Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sms campaign appeal for informants - to single out polluters

A tug-of-war developed in Jakarta (Indonesia) between the drivers who are car-polluting and those auto or not auto roaming citizens who are turning into informants. (So, I presume informants on wheels are those drivers who only drive electric cars, right?) The thing is that Indonesians now have a chance to complain by SMS about the fumes they are spewing out. Apparently, it’s the authorities who are asking to citizens to turn into informants.

Pollution in Jakarta is getting worse every day. Public participation is crucial to reducing pollution. That's why we have been encouraging the public to send us their complaints by SMS. Rather surprisingly, many Jakartans have actually responded,
Ari Muhammad of Swisscontact told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.
Swisscontact is encouraging people to text their complaints to 0817-66-00001, stating how bad the smoke was, the type of vehicle -- taxi, bus, or mikrolet -- and the vehicles registration number.
[Via The Jakarta Post]

Monday, August 22, 2005

FT.com / Home UK - Google eyes on its piece of the Pi

Fun reading
FT.com / Home UK - Google eyes on its piece of the Pi -

Japan's m-commerce

Mobile commerce over cell phones hit the 971 billion yen barrier($8.8 billion)last fiscal year…says a survey on e-business released by Japan's Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry.

Warning over texting danger

Physiotherapists have warned that UK teenagers will damage their hands when they start spreading the word about their GCSE results this week. The run-up to exam results, published on Thursday, will produce a flurry of messages among pupils. Last year, 79 million texts were sent in the UK on GCSE results day, and the phenomenon is particularly popular among teenagers. May God watch over their thingers!
Complete article

Sms on speed control to be discussed in Parliament

The Danish People’s Party has asked Justice Minister, Lene Espersen, to make a statement on whether it is legal or a company to sell a system which warns motorists, via sms, of police speed controls.
The company in question is Speed Control. It has 26,300 drivers subscribed to the system, giving the firm an income of 6,5 million kroner ( 1 mil. Dollars).
Apparently, the national police traffic department says it has nothing against the service and that the sms’ make drivers more aware.
P.s. So, what do they need the road check points for?
[Via Dr ]

Text messages driving activism at concerts

Coldplay is also joining the club of good music Samaritans. Apparently, Oxfam International will let Coldplay fans text to sign a petition advocating changes in trade laws.
Before the concert, Oxfam will show a video featuring Chris Martin, Coldplay's lead singer and an Oxfam spokesman, and the international anti-poverty organisation will encourage concert-goers to sign onto Oxfam's Big Noise petition by immediately texting their e-mail addresses to "TRADE" (87233) on their cell phones.
[Via PCWorld]

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Filipino’s texting habits

A study conducted on the Filipinos' texting habits found that an average of 200,000 text messages are sent daily in the country. And the bulk of these texts are jokes and quotes! Cellular phone users also waste money on ring tones, ring tunes, wallpapers and pictures that cost at least P15. It will do cellular phone users some good to spend at least P2.50 a day for a prayer, novena or a Mass intention.
Complete article

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cell Phone Tower Search

Cell Phone Tower Search set up a searchable, interactive map to visualize cell towers nationwide. This will let Americans locate cell phone towers across the country. Simply type in City and State in the search box. The database contains FCC registered antennas nationwide (116,864 antennas last updated on July 29, 2005) in the US and uses Google Maps for visualization.
[Via Girardin]

Learn 2 Txt Frm Naked Ladies

Americans are being taught how to text message by "scantily clad models" on "X-rated televison". My God, are they so not into texting to receive TV lessons? Apparently, the lessons are backed-up by sex-message services looking to make some bucks. Anyway, Europe is not that far ahead… universities are teaching people how to text.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Church turns to texting to save souls

I never imagined texting can get us salvation…The Catholic Church launched on Friday its Text Mary project, which gives the faithful the chance to use religious services like novenas, masses, rosaries, church alerts and other prayers through the short messaging system (SMS) of their mobile phones…only at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros…that’s in Philippines by the way.
Complete article

Teens 'use phones crossing roads'

Did you ever almost got hit by a car while you were both talking to your mobile phone and trying to cross the street? I know I did. Apparently, I’m not the only distracted mobile phone user… road safety group ‘THINK!’ thought that a survey might reveal some interesting data. Think: some 30% of London teenagers admit they are distracted by using their mobile phones when crossing the road. The research coincides with a national government TV advertising campaign targeting teenage pedestrians. It uses footage of an accident taken by a teenager on her camera phone. The survey also found the biggest distraction to London teenagers while crossing roads was talking to friends.

