Archives for April 2008

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April 24, 2008

Google introduces brand-image ads for phones

glemobadjpeg.jpeg Accoroding to Reuters, has introduced brand-image ads for mobile phones.

"The company said it had designed mobile images to look like standard graphical display ads for desktop computer Web pages, but made them smaller to fit on mobile phone screens.

The company said all mobile image ads are targeted according to the keywords users type into phones to search for information. The ads are priced on a cost-per-click basis, and must link to Web pages optimized to work on mobile phones.

Only one image ad is displayed on each mobile page, a move to that appears designed to limit clutter on small screens.

... Mobile image ads are available in 13 national markets: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the UK, and the United States, Google said."

emily | 7:39 AM | permalink

Republicans push for phone company immunity

Republican politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives failed last month to persuade Democratic leaders to back a spy law rewrite that would immunize telecommunications companies that cooperated with allegedly illegal government spying. Now they're trying to force the issue.

[via News Blog]

emily | 7:31 AM | permalink

April 23, 2008

Insects Use Plant Like a "Telephone"

resize.jpeg Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues from the Netherlands Institute for Ecology have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones. [via Cellular News]

"Subterranean insects issue chemical warning signals via the leaves of the plant. This way, aboveground insects are alerted that the plant is already 'occupied’.

Aboveground, leaf-eating insects prefer plants that have not yet been occupied by subterranean root-eating insects. Subterranean insects emit chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, which warn the aboveground insects about their presence. This messaging enables spatially-separated insects to avoid each other, so that they do not unintentionally compete for the same plant.

... The communication between subterranean and aboveground insects has only been studied in a few systems. It is still not clear how widespread this phenomenon is."

emily | 9:05 PM | permalink

Nokia Music Store France goes live

Nokia Conversations reports on the opening today of the French Nokia Music Store.

"The opening follows yesterday's launch of the Nokia Music Store in Australia and the recent launches earlier this month in Ireland and the Netherlands.

Over 2.5 million tracks will be available from EU1 each or EU10 ($1.59) per album. Users are also able to subscribe for EU10 ($15.89) per month to get unlimited access to the music of their choice.

Like the other stores, the French edition includes music from local artists. Local music makes up 60 per cent of the songs in the French 'Hit Parade'.

Free music will also be on offer to users every week to help new artists get discovered."

emily | 9:03 PM | permalink

Jeans with embedded keyboard

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Spotted on Yanko Design, jeans with an embedded keyboard. Hopefully it would be good for sending text messages too.

Designer: Erik De Nijs

emily | 3:08 PM | permalink

Court Upholds School Ban on Cell Phones

A ban on cellphones in the nation's largest school system was upheld Tuesday by a state appeals court. The WSJ reports.

"City lawyers argued that education officials had the right to make policy decisio -- "the kind government officials make all the time" -- about devices students are allowed to have at school.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division agreed. It said that nothing about the ban interferes with any of the rights claimed by the parents, nor does it prevent students and their parents from communicating before and after school.

New York has more than 1,400 schools and 1.1 million students.

"We are extremely disappointed", said Norman Siegel, a lawyer for the parents and students. "We strongly believe the ban is unconstitutional and illegal, and we will not rest until the prohibition is reversed."

emily | 8:04 AM | permalink

April 22, 2008

3G iPhone : flip-phone or slider-phone?

I missed this last Friday. Pocket-Lint picked it up:

Industry sources told Times Online that the device will have a "radically different" appearance to the current device, which has a 4.5 inch screen and slick, aluminium backing.

Among the possibilities are flip version, which would enable the screen to be larger, and a sliding model with a regular qwerty keyboard - as opposed to a touchscreen one.

emily | 9:30 PM | permalink

The Lucky Dragon Phone

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Spotted on Crave, a Lucky Dragon Phone.

"Designed to "generate auspicious energy every time you hold and use it", and "activates good chi every time you make or receive a phone call."

emily | 8:49 PM | permalink

Apple Considering 'Free' Access to iTunes Library

Apple is talking with the major record labels about a change in the iTunes Store business model that would give customers free access to the store's complete music library, according to The Financial Times. The catch is that consumers would pay a premium for Apple's iPod and iPhone devices.

[via Mobile tech Today]

emily | 4:16 PM | permalink

Apple Unveils Its First Store-in-store In Mainland China

bstby.gif Apple's first store-in-store in mainland China has been unveiled at the Best Buy store in Shanghai's Xuhui district. China TechNews reports.

"... The new store is known to be the only Apple Store-in-Store in mainland China. Occupying a total area of about 50 square meters, it displays more than 60 kinds of Apple computers and Apple brand accessories. Apple will send two technical consultants to the store to provide sales support for it.

Apple is also planning to soon open its own stores in China in Beijing. It has said that one store will be located in the city's Sanlitun area and the other will be in the Qianmen area."

