Archive for July, 2009

Mobile eBook Readers Are Where It’s At

With everything going mobile these days, it’s important to understand the power we have in our hands. Java is the most powerful and portable system available on any mobile device and it’s really showing us how much fun we can have without being bound by one platform. Mobile phones of all shapes, sizes, and prices are emerging with the power of ebook readers as well as several open source pieces of ebook software that may require a little know how in order to install. Today’s tech savvy mobile media monkeys love to tinker with electronics and flashing lights, but what we don’t realize is that although we’re ahead of the game in the tech world, we’re missing the imagination and emotion that has been trapped away in the pages of famous literature. Luckily our good buddy technology hasn’t let us down yet and has given us a flood of great ebook software so that we too can experience the wonder of these works without putting down our devices.

There are numerous pieces of ebook software available on the consumer market in many shapes and sizes with a range of powerful abilities. From the mighty Amazon Kindle, a thin book sized piece of hardware used to download premium grade ebooks over wifi, to ebook clients for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile operating systems, to the open source java based read maniac made for any mobile device that runs the J2ME platform, these ebook software clients are bringing literature to techies the world over. Even if you don’t have a sophisticated mobile phone that makes installation of software easy, several self-executing ebooks that don’t require any external software, are available all over the web and of course MyMojo is a great place to find them.

Here at MyMojo we love our mobile media and software so much, we’d rather read ebooks on our pocket sized cell phones than run around a book store and throw hard earned dough down for ink and paper. We’re in no way against those who travel the old fashioned way, by sipping a warm latte and licking their finger to turn the page, but at least now we can both live in harmony.

Make sure to check out MyMojo’s library of ebooks. Why not read one with someone special? Grab a latte this weekend and relax with a good ebook. Happy Reading!

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July 31, 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

UNICEF runs text-or-treat mobile campaign

It’s always good to know that someone is looking out for the little guys.  I have several friends interning with the U.N. right now and I find it to be a very admirable trait.  We love the mobile communication industry here at MyMojo and not just for the free ringtones but for the applications, the facebooking, the blogging. Charity is one thing that has benefited quite a bit in the past few years with the power of the mobile industry with this one being my personal favorite so far. I find that most people don’t want to donate to a cause, even when they support it, because they don’t want to get wrapped up in the red tape. Donation usually requires writing a check, getting a money order, or going online and using a credit card or paypal account. Truth be told, we are busy bodies and by the time we get the time, we’ve already long forgotten. This years Text-or-Treat campaign however is based heavily on the mobile industry, allowing donors to simply have the donation billed to them on their wireless service provider’s monthly invoice. Simple, quick, and effective. The best way to actually get a donor! Check out this article by Jordan Crook of the The Mobile Marketer.

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has added a mobile element to its 59th consecutive Trick-or-Treat campaign.

The campaign is an effort to reach a new demographic of youth that is growing up with technology at their fingertips. To date, the Trick-or-Treat campaign from UNICEF has raised over $148 million in its fight to end the deaths of the 25,000 children who die every day from preventable causes.

“The Trick-or-Treat campaign is the longest-running youth volunteer activity in the U.S., and we’ve recently updated it with a variety of tech-based ways of participating that we hope will appeal to a new generation of donors,” said Marci Greenberg, officer of public relations, United States Fund for UNICEF, New York.

Trick-or-Treat is one of the nation’s longest-running philanthropy programs targeted at youth and in most cases, is the first volunteering experiences for kids in the United States.

The mobile component of this campaign involves mobile giving via SMS, where the phone owner can text in to donate money that is taken directly from the user’s phone bill.

Those interested in donating money can text the keyword TOT to the short code 864233 (UNICEF) in order to make a $5 donation.

The opt-in also signs up the user to receive mobile alerts about UNICEF’s work across the globe.

Mobile giving works out in the consumer’s favor as there is no need to type in lengthy credit card information. The $5 donated in the SMS message is billed directly to the user’s phone bill.

The mobile component of this campaign is only one facet of its overall spread across different media channels.

Trick-or-Treat, of course, relies on UNICEF’s traditional fundraising techniques and strategies.

Along with the mobile channel, UNICEF has also implemented other technologically savvy methods of donation and building awareness.

