Sunday, July 31, 2005

Texting used to teach Te Reo

Tolaga Bay Area School is taking texting to another level: texting in the native language, Te Reo. Keeping the roots alive…

Clearly texting is a phenomenon in New Zealand as it is in the rest of the world. We just thought perhaps it would be a good idea to use Te Reo Maori or to try and find a text language in Te Reo Maori and see whether the students would take it up since they love it so much,
says Nori Parata, principal of Tolaga Bay Area School.
And the idea has struck a chord with the experts too.
We've talked for a long time about things that we need to do for our Rangatahi so the language will become sexy. I think the whole art of texting is somewhat of sexy way for our Rangatahi to communicate. Yes the purists may not be happy about it but you know it's getting them communicating and using our reo,
says Sharon Armstrong from Te Taurawhiri I Te Reo Maori.
[Via TVNZ]

The EU Wants Your Text Messages

The EU wants mobile operators to store call and Internet records and text messages so they can be searched by police. This comes after initial efforts were made to bring down international roaming rates earlier this month. Let the fight begin then…Even if the mobile operators will receive compensations for demonstrated additional costs, it's hard for me to believe they'll swallow the additional costs without striking back.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

R u safe& dry: Sms floods Mumbai mobile networks

The Mansoon season flooded Indian mobile networks. Since people could not speak to each other due to network problems, they chose to send messages. Messages like “R u safe & dry’ or “Hope you and your family are fine” or “To prevent Leptospirosis, those who walked through water yesterday must take tablet of medicine...Single dose, make others aware also” , have soared following heavy rains in Mumbai.
[Via The India Times]

Singles work on sex drive

Single people stuck in a traffic jam may soon find the proper force to use their mobiles to send flirty text messages to strangers in nearby cars. Imagine! Say you see a nice girl in the car next to you…she catches your eyes instantly. You get yourself together and you jam text her (singles register their number plate and mobile details with the service provider and are given a number they can send their message to )… but what if the possessive guy next to her catches your eyebrows too? Worst case scenario, I know. Isn’t life wonderful? Remember…the person you decide to jam text must be also a member of the service. If they are not a member, the message is stored and revealed to them later if they join. Jam texting started in the US, and despite the protests of road safety groups is now being considered in Australia. Jam texting is one of a burgeoning number of mobile dating systems.
[Via The Advertiser]

Text messages used in solving a murder case

Detectives will be solving gun crimes and murder cases far faster using a simple handheld device... Maybe in about 100 years. Anyway, a small step has been made though. A Senior detective from U.K. has told The Cumberland News how cutting edge forensic analysis helped trap a Carlisle man who murdered his girlfriend. Kieran Grieve strangled Miss Flanagan after discovering that she had another lover.
He then tried to remove any forensic evidence that may have linked him to the killing. Grieve then set about sending a series of bogus text messages from Miss Flanagan’s mobile phone in an attempt to give the impression that she was still alive when he fled with Holly to Portsmouth. Detectives turned to three specialist companies in an attempt to discover how what Grieve claimed had happened compared with what the mobile phone evidence revealed. Using tracking techniques used in the Madrid bombing investigation, experts were able to show that Grieve lied about where Miss Flanagan was when messages were sent. The text messages he claimed she sent from the city centre were almost certainly sent from the couple’s flat by Grieve himself.
P.s. They guy in the picture is actually the killer...
[Via Cumbria-online]

Friday, July 29, 2005

SMS on the rise as sports teams, salons, bands get the word out via cell phone

Texting can be used to flirt, avoid traffic jams, balance your checking accounts, help Africa’s poor and many more. Text messaging is finally taking off in the U.S. But until the past year, U.S. text messaging had caught on only among teens and "American Idol" fans voting for their favorites. Today, this sms thing is a quite a phenomenon. About 5 billion text messages are sent a month in the U.S., up from 2.8 billion a year ago, according to the wireless trade association CTIA. But the real story is in the inventive ways this medium is being used and penetrating everyday life.
Sports teams are starting to use "texting" to bond with fans. Hair salons can use it to remind customers of appointments. You can sign up to get text updates about traffic on your commuting route and weather in your hometown. "Teen People" magazine will automatically text you breaking news about such weighty issues like Brittney Spear's striking resemblance with her dog.

It's clearly exploding,
says Sky Dayton, co-founder of EarthLink who is running a U.S. joint venture, SK-EarthLink, with South Korea's biggest cellular operator.
It's an example of how a medium evolves into something you never expected it to. Who knows where it will go from here.
We're starting to see major brands utilize text messaging. That's new
says Alex Campbell, CEO of Vibes Media, which has helped McDonald's, Budweiser and the Chicago White Sox with text-messaging campaigns. But what factors lead to this sms storm in the U.S. First, there's the sheer mass of text-capable phones out there: Of 192 million active mobile phones in the U.S., 90 percent have screens and can handle text messages, CTIA says.
Mobile phones have become the third screen in people's lives. But this one is more personal,
says Neville Street, CEO of messaging company Mobile 365, the other screens being the TV and PC.
All of those phones, however, awaited a key that would unlock a texting boom: interoperability.
Complete article

SMS spoof: the growing menace

You’ve probably heard of spoofing …Well, guess what, SMS spoofing is here. It’s emerging as a menace and might hamper the growth of the mobile industry. For the uninitiated, with SMS spoofing a cyber criminal can send an SMS to anyone on the cell phone without touching it. This also implies that if the person (who receives the message) goes to the reply mode of the phone and writes any reply text after receiving the spoofed SMS, it will again come back to the same person. This has serious security ramifications and the scope for misuse is enormous.

Sales texting is a turn-off

Tack International’s latest research believes the popularity of the abbreviated message could have affected the art of conversation. The survey concluded that the explosion in text messaging may be damaging the ability of sales people to talk over the phone to sell products and services. Oh, well …no more irritating calls from annoying salesmen? You have to keep the faith though...
Almost 60 per cent of buyers surveyed gave a rating of fair to poor for the way sales people used the phone to try to drum up business. Less than a third felt there was a friendly or businesslike approach to the call while only 1 per cent categorised the quality of the call and efficiency of the caller as excellent. The research also showed that texting is a turn-off as a sales aid either because it was disliked or the abbreviations cause irritation. More than 80 per cent rated the text messages they received as poor while only 10 per cent said the quality was fair.
Complete article

Thursday, July 28, 2005

EC sends 500,000 SMS out to voters

Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC) sent out short text messages to remind potential voters of yesterday's referendum polls on change of political system.

The advantage of SMS messages is that whoever receives the massage automatically reads it before deleting it. We have been stressing patriotism and reflecting voting as a national duty,
SMS Media's Clients Executive Mr Chris Ssali said.

