Archives for the category: New SMS Services

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December 6, 2011

Text message your tips for the Fugitive of the Week

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.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:31 AM | permalink

November 21, 2011

Text Messages to fight against ethnic profiling

wang.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.

Research over the years has demonstrated that these provisions allow too much scope for the police to stop people arbitrarily, allowing for discriminatory checks—ethnic profiling—which stigmatizes migrant and other visible minority communities, perpetuates stereotypes, and is an ineffective and counterproductive policing method.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Rue89 - in French]

emily | 8:32 PM | permalink

October 22, 2011

UK Parliament Debates Installing A Black Box On Your Computer

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.

quotemarksright.jpgHis 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. via Jody Ranck's Summify.

emily | 9:07 AM | permalink

October 13, 2011

Walgreens lets customers order refills via SMS

CX283_9286_DMI_2_Extended_MobileApps_110810_09a.jpeg

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]

quotemarksright.jpgWalgreens 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.

Walgreens also has a smartphone app, Refill by Scan, that (fittingly) refills applications by scanning the bottle’s barcode. It also counted one million users this March after launching last November.

According to their press release, Walgreens mobile applications, which recently received Webby Awards in the people’s voice categories of Best Integrated Mobile Experience and Best Shopping from a Mobile Device, now account for more than 25 percent of the company’s online prescription refills.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:46 AM | permalink

October 10, 2011

New iPhone Carriers Aim To Control, Or Profit From, Mobile Data Consumption

Since the iPhone first arrived on the scene, it has been used to access mobile data like no other device before it. FastCompany reports.

quotemarksright.jpgOwners 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.

With the arrival of the iPhone 4S, which is expected to sell in the tens of millions by Christmas alone, cell phone networks are going to be even more pressed. These businesses are reacting.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 10:53 AM | permalink

September 23, 2011

Abortion reminders by SMS criticised as 'morally squalid'

Plans by UK abortion clinics to send text-message reminders to women planning terminations have been criticised as "morally squalid", reports The Telegraph.

quotemarksright.jpgBritain's largest abortion provider said it is introducing reminders because some girls and women had forgotten about their procedures.

Critics said the move, by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), gave a disturbing insight into casual attitudes to abortion.

BPAS, which carries out almost one third of NHS-funded terminations, likened the service, which begins in November, to reminders sent out by dentists before check-ups.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 4:30 PM | permalink

September 1, 2011

Out of Africa: SMS turns ignition on/off

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]

emily | 4:09 PM | permalink

August 23, 2011

iOS 5 includes early earthquake warning notifications for Japanese iPhone users

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.

quotemarksright.jpgiOS 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:24 AM | permalink

August 19, 2011

Car Theft Achieved via Text Message

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.

quotemarksright.jpg 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.

Their findings show that text messaging is no longer limited to short notes telling friends you're running late or asking if they're free for dinner," the AP snarks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:53 PM | permalink

August 16, 2011

NY City to Test 'Pay by Phone' Parking Meter Program

parking-meter-gen-722x406.jpeg New Yorkers may soon be able to feed the parking meter with their cell phones. NBC New York reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.

Deputy Transportation Commissioner Bruce Schaller tells The New York Post the technology would make paying for parking more convenient for drivers, who would not have to go back to their cars, as well as for the city, saving officials the time it takes to collect and sort cash from every meter in the five boroughs.

In order to use the "pay by phone" program, users would have to register once online and then use an app or text message to type in the number of the meter where they're parking and the amount of time they would like to buy.

The city plans to outfit nearly 300 parking spots with the new technology in the next few months for a one-year test program.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Related links to M-Parking projects around the world - as early as 2003.

emily | 8:22 PM | permalink

August 15, 2011

Mobile phones service jammed in Kashmir

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.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.

"We do not want to take any chances. Your phones would start functioning again once the official parade and other functions are over," said an intelligence official who did not want to be named.

Most cell phone users in the summer capital Srinagar complained of the service failure.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 2:45 PM | permalink

Censoring mobiles and the net: how the West is clamping down

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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.

quotemarksright.jpgAfter 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.

