Archives for November 2008

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November 28, 2008

Voice-to-Text Sermons

An Anglican Parish Church has joined with voice-to-text company SpinVox to change the way they reach their community: by delivering sermons directly to parishioners’ email inboxes, live. Trendhunter reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe world’s first voice-to-text Sunday service will take place Sunday November, 30th the first Advent. It will be given by the Reverend John Kronenberg, Vicar of Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey, at St Christopher’s Church.

As he delivers his sermon to the congregation seated in the Church, his words will be automatically converted by SpinVox and sent directly to subscribers’ inboxes, in a matter of moments. 100 members of St Christopher’s church will receive the sermon this Sunday. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:37 PM | permalink

Tweeting the terror: How social media reacted to Mumbai

_45244903_ambulance_afp466.jpg The minute news broke of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, India, social media sites like Twitter were inundated with a huge volume of messages. CNN reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWith more than 6 million members worldwide, an estimated 80 messages, or "tweets," were being sent to via SMS every five seconds, providing eyewitness accounts and updates.

Many Twitter users also sent pleas for blood donors to make their way to specific hospitals in Mumbai where doctors were faced with low stocks and rising casualties.

Others sent information about helplines and contact numbers for those who had friends and relatives caught up in the attacks. Tweeters were also mobilized to help with transcribing a list of the dead and injured from hospitals, which were quickly posted online. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Picture from the BBC

emily | 12:43 PM | permalink

November 27, 2008

Nokia to Pull out of Japanese Handset Market

For global economic reasons, Nokia is pulling out of Japan. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgNokia said on Thursday that it will stop developing handsets for NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile, effectively ending a push that began five years ago when Nokia re-entered the Japanese market with the launch of 3G services here.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:20 PM | permalink

Obama wants to hang on to his BlackBerry

obamablackberry.gif US president-elect Barack Obama is trying to work out how he can hang on to his beloved BlackBerry once he moves into to the Oval Office next year. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn an interview with Barbara Walters, Obama also said he was trying to keep his BlackBerry or find another way to "break through the isolation and the bubble that exists around the president".

... He said he was working with the Secret Service, lawyers and White House staff to find a solution.

"I'm negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House," he said.

"Because one of the worst things I think that could happen to a president is losing touch with what people are going through day to day."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related: - President 2.0

Twitter kills Canadian SMS updates. Can the U.S. be far behind?

Twitter is ending outbound SMS updates in Canada. In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgUnexpected changes in our billing have forced us into a difficult situation with our Canadian SMS service. We can’t afford to support this service given our current arrangement with our providers (where costs have been doubling for the past several months.) As a result, effective today we are no longer delivering outbound SMS over our Canadian shortcode (21212).quotesmarksleft.jpg

According to Venture Beat, now the U.S. and India remain as the only countries with full SMS support for Twitter.

emily | 7:56 AM | permalink

Kaite Couric on Text Message Romance

Watch CBS Videos Online

Katie Couric on text messaging romance for CBS News.

quotemarksright.jpgA new study by AT&T found those fingers are also doing the flirting and the romancing. Sixty-eight percent of the people surveyed said they have sent love notes. The most popular message was "thinking of you." Twenty-eight percent say they send them two or three times a day.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:50 AM | permalink

November 26, 2008

txtForward SMS To Email

header.jpg txtForward, software for the Blackberry and Windows Mobiles will automatically forward incoming text messages to an email address.

A new version of Electric Pocket's txtForward software tool enables users of Windows Mobile smartphones to automatically forward their text messages to any email address they specify. A BlackBerry version of txtForward was released this past Summer.


emily | 4:58 PM | permalink

Indians See Mobile Phones as a Necessity in Economic Crisis

India's mobile services market continues to be buoyant, despite the global economic slowdown that has hit the Indian economy. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIndian users see mobile communications as a necessity, and that is the reason why sales of connections to new subscribers are not slowing down despite the economic crisis, said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, on Wednesday.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 4:50 PM | permalink

iPhone Nano


Spotted by Techradar, an iPhone Nano in China.

emily | 4:44 PM | permalink

NY MTA launches cell phone transit delay alert service

An ambitious free e-mail and text-messaging system that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York launched yesterday will allow riders to stay informed about transit delays with "near-real-time" alerts on cell phones and handheld devices, MTA officials said.Newsday reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe new system has the capacity to send out 1 million text messages every five minutes, giving updates about delays on commuter-rail and subway lines and traffic congestion on the MTA's bridges and in the agency's tunnels.

