Archives for April 2010

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April 30, 2010

Apple Patents The Invisible Button

quotemarksright.jpgA new patent application titled “Disappearing Button or Slider” shows that Apple is at least thinking about how to bring elements of touch computing to all devices by replacing buttons and other controls with capacitive controls which appear only when needed. quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via TechCrunch]

emily | 12:06 PM | permalink

'No Phone Zone' rallies join texting fight

No Phone Zone.jpeg Drivers in at least 30 states plan to participate Friday in Oprah Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" campaign, when viewers pledge to refrain from using their cellphones while driving, reports USA Today.

quotemarksright.jpg... This year has seen a national crackdown on texting while driving. The federal government banned texting on handheld devices while driving for bus drivers and commercial truckers. Since January, five states have enacted total bans on texting while driving; 24 states and Washington, D.C., now have such bans.

"There's no better or more powerful ally than Oprah," says GHSA spokesman Jonathan Adkins. "She has the potential to be the MADD (Mother Against Drunk Driving) for texting and distracted driving. When Oprah speaks, people listen. In this case, when Oprah speaks, we expect people to put down the phone while driving."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related:

-- Oprah's campaign to stop texting while driving

-- Oprah to launch campaign against distracted driving

Map below:States in dark blue ban texting for all drivers. Light blue indicates bans for novice drivers. Gray indicates states with no bans. (Note: Texas also bans texting for school bus drivers.)

statesthatbantatextinganddriving.jpg

emily | 11:55 AM | permalink

At least 2 people involved in sale of iPhone '4G'

CNET learns that there were at least three people involved, including a man, 21, allegedly paid by Gizmodo for the device, and another, 27, who allegedly shopped it around.

Related:

-- Person Who Sold the iPhone Prototype Revealed

-- iPhone Finder Regrets His ‘Mistake’

-- Can Gizmodo Win the iPhone Legal Battle?

-- Could Gizmodo's iPhone Scoop Settle Whether Bloggers Count As Journalists?

emily | 11:50 AM | permalink

Apple’s Chief Makes Case Against Flash

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, posted a 1,700-word letter on Apple’s Web site on Thursday, explaining the company’s decision not to allow the multimedia software Adobe Flash on Apple’s mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

[via The New York Times]

Related:

-- Adobe Chief Responds To Steve Jobs Rant

-- Who's right about Flash?

-- Adobe Flash vs. The World

-- The Six Big Reasons Apple Won't Put Flash On iPhone Or iPad

emily | 8:29 AM | permalink

Person Who Sold the iPhone Prototype Revealed

brian-hogan-iphone-260.jpeg According to an investigation by Wired, the person who sold Gizmodo the iPhone prototype is 21-year-old Brian Hogan of Redwood City, California. [via Mashable]

quotemarksright.jpg Wired uncovered his identity after following a trail of clues on social media websites, some of which have now been taken down.

Hogan is letting his lawyer do the talking and for good reason. He’s at the center of an ongoing criminal investigation and anything he says could be used as ammunition in an eventual lawsuit.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related:

-- iPhone Finder Regrets His ‘Mistake’

-- Can Gizmodo Win the iPhone Legal Battle?

-- Could Gizmodo's iPhone Scoop Settle Whether Bloggers Count As Journalists?

emily | 8:17 AM | permalink

Cell Phone Networks boost coverage for Obama's commencement address on Saturday

Top News Story.jpeg An insightful piece from Ann Arbor, on how all the networks are gearing up to boost their cellular coverage on Saturday, as President Barack Obama will be giving the commencement address at Michigan University.

quotemarksright.jpgThe University of Michigan expects at least 80,000 people to attend President Barack Obama’s commencement address Saturday at Michigan Stadium. And that means about 80,000 people using their cell phones to access the Internet, send text messages, call friends and take and send photos.