Teens prefer land-line phones

The Pew Internet and American Life Project report on teens and technology concluded that teenagers prefer the land-line telephone to cell phones, text messages and instant messaging - because parents foot the bill… especially if Mom and Dad are backing up the bill. Twenty-four percent said IM was their perferred method, double the percentage that cited mobile phones...but just 45% of teens surveyed said they own a cell phone.
[Via Cnet]

Goldmine in SMS-TV interactivity votes

Australian mobile operators and televisions have started to chase the so called ‘sms tv interactivity’ profit. Boom goes the dynamite! Apparently, a gold rush is emerging in the media sector with companies gravitating to the profits being made from combining SMS text messaging with television, news reports. Mobile phones have become the de facto "back channel" for interactive TV services, providing a potential boon for the free TV networks which do not have cable or satellite-based systems used by pay-TV to interact with their viewers. From the perspective of the TV networks, SMS has a double-whammy positive effect. First, it provides the TV networks a new revenue stream, as they share about a third of the average 55c cost per SMS message. But there is also evidence that a SMS element in a TV program decreased the chance of a viewer surfing to another TV channel. And of course… the ratings go down...eventually. The McKinsey Quarterly report last year envisioned that TV programs which feature a SMS feature could boost their ratings by up to 20 per cent.
Complete article

SMS More Popular than ever in South Korea

Mobile messaging is at an all-time high in Korea, KTF said Wednesday. KTF (Korea Telecom Freetel) said the number of SMS (2.086 million) exceeded voice messages (2.047 million) after surpassing the 2 billion mark for the first time this year, seven years after it started the service in1998. Apparently, the SMS is very popular because it’s by far cheaper than phone calls, particularly when it is difficult to talk over the phone in noisy environments or for a host of other reasons. SK Telecom said that it saw the number of SMS increase from 1.358 billion last June to 2.813 billion this June, while voice messages remained almost unchanged at 3.849 billion from 3.813 billion on-year. Revenues for the three mobile operators earned from SMS rose by W86 billion (US$86 million) from W320 billion in 2003 to W406 billion last year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SMS Pprompts for pediamed acne treatment

A new SMS service aims to remind forgetful teenagers to take their acne medicine. Is this real? Come on…Ok, the incredible marketing story goes on… PediaMed has set up a Mobile Compliance Program – 8TDAZE, for their suffering customers undergoing Tazorac acne treatment.
P.s. I guess the company really believed the global survey from the Wireless World Forum (W2F) that inferred SMS text messages are the most effective means of communication for this age group.
[via Cosmetics Design]

McCartney abhors SMS abbreviations!

Who said only teens text? Here’s an example that shows that even gentlemen use it… Sir Paul Mccartney. Yes, that’s no joke. He told The Sun that he is addicted to text messaging, but he does not use SMS abbreviations.

I like to spell everything properly when I text, but I do like predictive text. It is the surrealist in me that likes it because I was sending someone a message saying, 'Thank you from Paul and Heather' and it came out 'Paul and heavier'. As she was eight months pregnant at the time, it came out rather accurately,
The Sun quoted him as saying.
[Via WebIndia123]

Fringe punters to review by SMS

Fringe festival-goers (2005 7 - 29 August) will be able to lodge their opinion about Edinburgh shows by text this year. The festival’s official website will be carrying a punters’ star rating for every one of the hundreds of shows on the fringe, compiled from votes received by text. If you want to register a star rating for a show, you’ll text EVOTE, the show code and then the number of stars from 1 to 5 to 83010. Each text will get 25p out of your pockets.
Fringe Director Paul Gudgin said:

The Fringe is famous for word of mouth that shows pick up and part of the fun is going around and asking people if they've seen any good shows and exchanging tips. The idea is to stimulate that grapevine, no matter what the critics are saying.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

6th Sense for Meeting People

Another story about the mobile shy generation...If you’re thinking of new ways to pick-up girls or boys, you might be interested in finding your 6th sense. Of course you have it! Maybe... In fact you can have it, but it costs…it's a new service for mobile phones that enables a phone to find people around you that you want to meet. With 6th Sense, a phone 'scans the area around you to find people that have what is "right" for you and notifies you'. They say it uses a minimal amount of Bluetooth functionality… no actual user data is transmitted via Bluetooth. So, be carefull of what kind of type of ' characters' you type in your profile. Girls, please DO NOT write :
'Looking for a bad boy!'. Be more specific...don't be shy.

NHS temp workers to get shifts by SMS

NHS human resources managers may soon find the force to text temporary staff on their books with details of their vacancies, thanks to a partnership announced between a staffing management software company and an SMS paging network. I’ll pray for that! Key IT Systems, which covers around 312 healthcare organizations, is to integrate a text messaging platform provided by PageOne into its staffing database software.
According to a spokesperson for PageOne, the existing software flags up any available workers within the organization's pool of temporary staff. Managers can then text appropriate people from an integrated interface within the system to let them know of vacancies. Temporary staff will be able to text back to let their managers know of their availability. The system is also able to target specific groups of employees, such as various grades of medical staff or shift workers. No information has yet been made available about text message charges for using the system..
[Via E-Health Insider]

Tv Ad text response

The Peugeot TV campaign for the new 1007 model is setting up the SMS as the only contact channel. Peugeot's TV campaign for the launch of the 1007 was created by Euro RSCG. The Tv ad ends with the suggestion that ‘prospects’ can text the word 'easy' to 81007 to get more info on the car. Customers can also book a test drive, order a brochure, see animated mobisodes of key 1007 features, download screensavers and ringtones, and preview the 1007 ad two weeks before it was launched on TV. It's unclear to me which of these two publics are targeted: teens with mobiles or mobile parents? [Via]
1007 news

Monday, July 25, 2005

Service lets phone users dictate e-mail

Let’s go over an interesting concept: a service that converts voicemail messages to text and delivers them to you as email or SMS text messages. Apparently, a UK telecoms already materialized the idea. MyJotter said that its service of the same name allows users to easily dictate messages instead of typing them. Main use: the for staff with mobile phones, for whom keying in data can be laborious using standard handset keypads. Hmm, I wonder if anybody thought of converting sms into voicemail?
[via Computing]

"United for UNICEF" SMS prize competition launched

ClubFootball FC , that’s Wanguo Qunxing Zuqiu Julebu Youxian Gongsi in Chinese, Beijing's first joint venture football network, announced the launch of the United for UNICEF SMS Prize Competition - offering fans the chance to go on the 'trip of a lifetime' to Manchester United's Old Trafford. Funds raised from ticket sails form the upcoming match between Beijing Hyundai and Manchester United on July 26 will go towards UNICEF's work with children in China. Other prizes include autographed MUFC and Beijing Guo'an shirts and a Pele signed FIFA ball as well as individually signed shirts by stars United Ryan Giggs and Quinton Fortune. By texting "CFMU" to 2858229 (China Mobile users) or 9858229 (Unicom users) and giving their score prediction for the match (costing just RMB 1.5), fans can enter the competition and support their community at the same time.
[Via China Daily]

Mobile dating 'kills'

Say an attractive woman or man, or a couple (why not?), catches your eyes, but you’re too drunk or high on a feeling to go speak with her/him. Well, mobile communication can get you a date with her…and your eyes back hopefully( if you don't get your eyes back in the right place, then you've got yourself a blind date). That’s if you are ‘roaming’ in the discovery mode, searching for that child of the Bluetooth Fairy… and also if she/he meets your criteria. Some companies are already touting proximity dating using Bluetooth-enabled phones, which are equipped to transmit and receive short-range wireless signals. Isn’t that great…This seems to be one giant leap in online socializing and one small step for a man. You can also browse truncated profiles, view photos of possible dates and exchange cheesy lines via text messaging. Here’s an interesting example: SmallPlanet, a mobile social networking company, has come up with a way for its compatible users to be alerted when they are within range of each other, in most cases about 30 feet for now.
One promising technology is location-based dating, in which users can be alerted to a potential match just down the street or somewhere in their ZIP code.

