About Me

Friday, 22 October 2010

Mobile Phones can Make you Seriously ill

Your electronic devices, according to two latest researches, have the potential to make you really sick.

A recent study from the Journal of Applied Microbiology says viruses can easily be transferred from nonporous glass surfaces, such as the touch screen of an iPhone — up to 30 percent of a virus can be transferred from the screen of your device to your fingers. A separate British study Journal of Applied Microbiology says mobile phones are covered with up to 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.
Mobile Phones Are Covered with Viruses: Ashton explained, “Imagine these are germs, bacteria or viruses. You see how you touch your mobile phone all day long. Before long, it is covered with bacteria, viruses, germs.” She further added: “You know, we live in an environment that’s not clean, but when you talk about putting something like this near your face or touching it all day long and putting your fingers to your nose and mouth, you can see how easy it is. … If you hand someone your phone or put it down and don’t clean your hands, you see how this is a petri dish.” Dr. Ashton said people can catch any number of bugs, from cold and flu viruses to E. coli and norovirus. “I actually saw a patient who got MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) from their phone.”
How to Clean Mobile Phones: Dr. Jennifer Ashton showed some ways to clean your touchscreen mobile devices. To clean your product, you can wipe them down with special wipes you can buy at an electronics store. They also have cleaners you can buy if you’re concerned about damage. “I’d also recommend wipe down your regular phones and work areas with sanitizing wipes. ”
Basic Hand Washing: Wash your hands with soap and water. Wash them for at least 15 seconds or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.” You can also use a hand sanitizer as well.
Be Careful & Take Care of Your Health: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth — and don’t forget to cover your cough and sneezes. With children in mind, Ashton added parents should clean their electronics as often as possible. She said, “Listen, you can’t live your life in a sterile environment and certainly day-care centers are ripe with germs, also, but you want to be aware that you do pick these things up from somewhere. If you hand one of these to your toddler to occupy while you are doing something, they can get sick from these so keep them clean. I wipe mine down with alcohol; I try to, once a day.”