Supporters can host Halloween parties where the mobile call-to-action can be displayed or announced in order to further the donations.

UNICEF also made downloadable lesson plans, activity sheets, fundraising ideas and e-card reminders available online at http://www.unicefusa.org/trickortreat.

Trick-or-Treat prides itself on not only being a big-time fundraiser, but an educational event where children and their parents can learn about their peers worldwide who need money to survive.

The program stresses the importance of community service and gives children the tools to be active global citizens who make a difference.

“The goals of the campaign are fundraising in support of UNICEF’s lifesaving work, of course, and engagement of a younger demographic,” Ms. Greenberg said.

“Mobile is a good platform for this type of initiative because it is the preferred mode of communications for a segment of our target audience,” she said.

July 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

The Music Industry wants a cut of the Pirate Bay Sale

Seldom do I find myself searching for post-worthy news and trip over the first thing I see. But I have to admit I’m already hooked. After all find me someone doesn’t stick like glue to the dramatic controversy surrounding our Swedish buddies Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom and their world renowned torrent search engine “The Pirate Bay”. Those of you loyal pirates that follow this story probably know that a company called Global Gaming has offered to buy out out the The Pirate Bay for approximately $7.8 million, half of which will be paid in Global Gaming stock. The music industry has been clawing for a damages award since the assault on The Pirate Bay began and now that the money may actually be available, it’s a safe to say that the RIAA has another reason to persist. The question is, will this threat be a factor of the sale of The Pirate Bay?

I initially stumbled upon this article on slashdot /. which linked back to cnet news. An excellent find and indeed.

The music industry will attempt to seize money paid to acquire the Pirate Bay, according to a high-level music industry source and a spokesman for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the trade group representing the music industry worldwide.

Global Gaming Factory, a Swedish software company, made big news two weeks ago by announcing that it would acquire the Pirate Bay, the popular outlaw file-sharing site, for $7.8 million. Since then the company has been touting a new business model and even hiring executives, such as Wayne Rosso, the former Grokster president, to legally obtain content from film and music industries.

What remains to be seen is how that sale might be affected by attempts by the music industry to collect the $3.6 million damages that a court in Sweden awarded it in April. The court found the four operators of the Pirate Bay–Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, and Carl Lundström–guilty of copyright violations and sentenced each to a year in jail. The court also ordered them to pay 30 million Swedish kronor ($3.6 million).

Alex Jacob, a spokesman for the IFPI, said that the group has always intended to collect the damages award, but now, should the sale go through, music execs know that the original Pirate Bay operators have access to the money.

Whether these attempts to seize part of the proceeds could hold up a sale remain unclear. The first thing to remember is that the sale isn’t yet done.

According to a press release, Global Gaming’s offer is to pay half of the $7.8 million in cash and the other half in the company’s stock. To finance the deal, Global Gaming must issue new shares and to do that it needs the blessing of investors and board of directors. Any acquisition isn’t expected to be finalized before August, the company said.

On the other side, the Pirate Bay’s founders have said that they haven’t owned the company for years.

“We never had any interest in earning money from the Pirate Bay,” Peter Sunde told Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper. “We haven’t owned TPB since the search and seizure in 2006… Those who will get the money, friends in a foreign company, have agreed as a condition to put the money in a foundation for future internet projects.”

The legal adviser for Global Gaming has said that the Pirate Bay is owned by a company in the Seychelles called Reservella.

Jacob, from the IFPI, says it makes no difference who owns the Pirate Bay. He said: “The judge found the four operators guilty and ordered them to pay the damages.”

That’s who the IFPI will try to get the money from.

CNET News intern Mats Lewan contributed to this report.

By Greg Sandoval at cnet news. 17 July 2009.

July 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment

How low can unlimited wireless pricing go?

Wireless phone service has become so common and such a racket that it’s hard to keep up with sometimes. We all want as much service as we can get for what we pay. I’m personally very satisfied with the likes of t-mobile, as almost everyone I know uses it, therefore I never get anywhere near going over my minutes. Plus I love my G1! However the explosion of the budget-minded mobile industry over the past several years cannot be denied. We’re living our lives on our mobile phones we shop, learn, and of course download cool stuff from MyMojo. But until a year or two ago, if you lived the budget mobile lifestyle, you weren’t able to take advantage of the amazing features available to us to via mobile devices. Well all that is finally changing. Budget mobile players like TracFone, are miraculously slashing prices and really showing that they can survive in this economy by making sound marketing and technological decisions. They may not be a flashy premium provider, but it can’t be denied that TracFone wireless is insuring it’s customers that they can still do more than just keep in touch without being tied down.