I can go to a club, and the phone becomes a transponder,
said Joe Brennan Jr., vice president of Webdate, the industry leader with 5 million users.
I can find someone I match up with, and that facilitates a meeting.
With fewer than 6 million users in the United States, mobile dating is small compared with the estimated 40 million users of traditional computer- based online dating services."
[Via The San Francisco Chronicle]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Calling all worlds of fun visitors: Gimmick may be the first

World of Fun in Kansas has set up the amusement park industry's first text messaging service for customers. So they say… "Text Connection" delivers up to 10 messages daily to the personal cell phones of park guests, with tips on live show times, short ride lines, and other park attractions and deals. Visitors can sign up for the free service up to two weeks in advance, or at the gate as they enter the park.
This week, for instance, messages urged visitors to "take a break from the heat" in the park's air-conditioned restaurants, theaters and arcades.

We are always looking for fresh and fun ways to help our guests enjoy their visit even more,
said Worlds of Fun marketing director Chris Ozimek.
P.s. I’ll call this a ‘thing’ between communicating and spamming.
[Via Wichita Eagle]

SMS Satyagraha!

Here’s an interesting story about 627 families living in a multi-building complex in Mumbai that have bombarded officials with text messages. Apparenlty, they complained and urged action against the stench created by open garbage…a stinky situation that the Municipal Corporation has had to change by replacing some of their officials' cell phone numbers.
This little phenomenon could be called a SMS satyagraha! [for the uninitiated - Satyagraha is a philosophy of non-violent resistance against injustice, popularized by Mahatma Gandhi].
The story goes on though…the protestors took just two days to get hold of the new numbers and unleashed a fresh flurry of messages. While Day 1 saw over 300 SMSes beeping on hapless TMC officials' mobile phones, they are still receiving a 100 odd messages every day.
Before they turned their cell phones into weapons, the residents of Saket Complex had tried everything from petitioning TMC officials to dharnas to get rid of the garbage dump. "For the past 25 days the TMC has been dumping garbage here."
[Via Mumbai Mirror]

Saturday, July 23, 2005

MMA: Spam Not a Threat to SMS

A survey by JupiterResearch found that nearly 10 percent of U.S. online customers have already been plagued by text-message spam, while the same number said they had received SMS pitches that they wanted. Apparently, the situation is pretty different in Europe…more people use cell phones and send text messages than in the States, more than 80 percent of surveyed mobile phone users said they had received text message spam, according to a Swiss university and the International Telecommunication Union poll. That doesn’t mean I should to move in the U.S. though…
[Via Internet Week]

Tough new laws to target emails and SMS

How can we combat the terrorists, asked Mr. President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terrorist attack? Here's one of the anti-tero measures he supported : ‘the implementation’ of legislation that gives law enforcement officials powerful and controversial new powers,including the most far reaching invasion of Internet privacy yet. It’s Australia's turn to repeat what Mr. Bush did. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock told The Sunday Mail that Police will get more access to emails, phone text messages and other internet communications under tough new federal anti-terrorism laws. It is crucial police keeps pace with technology, he added. He also said police would also ask for greater powers to detain suspects without charge, in the review of anti-terrorism laws announced by Prime Minister John Howard after the London bombings.
Complete article

Mobile phones help alleviate poverty in Philippines?

Technology alone can't fix poverty, but combining it with social, political, and economic measures might have an effect. This experiment in the Philippines might be a sign that the ability to organize simple collective action (like group buys for basic commodities, or the ability to shop for the best price) via mobile telephone could be one useful tool in helping the poorest of the poor make it through the day .

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mobile networks bear blast calls

Mobile phone networks are returning to normal after initial spikes of traffic as news spread of the latest four blasts across London.
Earlier in the day, a spokesperson said Vodafone had advised people in London to avoid making unnecessary calls, and to send text messages instead.
London Police have called for anyone with mobile images or video to e-mail them. They have asked that anyone with images relevant to the incident should send them through the website, or send the photos via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to 07734 282 288.
[Via BBC]

Contacts backup

Losing your mobile phone won’t mean losing all your contacts. Our service is just trying to fix that problem. We’ve just launched an online contacts backup service that will keep your friends in the visible dimension . It’s secure…all the data is safely protected and cannot be leaked. The contacts back-up service is still free(until further notice) if you haven’t bought SMS-credits from ZYB. You don’t have to install anything on your mobile – you just need to set-up some tool pre-installed on most phones (SyncML). After the sign up, the guides to set-up the phone will be shown under the back-up section after login. It's possible to backup your mobile contacts and copy them from one phone to another when buying a new phone. There’s no need to insert again all the numbers manually. The entire V-Card is backed up and can be restored (however, only some information is shown in their ZYB contact list). All contacts can be accessed through their ZYB account (under contacts). The ZYB account can be used to manage the contact list as the tool synchronize with the ZYB account. And one more thing…you’ll need GPRS in order to use this service. You have free backup for the first three months and you can backup and restore as often as you like for free. Outlook synchronization will be added later.


Did you ever thought of pinging your friends? Well, if you did but you couldn’t here’s something you should take a look at. It’s called buddyPing. It provides a mobile location platform for you to find your friends when you go in the underground jungle, as well as a location based events calendar that will notify you when something great is happening in your local area. All from your mobile phone.

If you're out on the town and want to find your friends, use buddyPing and your mobile phone (or the internet) to broadcast your whereabouts and to receive notification of your friends in the same area. Just log into buddyPing (either via text message or using the "Your Location" feature once you have logged in via the web site) and we will scan your designated local area for friends and notify you of their location. We'll also notify them of your location so all your friends can find out what you're up to and where they can join you. This all happens in real time, and will continue until you logout of buddyPing.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

MobiTip -- Bluetooth location messaging for Sony Ericsson P900

The MobiTip experiment started in Kista, Sweden's wireless research center outside Stockholm. This materialized concept enables owners of Sony Ericsson P900 mobile phones to exchange short comments with others, via Bluetooth, keyed to "limited spatial scope" (shopping malls). It runs only on Sony Ericsson P900 mobile phone seems pretty futile to me.

U.K's text history

The website presents the history of the mobile texting concept in the U.K. The first text message was sent in December 1992, while SMS was launched commercially for the first time in 1995. The first recorded monthly text message total was 5.4 million, in April 1998 .To August 2001 was the first month in which over one billion messages were sent in the UK. In 2004, UK mobile phone owners sent an average of 72 million text messages on a typical day across the four UK GSM network operators. On average, over 3 million messages are sent every hour in Britain. The peak hours for texting are between 10.30pm and 11.00pm.
Complete article

New text scheme for mums-to-be

A Birmingham hospital group decided to start a program which gives pregnant teens support through text messaging. That’s what I call a malleable medical system. Changing circumstances, new approaches.
Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals send out SMS reminders for ante-natal classes, parent groups and even what symptoms should be expected at different stages, like the baby kicking or morning sickness. Within the first 18 months, 360 of the 370 teenagers from the maternity wards agreed to receive texts, and nearly half of them turned up to parenting classes.
[Via IcBirmingham]

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Your insurance claim is just an SMS away

Text2Insure was the first to sell insurances in U.K. via SMS text messaging. Now, Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd is switching to the sms to give customers the possibility to register their claims and renew their policies via sms. A customer has to register his claim by typing "Claim" and sending an SMS to 8888. The company's call centre would then contact the customer and provide assistance in registering his claims in addition to addressing any claim related queries, Tata AIG said in a release here today.
Related : Insurance via sms
[Via Moneycontrol]

Study Shows Driving and Mobile Phones Don’t Mix

A recent study shows that there is no difference between the dangers of driving while using a hand-held device or a hands-free one. Both increase the risk of getting into a serious crash by 400 percent. Some states have already banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving...the U.S of course.
Anne McCartt of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry association, says that laws banning hand-held devices don't solve all the problems of talking while driving.

