Archives for August 2009
August 31, 2009
Using a cell phone while driving has never been a good idea, but recent research says that texting and driving increases drivers' chances of getting into an accident exponentially. Now, a highway safety group is using that research to justify its support for a ban on the activity across all US states. [ars technica via TXTResponsibly.org]
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) originally opposed enacting anti-texting-and-driving laws on the grounds that enforcement would be difficult. The GHSA still believes this, but says that recent evidence has pushed it to reconsider supporting the ban.
More in GHSA press release.
As if honey bees don't have enough to worry about right now, it seems that cell phone towers may be problematic for the insects. According to a new study, a rapid drop in the bee population in Kerala, India is the result of recently installed cell phone towers, and could cause a complete collapse of bee populations within 10 years. Treehuger reports.
According to PhysOrg, an experiment conducted in Kerala showed that as mobile phone companies installed towers to expand their network, the bee population shrank. Dr. Sainuddin Pattazhy conducted the study and concluded that the electromagnetic waves from the towers shorted out the navigational abilities of worker bees so that they couldn't find their way home after going out to collect pollen.
It seems like a highly dramatic conclusion - and one to be skeptical about since the same issues came up a couple years ago.
According to The Telegraph, Bob Dylan, the singer-songwriter is in negotiations to voice a satellite navigation system.
The music star claimed that he has been approached by more than one manufacturer keen to harness his unmistakeable, rasping tones - a voice which one critic memorably likened to sandpaper. He shared the news with listeners to his late-night radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour, which is broadcast on the BBC.
Read full article.
Bangladeshi mobile network, Grameenphone has launched the first GP-branded mobile phone. This is first time ever that a mobile phone operator in Bangladesh is bringing its own handset to the market, reports Cellular News.
The handset, priced at BDT 3199 (US$48), comes with a camera, FM radio and internet browsing facilities. The phone also has an inbuilt 'GP menu' which lists all the VAS services of GP in a single menu. The handset has a color display and has the language option for both Bengali and English.
More in press release.
Former Playmate Holly Madison is also making a name for herself as an endorser of Giorgio Armani on Twitter, according to USA Today.
She and a growing number of well-known names from TV, movies, music, books and the Web are touting products to their legions of followers online. Home-improvement expert Bob Vila has tweeted/vouched for K-Mart, and reality star Kim Kardashian is representing Armani too.
August 30, 2009
Dilbert's take on cell phones apps.
Drivers seem to be responding favorably to new legislation signed by NY Governor David Paterson Thursday that bans text messaging, checking e-mail or surfing the web while behind the wheel. NY1 reports.
The law also covers the use of laptops or other handheld devices while operating a moving vehicle.
Seems lightweigh compared to Utah, where if a driver who is texting causes a crash that injures or kills someone now faces up to 15 years in prison, according to a new law which took effect in May.
Estimates that the iPhone App Store is worth $2.4 billion a year are utterly ridiculous, iPhone developers say.
Read full article in CultofMac.
Mobile coupons — usually text messages with discount codes sent to a cellphone — are becoming the blue-light specials for the digital age, reports The New York Times, promoting last-minute clothing sales, two-for-one entrees and cheap tickets to the theater.
While some mobile coupons are sent directly from a retailer to a customer who has signed up for mobile updates, the other way for bargain-seekers to get up-to-the-minute deals is to subscribe to a mobile-coupon aggregator.
Read full article.
Related: - Links to other articles on mobile coupons
In most states, if somebody is texting behind the wheel and causes a crash that injures or kills someone, the penalty can be as light as a fine. Utah is much tougher. The New York Times reports.
After a crash here that killed two scientists — and prompted a dogged investigation by a police officer and local victim’s advocate — Utah passed the nation’s toughest law to crack down on texting behind the wheel. Offenders now face up to 15 years in prison.
For the first time, more than half of the 12-year-olds in the United States have a cell phone of their very own. Xchangemag reports.
Back in 2004, just 18 percent of the 12-year-olds had their own cell phone, now 51 percent have a cell phone according to new research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, titled: "Teens and Mobile Phones Over the Past Five Years: Pew Internet Looks Back".
If you are considering a marketing campaign using text messaging, think no further than Clickatell's short code messaging solution.
It's one of the options offered by the world's leading SMS messaging provider Clickatell, to enable marketers not only to reach their customers on a one-to-one basis, but to earn revenue from text messaging campaigns as well.
Shortcode messaging is where a mobile recipient is charged at a standard or premium rate (depending on the country) for either receiving or sending a message; usually in return for specific content or a service, such as competitions, news, weather reports, mobile marketing, fund raising...
Forrester Research has shown that SMS is one of the most responsive marketing communications mediums, with 5 times better response rates than direct marketing.
Throughout September, Textually will be promoting Clickatell through a series of ads that will highlight some of their specific services tailored to governments, industry, retailers, social networks and individuals, helping them do business smarter and faster - not only controlling costs but driving more revenue too.
The FCC has launched a "truth in billing" investigation of the wireless industry to ensure that consumers understand what they are signing up for.
