Monday, February 27, 2006

27/02/06 Go Digital Iranian Blogs and blackberries.

'Go Digitial' reports from an Iranian blogging and website festival, and ask how resticted online access in Iran really is. They also discuss the controversy surrounding the Blackberry device in the US, look at online charity donations and cross a computer with a cello.

Download podcast here

SMS Initiative to Help Stop Teen Suicide and SMS suicide notes

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says it has received an "overwhelming" response after launching a new SMS service for depressed teens, reports

"The initiative coincides with Teen Suicide Prevention Week which started last Sunday and runs until this weekend. It's aim is to curb the high levels of teen suicide in the country.

Suicide is said to account for nine percent of all teenage deaths in South Africa. SADAG outreach coordinator, Lucette Mukendi said this was largely due to deaths in the family or broken families."


3D Navigation System Even for Offroaders

Siemens has developed a navigation system with a three-dimensional map display. These true-to-life images of entire streets and intersections make it easier for drivers to find their destinations even in unfamiliar urban areas. The system will be launched on the market in mid 2008.

To find these and other details - go to this press release from Siemens VDO, "A new dimension of navigation."

Via Smartmobs

The future of mobile phone technology to be tested in historic BathThe historic city of Bath in England will become the scene of a city-wide wireless

The historic city of Bath in England will become the scene of a city-wide wireless computing network as part of a research project that could influence the future of mobile phone technology across the globe.
The £1.6 million Cityware project, based at the University of Bath, will turn the city centre into a 'pervasive' computing zone where users have access to computer services wherever they are and at all times, without disrupting Bath's famous 18th century Georgian architecture.

Via Smartmobs

Go Digital week 08

China and Internet censorship, we speak to Julian Pain from Reporters without Frontiers. We also look at Apple's worm and an energy-saving, pedal-powered Nintendo.

Download to listen here

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Transformational Diplomacy

Jerusalem Post reporting on a a far-reaching plan called "Transformational Diplomacy", introduced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month, touches on how mobile phones are one factor responsible for forcing change on an age old part of politics, diplomacy. ... In a technological era of cell phones and e-mail, the need for a professional diplomat to convey messages is not as important as it used to be.


Carnival of the Mobilists

This week's Carnival of the Mobilists is at So...why not go to gotomobile and check it out! :-)

MTC Report on the Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in the Arab World

The report “Mobility for One Language, Diverse Cultures”, commissioned by mobile operator MTC includes new research on the impact of mobile phones from economists, financial analysts, consultants, academics and journalists. It also comprises data from nine surveys conducted in seven Arab countries. According to Tarek Elzein it is the first such reports in the Arab world.

Via Smartmobs

Thursday, February 23, 2006

London to install city-wide wi-fi network

A recent report has stated that the City of London will set-up a wi-fi network for the Square Mile:

'The City of London today announced plans to install a dense and comprehensive wi-fi internet network throughout London's Square Mile financial district. The city has contracted UK wireless provider The Cloud to install and manage the network.

The wi-fi network is expected to go live in the next few months and cover virtually the entire city within six months. The wi-fi equipment will be installed in existing objects such as lamp posts and street signs which are owned by the city. The Cloud will design the network so that any service provider can use the network to provide wireless internet services. The network will also provide data networks for emergency services and city transport authorities.'

Read here

Mobilities in Transit

'Mobilities in Transit: Rethinking the artefacts, images and surroundings of human motion and movability' is a conference in Trondheim, Norway, 14 - 17 June 2006.

Their call states that:

The imprint of increasing mobility in a globalizing world is so profound that it calls for analysis far beyond the fora of established academic disciplines. Only a truly inter- and transdisciplinary approach of research can guarantee to do justice to the complexity of problems emerging in the spaces of mobility.

The symposium aims at the development of a broader and deeper discourse with mutual enrichment between scholars from all relevant milieus. Might it be necessary to transform our understandings of mobility (and mobilities), as well as the scholarly modes employed in their study and in reflecting on them? Should science also start a movement that is analogous to "Mobilities in transit"?