Laws prohibiting hand-held phone use, but allowing hands-free phone use, our studies indicate, will not solve the problem.

According to the study, it is the conversation itself that distracts the driver. Connecticut State Delegate Richard Roy realizes that will take some time until all the states will have the proper legislation.
We banned the hand-held cell phone because that's the only law we could pass at this time. I think if we tried to pass a ban on all cell phones we would meet with overwhelming defeat.

The cell phone industry says this study, which ignores other driver distractions, is flawed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that all forms of driver distraction account for 25 percent of automobile accidents.
[Via VoaNews]

Students use SMS to cheat in exam

Inventing new ways of cheating in exams: mobile technology. Location:…India.
While investigating a paper leak at a prestigious engineering college, the CBI ( the Indian version of the FBI???) found that exam answers were leaked to 21 students through text messages. The incident became public after Delhi University officials realized that 21 candidates had identical marks in their physics, chemistry and mathematics papers, for the Delhi College of Engineering entrance exam. The main suspects were interrogated by the CBI yesterday. The investigating agency has now registered a case of corruption against them. The main accused in the scam is a former DCE student of the 2003 batch, who charged each student Rs 4 lakh. What was the trick? He would provide the correct answers through a special cellphone SIM card, which he gave to all 21 boys and instructed them to activate it only during the examination. One hour into the exam, he SMSed all the answers for the multiple choice question paper. Apparently, the students who were to dumb to use the ‘system’ were helped out by men delivering water to students in the examination hall. The suspect, who works with a private company has gone missing. And this is were the FBI comes in. Maybe. But probably not.
[Via NDTV]

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Simpill: Packaging with SMS Reminder

This bottle doesn’t make owners talk 'beep', but sends them a sms instead. The SIMpill medicine bottle uses SMS tech to monitor patients’ medicine-taking habits, alerting patients or their caregivers via text message when they miss a prescribed dose.
Take a pill

UN backs Iraqi health authorities in massive polio vaccination campaign

The United Nations is sustaining Iraq's authorities in managing a massive polio vaccination campaign targeting nearly 5 million children across the country as part of a series of initiatives aimed at bolstering health among the population. Social mobilization efforts conducted by the health authorities all over Iraq have been particularly successful and at times extremely creative, involving not just television spots but also the use of loud speakers, banners, flyers, and the mobilization of religious and women's groups. To better inform the citizens of Irak, two mobile phone service providers sent text messages to all cell phones dependent on their service. They have announced the polio immunization dates and also that mobile teams would visit all houses. Many mothers reported learning about the anti-polio drive through these SMS messages, and UN officials said this support by private companies demonstrated the spirit of corporate civil responsibility emerging in Iraq.
[Via Relief Web]

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mobile tracking service goes on sale in UK

KidsOK, a service allowing parents to locate their child using a mobile phone, has gone on sale in the UK today. Endorsed by children's charity Kidscape, KidsOK mobile phone location packs will be available in outlets across the UK including selected Arcadia Outfit, Comet Destination, Bhs, Boots, Millets, Blacks and The Link stores.
The service offers parents an alternative to sending “embarrassing” calls or text messages to their children while they are with friends. Parents can 'ping' their child's mobile by sending a text message to 60777 including the child’s name, for example “ping mark”. The service costs £39.95 per year and allows 3 phones to be registered and includes 10 'pings'. Additional bundles of 'pings' can also be purchased.
P.s. So, I guess this means the usage of this digital leash is the next step in controlling a kid’s space. Ping the kid, don’t buzz him! Nice indeed!
[Via Netimperative]

SMS trend for travel updates

More airports, airlines and trains are setting up text messaging services to keep travelers updated on the state of play on flights, travel times and bookings.
The British Airport Authority (BAA) has launched an SMS service called "Flying Messenger" for passengers who are catching a plane or meeting colleagues at London's Heathrow or Gatwick airports. This allows people to check flight departure or arrival times when they text their flight number to 82222. Texts are charged at 50 cents per request. The service provides flight details from 12 hours before departure, as well as up to four hours after arrival.
P.s. CNN’s quick online vote results to the question ‘Have you used text messaging to request travel advice?’ : 0% have texted to request travel advice! Is this a trend or what? I must admit the vote is irrelevant. Only Internet users who have chosen to participate have clicked on the yes or no button. Did you know that at Jakarta's airport you can even request , uh, toilet paper via SMS. Hmmm, what's next? Demanding airport toilet updates by sms?
[Via CNN]

'Thumbs down to poverty' text message campaign

Another SMS service comes to support the poor. Fahamu launched Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) to fight poverty in Africa. Fahamu is an organization that develops distance learning programs for human rights and civil society organizations.
Anyone can join the campaign by sending a message to +27 82 904 3425 with “No to Debt” along with any additional comments they wish to make together with their first name and surname. The messages are shown on the website and will be displayed at forums taking place during 2005.

Text messaging Army's indispensable tool in war

Hear, hear! Text messaging is helping Filipino soldiers to better communicate in the fight against 36-year-old communist insurgency. Apparently, the sms is overcoming a communications handicap in one of the world's poorly equipped armies.

For most of our field operatives, text messaging is an indispensable tool that is tried and tested in their operations,
said recently retired Lieutenant General Romeo Dominguez, the former chief of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom). With thumbs pressing the keypads of their mobile phones, the only modern light gadget available in the battlefield, soldiers were able to send, receive and swap messages containing intelligence and operations information in just a matter of seconds, he said. Dominguez, in Friday's turnover rites at the Nolcom headquarters here, said his men protected the identities of their informants and contacts by using women's names as codes stored in their phones' directories ( That’s a smart disinformation method I must agree!). But there's a downside to this new mode of communicating, he said.
The possibility of being duped is always present. Most of the time, though, the information were verified and proved valuable,
he said.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

KTF converts Korean letters into an image file by sms

Mobile phone users can now send text messages in Korean to all mobile phone owners from overseas. Apparently, Korea's second largest mobile phone operator KTF has come out with a service that lets users to send Korean text messages to cell phones without Korean language functions by converting the letters into an image file. Uh, that’ll cost 10 cents per sms.
[Via Digital Chosunilbo]

SMS Culture While Driving Needs To Be Curbed

You’ve probably heard some ‘don’t text and drive’ stories. Well, here’s the Asian version. SMS culture among road users has now reached a critical level and should be curbed, said Malaysia’s Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk M. Kayveas. He said many motorists were now seen using the cellular telephone to send SMS while driving without realizing that such acts could lead to accidents.

