Archives for March 2009

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March 26, 2009

iPhone apps cupcakes


Spotted on Shiny Shiny and stuff.


-- iPhone cake

-- iPhone cupcakes

emily | 10:22 AM | permalink

Charmin sponsors iPhone toilet finder app

big_icon_5871.png Proctor & Gamble's Charmin toilet paper brand will launch a global sponsorship for the SitOrSquat website and its accompanying iPhone and BlackBerry app, designed to identify the world's cleanest public restrooms for consumers who are on-the-go.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to P&G, SitOrSquat for iPhone and BlackBerry is a Wiki for recording and accessing bathroom information, including data on where to find bathrooms, changing tables, handicap access and other amenities--users may add new content to the service and provide feedback on featured toilets.

So far, SitOrSquat has compiled information on more than 52,000 toilets in 10 countries worldwide--in addition, more than 1,600 users have downloaded the app to their mobile device.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via FierceMobile Content]

emily | 10:09 AM | permalink

@BarackObama Updates His Twitter!


Barack Obama, Twitter’s second most popular user (CNN has passed him), updated his Twitter account today for the first time since taking office, according to Mashable.

quotemarksright.jpgThe update is to promote the President’s online town hall, Open for Questions, which encourages citizens to submit questions via The White House website. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related: - Obama to Answer Online Questions

emily | 9:53 AM | permalink

Egypt's killer SMS rumour

The Egyptian government has sought to dispel rumours that a mobile phone text message "from unknown foreign quarters" is spreading around the country and killing those who receive it. iAfrica reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe extraordinary move by Egypt's health and interior ministries follows press reports that an SMS containing a special combination of numbers killed a man in the town of Mallawi south of Cairo.

"He died vomiting blood, followed by stroke; shortly after he received a message from an unknown phone number," the Egyptian Gazette reported on Wednesday.

An "official security source" was quoted by the official MENA news agency as denying that those who receive the SMS "get splitting headaches followed by brain haemorrhage that leads to death."

... Egypt's interior ministry has detained three workers at an oil company for allegedly starting the rumours "and they are now being interrogated," MENA said. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:49 AM | permalink

March 25, 2009

Nokia invests in mobile money Obopay


There are signs the mobile payments market is really taking off at last with Nokia announcing a substantial investment in service provider Obopay today, reports the FT.

quotemarksright.jpgThe amount, understood to be in the region of $70m, is being put in by Nokia itself rather than its venture arm and gives it a minority stake in the Silicon Valley company.

Obopay operates in the US and India. It allows those signing up for its service to fund their account with cash or by linking up their credit card or current account. They can then send money to any text-message enabled cell phone. The receiver can either sign up for an Obopay account or have the money transferred directly to their bank account.

Obopay charges 25 cents to send any amount up to $1,000 and nothing to receive it.quotesmarksleft.jpgemily | 3:59 PM | permalink

Text Overtakes IM, Email, Voice Among College Mobile Users

opinion_text_brook-bruning2.jpg A recent survey of about 300 college students conducted by Indiana's Ball State University found that 27 percent own a smart phone as compared to the national average of 19 percent for working adults. TMCnet reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe research also found that 99.7 percent of students have a mobile communications device and the rates of sending text messages, e-mail, photos and videos are increasing.

Text messaging has overtaken email and instant messaging as the main form of communication for college students, 94 percent of whom send and receive text messages.

When using their mobiles to keep in touch with family and friends with 59 percent text, 17 percent call, nine percent send IMs and seven percent use email.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 3:50 PM | permalink

TAG Heuer launches official Meridiist site


You can pre-order watch-maker Tag Heuer's Merediist's new cell phone from their brand new website.

[via engadget:mobile]

Related: - TAG Heuer teaming with Modelabs for branded phones

emily | 3:39 PM | permalink

'Miracle on Hudson' Flight Becomes iPhone App

sullysflight.png Sully's Flight is a new flight simulator app which lets you recreate this past January's "Miracle on the Hudson" landing by US Airways pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger.

Sully's Flight', a realistic simulation of Chesley Sullenberger's heroic flight of January 15, 2009, from LaGuardia to the Hudson River. You will fly the plane yourself, following hoops plotted in the sky showing Captain Sullenberger's approximate actual flight-path.

