Archives for July 2009

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July 31, 2009

The National Symphony Orchestra tweets tweeting Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony

PH2009073001397.jpg The National Symphony Orchestra is trying an experiment. It's tweeting Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony, Thursday night at Wolf Trap. The Washington Post reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe orchestra will use the micro-blogging site Twitter to send text messages of 140 characters or fewer from conductor Emil de Cou during the performance. (Example: "In my score Beethoven has printed Nightingale = flute Quail = oboe Cuckoo = clarinet -- a mini concerto for woodwind/birds.")

The idea is that those interested will sit in a designated area on the Wolf Trap lawn with their BlackBerrys, iPhones or other mobile devices and, by following the Twitter user NSOatWolfTrap, gain a new perspective on the score. Of course, you can also follow along without actually being at Wolf Trap at all. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:21 PM | permalink

Shock threat to shut Skype

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, eBay may have to shut down Skype due to a licensing dispute with the founders of the internet telephony service.

quotemarksright.jpg... eBay bought Skype from entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis for $US2.6 billion in 2005, but this did not include a core piece of peer-to-peer communications technology that powers the software.

eBay has since been licensing the technology from the founders’ new company, Joltid, but the pair recently decided to revoke the licensing agreement.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:16 PM | permalink

July 30, 2009

Wish upon a mobile phone

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This is an unusual campaign. Spotted on brand-e.biz.

quotemarksright.jpgDutch agency Marvellous has launched The Wish Factory for Google Android-powered Vodafone HTC mobile phone.

The digital platform grants people a wish about what they’d like their handset to do, and users upload their desires to a dedicated website where they’re ranked. The brand says it will work to make one of those wishes, come true.

The idea behind the campaign is to demonstrate the personal benefits of the phone’s cutting edge technology.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:56 PM | permalink

SMS vulnerability on iPhone

quotemarksright.jpgRemember that alleged SMS-based security hole on the iPhone allowing evil-doers to execute arbitrary code and do all sorts of nasty crap like create an army of mobile zombies ready and willing to execute a DoS attack? The guy who found it, security expert Charlie Miller, said that he'd reveal the details of it at Black Hat -- and Black Hat's this week.

Miller and his cohorts plan to unleash details of the hack tomorrow, and while they claim they informed Apple of the problem over a month ago, Cupertino's yet to make a move.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via engadget:mobile]

emily | 1:48 PM | permalink

The French Fry Phone


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Tackiness has no bounderies. After the hamburger phone, sandwich phone and turkey dinner telephone here is a French Fry Phone.

[via GeekSugar]

emily | 12:09 PM | permalink

Senators Seek a Ban on Texting and Driving

States that do not ban texting by drivers could forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway funds under legislation introduced Wednesday in the Senate by four Democratic senators. The New York Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgUnder the measure, states would have two years to outlaw the sending of text and e-mail messages by drivers or lose 25 percent of their highway money each year until the money was depleted.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:48 AM | permalink

July 29, 2009

TEXT horror flick about killer text messages

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A teen horror film called, TEXT tells the story of high-school senior Sarah Madison as she frantically searches for answers, after the inexplicable deaths of her best friends; each killed shortly after receiving a mysterious text message on their cell phone.

TEXT premiers at the Action on Film Festival, July 29 and is nominated for Best Horror Film and Best Visual Effects.

[Press release]

emily | 10:14 AM | permalink

iPhone app rates your sex life

passionapp.jpg If you ever wondered how well you compared to other people during sex, well now you can with a new iPhone app, Passion.

In their own words: Passion works by using all of the iPhone's distinct features such as the microphone and accelerometer to determine an accurate score. Just start the application, put your iPhone in your pocket, on the bed, or in an armband, and start Passion. After you are finished, it will rank your performance between 0 and 10. 10 being the highest.

You can compete with your friends, or people all around the world, to see who can get the highest score.

[via stuff]

emily | 10:03 AM | permalink

July 28, 2009

FlipText.org

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How to write upside down in Twitter, Myspace or my Blog.

[via Publish2]

emily | 5:13 PM | permalink

Medscape Now Live on iPhone

medscapeapp.jpg Medscape has released a free iPhone application featuring a drug database of over 6,000 generic and brand name drugs, plus hundreds of herbals, supplements and antidotes and a drug interaction checker that shows interactions for a combination of up to 30 drugs, herbals and/or supplements, as well as a directory of physicians and pharmacies.

