Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tax compliance increased by SMS

Indian's Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has offered the state's municipal corporations a suggestion on improving tax collections - SMS. In a meeting with commissioners of seven municipal corporations and urban development authorities, Modi said that text messages from the mobile phone can be used to increase awareness among citizens about taxes. According to him, the use of SMS can lead to efficient tax collection and improve the services of the civic bodies.
Officials said Modi's suggestion was on the lines of how mobile service providers use the SMS to remind clients about bills.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

MTV Holland accused of sms scam

Jan de Wit, a Socialist Party member of the Dutch lower house, has lodged a complaint with the police, alleging that the music television broadcaster, TMF, a subsidiary of MTV Networks, committed fraud during its TMF Awards ceremony broadcast earlier this month. At the start of the broadcast, viewers were invited to vote - through an SMS message at 70 eurocents a pop - for their choice of Artist of the Decade. However, it has transpired that that even before the voting began, the winner - Dutch singer Marco Borsato - had already been selected and made known to the press, with the understanding that this information would be held in confidence until after the winner was formally announced.
Unfortunately, Dutch news bureau ANP accidentally released the information soon after the broadcast started. Nevertheless, viewers were still asked repeatedly to vote…
According to Mr De Wit, this was a breach of the Dutch Gaming Law.

Voters, largely young people, were tricked out of tens of thousand euros. This is unacceptable,
he said. A TMF spokesperson refuted this claim, saying that 'only several thousand voters sent in an SMS vote on that evening…[There is] no question therefore of thousands of euros [being earned].” TMF really needs some crazy communication crisis specialist to get out of this. Of, course denying is a good strategy. However, they did admited making a mistake: Marco Borsato was announced as the winner before the voting by sms ended. The single mistake…right then. What about the manipulation and the sms scam? Reacting to the police investigation, TMF said,
This is a storm in a teacup.
Of course it is. And the teacup is as small as Holland.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sms donations go 'scramble' in London

The last year's Asian Tsunami started a sms charity mania through out the entire world. Apparently, money earned from sms donations aren’t going in the good direction. The Institute of Fundraising from LONDON will contact the major mobile phone operators after seeing at some numbers...reports that as much as a quarter of text donations are skimmed off before reaching charities. Some one is checking the wrong pockets I guess…Media reports uncovered figures showing that SMS donations saw between 17% and 25% of the total amount donated was lost in charges, including those levied by the mobile operators and aggregator companies. Now, that’s not a very big surprise in the lands of virtual money.

Donating money to charities is a very different proposition to a commercial transaction and the two should not be treated in the same way.
, said Lyndsay Boswell, chief execuitve of the Institute of Fundraising. It is only since the outpouring of goodwill after that Boxing Day tsunami that charities have begun to harness the power of SMS donations. The Disasters Emergency Committee ‘earned’ £1m through 700,000 text donations in two months through it’s tsunami appeal.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Malaysian law interdicts texting while driving

Malaysian Road Transport Department officers are going after the citizens who are engaging in texting sms while driving. The Malaysian law is against the use of mobile phones to send SMS while driving.

I cannot believe that people actually do that. It requires them to take a hand off the steering wheel and their eyes off the road as well,
he told the New Straits Times. The regulation came into effect after an in-depth study on the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. The number of mobile phone users nationwide has increased from an estimated one million in 1996 to 13 million last year. Besides the drivie-textie, the use of walkie-talkies and radio telephones are forbidden while driving. Emran said those suspected of sending SMS while driving would be stopped and their phones checked.
It will be obvious if the driver had sent an SMS in the last one minute before being stopped as the 'sent' box would indicate this,
he added. Now, that’s not necessarily true. Only if the driver was alone in the car, there might be a possibility that he indeed send the message. But I think that asking people to give their mobiles for sms checking is an exaggerated measure.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Indian Parliament summons it's members via sms

