MobileActive News

MobileActive News for Civic Action and Social Change
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-03-19 02:17.

Mobile social networking in South Africa with Mobimii

Rating: Mobime- me miiiii by Bena Roberts South Africa embraces the mobile social networking phase with the launch of Mobimii. Mobimii is a the latest mobile social networking site offering free...

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Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Fri, 2007-05-25 07:04.

Text your prayer to the Western Wall

Link: SMS2Wall - Your SMS message directly in the Western Wall

Here’s an interesting use of SMS. You can now get text a prayer, wish, hope, or any other kind of message and get it printed off and deposited in the Western Wall (also known as the ‘Wailing Wall’, or ‘Kotel’) in Jerusalem.

The service is currently available to mobile users in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and (rather randomly) Peru.

I had a quick scoot at the UK service. It costs £1.50 plus your standard network charges, and rather bizarrely is on an 89xxx shortcode. Which is, according to ICSTIS, for adult entertainment services. That aside, it’s a cool idea - and certainly saves having to fly all the way to Israel to pop your note in the wall.

Update: Thanks to Ewan for asking the obvious question - what’s the text number for the service in Israel? There isn’t one apparently. The plot thickens.. Still, it’s ok if you’re in Peru!

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-24 11:45.

A Green cell phone

Blog: Motorola gets a patent for a solar-powered cell phone.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-24 01:15.

Vodafone unveils two inexpensive phones for emerging markets

According to Reuters, British Vodafone Group unveiled two new own-branded mobile handsets it plans to sell for $25 to $45 to boost sales in developing economies of Asia and Africa.

"The world's biggest mobile operator by sales, increasingly reliant on developing markets to drive growth, said it expected to sell over a million of the two phones within a year."

Add this this entry to your bookmarks.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-21 17:58.

Camera Phones Take Over

Research by market forecaster Gartner Group indicates that in 2010 over 1 billion camera-equipped cell phones will be sold worldwide, nearly double the 589 million predicted to sell this year. [via Switched]
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Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-21 17:33.

Plazes Regroups, Learns From Twitter

Plazes, headquartered in Zurich and Berlin, is a social community that connects you and your friends to the places you spend your time. They’ve been around for a while (we profiled Plazes on the day TechCrunch launched in June 2005), and they recently raised €2.7 million in a venture round.

Plazes lets users tell others where they are and what they are up to. Currently, users have to download software which auto-determines user location based on IP address, network IDs from routers and other information and then places you on the Plazes map. If it was a location no Plazes member had visited before, you could name and describe the place and add Flickr photos. As good as Plazes was, the friction from requiring users to download software and use it whenever they changed location created friction and slowed user growth. Taking pointers from the simplicity of Twitter, Plazes is changing the way it handles location, and is also adding time and activity dimensions to the product.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Fri, 2007-05-18 18:22.

Africa to get citizen photojournalism

africaph.gif Dutch citizen photojournalism service, Skoeps, is to bring the participatory reporting model to Africa this year, reports

"We will launch a pilot in four African countries later this spring," said Skoeps vice-president Hidde Kross.

... Kross would not reveal the destinations in the Africa roadmap, though a report from last week's Blogonomics event in Holland suggested Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa might be in the frame."

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-17 18:20.

Twitter for politicians

Despite the maintenance problems of Twitter lately The Guardian comes today with a promising article on 21 Century PR of politicians, titled Member of the Twittering Class.

"Twitter is a way of making the campaign much more accessible to most people."

Twitter's Biz Stone, counters: "We've been doubling the number of active users about every three weeks for a sustained period of months now.

"Counting the total number of users on its own is not "a healthy way" to measure the success of a service, Stone says, and points to the Twitter Fan Wiki twitter. as one way that success can be measured. "When users form community around a product, discuss that product, and build compelling applications on top of a product, then that service is showing signs of success. Accommodating growth while providing a sophisticated, deviceagnostic message routing service for our users has helped Twitter grow"

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-17 07:26.

Young adults ditching landlines for mobiles

New research in the US shows how one in four adults aged 18 to 24 only uses a mobile phone.

