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03 Sep 07 - Hollywood director says mobiles kill movies
Director Ridley Scott lashed out at technology which allows people to watch films on mobile phones and computer screens, arguing it was killing cinema. Great films should be watched on a big screen in a movie theatre, he said. Scott was speaking at the Venice Film Festival, where he was presenting a newly remastered version of his 25-year-old classic Blade Runner.
Indicating a mobile phone, he went on: “People sit there watching a movie on a tiny screen. You can’t beat it, you’ve got to join it and deal with it, and also get competitive with it. “We try to do films which are in support of cinema, in a large room with good sound and a big picture.
“I’m sure we’re on a losing wicket but we’re fighting technology. Whilst it is wonderful in many aspects, it also has some big negative downsides.”
Scott’s directorial credits include Thelma and Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. top
03 Sep 07 - Google phone concept warming
Sydney Morning Herald, 01/09/07
The internet is abuzz with speculation that Google will soon launch the "Google Phone" (or "GPhone"), a cheap mobile phone equipped with a Google operating system. High-tech product specialist blogs Engadget said a Google announcement would come next week, adding that a Google operating system would be tailor-made for the new mobile phone.
Photographs of Google's touch-screen handset are already on the internet, and according to Rizzn.com, it will cost a mere $US100. The phone would have Google Talk enabled, allowing users to make free internet phone calls. The blog said the Google phone will not only be able to surf the net but also will include "a special version of Google Maps, compatible with built-in GPS, and compatibility with Gmail," Google's email service.
Google also intends to develop special applications for mobile phones, such as a search engine for ringtones, and offer free telephone subscriptions that would be financed through advertising.
Google has refused to make any comment on the rumours. top
31 Aug 07 - Hail a cab using SMS
Sydney Morning Herald
Booking a taxi on a busy night will soon be as easy as sending an SMS once the major cab companies in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide roll out new mobile phone booking services.
The technology, already implemented by Brisbane's Yellow Cabs earlier this year, allows users to bypass the maze of robotic voice prompts and engaged tones typically associated with booking over the phone.
Andrew Cannington, general manager of MTX Media, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Broad Investments, which developed the technology, said he was in the "final" stages of negotiating contracts with two "main" cab companies in Sydney, one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide.
He would not name the companies, citing a non-disclosure agreement, but said the contracts would be finalised and the technology ready for launch within five weeks.
To book via SMS users simply needed to download an application called "Mobile Booker" to their mobile phone. There were no costly phone calls involved and no queues.top
31 Aug 07 - Mobile Phone Printer
Remember the tantalizing promise of the paperless office? The idea of an inkless printer is almost as close as my next mobile phone.
A Massachusetts startup call Zink Imaging (zero ink), is embedding crystals of colorless dye onto specially coated paper. Heating the crystals with a printhead causes them to turn colors. The result is a color print on a waterproof substrate that can be printed from a mobile device.
"What sets Zink apart is that it "enables printing where it doesn’t currently exist," says Zink's Scott Wicker, explaining that without the need for ink cartridges or ribbons, printers can now be built into small, mobile devices such as digital cameras," says Zink’s chief marketing officer.
Zink is focusing on the technology and partnering with manufacturers to produce and distribute its printer products, which are expected to ship by year end. top
30 Aug 07 - Search Google via SMS
Want movie times, local information or driving directions but don't have Internet access on your cell phone? With Google SMS, you can browse the Internet by sending a text message. Its available in the US at the moment by SMSing your request to 466453 on most mobile devices.
Google SMS works best if you use certain commands. For local information, type what you're looking for and then the ZIP code. For example, "pizza 32801." For sports scores, type "score" and the team name. For movies, type "movies" and the ZIP code. For driving directions type the starting address, the word "to" and the ending address. To do a traditional Web search and get "Web snippets" type "g" before your search terms.
For a full list of Google SMS commands, go to sms.google.com. top
29 Aug 07 - SMS From Yahoo Mail
Yahoo Mail now includes the ability to send text messages to mobile phones. It also now allows users to send instant messages to both Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger users.
