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Mobile Marketing With SMS Text Messaging, Mobile Apps & Mobile Websites

September 25, 2016
by admin

Japan to Send Flood Alerts Through Text Messages

(TNS) — The land ministry has started a project to send flood warnings via text message to the mobile phones of people in two cities, in the wake of large-scale floods caused by torrential rain in the Kanto and Tohoku regions in September last year.

The project began on Sept. 5 in Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Ozu, Ehime Prefecture.

Within the next five years, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry aims to widen areas where the service will be available to those along 109 river systems under the control of the central government.

According to the ministry, the rivers that are subject to the new warning system are the Kinugawa River in Joso and the Hijikawa River in Ozu.

The banks of the Kinugawa river overflowed when torrential rain hit the Kanto and Tohoku regions in September last year, while the Hijikawa river flooded when torrential rain fell in September 2011. Both times, large-scale flood damage occurred in areas along the rivers.

The ministry started the system of emergency warning text messages in the two cities because the city governments have made sufficient preparations, such as prior notification to residents.

With cooperation from major mobile phone service companies, the ministry will send emergency warning text messages en masse to smartphones and other types of mobile phones belonging to residents and visitors in the cities.

It will do so when the water levels of the two rivers exceed “risk levels” at which the city governments are required to issue evacuation instructions, or when floods actually occur.

The mechanism is the same as that of emergency earthquake warnings. Recipients do not need to change any settings on their phones, with the emergency warning messages to be automatically sent along with sound alarms.

The ministry’s Shimodate River Office, the Joso city government, the Ibaraki prefectural government and other entities conducted a drill in Joso on Sept. 5 to relay emergency information. It was based on scenarios including one in which the water level of the Kinugawa River had reached the 2.3-meter risk level and one in which the river overflowed its banks.

In addition to telephone alerts, emergency warning text messages were sent.

Mock data was transmitted to major mobile phone service companies from the ministry’s Kanto Regional Development Bureau.

Text messages were distributed to residents in the city and its suburbs, saying: “There is risk of floods due to the breaking of river banks. Please take proper disaster management actions, such as securing your safety.”

Shingo Satomura, chief of the Shimodate River Office, said after the drill: “There could be situations in which residents are unable to clearly hear messages from the community wireless system or access websites displaying such information.

“We were able to confirm [in the drill] the effectiveness of the emergency warning text message system, which sends messages to individuals’ mobile phones.”


©2016 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany)

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

September 25, 2016
by admin

Don’t drunk text your ex: artist offers a cringe-free alternative

It’s late. You’re a little worse for wear. And feeling nostalgic.

You know that what you really shouldn’t do now is send a text, yet the more you try to talk yourself out of it, the worse the urge gets.

You wake up the next morning in a full-body cringe, dreading the ritual rereading of your phone. You wish you hadn’t sent that text. Later, you might try to repair the damage (and your ego) with yet another text. And so the cycle of impulsivity and regret continues.

Lots of people write letters or emails they don’t ever intend to send, as a means of harmlessly getting it all out there, or of constructively thinking about what they would say to someone in a magic world where it would be productive and relieving to do so. But text messages are different, because the short format, immediacy and ease of clicking “send” make it harder to control.

Fascinated by this dynamic, the New York-based artist Hanny Ahern began texting herself instead of the objects of her agita. She added herself as a pseudonymous contact in her own phone, and sent herself the sometimes “elaborate emoji compositions” or words, redirecting the urge to send impulsive texts.

“It changed the way I used my phone from anxious and impulsive to creative and fulfilling,” says Ahern. “When I would get a notification from myself, I would feel a certain excitement, almost as if I were getting a text from another person. I’d go back to the messages months later and be so grateful that I sent them to myself instead of to the other person, because I realized how much time had changed my perspective.”

Moreover, Ahern realized she wasn’t alone. “Many of us seem to be in a room together with a text-bubble draft looming in our heads, unsent and unrequited. So the question became: how can the medium of SMS be gently subverted to challenge alienation and misunderstanding in text communications, and to free up some mental space?”

Working with the technologist Chris Allick, Ahern began creating a project called When I Think About You I Text Myself to create a “relational intervention” in the text messaging medium. Rather than send that ill-advised text, you set afloat your tricky little digital boats in the direction of an anonymous phone number – provided online – which will then automatically send your own words back to you at intervals of three, six, nine and 12 months so you can revisit them privately, safely and with the distance of time.

