posts about or somewhat related to ‘mobile’

Tibetan Jailed For Having Photos of Self-Immolators on Mobile Phone →

Via Radio Free Asia:

A young Tibetan traditional artist was sentenced to two years in jail with hard labor for having photos on his mobile phone of two compatriots who self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule, according to exile sources Saturday.

Ngawang Thupden, 20, was detained in October last year in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), but relatives learned of the prison sentence for “subversion” only four months later, the sources said, citing contacts in the Himalayan region…

…Chinese authorities have been cracking down hard on any efforts by Tibetans to publicize self-immolation protests after steps taken by Beijing to stop the burnings failed. 

Thupden was accused of “subversion, propagating incorrect political messages, and  causing disharmony among ethnic minorities.”

The decadence and corruption associated with [Rightel’s] use outweighs its benefits. It will cause new deviances in our society, which is unfortunately already plagued with deviances.

Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi in a fatwa against Rightel, a 3G mobile operator that’s bringing video calls to Iran. AL Monitor, Fatwa Issued Against 3G Internet Operator in Iran.

FJP: A second Ayatollah says the video calls “jeopardize the public chastity”.

A petition signed by some residents in the city of Qom says that services like Rightel are a part of “enemy culture” and “facilitate access to sin and decadence”.

No, But Ask Me Again Every Time
Via XKCD

No, But Ask Me Again Every Time

Via XKCD

Your Omnidirectional Camera

It’s a prototype but it’s nerd alert cool. Shoot with the camera and it sends the image over wifi to your phone where you can pinch, pan, twirl and explore. 

The developers are waiting to see if there’s interest in it before trying to release it publicly. 

I smell a very successful Kickstarter. — Michael

STUDY: More people than ever use apps!

STUDY: Smartphone users rely on GPS and map functions so they won’t get lost.

STUDY: Small but growing number of people use their tablets as coasters for cold drinks.

STUDY: Men consume a whole lot of porn.

STUDY: More people than ever use emoticons in text messages.

STUDY: Consumers compare prices online while shopping at big box retail stores.

STUDY: Majority of Americans can’t find Mali on a map.

STUDY: Tech blogs and newspapers always happy to publish results of inane studies.

— Adam Penenberg offers alternatives to a recent and unnecessary study which finds that people like to play on their phones while watching TV.

The children and teenagers huddled over their devices at McDonald’s Corp. restaurants and Starbucks Corp. coffee shops across the country underscore the persistence of the Internet gap in education. McDonald’s has 12,000 Wi-Fi-equipped locations in the U.S., and Starbucks has another 7,000. Together, that is more than the roughly 15,000 Wi-Fi-enabled public libraries in the country.

Anton Troianovsky, Wall Street Journal. The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald’s.

Besides being interesting for its numbers, the article above is another good one on the digital divide — the term for the inequality between groups based on their access to the internet and technology.

In the US, Alabama and other nearby states are regularly noted for their low broadband access.

But some are not as concerned as others. See this article from Salon, which postulates that mobile phones may help fix the problem in America’s rural areas:

As far as the “digital divide” is concerned, the smartphone is something of a unique product in the history of personal technology. It simultaneously represents the cutting edge of the technology business — the most computing power packed in the smallest box — and it is the obvious choice for members of any economic class to adopt as the most ounce-for-ounce efficient and economic answer to how to get connected in an era where connectivity is — after food, water and shelter — an almost universal top priority.

Why Do Americans Hate Android And Love Apple? →

ReadWrite’s Dan Lyons points to a disturbing trend in tech journalism as he tries to unwrap why iPhones have such significant US marketshare while the rest of the world runs 75% Android.

Android, goes a coverage tick, is for poor people:

But Apple and its cheerleaders in the States don’t just criticize Android phones; they also criticize Android users, depicting them as low-class people who are uneducated, poor, cheap and too lacking in “taste” (a favorite Apple fanboy word) to pay for an Apple product and instead willing to settle for a low-price knockoff.