"Not only are we launching a brand new version of one of the most popular Web mail services in the world, but we're unveiling a solution to my texting woes, and giving people around the world more ways to connect," said John Kremer, VP of Yahoo Mail, in a blog post. "With the new Yahoo Mail, people can send and receive free text messages in their e-mail to and from any mobile phone number in participating markets including the US, Canada, India and the Philippines."
Yahoo claims that the new Yahoo Mail is more responsive than it was during beta testing, that it includes advanced search options for sifting through e-mail messages and that users now have six new color themes to choose from.
U.S.-based users of Yahoo Mail can take advantage of new shortcuts to underline words in messages, to add events directly to their Yahoo Calendars, to add friends to their contacts, to view a Yahoo Map of a selected address, or to perform a Web search on a selected word.
To establish the potential impact of text messaging capabilities on Yahoo Mail, Kremer cites statistics showing that 69% of US mobile phone users between the ages of 18-39 use text messaging (Harris Interactive, June 2006) and that half of Americans age 18-25 say they sent or received a text message over the phone every day (Pew Research Center, January 2007). Whether text messaging will lift Yahoo Mail's flat growth rate remains to be seen.
Yahoo Mail is the most popular e-mail service in the U.S. and the second most popular worldwide, just behind Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail, according to Internet metrics company comScore. In July, 2007, Yahoo Mail received 83 million unique U.S. visitors, up 6% from almost 79 million a year earlier. top
28 Aug 07 - Mobile users get the message
Companies ignore the use of mobile phones in advertising at their peril, research shows. A survey of more than 1,000 mobile users across the UK found that nearly half of respondents fail to respond to traditional advertising campaigns because they forget the brand name and contact details after their initial interest in the advertisement has passed.
More than one in three people, however, had sent a text to a five-digit number in response to a competition, programme or advertisement, according to the research commissioned by mobile companies 2ergo and O2.
Eden Zoller, principal analyst at technology consultancy Ovum, said: "Mobile advertising using SMS shortcodes is pretty well established. This has been around for a number of years." She said companies are now trying to focus on more sophisticated mobile advertising, such as banner advertisements and short videos.
"A lot of operators are looking at ad-supported mobile content," she added. "This sort of concept appears to be quite appealing, particularly for young people and students." Ms Zoller said mobile advertising is not yet widespread but would assume increasing importance in the future.
"Most brand spend on mobile advertising is fairly ad hoc and discretionary," she said. "The reason it's very attractive to advertisers is that mobile phones are very personal devices.
"Mobile operators have a lot of information about their subscribers so advertisers can make sure they are getting their brand in front of a very targeted audience. "They also reach a very important demographic of young people that is falling away from TV." top
28 Aug 07 - Second I-phone software hack announced.
UniquePhones claim to have the second proper iPhone SIM unlock software hack get a threatening call from AT&T's legal team urging them to not release their software -- or else. Now, we can understand why any smallish business wouldn't exactly want lawyers repping AT&T (and Apple) breathing down their necks for a potentially market-shifting discovery -- which is why the company is now officially holding the release of their SIM unlock solution indefinitely while they assess their legal position.top
22 Aug 07 - Modern guide to texting for love
Daily Telegraph, 22/08/07
MORE than ever, text messaging has become a conduit for singles to mingle. From flirting to breaking up, texting is often used in the game of love. With everyone wrapped up in their careers, stuck at their desks, or sitting in traffic on their daily commutes, using a free moment to send a text has become a viable way for people to touch base - or take it to the next level. "It's almost become difficult to get people on the phone now," says Gail Laguna, vice-president of online dating company Spark Networks.
"Email you can deny receiving, but you pretty much know that unless somebody happened to forget their phone, whatever you send is going to end up in their pocket."