Previously people were using the hand-phones while driving and we had drafted a law to prohibit it. Now, we have the SMS culture cropping up. The government has to look into this problem including amending the law if necessary,
he told reporters after launching the Road Safety Program for Cyclists on Sunday. Besides motorists, he said the SMS culture was also spreading to youths and school children who were sending SMS while riding the bicycle or motorcycle. It was reported that 9.5 billion SMS valued at RM5 billion on the average had been sent by hand-phone users in this country last year, an increase of 57 per cent compared with 6.1 billion in 2003.
[Via Bernama]

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Chinese ‘twist’ to nigerian money scam

Nigerian letter scam? You’ve probably heard about this money scam…well, now it’s also on Short Messaging System format and it originates from China. The story goes that the recipients are told that they have won US$9.6 million through a lucky draw picked by a China-based company for its 20th anniversary celebration. Right…The winner, goes the SMS, is picked based on the recipient’s cell phone number. But there is a catch. The winner has to deposit between US$980 and US$1,000 via a bank transfer to an account in China as a sort of processing fee. Yesterday, department head Datuk Michael Chong warned the public to be wary of the SMS. So far only four people have alerted the MCA Public Services and Complaint Department to the scam.
[Via Malay Mail]

Friday, July 15, 2005

Reading phone text one word at a time

You don’t have to squint anymore when trying to read text on your cell phone. Stanford University researchers think they have hit upon a better way: Do it one word at a time.
The technique, known as Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, makes up for the tiny screens on mobile phones by presenting just one word at a time in the center of the screen for a fraction of a second before moving on to the next word. As a result, each word is far easier to read than is the case with standard presentations, in which a sentence or two of much smaller type scroll across the screen at a time.
In a demo version of the software, called BuddyBuzz, the user gets to decide how fast the text scrolls. Those who learn to read words without pronouncing them in their heads can actually read as many as 1,000 words a minute, making it potentially far faster than traditional methods of scrolling.

US mobile data market grows 80% as SMS finally makes impact

Here are some features of the U.S. mobile market that makes the Europeans only dream about:

* The value of the US mobile data market increased by approx. 80% in the year to March 2005
* Data typically forms 6-10% of US mobile operators’ total revenues
* Total messaging traffic up 59% over last 12 months

The value of the US mobile data market increased by around 80% during the year to March 2005, according to the June 2005 edition of Informa Telecoms & Media’s World Cellular Data Metrics, as interoperability agreements finally helped SMS make a significant impact on the market, which has traditionally lagged behind Europe and Asia. Total revenues from non-voice services for the four largest US mobile operators totaled more than USD 1.2 billion in Q1 2005, compared to USD 689 million in the same period of 2004.

Interoperability is fundamental to the success of messaging and has been the key limiting factor to SMS usage in the States in the past,” commented Kester Mann, Senior Research Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “The near 60% increase in traffic last year would not have been possible if subscribers could have sent SMS only within their own networks.

GSM operator T-Mobile was particularly noteworthy; its subscribers sent a total of 3.6 billion messages during Q1 2005. The operator’s recent launch of bundled SMS packages, including one offering unlimited messages for USD 15 per month, is sure to drive traffic still higher. As well as interoperability, continued subscriber education and growth in popularity of interactive TV programs have boosted SMS traffic levels in the USA.
Thanks largely to SMS, data now typically contributes 6-10% of mobile operators’ total revenues in the States,
observed Mann.
While this still remains some way below the industry average, it marks a significant increase from the 4% recorded this time last year and less than 2% at the beginning of 2003.

Non-voice services form an average of 15-16% of mobile operators’ revenues in Western Europe, according to the report, while in the leading data markets in Asia they typically generate 20-30%. Complete report .

London texting

Bob Geldof promised us the greatest concert ever. In London's Hyde Park, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to see if he could pull it off. Live 8 also demonstrated the power of technology to influence a global agenda by using SMS message lotteries to allocate tickets, to interlink concerts via large monitor video feeds and create an illusion of interconnectedness, to distribute messages through downloads and video streams and to express political opinion through text messages sent from cellular phones. It captured the high moral ground on the humanitarian crisis of the moment: poverty in Africa. Technology sent an activist message around the world. Unfortunately, so did the bombs.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Limpopo farmers sell agricultural products by cellphone

The mobile farming concept has also hit South Africa. Farmers in the rural community have become the first in South Africa to test a project giving them instant access to produce prices over their mobile phones. The farmers settled on the edge of the Kruger National Park have struggled to make decent money from their crops, not realizing the tomatoes and onions they resell for a few cents at the local market were fetching multiples of those prices for middlemen who resold them at the produce markets of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The villagers can now check the going rate by accessing a farming website over their handsets…African farmer hooked up with a handset? Oh ok, presuming that they really are wired… they can invite buyers to strike a deal for their crops via SMS, and see which fresh produce the tourist game lodges are looking for that morning.

[Via Mobile Africa]

Mobile 365 To Enable SMS Voting For New Reality Series On Star World, “Rock Star: INXS”

Another one of those interactivity things is getting off the ground in the Asian mobile market. Mobile 365, the mobile messaging and data services operator form SINGAPORE, announced that they will distribute SMS votes for the new reality series, ROCK STAR: INXS, premiering today on STAR WORLD. Mobile subscribers in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia will be able to text in their votes to designated short codes to vote for their favorite rock personality.

We are thrilled to be working with STAR WORLD on this exciting production. Voting is one of today’s most popular interactive mobile services—rousing viewer interest and interaction, generating additional revenues, and helping networks stay ahead in the ratings game,
said Matthew Talbot, Managing Director, Asia, Mobile 365.
With Mobile 365's global distribution footprint—including reach to over 500 mobile operators around the world—customers can launch and monetize compelling, interactive campaigns and mobile content on short notice.

ROCK STAR: INXS, dubbed Mark Burnett’s boldest and most ambitious production to-date, promises to take the world by storm as it sets out to find the world’s next great rock sensation to join the internationally renowned band INXS. Mark Burnett is also the creator of highly celebrated series “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” and “The Contender.”Good luck then!
[Via Namct]

TEXXI - the Taxi you text

Care for a Taxi? Well, you can text one now…that’s if you’re in Liverpool, U.K. Texxi, the taxi you text, is a demand-responsive transit brokerage (DRT Brokerage) system. You can send your postcode to the Texxi SMS number. The system then aggregates other passengers wanting to go to the same area and confirms details of the taxi driver’s name and badge number to you. Passengers are instructed to go to pre-determined pickup points to meet the driver who will have received a text confirming each passenger’s booking reference

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Google search via SMS

After the launch of Yahoo netsearch by sms comes, of course, Google search by sms. I wonder who gooled first in the ne(t)ighbour’s yard? The new google service enables web users to send queries as text messages from mobile phones or similar devices and easily get precise answers to your questions. No links. No web pages. Just text.
Examples of the information users can receive include driving instructions, local business listings and even the solution to maths-related problems, such as metric to imperial measurement conversions.
You can read more about the Google SMS service here.

