Archives for February 2010

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February 28, 2010

Text Messaging Fund Raising for Chili Earthquake Victims

The Mobile Giving Foundation is coordinating text messaging campaigns to raise money for Chili earthquake victims.

By texting a keyword to a designated short code via a mobile phone, a micro-donation of $5 or $10 can be made to aid the people affected by this tragedy. 100% of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on your carrier bill, standard rates may apply.

There are several organizations that are responding to this urgent need with mobile‑giving efforts, including the following:

Text the word “CHILE” to 25383 to donate $10
On behalf of the Habitat for Humanity

Text the word “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10
On behalf of World Vision

Text the word “CHILE” to 52000 to donate $10
On behalf of the Salvation Army

Text the word “YOUTH” to 20222 to donate $10
On behalf of UNICEF

[via Yahoo! News]

emily | 8:59 AM | permalink

February 27, 2010

Apple admits using child labour in China

Apple has admitted that child labour was used at the Chinese factories that build its computers, iPods and mobile phones. At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

[via The Telegraph]

emily | 2:21 PM | permalink

Plants vs. Zombies iPhone app grosses $1m in 10 days

plantsvszombiesapp.jpg More than 300,000 copies of iPhone's Plants vs. Zombies application have been sold in in fewer than 10 days. TechFlash reports.

quotemarksright.jpgApp Developper PopCap Games says that's a record for the iPhone, and the $2.99 game has now grossed more than $1 million.

Given Apple's customary 30 percent cut, that means PopCap has netted more than $700,000.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:20 AM | permalink

Twitter and Facebook access for US troops

YouTube (file image).jpeg US troops are to be allowed to use social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook following a review of internet use and security. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgDefence department officials say the benefits of using social media now outweigh the risks to security.

The ruling means that a number of sites blocked by the Pentagon in 2007 - including YouTube - will be unblocked.

However, commanders will be able to temporarily block access to safeguard missions or save bandwidth.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Department of Defense: New Policy Authorizes Social Media Access, With Caveats

emily | 10:08 AM | permalink

Hundreds of people arrested in Xinjiang for spreading rumours through texts

xin_38202050613247651759829.jpeg Chinese authorities have punished hundreds of people in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region for spreading rumours and separatist content through text messages during the Spring Festival holiday, reports OneIndia.

quotemarksright.jpgTwo persons were detained on Feb 20, while the rest received administrative punishments for sending illegal text messages, according to a statement released by the regional police.

More than half of those punished are students and self-employed people. A number of people who sent the messages meant them as jokes, China Daily reports.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Photo from China View.

emily | 8:58 AM | permalink

February 26, 2010

Vodafone turns recycled phones into geek chic

translate.jpeg

Spotted on engadget:mobile, Vodafone turning recycled phones into geek chic.

I picked un on two other interesting green stories today, though not related to cell phones:

Ecosia, an eco-friendly search engine. In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgEcosia is an eco-friendly Internet search engine backed by Yahoo, Bing and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). It basically works like any other search engine but, unlike others, Ecosia gives at least 80% of its advertising revenue to a rainforest protection program run by the WWF.

Because of this, Ecosia users can save about two square meters of rainforest with every search they do – without paying anything. Furthermore, all Ecosia servers run on green electricity, so they do not cause any CO2 emissions. By using Ecosia, you can turn your web searches green.quotesmarksleft.jpg

And spotted on boingboing, high heel shoes made out of recycled TVs.

emily | 11:08 PM | permalink

Belgium ministers requested not to use BlackBerry's to exchange confidential information

The Belgium security service says Belgium ministers should no longer use BlackBerry's to exchange confidential information, since the "chance of interception of that information by foreign powers is too great".

[via PortableGear. Thanks Tom!]

emily | 4:03 PM | permalink

Apple launching an "Adult" iPhone app store?

According to Top 10 mobile phones, app developers noticed a section called Apps Store: Explicit' on the developer site - where apps are submitted for approval or rejection - but it quickly vanished, leading rumors of a slip up on the part of Apple.

