Archives for February 2009

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February 28, 2009

LG Phone Recalled Due to Poor 911 Connection

This seems to be a first. On Friday, the LG Spyder 830 cell phone was recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because it "presented a hazard to the public by not holding a connection and had poor voice quality during 911 emergency calls".

What surprises me is the fault has been penned on the phone maker and not the mobile operator.

[via GigaOM]

emily | 7:10 PM | permalink

A game grip for iPhone


Spotted on Tokyo Mango, a cool-looking GameGrip for iPhone from Trinity, in Japan.

emily | 7:01 PM | permalink

Cortado Unveils iPhone Business Apps

Mobile applications company Cortado has announced the development of a range of practical business applications for the iPhone. The solutions will be rolled out over the next six months and will enable iPhone users to print, fax, scan, copy and access corporate networks and databases via their iPhone.

[via Mobile Marketing Magazine]

emily | 6:57 PM | permalink

Mobile phones more visible in North Korean capital

22marsh_CA0.600.jpg Mobile phones are becoming more visible in reclusive North Korea following the launch of a new network by telecom company Koryolink, reports the IHT.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Koryolink system, named for an ancient Korean dynasty, started operating in December. It had more than 6,500 North Korean users as of mid-February, according to Koryolink officials.

The 3G network was initially deployed to cover Pyongyang, which has a population of more than 2 million. Plans are to expand coverage to the entire country in the next few years.

Mobile phone use in North Korea — probably the world's most tightly controlled country — comes with restrictions. Phones do not allow contact with the outside world, or with the special telephone networks that foreigners are normally permitted to use inside North Korea.quotesmarksleft.jpg


-- When using a mobile can cost your life

-- North Korean police patrol Chinese Border with cell phone detectors

-- A little light shines through North Korea's blackout

-- Links to all articles on North Korea and cellphones rounded up in

emily | 6:27 PM | permalink

Shoe phone talks the talk, walks the walk

paulshoephone_610x457.jpg This is not Maxwell Smart, but Paul Gardner-Stephen, a post-doctoral fellow in bioinformatics at Flinders University in Adelaide who has put together a wearable shoe phone that can place and receive calls wirelessly. Spotted on Crave.

quotemarksright.jpgOther than demonstrating the potential for the integration of wireless technologies into items of everyday use, the concepts behind the shoe phone have potential for the development of biomedical devices, such as use in home nursing and aged care facilities.

The shoe based platform makes it possible to detect shocks and orientation changes resulting from, for example, a fall. On detecting this, the device could telephone a medical carer and initiate a speaker phone conversation and call for any assistance required.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Watch the video on YouTube to see Gardner-Stephen's shoe ringing. He has also posted detailed instructions so you can make your very own.

[via Crave]

emily | 9:02 AM | permalink

Visa in Hot Water Over SMS Alert Service

visa_credit_cards.jpg According to IntoMobile, Visa is being sued by a small US business for infringing a patent which covers the use of SMS messages used to alert spenders of transactions.

quotemarksright.jpgCharge Notification Services Corporation (CNSC) out of Miami, Florida has taken exception to the service that Visa and some of their partners have recently been offering.

Their patent covers charge card transaction authorization and/or notification in real-time via SMS to a mobile device.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:48 AM | permalink

UK cell providers ask Nokia to pull Skype from phones

TechSpot reports that UK operators Orange and O2 are reportedly threatening Nokia over the decision to include a Skype client on their N97 handset.

quotemarksright.jpgEssentially, Orange and O2 are convinced that offering a Skype client on a phone leaves an avenue for customers to pay less to their cell providers, which they see as hitting their bottom line. As a result, it seems they are threatening to refuse to carry the N97 on their networks unless Nokia agrees to pull the application.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:28 AM | permalink

February 27, 2009

Push to Talk app

300389145_bt-1.jpg You can turn your iPhone into a walkie-talkie with a new Push to Talk app.

