Wednesday, August 31, 2005
By using GPS technology, the computer keeps track of exactly where you are in the city.
When you pass a certain landmark, the computer then knows to display the appropriate text, audio and video information about that landmark on the screen.
The computer system is based on open source software developed by a company in Seville, Spain. As with any open source software, anyone can improve and change Blobject's code, as long as those improvements and changes are shared with others.
Mr Romeo insisted on using open source. Not only was it cheaper, he says, but it also allowed him to better customise his product.
"With proprietary software, innovation comes from the people in marketing," he says.
"But with open source, innovation comes from the guy who is really in the market. It comes from someone who knows the city."
Read full BBC article
[eye on you]
Confessions of a cut & paste artist.
By William Gibson
".....We seldom legislate new technologies into being.They emerge, and we plunge with them into whatever vortices of change they generate.We legislate after the fact,in a perpetual game of catch-up,as best we can,while our new technologies redefine us - as surely and perhaps as terribly as we've been redefined by broadcast television."Who owns the words?" asked a disembodied but very persistent voice throughout much of Burroughs' work.Who does own them now? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us.Though not all of us know it - yet."
[God's Little Toys]
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
[WiBro for APEC summit]
[under the thumb]
By Bill Joy August 2005
"....The high point of Dormouse is Markoff's recounting of Engelbart's first public presentation, in December 1968, of his "oNLine System" (NLS). Markoff writes, "In one stunning ninety-minute session, [Engelbart] showed how it was possible to edit text on a display screen, to make hypertext links from one electronic document to another, and to mix text and graphics, and even video and graphics. He also sketched out a vision of an experimental computer network to be called ARPAnet and suggested that within a year he would be able to give the same demonstration remotely to locations across the country. In short, every significant aspect of today's computing world was revealed in a magnificent hour and a half....."
[The Dream of a Lifetime]
Monday, August 29, 2005
The article continues... "More than 40 companies, including 3M Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., are contributing $500,000 combined to start the lab, and the university is kicking in another $62,000. Other companies can pay for individual research projects, giving them access to top-notch scientists without having to fund their own lab."
Again, RFID is increasingly becoming utilised for corporate mobility as well as possible domestic/commercial use.
Read full article
Saturday, August 27, 2005
This top-ten list was derived from KAPOW!'s experiences working with a wide variety of organisations in the UK, including Barclays Bank, Volvo IT, KPMG, Reuters, NHS and the London School of Economics. They are, in no particular order:
1. Recruitment agencies: people looking for temporary work can now register to receive SMS alerts about potential work from recruitment agencies. By sending a broadcast SMS to suitable candidates recruitment agencies can save considerable time and money.
2. Entertainment information services: SMS is being used to deliver an variety of entertainment information services such as ringtones, logos, jokes, competitions and horoscopes to customers. This generates significant revenue for many organisations.
3. Clubs and bars: many clubs and bars are using SMS to notify customers, who have opted in, about special drinks promotions and events for when they are in the area.
4. Internet service providers and hosting companies: SMS is being used to notify engineers when systems go down or if suspicious criminal activity is occurring across a network, meaning that problems can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
5. Couriers: courier companies are using SMS to provide information to their couriers as to where to collect and deliver mail. Additionally it is being used to alert customers when items, such as concert tickets, are being delivered, so that they can ensure they are around for the delivery or can reschedule for a more convenient time.
6. Schools, colleges and universities: students and parents can now be alerted by SMS if buildings are closed due to bad weather, etc. This saves them having to wait for updates on local radio or having to call to find out if buildings are open, etc.
7. Hair salons, dentists and surgeries: individual patients can now receive automatic text reminders telling them the time and date of appointments. Patients can also postpone and reschedule appointments via SMS meaning that appointments are less likely to be missed.
8. Mechanics and body shops: mechanics are using SMS to notify customers when their cars are ready. This can save both the garages and customers time, because as soon as a job is logged as completed the customer can be automatically alerted, whether they are at home or at work, etc.
9. Charities: charities are using SMS in a variety of ways ranging from using it to alert people about fundraising activities or as a means to collect donations with enabling people being to make a pledge via a text shortcode with the donation being taken from their next bill.
10. Insurance companies: mobile users can now receive quotes and cover confirmation from insurance companies via SMS, which has helped to enhance customer service as users can have access to information 24 hours a day.
Andrew Cowles, technical director at KAPOW!, said: "Text messaging has become part of everyday life, so it makes perfect sense that organisations should be looking to utilise it as a flexible communication tool. As the list shows many organisations are starting to use it very innovatively and for some of our clients, their use of text messaging has given them a competitive advantage over their rivals."
