Americans can now listen to FM radio on their cell phone – for free

WASHINGTON – New software now allows millions of Americans to unlock the free FM radio receivers built into almost every smartphone sold in the US. Called NextRadio, the free app unlocks the FM receiver, enabling the phone to receive all local FM radio stations for free without using the cell phone network, so there are no data charges or other costs. Just remember to recharge your battery. NextRadio only works on Android cell phones, and not yet on all Android phones. Originally developed with Sprint, NextRadio now runs on all major US cell phone networks. The new app does more…

Policymakers and industry leaders take steps to improve cell phone capabilities during emergencies

Mobile phones today offer enormous potential in regards to public safety and emergency preparedness, but current infrastructure and systems present substantial challenges as well. The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy have launched an initiative to research these issues, explore solutions and define minimum capabilities of cell phones for health care, public safety and other public services. On Sunday and Monday, 20 high-level government officials, top mobile technology industry professionals, public advocates and entrepreneurs attended an event hosted by CCLP in Washington, DC. The event, entitled "Mobile Phones for Public…

Cell phones used as medical instruments in Africa, Asia; US may change regulatory policy

Cell phones are being used as medical instruments in underdeveloped nations, extending highly cost-effective health care to underserved villages and rural areas. A team led by Daniel Fletcher, a Bioengineering Professor at the University of California at Berkeley has developed inexpensive conversions of cell phones into medical instruments, using clip-on lenses that cost one dollar or less. Fletcher's team has on-the-ground tests in Cameroon screening for parasitic worm infections and in Thailand screening for retinal diseases. "By attaching a simple set of lenses to a Nokia phone borrowed from my sister," wrote Fletcher, "we were able to image blood cells,…

Taipei’s free municipal wi-fi provides real-time data for cell phones, computers and even TV sets

Taiwan's capital city, Taipei, has launched a free municipal wi-fi network, which provides cell phones, personal computers, video game consoles and even television sets with everything from typhoon alerts to store coupons….

Alhurra marks ninth anniversary with plunge into mobile apps

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government's international TV broadcaster in the Middle East, Alhurra, celebrates its ninth anniversary on the air on Thursday with new initiatives to reach mobile devices. First up, will be a new Alhurra app for Android-powered cell phones, according to Brian T. Conniff, President of Middle East Broadcasting, Alhurra's parent company….

Australia debates whether cell phones reduce need for a fiber data network

SYDNEY – Critics here are sniping at the Australian government's plan to build optical fiber links to almost all homes here, at an estimated cost of $43 billion. The criticism is that the plan is going forward according to a plan devised years ago – a plan which assumes personal computers would be the way Australians connect to the Internet. At the time, that was correct. But now, with the unexpected surge of mobile devices as a primary medium and with the rise of smart phones as the way people reach the Internet, critics are saying the project could…

Gallup survey: Cell phones now exceed radio, TV in Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON – Far more households in Zimbabwe have cell phones than have radio or television, according to a Gallup survey released here this morning. And mobile telephones have become a primary source of news and information, exceeding even radio and TV in that country's urban areas. Report briefing available here:gallup-zimbabwe-brief.pdf Power point presentation: Media-Use-in-Zimbabwe-Deck-11-7-12-FINAL-FINAL.pdf According to the survey, 76% of Zimbabwe's households now have a cell phone, while only 60% have a radio and fewer than half have a television set. And in cities, almost everyone has access to a mobile phone – 97% of households – and 86%…

Spotlight on TIP efforts in Investor’s Business Daily

Investor's Business Daily recently profiled the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy's research project on human trafficking. CCLP's Research Director Mark Latonero shared his expertise on communication technology and trafficking in persons as well as some of the highlights from his August fact finding trip to Thailand and Cambodia and the research that has been undertaken so far by CCLP. —————————————————————————————————————– Tech Gets Enlisted In The War Against Human Trafficking By Shelia Riley, for INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY The fight against human trafficking is using a few new weapons: texting, iPhone apps and smarter passports. An estimated 12.3 million adults and…

Communication technology serves as a rare bright spot in Haitian recovery, CCLP research trip finds

The Republic of Haiti continues to struggle in its recovery efforts following the devastating January 2010 earthquake, but information and communication technologies are among the few infrastructure bright spots in the country, based on the observations from a recent fact-finding trip, in which the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) participated. CCLP Research Director Mark Latonero, who was selected for the week-long research project because of his work in communication technology and emergency management, found that cell phones and text messages were critical tools for sharing information about recovery efforts in the earthquake ravaged country. "Port-au-Prince still…