Archives for January 2009

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January 31, 2009

Congress in your pocket

congress.png Now you can have every member of Congress in your pocket, thanks to Congress+, an app that offers all of the vital information you need to be an effective activist in between congressional elections with yearly updates in 2009 and 2010.

quotemarksright.jpgLearn all about who represents you in Congress with photos, district maps, election results, and official bios. View or search by the full Congress, the House or Senate, or search directly for your Delegates, Representatives or Senators.

Connect with your Senators and Representatives with office telephone numbers, contact forms, and Twitter links. Keep track of them with news, campaign finance information, and how they vote on legislation. Visiting DC? Tap on the address for directions using a Google map.

Get ready to engage Congress with direct contact email addresses to Chief of Staffs, Legislative Directors, Press Secretaries, and Schedulers. Track sponsored and cosponsored legislation, membership on standing and joint committees, and (in the Senate for now) subcommittees.quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 5:25 PM | permalink

Gordon Brown's speech interrupted by own phone

Gordon Brown's opening speech at the World Economic Forum was rudely interrupted - by his own phone ringing.

"I'm afraid that's my phone", Brown said in embarrassment, and got a laugh from the reporters with "I'm not telling you" when asked who was calling.

[via Pocket-Lint]

emily | 10:37 AM | permalink

Why are there no cool apps for Blackberry?

What makes the BlackBerry most vulnerable is its lack of cool applications? Asks Craig Phillips The LA Times.

quotemarksright.jpgApple's App Store is jam-packed with 15,000 of them; iPhone and iPod Touch users have downloaded more than half a billion apps. There's a Google Android App Store, and the T-Mobile G1 phone that runs Android comes pre-loaded with a nifty anagram app, perfect for honing your Scrabble skills.

What's RIM got to offer? I asked the company where BlackBerry users might be able to find some free or cheap iPhone-like apps these days. Its reps sent me to two websites, Built for BlackBerry and Blackberry Solutions Catalog.quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 10:21 AM | permalink

Ads appear in Shazam iPhone app

IMG_0017.PNG

I found another ad, actually several ads - the one captured above is for TV series "24", in another app, this time it's award winning Shazam. Yesterday I reported finding one in a lesser known app called iPage Rank.

Related: JumpTap Forming iPhone App Ad Network

emily | 8:50 AM | permalink

Music too loud? An app to test your hearing

big_icon_14329.png The Audiometry app is an effective hearing test that measures your threshold of hearing for sounds of different frequencies.

Find out just how far your ears can hear ranging frequencies. Most of the people should be able to hear up to around 15kHz. From around 17kHz upwards, we get into a range that only the under 20s can hear.

[via ZDNet]

emily | 8:30 AM | permalink

We Live in Public (and the end of empathy)

Jason Calacanis on empathy and the Internet in a lenghty thouthful article, following Michael Arrington's post on taking a leave of absence - after being spat on in Munich - the last straw in a long line of abuse, including death threats. Not related to cell phones, but dgital communuities and abuse. A must read.

emily | 8:29 AM | permalink

January 30, 2009

iPhone passes 1 percent of global mobile market in 2008

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According to the latest results from market researchers ABI Research , Apple more than made its goal of grabbing one percent of the global mobile market in 2008. Despite an expected decline in mobile shipments for 2009, Apple is set "to continue [its] march to the consumer center stage." Arstechnica reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWhen Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world in 2007, he mentioned that Apple had set a goal for itself to reach one percent of the mobile phone market share. According to data recently released by ABI Research Inc, Apple passed that goal in 2008, hitting 1.1 percent of the 1.21 billion global mobile phone shipments. That puts Apple at number eight out of the top ten mobile vendors, neck-and-neck with HTC and just ahead of Sharp.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 6:33 PM | permalink

IPhone Dominates Mobile-phone Gaming Downloads

The iPhone is, by far, the most popular mobile-phone gaming platform in the U.S. Out of the top 10 models of phones used for downloading games, four are iPhones, which hold the top three spots as well, according to market research company comScore.

[via PC World]

emily | 6:16 PM | permalink

Phone and communications News Zumba phone: best voice regonition ever?

zumba.jpg According to TechRadar, IA Technologies has developed the Zumba phone, which it claims is the world's first fully accurate voice recognition handset.

quotemarksright.jpgUsing an earpiece stuck to the back of a credit card-sized handset, the phone then can operate without any input other than your voice.

This means text messages are read out to you... and all you need to do is press a button to respond. The front of the handset has a circular dial with alphabetic keys, presumably for inputting contacts. Removing the earpiece will activate a connection to the internet, allowing you access to all your information.