See, for example, a recent story by Sam Biddle on Gizmodo called “Android Is Popular Because It’s Cheap, Not Because It’s Good,” illustrated with a photo of a homeless man sleeping next to a shopping cart and bags full of collected cans. Nice touch!… Apparently inspired by this article, John Biggs of TechCrunch picked up the “Android is cheap” meme and ran with it too…

…[I]n America, a noisy chorus of pro-Apple bloggers keeps repeating the mantra about Android being cheap and crappy and second-rate, and people keep believing it and insisting that they must have an iPhone. American consumers have been told that those Android smartphones are hard to use, or complicated, or geeky, or unreliable, and, worst of all, on top of all that, they’re made for poor people. 

And that’s where the rhetoric starts to border on something ugly. Look at what Apple fans were saying in April 2012 when Instagram became available on Android. Cult of Mac had a nice roundup which included sneering tweets about Walmart and “poor peasants” and “riff raff” and “poor people,” but also included these:

  • “It’s like when all the ghetto people started coming to the nice suburbs. Instagram was our nice lil suburb.”
  • “Instagram just got a whole lotta ghetto.”

The italics are mine, and I’ve added them for a reason. Yes, it’s the dreaded G word, and it comes up again in a Dec. 13, 2011 article by Glenn Derene, who wrote that “Android’s Cheap, Low Quality Apps Make It Feel Like A Technological Ghetto.”

Related: Henry Blodget, founder of Business Insider, writes about the horrors of flying economy. Evidently, he couldn’t charge his laptop, there was no wifi and the food was bad.

An inside peek into the Polygon design process →

Via voxmediaproduct:

It’s not every day you get to design a big ass new editorial site from scratch. This is a look into the design process for Polygon, the second of two huge projects tackled by Vox Product in 2012. Be warned: this is a deep look at our process and our work. Grab a beer or three, and join me for a walk through the past.

Like design? Like news? Then read how Vox Media created the gaming culture site Polygon.

Ted Irvine, Vox’s design director, walks through the original creative brief, choosing typefaces, creating the logo, developing the overall brand identity, and designing a responsive site for Web, mobile and tablets. 

(Source: voxmediaproduct)

6 reasons why most journalists are underestimating the mobile revolution →

Via corybe:

Most newsrooms know that mobile is growing fast.  Everyone can see mobile usage (phones and tablets) creeping up on their desktop numbers. For example, The Guardian recently said mobile visits hit 35%, outpacing desktop at certain hours of the day.  A growing handful of media brands — including where I work at Breaking News — have watched mobile soar over desktop in audience.  And we’ve all seen the stories about the unprecedented growth of tablets, the fastest-growing product in the history of consumer electronics.

Soon, mobile will be the primary way people get their news.

If that’s really the case, then why isn’t mobile dominating journalists’ discussions on Twitter?  Packing sessions at journalism conferences?  Sitting at the top of “most popular” story lists on journalism blogs?

I have a few theories:

Cory Bergman is the general manager of NBC News’ Breaking News and points to social media’s ease of use; the overall newness of mobile as a form factor for delivering news; and the potential threat mobile poses for advertising dependent organizations among other factors that many news organization have been slow to enter mobile. 

Read through for his explanations of each.

See also Jason Pontin’s great article from last year in Technology Review about why publishers don’t like apps. This isn’t to say they don’t like mobile. Instead, Pontin explains why TR ditched their native app in favor of HTML5.

Fidgital
Lizzie Skurnick coins a term in the New York Times.
Over at Salon, Katie McDonough reminds us of a recent study “that found smartphone users exhibit actual withdrawal symptoms when forced to abstain from using their devices. The study also found that many subjects felt physical discomfort after not checking their phone for extended periods of time.”
As someone with a New Year’s resolution that no laptops, phones or tablets can enter the bedroom, I’m glad to be able to put a word and idea to it. — Michael

Fidgital

Lizzie Skurnick coins a term in the New York Times.

Over at Salon, Katie McDonough reminds us of a recent study “that found smartphone users exhibit actual withdrawal symptoms when forced to abstain from using their devices. The study also found that many subjects felt physical discomfort after not checking their phone for extended periods of time.”

As someone with a New Year’s resolution that no laptops, phones or tablets can enter the bedroom, I’m glad to be able to put a word and idea to it. — Michael

The Text Message Turns 20
Computerworld: How the SMS got its start in a Danish pizzeria.
Forrester: More than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, or 6 billion SMS messages per day.
Pew Internet: The average US teen sends 60 text messages a day.
Falkvinge: How it costs more to send an SMS to someone next door than the equivalent data information from Mars to Earth.
Ryan Kearney: Why it would cost $35 million to send a 4.6 gig HD video through AT&T via SMS (while roaming).