According to U-M’s Scott Campbell, an assistant professor of communication studies, “everybody who has the ability to use their camera phone is going to use it,” he said. “It will be kind of like a football game. But with Obama here, there’s going to be heightened use of technology.” quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read Ann Arbor">full article.

emily | 8:05 AM | permalink

Cell Phone Uses Gesture Control

The next generation of cell phone interfaces is currently under development at Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory at the University of Tokyo but instead of using a touchscreen the new interface is touchless.

[via PhysOrg]

emily | 7:29 AM | permalink

April 28, 2010

Chocolate? There's An App For That

chocolate-theres-an-app-for-that.jpeg

Spotted on Gizmodo. Handmade in France, they're sold out on Etsy.

Wonderful.

emily | 8:34 AM | permalink

Can Gizmodo Win the iPhone Legal Battle?

As the case of the missing iPhone moves from a technology story into a legal case, lawyers explain Gizmodo's options.

[via Bits]

Related: - Could Gizmodo's iPhone Scoop Settle Whether Bloggers Count As Journalists?

emily | 8:11 AM | permalink

“Voice Keywords” Concept Via SMS

VoiceKeywords.jpg A company called Go800 has developed an SMS marketing system that uses the traditional keyword-to-shortcode concept, but returns voice calls instead of SMS-based content and calls-to-action. Mobile Marketing Watch reports.

quotemarksright.jpgKnown as “keyword navigation” for mobile devices, Go800’s patent-pending technology enables consumers to directly connect to brands via the Go800 short code (46800) without the need to research phone numbers. For example, if you want United Airlines, text “United Air” to 46800, connect with an operator and check the status of your flight. Text “Pizza” and you may get you Ray’s pizza down the block, depending on your area code.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:50 AM | permalink

No Texting Day experiment at Riverdale Country School

Riverdale Country School, an elite private school in the Bronx, asked middle-schoolers to voluntarily forsake instant messaging, chat, texts, and Facebook for two days, to experience life unconnected, reports The New York Times.

quotemarksright.jpgThis text-free Sunday, the Riverdale students said, was unusually relaxing. They were shocked at how quickly they finished their homework, undistracted by an always-open video chat, or checking in on Facebook or responding to the hundred messages they typically get in a day.

... None looked pale and ashen; none were twitching, at least visibly.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:45 AM | permalink

Unicef launches free SMS number for Nepalese youths

www.unicef.png Unicef Tuesday launched a free SMS number for youths in Nepal so they could text in their views and comments on issues that concern them to the global organisation. Sify reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe number is being launched in partnership with the popular radio show 'Saathi Sanga Manka Kura' (SSMK), a youth oriented radio programme run by Equal Access Nepal.

Every week, SSMK will initiate a topic of debate on air and invite opinions. Listeners can then text in their views and comments on the given topic by sending an SMS, free of cost, to the 'Youth Corner' section of the Unicef Nepal website.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:41 AM | permalink

April 27, 2010

Police warn parents about mobile phone GPS app after alleged sex assault

The Vancouver Sun reports that police are warning parents about a cell phone app that allows gay men to pin point each other's exact location using GPS technology after a 15-year-old North Vancouver boy was allegedly targeted.

quotemarksright.jpgPolice said the 15-year-old boy said he met the suspect through a social networking app that connects users to gay and bisexual men who are nearby.

North Vancouver RCMP Sex Crimes Unit Sgt. Jeanette Theisen encouraged parents to have open and frank discussions with their children."Advances in technology and social networking make it easier for our children to come into contact with individuals who may try to harm them or take advantage of them," quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:24 PM | permalink

The World's First Augmented Reality Flashmob in Amsterdam

characters.jpeg

Spotted on Mobile Behavior, a report on the world's first augmented reality flashmob, organized by Sander Veenhof, which took place in Dam Square, Amsterdam.

quotemarksright.jpgIt was filled up with people using Android and iPhone devices, peering through the camera to view virtual 3D characters.quotesmarksleft.jpg

People were invited to join the flashmob on Saturday the 24th around 2pm. They were to install a layar Augmented Reality app, choose their favorite character and contribute it to the pool of virtual 'human sculptures' on the Dam square.

A great way to promote an app.