This means the contacts aren't stored on the handset, they're placed on a '100 per cent' secure website, according to IA Technologies.quotesmarksleft.jpg

The BBC has a video glimpse of the phone.

Read full article. Photo from JKOntheRun.

emily | 6:05 PM | permalink

How texting could help the seasonally depressed

_45425421_manwithsadlamp_getty.jpg The days may be getting gradually longer, but for those who suffer depression from the winter darkness a new scheme which relies on text messaging, could help relieve their symptoms. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThis winter depression is more commonly known as SAD - seasonal affective disorder.

In a project about to be piloted in Cornwall, it is hoped a simple alert by text - or e-mail or voice message - could help.

In this three-month trial 200 volunteers who have been assessed by a psychological therapist, are being given a portable light box and some self-help information.

SAD is not triggered by short days, so much as gloomy conditions. So on a sunny day in mid-winter someone with SAD may not feel as bad as they do during a heavily overcast day in March. But the condition can be eased by exposure to a light box which emits an intense brightness.

Under the pilot project, alerts are sent to participants before gloomy days warning them to spend 20 minutes in front of their light box, and to read the accompanying advice that day.

This should help them to prepare for the dark weather and know what to expect when they draw the curtains. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 4:57 PM | permalink

Weekly round up of iPhone apps featured in textually blogs

A round up of iPhone apps featured this week in textually blogs:

TEXTUALLY

icon2.png Coming out soon, a "stress reliever" app. Very Jack Bauer.

ODFapp.gif Upload PDF files to your iPhone through WiFi.

big_icon_16482.png Cute Origami A how-to-fold step-by-step.

original.png A remote file access service for your iPhone.

paybackapp.gif A Grand Theft Auto-like gaming app.

icon-widenoise.gif An iPhone app that samples decibel noise levels.

iadsensegreen.gif Check your Google adSense earnings while on the go.

appshopper.gif For AppShopping, a new apps directory.

PICTUREPHONING

radar.gif For real-time sharing of cameraphone pictures and videos.

WATCHING TV ONLINE

original-1.png A Slumdog Millionaire movie app. For suckers. There's nothing there.

emily | 11:12 AM | permalink

Premium iPhone Games Coming Soon?

At a price of $19.99 it appears that Apple may be looking to combat the low price point $0.99 Apps that are flooding the App Store and providing massive competition for those game developers who are struggling to get their high quality games noticed. iPhone Bang via Pocket Gamer.

quotemarksright.jpgThis price point would only be available to a select group of developers, most likely those who are already well known in the industry like Sega and PopCap, who have brought high quality products to the store.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:08 AM | permalink

Stereoscopic Display Phone

hitachi-h001-kddi-au.jpg

Spotted on Uberphones, KDDI’s latest Hitachi Wooo H001 phone with a stereoscopic IPS display which can show you 3D versions of various menus on the phone, and also mobile TV content.

The phone will be available in 3 colors in April, albeit only in Japan.

emily | 10:02 AM | permalink

Dell 'planning cellphone foray'

dell.jpg Dell Inc is planning a foray into the cellphone market as early as next month, the Wall Street Journal reports via Stuff.

quotemarksright.jpgThe company is reported to be hoping that the move will revitalise a business walloped by crumbling PC sales, however it will potentially pit it against iPhone maker Apple.

... The phones will be based on Google's Android operating system and Microsoft's Windows Mobile software, it said.

One model will even feature a touchscreen, not unlike the iPhone's, the Journal reported.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:40 AM | permalink

Ad appears in downloaded iPhone app

IMG_0016.PNG

The first time I've seen this. And it wasn't there yesterday. An add in an iPhone app. It appears on iPage Rank, a free app I'm still trying out because it still has some bugs and has been getting updates.

In case you haven't done this yet, you can take screen shots of your iPhone by holding down the home button and then pushing the top button.

emily | 8:43 AM | permalink

January 29, 2009

ReachMyFile app. A remote file access for your iPhone

original.png

Spotted on my iPhone screen via AppShopping, my latest "new apps" finding source, ReachMyFile, a remote file access service for your iPhone.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgLook for files on your remote home or office computer and download those files to your iPhone or iPod touch or email them to a friend or colleague.

ReachMyFile is designed with privacy and security in mind. Your data stays on your computer or iPhone and is only transferred across the encrypted network link when you want.quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 12:31 PM | permalink

Payback, a Grand Theft Auto-style game app

paybackapp.gif The newly released Payback app at $ 6.99 is described an "a Grand Theft Auto-style game", available in 6 languages.