Most teenagers do look before they cross the road but many do not look properly and are easily distracted. This new ad shows how dangerous distractions can be and how vital it is to keep your mind on the road,
Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman said.
[Via BBC News]

Sms gets Backstreet boys fans buzzing

Backstreet Boys backup managing team is trying to get them boys some bucks using some text messaging marketing stuff. Hopefully, the Backstreet Boys concert tour will get the fans’ 'thumbing'.
During the Never Gone Tour, which kicked off July 22, fans can send text messages to the group, which the pop band reads and posts on an overhead screen at the shows. Fans can also send a short-message code and receive behind-the-scenes footage from the tour.
Attendees at the July 30 show at Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY, show sent 1,637 text messages. Through Aug. 10 the promotion generated more than $25,000 in sales for the boy band, which is sponsoring the SMS promotion, according to Chicago-based Vibes Media, which handles the promotion.
On-stage and at-venue signage alerts concert-goers to send their messages for the Backstreet Boys to the shortcode 36888. The signage also lets fans know that by texting the word "PEEK" to the same shortcode, they will receive live pictures of the band directly to their phones. Fans are also alerted about their text options through the Backstreet Boys Web site.
P.s. All messages sent to the Backstreet Boys cost $2.99 each. Sounds pretty cheap ha? Switching from music to texting interactivity with fans…smart, very smart.
[Via Promomagazine ]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

RU OK? South Africans tackle AIDS with text messages

AIDS counselor Nobafunti Dondolo’so from South Africa and her colleagues rely on an easy-to-use text message system. Specially tailored mobile phones are programmed with a list of questions aimed at monitoring patients on anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs: Is the patient experiencing side effects? Is she eating healthily? Does she have clean water? During home visits to AIDS sufferers, counselors ask the questions and immediately text the answers to a database at the University of Cape Town. Doctors and health workers monitor the database and can respond to urgent requests. Counselors count how many ARV pills are left and forward the details, keeping tabs on whether patients are correctly taking the complex cocktail of drugs and also encouraging them to be rigorous about their medication.

It is real time. The careers may not know the situation is critical but the doctors receiving the message might and they can respond. A piece of paper won’t be dealt with until following week,
said Jalal Ghiassi-Razavi, project manager.
Around 1,000 patients from Guguletu are logged onto their system.
Complete article

Smart lightbulb sends sms

Fujitsu's has come out with some interesting technology: smart light bulbs. It needs no coke-cola, no nicotine and no women…not even a QR code. But I’m sure girls would need the 'concept' while trying to text. Damn, this sounds too relaxing…Back to the lightbulb. A signal is engraved in a contact which is part of it. When a light bulb dies, it can then send out the signal via a power line and then to the Internet so one can receive an SMS message saying 'Buy a new light bulb'.
[via RFID in Japan]

Askmenow - homework help by sms

AskMeNow will set up a mobile homework service this fall. Apparently, this thing will let people call or message in a simple question and receive a text reply on their phones within a few minutes. More than 10,000 are now participating in a free test, and the company eventually plans to charge up to 49 cents a question, possibly less for students. Right…
P.s. Here’s my question (in french, err, sorry) : Comment expliquer, dans un monde ou la somme des recettes des enterprises serait egale a la somme de leurs depenses, que les enterprises puissant tout de meme realiser des profits? I‘ll cut my excessive head-hair if I receive a response from them…

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A new exhibition on mobile phone technology

Arena art gallery will host next week a new exhibition on mobile phone technology. Eleven artists are encouraging viewers to take a deeper look at mobile phones. Apparently, their work is trying to explore not only the technology, but the personal, social, and political effects of this mobile becoming device found in over 50 per cent of people's pockets…from lo-fi to cutting-edge.
The show includes artist-made wallpapers downloadable in the gallery, re-arranged classic ring tones and the opportunity to chat via text with an artist in a hut in Sweden, , Sean Hawkridge(Curator of the exhibition) said.
Work in the exhibition explores the mobile as a materialized video camera concept, giving audience members the chance to add to the images on show; other artists explore their handsets as personal treasures, lifelines and albums, and some find humor in our phones, with takes on past communication inventions and our paranoia about how it all works."