‘You’re depending on a disembodied high’

The project was initially conceived primarily as a work of art rather than a public service. Ahern describes being influenced by the media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s idea of the “self-amputated image”, which describes our relationship to technology. “In his essay the Gadget Lover, McLuhan uses the myth of Narcissus to describe ‘cultural narcosis’, or a numbing loop that is extended between ourselves and the gadgets that ‘are ourselves’.”

The youth Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. Now the point of this myth is the fact that men at once become fascinated by any extension of themselves in any material other than themselves.

Marshall McLuhan, The Gadget Lover, Understanding Media

When I Think About You I Text Myself debuted as part of Temporary Highs, an exhibit that ran earlier this summer at the Bitforms Gallery in New York, curated by Lindsay Howard, devoted to “how the structure of the internet enables reward-seeking behavior”. Other works in the exhibit dealt with themes such as online shopping, video games, work and drugs. It’s not too much of a stretch to talk about ill-advised texts alongside other self-destructive behaviors. The cycle of impulsivity, instant gratification and then regret brought on by the clarity of a new day is part of the experience.

“I thought [Temporary Highs] was the perfect context for the project, because it presented a way to reverse the reward system,” Ahern says. “If the smartphone causes alienation, communication paralysis and numbness, then I want to challenge that in a way that provokes emotion and creativity … if you rely on a text message exchange for satisfaction, you’re depending on a disembodied high. There are a lot of stress hormones activated by phone notifications and, in a way, the nervous system is partially hijacked to meeting this new extension of the self.”

Waiting: tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting for the loved being, subject to trivial delays (rendezvous, letters, telephone calls, returns)
Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

During the first week of When I Think About You I Text Myself, anyone who texted the provided number received responses personally written by Ahern, along with automated, programmed texts designed to prompt the user to express themselves.

Although providing each individual text with personal attention wasn’t practically or emotionally sustainable for Ahern, she says it was important to her that the project account for some ambiguity between human and machine. “I learned through testing that people were more likely to communicate [if given] a little bit of feedback, and that they were more likely to quit texting and give up expressing themselves if they felt they were texting into a vacuum,” says Ahern.

‘The simplicity was beautiful’

When you talk to a human in 2035, you’ll be talking to someone that’s a combination of biological and nonbiological intelligence

Ray Kurzweil

Through Ahern’s project, we learn that knowing we may receive a response is part of the irresistible urge of texting – even if we don’t know whether the response is coming from a human or a robot, and even when it’s just our own words and feelings reflected back at us at the project’s preordained three-month intervals. She also says she learned from the patterns and commonalities among the messages she received.

“Most of the responses were related to love in one way or another. All in all, the most common expression was and is some version of ‘I miss you’,” Ahern says. “That simplicity was very beautiful. I heard from people who are harboring secret crushes, falling in love but too afraid to say so, stepping outside their relationship or hoping to get back together with a past love. Some were cathartic, angry or even accusatory. Others were venting at work or family. It seemed like most of these people were using the project as a way to communicate feelings that would otherwise complicate delicate relationships.

“The texts were anonymous, which was helpful in staying objective,” she continues. “There were times where I thought, Mom, is that you? Or, oh man, is this my ex? But in fact I’ll never know, and most likely, I was seeing that all of our stories aren’t that different.”

Ahern says that as an art project, When I Think About You I Text Myself’s primary goal is to invite expression, and anything users share is at their discretion. Participants’ phone numbers are anonymized, texts aren’t shared publicly and all the information is stored in a secure database.

“This hotline should in no way replace the option to reach for a real person. In fact, I hope that it shapes the thoughts and feelings, and provokes authentic communication with real live people, perhaps after some reflection,” Ahern adds. “This phone number is more like a safe space waiting room for all the pent-up communication.”

Next time you can barely contain that text you know you aren’t supposed to send, try Ahern’s hotline instead. It is an altogether different feeling, to know your message joins a current of so many others like it, and to know that instead of doing something you’ll regret, you’re engaging in a thoughtful loop of reflection with yourself.

September 24, 2016
by admin

HelloVote Allows You to Register to Vote Via Text

Someone finally figured out a genius way to to get more young people to register to vote: let them use their phones.

The non-profit group Fight for the Future created HelloVote, a chat bot that guides users through the process of registering by asking them a series of questions via text messages or Facebook messenger.

