Archives for the category: New SMS Services
December 6, 2011
Information about wanted fugitives in Northeast Ohio can now be texted anomymously to the U.S. Marshals Service. Tips can also be submitted on the Internet.
The text messaging option is in addition to the U.S. Marshals fugitive hotline number, 1-866-4-WANTED. In both methods, tipsters can remain anonymous and still qualify for reward money from the U.S. Marshal's Service.
November 21, 2011
To fight against ethnic profiling practiced by the French police, a group called Open Society Justice Initiative is encouraging victimes to send an SMS each time they are pulled over in order to create a database and ultimately change the Code of Criminal Procedure's article 78.2.
The majority of stops are carried out under Article 78 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) which permits four types of identity checks. A check under Article 78-2(1) allows police to stop an individual who they have reason to suspect of having committed a crime or of preparing to do so, or who can provide help to the police. Under Article 78-2(2), a prosecutor is allowed to determine specific places and times where police can stop anyone without any need for suspicion. Article 78-2(3) allows for ID stops where the police believe there is a risk to public order, and Article 78-2(4) allows the police to conduct ID stops in any airport, rail station or other transport site, both also without any need for suspicion.
[via Rue89 - in French]
October 22, 2011
EU MEP Tiziano Motti (Italy), wants everything you do online to be logged and saved, for the sake of the children. Like a black box installed on every computer. He proposes an early warning system of criminal activity, specifically whenever an image of sexually abused children is detected, an alarm, goes to the authorities to be able to see who uploaded it. activepolitical.com reports.
His proposal involves a technology called Logbox. And just as with an aircraft's black box, Logbox is installed on computers, laptops, smartphones, and e-readers because yes, all that can be connected to the internet.
October 13, 2011
Walgreens recently announced the launch of an SMS reminder system for prescription refills. The free service reminds patients about medications due for a refill and makes it easy for them to replenish their meds: Patients need only reply “refill” to the reminder text. [via MobileHealthNews]
Walgreens already offers a Prescription Ready Text Alerts service, which notifies customers when a prescription order is ready for pickup. It launched in March of 2010 and counted 1 million users a year later. According to the company, the service now counts more than 2 million users.
October 10, 2011
Since the iPhone first arrived on the scene, it has been used to access mobile data like no other device before it. FastCompany reports.
Owners of iPhones browse the web, download apps, upload photos to social networks, and generally download more and more data on the fly than others. The device's popularity--and users' associated habits--have stressed phone networks to the point that over the previous year or so, iPhone carriers (particularly in the U.S.) have slapped data limits on the plans they offer, even what they call "unlimited" plans, in an attempt to preserve their network's stability.
September 23, 2011
Plans by UK abortion clinics to send text-message reminders to women planning terminations have been criticised as "morally squalid", reports The Telegraph.
Britain's largest abortion provider said it is introducing reminders because some girls and women had forgotten about their procedures.
September 1, 2011
In Nyeri, Kenya a young man named Peterson Mwangi has created a way to start and switch off a car engine, via an SMS command from his cell phone. This is a lot like Morris Mbetsa’s anti-theft vehicle system using SMS of a couple years ago. [via Afrigadget]
August 23, 2011
According to 9To5Mac, Apple has added a new early earthquake warning notification option to iOS 5, following the devestating earthquake in Japan earlier this year.
iOS 5 users in Japan can turn on early earthquake notifications at the very bottom of the iOS 5 Notification Center settings pane. All the user has to do is flick a switch to start receiving these notifications. According to TIME, who profiled Japan’s earthquake warning system earlier this year, the system gives warnings from seconds to one or two minutes before the earthquake hits.
Read full article.
August 19, 2011
A recent report by the Associated Press via PC World paints a frightening picture: Hackers have learned to unlock a car's doors and start its engine simply by sending text messages to the vehicle's security system.