Mobile communications is almost like an epidemic which has gripped our lives, so sometimes it's good to take a step back and view it from a different angle,
Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company board Professor Drummond Bone said.
The exhibition will open on Saturday 13 August and it will close its doors after 3 weeks. The gallery will be open from Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm at 82-84 Duke Street in Liverpool. Have fun!
[Via Art Daily]

Glasgow's strathclyde university offers texting class

Mobile phone users of a certain age are eager to join university seminars that unlock the world of texting. Why not play ball and attend seminars at the same time huh? Evolution at it’s best! Lasting for two hours and costing a mere £3 ($5.40), Glasgow's Strathclyde University's Lifelong Learning Centre is already oversubscribed for the classes, which begin on 1 September. In an alliance with Orange, expert instructors will take students through the "art", teaching them how to write and send a message on their phones.
In separate two-hour seminars they may also learn other skills, such as filing names and telephone numbers into a mobile phone address book.
Previously, the courses had only been offered to those over 50, but inquiries from a younger age profile proved that many people now aged 30 to 40 are trapped on the "cusp" of a technology revolution.
... Our courses provide an opportunity to learn the new technology with like-minded people, without having the feeling that they are somehow behind the times.
[Via Scotsman]

London police launch terror text service

A pioneering police initiative will now let people from London sign up for mobile phone alerts on the terrorist threat to London .The "terror text" will also provide updates on the inquiry into the July 7 and July 21 attacks.
In the aftermath of July 7 and July 21 we have had to look at how we can reassure Londoners. This service enables us to send information by SMS, voice message or email about this enquiry, said Tarique Ghaffur at Scotland Yard. The public may also use the new service to report incidents and to respond to appeals for information.
Detective Chief Inspector Bob Kennett said the system would eventually allow police to target information to areas directly affected by a particular crime.
By asking users to register details of their postcode, officers will direct appeals to those most likely to have been witnesses. It may eventually mean sending SMS to those closest to the scene of a road accident, or leaving answering machine messages on the landline of homes closed up in roadblocks or armed alert.
[Via This is London]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sms from crashed cypriot plane a hoax

The man who said that he has received a sms from a passenger on board of the Cypriot airliner which crashed north of Athens, has been arrested.
Police identified the man as Nektarios-Sotirios Voutas, 32. He had declared that his cousin, who he identified as Kostas Petridis, was on board and had sent him a cellphone text message minutes before the crash saying: Farewell, cousin, here we're frozen. But police in Thessaloniki said they had determined he was lying, and there was no Petridis on the Cypriot government's official list of victims.
Greek aviation officials said it was the country`s worst air disaster since a 1974 terrorist bomb aboard a TWA Boeing 707 caused it to crash in the Ionian sea with the loss of 88 lives. Helios Airways said the cause of the crash was "unclear". No one among the six crew and 115 passengers, most of whom were of Cypriot nationality, survived the crash.
[Via Sofia News Agency]

Why mobile phobic americans are slow to get the message

The Guardian takes a look on the shape of things that can lead too why America has been slow in picking up on text messaging.

Texting is perfect for the English because they'll do anything to avoid having to speak,
said Lorraine Stephenson, 34, from west London, who has recently opened a New York office for her company, Sharpcards, which sends pictures and videos via mobiles.
The Americans absolutely love to talk. They'll just ring someone up and be much more direct rather than text.

American viewers of X-rated television are receiving lessons in some unusual practical skills: how to send a text message.
So few Americans know how to text that scantily clad models promoting sex-chat telephone lines have to give tutorials in texting.
The US record for the number of text messages sent in a single day was broken on the day of this summer's Live 8 concerts and stands at 26.4 million. The British record is 133 million."

