Opinion Articles

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 11th September 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

Welcome to this week's news summary from The Fonecast. Sorry it's late but I have a reasonably good excuse. On Friday I was in central London to meet Hans Eriksson of Bambuser. He was about to stream his life online for 24 hours, relying on social networking to find him off-beat attractions. You'll find our conversation on TheFonecast.com – and the results are at bambuserchallenge.tumblr.com

Anyway, to the rest of the week's news… and I’ll start with some international giants.

Yahoo! has ditched CEO Carol Bartz and has replaced her with current Chief Financial Officer Timothy Morse until a permanent chief executive is appointed. You won’t be surprised to learn that Carol’s unhappy.

Also in the USA, Google has acquired the Zagat Survey restaurant guide business. This may or may not be a big deal for the mobile industry, depending on what happens next.

And Twitter has reached 100 million active users worldwide, with 55 million of them using Twitter on mobile devices.

In the world of network operations, Vodafone has created an R&D centre in Silicon Valley, the O2 More mobile advertising service has acquired six million opted-in users, Everything Everywhere says it’ll upgrade mobile TV for its customers, Orange has introduced a mobile music streaming service, Telefónica is creating a new London-based Digital business unit and Three UK has been feeling a bit left out when it comes to mobile payments.

Meanwhile, mobile manufacturing appears to be dominated by legal issues at the moment. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 remains banned from sale in Germany, while HTC has bought a number of patents from Google and is using them to fight Apple.

But it’s not all conflict. Microsoft has persuaded Acer and ViewSonic to license its patents, thereby covering their use of Android. And the software giant has promised that it won’t be long before Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint find their way into Symbian Belle. (Which raises two questions: What has Android got to do with Microsoft? – and why would I buy a Windows Phone device if I can upgrade my old Nokia instead?)

When you’ve answered those, I’ll challenge you with one final question. If you wanted to promote a “light-hearted, positive and contemporary image of Christianity relevant to the Easter weekend”, what would you do?

The answer, if you’re Phones 4U, is that you’d create a cartoon of Jesus Christ and His Sacred Heart. You’d make sure it portrayed the Son of God winking and giving the thumbs-up sign – and you’d use it to advertise “Miraculous deals”.

This week the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a number of complaints against the ad, noting that it was likely to cause serious offence. Phones 4U has apologised and said it has no plans to run the ads again. Mind you, they’ve not specifically ruled out using other religious figures.

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Author: The Fonecast
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