K-Staters may have noticed some funny-looking images of black-pixeled boxes popping up around campus lately, notably in Hale Library. So, what are they used for and what can you do with them?
These are “QR codes” or Quick Response codes (also known as QR barcodes). This technology allows the public to access information fast through graphical links.
QR code readers
To access the information behind a QR code, you first need to download a free QR reader to your smartphone and then scan/capture (take a picture of) a QR code. (Some smartphones may come with a QR reader already installed.) Here are a few that seem to work well:
For the iPhone, RedLaser is a free, general purpose barcode reader app.
For Android smartphones, Barcode Scanner is a free app that has received positive feedback.
As of Jan. 1, fines are now being given to Manhattan violators who break the new city law that took effect July 1, 2010,banning cellphone use while driving and holding a cellphone within city limits. The law allows hands-free use of cellphones, which includes a mobile phone headset (for example, a Bluetooth wireless headset or a wired headset), a car kit, or other phone extension that keeps the driver’s hands free.
I want to get a new personal cellphone and am looking at various models. 1) Is it true that State of Kansas employees can get discounts on their monthly personal cellphone plans? 2) What cellphones sync with K-State’s Zimbra calendar?
The editors couldn’t resist sharing a picture from Saturday’s (Sept. 25) thunderstorm about three minutes into the start of the K-State football game in Manhattan. The picture below was taken by Eric Dover, manager of Client Services in iTAC, using an iPhone 4. It illustrates the advantages of high-quality cameras in newer cellphone technology.
Some of you may have experienced dead spots for cell service in and around your home. Several cellphone companies are selling solutions to boost cell coverage in your home. These devices are known as microcells. The way they work is that they piggyback on your DSL or cable modem connection. You plug them into your home switch or router, and they send all of the phone call and data used from your cellphone through your DSL or cable modem connection.
There are two costs for this service. The first is that you need to buy the microcell from your cellphone provider, and the second is a possible monthly service fee for the service itself, depending on provider and options.
Q. Is Manhattan implementing a new law that bans cellphone use while driving?
Yes and no. Manhattan has a new law that takes effect July 1 that bans cellphone use while driving and holding the cellphone. It allows hands-free use of cellphones, which means using a mobile phone headset (for example, a Bluetooth wireless headset or a wired headset), a car kit, or other phone extension that keeps the driver’s hands free.
According to the Manhattan Mercury’sJune 17 article, violators will receive warnings until Jan. 1, 2011, when fines will start being given. KTKA.com 49 News reported June 22 that Manhattan City Commissioners made the change to be consistent with the state’s new text-messaging ban (see next question below).
This is a friendly reminder that starting this Thursday, July 1, a new ordinance goes into effect for Manhattan banning the use of cellphones held to the ear while driving. (Editor’s note: See related article in this issue.) Hands-free kits such as Bluetooth ear pieces and/or hands-free speakerphone kits are still acceptable.
K-State Computing and Telecommunications Services (CTS) is discontinuing cellphone service for personal accounts, after Oct. 1.A letter was recently sent to K-Staters who have a cellphone that will be affected by this change, and those customers will need to make a change in how they receive services.Available options may differ depending on the contract status.
Those under contract for cellphone service with K-State CTS have two options:
Option 1. Go to any cellular phone provider of your choice and sign up for service with a new contract.Your K-State CTS contract will be terminated when you return your phone in working condition to CTS.If you pre-paid for any part of the phone’s cost, that amount will be refunded to your account.
Option 2. Keep your phone and pay the remaining amount that is left on the contract.You may then take your phone to US Cellular and sign up for a plan without a contract. To keep your phone number, you must still complete a “change of responsibility” form.This phone will only work with US Cellular.
With the proliferation of smartphones in the last few years, more consumers are using data services such as e-mail, streaming video, web surfing, or other activities that require access to data through a mobile network from smartphones. Consumers are accustomed to the “all you can eat” data plans that can be used everywhere, which enhance productivity and support the interaction with information in new ways.
Those who travel abroad with data-enabled smartphones are used to higher roaming rates per minute for telephone calls and seek cheaper alternatives for overseas voice calls. However, data roaming is an entirely different beast. Many smartphones will silently ping various data services for updates on new information, which ranges from e-mail and instant-messaging applications to GPS-enabled street maps. All of this traffic requires data plans, which on overseas jaunts can add up to big bucks.
For example, AT&T charges $0.0195 (about 2 cents) per kilobyte; downloading a 1-megabyte file could cost about $20. For a consumer who uses about 50 megabytes of data on a phone the cost would be $975 if AT&T roaming rates were applied.
On Monday, March 30, the official Skype client arrived for the iPhone. This application offers inexpensive voice-over-IP calls to anywhere in the world. It also allows individuals to chat with other Skype users via instant messaging and make free Skype-to-Skype calls. Currently, the voice-over-IP feature only works on WiFi networks. Check out the iTunes App store for more details and to get this much anticipated app for free.