India, where until recently it took years to get a phone line and where lumbering government services creak along slowly and sloppily, if at all, is cashing in on the mobile phone boom to boost democratic efficiency. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and the government and opposition "whips" responsible for assembly attendance are now using Short Message Service (SMS) to summon lawmakers for crucial votes or to muster a quorum, officials say. It looks like the wireless technology suits well the Indian Democracy. Hopefully, the fighting on law projects will stick to the traditional way of communicating: oral speeches...perhaps this will maintain the political Rethoric alive. I wouldn't want to see things turning into sms debates.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Colored sms

[Via Startechcentral]

Adding colour to the sms? Er, that’ll be the new feature of the Panasonic A210. If you consider the white-and black version boring, then this might make your day. There’s a wrinkle to this though… the recipient must also use a compatible phone to see these messages in colour. So, start advertising if you really really want others to receive your colorful sms. And that’s not all! Each received SMS will be accompanied by colored light effects… emoticons and stuff.
P.s. We have speech-to-text techonology plus some colour to add to the sms. What’s next? The red-chic-slick 3D parfumed sms !?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Big bang of the chinese sms market


China is all about big numbers. Here is one ! 4,470,488,611.59 USD (37 billion yuan) . That’s the expected value of China's short messaging service (SMS) market by 2008 …with some 360 million users. IT research firm Analysys International said yesterday. Market, er, prediction of course…
“As more users become familiar with what their phones can do, they begin to rely on added features such as SMS, making it more likely that users will try new mobile phone technology in the future,” Analysys telecom research manager Joe Zhou said in a statement.
China will have an estimated 270 million SMS users this year with a market value of 4 billion USD (33 billion yuan), the Beijing-based research firm said.
Last year, the value of China's SMS market hit 3,383,072,462.83 USD (28 billion yuan) with 237 million SMS users, of which held the largest share with 18%, followed by Tencent with 15% and with 9%, Analysys added.
In China, married coupled are only allowed one child per ... each family .I wonder if the Chinese government will come out with a law that will allow only one mobile telephone per family. Neeeeey! While the growing population remains a serious issue, the boom of the sms market isn’t that worrying.

SMS to warn of earthquakes


INDONESIA plans to develop a warning system which uses text messages to alert people about impending disasters, the information minister said today.

The result of a disaster early warning system in an area will be spread through SMSs (Short Message Services),
Information and Communication Minister Sofyan Jalil said.
The service will help 80 per cent of mobile phone users in a given area to be informed quickly about any impending natural disaster, and would generate a rapid response from government officials, he said.
The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG), which would run the early warning system, would also connect with the media to speed up the sms service.
The Government will provide the BMG with adequate equipment to carry out its tasks,
Mr Jalil said.
The Government would also announce the warnings in key urban areas such as religious and commercial centres, he said.
Indonesia has been shaken by a series of earthquakes since the December 26 quake that generated a massive tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean. The Indonesian archipelago has about 400 vulcanos, from which 350 still active. Not to mention the high risk of devastating earthquakes. I presume that the sms service is a viable solution for now. It will help of course, but the service is not sufficient.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wireless text flirting is for shy guys

Welcome to wireless text flirting, the newest, easiest way to show someone you're interested. Simply punch in the requisite letters, type in the destination phone number, and hit send. No more love letters, no more "baby, what's your sign?" and best of all, no more face-to-face rejection. Dialogues like: "U r cute. FanC a d8?"/"Sure. 2moro @ 8?" are more and more common in bars&discos.
But while texting is a dream come true for those tired of the midnight mate-search and crowded bar scenes, the text craze leaves some feeling cold. Out in the cold, that is. In a February 2005 survey by Cingular, 8 percent of its users shockingly admitted to having dumped someone through "crude, wireless behavior." So... whatever goes up has to come down. Eventually

Screenplay djusted by SMS voting

WB Network's One tree hill series are giving fans a say in how upcoming story line should end via text message voting. During the Tuesday, April 19 episode of One tree hill, Nathan (James Lafferty) is faced with the dilemma as to whether or not he should kiss his sister-in law, Taylor (Lindsay McKeon), while his wife, Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz), performs on a rock music tour. Enter the show's fans who will vote via text messaging and see their choice unfold during the Tuesday, April 26 episode.
Additionally, one lucky text messaging participant will win a trip to Wilmington, North Carolina to visit the set of ONE TREE HILL plus a new Cingular Wireless Motorola V551 video phone and a $500 Cingular Wireless gift card.

