Posts Tagged ‘app’
Imagine, you’re slumbering happily, and then suddenly you wake up to a message on your phone from some mysterious dobber/s calling themselves ‘Oleg Pliss’, telling you you’ve been hacked. Not only that, but your phone will be locked until you pay them a ransom of $100 via Paypal.
Well, this is what happened to Apple users across Australia in the early hours of Tuesday morning, who found themselves phoneless and iPad-less thanks to the hackers. Some were woken to alerts in the night, and others, when they came to use their devices, found that they were locked.
So who, or what, is Oleg Pliss, and how did they manage to lock random devices across a whole country? Well, users reported a breach of the ‘Find My Phone’ app – which means they could have accessed devices through the iCloud and then set them to ‘lost mode’.
Or if they users had the same passwords across a number of devices, that might explain it, too. But at the moment, nobody knows.
As for who Oleg is, there are a few theories – there’s a guy called Oleg Pliss who works as a software engineer at tech company Oracle, and a few dotted about on Linkedin in Ukraine and Russia.
Unfortunately, victims of the hacking have reported getting short shrift from Apple and mobile providers. And apparently Vodafone told one customer that ‘Apple can’t be hacked.’ (Hmm, REALLY?).
Apple have yet to comment, probably because they have no idea how Oleg and his pals actually did it…
This weekend, you may have seen a load of taxis doing the rounds, with ‘Uber’ branding on them. They’re doing a big push to get our attentions, directing us toward their new service which is Taxis For The Mobile Generation.
Basically, you download an app and you can request a ride on your phone as well as being able to split your fare, get a quote, rate drivers and read reviews and more. It’s a new way of getting a cab and, the other taxi drivers are not at all happy about it.
Uber allows drivers to start their own businesses without all the training and and licenses and you detect a driver’s whereabouts thanks to GPS and the driver comes to find you by using the GPS on your phone. No money changes hands either - once you complete your journey, the fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file and you get a receipt emailed to you.
It has been reported that over 10,000 London taxi drivers are planning a mass protest over Uber, with Steve McNamara – the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association’s general secretary – saying that the problem with the app is that it allows drivers to work as a taxi without having to follow the same rules as other services, which gives them an unfair advantage.
He says: “All we’re saying is if you want to come to London and operate the business model you’re operating, you should operate within our laws.”
“For me to persuade 10,000 guys to take a day off work shows you the strength of feeling,” he added. “They’re not a commercial threat to us. It’s a sense of fair play.”
Over in France, they weren’t happy about Uber either, with Francois Hollande going after them (unsuccessfully) and cabbies staging a protest where they blocked traffic from airports. In Belgium, those using the app are subject to a €10,000 fine.
This is definitely going to be something that people will disagree on. On one hand, it does seem unfair that the UK’s existing cab drivers had to get licenses and meters and all that, with this new lot not having to bother. On the other hand, taxi firms already feel a bit lawless as it is, so how would Uber be any different for the consumer?
What do you think?
If you’ve got a mobile and you want to send cash to any bank account, a new secure payment system called Paym can do it for you –without the need for sort codes or fiddly account numbers.
According to the Payments Council, Paym (like, you know ‘PAY ‘EM’) will be available to 40m banking custiomers very soon and will be integrated into banking apps. All the information you’ll need to complete a payment will be the person’s phone number.
So if you’re a Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Halifax. HSBC, Lloyds, Santander or TSB customer, you can be one of the 30 million people who can start using PayM. Then later on in the year, it will be available to Clydesdale Bank, First Direct, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire Bank.
It’s expected that the service will be used to make small payments, like repaying your mate that tenner you borrowed for a lapdance/kebab, but the daily limit will be £250.
Adrian Kamellard from the Payments Council said: ‘Paym will enable millions of people to pay securely using just a mobile number from spring this year. In a world where many of us are inseparable from our phones, it’s readily believable that more than one billion of these payments could be made in the next five years.’
It’s readily believable alright, Adrian!
Of course, Pingit from Barclays has been doing this for a while, but Paym has much a wider range of customers. There’s also Zapp, which will launch in the Autumn and allow you to pay bills with your mobile.
Which is all very well, but can someone think of some better names for these things? Paym, Pingit and Zapp sound like aliens in rubbish Cbeebies programme.
Are you completely neurotic about your health? Well, join the growing army of the worried well who are using technology to plan, plot and monitor every breath with this new iPhone case from Azoi.
We’ve seen enough wearable health tech in recent months to clog up landfills for millions of years, but this is the first phone CASE that can check your blood pressure while you’re on the move.
The Wello case looks like an ordinary, boring black phone protector, but inside there are multi-purpose sensors that can accurately measure your ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen and lung function.
