The Mobile Minute: Mobile Math Lessons, Dual SIM Card Handsets in India, and Egypt's Pre-election SMS Restrictions

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 13, 2010

Today's Mobile Minute brings you coverage on mobile learning in South Africa, Egypt's pre-election SMS restrictions, Motorola's launch of dual SIM card handsets in India, a new mobile sensing tool, and India's extension of its deadline for banning RIM's BlackBerry services.

  • An m-learning project in South Africa called "Mobile Learning for Mathematics" encourages learning by combining math exercises with the free instant messaging service MXit. The program is now available in 30 schools and reaches 4000 students.
  • In advance of the upcoming parliamentary elections, Egypt's National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has announced restrictions on SMSs. Al-Masry Al-Youm reports: "On Monday, a number of private media institutions – including Al-Masry Al-Youm – were notified by SMS news providers that they must now obtain approval from the Ministry of Information and the Supreme Press Council before sending news alerts out to subscribers. A source at the NTRA denied that the new restrictions had a political aspect, insisting that they had been put in place to regulate 30 companies currently operating in Egypt without a clear legal status. [...] Some observers believe the new regulations aim to hinder the logistical capabilities of Egypt's political opposition, which has come to depend on SMS messaging to mobilize supporters for public protests and demonstrations."
  • Motorola handset owners in India now have more carrier options, as the company has launched its first dual SIM card handset. Multiple SIM cards will allow the handset owners to switch between users (so that one handset can be shared among several people), or switch between carriers for better rates. 
  • The New York Times reports on a new development in mobile sensing tools: "Last week, BodyMedia announced that its armband sensors would be able to communicate with smartphones, wirelessly, using Bluetooth. Its health sensors will be one of the first devices, other than ear buds, that link to smartphones with Bluetooth short-range communications." The BodyMedia armbands gather health data and transmit it to smartphones for analyzation.  
  • Although the Indian government had previously threatened to ban RIM's BlackBerry services in India by October 31 if RIM did not release access to the company's data, PC World reports that India has pushed back the deadline to January 31.

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog posts, white papers and research, how-tos, and case studies.]

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br> <b><i><blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options