HSBC starts a banking sms service in Malta

[Via HSBC Malta]

HSBC Bank Malta customers can now top up their Vodafone prepaid account or their go mobile card plan account anywhere and anytime they need, simply by sending an SMS.

No more running out of talk time at that critical moment!
, they say. Well, isn’t that cute? Remember the HSBC slogan?
Never underestimate the importance of local knowledge!
Apparently, the Maltese people know something more about the importance of the sms. They can also choose to start receiving SMS alerts on their mobile phone each time certain transactions occur on their accounts, credit or debit cards. This is the result of an SMS-based system designed by HSBC and the collaboration of Malta's two mobile telephony providers, Vodafone and Go mobile.
Customers who register for mobile services will receive a four-digit PIN which, when topping up, must be sent via SMS to one of two numbers according to the amount of top-up desired: 5061 9005 or 5061 9010 for a Lm5 or Lm10 top-up, respectively. They can also register for the service online, through HSBC's internet banking service or by visiting one of HSBC's branches. All customers will enjoy an extra 10 per cent free credit each time they top up their mobile phone using mobile services. This offer is valid until May 17. The top-up service is free if used in Malta.

Parents to become texperts

Parents are being encouraged to learn simple text messages like "r u goin 2 b l8?" to help keep their children safe. Dyfed Powys Police is renewing the "Teach ur mum 2 txt" campaign call for parents to take advantage of the security benefits that mobile phones can offer. It aims to make parents more text-savvy to aid better communication with their children. The idea is that rather than embarrassing youngsters by phoning them to check where they are, parents can use the more discreet method of texting. Texting is a language children and teenagers have been using for years but lots of parents might still have difficulty in understanding. It is discrete and cheaper than making a call ;)

World's powerful leaders, protected by SMS

The residents of Auchterader (Scotland, UK) will receive text messages about the G8 summit to be held in Gleneagles from 6 to 8 July. The SMSes will read about road closures and plans and other kinds of trouble. In return, they are asked to report any suspect activity in the area.

Monday, April 18, 2005

SMS&MMS open the gates of Eden

UK dating brand SpeedDater has launched a new mobile dating service, based on Enpocket Dating Engine - Eden. To open the gates of this Eden, singles have to input their profile and picture via SMS&MMS. Then, they can receive other people's profiles on their phone. Users can also send and receive chat requests to have conversations with other members. Ben Tisdall, co-founder of SpeedDater, said: "Text messaging has already emerged as the perfect medium for flirting. Now SpeedDater Mobile extends the mobile's functionality to allow our customers to search for a match, and chat with prospective partners before deciding to meet up.”

Emergency SMS service in UK

British mobile telephone users will be alerted to a terrorist attack or major incident in their area within seconds as part of an SMS alert service. With most households now containing a mobile phone, the City Alert Texting System (Cats) will allow the emergency services and local authorities to spread a message as widely and quickly as possible. Nick Seller, of EazyText Communications, which designed Cats, said: "It came to us after the September 11 attacks. There was half an hour between the hijack and the planes hitting the World Trade Centre. I am convinced that if they'd been able to spread word quickly lives would have been saved before the planes hit.
There is a drawback though: one has to pay £1.50 a year to receive alerts. When it is needed, the operator decides on how wide an area needs alerting and then sends a message to all registered phones.

