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Posts Tagged ‘cellphones’

Calculator apps

This seems reasonable to me. Despite concerns about test security, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that he would allow some students to use calculator “apps” on state exams next school year. Under current rules students may use only traditional calculators. But with more districts giving students iPads or other tablets, some school officials […]

There will be an app for your auto insurance

Do you frequently forget to put your proof of insurance in your car and/or your wallet? The Lege has provided a solution for you. Thanks to a law passed during the 83rd legislative session, motorists will be able to pull up proof of insurance on their phones to show officers. Lawmakers and insurance industry professionals […]

Parking Panda

Interesting Parking Panda, an online parking reservation system, launches Tuesday in Houston and Dallas. The site’s already up and running, taking reservations for lots around many area venues, including Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center. The concept is pretty simple: Go online, find the parking lot you want, based on price and […]

Uber

Mark me in favor of this. A smartphone app could be the subject of the year’s most spirited regulatory battle at City Hall, as lobbyists line up for a fight that pits taxicab companies against a car-service technology company called Uber. The firm’s entry into more than 20 U.S. cities has sparked lawsuits and cease-and-desist […]

First Hackathon project released

Cool. Budget Bootcamp, a new city website application that provides easy access to city budget information, is the first Houston Hackathon project to become reality.  Budget Bootcamp is hosted on the Finance Department’s website and provides citizens an educational walkthrough of the City’s budget data – both for the recently adopted Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, as well […]

Hello, Motorola

Welcome to Texas. Cellphone pioneer Motorola announced Wednesday that it’s opening a Texas manufacturing facility that will create 2,000 jobs and produce its new flagship device, Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. The company has already begun hiring for the Fort Worth plant. The site was most recently unoccupied but was […]

Now there will be an app for your auto insurance

Good. Legislation allowing Texas drivers to prove their insurance coverage with a wireless communications device is on its way to the governor after winning final approval from the Senate on Thursday. The measure by Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, would bring Texas in line with six other states that already enable drivers to prove insurance coverage […]

The updated TRIP app is here

This came in last week: If you’ve got a smart phone, we’ve just made riding our buses or trains a lot easier. Today, we officially launched the METRO T.R.I.P. app – a tool that retrieves our schedule information, predicts real-time arrival of buses and helps you plan your trip on our system. T.R.I.P. stands for”transit […]

The Houston Hackathon

From the Mayor’s office: Houston Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston will host a 24-hour “Open Innovation Hackathon” on May 17-18 at the Houston Technology Center and at Start Houston. A hackathon is a day-long event in which software developers, designers, and data analysts collaborate intensively on data and software projects. Over […]

Check this out

Scan while you shop, and other technological advances to get you checked out faster. In February, San Antonio-based H-E-B invited customers to try out a new scanning “tunnel” for the first time at its McCreless Market location on South New Braunfels Avenue. The company spent about three years developing the so-called Fast Scan technology, which […]

Online voter registration bills advance

Some good news. House Bill 313, which received praise from committee members in a Monday hearing, and Senate Bill 315, which was voted out of committee Thursday, propose allowing voters to register online and have that application automatically authenticated rather than having to wait on local election officials to reenter the data in their systems […]

There oughta be an app for your auto insurance

This is a no-brainer. Digging through a cluttered glove compartment to find proof of insurance while a police officer waits may soon be an antiquated frustration in Texas. Lawmakers are considering bills that would allow drivers in the state to prove financial responsibility using a paperless method — their smartphones. Multiple versions of the bill […]

TEC approves texting campaign contributions

From Jerad Najvar: After brief discussion and comments by Jerad Najvar, attorney for Harris County Republicans, the TEC voted unanimously to approve a draft opinion permitting Texas political committees to accept contributions by text message. APPROVED OPINION HERE (the first page is a diagram of each method) The request proposed two methods for processing text […]

The 311 app is here

I’ve been waiting for this. The brand-new Houston 311 app will allow residents to file a complaint and then track its progress. The program officially goes live Tuesday, city officials said. Here’s how the 311 app works, city spokesman Chris Newport said: “Say you see a pothole on your street. Before you even leave for […]

When will we have truly electronic voting?

