Archives for June 2011

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June 30, 2011

Technology leap set to make apps redundant

HTML5-logo.png An interesting read from nebusiness on HTLM 5 - the fifth revision of the HTLM standard, a language for structuring and presenting content for the Web - as an alternative to apps.

quotemarksright.jpgApps are everywhere. Companies everywhere are pushing them - Android apps, iPhone apps, apps for this, apps for that.

The world has gone app mad. But, very quietly, there’s a growing idea, a rumbling, that maybe apps aren’t the future, maybe they’re a stop-off, maybe they’re just a milestone on the way to the future.

News stories appear weekly about companies searching for alternatives to avoid 30% revenue loss to the app stores. Developers are also increasingly fed up with app stores bouncing their apps and the limitations of the available technologies.

The Financial Times has recently ditched its app and gone in another direction. The question is, why? And will the world cease to spin on its axis if we reject the app model? The answer, surprisingly, is no – and the reason lies in the power of a new technology called HTML5.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 1:39 PM | permalink

Text Message Support for Smokers Doubles Quit Rates

Smoking while using mobile phone - Copyright: Photolibrary.jpeg Mobile phones could hold the key to people giving up smoking after a program involving sending motivational and supportive text messages to smokers doubled quit rates at six months. Cellular News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe findings of the txt2stop trial, which was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by the Medical Research Council, are published in The Lancet today.

The study examined the long-term effects of specially-designed text messages by testing the levels of cotinine (a chemical found in tobacco) found in participants' saliva after they reported they had stopped smoking for six months.

A total of 5,800 smokers were randomly allocated to the txt2stop programme or a control group. The txt2stop group received five text messages a day for the first five weeks and then three per week for the next 26 weeks with a personalised system which also allowed people to receive instant messages at times of need by texting the word 'crave' or 'Lapse'.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:16 AM | permalink

Homeless man charged with theft for using electrical outlet to charge cellphones

I've heard of a man who faced up to five years in prison after using a coffee shop's unsecured Wi-Fi to check his e-mail from his car - though I'm not sure he was actually convicted. But this is a first.

The Washington Post reports that a police have brought charges against a homeless man in Maine who helped himself to an outdoor electrical outlet to charge a pair of cellphones.

quotemarksright.jpgFawster was charged last weekend with theft of services, as well as - not so good - carrying a concealed weapon after the officer found a folding knife tucked underneath his shirt.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:35 AM | permalink

June 29, 2011

Teenage girl in China offers to sell virginity for iPhone 4

A teenage girl in China has offered up her virginity in exchange for an iPhone 4, Chinese news site Biznewschina reports via BGR.

quotemarksright.jpg The young girl recently took to Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter, to seek out someone willing to buy her an Apple iPhone 4 in exchange for sex.

The girl posted a photo of herself on the website alongside some personal information, and offered to sell her virginity to anyone who buys her the new Apple smartphone.

Earlier this year, a Chinese boy sold his kidney for 22,000 yuan ($3,400) on the black market in order to purchase an iPad 2. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 5:33 PM | permalink

Twitter for Newsrooms


Twitter launches a resource center for journalists. In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpg Welcome to #TfN.

Inside, you’ll find resources to help you and your organization at every step of the reporting and publishing process.

We want to make our tools easier to use so you can focus on your job: finding sources, verifying facts, publishing stories, promoting your work and yourself—and doing all of it faster and faster all the time.

We know you come from different generations. Some are native to the pilcrow, others native to the hashtag. You began your careers in different media: radio, print, broadcast, online and mobile. But you share a common bond: the desire to make a difference in the world, bringing reliable information to the communities you serve.

While this group is diverse, we think Twitter and #TfN can be a kind of common ground—and we know Twitter is a tool all journalists can use to find sources faster, tell stories better, and build a bigger audience for their work.quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 11:27 AM | permalink

TwitPic founder Tweets his arrest and TwitPics a picture from police car


Early this morning, TwitPic founder Noah Everett tweeted that he was being arrested - "for walking down his own street naked" - and was in the back seat of a police car.

Then, of course, he TwitPiced a picture of his view from said police car. [@noaheverett via Mashable via Gawker]


emily | 9:57 AM | permalink

Tweets from the Pope


Pope Benedict XVI has tweeted for the first time, announcing the launch of a Vatican news information portal.

