Today we’ve been busy helping a cool Oslo-based start-up, Majoobi, launch their App Builder. It’s a free tool that makes it easy to build mobile phone apps that work on smart phones or any java-enabled, internet connected device. I’m obviously biased, but you can check out what the mobile press are saying about it here. While the company founder was busy chatting with journalists I went ahead and had a play. Check out my Speed app:
To grab it, just visit mjbapp.com/Speed on your iPhone or Android and soon to be available on other phones from downloading the app at m.majoobi.com. From an iPhone, hit the “Add to Home Screen” button. I’ve still got some work to do on it. A custom header and logos will be added, but for an app built in less than five minutes, I think it is pretty damn good. To illustrate just how easy it is, Ashley from Shiny Shiny and Tech Digest has posted a walk-through on YouTube:
Could NFC or near field communication be heading to the iPhone 5? Apple has just announced that Benjamin Vigier, a renowned NFC guru has been hired as product manager for mobile commerce. But what is NFC and why should we care?
In a nutshell, NFC is a tiny chip within a mobile device which allows us to pay for small purchases (say, under a tenner) by simply waving our mobile phone in the general direction of a NFC reader. Payments are instant and secure and mean that the days of digging around in our pockets for change whilst at the bar could effectively be at an end. No more shrapnel at the end of a night out, no more holes in pockets, no more coins down the side of the sofa.
NFC is not new, boffins at the Dutch semiconductor company NXP had the standard approved in 2003. Barclaycard users will be familiar with it through the innovative Visa payWave on certain credit cards. However it hasn’t taken off on mobile phones as planned, largely because the big players in the industry haven’t reached a consensus on how to deploy the technology.
Could Apple now lead the way and finally extend the benefits of this pretty cool technology to the rest of us?
BBC – BlackBerry pose ‘security risk’ say UAE
The United Arab Emirates has said that it could move to restrict or monitor BlackBerry mobile phones, as they pose a “national security risk”.
ComputerWorldUK – Jailbreaking iPhones is deemed legal
Apple has lost its bid to criminalise “jailbreaking,” the practice of hacking an iPhone to install unauthorised apps on the smartphone, following a decision by the US Copyright Office and the Library of Congress.
CIO – Wikileaks and Guardian newspaper reveal Afghan War secret documents
The Wikileaks website has released its controversial ‘Afghan War Diary’ (AWD), a 91,000-file collection of reports detailing disturbing and previously unreported incidents involving US and other NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The Daily Telegraph – ‘Most people’s purchases influenced by social networks’
The majority of consumers now consult ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ on social networks, such as Facebook, before choosing to purchase a new item, according to research firm Gartner.
The Guardian – Ofcom: Broadband ISPs are pulling a fast one
Average speed 46% below that promised by ISPs. Mandatory code and clear penalties vital, experts say
According to an article yesterday in Total Telecom, global smartphone shipments have surged 43% to 60 million units as more and more of us take up using the devices. It isn’t just consumers or business users either; militaries around the world are looking at uses for smartphones.
The US military has recently been considering ways to take advantage of social media, and no doubt the mobile internet will be a part of that. Smartphones in the hands of soldiers wouldn’t just be for Twitter though. Defence companies have been working on mobile apps for war. IT Pro today has posted a story about software that gives a soldier the ability find enemies in the surrounding terrain using a mobile phone with the Android operating system.
The software could be powerful enough to pick up aerial images from unmanned aircraft or satellites and then focus in on details like license plates or facial features.
It sounds like neat stuff, and would be very interesting if it ever makes it to the consumer market; Google maps to a scary new level! But we may not have to wait for consumer-friendly versions of military apps to be released before we get a sneak peak, if figures this week from the UK MoD are anything to go by. An iPhone 4 Gizmodo style leak might be expected.
From SC Magazine, it turns out that the MoD has been having a hard time trying to hang on to their gear. A freedom of information request has revealed that 440 laptops were lost or stolen in the past two years. As well as laptops, they’ve lost hundreds of DVDs, CDs and disks, 96 hard drives and 13 mobile phones. Worst of all, much of the data on lost devices wasn’t encrypted. Who knows what cool software or data is waiting on a forgotten phone in the tube’s lost and found.
Photo by Flickr user iamian_, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The Register – Fraudsters limber up for World Cup themed scams
Football governing body FIFA has already warned supporters to be wary over various forms of scams that are likely to crop up in the run-up to the start of the tournament, which kicks off in ten days time.
SC Magazine – Importance of email retention clear after US bank is fined $700,000
A fine issued to a company for failing to retain emails demonstrates the importance of email retention as a compliance issue.
The Daily Telegraph – World Cup traffic could clog mobile networks
Analysts at consultancy firm Deloitte have suggested that the numbers of Britons watching TV on their phones could compromise mobile networks. The World Cup could lead to an increase in data usage on mobile phone networks and lead to the services becoming “oversaturated”, according to industry analysts at management consultancy firm Deloitte.
The Daily Telegraph – Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
Google has mapped every wireless network in Britain in order to use the information for commercial purposes, it has emerged. Every WiFi wireless router – the device that links most computer owners to the internet – in every home has been entered into a Google database. The information was collected by radio aerials on their Street View cars, which have now photographed almost every home in the country
Computing.co.uk – Ed Vaizey to implement the Digital Economy Act
The new government has revealed the ministers who will be in charge of key technology issues in the UK. Former shadow culture and creative industries minister Ed Vaizey has now been named minister for culture, communications and creative industries.
BBC – Google launches smart TV service
Search giant Google has launched a TV service that unites live television with the web. The “smart TV” service allows people to search both live channels as well as content from websites such as YouTube.