Friday, August 26, 2005
To determine optimum layout, a British builder is tracking the activities of a family in a "concept home" using RFID tags.
The experiment was set up to determine exactly what a modern family wants in a home, which features of the house get used and how often. During six months, the family and their guests have agreed to wear bracelets embedded with RFID tags at the beginning, middle, and end of their stay, for two weeks at a time. The tags transmit signals to 26 sensors throughout the house tracking each family member's location.
At the end of their stay, researchers will analyze the data, and a consumer-research specialist will conduct extensive interviews with the family.
Read more at [oecd]
The numbers just keep getting bigger. According to a recent study by Informa Telecoms and Media there will be more than 2 Billion subscribers to mobile telecommunications services by the end of this year. What makes this figure even more amazing is that in June estimates suggested that there were roughly 1.5 billion subscribers.
To put this meteoric growth in perspective the total new subscriber tally for 2004 was "only" 91 million new subscribers. In other words, there are now more new subscribers per month than there were all of last year!
Another prediction made by the study was that by the end of 2010 over 3 billion people will be subscribed to mobile telecommunications services. This is a penetration rate of nearly 43% of the total global population.
Milagros Carreon-Laurel is Professor for English at the University of the
Philippines and is currently doing research on the development of
English(es) in SMS-exchanges among Filippinos.
Q.)Please point out some instances in which the use of cell phones in the Philippines is different from other countries.
Laurel:I have read that in some foreign countries people make more voice calls on their mobile phones than here.In countries where the writing system requires a different script or character which the phone probably does not provide for,for example,the message must first be encoded in the Roman alphabet.This would require more time than just simply making a voice call.Filipino phone users do not have a problem with this.In countries where voice calls are not so expensive,people do not mind paying a little more for the convenience.In the Philippines,texting became popular because of economic reasons.It costs only one peso to send a message,while a voice call can cost 6 pesos and more.The overseas workers,I understand,do spend a regular part of their income to buy pre-paid cards to be able to get in touch with their family through texting.Then they don't have to make expensive long-distance calls.A lot of our young kids use their cell phones in very noisy places too,like
at parties or on the bus,and by texting they can continue to talk with their friends via the mobile.And nobody else would hear what they are talking about.So apart from the fact that text messaging is cheaper,it also allows for private communication in public places.Even the person next to you won't have hear the "conversation" taking place on the phone".
By Tilman Baumgaertel
The Philippines call themselves proudly "the SMS capital of the world".According to studies,more than 150 Million text messages are exchanged daily,which makes it the country with the highest per-capita number of text messages in the world.Even if you do not believe in statistics,a walk through any busy streets or shopping mall will prove the passion that Philippinos have developed for what is here known as "txt-ing".People continuously punch away with ardour on the keyboards of their cell phones,and the sound of in-coming messages has become part of the soundtrack of everyday life.Voice calls on mobile phones are much less frequent.Text messages have become one of the most important means of communications,and if you do not participate in it,you exclude yourself from social life......."
"Collaborative tagging describes the process by which many users add metadata in the form of keywords to shared content.Recently,collaborative tagging has grown in popularity on the web,on sites that allow users to tag bookmarks,photographs and other content.In this paper we analyze the structure of collaborative tagging systems as well as their dynamical aspects. Specifically, we discovered regularities in user activity, tag frequencies, kinds of tags used, bursts of popularity in bookmarking and a remarkable stability in the relative proportions of tags within a given url. We also present a dynamical model of collaborative tagging that predicts these stable patterns and relates them to imitation and shared knowledge."
[The Structure of Collaborative Tagging Systems]
Thursday, August 25, 2005
The report has an interesting contrast of "conservative" and "progressive" uses of blogging tools. It's also a great source for some general statistics about the evolution and distribution of blogs and political blogs.
Social Edge's Patrick O'Heffernan has penned a review of the report that is worth looking at:
From Social Edge:
First, the reckoning. Bowers and Stoller found that, while most blog traffic goes to a few national blogs, both conservatives and progressives operate hundreds of locally focused blogs (conservatives hold an advantage in local political blogs) which are used to organize supporters, bypassing indigenous political organizations as well as local social service and advocacy groups. A prime example was the International Red Cross blog set up to raise funds and volunteers after the South Asian tusami http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/2004/12/american-red-cross-donation-collection.html parralleling local efforts to do the same.
Technology developed at the University of New England in NSW will enable farmers to remotely control and monitor livestock movement by using their mobile phone or the internet.
"Farmers can use the system for security surveillance as well as for stock monitoring...It will be particularly useful for farmers working several properties at once, and for those who also have a job in town. It will save them travel time, as well as fuel costs and other expenses."