Young people are ditching the landline in favour of mobiles both to save money and because mobiles are much easier to use than most landline handsets.

The mobile revolution hasn't yet hit the over 65's with only 2 percent having ditched their landline phones for mobiles.

Overall, the portion of adults with only cell phones grew by more than 2 percentage points in the latter half of last year to nearly 12 percent, an expansion rate that began in the first part of 2006 and was double earlier rates of growth.

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Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 20:45.

3G and Mobile Internet Stats

A recent study has indicated that the worldwide 3G market will rise by 55 percent per year from 2006 to 2010. China and India are major areas of growth, according to the report.

In other news mobile web use in the UK appears to be taking off, despite reports of poor user experience. 20 percent of the UK, or 5.7 million people, accessed the mobile web in January 2007. This figure is slightly under a fifth of the market share for users who accessed the web via a PC.

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Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 13:09.

Hillary's message aimed at texters

Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking her campaign high-tech - sending text messages to her supporters starting today, reports The New York Post.

"Clinton will unveil her mobile-to-mobile text-messaging push on the steps of the state Capitol during her noon endorsement rally with Gov. Spitzer, campaign aides told The Post."

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 08:47.

You know when it feels like somebody’s watching you . . .

TTB144612CM185_166430a-1.jpg A glimpse from The Times on everyone's favorite Nokia observer, Jan Chipchase, as he tracks human behaviour around the world to help to design the phones of the future.

" ... In the past year, he has left his Tokyo base to visit 15 countries. He has studied the behaviour of mobile-phone owners from the shanty towns of Soweto to the bedrooms of Seoul’s painfully tech-savvy teens, trying to work out what handsets will look like 15 years from now.

... His basic mission, however, is to root out the motivation behind people’s behaviour, on the basis that it will not alter by the year 2022.

He is particularly interested in ad hoc mobile banking that has sprung up in Uganda, which uses prepayment systems as deposit accounts and relies on shopowners to make good promises to turn credits back into cash. “The question is: how do we design for people’s needs?” he says.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 07:10.

Cell Phones Helping to Guide the Blind

In Stockholm, wireless technology helps blind people navigate independently, thanks to voice advisories from their mobile phones. Computerworld reports.

"One of the most challenging projects has been an effort to develop a system for guiding the sight-impaired and blind with voice advisories from their mobile phones.

The prototype system uses a Nokia 6300 Symbian phone with earphones and a separate GPS unit linked to the phone through Bluetooth.

The complete system was tested by about a dozen sight-impaired and blind people in Sweden’s capital in late 2006. The navigation application locates the user and plots a path to the destination using a highly detailed GIS created and maintained by the city mainly for street maintenance and traffic management purposes.

The voice guide then alerts the user to upcoming turns and obstacles through early warnings, rather than instructing every move. The voice alerts (in Swedish) include phrases like “left turn in 10 meters” or “low wall on the right.” ...

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 07:04.

Is It Age or Ethnicity That Determines Mobile Use?

Why is it that Hispanics in the US are strong mobile phone users?  M:Metrics attempts to explain:

“There is a strong correlation between age and mobile content consumption,” said Evan Neufeld, vice president, consulting and senior analyst at M:Metrics.  “The coveted 18-34 age group comprises more than 51.5 percent of the total Hispanic mobile population.  In comparison, the 18-34 age group only accounts for 31 percent of the entire U.S. mobile population.”

Source: MoCoNews

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-14 05:27.

California plans to use text message alerts

Blog: California officials say they plan to use text message alerts as part of their statewide emergency system.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 23:52.

Geospatial Web Goes Mobile

Great presentation on use of the Mobile Web in combination with geospatial information to turn your mobile into a “spatial information appliance.” Not only is this work using location, device orientation combined with building geometry information harvested from Google Earth in a completely innovative way, but the presenter also made reference to the Mobile Web Best Practices and specifically to thematic consistency. Awesome.

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Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 17:53.

Nokia adds SMS energy saving alerts to mobiles

Nokia has launched the first mobile phones to include alerts encouraging people to unplug the charger once the battery is full, a move that could save enough electricity to power 85,000 homes a year.