Fraud by sms in the Philippines

[Via The Age]
Philippines is in sms trouble again. An appellate court clerk has been sacked by the Supreme Court for sending an extortion note by mobile phone… and that’s a judicial first for the Philippines. The woman was arrested in a police sting operation at a Manila restaurant last year, about two months after she sent a note through the short messaging service (SMS) of her mobile phone demanding money to help the litigant win his two year-old suit against a government corporation. Court of appeals clerk Elvira Apao was convicted Friday on charges of ‘grave misconduct for extorting a million pesos ($US18,315) from a litigant in a case being heard by the appelate court’. She acted,er, irationally . Who would've guessed a woman will start the fraud by sms. That’s called extreme texting by the way. Apao will not serve jail time though, but she was barred for life from the civil service.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A thumb breaking record

Robert Vavey might just be New Zealand's (or even world's?) most prolific texter. He's a 17 sales assistant and sends a staggering 8,000 SMSes a month. That's one text message every four minutes every waking hour. He calls text messaging "the way of the future". "If you're out and about in town you can just text your mate and meet up with them. Text the girlfriend, all that sort of carry on. It's better than talking on the phone. It's a lot easier.", he says.
He spends now $280 on his monthly bill, being much more restrained, since last year, when he was left without an unlimited $10 plan from his telco. Back then, he used to send 15,000 SMSes a month... He must have some red hurting thumbs for that record!

Texting sad story

A lot of people are having big problems trying to text some thoughts on their mobile. Aside tiny keys, the biggest pain in the... phone is the predictive texting (T9). Here's a true sad story of our guy: " thought that it might be a good idea to disable the predictive text facility, which is the single stupidest invention since Sir Clive Sinclair’s electrical slipper. You’re no doubt familiar with the way it works. You type in “to” and it spends the rest of time guessing what the rest of the word might be. Tomorrow? Today? Toyota? Topazolite? Tonsil? It just can’t understand that you want to write “to” because, of course, in text speak, that’s spelt 2. Anyway, to disable the facility meant delving into the handbook, which contains 104 pages. Yes, 104 pages. For a phone. I knew I was in trouble."
Big trouble this is... Now that's a good reason to text on your PC keyboard ;)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sabbath greetings through SMS

Sydney's Great Synagogue has become the first Jewish community in the world to send Sabbath greetings via SMS. The new leader of the community - 39-year-old British-born and Oxford-educated Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence - said the traditional Sabbath greeting "Shabbat Shalom" was sent to in more than 700 messages.

"Everybody has a mobile phone. It's a way of getting to people.", said Lawrence, who uses PowerPoint presentations during services and offers online Jewish education programs with lecture notes delivered to the participants' Palm Pilots beforehand.

Carriers in Philippines investigated for SMS rumor

Wireless carriers in the Philippines are being investigated by a Congressional committee over accusations that they started an SMS text message rumor about an earthquake striking Manila.

The SMS hysteria started thursday, after someone said that an earthquake will hit Quezon City a few days after April 15. The followind SMS hype was created in order to boost the telco's revenue, since they made money every time someone sent a text message related to the supposed earthquake.

Friday, April 15, 2005

SMSes to inform MPs

Indian parliamentary affairs minister Ghulam Nabi Azad (Government Chief-Whip) plans to use SMSes in a big way: he wants to issue summons and give notices to MPs through mobile phones. He began categorising parliamentarians in different groups and collating their mobile numbers. "The minister is also the chief whip of the government. He should have easy access to other whips or MPs so that they can be given information immediately," said a senior official of the parliamentary affairs ministry.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

SMS gets beaten by Morse (?!)

In a race between the best 19th and 21st century communications technology, SMS got beaten.