BBC – Licence fee ‘to fund superfast broadband’ roll-out
The BBC licence fee could be used to part-fund the roll-out of superfast broadband across the UK. Details of the plan were outlined in the coalition deal struck between the Tories and the lib Dems.
IT PRO – IDC: Tablets will sell well, laptops will sell better
Analyst firm predicts strong sales for tablets over the next four years, but they won’t even make a dent in the laptop space.
Total Telecom – Google predicts online search battle on mobile phones
Internet giant sees ‘profound’ shift in proliferation of mobile Web browsing.
ComputerWorldUK – Whitehall departments slammed for IT procurement practices
Government departments have been criticised after it was revealed some are spending over eight times too much for printer cartridges.
The Register – NHS computers hit by voracious, data-stealing worm
The UK’s National Health Service has been hit by a voracious, data-stealing worm that’s easily detected by off-the-shelf security software, according to researchers who directly observed the mass compromise.
CBR – YouTube celebrates fifth birthday
It might be hard to believe but Friday, April 23rd represents YouTube’s fifth birthday. The video website has since become such an integral part of the Internet that it seems to have been around for as long as the web itself. Since that day millions of videos have been uploaded, totalling 1,700 years of content while users stream over one billion videos every day.
The Times – Google adds satnav to Maps on Android mobiles
Google today added a fully featured GPS satellite navigation service to its Google Maps application for mobile phones running its Android operating system.
IT PRO – Tech makes student/teacher collaboration more work-like
Technology has the potential to change the way teachers interact with students – making the collaboration more like that found in the workplace.
ComputerWorldUK – Steria provides access to cloud in “under 30 minutes”
Steria and Cisco have joined forces to deliver a new solution that they claim can give customers access to the cloud in under 30 minutes.
ComputerWorldUK – Email overused as admin tool, says Adobe
Businesses rely too much on email as an administration tool, a new study has revealed.
ComputerWorldUK – Hackers offer 1.5 million stolen Facebook IDs for sale
A hacker named Kirllos has a rare deal for anyone who wants to spam, steal or scam on Facebook: an unprecedented number of user accounts offered at rock-bottom prices.
CIO – Government told it ‘must fix weak IT procurement’
The outgoing chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has lambasted the state of public sector IT procurement, insisting serious weaknesses must be fixed if the government is to achieve its much-trumpeted multibillion pound efficiency savings.
Edward Leigh singled out IT procurement as “particularly weak”. He said: “Projects are over-ambitious, overly complex and fail to deliver what is promised while costs rocket.”
IT PRO – Cloud computing fueled by coal, says Greenpeace
When the industry talks about cloud computing, what they don’t realise is data centres running internet applications are fuelled by coal – leading to a real cloud of pollution, according to a new report by Greenpeace.
Total Telecom – Carphone Warehouse splits into two separately listed companies
U.K. mobile phone retailer and broadband provider Carphone Warehouse Group PLC Monday split into two separately-listed companies, 21 years after Charles Dunstone founded the company.
The Register – Apple uncloaks deep details of its 11 iPad apps
Apple’s iPad won’t be available in the company’s brick-and-mortar stores until this Saturday, but on Monday Cupertino added a series of videos to its website that provide more detail on the device’s “magical and revolutionary” capabilities – and The Reg sat through each self-congratulatory video to give you a deep-dive preview.
The Daily Telegraph – 3DTVs too expensive for mass market
A survey suggests that 53 per cent of consumers won’t pay more than £499 for 3DTVs, which currently retail at around £2,000. Three dimensional television might be the latest product to be receiving all the hype, but a new survey suggests that just 1.4 per cent of consumers are willing to pay the £2,000 price tags that new sets typically carry.
Computing.co.uk – IT attention going to upgrades, not overhauls
IT budgets are being focused on maintaining old systems, rather than implementing new ones, according to a new report from Forrester.
Computer Weekly – More young people vote on Big Brother than in a general election
Three-quarters of young people would engage in politics if they could vote by text message or social media, according to a survey of 1,082 UK citizens. The survey, which was carried out by mobile phone price comparison website Right Mobile Phone, found that over one-third of young voters would not vote in the election.
CBR – New virus targets corporate networks, credentials
Internet security firm NetWitness has discovered a new type of computer virus that has affected 75,000 systems in 2,500 organisations around the world. According to the security firm, the newly-discovered virus, known as ‘Kneber botnet’ gathers login credentials to online financial systems, social networking sites and email systems from infested computers and reports the information to miscreants who can use it to break into accounts, steal corporate and government information, and replicate personal, online and financial identities.
Silicon.com – BlackBerry: ‘Blazingly fast’ browser and ‘super-apps’ unveiled
BlackBerry-maker RIM has given a glimpse of the next-generation of the BlackBerrry web browser that will be based on WebKit technology.
BBC – SeeSaw internet TV service launches in UK
SeeSaw’s online TV service has launched in full for British internet users after less than a month of beta testing on 20,000 users. The service offers viewers the chance to catch up for free on 3,000 hours of archive and recent programmes from the BBC, Channel 4 and Five.
BBC – Facebook launch ‘Zero’ site for mobile phones
The world’s biggest social network has revealed details of a stripped-down, text-only version of its mobile site called Facebook Zero.
Computerworld UK – Google Android & processor squeezed onto SIM
The SIM cards in cellular telephones might be smaller than a postage stamp and less than a millimetre thick but that hasn’t stopped South Korea’s SK Telecom from cramming all the major components needed to run Google’s Android OS inside one of them.
The Daily Telegraph – Steve Jobs to ‘cooperate’ on his first official biography
Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, is allowing and helping an author to write his official biography for the first time, according to reports. Several authors have written biographies about the man who reversed Apple’s fortunes, but they have all been without Jobs’s consent or help.