And offering a possible explanation why Apple kicked out sexually inappropriate apps from the iPhone store last week.

Read full article.

emily | 3:53 PM | permalink

TigerText: An iPhone app that sends SMS that won't linger

TigerTextApp.jpg A new iPhone app launched yesterday that allows users to send text messages that won't linger - if you don't want them to.

Inspired by Tiger Woods text messaging woes, the app called TigerText, deletes texts from both users phones.

From the Tiger Text website here's how it works:

When you send a regular text message, the message is sent from your phone, routed through a server, and then delivered to the recipient’s phone. The message you send will live on the receiver’s phone until the recipient decides to delete it. The text message will also reside on the cell phone company’s server for an unlimited amount of time.

TigerText is different because, even though it looks and feels identical to a normal text message, the content of your message is never sent to the recipient’s phone and you control when the message is deleted from our server so you control the lifespan of the message!

How do I know messages are deleted?

Messages are displayed on both users (sender and receiver) phones until they are deleted from our server. All expired texts are cleared from our servers every minute of the day. Once you see the TigerText paws, you know your tracks have been covered and the message no longer stored anywhere.

[via TIME who's written up a full review]

emily | 3:38 PM | permalink

Workers poisoned by supplier for Apple, Nokia

Wintek, the Taiwanese company that provides displays and electronic components for Apple, Nokia, and others has admitted that more employees than previously reported have been poisoned by an industrial chemical used in its manufacturing facilities. The Register reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to a report Thursday by Global Post, a Wintek spokesman admitted that 62 workers in the company's Suzhou plant, located in the Jiangsu province of mainland China, had been sickened by exposure to n-hexane last summer - more than the 47 to 49 that various news sources had previously reported.

The Wintek spokesman also said that of the workers poisoned by n-hexane, 41 remain hospitalized.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:21 AM | permalink

Phones, paper 'chips' may fight disease

device_final_cropped.whitesides.web.jpeg George Whitesides, a chemistry professor at Harvard University, has developed a prototype for paper "chip" technology that could be used in the developing world to cheaply diagnose deadly diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis and gastroenteritis. CNN reports.

quotemarksright.jpgPatients put a drop of blood on one side of the slip of paper, and on the other appears a colorful pattern in the shape of a tree, which tells medical professionals whether the person is infected with certain diseases.

It's not entirely unlike a home pregnancy test, Whitesides said, but the chips are much smaller and cheaper, and they test for multiple diseases at once. They also show how severely a person is infected rather than producing only a positive-negative reading.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Image from Popsci.com. Watch George Whitesides talk on TED.

emily | 8:37 AM | permalink

Half of iPhone users buy at least an app a month

iapps.gif According to according to a study released Thursday by AdMob and reported by Crave, half of iPhone users buy at least an app a month.

quotemarksright.jpgAmong mobile-device consumers surveyed by AdMob for its "January 2010 Metrics Report," 50 percent of all iPhone users and 35 percent of iPod Touch owners purchase at least one app a month. Those numbers compare with 24 percent of Palm's WebOS owners and 21 percent of Android users who buy at least one app each month. Results did not include Research In Motion's BlackBerry.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:30 AM | permalink

February 25, 2010

New York Looks To Make Texting While Driving A Primary Offense

Governor David A. Paterson has submitted to the Legislature Program Bill No. 222, which would make New York State’s law against using a cell phone or texting while driving more effective by raising a violation of the law from a secondary offense to a primary offense.

[via The Gov Monitor]

emily | 3:59 PM | permalink

Access of Mobile News Rises 500%

E&P reports more people are accessing local news through mobile phones — more than 8 million readers, a 500% increase year-over-year, according to new stats from Verve Wirelless.

[via Cyberjournalist]

emily | 3:48 PM | permalink

Startup uses ATM machine to recycle cellphones

ecoATM.jpeg

San Diego-based ecoATM aims to reduce all that "e-waste" through the use of recycling kiosks - similar to Coinstar vending machines - that calculate the value of an old cell phone's components, and then pays the consumer on the spot in cash or coupons for depositing the device.