Author Kristina Grish writes about the way digital technology has affected the rules of the game in The Joy of Text: Mating, Dating and Techno-Relating. Grish knew she was on to a hot topic when she observed a female friend of hers texting a man at a birthday party. "They were in the same room, at the same birthday party, spending a good hour flirting over text message," Grish says. "My first thought was, 'Hey, wimp! Go over and say 'Hello'. But it also worked very nicely because nobody else knew they were flirting. They didn't have to worry about the gossip machine."
Perhaps the most fundamental rule is to remember that your goal is to put down the phone and communicate face to face. Here are some of Grish's texting tips for flirting, dating and more: KEEP IT REAL: Texting is fine to initiate or even support a relationship, but move the patter offline as soon as possible;
AVOID Xs AND Os: Signing off with these symbols might send a wrong message to a man you have just begun texting;top
MANAGE THE MANIC: Try not to get swept up in the flirtatious fun of rapid-fire texting, the kind that gives you butterflies every time the phone beeps;
GRAMMAR BE DAMNED: With texting, no one cares - so don't go bonkers looking for the apostrophe on your phone;
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Text messages are supposed to be short and, hopefully, sweet;
BE RESPONSIVE: Answer a text message within 24 hours;
NO "BOOTY" TEXTING: "If you're going to make a 'booty' anything, make it a phone call," Grish says. "You can hear their voice; you can hear if they're drunk, sincere or desperate"; and
DO NOT BREAK UP VIA TEXT: Ever.
22 Aug 07 - Next G on track says Sol
Australian IT, 21/08/07
TELSTRA chief executive Sol Trujillo says the rollout of the telco's Next G phone network is on track. Federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan says she has received hundreds of complaints on a government helpline set up to assist consumers forced to switch to Next G once it is fully up and running.
Senator Coonan says Telstra still has just over a month to get the network right. But Mr Trujillo was confident all was going according to plan. "The Next G network is operating very well," Mr Trujillo told reporters in Brisbane.
"We have over one million customers now and we are adding about 100,000 customers a month so I think the customers are saying it's working very well." Mr Trujillo said he stood by Telstra's commitment made last year when Next G was launched that when the CDMA network was shut down the Next G network coverage would be equal to or better than CDMA in all areas. "If there are issues, we are encouraging people to point them out and we will deal with them," he said. top
20 Aug 07 - Stabbed man walks 100m to phone police
Sydney Morning Herald, 20/08/07
A mortally wounded man, who had been stabbed in the back, was forced to walk at least 100 metres from his apartment to a public phone so he could call an ambulance, police say.
Con Karafylis, 37, was in his Department of Housing unit in Hamilton in Newcastle's east with two other men aged 24 and 46 and a woman aged 33 about 3pm on Saturday. Police say they do not yet know what motivated the attack, but said Mr Karafylis was allegedly stabbed at least twice in the back by the 24-year-old, who then fled.
The victim left the unit and walked more than 100 metres - past horrified onlookers - to a bus shelter on nearby Hassall Street where he used a public phone to call an ambulance. It is not known why the other two people in the house did not help him.
Police and an ambulance arrived at the bus stop about 3.15pm to find Mr Karafylis bleeding heavily but still conscious. He was taken to John Hunter Hospital where he died two hours later following emergency surgery.
About 7.30pm yesterday officers arrested the 24-year-old man, from Mayfield in Newcastle's north, outside a unit block in Elermore Vale. He was taken to Newcastle police station and charged with murder. top
20 Aug 07 - Aussie busted pirating Simpsons flick on mobile
Sydney Morning Herald, 17/08/07
A 21-year-old man from the western Sydney suburb of Prairiewood faces up to five years' imprisonment after he was charged with uploading a pirated copy of The Simpsons Movie on the internet. It was the first illegal copy of the hit movie to be intercepted anywhere in the world.
Police alleged the man illegally filmed the movie via a mobile phone on July 26, the first day of release, and within hours had uploaded the footage onto the internet. The man was arrested in a raid on his home yesterday and charged by Federal Police with copyright theft after information provided to the AFP by the movie's producer, 20th Century Fox in the US.