Friday, 15 October 2010

Nokia launches ‘Mobile Recycling Campaign’ in Pakistan

KARACHI: On Wednesday, 13 Oct. 2010, Nokia Pakistan initiated a mobile phone recycling campaign across Pakistan to encourage mobile users to recycle their used mobile phones with Nokia, regardless of the make of the redundant sets.
Nokia and other leading mobile companies have launched a worldwide mobile phone recycling programme in order to protect environment on one hand and make the used mobile sets to put to good use with economic benefits. Speaking at a discussion organized by Nokia, Adeel Hashmi, country Communications manager Nokia Pakistan and Afghanistan elaborated that people can bring their used mobile phones back for responsible recycling to around 5,000 Nokia Care Points located in 85 countries and now Pakistan has become 86th country in the world where Nokia has launched its recycling program.
Raw Materials for Different Products: “Various studies indicate that unused equipment can be found in many consumer desk drawers,” said Adeel Hashmi, “If every Nokia user recycled just one phone at the end of its life, together we would save nearly 125,000 tons of raw material,” he added.He explained that mobile devices and accessories contain raw materials which can be reused in many ways for example to make new parts for bikes, kettles, or even dental fillings. All materials in Nokia mobile phones can be used again to make new products or generate energy, so nothing is wasted.only 3% of people owning mobile devices claim to recycle their mobile devices. If all of the around 4.6 billion people using mobile phones globally recycled at least one of their unwanted mobile devices this could save 370,000 tonnes of raw material and reduce gases to the same extent as taking 6 million cars off the streets.
Nokia Customer Care Centres: Nokia has nine customer care centres in Pakistan where people can drop-off old mobile phones which are no longer in use. After being collected in Lahore, the mobile phones will be shipped to Hungary where a recycling company is already processing mobile phones brought in from 85 other countries. When asked about the establishment of a recycling unit in Pakistan, Nokia explained that transporting it outside Pakistan is less costly than actually maintaining the plant here. Nokia isn’t accepting only Nokia made mobile phones models, but also Samsung, Siemens and other mobile makes are also encouraged to be dropped into Recycle Boxes. Moreover, customers can drop old mobile batteries, mobile chargers or any other mobile accessories in drop boxes too. Nokia’s “Take Back” program will have recycle boxes at all 9 Nokia Care centers across the country. Along with, there would be 400+ collection points and a mobile van in Karachi to serve urban mobile market.
Disposing Mobile Sets for Money: Starting a mobile phone recycling programme in a country where no such facility exists is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment but it is difficult to gauge whether it will be met with success. With vibrant markets for used mobile phones in major urban centres, the typical mobile user is likely to dispose of not-in-use sets in exchange for monetary return – even if it is a few hundred rupees. Moreover, mobile phone repair shops are often willing to purchase ‘dead’ mobile phones for a fraction of the price on hopes of salvaging usable parts. A simple search on Google also reveals that many companies in other countries offer token amounts in return for turning in old mobile phones for recycling in order to incentive the practice.
Consumer Awareness: To raise consumer awareness and encourage people to recycle their old mobile devices Nokia runs regular recycling campaigns around the world. These offer many different ways to bring back the mobile devices such as offering pre-paid postal envelopes or using highly visible collection boxes placed in stores and other public locations. He said that there are clear business benefits in being environmentally responsible. It improves risk management, often makes good economic and business sense, and reinforces the brand. According to a global consumer survey conducted by Nokia, only three per cent of  mobile users recycle their mobile phones while 74 per cent said that they do not even think about recycling their mobile phones. Moreover, a whopping 50 per cent were not even aware that it was possible to recycle mobile phones. However, for society’s betterment, Nokia said that it will re-invest money saved through recycling, which ultimately will help company bring better devices at low cost.
Barriers in Mobile Recycling: “We want to help overcome some of the barriers to recycling phones,” said Nokia Care Manager Reza Burney. He said that many people worry about losing numbers, photos and other sensitive information but pointed out that there are ways to safeguard such data and asserted that Nokia is working to raise awareness of these methods. Although Nokia declined to comment on the response they hoped to receive in Pakistan, Burney was hopeful that more and more people would make use of the facility as they became more aware of environmental issues.
The Recycling Process: It is important that the materials that have been used for your phone can be safely recycled when the phone is no longer needed. We choose eco-efficient third party recycling companies to take care of the recycling of our products. 65-80% of the materials in a Nokia mobile phone can be recycled and given a second life. Best practices can recover 100% of the materials, partly as energy. To help recycling the cover parts of our phones are clearly marked as recyclable. Efficient recycling starts by getting the products back and consolidating, sorting, and pre-treating them. We put a lot of effort in take-back and recycling supplier selection to ensure efficiency and the highest environmental benefit, following relevant health and safety standards. We have a network of recycling vendors worldwide who operate in accordance with our standards. The network consists of close to 80 recycling facilities globally.
The Environmental Impacts of Recycling: A study by Nokia has shown that the energy consumption and the resulting CO2 emissions in the last phase of the product’s life cycle are relatively low. The average amount of CO2 emissions from WEEE-standard recycling of 100 tonnes of electronic waste is 20 metric tonnes. The refinement of recycled materials uses up to 85% less energy than the processing of a corresponding amount of virgin materials. As a result of avoided manufacturing phases, it can be estimated that the recycling of materials reduces CO2 emissions in the manufacturing phase by 20 %. On the average, the downstream transport accounts for 30% of the CO2 emissions of recycling, pre-treatment for 15% and transport from the consolidation point to recycler for 55%. When the collection phase (end user activities, i.e. the user bringing the phone to the recycling point) is included, it dominates the CO2 emissions of the end-of-life phase, leaving less than 3% to the recycling operations and logistics. This result is based on a rather modest assumption where 50% of users drive 5 km to the take back point – in reality, the figures may be higher. This is why take-back locations need to be close to consumers, and bringing used products to take-back points should be made easy. The CO2 emissions at end-of-life can be minimised by optimising transport in both inbound and outbound logistics. This effort should not sacrifice the use of state-of-the-art recycling to keep the environmental impact of these processes in control.
Reduced Packaging: Adeel said “during the years of 2006-2008 we have reduced the size of our packaging and used more recycled materials to make it. This has enabled us to reduce the use of paper based materials by almost 100,000 tonnes. This translates not only into financial savings of 474 million Euros but less packaging also means reduced transportation volume enabling us to take at least 12,000 trucks off the roads.”

Is Your Mobile Phone Germ-free?

