Category Archives: Mobile

New Competition to Encourage Innovation on E-Waste Prevention

New Competition to Encourage Innovation on E-Waste Prevention

The Future Tense initiative has announced the launch of the Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge, an unprecedented online DIY competition focused on preventing the creation of electronic waste (e-waste). The competition, a collaboration between Future Tense, China’s Tsinghua University and other partners, invites U.S. and Chinese makers to find creative ways to turn yesterday’s cellphone battery into tomorrow’s treasure.



“This is a great opportunity for the United States and China to work toward common goals,” said Emily Parker, senior fellow and digital diplomacy advisor at New America, who helped spearhead this project. “Both the U.S. and China want to encourage the innovation happening at the DIY or maker level, and both countries face the challenge of reducing e-waste.”Electronic products tend to become unusable after just a few years, and items such as computers, DVD players and cellphones frequently wind up in landfills. Some of the most creative solutions to this problem may come from U.S. and Chinese makers, many of whom already incorporate old electronic components into their DIY creations. Green electronics will encourage makers to showcase their creations online.

Participants will be invited to upcycle or hack an electronic product to create a new electronic product; repair an electronic product; create a sustainable electronic product; or create artwork from used electronic products. They will show their inventions on, where submissions will be accepted from April 7 – May 31, 2014. Following a round of public voting, a panel of judges will choose the best selections from each country.

Judges include Chris Anderson, former Wired editor; Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab; Mitzi Montoya, Vice President and University Dean for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University; and Sun Hong Bin, Dean of Educational Affairs at Tsinghua University. Partners include Instructables, TechShop,, XinCheJian, Autodesk, and Inventables.

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Capturing The Moment

Capturing The Moment
By Bridget Fitzpatrick

Does the public ever get to know about the good things that officers do on a daily basis? With today’s smartphones it can be as simple as taking a picture or creating a short video. That is exactly what an Omaha Police Officer did when he met up with two fellow officers.

Police Officers Barnes and Groth were on duty driving on the interstate on one of the coldest days of the year when they spotted two dogs in traffic. Rather than just driving on down the road, they stopped their cruisers and rescued the dogs. While that is a great story and, one of many that officers perform daily, what makes this moment even better is an officer’s foresight to document it.

When the officers returned with the dogs, a quick thirty second video about the dogs’ rescue and quick picture were taken. Let me just say this again…a thirty second video and a quick snapshot. That’s all the time that it took to make a huge positive impact for our department.

Realizing the value of the picture and video, the officer quickly posted it on the Omaha Police Officers Association Facebook Page under the heading, “ More Evidence… Cops Love Dogs,” and we shared it on the Omaha Police Department’s Facebook Page.

So let’s take a look at the numbers from this one post. At the time of this writing and between the two Facebook pages, the post was shared almost 400 times, had over 250 comments, the majority of which praised officers for saving the dogs, and was seen by over 94,000 people. And believe it or not, it was picked up by one of the four local news stations who ran two great positive new stories.

We all know from firsthand experience that if it were a negative cop/dog story, all the stations would have covered it. However, this is a great example of how to create your own positive press relations in your community.  (After the dogs were turned over to the Humane Society, the owner signed papers to have the dogs adopted. Once that went public, he tried to get the dogs back. However he had an active warrant for cruelty to animals and the rest of the dogs were removed from the house.)

So who captures your positive moments for your department? Do your officers understand the value of positive press? Do your command officers understand the value of positive press? These are questions you should consider asking and considering when drafting social media policies. Find officers that are willing to capture and share those good moments. Share positive photos and videos on your department’s Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Utilize the free marketing campaign that is at your fingertips. It’s our favorite price…free.

Waiting in the wings is that next negative situation that will go public and make us all look bad. Why not get ahead of that and start promoting all the good things that your department does. Good stories happen every day. Make sure your department capitalizes on them. Thirty seconds is a very short time to make an impact…good or bad.

Bridget Fitzpatrick is a seventeen year veteran of the Omaha Police Department (OPD). Her work as a Crime Prevention Specialist has given her insight to many of the communities concerns. She has been one of the administrators of the OPD Facebook page for approximately two years. Her involvement as a Facebook administrator has been instrumental in increasing the fan base for the page and helping to control the fallout due to controversial issues.

From The Way Back Machine:
Hotel in Hong Kong

[Editor's Note: While cleaning through the closet over the weekend, and consolidating old data across about ten disk drives, I came across our very first website: The Cool WAP Site of the A long time ago, in an office far, far away, we were publishing and covering first generation websites on cellphones. The birth for The Social Media Monthly really wasn't in May 2011, it was more like early 2000. We let our domain lapse quite a while back, and some of this can be found on the Internet Archives in bits and pieces. I thought it might be interesting to share one of these very old pieces, and compare them to their great-great-grandchildren. What I continue to find interesting today is many of the best apps out there were originally fantastic ideas developed fifteen years ago. They're just a lot faster and have way better graphics.]

Originally published: February 1st, 2001

Hotel in Hong Kong
By Grant Hibbs


NAME – Asia Travel Mart

DESCRIPTION: Asia Travel Mart, the gurus of Asian travel have come out with an excellent WAP site that provides the traveler to and around Asia the information they need to book a hotel while on the go. Asia Travel Mart has for a long while always been my first choice for getting the essential travel information I need for the Asia Pacific region. Rest assured they have membership with the following travel associations:

·PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association)
·ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents)
·JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents)

The first thing you will need to do is go to their web site and signup for an account. Don’t worry, it’s free. Go to the new register section and be sure to fill out all the required fields. Once that is done you will be able login into the WAP site. Incidentally, their web site offers an excellent tutorial for using the WAP service on your phone. Very well done for the novice WAP user.

Now for the next step: go to the Asia Travel Mart WAP url and login. Once logged in, you will be sent to the main menu, and from here you’ll be able to search for hotel rates throughout various cities. Looking up any hotel throughout Asia requires only a few clicks, and I especially appreciated the hotel listings. How much is that hotel room in Hong Kong or on Hong Kong Island? Ooh that much! I think I’ll look for a hotel room on the Kowloon side. Asia Travel Mart offers hotels to all major Pacific Rim destinations as well as places I have never heard of or can even pronounce.

The site even offers instant online hotel bookings and confirmation over your WAP phone. Utilizing SSL security your transaction should be more than safe and secure. With this resource bookmarked on my phone, traveling to Asia becomes much easier for my nerves and me.

- Grant (who loves to raise the blood pressure of the merchants on Nathan Road)

The Travel App Today