Pecotic said the illegal footage was removed within two hours, but not before it was downloaded about 3000 times. The file quickly spread to BitTorrent sites and other file sharing networks and within 72 hours had been downloaded by another 110,000 people.
A single illegal recording could spread around the world within hours because organised piracy groups were constantly scouring the web for the first versions of films to become available, after which they re-format it to facilitate file sharing and copying to CD or DVD, she said. AFACT says piracy costs the industry millions of dollars in lost revenue each year and threatens Australian jobs, filmmakers, cinemas, DVD stores and investment in future films. top
16 Aug 07 - Race for Mobile television
Australian IT, 16/08/07
AUSTRALIA's mobile phone networks are now convinced their customers want to watch television on their phones and are searching for ways to provide them more video content. The latest to join the rush to offer more content is No.4 network player Hutchison, which has trialled a new technology known as MBMS (multi-media broadcast multicast system) with its network supplier Ericsson.
The technical trial was held in 3's Sydney head office over six weeks and run by Ericsson, which developed the trial systems in four specially designed prototype handsets. Ericsson also installed equipment to simulate the content and broadcast servers on a section of 3's network so the customer and network experience could be monitored.
At the moment, Australian mobile networks use so-called Unicast technology; MBMS is at the centre of a mobile video standards war now under way in the global telecommunications sector. Battling for position with mobile network operators is another technology called DVB-H. The federal Government is planning to auction TV spectrum for DVB-H use later this year.
MBMS allows an unlimited number of users to watch the same mobile TV program at the same time in the same area, as well as enabling valuable user interaction with advertisements, campaigns and programs. The MBMS signal can be pinpointed to specific geographies. It's also possible to broadcast different mobile TV programs to different areas, offering customers an experience specific to the locality and providing highly targeted mobile advertising opportunities. top
16 Aug 07 - Nokia battery recall
Sydney Morning Herald, 15/08/07
Nokia, the world's leading maker of mobile phones, said Tuesday it would offer free-of-charge replacements for some of its Nokia BL-5C batteries after around 100 incidents of overheating were reported globally. No serious property damage or injuries were reported as a result of the incidents, the Finnish company said in a statement.The batteries were manufactured by Japan's Matsushita Battery Industrial.
Nokia has several suppliers for BL-5C batteries who have collectively produced more than 300 million such products. The product advisory issued Tuesday applied only to the 46 million batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006.
"There have been approximately 100 incidents of overheating reported globally. No serious injuries or property damage have been reported," Nokia said, adding that the overheating occurred while the batteries were being charged. Nokia mobile phone users were asked to check the 26-character serial number on the back of their phones to compare it with the identification numbers on the Nokia website or contact a local Nokia call centre. top
15 Aug 07 - New mobile throwing record
Have you ever been frustrated with your mobile phone because of dropped calls, or no service in that elevator as promised to you by that annoying salesman? Have you ever just wanted to throw your mobile phone as far as possible? Well many people got the chance at the GoldenPalace.com phone throwing Championships. The event was held at the Old Hamptonians Rugby Club and helped raise funds for 8th day U.K., a London bases social club. For a fee of 5 pounds (A$11), entrants were given 3 phones to simply throw as far as they could.
Chris Hughff set a U.K. record by hurling a mobile phone an impressive 95.08 meters. The world record for a phone throw was 94.97 meters set by Mikko Lampi from Vilppula, Finland during the 2005 Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe said: "We are thrilled to be part of this event knowing the funds raised are going towards a great cause, and I myself on many occasions have been tempted to throw my own phone...."
GoldenPalace.com has devised some of the most exciting and outrageous advertising campaigns in the past few years. Items such as the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Britney Spears' Pregnancy Test, and William Shatner's Kidney Stone have garnered extensive worldwide media attention for the casino. GoldenPalace.com has also used their items and marketing reach to raise awareness and over $1,000,000 for various charities worldwide. top