Politicians in Norway have discussed methods to limit online anonymity and combat web extremism in the wake of the recent massacre.

In Australia, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is still intent on implementing his heavily criticised mandatory ISP filtering net censorship scheme despite public and political opposition.

... Authoritarian states are monitoring these developments closely, eager to see what kind of precedents will be set by Western officials as they wrestle with these evolving technologies, argued Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, in The Wall Street Journal.

Chinese state media are already blaming the London riots on a lack of controls on the internet in Western countries, which is in stark contrast to China's security apparatus, which includes widespread blocking of websites and deep monitoring of online communications.

China even shut down the internet in the Xinjiang region for 10 months in 2009 after riots.

"Media in the US and Britain used to criticise developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. Britain's new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the internet," an editorial in China's Global Times read.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 12:18 PM | permalink

August 10, 2011

UK Foreign Office trials text messaging service in a crisis

en.jpeg 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.

FCO press release, via ITPortal.

emily | 3:40 PM | permalink

August 8, 2011

SMS to report on dog owners who don't clean up after their pet

281_f8f1fqfaji.jpeg 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).

[via AboutMyArea]

emily | 9:06 PM | permalink

August 3, 2011

Indian Stock exchanges to give daily SMS alerts to clients by Dec

1246sebi-bse.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgStock 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.

Exchanges would have to implement the order by December 2 and it would be applicable to trading in cash and derivative segments.

SEBI said it had received complaints from investors against brokers about unauthorised trading in their accounts.

The regulator has issued the circular after consultation with the participants and bourses, including the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.

SEBI also directed the exchanges to provide a platform wherein brokers can upload client details like name, address, mobile number, e-mail and identification unique to every client.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 4:33 PM | permalink

India. Text Messages Tell Travelers Where to Get Off

india_crowd_demographics_q_16638.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgOn 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.

Not only do you have to figure out how to make your way back, you could potentially face a fine for the extra distance you traveled but that your ticket didn’t cover.

The tech blog Penn-Olson says a new Indian service called Pyka by Ideophone, which is currently in testing mode, can help with that.

You set it up by texting a message with your train number, the code of the station at which you’re arriving–both of which should be on your ticket–and the date of your arrival. In return, they’re supposed to call you to let you know when your station is approaching.

Why not just set an alarm on your phone using the scheduled arrival time? Well, long-distance trains can experience delays—and occasionally arrive at stations ahead of time too—making it easy to lose track of a stop.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:28 AM | permalink

July 30, 2011

NY MTA: We Get 700 Text Messages A Day for Bus Arrival Info

Brooklyn-Heights-Bus-and-Train-Map.jpeg The NY MTA says it receives about 700 text messages a day seeking arrival or departure information for B63 buses in Brooklyn. Transportation Nation reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.

The procedure involves texting a six-digit code number to “41411,” then waiting for a text back that tells users how many miles or how many stops the bus is away.

Unlike some privately generated apps, the MTA app doesn’t “find” users, nor does it tell how many minutes a bus is away.

But the authority it still has 18,000 “mobile interactions” and 13,000 “desktop interactions” a month.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:34 PM | permalink

July 28, 2011

Google Opens SMS-to-chat Gateway to More African Countries

gmaillogo$.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpg 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:28 AM | permalink

July 13, 2011

Pinger bringing free text messaging to Europe

Pingerlogo.jpg According to the AFP, Silicon Valley startup Pinger will expand into Europe with a German service for free text messaging using Apple or Android-powered gadgets.

quotemarksright.jpgPinger 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.

"We've come up with a way to neutralize the costs," said Pinger co-founder Joe Sipher. "In the end, more or less nobody is really paying for texting," he said. "It sort of washes itself out."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 5:24 PM | permalink

July 11, 2011

FireText smoke alarm will automatically text up to four numbers during an emergency

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.

