Thursday, December 29, 2005


I will be away for 8 days. So 'New Mobilities' will be quiet for a while as I will be having a break in co-absence.



A semantic grid for virtual collaboration

In a recent Emerging Technology Trends blog - a piece called 'A semantic grid for virtual collaboration':

"The InteliGrid European project, which started a year ago, wants to deliver the full potential of grid computing by building an intelligent network aware of all its components. This 'smart grid' approach is intended to suit the needs of complex industries, such as aerospace, shipbuilding or construction, where a large number of partners need to collaborate to solve a single problem. One of the requirements for this grid project is 'data comprehension.' In other words, the computers on the grid must learn to 'know' what data 'means.' And the promoters of the project think that they're on a successful path to help to build safer airplanes, buildings or bridges.

"We hope that we can augment Grid technology to provide a stable and secure collaboration platform on one hand, and a platform into which players can plug in and get out rather quickly on the other," says Professor Žiga Turk, coordinator of the InteliGrid and researcher at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia."

The convergence big bang

From a recent post at Smartmobs:

"The Korea Times says "this year’s telecom market was dominated by digital convergence,the high-tech buzzword on everyone’s lips over the past 12 months.Video-on-the-go services,dubbed digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) as a cross between telecom and broadcasting,commercially debuted in May.The government also wrapped up a two-year stalemate for WiBro by issuing two licenses for the homegrown portable Internet that will bring landline access speed to a wireless terminal,in January.The nation’s major telecom operators also started a pilot run of the broadband convergence network (BcN) project in the latter part of this year.The BcN is an ultimate network aimed at igniting the convergence big bang in the future because it integrates traditionally separated telecom,Internet and broadcasting pipelines,seamlessly switching over to a wired or wireless connection."The article also points out that "more than 38 million of the country’s total 48 million population are subscribed to mobile telephony services and the number of landline phone users is stuck at about 22 million,"while,"the number of high-speed Internet clients,another wireline growth phase, also hit the saturation mark with roughly 12 million of 15.5 million households are hooked up to the always-on connection.""

New airline navigation system is displayed

Until now, an autopilot could only fly a plane in a straight line or around a gentle curve. But the one shown off Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration was following a path as sinuous as the river beneath.

But now at National, and a handful of other airports around the country, autopilots can fly planes safely over terrain that no one on board can see, including around mountains. Use of the new system is expected to cut the number of times that airplanes have to divert because of weather.


Carnival of the Mobilists - Best of the Year!

The end of year edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists is up at MobHappy - a collection of the very best writing about mobile on the planet.

This week, they asked for writers to nominate their best writing of 2005, so it's well worth a visit!

Traffic Avoidance

A recent article in Technology Review talks of the new technologies being developed for such events as traffic jam avoidance:

"In the interminable battle against traffic, a growing number of government and private initiatives offer U.S. drivers high-quality real-time traffic data and even short-term predictions of travel time from, say, one freeway intersection to the next.

But most of the forecasts don't extend beyond 15 or 20 minutes. Though a veritable traffic jam of companies has sprung up to offer data, they generally inform commuters of snarls as they occur, which is often too late for drivers to change their plans.

Now, actual traffic prediction -- forecasts of congestion levels hours and even days in advance -- is on the horizon. It's coming from Kirkland, WA-based Inrix, founded in 2004 by former Microsoft executives Bryan Mistele and Craig Chapman and former Expedia executive Seth Eisner.

The company uses algorithms that originated in the labs of Microsoft Research; its technology is the first fruit of Microsoft's initiative to license intellectual property to venture capitalists and startups."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Business cards obsolete with high-tech handshake reports on the use of exchanging data through the hands, whether it be for business information or for telling a door to open: information is now being encoded in the power of touch:

The ritual of exchanging business cards could beome a thing of the past after Japanese researchers devised a way to swap data just through a handshake, writes Baku Today.

If two people each wear a 50-gram (1.75-ounce) device the size of a matchbox, they could receive each other's details into their cellphones or other mobile gadgets simply through body contact.

The "RedTacton" device, under development by NTT in Japan, uses optical electric field sensors that look for similar electric fields on other bodies. When contact is made, the data goes through the body with a small amount of voltage, winding up in a portable handsets.