Don Bailey and Mat Solnik, researchers from security firm iSec Partners, demonstrated the attack on a Subaru Outback, using a laptop to send their messages and break into the vehicle.
August 16, 2011
New Yorkers may soon be able to feed the parking meter with their cell phones. NBC New York reports.
The city plans to pilot a "pay by phone" parking meter program that would alert drivers as time runs out and enable them to purchase additional time without returning to the meter.
Read full article.
Related links to M-Parking projects around the world - as early as 2003.
August 15, 2011
According to The Times of India, cell phones across the Kashmir Valley fell silent Monday as service providers switched off the facility following instructions from the security agencies on Indian Indpendence Day.
The cell phones have been used in the past by the guerrillas to trigger remote controlled explosive devices in Jammu and Kashmir to stoke trouble on occassions like independence or republic days.
A very interesting read from Asher Moses for The Sydney Morning Herald on how moves by Western governments to crack down on the use of technology by citizens are being compared to repressive policies of regimes such as China.
After British Prime Minister David Cameron floated the idea of restricting the use of services such as Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger to prevent riots, transit authorities in San Francisco late last week shut down mobile phone reception in several underground stations to block would-be demonstrators.
Read full article.
August 10, 2011
UK's Foreign Office has launched a trial service with Vodafone to deliver emergency text messages to their subscribers as well as to customers of any mobile provider whose service runs on Vodafone’s network.
The text will be sent out to customers who are in a country where there has been a major crisis – such as a natural disaster or civil unrest.
The service is free to customers of the mobile providers taking part in the trial and will provide essential advice in the event of a crisis. The Foreign Office will pilot this service for a 12 month period.
August 8, 2011
Tipping the police of a crime by SMS is nothing new, but reporting on dog poop is. To the best of my knowledge.
According to About My Area, Stockport Council recently launched a new text message alert system to crack down on irresponsible dog owners. The new system allows residents who witness dog owners failing to clear up their pets foul to report the incident via a text message directly to the Council's Dog Warden Service.
The following information is requested in the text:
-- Specific date and time of the fouling.
-- Specific location of the fouling.
-- Brief description of dog and the owner.
-- The name of the person texting (if they are willing to provide this).
August 3, 2011
Indian Market regulator SEBI has asked stock exchanges to alert investors about details of their transactions every day through SMSes and e-mail, a move to check unauthorised trading by brokers. MoneyControl reports.
Stock exchanges shall send details of transactions to investors, by the end of trading day, through SMSes and e-mail alerts," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said in a circular.
People in most places worry about missing their train. But travelers on Indian trains are as likely to worry about missing their station, writes the WSJ.
On long-distance Indian trains, particularly overnight ones, many stops aren’t announced over a loud-speaker. Instead, train attendants mutter the station names as they hurriedly walk past. This is presumably so as not to disturb a train full of sleeping passengers. Unfortunately, if you were slumbering too, and you have an early morning stop, it’s entirely possible to sleep your way through it.
Read full article.
July 30, 2011
The transit authority last winter began piloting a GPS-based program on the Bay Ridge-Brooklyn Heights bus route, where users can send a text message asking when a bus will be arriving at a given stop.
Read full article.
July 28, 2011
Google already allows Gmail users to exchange chat messages with mobile phone users via SMS in 23 countries worldwide, but now French mobile phone operator Orange wants to help the search giant extend the service across Africa and the Middle East. PC World reports.
Gmail SMS Chat allows a Gmail user to send short text messages to someone with only a basic mobile phone and no Internet access or Gmail account. The phone owner can also reply to the Gmail user. Phone users pay to send messages, and may also pay to receive them depending on their contract with their operator. The Gmail user pays nothing, although Google does impose a limit on the number of messages that can be sent: each message replied to raises the limit, allowing five new messages to be sent.
July 13, 2011
Pinger sidestepped the cost of text messaging in Europe by making the service into a game in which telecom carrier fees for outgoing messages cancel each other out.
