such as Tempo pocket tissues and the Octopus travel card.

[via Core77]

emily | 11:10 AM | permalink

Mobile phone with integrated defibrillator

defibfig1.gif defibfig2.gifIOL writers up a patent filed for a cell phone with a defibrillator feature which can convey electric shocks in case of a heart attack.

"This design for a mobile phone contains an integral defibrillator device that can be employed to administer an electric sock to a person experiencing cardiac distress.

The mobile phone is equipped with a cardiac module that is able to determine whether the victim's heartbeat has become irregular and whether defibrillation is necessary, once it has been set to defibrillator mode and placed facedown on the victim's chest.

The phone includes a GPS tracking unit that will provide the user's location and activate two-way wireless voice communication with emergency personnel when the defibrillator is activated.

Charged by a high density Lithium Ion battery of which the voltage is enhanced by a converter, two of the mobile phones' keypad buttons act as opposing electrodes that transmit an electric shock to the patient."

Download patent application (pdf)

emily | 10:51 AM | permalink

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