"As the information has the date it was obtained just like e-mails, it would help you remember who the person was. It would also make it easier to make an address book," said Tadashi Minotani of the laboratory.

The technology, which the NTT group aims to put into practical use in two to three years, could have many uses, such as being embedded into medicine bottles that send messages to mobile terminals such as a cellphone. "The terminal would buzz or say 'Don't take this' if it is the wrong medicine. There are so many drugs that it is difficult to judge which must not be taken together with which," said Tadashi Minotani of the laboratory.

Other uses of the technology include allowing people to unlock a door by touching the door knob.

British Airways rolls out mobile messaging strategy

British Airways has launched its global mobile messaging strategy for customers and staff, reports Netimperative.

The customer service benefit of mobile was proved this week, with BA using it to help cope with disruptions caused by the Hemel Hempstead oil fires. With 155 planes cancelled or delayed as a result, messages were sent out to customers in 59 countries, in local languages, containing telephone details for customers to find out further information.

The first three services being rolled out by Incentivated under the strategy are passenger notifications, cargo logistics alerts and staff communications.
BA has been collecting mobile numbers from customers over the last year from its online booking service at

The airline has installed an Internet telephony system and sees mobile as ideal for staff communications, with employees receiving SMS notifications of voicemails and other telephony communications. The company has many further plans for rolling out mobile communication for both marketing and customer communications.


Earthquake Alerts Straight to the Phone -- On or Off reports on the news that Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry wants to implement a program of emergency messaging over cellular phone networks, particularly in the event of earthquakes. The SMS messages would provide emergency instructions, evacuation routes, and the like.

This post notes that if a plan to piggyback the emergency alert system on top of a broadcast video for phones technology works out, the emergency alerts could also include animations and graphics.

This is not the first instance of such a plan yet what is novel about the system is that the Ministry also wants to be able to turn phones on by broadcasting a special signal, so that citizens can get the emergency messages even if they've shut their phones off for the night. They're working on the necessary technology in hopes of including it in future phones.


Forbes 2006 Sneak Peek

Forbes 2006 Sneak Peek - Technology, Voip, Wireless, Media and more

Forbes editors and writers take a look ahead at the coming year, weighing in on what they think will be the big trends in 2006. This is a great year-end read that covers predictions in technology, Voip, telecom, mobile wireless, gaming, digital entertainment, and media.

On Digital Entertainment, Peter Kafka writes:

"So everyone who didn't get it a year ago gets it now: Very soon, just about every type of content is going to be sliced, diced and presented to consumers in whatever format they want, whenever they want it, wherever they want it."

Forbes 2006 predictions also cover politics, economy, Automotive, Banking, Financial Services, Health Care, Retailing, Sports, and Transportation. Don't miss this.

Sneak Peek 2006 -

Via DigitalTech News

UK to monitor all car journeys

The Independent reports that Britain will begin tracking and recording the movements of every vehicle on the road system.

Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.

Via BoingBoing

Kiddie smart mobs

David Pogue’s column in today’s New York Times Circuits is a round-up of the cell phones being marketed for the kindergarten-early grade school set. These parent-programmed handsets introduce children at an early age to life as a node in a virtual network. Typical other parent-determined nodes in their first small net-world include the parents’ cellphones, grandma and grandpa, friends of the children, neighbors, and 911.

With children growing up under networks, how will this affect social networking in the future - pre-conditioned?

Via Smartmobs

Monday, December 19, 2005

Touch research project

From the website of the Touch Research Project:

"Touch is a research project at the Interaction Design department at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, looking at user-centred applications for Near Field Communication (NFC).NFC is a technology that enables connections between mobile phones and real-world objects:bridging the gap between the real and the virtual.

NFC is interesting for us because it enables connections between mobile phones and real-world objects: bridging the gap between the real and the virtual. The project offers the possibility of radically simplifying existing applications and providing a new spectrum of local services through the mobile phone. At AHO we have multiple disciplines, including interaction design, industrial design, urbanism and architecture; a group with significant interest in the areas possibilities of NFC technology."

Perhaps worth keeping an eye on this touchy project?

Thanks to Smartmobs

The Future of Work?

