FCC launches PLAN emergency alert service for mobile devices

By on May 13, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

FCC launches PLAN emergency alert service for mobile devices

The city of New York has teamed up with the FCC and wireless carriers to unveil a new emergency alert system called PLAN. PLAN can notify mobile users in a specific geographic location of a hazardous or potentially life threatening situations. The new system was announced a few days ago at an event at the still-under-construction World Trade Center site, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commented:

One of the many lessons that were reinforced on 9/11 is the importance of getting clear and accurate information to the public–that’s why we’ve made improving our emergency public communications a top priority. As part of this effort, we’re harnessing tech in innovative new ways, which is something I found to be effective in both business and government for improving service delivery.

The system taps into the existing Emergency Alert System that notifies the public of an emergency by radio or TV, though PLAN (Personalized Localized Alerting Network), takes emergency alerts into the modern age with a pretty smart system. With a compatible phone, your mobile device will be able to receive an emergency alert based on your geographical location. For instance, if there was an alert about an imminent threat to public safety for New Jersey (nobody likes New Jersey) and you were not in New Jersey at the time, you would not get the alert. PLAN consists of three alerts: those issues by the President, alerts warning of imminent threats, and Amber Alerts. The last two can be blocked by an individual but not an alert from the President. The system will be available in New York and Washington, D.C. by the end of the year, and will roll out nationally by April of 2012. More →

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AT&T offering 1,000 Rollover minutes to loyal iPhone customers

By on February 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM.

AT&T offering 1,000 Rollover minutes to loyal iPhone customers

Competition is a great thing. The Internet is atwitter with reports that AT&T is, without provocation, offering its loyal iPhone customers an additional 1,000 Rollover minutes via text message. What makes you worthy of this offering? We’re not quite sure. What we do know is that texting the word “yes” to 11113020 will help expedite the process… if you know what we mean. Give it a try and cash in, you deserve it. More →

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Apple posts mysterious message on homepage, iTunes announcement due tomorrow

By on November 15, 2010 at 10:15 AM.

Apple posts mysterious message on homepage, iTunes announcement due tomorrow

This morning, Apple posted a mysterious message on its homepage. With instructions to “check back here tomorrow” the note alludes to an “exciting announcement from iTunes.” We’re not certain whether Apple will announce another iTunes milestone — billions and billions served — or if there is something else in the works from the Cupertino company (Beatles catalog, cloud computing?). We’ll find out tomorrow at 10:00AM ET. More →

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Qik to power T-Mobile’s mobile video chat service

By on November 3, 2010 at 7:08 AM.

Qik to power T-Mobile’s mobile video chat service

Qik, the mobile video company that is often most closely associate with Sprint’s Evo 4G, will be playing a serious roll in T-Mobile’s Android lineup. A press release, fresh out of the oven, reports that:

The integrated T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik will be the first to offer integration into the native Android™ address book with the benefit of indicating live presence allowing customers to connect with friends and family through live video conversations and video messaging over T-Mobile’s network and Wi-Fi.

The integrated video chat service, which will be available on the upcoming myTouch 4G handset, will “allow users not only to conduct live two-way video conversations from their mobile device, but also will allow users to leave video messages.” Video messages are supported on over 200 phone models.

“T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik is the ideal showcase for the capabilities of our network and is an example of our focus on providing innovative new solutions to enrich the lives of our customers,” said Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile’s VP of product management. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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BGR reader unofficially bests text messaging world record

By on August 25, 2010 at 2:37 AM.

BGR reader unofficially bests text messaging world record

A BGR reader (and fellow blogger) by the name of Brian stumbled upon our post about a U.K. woman who bested the Guinness World Record for text messaging speed. The 27-year old, named Melissa Thompson, used a Samsung Galaxy S — with the SWYPE keyboard — and managed to squeeze out: “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human”, in under 26 seconds. Brian — age 19 — videotaped himself texting the same sentence, on an iPhone, in just under 22 seconds. Now, this obviously wasn’t an “official” or “controlled” setting, but the feat is still pretty damn impressive. Hit the jump to see Brian slay that quirky sentence. Anyone think they can beat 21.8 seconds? More →

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