The app also provides access to Medscape's latest news feeds.

[via MedGadget]

emily | 10:30 AM | permalink

UK Government advice urges tweeting

_45349613_twitterbody.jpg New government guidance has been published urging civil servants to use the micro-blogging site Twitter. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgLaunched on the Cabinet Office website, the 20-page document is calling on departments to "tweet" on "issues of relevance or upcoming events".

The website is already used by Downing Street, the Foreign Office and many individual MPs.

... The advice says BIS should produce between two and 10 tweets per day, not including replies to other Twitterers or live coverage of a crisis or event.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:41 AM | permalink

In Study, Texting Lifts Crash Risk by Large Margin

The first study of drivers texting inside their vehicles shows that the risk sharply exceeds previous estimates based on laboratory research — and far surpasses the dangers of other driving distractions. The New York Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.

In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:37 AM | permalink

Microsoft Opens Mobile App Store to Developers

dmx-icon-roll.png Microsoft officially opened its Windows Marketplace for Mobile application store to software developers on Monday as the giant software maker moves to catch up to the success of Apple's iPhone App Store. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgMicrosoft is now accepting submissions of mobile phone software applications from registered developers in 29 countries and is offering prizes for the most popular applications as judged by downloads, revenue, usefulness and more, said Todd Brix, leader of Windows Marketplace for Mobile at Microsoft, in a blog posting.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:11 AM | permalink

Prison software sniffs out cell phone signals

A company called AirPatrol looks to solve illegal cell and wireless devices in prison with “Wireless Locator System” software. It’s basically able to sniff out Wi-Fi and cellular signals in a given area and pinpoint the location of those devices on a map, writes CrunchGear.

According to the company press release:

quotemarksright.jpgWLS is the best alternative solution to the contraband cell phone problem plaguing correctional facilities across the nation. WLS wirelessly detects and pinpoints contraband cell phones and unlike RF jamming techniques is completely legal and approved for use in the United States and doesn’t interfere with authorized, legitimate cell phone usage.

WLS yields 24 x 7, 365 days a year, real-time cell phone and Wi-Fi device location details throughout a correctional facility. WLS includes a forensics database, an essential tool for logging and archiving cell phone event information, including where a phone is detected, allowing prison monitors to see a log of the start and stop times of voice calls, as well as emails, SMS and MMS.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:00 AM | permalink

July 27, 2009

Iran: Regime uses SMS messages to threaten people

sms-iran.jpgNCR-Iran reports that the clerical regime's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) sends threatening mobile phone text messages to Iranians, threatening them that they will be “summoned and interrogated” by suppressive organs “in the event of continuing illegal gatherings and activities.”

quotemarksright.jpgThe text message, which has recently been sent to people, reads: “In the event of continuing illegal gatherings and activities, VAJA [Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence] will summon and interrogate you.”quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 5:12 PM | permalink

UK text donations will be VAT free

Good news. According to Velti, consumers in Britain who choose to donate money to charity via text will no longer be required to pay VAT.

quotemarksright.jpgMobile operators have agreed to set up designated short codes in response to moves by the Mobile Data Association to waive the tax on donating to good causes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 5:09 PM | permalink

Use Your iPhone to Track your Happiness


whatmakesyouhappy.jpg

A new app is actually some psychology research being performed by Matt Killingsworth at Harvard, and it's designed to tackle one of nature's most ephemeral and yet fascinating questions: What is it that makes people happy? Fast Company reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... Essentially you sign up for the program, and then give the software a slew of personal information to give the researches some meaty data to think about later-- like how satisfied with your life you are, how much money you make, whether you're married, how liberal your political leanings are. Then, at repeated periods throughout the day you'll be pinged by your iPhone either by email or by SMS, and prompted to answer a short one-minute survey.