You may like to throw your mobile phone after reading this, as a new study has found that the average mobile handset carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than a toilet’s flush handle.
An analysis of mobile phones by British researchers found that almost a quarter of them were so dirty that they had up to 10 times an acceptable level of TVC bacteria.
Germs on Mobile Phone: TVC, or Total Viable Count, gives a quantitative idea about the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mold in a sample. Elevated levels of TVC indicate poor personal hygiene and act as a breeding ground for other bugs. One of the used phones in the test had such high levels of bacteria that it could have given its owner a serious stomach upset, said the researchers who carried out the study for the ‘Which?’ magazine.
The findings from a sample of 30 used mobile phones suggest that 14.7 million of the 63 million mobile handsets in use in the UK today could be potential health hazards, they said. “The levels of potentially harmful bacteria on one mobile were off the scale. That mobile phone needs sterilizing,” lead researcher Jim Francis was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Unhygienic Mobile Causes Various Diseases: According to the findings, the most unhygienic used mobile had more than ten times the acceptable level of TVC, while the worst mobile handset had 39 times the safe level of enterobacteria — a group of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of humans and animals and include bugs such as Salmonella. It boasted 170 times the acceptable level of faecal coliforms, which are associated with human waste. Other bacteria including food poisoning bugs e.coli and staphylococcus aureus were found on the used mobile phones but at safe levels.
Which? magazine’s Ceri Stanaway said: “Most used phones didn’t have any immediately harmful bacteria that would make you sick straight away but they were grubbier than they could be. “The bugs can end up on your hands which is a breeding ground and be passed back to your cell phone. They can be transferred back and forth and eventually you could catch something nasty. “What this shows is how easy it is to come into contact with bacteria. People see toilet flushes as being something dirty to touch but they have less bacteria than used mobile phones and accessories.
“People need to be mindful of that by observing good hygiene themselves and among others who they pass the mobile handset to when looking at photos, for example.”

SMS Marketing – Fruitful for Some but Annoying to Many

Advertising and attaining extensive consumer reach for any corporate, could never have been made easier than the way it is today. As several SMS services and solutions providing firms send text messages to mobile phones of end-users on behalf of corporate organizations. Enabling these organizations to convey their advertising or promotional messages with ease. The next-to-nothing cost of sending these SMSes and the kind of reach that it fetches, is really surprising.
Millions of marketing text messages are sent daily in Pakistan. Which is really frustrating many of the mobile phone users in the country. This new way of promoting business is really growing rapidly internationally. Such Organizations that are selling SMS marketing softwares and services should realize that while this is a fantastic and reasonable means of communication, mobile phone users deem these frequent spam SMSes as annoying, frustrating and bothersome. Consumers who are driven quite close to craziness by the recurring text messages would repeatedly curse themselves for having filled up a lucky-contest form with their mobile numbers due to which they’d be bombarded with spam texts.
Mobile Marketing: This irritation and annoyance is transferred to the organization whose name appears on the mobile phone screen and hence leads the consumer to bar any SMSes or calls from that particular firm. This automatically lowers the organization’s brand value and results in bad marketing and advertising. Marketers can, however, get this right if through SMS marketing they can provide consumers specific and comprehensible information that not only connects to the users’ emotional values but also appeals to their financial needs. All mobile marketing, if followed duly and if create value, will not be treated as spam after all.
The SMS Services and Solutions Providing Firms: In spite of the fact that mobile marketing industry is currently enjoying rapid growth, it is only a matter of time before the mobile service providers start incurring huge deficits. These firms enjoyed larger profit margin per SMS and hence underwent high-profit period, but with SMS rates dropping shockingly, firms are expected to endure lesser amount of profits with smaller profit margins. In addition to this, there also exists an unorganized section of SMS marketing companies who eat up 60% of the share of text messages that are sent. To face competition and to survive in a low-profit generating industry should be a tough challenge for these service providers. SMS marketing is thus, fruitful to some, but annoying to many!

Are You Abiding by Mobile Phone Etiquette?