Yesterday, at the Powerhouse Museum, Gordon Hill, 93, a veteran telegraph operator raced Brittany Devlin, 13, of Seven Hills, with two years of texting experience. The rules were simple: Mr Hill had to translate a message into morse code and send it to another telegraph veteran, Jack Gibson, 82, sitting a few metres away. Brittany had to use her mobile phone's keypad to punch out the same message, then send it to another phone near Mr Gibson.
The message was a line selected from an advertisement in a teenage magazine: "Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing." Mr Hill tapped out his message in full, while Brittany employed abbreviations to save vital time. She wrote "hey gf you can txt ur best pals 2 tel them wot u r doing, where ur going and wot u r wearing."
90 seconds after the race start, Mr Gibson announced he had the message down on paper. Brittany's message was delayed somewhere in the ether for another 18 seconds... Three other young competitors challenged the telegraph team and three more times the text messages came in second! Should we learn the Morse code?

Check your cinema tickets by SMS

The Citadel Cinema in Victoria is offering customers the facility to buy tickets online with the client's choice of seating. When clients make an online booking an SMS is automatically sent to them to confirm that their booking has been received and accepted.
The facility uses state-of-the-art software provided by OS3 (Osprey Software) and the latest in mobile phone technology by Go Mobile.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

SMS fights HIV!

In a poor South African region, an SMS service is used to take care of HIV positive people. The residents in Gugulethu are exclusively black and almost all poor - unemployment runs at 60% and some estimates put the number of people with HIV at three out of every 10 people. The ones that are ill have to take some 30 pills a day, and they often forget some of these, so an SMS system is used to remind them about medication.
SMS is also used to report patients' condition: some 50 50 HIV councillors in Gugulethu using texting to feed an online database with data. It's quick, reliable and - most importantly for the cash-strapped health clinics in the townships - cheap!
The system enables the clinic managers to focus on the patients who really need help urgently. That is done thanks to a computer software that takes in all the mobile phone messages and automatically puts them on a website.

Texting when walking is dangerous. For now...

Texting when walking is a dangerous combination. While your eyes are glued to the tiny, hard-to-see display and your thumb is stabbing buttons, you might easily walk into an innocent bystander, a lamppost or under a bus. Those carrying mobile computers find it just as hard to operate a tiny keyboard or scribble with a stylus while walking. But a new research by University of Glasgow scientists that enables people to interact safely with mobile computers while walking, running or driving, could help to prevent users from putting themselves in danger. If using our eyes is difficult and unsafe in a mobile environment, the next best thing would be using our ears as well as any other movements we might make that did not interfere with the business of walking, running or driving.
The research, which has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is being carried out at the University of Glasgow and is developing a solution to this problem using 3D sound and gestures. “We hope to develop interfaces that are truly mobile, allowing users to concentrate on the real world while interacting with their mobile device as naturally as if they were talking to a friend while walking,” explains Professor Stephen Brewster, from the University of Glasgow, who is leading the project.
The project is currently half way through its three-year research period, but already the team sees a number of different additional applications, including using simple gestures, like a nod of the head, to change music tracks on your MP3 player.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Find my child" tracking system via cell-phone

Find My Child provides peace of mind for parents, allowing them to locate their children via their mobile phone. This can be done without having to make a call (which they often don't answer) or sending a text message (which they sometimes ignore). A people locator service such as this is designed to locate the phone of another person. For the service to work, the phone has to be switched on and within network coverage. Location services aimed at children are intended to complement, not be a substitute for, normal parental supervision. They give information about the location of a child’s phone and, in conjunction with other types of communication, such as texting, can help parents keep in touch with their children.
Although the technology that is used is sophisticated, the service itself is very straight forward. Free trail and buy options are available for the UK at present.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Fundraiser campaign through SMS

The Samaritans charity is encouraging londoners to donate money by text message and sponsoring a fundraiser by the name of Dave, who is competing in the London Marathon next weekend. People wishing to sponsor Dave, who is running the marathon dressed as a computer, can text the keyword "DAVE" to the shortcode 88222, and £3 will be billed directly to the donor's phone bill and passed to Samaritans. The donor then receives a text thanking them in return.
It is the first text donation campaign run by the charity, which aims to prevent suicides and help people through depression.
Gina Allen, sales director at Wireless Information Network (campaign's managing company) said: "Donating by text can be incredibly successful. This is largely due to the convenience and simplicity of the mechanic, coupled with the fact that the amount donated is fixed and relatively small."