Here’s how it works:

  • Start by simply texting “HELLO” to the number 384-387, or start on Facebook messenger.
  • Then follow along with the chat bot as it asks for basic information like: name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number, or the last four digits of your social security number.
  • If your state accepts instant registration, HelloVote will send your forms in automatically.
  • If your state doesn’t accept instant registration and requires a signature, HelloVote will send you a pre-filled form via email or mail, along with a pre-addressed stamped envelope that you can sign and send to your local Board of Elections.

According to Business Insider, HelloVote can now fully register people to vote via SMS or Facebook in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

CEO Holmes Wilson told the website that the company is close to launching in Vermont and Illinois and “should be able to add Kentucky, West Virginia, and Hawaii soon.” It also hopes to add Pennsylvania to the list before the state’s October 11 registration deadline.

In other states HelloVote is only partially operational and requires voters to mail in registration forms.

Users have already begun using the service, and attest that it does in fact work.

As the election nears, young voters make up a crucial portion of votes for the potential victor. Targeting young people with convenient services like this is a great way to encourage voter turnout and participation in this year’s election. If you haven’t already registered, here’s your chance!

Alexis Evans

September 24, 2016
by admin

Revealed: paying for congestion charge by text message to be axed

Drivers will soon no longer be able to pay London’s congestion charge by text message, it can be revealed.

Transport for London confirmed it was axing its SMS payment service as part of a planned “raft of improvements”.

The payment method is being phased out this week ahead of a new website to be launched on Monday, with an app also set to be unveiled.

Currently, motorists can pay by text only on the day of travel if they have registered a customer account.

A TfL spokesman said figures showed around 150 people per day used text messages to pay the congestion charge, which equates to about 0.27 per cent of the total amount.

It comes nearly a year since outsourcer Capita took over the day-to-day operation of the congestion charge after it signed a five-year deal with TfL in January 2014.

TfL pledged the appointment of the new service provider “will deliver improved efficiency with faster, simpler payment processes”.

Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL’s General Manager for Road User Charging, said: “We are improving our Congestion Charge system with a new website offering customers more services and a new payment app.  

“As part of the upgrade we are removing the text payment service, which is used by a very small number of people paying the charge each day.”

In April, Transport for London was urged to merge the congestion charging zone with the low emission zone as far out as the North and South circular roads by 2019 to tackle London’s toxic air pollution.

Independent thinktank IPPR said the zone, which currently costs £11.50 to enter, could be used to reinvest in public transport, cycling and walking.

  • More about:
  • Transport For London
  • Congestion Charge
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September 24, 2016
by admin

How to slash your mobile bill: Pay-as-you-go deals no longer the cheapest

The cost of using pay-as-you-go mobile phones has trebled since the first iPhone was launched eight years ago, Money Mail research shows.

Years of quiet price hikes mean it is no longer true that the cheapest way to make calls and texts on a mobile is to buy an inexpensive handset and top it up with credit when you need it.

In the past, millions of older people and younger teenagers who rarely needed to use a mobile chose pay-as-you-go deals so they were not tied into costly contracts — and were protected from unexpected bills.

Years of quiet price hikes mean it is no longer true that the cheapest way to make calls and texts on a mobile is to buy an inexpensive handset and top it up with credit when you need it

Years of quiet price hikes mean it is no longer true that the cheapest way to make calls and texts on a mobile is to buy an inexpensive handset and top it up with credit when you need it

But our research found this is now one of the most expensive ways to use a phone. A ten-minute call on a pay-as-you-go in 2008 cost £1.20 with T-Mobile and £1.10 with O2.

Today, it costs £3.50 with T-Mobile and £3 with O2 — those are increases of 192 per cent and 173 per cent respectively.

Only those who use their phones once or twice a month should still be using pay-as-you-go, experts say.

For others it could pay to switch to cheap monthly deals you can cancel with 30 days’ notice. So are you on the right type of mobile deal?


If your mobile phone is only for when the landline is broken or you’re out and need to contact someone urgently, a pay-as-you-go deal is still likely to be best.

Get a cheap handset that lets you make calls, send texts, take photos and browse the internet, such as a Nokia 222 for £26.99 from Carphone Warehouse. Mobile network Three offers the best pay-as-you-go rates. Calls cost 3p a minute and texts 2p each.

