Kickstarter project uses recycled smartphones to protect endangered trees

smartphone rainforest

If an endangered tree falls in a forest, you can use an old smartphone to hear it. That’s the goal of this Kickstarter project aiming to protect the earth’s diminishing forests from illegal logging. By using old, unwanted Android smartphones, the tree lovers at Rainforest Connection are hoping to reduce e-waste in order to protect trees. It’s smart and efficient. (more…)

Chicago and New York libraries plan to rent out WiFi hotspots

wifi hotspot

Libraries in New York City and Chicago will start lending out WiFi hotspots, thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation.

New York City public library received $500,000 to provide 10,000 household hotspots for one year. The program’s initial 100 household pilot is currently collecting data on how it’s being used in order to better serve the final recipients. Providing 10,000 hotspots will actually cost the New York City Public Library $1 million, so the organization is planning to fundraise the remainder of the funds. (more…)

T-Mobile just boosted music streaming apps with free data for users

barracuda-headphones-dude2

John Legere announced major changes to the way the company calculated its data plan at T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 5.0 event on Wednesday night. With “Music Freedom, select music streaming services will no longer be counted towards music streaming data.”

Previously, all data in excess of the allotted plan was throttled, with options to temporarily upgrade. With the new free data, T-Mobile is selecting which companies to share its wealth of free music data: Pandora, iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, Slacker, Spotify, Samsung’s Milk service, and Rhapsody. (more…)

Blood donation poster demonstrates sharing by acting as free phone chargers

Brazilian ad agency, Publicis Sao Paulo, and blood donation organization, Fundação Pró-Sangue, have teamed up to create an interactive, charging poster to encourage mobile users to lend their own blood in exchange for phone juice.

The clever ad campaign is called the ‘Blood Charging Poster’ and the tagline reads, “If you need, we’re here for you. Why not return the favor? We need blood.” (more…)

FCC Warning: new text-to-911 feature is not widely available for use

fcc text-to-911 warning

The FCC issued a statement warning users not to use its new text-to-911 feature for emergencies, unless no other options exist.

Text-to-911 is a new way of reaching emergency operators and has been widely adapted by major cellular carriers since July of 2013. In January of 2014, the FCC issued an official policy announcement detailing cross-carrier implementation of text-to-911 service by December 31, 2014. (more…)

Official Instagram app finally coming to Windows Phone

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Instagram has finally announced the upcoming release of an official app on Windows Phone devices. The news comes both from Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, and Nokia, which confirmed the app’s development at its Nokia World conference in Abu Dhabi today.

(more…)

Comcast, NBC Universal partner with Twitter for ‘See It’ television viewing program

Image via Comcast

Image via Comcast

Comcast, NBC Universal and Twitter have today announced a new partnership, bringing a feature called “See It” to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers. The See It program will allow users to instantly access TV shows, movies and sports directly from a tweet on Twitter.

(more…)

Pandora will lift its 40-hour free streaming cap next month

pandora-650

Image via Pandora

Pandora has announced plans to drop its 40-hour monthly cap on free listening on September 1. The news comes from this week’s Pandora earnings call, where executives confirmed the cap, which was instituted in February, caused a 10 percent drop in usage.

(more…)

Mobile incubator YouWeb announces 9+ studio for consumer app funding

Peter_Relan_9+IImage via YouWeb

YouWeb, the incubator company behind OpenFeint and CrowdStar has launched a new studio that looks to help former game developers become founder-CEOs of new startups in the consumer apps space.

(more…)

Why mobile coupons are the future of mobile commerce

shutterstock_141397387

Mobile commerce in the US may be slow to adopt mobile consumer payments, but it is still making leaps and bounds in becoming a significant part of all e-commerce. According to comScore, mobile commerce rose to 11 percent of all e-commerce at the end of last year’s holiday season. This is a huge increase from the reported 1 percent in late 2010. With 11 percent market share equating to approximately $18.6 billion in consumer spending, additional growth can only be expected. (more…)

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