The portal for the first time aggregates information from the Vatican's various print, online, radio and television media.

[via The Guardian]

emily | 9:22 AM | permalink

Huddle: Google+project's Group Text Messaging Feature


Yesterday Google launched a field trial (by invitation only) social network called the Google+ project . One of the features of The Google+project allows for group text messaging.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgTexting is great, but not when you’re trying to get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle turns all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page all at once. quotesmarksleft.jpg

For the full picture, check out Google Blogspot entry Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web.

And arstechnica's feature story entitled Inside Google+:

Inside Google+: how the search giant plans to go social.jpeg

quotemarksright.jpgGoogle formally makes its pitch to become a major force in social networking with the unveiling of Google+ to a limited public beta. Some may wonder whether Google+ is just another questionable social effort by a company that has had a lousy track record in that space to date. But Google+ is not a typical release. It is a result of a lengthy and urgent effort involving almost all of the company's products. Hundreds of engineers were involved in the effort. It has been a key focus for new CEO Larry Page. And they aren't calling it a Facebook killer—but a better Google.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:37 AM | permalink

Google Says It Activates 500,000 Android Devices Daily


Andy Rubin, a vice president for engineering at Google who leads the company’s Google Android platform, said in a Twitter message Tuesday that the company was now activating over 500,000 Android devices each day.

quotemarksright.jpgIn March, market research firm Nielsen found that Android had become the most popular operating system among smartphone users in the United States, pulling ahead of the Apple iOS platform.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Bits]

emily | 7:44 AM | permalink

Half of US twenty-somethings have no landline

The shift away from landlines continues, as 24.9 percent of all American adults now live in homes with wireless-only voice connections. Among younger adults aged 25 to 29, the numbers are twice as high; more than half have only a cell phone.

[via arstechnica]

emily | 7:39 AM | permalink

June 28, 2011

Texting 'may help save world's languages'

dying-languages.jpeg According to The Herald Sun, in the Philippines, teenagers think it's "cool" to send mobile phone text messages in regional languages that show signs of endangerment, such as Kapampangan.

quotemarksright.jpgTechnology, long considered a threat to regional languages, now is being seen as a way to keep young people from forsaking their native tongues for dominant languages.

In another example, the "cool" factor is helping to resuscitate Chulym, a nearly moribund Turkic language that's spoken by a dozen or so people in a pocket of remote Central Siberia.

YouTube and Facebook, as well as internet radio and mobile phone texting, are helping minority language groups stave off death.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image and related article from 2009 article in One World South East Asia.

emily | 4:20 PM | permalink

Medtronic launches app that monitors implanted cardiac devices

Medtronic.jpg Medtronic announced today the launch of CareLink Mobile Application, which the company calls the first mobile application that pairs with implantable cardiac devices. Mobile Health News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe app is available for the iPhone and iPad. CareLink Mobile Application enables clinicians to access cardiac device diagnostic information and patient data directly from their mobile devices.

... Medtronic’s CareLink Network aims to provide clinicians with the same level of information that they gather during an in-person visit with patients who have Pacemakers, Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs) and Implantable Cardiac Monitors (ICMs).quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article and press release.

emily | 4:06 PM | permalink

First it was SMS, now students check apps while driving

First it was chatting, then texts. Now apps are distracting young drivers, with more than a third of college students at a US university saying they use them while behind the wheel. Stuff reports.

quotemarksright.jpgNew research from the University of Alabama shows that even drivers who have reported previous accidents involving mobile phone applications can't resist using them while driving.

''It's astounding, scary. Very little of this is urgent business. It's socializing and entertainment,'' said David Schwebel, the director of the UAB Youth Safety Lab who supervised the study.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Full release by UAB.

emily | 2:31 PM | permalink

Fring Launches Group Video-Chat App For The iPad

With Skype launching on the iPad this week and services like FaceTime already available, is mobile video chatting the next big thing?.

That's certainly the hope of London-based company Fring, which today launched an iPad group video-chat app. The service allows users to chat simultaneously with four friends, over Wi-Fi or 3G, and see friends on other devices including the iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

Read full article in FastCompany.

emily | 2:26 PM | permalink

Google's Brand New What do You Love? website


Google has just launched a new search engine called, What do you Love?

See what comes up when I type in "Text Messaging".



