Mortal iPhone

Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 6:58 | Posted in USA | Leave a comment

It seems that some people would rather die than stay with their cell phone contracts. Or at least pretend to be dead. The Washington Post writes that Corey Taylor sent Verizon a fake death certificate to avoid paying 175 $ for canceling his contract.

According to the Post, a large number of Americans are unhappy with the services of their carriers. Most of them are bound to the carriers by long term contracts. Complaints against the cancellation fees are reported to have sharply increased since iPhone hit market in the US.

While not everybody would perhaps go to such extremes as  Corey Taylor, one might just ask if iPhone should not be banned as dangerous. It could turn out to be mortal among cell phone users.

Sorry, wrong number

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 12:07 | Posted in Canada, odd | Leave a comment

For some odd reason, today seems to be a day for weird stories from Canada. According to CBC, St John deputy mayor Michelle Hooton changed her cell number for 18 months ago but her old number is still hanging in the city’s web site. 14 year old Trevor Curry is less than amused because he keeps getting an endless amount of calls intended to the deputy mayor. Mr Curry has been unfortunate enough to get the deputy mayor’s purged number assigned to his cell phone.

This is the best part of the story:

The city’s IT department has been made aware of the phone flub, and say they’ll fix it as soon as Hooton confirms her new number.

Since the number was changed in the first place because the city bought BlackBerrys for its councillors, it is reasonable to assume that they wanted it to result as a better communicating not only between councillors and citizens but also within the administration. That does not seem to have happened as the IT guys are saying that they still need a confirmation from the deputy mayor about what is already hitting international news.

Indian communists ban cell phones and cockfights

Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 15:12 | Posted in India | Leave a comment

According to Cellular-news, the maoist orientated Communist Party of India is conducting what they call “people’s war” in some parts of the country. They have reportedly gained effective control over some regions of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. Terror activities are also reported in Bihar and some tribal borderlands in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Orissa.

The communists have posted threats in villages under their control banning among other things use of cell phones and cockfights. The posters say that ignoring their commands “will not be forgiven”.

So now I know where to go if I should get enough of this endless mobile babbling allover in public places.

The all mighty cell phone

Sunday, October 22, 2006 at 22:13 | Posted in absurd, Canada, odd | Leave a comment

Cellular news writes about a Palm Canada/Leger Marketing study about Canadians and their cell phones. Among some of the oddish findings of the survey were these:

  • One in 10 cell-phone users would rather lose their mother-in-law than their cell-phone, while five per cent of respondents would rather give up their right to vote than their cell-phone.
  • Another three per cent of cell-phone users would rather give up their pet than their phone, followed by two per cent who would be willing to give up their driver’s license or their current job in order to keep their phone.

Having no cell phone but neither a mother-in-law, a pet nor a driver’s license, I obviously lack competence to value those results. But if I had to choose one of the above, I guess it would be the all mighty cellular. At least you can turn it off, unlike a mother-in-law, a pet or a driver’s license.

I wonder what those people were thinking who said they would rather give up their voting rights. Would they be happy to live in a country where the government was replaced by a coalition of phone manufacturers and operators?

Cellular news does not tell if the survey asked if the cell phone owners would rather give up practising sex than their cell phones. That result would be interesting to learn.

Connecting people to corruption

Friday, August 4, 2006 at 22:22 | Posted in corruption, eu, Finland, Journalism, Media | 4 Comments
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The Danish paper Berlingske Tidende writes that Nokia offered 60 Brussels based journalists to “borrow” their E61 mobile phone for the duration of the Finnish EU presidency while the journalists were visiting Finland early July at the expense of the Finnish government. 25 of the journalists accepted the “loan” of the hand held device. The market value of the latest Nokia cellular is around 400 €.

Berlingske quotes Nokia spokeswoman Riitta Mard as saying that the company wishes to provide the journalists covering the Finnish EU presidency “a chance to communicate” and test their top model phone. The journalists are expected to either return the cellular or pay for it at the end of the Finnish presidency by 31st December 2006.

Nokia did not, however, ask the journalists to sign a document that they have received the phone which may just make it a bit tricky to get them back or demand them to be paid for. Connecting people to corruption, perhaps? If you happen to see articles relating to Nokia written by Brussels based journalists covering the Finnish presidency, it may be advisable to take them with a sound suspicion.

EU calls for roaming caps

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 21:08 | Posted in eu | Leave a comment
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Cellular-news writes that the EU Comission has called for caps on roaming fees to be put in place by the summer of 2007. Local cell calls made abroad should not cost more than 0,33 € plus VAT and international calls no more than 0,49 € plus VAT. The caps still need to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU member countries.

The proposition faces rigorous resistance by the mobile phone industry. Rob Conway, chief executive of the London-based GSM Association says:

The commission’s plans would represent a far-reaching and unprecedented intervention in a market.

The Comission has for years asked the operators to voluntarily cut their roaming charges. Basically, the industry have themselves to blame for risking the EU caps. But baring in mind the amount of paperwork needed for any EU regulation to take effect, I am not going to believe that the roaming costs will be capped until I see it. And I certainly do not believe it would happen within a year.

Minister resigns by SMS

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at 8:28 | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment
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Cellular-news writes that the East Timorese foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta has resigned. Now, there is nothing special in a minister resigning. That happens in the best of governments, not to mention East Timor where the government does not appear to be in charge of the country.

This incident is special because Mr. Ramos-Horta sent his resignation to prime minister Mari Alkatiri by an SMS-mesaage. The prime minister accepted the resignation. That happened by SMS, too.

Four whealers more likely to break law

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 0:20 | Posted in great britain, it, traffic | Leave a comment

A survey shows that drivers of four wheel drive vehicles in London are four times as likely to ignore the law by talking to a cellphone without a hands-free kit than drivers of other cars, cellular-news writes. Four whealers were also more often than others detected to ignore the law compelling drivers to wear a seat belt. Among the drivers of four wheal engine cars, those who broke one of the laws were also more likely to break the other.

The report finds the pattern to be consistent with the theory of risk compensation:

Although four wheel drive vehicles are safer in a crash, their owners may be placing themselves and other road users at increased risk of injury.

The study was limited to private passenger cars. According to hearsay evidence, drivers of delivery vans would be even more likely to ramble into their cells without hands free equipment.

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