All four major wireless carriers in the U.S. are committed to rolling out text-to-911 emergency service.
Soon you'll be able to text 911 for help from your mobile phone, regardless of whether you're a T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint subscriber. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that all four wireless carriers have agreed to accelerate the availability of text-to-911, with major deployment expected in 2013. They've also committed to nationwide availability by May 15, 2014.
Water is still wet, fire is still hot, and the air we breathe is still rich with oxygen. And in other news, teenagers are still really into text messaging. In case you had any doubts, Pew Internet rounded up a whole bunch of teens to discuss their smartphone and texting habits, and found that teens 12-17 years old send 60 text messages on any given day, up from 50 text messages in 2009.
There are enough bad drivers on the road as it is, do we really need the added distraction of texting while behind the wheel? We're not crazy about either one, and when you combine the two, it makes us want to stay off the road altogether. Unfortunately that's not really an option, which is why it's so concerning that more and more drivers are finding it acceptable to fire off text messages while driving.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has deemed it inappropriate to text the word "quickie." It's just one of 1,695 supposedly 'obscene' words or terms Pakistan is trying to censor from text messages, but that Pakistan's mobile operators are refusing to ban until they receive clarification from the PTA. Other terms on the list include "fairy," "monkey crotch," "idiot," "deeper," and "no sex."
If you end up going straight to voicemail when calling up a friend or co-worker, it doesn't necessarily mean their phone is dead or even that they're unavailable. They could be screening calls. According to a recent study, nearly a third of Adult Americans would rather text message back and forth than actually speak on their mobile device.
We don't run a feature called "Quirky Lawsuit of the Month," but if we did, two California residents who decided to sue Twitter for sending an SMS notification after they withdrew their consent would be a shoe in. Hear us out on this one. It's not that we have a problem with punishing companies that blatantly ignore opt-out requests, but that isn't what happened here. Hit the jump to find out exactly what Twitter did.
If you kicked yourself for missing it the first time around, act fast and go grab the Swype Beta software for Android, which is once again open for a limited time, Swype announced in a forum post.
This is actually a new version of Swype, so even if you're already participating in the beta program, you may want to snag the latest release. Now in version 220.127.116.1170, this latest release adds a new Double-Tap-to-Edit mode, in which a user can tap a word twice to bring up the word choice window, as well as other feature enhancements and bug fixes.
Swype doesn't open its beta very often, so if you're even remotely interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, start clicking:
When it comes to routine matters, British police have been ordered to fire off a text message rather than communicate using their radios, UK's Daily Mail reports. It's the latest movie in what the UK newspaper calls "unprecedented cutbacks."
Meanwhile, Airwave Solutions, the company which operates the emergency services communication system, is enjoying "massive" profits, with a profit margin higher than Vodafone. Pre tax profit was up 26 percent for the past 12 months.
"It was imperative to have a secure communications system. But it has come at a very high price. The advice we're being given from the top is to send texts as much as possible because it's going to cost a lot less money," laments Clive Chamberlain, chairman of the Dorset Police Federation.
According to Chamberlain, it costs as much as "£2 (about US$3.21) a second whenever we go over the limit. We are being told that texting more has the potential to save tens of thousands of pounds because it costs only £4 (about US$6.43) to send 1,000 texts."
Neither the Dorset Police or Airwaves would discuss pricing details, though Airwaves did say the per second charge was "misleading and inaccurate."
According to a new study from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 6.1 trillion text messages will fly through the air by the end of 2010. That means for every second that goes by, another 200,000 text messages will have changed hands.
With that many texts going back and forth, it's a little depressing to think that, according to our rough estimate, 6.0 trillion will be of the "C u l8r 2nite" variety, but that's a rant deserving of its own post. Getting back to ITU's figures, the firm says that 90 percent of the world's population now own a mobile phone, and by the end of 2010, there will be 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions.
Still jonesing for mobile figures? ITU counted over 940 million 3G subscriptions around the world, compared to 72 million back in 2006.
Granted it's no secret teenagers love to text, but if you want to back up that claim with some hard numbers, here you go. According to Nielsen, American teens send an average of 3,339 text messages every month. That equates to more than six texts for every hour they're awake, which is 8 percent more than it was last year.
To arrive at these figures, Nielsen combed through cell phone bills from more than 60,000 mobile subscribers, and on top of that surveyed over 3,000 teens. Predictably, Nielsen found that no one texts more than teens (13-17 years old), with female teens being the most active texters at 4,050 texts per month.
Texting has become such a prominent part of American culture that it's now the No. 1 reason for getting a phone (43 percent), same as it was in 2009 (42 percent). Coming in second is safety (35 percent), followed by keeping in touch with friends and family (34 percent and 26 percent, respectively), always being available (22 percent), and convenience (20 percent).
Jonesing for more? Texting is fast replacing voice communication. Nielsen says voice activity has decreased 14 percent a month among teens, who average 646 minutes of talk time each month.
"Only adults over 55 talk less than teens," Nielsen says.