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Published: 2010-06-13T08:14:12+01:00


Iran sends SMS warning to protestors


Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has been sending threatening SMS text messages to people in Tehran and elsewhere in advance of anticipated anti-government demonstrations to mark the anniversary of protests last June. Iran Focus reports. The message, which has the Ministry's emergency phone number, 113, reads, "Dear citizen, according to received information, you have been influenced by the destabilising propaganda which the media affiliated with foreign countries have been disseminating. In case of any illegal action and contact with the foreign media, you will be charged as a criminal consistent with the Islamic Punishment Act and dealt with by the Judiciary". Read full article. Image from Payvand.

Border Patrol Agents recruiting texters


U.S. Border Patrol agents are asking residents, campers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to send anonymous text messages to report suspicious people they come across in the lightly populated area from Washington to Montana. ... Immigrant rights groups say they are worried because similar efforts have devolved into racial and ethnic profiling. [via The Spokesman]

Reporting on the Gulf oil spill from your cell phone


As the Gulf oil spill spreads, news about it is coming from all kinds of places -- including regular people with cell phones. CNN reports on the ways that citizens can participate in "crowdsourced" reporting efforts about this unfolding disaster and response efforts. The Oil Spill Crisis Map, a project of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (an environmental advocacy group) and Tulane University students, includes hundreds of field reports filed by people throughout the Gulf region. This map was built using the free open-source software Ushahidi, which was created in Kenya in 2008 specifically with cell phones in mind. You can submit a spill-related report from a cell phone or computer: Text message (SMS) or multimedia message (MMS): Send your message to 504-272-7OIL. Text messaging works on even the most basic cell phones. Related: -- Clickatell and Ushahidi assist with support for Haiti -- Cell phones and radios help save lives after Haiti earthquake -- Texts, Tweets Saving Haitians From the Rubble -- Haiti. Ushahidi offers SMS too help people find each other -- Crisis mapping brings online tool to Haitian disaster relief effort

Bars Turn to Texting to Warn of Rowdy Patrons


Bar owners and the police in Portland have started a text messaging system to alert one another when a patron is removed from a bar, is overly belligerent or is seen fighting. The texts will include the person’s name, if it is known, a physical description or photo, and what the person was doing. The New York Times reports. The idea to start a “text tree,” as it is being called, came out of a security meeting of bar and nightclub owners this year. It is modeled after a video system Las Vegas casinos use to alert one another when people are cheating or gambling illegally. Participants thought text messaging would be the easiest way to relay the information, since most employees carry a cellphone and can quickly see the message. “It’s an extra set of eyes,” said Jeff Nappi, a bartender at Fore Play, a popular sports bar on Fore Street. Read full article.

Is the World Cup Bringing Down Twitter?


The 2010 World Cup in South Africa started today, and Twitter is already seeing huge traffic from fans all over the world chiming in, with up to 150,000 tweets per hour. And Twitter has acknowledged that it’s already struggling with availability issues. [via NewTeeVee]

Can Texting Help Afghanistan?


Seriously, that’s the gist of a panel next week at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Mobile phone technologies are the subject of considerable enthusiasm in the peacebuilding sector. In the past few years, they have been used in connection with campaigns to restrain election violence, reduce corruption, develop the news media, and support counter-insurgency to name just a few. Success has been significant, but mixed. Yet little has been done to evaluate systematically the factors of success or failure in the use of mobile phones for peacebuilding. So to best understand the true potential of these increasingly powerful tools, we will bring together experts on international peacebuilding and mobile phone technology to focus on the use of mobile phones in one of the most difficult conflict environments today: Afghanistan. Using techniques pioneered in the 2009 Smart Tools for Smart Power program, we will evaluate the reality of cell phone deployments along three vectors: -- Improving governance - rule of law and anti-corruption -- Countering extremism - media development and counter-insurgency -- Delivery of essential services - education, health, agricultural development, commerce [via The Washington Independent] Can You Help Me Now? Mobile Phones and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan (United Institue of Peace) This event will be webcast live beginning at 9:00am EDT on June 24, 2010 at Panel 1: “Mobile Phones for Tackling Corruption and Improving Governance” Panel 2: “Mobile Phones for Countering Extremism and Counter-insurgency” Panel 3: “Mobile Phones and Essential Service Delivery”

#vuvuzela #worldcup


How irritated are football fans with vuvuzelas? Check out #vuvuzela and the call for a ban of vuvuzellas on Twitter and of course everything World Cup on #worldcup Interesting from the BBC In defence of the vuvuzela. Also: Vuvuzela could spread colds, flu and cause hearing loss (AP)

CNN, Foursquare team up to connect World Cup fans


For the first time Foursquare has teamed up with a media company for a multi-country initiative, with this one stretching across all 32 countries represented in the World Cup. Memburn reports. Starting Friday, World Cup fans who follow CNN at can check in at more than 100 venues to unlock special CNN badges. In order to unlock these badges, fans must check in at least three times at any of these CNN-tagged locations between June 11 and July 11. Fans in South Africa can check in on Foursquare from stadiums and landmarks to earn the South Africa Explorer badge, while fans in the other 31 competing countries can check in at viewing venues to earn the Super Fan badge. Read full article.

Vuvuzaga gaming app drowns out VuVuzelas


Just in time for the World Cup, the Vuvuzaga gaming app for iPhone to drown out the sounds of Vuvuzelas. How does it work? The app lets you banish Vuvuzelas - the long, noisy horns that South Africans love to blow during a football game. Love them or hate them, the Vuvuzelas are here to stay and are an integral part of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. So whether you are a football fan or not, Vuvuzaga launches you into the centre of a football stadium where several spectators are happily blowing their Vuvuzelas. You go around, sneak up to them and banish their Vuvuzelas. Image from Germany-SouthAfrica-Football Website.

32% of Gen Y Okay With Calling in Sick Via Text Message


According to a new survey by TextPlus, college kids and recent grads (18-24 years old) use text messaging (inapropriately) in the workplace to communicate: -- 11% think it's appropriate to ask for a raise via text; -- 32% say it's okay to "call in sick" to work via text and 22% have actually done it; -- 11% think it's okay to quit a job via text. [via College Recruiter]

The Anti Social Media


A voice above the crowd: [via twitter.conversionation]

Social networking popular among boomers


Social networking isn't only for the under 40s. More than 25 percent of Americans 50 years and older stay connected using sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, according to new research. [via Reuters]

Bicycle Helmet With a Smell


Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany have developed a helmet that will make you think twice about continuing to cycle with a damaged helmet. For maximum protection, safety helmets need to be damage-free, but It is often impossible to know if a helmet is actually flawed after it has been dropped or hit by something. The researchers have used polymers that start to smell if there are any small cracks, and will really stink in the case of any large cracks. [via MedGadget] Full press release.

Invigilation technology allows exams be taken anywhere


New technology, boasting anti-cheating software, could soon make taking exams in the comfort of your own room possible. The BBC reports. Developed by American firm Software Secure Inc, the programme operates through a stand-alone device which is plugged into a student's computer. The technology takes a fingerprint of the student to verify they are who they say they are before access to the exam is allowed. A webcam and microphone are also switched on to detect changes in motion, such as someone entering the room or sound, such as a phone conversation. The device also "locks down" so that the student cannot search the internet for answers or access their own files for notes. Read full article.

Fortune 100 Companies' Social Media Savvy (STATS)


According to a recent study by Burson-Marsteller, eighty-two percent of the Fortune 100 companies tweet on a weekly basis, posting an average of 27 tweets a week. [via The Huffington Post] Burson-Marsteller Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study