Read full article at The Age
Via Smartmobs (use this link to article if above is invalid)
[For Africa,a godsend in cellphones]
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Via 'All About Mobile Life'
The new system will give deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired people the facility to report emergency situations, either as a victim or a witness, and get the relevant help from the police without having to rely on someone else to contact 999 for them.
A national 999 text messaging service for deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired people is currently in the planning stages, but it is expected to be some years before it comes into service. Rather than wait for this, the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People, which provides social work services with deaf people on behalf of Leeds City Council Social Services, worked in partnership with West Yorkshire Police to set up the region’s own system. Hampshire Police was also consulted as one of the forces that already has an established SMS text service.
Read online press release
Sunday, August 21, 2005
"In many parts of the world, mobile phones aren't a convenient alternative to landlines but the only means of communication: they provide connectivity where there was none before.
In Africa, to take the obvious example, mobile phones mean real change. By any development measure, Congo is a pretty poor place. Yet it is heading towards two million mobile users: one network has 850,000 subscribers. Subscriber growth in several sub-Saharan African nations was more than 150% last year, and there are eight mobile phones for every 100 people in Africa, up from three in 2001.
The vast growth in mobile phone usage has had an interesting knock-on to other kinds of transaction that we take for granted. Look at payments. If you live in rural Africa, your payment options are pretty limited and so, therefore, is your participation in the wider economy. If you don't live within a hundred miles of a bank, don't have a cheque book and have never even seen a credit card or a PC, then how do you send money (perhaps for goods you want from a market) to someone else?"
Read full Guardian article
"... most people chose to carry their mobile phone in their pocket and not an iPod / mp3 player (or for that matter, a compact camera.
Your choice depends on whether you value solitary mobility or mobile sociality:
* With an iPod while on the move, you create solitary mobility, by 1) signalling to people you are not available to socialize because you are wearing your headphones; and by 2) shielding yourself acoustically from your environment, by building your own private sound bubble (ie., listening to music).
* With a mobile phone, you achieve mobile sociality and can connect with the world while on the move, through voice, SMS, MMS, e-mail, internet access, etc."
:: read the full post
Saturday, August 20, 2005
"The country's problem with cyber security is very serious, and is going to get worse in the next five years before it gets any better," IEEE-USA Research & Development Policy Committee Chair Cliff Lau told Today's Engineer. "I would say the situation not only is alarming, but is almost out of control."
Author Barton Reppert, who interviewed two members of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), notes that 100,000 known viruses and worms exist, and that some major end-users are throwing out infected systems rather than trying to fix them. Nevertheless, according to PITAC, there is little federal budgetary support for fundamental research to address the security vulnerabilities of the civilian IT infrastructure, including defense systems.
To read "United States Facing Cyber Security Crisis, Experts Tell Capitol Hill Briefing, As IEEE-USA Prepares New Position Statement," go to www.todaysengineer.org. To subscribe to Today's Engineer, IEEE members can go to . Non-members can visit http://www.todaysengineer.org/emailupdates/index.html
According to Technology Research News (TRN), researchers from Oxford University, U.K., have designed a model which maps traffic congestion. This model combines roads going through the center of a city and other ones avoiding it (full article)
And they found that, from a cost point of view, it would be sometimes better to close roads going through cities than adding more. They also think that these conclusions can be applied to almost all kinds of networks, biological ones or created by humans. This overview contains more details, references and illustrations about this network model.
Friday, August 19, 2005
[Mobile for the last minute]
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Donner, J. (2005).
"Indeed, even the experience of a single individual, such as migrant worker in China, the middle-class protester in the Philippines,or the urban microentrepreneur in Dhaka can provide insight into how the mobile’s use reflects and structures
each of these large-scale social processes.In this vein, much work remains.As mobile adoption continues to race ahead – as the next billion users join the mobile community,their choices about how and when to use the technology use will contribute to (or stall) economic development, will represent (or reframe) the meaning of modernity, and will help structure (or resist) globalization itself."
[James Surowiecki on the Unwisdom of Crowds]
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Please contact me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to respond to this RFP. To receive our newsletter that lists all active projects, register online at www.ninesigma.com/registration_form .
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Conference: Wireless Communication Policies and Prospects: A Global Perspective, Los Angeles, University of Southern California.
Castells, M., Fernandez-Ardevol, M., Qiu, J. L., & Sey, A. (2004)
[Dynamic Digital Korea] (PDF)
The link will be valid only for one week,due to the storage limit on it's site.
Friday, August 12, 2005
By Kenji Kohiyama
"It is a daily occurrence seeing people around town speaking on a mobile phone.Yet, there are announcements in trains urging passengers not to speak on mobile phones while on the train,and on the bullet train announcements ask passengers not to use their mobile phones while sitting in their seats.Why does this happen?....."