New drivers will be banned from using hands-free mobile phones

That's it! No more talky and drivy for the ozzy noob drivers...New Australian driving license laws in Australia say all new drivers will be banned from using hands-free mobile phones under plans to cut the youth road toll.
Monash University Accident Research Centre senior research fellow Michael Regan said evidence was mounting that hands-free phones were just as dangerous.

Both hands-free and hand-held mobile phones increase the risk of having a fatal crash between four or five times. That increase in risk is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08,
he said.
Dr Regan said L and P-plate drivers were more prone to distraction.
If you're going to target a particular group initially with a piece of legislation, it makes more sense to target them. A ban will send the right message to young drivers that hands-free mobiles aren't safe. Indirectly, that will send a message to the rest of the community,
he said.
[Via Herald Sun]

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Statens Museum for Kunst -an experimental exhibition

Statens Museum for Kunst is celebrating the centenary of the breakthrough of fauvism - and thus of Matisse - with a challenging exhibition.

An experimental exhibition - The exhibition addresses the meanings that arise between the works of art. These dialogues can be as interesting and unexpected as human interaction. Therefore, visitors are encouraged to combine the works themselves in the way that seems most rewarding to them, and the exhibition follows up this exhibition with extensive communication materials to create an interactive experience.

One special feature of this exhibition is that Statens Museum for Kunst will use text messaging as part of the communication activities, offering exhibition visitors access to information via their mobile phones.
[Via Art Daily]

Election threats by SMS in Malaysia

Four underworld figures, recently released from Simpang Renggam detention centre, sent out text messages to persuade about 2,300 party delegates into voting for certain individuals in the upcoming presidential elections in Malaysia. Sound interesting already. I wendy, sorry…I wanda, uh, I wonder(phew) if the four characters learned the art of coercition in the prison. Maybe, but probably not! Err, Vice-president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek, one of the eight vying for the four VP posts, said spreading such rumors and threats could mar the party’s image.

In my 20-year experience as division head, this is the first time I have seen a competition this fierce with some candidates resorting to unhealthy campaign tactics,
he said.
[Via The New Straits Times]

SMS Flight alert

Another sms flight related service has been launched…this time it’s an SMS flight delay service covering most UK major airports has been launched, called SMS Flight Alert.
The service covers most of the major UK airports and it’s constantly monitoring both arriving and departing flight data every minute of the day using the airport.
[Via 160charcters.org]

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Stalker’s new weapon: SMS

Here’s something you should worry about! Stalkers using a dangerous new medium: the mobile phone! While the comparatively new incidents of disturbing SMS or MMS circulating around are being referred to as the ill fall-outs of new technology, psychiatrists differ in opinion. In fact, the SMS and MMS are a part of the “prank call” and “stalking” phenomenon prevalent over years. Hmm…Whatever may be the form, or the language, the emotion behind the messages and the act of intruding into someone’s privacy remains the constant factor.
[Via Complete article]

HarperCollins Taps SMS to Promote Children's Novels

HarperCollins started an aggressive text messaging program to promote upcoming children's novels by ‘The Princess Diaries’, author Meg Cabot. Texting to sell texts for children...Now, that’s what I call a innovative promo! The publisher will send a variety of content and promotions via SMS to Cabot fans who join the Meg Cabot Mobile Club via the author's Web site. The club is promoted via an extensive online media buy. Mobile marketing enabler Flytxt will support the program, which includes text-based sweepstakes, trivia, screensavers and "voicetones" from the author.

