It costs more to send a text message using Icelandic characters than one using only the Latin alphabet, due to technical reasons. Those using mobile phones in Iceland capable of using characters such as ð, þ and æ get slightly larger phone bills than those who substitute these characters with d, th and ae. RÚV reports that the reason has to do with the programs involved in loading different alphabets. Hrannar Pétursson, the managing director of the communications department at Vodafone, explains: “The moment you use the first Icelandic letter in a text, all the characters in that text are then bound to a larger program [which uses the Icelandic alphabet], which makes the message much larger.” In terms of real costs, this means that one text message over 70 characters long using Icelandic letters costs the same as two text messages using only the Latin alphabet, or about the equivalent of one 160-character text message. Hrannar says the situation will not be changing any time soon. He recommends that those wishing to save money in their texting habits learn to substitute Icelandic letters with Latin ones.
A Progressive city councilperson has questioned the cost of maintaining Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower, and was apparently misinformed about how the Peace Fund is used. RÚV reports that Progressive city councilperson Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir has submitted a formal request to City Hall to know how much money it costs the city to maintain the Peace Tower. Speaking to reporters, Sveinbjörg said she had nothing against the Peace Tower itself; she simply wanted to know the operational costs for a work of art. Furthermore, she added that she found it strange that former Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr should receive money
It has come to light that using text messaging to alert towns and villages of poisonous SO2 levels does not work as well as intended. RÚV reports that some 750kg of SO2 are spewing out of the Holuhraun eruption every second. This has caused SO2 levels in many parts of northeast Iceland to reach alarming levels. In order to alert residents in the area of these dangerous levels of SO2, mass text messages were sent Friday evening to people living in Eskifjörður, Reyðarfjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður and Neskaupstaður. However, many text messages arrived late, if at all, depending in large part on
DV’s managing director, assistant editor, and at least 4 other employees have resigned in light of recent events which saw chief editor Reynir Traustason ousted from his position, reports RÚV. As reported, ‘World Class’ gym chain owner, Björn Leifsson, filed a libel suit against tabloid DV – known for its critical investigative journalism – earlier this year. At the end of August, Björn announced that he had bought a minor share in the paper, with the declared intention of getting rid of its editor, Reynir Traustason (pictured). Björn then sold the shares to owners who proceeded to form a new board. Subsequently
The residents of Reyðarfjörður have been advised to stay indoors as fumes from the Holuhraun eruption cause pollution to spike to record levels, reports RÚV. Reyðarfjörður, located on Iceland’s east coast saw levels of sulfur dioxide reach 4,000 µg/cubic metres last night. Residents of Reyðarfjörður have been advised to stay inside and monitor pollution readings. In addition to staying inside and closing all windows and doors, residents are recommended to turn on their radiators to increase air pressure inside their homes. These pollution levels are the highest readings in Iceland since the Icelandic Meterological Office began recording sulfur dioxide pollution
A bill that would permit the sale of alcohol in private shops has been submitted to parliament, and it is uncertain whether it will fail or become law. Currently, alcoholic beverages may only be bought from any of the The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) stores in the country. One man, Independence Party MP Vilhjálmur Árnason, hopes to change that. Vísir reports that Vilhjálmur’s bill, which would make alcohol legal for sale in supermarkets, has been submitted to parliament. However, even he admits that support for the bill is on a knife’s edge. “I expect that there
While the planet is bombarded with charged solar particles, this translates into some fantastic Northern Lights displays for Iceland. The Guardian reports today that two coronal mass ejection (CME) bursts from the Sun sent charged solar particles hurtling towards Earth yesterday and today, “raising concerns that GPS signals, radio communications and power transmissions” could be scrambled. On the brighter side, the Guardian also speculates that the “storms might also trigger beautiful auroral displays along northern latitudes as electrically charged solar particles hit the atmosphere.” As it turns out, they are absolutely right. As can be seen on the Icelandic Met