Posts Tagged ‘mobile phone’

18 Oct: New Rules dealing with mobile bill shock

An article on The Age reports that the Australian government and regulators are considering a new rule that mobile carriers would be forced to notify customers before slugging them with excess usage fees and other extra charges.

The article also adds that the new regulation will require carriers to alert consumers when they near their monthly quota for voice, text and data services. The alerts, sent by text or voice message, would also apply to other extra charges such as international roaming fees.

I had experienced ‘bill shock’ last month when I had to pay extra $150 for my usage. Therefore, to me this regulation is very substantial. I am using Three with $50 cap. If I want to check my usage, I need to go to My3 and log on with my user and password. But the point is My3 actually doesn’t show my up-to-date usage. I only know my usage until Three send me online statement.

I think this situation also has been happening to many mobile users. Especially in Australia where the mobile charges are very high, it is very necessary for mobile services like Three, Virgin, Optus and so forth to alert their customers if they are going to excess their usage.

19 Oct: Google travel search

Although this online article is under ‘Traveller‘ section on The Age, I want to put it in my collection of technology news for this week.

The article gives an interesting information that Google search engine is experimenting new tool to provide much richer search results. This new technology helps customers trawl through multiple sources or cross-reference information from several sites.

The article also provides a clear example that travellers are able to look at a map and see actual prices for hotels in a given area (along with images and information on facilities and nearby attractions), with the ability to click through to make a reservation via a third-party booking site.

This week I want to talk about citizen journalism through two case studies Stomp and OhmyNews.

First, let’s have a look at Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print). This is a Singaporean citizen-journalism website with user-generated material. Mobile phones are used in producing news. Photos that are taken by mobile phone camera are sent to Stomp. Some are published on its website and those are newsworthy are sent to the SPH’s newspapers.

Through ‘Talk Back’, readers can contribute on news production via email, SMS and MMS by entering the short code 75557 into mobile phones. This is similar to 63000 service of the UK’s Sun newspaper.

However, there are many ethical issues relate to online content, especially these information are collected through email or SMS. Stomp checks the stories’ accuracy through interviewing the senders and informed them if the story is put online.

Secondly, let’s look at another citizen-journalism website, OhmyNews.

OhmyNews is a place where ordinary people can get a chance to say and share something. This aspect explains why all stories written in OhmyNews are subjective and based on personal thoughts.

With the rise of distinctive media tools such as mobile phones, camera phones and wireless broadband, OhmyNews will continue to growth.

The success of Stomp and OhmyNews leads to a question whether it is possible to create a audience generated content website on news in Australia. I think in the recent new media communication context, this is possible to be done. Along with the booming of new media technologies, Australian media is rapidly growing in diversity platforms such as radio, TV, printed media, and online. There are few news websites that provide opportunities for readers to provide their own viewpoints on Opinion section on Theage.  However, we haven’t seen any news materials that created by citizens. This is what we should carefully consider for the future of media in Australia.

I want to start this week’s entry by telling you three interesting stories about the mobile phones that I have been using. The first story, i could name it, the ‘brick’ story. I still remember the first time I used cell phone. My dad gave it to me as a birthday present. It was a Nokia; very simple, all black, with small screen. All what I can do with this ‘machine’ is make phone calls and text messages. But as any other high-tech hungers, I stored the ‘brick’ Nokia in my little box, stopped using it, and grabbed a new sexy Motorola. It was great phone; extremely slim, heaps of applications like taking photos, shooting videos, and music. The cell phone stories went different since I said goodbye to my lovely Motorola and having a new smartphone Blackberry.

I was amazed by this new tool. Especially, a multi-tasking person like me, I found it very applicable. With the Blackberry, I can go online at any time to check email from my five accounts, read latest news, go to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and Youtube.

I will stop my mobile phone story here to think about how new technologies have been changing journalists‘ practices and news production. Clearly, in recent years, the booming of new technologies and web 2.0 tools has been shaping how journalists act and how news is produced. Journalists now have many choices in gathering sources and telling story. Let’s think about journalist practices in related to this week’s interesting coverage about a new attempt of Skype. This online tool which will extend videoconferencing up to ten users. Clearly, journalists from different places can hold a conference at the same time though this new Skype version. This is a precise evidence of how new media impacts on news production.