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Analysis and Comment (62)

Watching video on your smartphone is fine during take off and landing - so long as your device is in flight mode. Flickr/colorblindPICASO

Smartphones on aircraft – what access do we really want?

Australia is playing catch up by allowing plane passengers to keep their mobile phone switched on – albeit in flight mode only – during take off and landing. But many have probably already done this. A…
The cloud could mean a stormy future for Samsung. Chris Zielecki

Samsung looks on as profits migrate to online ecosystems

There used to be a time when the launch of a Galaxy handset, a Macbook, or a fancy game console could set investor hearts on fire and firms on a path to untold riches. These days, new devices no longer…
Mobile phone towers can be used to locate people. Flickr/Ervins Strauhmanis

What the police can get from mobile phone tower data

Metadata is in the news again with revelations that police in Australia have been getting access to data collected from mobile base stations (cell towers). In the wiretapping world there is a distinction…
The low end just got a bit more high end. Ikhlasul Amal

Cheap as chips phones: is it time to make the switch?

A change is taking place in the mobile phone market that has the potential to bring more power to the consumer. Cheaper devices are becoming an option and while they’re not quite ready yet, they could…
Aside from the usual data we hand over to internet companies and gadget manufacturers, there’s loads of other data our devices collect which we don’t know about. Chris Isherwood/Flickr

Detection devices: how a ‘sensor society’ quietly takes over

As our cars, phones and computers get “smarter” they – and the companies that provide them – know a lot more about us than they used to. A large part of this data collection stems from the fact that these…
Probably an unnecessary precaution. Redcorn Studios [Matt]

Explainer: which phone is most vulnerable to malware?

As each new computer virus attack or vulnerability comes to light, millions instinctively check their computer to see if their anti-malware application is up to date. This is a good idea and they are wise…
Look, I know we’re not really talking right now but could I possibly borrow a tenner? ejbSF

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I’m ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay…
Does walking and texting need a new app or do we need to do one thing at a time? Flickr/sidkid

Do we need transparent texting to avoid a mobile accident?

With mobile phones, it’s understandable we walk directly into inanimate objects. But now Apple has declared the problem solved, having secured the patent for Transparent Texting, a function that enables…
Will the Privacy Act protect you from being identified by your mobile phone address? Santos "Grim Santo" Gonzalez/Flickr

Mobile phone tracking: it’s not personal

What does privacy mean in an age of ongoing privacy breaches? With new privacy law coming online in Australia on March 12, our Privacy in Practice series explores the practical challenges facing Australian…
JK Shin unveils the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. samsungtomorrow

Many phones, little innovation at Mobile World Congress

The Mobile World congress in Barcelona is the largest mobile phone exhibition in the technology calendar and is the place to see the new mobile technologies that will be attempting to claim your money…
Hi I’m Mark and I’m new here, but I want to shake things up. Ludovic Toinel

Mobile operators needn’t fear big spender Zuckerberg

With Facebook eyeing mobile internet, it is no accident that Mark Zuckerberg is making a much-publicised appearance at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. In attendance are executives from…
Mark Zuckerberg certainly thinks so. Patrick Denker

WhatsApp has everything Facebook needs to survive

Facebook has made a play for the mobile market by buying WhatsApp in what should be seen as a significant sign of the times. Desktop computing is the past and mobile access is the future. Facebook knows…
The bird that just won’t die. But can you live without it?

Flappy Bird obsession is not necessarily an addiction

Flappy Bird, a deceptively simple gaming app, has been withdrawn by its creator Dong Nguyen because it is too “addictive”. His decision appears to have sparked a frenzy among fans who are reportedly so…
Just hold still while I check your back story. NameTag

The app that checks whether your date is a sex offender

An app on offer in the US says it can determine whether the person you are dating has anything to hide, using facial recognition to see if they are on the sex offenders register. This should make us question…
Choosing a mobile phone isn’t just about new features – it should also be about ethics. Fairphone

Will your next phone be Fair Trade?