... After 50 successful survey answers you'll get a Happiness Report from the system, which will apparently help you work out the factors that contribute most to your levels of happiness. Or, I suppose, there's the flipside conclusion: You can learn what things make you most unhappy. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:01 PM | permalink

Nissan Dials IPhone for Car Remote Control

Nissan has developed a prototype iPhone application that would allow electric car owners to dial into their vehicles and check battery levels. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgUsing it, owners will be able to monitor charging of their cars while away from the vehicles. The system could come in handy, for example, when cars are parked at public charging stations and owners want to fully charge the batteries before driving away.

In addition to the basic monitoring of battery level, more detailed information can be sent to the phone that includes the time required for a full charge and the approximate cost.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:33 AM | permalink

Pedal power for Kenya's mobiles

_46105598_bike226.jpg Two Kenyan students are hoping to market a device that allows bicycle riders to charge their mobile phones. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgJeremiah Murimi, 24, and Pascal Katana, 22, said they wanted their dynamo-powered "smart charger" to help people without electricity in rural areas.

People have to travel great distances to shops where they are charged $2 a time to power their phone, usually from a car battery or solar panel.

"The device is so small you can put it in your pocket with your phone while you are on your bike," said Mr Murimi. It takes an our of pedaling to charge a phone completely.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related:

-- Motorola to release a bicycle-powered cellphone charger

emily | 8:50 AM | permalink

iPhone app URL shorteners

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appsto.re let's you shorten iPhone App URL's, making it easier to share on Twitter or where ever.

Apparently, according to a TechCrunch reader, iPhone apps already have short URLs, e.g. Scavenge app: http://itunes.com/apps/scavenge, Shazam app: http://itunes.com/apps/shazam... Very good to know.

[via Tech Crunch and iPhoneBuzz]

emily | 8:32 AM | permalink

July 26, 2009

Sex Offender Locator iphone app

offenderlocator.jpg The Offender Locator app, one of the top 10 paid iPhone apps, shows you registered sex offenders living around you. The Washington Post reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe app allows you to see a list of offenders based on your current location (using the iPhone's location services), any contact's address, or it allows you to manually enter an address. The app then scours the database and lists the sexual offenders based on their proximity to the location you gave.

You can click on any of these names to get a picture of the person, their information like date of birth, height, weight, and a picture. And you can also see the specific sexual crime they were charged with. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:20 AM | permalink

July 25, 2009

Time launches Blackberry App

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TIME Magazine has just launched a great application for its BlackBerry toting readers, reports Crackberry.

quotemarksright.jpgThe application is perfect for those on the go who want to have TIME articles pushed to their devices. On top of being able to read all the articles posted you also have the ability to browse through all the award winning photgraphy put out by TIME magazine. All content is user customizable so you can pick and choose the information that's most important to you.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:32 PM | permalink

Smoking + Texting = Smexting

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You learn something new every day. Intomobile reports on a new trend called Smexting.

quotemarksright.jpgWith smoking bans being implemented across the Western world, smokers are finding themselves outside cafes all the time. While enjoying in their bad habit, they talk to friends, send text messages, and make calls.

One of the things they apparently do most is send SMS, hence a new word has been invented - Smexting, representing a person who smokes outside locale and texts at the same time.

And what a trend this is. Apparently, Orange UK reported a huge increase in text messaging after British government implemented the smoking ban pretty much everywhere.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:26 PM | permalink

Vodafone will not be charging 20p a minute for swine flu hotline

Vodafone, which has nearly 19 million customers in Britain, faced criticism for allegedly charging calls to the 0800 number, part of the National Pandemic Flu Service, set up to help to diagnose symptoms for NHS patients in England. The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpgCalling an 0800 number from a landline is free, but can cost up to 40p a minute from a mobile phone.

This morning the company issued a statement saying they would not be charging customers, contrary to reports. up to £4 for 15 to 20 minute call to check whether they had the virus.

Rival companies – O2, Orange and T-Mobile – have dropped charges for calls to the flu service.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 1:20 PM | permalink

July 24, 2009

Business Drying Up for Luxury Phone Makers

img_5476_goldvish_450x360.jpg After years of chasing the ultra-wealthy with exclusive devices that carry designer logos and promise craftsmanship from materials such as sapphire and stainless steel, luxury phone makers are now pulling back, reports Wired.

quotemarksright.jpg... In the last few years, luxury phones had turned into an attractive new business, as designer houses rushed to get a foothold in the tech sector. Prada collaborated with LG to launch two LG Prada phones in Europe and Asia. Last September, Samsung launched the M75500 Night Effect phone, which carried the Emporio Armani insignia. A month later, Motorola offered a $2,000 phone, called the Aura, which was fashioned out of stainless steel and sported a 62-carat sapphire crystal lens. And then there’s Vertu, a company that makes true luxury phones, the cheapest of which costs about $6,000.

