Archives for July 2008
July 31, 2008
As mobile operators start giving away devices other than cellphones, experts say, the industry is entering a new phase. The IHT reports.
"Like most other operators in Europe, Orange dangles a piece of free hardware in exchange for a two-year service contract. But this time, to win customers, Orange is including a laptop computer, not a mobile phone.
"As the European market gets more saturated, operators are looking at other drivers from a connection standpoint," said Carolina Milanesi, director of mobile devices at Gartner in London. "The laptop subsidies reflect the growing importance of mobile broadband to the business."
Land-line phone companies are wading into the tech-support business, seeing it as a way to hold onto customers while developing a new revenue stream. The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Land-line phone companies across the country are wading into the tech-support business, seeing it as a way to hold onto customers while developing a new revenue stream. As they have gotten deeper into selling Internet services, as part of bundled packages with TV and voice, technicians are often already in the house installing routers and other devices, making tech support a natural add-on."
July 30, 2008
UK Police are shaming hoax 999 callers and time-wasters on YouTube in an effort to cut down on non-emergency calls.
The new initiative is designed to track down the identity of the callers and prosecute them, with a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a £5,000 fine.
However, some of the videos are becoming popular for their comic value, with the video of a lady phoning police to ask what year the internet started already reaching over 58,000 views.
Among other clips is the dramatic tale of a man whose wife would only provide salmon sandwiches for lunch, and another worried soul who had lost her glasses and could not see properly to peel potatoes.
Yesterday, Dolby and LG have announced a partnership to develop LG phones with Dolby Mobile, a set of digital audio processing features designed to improve the audio performance and entertainment capabilities of multimedia phones. Mobile Weblog reports.
"... LG plans to include Dolby Mobile in phones bound for the global market this year which will feature:
Mobile Surround, which delivers a realistic surround sound experience using headphones
Sound Space Expander, which creates a wide, rich, and spacious soundstage suited to music
Natural Bass, which adds powerful boost and bass extension
Twittering and texting are the way to go in case of emergency, like Los Angeles' 5.4 earthquake which hit on Tuesday.
According to cnet news, landline and cellular phone networks were heavily congested as callers jammed the lines, creating frustration for some users who had difficulty getting calls through.
"If you're on a wireless network and you can't get a call through, often the texting network won't be as congested," said John Britton, an AT&T spokesman.
He also advised users to forgo making non-emergency calls when natural disasters strike, in order to free up network resources for emergency calls.
The earthquake not only created network congestion for AT&T callers, but for Verizon customers, too. "
Related: - As early as 2003, The CTIA, reminded all Americans in a press release, that text messaging can be a fast, efficient and reliable way to communicate in the event of an emergency. And, if more wireless users rely on text messaging in crisis situations, the people who need to make voice calls the most - emergency responders and 911 callers - can get through more easily.
July 29, 2008
Collaborating with the Mixed Reality Lab, Kelly made bonnet's fitted with a speaker and an extra 'ear' - a cone at the back of the bonnet that funnels sound to a microphone embedded in the fabric.
Signals are transmitted to a speaker in the bonnet of a partner user, via mobile telephone bluetooth.
Latest headlines from around the Web:
A 20-year-old Russian sent out four hundred death threats ("Death to Russian pigs and to you, freak!") to random phone numbers, according to Russia Today.
"Authorities tracked down the sender, who was in fact Russian, by tracing the phone number he had used. As Anton Shurubara explained to authorities upon his arrest, "I was just joking around. I wanted to see what people's reactions would be."
The court's reaction was that the mass text message amounted to racial hatred and a provocation to extremism, and placed him on one year of probation."
The latest data on mobile phone use in the UK has revealed a huge spike in text messaging and data-based communications, often at the expense of the conventional phone calls. ITPro reports.
"Nearly 1.5 billion (1,492,400,769) text messages were sent per week between January and May, 2008, according to the Mobile Data Association. Year-on-year growth for May 2007 to May 2008 was 30 per cent.
