Surplus electricity from cellphone towers can run fridges to chill vital drugs in parts of the world where the main power supply is unreliable, reports New Scientist.
Cellphones have overtaken landlines in developing countries. To keep their towers working reliably in areas where the power often fails, or the masts are off the grid, cellphone firms have installed generators, and sometimes solar panels. Surplus power can then be used to chill vaccines, maintaining the cold chain, the weakest link in efforts to immunise children against diseases like polio, measles and diphtheria.
According to The Straits Times, SMS traffic is falling in Singapore, signalling the start of a decline in a key revenue stream for telcos.
Figures on the Infocomm Development Authority's website show the decline started in December last year, when the monthly total number of SMSes exchanged dropped to 2.3 billion from a record high of 2.46 billion in September.
The latest reported figure for March shows a further dip - to 2.2 billion.
The fading allure of SMS is most likely tied to the rise of alternative messaging services such as Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is hardly the only site with a mobile problem. Every site on the Web has a mobile problem, writes C/net.
Traffic from mobile devices is growing at an astounding rate -- by some estimates, mobile visits now account for fully 20 percent of Web traffic.
Every measure of mobile growth borders on exponential: Cisco estimates that global mobile data traffic will increase 18 times over between 2011 and 2016, the amount of mobile data consumed will go up 17-fold in the same time frame; mobile video will account for 70 percent of mobile traffic by 2016, 25 times more than in 2011.
Global mobile data traffic more than doubled in 2011, for the fourth year in a row.
Simply put: the world is going mobile, it's hard to make money on mobile, and no one is feeling that more painfully than Facebook.
Worries over radiation are so rampant in Japan after last year's nuclear meltdowns that the world's first cell phones with built-in radiation monitors are going on sale, reports the AP.
Softbank Corp., the carrier for the hit iPhone and iPad in Japan, says the Pantone 5 mobile device, which shows the microsieverts-per-hour number on a display at a push of a button, will go on sale in July.
Among other murmurings of a Facebook smartphone, The New York Times reports the company is hoping to release the handset by next year. [via Cnet]
Bilton's sources include Facebook employees and several engineers who have been sought out by recruiters there, as well as people briefed on Facebook's plans, he says. Those briefed on the plans told Bilton that the company has already hired more than six "former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad.
According to Wired, a recent request for information from the US Army says that there’s a need for a “capacitive touch screen compatible Army combat glove.” It’s a simple request: a “combat survivable” glove with enough stuff on the fingertips to ensure the “tactile accuracy” of troops mashing the screens on their handsets.
... The Army’s query about what texting gloves are on the market contains one new clue about how soldiers will one day use smartphones. The devices “will reside inside a protective case making the corners of the capacitive touch display difficult to reach,” the Army’s request reads. Prepare for some amazing auto-corrections.
Major carriers are looking to steer customers' wireless traffic to cheaper and more localized networks, such as Wi-Fi hotspots.
Wireless companies say the new approach ("offloading" in industry parlance) will help meet customers' surging demand for more data bandwidth. Even as they build the next generation of faster wireless networks, called 4G LTE, carriers are discouraging heavy data users by eliminating unlimited data plans and enforcing monthly caps.
In India, researchers are just beginning to study the effects that the explosive growth in the mobile phone market has had on women’s lives. The New York Times reports.
For women like Ms. Gupta, recently married, access to a mobile phone can break the pattern of marital isolation. At the Barefoot College, a school in the northwestern state of Rajasthan that provides professional training for rural women, the mobile phone allows even illiterate entrepreneurs to compete in the marketplace.
In the state of Gujarat, the mobile phone is central to an innovative scheme that allows rural health care workers to compile information about pregnant women and then text message reminders for checkups and vaccinations.
... Access to a mobile phone can enhance women’s welfare in other ways. In a recent report, Dayoung Lee, a student researcher at Stanford University in California, noted that “mobile phones significantly decrease tolerance for wife beating and husbands’ control issues, and increase women’s autonomy in mobility and economic independence.” Access to outside support and the knowledge that others may intervene serve as a check on domestic violence.
Chinese researchers have invented the world's first cloth-climbing robot, which can grasp onto creases and climb up your clothing, perch on your shoulder, and potentially whisper messages into your ear, according to IEEE Spectrum.
One possible application for the so-called Clothbot involves inspiring a new generation of mobile phones that are capable of autonomously crawling up to your ear whenever the phone rings.
It gives new meaning to the idea of owning a "mobile" phone. And as if having a phone crawl out of your pants isn't creepy enough, researchers also envision the device doubling as a Tamagotchi-like pet, which could roost on your shoulder or follow you around.
Bits reports on a company called Sidecar, based in San Francisco, that wants to re-imagine phone calls by turning them into something the company calls “smart calling.” The idea behind the Sidecar app, which is available on Tuesday for Android and iPhone, is that there is demand among users to share pictures, video and location data, all during the context of a phone call.
There a number of scenarios where this would be useful, the company says. If you call you wife from a department store to tell her about a nice-looking pair of shoes on sale, Sidecar lets you shoot video and pictures of the shoes and transmit it to her cellphone using a feature called “see what I see,” all without ending the phone call or having to start up another app.
If you call a plumber to beg him to help you to fix a pipe that’s squirting water, Sidecar lets you use your phone so he can see the problem with his own eyes. In the middle of a phone call with a friend you’re trying to meet for drinks, you can transmit your location so the other party can see where you are on a map.