How it works:

- Simply choose a group name and password and share it with your friends
- Or "Whisper" to a single friend by selecting their name
- Choose your nickname and personal icon
- Press and hold the talk button, just like a walkie-talkie. When the red light on the button lights, start talking
- More features

emily | 3:57 PM | permalink

Taxpayer Group Launches Text Messaging Advocacy Service

"We alert. You call. They listen." That's the idea behind the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union 's announcement today of a new technology -- text messaging -- the group will use to activate concerned citizens nationwide on important matters of fiscal policy at the federal and state levels. Taxpayers can opt in to NTU's service by texting "FIGHT" to 54608. NTU unveiled its system today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

After signing up for NTU's service by texting "FIGHT" to 54608, subscribers will receive an automated confirmation message with more information and opt-out instructions.

Press release

emily | 3:11 PM | permalink

Weekly round up of iPhone apps featured in textually blogs

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


voodudeapp.gif Personalized Voodoo doll torture app.

300389145_bt-1.jpgTurn your iPhone into a walkie-talkie with Push to Talk.

297443247_bt-1.jpg Landscape keyboard makes typing easier.

paranormal.png Anyone out there? app.

big_icon_1876.png The Keeper for military grade iPhone encryption.

happybirthdayapp.png iHappyBirthday app. Blow out the candles.


t.jpg let's (US users) watch full episodes of CBS TV series.

varietyapp.png Entertainment trade paper Variety gets an app.

filmscope.png FilmScopeWorld.png for top line U.S. box office results.


pusa.jpgPresidents of the USA's app streams their music.

kyteapp.gif A turn-key solution for artists.

big_icon_23010.png Ringtone Recorder app.

emily | 11:43 AM | permalink

Why Are iPhone Users Willing to Pay for Content?

big_icon_12630.png According to Bits Blog, the best-selling computer book so far this year is “iPhone: The Missing Manual,” by David Pogue.

quotemarksright.jpgBut the most popular edition of this book isn’t on paper or the PDF file that O’Reilly Media also sells. It is the downloadable application for the iPhone, according to Tim O’Reilly, the chief executive of O’Reilly Media.

What’s most interesting is how iPhone users are willing to spend money in ways that Web users are not.

Apple has created an environment that makes buying digital goods easy and common. With an infrastructure that supports one-click purchases of songs and videos, it was easy to add applications in the same paradigm. Paying for software, especially games, is not new to Apple customers. So when you see the iPhone manual or the Frommer’s Paris guidebook, it feels natural to click. (And of course, your credit card is already on file with Apple.)quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:19 AM | permalink

February 26, 2009

Apps: Not just for programmers anymore

Even nongeeks are finding ways to cash in on the craze for iPhone apps. Joy Kovaleski and Jeff Muncy have launched Psyclops, a tween-oriented music and dance app that sells for $1.99 a pop. With no employees or special programming skills, they used independent contractors to write their app and angel investors to fund it. "I think it's such a great business model that Apple has set up for us creators," Muncy said.

[via Smart Brief]

emily | 6:11 PM | permalink

Nokia considering entering laptop industry

The world's top cellphone maker Nokia is eyeing entering the laptop business, its Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in an interview to Finnish national broadcaster YLE on Wednesday.

[via Reuters]

emily | 9:31 AM | permalink

iHappyBirthday app

happybirthdayapp.png I'm a day late with this, but it was released in time for Steve Job's birthday on February 25th, the iHappyBirthday app.

You can chose a cake, light the candles with your fingertip and blow them out. While "Happy Birthday" plays in the background.

Don't bother going for the Lite version, it only displays a cake and plays music.

emily | 8:33 AM | permalink

February 25, 2009

25,000 Saudi iPhone subscribers within hours of launch

According to Cnet via ArabianBusiness, Saudi mobile operator Mobily notched up 25,000 subscribers within hours of its launch of Apple's iPhone 3G in the kingdom.

quotemarksright.jpgThe iPhone 3G is available in 500 Mobily and affiliate retail locations throughout Saudi Arabia and through Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Unlike in the US the iPhone in these countries is sold with pre-paid and subscription based services.