Best of all, the game's audio is the actual air-traffic control recording between the stricken Airbus 320's crew, led by pilot Chesley Sullenberger III, and ground control.

[via Fox News]

emily | 10:33 AM | permalink

European Travelers to Get Cheaper Text Messages

European travelers will pay less to send text messages under a deal agreed to by EU negotiators. Mobiledia reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe negotiators from the European Parliament and 27 member states called for a maximum price of 11 cents for text messages sent while abroad in the European Union, much lower than the current EU average of 29 cents which is almost 10 times the cost of sending an SMS at home.

In some countries the price of sending a roaming text message is as high as 80 cents.

EU nations also agreed to new cuts in mobile phone calls seeking to lower tariffs gradually to a ceiling of 35 cents (47 US cents) a minute for roaming calls from 2011.

The current maximum cost for such a call is 45 cents a minute but should drop to 43 cents in July.

Also from this summer, mobile telephone operators will have to charge by the second, rather than rounding up to the nearest minute. They will however be allowed to charge for 30 seconds for any very short call.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:29 AM | permalink

Turning Soldiers' Helmets into a Wireless Mesh Network

11-18-03-pod.jpg Engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed a Countersniper System that can give soldiers an edge by turning their combat helmets into "smart nodes" in a wireless sensor network. Cellular News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgLike several other shooter location systems developed in recent years, the ISIS system relies on the sound waves produced when a high-powered rifle is fired. These acoustic signals have distinctive characteristics that allow the systems to pick them out from other loud noises and track them back to their source. Current systems, however, rely on centralized or stand-alone sensor arrays. This limits their accuracy and restricts them to identifying shooters at line-of-sight locations.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:18 AM | permalink

Skype handles more international calls than AT&T

skype-logo.jpg Skype has become the world's single largest provider of international calls, surpassing even incumbent telcos like AT&T, according to ars technica.

quotemarksright.jpgReasearch company TeleGeography estimates that Skype's international traffic jumped by 41 percent in 2008 and topped 33 billion minutes of use, most of that in free calls. Traditional international calls grew only 12 percent in 2008.

... Most of Skype's usage, though, generates no revenue. Its free computer-to-computer calls (certain handsets and mobile devices can now be used as well) have become a hugely popular way of making international calls.

Skype's revenues are more modest than the big telcos, despite its usage numbers; at eBay's annual meeting earlier this month, the company said that Skype pulled in $550 million in 2008.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:06 AM | permalink

Twitter introduces text ads


Twitter has introduced a discreet text ads trial, reports The Guardian.

quotemarksright.jpgA small box under the following/followers/updates box at the top of the page now introduces one of a small number of recommended Twitter clients or tools, including
TwittervisionTweetie and ExecTweets, and a short description.

One of Tweetie's developers, Loren Brichter, told TechCrunch that he's not paying for the ad - it's part of a trial Twitter is running to test the response to text ads.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:46 AM | permalink

Twitter may join primary curriculum

twitter_logo.gif UK primary school pupils could be taught to master Twitter and Wikipedia and instead of learning about history, reports Ananova.

quotemarksright.jpgFormer Ofsted chief Sir Jim Rose will present recommendations for revamping the primary curriculum to ministers next month.

His interim report in December said primary age children need a greater understanding of information technology and Sir Jim's proposals may say children should be familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter by the time they go to secondary school.

Under the proposals, schools will no longer be required to teach Victorian history or the Second World War but can still opt to include them.

Ministers will formally respond to Sir Jim's proposals when they are published next month.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:33 AM | permalink

March 24, 2009

Apple hit with lawsuit over iPhone as e-book reader

kindle2_iphone_2.jpg A couple of blogs, including Apple Insider, are reporting that a Swiss communications firm, MONEC Holding Ltd, has filed suit in a Virginia district court. [via Crave]

quotemarksright.jpgMonec accuses the iPhone maker of "patent infringement, unfair trade practices, monopolization, and tortious interference for allegedly treading on its January 2002 patent No. 6,335,678 titled 'Electronic device, preferably an electronic book.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:18 PM | permalink

iPhone makes up 33% of all smartphone traffic

Apple's iPhone continues to have the largest share of the smartphone market based on data traffic, according to February data from admob. The touchscreen cellphone accounted for exactly 33 percent of all tracked requests worldwide and an even higher 49.5 percent within the US.

