Archives for September 2009
September 25, 2009
The Extraordinaries is an interesting new concept in the growing field of iPhone applications — it allows people to use the every part of their spare time cow (waiting for a movie to start, riding a bus, waiting in line) to do small bits of volunteering through “micro-actions.” Mediaite reports.
-- Translate a nonprofit's Website into a foreign language
Watch dedicated Extraordinaries channel on YouTube
The federal government has selected Telstra to build a new $15 million national warning system that will send text alerts to the mobile phones of residents threatened by bushfires. [via Australian IT News]
In the event of brush fires, disease epidemics, sieges, cyclones, terrorist attacks, locust plagues and heat or smog alerts, the system will be used to deliver recorded voice warnings to landlines and text messages to mobiles based on people's billing addresses.
It's hoped the system, which will be able to send at least 100,000 messages at a time, will be in use by the end of November in all states except Western Australia, which has its own State Alert system.
Japan's NTT DoCoMo says that it has developed a mobile phone prototype made with the surplus wood of trees culled during thinning operations to maintain healthy forests. The prototype was created in collaboration with Sharp, Olympus and "more trees," a reforestation project founded by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and others.
[via Cellular News]
Related concept phones made out of wood:
President Felipe Calderon’s budget proposals, including a tax on telecommunications, could force as many as 5 million Mexican mobile-phone customers to drop their lines, NII Holdings Inc. is telling lawmakers.
Lower-income subscribers wouldn’t be able to afford the service, and the decline in subscribers could slow Mexico’s economic growth, according to documents the company is providing to legislators.
Joshua Goldstein writing for Business Daily describes how African mobile networks are costly because the price of sending an SMS is kept up by high taxes and interconnection fees.
However, there is reason for hope. Mobile companies and regulators around the developing world are recognising the “economics of abundance”— that more users at lower prices will result in more revenue.
September 24, 2009
The online SIM-only offer called giffgaff will aim to capitalise on the trend towards online content creation. The company says the more a customer gets involved, the more they will be rewarded with cheaper calls and texts.
Read full article.
Just over a week after the Philippine politicians approved plans for a tax on text messages, the measure is to be subjected to an investigation following strong public opposition. The measure had been approved by the House of Representatives. [via Cellular News]
The law is seeking a tax of five centavos (US$0.001) on every text message sent by mobile phone. Its backers estimate that the tax would raise up to US$700 million in revenue for the government.
Related: - Philippines. SMS is tax goldmine
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Wednesday announced its support for banning text messaging using a hand-held device or calling using a hand-held device while driving a motor vehicle, saying the visual/manual task interferes with the attention a driver needs to safely operate an automobile.
"Alliance member companies have long recognized the risks of distracted driving. That’s why automakers voluntarily developed and implemented guidelines for integrated advanced information and communications systems," added Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 11 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Previously: - Ford Backs Ban on Text Messaging by Drivers
A video compilation of phone failures in horror movies - on YouTube.
Research in the leading journal found examples of web gossip by trainee doctors sharing private patient stories and details.
Online Posting of Unprofessional Content by Medical Students - Journal of the American Medical Association
The New York Times has published a Small Business Guide to Text-Message Marketing with quick tips, recommended reading and case studies.
Additional resources missing from this guide:
-- SMS and Business category on Textually
-- SMS Marketing and Advertising category on Textually
-- 101 Business Uses for SMS, a report published by Clickatell, recipient of the Moby award in the "Best Mobile Direct Response" category for its industry-first SMS campaign working with the US State Department, which sent 'live' text messages to global citizens during President Obama's Cairo and Ghana speeches this past summer.
For better or worse, text messaging has become, according to a company called Scientific Media, the most popular mobile application on Earth. And while many companies are trying to build marketing efforts around people's use of texting, it's clear there is a long way to go before those efforts are coherent. By Daniel Terdiman for CNet.
At the DemoFall 09 conference here Wednesday, Scientific Media unveiled its Dot Go service, a tool it hopes large numbers of companies will employ to try to boost their text messaging-based marketing.
Read full article.
September 23, 2009
Starbucks is testing an iPhone app in Seattle and the Bay Area that links to a customer’s registered account—and includes a bar code that can be used to pay for purchases instead of the plastic swipe cards. WSJ reports the chain will use feedback from the experiment to help plan the next steps.
According to the WSJ, South Korea's communications regulator decided Wednesday to allow the sale of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, a government spokesman said, lifting a technical requirement that had blocked the product.
The Korea Communications Commission made an exception to a rule that requires cellphones sold in the country to use domestic technology for location-based services such as GPS. The commission's action comes after months of consumer pressure. South Korea has long stood out as one of the few technically advanced countries that doesn't allow the iPhone.