Watch video of the event. Click here for explanations on how it worked.

emily | 9:03 PM | permalink

China. Communication companies must 'detect, report and delete' information about State secrets

Chinaflagoncell.jpeg According to China Daily, Telecom operators and Internet service providers must cooperate with public security and State security authorities on investigations of possible State secret leaks, according to a draft law.

quotemarksright.jpg... If the draft law is approved, both domestic operators and international operators on Chinese territory must comply with it, law experts said.

Some insiders of telecom and Internet service providers on Monday expressed their concerns about possible abuses of power, while admitting the cooperation would be effective in tackling crime and fraud. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from Device Magazine. [via The Washington Post]

emily | 7:09 PM | permalink

Could Gizmodo's iPhone Scoop Settle Whether Bloggers Count As Journalists?

An interesting read from Carlo Longino for Techdirt following Gizmodo's leaking details of the next iPhone and the police seizing Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's computers in a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the iPhone prototype and Gizmodo's acquisition of it. Longino wonders whether Gizmodo's iPhone scoop finally settles whether bloggers count as journalists, protected by law from revealing their sources.

quotemarksright.jpg ... The shield law exists to protect unnamed sources, not to let journalists commit crimes (such as receiving stolen property) and then cover them up under the guise of their work. So while the case may not settle if bloggers are seen as journalists in the eyes of the law, it should settle once and for all that age-old question of whether or not an iPhone prototype left in a bar by an Apple employee constitutes stolen property.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related:

-- Police seize Gizmodo's computers in iPhone probe

-- The Tale of Apple's Next iPhone

emily | 6:02 PM | permalink

Californian Bikers Facing Cell Phone Ban

amst_cell_phone.jpeg California banned texting while driving a motor vehicle more than a year ago, but now, another lawmaker wants to extend this ban to include cyclists. Switched reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to NPR, State Senator Joe Simitian drafted a law, which is currently in the Senate, that would make it illegal to use a cell phone while riding a bike.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related:

-- California Cyclists Split On Two-Wheel Texting Ban

-- New Jersey lawmakers mean to extend this ban to bicycle riders

-- Japan's National Police Agency seeks to ban cyclists from using cell phones

emily | 2:30 PM | permalink

Candy Wrapper iPhone app - sweet

CandyWrapper.jpg A sweet iPhone app called Candy Wrapper shows you how to make origami models using candy wrappers.

In app developer Daniel Berard's own words:

quotemarksright.jpgWrappers from Hersey's Kisses, Ferrero Rochers, Starbursts, Tootsie rolls, and Dum Dum lollipops are magically converted into butterflies, boxes, and boats.

Now you can have your candy and fold it too.quotesmarksleft.jpg

How cool is that?

emily | 8:57 AM | permalink

Send an SMS to the future kitchen

Vertigo di Indesit Group, la cappa con forno integrato.jpeg Born Rich offers a glimpse of what our kitchens will hold in the future: operating your appliances remotely by text messaging.

quotemarksright.jpgTechnology for the Kitchen (FTK) has integrated mobile technology into various kitchen appliances to make them work remotely through your cellphones. The user can defrost refrigerator or put dishes away in the oven if alerted by SMS.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Reppublica via Gizmodo. Check out slide show.

Related:

-- New Generation Refrigerator to detect what's missing in it

-- Refrigerated MMS

-- SMS your home appliances<

-- Whirlpool tests "smart" washer controlled from cell phones

-- Other relevant articles

emily | 7:54 AM | permalink

Police seize Gizmodo's computers in iPhone probe

Cnet reports that police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog's purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.

quotemarksright.jpgDeputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's office obtained a warrant on Friday and searched Jason Chen's Fremont, Calif., home later that evening, Gizmodo acknowledged on Monday.