Of course, a lot of this sharing can be done with other apps, but without Sidecar it “takes about nine clicks” on the phone to accomplish those tasks.
A startup called Uppidy has unveiled a service that backs up SMS services to the cloud, making it easier for individuals, parents, or even your employer to read your text messages.
So far, a few unnamed businesses are testing Uppidy on corporate phones, founder Joshua Konowe told Arstechnica. One customer is backing up and monitoring text messages from 500 phones, and another is doing so on 200.
A New Jersey judge is expected to rule this month on an interesting claim that a person can be held liable for sending a text to someone you know is driving, according to ABC News via Bernard Law Group.
In 2009, a 19-year-old man got into an accident while texting in his pickup truck. He replied to a text when his vehicle drifted across the center lane and struck a motorcycle.
Two people on the motorcycle suffered such serious injuries that they needed leg amputations. The couple sued the 19-year-old driver as well as the person who sent the text message.
According to ABCNews, Morris County Superior Court Judge David Rand is expected to make his ruling on May 25 about Colonna’s potential liability in the accident.
According to Right Side News, Islamic clerics' have issued a fatwa against Pakistani women, threatening to throw acid on those using a cell phone.
Former Pakistani lawmaker and cleric Maulana Abdul Haleem recently issued a fatwa (Islamic degree) against secular education and justifying honor killings of women.
The fatwa was issued in a sermon during a weekly Friday prayer in Kohistan district in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Haleem also threatened that women from secular NGOs who visit Kohistan district may be married off forcibly to local men. In a similar incident, a cleric announced a fatwa in a mosque in Noshki town of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, justifying acid attacks on women who use cell phones.
With the advent of cheap mobile phones and mobile data plans, there is the belief that mobile phones are pushing cyber cafes out of business. Well according to a Global Impact Study with surveys of public access ICT users in five countries, found that Internet café users do indeed have access to computers and the Internet at their homes, and yet they still visit public cyber cafes. Innovation Africa reports.
For many it is because public access venues offer better equipment than at home, which could also mean a faster Internet connection. Another significant reason is to see friends or be with other people in the venue. In Brazil, where users enjoy the highest percentage of Internet access at home, these are the two main reasons users visit public access venues.
As the chart shows below, there are significant percentages in the “other” response, particularly for Chile and Brazil. Some of these “other” reasons include free access, not having to compete with their family members for computer and Internet use at home, software and services provided at the venue, and the convenient location of the venue.
Are your children spending too much time talking and texting on their mobile phones? According to new research, it's your fault. Or more specifically, the fault of the genes you passed on to them. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In a groundbreaking new study, researchers have used data gathered from Australian twins to look at how our hard-wired genetic make-up influences our mobile phone use.
The results, published recently in the journal Twin Research and Human Genetics, showed that the amount of time spent talking or texting is highly inheritable.
The study also suggested smart people use their phones less.
Dr Geoffrey Miller, from the psychology department at the University of New Mexico, the lead author of the paper, says the study is one of the first to look at the link between genes and consumer behaviour.
"One of the big misconceptions that almost everybody has is that you can only have genes for things that evolved in the past,'' Dr Miller said. ''That was one of the things we wanted to demonstrate in an in-your-face way: that even with a technology that's only been around for a couple of decades, you can still have these latent genetic influences that will shape people's personality traits, their interests, their styles of social interaction.
''Then those traits will play out in how they use a new technology.''
The initial prototype combines a custom electronic circuit board with a laser-cut plywood and veneer enclosure. The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display is a color 1.8″, 160×128 pixel, TFT screen on a breakout board from Adafruit Industries. Flexures in the veneer allow pressing of the buttons beneath. Currently, the software supports voice calls, although SMS and other functionality could be added with the same hardware. The prototype contains about $150 in parts.
India’s Aadhar Bhalinge is the winner of m2Work, a World Bank-sponsored online challenge seeking the best ideas for spurring the job-creation potential of mobile phones.
The competition organized by Nokia and infoDev, a World Bank innovation and technology entrepreneurship program, drew a total of 939 ideas, 96% of which came from developing and emerging economies.
Bhalinge convinced the high-level jury of World Bank, Nokia, UKaid, and other private sector representatives of the development impact, novelty, and feasibility of his “Smart Rickshaw Network” to take home the US$ 20,000 grand prize. His tool would crowdsource maps at a very low cost in developing nations by employing fleets of rickshaw drivers to feed live traffic updates into a subscription service.
Mayo Clinic has 14 apps for the iPad and 15 on the iPhone. Until Monday, none of the free mobile medical apps were specifically meant for patients. The three free ones were mainly for doctors, alumni and people interested in medical research). MedCity News reports.
The new Mayo Clinic Patient app for iPhone aims to connect with patients from the time they are simply seeking for information about Mayo, to their first visit to any of the three campuses and finally when they become an established patient at Mayo.
Dr. Sidna Tulledge-Scheitel of Mayo said that the app is meant to empower patients and “aligns with Mayo’s mission of trying to make our services accessible and affordable.”
She noted that patients can view lab results in real time as they become available and can check blood work results, for instance, before they meet with the doctor.
“That can help patients to fully engage in the conversation,” she said.
Even after patients go home, they can use their iPad or iPhone to log in and view clinic notes if they want to review what the doctor said during an appointment. They can also send secure messages to their care team, although Currently that service only available for certain areas within Mayo – transplant, obstetrics and primary care.