Monday, February 20, 2006

3GSM Afterwrap

A great round-up commentary of the recent 3GSM fair in Barcelona is given over on the m-trends blog. Provides lots of good links too...

The Week in Sustainable Transportation

Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of personal transportation at Green Car Congress (as ever, posted through Worldchanging).

Hybrids and biofuels are still on the agenda - read here

BBC in another mobile venture

I see that the BBC is providing a new service - this time one called "Mobile Springwatch".

The idea being:

"Record the signs of spring while you're out and about. If you spot a species and text its keyword [e.g. ladybird, butterfly, bee, etc.] ... your mobile will tell us the location and date..."

Spot it, record it, map it!! Thats the instructions: the results of this distributed mobile springwatch are then posted on a dynamic map here

Welcome spring!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Fall and Rise of Location Based Services

It's about time we introduced here our fellows at Lancaster University - The Mobile Radicals. The Mobile Radicals are a freeform collection of dedicated mobile researchers based principally within the Informatics Group from the Department of Communication Systems at Lancaster University. They are experts in the creation of novel mobile entertainment/commerce systems and applications and this site provides for the wider dissemination of their activities.

The Mobileradicals blog - also see our links - has a recent post on The Fall and Rise of Location Based Service

'Location based services (LBS) were one of the new emerging technologies that appeared and fell with the WAP non-revolution. The concept of providing information and facilities based on your physical location was simple and intuitive, but over hyped. During the early days of WAP capable mobile phones, BT Cellnet in conjunction with the then un-deregulated 192 service and Yellow Pages would allow you to find such useful things as a curry house when out on the town after a few too many pints. The idea was great and full of promise, but alas didn’t really work.

The public understandably were confused by the fact that if they were standing outside their favourite curry house and asked for the nearest, the service would often point them to one that was at best a few hundred yards away. The problem was that the service used the mobile network CellID to determine your location.

Each mobile service providers’ network is split up into areas called cells. Each cell is operated by one (or occasionally more) radio masts. When a mobile phone connects to the service provider’s network, it locates the strongest signal it can find and ‘logs in’ to that cell. Each cell has a unique id called the CellID. Each cell can only support a certain number of users within the area.'

Looking forward to keeping in touch with developments over at the Mobileradicals!

On mobility, community, citizenship and difference

Space and Culture have posted an interesting piece in following global responses to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and relating with the more theoretical readings on mobility, community and citizenship.

Read post here

Virtual globes

I find the upsurge in mapping and mash-ups both a fascinating and significant trend. It was said - once by physicist Fred Hoyle - that once we had an external view of the globe, all our perspectives would change. Well...we've come a long way from the Apollo days - now we have virtual Earths - in plural, many mashed times over - layer upon layer of location tags. We are pinning our own virtual globe. Here is an interesting article:

An editorial in Nature says 'millions of people across the world are zooming in from space,flying across continents,and swooping over mountains and through cities,thanks to Google Earth,NASA's World Wind and other free virtual globes.The ability to model the Earth in exquisite three-dimensional detail was previously only approached on the desktops of professional users of geographical information systems (GIS).But even they were unable to publish high-resolution globes on the Internet,because of the sheer volume of the data,a globe with a resolution of one metre would take years to download using even a fast Internet connection.Virtual globes overcome this problem with elegant engineering, using a tiling structure that sends progressively higher-resolution data as one zooms in.This and other tricks drastically reduce the size of file transfers,and allow visualization with almost zero latency on a decent broadband connection.Scientists are already experimenting with these tools to showcase their research to the public in visually appealing ways and to speed responses to natural disasters.Ultimately,such accurate digital representations promise to anchor and unify much digital information about the Earth,while also helping to integrate the efforts of researchers from many disciplines".

Read Nature here

Again, thanks to Smartmobs

RFID love

Another leap into the strange and ever more pervasive world of the RFID:

"A couple has implanted RFID chips into themselves, in order to win access to each other's technology.