More than 10 million pictures and video messaging (MMS) were sent per week."
Two of Canada's cellphone giants face possible class action lawsuits in Quebec over controversial plans to charge customers for incoming text messages, reports mediacaster magazine.
"The suits claim both companies are acting illegally by unilaterally changing the terms of cellular contracts with their clients.
Customers will be charged 15 cents to receive incoming text messages, including uninvited spam messages, under proposed new plans.
Until now, incoming text messages have not been subject to charges.
Customers with a text messaging rate plan or bundle will not be affected by the new charges."
A text messaging service set up by the Italian government is helping its citizens to haggle on their high street. The BBC reports.
"... If Italians feel that their local food retailer is charging unreasonable prices, they can now call on a new service to help them haggle or walk away.
Thanks to a text messaging system set up jointly by the Italian agriculture ministry and consumer associations, shoppers can check the average price of different foods in northern, central and southern Italy.
The new system lets consumers type the name of the food product they want to price check into their mobile phone and send a free text message to a dedicated number.
After a few seconds you will receive an SMS that will tell you the different prices in the different areas of Italy."
July 28, 2008
Apparently, the course will be taught by one or more of the same Apple employees that teach a Cocoa Programming course on campus…
The FuChat is a cordless phone for the home that can make both Internet calls and regular calls. The FuChat is also an interactive tool that allows users to increase their emotional self-awareness.
... When the FuChat detects a change in the user’s tone of voice or body temperature, it will change the display, text, sound, lights, and color on the phone. Emotional self-awareness can help with business calls, personal calls, general awareness, or people with specific needs like anger management.
Designed to hang on door handles, walls or stand on desks.
August 2nd will be the grand opening of
Anyone can dial the Telemegaphone's phone number and have the sound of their voice projected out across the fjord, the valley and the village of Dale.
Your call to the Telemegaphone goes through directly, a bright light at the top of the pole is lit, and your voice rings out across the valley.
The installation is open for calls day and night until 6 September 2008.
"The Telemegaphone is a communication monument in a deliberate limbo between permanent public art installation and commercial phone service", says Erik Sandelin at
The Telemegaphone is the first product from
The phone number for Telemegaphone Dale will be published at
Telemegaphone Dale is curated by Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir and is the first in a series of events produced by nkd - the nordic artists' centre in dale to celebrate 10 years of creative activity 1998 - 2008.
[via e-mail press release]
Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now” Guy and The Network stalk a real person.
Adverblog reports on a new sales approach from Nokia that mixes charity and exclusivity.
"Face the task allows consumers to put their hands on an exclusive limited edition version of the Nokia N96 one month before the phone hits the market.
There are two ways to get it: either by taking part to a quiz and then entering a draw, or directly paying an amount of 759 Euros ($1,200) that will directly go into the dedicated WWF account for the Red Panda conservation."
Radovan Karadzic, 63, wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs and one of the most wanted men in the world since 1996 was finally caught in a suburb of Belgrade because of one careless phone call he made to his family. The Times Online reports.
"For nearly 13 years, Serbian and international security services had tapped the telephones of his family, relatives and friends and routinely raided their homes and took them in for questioning as part of a campaign to locate Europe’s most wanted man. That would have been no secret to Karadzic, who had a $5m bounty on his head.
He appears, however, to have become complacent after years in his new skin. At some time in June, according to two Serbian security sources, a telephone call from a mobile number in Belgrade was monitored on the tapped line of one of his relatives. The number was traced to a new age doctor, Dr Dragan David Dabic, living in a small rented apartment in New Belgrade. "
July 27, 2008
NECN reports that more than a quarter of Verizon's workforce, 65,000 workers are threatening to walk off the job if a new contract with healthcare cutbacks comes into effect after theirs expires August 2.
That could affect Verizon's cell phone and FIOS services.
According to 1010Wins, the last time the union walked off the job was in 2000.
They say they're ready to do it again when their contract expires this week.
Can't find an iPhone 3G? Check out TopMuffin's site site that checks Apple's store inventory every 15 minutes.
