Monthly Archives: February 2009

Arrested for Texting

Have you ever wanted to arrest someone for texting, say, when the texter in question is weaving on the freeway in front of you, doing 90 mph? Or, are you who is texting while driving on the freeway…?

You probably have less chance getting handcuffed for foul mobile behavior while driving a car than if you’re a schoolgirl in Wisconsin. Thanks to reader Mark Brill who alerted me to this article in The Smoking Gun about a 14 year old girl who was arrested for texting in class.

Is this a Wisconsin thing? Or does cell phone rudeness just send people over the edge?

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John Updike Liked Mobile Erotica

Or at least the idea of it. Yes, the well known author did die, but shortly before his death, John Updike gave an interesting interview to journalist David Barnett at the U.K.’s Guardian in which he gave an enthusiastic thumb’s up to the idea of publishing literature–including erotic novels–on the mobile phone.

The back-story is that former Penthouse author Catherine Hiller–a protegee of Updike’s–contributed a story to Ravenous Romance, an ebook/audiobook publisher of erotica aimed a women. Ravenous Romance is now repackaging its erotica for the mobile phone. Stay tuned for an interview with Ravenous Romance’s publisher Holly Schmidt. And Mr. Updike’s opinion of Hiller’s story? In a mobile blurb for the story, Updike calls it “good, brave, and joyful writing.”

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Smartphones in the Classroom

“The cellphone industry has a suggestion for improving the math skills of American students: spend more time on cellphones in the classroom.”

Read in the NY Times about the pitch made by CTIA‘s Mobile Learning in a study paid for by Qualcomm.

Is this an industry attempt to sell more phones, or is there validity in their claims that the mobile phone is just another computer in the classroom?


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Cell Phone Novels: Blockbusters in Japan

You probably are aware of the fact that, in Japan, novels written on the cell phone have become quite the trend. In New Yorker magazine, Dana Goodyear wrote a wonderful “Letter from Japan” about how young women authors there have created the genre of cell-phone novels or keitai shosetsu. Goodyear reported that, in 2007, cell-phone novels held four of the top five positions on the literary best-seller list in Japan. “The Red Thread,” by Mei, which has sold 1.8 million copies, was No. 2. “Love Sky,” by Mika, was No. 1, and its sequel third; together they have sold 2.6 million copies. Some of those novels have been re-issued in print form.

Do cell-phone novels have a chance to become popular in the U.S.? Let me know what you think.

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Whither Smart Phones?

David Pogue, tech writer for The New York Times and CNET senior editor Bonnie Cha got on the phone with KPCC Radio host Patt Morrison to discuss Smart Phones. What is the definition of a smart phone? Should everyone have one? And what’s coming up in the phone world that David Pogue thinks will rival the iPhone?

Listen in:

Smart Phone Wars

Find February 10 and scroll down until you find “Smart Phone Wars”

They connect our voices, our emails. We can use them to play games, watch TV shows, listen to music, take pictures, and even make breakfast. Okay, not make breakfast, but “smart phones” cram more computing power and options into our hands than anyone ever thought possible. But the phones all offer very different features: iPhone, Blackberry Storm, Palm…which is right for you? And how many different phones can the market support?

  • David Pogue, tech columnist, “The New York Times”
  • Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET

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