The couple sees the decision as a modern declaration of love that also happens to be functional.

"It's convenient and all of that. But it's definitely neat to have access to each other's things. nobody else has that, definitely," Tomblin told CTV's Canada AM."

Read more here

Thanks to Smartmobs

Mobiles aid drive for development

In a BBC Online News article today:

"Mobiles phones that acts as a personal helper, media player and portable vault for events you capture in images or video tend to grab the headlines at events like the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. But at the same time, some at the annual mobile industry showcase are extolling the virtues of simplicity and the help such phones can give to the developing world.

The mobile phone is the only viable technology that can bridge the digital divide," said Tom Phillips, chief government and regulatory affairs officer for the GSM Association, the industry body that oversees much of the mobile industry.

"It's the only solution that does not depend on billions and billions in aid money that would not be effectively invested even if it were available."

The article also talks about Negroponte's 100$ computer contribution.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New York Magazine on the Blog Establishment

New York Magazine has a cover story on Blogging:

Blogs to Riches:

The first massively popular blogs—built from blood, sweat, and the democratically earned approval of tough-to-please Websurfers—were the kind of success stories everyone loves. But these days, a lot of aspiring Internet barons are discovering that the online aristocracy is about as tough to crack as any other.
• Linkology: How the 50 Most Popular Blogs Are Related
• The Early Years: A Timeline of Blogging
• Five Cool Blogs to Check Out Now
• Meet the Bloggers
• The Long Tail Theory: Why B-list Blogs Can Make It, Too

Via Smartmobs

Go Digital 13th Feb

This week the podcast looks at how much energy digital technology is using, sharing computer power with the Ndiyo system, and recycling mobile phones to save energy.

Download here

Carnival Of The Mobilists # 15

Although a few days behind (the mobile blogs move fast!) the latest 'Carnival of the Mobilists' is hosted by Xen Dolev at Xellular Identity.

Enjoy all the latest mobile news!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Changing everyday items

This USA Today article says "regular old dumb stuff is getting smart and connected.You can buy a backyard telescope loaded with global position satellite (GPS) technology so it can point out which stars you're viewing.At one university,each parking meter has a chip and antenna so you can call it with your cellphone and buy more time.And then there are the touch-screen sewing machines that can download images to embroider,gas station pumps that run Microsoft Windows,and shipping crates that can call their owners for help if they're lost.A lot of technology companies focus on making computers more powerful and Internet connections faster.But a major trend is pushing in another direction,toward getting cheap computer chips and limited networking capabilities into products that never used to have such technology.It lets companies turn commodity products into premium products that cost more and stand out in the marketplace.The trend is analogous to the electrification of products 100 years ago,when inventors found ways to use that technology to change everyday items.Hand-turned drills became power drills.Ice boxes became refrigerators.The same thing is happening now,but with computer chips and tiny radio transmitters".

Via Smartmobs

US group implants electronic tags in workers

RFID technology is getting scarier by the micro-minute. As expected, its shifting over into humans via the workforce.

In this article from

"An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them., a private video surveillance company, said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police."

Handset brings the mall to you in Japan's m-shopping craze

This article from The Guardian talks about how in Japan shopping via the mobile - m-shopping - is becoming the new craze.... read on:

"Hitomi Terada is in the mood to shop. The 18-year-old has no credit card and very little cash on her, but that doesn't matter: all she needs to shop at her favourite mall is the mobile phone that rarely leaves her sight.
A few seconds of tapping away at her handset, and she can be the owner of the latest brand-name bag or boots. Two or three days later the goods arrive at her home, along with the bill, which she pays at her local post office."

Full article here

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mobile messages propel anger over images

A recent article in The Washington Post writes about how modern digital technology -- especially cell phones and Internet blogs -- helped turn an incident in tiny Denmark into a uniting cause for protesters around the world in days or even hours.

"From London to Kabul, Afghanistan, to Jakarta, Indonesia, the digital revolution has given unprecedented access to information -- accurate or not -- to anyone with enough money to buy a secondhand cell phone.

