Items tagged with SMS

Text messaged every single person on earth already? An Australian website is offering you the chance to send a text message into space. You have until 07:00 GMT Monday, Aug. 24th, 2009 to sign up. The site, HelloFromEarth.net, is accepted SMS style messages (meaning 160 characters or less) which will eventually be sent into space, directed at Gliese 581d, "a planet outside our Solar System which may support life." Expected delivery date is December 2029 give or take a few months, the website says. Let's be honest, as well: they're not really using text messaging technology to send the message. There's also no guarantee of a reply. They might just "block" our number, so to speak. The NASA/CSIRO... Read more...
Ever wonder what would happen if you texted some incomprehensible message to "911?" If you're a resident of Black Hawk Co. in Iowa, you'll probably get some attention--pronto! This week, an emergency call center in the basement of the county jail in Waterloo, Iowa became the first call center in the United States to accept and welcome emergency text messages sent to "911."Not shockingly, call centers nationwide are now looking into what it'll take to follow suit, and it honestly, it's about time. Texting has become a mainstream form of communication these days, and thus, it makes sense that 911 centers would have the capability to receive emergency messages sent in via SMS. Indeed, we can absolutely... Read more...
One day after security experts announced their iPhone SMS hack research at the Black Hat Security Conference, Apple released a patch to address the flaw. Experts revealed on Thursday that malformed SMS messages could be used to hijack an iPhone. Originally, an O2 spokesperson was the first to reveal the upcoming fix, noting that the patch would be available Saturday through iTunes. "We will be communicating to customers both through the website and proactively. "We always recommend our customers update their iPhone with the latest software and this is no different." Apple delivered the fix sooner than expected, however, with the new OS version, 3.0.1 becoming available by mid-day in the U.S.... Read more...
A chink in the iPhone's armor? Say it ain't so! During a presentation at the SyScan conference in Singapore, security researcher Charlie Miller made clear that there was a significant vulnerability in the iPhone's SMS system, a flaw that could "allow an attacker to remotely install and run unsigned software code with root access to the phone."Of course, it's likely that this won't be exploited en masse, but the sheer fact that so many iPhones are out there makes this a fairly serious risk. According to Miller, the attack "exploits a weakness in the way iPhones handle text messages received via SMS (Short Message Service)," but due to a prearranged agreement with Apple to keep the details out... Read more...
For decades now, roaming charges have ate at the nerves of travelers. If there's one thing that has always been classified as a "rip-off," it's cellphone roaming charges, particularly international charges. No matter which carrier you have at home, you can rest assured that you'll be healthily gouged while talking, texting or surfing while in foreign lands.Thankfully, at least some higher-ups are finally realizing just how absurd these charges are becoming, and the European Union is stepping up to do something about it. Starting this week, making a call or text across the set of EU nations will be much less expensive. Tariff cuts are being implemented across the region, which will save callers... Read more...
For all the parents out there who can't stand to see their kids text during meals, during family reunions and during study sessions, here's a note: that obsession could land them $50,000 and fifteen solid minutes of fame. Just eight months after getting her first cell phone, Iowa's own Kate Moore managed to out-text 20 other finalists from around America in the LG-sponsored championship round. The event has become someone of a spectacle since launching just three years ago. With SMS usage on the rise, texting has become a worldwide method of communication. No longer just for kicks, texting now contains serious messages and heartfelt emotions. Kate averages right around 14,000 texts per month,... Read more...
If you need any proof that while some states have such laws, we should probably have a federal law against text messaging while driving (or maybe even some technology), here's a great example. This bus driver, in San Antonio, TX, is trying to text, while driving disabled passengers to their destination. He pulls the phone out, and starts texting, and boom: right into the rear of another car. Fortunately, it was all captured on tape, and the guy has lost his job. Let's hope he doesn't get another one driving anyone anywhere.  While this didn't result in fatalities, the Metrolink train disaster from 2008 certainly did, and it should be a reminder that not just drivers, but anyone operating... Read more...