Photo from ICSC.

emily | 10:54 AM | permalink

Apple files for universal iPhone instant messaging patent

According to Apple Insider, Apple has filed an application for a patent on a universal interface for real-time text chat services.

emily | 10:12 AM | permalink

Apple said to have signed landmark 3G iPhone deal for Italy

5846503s.jpg Apple Inc.'s next-generation iPhone will arrive in Italy in a matter of weeks under a landmark deal that will see handset sold through Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) without a contract and carrier lock, according to Repubblica.

Under the terms of the deal, TIM will reportedly receive a several month exclusive on sales of a 3G iPhone through its retail shops, which will be staffed with specialists who are trained to support iPhone customers and get the touch-screen handsets up and running on the carrier's 3G network.

[via Apple Insider]

emily | 9:51 AM | permalink

April 21, 2008

Calorie Count Mobile

About.com Health is launching Calorie Count Mobile, a free service that allows mobile users to receive nutritional data and ratings of more than 70,000 foods. [via Wireless Week]

"The mobile service is an extension of the company’s Website. It includes two parts: a WAP site and SMS. They complement each other, but About.com Calorie Counter directors found that some people are more comfortable using SMS than trying to access a mobile site. Information can be accessed by texting the word “food,” with the name of the food for which you want data, to 432584."

emily | 10:07 PM | permalink

U.S. Cell Phone Users Open to Texting Their Vote for President

democrat_and_republican_symbols.jpg A survey by Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) suggests that many teens and their parents across the U.S. would rather vote by text message on their cell phones in the next election rather than go to the polls.

According to the short survey, more than half of all Democrats, Republicans and Independents surveyed say that if allowed, they’d text in their Presidential vote.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 8:27 PM | permalink

House bill aims to ban new cell phone taxes

A bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives would ban new state or local takes on mobile phone services for a period of five years. Sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and five co-sponsors, the bill is known as the Cell Tax Fairness Act (HR 5793 )

[via News Blog]

emily | 4:07 PM | permalink

Penguins Sell Tickets via Cellphone Alerts

6-Penguinsfans-042108.jpg Several major marketers have found themselves stonewalled when it comes to measurable and effective uses for mobile technology, but . Advertising Age reports.

"Faced with persistently unsold tickets and a bevy of would-be attendees priced out of the action at area colleges, B>the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006 started sending news of available, severely discounted seats to college kids on the mornings of home games.

The messages noted how many tickets were unsold, letting students know if they needed to camp out all day to get one of a few available, or if tickets were ample enough that they'd be available at the booth just before the puck was dropped.

... Messages went out to 2,000 subscribers, and 1,800 replied for a shot at the signed puck within the first hour. "That response shows that we're tapping a fan base that's just rabid," said Michael Cahan, Vibes' director-sports and media.

emily | 10:07 AM | permalink

iPhone Sales in Europe Affected by Anticipated 3G Version

While consumers await with bated breath for the upcoming 3G iPhone, mobile operators such as the O2 and T-Mobile in Europe are facing possible unsold stock from its current batch of iPhones.

On the bright side, consumers are not only looking at a newer and faster iPhone, they might also get a bargain from slashed down prices on the current iPhones, so it's a win-win situation for the consumer group.

[via HardwareZone]

emily | 8:43 AM | permalink

April 20, 2008

iPhone custom color

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Custom color iPhones ordered from Colorwarepc.com. Eat your heart out Swisscom.

emily | 11:13 AM | permalink

April 19, 2008

Elektrobit Cellphone-like Satellite Phone

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Elektrobit's new PDA-style satellite phone concept is a sleek looking product which they promise will be cost competitive with regular cell phones. Features: Windows Mobile, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, VoIP, touch screen, voice control, 3MP camera and both HSDPA and satellite connectivity with the Terrestar satellite network (which has yet to be launched).

[via UberReview]

emily | 10:14 PM | permalink

Jewellery that fits your phone screen

gI_0_fameomobile.jpg UK based jewellery retailer Fameo announced the launch of the first British mobile jewellery catalogue, a new mobile service.

This alternate version of the Fameo Jewellery Boutique, headquartered in London, has been specially designed for viewing on your mobile phone. Updated daily and includes all Fameo jewellery catalogues, as well as some exclusive content, such as access to your order tracking facility and SMS alerts service for the latest jewellery arrivals, price changes, order status and special promotions.

[via Press release]

emily | 10:03 PM | permalink

Air France in-flight calling tests begin: not so great

That Air France in-flight calling trial is now well underway, and it looks like there's still some kinks left to iron out.

The New York Timess hitched a ride on a recent flight featuring tests of the system, and found that things weren't quite working up to snuff: voice quality was said to be like "talking to a small robot," only six passengers could get a signal at a time, Blackberry email didn't work, and calls placed from the ground to cell phones in the air went straight to voicemail.