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Text wars in Zimbabwe are over

Zimbabwe’s election week caused a flood of funny political SMSes. The first messages hit phones days before the poll: “MDC stands for Mugabe’s Departure is Certain.” And soon enough Zanu-PF supporters hit back: “Terri Schiavo dies after days of starvation: who is politicising food?” An MDC comeback then followed: “Ziva Anokupa Nzara Uchifa Pfungwa” — loosely translated, “You should know the culprit who gives people hunger and destroys their brains.”
This barrage of sarcasm intensified on election day. “Weather report: Partly Zanu-PF whilst most of the country will be MDC. There shall be a heavy MDC storm followed by a tsunami disaster at the state house.” Zanu-PF retorted: “First we had to fight for independence. Then they created HIV to exterminate us. Then we seized land. Now they want to eliminate the people’s gatekeeper. I am voting Zanu-PF to prevent the creation of another Australia with us as Aborigines.”
After the results, the MDC lost their SMS appetite, leaving the ruling party to have the final word: “Zanu PF is now and is the future.”

SMS spamming fought by Korean police

Korean police rounded up a total of 38 spammers from 36 companies in a single day, as part of a nationwide clampdown on spammers using mobile phone short text messaging services. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, the spam networks sent unsolicited text messages discriminately to mobile phone users with the first digits of 060 in their phone number. In a typical case of illegal spam-messaging, a 40-year-old head of a spam SMS firm, identified by his family name Um, collected a total of 900 million won from September last year till March this year through a phone-sex service. He sent out millions of obscene text messages randomly to mobile phone users to entice them to call back. He charged 500 won per 30 seconds or 10,000 won for 10 minutes once phone users responded to the SMS spam and called back, police said. The police have arrested Um and were seeking arrest warrants for 5 other heads of similar spam networks, while booking 32 others.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Chinese police preps SMS crime-reporting service

People who live in Shanghai (China) will be able to report crime by SMS to the 110 police headquarters in the near future. According to the Shanghai Emergency Response Center, police are working with telecos to handle technical problems.
According to police officials, the SMS alarm service would greatly benefit three groups of people - mutes, migrants who can not speak Mandarin and expatriates who can only speak their mother tongue.
Research on the service started at the end of last year when local officials visited their counterparts in Suzhou and Nantong of Jiangsu Province where such a system is currently in use. In Shanghai, the service is likely to come into use within this year.

Pope's death hailed in SMS-speak

Reuters reports an SMS hysteria caused by Pope's funerals, mainly in Italy, where MTV Italia invited viewers to send in text messages about John Paul 2nd. The messages scrolled across the bottom of a screen unusually void of scantily clad dancers and sexual innuendo. "TVB Papa," wrote one MTV viewer -- common SMS currency for "ti voglio bene" (I love you). Another read "6 un grande. K triste siamo" (You're fantastic. How sad we are)...
In life, the Pope wrote his encyclicals by hand in Polish and left his aides to transfer them onto computers. In death, people around the world leaned on their laptops to muse over how much the Pope and his death meant to them.
The phenomenon is sighted all over the world: a Mexican site included a chat room discussing the hypocrisy of people openly mourning the Pope but blatantly behaving in ways that flout his moral teaching. "I find it deeply sad to see how man has become a social parasite, joining in with everybody else for their own pleasure and comfort but with no integrity," the site manager wrote.