Well, it was too good to last. Infinite SMS, the iPhone app which offered an infinite number of SMS messages by utilizing the SMS chat feature of Google Talk, is no more, as Google has closed off those APIs from third-party developers. To be clear, Google’s free SMS feature isn’t gone. They’ve only blocked non-Google apps like Infinite SMS from utilizing it via any APIs. Free text messages through the Gmail web interface, which we've written about previously, still work fine. Here's the statement from Google, which Innerfence, developers of Infinite SMS, posted at their site: Infinite SMS is a third party app that has been using Google technology to provide free SMS for users, while we were paying... Read more...
Google is having a bad few days. First it labeled the entire Internet as malware, then it sent legit mail to the Spam folder as a side effect of the first issue. But things continue to go wrong for Google, as last night users of the SMS Search feature received message after message ... after message in return. The SMS Search feature allows you to text a query and receive an SMS response in return. According to threads (e.g., 1, 2, 3) in their Mobile Help forum, users were getting multiple text messages in response, and even sending STOP in reply (which should stop it) merely resulted in multiple replies from Google saying the service wouldn't be sending any more messages. A response from Zeke... Read more...
Technology created to prevent phone use while driving has been hanging around for years, but apparently, there are still quite a few issues to be worked out before it's completely viable. A couple of products in particular -- which are generally designed to disable a driver's cellphone in order to prevent calling and texting while switching lanes -- have been both lauded and criticized of late. Dallas-based WQN and Canada's Aegie Mobility have each concocted a solution that relies on GPS data in order to effectively disable moving cellphones. In essence, the GPS information feeds speed readings into a software application, and if the handset (and thus, the owner) is traveling at "driving speeds,"... Read more...
A phishing scam, in 140 characters or less? That's what we have here, as a phishing scam apparently hit Twitter on Saturday. According to Twitter, If you receive an email notice saying you’ve received a Direct Message with a link that redirects to what seems like Twitter.com, be careful about entering your Twitter credentials. Instead, look closely at the URL to see if it’s not really Twitter but a sketchy phishing site like https://twitter.access-logins.com. If this has you feeling a bit weirded out, feel free to change your Twitter password. If you get the direct message in question, you'll get a message like the following, which Chris Pirillo received. hey! check out this funny blog about... Read more...
Text messaging may be more popular then making phone calls, but as of the New Year, California drivers have to resort to the old school style of talking to people, at least while driving. In September of 2008 California banned text messaging while driving, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Lest California drivers forget, they still need to use a hands-free setup or headset while behind the wheel, as well. Studies have shown as many as 30% of cell phone users text while driving. And before BlackBerry users get their hopes up, emailing counts as well. A violation will result in a $20 fine for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. Yes, yes, it's such a low fine that some will probably ignore... Read more...
Earlier this DriveAssist unveiled its cell phone stopping tech, software designed to detect when a cell phone is moving at car speeds, at which point the phone would essentially be disabled. A new, competing technology called Key2SafeDriving aims to do the same thing, but in this case relying on hardware as well as software.Key2SafeDriving has connects the car key to a cell phone via Bluetooth or RFID. When the key is used to drive the car, a signal is sent to the phone putting it into "driving mode." This is how it works: A car key is configured to wirelessly connect with a cell phone through Bluetooth or RFID. To turn on the engine, the driver has to either slide the key out or push a button... Read more...
In October, Google toyed around with a feature that let you send SMS text messages from Gmail. After hitting a few snags, the company ended up pulling it. Now, this feature is back, and it appears it’s here to stay. This new Labs feature combines IM and texting, allowing you to chat from your computer and making it possible for your friends to receive your messages on their mobile phones. To check out this feature, click Settings and then go to the Labs tab. Scroll down until you see Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat and then select Enable and Save Changes. According to the Google blog, Google is trying this feature with cell phones in the United States for the time being. Technically speaking, you... Read more...
A British surgeon volunteering in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa used text messaging to help him perform an unfamiliar surgical procedure, saving a teenager's life. David Nott was volunteering for the French medical charity Medicin Sans Frontierescame (A.K.A. Doctors Without Borders) and when he first saw J he knew he was dying, and needed an operation quickly. J's arm had been nearly shot off in a battle between the Congolese army and rebels. This would require a difficult procedure: a forequarter amputation, which Nott was not familiar with. However, his collegaue, Meirion Thomas, is one of only a handful of U.K. surgeons who is. Nott sent him an SMS, and Thomas replied, with step-by-step... Read more...