[via engadget.mobile]

emily | 2:57 PM | permalink

Cell Phone Deep Fry

cellphonedeepfry.gif

At a deep frying fest, or a "Fry-Bar-B-Q" - apparently there is such a thing - Xeni Jardin on bbvTV wraps her Treo in bubble gum, has it deep fried and takes a bite. Then does the same thing with a bacon wrapped clam shell phone, then another Treo this time wrapped in cookie dough.

This is such a delicious phone. What a beautiful way to preserve memories. the wonderful memories of conversation...

Go figure. Lost in translation by me. Or the end of civilization as we know it.

emily | 2:32 PM | permalink

April 18, 2008

"Nerdic" is fastest growing language

diig_bait3.jpg The explosion of technology has created the fastest growing language in Europe, according to research published this week by PIXmania.com. Pocket-Lint reports.

"Dubbed "Nerdic", this new way of communicating via technological terminology has developed separately to English and become the shared language of Europe, allowing people to communicate without geographical boundary.

Nerdic is evolving faster than the English language, at a rate of more than 100 new words per year.

... From "dongle" to "Wi-Fi" 100 new words were added to the Nerdic vocabulary in the past 12 months­ - over three times more than the Oxford English Dictionary added to the official English language, with experts predicting that this figure will more than double in 2008. "

Image from Valleywag

emily | 10:05 PM | permalink

Samsung Patents Visual Gesture Control

Samsung has recently patented a system of cell phone and mobile device control which responds to a users gestures. It doesn't do this on the display as how the iPhone currently does, but as recognized in the space around the handset courtesy of the handset's front-mounted camera.

The pre-loaded software will recognize preset motions, translating them into on-screen control.

Check it out on Ubergizmo via Phonemag.

emily | 5:07 PM | permalink

NTT DoComo unveils new logo

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NTT DoCoMo unveils a new corporate logo.

emily | 1:47 PM | permalink

Movement grows for digital day of rest

mobile-widespread.jpg "Sharon Sarmiento knew it was time to unplug when she realised she was blogging in her dreams and hearing imaginary instant messages.

For Ariel Meadow Stallings, it was the hours lost while surfing the internet that left her feeling like she had been in a drunken blackout.

Both women are part of a new grass-roots movement in which tech geeks, internet addicts, Blackberry thumbers and compulsive IMers are deciding to wrest back control of their lives by daring to switch off - if only for a day." The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"... Some call it the "secular Sabbath." For others it is "unplugged day." In Quebec, Canada, professional computer developers Denis Bystrov and Ashutosh Rajekar are organising a global "Shutdown Day" in May.

Stallings, 33, a Seattle author, blogger and part-time marketing manager for Microsoft, made a resolution in January to spend "52 Nights Unplugged" this year.

In an ironic twist, she quickly spread the word through her blog 52nightsunplugged.ning.com and connected with thousands of people across the world who habitually text while driving, take their laptops to the bathroom, or check email during dinner.

"I thought it was just a problem that affected me and my geeky colleagues. But then I started hearing from Italians with similar issues, and Poles and Czechs, and I even got a query from someone in Colombia."

emily | 1:10 PM | permalink

iPhone to Launch in India in September

Apple is reportedly launching the iPhone in India with Vodafone in September, reports Ubergizmo.

"At an expected price of Rs 28,000 it would be more than six-times the average phone selling price, but there is without doubt a large audience that could afford it. The 8GB iPhone should land first, followed by higher capacity versions."

[via unwired view]

emily | 10:42 AM | permalink

Mobile Phone Banking In Maldives approved by World Bank

World Bank on Thursday approved a $7.7 million credit to the Maldives to improve financial services for banking by mobile phones, reports All Headline News.

"The mobile phone banking project will create a single currency payment system which offers a set of mobile telephone-based accounts," the World Bank said in a press statement.

The system will enable subscribers to transfer funds to and from bank accounts and to and from telephone-based accounts, according to the statement."

emily | 9:02 AM | permalink

Norwegians buy the most expensive and advanced mobile phones

Norwegians buy more expensive and advanced mobile phones than Swedes and Danes, and replace their mobile phones every other year on average.

[via The Norway Post]

emily | 8:58 AM | permalink

April 17, 2008

Chess Cheat Caught Using SMS to Get Tips During Match

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Cellular News reports that an Iranian chess player competing in the Dubai Open Chess tournament has been wxpelled after he was found receiving text messages on his mobile phone - with tips for his next move.

"M. Sadatnajafi, with an Elo rating of 2301 (near the bottom of the rankings) was caught using his mobile phone while playing against Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao.

When confronted after just 10 moves, he dropped his phone and investigations showed that it had received messages from someone in Iran in Farsi with instructions of what moves to make. It is thought that the unknown advisor was watching the game as it was broadcast live over the internet and then sending the tips."

There has actually been a precedent last year when an Indian chess player was banned for 10 years for cheating after he was caught using his mobile phone's wireless device to win games.

Image above is from the gallery on the tournament's website - the two chess players are not the ones mentioned in the above article. The Sheikh on the right looks like he may be Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, and the ruler of Dubai.

emily | 10:30 AM | permalink

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