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Entries in text messaging (6)

Thursday
Apr212011

"This SMS Message Will Self-Destruct."

Thanks to Indigo Secure SMS by Aumne Inc., texters can send the most senstive information without fear of their texts ending up in the wrong hands.

The app is installed on both the sender and recipient's phones. When a secure message is sent, Indigo SMS on the sender's phone scrambles the text and sends the message as a regular SMS. Indigo SMS on the recipient's phone decrypts and displays the message. There are no servers used in the process and holds no private data; scrambled text is sent as a regular SMS using the customer's mobile carrier network. Indigo SMS is currently supported on Blackberry (RIM), Symbian, Windows Mobile, and J2ME platforms. Android OS will be supported soon.

The Auto-Delete feature automatically deletes the message after the recipient has read the message preventing them from saving the message on their phones or forwarding the message to others. A password lock to the application protects personal text messages from casual or intentional snooping when the phone is left unattended.

For a limited time, mobile subscribers can get Indigo SMS free for a year by visiting http://m.aumne.com.

Monday
Mar142011

In Japan, Smartphones Change the Face of Disaster

Last year's devastating earthquake in Haiti left more than 300,000 people dead and an estimated 1 million homeless. The damage and deathtoll were intensified by the country's lack of infrastructure. And the utter chaos that followed the quake was due, in part, to citizens' inability to reach each out, find loved ones or contact authorities. 

In sharp contrast, Japan's response to last week's unimaginable earthquake and tsunami is highly advanced, and reliant on technology. Of course, Japan is on the leading-edge of technology, and its citizens rely heavily on their mobile phones to stay connected. 

Following the earthquake last week, landlines went down and people turned to their smartphones -- not only to reach out to each other and the world, but also to gain information from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. CNET has reported that overwhelmed cellular companies were forced to deny upward of 80 percent of calls in the first few days of the disaster. Not surprisingly, text messaging was also hampered. 

The ways in which mobile phones and social media have changed our world are fascinating. These technologies not only help people mired in a crisis; they also help the humanitarian cause. 

To make a $10 donation that will help the people of Japan recover from this horrific tragedy, text one (or several) of the following organizations:

  • ADRA Relief: text SUPPORT to 85944
  • American Red Cross Relief: text REDCROSS to 90999
  • Convoy of Hope: text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555
  • GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555
  • International Medical Corps: text MED to 80888
  • Save the Children Federation, Inc.: text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222
  • World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals: text WAVE to 50555
  • World Vision Inc.: Text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222
Monday
Jan242011

Practice Safe Text: Get This App!

Don't end up like this girl, who texted her way right into a mall fountain.

Get Type 'n' Go, a new app available through the Apple store that allows you to see where you're going while you text. Using your iPhone's camera, Type 'n' Go displays your text and your camera's view simultaneously, giving you a clear picture of what's in front of you. 

Simple but brilliant!

Friday
Jan072011

Do Police Need a Warrant to Search Your Cellphone? It Depends on Where You Live

 

Thanks to an interesting, ongoing court debate, the privacy of your cellphone is now on trial. 

On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that police officers don't need a warrant to examine the cellphone of someone under arrest. Not surprisingly, the move has privacy advocates up in arms.

But if you're not a Californian, the privacy of your texts, pics and voicemail may still be protected. In Texas, for example, police are encouraged (but not required) to obtain a warrant before searching a cellphone. And the Ohio Supreme Court has decided that warrants are absolutely necessary for cellphone searches. 

Which state is right? Is California overstepping its bounds? The issue probably won't be resolved until the U.S. Supreme Court picks it up.

Thursday
Dec092010

911 Services Modernize with Texting Capabilities

OMG! The Federal Communications Commission is finally entering the 21st century.

The organization will begin enabling citizens to report crimes to 911 via text message, starting this month. Eventually, they'll even be able to stream video from their mobile phones to emergency call centers.

This is a long-overdue update, considering 70 percent of the annual 230 million emergency calls are made from mobile phones, according to the FCC. Also, being able to report a crime via text or video might be ideal in certain situations, when the victim needs to remain quiet.

For example, during the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send texts to 911 that local dispatchers never received. The FCC recognizes that if these messages had gone through, first responders may have arrived on the scene faster with firsthand intelligence about the life-threatening situation that was unfolding.

“911 is an indispensible, live-saving tool,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a press release. “But today’s 911 system doesn’t support the communication tools of tomorrow. Even though mobile phones are the device of choice for most 911 callers, and we primarily use our phones to text, right now, you can’t text 911.  It’s time to bring 911 into the digital age.”

The FCC's next-generation plans for 911 will enable emergency calls to be placed by devices, rather than human beings. The FCC says these devices will include environmental sensors capable of detecting chemicals, highway cameras, security cameras, alarms, personal medical devices, telematics, and consumer electronics in automobiles.

Read the full news release here.