It’s a must for health freaks or just people with an abnormally high rate of self-absorption.
All you need to do is hold it in your hand, wait a minute and see whether it flashes red and starts beeping the Funeral March. (Actually, your readings are transferred to an app, which you can show to the doctor when you arrive at A&E, clutching your chest.)
The Wello case is out this summer and will cost £120 – which would probably be better spent on pies because you’re going to DIE ANYWAY.
As if Google Glass isn’t daft enough – now it seems that a young developer is hellbent on making you look daft while you’re having sex, too.
A new app called Sex With Glass, which is being created by randy Central St Martin’s student Sherif Maktabi, is intended for use during the act of love. All you have to do is say ‘OK, Glass, it’s time’ and Glass will stream what you’re seeing to each other. When you want to stop, you just say ‘OK, Glass, pull out.’
WHAT A TURN ON, EH?
As well as swapping each other’s viewpoints, you can also watch the whole grunting, unattractive extravaganza afterwards with a bag of popcorn, but the movie will be deleted forever after five hours, so no Kim Kardashian sex tape for you. The app also allows you to control mood lighting if your lighting system is wifi connected.
If you want to peer at your own flabby bits on your goggle telly instead of actually experiencing all the fun in Triple X real life 3D, then that’s up to you. But it seems that the app could be an exercise in futility for people who aren’t self-absorbed, show off sex people. I mean, do you really want to have your coitus interrupted by anguished cries of ‘Oh my God, my arse is really hairy’?
Hmm, thanks, but no thanks, technology.
The Department for Transport (DfT) like a new app so much that they’ve decided to back its development. This new app will show everyone where the potholes of the UK are. The app saves anyone having to actually fix our decrepit roads, which resemble one long sink hole.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill has pledged £30,000 to enable CTC, a cycling charity (are all cyclists in need of charity now?) to make their ‘fill that hole’ site slicker and create a brand new Android app.
The app is already used by 9 million iPhone-havers, which is designed to help people report potholes to their local council.
Goodwill said: “At best they are an irritation but at worst they can damage vehicles and pose a serious danger to cyclists. That is why we want people to tell councils where to find them so they can fill them in. This app means more people are going to be able to report potholes more easily.”
Clearly, it is cheaper to give people the power to report things, which won’t be acted on, than it is to actually pay to fix the problem in the first instance.
If you weren’t being watched enough by everything ever, Shazam is now going to listen to you all the time with an update that brings the ‘Auto Shazam’ feature to the fore, which will stick an ear in your day and make playlists of all the songs that surround you.
Of course, you’ll have to check in so it isn’t exactly invasive. It could be a great tool if you go to a club or a pub that has a killer jukebox. It’ll operate independently so you won’t have to keep logging-in and it will run in the background so you can use your phone.
It might be a bit of a drain on data packages and your battery, although the app itself will switch off after two hours.
“The one thing we have with us all day, every day, is our phone. With today’s Shazam update for iPhone, our users can now capture all the media playing around them in the car, at a café, in a cinema, or while watching TV, even when their phone is locked or they’re using it to do something else,” Daniel Danker, Shazam’s chief product officer, said in a press release. “This update is another leap forward in achieving our vision to help people effortlessly recognize and engage with the world around them.”
The app will notify you of new songs and saves it to playlists grouped by date so you can pinpoint where you heard that song you liked. Might be one to switch off if you’re doing last minute Christmas shopping as it’ll end up being 40 versions of Now That’s What I Call Christmas.
It won’t save or sending any personal data, adding that “only digital fingerprint summaries of the audio are sent to Shazam’s servers to identify media content in Shazam’s databases.”
If you’re a Barclays’ customer who has been trying to do some online banking, you’ll know that their service seems to be down. Customers are unable to access their accounts and the mobile app isn’t working either.
The site has been showing a message that says: “5 – Sorry – Barclays Online Banking is currently unavailable.” If you hit ‘next’, you get an error message.
The site isitdownrightnow.com is showing that disruption is widespread too.
Of course, Barclays customers are taking to the internet to get angry about it, and as yet, there’s no word from Barclays themselves from their main account. The UK wing apologised yesterday for some app disruption, but it appears it has all gone awry again.
Looks like customers will have to wait ’til the morning for an answer or apology. Until then, Barclays customers are advised to complain direct to the company themselves, rather than complaining so everyone else can see it (that only ensures that people will think you deserve your financial predicament).
We’ll follow this up when we hear more.
“It’s definitely a free service,” said Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president of BBM for BlackBerry. “We have other ideas on how to monetize that service.”
Basically, the service will make money through adverts and marketing.