UK university sends SMSes to its students

Wolverhampton University has an eye on SMS, aimed to take the place of traditional letters. University lecturers are sending students revision tips, timetables, appointment times and coursework feedback using mobile phone texting. This is possible due to a £4.5m project, which is supposed to cut costs of university's communications. Text messaging also saves time for students living off-campus, who would otherwise have to travel in to check notice boards. "This will probably be the first and biggest scheme of its kind in the country and will help us communicate quickly and efficiently with students. At the moment we are targeting first years in most of the schools at the university but this is rapidly expanding and hopefully we will be reaching all students within 18 months.", said John Traxler, a leader of this initiative.

Indian director starts SMS campaign to get his film on the screens

An Indian film called "Black Friday", based on the Mumbai blasts of 2003, is promoted through an SMS campaign. Director Anurag Kashyap's friends are lobbying hard through text messaging to ensure that his film gets a release. The movie, based on a book of the same name, is the subject of a long court battle concerning its release, which has been stayed by the Mumbai High Court.
Kashyap's old-time friends from his theatre days have come forward to lobby for the film's release through an SMS campaign, which will generate a signature campaign.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Australian sms spammer blames unfair laws

[Via Cellular-news]
We have another spammer caught in the act. Here it goes! An online car buying service in Australia was fined this week for sending out a ton of SMS text spam to mobile phones. The company apparently went through classified ads in newspapers to collect phone numbers, which they then, uh, spammed…of course. That’s what I call a action-oriented business. It remains to bee seen whether the strategy was benefic or not. Noooot! While the company in question initially apologized for the spamming and said it was an "honest mistake," it's beginning to sound like that apology wasn't so sincere. The company is now hitting back that the anti-spam law is unfair to smaller companies. Larger companies can still use telemarketers to annoy users in a different (but similar) way. Of course, all this really suggests is that Australia needs to do a better job stopping unwanted telemarketing also. It’s like a bad kid who says he should have not been punished because there are a lot of kids doing the same thing. That’s called the ‘sucker effect’ in psychology. They have clearly missed the point…or they’ve played the sucker card to escape accusations.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cheating via mobile phones goes wild in NY schools

New York's school chancellor was considering lifting a ban on cell phones. This wasn't a great idea . The New York Post reports NYC students are using their cell phones to cheat on tests:

Kids are using smuggled cell phones to send answers to classmates, store electronic crib notes and even photograph tests and pass them along to classmates, students reported.

The Post says the students interviewed say cell cheating is rampant, thanks to text messaging and camera phones. Two weeks ago, twelve students were accused of cheating during an exam at the University of Maryland by receiving the answers by SMS from friends outside the classroom. Apparently, they were reading off the answer keys posted on the Internet by a professor once the exam began. Come on , they can be smarter then that…what about the old library track? Is that so "uncool"? Anyway, similar stories have been reported around the world. It’s not even a new phenomenon. I understand test cheaters are action-oriented... a trip to the university library might turn into a negative action too. I'm pretty sure they'll search for some usefull appendix about smart mobile cheating...'a propos', that's mobile cheating at school tests. They will be caught on tape this time. Oh, the poor rebels!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

SMS chat with your preffered member of the Parliament

In Malaysia, one can send text messages to the member of Parliament he voted or likes most, thrugh a new portal and messaging service facility created recently. The portal features individual websites of all 104 Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club MPs, complete with their profiles and online diaries. The diaries will enable people to know their MPs' official activities, making them more accessible and contactable. The portal was launched Tuesday by deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. SMSes may be sent to MPs at 32300, and the messages should be preceded with "BNBBC State".