Riders can visit the MTA's Web site at and sign up for the system, which allows them to tailor alerts to their specific commutes and choose the times during the day when they receive the messages.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 4:36 PM | permalink

Trying to Keep Cell Phones Out of Prison


A thorough article from TIME on inmates and cell phones around the world. Most of what is written has been posted over the years in this blog, but this is a great round-up in one place.

quotemarksright.jpgCell-phone access can mean chaos. Brazilian officials say cell phones are used to organize and plan widespread riots that are endemic to their crowded prisons; Canadian prosecutors said a notorious drug kingpin continued business behind bars using his cell phone; and a man awaiting trial on a homicide charge in Maryland has been accused of arranging via cell phone the murder of a key witness in the case. The examples go on and on, some bordering on the absurd. The mother of a prisoner in Texas even called authorities to complain about her son's bad cell-phone reception in jail.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 3:52 PM | permalink

Brits prefer to listen to music on mobile phones

Mobile phones are more popular than CD players when it comes to listening to music, says the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). PC Advisor reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to the ERA in the past two years, 44 million mobile phones that feature MP3 capability have been sold, compared to just 8 million CD players in the same period. The ERA also highlighted that between September 2007 and September 2008, 32.1 million MP3 devices were sold in the UK, 75 percent of which were mobile phones.

"Never in the history of the music business have we seen a format take off like this before. There is now no doubt that MP3 is the fastest-growing music format of all time, faster than vinyl, cassette or CD," said Russel Coultart, chairman of ERA Digital.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:08 AM | permalink

Scientists use mobile phones to eavesdrop on koala conversations

article-1089163-0096C37F000004B0-66_233x332.jpg According to the Mail Online, scientists are using mobile phones to eavesdrop on koalas in an attempt to translate what they are saying to each other.

quotemarksright.jpgThe researchers placed mobiles in the trees of a koala territory to record the marsupials' distinctive bellows.

They hope studying the animals' mysterious communications will reveal ways to help keep up population numbers, under threat from destruction of traditional habitats.

The mobiles, charged by solar power and car batteries, are programmed to record for two minutes every half hour on St Bees Island off north-east Australia, then transmit the recordings to a computer at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 10:00 AM | permalink

Vatican Warns That Mobile Phones Threaten the Soul

The Vatican has warned that mobile phones are bad for your soul. Cellular News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Pope's spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi warned in a weekly address that modern life is not leaving time for people to cultivate their spiritual dimension. Without a spiritual life "you will lose your soul" he said on the weekly Vatican TV program, Octavia Dies.

... In the age of the cell phone and the internet it is probably more difficult than before to protect silence and to nourish the interior dimension of life,” he observed. “It is difficult but necessary.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:57 AM | permalink

In-Flight Wi-Fi Aboard the Virgin Party Plane

154520-Virginwifi.jpg On a flight from San Francisco to San Francisco that seemed loosely based on the Snoop Dogg film Soul Plane, Virgin America demoed its Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi service this past weekend amid a cabin full of Web celebrities and PCWorld reporter Tim Moynihan.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Gogo wireless service, which Virgin America says will be deployed on all 25 planes in its fleet by mid-2009, uses a system developed by Aircell. A receiver on the underbelly of the plane connects to a network of cellular towers across the United States to establish an EV-DO Revision A broadband link.

In the cabin, passengers connect to this cellular broadband network on any Wi-Fi-enabled device. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Watch the PC World video of the giddy passengers or a live stream from YouTube.

emily | 9:41 AM | permalink

Apple made to drop iPhone advert

_45130062_226.jpg According to the BBC, an Apple iPhone advert has been banned by the advertising standards watchdog for exaggerating the phone's speed.

quotemarksright.jpgThe advert boasted the new 3G model was "really fast" and showed it loading internet pages in under a second.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints by 17 people who said the TV advert had misled them as to its speed.

Apple UK said it was comparing the 3G model with its 2G predecessor and its claims were "relative not absolute". quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:30 AM | permalink

Europe Nears Price Cap on Mobile Text Messaging

European Union telecommunications ministers are set to endorse on Thursday proposed price limits on cross-border text messaging and mobile Web surfing, according to a copy of the plan obtained by The International Herald Tribune.

[via The New York Times]

emily | 9:06 AM | permalink

November 25, 2008

TiVo Mobile

tivomob.gif Today, TiVo and mobile application development agency, Mobui, have announced the launch of TiVo Mobile!. This is a free mobile Web site that gives TiVo subscribers the power to schedule recordings directly to their TiVo box using their mobile phone.

It also gives TiVo subscribers and non-subscribers alike the ability to browse, search, and discover television shows, regardless of the mobile phone type, carrier, or mobile browser they use.

This is the first time that TiVo is offering a mobile DVR programming service subscription free and available for any phone with a mobile browser - including the iPhone and G1. For more information, including a link to TiVo's press release and an image of TiVo Mobile on an iPhone, please visit: Mobui.

emily | 3:35 PM | permalink

Cell Phone Gun Appears On FOX News


As reported on Fox News, an talian police officer recently seized a cell phone gun, which "can hold four bullets and is powerful enough to kill somebody."

[via TecheBlog]

emily | 3:30 PM | permalink

iPhone 2.2 Slows 3G, Drains More Juice

Softpedia reports that users are complaining that iPhone 2.2 slows 3G and drains battery power.

emily | 10:27 AM | permalink

Sonim Unveils the World’s Rugged All-Weather GSM Mobile Phone


Makers of the World’s “toughest” phone introduce an even more rugged – and now completely waterproof -- phone for people who work and play in demanding environments.

Sonim Technologies, makers of the award-winning Sonim XP1 today announces the latest addition to their Xtreme Performance Series, the Xtreme Performance 3 or sonim.XP3, the world’s only rugged “all weather” GSM mobile phone.