Apple updates the inventory throughout the day. TopMuffin's site parses the feed feed link and shows iPhone 3G availability by Apple Store.
A ten-kilo GSM mobile phone network developed by European researchers will allow rescue workers to set up communications just hours, or even minutes, after a man-made or natural catastrophe. It will mean more lives saved.
When disaster strikes communications are often one of the first infrastructures to go down. But it is exactly when effective communications are most desperately needed.
That problem may be a thing of the past thanks to achievements in the EU-funded WISECOM project. WISECOM stands for Wireless Infrastructure over Satellite for Emergency Communications, and the team behind the project has developed hardware and software allowing rescue workers to respond faster in the wake of a catastrophe.
The hardware can then link up to satellites to connect with the world mobile and landline networks, says Beriloli. “The system works anywhere there is satellite coverage, which is to say almost everywhere in the world,” says Matteo Beriloli, WISECOM’s coordinator.
July 26, 2008
AOL executive vice president Kevin Conroy issued a memo last week, stating that the company would be shedding a number of business units, including Bluestring, Xdrive, AOL Pictures, and MyMobile. PC Magazine reports.
"More pertinent to our own sphere are the number of blogs under the AOL umbrella that the company is looking to drop, including two long-time favorites, The Unofficial Apple Weblog and DownloadSquad.
Currently speculation in the blogosphere has AOL slimming itself down in an attempt to sell to someone like Microsoft."
An interesting post on mobile weblog on smart batteries from NTT DoCoMo.
"Researchers at NTT DoCoMo have completed development of an intelligent lithium-ion battery that monitors its own health (and charge status) and assembles reports that are accessible by users.
The information can then be called up to the handset by the user to see how the battery's feeling (and whether or not it's time for repaire or replacement).
The real benefit to the smart battery is that the information stays with the battery and not the handset, which means even if it is swapped out into another phone, the information will still be available."
Verve Wireless’s mission is to
Verve already powers mobile versions of 4,000 newspapers from 140 publishers, including the Associated Press, McClatchy, and the New York Times Regional Media Group.
The world of mobile internet devices is set to explode in the next four years says chip maker Intel.
Research carried out for the company suggests portable net-enabled devices will grow to 1.2 billion by 2012 as the need to be connected increases. The BBC reports.
"Intel's predictions were unveiled as it launched a series of chips designed for portable web-browsing gadgets.
Alongside an explosion in mobile web-using devices, Intel estimated that 100 million households will also be watching IPTV by 2011."
July 25, 2008
It was revealed at a Comic-Con Showtime panel that a Dexter iPhone game is coming. It will be about integrating texting, calling, and gesturing to play the game. To further intrigue/complicate/confuse the issue, he game will be arriving episodically.
Latest headlines from around the Web:
When a thief saw the opportunity to steal a mobile phone in a dark nightclub in a small African town, little could he have known that it belonged to Prince Harry on a charity trip to the tiny African kingdom of Lesotho. Daily Mail reports.
'When we eventually found the culprit it took quite some time to explain to him that he had stolen from the prince. To him Prince Harry was just one of those white guys said a source from the Lesotho Defence Force.
The prince decided not to press charges against the thief and was said to be relieved that his contacts list had not gone astray."
Sometime ago, LG found the perfect excuse to feature scantily-clad hotties, and that was to name its KF600 model the Bikini.
It’s a great plan actually, which gave the Korean manufacturer the perfect excuse to advertise the handset with beautiful women wearing not much more than their phones.
[via The Gadget Blog]
The small Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives has begun setting up a pioneering system which it hopes will make it one of the first countries whose citizens bank primarily using mobile phones, reports the BBC.
All the country's banks have been brought together under a single system to allow the islands' residents to pay money in and out swiftly without the need to travel to the nearest branch - which could be many miles away.
The Maldives received a US$7.7m loan from the World Bank in April, allowing it to begin establishing m-banking. It was seen as an ideal place to start up, with a relatively high GDP and lots of people with mobile phones. "