[Mobile communication and place]
By Judith Donath,Dana Boyd
"Participants in social network sites create self-descriptive profiles that include their links to other members, creating a visible network of connections — the ostensible purpose of these sites is to use this network to make friends, dates, and business connections.In this paper we explore the social implications of the public display of one’s social network.Why do people display their social connections in everyday life, and why do they do so in these networking sites? What do people learn about another’s identity through the signal of network display? How does this display facilitate connections, and how does it change the costs and benefits of making and brokering such connections compared to traditional means? The paper includes several design recommendations for future networking sites...."
PDF[Public displays of connection]
[RFID Sightseeing Pilot Test]
Thursday, August 11, 2005
[Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: new book on mobile phone use in Japan]
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Literature Review in Mobile Technologies and Learning
[Learning about mobile learning]
Sunday, August 07, 2005
[Targeting the 'Art' Around Every Corner]
Saturday, August 06, 2005
From smartmobs[Trust and distrust]
Friday, August 05, 2005
From the introduction"..In this paper we look at the relatively new phenomenon of blogs (weblogs) and measure how well it reflects the comparatively old practice of buying books.." and from the conclusion
"..........In this paper we have explored the increasingly widelyheld belief that online “chatter” in the form of blog postings and web discussions may represent an early indicator of “real-world” behavior. We show that volume of blog postings can be used to predict spikes in actual consumer purchase decisions at online retailer Amazon."
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The Brotherhood - 786
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
"Scientists and engineers at Carnegie Mellon and other leading research universities, as well as at the automakers in Detroit, are working on networking technologies that will enable vehicles to communicate and share data. These technologies will provide drivers with information about traffic flow, road conditions and even the optimal place to park. The networking also will help drivers alter their travel routes if conditions warrant, and even slow down to avoid a serious incident. "
While in Australia SMS messages are being sent to the mobile phones of parents of students absent from school - from AustralianIT
Large urban hospitals might learn a thing or two from tiny Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.
The 256-bed, not-for-profit private hospital has a wireless network that gives doctors and support staff access to equipment, patient records, and most importantly, to each other. Being wireless allows the staff to see prescriptions, charts and lab results right by the patient’s bedside. Support staff carry Internet phones that work on voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) wireless networks.
Administrators say being wireless improves and speeds up patient care, cuts down errors, improves records management, prevents lost test results and speeds up decision-making in emergencies.
Full article at Forbes.com
[Wireless Communication Policies and Prospects]
Social Uses of Wireless Communications: The Mobile Information Society
Research Paper by: Manuel Castells (USC), Mireia Fernandez-Ardevol (UOC), Jack Qiu (USC) and Araba Sey (USC)
just one of the papers
Monday, August 01, 2005
Mission statement from the 'Wireless Philadelphia Executive Committee:
"Promote Open Metro-scale Wireless Connective Citywide:
Wireless Philadelphia aims to strengthen the City's economy and transform Philadelphia's neighborhoods by providing wireless internet access throughout the city. Wireless Philadelphia will work to create a digital infrastructure for open-air internet access and to help citizens, businesses, schools, and community organizations make effective use of this technology to achieve their goals while providing a greater experience for visitors to the City.
Just as in past centuries, the cities that will prosper in this new age will be those cities that embrace and invest in this new technology.Philadelphia proposes to capitalize on this potential by leading an effort to create a wireless network that will provide high-speed,broadband wireless connectivity to all points within the city."
Read their full statement page at Wireless Philadelphia Executive Committee
Read full article from Globeandmail.com
Again - time more research was done into the social implications of RFID?
A new BBC article - Kenya pilots handheld education -
looks at a school in Kenya where "fifty-four 11-year-old students are willing guinea pigs in an extraordinary experiment aimed at using technology to deliver education across the continent.In the Eduvision pilot project,textbooks are out,customised Pocket PCs,referred to as e-slates, are very much in.They are wi-fi enabled and run on licence-free open source software to keep costs down."The e-slates contain all the sorts of information you'd find in a textbook and a lot more," said Eduvision co-founder Maciej Sudra."They contain textual information,visual information and questions. Within visual information we can have audio files,we can have video clips,we can have animations."At the moment the e-slates only contain digitised textbooks,but we're hoping that in the future the students will be able to complete their assignments on these books and send them to the teacher,and the teacher will be able to grade them and send them back to the student."Pocket PCs were chosen in place of desktops because they are more portable,so the children can take them home at night, and also because they're also cheaper, making them cost-effective alternatives to traditional methods of learning".