Organic, cage-free or home-grown? We think about our purchasing ethics in many areas of daily life, but not often about technology. As with any product, though, we should think about the effects of our…
Just sending one last email from the bar … before my phone gets nicked. philcampbell

Bring your own device, lose your employer’s secrets

A survey of 2,500 British adults has revealed 27% have had up to three devices containing sensitive work-related data stolen or have lost them. Of these, 52% admitted that they were out drinking when it…
Concentrating on texting when UR driving isn’t GR8. Flickr

The perils of multitasking

The dangers of texting while driving recently received renewed attention thanks to a public service documentary produced by German film director Werner Herzog. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
New app delivery models could disrupt Apple’s plans. kobiz7

Innovative Apple should watch out for app disruption

The new iPhone 5S features a better camera, a faster processor, a finger-print reader, and much else. These innovations make the iPhone even better than it was before, but it’s still very much an iPhone…
The US and Finland: united by ice hockey and not much else. RicLaf

Microsoft-Nokia culture clash will be tough to overcome

Among Western nations it would be difficult to find two cultures as different as the US and Finland. Americans are stereotypically confident and outgoing; Finns considerably more reserved. This is even…
The introduction of new-look smartphones such as the Z10 has done little to lift BlackBerry’s fortunes. Moridin_

Blackberry’s time has passed, as will the iPhone’s – such is the way

You’ll have seen the news about BlackBerry – the once undisputed champion in communications technology – essentially putting itself up for sale this week, and may be lamenting the decline of a tech giant…
Nothing says “I care” like a cut-price phone charger. 8+1

Apple shows its soft side with safe charger drive

Apple, known across the world for its premium products, is finally dropping its prices. It may not be a huge offer, but the company is selling half price chargers for iPhones, iPads and iPods to anyone…
Not everyone heeds the advice to turn their phones off during take-off – but should they? Jetstar Airways

What a turn-off: why your phone must be powered down on flights

It’s a fact of life for anyone boarding a plane: all electronic devices need to be turned off during take-off and landing. Most airlines have had this rule in place for more than a decade now, even though…
Your daily movements are simple, predictable and useful to know. Thuany Gabriela

Your phone knows the three places you visit each day

We lead busy, complex lives. But how many different places will you visit today? And how many different ways could you organise your travel between those places? The answer, according to a new study published…
Eye tracking is already here, but looks set to become more prevalent in our lives. rAmmoRRison

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and eye-tracking – looking forwards

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last month garnered the type of media attention we’re getting used to for any new smartphone. Among the most talked-about feature pre-launch was “eye tracking” – the…
Smart meters worldwide use conventional cell phone networks to transmit their data. portland general

Smart meters are about as dangerous as …

Most fairly well educated people recognise pseudoscience as bunkum when they see it — astrology, young-earth creationism, alien abduction, pyramid power … Yet some of these same people are now being sucked…
Will ACMA’s new code of practice be enough to give Australian telcos a wake-up call? sachman75

Verizon Wireless vs Telstra: the great mobile rip-off continues

Does the recent announcement by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of a new code of practice to prevent bill shock for “long-suffering telco customers”, and improve product marketing…
The collection and potential uses of your data is back in the news again. Saad Irfan

Paranoid Android: does Carrier IQ mean your phone is spying on you?

What can only be described as “growing consternation” has resulted from revelations by a developer, Trevor Eckhart, that a large number of mobile phones are secretly monitoring users’ actions on the phone…
Believe the hype … Siri will transform the way we use our phones. Michael Nagle/Getty Images/AFP

Apple’s iPhone 4S is a game changer … Siri-ously

The recent release of the Apple iPhone 4S was met with some disappointment because it wasn’t the iPhone 5. Curiously, people seemed to be most disappointed that the shape of the phone hadn’t changed. What…
Carrying cards and cash on your phone seems like a big call. Google

Is Google Wallet a virtual game-changer?

So it’s finally here: Google Wallet, a free Android app that turns your (Google) smartphone into a mobile payment system, launched today. To do this, the company has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First…
Despite ideas to the contrary, the evidence shows that texting does not make us bad spellers. Flickr/lanier67

Texting dsn’t make U a bad spellr

Children and teenagers today do all the things that children and teenagers have more or less always done – they talk to their friends, have dinner with the family, and watch TV. However, as even the casual…
Online speed limits are about to increase, but what does it mean for users? motionblur

You, me and 4G: the future is in our hands

Ever tried to stream a movie on your phone and given up because of an unreliable connection or slow data speeds? Well, with 4G networking for mobile phones predicted to be in place by the end of this year…

Research and News (6)

Your mobile phone carries your microbiome

Mobile phones have become such an important part of our daily lives that they’ve started adopting our microorganisms, according…

Research Briefs (7)