Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Hollywood Stunt Double Sues News Corp for Phone Hacking

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

A Hollywood stunt double has sued News Corp for allegedly hacking into her mobile phone, according to the BBC. Eunice Huthart, who has worked as a stunt double for Angelina Jolie in films including Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Mr and Mrs Smith, claims that the company hacked into her mobile phone and intercepted messages from friends, family, and Angelina Jolie, causing some messages to be deleted.

The civil case has been filed in California on the grounds of “intrusion into private affairs”, and appears to be the first incidence of the News Corp phone hacking scandal spreading to the United States, where the company’s boss and owner Rupert Murdoch resides. News Corp has declined to comment on the case.

Ms Huthart has claimed that her daughter, husband, friends, relatives, and Angelina Jolie had all complained about her not responding to messages or phone calls, and she also complained to her phone network that voice messages were being lost in the system. Ms Huthart thought these errors may have been due to network faults until her name, phone number and other personal information appeared among the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the centre of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Mobile Phone News: Today’s Headlines

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The Optimus 2X, LG’s super smart phone has been announced in Korea just a while back. Now, we are happy to know that the device is definitely headed to the UK. According to reports, the handset will be released Q1 2011, but LG still has yet to disclose an official date. In any case, many are expecting to see the smart phone shown off at the CES this coming January. The Optimus 2X is officially the first handset in the market to make use of the NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU.

NVIDIA has certainly been able to make the new holy grail of the smart phone industry by providing us all with a CPU that is both high speed and energy efficient, and many engineers would tell you that energy efficiency is far more important than sheer speed. The Tegra 2 chip is so highly regarded that even Samsung has put in an order for over £200 million worth of the processors.

Many believe that these chips will be used in a wide array of Samsung’s devices, ranging from tablets to smart phones and even some of their smaller netbooks.

Did we mention that the Android OS is going to overtake the Symbian platform in a few years? According to IDC, we’re wrong, the Android will overtake the older platform by the end of this coming 2011. Considering that the Symbian OS is losing plenty of ground (and the fact that very few devices using the platform will be coming out), there is little doubt that the Android’s fast growth and distribution will be able to easily keep up.

Also, the fact that the Symbian Foundation is now a licensing organization means that the development of the OS takes a backseat priority. Nokia will also be focusing on their Intel co-developed MeeGo platform too.

This Year in Mobile Phones

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Has time flown by that fast? Time really has a way of creeping up on us and showing us all how many changes can happen in a span of twelve months. For those wondering how this year has been for the smart phone industry, here’s a quick rundown of all the big highlights that has passed us by.

First off, the year started out with a bang that was the launch of the Google Nexus One. This is the first Google branded handset and also showed off what the Android mobile platform could really achieve. Despite the relatively slow sales of the device, Google succeeded in setting a new bar for smart phone technology. Phones such as the HTC Desire, XPERIA X10, Galaxy S and others soon followed the path that Google paved.

Microsoft made the biggest surprise at the Mobile World Congress by giving us all a teaser of the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform –with none other than Andy Rubin giving the demonstration. As awed as we were, the actual release of the platform this October proved to be the real surprise for all.

Apple once again managed to antagonize plenty of folks in the tech industry. Mostly starting with the whole fuss with Adobe; after the iOS 4.0 SDK rules came out, it became pretty obvious that Steve Jobs was cutting off all possibilities of Flash support –and thus encouraging Adobe to support other platforms instead. The whole Apple fiasco did not end there. Despite the extremely successful sales of the iPhone 4, the device’s launch was marred by the fact that the antenna on the handset was very faulty.

Nokia on the other hand did not have much of a good year. The N8 handset was delayed for several months (from April to October) and lost Nokia plenty of market interest and of course, sales. The sudden lack of support for the Symbian OS by Samsung and Sony Ericsson also affected the Finnish phone maker badly as well.

Are Smart Phones a Privacy Threat?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Smart phone technology has allowed us to become more reliant on these mobile devices than we have ever thought possible. While it may not seem that we store anything truly delicate on our iPhones and our HTC Desires, a closer look reveals that losing a smart phone is akin to showing off to the world a lot more important things than you ever thought possible. So if you think that losing a smart phone is not an issue, here’s a quick look at why such an event could be very, very bad.

First off, your contact list: this little bit of information is particularly tough to have in someone else’s hands. From the onset, the entire list could be sold to marketers and similar groups –often with the sad result of the people in the list receiving an avalanche of advertisements and spam. Thanks to the fact that contacts lists now have provisions for the name, phone number, email and even physical address, you might want to think twice about letting the entire world know where some of your most special friends live.

If you use the browser or a social networking app, then chances are, you have your own account names, emails and your passwords stored in the device as well. This could open up a lot of sensitive information and all your passwords may be opened by really skilled hackers.

GPS information may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it exposes your everyday routes, favorite stores, where you live, where you work and even which pubs you prefer to relax in. Add in location based features such as Foursquare and any stalker will be happy to have an hour studying your phone’s vast wealth of information.

