Archives for May 2011

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May 31, 2011

More people using Internet to make phone calls

The land line telephone is slowly disappearing from American life, replaced by the cell phone. But, the cell phone may be on its way out too, replaced with some other kind of device, smarter than your smart phone. Wtop.com reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to a new poll by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, after years of modest activity, online phone calling has taken off as a quarter of American adult internet users (24%) have placed phone calls online. That amounts to 19% of all American adults.

On any given day 5% of internet users are going online to place phone calls.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Read full report from Pew titled Internet Phone Calls.

emily | 2:48 PM | permalink

Shop fined $10,000 for firing worker in 'cowardly' text

Sedina Sokolovic who had been working for the last two years at Modestie Boutique in Liverpool, Sydney, was sacked by text message after her boss complained she had swapped shifts without permission and was late for work. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to her lawyer Adrian Barwick, if dismissal is implemented by any means other than face-to-face communication, both the legal and ethical basis for the decision to dismiss is likely to face strong and successful challenge," he said.

The reasons given in the text message did not include any "serious misconduct" that would justify an instant dismissal, and none were provided later at the Fair Work Australia hearing, the tribunal found. Firing Ms Sokolovic by text also denied her a chance to respond or explain the circumstances that had led to her sacking. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Legal precedent: -- Man vindicated after being fired for texting in sick - The firing of an employee who used text messages (instead of voice calls) to call in sick after his brother's death was unfair, an Edinburgh employment tribunal has ruled

-- Other "fired by SMS" stories blogged by textually over the years.

emily | 8:42 AM | permalink

iPhone, therefore I am: are gadgets stealing our humanity?

iphones become iminds (Video Thumbnail).jpeg

Are smart phones making us less smart? Professor David Chalmers argues that smartphones are freeing up brain memory for more creative tasks. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

quotemarksright.jpgTechnology pundits, social researchers and even philosophers are now pondering whether society's relentless march towards information overload is stealing rather than augmenting our humanity.

During a talk at the TEDxSydney conference at the weekend, Professor David Chalmers, director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University, argued that gadgets, particularly smartphones, had “become part of our minds”.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:31 AM | permalink

Twitter gives up details of anonymous tweeter

twitter.jpegIn a case that might help the legal action of soccer star Ryan Giggs, Twitter reveals the personal details of a British tweeter who is alleged to have libeled members of a local council in the U.K. News.com reports.

quotemarksright.jpgOne of the fun aspects of Twitter is that you can pretend to be someone else--or just make a name up for yourself--and express your true feelings about so very many things.

However, if your feelings happen to be seen as libelous, you might now have a problem.

For the Guardian reports that Twitter has revealed the name, e-mail address, and telephone number of a person who tweeted some rather critical notions about a local council in the U.K.

The council of South Tyneside, in the rather chilly north of England, decided to petition a court in California in order to secure these details.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:21 AM | permalink

Bacteria may one day be used as a power source for your mobile phone

The Washington Post on how bacteria may one day be used as a power source for your mobile phone. This particular study (there are others) comes from Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of East Anglia in England.

quotemarksright.jpgScientists have found that the bacteria, a kind called Shewanella oneidensis that live in oxygen-free environments, release excess electricity through microscopic “wires” sticking through their cell walls. As scientists map the exact structure of the bacteria, it may be possible to design electrodes with contacts that can pick up the charges.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

Related:

-- Using Dirt to Power Mobile Phones

-- Using a virus, hi-tech battery-powered clothes to power your cellphones

-- Bacteria Powered Cellphone Charger

-- Bacteria batteries for mobile phones

emily | 7:50 AM | permalink

May 30, 2011

Marlboro’s ‘Bump a Smoke’ App Makes Smoking Fairer

BumpASmoke.jpg

In an attempt to restore justice within the smoking community, Marlboro has released a new smartphone app called Bump a Smoke that enables people to trade virtual cigarettes for real ones, based on bump technology.

Read full article and find out how it work in Gawker.

emily | 10:31 PM | permalink

Daum expands messaging with new apps

my-people.jpeg An interesting article in Joongang Daily on MyPeople, Daum's mobile messenger service which has become one of the hottest businesses in the new smartphone era.

quotemarksright.jpg... In February, Daum added mobile voice-over-IP (mVoIP), a key extra feature that sets it apart from its rivals: mobile internet calling, which (like Skype) means free phone calls with anyone else registered with the service.

