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The Real Revolution

This is also a podcast, from my weekly BBC piece.  While folks at the annual tech show in Vegas are getting all excited about a glass-encased laptop, the world’s thinnest 55″ TV and a washing machine you can control from your phone, they may be forgiven for missing the quiet sound of a milestone being crossed: there are now more smartphones in the world than there are ordinary phones. According to New York-based ABI Research, 3G and 4G handsets now account for more than half of the total mobile phone market. Those old ‘dumb phones’ and the so-called feature phones–poor relations to the computer-type iPhoneContinue readingThe Real Revolution

Real Phone Hacking

Interesting glimpse into the real world of phone hacking–not the amateurish stuff we’ve been absored by in the UK–by Sharmine Narwani: In Lebanon, The Plot Thickens « Mideast Shuffle. First off, there’s the indictment just released by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which, in the words of Narwani, appears to be built on a simple premise: the “co-location” of cellular phones — traceable to the accused four — that coincide heavily with Hariri’s whereabouts and crucial parts of the murder plot in the six weeks prior to his death. Indeed, the case relies heavily on Call Data Record (CDR) analysis. Which sounds kind of sophisticated. OrContinue readingReal Phone Hacking

Southeast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

The mobile revolution is moving from second tier countries in Southeast Asia to the third and final tier. Whereas previously Indonesia and the Philippines were seeing the biggest growth in mobile Internet traffic, now it’s Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia which top the list in terms of user- and usage-growth, according to the Opera State of the Mobile Web report for July: Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (6415.0 % and 470.1 %, respectively). Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (1207.5 % and 179.1 %, respectively).Continue readingSoutheast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

The Mobile Revolution in Social Technology

via ictd2010.org An interesting chart from the ICTD conference reflecting the theme of papers submitted in the years 2006-2010 (minus 2008). Mobile has grown massively in the past couple of years–particularly surprising given that in 2007 the number of papers had actually shrunk. This reflects the impact of the mobile phone on the developing world in the past couple of years, as well as perhaps a slowly dawning realization that for many people in these regions the mobile phone is not only their first telephone, it’s their first computer and first Internet device. It’s also intriguing that radio has disappeared from the equation. A mistake,Continue readingThe Mobile Revolution in Social Technology

The Phantom Threats We Face

This is a copy of my weekly Loose Wire Service column. By Jeremy Wagstaff We fear what we don’t know, even if it’s a guy in Shenzhen trying to make an honest living developing software that changes the background color of your mobile phone display. Here’s what happened. I’ll save the lessons for the end of this piece. A guy who prefers to go by the name Jackeey found a  niche for himself developing programs—usually called apps—for the Android cellphone operating system. They were wallpaper applications—basically changing the background to the display. That was until an online news site, VentureBeat, reported on July 28 thatContinue readingThe Phantom Threats We Face

Phantom Mobile Threats

How secure is your mobile phone? This is an old bugaboo that folks who sell antivirus software have tried to get us scared about. But the truth is that for the past decade there’s really not much to lose sleep over. That hasn’t stopped people getting freaked out about it. A security conference heard that some downloadable applications to phones running the Android operating system would “collect a user’s browsing history, their text messages, the phone’s SIM card number and subscriber identification” and send all this data to a website owned by someone in Shenzhen, China. Some outlets reported that it also transmitted the user’sContinue readingPhantom Mobile Threats

The Shape of Things to Come

This is from my weekly newspaper column, hence the lack of links. By Jeremy Wagstaff We’re all touch typists now. Of course, the definition of touch type has had to change a little, since most of us don’t actually learn touch typing as we’re supposed to. Watch people tapping away at a keyboard and you’ll see all sorts of cobbled-together methods that would make the office secretary of yesteryear blanch. But for now keyboards are going to be with us for a while as the main way to get our thoughts into a computer, so some sort of touch typing is necessary. But the mobileContinue readingThe Shape of Things to Come

Facebook’s Internet of Sharing

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications.) By Jeremy Wagstaff Get ready for a world where everything is shared. Readers of this column will already know that our notions of privacy have changed a lot in the past couple of years. That has made it possible for Facebook to announce a new initiative this past week, pretty confident it won’t get rebuffed in the same way its Beacon program did a few years back. Back then we didn’t like the idea of companies having access to the things we were doing on their websites andContinue readingFacebook’s Internet of Sharing

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