“We continue to plan to evolve the service and keep making it more engaging and have more reasons why people will come back to use the service,” said Bocking. ”This is one we’re definitely investing in, this is definitely one of our key strategies, but it’s one of many.”
BlackBerry have been crowing about how the BBM app has been downloaded 10 million times on Apple and Android devices, but that is nothing compared to how many people use WhatsApp and, with WhatsApp existing (as well as Twitter, Facebook, Skype and all the rest), is there a place for BBM?
Well, one pub is trying something different in a bid to kill the queue – they’ve got technology involved so you can order through your mobile.
If you go to the Keyworth Tavern in Nottingham you can even order your round while you’re on the way, thanks to this Orderella app. You can order from your table once you get in and a bartender will bring over your booze. You’ll only have to stand up to defecate or dance badly to the jukebox.
All drinks are charged to an account to avoid actually using cash and the app will be rolled out at 50 pubs across the UK next month.
Landlord Adrian Clarke reckons the app has already gone down well, saying: “A group of customers even had a bet to see which would be quicker – ordering a drink on the phone or going up to the bar as normal. The phone app won.”
Naturally, the advent of not using cash could mean that the app generates a feeling of ‘pretend money’ and you might end up buying far more than you intended, but at least you’ll get a roaring night out of it. It won’t matter if you’re legless now.
Have a look at the app here.
HMV have relaunched their digital service in a bid to stay relevant after the company was a dog’s whisker away from being put down at the vets. Now, with Nipper’s new service, we can browse HMV’s digital catalogue, buy and pre-order MP3s and generally obtain a service that’s available elsewhere.
There will be a HMV app, whic is the first non-iTunes-based service on Apple’s iOS platform which will allow music downloads through a native app, according to the company.
In the app, there’s a nifty thing called ‘image search’, where you can scan album covers with your phone and listen to a 30 second preview. There’s also ‘sound search’, which allows you to discover tunes they hear while you’re going about your business. So, Shazam then?
While these things are all well and good, people will surely still listen to leaks on YouTube or get stuck into torrents? HMV isn’t exactly offering a solution to a problem here.
“For the first time, music lovers have the ability to experience the traditional feel of HMV on the high street and have the option to discover and build a digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV, the Home of Entertainment,” said James Coughlan, Managing Director of HMV Digital.
“An exciting vision is unfolding and I look forward to announcing further developments regarding our plans for 2014 in the coming weeks – this is just the beginning!”
The HMV app is available from today, free of charge, if you want to test drive it.
Forget open letters to Miley Cyrus, this, my friends, is what wifi was invented for – a kettle you can switch on using your phone.
Designed to cater for ‘urgent hot drink scenarios’ (and let’s face it, there are several thousand of those a day), the iKettle can be activated from anywhere in the home, and you can even change the temperature to suit your drink. If you’re a hopeless green tea drinking hippy, for example, you can set it at 80º, or if you’re a coffee drinking macho man, 95º.
‘Stop wasting time waiting for water to boil. Relax. Let the iKettle take care of you.’ Says the iKettle blurb. Ok, so it’s a stupid Christmas novelty gadget, but this could be the most useful invention since the human being. When the water is boiled, iKettle sends you a message asking if you’d like to keep the water warm, and it has an automatic shut off system so the kettle will never boil dry. And if you put it in Wake Mode, it gently rouses you with a cheery ‘Good Morning! Would you like me to put the kettle on? Yes/No.’
So basically, the iKettle is your mum, best friend, carer and lover all in one. YAY! WE DON’T NEED PEOPLE ANY MORE!
The iKettle costs £99.99 and is available for pre-order from firebox.com
Do you sometimes wish that you had a chef? Some skilled and multi-talented cook who could whip you up a treat when you can’t be arsed to order a Dominos again?
Well, a new app and website, called Cookisto, is a kind of Grindr for the greedy, and a godsend for lazy gits everywhere. Cookisto allows amateur and aspiring chefs in your area to bring their delicious leftovers straight to your door. Pay £8 and you could be sticking your head in someone else’s curry, or heaving the Tupperware lid off some culinary delight from a local cook.
But don’t worry that you’re going to get a hairball in your meatballs or some arsenic in your arrabiata– the chefs have to pass hygiene standards first. (Unless they come to your house with KNIVES, in which case, sorry, you’re on your own.)
Cookisto is a huge hit in Athens, where 12000 people have signed up to scoff some local leftovers, and the service has now launched in the UK. On the UK version, there’ll also be a new bespoke service where you can commission them to cook a meal of your choice.
So there’s no need to ever go in the kitchen again. In fact, you can just burn it down.