We're hoping for a big pass-along when teens go back to school,
said James McKenzie, director of online marketing for HarperCollins Children's Books.
[Via Clickz]

Text a cab, episode 2

Entrepreneur Mike Durham from Reading (U.K.) has set up a service allowing customers to track the nearest black cab by sending a text message. BeepTaxi links taxi drivers with customers so there will be no need for a radio operator. Clients only have to text their name and destination: the tracking system will find them and the closest cab driver will ring them back to establish a pick-up. The service costs £1 per text message and offers access to BeepTaxi’s 80 licensed black cab drivers in the borough.
Related: TEXXI - the Taxi you text
[Via Evening Post]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Two thirds of mobile users in Russia use SMS

A recent poll conducted by ROMIR Monitoring indicated that around two-thirds of mobile phone users in Russia use the SMS. More than half of Russia's adult population, 52%, uses mobile phones and many mobile phone users frequently use additional services offered by communication operators and providers. The poll also found that 67% of mobile phone users use SMS. Other discoveries: one out of five use SMS to access melodies while 17% use the system to acquire images. About 10% of the subjects say they use WAP-based access to the Internet, SpeedDial, horoscopes, SMS games and foreign exchange rates. The most active SMS users of the system are the residents of Russia's southern federal district…four out of five regularly send and receive SMS messages.
[Via Rian]

Nokia release mobile search for smartphone

Nokia launched yesterday a pioneering mobile search software solution. It provides users with easy and fast access to leading search engines directly from their Nokia handset. The mobile search application is currently being piloted in the UK, Finland and Sweden. The application will be distributed in the standard sales packs of the Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681 and Nokia 6630 smartphones. If you own one of these devices you can download the search application for free from the Nokia website at www.nokia.com/mobilesearch.
[Via Slashphone]

Mobile message-mad Norwegians break all records

Norwegians are the most eager mobile phone users in the world. This is an assertion of course. Now their habit of sending text and photo messages over their phones is breaking all previous records, but that seems pretty expensive. Numbers show that the country's the two leading mobile phone providers, Netcom and Telenor, handled nearly 35 million photo messages from January to June. That compares to 18 million MMS transactions in the same period last year. The number of text messages, meanwhile, jumped to 1.86 billion, from 1.45 billion in the first half of 2004.
[Via Aftenposten]

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sms-chat sculpture

Do you think the spy sms mirror is weird? Well, here’s another intriguing concept… presenting the sms-chat sculpture. Matthias Haase has presented a project using a special version of the SMS Chatwall event software. It was his project for this year's diploma exhibition of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (Dresden's High School of art). Right! Here it goes! This art guy installed a GSM-module, a computer and beamer equipment on a table with a projection screen, calling the installation "Bote" (messenger). Exhibition visitors can send short messages to the number shown on the screen. The sculpture replies with an artist's "thank you" SMS, mentioning the art exhibition at the HfBK 2005. If you actually want to take part you can send an SMS to +4915204912748. I'll be very surprised if you'll tell me someone did reply to your sms...

Malaysian Idol

Malaysian Idol TV fans have started to fall after the tv sms interactivity thing. Apparently, this is also a reason to annoy cultural purists that are against the reproduction of unwanted foreign values. Their recent strictures against the "bad" examples and "negative values" being promoted by TV reality shows have found ready listeners among old-fashioned democrats who are embarrassed by what they consider to be a misguided exercise in populism. Based on the results of the final of AF3 on Saturday, there seems to be some basis for thinking that participatory democracy may not be the best way to judge musical talent, after all.
P.s. Anyway, it’s not well-informed judgment of singing ability we’re talking about…it’s about swaying cellphone users to cast their SMS votes as many times as possible.
Complete article

Opposition calls for simple evacuation procedure

The ACT Opposition (Australia) says an alert and evacuation strategy for Civic in the event of terrorist attack needs to be kept low tech. The Government is seting up an evacuation strategy for Canberra based on the plan for Sydney, which uses email and SMS phone texting to notify building managers of the danger.
Opposition emergency services spokesman Steve Pratt says phone lines are vulnerable to attack while mobile phone signals can set off explosives.

What you can have is you can have a community siren system. You have already educated, you have rehearsed different sections of the city on how and where they evacuate to and you simply run alarm systems,
Mr Pratt said.
[Via Abc News]

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Interactive vote on town's future

Citizens from Bournemouth (U.K) are texting, e-mailing and using electronic key pads to have their say on council policy. Council cabinet members have two minutes each to outline their plans for the town to a public audience at the university on Saturday. The audience then votes on the proposals using key pads, with other votes coming in by e-mail, text and online.