Expect the FCC to tackle a wide variety of topics over the next few months, among them early termination fees, roaming rules, whether wireless carriers should be allowed to restrict short codes and exclusive handset deals.
[via ars technica]
The firm said that all of the handsets they had seen with broken screens were caused by an "external force". "To date, there are no confirmed battery overheating incidents for iPhone 3GS and the number of reports we are investigating is in the single digits," Apple said in a statement.
August 28, 2009
Just to put that in context, Apple says about 1.5 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store. In comparison, the Android marketplace brings in about $5 million a month or on a run rate to do $60 million in a year, AdMob says.
On Wednesday the Kennedy family launched a Twitter account: @KennedyNews. The family is using it to keep the public informed about memorial and funeral activities for the late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who passed away two days ago after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. 4,970 followers at the time of posting on this blog.
[via Mashable ]
A mobile phone exclusively for Welsh speakers that enables users to send messages in the language is to be sold for the first time from next week. In Wales, reports The Telegraph.
The Samsung S5600, provided through the Orange network, will include more than 44,000 Welsh words, complete with accents.
August 27, 2009
The main raison why teenagers use Twitter far less than adults:
When Twitter became popular, teenagers already had their favorite Web sites for communicating, so they were not interested in a new one. The people who discovered Twitter were adults who were new to social networking.
August 26, 2009
An interesting article in The Wall Street Journal on how fisherman and farmers in India are being empowered by mobile phones.
Observing how cell phones can be used to promote economic growth, Robert Jensen wrote in a 2007 paper titled, "The Visible Hand(set): Mobile Phones and Market Performance in South Indian Fisheries -- The Micro and Mackerel Economics of Information," that "before mobile phones, deciding which [market] would offer the best price was sheer guesswork."
Read full article.
Nokia today announced it will offer mobile banking to serve the basic financial needs of consumers. The service could be launched as early as the beginning of 2010. IBTimes reports.
According to a statement released by Nokia, the Nokia Money is designed to be “as simple and convenient as making a voice call or sending an SMS.”
A new report called “Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone” was released Tuesday by EM Radiation Research Trust. It claims that previous studies on the topic were flawed.
This report, sent to government leaders and media, details eleven design flaws of the 13-country, Telecom-funded Interphone study.
-- There is a risk of brain tumors from cellphone use
Full report (PDF)
August 25, 2009
A recently released app that offers free text messages on the iPhone is welcome news to parents of teenagers upset over the cellphone bills of their hypertexting children. But can it be a sustainable business? Bits takes a closer look.
TextPlus is a free iPhone application that offers unlimited free text messaging from iPhones or iPod Touches and includes group text messaging.
Read full article
The Telegraph reports that people now prefer to use their mobile phones to wake up in the mornings.This is certainly true for my family. We set our phone to wake up and no longer have a clock radio by our bed.
According to The Telegraph, research has shown that the timepieces are on their way to disappearing from our bedside cabinets for good, because we rely on our phones to do the job instead.
Much has been written about how young people are no longer wearing watches, and check the time on their cell phones.
Related to cell phones and watches:
It's no secret that Japan has better mobile phones than the rest of the world. The country has also had access to better phone-based Internet services since the launch of NTT DoCoMo's i-mode service all the way back in 1998.
Recent data from japan.internet.com (translated by whatjapanthinks.com) suggests that Japan's mobile phones offer users enough functionality that 49 percent of the respondents to a recent survey say a "mobile phone is enough" when asked what kind of mobile device they would most like to carry.
Experts say the recent ruling by the top French court — to accept phone exchanges as legitimate proof of adultery — will make it easier for the French to get divorced. The New York Times reports.
Previously, husbands and wives often had to wait for years to escape a marriage if they could not prove that their spouse was misbehaving or mistreating them.
Related articles on Text Messaging used as evidence in Court
ConsumerSearch.com, a free Web site from About.com, which analyzes both expert and user-generated consumer product reviews and recommends what to buy in over 300 categories, has just launched a new cell phone reviews site in an effort to simplify the cell phone purchasing process.
-- The new cell phone site pairs comprehensive product reviews with convenient e-commerce functionality from Simplexity, the leading online seller of wireless services and devices, to enable users to research and purchase phones all in one place.
-- Cell phone reviews for over 200 phones from 18 different wireless carriers and 23 different manufacturers.
[via e-mail press release]
August 24, 2009
From Bloomberg: Apple may be the highest grossing Fifth Avenue retailer. Better than Saks', Tiffany's and Bergdorf's? That's wild.
Also interesting in this article:
According to a survey conducted by Interbrand Corp. in December 2008, mobile phones are one of the household budget items consumers are least willing to cut back on. Respondents said they’d sooner skimp on housing, clothing, groceries and tobacco products. The only items they’re more reluctant to cut spending on than mobile service are prescription and over-the- counter medicines.
Top-Tens is an app that tracks the top 10 rankings for everything from books and movies to computer viruses and online deals.
Read full article.