Car sales website fined for SMS spamming from Australia has recently been fined $6,600 for sending SMSes to mobile phone numbers that were copied from classified advertising in newspapers. More people complained of receiving spam from this website and the authorities took drastic measures. Chairman of Australian Communications Authority (ACA), Bob Horton, said any business are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Spam Act. They should send electronic communications only with the consent of the recipients. The website stopped the practice after being issued with infringement notices by the ACA.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Indian invents cheap SMS tsunami alert system

A 27 year old Indian claims that he has invented a very efficient SMS tsunami warning system. ”The system, projected to give warning in the case of turbulence in <> could give alert signals at least two hours before tsunami struck the coast”, the young inventor said. A demonstration of the device was made before engineers and students of Bharatiyar Engineering College, Karaikal. The young man approached Pondicherry government to evaluate the gadget. "My gadget is a very simple one. It contains two floats fitted with electronic devices. To use the device, we need a 'protected' water body. It should be free from external disturbances. A sensor in the float would activate a controller which would send alert SMS messages to authorities concerned", the young man said.

Text me and I'll reply with a virus

Text messaging is becoming a dangerous habit: you can get a virus instead of a normal reply. A new mobile virus - Mabir.A, can do just this, as it is the first piece malware able to replicate itself agressively through MMS. The MMS spreading function of Mabir.A uses a new technique: instead of just reading all phone numbers from the infected phone's address book (as with an earlier mobile virus called CommWarrior.A), Mabir.A replies an infected MMS message to any SMS or MMS received by the infected phone.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

An epidemic among American students: cheating via SMS

A new epidemic is spreading among American students: cheating through cell-phones. According to The Post, more students from some schools in Bronx admitted that many of their colleagues are dialing up test answers. This “fever” appeared after the ban on mobile phones in schools had been lifted. Kids are using cell-phones to send answers to classmates, to store electronic crib notes and even photograph tests. There are student that even sell their answers through SMS. Rico Johnson, an 18 year old senior at Park West HS in Midtown, said he saw a classmate receiving answers during an exam. The answers came in by text message from a friend taking the same test at another school. The receiver distributed the answers by cell-phone to other students.
Dominique Lee, a student of 16 years old, said that cell-phone cheating is an "everyday" occurrence at Park West. "It's more convenient than digging in your book bag and getting caught," she said. Cheating via SMS is common also at Bronx Science and many other schools or colleges.
But despite of all these cheating fever, the officials say that the ban on using phone in schools was lifted as many parents wanted to have phone access to their children in emergencies.

Vatican officials used SMS to announce Pope’s death

World’s media was alerted by the officials from Vatican about Pope’s death in a few minutes due to modern communication technology. 15 minutes after the Pope was pronounced dead, the Vatican sent journalists an SMS message alerting them to a pending statement. "The Holy father died this evening at 21:37 in his private apartment," it read.
During John Paul's life and after his death, the Vatican was at pains to accommodate the mass media, which closely followed the 84-year-old Pope's decline and spells in hospital. The Pope himself wrote in a February letter that the Church should not be shy of using the media, including the Internet, to spread its message, saying "mass media can and must promote justice and solidarity."

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bad joke SMS announces earthquake in Malaysia

Many people in Malaysia received an April Fool's Day SMS message about an impending earthquake yesterday evening but did not find it funny.
The SMS read: “Earthquake is expected to hit Seremban in the next one hour or so, this will be a major one, pray to God to keep us safe, this message is retrieved from satellite television news.” Some recipients said they thought it was for real until they scrolled through and saw a subsequent message which read: “Congratulation you the last minute fool on April 1.”
Police said the prankster could face action if someone lodged a report.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The UK went sms wild in February

The shortest month of the year proved to turn up into a killer record of sent sms in the United Kingdom. February's text messaging figure reached a total of 2.19 billion messages, according to figures released on the 29th of March by the Mobile Data Association (MDA). Person-to-person texts sent across the UK GSM network operators last month. The numbers show an increase of 7.2% compared to the total sent sms during the same period in 2004. It looks like Cupidon was incredibly fast at throwing love arrows… On February the 14th, 92 million text messages were sent via handsets and only 12 million cards were estimated to have been delivered by the Post Office. There goes the tradition! No more stinky post stamps, no more sticky tongues…just fired up fingers .