Telepong to target tweens

A Swiss-based company recently announced the successful development of a prototype of a mobile terminal it plans to target at the tween market. Telepong Inc. said in a press release that it will take aim at users who use their telephones more for non-voice applications – such as text messaging – because these are the people who “are likely to pioneer new services” such as photo messaging and interactive, Java-based games. Along with partner Flextronics Inc., Telepong has completed the prototype phase of the device and plans to begin production in the first quarter of 2002. According to the company, the handset runs on a Linux-based OS and features a high-quality GPRS module; a colour display; and a WAP 1.2.1. browser. The Telepong device is equipped with a camera interface, according to a press release, and includes a joystick for games. While plans for a product launch in North America are still being evaluated, the product is scheduled to hit major European markets in June 2002.

Smile! You’re on Yahoo!

Yahoo Inc. last month launched its free video e-mail service, which it is offering with the help of partner SpotLife Inc. Yahoo e-mail users with PC video cameras are able to record video e-mails which are stored and managed by SpotLife. The recipient of the video e-mail is sent an e-mail with a link to the video, which can then be viewed with either Windows Media Player or SpotLife Player. The fact that SpotLife stores the video means that users don’t have to worry about the large files taking up space on their computers, according to the companies.

Call for submissions: CBC

CBC Television announced last month that it has begun a search for “convergence-oriented pilots for a new late-night Web/TV programming strand.” The station’s new late-night, commercial-free initiative promises to feature what the station calls a “high degree of audience access,” which it says will encourage collaboration between Web users, TV viewers and artists. Potential contributors were invited to send in submission by December 10, and selected pilots will be broadcast early in 2002. Viewers, both from the Web and television, will vote to decide if any of the pilots will progress on to series development. For more information, visit the CBC’s Web site at

Nobel Laureates look at the Internet

A research study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of Cisco Systems asked Nobel Laureates to make their predictions for the future in a survey titled Education, Innovation & The Internet: Nobel Laureates Look to the Future. A total of 71 Laureates participated in the study via mail, telephone or online, according to Cisco. As well, all Nobel Prize categories were represented. The results indicate most respondents think the future is promising. Findings show that 82 per cent believe the Internet will accelerate innovation and advance scientific knowledge. Looking down the road, 93 per cent of the Laureates believe the Internet will provide greater access to libraries, information and teachers worldwide, and 87 per cent think the Internet will have a positive effect on the improvement of education. A good portion of respondents (69 per cent) indicated that the Internet could have accelerated the completion of their own work. Despite all the good they foresee, there were still some concerns about increased privacy violations (65 per cent), increased alienation (51 per cent) and greater economical or political inequity (44 per cent). To see the survey results in full, go to

It’s not kid stuff

Parents who are trying to give their kids the gift of technology for the holidays should be warned. Approximately 49,000 computer mouse sets designed for children have been recalled because the mouse ball could separate and become a potential choking hazard. The Cozy Coupe Computer Mouse was distributed by KB Gear -which liquidated and is no longer in business – under license from Little Tikes Co. Shaped like a toy car, the mouse is fully functional, and has a red body and yellow roof. Because the company is no longer in business, it is “unable to provide a remedy,” according to a statement. Instead, parents are asked to take the mouse away from children immediately and contact Little Tikes, which is offering a $10 coupon towards one of its other products. The mouse set was sold worldwide via Internet retailers, toy stores and electronics retailers. The whole recall began when parents of a two year-old girl found her with the mouse ball in her mouth. More information can be found at