Restaurant for the deaf and hearing impaired opens in Rome

Rome has opened a restaurant for the deaf and hearing impaired, located via Oderisi da Gubbio. The mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, presided over the opening ceremony July 12, in presence of hundreds of people who spread the word of the event via SMS. The restaurant is equipped with a DTS (a telewriting device used to communicate via phone), a computer and a mobile phone used to allow people to book a table. Guests can also place their order with the waiter by sign language. A movie in sign language with subtitles is projected in the restaurant. At the same time, in the Marconi neighborhood, the first dictionary of sign language in Italian was to be presented.
[Via Ansa]

Mobile Entertainment Summit and Marketplace

North America's Largest Mobile Content Conference will start on the 27th of July in Los Angeles! You’ll get to see all new stuff in Wireless Music, Games, Messaging, Multimedia, TV, Video, Imaging, Sports, SMS, Streaming, Marketing, licensing, Advertising, Data Services Media and more. Over 5,000 executives have attended the past summits, known as the largest mobile entertainment business summit in the US.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sms as a good branding tool takes a look at how the SMS can help bring a different light to branding and retailing.

For example, it may help the retailers if they use SMS to inform customers about new product launches, which may probably create more awareness than a full-fledged advertisement can.
It can also facilitate interactive contests, communicate outstanding amounts as well as building relationships.Talking of an interesting possibility, Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consultants, said,
Think of a format wherein before you enter a particular shopping complex, you get messages from various sellers and just need to weigh the options before entering the shop.

Echoing the same thought, N D Badrinath, Director, Client Service, A C Nielsen, pointed out,
SMS is yet to be discovered by the local retailer advertisers, who may gain a lot from the medium. Moreover, with availability of superior technology like GPRS, they should grab the opportunity.

Text messages help fuel Philippine crisis

Some mobile owners from Philippines received this message: --Beep, beep! President about to flee the country. Beep, beep! Hoard groceries before banks collapse. Beep Beep! Troops rumbling into Manila.
Apparently, this is just another disinformation campaign run via the sms channel. It scared many people though . No one seems to know -- or care -- who starts these campaigns or whether they're based on fact. It’s a sort of cell phone version of spam. Anyway they seem harmless. But recent history shows just what a potent force they can be.
In 2001, text messages helped bring hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets for "people power" rallies that forced out Philippine President Joseph Estrada. Texting was also a key tool in mobilizing people for massive anti-Japan protests that turned violent in several major Chinese cities a few months ago.
Now texters are at it again as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tries to claw her way out of a crisis over allegations she rigged last year's election. The messages have helped heighten the drama, feeding rumors that Arroyo is on the verge of quitting.
Texting is a fast, cheap way to send information that carries the urgency of a phone call. Messages can be forwarded by pushing a few buttons, which makes tracing a source difficult. That's a big plus in places like China where the government tries to throttle the flow of information.
One message circulating in recent days said Arroyo was negotiating a flight into exile. Another warned of an imminent run on the banks that would leave people unable to withdraw money to buy groceries.
[Via Boston]

Monday, July 11, 2005

Yahoo opens SMS search

Aliens on Earth? I don’t know! Yahoo search via sms? Yeap, that’s running already. The service allows roaming, wonderers users( call’em what you want) to quickly find services by using ‘short cuts’, which include WiFi hotspots, weather forecasts, stock quotes and dictionary definitions.
The Web portal also unveiled an updated version of its existing Search on Mobile search engine that adds support for the extensible HTML format, used on WAP 2.0 handsets.
In addition to the mark-up language support, the mobile browser-based search option has been expanded with the same shortcuts that are available for the SMS search.
[Via It web]

Text messaging prevailed in wake of London blasts

Panicked residents and visitors in London during the terrorist attacks Thursday generally found themselves unable use their mobile phone’s call option. Everybody tried calling their loved ones and this caused overflow of the the mobile networks. But those who had text messaging systems were often able to get messages through.

Text messages, which are usually limited to 160 characters on most cell phones, take up little bandwidth. In addition, there were anecdotal reports of e-mails and instant messages from London getting through to their recipients.

[Via TechWeb]

Mobile content market is booming

According to a research from LogicaCMG, consumer appetite for mobile downloads will fuel a €7.6bn market in 2006. This means that the demand for mobile downloads will triple within the next year. Currently 20 per cent of mobile phone users download mobile content with that figure rising to 60 per cent by 2006, the firms LogicaCMG's survey focused on mobile phone users in Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America. They also found that the spending habits of mobile phone users will rise in the coming twelve months. The average monthly spend on mobile downloads per subscriber is €6.32 with 40 per cent of those surveyed expecting to increase their spending in the future.
The most popular downloads in the mobile content marketplace are ringtones, music and games. Apparently, 50 per cent of consumers are concerned about security, while 40 per cent were worried about overpriced content and mobile fraud.

This survey proves that a substantial market for mobile content exists, with great opportunities for mobile operators worldwide,
said Paul Gleeson, chief operating officer at LogicaCMG global telecoms.
Mobile phone users are starting to experiment with their phones' capabilities but, drawing a parallel with the popular SMS experience, it is clear that the service needs to be simple, safe and intuitive from initial browsing through to payment and download.

[Via The Register]

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Police seek emails and SMS from day of blasts

Police have demanded mobile phone and Internet companies to save all the content of voicemails, emails and SMS text messages that were in their systems on the day of the London bombings, a police source said on Sunday. He said it was only the second time they had issued such a request. The first was in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. But police have no legal authority to force the companies to store the information, and some have said they cannot meet the request for technical reasons, the source said.

The idea is to stop stuff that's going to be important to the investigation disappearing,
he told Reuters.
[Via Reuters]

Emergency contact campaign starts

[Via BBC]
UK’ s East Anglian Ambulance Service has launched a campaign to ensure next of kin are alerted quickly in cases of emergency. The ambulance service has started the national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign.

All people have to do is store the word "ICE" in their mobile phone address books and put the next of kin's number against it,
said a spokesman.
This is the person to be contacted quickly 'In Case of Emergency' by ambulance and hospital staff.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Short Code 4 Digit SMS Text Messaging Services for Enterprises

ValueFirst Messaging Pvt. Ltd.launches short code SMS services for sales lead generation and customer interaction and customer relationship management via SMS. The ValueFirst short code SMS services comprise applications that integrate with database, mobility middleware and a choice of short code.
Just when the ValueFirst short code SMS service was launched, a Leading Radio Channel in India used ValueFirst SMS Services for a unique campaign. It used ValueFirst short code SMS service as a media to enhance interactivity and analyze their listnership patterns to arrive at rating of their programs. ValueFirst provided a short code based messaging platform and the radio channel ran the campaign successfully. The response crossed 5 million hits in 15 days. Good…

Friday, July 08, 2005

SMS ‘top non-voice money-maker'

The Sms bizz may be out of place in the US mobile market, but the global shape of the SMS thing is quite different. According to UK-based Portio Research, SMS has emerged as approximately 90% of non-voice revenue worldwide ( new worldwide study of mobile messaging markets). No wonder the world's telecoms are trying to this non-voice revenue generator…In a study entitled “Mobile Messaging Futures 2005-2010”, Portio says voice still represents 80% to 90% of all mobile traffic worldwide. The research firm notes that while the global technology sector “had a tough time at the turn of the century, the mobile industry has continued to grow”, with the total number of mobile subscribers worldwide passing 1.5 billion in 2004, from 17 million in 1991.
The study expects the growth to continue for the rest of this decade, crossing the 2 billion mark by the end of 2005, and passing 3.5 billion by 2010.
Asian markets are estimated to account for half of the total subscriber base, while “low penetration markets” such as Latin America and Africa are expected to contribute significantly to the overall growth of the worldwide market.
The number of mobile subscribers in Europe and North America is expected to continue growing slowly until saturation occurs.
Portio says 3G “has finally come of age” worldwide, with the number of 3G subscribers gradually growing “although the new technology still has a long way to go before it achieves mass market penetration”.
The report says only one non-voice service – SMS – can truly be described as a mass-market success.

