According to official Chinese stats, make of them what you will, there are now 457 million internet users in China. They are said to include 450m who have broadband, and 303m who use mobile internet. 304m play online games, 140m use online banking, and 63m microblog. These users are estimated to spend an average of 18 hours a week online. As a benchmark, the current US population is estimated at 312m.
What the Heck is Shadow DOM? Browser developers realized that coding the appearance and behavior of HTML elements completely by hand is a) hard and b) silly. So they sort of cheated. They created a boundary between what you, the Web developer can reach and what’s considered implementation details, thus inaccessible to you. The browser however, can traipse across this boundary at will.
Where do you think Apple’s iPhone is the most popular? Where do Nokia’s Symbian phones dominate? How is it going for Android in different parts of the world? What about Blackberry? We’re going to answer all of those questions and more in this article, which will closely examine mobile OS usage across the world.
Sea Ice Skating, it's all fun and games until a passing tugboat breaks up all the ice leaving you stranded on a thin sheet of frozen water! [more inside]
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
Angry Birds, the iPhone gaming sensation (and possible movie), is now available on Android for free in ad supported form. Not got a fancy phone? Maybe you can play the home game.
"This just blew my mind out of my nose and onto my keyboard." A spectacular show of 3D mapping light projections on 3D surfaces at the last Mobile World Congress presented by Alcatel-Lucent. Originally found via this blog:
Love to finger paint with pixels? Or do you prefer the stylus for your stylizing? Either way, the International Association of Mobile Digital Artists beckons (gestures?). It all started with a group of enthusiasts on Flickr (Flickr group).
Membership is free. So is registration for the Mobile Art Conference 2010 (NYC), but they're accepting donations. [more inside]
Membership is free. So is registration for the Mobile Art Conference 2010 (NYC), but they're accepting donations. [more inside]
The Rolling Shutter Effect: a mobile phone camera is fairly quick, but when the objects you are recording move faster than the scan rate, cool things happen. Mucho previously at MeFi.
In February of 2008, Microsoft acquired the maker of the Sidekick, Danger Inc., for $500 million dollars and rolled the company into its Premium Mobile Experiences division, led by Roz Ho. The Sidekick retained a dedicated following after the merger despite some hiccups along the way. Twenty-six months after the acquisition, Microsoft unveiled the KIN One and KIN Two devices which would launch in May. The devices were backed by a huge and mildly controversial marketing push aimed at the young, hip social-networking addict niche. Reviews were generally negative and often cited needless complexity, software that was lacking basic functions and no support for third party applications. The devices ran a fork of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's rewrite of their aging mobile operating system that had been rapidly losing ground to RIM, Apple and Google. Just seven weeks after launch, the KIN is dead. Engadget has some insight into the failure and the subsequent shake-up at Microsoft.
M-Pesa, the mobile platform based money transfer system launched by Safaricom in Kenya, is changing the landscape of money in Africa, and around the world. Competition is heating up even while the service expands internationally allowing transactions to occur between Africa, UK and Asia. Bankers, regulators, startups and operators all want a piece of the pie as even the phone manufacturers themselves get into this potentially lucrative business.
A touch screen you don't touch. From Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, a gesture-controlled handheld device that responds thereminically to the motion of a finger held above the screen. Watch to the end for the remarkable 3-d painting app. From the people who brought you the pitching, batting, and dribbling robots. Previous Ishikawa awesomeness on Metafilter.
Flash Mobs Take Violent Turn in Philadelphia
[H]undreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property. . . . The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class. Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts. In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.Bill Wasik is not proud.
The New Microsoft Smartphone. Microsoft has revealed their latest Windows Mobile Smartphone, today, dubbed the Windows Phone 7 Series. Videos from the conference. They've announced the new phone will be available on most of the major carriers. [more inside]
Might the consumer banking revolution be coming? "Yodlee is the engine behind the online banking operations of most banks in America — and, for that matter, of mint.com... and it's now going to open up that database to software developers around the world." With mobile internet adoption soaring, the birth of iBanking may not be that far behind. An upgrade of payment and financial information systems could be closer than you think. [more inside]
Quentin Tarantino is the latest American celebrity to be featured in a TV commercial for SoftBank Mobile Corp, a Japanese telecommunications and media company. Tarantino stars as “Uncle Tara-chan” in the bizarre and very popular “White family” commercial series. The Whites consist of the "Mom", the daughter “Me” (a Softbank shop saleswoman played by popular singer/actress Aya Ueto), the "Older Brother" (played by African American actor Dante Carter), and the father, Otosan, who happens to be a white Hokkaido-ken dog named Kaikun.