E-mails, blogs and text messages have been used to press a boycott of Danish goods in Arab countries and a "Buy Danish" campaign in the United States. Text messages were used to organize anti-Danish protests in Brussels, while Canada's largest Muslim umbrella group sent e-mails to 300,000 members urging them to avoid such demonstrations."

Similar methods of using text messages and blogs were also used to organize protests during violent unrest in Paris last year, as was covered on this site.

Thanks to Smartmobs for the above.

Making a Living in Second Life

I've posted before about the blurring of physical and online worlds, in respect to Second Life. It appears that the blurring is getting more blurred (I hope I'm not blurring the point!).

In this recent Wired article it discusses how some people are quitting their day jobs to sell virtual items full-time in Second Life. A fascinating article - extracts:

"Artists and designers, landowners and currency speculators, are turning the virtual environment of Second Life into a real-world profit center.

"It's not just a game anymore," said online artisan Kimberly Rufer-Bach. "There are businesses, nonprofits and universities" taking advantage of the online world.

With users now numbering over 130,000, game-maker Linden Lab estimates that nearly $5 million dollars, or about $38 per person, was exchanged between players in January 2006 alone. Working in Second Life is "the same as working in London and sending money home to pay the rent for your spouse," said company CEO Philip Rosedale.

Just ask Rufer-Bach, known in Second Life as Kim Anubus, who works full time making virtual objects for real-life organizations. In a recent contract with the UC Davis Medical Center, Rufer-Bach created virtual clinics in Second Life to train emergency workers who might be called upon to rapidly set up medical facilities in a national crisis. The work is funded by the Centers for Disease Control. "In the event of a biological attack … the CDC have to set up emergency 12-hour push sites, to distribute antibiotics," said Rufer-Bach."

On the podcast trail...

Apart from offering the Go Digital podcasts from this site, I haven't been following the podcast craze. On thing is that there is so much to cover, another that it is arguable whether this falls into the 'mobility' category. For me, podcasting is another form of mobility: information on the move. Yet true, all podcasting cannot be followed on this site - I just wouldn't have time to sleep!

Anyway, here are a couple of recent interesting ones:

- A cardiovascular surgeon turns podcasting into an educational vehicle for elderly patients:"a cardiovascular surgeon at the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, recently launched a podcasting series to educate patients he believes is among the first of its kind. He has produced podcasts, from two minutes to an hour long and contain video and audio content, that keep clinic visitors informed about the procedures they'll undergo and brief them on ways to lead a healthy lifestyle afterward." Read here

- Also: Wired News Launches Podcasts: "Every day, we'll publish one or more columns as an MP3 audio file that you can subscribe to at our Podcast blog."

Hospital SuperBug Found on Mobile Phones

Here's interesting news - mobility of disease piggybacks on mobile phones! Mobiles are thus information carriers on multiple levels.....

"Cellular News reports that a study conducted at the Craigavon Area Hospital Group Trust in Northern Ireland has found that the majority of mobile phones used by doctors and other health workers are carrying infectious pathogens, including on some phones the deadly hospital "superbug", MRSA."


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mexico City from Above

I thought I shouldn't pass up this urban look at Mexico City - C.O. Ruiz, a former helicopter pilot in Mexico City, took photographs of what he saw from the sky, and has now posted them to the web. They're all fascinating, but some -- like this photograph of the Mexico City megalopolis, or this one of a massive low income housing development -- are simply stunning.

It's hard to select a favorite. The street market? The expansion of the city into the hills? Maybe the picture of the city taken from the rim of a volcano...

See the site here

With thanks to Worldchanging

Connecting activism

Paul John Lamb reports on a meeting of the Innovation Funder's Network and suggests ways in which social activists and the organizations that support them can connect activism with appropriate technology - a few ideas here (edited):

"1. Bleed together: Organize intensive training sessions that bring together community-based activists and social leaders (with little or no tech experience) with technology/innovation activists and bleeding edge techies. Part of the training would introduce the social sector folks to the latest technology tools and potential applications, and another part would further sensitize the techies to community and social issues.

