Posts Tagged ‘tech’
While Android users normally complain that Apple get everything first, it seems that on this occasion, it actually works to their advantage.
The BBC’s James Simcock says: ”This app has all the features of the iOS app as well as some improvements that, as an Android user myself, I think make it even better.”
The app will obviously give users access to all the BBC radio stations, but also, has a nifty addition of an alarm function so you can wake up to the sound of your favourite show. There’ll also be a function where you can swipe to access on-demand content and the ability to set programme reminders.
The BBC say that they’ve gathered up all the usage date from iOS and used it to make a better application for Android. So there you have it. It looks pretty great too.
Texts that cost you money are officially becoming a thing of the past as Nokia have released a mobile phone with a dedicated, physical WhatsApp button. It looks like WhatsApp is the next huge thing in the mobile world and Google are still sniffing around it wanting to buy it.
The Nokia Asha 210 will be targeted at emerging markets and it will be sold for a paltry £47. Of course, for that price, you’d assume it won’t have a touchscreen or anything fancy.
There’s no word about the money changing hands between Nokia and WhatsApp, but it looks like cross-platform integration is going to be a big thing, especially as Facebook roll out their dedicated phones. There’s a lot of competition however.
“WhatsApp is doing quite well in emerging markets, but you have local players who are outstripping it simply because they are more culturally specific and can therefore outshine the US firm,” said Neha Dharia, an analyst at Ovum.
“The most prominent example is in China with WeChat. But the emerging markets still offer huge potential for all the social messaging apps to grow because the amount of mobile internet available is still lower than in mature markets.”
The survey showed 87% of small firms experienced a security breach last year, which is up 10%. For large companies, 93% had also been targeted by ne’er-do-wells online.
The Information Security Breaches Survey, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), found that some of these attacks had caused more than £1 million of damage.
As such, the Government wants to help and have set up a scheme with the Technology Strategy Board, which allows smaller firms to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500,000 pot to improve their cyber security by bringing in experts from outside their company. As well as this, BIS will publish guidance to help small firms make cyber security part of their everyday risk management.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Keeping electronic information safe and secure is vital to a business’s bottom line. Companies are more at risk than ever of having their cyber security compromised, in particular small businesses, and no sector is immune from attack. But there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the majority of incidents.”
“The package of support we are announcing today will help small businesses protect valuable assets like financial information, websites, equipment, software and intellectual property, driving growth and keeping UK businesses ahead in the global race.”
Next week: UK Government lose a laptop with small businesses private data on it.
Ever get the impression that Google are more than happy to keep illegally collecting our data and just put up with the fines? They’ve been penalised again, this time 145,000 euros, by a German regulator for collecting WiFi data with their Street View cars.
From 2008 to 2010, Google’s cars captured a whole host of data - including contents of emails, photos, passwords and more – and German data regulator Johannes Caspar reopened the investigation after a related criminal case was dropped last year.
“In my view, this is one of the biggest data protection rules violations known,” said Caspar. Google’s “internal control mechanisms must have severely failed.”
Google have of course been fined before for harvesting data (a French privacy regulator hit them with a 100,000 euro penalty in 2011), so the internet giant has been trying to tighten up their systems, saying that they didn’t want the info and didn’t even look at it.
This won’t be the last we hear of this.
Durex has just announced the launch of a new line of vibrating underwear for both men and women called Funderwear. Basically, the premise is this: You can ‘touch’ someone via the controls of an iPhone app.
This’ll be great for the likes of Jason Manford and Leslie Grantham who enjoy horsing around on webcams and the like.
Durex is calling these wired scads “the future of foreplay” and a way to “touch over the internet.” There’s undercrackers for fellas and a knickers and bra set for the ladies, designed by fashion designer, Billie Whitehouse.
The app shows you a map of your mate’s erogenous zones and allows you to control exactly where and how hard they feel the vibrations. Should we be worried? As a YouTube comment hysterically says, “What if hacker rapes you with this? =S”
Most people don’t need to worry that their potential love partner is actually a member of their own family. But in Iceland, with its tiny population of 320,000 people, accidental incest is a just one of those kerrazy coincidences that happen every other day.
So to minimize the chance that you’re doing it with a family member, the app – called ‘Bump’ – allows future lovers to bump their phones together to find out their genealogical status. When the phones make contact, it accesses a database that tells you whether you’re good to go, or whether you need to back away from your sexy uncle.
The database was originally compiled by anti-virus software developer Friðrik Skúlason, and turned into an app by a company called Sad Engineer studios. The tagline? ‘Bump in the app before you bump in the bed.’
The ‘bump’ is enabled through a ‘fun’ feature called Incest Prevention, which can tell the user by text or sound notification if they’re about to go poking around in their own overcrowded gene pool.
*Screams like Bjork*
While the tech giants work on their smartwatches, TomTom have nipped in first with the release of two GPS sports watches (the TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport), which the company sees the company looking away from car products.
These fitness watches are aimed at runners, cyclists and swimmers and feature an extra large display with one-button control and inbuilt GPS.
“We want to be the brand of choice for everyday athletes,” said Gary Raucher, Global Head of Marketing for TomTom Consumer. And you can take a look at them here.
Back into cars, TomTom are also redesigning their sat-navs, with interactive maps and, more excitingly, 3D Maps, which TomTom claim will make sure drivers know exactly what’s going on around them at all times.
“We have rethought the way drivers use their sat navs,” said TomTom’s co-founder Corinne Vigeux at today’s event. “We are quickly becoming the authority when it comes to traffic information.”