By comparison, Vodafone charges 30p a minute and 14p a text, T-Mobile 35p and 14p and O2 30p and 14p.

To get a free Sim card, which you just pop in the back of your phone, visit a Three store, call 0800 193 1561 or go to

Moderate users: 30-day rolling Sim-only contracts are a good option

Moderate users: 30-day rolling Sim-only contracts are a good option

Beware that providers usually cancel your number if it goes unused for six months and you could lose any remaining credit.

So set a diary reminder to make a few calls or send the odd text every couple of months.


If you use your mobile most days — if only to let your partner know you’re running late or to check in with grandchildren at university — ditch your pay-as-you-go phone.

You need a simple monthly deal called a 30-day rolling Sim-only contract. This gives you an allowance of calls, texts and internet data each month for a set price — but you can cancel with a month’s notice.

With Virgin Mobile, for example, you can get 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 250 megabytes (MB) of data (enough to send around 8,000 emails) for £5 a month.

If you talk on the phone more often, you can get 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 gigabyte (GB) of data for £8 a month. To make the same number of calls on a pay-as-you-go phone, you’d need to buy £75 of credit.

You can request a free Sim card from Virgin by calling 0800 064 3847. You will need to set up a direct debit and if you exceed your allowance, you’ll be hit with extra charges.


If you regularly use the internet on your mobile, you need a good smartphone with a decent data allowance.

Many customers get talked into expensive monthly contracts with almost unlimited net access because they are worried about high charges if they run out.

But a small amount of data can go further than you think.

Just 100 MB of mobile data will let you send 3,333 emails or surf the web for five hours, according to comparison website Confused.

With 500 MB, you can spend 21 hours on the internet and chat on Skype for two hours. You can conserve your allowance by using your home internet connection if you have wifi. Many cafes and pubs offer free wifi.

Tesco Mobile offers a simple smartphone called Microsoft Lumia 550 for £7.50 a month. You get 250 minutes of calls, 5,000 texts and 500 MB of data.

The contract is for 24 months and you keep the phone at the end.

For a more advanced smartphone, Talk Mobile offers the iPhone 5s at £15 a month. You get 2,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and 4 GB data. There is a one-off fee of £48.99 for the handset. The contract is for 24 months.


Apple launched its new iPhone 7 last Friday. The cheapest 32 GB version costs a huge £599.

To avoid paying this all in one go, most people take out a two-year contract with a mobile phone provider.

Giffgaff offers one of the cheapest deals at £38.47 a month. You get 500 minutes of calls, unlimited text messages and 1 GB of internet data. There is an upfront fee of £35.

Now there’s an even cheaper way to get your hands on the new iPhone. Apple is offering its own interest-free loans through Barclays. If you want the 32 GB handset, you pay £49 upfront and then £27.50 a month for 20 months.

And after this the phone is yours.

You can then buy a cheap Sim card that gives you free minutes, messages and data each month.

With Virgin Mobile, you get 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 500 MB of internet data for £5 a month. This works out at £239.28 cheaper over two years than the Giffgaff deal.

Customers must apply for the loan in an Apple store.

Logo LC

Logo LC

Logo LC

Logo LC

Logo LC

September 24, 2016
by admin

How to Not Lose Your Marketing Job to a Machine

Whether we like it or not, the machines are coming to marketing. Programmatic media is growing at 50% per year. Marketing automation systems like Unica, Eloqua and Campaign Manager are now mainstream among leading clients. Intelligent agents such as Watson, Siri and Alexa are rapidly gaining traction, and “programmatic creative” is under active discussion by blue-chip clients everywhere.

So whether your marketing career still has five, 10, 20 or even 30 years left, you need to seriously think about how to survive and thrive in the machine world.

Here’s my best advice on how to future-proof your career for the long haul:

1. Excel at things that machines find hard to do

I drew up the chart below last year after I spent a day at the IBM Watson Research Lab learning about the future of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence. The chart describes a new relationship between humans and machines, and I believe it has profound implications for careers, including those in marketing.

In simple terms, we can divide all activities in the world into things that are “repeatable” and those that are “creative.” By repeatable, I mean things like mass production, performing calculations, and other mechanical tasks. In this domain, the machines dominate. They are faster, more accurate, more reliable, and more efficient. In the creative domain, humans still dominate. We are good at things like inventing new ideas, dealing with ambiguity, and building human trust.