The recession put a spoke in those plans. And it’s not just the 401Ks of middle-class Americans that have been in peril. In Russia, many newly-minted billionaires saw their fortunes slip away with falling oil prices.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read fufll article.

emily | 12:47 PM | permalink

July 23, 2009

Domestic violence - An SMS SOS

domesticviolence.jpg

An interesting post from favorite Ken Banks on Kiwanja.net on another frontline SMS project.

Here, Anthony Papillion - Founder of OpenEMR HQ - shares the latest news on its use in his Oklahoma home town, where the software is helping provide relief to women suffering domestic violence.

quotemarksright.jpgIn late May of this year, I assisted a local crisis center in deploying a solution we’ve now dubbed “FamilyFIRST“. FamilyFIRST is an SMS based system that allows victims of domestic violence to reach out to police, crisis counselors, and to document abuse incidents all via simple SMS messaging.

... In the last two and a half months, FamilyFiRST has processed over 4,000 messages from victims of violence, not only in our local area, but around the state of Oklahoma. Evidence stored in the system has been used to help successfully prosecute 9 offenders and has resulted in combined sentences of over 110 years being handed down in those cases.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:03 PM | permalink

Western Wall Twitter Service Lets Jews Tweet A Prayer To God

290px-Israel-Western_Wall.jpg Judaism's holiest prayer site has entered the Twitter age, at twitter.com/TheKotel. The Huffington Post reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel) now has its own address on the social networking service, allowing believers around the globe to have their prayers placed between its 2,000 year-old-stones without even leaving their armchairs.

The service's Web site says petitioners can tweet their prayers and they will be printed out and taken to the wall, where they will join the thousands of handwritten notes placed by visitors who believe their requests will find a shortcut to God by being deposited there.

The Tweet Your Prayers site does not identify its founders, saying only that the driving force behind it is a "young man from Tel Aviv".quotesmarksleft.jpg

Other ways to send a message:

-- Send a prayer by SMS to the Western Wall

-- Email to the Western Wall

emily | 4:02 PM | permalink

Harry Potter spreads love potion on Twitter

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Warner Bros has created one of the most innovative Twitter campaigns to date, allowing fans of the film to cast spells on their followers, according to Revolution Magazine.

quotemarksright.jpgThe campaign gives Twitter users the chance to send potions and cast spells on the people following them. The three options on offer include shrouding the follower's Twitter page in darkness, sending a flock of birds that fly across the screen and declaring affection for a follower by sending a love potion.

A website hosting the campaign has been set up to back the launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which debuted in UK cinemas last week.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Wonderful. Above, my spell cast on twitter.com/switched.

Click here to see what happens to Switched' mirror Twitter page.

And on Twitter Search to see how the "Harry Potter has been casting spells" campaign is spreading.

[via Adverblog]

emily | 9:40 AM | permalink

Japan to politicians: no Twitter for you

According to the Inquisitr, the Japanese Government has imposed a ban on candidates using Twitter during the lead up to a general election in August.

quotemarksright.jpgThe government deemed Twitter content to fall under the prohibited “literature and images” clause under the Public Offices Election Law.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:27 AM | permalink

Indian Farmers Use Mobile Phones to Control Irrigation

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Mobile Operator Tata Teleservices is testing technology that allows farmers to use their mobile phones to remotely monitor and switch on irrigation pump sets in far flung locations. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe technology, called Nano Ganesh, is being tested in two villages in the Indian state of Gujarat.

In India, where the electricity supply is erratic, farmers often walk several kilometers to where their irrigation pumps are located, only to find that there is no electricity available, Lloyd Mathias, chief marketing officer of Tata Teleservices, said on Wednesday.

By dialing a code number from his mobile phone to a wireless device attached to the pump, farmers can now remotely monitor the electricity supply, and also switch the pump on and off, Mathias said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:53 AM | permalink

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