Many of us consider mobile phones as life savers, but rude mobile phone users are the thorns in our sides. Private conversations, arguments, details about how a meeting went, or intimate knowledge of what’s in a stranger’s refrigerator at home are all things that all eavesdroppers can do.
What is needed to be done is that we should follow some etiquette when using a mobile phone, after all, most people who are annoying don’t realize that they’re annoying everyone around. Some people have got so fed up with rude mobile phone users that they turned to illegal mobile phone jammers. These devices knock mobile phone users off their lines and prevent a reconnection with the mobile tower until the user wanders out of range. The rate at which jammers are selling speaks to the lack of manners among the mobile phone users.
What are Mobile Phone Manners, After all? Mobile phone etiquette involves following some simple guidelines of common courtesy when using a mobile phone in public, designed to make public places more enjoyable for all. Its just a matter of being considerate of others, which pays off for everyone!
Do not forget to abide by when using a mobile phone:
1. Keep a 10-feet (3 meter) distance between you and anyone else whenever you talk to someone on your mobile phone. No exceptions.
2. Don’t Talk too loudly: Generally you don’t have to shout in the microphone to be heard on the other end.
3. Don’t Multi-task: Don’t make calls while driving, shopping, in banks, waiting in line, or doing pretty much anything that involves interacting with other human beings.
4. Don’t Talk in Any Enclosed Spaces: Even if you’re more than 10 feet away from anyone. Others can still hear you talking on your mobile phone (because it’s an enclosed space) and usually, they’re forced to just sit there and listen. Especially, do not make or attend calls when you are in bathrooms, elevators, waiting rooms, auditoriums and public transports.
5. Places Where to Turn-Off Mobile Ring-tone: Don’t even let your mobile phone ring in any of the following settings; Job interviews, Meetings, Libraries, Museums, Worship places, School, During Lectures, Courtrooms, During live performances, Funerals, Weddings, in Cinema halls, at Work Place etc.
6. Don’t Use Mobile During Meals: :Don’t use your mobile phone when having a meal with someone. Ideally, you should turn it off entirely. If you’re anticipating an important call, let the person you’re with, know beforehand that you’re expecting a call that you’ll need to take. No matter what, don’t hold a conversation at the table; step away, follow Step 1, and don’t stay away any longer than you would for a bathroom break. Never, ever text at the table, even if the conversation died down.
7. No Mobile Phone When at Movies: Turn off your mobile phone at the movie theater. Even if your mobile phone is on vibrate mode, people can hear it during quiet parts of the movie. And even if they can’t, the light from your mobile phone’s screen is very distracting. Don’t check the time, don’t check your text messages; just turn it off until the movie is over. Mobile Phones should be turned off in movie theaters, playhouses, observatories or any other public place that creates an atmosphere to transport the imagination of the audience. People pay good money to be entertained and a ringer breaks the illusion.
8. Practice Texting: When you’re in an enclosed space, or you can’t put yourself 10 feet out of everyone’s way, it’s inappropriate to talk but it’s acceptable to receive and send text messages. In such cases, keep the following rules of texting etiquette in mind; Use the vibrate feature instead of an audible text alert. Only text when you’re standing still or sitting out of anyone’s way. Don’t text while you walk or drive. Don’t text while doing anything that requires you to be attentive. A good example would be while waiting at an intersection for the pedestrian signal. Don’t text in a meeting or conference when you should be attentive to the guest speaker.

ENRICH – Mobile App developed by 12-yr Old Boy

BANDUNG – INDONESIA: Fahma Waluya Rosmansyah, a 12-years old spends his free time creating mobile games that help children learn the English language or even basic maths skills.
Fahma was born in Indonesia in 1998 and like most kids, loves playing with his games console, PC games and with mobile phones, and it was when Fahma reached fifth grade that he began to learn how to develop mobile games with Adobe Flash. That same year he created his first mobile application called BAHANA which allows young children to learn the alphabet, numbers and colours – all from a Nokia E71.

Mobile Applications for Children at Nokia Ovi Store: In his sixth grade, he developed over 5 more mobile applications, one of which is downloadable from the Nokia Ovi Store. ENRICH enables children to translate Indonesian words into English using colourful images and clearly pronounced words. MANTAP is a similar app but instead teaches Indonesian children Maths, and should be available from the Ovi Store in the coming weeks. Fahma tells us he can create a mobile application from scratch in less than 12 hours, with the help of his younger sister, Hania, who provides some of the sound content. She is also his main source of inspiration and beta tester. Having recently been awarded the Indonesia ICT Award 2010, Fahma plans to continue developing mobile applications for local Indonesian children and even hopes that one day his mobile applications can be made available to every child, globally. For a 12 year old student, currently going through school, we find this an incredible story and shows what the young mind can achieve, and what’s even more commendable is that these mobile applications are used to help young children learn some valuable life skills. Download ENRICH for free, from the Ovi Store.