Starting with the new Nokia 1200, Nokia 1208 and the Nokia 1650, the alerts will be rolled out across the Nokia product range.

Kirsi Sormunen, Vice-President of Environmental Affairs at Nokia said, "Around two-thirds of the energy used by a mobile phone is lost when it is unplugged after charging but the charger itself is left in a live socket. We want to reduce this waste and are working on reducing to an absolute minimum the amount of energy our chargers use. The new alerts also play an important role, encouraging people to help us in this goal by unplugging their chargers."

The alerts are one of a series of environmental initiatives that mobile manufacturers, led by Nokia, agreed to take action on this year. Nokia is the first of these manufacturers to implement the alerts into its products.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 15:26.

Spying Smartphones Now Easy with Mobile Spy Software

To teenagers who have strict parents, men with overtly jealous wives/girlfriends, or employees working for companies with strict cell phone policies, BEWARE! A new software called Mobile-Spy allows users to secretly record all SMS messages and call details. At this...


Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 14:35.

Firefox for mobile phones

According to Gadgetell, Mozilla is planning on releasing a mobile version of Firefox.

"CEO Mitchell Baker said that it is a long term goal and not something that we should expect to see soon."

Add this this entry to your bookmarks.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 06:51.

Israeli soldiers search Palestinian mobile phones on checkpoints

According to IMEMC News, Israeli troops, stationed at one of the Military checkpoints near Salfit in the western West Bank, were seen searching through mobile phones of the Palestinian passengers without any respect to their privacy.

"Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers asked the passengers if they have images and songs that hail the Palestinian resistance and Hezbollah, and searched through the phones looking for such photos and songs.

Khaled Ma’ali, a Palestinian journalists documented the action of the soldiers stationed at Iskaka military checkpoint for three days in a row."


-- Taliban check Afghans mobile phones

-- In Iraq, having the wrong ringtone can get you killed

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Thu, 2007-05-10 06:30.

Third Screen Serves Up Mobile Ads

Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising network serving ads on 185 sites in its group including Accuweather,, Fox News, the Gannet Network of newspapers, Maxim, Wapipedia, and WWE, reports serving 225 million advertising impressions monthly. The volume generated by TSM’s network indicates adoption of mobile Internet, which will only increase as more subscribers start using their phones to view content on WAP sites.

Third Screen Media

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-05-09 13:38.

Study: Kids Have Cell Phones

igr.jpgA newly released study by iGR finds 50 to 70 percent of kids aged 12 to 14 have a cellular phones. The percentage of 15 to 17 year-olds with mobile phones is even higher. The reasons for having a cell phone cited in the study were to keep in touch with friends and parents. But “the ‘cool’ factor and peer pressure also ranked highly,” the study said. Older kids selected chic, more sophisticated handsets and avoided handsets geared toward younger children.

While kids have strong opinions and will want their cell phones to boost their image with their friends, iGR advises parents to make the final choice for the handset and service as they will likely be the ones paying. The study does not go into usage of mobile services including voice, text and mobile Web applications.


Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-05-09 13:37.

Cell phone Air Pollution Monitor

Squirrel is a Bluetooth-enabled gadget that monitors pollution, being developed by Shannon Spanhake and colleagues at the University of California San Diego and Calit2. MedGadget reports.

"Squirrel fits in the palm of your hand and can be clasped to a belt or purse. The small, battery-powered mobile device can sample pollutants with its on-chip sensor.

Using a Bluetooth wireless transmitter, the device connects to the user's cell phone. A software program called Acorn allows the user to see the current pollution alerts through a screensaver on the cell phone's display.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-05-09 09:02.

Solar-powered cellphones

New Scientist describes two new patents granted to Nokia and Motorola which plan to improve the batteries of our favorite handhelds. While Nokia wants to develop self-powered billboards, Motorola is building a liquid crystal display (LCD) that incorporates a solar panel behind the screen of a phone. Other companies have tried to put solar cells behind phones' screens without success. Motorola says its approach is different because this new LCD will act both as a display and a light collecting device for the solar cell. No date is given about the availability of such a solar-powered phone.