The main reason that budget minded subscribers don’t have cool ringtones and apps from my MyMojo, is because they would rather avoid the extra SMS and data fees. Not that I can blame them. So this is definitely some good news for all you budget minded subscribers out there. Check out this declaration of economic mobile survival from fierce wireless.

The price war among the unlimited prepaid carriers intensified last week when TracFone Wireless undercut its competitors by introducing a new prepaid, flat-rate calling and texting plan called Straight Talk for the low price of $45 per month. Previously, the going rate for unlimited prepaid calling had been $50 per month, a price established earlier this year by Boost Mobile and matched by MetroPCS, T-Mobile USA and others.

TracFone’s new $45 per month rate plan includes unlimited text messaging and 30 MB of data. The service, which uses Verizon Wireless’ network, is available at participating Wal-Mart stores. While some analysts have predicted that TracFone’s $45 price point will have a big impact on the unlimited prepaid space, I’m not sure competitors will follow TracFone’s lead and drop their prices–at least not initially.

The real question is: How low can unlimited prepaid wireless rate plans can go and still make money? Reselling wireless service has always been a low-margin business and the reseller road is littered with many disasters. Anyone else remember back in 2002 when WorldCom wanted to sell its wireless reseller business and no one wanted to buy it? At that time, it had about 2 million customers across several operator networks. WorldCom eventually ended up selling its customers back to the original network operators at a much reduced rate.

One way players like TracFone keep their costs down is by carefully managing their marketing dollars and their billing and customer care costs. “If marketing is a huge segment of your cost, you can’t keep going lower in price and still advertise,” says Ken Hyers, senior analyst with Technology Business Research. I suspect that TracFone relies on its placement with distribution partner Wal-Mart to attract many of its customers.

Boost, of course, operates on Sprint Nextel’s iDEN network and has the advantage of being able to use Sprint’s customer service and billing system. Hyers thinks that because of those advantages Boost may actually end up being the low-cost leader.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t underestimate TracFone; the company has long been a leader in the low-cost MVNO space. However, I do think we are at (or very near) the price threshold. I don’t think many carriers can drop to $45 per month or lower and still make money selling wireless service. How low can prices go? I think we’ve hit the bottom.

Marek, Sue. “How low can unlimited pricing go?”. Fierce Wireless. 9 July 2009. Web. 10 July 2009

July 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm 1 comment

Will illegal file-sharing cost you $1.92 Million?

Today I stumbled upon an article (several times) about a woman being sued for illegally sharing music files on a P2P program. I’m sure we can all think of at least one person that has done the same. Sharing music illegally is very risky, (not to mention rude to the artists). But the people that do it nowadays think there’s no way for them to get caught. Either that or they’re just waiting for the day to come as they continue.

This woman was sued for $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs, even though she pleads not guilty and there’s no concrete proof that she was the one doing the illegal sharing. This case first went to trial 2 years ago, and the jury decided on a fee of $9,250 per song, meaning the defendant had to pay a total of $222,000. Unfortunately, the judge voided the first verdict because he had given faulty instructions to the Jury. After the 4 day retrial, (as if the previous amount wasn’t near impossible to reach as is) the verdict increased to $80,000 per song, or $1.92 million to be paid to the companies that reserve the rights to the songs. We all should know that in these times when a case arises that could lead to a gain of money; people drop everything and jump at the opportunity, especially in the music industry.

I’m pretty sure most of our American people nowadays don’t have 2 million dollars to shell out in the event of being caught sharing or downloading illegally shared music. And even if someone did, I’m sure it wouldn’t be at all convenient. So why do we put ourselves at risk when there is a site like MyMojo that gives its customers so many free pieces of content? Not to mention it’s 100% legal! So the next time you’re tempted to put yourself at risk, why not try a legit website first?

-D’haden @ MyMojo

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/06/19/bad-idea-illegal-file-sharing/
Accessed: 07/02/2009

July 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment


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