Sep 1, 2009 | 1
Want to know what illnesses are flourishing nearby without getting sick yourself? The builders of HealthMap, an online service that collects and maps various reports of infectious diseases such as the H1N1 swine flu, have launched a similarly ill application for the iPhone.
Outbreaks Near Me, the none-too-jocundly named app, was developed by researchers at the Children's Hospital Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, and can send notifications for everything from lumpy skin disease to porcine circovirus in your vicinity.
"As people are equipped with more knowledge and awareness of infectious disease, the hope is that they will become more involved and proactive about public health," John Brownstein, a HealthMap co-founder and assistant professor in the Children's Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP), said in a prepared statement.
Aug 27, 2009 | 3
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously today to scrutinize various aspects of the wireless industry with several new inquiries aimed at consumer protection, the Associated Press reports. One examination will look at so-called "truth-in-billing" rules that require phone companies to clearly identify and describe charges on consumer bills, while another will examine whether there is enough competition in the market.
These inquiries would join several others under way, including probes to determine if consumers are hurt by exclusive contracts between service providers and phone makers (e.g. AT&T and Apple, for its iPhone), long-term contracts between subscribers and service providers, and fees charged to subscribers who leave a contract early, according to Bloomberg.
Aug 19, 2009 | 4
Both Apple and the European Commission's consumer protection division say they are investigating possible cases of iPhones and iPods overheating and exploding.
Jun 11, 2009 | 3
Bar napkins may soon become obsolete as the medium of choice for scribbling down phone numbers now that a group of researchers is developing software that could turn a mobile phone into a mobile pen. Duke University researchers are finding new uses for mobile phone accelerometers through software that lets cell phone users write notes in the air using their handsets and have the text or images sent to an e-mail address.
Mobile phone makers have for the past several years built technology into their handsets that allow them to determine their angle with respect to the earth regardless of how they are tilted or turned. This is what lets smart phones such as the Blackberry Storm, HTC Touch Diamond, Apple iPhone and new Palm Pre provide a consistent screen display, regardless of whether the phone is held horizontally or vertically.
Jun 9, 2009 | 1
Fueled by the insatiable demand for Web-based video (including those such as YouTube's immensely popular "Monster From the Deep" clip and archived television shows found on Hulu), global Internet traffic will get nearly four times larger over the next four years. By the end of 2013, the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs worth of information will cross the Net monthly, according to a report issued today by Cisco Systems, the company that sells much of networking gear on which the Internet runs.
If this prediction holds true, it would take more than half a million years to watch all the online video that crosses the Internet in just a single month by 2013, the company reports.
May 19, 2009 | 2
Embattled smartphone maker Palm, Inc. has a date with destiny. On June 6, Sprint will start selling the Palm Pre smartphone, an overdue rival to Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's BlackBerry Curve, and HTC Corp.'s G1 Android.
Palm, once the leader in the now-quaint category called Personal Digital Assistants, and lately an also-ran in phones, is banking on the Pre to reclaim its former glory.
The phone will retail for $299, with a $100 mail-in rebate for buyers who ink a two-year contract with Sprint to use that company's high-speed Now Network, Palm said today on its blog. The net cost puts the Pre on par with the iPhone, which can be had for $199, after debuting two years ago at an eye-popping $599.
Apr 23, 2009 | 11
A message on Sikalosoft.com today reads, "Okay, so maybe the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea." The makers of this Apple iPhone software program—sold briefly through Apple's App Store Web site beginning Monday, before the company yanked it on Wednesday—have a way with understatement.
Evan as Apple lit up an otherwise sullen market yesterday by announcing record financials for its fiscal 2009 second quarter (including a $1.2 billion profit), the company was wiping egg off of its face for somehow allowing Baby Shaker to be offered via its site. The app encourages players to shake their handheld devices in order to silence the incessant crying of an infant. The game features the black-and-white line drawings of a baby as well as the following description: "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!" the Associated Press reports. Once the player finishes shaking the device, the on-screen baby is depicted with large red X's over its eyes.
Feb 19, 2009
We at 60-Second Science apologize in advance for some of the bathroom and otherwise juvenile humor that appears in this post. But do keep reading.
Last week Apple iPhone software maker InfoMedia, Inc., filed suit in a Colorado district court to get competitor Air-o-Matic, Inc., to stop threatening InfoMedia with a lawsuit. (Read the lawsuit filing.)
So far, just another day at the courts. But here's what's at stake: Loveland, Colorado-based InfoMedia's right to use the phrase "pull my finger" in an ad campaign for its iFart Mobile iPhone software. Jacksonville, Fla.–based Air-o-Matic offers an iPhone app of its own called "Pull My Finger" and has demanded that InfoMedia stop using the phrase to sell iFart and to pay them $50,000 to settle the dispute, reports CNN.com.
Jan 27, 2009 | 4
The Obama White House was so 1996 yesterday: the new administration’s e-mail crashed, forcing the president’s aides to rely on cell phones, text messaging and (gasp) paper to communicate.
The White House e-mail system uses Microsoft Outlook, and a server outage caused the collapse, an unidentified staffer told The Washington Post. The glitch hit the press office, first lady’s office and other departments, but by this morning was resolved, according to The Washington Times.
Jan 26, 2009
There's good news this week for the 66 million people worldwide (3.3. million in the U.S.) who stutter: the Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) in Roanoke, Va., this week added software developed for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch to participants in the organization's 12-day speech therapy program to help people control stuttering.
The software, available only to HCRI clients, measures and records a person's speech patterns. From the iPhone or iPod Touch screen, users can see the number of utterances (or syllables) he or she makes as well as the percent of the time they used their tongue, jaw, mouth and throat muscles correctly (as determined by the measurement of the amplitude and frequency of their voice's sound waves). If the person deviates too far from the proper levels, the device will vibrate.
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