[via Reuters]

emily | 8:32 AM | permalink

February 24, 2010

New cell phones in 2010: Some push cell phone radiation limit

RadiatiobChart.jpg

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published a user-friendly interactive cell phone radiation list and database.

quotemarksright.jpg Motorola Droid, Blackberry Bold 9700, HTC Magic and LG Chocolate Touch, hyped as the latest and greatest new cell phones in 2010, rate high marks from tech experts for performance and features. But the flashy ads don't disclose that these new models top the radiation charts.

The EWG has found that all four phones’ emissions are pushing the edge of radiofrequency radiation safety limits set by the FCC.

Click here to check out the radiation levels for new 2010 cell phones.

Click here for a listing is based on phones currently available from major carriers.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via MIS-Asia].

emily | 9:24 AM | permalink

More than 1.2 billion cellphones sold in 2009

Worldwide phone sales were flat in 2009, but the fourth quarter showed an 8% bump in sales, says market research firm Gartner. Some 1.21 billion phones sold in 2009. USA Today reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSmartphones from companies such as Apple, Google and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion may get the most attention, but standard phones were bigger sellers. Market share leaders:

-- Nokia: 38.6%
-- Samsung: 16.3%
-- LG: 8.4%quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:56 AM | permalink

February 21, 2010

Mobile phones become pocket banks in poor countries

The Economic Times of India has an interesting article on mobile banking, quoting figures from the GSM Association, an industry group of 800 wireless operators.

quotemarksright.jpgMobile money applications are emerging as potent financial tools in rural and remote areas of the globe, allowing people with no bank accounts to get paid, send remittances or settle their bills.

-- One billion consumers in the world have a mobile phone but no access to a bank account.

-- Mobile banking began to emerge six years ago in the Philippines and South Africa, where 8.5 million and 4.5 million people, respectively, use such services.

-- Today, 40 million people worldwide use mobile money, and the industry is growing.

-- There are 18,000 new mobile banking users per day in Uganda, 15,000 in Tanzania and 11,000 in Kenya.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:54 AM | permalink

Got an idea for an app? Sony Ericsson wants to hear from you

Spotted on Shiny Shiny, Sony Ericsson's new community site SE-dot, dedicated to general users rather than just developers, encouraging them to submit their ideas for a new app.

In their own words: "It's nothing to do with technology but all about customer and users submitting creative ideas about how mobiles can make life better."

emily | 9:37 AM | permalink

Apple doubles iPhone's 3G app download limit

Accordin to Fierce Mobile Content, Apple has boosted the maximum size of an iPhone app download over 3G from 10 MB to 20 MB. Previously, users who wanted to download an app larger than 10 MB had to switch to a WiFi connection.

emily | 9:30 AM | permalink

Amazon to launch Free Kindle App for BlackBerry Devices

blackberryappworld.jpg According to Mobiledia, Amazon is launching a free Kindle application to give BlackBerry users access to over 420,000 books on their handsets.

quotemarksright.jpgThe new program, called "Kindle for Blackberry", will let customers buy and read Kindle books, most for $10 or less, directly from their device.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:26 AM | permalink

Mashable gets a new app

mashableapp.jpg Mashable’s new free iPhone app is live in the App Store, offering an entirely new interface and a bunch of new features. These include:

1. Browse by channel, category, tag or author

2. Share stories via email, Twitter and Facebook

3. Read later: save stories to read offline

4. Drag to refresh: tap and pull down to refresh story listings

5. In-App Browser : Visit external links without leaving the app

emily | 8:53 AM | permalink

The New App Store Rules: No Swimsuits, No Skin, And No Innuendo

Apple apparently bans all sexy or suggestive apps from iPhone App Store.

[via TechCrunch]

emily | 8:50 AM | permalink

China urges 'red' texts

JDM100212jjrbs.jpeg In China to celebrate this Spring season, government officials are promoting a "red message" campaign to counter Internet and cell-phone pornography. CRI English reports.

quotemarksright.jpgRed messages cover a wide spectrum of issues: from advocating social ethics, to inspiring people, and promotion of a low-carbon lifestyle.

