Mae : Wireless Mobility Blog
| News and views on everything wireless and mobile, from WiFi and WiMAX to 3G and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

April 2007

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VirginiaTech Update: Technology Didn’t Speed up Warnings

April 16, 2007

Here’s an update on the VirginiaTech shootings: an AP report published just after 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time said that it took the university two hours to compose and send out an e-mail to students warning them about the first shooting.   According to the article, that’s also the span of time between the first shooting and the second one; by the time students got the e-mail (at 9:26 a.m.), the gunman had moved to a second building and begun his rampage again. The article also quoted a student saying that there were no public address system warnings as he walked to class at 9:00 a.m.

VirginiaTech Shooting: Student Uses Cell Phone to Bring Us There

April 16, 2007

A student at VirginiaTech this morning showed the kind of go-getter courage that would make him a good journalist, and demonstrated how modern technology is changing the way our society observes and responds to extraordinary events.   The student, Jamal Albarghouti (a civil engineering major, according to VirginiaTech’s directory), turned his cell phone on and started recording with its video camera, after realizing that something unusual was happening on campus. In an interview available on, Albarghouti said that at first he thought there was another bomb threat, but when he saw the officer pull out their guns and heard shots, he knew there was a bigger story developing.   In Albarghouti’s video clip, several armed police officers are seen approaching Norris Hall on the Blacksburg campus, and shots are heard in the background.   Think about this for a moment.

ViVOtech and Gemalto: Kings of the Contactless Technology Hill

April 10, 2007

ABI Research recently published its latest report on the contactless technology industry, including vendor matrixes showing which companies lead the pack. For those not familiar, contactless technology (also sometimes referred to as “near field communications”) refers to systems that use short-range wireless signal to transmit information from a small tag or transmitter to a receiver. Two examples are E-Z Pass for paying highway tolls, and key-fobs that provide access to corporate buildings.   Two companies that I have to admit I’d never heard of before topped ABI’s matrix of leading contactless reader and contactless inlay vendors: ViVOtech and Gemalto, respectively.   ViVOtech is a company that specializes in technology for next-generation, electronic payment systems.

Phone Sherpa Helps Artists Sell Their Work as Mobile Content

April 5, 2007

Many companies looking to make a buck (or a few million bucks) on the Web in recent years have gone into the mobile content business—selling things like ringtones and wallpaper for cell phones. This is a potentially very lucrative market, and one that also has potential for musicians and other artists looking for a way to distribute their creations while making some money. However, setting up a functional online store that’s compelling enough for visitors to return again and again can be a challenge.   This week I received a phone call from a representative at Phone Sherpa, a Seattle-based company (founded in 2005) that describes itself as “the world's leading ringtone maker and ringtone store service.” The rep wanted me to know about a new Phone Sherpa’s new Mobile Store solution, which provides tools to market and promote music and art as ringtones or wallpaper for mobile phones.