The implications are clear for careers in marketing. If all you know how to do is calculate and execute, your career will be at high risk of being taken over by a machine. So the first thing you need to do is to build a skill set that is abundant in the ability to invent, judge, and build human trust. Do everything possible to master these profoundly human skills. Work in a deeply creative environment — even if you are not in the “creative department.” Gain exposure to a rich diversity of experiences — through travel, study, discovery, and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Raise your game by surrounding yourself with true experts in the human arts of risk-taking and trust-building.

2. Work with machines, not against them

It is not strictly a case of human versus machines. What is interesting is how humans and machines need to interact. Even in repeatable tasks, there is a critical role for human skills — in teaching the machine, inspecting the output to make sure it is right, and in testing new hypotheses. This is why the demand for people who can derive insights from data will be robust for decades to come. If you are mathematically inclined, don’t just be a spreadsheet jockey — learn to mine the data for new test hypotheses.

In the “creative” world, there is a growing opportunity to use a machine to inspire and enable the creative process. Composers use software to write down the notes and transpose keys — so that the artist can focus on the invention part rather than the laborious mechanics. The oncologist can deploy IBM Watson to help digest millions of data points to help her narrow down the possible treatment options in a complex cancer diagnosis. The humans still apply their creativity and judgment, but the machines help make it happen better and faster.

3. Don’t wait for a machine to eat your lunch

I encourage people to look up and down the curve and find their home. There are many great roles in the human domain for big ideas people, entrepreneurs and trust-builders. There are superb new opportunities emerging in the “corners” working closely alongside machines — like the data scientist who is a great storyteller or the master of execution who is great at building client trust. But do take action. By mastering skills now you can differentiate yourself both from the machines and from your human competition.

Take the long view and future-proof your career, starting now.

September 24, 2016
by admin
Comments Off on Arsenal player ‘sent secret text to Jose Mourinho claiming Arsene Wenger did NOTHING in training’

Arsenal player ‘sent secret text to Jose Mourinho claiming Arsene Wenger did NOTHING in training’

Jose Mourinho has claimed to have had a mole in the Arsenal dressing room who would send him secret text messages during his time at Chelsea.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is alleged to have ‘done nothing’ during training sessions in the build-up to the Gunners’ impressive 2-0 win over Manchester City in January 2015.

In the new book Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal, journalist Rob Beasley has revealed some of the details of Mourinho’s long-running rivalry with Wenger.

In the book, which is being serialised by the Daily Mail, Mourinho is claimed to have told Beasley: “[One of the Arsenal players] sent me an SMS to say players did themselves, organised themselves during the week. Wenger did nothing.”

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring against Manchester City as Arsenal win at the Etihad

Arsenal had secured a dominant 2-0 victory over Manchester City
Arsenal FC via Getty
Arsene Wenger

Information about Wenger in training had seemed to be leaked

When pressed on whether the information was correct, Mourinho reportedly insisted to the author that is was “100 per cent”.

Further details of the saga between Wenger and Mourinho were revealed in the book.

It is claimed that Mourinho launched an a threat at Wenger, insisting that he wanted to “break his face” for commenting on Juan Mata’s move from Chelsea to Manchester United.

Wenger responds to Mourinhos face breaking comment

Video loading

But Wenger has since hit back and says that he will continue to speak his mind.

Mourinho is alleged to have said: “When Mr Wenger criticises CFC and Man United over the deal with Mata…I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face.”

But Wenger, whose side play Chelsea on Saturday, said: “I have no personal problem with anybody. I respect everybody in our game and I don’t feel I comment a lot on other teams.

“Sometimes I just say what i think, but that is part of the way I am.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shake hands before the match

Wenger and Mourinho have had a fierce rivalry
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger

The pair have rarely seen eye to eye on a matchday

“What is amazing is that has nothing to do with our game tomorrow. I personally am just focused on doing my job well and respecting everybody else.

“Look, I haven’t read the book and I certainly won’t read it. I cannot comment on that. I talk about football and that’s all I do.

“I’m not in a destructive mode, ever. I’m more constructive and I cannot comment on that because I’m focused on tomorrow’s game and how we want to play football.”

Wenger did, however, suggest he could yet have his own tales to tell when the time is right.

The Frenchman, who celebrates 20 years at Arsenal next week, added: “I don’t know, I will maybe make a book one day but I am not ready for that yet!”