Archives for April 2008
April 30, 2008
As many as 60 per cent of handsets possessed by Chinese subscribers are clones rather than the real thing.
[via The Inquirer]
Lego Speakers for iPhone and iPod. Spotted on Coolest Gadgets.
April 29, 2008
Mobile Solutions introduced a new product today called SIMable that fools your cell phone into thinking it is unlocked.
Using its SIM card add-on, you can basically unlock it and use it on other networks without actually changing the software on the phone. Now if it only worked with the iPhone... Sadly, it doesn't.
electronista reports that "Nokia has just announced it will team up with ARC Transistance, the European automobile club network, to provide users of its phones with Real Time Traffic Information.
The service will be offered as an option with a subscription fee in Nokia Maps 2.0 and any newer Nokia software. "
Volkswagen knows that 73% of the people want to take the tiny soap and shampoo from hotel rooms. They also know that 60% of ice cream buyers prefer cones over cups. On an apparent quest to learn everything, Volkswagen's just-announced multi-faceted polling effort, known as It's what the people want, "...is a way of keeping in touch with what matters to people today," according to Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for VW of America.
German national carrier Lufthansa is trialling a new mobile boarding pass service on two of its domestic routes, reports Cheap Flights.
"People who fly with the airline from Hamburg to Munich or Frankfurt can now request an electronic boarding pass via email or SMS text message when they check-in online.
The pass contains all relevant flight data as well as a 2D barcode which will allow passengers who are only carrying hand luggage to proceed straight to the security checkpoint upon arrival.
Following an eight-week pilot scheme, Lufthansa will expand the service to most of its domestic routes before exploring the possibility of rolling it out to international connections."
Canada's largest telecom operator, Rogers, has announced a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone i(finally) to Canada. Nothing specific about a date though.
In a very brief statement, Ted Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Communications said "We're thrilled to announce that we have a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year. We can't tell you any more about it right now, but stay tuned."
Here in Switzerland, still no such announcement by any operator. On a personal level, Swisscom's (the most probable candidate) continued silence on the issue just makes me angry.
April 28, 2008
Australia has more cell phones than people, according to government statistics revealed Monday, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
"For the first time, there was more than one cell phone for every Australian in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported.
There were 21.26 million phones operating, a 7.6 percent increase on the previous year.
Australia's population at Sept. 30, 2007, was 21.1 million, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said."
Recent research by Orange has indicated that texting could soon become a thing of the past. Research by TNS of 17,000 people in 30 countries revealed that once users adopt mobile instant messaging services such as AIM and MSN Messenger on their mobile phones, they reduce their use of text messages. UTalkMarketing reports.
"Of every 100 messages - including texts, emails and picture messages - sent by users without mobile instant messaging from their mobile phone or computer, 38 are text messages. Once consumers start using mobile instant messaging, the number of texts falls to 23 per 100.
Matthew Kirk, who heads Orange's portals business, pointed out that older people tend to continue to use text messaging, and that currently the format is thriving, with Orange customers sending an average of more than 1.3bn text messages each month between November and January, up 21%."
In a recent survey, proportionally fewer cellphone users than in 2006 cited signal quality as their main reason for having switched to their current carrier, according to comScore, a research firm. And a larger proportion than before cited price as the deciding factor; that percentage crept up to 19 percent from 14 percent.
In other words, people are beginning to treat cellphone service as a commodity, its providers distinguished only by price.
[via The New York Times]
April 27, 2008
The new PODillow is here. The innovative face-down tanning and massage pillow is more than just a pillow. It includes 2 convenient pockets to store personal items like Mp3 players, cell phones, keys or wallet. Take the PODillow on vacation, to the beach, pool, or spa for an enhanced personalized experience.
[via Press release]
Thinking of throwing out your old cell phone? Think again. Maybe you should mine it first for gold, silver, copper and a host of other metals embedded in the electronics -- many of which are enjoying near-record prices. Reuters reports.
"It's called "urban mining," scavenging through the scrap metal in old electronic products in search of such gems as iridium and gold, and it is a growth industry around the world as metal prices skyrocket.
The materials recovered are reused in new electronics parts and the gold and other precious metals are melted down and sold as ingots to jewelers and investors as well as back to manufacturers who use gold in the circuit boards of mobile phones because gold conducts electricity even better than copper."
There are approximately 500,000 iPhone users in Russia -- a country where the phone is not officially for sale, according to Eldar Murtazin, head of analysis at Mobile Research Group in Moscow, citing data obtained from Russia's cellphone operators. The Washington Post reports.
"Russian people love anything that is forbidden," said Murtazin, adding that iPhone sales in Russia are the third-highest in the world, after the United States and China (where the phone also cannot be sold legally).
The phones are bought in bulk in the United States, and an 8-gigabyte model sells in Russia for at least $700, nearly twice the price in the United States. Still, the price of an iPhone in Russia has fallen dramatically since its launch in the United States last year, when they went on sale here for $1,800."
Picture from iLounge.
Designer Amanda Parkes' dress generates power when she moves. Shown at 2nd Skin: Imaginative Designs in Digital & Analog Clothing," a runway fashion show held at the Exploratorium in San Francisco's last Friday night.