... It also offers a wider variety of icons, backgrounds and ring tones, as well as more storage for file exchanges.

On average, Daum is seeing about 2 million new subscribers a month and at the current pace, it will easily attain 20 million subscribers by the year’s end.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article and a very good review in nanoomi.net.

emily | 9:40 PM | permalink

FDA signals it will regulate medical apps

iphone-medical-apps.jpeg A handful of developers has sought and received Food and Drug Administration clearance for their mobile apps considered to be clinical devices. And the FDA has indicated that it will be more proactive in monitoring that class of product. American Medical News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSo far, the app market has gone unregulated for the most part, although many clinical apps probably would fall under FDA 510(k) rules, an FDA classification reserved for medical devices.

In February, the FDA finalized the rule that defines so-called Medical Device Data Systems. Under the rules, devices that transmit data but do not control or alter the function of a medical device are defined as MDDS, a Class I device that is exempt from 510(k) rules. The 510(k) classification is reserved for devices used for patient monitoring.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from TopBestThings - Best Medical Apps for iPhone And iPod Touch April 2011.

emily | 9:14 PM | permalink

Mubarak, other former Egypt officials fined $91 million for blocking cellphones, Internet

A judge fined former President Hosni Mubarak and two officials about $91 million Saturday for cutting cellphone and Internet services during the protests this winter that forced Mubarak to step down. The Los Angeles Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe three were found guilty of "causing damage to the national economy," state television reported, and ordered to pay the fines to the Egyptian treasury.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:51 AM | permalink

Vodafone Truck Can Charge 2,000 Cellphones At Once

VodafoneRechargingTrzck.jpeg

Spotted on Dvice, a UK Vodafone truck that can charge 2,000 cellphones of different makes all at once.

emily | 8:12 AM | permalink

May 27, 2011

The Wall Street Journal Mobile Reader Ad

File under fun ad. The Wall Street Journal Mobile Reader for iPhone, Blackberry and other mobile devices delivers the latest global news, financial events, market insights and information to keep you ahead of the curve.

Thanks Chloe!

emily | 1:12 PM | permalink

China is now more mobile Internet savvy

You are more likely to connect to the Internet on your mobile than from a desktop if you’re in China; at least that’s what the stats are suggesting. Mobile Internet users now comprise 66% of total Internet users, reports Shanzai.

quotemarksright.jpgMobile internet is universally accepted as an innovative platform with largest development and greatest market potential, according to China Economic Net. The surge in the Chinese mobile market is due to the popularity of tablets and smartphones.

Out of the 900 million mobile subscribers in the country, 300 million connect to the Internet via their mobile phones.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:38 AM | permalink

Web And SMS project to monitor Turkish election campaign

turkishcrowdmap.jpeg A group of Istanbul Bilgi University students have launched a web project to allow “citizen journalists” to report on the 2011 election campaign across the country.

quotemarksright.jpgThe website, is a Turkish version of the Ushahidi website which uses the concept of crowdsourcing via multiple channels, including SMS, email, Twitter and the Internet, to provide citizens with a platform to upload their own instant media independently of mainstream networks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article in Hurriyet Daily News.

emily | 9:12 AM | permalink

How a cell phone took CIA to Osama in Abbottabad

International News explains how the CIA traced a cell phone call that led to Osma Bin Laden in Abbottabad.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Americans used a simple cell phone tracking mechanism, which can be developed with less than $10 million for 100 million cell phone users, to trace Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad through a call intercepted by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), well-placed sources well versed with American technology techniques confided to The News.

The mechanism could be used for both, tracing the cell phones and the Sims but in some countries legal problems emerge in tracing the Sims and in case of Ahmad Al-Kuwaiti, OBL’s courier, it was a phone call that he attended, which resulted in his presence at a particular location.

The sources maintained that whenever a particular cell phone is under surveillance, a triangular siege is developed based on three bases from where the cell phone is getting the signals and then its location is identified, which is normally an area of 50 metres diametre. “This is not rocket science”, held the sources, adding that the mechanism can be developed in a country like Pakistan for less than $10 million and surveillance of all the cell phones can be initiated through which the most-wanted people can be traced to their dens.