[via Ubergizmo]

emily | 7:37 PM | permalink

Indian users can post to Google+ using SMS

google+.jpg According to NextWeb, Google is offering an exclusive feature to Indian Google+ users through which they can update their stream using text messages.

quotemarksright.jpg 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 7:27 PM | permalink

New service uses SMS to help those with speech difficulties communicate

Jaybee_logo_pale.png 160characters.org reports on Jaybee which aims to help those with a range of illnesses and disabilities to communicate widely via SMS.

quotemarksright.jpgJaybee 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.

Designed initially for people with Motor Neurone Disease, JayBee allows users to say exactly what they want to say. It learns their communication patterns using technology initially used by TIL in the Space Industry.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:24 AM | permalink

July 5, 2011

Qantas to lock in business class upgrades sooner with SMS alerts

Qantas.jpg Here's a company planning on using SMS to send some good news.

quotemarksright.jpgQantas 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Australian Business Traveller]

emily | 9:01 AM | permalink

June 22, 2011

SMS Survey for Domestic Workers

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.

quotemarksright.jpgThe campaign was launched by the general secretary of NDAWU and Namibian Farmworkers Union (NFU), Alfred Angula.

Angula said the SMS survey is towards the setting of a minimum wage for domestic workers, which is currently non-existent..

"Domestic workers are of the most disadvantaged workers, they are very lowly paid, and their work is undervalued," emphasised Angula..

He said the union has opted to do the survey by SMS to allow for greater participation, after which the data will be collated and a proposal for a minimum wage formalised to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:29 PM | permalink

June 21, 2011

Israeli army, telco face off over emergency SMS alert test

Dover.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgAnd 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.

A crucial part of the this year's annual drill comes on Wednesday, when a newly-installed alert system is scheduled to send out hundreds of thousands of SMS messages to the population in order to test out the technology. There are an estimated 10 million cellphones in use in Israel.

The message that will be sent by the Home Front Command will say, "Drill -- have a nice day, from the Homefront Command."

The idea is to eventually phase-out outdoor air-raid sirens, which are often unheard indoors, by the infirm, or in certain areas of the country.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 2:57 PM | permalink

EasySMS app enables illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages

EasySMSlisten.jpg

EasySMSrecompose.jpg

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.

It has been selected to represent Switzerland in the Microsoft Imagine Cup - a student competition focusing on the Millennium Development Goals.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgAbout 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.

EasySMS application empowers illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages through available text-to-speech solutions to their contacts.

The composition of messages is facilitated through pictograms and previously received messages. Contact identification is aided by visually search-able avatars.

To understand the meaning of each word of the SMSs users receive not only the meaning of the whole message: --> the message is played in a karaoke like style --> each word of the message is a playable button: the user can click on each word to hear it. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Project EasySMS by:

Team Members: Lukas Frelich, Elsa Friscira, Oscar Bolanos

Team Mentor: Hendrik Knoche

EPFLstudentsImagineCup.jpg

Vote for their project at the Imagine Cup 2011 in the People's Choice Video category.

Follow EASYSMS on Twitter and Facebook.

emily | 8:18 AM | permalink

June 20, 2011

Sex syndicates resort to pimping via SMS

Chinpr.jpg Sex syndicates have resorted to offering prostitutes to their regular customers via SMS, China Press reported via The Star Online.

quotemarksright.jpgThe daily reported that the SMS messages contained descriptions of the prospective prostitute, including her body measurements and age.

A 58-year-old man, who only wanted to be known as Chen, said he would usually receive three to four such SMSes daily and it had put him in an embarrassing position.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from Great Indaba.

Related:

-- 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.

emily | 8:07 AM | permalink

June 16, 2011

Hospitals Embrace Text Messaging of Emergency Room Wait Times

ertexting.jpeg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgUsing 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.

While the technology was originally marketed as a means to drive traffic to emergency rooms, hospital executives have discovered the added benefits of improved patient satisfaction and load balancing.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via BusinessWire Press Release]

emily | 5:07 PM | permalink

June 8, 2011

Woman gets tattoo of 152 Facebook Friends

FFtatoos.jpg

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.

emily | 10:11 AM | permalink

May 23, 2011

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

Displaying entries of 783
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