[via electronista]

emily | 10:02 PM | permalink

Mobiles at school don't harm kids

Using mobile phones and playing video games doesn't harm teens' academic performance, according to new research by Michigan State University. Techradar reports.

A three-year study of students from 20 schools found that using mobiles had no effect on the educational results of a group of 12-year-olds.

Read full article.

Related links to both positive and negative studies on cell phones, students and academic results.

emily | 9:51 PM | permalink

Yodaphone. The cheap cell phone store

The economy being what it is, Yodaphone has a clever concept to be successful in today's market. They are a website dedicated to finding (Americans) cheap cell phones with the best cellular plans.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpg With Yodaphone, you can compare prices and availability from the top U.S. wireless providers serving every region of the United States. Select from phones by every major manufacturer including Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Palm, Blackberry, and many more. All phones are brand new with full U.S. warranties.

We automatically process your application with the wireless carrier of your choice, handle the activation and transfer of your number, and ship your phone direct to you via FedEx with real time online order status and tracking.

We use our nationwide buying power to bring you the best phones and plans available in your area. Compare for yourself. We challenge you to find a better value—on the Internet, in local stores or anywhere else.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:26 PM | permalink

Balloonimals iPhone app, you know, for kids

balloonimalspng.png Animal shapped balloons come to life with the Balloonimals Lite app. Blow into the microphone of your iPhone, then shake it. With each shake the animal takes shape. Then you can make him blow up before trying another.

[via MobileCrunch]

emily | 5:08 PM | permalink

Using Mobile Phones to Monitor Teenagers Mental Health

Telstra-Foundation-logo.jpg A program that uses mobile phones to track the mental health of young people suffering depression will be evaluated through funding from the Telstra Foundation to see if it is suitable to treat youth depression nationwide. Cellular News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgFollowing the successful world-first pilot of mobiletype developed by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), the Telstra Foundation has committed a Social Innovation Grant worth $285,000 over two years as part of its ongoing community investment commitment.

The mobiletype pilot assisted doctors to help treat 14 to 24-year-olds with mental health concerns through the use of mobile phones. The program monitored each young person's mood, stress levels, coping strategies, alcohol and cannabis use, exercise, eating patterns and general lifestyle factors.

Participants answered the mobiletype program questions on a programmed mobile asking them about how they were feeling. The responses were sent to a website interface which evaluated and assessed each patient's mental well-being and produced an individual report for the doctor to help them determine what treatment was required.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 12:03 PM | permalink

Safeguarding Cell Phones Outside Jails

23phones.xlarge1.jpg Tourists visiting Rikers Island's jail have to leave their cell phones and other gadgets at the door and a rent a locker. Although there are 542 outdoor lockers at Rikers for the storage of prohibited gadgets, it is often hard to find a free one, particularly on busy visiting days. The New York Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSeveral enterprising people — including a doughnut shop manager in Queens and the proprietor of a newsstand in Lower Manhattan —have turned safeguarding the visitors’ valuables into a cottage industry. They hold on to visitors gadgets while they are on tour.quotesmarksleft.jpg

This type of business has sprung up before. In 2006, the enforcement of the cell phone ban at New York city schools encouraged teenagers to find creative places to stash their phones - using trash cans, bushes and even sewer grates as hiding places.

The ban even inspired one Brighton Beach deli in Brooklyn to charge $1 each to baby-sit kids' phones and gadgets during school hours - a business proposition that raked in $45 a day. Each gadget was put in a bag with the student's name on it.

emily | 9:14 AM | permalink

March 23, 2009

Alive Status Verification SMS Service

One of the strangest SMS offers to ever cross my desk is South Africa's "Alive Status Verification" SMS Service launched this Monday by Home Affairs which allows citizens to find out whether they are officially dead or alive. News24 reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe purpose of the service is assist South Africans to check their status to ensure that they have not been fraudulently declared dead on the population register," the department said in a statement.