Here is an extract from the latest article on Gizmo Emerging Technology Magazine on the issue of the future of work:

"As companies become accustomed to seamless global telecommunications , we will eventually see companies with thousands of employees and no central office. Indeed we may even see a companies with no employees at all - just electronically-connected freelancers who live and work wherever they want across the globe. Imagine that this freedom allows people to get more of what they want out of life - money, engaging work, or time with their families. It’s not for everyone, but it is certainly the future for the likes of many Gizmag readers and our writers – the early adopters of the world. The Greater Richmond Technology Council, in partnership with Sprint, is exploring this topic in depth at TechSummit 2005, to be held on December 15 at the Richmond Marriott. TechSummit 2005 will look at the strategies, tools and applications being used successfully - nationally and locally - to change the definition of "work" and "office". One of the highlights of the event will be a keynote address by Thomas H. Davenport entitled "Thinking For A Living," designed to ask and answer the question "How can you tell whether your employees are working when their job is to think?" Mr. Davenport, a nationally recognized management expert, speaker and author, is listed by Consulting magazine as one of the nation's top 25 consultants. His most recent book, "Thinking For A Living: How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers" was named one of Fortune's top three books of 2003. He holds the President's Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College in Massachussetts, and is an Accenture Fellow..."

Australia: SMS sentences 'too harsh' reports that A ten-year jail sentence for people who send text messages that incite violence has been labelled as "excessive" by civil liberties groups. That's some escalation, a few days ago, the The Australian reported that "authors of racial SMS faced a $5,000 fine and 6 months in jail".

"Using the new powers rushed through the NSW Parliament last week, police confiscated at least 22 mobile phones, some with SMS messages urging Arabs to "arm up and get ready for war".


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Carnival of the Mobilists # 10

This week's Carnival of the Mobilists is at C Enrique Ortiz, as usual not to be missed if you want to stay tuned on the latest opinions on what's hot in mobile.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ethical Maps

I thought this new use of mapping was interesting...and worth a blog:

Maplecroft is a UK organization specializing in the coverage of the non-financial performance of global corporations and governments. Issues of convern include human rights, corporate governance and responsibility, the environment, and resource sustainability. Maplecroft crafts standard report documents, but presents its findings in an unusual way: it makes maps.

Maplecroft maps encompass the results of their work on responsibility and sustainability, along with material from more specialized groups like Amnesty International, the UN Development Program, and International Telecommunications Union. The maps appear to be updated relatively frequently, so few will contain substantively out-of-date information. They do require Flash, and I found the links to data explanations to be unresponsive on two different browsers. Nonetheless, most of the material is either self-explanatory or explained in the sidebar, and clicking on a given country will pull up an additional menu of information.

Some maps worth checking out include hunger, natural disasters, and human rights -- just updated for International Human Rights Day.

As with any information resource, it's important to pay attention to what sorts of interpretations are in use. The Landmine Risk map, for example, doesn't emphasize the number of deployed landmines nearly as much as whether or not a given nation is a signatory to anti-landmine treaties. This results in the somewhat non-sensical presentation of the United States as having an equivalent landmine risk to Cambodia.

Read article here

Via Worldchanging

No need to waste space

From the official Google Blog - this was posted by Andy Ku, their International Product Marketing Manager

"Next time you’re at the airport, scan the waiting area and see what people are doing. You’ll be shocked by the number who are doing absolutely nothing -- other than staring glassy-eyed at other people who are doing absolutely nothing. Naturally, these people had rushed in a mad frenzy an hour prior in order to get to the airport on time, only to sit and stare.

This observation is what spawned Google Space. We thought it would be useful to set up an area to give travellers unfettered Internet access so they might make use of that otherwise wasted time. Plus Googlers would get to talk to Google users, and hear what they like and don’t like about our products. Kind of like Google Labs, but with face to face feedback. Google Labs goes material.

We've been testing this concept for nearly a month at Heathrow Airport in London.
The response has thus far been enlightening and unexpected. Enlightening in that we’ve been learning tons about how to make our products more useful. Unexpected in the ways that people are using Google. One sales guy, David MacDonald, emailed this to the entire UK office:

“Yesterday whilst on the Google Space stand at Heathrow T1 I was approached by somebody who asked me if I worked for Google, as soon as I confirmed he smiled. He went on to explain that he had been in Pakistan as part of an International Disaster Response Team to help in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. They had been desperate to use what resources / maps they could find and that Google had been invaluable in helping. It turned out they had used Google Earth to trace the geography of the landscape, locate villages and roads.

