Monday, June 26, 2006

Disney has partnered with O2 now owned by Telefonica in Spain, to offer phones aimed at limiting what children can watch, for how long, and what they can spend.  They will be able to access content with all Disney’s best-loved characters.

66% of 10-15 year olds already have a mobile in the UK and there are already concerns about the potential longer term health risks of heavy use by children.  These have been added to by UK government health warnings about possible dangers to younger children from exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

At the same time the UK government recently announced a ban on new housing being built within a certain distance of overhead high voltage power cables after yet more studies suggesting a low-level cancer risk.

You can be sure that if more definite links emerge between mobile phone use and health damage such as cancer, that companies like Disney may come under a lot of pressure.

I wonder who is carrying their re-insurance risk?

The fact is that the known health risks are absolutely minimal and it is unlikely that new reports will change that dramatically.  But as we have seen the future is not about science nor technology:  it is about emotion.  There have already been a whole series of reports suggesting that high dose exposure to mobile phone radiation can affect living tissue, and it would not take many more to trigger parental concerns and even perhaps a class action suit (even if unlikely to succeed).

For more see:


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well don't say I didn't tell you.... FON is going to take over a lot of other people's worlds.

Accton and FON to set up WiFi joint venture in Taiwan: "Accton and FON to set up WiFi joint venture in Taiwan
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Irene Chen, Taipei; Steve Shen, [Thursday 8 June 2006]

Taiwan-based network-equipment maker Accton Technology yesterday announced that it will form a joint venture with Europe-based WISP (wireless Internet service provider) FON, to promote FON's WiFi services in Taiwan, with the new company to commence operations before the end of August.
FON's CEO Martin Varsavsky expects the joint venture will initially be able to attract 20,000 users in the Taiwan market.
Varsavsky also expected the number of users of FON's network and WiFi services to top one million worldwide by the end of 2007, up from the current level of 40,000.
FON plans to launch its exclusively designed wireless router, the La Fonera, in September of this year, with Accton being a major supplier of the device for FON, according to sources at Accton."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

At Google Zeitgeist event in the UK a couple of weeks back I chaired a session on the future of telecom.  One of the participants was the founder of the new global free Wifi service called Fon, Martin Versavsky.  It works by allowing anyone who is part of Fon to use your own wireless router.  In return, you can use anyone else’s.


In just a few weeks Fon has more Wifi public access points than some of the largest telecom companies.


Non-Fon users can also sign on for a very low fee, part of which is kept by the person who provides the Wifi access, and the rest pays for the whole thing to go on running.


FON is a Global Community of people who share WiFi. Share your WiFi broadband access at home/work and enjoy WiFi all over the world! FON: small cost, great benefit!

To become a Fonero, all you need to do is register with us on our website, have broadband connection, and download the FON Software onto your WiFi router. It’s that simple. Just share your connection and the rest of the Community shares back with you. Join FON and enjoy connecting from anywhere within the WiFi World.

To start sharing, set up your access point where you can receive the most coverage, generally close to the window or outside your home. The rest of the Community will be thankful.

The Team

The FON Team is lead by Martin Varsavsky. Varsavsky has gathered a team of expert Internet and wireless technical professionals.”