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Tag: SMS

Taliban Uses Texts as Latest Intimidation Move

The Taliban has begun sending gruesome "night letters" -- violent videos meant to intimidate and control Afghans -- en masse via SMS. Historically written threats posted on buildings, night letters have long been a successful means of coercion by the Taliban. The video form has cropped up in the last couple of years on Facebook and YouTube, and tends toward the extreme, such as interviews of...

'Sexting' Teens Avoid Child Porn Charges Under N.J. Bill

The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill yesterday that essentially decriminalizes teen 'sexting,' by allowing the courts to send teens to a diversionary program, rather than strapping them with a criminal record. As sexting among teens grows increasingly popular -- the bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, notes that 20-percent of teens surveyed have sent explicit images -- the legislation...

Egypt Shuts Down Mobile, SMS Service

According to The Wall Street Journal, mobile and SMS service appears to be down in Egypt, along with the country's Internet connections. The U.K.-based Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) wrote in a statement that all of the mobile operators in Egypt had been "instructed to suspend services in parts of Egypt. Under Egyptian legislation, the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are...

Texting Teens Shatter More Questionable 'World Records' at LG Worldcup

The Guinness World Record for fastest texter has been broken again... we think. Cheong Kit Au, from Australia, mashed out a 264-character text in one minute and 17 seconds, crushing the previous record by 43 seconds. Then again, Melissa Thompson supposedly broke the record in August by Swyping out a 160-character message in just over 25 seconds. If you were to double that measure, you get 320...

'TextMyFood' Gets Your Waiter's Attention, via Text Message

The next time you find yourself trying to get the attention of a flighty waitress at a crowded restaurant, you might want to put down your hand and pull out your cell phone. Some restaurants have begun implementing a program called 'TextMyFood,' a service that allows patrons to directly communicate with their servers via text message. With 'TextMyFood,' customers can place orders, ask questions,...

'SMS of Death' Bug Targets Basic Cell Phones, Could Shut Down Entire Networks

Share German researchers have discovered a brand new vulnerability in basic cell phones, which, if exploited properly, could easily cripple mobile networks on a scarily large scale. Researchers Collin Mulliner and Nico Golde introduced the bug at the recent Chaos Computer Club Congress in Berlin. The pair reportedly discovered it after setting up their own private GSM network, which allowed...

Your New Text Friend: Google Calendar and SMS

Sometimes a simple SMS reminder buzzing in your pocket is enough to break all the pings and alerts hitting your computer screen throughout the day. Fortunately, Google Calendar is SMS-capable, which means you don't need a cutting-edge smartphone to get calendar alerts. Read on after the break to learn how to text your calendar....

SMS Donations Worked for Red Cross in Haiti, Not for Everyone Else

When a massive earthquake struck Haiti last this year, the Red Cross managed to collect a total of $30 million in donations sent via text message. Since then, many other nonprofit organizations have tried to incorporate the Red Cross's SMS approach into their business models, but, as the New York Times reports, few have been able to do so successfully. The biggest hurdle most nonprofits face...

20-Cent 'Cloud Phone' Offers Mobile Service for Poor

Share Plenty of people are using cell phones today, but many of the world's poorest mobile users don't actually have their own phones. Instead of shelling out $25 (or more) for their own personal handsets, many impoverished users simply purchase one phone, and share it amongst their friends or family. It may be a cost-efficient way of connecting to the world, but it isn't exactly convenient, nor...

Banker Undergoes 'BlackBerry Thumb' Surgery After Texting 12 Hours Per Day

We've heard of 'BlackBerry thumb' -- the inflammation and pain reported by heavy, heavy users of the smartphone -- and we've heard about its alleged treatments ($80 massage). But one Philadelphia mortgage banker, after spending 12 hours a day texting clients, has just undergone surgery for extreme 'BlackBerry thumb' (although 'BlackBerry thumb' may be a misnomer in this case, since the banker is...

Text Message Reminders Don't Help Women Remember the Pill, Study Finds

Despite the good intentions of pilot programs that use text messages to remind people to take their meds, it seems that ladies on birth control can't even be persuaded by technology to swallow The Pill. According to a study published this month in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 82 women enrolled in a randomized trial at a Boston Planned Parenthood clinic set up to test the effectiveness of text...

Italian Mafia Sends Text Messages to Jailed Dons via TV Show

According to The Telegraph, the Italian mafia has been using a soccer TV show's interactive text messaging feature to communicate messages to imprisoned bosses. As part of the show 'Quelli che il Calcio,' fans send in text messages which are displayed on a ticker, while host Simona Ventura chats onscreen about soccer. Apparently, mafia goons would send seemingly mundane phrases, like "All is...

Fastest Text Message Record Combines Marketing Gimmick and Useless Talent

Although freak shows have all but disappeared from modern carnivals -- since conjoined twins are now typically sawed in half, and "dog-faced" sufferers of hypertrichosis just get frequent waxes -- we can still look to the Guinness Book of World Records to expose the Earth's strangest and least-marketable talents and afflictions. While it may not be as lofty an achievement as Most Rattlesnakes...

Fancy Orchestra-Goers Disturbed by Lowly Text Marketing

The New York Times, our favorite text of culture snobbery, published an article yesterday entitled "Orchestras Seek BFF by Cellphone Texts." Despite the curiously nerdy headline, the piece was about concert-goers who are disturbed by the fact that orchestras and their attendant marketing teams have realized that these things called cell phones can be used to advertise their brands. The article...

With 'Shark Week' Imminent, Look Forward to the Great-White-Warning SMS System

Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' saw its 35th anniversary last month, and your writer reignited an irrational, but very real, childhood galeophobia by re-watching the entire toothy franchise just before a July 4th trip to the beach. It didn't help matters that the original Jaws (yes, we know, fictional) attacks occurred around Independence Day on Amity Island, and that the real-life Coast Guard issued...