Archives for September 2008
September 30, 2008
A group of IT and mobile companies have united behind aGSMA-led initiative to create a new category of always-connected Mobile Broadband devices, which the GSMA says will offer a technical alternative to Wi-Fi services. Cellular News reports.
"In the first phase of this initiative, mobile operators, PC manufacturers and chipset providers are uniting to pre-install Mobile Broadband into a range of notebook PCs that will be ready to switch on and surf straight out of the box in 91 countries across the world.
To support this initiative, the GSMA has created the Mobile Broadband service mark, a "sticky label" which will help consumers identify the array of 'ready to run' Mobile Broadband devices."
A recent survey, conducted by Artificial Life, of U.S. cell phone users revealed that 46 percent use their devices for entertainment purposes, illustrating evolution of the cell phone as a prominent business tool to a must-have, multi-purpose consumer gadget. [via Cellular News]
"The survey of 200 respondents shows 87.5 percent of those who own smartphones access entertainment content, such as music, games and video. In addition, 33 percent of individuals use their phone for entertainment over any other purpose, including email, GPS and Internet browsing. "
Spotted on Trendhunter among other gadgets, a cell phone replica made of meat. Really.
One of New Scientist's featured patents this week is a wireless cellphone headsets that recharges itself - not with batteries - but by a person nodding his head while wearing it.
"US manufacturer Plantronics, in Santa Cruz, California, has designed a way to use the movement of a person's head to recharge the headset battery."
... The company says the device should allow more or less non-stop talking without using cables."
SMS was Western Europe's biggest mobile data services revenue generator in 2007 raking in 16.42 billion, writes Moco News, but operators are keen to push MMS and mobile instant messaging, as SMS revenues begin to decline.
"According to research group Frost and Sullivan, SMS revenues have already begun falling, and will continue to drop 2.9 percent from 2007-2011, bringing in 14.59 billion in revenue.
In comparison, MMS and other data applications generated 7.40 billion in revenues in 2007, but is predicted to grow to 24.28 billion in 2011. The growth, though, will depend on whether European operators can resolve interconnectivity issues, as well as cutting MMS charges."
This Fujitsu device shown at CEATEC lets you to separate your screen and touchscreen keypad in whatever configuration you like. Both parts can be used separately or stuck together by magnets, and where you stick the screen on the keypad determines what the touchscreen shows.
Following last week’s unveiling of the first Android-based mobile phone from HTC, the G1, reports are now emerging about Motorola adopting the mobile operating system and other rumors suggest Nokia may not be too far behind.
[via tom's hardware]
September 29, 2008
A study which combed over 160 Blackberrys revealed that many of them still had sensitive information such as financial, banking, and corporate details still on them.
Based on what they could dig up, the researchers could figure out who the employer and previous owner were on a quarter of the devices, while while the data on 43% of the devices could threaten the companies in question.
Spotted on Gizmodo, iphone coasters. How cool is that?
Keeping track of your carbon footprint could become as simple as slipping a mobile phone in your pocket: a London-based start-up company has developed software for mobile phones that uses global positioning satellites to work out automatically whether you are walking, driving or flying and then calculate your impact on the environment. The Guardian reports.
"Carbon Diem's inventors claim that, by using GPS to measure the speed and pattern of movement, their algorithm can identify the mode of transport being used. It can therefore calculate the amount of carbon dioxide that a journey has emitted into the atmosphere – without any need for input from the traveller.
The system's inventor, Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student of the Royal College of Art in London and chief executive of theCarbon DiemCarbon Hero company, said that is the world's first automated carbon calculator. "
Vodafone UK is offering in-store charging for your cell phone - for a small fee (£1 ($1.80) for 30 minutes of charging, or £2 ($3.60) for 90 minutes)
Dubbed ChargeBox, it’s a secure place to re-juice your phone, MP3 player or portable games console, in-store at Vodafone shops all over the country.
September 27, 2008
Distributing chips in cell phones may be more effective than expensive radiation detectors. Newsweek reports.
"... Technologists at Purdue University is designing a detection system that's so small it could fit into cell phones. The project, known as Distributed Nuclear Detection by Ubiquitous Cell Phone, would help locate dirty bombs or nuclear weapons by "triangulating" the source of radiation when people carrying mobile phones pass by.