Now how cool is that? Spotted on TIME Techland.

emily | 2:05 PM | permalink

Jibun Bank: a mobile telephone only bank

Following a tomiahonen tweet on Jibun Bank, the worlds first full bank that only exists on mobile, I wanted to find out more about it. I came across this article from the Financial Services Club. It dates back to 2009, so the figures are not up to date, but the principal is the same.

Jibun Bank is a Japanese bank which translates into ‘my bank’ in English.

quotemarksright.jpgWhy is Jibun Bank an innovation?

Because it is designed purely and simply for mobile telephone access.

Jibun Bank was launched in July 2008 by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and KDDI, the Japanese telecommunications carrier.

The difference with Jibun Bank is that it is intended for mobile access only, and only has a shell website to back it up.

The aim instead is that, through KDDI’s mobile telephone stores and BTMU’s branches, you get full service access via 24*7 telephony.

The 24-hour bank is also designed for mobile phone subscribers of KDDI's au service, allowing au users to pay for goods and services they purchase with their mobile handsets and making money transfers between au subscribers as easy as just entering the receiver's telephone number and the amount of money to be transferred into the handset.

Meanwhile, to deposit or withdraw cash, customers can use BTMU’s ATMs or those of Seven Bank and the Japan Post Bank.quotesmarksleft.jpg

See video on how it works.

emily | 1:56 PM | permalink

China has 714,000 3G mobile phone towers

China had about 714,000 3G mobile phone towers by the end of May this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Monday via English Xinhuanet. The number of Chinese 3G users had topped 73.76 million by the end of May.

emily | 9:36 AM | permalink

N.J. bill to address teen cell phone 'sexting' approved by state Senate panel

Sexting-01(1).jpeg Juveniles caught sending sexually explicit photographs via their cell phones would not face criminal prosecution but rather intense education on the ramifications under a bill approved on Monday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Newsroom Jersey reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe measure (A-1561) was approved 78-0 by the Assembly in March. It now moves to the full Senate for final legislative approval.

Prosecutors in several states have even charged teenagers with criminal offenses, including distribution of child pornography.

“Teens need to understand the ramifications of their actions, but they shouldn’t necessarily be treated as criminals,” Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden), a co-sponsor, said. “We need to create a path that places education and forgiveness before arrest and prosecution. Young people – especially teen girls – need to understand that sending inappropriate pictures is not only potentially illegal, but can leave an indelible mark on them socially and educationally.”quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from The Examiner.

Related articles on sexting blogged on textually and picturephoning over the years.

emily | 9:16 AM | permalink

Nokia Ships Phones With Banking Application in India

NokiaMobileMoney.jpg Nokia has started shipping mobile phones in India that are preloaded with its banking application, in a bid to popularize mobile banking in the country. PC World reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIndia is the first market where Nokia is preloading the Mobile Money client on its phones, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

Nokia has already teamed up with Union Bank of India, and Yes Bank, and rolled out a mobile banking service based on the mobile payment platform, on a revenue-sharing basis.

The company is preloading the banking application on all phones, including entry-level devices that lack an Internet connection. The user interface for the application is SMS, but the device's data transport can be SMS, GPRS or Wi-Fi, Nokia said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:33 AM | permalink

German managers 'keep phones in biscuit tins'

2011-06-german-biscuit-tins.jpeg According to,
managers of German chemicals company Evonik have begun keeping their mobile phones in biscuit tins during meetings in order to guard against industrial espionage.

quotemarksright.jpgExperts have told us that mobile phones are being eavesdropped on more and more, even when they are switched off," Alexandra Boy, spokeswoman for Essen-based speciality chemicals maker Evonik, told AFP.

Biscuit tins have a so-called Farraday cage effect, she said, blocking out electromagnetic radiation and therefore preventing people from hacking into mobile phones, not only for calls but also to get hold of emails.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:16 AM | permalink

Facebook May Mobilize on Web Apps

Rumor has it that Facebook is trying to sidestep Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market with a neat technical trick: a Web-based platform for apps. MIT Technology Review reports.

quotemarksright.jpgFacebook has yet to confirm the existence of the effort, allegedly code-named "Project Spartan." But if the rumor is true, the effort could threaten Apple and Google's dominance in mobile software, and give a boost to Web applications over native apps, by appealing to Facebook's huge and captive user base and by leveraging the social connections between users.