The Text Message Turns 20

Computerworld: How the SMS got its start in a Danish pizzeria.

Forrester: More than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, or 6 billion SMS messages per day.

Pew Internet: The average US teen sends 60 text messages a day.

Falkvinge: How it costs more to send an SMS to someone next door than the equivalent data information from Mars to Earth.

Ryan Kearney: Why it would cost $35 million to send a 4.6 gig HD video through AT&T via SMS (while roaming).

Getting in Bed with Gadgets: Your Technology is Keeping You Awake 

world-shaker:

Among the key findings:

  • 90% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their smartphones
  • 95% of people use the phone for something just before going to bed
  • Half of people check their phones immediately if they wake up during the night

FJP: Those key findings are all too familiar.

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

Google Launches Worldwide, Mobile Alternate Reality Game

Via AllThingsD:

Meet Ingress, a new free mobile app and alternate reality game made by Google launching today (on Android first, available as soon as it makes it through the Google Play release process).

Ingress is a project of former Google director of geo John Hanke and his Niantic Labs, a start-up team wholly inside of Google…

…Ingress also aims to get people out in the physical world, both for physical activity and to see their surroundings in a new way.

Users can generate virtual energy needed to play the game by picking up units of “XM,” which are collected by traveling walking paths, like a real-world version of Pac-Man. Then they spend the energy going on missions around the world to “portals,” which are virtually associated with public art, libraries and other widely accessible places.

“The concept is something like World of Warcraft, where everyone in world is playing the same game,” Hanke said.

AllThingsD reports that Google plans to eventually turn the game tools into a platform for developers to build upon.

Game site. Ingress on Google Play.

Video: Ingress promo. Run Time ~1:40.

Building USA TODAY’s Election Night Maps
MapBox General Manager Dave Cole walks us through the realtime election mapping platform it created for USA Today for last week’s election.
Via Mapbox:

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, we’ve been fascinated with idea of visualizing realtime election results. On election day starting when voting concludes on the East Coast, newsrooms race to process and visualize vote totals in each of the 50 states, 435 congressional districts, and 3,200 counties across the country. The Associated Press provides a feed of results data aggregated from staff deployed across the country on eight minute intervals. Since nearly all news outlets subscribe to this data, the race to report results first is really about having an incredibly short time to publish, while maintaining a steadfast focus on reliability during what’s often the highest traffic night for news websites. The excitement of the night and availability of a reliable source of fast data make this a really exciting problem to solve.

The stack includes:
Live rendering tile server
Server-side static map image generation
Client-side dynamic image manipulation
SVG vectors with VML fallback
Map Rendering
Geodata Processing
Ultimately, MapBox and USA Today developers then created a JSON API to pull the AP’s XML data in to the application for both Web and mobile display.
Read through to learn how it was done and what tools were used.
Image: iPad view of USA Today’s live election results, via MapBox.

Building USA TODAY’s Election Night Maps

MapBox General Manager Dave Cole walks us through the realtime election mapping platform it created for USA Today for last week’s election.

Via Mapbox:

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, we’ve been fascinated with idea of visualizing realtime election results. On election day starting when voting concludes on the East Coast, newsrooms race to process and visualize vote totals in each of the 50 states, 435 congressional districts, and 3,200 counties across the country. The Associated Press provides a feed of results data aggregated from staff deployed across the country on eight minute intervals. Since nearly all news outlets subscribe to this data, the race to report results first is really about having an incredibly short time to publish, while maintaining a steadfast focus on reliability during what’s often the highest traffic night for news websites. The excitement of the night and availability of a reliable source of fast data make this a really exciting problem to solve.

The stack includes:

  • Live rendering tile server
  • Server-side static map image generation
  • Client-side dynamic image manipulation
  • SVG vectors with VML fallback
  • Map Rendering
  • Geodata Processing

Ultimately, MapBox and USA Today developers then created a JSON API to pull the AP’s XML data in to the application for both Web and mobile display.

Read through to learn how it was done and what tools were used.

Image: iPad view of USA Today’s live election results, via MapBox.