Too expensive to maintain, Twitter shut down SMS in several countries (in fact, all of them besides the U.S. and India). But even since Kevin Thau, Twitter’s head of mobile products and partnerships, came on board in January, SMS has seen a resurgence. And today it looks like Twitter is ready to emphasize the service again.
Canadians have a new way to support charities via their mobile phones, thanks to a partnership between the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and the recently-established Mobile Giving Foundation. Telecommunications Industry News reports.
Users will initially be able to support Plan Canada, the Children’s Wish Foundation, Best Buddies, and Jays Care Foundation.
Related: - UK text donations will be VAT free
September 22, 2009
Looking to add to its winning Sync system, Ford is researching a voice-to-text system that would allow drivers to keep the utility of text-messaging without taking their eyes off the road. Ford is so far the only automaker to endorse the national texting ban.
This will prolly comes as a bit of a shock to UR system, but findings from a group of University of Alberta researchers show that language commonly used in instant messaging has no effect on your child's spelling abilities. If anything, says study author Connie Varnhagen, using language variations commonly used in instant messaging and texting is actually a good sign.
[via Cellular News]
Related: - Texting can b gd 4 ur kids
Sony Ericsson has announced a pair of inner-ear headphones that know when you're using them. PC Pro reports.
According to Sony Ericsson, the MH907 headphones use capacitive technology to start the music when you insert both headphones into your ears.
Read full article.
According to MacRumors, Apple approved close to 1400 iPhone apps last Friday, by far the largest number approved in a single day in the past few months.
Over 300 of the approved applications were games.
Thousands of people will be paid small sums to translate portions of the original 1851 text into Emoji, the picture character language widely used in Japanese SMS messages. The Telegraph reports.
While the premise of the project – titled Emoji Dick – may be whimsical, it highlights the innovative ways in which the labour pool of bored internet users is being tapped to complete complex tasks.
Read full article.
The wireless industry is gearing up to fight new Net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission is formulating to keep the Internet open. CNet reports.
On Monday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave a speech at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., outlining plans to turn the agency's principles for open Internet access into official regulation.
Read full article.
Discover how fashion-forward retailers can establish leadership through mobile messaging, thanks to Clickatell.
SMS offers new opportunities for retailers to better interact with their customers. Taking advantage of this opportunity, fashion leaders such as Schuh - a UK footwear retailer - have adopted new mobile messaging and marketing programs and have seen direct increases in retail sales as a result.
Schuh understood that through simple, low cost, targeted mobile marketing campaigns, both online and in-store customers would always be given the earliest opportunity to participate in competitions, brand promotions or upcoming sales.In addition, Schuh used SMS to inform customers in real-time of orders and deliveries.
How it was done
Schuh integrated their existing software with their choice of Clickatell’s broad range of API solutions including sample code scripting and customer support to make it easy for a user to integrate SMS messaging into eCommerce websites and back-end systems. Within a short space of time, Schuh had successfully integrated messaging into their customer-facing applications and business processes and were ready to start sending SMS messages.
You can download the case study here (pdf)
Throughout September, Textually will be promoting Clickatell through a series of editorial 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.
Another article on cell phone safety, from TIME. A good recap.
... Despite the government's view that cell phones pose no danger, other researchers note that most of us have been using them for less than a decade. If there is indeed a cumulative risk to using a mobile phone, it's possible users won't be aware of it until it's too late — just as it took doctors decades to connect cigarette-smoking with lung cancer. "We all wish we'd heeded the early warnings about cigarettes," says Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at EWG and the author of the recent report on cell phones. "We think cell phones are similar."
According to a press release from Barnes & Noble, Inc., the B&N eReader app for the iPhone and iPod touch recently hit the one million mark.
The free B&N eReader app is one of the most popular apps in the iTunes Books category, and held the No. 1 spot throughout the summer.
The group said it's intended as a "wake-up call" for world leaders who will be involved in the G-20 economic summit Thursday and Friday in downtown Pittsburgh.
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September 21, 2009
Following months of massive anticipation, SK Telecom unveiled its "T-Store'' online store last week. Unfortunately, according to The Korea Times, the initial response from mobile users and bloggers was downright harsh, with the potential buzz project turning into a public relations disaster.
The biggest complaint is that the applications listed on T-Store could not be downloaded through computers or Wi-Fi connections, but only through SK Telecom's third-generation (3G) mobile data network, which has been ignored by a larger part of users because of expensive rates.
Cellphones, iPods, and other small yet powerful mobile computing devices could usher in a new era of environmental monitoring in remote places, helping scientists to study the natural world - and on a budget.
Read full article in The Boston Globe
The group, based in Ramallah, has already registered 8,000 Palestinians on its Souktel system, most of them recent graduates. The system connects them to about 150 leading employers who are looking for staff.