Facebook already lets developers build apps to run on top of its platform, and they've created thousands of games, utilities, and even business apps. But these are designed for the desktop, not the mobile or tablet platforms that are growing rapidly in popularity.

... "If the rumors are true, it means that Facebook is planning to use Web technologies to create a whole new app ecosystem for iOS-based and other mobile devices," says Ron Perry, chief technology officer at Worklight, a company that provides tools for building mobile applications. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:11 AM | permalink

Not Over: Winklevii File New Suit Against Facebook

wikelviirowing.jpeg As the New York Times reported last week, the Winklevoss Twins have filed another suit against Facebook. [via npr].

quotemarksright.jpgNow, they are pursuing a different legal path, claiming in the Massachusetts court that as the two parties engaged in settlement discussions, Facebook withheld instant messages dating back to 2004 that purportedly show Mr. Zuckerberg plotting to steal the idea the Winklevosses and Mr. Narendra had for a social network.quotesmarksleft.jpg

... The technology news site ZDnet says the suit faces an uphill battle. Courts have already said the twins have to stick to their settlement. Now, ZDnet reports:

quotemarksright.jpgNot only do they now have to prove that Facebook violated discovery procedures, but they also still have to persuade the courts to overturn the settlement. That's going to be really difficult given how many times the group has been told to just take the $65 million already.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article in npr.

emily | 8:03 AM | permalink

Cell phones throw off poll takers

How do you accurately poll voters in an age when increasing numbers of them own only a cell phone? The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpgI worry about this more than anything else — you can have a California number and still be living in Iowa,” said Ann Selzer, the only pollster to predict Barack Obama would win the Iowa Caucuses by 7 percentage points. (He won by eight.)

This will complicate tracking not only the horse-race among Republican presidential candidates trudging through Iowa county fairs this summer, but also will challenge politicians of both parties trying to navigate Illinois’ newly redrawn congressional districts.

... About 40 percent of Hispanic households have no landline — just a cell phone. About a quarter of white families have only a cell phone.

Polling only landlines means you get lots of older, white women. You disproportionately miss young voters and minorities.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related articles on cell phones and polls blogged by textually over the years.

emily | 7:46 AM | permalink

June 23, 2011

Back online Tuesday


Back online Tuesday, June 28.

emily | 10:56 AM | permalink

Mobile Devices surpass PCs in Wi-Fi usage

Mobile devices now surpass computers in Wi-Fi network usage, as more people access the Internet with smartphones and tablets than traditional PCs.

[via Mobiledia]

emily | 8:33 AM | permalink

Somali Pirates Go High Tech


Somali pirates are turning to increasingly sophisticated methods such as satellite phones, custom-made GPS systems, and even monitoring the Internet to hunt down targets. The resulting technology isn't just fascinating--it also has a real impact on foreign millitaries who are fighting piracy. Fast Company reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn addition to random attacks on cargo and passenger ships, Somali pirates are increasingly relying on the use of GPS systems, satellite phones, and open-source intelligence such as shipping industry blogs in order to figure out the location of ships. Much of the technological infrastructure used by the pirates is allegedly located in the Somalian city of Eyl, which has been described as the “piracy capital of the world.”quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from Wired's Danger Room.

emily | 8:15 AM | permalink

Net neutrality enshrined in Dutch law

The Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to enshrine the concept of network neutrality into national law by banning its mobile telephone operators from blocking or charging consumers extra for using internet-based communications services.

[via The Guardian]

emily | 8:06 AM | permalink

Eric Schmidt: Mobile payments at retail to explode

Google's executive chairman and former CEO says as many as one-third of retail stores and restaurants will allow for mobile payments within the next year.


emily | 8:03 AM | permalink

Foursquare Signs Big Deal With American Express

Foursquare, has scored another win--this time with a nationwide deal with American Express. The deal will offer American Express cardholders discounts in some shops and restaurants.

[Business Insider via The New York Times]

emily | 7:58 AM | permalink

Winkelvii Drop Case Against Facebook


The Winkelvii have finally come to their senses.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Harvard University classmates and former business partners of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have decided not to further appeal a settlement in their long-running dispute over the origins of the social-networking site.

quotemarksright.jpgOn Wednesday the Winklevosses and Mr. Narendra, who founded a company called ConnectU, filed papers with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco saying that after "careful consideration" they wouldn't file a petition to take their battle to the Supreme Court.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Amen to that.

emily | 7:48 AM | permalink

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