He was so happy to see me and to show his appreciation, I really felt humbled and proud.”

No space - or time - should ever go wasted!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Phone stress and absent presence

Here are some articles regarding the idea of mobile phone stress and absent presence.
The articles may resonate with the recent event called Technology, Time and Everyday Life convened by Judy Wajcman at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Thanks to Mobile-society list and Rich Ling

Public transparency or surveillance?

Recently in Asia Media:

"Surveillance equipment will be installed across the restive South with images broadcast over the internet,Deputy Prime Minister Pol Gen Chidchai Wannasathit said yesterday. According to Pol Gen Chidchai,the closed-circuit television surveillance equipment will be installed at 9,000 locations across the four provinces of Songkhla,Pattani,Yala and Narathiwat.Images from the cameras will be broadcast on a website so the general public can help monitor the situation,Pol Gen Chidchai said.The deputy prime minister called this form of surveillance "public control" and noted that CCTV surveillance equipment was already being installed in Yala."We're also considering the number of cameras that need to be installed in Bangkok," he said."

Is this a form of public control...a beginning to RFID tracking/mapping? Or what David Brin refers to as the 'Transparent Society'?

Via Smartmobs

Go Digital 12th December 2005

This week's podcast talks to founder of French blog site Agoravox, new & exciting computer interfaces and look at "podslurping", using mobile gadgets to steal company secrets.

Download and listen here

Also - Extended interview with the founder of French Citizen Journalism site, Agoravox. Tell us what you think of Joel's forthright views on traditional media vs. user generated content - listen here

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ubiquitous information and communication networks

The ITU Internet report 2005 is entitled "The Internet of Things".From the executive summary which is now available to download."'We are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era,one that will radically transform our corporate,community, and personal spheres.Over a decade ago,the late Mark Weiser developed a seminal vision of future technological ubiquity,one in which the increasing “availability” of processing power would be accompanied by its decreasing “visibility”.As he observed, “the most profound technologies are those that disappear…they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”.Early forms of ubiquitous information and communication networks are evident in the widespread use of mobile phones:the number of mobile phones worldwide surpassed 2 billion in mid-2005.These little gadgets have become an integral and intimate part of everyday life for many millions of people,even more so than the internet.Today,developments are rapidly under way to take this phenomenon an important step further,by embedding short-range mobile transceivers into a wide array of additional gadgets and everyday items,enabling new forms of communication between people and things,and between things themselves".

Thanks to Smartmobs

Radio-tagged boarding pass

OpTag is a radio-tagged boarding pass that aims to prevent delays by tracking passengers around the airport,and "is the joint brainchild of engineers at University College London,a Berkshire firm called Innovision,a group in France,another in Greece,an airport in Hungary and a few others",the Guardian reports."The idea is to attach a unique tag to each boarding pass as it is issued.The prototype tag radiates a very low power signal in the 5.8GHz band but it is enough to be picked up by a cell-based tracking system linked to high-resolution video monitoring cameras placed strategically to cover 360 degrees,and linked by an Ethernet network to an operator at a set of screens".Further,"its real value lies in working out how far from their departure gate the thirsty Mr Smith and the absent-minded Mr Jones are at the crucial moment. Five per cent of airline departure delays are due to these puzzling people who check in their baggage but forget to actually get on the plane: the OpTag system could save flight hours, money and, of course, irritation."

This will be an interesting line to follow - how RFID is used in increasing mobility - especially when the line is to benefit travellers/consumers.

Via Smartmobs

Mobile mobs in Australia

News reports "text messages inciting race riots have been circulated in Queensland and Victoria, police said today.The messages were used to incite mob violence against people of Middle Eastern appearance at Sydney's Cronulla beach on Sunday in retaliation for an attack on surf lifesavers.Queensland police said yesterday that mobile phone text messages calling for people to start "cracking skulls" had surfaced on the Gold Coast.New South Wales Police said today that similar messages had also been reported in Victoria."

As Howard Rheingold said - Smartmobs are not necessarily either wise nor kind.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lancaster : Social Networks & Future Mobilities

Friday, 9 December, at The Institute for Advanced Studies, was the Social Networks & Future Mobilities conference.