"When I got home, I noticed the garage door was half-open," according to an account by Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. "And when I tried to open it, officers came out and said they had a warrant to search my house and any vehicles on the property 'in my control.' They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:46 AM | permalink

Text messages bolster world’s largest distribution of mosquito nets

WorldMalariaDay.jpg As communities across the globe commemorate World Malaria Day, UNICEF Nigeria and its partners are bringing a tech-savvy twist to their work in preventing this deadly disease, reports UNICEF on their website.

quotemarksright.jpgWorld Malaria Day, 25 April, focused this year on the challenge of achieving universal coverage with essential malaria-control interventions. Here is a story of progress and challenges in one malaria-endemic country, Nigeria.

This year, Rapid Short Message Service (SMS) text messages across Nigeria are helping to track the distribution of some 63 million mosquito nets – the largest campaign of its kind to date.

The campaign – a joint effort by the National Malaria Control Programme and Roll Back Malaria partners in Nigeria – uses Rapid SMS messages to track the distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets. Eleven states have already received 19 million nets, and millions more nets will be distributed by the end of this year.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce Nigeria’s burden of malaria by half by the end of 2010. Powerful information chains, activated by SMS text messages, streamline the distribution effort.

At the warehouse where the nets are stored, a stock manager dispatches a truckload to a main distribution centre and sends a coded text message to a remote server, reporting the number of nets on their way. The server which forwards an automatic message to the distribution centre.

When the truck arrives at the warehouse, a manager unloads the nets and uses another SMS text to report all inventory received. Yet another message alerts each local distribution point that bales of nets are on their way. After the nets are handed out locally, distribution team leaders submit text messages reporting the number of villages, households and individuals reached.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full report.

emily | 7:33 AM | permalink

South Africa. Police probe SMS warning whites of ‘murder pamphlets’

According to South Africa's daily Citizen, the intelligence community is investigating the origins of a “mischievous” SMS that has sowed panic in Polokwane and prompted the provincial police commissioner to place his forces on high alert.

quotemarksright.jpgThe SMS, which warns that there are pamphlets being distributed around Polokwane which are urging black people each to kill as many whites as possible during today’s Freedom Day celebrations, has been distributed countrywide over the past few days.

Polokwane police reportedly went on high alert shortly after the SMS began circulating and police patrols have been intensified in Limpopo province. No such pamphlets seem to exist, however, and the intelligence services are now tracing the source of the rumour.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:26 AM | permalink

April 26, 2010

Apps That Answer Military Needs: Like Helping to Locate Snipers

the-hurt-locker-movie-image-1.jpeg A fascinating read from Defense News explaining how the Army is moving aggressively to get smart phones ready for active duty.

quotemarksright.jpgAlready there's a smart phone application that calculates a bullet's trajectory, accounting for wind speed, distance, temperature, altitude and other factors. And soon soldiers will have another app to turn their smart phones into acoustic sensors to help locate snipers.

There's an app that uses a phone's GPS capabilities to track friendly troops, and another that helps troops translate English into Arabic.

Officials responsible for modernizing the U.S. Army say that smart phones and apps - the small but ingenious software applications that make smart phones so smart - will soon be as essential to soldiers as rifles.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:51 PM | permalink

Parsons Students Use SMS Technology To Get Medicines To African Villages

StopStockouts - Summer 2009 Documentary from StopStockouts on Vimeo.

Bloomberg/Business Week reports on Stop Stock-outs, an SMS program developed by Parson University students to track medicine inventories at the local level in many African villages.

According to Stop Stock-outs Campaign Statement:

sso_cs.jpeg

quotemarksright.jpgToday, at any given moment, public health facilities in Africa have in stock only about half of a core set of essential medicines. These are medicines used to treat common diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, HIV, TB, diabetes and hypertension – all of which are among the highest causes of death in Africa.

Stock-outs are worst in rural areas and poor people are the most affected. Stock-outs force people to buy medicines at much higher prices from the private sector. More often, though, patients simply go without the medicine they so badly need – often with life-and-death consequences.