July 11, 2011
FireText Smoke Alarm is a GSM based smoke alarm with a SIM card which will send you a text if you burn toast or your house is really on fire.
In fact, it can text up to four different numbers at once, increasing the chances of a quick response. Plus, you can even personalise your message, so you can carefully word it to avoid panicking the kids.
To update Google+ through text messages, you will have to initially add your phone number in Google+ settings, following which Google will text you a verification code which has to be added in the Google+ settings. Optionally, you can also add a security PIN for extra security and avoid spoofing of text messages.
Jaybee uses various ‘triggers’ such as hand movements, touch screen, head movements and even a simple blink of an eye, to transform predictive text phrases into very realistic British voices which add character to communication.
Read full article.
July 5, 2011
Here's a company planning on using SMS to send some good news.
Qantas Airlines will be sending their Frequent Flyer members an SMS alert well before their flight advising that their upgrade has come through, rather than when they arrive at the airport to check in for their flight.
June 22, 2011
The Namibian Domestic Workers Union (NDAWU) has launched a two-month campaign in which it invites the public to 'select' the appropriate wage category for domestic workers. All Africa reports.
The campaign was launched by the general secretary of NDAWU and Namibian Farmworkers Union (NFU), Alfred Angula.
Read full article.
June 21, 2011
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel's third-largest cellular telephone service provider, Orange, are at odds over the use of the firm's SMS system to send emergency alerts to the populace in wartime, Xinhua reported via Trend.
And the dust-up couldn't have come at a more critical time: during a week-long national drill, "Turning Point 5," in which the military, police, government ministries, rescue services, some 80 municipalities, and the country's 7.5 million residents practice responding to a simultaneous massive missile attack on the Jewish State.
This year during the course of a mobile interaction design class at Lausanne Switzerland's EPFL, students had to come up with an idea for - and design an application on mobile phones - to improve the livelihoods of people living in rural communities in developing countries.
Here is one of their projects: EasySMS which enables illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages.
In their own words:
About 700 million illiterate people in developing countries are currently excluded from the benefits of text messaging. Most of them reside in rural areas in which mobile phone coverage and ownership is growing rapidly and SMS are cheap or even free.
Project EasySMS by:
Team Members: Lukas Frelich, Elsa Friscira, Oscar Bolanos
Team Mentor: Hendrik Knoche
June 20, 2011
Sex syndicates have resorted to offering prostitutes to their regular customers via SMS, China Press reported via The Star Online.
The daily reported that the SMS messages contained descriptions of the prospective prostitute, including her body measurements and age.
-- SMS for sex in Singapore (2007) - In Singapore, in an attempt to elude the law, some pimps took their prostitutes off the streets and put them online and meetings are arranged by SMS.
-- Prostitutes Want Text Messaging Service (2006) - Prostitutes in New Zealand requested a free text messaging service from Vodafone, like the "safe service" set up for hitchhikers.
-- Hong Kong prostitutes turn to mobile phones (2005) - Prostitutes in Hong Kong advertised their services through mobile-phone voice messages.
Puntersearch dates back to 2003 and stood out for it's audacity. It was a prostitute finder service which allowed users to search by location or personal attribute - such as hair colour. Thankfully, itt's no longer online.
June 16, 2011
Now here's a really great use for text messaging.
According to Miami-based healthcare technology company ER Texting, Inc., more hospitals are publicizing emergency room wait times through text messaging but for reasons that go beyond driving patient traffic.
Using ER Texting, patients can send a text message to a dedicated SMS short code (4ER411) and instantly receive a message in return which lists the emergency room wait times for participating hospitals in their area. The application enables patients to find hospitals with the shortest wait times using any mobile phone.
June 8, 2011
Offbeat and not related to cell phones. A woman, who seems like she might be a fan of Facebook.
Spotted on News.com.
Update: -Turns out the story is a hoax.
May 23, 2011
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.
The 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.
Read full article.