‘Txting and Ltrcy’ – expert says it’s great!

Text messaging has sometimes had a bad press, with some commentators calling it a ‘linguistic disaster’ and predicting ‘the end of literacy as we know it’. At Bangor Univesity this month, David Crystal, professor of linguistics at Bangor University,  discusses the origins and motivations lying behind texting, dispels the myths surrounding it, and draws on numerous studies to illustrate its linguistic reality. Texting turns out to be not as revolutionary as people think: the distinctive abbreviations have in fact a long history. His conclusion is that, far from being a disaster, text messaging actually helps rather than hinders literacy. Read more….

Google is to become all social!

Google is to make the web more social by introducing tools that will enable people to interact with their friends.

Friend Connect follows plans announced last week by the world’s two biggest social networking sites, MySpace and Facebook.

Data Availability and Connect let users move their personal profiles and applications to other websites.

“Social is in the air,” says Google’s director of engineering David Glazer.

During a conference call at Google’s California headquarters, Mr Glazer told reporters: “Google Friend Connect is about being the ‘long tail’ of sites becoming more social.”

“Many sites aren’t explicitly social and don’t necessarily want to be social networks, but they still benefit from letting their visitors interact with each other. That used to be hard.”

Google’s Open Social will allow third parties to build and develop applications for the site.

“Social networking is going mainstream. It used to be proprietary, but now it’s going to be open and baked into the infrastructure of the net, not just one site or one source,” says Mr Glazer.

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New spectrum to improve health

More radio spectrum will need to be released to cater for breakthroughs in healthcare and transport, said Ofcom.

In a report focused on the future use of wireless, the regulator identified hundreds of new applications. They include wireless devices which monitor health and radio frequency ID tags on food products that allow allergy sufferers to shop more safely. Read more

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A new report from independent market analyst Datamonitor reveals that the number of people participating in online social networking (OSN) is booming. The UK has the highest membership in Europe and it is forecast to almost triple by 2012 to 27 million. Social media provide consumers with the opportunities to enhance existing relationships and create new ones. Interaction is a key factor in a network’s success, as shown by the success of sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, which encourage user-generated content. While the trend is driven by the younger age groups, many older generations are also being drawn to social media. Read more

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Adobe opens up Flash on mobiles

Adobe has announced a plan to try to get its Flash player installed on more mobile devices and set-top boxes. Dubbed Open Screen the initiative lifts restrictions on how its multimedia handling software can be used. Adobe will stop charging licencing fees for mobile versions of Flash and plans to publish information about the inner workings of the code.  Read more

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Vodafone targets social networking fans

Vodafone is to offer unlimited internet access as a standard feature of its new monthly mobile price plans, driven by an increasing amount of people accessing social networking sites and email from their phones.

The Newbury-based group is the first mobile phone operator in the UK to offer the unlimited deal with all its monthly tariffs, although O2 currently offers an unlimited deal for its iPhone customers.

Vodafone hopes the new flat rate policy will fuel use of the internet on mobiles, as operators search for additional ways to generate revenue in a saturated market.

Read more

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PhonepayPlus announce review of regulation of mobile content services

The spontaneity and simplicity of the phone-paid payment mechanism allows millions of consumers to enjoy mobile services such as ringtones and other downloads, competitions and TV voting. Most consumers use these services without worry or aggravation.

The review, which PhonepayPlus aims to publish in July, will provide an overview of mobile phone-paid services, and identify issues affecting UK consumers. Of particular interest to PhonepayPlus at this early stage are:

  • Unsolicited promotions, especially text messages;
  • Price transparency and the use of words that indicate content is ‘free’; and
  • Subscription services (e.g. ringtones) and the ‘STOP’ command

Read more

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