It did not elaborate on why anyone would be fraudulently declared dead.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Full press release.

emily | 10:46 PM | permalink

SMS to billboard makes it snow, makes it stop


Designed as a promotional tool for Tryvann Winter Park, a ski resort just 15 minutes outside of Oslo, these snowing billboards alert commuters that conditions are optimal for hitting the slopes.

Whenever it begins snowing on the mountain, an SMS message is sent to the billboards instructing them to start their thing. A second message is sent when the snow stops.

Spotted on Gizmodo.

emily | 7:49 PM | permalink

UK Channel 4 opens developer fund for Public Service Aps

UK public service broadcaster Channel 4 is of setting aside a portion of its online development fund specifically for iPhone 3.0 SDK developers who want to create public-spirited apps serving needs in health, welfare and so on. How nice is that?

[via MocoNews]

emily | 2:32 PM | permalink

Need an iPhone Developer? Get 3 quotes from


Would your company like an iPhone app? Are you looking for a a reputable vendor? Then head over to where you simply fill out the short form on iPhoneAppQuotes and up to 3 experiencesd iPhone Application Developers will contact you to discuss your project and provide you with a free quote.

iPhone Development companies can join the iPhone Developer network. offers an affordable and effective way to generate quality sales leads without having to spend valuable advertising dollars on costly pay per click or search engine optimization.

[Press release]

emily | 8:58 AM | permalink

March 22, 2009

Dell's iPhone Killer rejected by carriers as too dull

dell-motorola-cellphone.jpg After signaling its intent to follow Apple's wildly successful iPhone into the smartphone business, Dell's first attempts to produce a phone have been rejected by the carries for being too dull and lacking enough differentiation to stand out in a competitive environment, according to a report.

[via Apple Insider]

emily | 5:47 PM | permalink

Citizens Advised to Delete Walmart Hoax Text Message

According to MSNBC, law enforcement authorities in Arkansas and around the country are urging residents to relax - to pay no attention to a phony text message that has recently begun to resurface across the southeastern United States.

quotemarksright.jpgThe text message claims that there will be a gang initiation at aWal-Mart store sometime this week that may possibly involve a shooting or other serious criminal activity. The message states that it is from "police" and is a warning for "women."

... Anyone receiving such a message should simply delete it. Individuals are discouraged from forwarding such misinformation to others.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 5:44 PM | permalink

China Mobile Stats

xin_16050322113661720531.jpg Some mobile stats from China Mobile via FierceMobile Content:

-- China Mobile subscribers sent 607.1 billion text messages in 2008, up more than 100 billion over the operator's 2007 SMS totals.

-- According to China Mobile, its subscriber count is now closing in on the 464 million mark--in all, China boasts about 650 million mobile subscribers nationwide.

-- China Mobile customers purchased 76 million full-track music downloads in 2008,

-- Another 41.5 million paid for mobile newspaper content, up a third over 2007 totals--the carrier now offers 110 different news periodicals.

emily | 12:25 PM | permalink

March 20, 2009

Company halting iPhone app work after long approval delay

appleclock.jpg FreedomVoice submitted its Newber application for App Store approval more than six months ago, but still hasn't heard anything from Apple. Now, the company has decided to stop development and cuts its losses at $600,000. Although it's an unfortunate situation, Newber's story is an example of the risks associated with too much early marketing of App Store applications.

Read full article in ars technica.

Related: - All FreedomVOICE Wants for Christmas is the App Store to Accept Newber!

emily | 6:41 PM | permalink

Twitter Use Explodes In The UK

According to market research company Nielsen Online, the amount of people using Twitter rocketed by 1,689% from February 2008 to February 2009. There’s now more than than 1.78 million people now signed on in the UK, compared to just 100,000 members last year.

[via Digital Lifestyle]

emily | 6:06 PM | permalink

Vodafone employee suspended for mocking man's name

The Northampton Chronicle reports on a Vodafone employee who was suspended after mocking a customer's surname. The gentleman's name was uh, Titman.

quotemarksright.jpgIt's my family name and when I was at school, it's something I had to put up with. But when you are an adult you expect more mature behaviour.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 2:52 PM | permalink

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