The texting phenomenon has grown to epic proportions and in 2005 it looks certain that we will see global SMS volumes exceeding 1 000 billion messages in 2005. In the space of just a few years, mobile messaging has become an immense global industry generating over $55 billion in 2005. The largest portion of this revenue comes from simple SMS, worth an estimated $35 billion in 2005.

[Via Itweb]

Political texting in Iran

An Iranian Shiite woman takes pictures with her mobile phone in February 2005. The use of text messaging by Iranians to send often highly critical comments on their presidential election choice has worried the authorities, who are threatening to track down and convict mobile-addicts who insult the candidates. I only hope the newly elected Iranian President will change its political views in time…and then we should see the Iranians going straight for the moblogs.
[Via Yahoo News]

Love on SMS

Love has gone hi-tech. Have you you ever heard of Indian Goan pop sensation Remo Fernandes? Me neither. Anyway, the thing is that this guy and Tata Indicom mobile phone company came out with some new ans slick sms-love-music combo. The mobile phone company launched his new single 'Love on SMS' yesterday at Purple Haze, Bandra. For the first time ever, the music video was launched on a mobile phone by Tata Indicom. The inspiration for this track was the fact that in today's fast paced world, wit and word are used to romance your loved one, SMS being the new medium to do this. The video of the 'Love on SMS' track will be available exclusively only on all Tata Indicom BREW-enabled mobile handsets, much before it hits any TV channel.

I have had this song in mind since the last couple of years, as I have been observing all my near and dear ones use the mode of SMS to express their feelings to their beloved,
said composer Shamir Tandon. The album also features many other unknown indian artists like Adnan Sami, Shaan, Jay Sean, DJ Aqueel, Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik and others.
[Via Cybernoon]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

MLC to launch livestock prices by SMS

UK’s Meat and Livestock Commission will announce livestock prices by sms starting with the 18th of July. How about that? Farmers will soon be receiving price information from their local market by mobile phone. Once the service is up and running, subscribers will have the data relayed to them via text message for each of the local livestock markets they have signed up for. Joanne Knowles, senior manager at MLC economics, said farmers could opt for regional information, or prices from individual markets.

We think it is an ideal additional way of communicating with people and giving them information that’s easy to use and direct to them. It is a good opportunity to launch at this time of year because the sheep sales are bringing lambs onto the market. The service makes it easy to see what light or middle lambs, for example, are doing and decide whether to sell or hold on for another week,
Joanne Knowles said. Each text message would be charged at 50p adding that the service should pay for itself.
A similar scheme launched at Welshpool market by technology partner GloverSure Ltd was deemed a success and has at least 30 subscribers, said Mrs Knowles. 30 subscribers? Wow!
[Via FWI]

BIGresearch Examines Text Messaging

BIGresearch’s study on texting came out with this conclusion. The 18- to 24-year-olds are leading the pack in text messaging on cell phones, but the occasional use of 29 percent among the 25- to 34-year-old and 21 percent among the 35- to 54-year-old age groups is indicating a growing use-value to highly converted consumers. Text messaging among these diverse age groups appears to be an area of opportunity for advertisers and marketers when trying to reach mobile nomads, where engagement is but a glance and a thumb stroke. Over 14,000 subjects were interviewed.

KDDI'S Au phones to accept english disaster-time messages

Japanese company KDDI Corp has announced yesterday that its disaster-time message transmission services via the au cell phone EZweb email function will also have English messages from July 14. So, I guess this could help all the ‘lost in translation’ foreigners from the Nippon Island. The services, available from Jan 31 for Japanese messages, will allow au-brand cell phone users to leave messages such as "safe," "sustained damage," and "staying at home" or "staying at a shelter" as well as a short comment on the message board of the EZweb email services.
[Via Japan Today]

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

G8 protest goes virtual

Police sees no future fot the G8 demonstrations gather pace in Scotland, but internet users are taking advantage of a virtual demonstration taking place on the web. 38,000 people joined online rally as the real demo is cancelled by police. Hmmm…Organisers of the Make Poverty History campaign say that 38,000 people have taken part in the virtual rally at, which allows surfers to choose an avatar to take part in demonstrations in a virtual Edinburgh.
The Make Poverty History campaign has pioneered a broad approach to new media in promoting its cause. This has included SMS petitions and emails and the use of a text messaging lottery to offer tickets for Live 8.
If you want to join the E-action you need to enter this Live 8 list and see what you can do. The list will be sent directly to the G8 leaders.
P.s. Where is he? No, not Il Che. I’m talking about Mr. Tony Blair. TIME Europe said Britain’s Prime Minister joined forces with Bob Gedolf to support Live 8. Nice to hear that, but isn’t this just another PR move? We need some real proof.

Space Tag

I’ve stumbled upon an interesting thing. Space Tag lets you tag places, make friends, and query to see where your friends last checked in (via your phone or the website). You can register by sending an SMS from your mobile phone to with your chosen username in the body of the text. Peace!

Indian government to take action against advertising for Net lotteries

The Indian Lotteries Department has urged the State Government to initiate the necessary actions over the Internet and mobile phone SMS advertisement operations in the mass-media. Despite the ban being imposed by the State Government, the online lottery majors, including Playwin, are still surviving in the state through the Internet and SMS, which are very common these days. The advertisements of Playwin highlighting the experiences of the winners have already started appearing in the media.
It has been mentioned in the advertisements that though the direct sale of the online lotteries is not allowed in the state, one can play online lottery through the Internet or SMS.

The issue has come to our notice and we have already taken it up with the State Government for initiating the necessary action,
Lotteries Director A Shajahan said.
The issue of regional media carrying the advertisements of the online lottery is a matter to be taken up with the Press Council of India, according to Shajahan.
The State Government had banned the online lotteries through a piece of legislation in March. However, there is lack of clarity on the definition of online lottery as to whether it includes lotteries played through the Internet and SMS.
As of now, the ban was applicable only to the kiosks that sell online lottery tickets,
he said.
[Via Newindpress]

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

SMS service to help immigrants

Mobile operator Vodafone Italy and the Naples Provincial Authority are launching a service that lets immigrants to make an appointment to renew their residence permits by sending an SMS. This will probably avoid queuing and reduce the inconvenience experienced by the immigrants who congregate at the offices of the Naples Police Headquarters every weekday. After making an appointment by SMS, an immigrant who has made an application will receive an SMS indicating a date on which to collect the renewed residence permit
[Via DM Europe]