In the light of the Microsoft/Sidekick data disaster, it might be a good time to take a look at just what's happening with Microsoft's half billion dollar investment in Danger. Despite already having a mobile phone operating system (Windows Mobile) and an entire division (Zune) just itching to go head to head with Apple's iPhone. Microsoft decided to turn Danger into a skunkworks for "Project Pink," named, apparently, after the pop star. Now, According to MobileCrunch, the project is two years late, most of the team has left or been fired, Microsoft hasn't managed to create an app store, and the demoralized team is more enamored of their iPhones than their own product. [more inside]
In Chinese, Shanzhai (山寨) literally means "mountain stronghold" and connotes a place with limited accessibility -- i.e. beyond the reach of authorities. In the past couple of years, it has come to refer to the manufacture of illicit tech gadgets by unauthorized factories: show us your shan zhai ji! But shanzhai can be used more broadly to describe knockoff culture, cheeky brand subversion, grassroots industrial creativity, and a certain DIY ethos. The latter may be best exemplified in these videos of a "Shanzhai Glider" in action. Apologies if the Chinese sites are slow-loading or unreachable for Western audiences. Mouse over links for descriptions, if so inclined.
Need a little Tolstoy while you're waiting in line? How about some Mark Twain on the subway? Booksinmyphone puts - surprise! - books in your phone, for free.
Ever spend a few moments during the day idly mucking about with your cellphone? You're part of a new trend known as micro-boredom - which now presents "a significant opportunity for a publisher to exploit readership and advertising consumption". Get away from the bombardment of advertising and find some sacred space, or just turn off the phone.
Can social networking be used to effect positive social change? Ushahidi (meaning "testimony" in Swahili) is one such project that harnesses mobile technology to empower local citizens to report on crucial and crisis situations in their area. [more inside]
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
In a recent Roundtable on Creative Capitalism hosted by TIME, CK Prahalad, author of "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" brings to our attention the insight that "the essence of poverty is the assymetry of information" and that this asymmetry was now changing due to the availability and affordability of mobile phones in developing nations. Jeffery Sachs supports him by pointing out that the digital divide was being closed by market forces not civic efforts. Global leader Nokia has already leapt into the breach by opening a Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya in order to develop concepts and products that are of value and relevance for those at the Base of the Pyarmid. The ubiquitious little cellphone has now been spotlighted as a key tool for poverty alleviation, although the debate continues. [previously]
toneshared is a library of free mobile phone ringtones made by electronica/alternative musicians. From the subtle to the mashed to the downright annoying.
The Evolution of Computer & Video Games (Google video) The Evolution of Computer Commercials (video) The evolution of mobile phones (video)
The Nokia Morph concept phone is currently featured in The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind” exhibition (warning: flash interface). This 'self-cleaning' shape-shifting mobile follows Nokia's other recent phone concept, the environmentally-friendly Remade, unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this month.
"Thanks to tremendous progress achieved by the General Packet Radio System (GPRS), the wireless communication protocol, it is now possible for Africans to send articles and images (still and moving) about events taking place in their countries without using a computer and without having internet connection. Under those circumstances, the bigger the number of people expressing their opinions through that technology, the stronger becomes democracy, and the more valuable is the contribution to good governance efforts in Africa" - Voices of Africa, Mobile stories and videos from Africa. Quote above from article Mobile Reporters in Africa.
cell mobile phone helped police find the body of missing student Kelly Nolan. "The average citizen is not aware that they are carrying a location-tracking device in their pocket..."
Bridging the digital divide - The ubiquitious cellphone has been recognized as a key tool for the social and economic development for many at the bottom of the pyramid - Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Yunus' GrameenPhone received an award in a category that didn't exist last year - "Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development" for their Healthline project at the recently concluded 3GSM Congress in Barcelona last week. Another winner was the ultra low cost Motofone which was designed after two years of research into the needs of the rural and urban poor in India. We need many more such applications available for the "other 4 billion" if this bridge is to be built across the divide.