Sony’s Michael Denny said that the company wanted to “reach as broad a gaming audience as possible”, adding: ”I guess the first thing to say is that we listen and learn and take the judgement from every console launch we ever have and we have to be informed by what the strengths of our PlayStation 3 system have been, but also the challenges of that.”
“We want a system that can reach as broad a gaming audience as possible but whilst being a system that’s deep, connected, rich and immersive and is going to give a very focused and differentiated experience than anything else that’s out there.”
“We’ve got lots of information yet to give out on PlayStation 4. The initial announcement phase that we’re in now is just to explain the vision to everybody.
“Part of that vision is we have created a console absolutely focused on gamers – and we want that to be gamers in the broadest sense as well. I think to some extent I can ask you to draw your own conclusions.”
We already know that the PS4 will have a headset, a huge hardrive and controllers that will charge while the system is in standby mode. It also looks like Sony are learning some lessons from the failure of Nintendo’s Wii U. But is their still too much life left in the PS3?
Developers who are working on Google Glass apps have been told that they will not be allowed to work adverts into them because, presumably, it makes a huge difference if an ad is near your eyes or not.
The newly-published t&cs also prohibit companies charging for apps, which is actually rather good news.
As we wrote yesterday, the goggles will have a five megapixel camera and voice-activated controls, and they’re being shipped out now. There will also be a bone conduction transducer which basically allows users to hear audio without the need for headphones as the sound is transferred through your skull.
Weird and fancy.
Of course, there’s no word on what our personal privacy will be like as yet (something that has irked privacy groups) so what data will be picked up as we roam around is unclear. That said, while these glasses seem slightly more intrusive, they’re effectively a normal smartphone stuck on the front of your head.
That said, it didn’t stop one campaigning group – called Stop The Cyborgs – from shrieking: “We want people to actively set social and physical bounds around the use of technologies and not just fatalistically accept the direction technology is heading in,” adding hysterically that these glasses could be ”the most controversial device in history”.
For the millionth time this month, Facebook have tinkered more than Claudio Ranieri in a bid to work out ways of making their awful social network engage people again. And so, we’ve now got Facebook Home, which has taken over the homescreens of some Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Note 2. It’ll take over some HTC handsets too, but no-one uses them anymore.
The HTC First is the dedicated phone with Facebook Home built-in, and basically, Facebook will replace users’ homescreens which Mark Zuckerberg foolishly claimed that this new strategy was “mobile best” rather than “mobile first”.
Ostensibly, what happens with Facebook Home, is that you’ll have a phone that will have a “constant stream of photos and updates from friends that is always available at a glance”, as well as more prominent notifications and a messaging (with an emoji/emoticon heavy feature called ‘Chat Heads’). Basically, the whole things sounds like a nightmare.
Naturally, this being Facebook, this is wholly about revenue and Zuckerberg admitted that adverts would be a key feature to this new homescreen.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, then these phones are nothing more than fancy bricks to you, and with users dropping away from the network, it’ll be interesting to see how these Facebook phones work.
Apparently, Explorer edition pairs are already in production and the spec looks half-decent. The future-goggles will have a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording and 16GB of storage in a one-size-fits-all frame.
The display, according to Google, will feel like you’re looking at a 25-inch HDTV from 8 feet away. Audio will be delivered via bone conduction and the battery will last you for a whole day.
Connectivity-wise, according to reports, there’ll be 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth and a micro USB port and will be compatibile will Android systems. The MyGlass app is already available from the Google Play store
Google have sent an email out about these $1,500 wearable smart-things, saying: ”We’ve been working hard on the Glass Explorer Edition and we have great news: the hardware and software are now ready for you. We’re seeing the first few devices come off the production line right now.”
“We’re producing enough for everyone, but only a portion of them are ready today. Therefore, we’ll be notifying you in waves.”
The OFT have announced that they’re going to investigate whether children are being unfairly pressured into buying content in ‘free’ app games, which is clearly a reaction to a number of high profile stories regarding kids who have spent preposterous amounts of money on their parents’ phones and tablets.
The Office of Fair Trading are asking for information from the companies concerned, and will be looking at ways of regulating app games, which children will invariably work their way around anyway.
Until then, parents have a number of options. One is to ensure that the WiFi connection is turned off (stick it on Airplane Mode) so that children can’t make any purchases.
In the settings of most tablets, you can disable the in-app purchases function. With Apple, go to “Settings”, select “General”, hit “Restrictions” and select “Enable Restrictions”. Whack in your passcode and then go to “Allowed Content” and turn off “In-app Purchases”. With Android, remove your bank details from the device so that your dumbass offspring can’t make auto-payments.
Or indeed, make sure your children don’t go anywhere near your lovely gadgets and make them sit in the yard with a pen and paper and a face like a slapped arse.
The latter will probably be funnier.
“Those people should definitely get with the times and get the Internet. It’s awesome.” And so spake Microsoft Game Studios creative director Adam Orth, talking about the potential ‘always connected’ new Xbox.
This news was met with a fair amount of ire from the gaming community, who pointed out that this is a lousy thing to do to customers who don’t have a great internet connection. Orth’s response? ‘Deal with it.’
The brown stuff really hit the fan and the resultant furore saw Orth quitting his job. The good news is that it has been parodied by Taiwanese news team, NMA TV, who have mocked his mini-meltdown.
Oddly enough, a source at Microsoft has rejected these ‘always on’ claims, saying that the new Xbox won’t require an internet connection (which seems equally unlikely). Either way, it is nice to see a news crew covering the story with people being attacked with chairs, people being choked until their faces go grey and lasers coming out of people’s eyes.
The next-gen console (codename: Durango) is set to launch later this year, around Christmas.