2. Support the small 'technivist' in a big way: Create a think and do tank that brings together teams of talented social entrepreneurs with policy experts and funders to address major social and economic issues.

3. Establish an annual 'gadgets for good' exhibition. How about an alternative to the Consumer Electronics Show and the MacWorld expo - a Social Electronics Show that features gadgetry and tech stuff that actually matters?"

Read full here

Thanks to Smartmobs

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mobile phones make money mobile

It is interesting to note that taking a service that is growing in Asia, Motorola Inc. is planning to launch a system that will allow people to purchase products simply by waving a mobile phone with an embedded chip over scanners at the cash register.

Read here at

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Holla Back NYC

In this new website titled 'Holla Back NYC', they encourage local citizens to mobile-camera snap any sources of harrassment - and to post the picture, with words, to publicly humiliate the offender. The site states:

"Holla Back NYC empowers New Yorkers to Holla Back at street harassers. Whether you're commuting, lunching, partying, dancing, walking, chilling, drinking, or sunning, you have the right to feel safe, confident, and sexy, without being the object of someone's fantasy.So stop walkin' on and Holla Back: Send us pics of street harassers!"

Another indication of the move towards civil participation and the participatory panopticon?

Welcome To The Blogosphere: Population 27.2 Million And Growing

In this recent article from Information Week, it says:

"A new blog is created every second and the phenomenon has grown 60 times larger than it was three years ago, according to Dave Sifry at Technorati.

In "State of the Blogosphere," published most recently on Monday, Sifry said there are about 27.2 million blogs and 75,000 new ones created each day. At that rate, the blogosphere doubles about every 5.5 months, with about 1.2 million new posts daily, or 50,000 an hour."

Read the article here

Up, Up and Away!

Another interesting post has emerged on Worldchanging - about how mobile technologies are being used in the 'leapfrog nations' - here is an extract:

"One of the reasons why mobile phone technology is so appealing to the leapfrog nations is that it's far less expensive and time-consuming to erect cellular towers than it is to pull miles of copper or fiber optic wire. But what if there was a solution that would be even cheaper and faster? Arizona-based Space Data and North Dakota's Extend America have developed a system using inexpensive balloons with cellular routers to provide wide-area coverage of sparsely-populated areas. North Dakota is set to be the test site for the system, which will use three balloons to provide coverage equivalent to 1,100 cellular towers. The balloons, once launched, would rise to a height of 20 miles, well above flight paths and transient weather conditions."

Go Digital 6th Feb 2006

This week on 'Go Digital', paying for email to fight spam, podcasting in Peru, virtual autopsy and a website to preserve the Romany language.

Download here

Talk about Peruvian farmers: they are the latest fans of the podcasting boom, tuning into agricultural tips rebroadcast on radio - read here

Monday, February 06, 2006

We Know Where You Are

The Mobile Weblog has this interesting post:

"One of the bigger stories over the weekend has been the resurgence of issue of companies using cellphones to track employees. With an increase in the number of devices that support GPS queries, or just the greater ability to triangulate a cellphone based on the current cells that handset is using, the number of firms that offer tracking services has grown dramatically.

According to a story from ZDNet, the sheer number of firms now offering this service is starting to raise privacy concerns.

Not everybody is happy about being monitored, however, and civil rights group Liberty says the growth of tracking raises data privacy concerns.

Kevin Brown, operations director of tracking firm Followus, said there was nothing covert about tracking, thanks to strict regulations.

"An employee has to consent to having their mobile tracked. A company can't request to track a phone without the user knowing," he said. "Under government rules we send random alerts to each phone we track, informing the user they are being monitored."

All that is needed to trace a mobile phone is a computer with an Internet connection. Once a phone is activated for tracking, it becomes a mobile electronic tag and its approximate position can be followed using the service provider's Web site."

Read the post

Will Google navigate your car?