The greater the number of equipped cell phones, the greater the precision: phones closest to radioactive material would register stronger signals. The Purdue project and others like it represent a "major shift" in combating radiation terrorism, says Rita Colwell, a former director of the National Science Foundation and now a professor at the University of Maryland.
... The Purdue team is lobbying Congress to require cell-phone users and telecoms, which will have to collect the data, to participate. Yet legislation mandating participation may not be necessary."
lmost two-thirds of the world's population will have a mobile phone by the end of the year, according to the head of the UN's telecoms agency.
Hamadoun Touré, secretary general of the International Telecom Union (ITU), said he expects the number of mobile phone users to exceed 4bn, or 61 percent of the world's 6.7bn inhabitants, in December.
[via The Telegraph]
September 26, 2008
Visa unveiled several partnerships on Thursday to move payment processing from the PC to the mobile phone, reports PCMag.
"Visa said a partnership with Nokia would allow consumers to make payments with next year's Nokia 6212 Classic and other next-generation Nokia phones. Visa will also develop an application with Google's Android platform that will allow mobile payments, as well as deliver financial information to Android-based phone owners who also hold Chase Visa cards.
Visa also said that it would launch a trial with U.S. Bank and up to 6,000 cardholders to allow secure funds transfers to other Visa cardholders via mobile phones and PDAs. Finally, the credit merchant said that it was expanding its ReadyLink pre-paid service. "
Japan's best-known Buddhist nun is reaching out to a new audience by writing a mobile phone novel at the age of 86. Reuters reports.
Jakucho Setouchi, a prolific writer and translator of 11th century epic romance "The Tale of Genji," is latching on to a publishing revolution -- short works of fiction distributed piecemeal by cellphone often become best-sellers in book form.
"At this age, there are few things that interest me. But it was the first time I had written a cellphone novel, and it was exciting," Setouchi was quoted by a local newspaper as saying.
The story, entitled "Tomorrow's Rainbow," is about a high-school girl who is deeply hurt by her parents' divorce, but finds the love of her life in a boy named Hikaru."
When the first, first-generation iPhone launched, Jose Trujillo sued Apple over the fact that the handset has a non-removable battery. That lawsuit has now been dismissed.
"U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly said in his opinion, "Apple disclosed on the outside of the iPhone package that the [battery has] limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by [an] Apple service provider."
"Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred."
At midnight Thursday, Twitter launched election.twitter.com, the first specialized section of its site. Like Twitter’s main service, it is dominated by a big white box. But instead of typing an answer to “What are you doing?” the election site asks “What do you think?”
Below that box is a constantly scrolling display of the thoughts (called “tweets” in Twitterspeak) of other Twitter users. These include all the tweets entered on the election page as well as those entered in any other part of the service with obvious election-related phrases, such as “Palin.” Read more...
September 25, 2008
In the same week Google unveiled a cellphone tied globally to Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile network, a patent application suggests it is planning to rid users of the need to choose a single network at all. NewScientist reports.
"The patent describes a system where instead of always connecting to one network, a phone, laptop or other wireless device invites all available networks to bid for your business. The US patent application was filed in March 2007 and published today."
Gizmodo reports that California is joining seven other states and Washington DC by imposing a full-on ban of text messaging while driving.
The bill signed by the Governator himself imposes a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for repeat offenders starting next year.
September 24, 2008
New technology allowing customers of UK banks to manage their accounts through their mobile phone is being introduced, reports the BBC.
"Lloyds TSB will next month be the first to allow customers to transfer funds between accounts within the same bank via their mobile.
The software already exists which would allow people to make payments to other people's accounts, but the banks have chosen to bring in this system slowly.
... The system, run by a mobile money network called Monilink, also allows parents to top up the credit on their children's pay-as-you-go mobile phones via their own.
A text alert service for when customers are within £50 of their balance limit is also in place.
This new development will allow consumers to download some simple software to phones with internet access and a colour screen. They will then enter a six-digit security code before they can view their balance or transfer money between their own Lloyds TSB accounts. "
Research conducted in two Finnish universities, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Helsinki, resulted in the development of a brand-new technology for screening and even diagnosing sleep disorders. The first application of the new technology, a smart alarm clock for mobile phones, HappyWakeUp, is now available.