Initially launched in 2005, China Mobile Guangdong provided an economic incentive to writers of red text messages: users whose uploaded text messages are circulated receive 50 percent of the download fees.

China Mobile Guangdong said that by the end of 2009, over 693 writers had been rewarded over 500 yuan ($73).

The term "yellow text message" is widely used in China to describe text messages containing pornography.quotesmarksleft.jpg

According to The Economist, The most famous red-texter is Bo Xilai, the party chief of Chongqing (see article). "Last April he sent 13m-odd mobile-users a message bearing quotes from Mao Zedong such as “What really counts in the world is conscientiousness, and the Communist party is most particular about being conscientious.” Enthused, or more likely bemused, users relayed his missive, reported the local press, 16m times."

Image left of the Economic Daily, Feb 12, 2010 including a short article on "red snippets" posted on Danwei.

emily | 8:15 AM | permalink

Cries for Help via Text Messages Are Used to Direct Aid to Haiti

The New York Times on how the Coast Guard plays a part as an SMS emergency contact network for Haitians.

quotemarksright.jpg... To get the word out about the new program, the distress code number — 4636 — was sent to every cellphone on the Haitian network. Word of the program also went out on local Haitian radio stations.

The choice to base the emergency network on text messaging was because of the damage Haiti’s telecommunications system suffered in the quake. Fallen cell towers and overloaded networks made telephone calls nearly impossible.

However, text messaging was still available and widely used among Haitians trying to locate friends and loved ones among the rubble.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:08 AM | permalink

February 20, 2010

The Telegraph on textual infidelity

An insightful article from The Telegraph on textual infidelity.

quotemarksright.jpg... The technology that has allowed the working day to expand into a 24/7 slog conducted via iPhone and BlackBerry has no less enabled a hot and heavy culture of permanent flirtation; a flirtation, moreover, where the virtual may effortlessly elide into the physical. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:58 AM | permalink

February 19, 2010

Lady Gaga's Cell Phone Hairdo

Expecting an important call, Lady Gaga? The wacky songstress crafted her tresses into a telephone receiver for a new video.jpeg

Spotted on New York's Daily News, this strange hairdo, even for Lady Gaga. She's filming a video for a track called "Telephone".

emily | 4:48 PM | permalink

Australia's Twitter election

In the lead-up to this year's federal election, Australian politicians are reaching out to voters like never before - in 140 characters or less.

[via stuff]

emily | 9:08 AM | permalink

Telecom identifies staff responsible for 'f*** you' texts

6a00e5501aaa24883400e553c0be188833800wi.jpeg According to 3 News and The NZ Herald, the New Zealand Telecom company in a PR nightmare has identified four workers in Manila who sent abusive text messages to at least 5 customers - including one to a woman which said "F*** you customer".

quotemarksright.jpgThe communications company's fraud and technical teams worked with other service providers to track the messages, and confirm that the messages originated from employees of their outsource partner Manila Sitel.

The individuals involved have been suspended pending further investigation.

Telecom has contacted the customers who our records show received the texts to apologise, assist them and keep them updated on the investigation and its outcomes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

According to The National Business Review, "the messages were sent using a tool called eTXT; eTXT provides the ability to send a text message to a mobile from a PC anywhere around the world".

Previously:

-- More Telecom customers sent obscene texts

-- Telecom Rep sends "F*** you customer" text message to unhappy customer

emily | 8:35 AM | permalink

February 18, 2010

Insight on Iowa teen texting champion

Kate Moore.jpeg Insight from Yahoo! Games, on how one teenager became a fastest texting champion.

quotemarksright.jpg Meet Kate Moore, a lively 16-year-old high school sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa. Like many other teens, she's been known to send a text or two. But her aptitude for texting goes beyond sending sneaky messages to friends during math class: Moore's messaging habit has won her $60,000 in prize money -- not to mention fame both at home and abroad -- in less than a year.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:22 PM | permalink

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