|Wow! (by forestgum, Jul 19th, 2007)
New Years Eve by the peaceful beach - That's what everyone in this world desire to be there!
|Wow! (by forestgum, Jul 18th, 2007)
New Years Eve by the peaceful beach - That's what everyone in this world desire to
|Peaceful (by nautin, Jul 10th, 2007)
It is so peaceful.
|Wondaful view ! (by kitty, Jul 9th, 2007)
I love looking the beach in the new years eve cos it's so exciting.
|New Years Eve by the peaceful beach (by billyoung, Jul 9th, 2007)
New Year Eve at the beach. oh it's so romantic, i love it so much.
|It's miracle (by ShilyGirl, Jul 1st, 2007)
I love New Year and beach. It's really peaceful.
Ringtones, bank accounts and the always-on culture
By Sean Coughlan
Mobile phones have created an
"always on" culture, where we expect to be able to stay in round-the-clock
contact with everything from our friends to our finances.
So says a survey from First Direct, which shows that we've become a nation of
mobile phone addicts, making 132m calls each day, with many of us reluctant to
go anywhere without the phone's reassuring presence. More than half of mobile
owners never leave home without them - and this figure rises to 70% of women.
We're also using our phones more than ever, with a quarter of owners clocking up
an hour of calls each day. And there's a hard core of mobile junkies who use
their phones for five hours a day.
The survey paints a picture of mobile users dependent on the call of the
ringtone, day and night. And anyone who has been enjoying Christmas festivities
will know that no matter where or how late, there will be someone near you
trying to punch numbers and text messages into their mobile.
It's even created its own character types, such as the Christmas shopper who
seems to be operating as a remote control for someone else, as they bellow
questions into their mobile: "I'm now in John Lewis, in front of the plates, did
she want blue, green or ivory?"
The survey claims that the most enthusiastic mobile phone users live in London,
with many making more than 10 calls each day. And the greatest use is among the
16 to 24-year-olds, with 96% owning a mobile phone.
But what does this mean for the way we communicate with our banks? First Direct
employs its own professional crystal-ball gazer, Jonathan Etheridge, (officially
head of e-futures) who looks into how trends in technology are likely to be
useful to customers.
And the big difference about the mobile phone, he says, it that it is a
particularly personal piece of technology, which we associate with our own
Such a sense of privacy has helped to make mobile phones a suitable channel for
banks to communicate with customers. And First Direct's text message service,
sending statements and information about transactions, is proving popular, he
Mobile phones, which now have near-universal reach among the young, are also the
surest way of reaching someone, more so than e-mail, which might not be seen for
some time. Because so many of us have mobile phones, we're "always on" to
messages from banks.
Looking to the future, he sees a greater role for banks using text messages,
which might extend to more general information for customers, such as traffic or
The growth of mobile technology and portable, wireless internet, and always-on
broadband, means that customers expect access to services 24-hours a day, adds
Etheridge. The barriers of time and location have been knocked down forever.
The survey highlights the remarkable growth in text messaging. Almost two thirds
of young people use their mobile phones mostly for sending text messages -
compared to less than one in ten pensioners. Women are also more likely to send
text messages than men.
It seems that in the mobile phone era, our natural reaction to a big emotional
event is to tap in a text message. According to the Mobile Data Association,
events such as Christmas, New Year, St Valentine's Day, the end of the football
season and getting exam results, all prompt a surge in the sending of messages.
This year it's estimated that we'll have sent 20 billion text messages.
The rise of texting has also confounded banking industry expectations. When the
internet boom was in full flood, the future was seen to be in portable online
services such as "wap".
Intelligent Finance was among the banks that pioneered the use of wap
technology, but the service failed to connect with the customers and was
But the bank's online and phone experience also shows that customers expect an
"always on" service - and that for many people, the Christmas season means
business as usual.
The volume of customer calls to Intelligent Finance on Christmas Eve and New
Year's Eve is only 15% down on usual. And the bank has received inquiries about
getting a mortgage on Christmas Day.