The alarm time is set normally with the mobile phone. The mobile phone is located beneath the pillow or the bed linen or near the sleeping subject.
In their own words:
HappyWakeUp is based on medical research of the human sleep and its structure. It smartly monitors your sleep using the microphone of the mobile phone. It gives you an alarm signal in the morning - but only if you are awake or almost awake just before the final wakeup time. At this kind of moment your body and brain is ready to wake up naturally and without any extra stress.
Read more in Science Daily.
Sharp and DoCoMo have developed a mobile phone which can also work as an electronic key for Nissan Motor cars. The phone will incorporate Nissan's Intelligent Key system, already a standard feature in various Nissan vehicles. Cellular News reports.
"Nissan's Intelligent Key system, installed in more than 950,000 units of various Nissan models since 2002, employs two-way wireless communications technology to automatically unlock/lock the car door and start/stop the engine. Nissan and Sharp has now integrated these electronic intelligent-key, wireless communications and electromagnetic technologies into the new handset."
September 23, 2008
Latest headlines from around the Web:
In its native homeland, Finland, Nokia started a new campaign featuring a fictional newspaper with embedded videos, The Legends Telegraph, and also boldly announced its plans for the future of mobile usage.
It's plans for the future include eight 'elements' but Nokia also outlined the directions in research up to 2015, when it believes that their new technologies become available.
Read full article in Softpedia.
A line of baby clothes close to this blog's heart, Text Message Baby.
"According to a press release, Text Message Baby is a new online store offering hip and trendy baby clothes with an environmental conscience. Colorful onesies for baby are made of 100% organic cotton and are printed with the latest text messaging graphics. "
The mere question is controversial: Could your cell phone cause cancer?
Years of studies have yielded conflicting results, and there is no consensus among scientists about the degree of cancer risk, if any, cell phone use could cause.
In an effort to clear up the issue, this week Congress is asking some of the nation's top doctors and scientists to testify to their findings.
... Some experts believe that, much like tobacco, it could be decades before any long-term effects are identified.
Read full article on abcNEWS.
Spotted on Gizmodiva, a phone purse carried by Sex and The City Carrie Bradshaw.
The long-awaited HTC Dream, the first commercial handset running Google's Android operating system, will be coming to T-Mobile as the G1. [via
"Featuring a 3-inch touchscreen, internet navigation buttons and a full QWERTY keypad, the smartphone market has finally broken free of Symbian, Windows Mobile and the sweet clutches of fruit companies. "
According to Celullar News, the handset will be available from next month not just in the USA, but also in Europe.
"... Mobile customers in the U.S. have the opportunity to pre-order the T-Mobile G1, in limited quantities, beginning today. The device will be available at select T-Mobile retail stores and online in the U.S. beginning Oct. 22, for a price of $179 with a two-year voice and data agreement.
The T-Mobile G1 will also be available in the United Kingdom beginning in November, and across Europe in the first quarter of 2009. Countries include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands".
"For the second quarter of 2008, U.S. mobile subscribers sent and received on average 357 text messages per month, compared with making and receiving 204 phone calls a month, according to Nielsen. The new statistic is a clear indication that Americans have jumped onto the SMS text bandwagon.
In the first quarter of 2006, Americans sent and received 65 text messages per month. The number of messages sent and received today has increased 450 percent. But even though people are texting more, it doesn't mean that they've stopped talking on the phone. According to Nielsen, the number of phone calls that people make and receive each month has remained relatively flat over the past two years."
September 22, 2008
A first-of-its-kind settlement over text message-based spam could give you $150 for filling out a simple form reports The Insquisitr.
"Boot-maker Timberland has agreed to hand out the sum to everyone who received an unsolicited text from the company between January 1, 2003 and August 1 of this year — or at least claims to have received one.
... The whole thing is the result of a class-action lawsuit saying the company violated the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending the unsolicited messages. A court still has to approve the settlement, but if it goes through, everyone who signs up now will eventually see the cash. Timberland has set aside a total of $7 million for the payments. The settlement only affects U.S. customers."