Vodacom “gift” box

June 15, 2009

Vodacom wants me to use the what is left of my remaining free anytime minutes so I can get 10 gift minutes. One has to wonder how cheap service delivery is to make this worth their while on the off chance I may use some billable minutes, I suppose they make their money from the pricy contracts already. Bloody bean counters have us all figured out!

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While there has been a lot of talk afoot about the newly launched Facebook Usernames feature, I took some time to evaluate the Facebook Mobile Texts experience.  I was blissfully unaware of the SMS features that existed previously, until receiving a prompt on my Facebook to go and check it out, which I did,  and I must admit it seems very handy and quite alarming how much money they could be spending on this little feature that is buried away in the bowels of the site.sms1

The sign-up process was very simple and involves sending a text to a shortcode which then replies with a subscription code that needs to be entered on the site to confirm your mobile number.

At the moment Vodacom is the only listed provider and South Africa is the only African country listed, one of 19 countries in all. So we seem to be very lucky.

There’s a comprehensive config where you can tweak parameters such as delivery times, which types of notices you want etc. Most interesting is the option to receive status updates via sms, when you combine this with the ability to send in your own status update via SMS one starts to see the beginning of a very powerful little group text delivery system which could prove to be a very cost effective real time communication tool to your group of friends. Yes, it seems there is no charge above normal operators charges. Ofcourse MXit is still cheaper in the long run but its not as real time as an SMS, which the recipient is immediately made aware of. To prevent this from turning into a fullblown free-for-all you cannot easily subscribe to all of your friends status updates, but have to manually key in their names on a form.logo_facebook

Furthermore their is a nice keyword language you can use when sending in updates in order to perform different actions like, “wall john smith happy bday” to write on a friends wall and “note this is a mobile note” to write a note.

If they start releasing this to more African countries I can see this developing into a popular “chat via status” tool via SMS if it remains effectively free.  (I will be keeping an eye on those charges)

I wonder how facebook looks to recoup losses, perhaps they are planning to make some back on mobile ads, but right now it seems like a dead loss.

mobile-projectorEvery day on the schoolyard a familiar scenario plays out where a group of kids all huddle around someone with a cellphone, pumping out the latest and greatest MP3 over the built in speaker. These kids can also be seen on their bicycles playing the same songs, walking in the mall playing the same song (loudly, so everyone hears) etc, etc.

The next big thing that all the mobile manufacturers are scrambling for seems to be the inclusion of a teeny tiny data projector, built right into the phone. No doubt this is originally meant for photo sharing and business purposes, but I can see something else evolving out of it. Perhaps this will be what the kids on the playground latch onto next?

Marketers, keep an eye out on this one, mobile video may become the holy grail for embedded advertising in ways we never thought of. The small screen has become untethered.

I was a suffering from caffiene withdrawal when I saw this post of a Blow Controlled mobile phone, and the following crazy scenario played through my head, this is what I would have blogged if it was all true (which it’s not):

[Start of silly fictitious post here …]

Amazing, finally someone has savvied to the idea of a blow controlled cellphone. Ever since watching fear and loathing, I knew there was more to a bit of blow than meets the eye.

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Meet [insert manufacturer here] “blow-controlled” mobile.

I mean, who needs anything more than a really basic phone anyways. The coolness factor should an could always be influenced by providing the user with appropriate quantities of blow during purchase and carefully regulating the users intake when accessing features like the phonebook and looking for a “multiple recipient” feature etc.

At last, someone has now released that exact phone. Brilliant. Much in the same way as Apple may be laceing their packaging with crack so that people will continually buy their products once buying the first, no matter how bad it is, someone has realised that introducing a notable narcotic in your product offering will sweeten the deal just so much more, while simultaneously easing product development. Almost makes that 2 year Vodacom Weekender contract (with the useless weekend minutes) more bearable.

[End of silly fictitious post here …]

Sadly:

7eb7f53a498717eb400x400No folks sorry to disappoint but this is fact an actual device made by Pantech as featured by engadget mobile and as crazy as it sounds, this device is really controlled by the “wind” or rather the action of you gently blowing into the microphone may be used to adjust things like brightness, and volume..

7eb7f53a498717eb400x400

Disclaimer: The fact and opinions expressed on this blog are completely a figment of the authors distorted mind, and can in no way be traced back to anything correlating with any one entity or event in reallife ever. This is a work of fiction and is there only as a parody/bit of a joke and will be gladly removed at the request of any party directly affected by it.