It was a day of constructive discussion based on the Department of Transport report (200-pages)co-authored by Jonas Larson, John Urry, and Kay Axhausen.

The report can be accessed here.

Any comments/feedback would be useful.

Mobile Methodologies - call for papers

Mobile Methodologies: Researching Mobile Experiences

Convenors: Mark McGuinness (Bath Spa University, UK) & Justin Spinney (Royal Holloway, UK). Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British
Geographers) Annual Conference, London, 30 August-1 September 2006.

First call for papers

In geography, urban studies, sociology and elsewhere there is heightened awareness of the importance of better understandings of the movement of bodies through space (as walkers, cyclists, dancers, drivers, passengers etc). Such sustained emphases on movement suggest interesting methodological questions: how do we research and represent mobile experiences: of being in place momentarily, of passing through, of being 'in-between'? Can existing social scientific research methods that slow down and freeze experiences (the interview, the focus group, the survey) adequately capture mobile experiences, practices where the context of movement itself may be crucial to understanding the significance of the event to the participant, rather than being simply 'read off' from destination points and origins? This session examines the foundations of this perceived limitation and considers methodological responses, technologies and representational strategies designed to more fully inform our understanding of people's experience of movement through space, such as through the use of video recordings, audio diaries, photographic diaries, text trails, blogs and travelogues.

Abstracts for 15 minute papers addressing any aspect of researching mobile experiences should be submitted to Dr Mark McGuinness ( no later than 20th January 2006. You can contact either of us if you require any further information about the session.

This SMS will self-destruct in 40 seconds...

A new type of text message called StealthtText launched by Staellium UK Ltd self-destructs in 40 seconds, according to The Daily Record, simply by keying in a code.

Whether you’re a celebrity who’s up to no good or a business executive dealing in sensitive information, the last thing you want is for urgent text messages you’ve sent to fall into the wrong hands. StealthText allows you to send a text message safely in the knowledge that it will delete itself from the recipient’s mobile phone as soon as the person has read it – ultimately, allowing the sender control of their own information.

Is this the Mission Impossible of Mobility?

An Intelligent Transportation System in Shanghai

Shanghai "is looking at plans to build a traffic information center that would send up-to-the-minute reports on road congestion to a computer screen installed in cars or a portable device cyclists and pedestrians could use",the Shanghai Daily reports."The center will integrate information from the current three road condition monitoring departments — traffic police, the urban transport bureau and the urban project management bureau — and install more information collecting devices such as monitors along or beneath roads.Once applied, the Intelligent Transportation System will help drivers find the best routes to avoid congested roads, or suggest they use the subway or buses depending on traffic conditions,said Yang Dongyuan,vice president of Tongji University".

Read at

Thanks to Smartmobs

White Paper:Measuring the impact of blogs on brands

"Blogging has a direct influence on corporate reputation, and we now have the figures to prove it,argues a white paper(PDF) co-written by Market Sentinel,Onalytica and immediate future PR",netimperative reports."The white paper uses the example of blogger Jeff Jarvis’s criticism of the computer retailer,Dell.It shows first that Dell has sustained long-term damage to its brand image and secondly that the cheerleaders for the poor reputation of Dell’s customer services,are bloggers."

Via Smartmobs

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Carnival of the Mobilists

This weeks Carnival of the Mobilists is hosted at

Hybrid Trams to Roam Rome

New trams being developed by Lohr Industries will switch between electric and battery power. While overhead electrical wires will power the trams through most of their trips, municipal codes in some Italian cities prevent building the structures to support the wires. Therefore, the Translohr trams will run on battery power when going through historic areas.

The batteries are stored in the roof of the vehicle and also serve as backup power for the doors and radio. Anyone who has ever taken the electrified Muni in cities like San Francisco has probably endured frequent disruptions when the guide wires were disconnected, so a backup battery to keep the heat and lights working would be great.

This makes sense on many levels: providing access to areas where you don't want to hang wires, no emissions, and the almost constant electricity source means the batteries will be full most of the time. There are hybrid trolleys under consideration in the United States, but they are not pervasive."

