Hundreds of lights have been damaged by thieves targeting the machines' SIM cards, which are then used to make mobile phone calls worth millions of South African rand. More than two-thirds of 600 hi-tech lights have been affected over the past two months, according to the Johannesburg Roads Agency, causing traffic jams, accidents and frustration for motorists. The traffic lights use sim cards, modem and use GPRS to send and receive information, a system intended to save time and manpower by alerting the road agency's head office when any lights malfunction. According to Thulani Makhubela, a spokesman for the agency, the robberies have been "systematic and co-ordinated", possibly by a syndicate. An internal investigation has now been launched.
Tag Archives | Cell Phones
If you’re going to rely on a phone app to keep your children safe, I suppose this is a good one. BBC News reports:
A mobile phone application which claims to identify adults posing as children is to be released.
The team behind Child Defence says the app can analyse language to generate an age profile, identifying potential paedophiles.
Isis Forensics developed the tool after parental concerns over children accessing sites on their mobiles.
But child protection experts warned against such technology lulling people into thinking they are safe.
Child Defence project leader James Walkerdine, based at Lancaster University, said: “This software improves children’s chances of working out that something isn’t right.
[Continues at BBC News]
What do prisoners do for fun? Play games on Facebook, text their friends, and organize strikes via their smartphones. Though prisoners are locked up and cut-off from the outside population, they are finding ways to become and remain part of the digital society. The New York Times reports:
… Read the rest
A counterfeiter at a Georgia state prison ticks off the remaining days of his three-year sentence on his Facebook page. He has 91 digital “friends.” Like many of his fellow inmates, he plays the online games FarmVille and Street Wars.
He does it all on a Samsung smartphone, which he says he bought from a guard. And he used the same phone to help organize a short strike among inmates at several Georgia prisons last month.
Technology is changing life inside prisons across the country at the same rapid-fire pace it is changing life outside.
Welcome to our brave new world. (I’d like some soma, please if I ever have to do this…) Denis Campbell writes in the Guardian:
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Mobile phones and computers will soon be able to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases under innovative plans to cut the UK’s rising rate of herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea among young people.
Doctors and technology experts are developing small devices, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will tell someone quickly and privately if they have caught an infection through sexual contact.
People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.
Via the First Church of Mutterhals:
Everyone knows I’m not exactly keen on manners. But in some ways I am downright old fashioned. For instance, if a man I was vaguely acquainted with took a liking to me and decided the best way to win my favor would be to forward a hastily snapped pic of his, oh, how should I put this, his wang; well let’s just say there is a very short list of people who could get away with such a thing without my taking out a restraining order.
You know where I’m going with this. Proving once and for all that he is a congenital retard, Brett Favre did the above to a comely female member of the sporting press, thusly taking a bad idea and making it monumentally worse. I know, I know, allegedly. Brett Favre allegedly stuck his cell phone down his shorts and allegedly snapped the most unspectacular and tepid alleged dong pictures I have ever had the displeasure of seeing.… Read the rest
Reports are surfacing of a Facebook-backed smartphone running Google’s Android system, built by INQ (who also manufactures a phone for Skype). GigaOm’s Om Malik says he’s been aware of the project “for quite some time,” and Bloomberg News reported that Facebook Inc. will release two AT&T smartphones in 2011, first in Europe and then in America. (Adding that 25% of Facebook users access the social networking site with their wireless devices.)
“Like some people would love to have a Hello Kitty phone or a Batman phone, there are undoubtedly buyers waiting with bated breath for a phone that says Facebook on it…” notes one technology blog. “The buying public seems to be entranced with the idea of the phrase ‘Facebook phone’ so rumors persist.”
It takes a lot to snap people out of apathy about Africa’s problems. But in the wake of Live Aid and Save Darfur, a new cause stands on the cusp of going mainstream. It’s the push to make major electronics companies (manufacturers of cell phones, laptops, portable music players, and cameras) disclose whether they use “conflict minerals” — the rare metals that finance civil wars and militia atrocities, most notably in Congo. The issue of ethical sourcing has long galvanized human-rights groups. In Liberia, Angola, and Sierra Leone, the notorious trade in “blood diamonds” helped fund rebel insurgencies. In Guinea, bauxite sustains a repressive military junta. And fair-labor groups have spent decades documenting the foreign sweatshops that sometimes supply American clothing stores. Yet Congo raises especially disturbing issues for famous tech brand names that fancy themselves responsible corporate citizens. A key mover behind the Congo campaign is the anti-genocide Enough Project: witness its clever spoof of the famous Apple commercial.
We've discussed the legality of recording on-duty police officers in the past, but that was in the context of public streets. What if the officer you're photographing followed you into your home — without just cause? A man named Francisco Olvera found out what happens when he was arrested for "illegal photography" by an officer in Sealy, Texas: Olvera says the trouble started when Alderete responded to a complaint of loud music coming from his home. In front of the home, Alderete asked Olvera to show identification and as Olvera walked into his house to get it, Alderete followed him in. "Olvera did not believe that Alderete had the authority to enter Olvera's residence and, therefore, took a picture of Alderete using his cell phone," the complaint states. Olvera claims that Alderete saw a can of beer on a kitchen counter, next to Olvera's wallet, and immediately handcuffed him.