The report mentionns that the current iPhone 3G does not handle the Arabic language very well, so texting in Arabic is not possible, and web pages are not rendered properly. However the report goes on to state, "these would be rectified and introduced within three months."quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:18 PM | permalink

SMS Landscape Big Keyboard

297443247_bt-1.jpg SMS Landscape Big Keyboard app is just that, a landscap large size SMS keyboard, making it easier to write text messages.

Before writing, you select your country and provider, select a phone number from your contacts or type in a number. You can also send SMS messages to multiple recipients at the same time.

What we needed.

emily | 3:43 PM | permalink

Paranormal State: Anyone out there? app

paranormal.png A&E Television Network has tapped Moderati (known for its virtual Zippo Lighter iPhone app) to launch its first application for the Apple iPhone - a meter to measure levels of paranormal activity - to the international market.

The Paranormal State iPhone application turns your device into a simulated EMF meter. Paranormal investigators use EMF meters to check for electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by nearly everything in nature, and could be a sign from the beyond.

You can scan your surroundings for suspicious activity.

[via c21Media]

emily | 2:55 PM | permalink

British Lord Jailed over Fatal Road Accident After Sending Text Messages

Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer in the House of Lords has been jailed for 12 weeks following a conviction for dangerous driving which lead to a fatal crash. He was involved in an accident on Christmas Day 2007 when it hit another motorist who was killed instantly.

He had been accused of sending text messages on his mobile phone whilst driving at 60mph in the dark, just moments prior to the crash.

[via Cellular News]

Related: - British Lord to Be Prosecuted Over "Texting While Driving" Fatal Accident

emily | 2:31 PM | permalink

People are buying up mobile apps

Mobile applications are now proving to be a big moneymaker with reports showing that the 17 percent of mobile users spend approximately $100 a year each on downloads. ABI Research surveyed 235 Smartphone users and 16.5 percent responded that they spend between $100 and $499 last year on mobile apps.

[via Gadgetell]

emily | 10:15 AM | permalink

VooDude: a torture app

voodudeapp.gif The newly released VooDude app lets users create and manipulate their own personal, portable Voodoo doll on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Users can use any photo for the head of the doll and then use the accelerometer and touch screen to shake, poke, burn and toss the doll.

The voodoo doll is cornered in a dark setting. He reacts to poking, burning or pricking by writhing in pain with sound effects. It's actually quite disturbing - or effective, depending on how you see things.

[via Macnn]

emily | 8:11 AM | permalink

February 24, 2009

St. Louis to announce new archbishop via text message

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is claiming the first use of text-messaging technology to share news of the naming of a new archbishop.

After a new archbishop for St. Louis is announced in Rome — typically 5 a.m. St. Louis time — the archdiocese will send a text message about the new appointee to anyone who has registered on its Web site.

[via Fox4kc]

emily | 5:55 PM | permalink

Concept car controlled by IPhone at Geneva Motor Show


The Inquirer reports on Swiss company Rinspeed's latest concept car to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March, controlled by an iPhone.

quotemarksright.jpgThe concept car has adaptive space, meaning the car's cockpit is capable of reconfiguring itself depending on how many people are travelling. The one-man car becomes a three seater at the touch of a button.

And it's no ordinary button. Most of the car's hardware, including its central locking and ignition systems, are controlled by an Iphone which sits in a special dock built into the dashboard.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 11:20 AM | permalink

Accused thief stoned to death in southern Mexico

Police say teenagers stoned a 22-year-old man to death in southern Mexico because they believed he had stolen a cell phone and a bicycle from one of their friends.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 10:27 AM | permalink

February 23, 2009

Record Exec Says Music’s Future Is in the Clouds

In a speech to college musicians, Mr. McBride said smart-phone apps “will radically change the business.” From the WSJ.

quotemarksright.jpgUpcoming smart phones from companies like Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, are likely to create new business models, he said. He was speaking in Boston in a lecture series on music management at Berklee College of Music, a 4,000-student college.