Via Wired Autopia blog

China's rich fuel mobile revolution

In a recent BBC article - 'China's rich fuel mobile revolution' -

"China's increasingly wealthy middle classes and tech savvy youngsters are the main reasons why companies, including Nokia and Motorola, have invested billions of dollars in establishing manufacturing and distribution networks across the Chinese mainland.

In 2004, the Chinese purchased 92 million mobile phones, an increase of 15.8% over 2003, making China the largest mobile phone market in the world.

The International Data Corporation forecasts that the market for mobile handsets will continue to grow, with more than 400 million handsets sold between now and 2009."

"Godcasts” becoming more popular

From podcasting to to godcasting!! Will sociology be the next thing - sodcasting!

"Podcasting is a huge and growing phenomenon. One reason is religious podcasts, or “godcasts.”

“I would say probably anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of the podcasts available online have some dimension of religion or spiritual life to them,” estimates Lee Ranie of the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Godcasts are created by houses of worship from every denomination, and from around the world. The wide selection is good news for web worshippers.

That religion and spirituality have found a niche in this new technology should not be a surprise. Nearly two thirds of the nation's 128 million Internet users have used the Internet for faith-related matters, according to study last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project."

read more at all about iPod itunes"

Via Smartmobs

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sociology --> Mociology!

Sociology has now morphed into a new field: according to

“Mociology (mobile + sociology) is the study of the innovative ways people use their mobile phones or wireless systems in daily life. Examples given including buying concert tickets by phone or having medical information about your diabetic condition sent to you the same way…Mocio-economics is described as “the underlying economics that drives the fast emergence of mobile entertainment revenues and economics”.

Earlier in November, we picked up on a an article from The Guardian entitled We are all Mociologists, describing how Joe Trippi (author of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything" ) likes to open his lectures with a question. "How many mociologists are there in the audience?

"Mociology refers to how mobile and wireless technology has changed the way we do things: downloading music on to a mobile phone, for example, or getting the football scores texted through on a Saturday afternoon.

Is this a new branch of Sociology?? Will it be televised?

Frontline SMS: Texting value in the NGO sector

FrontlineSMS provides an "entry-level text messaging solution for the non-profit sector." FrontlineSMS was started by Ken Banks, managing director of, a ICT geared to servicing the specific needs of the conservation and development community with a particular focus on Africa. FrontlineSMS's website explains the need well:

"...text messaging has allowed people to exchange information and communicate at both national and international level. The potential to provide some of the poorest people in the world with local, relevant, useful information has not gone un-noticed...
Patients receive reminders to take their medicine, saving time and money travelling to local clinics. Farmers receive details of market prices and demand for their products before heading off to market. National parks communicate details of dangerous animals, providing an early warning system to mitigate against human/wildlife conflict. Young people living in the slums of Nairobi receive texts alerting them to job opportunities in the city."

Check out the website for more technical and practical information, and contact Ken Banks who seems to be accessible and open to questions. Also see the first pages of a PDF report, "Mobile phones: An appropriate tool for conservation and development?" by Ken Banks and Richard Burge (2004) which will give you more ideas on how texting might add social value in these sectors.

Via Worldchanging

A Merrry MiXmas Podcast

As a prelude to the Xmas festivities, 'New Mobilities' would like to offer the following download link (courtesy of DJ Riko):

All News - The Merry Mixmas 2005 - a 70-minute MP3 mix-CD of favorite Xmas oddities, including rarities, non-English songs, and lots of upbeat holiday tuneage - is now available for download. It's the fourth annual mix of Christmas music, and has been given the official thumbs-up by Santa himself. The mix includes songs that are very old and very new, sung in English, Spanish, Japanese and other languages, and played on banjos, guitars, strings, horns and other instruments...

Download here

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Women in Mobile

Women in Mobile 4 at m-trends gives a good interview with women influntial with mobile trends. Check out this interview No 4.

Phones and Cars

More transport news:

Auto-Txt is a system that requires your mobile phone to be present before your car will start. The post begins a musing about the mobile phone/person relationship: “This is especially interesting as it's pointing the way of the future, where your mobile will be as much proof of identity, as a personal communication device.”

According to Smartmobs: "The smart mobbing of devices is also at work here with a security symbiosis between phone and car. More interaction surely lies ahead. The Auto-Txt phone operates on Bluetooth and is equipped with satellite GPS tracking as cars increasingly are."