The sources also mentioned that through this mechanism the location of a cell phone can also be traced in back dates till the date of start of its surveillance.

Regarding OBL’s tracing, the sources said the ISI had intercepted a telephone call and data was given to the CIA, which started tracing the cell phone. The ISI intercepted the call of Ahmad Al Kuwaiti speaking financial matters in Arabic with someone in the middle of last year, and upon the data provided by the ISI, surveillance of the cell phone started. In August 2010, Al Kuwaiti attended a call from a cell phone, which led the US to a compound in Abbottabad. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:10 AM | permalink

Foreign ministers try Twitter-diplomacy

CarlBildt.jpg KhalidAlkhalifa.jpg

When Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt couldn't reach his counterpart in Bahrain by traditional means of communication, he turned to Twitter.

quotemarksright.jpgTrying to get in touch with you on an issue," Bildt tweeted to Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa early Thursday.

A shout-out on Twitter - is this the future of diplomacy?

"It shows that in the modern world you can seek contact in modern ways," Bildt told The Associated Press.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via stuff]

emily | 8:49 AM | permalink

Tok&Stok furniture easy to assemble via twitter profile

Tok&Stok furniture is really easy to assemble. In order to communicate this, the company put their manuals in a twitter profile. The manuals were reduced to a maximum of 140 characters - including a link to the furniture's diagram. Customers only have to look for the hashtag for the name of their furniture. Brilliant.

[via Adverblog]

emily | 8:37 AM | permalink

May 26, 2011

UK Man caught using TWO phones at the wheel

A UK motorist was stopped by police for using not just one, but two mobile phones on one of Norfolk’s busiest roads reports the Evening News 24.

quotemarksright.jpgShocked road policing officers spotted the male driver holding one phone to his ear talking while using another to text while on the A47 at Blofield. He was stopped by the police.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 1:55 PM | permalink

Banks offer cash transfers via cell number, e-mail address

According to USA Today, three of the nation's largest banks have launched a program that will allow customers to use their computers or smartphones to make electronic payments to another person's checking account.

quotemarksright.jpgThe venture, announced Wednesday by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, will allow customers to transfer money electronically from their online checking accounts to another person's account, using an e-mail address or cellphone number.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:44 AM | permalink

Twitter's European boss warns users may face court

twitter.jpegTwitter's new European boss has suggested that users who break privacy injunctions by posting on the site could face the UK courts. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgTony Wang said people who did "bad things" needed to defend themselves.

He warned that the site would hand over user information to the authorities where they were "legally required".

Lawyers are challenging Twitter in court to reveal the identities of Twitter users who violated a super-injunction.

MP John Hemming named Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs in Parliament on Monday as the footballer who had used a super-injunction to hide an alleged affair, after Mr Giggs' name had been widely aired on Twitter.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related: - Twitter will notify users accused of gagging order breaches (The Guardian)

emily | 8:36 AM | permalink

May 25, 2011

China Reaches 900 Million Mobile Phone Users

China has become the first country to reach 900 million cell phone users, according to government statistics, reports PC World.

quotemarksright.jpgChina added about 11 million mobile phone users in April. This was just enough to bring the country's cell phone user base to 900.3 million.

The figures were contained in a report released on Tuesday by the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:07 AM | permalink

May 24, 2011

Cool or Creepy? 'Sonar' App Introduces You to Nearby Strangers

SonariPhoneApp.jpg Sonar is kind of like a good party host: It introduces you to whoever else is in the room by leveraging what you have in common. TIME Techland reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to their mission statement: "Sonar is a mobile application that helps you learn about and connect with likeminded people nearby." It works by geotracking your current location à la Foursquare check-ins and aggregating public information from your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, the afore mentioned Foursquare, etc.).quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:49 PM | permalink

More phones than people in the world

Anyone old enough to remember when "half the world has never made a phone call" was a favorite and wideley spread statistic, quoted by the likes of Vice President Al Gore, Kofi Annan and Carly Fiona among many others in the late nineties and even over in the 2000s - because it so perfectly illustrated the wideness of the digital divide between the Western world and developing nations. It turns out it was true, half the world had never made a phone call, but in 1994.

An now, 10 years (or 17) later, according to Mobile Entertainment there are more phones than people in the world.