Mr. McBride is CEO of Vancouver-based Nettwerk Music Group, which manages Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies and Sarah MacLachlan, among other artists. He said he anticipates that many music lovers will start to access smart-phone apps like Slacker’s subscription-radio service.

If they can create their own playlist, he says, they are likely to stop buying downloads, since they know they will always be able to retrieve music they want to hear from the cloud, the computer industry term for content and applications stored remotely and accessed over the Internet. “There’s no need to own product,” he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:01 PM | permalink

Kyte Launches Turn-Key iPhone App Platform

kyteapp.gif Kyte has just launched its iPhone Apps Framework - a turn-key solution that allows Kyte partners to create applications that can include video, live chat, and monetization options with a minimal amount of development costs. The Washington Post/Tech Crunch reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAlongside the launch of the new platform, Kyte is announcing five artists from IGA records who have already released their iPhone applications, including the following free apps [all iTunes links]: The All American Rejects, Keri Hilson, Lady Gaga, The Pussycat Dolls, and Soulja Boy Tell 'Em.

Besides Twitter feeds, RSS, and chat, Kyte also offers a listing of each artist's most recent videos taken using's mobile phone video apps. And, perhaps most importantly for the artists, each app features a list of links to songs in the music section of Apple's iTunes store.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Press release

emily | 8:57 PM | permalink

App Management in iTunes ~ concept

A concept posted on YouTube by svdomer09.

quotemarksright.jpgAs elegant as moving Apps is in the iPhone and iPod touch interface is, I always find myself frustrated that there's no easy option to manage this inside iTunes. This is the interface I'd love to see on iTunes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[ZDNet via Gizmodo]

emily | 8:51 PM | permalink

Major Label Acts Get Hip to Music Apps

Apple's app store is doing for music promotion what the company already did for music sales: making it portable, desirable and easy to access. [via Blogs Wired]

quotemarksright.jpgForget about ringtones and Rhapsody; these apps let you subscribe to artists. Unlike the Presidents of the United States of America app launched last week, Kyte's iPhone apps for Universal Music Group artists don't give you full tracks, but they do keep fans updated with new information through exclusive videos -- mostly filmed on cellphone, of course -- a chat room, and a Twitter-style news feed.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:43 PM | permalink

Variety gets an app

varietyapp.png Variety gets an app.

All the latest news, reviews, videos and photos from Variety, the weekly entertainment trade newspaper.

Including last night's Oscar coverage.

emily | 1:25 PM | permalink

Phones to check our breath for disease

thumb_230_090218AND_p2.jpg According to TechRadar, a new chip can tell if we're drunk or have lung cancer.

quotemarksright.jpgMiddlesex-based Applied Nanodetectors has come up with a chip that can analyse anyone's breath and look for indicators of health problems, including carbon dioxide, ammonia and nitrous oxide, as well as alcohol.

The company has already built the device into a mobile phone with an air hole that lets it function similarly to an alcohol breathalyser – just blow and you're done.

While the bio-chip can detect lung cancer, diabetes, asthma and food poisoning, it's slightly worrying that the makers suggest its presence in a phone might allow doctors to be automatically notified.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related links to other Alcohol detectors and breathalyers cell phones

emily | 9:30 AM | permalink

Elephant birthing alert by SMS

o_Big_Ears_Baby_Elephant_PP30591.jpg Thousands of elephant fans have registered on an on-line site promising live footage of the first birth of an elephant in Belgium, reports The Sydney Morning Herald .

quotemarksright.jpgSurfers logging on to can already watch the baby's kicks inside the belly of its mother, Phyo Phyo, an Asian elephant at the Antwerp zoo.

Zoo caretakers are also offering daily updates on Phyo Phyo's pregnancy to the site's 18,000 subscribers -- who will receive an SMS message 48 hours ahead of the expected delivery.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related sort of, how SMS technology is being used to track elephants:

-- Text messages save elephants’ lives, villagers’ crops

-- Texting to save Kenyan elephants

--Cell phone technology helps researches obtain information about animals

emily | 9:08 AM | permalink

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