This is just another way of checking we're keeping in touch with people. We're hoping to engage young people with this method, although it is open to all age groups,
Councillor Bill Mason said. Teaching youngsters democracy! Isn’t that cute?

Blogs & Sms step in to revive Mumbai

A profusion of blogs, websites and SMS campaigns has been helping people deal with the flood-hit Mumbai as civil society steps in where the government has not.
While confusion is still persisting amongst government bodies, new age media is providing emergency numbers and other vital tips for a harassed people to get back to normal life after last week's floods.

Though the print and broadcast media did a good job of covering the entire fiasco, there was little that people could put into practical use at a time like this,
Mumbai-based theatre personality Raell Padamsee told IANS.
What people were looking for was how to tackle the situation on an hour-to-hour basis, and that's where the new media stepped in,
she said.
Padamsee has started a people's movement via SMS called SMSjaag, aimed at drawing support for public interest litigation (PIL) against the callousness of the authorities in not maintaining the city's civic amenities.
The flood of desperate SMS messages looking for information about missing people and calling out for help also continue unabated on television channels... 10 days after Monsoon floods caught India's financial hub unawares and killed more than 400 people.
[Via The Economic Times]

Saturday, August 06, 2005

New trends in digital romance

Love is complicated…this is what Match Mobile
says. Match is a new U.S. service that enables online daters to transfer their profiles to cell-phones, which they then use to search for-and send text messages to-nearby singles. So if you own a cell-phone and you’re desperate…go pay them a visit! Cry me a mail-river if you fail again.
P.s. And here's why you will never meet the girl of your dreams!Hope for the future though! Peace!

Anti-Osama message infects '3 Handser'?

The Inquirer presents a puzzling story about a 3 handset user who claims the screen on his NEC616V 3G handset has been infected with a message reading… "British Bulldog get Osama!". The thing is that he can't get rid of it. He actually contacted the '3 Contact Centre', but was told that this was a virus that had "infected the whole network since Sunday daytime." It's a unlikely it was a virus since technically speaking you shouldn't be able to get a virus on 3 (UK) as it is a totally enclosed system. The INQ thinks this is a version of the old "operator logo" gag: you are tricked into accepting a text message, which then replaces the operator's logo - in this case 3- with another graphic. The INQ source is adamant that he didn't accept any dodgy text messages before Osama made his appearance. 3 UK are investigating this.

Exam results sent by text message in Scotland

About 60 pupils at four schools in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have chosen to receive their exam results by SMS. It remains to be seen if they’ll be the chosen when it comes to making the school's top 100 students. As part of a pilot scheme, the Scottish Qualifications Authority will send a message asking the pupils to reply "yes", before their results are forwarded.
The SQA has agreed text abbreviations for subjects, level of qualification and result details. They will contact pupils a few days later to see if they found the service satisfactory, before deciding whether to extend it.

We feel it's important that we use technology to make our work more accessible. Texting is becoming second nature, to young people in particular, so we felt that we should explore this option to understand whether it suits our candidates, while we protect the confidentiality of the information we're sending,
said Chris Martin, of the SQA's information technology department.
[Via BBC News]

Friday, August 05, 2005

SMS controlled spy-mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, have I got news? Apparently, yes. That’s if you own a +336+ mirror. The tihing was designed by Robert Stadler and is able to receive SMS sent from a mobile phone. The messages appear as luminous text, running on the mirrors’ surface when one gets close to the mirror.