The “Stop the Stock-outs” campaign is calling on governments and health departments to end stock-outs now by:

-- Giving financial and operational autonomy to the national medicines procurement and supply agency

-- Allowing representation of civil society on the board of the national medicines procurement and supply agency

-- Ending corruption in the medicine supply chain to stop theft and diversion of essential medicines

-- Providing a dedicated budget line for essential medicines

-- Living up to commitments to spend 15% of national budgets on health care

-- Providing free essential medicines at all public health institutions

Related projects:

-- Saving Lives with "SMS for Life" - Is an initiative that uses a combination of mobile phones, SMS technologies and intuitive web sites to track and manage the supply of (ACT) drugs and Quinine injectables, both of which are key to reducing the number of deaths from malaria in Tanzania.

-- "Pill-Check "Clinics - Members of the public in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi run a "pill check", visiting public hospitals to check the availability of drugs at their local clinic or hospital pharmacy.

-- Mobile Phones to serve as doctors in developing countries - In South Africa, the SIMpill is a sensor-equipped pill bottle with a SIM card that informs doctors whether patients are taking their tuberculosis medicine.

emily | 8:11 AM | permalink

Serb phone networks disabled

Mobile and Landline networks of Serbian providers in Kosovo are being disabled, leaving Serb villages in Kosovo disconnected from each other. B92 reports.

quotemarksright.jpgOn Friday, 14 mobile 063 and 064 network stations were disabled in other parts of the province. Ambulances and medical workers cannot work because they cannot receive calls.

Patients can be treated, therefore, only if they come to the hospital or ambulance building directly.

The Kosovo government supports the disabling of Serbian networks, stating that the action is "establishing legality on the telecommunications market in the Republic of Kosovo." quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:45 AM | permalink

April 25, 2010

Cuba opens up to allow more cell phones

1_241263_1_9.jpeg The number of cell phone subscribers in Cuba will exceed one million by the end of this year after the government in 2008 allowed cell phone service for ordinary Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for foreigners, companies and state agencies, reports Sify News.

quotemarksright.jpgThe lifting of the restriction was one of the first measures Raul Castro adopted after formally succeeding ailing older brother Fidel in February 2008, along with allowing the unrestricted sale of computers, DVD players and other consumer goods.

However, 23 out of the island's 169 municipalities are still without mobile phone coverage because they are located in mountainous or swampy areas.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related:

-- In Cuba, cell phones go unanswered

-- Cuban phone company reports 7,400 new cell phone accounts

-- Cubans snapping up cell phones

-- Cuba lifts curbs on cell phones

emily | 2:12 PM | permalink

Twitter buys Cloudhopper to become world SMS leader

www.cloudhopper.jpeg twitter_logo_1.jpeg

According to Softpedia, with the Twitter's purchase of global mobile messaging company Cloudhopper, Twitter intends to become the highest volume SMS program in the world.

emily | 11:07 AM | permalink

24 Hours: Unplugged - revealing UM study

A study from the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland, concludes that most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world. Smart Mobs reports.

quotemarksright.jpgResearchers asked 200 students at the College Park campus to give up all media for 24 hours. After their 24 hours of abstinence, the students were then asked to blog on private class websites about their experiences: to report their successes and admit to any failures. The 200 students wrote more than 110,000 words: in aggregate, about the same number of words as a 400-page novel.

“Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” wrote one student. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.” quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read "Merrill Study: College Students Unable to Disconnect". And Study Conclusions

GigaOM's point of view: Researchers are addicted to bogus Internet studies

emily | 10:35 AM | permalink

Meet Marty Cooper - the inventor of the mobile phone

martincooper1_wideweb__470x362,0.jpeg The BBC interviews Marty Cooper - the inventor of the mobile phone.

quotemarksright.jpgThe concept of a handheld phone was his brainchild, and with the help of his Motorola team, the first handset was born in 1973 weighing in at two kilos.

When he stood on a New York street and made the first phone call from a prototype cellular phone, he could not have conceived how successful it would become.quotesmarksleft.jpg

My favorite part:

quotemarksright.jpg... The battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn't really a big problem because you couldn't hold that phone up for that long. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Other articles related to cell phone history.

emily | 9:15 AM | permalink

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