It seems that Volkswagen is working on a prototype vehicle that features Google's satellite-mapping software to give drivers a bird's-eye view of the road ahead.

The two companies are also building an in-car navigation system and a three-dimensional display so passengers can recognize where they are in relation to the surrounding topography.

Read full article here

Emotion Map

Here is some interesting research being done on combining emotions with location awareness and mapping:

The Greenwich Emotion Map is part of NODE.London whose site says "is committed to building the infrastructure and raising the visibility of media arts practice in London.Working on an open,collaborative basis,NODE.London will culminate,in its first year,in a month long season of media arts projects across London in March 2006".Two free public workshops will be held at Independent Photography in Greenwich,and "participants will be able to see the current Greenwich Emotion Map produced by local residents and then create their own emotion map walk in the area.Participants will use a Bio Mapping device that measures their Galvanic Skin Response,which is an indicator of emotional arousal connected to their geographical location.The resulting maps encourage personal reflection on the complex relationship between us,our environment and our fellow citizens.By sharing this information we can construct maps that visualise where we as a community feel stressed and excited.Will seeing other people’s experiences allow us to engage differently with our environment?"

Via Smartmobs

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pursuit Management System

Mobile escapers?? Not for long, according to this article:

"The LAPD will use air-propelled miniature baseball size "tags" equipped with a global positioning system,"this ABC News article says."The officers fire the darts,which stick to a fleeing motorist's car, and within minutes can find and track the suspect's location."There is a social need for better managing of high-speed pursuits,"said Mandy McCall,chief operating officer at StarChase,the inventor of the vehicle tagging and tracking Pursuit Management System.Car chases,a staple on cable news channels,often end in deadly outcomes.Last year alone,there were more than 600 pursuits in Los Angeles and more than 100,000 nationwide".

Read more at Runaway Cars Tagged to Stop Chases

Via Smartmobs

Carnival of the Mobilists

You'll find this week's round up of the very best writing about mobile at the Mobile Enterprise Blog.

Topics covered include Web 2.0, mobile behaviour and the latest apps - another important read for those following the path of the mobile....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Networks on wheels

Here's an interesting piece on intelligent transport from Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends -

This is an extract from the post 'Networks on Wheels':

"More and more cars and trucks are equipped with some kinds of wireless networking devices, helping to create applications based on vehicle to vehicle communications. But these types of networks present some new security challenges because of the short contact times between different mobile nodes and of the large size of these networks. This is why Germany's funded Network on Wheels (NoW) project has decided to apply security considerations right at the beginning of the network development. Read more...

Let's start with an example picked from "Trusted Network on Wheels," an article published by ERCIM News No. 63 in October 2005. "As soon as two or more vehicles are in radio communication range, they connect automatically and establish an ad hoc network, and create a new security threat" (Credit: BMW Group Research and Technology).

The NoW project has produced many documents, but if you're interested in this last part, here is a paper I recommend: Attacks on Inter Vehicle Communication Systems - an Analysis (PDF format, 11 pages, 741 KB).

The Type-A Bathroom

For workaholics, it's the new home office. Jon Weinbach and Peggy Edersheim Kalb on showerproof computers, mirrors with stock quotes and the latest water hazard: 'BlackBerry dunk.'

The humble bathroom, long a place of refuge and solitude, is playing quiet host to more workplace transactions. Bathroom business has gone way beyond tapping out furtive emails on a BlackBerry. Lately, more hard-driving homeowners have converted their loos into virtual satellite workspaces, with retractable desks or waterproof touch-screen monitors. Manufacturer Acquinox of New York says sales of its steam shower/whirlpool units -- a hands-free phone is standard in each -- nearly tripled last year to 14,800 modules. Wisconsin-based Seura, meanwhile, reports rising sales of its vanity mirrors, which feature LCD screens in the glass. The mirrors, starting at $2,400, let users check their tie-knot, then flip a switch to watch the embedded TV.