Fingergaming gives it a good review:

quotemarksright.jpgPayback includes nearly all of the features and details seen in Grand Theft Auto’s early days, and comes complete with a similar overhead viewpoint. Players will carjack dozens of different vehicles and travel through 11 different cities to complete missions and cause a good deal of general mayhem. Early App Store customers have given positive reviews.quotesmarksleft.jpg

My take? The birds eye view ruins the game, the people are so tiny, you can barely see them. So basically the game is made up of cars and trucks that drive around and blow up (I couldn't even figure out how to "answer the phone" (where is it?) - which gives you your mission). I'm familiar with the highly successful GTA video game, but I'm not a real gamer. So you may want to see for yourself. Check out YouTube demo.

emily | 10:33 AM | permalink

Text messaging used for testimony of deaf witness

It was trial by instant messenger in Northampton County Court on Wednesday -- at least for the morning. The Morning Call reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWith the prosecutors' main witness deaf and a sign interpreter unavailable, a jury was forced to endure typed questions and answers for testimony in a case of a man accused of assaulting an Easton woman, then breaking into her apartment a week later.

... Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta said the method of testimony was forced upon the court because the district attorney's office couldn't secure an interpreter for its witness in time. But he also left open the possibility that it could be challenged at the appellate level.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:01 AM | permalink

SMS loans are becoming a national problem for Estonia

estonia.gif Although providers of SMS loans charge up to 1,000 percent a year in interest, almost one in every ten Estonians has applied for such a loan, reports Baltic Business News.

quotemarksright.jpgIt only two years since that the first companies started to offer SMS loans in Estonia this has grown into a business worth at least a billion kroons.

It is believed that the market share of SMS Laen is more than 50 percent in Estonia. There are about ten companies offering SMS loans in Estonia today.

Since about 10 percent of the people who have taken an SMS loan have problems in repaying the debt, this means that also debt collection agencies have plenty of business.

“The number of small borrowers in trouble is increasing,” confirms Jaanus Laidvee from debt collection agency Julianus Inkasso. In average, customers in trouble owe between 20,000 and 25,000 kroons ($1,600 and $2,100).quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related:

-- Mentally ill person can take a SMS-loan in Estonia

-- Young Estonian became a drug mule for a large SMS loan

-- Finns struggling with SMS loans

-- Loans by text message send young Swedes spiralling into debt

-- $300 Loans by Simply sending a Text Message

-- SMS loans could be ruining your Christmas season

-- Finland Should Ban Late-Night SMS Loans, Justice Ministry Says

emily | 7:56 AM | permalink

January 28, 2009

Michael Arrington is taking a break from TechCrunch

Michael Arrington is taking a leave of absence from TechCrunch. He writes that he's put up with a lot of abuse over the years - even death threats on himself and his family, but the last straw was being spat on in Munich yesterday.

Read his post.

emily | 8:56 PM | permalink

Super Bowl ads aren’t just about the TV anymore.

iphone_bark_E_20090128003815.jpg In addition to traditional online marketing techniques, advertisers are experimenting with new technologies in an attempt to get the biggest bang for their buck. And one of them is an iPhone app, according to the WSJ.

quotemarksright.jpg As part of its effort to promote dog adoption, Mars’s Pedigree has created an iPhone application called “Shake and Bark.”

Consumers can take a picture of their own dogs or download one of a dog looking for a home. The dog on the screen barks when consumers shake their phones.

In addition, every video view on Pedigree’s Website triggers a donation of a bowl of food to a dog shelter.quotesmarksleft.jpg

The app will be available January 30.

emily | 5:46 PM | permalink

New Apple ads "Fix" and "Check" show off more iPhone apps

iphoneappadd1.gif

There are all sorts of applications available on the App Store these days, and many of Apple's more recent iPhone advertisements are simply demonstrations of various cool third-party apps that users can download. In addition to the new ad posted earlier this week, Apple has added two more app-related advertisements to its iPhone ad page: "Fix" and "Check," both of which show off useful App Store downloads that are meant to make your life easier.

[via arstechnica]

emily | 5:24 PM | permalink

LG recalls cellphones in Canada

lg150.jpg LG Electronics Canada ordered a recall of 129,000 cellphones Tuesday after they were found to broadcast more radio frequencies than is legal.

A statement from Health Canada Tuesday said the LG 150 phones, which have been sold across Canada since January 2007, "do not meet the radio-frequency exposure limits established by the federal government."

[via Canada.com. Official press release by LG]

Click here For more information on which specific production runs may be affected and How to determine when your phone was manufactured

emily | 5:09 PM | permalink

United States, Nordics top tech usage ranking

The United States and Scandinavian countries top the annual rankings on the usage of telecommunications technologies such as networks, cellphones and computers, a report released on Wednesday shows.