The two above facts are not really related, only in that they are both attention grabbers.

quotemarksright.jpgAccording to The Mobile World via ME, there are now 1.32 billion fixed lines and 5.60 billion mobile. This compares with the US Census Bureau’s global population estimate of 6.915 billion.

Of course this doesn't mean every earthling has a phone, just that there are enough pampered Westerners with two, three of more to take the total past the population milestone.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

[via @Alex Franks]

emily | 6:50 PM | permalink

RT Chris Nerney. Fantastic facts about Apple apps

500000apps.jpg RT Chris Nerney:

quotemarksright.jpgTo commemorate this latest milestone, Apple's approval of its 500,000th app three companies have banded together to post a "snapshot of today's App Store landcape" in the form of a fact-filled infograph.

You can see the infograph in all its glory on this Facebook page, but Chris Nerney for ITWorld listed a few interesting nuggets below:

-- Percentage of apps that are free: 37

-- Average price for paid apps: $3.64

-- Paid app spending most time at No. 1: Angry Birds (275 days)

-- Value of all currently available apps: $891,982.24 (sorry, completists)

-- Total iTunes store apps downloads as of January: more than 10 billion.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:33 PM | permalink

Thief Used SMS to Shoplift On Demand

Gizmodo reports on a 36-year-old man's alleged shoplifting operation that accepted orders by text messaging. He actually had customers placing orders for specific items like shoes and clothing via SMS.

[via Fox]

emily | 8:14 AM | permalink

Cellphones may harm memory, pregnancy, brain cells -- in rats, mice and rabbits. Maybe.

Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey. The Los Angeles Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... The Istanbul meeting, convened by the Environmental Health Trust and Gazi University, comes a day before the International Agency for Research on Cancer -- an agency of the World Health Organization -- is to meet to decide whether research has demonstrated that radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are potentially cancer-causing.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:53 AM | permalink

May 23, 2011

Why Mobile Apps Will Soon be Dead

AngryBirdsChrome.jpg Accordig to MIT Technology Review, the seeds of destruction for both iOS and Android app stores have already been sown -- by none other than Google.

quotemarksright.jpgIt's hard to imagine Apple's App store -- 50 million users, 400,000 apps, 10 billion downloads -- being threatened with extinction, but it's not as if Tyrannosaurus Rex had a clue its demise was imminent until the process was well underway, either.

... Android devices are the metaphorical barbarians at the gates but Android's not the issue, in fact, Android is just another lumbering dinosaur.

The real threat are web apps. The kind that will download to your device the moment you open then, allowing you offline access, whether they're news, games, email or some other utility. If you don't believe they'll work -- and eliminate dependencies on plugins outside of open web standards, like flash -- go download a free copy of Angry Birds for Google Chrome and try disconnecting from your local network. Magic!quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:20 PM | permalink

Facebook page links to interesting articles

profile.jpeg I'm using my Facebook page to link to articles - mosty technological but not always - that I find so interesting but that are unsuitable to my blogs because they are unrelated to their content on cell phone usage or watching tv online. Search for Emily Turrettini on Facebook and check it out!

emily | 1:31 PM | permalink

Being 'Technology-Infused' Proves Taxing for Affluent

Adoption of new toys such as e-readers, tablets has been rapid by by the well-off, but a study by Ipsos Mendelsohn finds it's made their lives more complicated.

[via AdAge]

emily | 11:03 AM | permalink

Jetstar debuts SMS boarding passes

Jetstar.png Jetstar, Australia's low cost airline, has introduced a boarding pass via SMS service, along with self-service check-in kiosks at all the 18 Australian and New Zealand domestic airports from which it operates. ITWire reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe issue of the SMS boarding pass can be automatic. When they book their flight customers can request either SMS or email delivery of the boarding pass and it will be delivered 24 hours before they are due to fly.

Customers holding an SMS boarding pass without check-in baggage can go straight to the boarding gate. Those with baggage can scan their SMS boarding code at a Jetstar self service kiosk in the check-in area, collect their boarding pass, bag-tags then drop their bags at the bag drop and board their flight.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:57 AM | permalink

Twitter users and the courts go to war over footballer's injunction

Attempts to identify a famous footballer hiding behind a privacy injunction have spiralled into an online battle over freedom of speech, as internet users responded to high court action by repeatedly naming him on Twitter.

[via The Guardian]

emily | 8:38 AM | permalink

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