When will there be an app to cast a vote in a US election? So at a time when we can see video shot by a robot on Mars, when there are cars that can drive themselves, and when we can deposit checks on our smartphones without going to a bank, why do most people […]

There’s an app for beating red lights

Do you ever get frustrated when you get stopped by a string of red lights while driving? If you’re like me, you sure do. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how (legally) fast you should be going to maximize the number of green lights you hit and minimize the reds? Well, there’s an app for […]

Texting campaign contributions

I see no reason why this should not be allowed. A Houston-based PAC is asking the Texas Ethics Commission to approve a proposal that would allow the committee to solicit text message contributions from donors in the state. The Federal Election Commission has approved a text-to-donate model for federal campaigns, but demand for the service […]

Fort Bend ISD goes BYOD

Students in the Fort Bend Independent School District may now bring their own mobile device to class to connect to the school’s WiFi and be part of the curriculum. Fort Bend ISD’s policy allows students to use electronic devices to access the WiFi network in the classroom. Before this year, the district forbade cellphone use […]

Hang up and walk

We all know that texting and other smartphone tomfoolery while driving is a bad idea. Turns out that texting while walking isn’t so safe, either. On city streets, in suburban parking lots and in shopping centers, there is usually someone strolling while talking on a phone, texting with his head down, listening to music, or […]

Pothole app

Harris County now has an app for reporting potholes and other problems. Users must download the app and set up a profile. After that, one can take a photo of the problem, point to its spot on the map or let GPS technology mark the location, label the report with a category – say, “dead […]

New frontiers in spam

Text message spam. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long to be seen as a major problem. Once the scourge of e-mail providers and the Postal Service, spammers have infiltrated the last refuge of spam-free communication: cellphones. In the United States, consumers received roughly 4.5 billion spam texts last year, more than double the 2.2 […]

Mobile broadband in Texas

For your perusal. Almost half of adult Texans, about 8.9 million, use mobile broadband devices — cellphones, laptops or tablets using a cellular network — to keep the Internet a constant companion, according to a survey by Connected Nation, a nonprofit that is working to map and improve broadband use in several states. According to […]

There’s an app for binge drinking

There will be, anyway. And it’s not what you’re thinking because it’s the TABC that’s developing it. As college students from across the nation head to Texas beaches for spring break, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is already making plans to have new tools at its disposal for next year’s partiers — mobile phone apps […]

There’s an app for reporting handicapped parking space violators

In Austin, anyway. Ever see someone parked illegally and wanted to do something about it? Your chance might be coming. A new smartphone app could allow people in Austin to report illegal parking in spots reserved for people with disabilities. The City Council on Thursday will consider a resolution to link such an app to […]

McAllen ISD goes digital

Here’s a look at the future, coming to a school near you. A Rio Grande Valley school district plans to equip every one of its 25,000 students with Apple iPads, rolling ahead with a digitally enhanced curriculum effort that’s among the largest of its type in the nation. “It’s not just about a device; it’s […]

There’s an app for finding a bus

Good news. Imagine this: You are walking around the Galleria and want to go to Discovery Green for a concert. But you’re not sure what bus to take. In a few months, you’ll be able use your smart phone to find METRO bus stops, schedules, and eventually real-time, next-bus arrivals. The free app is expected […]

Self service checkout at supermarkets

This AP story about supermarkets scaling back on self service checkout aisles, which was recently in the Chron business section, has been making the rounds in the progressive blogs. Market studies cited by the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute found only 16 percent of supermarket transactions in 2010 were done at self-checkout lanes in stores […]

Charge your cellphone wirelessly

Cool. San Antonio-based Pree Corp. is developing multiple technologies, including one that would pluck wireless transmissions from the air and convert the energy to power mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and MP3 players. Rudy De La Garza, the company’s CEO, said they are trying to raise about $437,000 from accredited investors. When Pree goes […]

Is there an app for doing a golf clap?

This just about blew my mind. Staying connected at the Shell Houston Open will be easier than ever this year, and golf fans won’t have to sneak their cellphones past the entrance gates to do so. Starting with this year’s Honda Classic a couple of weeks ago, golf fans have been allowed to take their […]

Texting while lawmaking

This is a fascinating issue. A bill by Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi , would make an addition to the Texas Open Meetings Act. And it would apply to any public meeting, whether it’s a House committee or a small-town city council meeting. The measure, House Bill 2977, says an official would be committing an […]

“Don’t call me, I won’t call you”

Does anybody use the phone any more? In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years. “I literally never use […]

No, I can’t hear you now

I haven’t attended that many events at Reliant Stadium – a couple of Rice football games, including the 2008 Texas Bowl, and a U2 concert – but that’s enough for me to confirm the lack of wireless coverage in the stadium from my experience. The main thing that I’m curious about regarding this is not […]

When do you get a cell phone for your kid?

From the Department Of Things We’ll Be Dealing With Sooner Than We Think, Whether We’re Ready For Them Or Not, the “when should we get our kids a cellphone?” question. S. Craig Watkins, author of The Young and the Digital (Beacon Press, $26.95), says deciding to get a child a mobile phone is family specific. […]

Let your cellphone be your guide

Have you ever found yourself walking around downtown Houston and wondering about the history of the place? If you have a cellphone with you, you can take a self-guided tour. Launched in March, Downtown Mobile Info begins at Wortham Center, winding throughout downtown, hitting spots like Sesquicentennial Park and Sabine Promenade before ending about an […]