Following are the ratings for top 10 "innovation driven economies" measured in the study, scale 1-10:

UNITED STATES 7.71
SWEDEN 7.47
DENMARK 7.18
NETHERLANDS 6.75
NORWAY 6.51
BRITAIN 6.44
CANADA 6.15
AUSTRALIA 6.14
SINGAPORE 5.99
JAPAN 5.87

... Countries in eastern and southern Europe -- including Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland -- took the last spots on the list of 25 developed countries.

Malaysia, helped by good co-operation between the public and private sectors, topped the list for developing countries, with four more countries bypassing last year's leader Russia.

Following are indexes for top 10 "efficiency and resource driven economies," scale 1-10, but not comparable with indexes for innovation-driven economies.

MALAYSIA 7.07
TURKEY 6.71
CHILE 6.59
SOUTH AFRICA 5.76
MEXICO 5.39
RUSSIA 5.37
ARGENTINA 5.14
BRAZIL 5.12
COLOMBIA 4.08
BOTSWANA 3.98

[via Reuters]

emily | 4:44 PM | permalink

WideNoise app samples decibel noise levels

icon-widenoise.gif WideNoise is an iPhone app that samples decibel noise levels, and displays them on a worldwide interactive map.

With WideNoise you can monitor the noise levels around you, everywhere you go. You can also check the online map to see the average sound level of the area around you. Do you live in a "sleeping cat area" or in a more noisy "rock concert area"?

Spotted on Core77.

widenoise-screenshot-1.jpg

emily | 2:29 PM | permalink

iAdsense

iadsensegreen.gif iAdSense is an iPhone app that will go straight to the heart of all compulsive bloggers who are signed up with GoogleAd Sense. You can check your earnings as the day goes by, in one tap (after initially logging into your AdSense account). No doubt it would have been a lot more fun to watch Google earnings go through the roof on your cell phone a couple of years ago - when earnings and click rates were higher - but then again that was before the app store and even before the iPhone.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpg iAdsense is an iPhone application that enables you to see your Google Adsense earning and produce statistics on your iPhone. It saves time by automating the login process as well as caching the data to be checked offline.

iAdSense lets you quickly access your latest AdSense reports. Currently it supports the display of Page Impressions, Clicks, CTR, eCPM and Earnings for Today, Yesterday and This Month.

Starting with version 1.0, iAdSense also provides near real-time currency convertion (20 min delay only) to near any currency available in the world.quotesmarksleft.jpg

iadsensescreenshot.gif

emily | 2:09 PM | permalink

January 27, 2009

AppShopper shows latest apps

appshopper.gif I've been trying AppShopping for a little over a week and I love it. I can check out new apps, paid or free, while on the go. It also allows you to check apps with price changes and those that have been updated.

Developed by Olivier Bernal from France, the app will soon have more features such, such as a top 100, a top 50 apps by category and an app history.

Why is it better than just checking the App Store featured on your iPhone? It's much better, because it shows more apps..

emily | 10:07 PM | permalink

Cellphone application for farmers among finalists from India

indiawater.jpg

A cellphone application which allows farmers in Maharashtra to remotely access their irrigation pumps has earned Pune-based Ossian Agro Automation a place in the finals of the Forum Nokia’s Calling All Innovators Contest to be held in Barcelona, Spain, on 17 February. livemint.com reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe remote access eliminates the need to travel, sometimes long distances in inclement weather, to check the power and turn on/off the pumps.

About 5,000 farmers are using the application, called Nano Ganesh , since its launch in September. quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 9:28 PM | permalink

What can you do with one hand?

trustmeseason1.gif

"What can you do with one hand?", the tag line of fictitious ad campaign for wireless operator Arc Mobile, as seen on the first episode of "Trust Me ", a new TV series about the advertising business.

emily | 8:25 PM | permalink

Indian men trapped by mobile phone mother-in-laws

cell_phone_4.jpg According to Scotsman and IT Examiner , Indian mothers are hiring private detectives to 'seduce' potential son-in-laws with SMS and email messages.

quotemarksright.jpgThey don't care whether he flirts with strange women, but are testing to find out he is not gay.

Detective agencies in India are reporting a sharp rise in requests to check out the sexuality of prospective grooms. Homosexuality is illegal in India and the Government recently described it as a disease.

Apparently, the best answer is to set a honey trap for potential grooms using mobile phones and SMS messages to hook the man. If it is clear that he has become interested, a final meeting will tell if he is gay or straight or not. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:04 PM | permalink

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