Amanda Parkes' Piezing generates power using the natural gestures of the human body in motion. Around the joints of the elbows and hips of the garment is piezoelectric material that generates electricity in response to applied mechanical stress. The electricity is then stored as voltage in a centralized small battery and later can be discharged for use.
April 25, 2008
According to the Courrier International (in French), the Siberia police is experimenting with an unusual way to collect traffic fines.
Traffic violators have the choice to pay a fine, or, send 10 text messages to their friends, reminding them to be respectful of the rules of the road.
The "SMS fine" concept was one of the entries in a contest by high school students from the city of Krasnoïarsk.
Tennessee Republicans are raising the alarm about a new tax proposal they say the Bredesen administration is formulating, reports WDEF News 12.
"They say the Department of Revenue is considering a Digital Procuts/iPOD Tax.
An analysis by a Nashville law firm claims that it would make digital purchases of movies, music, news and entertainment programs, ringtones, and electronic books subject to the retail sales tax."
Digital Products/iPOD Tax. The Bill contains sweeping legislation that would subject downloaded sales of digital media, including music videos, motion pictures, news and entertainment programs, music, ringtones, electronic books, etc. to the retail sales tax. Under current law digitally delivered goods are not taxable unless delivered in a tangible form.
Allergy suffers have to fear more than pollen this spring, according to Todd Rosengart Chief Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stony Brook University Medical Hospital.
"The gadgets and gizmos that technology fans use on a daily basis like iPods, cell phones and other items can also be sources of allergic reaction. i4U reports.
Cell phones can affect users who are sensitive to metals and minerals used in manufacturing.
Nickel is called one of the leading causes of skin allergies and it is used in cell phone batteries and can lead to contact dermatitis of users.
Cell phones and iPod can cause allergic individuals to develop skin bumps or rashes after prolonged use."
Spotted on TrendHunter, new AT&T multi-cultural print campaign.
I thought that would get your attention, it certainly got mine. But it's only a catchy headline from IOL Technology. The article is just a skim-through cell phone function and behaviour roundup.
Over at LAist, editor Zach Behrens has posted a piece on artist Nick Rodrigues' mixed-media installation known as the "Porta Party." A giant-sized iPod-like box where you go inside, bring your own iPod or iPhone, and groove to your favorite music.
Cuba's telephone monopoly says 7,400 new cell phone accounts have been contracted in the 10 days since all Cubans were allowed to sign up for service.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of Cuba is 11.4m.
A cell phone contract costs about $120 to activate — half a year's wages on the average state salary.
[via Cellular News]
April 24, 2008
NTT has begun selling a device that transmits data across the surface of the human body and lets users communicate with electronic devices simply by touching them, the company announced on April 23. PinkTentacle reports.
"The new product, called “Firmo,” consists of a card-sized transmitter carried in the user’s pocket.
The card converts stored data into a weak AC electric field that extends across the body, and when the user touches a device or object embedded with a compatible receiver, the electric field is converted back into a data signal that can be read by the device.
... Firmo is based on NTT’s RedTacton human area network (HAN) technology, which is designed to allow convenient human-machine data exchange through natural physical contact — even through clothing, gloves and shoes."
Blyk, a mobile phone service that offers a number of free calls and text messages in return for users accepting advertisements, said on Thursday it had reached 100,000 clients in Britain after six months.
The concept FRAME TELE from Tao Ma is both a picture frame and a phone that shows pictures of your family or friends continuously on the screen.
When the phone rings, the frame can display a previously saved picture of whoever is calling or some pretty scenery instead. If you miss the call, the picture of the caller will show on the frame anyway and you can make a call just by touching the screen.
Apple on Wednesday offered its most in-depth explanation yet for the current shortage of iPhones for sale,Cellular News reports.
"... Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said Apple had expected a sharper seasonal decline in iPhone sales, especially in the U.S. But demand, especially in the U.S., was much more intense than Apple expected.
Customers bought multiple iPhones at Apple stores, then unlocked them and shipped them overseas or offered them for sale online.
The current iPhone shortages, called "stock-outs" by Apple, point out Apple's relative inexperience in the cell phone business. Apple introduced the iPhone, its first cell phone product, less than a year ago.
To date, Apple has sold about 5 million iPhones, according to various estimates."
"Diabetics can check their glucose levels via their phone, which will upload their readings to an online database that doctors could use to monitor the health of their patients. Patients can also track their statistics to learn more about their own bodies and how to stay healthy, and even receive text messages if they forget to test themselves. Those trying to get help losing weight can meanwhile track their progress via their phone and, presumably, get text messages telling them to put down that pastry."
Flickr slideshow of Lego Men unpacking and iPhone. Fun.
[via MIT Avertising Lab]
Some VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and mobile phone service providers are riding free when connecting to the traditional telephone network in the U.S., potentially costing carriers billions of dollars, according to testimony at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
According to Lawrence Sarjeant, vice president of federal legislative and regulatory affairs at Qwest Communications International, phantom traffic costs traditional carriers between $600 million and $2 billion a year. "Traditional telephone carriers have "made a lot of investments" in their networks and deserve to be compensated for traffic coming from outside the network", he said.