Sms campaign to avert famine in Niger

A hunger crisis ravages Niger. Apparently, this is the worst famine in its history following severe drought and the country’s worst locust invasion in 15 years. The World Food Program says 3.6 million of Niger’s 11.5 million people face food shortages, while 2.5 million are on the brink of starvation. Children are most at risk, with some 800,000 under 5 years of age needing to be fed urgently.
Heart & Hands International recently launched a fundraising campaign that uses text messaging. By sending a text message to Heart & Hands International, donors can channel contributions to the Niger Famine Relief Fund and also enter to win a free mission trip to India or China.
[Via Crosswalk]
Information and donation websites:
Barnabas Fund - secure.barnabasfund.org
Christian Aid – www.christian-aid.org.uk
Christian Blind Mission International - www.cbmi.org.au
World Vision - www.worldvision.org

USA Sms terror and National Disasters Alerts

The federal government is thinking of using text-messaging to warn Americans of impending natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will launch a pilot study to use reverse 911 technology to provide specific, targeted weather alerts or other warnings to individuals on a voluntary, opt-in basis. This sounds like a great way to keep the populace informed without being overly intrusive.

[Via The Examiner]

SMS plan to evacuate Sydney if terrorists strike

Morris Iemma, New South Wales Premier, talked about Government's plan on how to swiftly evacuate Sydney's CBD in the event of a terrorist attack. 'The security alert system would see the managers of 1,500 building sites across the city receive an SMS message from an emergency command centre.' After receiving the sms alerts, they’ll direct people to three evacuation sites across the CBD, based in the Domain, Hyde Park and Darling Harbour. At the designated points, specially trained safety site marshals will provide information and direct people to the best transport routes home.
The plan also states that State Emergency Service workers and rural fire volunteers who work in the city will be encouraged to enlist as marshals.
Mr Iemma has defended the decision to release details of the strategy ahead of any attack.

It is a risk, it is about managing the risk. People are entitled to get information as to where they go because we know if an attack does occur, there is confusion, there is fear.I hope we are wasting our time today but we have got to be prepared,
Morris Iemma said.
[Via Abc.net]

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Teenagers and the lost joy of reading

The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a congressionally mandated standardized test, concluded that the reading skills of high school students haven't improved since 1999. Since 1969, NAEP assessments have been conducted periodically in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts. And last week, the Pew Research Center's Internet Project reported that for today's teenagers, "the Internet and cell phones have become a central force that fuels the rhythm of daily life."Well, blame it on the evolution then… Eighty-seven percent of America's kids ages 12 to 17 spend time online. Most teens are using instant messenger and text messaging to keep in touch with their friends.
[Via USA Today]

Text scam hits overseas working Filipinos

Here’s another sms hoax: overseas Filipino workers are receiving a text message saying that they have won a high cash prize in a raffle and asked to deposit some funds first in order to claim the prize.
The swindlers, who use fictitious names, pose as government officials. They ask the OFWs to deposit money under certain bank accounts as precondition for getting their supposed prize money.
P.s. I'm not sure which of the following is more surprising: the fact that people still think they can make easy money or the fact that the people behind this hoax have the courrage to manipulate people.
[via The Manila Times]

Soccer star silent on sms pick-up routine

John Arne Riise was the center of attention in Norway's tabloid press after a revelation that he had sent the same pick-up line via sms to a range of well-known women.
Riise, who is a fixture on Champions League winner Liverpool in England's Premier League, refused to comment after newspaper VG unfurled the details of the 24-year-old's telephone seduction technique. VG revealed the names of at least ten celebrity women - singers, models and media personalities - who received the same flattering, if poorly written, message inviting them to a romantic dinner for two.
[Via Aftenposen]

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

iPod Text Adventures

Malinche Entertainment is hooking the iPod to some text adventures. They already have three interactive novels out: a haunted house adventure, murder mystery and fantasy role playing game...priced at $9.95, each.

Seperate LED colors to identify different callers

Agilent Technologies has set up the industry's thinnest top-firing tricolor surface-mount LED (light-emitting diode). It was intended primarily for backlighting and status indicators in ‘ultrathin’ feature-rich mobile phones and PDAs. In handsets and other handheld devices, separate colors can indicate incoming text messages, e-mail and stock news. This materialized concept can also help you identify different callers. You can set up blue for your girlfriend's(or boyfriend's) calls, red for your second(...), and orange for the ex wife(or husband). Improving your visual memory! That's an activity you might consider after misusing these colorful things.
[via Electronics Talk]

Sms novels in India

Novels written in the short-messaging system. Hmm... They’re already a rage in China, Japan and Taiwan, but in India it’s still a curious phenomenon: novels are written in the sms Lingo. 2 ct a lng stry shrt, rd a bk 2nite!
Sample this:

DeyReachDaStation & She Getz Out w/o thanx; He Goes 2 Da Platform, Da Cell Ph Is Wid Da Murdererz A few months ago,
the first chapter of the first-ever SMS novel, Out of The Fortress, by Chinese author Qian Fuchang, made news. Can anyone translate me please?
As New York Times records, thousands of teenagers stayed glued to their cell-phones. And this first SMS novel is also set to be made into a movie! Should this trend catch up, will we have an entire generation fostered on 'ths is gr8 lit' lingo? I know I can’t read this stuff.
I would never read it, though I've nothing against the medium. There is a danger of abuse of language but I am optimistic people who want to read a book will in the end go back to a book alone
, Indian writer, Shashi Deshpande, said.
[Via IndiaTimes]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Smart surveillance has alarm bells ringing

Citizens, you’re being watched! A surveillance system that singles you out if you're acting suspiciously and alerts authorities (by SMS) so they can take pre-emptive action is being developed in Australia.

The system uses behavior recognition software to identify unusual activity, such as shifting around on a bus
, says Professor Barney Glover, of Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, which is working on the system. Glover acknowledges the technology raises privacy issues but says it could help prevent crime and terrorism, such as the recent London bombings. And we all know we’re safe from now on. Right!
[Via ABC News]

Mobile phone newspaper subscripers in Hangzhou exceed 10,000

Mobile phone newspaper subscribers in Hangzhou exceed 10,000 as of today, according to the Hangzhou Daily Press Group. This shape of things was mainly cause by the newspapers SMS subscription service, launched in January this year. The competition soon followed their move. Zhejiang Daily Group, the main competitor of HDPG in Hangzhou, recently set up its SMS newspaper subscription to reach out to its readers. Mobile phone users can browse from 20-30 news stories from 100 to 200 words through this SMS newspaper subscription service.
[Via China Knowledge]

East Asia unwired

Vodaphone Reciever's is taking a look at the East Asian mobile market. Apparently, this is the most "unwired" region in the world. China ‘holds’ half of all SMS transferred, Japan has the most advanced mobile internet services, and Seoul is the most intensely digitally mediated urban space in the world.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Schools to SMS parents

Twice daily, morning and afternoon, parents of kids from Mitchelton State High School, in Brisbane's western suburbs, are told their little darlings are skipping school by text. The number of unexplained school abductions scenes per student has plummeted from eight days to 0.44 days a year since an anti-truancy messaging system was introduced more than 12-months ago. Mitchelton State High School, which has about 570 students, is one of a growing number of schools, public and private, to introduce automated messaging systems.
Mitchelton State High School principal John Fitzgerald said overall absences were down from 17 days per student a year, also the state average, to just 10.
Over 90 per cent of parents have listed their mobile phone number with the school.
Complete article

Between 15 and 24

According to Digital Marketing, american women are more likely to text than men. Apparently, consumers aged between 15 and 24 years are the fuel that will keep text messaging going up…and also internet on mobile phones. However (more surprisingly) young women are more likely than their male counterparts to use a computer and more likely to own a mobile phone and use it for text messaging. Mobile phones, MP3 players and hand-held computer devices continue to threaten the traditional hold of the clothing industry on spending in the youth market. This "youth market has a spending power of USD485 billion", Packaged Facts estimates.
Complete report

Mumbai police sends out sms: Please do not travel

Many Mumbaikars got this sms on their cell-phones after heavy rains flooded the city of Mumbai (India):

Due to heavy rains, water logging likely. Please do not travel unless essential—Mumbai Police.
This time though, the government seemed better prepared even as the state-wide toll topped 890.
The police sent text messages to subscribers of several mobile networks requesting them to stay indoors. Police Commissioner A N Roy came on television to convey the same message. And additional traffic policemen were despatched to divert traffic from waterlogged areas like Dadar, Matunga, King’s Circle and Andheri.

[Via Express India]
Related: R u safe& dry: Sms floods Mumbai mobile networks