Read more here

Thanks to Smartmobs

From Amazon to Creator said this week that it has started a program to let authors communicate with readers, the latest in a series of moves by the online retailer to add entertainment features to its site, reports

The Amazon Connect program lets authors post messages in blog format to readers who have bought their work at Amazon in the past or to those sign up for the program. Amazon has so far enrolled more than 1,000 authors in the program, including Meg Wolitzer, James Patterson and Nelson DeMille, and is looking to sign up more, a company representative said.

Authors can post their thoughts as frequently as they like, but the communication is one-way. Some authors have found a way around this by guiding readers to their personal Web sites in their blogs.

Via Smartmobs

Women in mobile

M-Trends, well-known for its series of interviews with women active in the mobile world, has an interview with Emily Turrettini (creator of

Read interview here

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A flock of 'mobile' pigeons!

In this somewhat odd yet true and inventive story:

A flock of pigeons fitted with mobile phone backpacks is to be used to monitor air pollution,New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.The 20 pigeons will be released into the skies over San Jose,California,in August.Each bird will carry a GPS satellite tracking receiver,air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone.Text messages on air quality will be beamed back in real time to a special pigeon "blog",a journal accessible on the internet.Miniature cameras slung around the pigeons' necks will also post aerial pictures.The idea is the brainchild of researcher Beatriz da Costa,of the University of California at Irvine,and two of her students.

From this New Scientist article


"MOBILEFEST is the 1st Brazilian Festival of Mobile Art, based on the sociological implications that mobile phones and mobile technologies have been promoting in our culture. MOBILEFEST will happen in September, 2006 in São Paulo, Brazil, with an agenda composed by two days of cultural and technical activities. MOBILEFEST will include an international symposium, workshops and recognition awarding of the best works and mobile applications developed by Brazilians.
Different from other national and international festivals, MOBILEFEST has been designed for the mobile era, that’s why it’s the first festival in the world that only takes submissions of texts, photographs and videos sent via SMS and MMS."

read more here

Via Smartmobs

GPS, narrative, geodocumentary in Latvia and Netherlands

Location awareness, narrative, and documentary come together in this project. What else are people going to map?

For their 2005 Golden Nica-winning MILK project, the artists gave GPS devices to people involved in the dairy trade between Latvia and the Netherlands, representing their movements as animated maps, photos, and textual memories on the web. A kind of geographic documentary, MILK conflates the objectivity of mapping with the subjective experiences of economics, politics and, of course, other people. And this MILK is perfectly safe for lactose-intolerant viewers!! :-)

Via Smartmobs

Go Digital - Wi-fi, optics and gorillas

This week how free wi-fi is affecting the people of New Orleans, a telecentre that helps endangered gorillas and the 40th anniversary of the invention of fibre optics.

Download here

Communication as Digital Witness

Founded in 1992 by musician Peter Gabriel, Witness supplies video cameras and communication gear to allow people around the world to document abuses of human rights, partnering with human rights groups in over 50 countries. Witness attempts to create pressure for change by shining a light on injustice around the world. The people who take up cameras in the name of human dignity are remarkably brave, facing in many cases torture and death for the "crime" of revealing the truth. But the Witness cameras stand alone; their only connection to the rest of the world is via the hand delivery of video tape.

That will soon change.

In an interview at BusinessWeek online, Gabriel and Witness Executive Director Gillian Caldwell reveal that the organization intends to open up an online portal allowing people to send in video clips from digital cameras and cameraphones -- that is, if they can get the funding.

Are people already sending tapes or images from mobile phones?
Gabriel: We haven't had the structure to do that. That's the next challenge.

Caldwell: Implementation will be in the next 12 months. That's what we're shooting for, although we need financial support.

How will you keep control of the content?
Gabriel: We hope there will be some sort of self-regulating system. People, in order to get content uploaded, would have to rate three or four other pieces of material [on the site]. My country [England] is the most observed country in the world. I think the average person gets filmed eight times a day. The aim here is to turn the cameras back.

An interesting project....

Via Worldchanging