BT's new vehicle tracking system

In a recent article from CNet titled 'Thieves put car security system to test' BT put their new tracking device to the real test!

"BT's new vehicle tracking system found its first stolen car before the system had gone live. The car, an Audi A4, belongs to David Thomas--project manager for the new BT Trackit system. It was stolen outside his house on Nov. 2 and was recovered, undamaged, the same day. Thomas was alerted to the theft by BT's Secure Operating Centre. Using satellite-based tracking technology, the car was pinpointed and the local police were informed and were able to recover the vehicle."

Via Smartmobs

More Online Maps News

The University of Southern California has an interesting recent article on the development of online mapping: Online Maps: The Next Generation

"Media systems scientists at USC rely on geospatial technology to integrate a wealth of information that is accurate and easily accessible for decision-makers in a wide range of fields.

GeoDec is designed to enable an information-rich and realistic three-dimensional visualization and/or simulation of geographical locations, such as cities or states, rapidly and accurately," said Cyrus Shahabi, who specializes in databases and information management. "The technology has a similar look and feel to the new, high-powered interactive mapping tools, such as Google Earth and MSN Virtual Earth."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

New security for the actively mobile

Iris recognition is seen as the most accurate biometric recognition technology because no two irises are identical. And researchers at the University of Bath in England have developed new computer algorithms which are 100 per cent accurate in initial trials.

Read article on ZdNet called 'Foolproof iris recognition technology?'

Via Smartmobs

This Week's - Carnival of the Mobilists

This Week's 'Carnival of the Mobilists' is hosted at Wap Review:

extract - "Debbie Jones at Mobile Jones has submitted a very interesting article on Human Factors Engineering as it applies to mobile interfaces. Debbie speaks from experience and argues that one must take a systems approach considering man, machine, system and environment. Read how and why in, Usability v. Human Factors in Complex Mobile Systems.

Troy Norcross writes a blog called Mobile Marketing & SPAM which is all about successful marketing that is not SPAM. His latest piece uses the theater as a metaphor to illustrate how to do mobile marketing that works rather than annoys. Read: Mobile Marketers - Take your cue from the theatre"

Vodafone's 'Receiver'

Vodafone have published the new issue - no 14 - of their Receiver Magazine

The latest issue has some interesting articles:


- Anthony Townsend: Seoul searching – cybernomads and the ubiquitous city: A close look at Korea's digitally mediated urban space which, in Seoul's case, achieved a unique intensity.

- Yat Siu: Eight visions from mobile Asia.
Mobile usage in Asia, the US, and Europe, and a guess on which leading Asian mobile trends are likely to spread westwards.

Definately worth a look - at Receiver

Thanks to Mobile-Society list.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wireless Relief

In a recent MIT Tech Review post: 'New Orleans is the first U.S. city to provide free wireless Internet service':

"To help boost its stalled economy, hurricane-ravaged New Orleans is offering the nation's first free wireless Internet network owned and run by a major city.

Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the system would benefit residents and small businesses who still can't get their Internet service restored over the city's washed out telephone network, while showing the nation ''that we are building New Orleans back.''

The system started operation Tuesday in the central business district and French Quarter. It's to be available throughout the city in about a year."

Cooperative collection of Katrina coverage

Internet Archive has just launched a huge archive amassed since September 4th to preserve the online response to the giant Katrina catastrophe. There are four major divisions of the archive: News Sites, Personal Sites, Relief Sites, and Government Sites. Future scholars will have this snapshot of a first major disaster response within the Internet. summarizes:

The Internet Archive and many individual contributors worked together to put together a comprehensive list of websites to create a historical record of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the massive relief effort which followed. This collection has over 25 million unique pages, all text searchable, from over 1500 sites. The web archive commenced on September 4th.

Via SmartMobs

A swarm of networked ­citizens

How a swarm of networked ­citizens is building a better ­emergency broadcast system is a new article in Wired magazine:

"It's another dangerous day in America. Bird flu is spreading, the North Koreans have a nuclear bomb, and Osama bin Laden is still at large. The federal security threat-warning system points to "elevated." Citizens nationwide have been told to be extra vigilant against new terror attacks."

Read how networked citizens can help...