The mobile content market is big but the mobile service companies control the bottleneck of data to your phone and may well be holding the industry back. A NZ site has launched offering a platform for mobile content producers to sell direct to mobile content consumers globally: Voeveo.
Using a physiological sensor called the SenseWear by BodyMedia, researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have created the XPod. The XPod "learns" a user's preferences, activities and even emotions, and then selects the most appropriate music to accompany any given situation. The mood ring for the new millennium.
Bonkers Candy was my all time favorite, especially for the commercials and the idea that everytime I chomped it, a gigantic piece of fruit was trying to crush me from the sky. But, the real mystery is : WHAT HAPPENED TO THE "BONKERS MOBILE" ? Anyone ?
Dead Ringers: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No" and "no" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war (despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or hack our old phones.
Alexander Calder's Circus. A movie by Carlos Vilardebo, in four parts: one two, three, four, [YouTube]. Calder developed his own one-man circus, with tiny performers made of "cork, wire, wood, yarn, paper, string, and cloth," carefully engineered to walk tightropes, dance, tame lions, lift weights, and engage in gymnastics and acrobatics in and above the ring. Acting as omniscient ringmaster, Calder would manipulate the wire performers while his wife wound circus music on the gramophone in the background. via [more inside]
Mobile Cinema: From the little to the big; DIY to HOLY (pics) COW (pics)! Coming attractions has never seemed so literal.
A nightvision camera you phone up This seems to be a wireless CCTV camera that you phone up with your mobile and watch what is going on. It says it works in the dark. Now what would anybody use that for? As you dial it I guess it has it's own sim. "Pupillo", err horrid name.
Tin foil hats no longer required! Apparently mobile phone use *doesn't* cause cancer. We'd like to thank the MMF and the GSMA for funding this study along with the EU. I'll still not get one though...
$110 gets you last 100 calls made by any cellphone. Apparently it is legal.
The Crazy Frog / Axel F Song (previously mentioned on the Blue) is about to make history by being the first ringtone / pop music crossover to successfully invade the British charts. How successful? A little band named Coldplay also have a new single out; as it stands, Crazy Frog is outselling their effort by a factor of 4 to 1. People, this is serious. Prepare for some major league irritation to descend upon us. The success of this single will only spawn a legion of imitators, and that can only lead to the dark side. As Malcolm McLaren, ex Sex Pistols manager puts it: "Listen to this song and you can hear the death knell of the traditional music industry."
Micromovie awards 2005 - the mission: produce a 90-second movie filmed entirely on a mobile phone (dubbing of better quality audio permitted). Dozens of films are available here for viewing. Sponsored, or course, by a major phone manufacturer. Don't let that distract you from the cute little films, though)
Blogger Mobile. Blogger introduces mobile-phone-to-weblog posting. Send an MMS/email message from your cellphone to the specified email address, and Go.Blogger auto-generates a new random blogspot URL hooked to your contact information. (The URL can be changed or merged with your existing weblogs when you "claim" your number on login.) More from Blogger Buzz (with jingle), Blogger Help, Bizstone, and Youngpup. What do you think of this compared to "moblogging" via Flickr?
Nokia's iPod killer. Nokia today introduced their new N-series multimedia-centric phones (dropping the 4-digit model numbers they've been using for ever). The N91 in particular looks like it's shooting straight for the iPod crown: 4GB hard drive, 3G, global GSM, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, USB mass storage, FM radio and a claimed 12.5 hrs of battery time. The N90 isn't too shabby either.
I dont know whether to be upset or envious? Dont know about the kid market but i could totally see this for "older" (read my mom) consumers.
Will mobile phone porn be banned before reaching the mainstream? Startup Companies as well as established veterans alike have been itching to make a buck from the mobile market. Will they ever get the chance? Not in Israel.
Chris-calls! What if you received Chris Rock's old cell phone number and his celebrity friends kept on calling you? "amazing entertainment" :D [via Gulfstream]
Sidetalkin provides humorous photos that force us to ask the question: Has Nokia's NGage redefined phone ergonomics or simply provided a humorous diversion for a slow Friday afternoon?