[via IT Backbones]

emily | 10:20 AM | permalink

Cell jammers still illegal, but may come to state prisons

Although rumors persist of their use in restaurants and movie theaters, the use of cell phone jamming equipment remains illegal in the US. Right now, the only permissible use is by federal law enforcement officials, but that may change if state prison officials in South Carolina and a manufacturer of jamming equipment have their way. Both would like to see state law enforcement get permission to use the jammers, which may push the technology a bit closer to the mainstream.

[via ars technica]

emily | 10:15 AM | permalink

Apple sued over tech that helps iPhone surf Web

According to stuff, Apple Inc is the target of a lawsuit that claims a technology the iPhone uses to surf the Web infringes on a patent filed by Los Angeles real estate developer Elliot Gottfurcht and two co-inventors.

quotemarksright.jpgThe lawsuit was filed by EMG Technology LLC on Monday in the US District Court in Tyler, Texas. EMG was founded by Gottfurcht, is based in Los Angeles with an office in Tyler, and has just one employee.

The suit alleges that the technology the iPhone uses to navigate and display some websites designed for small phone screens infringes on a patent obtained last month by Gottfurcht and his co-inventors and assigned to EMG.

Apple spokeswoman Susan Lundgren declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying that the Cupertino, California-based company does not discuss pending litigation.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:10 AM | permalink

Text Messaging Embroidery

smsembr2.jpg smsemb.jpg

The artist took 19 text messages (from separate conversations) about love and romantic relationships and embroidered them, complete with message icons and battery and reception meters. View complete gallery here.

[via Switched]

Other related projects on Text Messaging Embroidery

emily | 9:55 AM | permalink

November 24, 2008

iPhone Developer May Be Bribing Reviewers

An iPhone developer appears to have paid people to give its application glowing reviews in an effort to boost sales. Wired Blog reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... It's no surprise to see developers taking aim at the App Store, which has been a gold mine for coders thanks to the enormous population of iPhone users downloading applications. In September, independent developer Steve Demeter announced earning $250,000 in just two months with his iPhone game Trism. Many other programmers are reporting similar success.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Wired Blog]

emily | 6:10 PM | permalink

November 22, 2008

President 2.0


Much has been written this week about President-elect Barack Obama having to give up his Blackberry once he's president. He doesn't have to, but Newsweek explains why he should.

quotemarksright.jpgStatutes say that any official correspondence from the president becomes property of the office, not the man in it. The rules were drafted at a time when the president's sole communication was on paper, and there wasn't that much of it.

But now, with things like e-mail and instant messaging, the most mundane messages from or to Obama would become government property, and much of it would eventually be accessible to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

For this reason, Obama earlier this month started to wean himself from his BlackBerry. If he wanted to, he could choose to keep it. But if he did, he'd have to acknowledge that a historian decades from now could study just how much time the president spent bantering with pals or gushing about the White Sox.

"He'll be restricted by how much information about him will become public property," says Lawrence Lessig, founder of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford. "This is an area where the statutes are far out of date for the current technology."

Security officials also worry about Obama using the device for official business, fearing a hacker could gain access to internal deliberations.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:27 PM | permalink

Becker gets dumped by girlfriend with text messages

Heartbroken Boris Becker has revealed to the German tabloid press that his 25-year-old girlfriend dumped him with five text messages less than a month ago. The 40-year-old three-time Wimbledon champion told Bild that the blow "trampled on my soul."

[via Tennis Talk]

emily | 7:16 PM | permalink

TerriblyClever launches iPhone applications targeting universities


quotemarksright.jpgThe Industry Standard reports on a start-up called TerriblyClever which is creating iPhone applications specifically for universities and their students.

TerriblyClever piloted its first five applications less then two months ago, in partnership with Stanford University. The set of applications, called iStanford, is available for free on iTunes. It includes a university directory, maps, real-time information about school sports, and a course directory.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:12 PM | permalink

Which is the Most Recycled Phone?

According to ReCellular, the Nokia 6010 and the Motorola RAZR V3 have topped one electronics recycling firm's list of the most-recycled cell phones in 2008.

quotemarksright.jpg...ReCellular CEO Chuck Newman says that the prevalence of such recent models shows how quickly consumers discard their old electronic devices in favor of newer, faster models.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via PC World]

emily | 7:10 PM | permalink

Apple launches ‘iPhone your life’ site


If you are looking for good iPhone application recommendations head over to a new section on Apple’s website called iPhone Your Life. It allows you to see applications as they relate to different parts of your life, and what app they would recommend to make the phase of your life easier in some way. iPhone's Talk reports.

quotemarksright.jpgApple has sections for: Around Town (related to local food and events), World Travel (events and other stuff from around the world), At Home (on the range with family and home related apps), Getting Things Done (productivity apps for business), and Fun and Games.

They have staff picks, top downloaded apps, and descriptions of featured applications. It’s an interesting philosophical approach to the everyday use of the smartphone, and the apps recommended are generally the best of the lot.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:02 PM | permalink

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