Oh, well. It sounded so good, and it would have been, too: Gmail adding, through its Labs, the ability to send SMS messages through Gmail Chat and at the same time associate a permanent phone number with your account. Normally, a temporary ID is set, but this would have enabled you and your friends to SMS back and forth without worry. You would have been assigned a number in the 406 area code once you sent your first SMS message. However, Google found a bug, and had to pull back the feature. According to their blog post: Oh snap. Last night, we started rolling out a new feature to Gmail Labs that lets you send SMS text messages right from Gmail. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you... Read more...
Before you say, "So What?" we are well aware that you could send an SMS from email by using an address of the form number@att.txt.net (we're also aware AIM supported this).  But when you did that, you only got a temporary ID that your friend could text you back on for a limited time. This new feature will give you a permanent "number" they can use all the time for SMS, which goes directly to your Gmail Chat.So, how does it work?  Well, first of all it's a Google Labs feature.  Unlike Mail Goggles, we like this one.  Go into your Gmail Settings, then Labs, and enable the functionality (most will not see this feature yet, at the time of this writing).  Go into chat, type... Read more...
A Pew Internet and American Life Project study shows that not only has text message speak reached schoolwork, so has Jerry Yang-ish lack of capitalization!Teens may spend a lot of time texting and IMing, but they don't consider those short exchanges to be writing. If it's not assigned to them through school, they have a hard time thinking about it as legit.These are among the findings of a national phone survey of 700 young people (ages 12 to 17) and their parents conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the National Commission on Writing last fall, the results of which were released Thursday. Eight focus groups in four cities also were questioned in the summer of 2007.The... Read more...
It's always great when we can catch up with China, isn't it?  After all, China used SMS alerts to warn citizens over Typhoon Kaemi in 2006.The plan stems from the Warning Alert and Response Network Act, a 2006 federal law that requires upgrades to the emergency alert system. The act requires the Federal Communications Commission to develop ways to alert the public about emergencies.“The ability to deliver accurate and timely warnings and alerts through cellphones and other mobile services is an important next step in our efforts to help ensure that the American public has the information they need to take action to protect themselves and their families prior to, and during, disasters and... Read more...
This is even worse than a pay toilet! In Finland, you'd better have a cell phone if nature calls. As a result of continued and endemic vandalism, the Finnish Road Administration has developed a system which allows travellers to open the doors to roadside toilets only by sending a SMS message to the number given by the Road Administration.The new system was introduced in January in the rest areas along Highway 1 in Paimio and Salo near Turku, following numerous breakages, arson attempts, and thefts in the buildings housing public conveniences for motorists.In reality it makes sense.  Perhaps this will convince the few people we know who do not have a cell phone it's time to change.... Read more...
Not something you could get away with in the U.S., obviously, but Islamic law is something different. After missing a call from her husband on her mobile phone, Iqbal Abul Nasr received a text message from him saying "I divorce you because you didn't answer your husband," Al-Akhbar said.In line with sharia (Islamic law) men do not need to go to court to file for divorce. A unilateral declaration of divorce by a man, repeated three times, formally ends a marriage.It was the third time Abul Nasr, an engineer from Cairo, received a divorce text message from her husband, prompting her to seek a legal decision from the a family court on the status of her marriage. This practice has already been outlawed... Read more...
Dominos Pizza has been experimenting with different forms of digitally ordering pizza in recent years.  It all started with opening a web-site to take online orders (something Papa John’s Pizza made quite popular), then moved on to the infamous /pizza command in EverQuest 2, and now has moved on to the wonderful world of SMS.The big question is just who is going to be the target audience for such a method.  It'd seem that anyone with an SMS-capable phone could just make a call, unless the phones at their local Dominos are too busy. “Yes, if you get a passion for pepperoni when the pubs throw out, just go to your phone and send a message. Your pizza will then arrive from one of Dominos' 470... Read more...
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