Punchmuch, a cross Bbetween Canadian Idol and a Jukebox

CHUM Television, Canada's largest owner of specialty music stations, is setting up PunchMuch, a fully automated all-request music video station. PunchMuch is a cross between Canadian Idol and a jukebox, allowing viewers to request videos by sending SMS on their cellphones to the station.
PunchMuch's screen will display several different features running at once. The videos will dominate the screen, but the audience will also be able to give "shout out" text-messages to their 'homo-videns' friends. With its enriched screen, a ticker list will scroll with the names of videos that viewers can request, while other videos play. The list of songs will be updated based on what is being requested. Viewers who want to request a song, can do so by text-messaging the network on their mobile phone. Each request is considered a premium text message and will cost, uh, 50 cents. The videos that hit the screen are determined by the amount of votes they get.
[Via The-Globe-and-mail]

SMS habits reveal your personality

Another sms related study has hit the streets. Dr James Phillips and Sarah Butt, both from Australia’s Monash University’s department of psychology, want to ask people how they use their mobile phones and whether personality influences the way they use them. The research looks into the overall usage of mobile phones and ours is the only study to look into the psychological preferences of communication.
Butt said their study would look at five personality traits and their potential impact on phone use – extroversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

I believe the study will show that young people are more likely to use their phones for fun, rather than practical reasons and that extroverts are more likely to ring while introverts are more likely to send text messages,
she said.
Dr. Sarah Butt also suspects that people who are more open to experience, or are more curious in general, will embrace new technology, more so than other phone users. She also added that it will be interesting to see whether self-esteem is a factor in how people use their mobile phones or in how they perceive the kinds of calls they receive. Thus, Butt said the study would provide an understanding of the role personality played in determining people's communication choices.
She said a study conducted in Switzerland last year found that people who prefer to SMS were more lonely and had a smaller social group than those who prefer to talk on their phones.
I believe those who SMS would be more inclined to be introverts as the SMS system gives them time to think about what and how they want to communicate,
said Butt.
Replying to the study will take only 30 minutes and we hope to survey 200 people, aged 18 and above, who own mobile phones,
she said.
Butt also said that while the focus is on people in their 20s, the study will also look at older adults.
P.s. If you are interested in taking part you can e-mail the two researchers at

Monday, July 04, 2005

Germany greenlights mobile phones on planes

The German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing will lift the ban on the use of mobile phones on commercial flights starting with 2006. The German Aerospace Centre says that mobile phone signals do not interfere with onboard electronics. Several European airlines are also considering the removal of the in-flight ban on GSM phones. Last year, the US Federal Communications Commission proposed lifting the ban on the use of GPRS, EDGE and 3G phones onboard. Initially, only the 1800 MHz variants would be allowed to use. This all means you no longer have to switch off your phone. Anyway, most phones don’t listen to their owners at high altitudes…. Why bother then? I have a feeling that this particular ‘ban lift’ is a sign that smarter phones will hit the market soon…
[Via The register]

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Over 26 million text messages sent backing LIVE 8

Over 26.4 million people from around the world sent SMS yesterday in support of the Live 8 campaign to cancel the debts of the poorest countries, setting a world record. The previous record for the most text messages sent on a single day for a single event was around 5.8 million for an episode of "American Idol" where viewers vote for the winner.

I think it would be fair to say we're getting texts messages from people from Albania to Zimbabwe,
said Ralph Simon, coordinator of the SMS campaign in Philadelphia, adding that lines would be open until the end of July. Western Europe probably accounted for the most messages.
This shows how you can make an imprint with your thumb which becomes your voice which becomes a call to end world poverty,
he said.
[Via The New Zealand Herald]

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Playwin introduces SMS lottery

Playwin Infravest has came out with this weirdo service: the Mobile Lotto for Mumbaikars. Cute…and intriguing! The service is currently available to the subscribers of Orange and BPL in Mumbai. Players can now play the Sikkim Super Lotto by choosing their lucky six numbers from 1 to 49 (each separated by a space, like LT 2 45 31 23 5 6) through SMS to Mobile Lotto number 7575. Every customer gets a return SMS confirming their chosen number, and one is also informed through SMS if they win. Users are charged Rs 10 per game, which is the same as what is charged through Playwin terminals, plus Re 1.50 towards government levies (on operator), while they get billed for the SMS messages they send as per the policy of the Mobile Operator. Playwin brings this facility of Sikkim Super Lotto on SMS in conjunction with Elabs, which has developed this unique concept of Mobile Lotto. Elabs is using its proprietary MOS Platform, a concept in which merchants, operators and subscribers are brought together to conduct various transactions. Elabs has also tied up with two of its associate companies, Xius India and Cibernet India, to implement this service.
[Via cybernoon ]

Track your pet via satellite

News from Switzerland… If the thought of losing your beloved pet sends shivers down your spine then worry no more. UK-based Sarantel introduces the PB100, an easy to use, lightweight, and waterproof pet tracking device that offers real time location data. The PB100, which is attached to your pet’s collar, makes use of GPS and GSM technologies. The minute you realize that your beloved pet is missing, simply notify Locatis, a location tracking firm that works with Sarantel, via SMS/MMS, phone or over the Internet. Locatis then makes an estimate of the location of your pet and will notify you. The whole tracking procedure can be done in seconds!

Now that the technology has improved and prices are going down, consumers (and their dogs) are salivating for new 'asset tracking' applications based on GPS/GSM technology,
said David Wither, Sarantel CEO.
The PB100 will be available in the Swiss market in September.

US senator finds out about justice Sandra Day O'Connor resignation by sms

Text messaging has come a long way here, when the cover story of The New York Times this morning features a large picture of Senator C. Boyden Gray. He found out this by reading an SMS from his cell phone:

Around 9:30 Friday morning, C. Boyden Gray, founder of the Committee for Justice, a conservative group that is a leading ally of President Bush, was sipping coffee at his Georgetown residence and confessing mild frustration to a reporter for The New York Times about the waiting game for a Supreme Court retirement. Suddenly he got a text message and expressed that emotion rare for stage-managed Washington: surprise.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Paying for Parking over SMS

Alexander the Great would have been very proud hearing this. Citizens of Skopje( Macedonia) are going to be able to pay for parking place over SMS sent from their mobile phones to special numbers, City’s Directorate reported. Both tickets and automats will also be used be used for paying. Mr. Ljupcho Jordanov, director of public enterprise City Parking met Mr. Matej Kraljevic, director of Zagreb Parking in Zagreb recently. They were discussing about implementation of zonal parking and payment in the capital of Croatia. Our public enterprise has been working on defining parking zones already by the models used by Zagreb, Belgrade and many European cities. According to the announcements, drivers that would like to pay for parking should send SMS to the number that should be additionally defined by the City Parking. The message should contain license plate number and the zone they want to park in. They will receive replies containing a confirmation saying that the payment has been done and also some info about the parking time limit on the parking place.
[Via Metamorphosis]

Global Disaster Alert by SMS

Last night I dreamed I was swept away by a Tsunami. Reality struck me in the morning when I've stumbled upon this press release which read: 'Vancouver based VocalWave Technologies Inc. has launched'. Was I heaving a blogging premonition? Maybe. But probably not! Going back to the main subject now... The service enables subscribers to receive text messages on their cellular phone warning of impending tsunamis, fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters. It's offered free to individual consumers and on a fee basis to government agencies and for commercial applications. VocalWave’s proprietary technology monitors various disaster news networks for keywords that trigger the company’s computer system to notify subscribers based on their area code and city or town. allows cellular phone users to take matters into their own hands, rather than relying on governments or other agencies that may have inadequate systems for timely warning of disasters.

[Via Free-press-release]