Links: Primidi, ZDNet

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-05-09 07:48.

Sun aims for ultra-cheap cell phones

According to in an answer to Nicolas Negroponte's "One Laptop Per Child", Sun hopes to sell a version of Java to phone companies that will bring cheaper network access.

"Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said during a news conference. "It will be the software to build the devices to bridge the digital divide."

In a brief speech at the show, Schwartz indicated he believed the Java-powered mobile phones could be sold for $30 to $50 apiece."

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Wed, 2007-05-09 07:07.



MobileCampNYC is bringing together mobile enthusiasts, explorers and professionals from the NYC metropolitan area to share the current state and their visions for the future direction of mobility. MobileCampNYC hopes to support the many voices helping to unlock the potential of a truly digital life. Topics may include – but are not limited to – mobile gaming, entrepreneurship, social mobility and presence, near field communication, physical hyperlinking, mobile storytelling, the importance of open standards, protocols, and platforms, linux based devices, and mobility on other continents.
Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-05-08 20:20.

Collactive: smartmobbing tool launches

Collactive launched today. It looks like a service for smartmobbery:

Want to save the rain forest? Promote a candidate? Highlight the latest outrage of the day? Watch your band's latest video? Sending an email or linking to a news story or video from your blog might get a few people to take a look at what you think is important, but putting out a Collactive APB (All Points Bulletin) will get you attention where it counts: on the front page of the website, where everyone and anyone can read it.

Putting out a Collactive APB is a call to action to your friends and supporters asking them to take collective action on the web. The APB you send will not only send your supporters to the right place, but it will take full advantage of Collactive's knowledge of Web 2.0 sites so that people are doing far more than just reading a story or watching a video. They'll be using the tools Web 2.0 sites use to choose which stories make it to the front page of their site. Whether it be the 'most emailed', 'favorite', 'most popular' or 'most read' story or video, each site does it differently. Your Collactive APB will harness the collective action of your friends and supporters, taking a story or video that might have only been seen by a few hundred people and making it visible to thousands, even millions of people on the Internet.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-05-08 16:41.

Emerging Markets Call For Novel Thinking, Not Just Basic Products

1200.jpg Last week, Nokia announced several new handsets for emerging markets. At first glance, they look like what you’d expect: basic devices without the flashy features of the company’s high-end handsets. However, a couple of the most basic-looking, the 1200 and the 1208, have some cool features of their own that should give them a boost in emerging markets.

First, they support multiple phonebooks — a nod to the fact that in many developing nations, a single handset is shared among several family members or friends. The handsets allow for up to five separate phonebooks that can be managed individually, letting users have their own list of contacts, if not their own phone. Second, they have a call-tracking feature, which lets users set the maximum cost of a call before dialing. This lets users control their spending, but it also helps empower the entrepreneurs in these markets that buy a phone and airtime credit, then resell calls. Two small and superfluous features to those of us in developed markets, but two simple innovations that highlight how creative thinking can triumph even in the most basic of mobile environments.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-05-08 10:19.

Smartmobs Iraq

AQI appears to have initiated the local protests, orgnized using cellphone text messages and mass-produced paper flyers in the district.

[Thanks to Charles Cameron on DoubleQuotes, via David Kilcullen, The Urban Tourniquet - 'Gated Communities' in Bagdad]

This is classic A QI info ops - stirring up the populations through a combination fo manipulation, intimidation and fear of other groups. The level of coordination and media manipulation applied in this case is also a hallmark of AQI info ops.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Tue, 2007-05-08 05:11.

Google Maps Mobile Really Explored

I once read that if you want a promotion at work or just want to improve your life, go traveling. There is just something about it. Maybe it’s seeing something for the first time or problem solving your way out of situations while traveling that makes it so beneficial. I’ve been on the road for just over a week straight now and had two instances where I really needed to use Google Maps.

I know the Google Maps application for phones has been out for a while now, and I have played with it a few times before (you know, to find cross streets in DC and such), but I never really used the application because I had no other option. I think these real life tests reveal much more about the application than just playing around with the tool.

Submitted by KatrinVerclas on Mon, 2007-05-07 15:08.