Media is another issue as well. Since most phones have cameras, it is not too uncommon that folks would have pictures of that wild drinking spree last Halloween in their mobile phones –and none would be too happy to see it made available to everyone online.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread: All Set and Ready to Go

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Google is on top of the mobile platform industry. There are no doubts about it; the Android OS is currently the fastest growing mobile platform in terms of both evolution and more importantly, distribution.

At the moment, Nokia’s Symbian OS is still the most widely spread around platform in existence, but this is mostly due to the fact that Symbian has been around for ages. Google Android, on the other hand, has only been around for just a little around three years –and many experts agree that it will even surpass Symbian in about a year or so (with its’ current growth).

Version 2.3 Gingerbread of this very successful operating system is just the latest update that the OS needs to further show the world how far along the OS is in terms of innovation and evolution, and looking at the first demonstration videos of the platform proves exactly that.

Battery management is the first big new feature in the update and it is an excellent one. While the Android has never really been criticized for having bad energy usage, streamlining is still much appreciated. The new OS is expected to provide fully charged devices with a few extra hours of usage time.

Near field communications technology is also supported by the system. Considering that both Apple and Nokia are already implementing the technology, real world applications will certainly not be far behind. Sadly, most of the older smart phones do not have the hardware to support this new feature.

Other features such as internet based voice calls, better gaming and even better CPU usage are all pointing towards a definitely bright future for the next Android OS. The only question now is when the system updates will be rolling out for individual devices –especially for those in contract as the Android 2.2 Froyo updates have only been recently launched.

Today’s News in a Flash

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Mobile updates have come aplenty today, and if time is a resource that you are short on, here is a quick list of all the things that you would need to stay up to date with all the latest developments.

First off, Motorola’s Olympus headset has been left behind ala the iPhone 4 prototype, while it is almost certain that there will be no media and legal shenanigans coming, we can all expect to see more hype about the Tegra 2 handset.

Speaking of the Tegra, the LG Star has been confirmed and that makes two smart phones making use of the high powered NVIDIA processor. And it is also astounding that both devices are Android smart phones as well.

ACER has confirmed that their grand plans for the smart phone industry are not limited to the Android or WP7 handsets. While their current lineup offers no other platforms, ACER has confirmed that they will be working on a new MeeGo device.

The UK has been confirmed as one of the countries that has the largest number of mobile phone subscribers. With plenty of networks and excellent plans to choose from, it is no wonder that more and more people are signing up for monthly tariffs.

Microsoft is taking in a major loss as the sales for the Windows Phone 7 are unbelievably low. While it was expected that the platform would be getting a slow start, that was not the long term projection. So far, there is no official word from Steve Ballmer about what action he would do next.

RIM has shown off a new concept phone yesterday, the EMPATHY. This prototype looks a lot like a piece of black crystal that turns almost transparent when not in use. Another prototype concept phone has come out, though this one not made for any specific mobile platform: a handset that floats with the use of magnetic technology on a charging dock. While it is a novelty concept, it is utterly impressive as to how a spinning motion will create an illusion of a 3D icon for the floating device.

Latest Mobile Tech: 3D, SLCD, and QLED

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

If there are two categories of electronics that are receiving constant upgrades and innovations in terms of technological advancements, it is hard to think of better examples than the computer and mobile phone industries. While computer parts have been getting better at a constant rate, it is hard to deny the fact that the growth of mobile phone technology is far more accelerated.

HTC is pushing their luck with the first Android 3D handset to be launched. While certainly interesting, it is hard to fathom how 3D could be a truly significant contribution to the smart phone industry. Unlike the use of 4G networks, HD video recording and flexible touch screens, 3D is one aspect of entertainment that simply does not fit with portable technology.

This mostly centers on providing users with parallax screen technology, but in the long run, who would actually bother appreciating 3D images on a such as small display and on a device meant to be used when you are outside the house?

Korean phone maker Samsung is working on a more practical display technology: LCDs. The appearance of AMOLED touch screens has certainly put a wide gap between LCDs and LEDs, but in the end, it is the LCDs that are proving that it is easier to manufacture. In fact, even HTC is slowly replacing the AMOLED phones with Super LCD screens. According to reports, Samsung’s new tech is being named as the Super PLS LCD –which is far superior to the already impressive IPS LCD screens we see today.

LG is not too keen on turning away from LED technology just yet however. In a recent report, it has been announced that LG’s latest developed technology is the Quantum Dot LED screen, or simply put, the QLED. They say that this new display will provide the same quality of images as AMOLED screens do, but this time, with even less power consumption.

Round Up of Today’s Mobile News

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Vodafone is currently working very hard to push the limits and improve their services –more particularly, their network coverage. With many locations in the UK still lacking proper network connectivity and access, the mobile network operator has made it a major goal to enhance their area of coverage as soon as possible.

In London alone, it has been reported that Vodafone has been spending about 1 million Pounds each day in order to maintain and improve their network. This project has started since September 25 and is expected to finish by the end of the year. For those in closed locations, the Femtocell Sure Signal booster is also available.

3 UK has confirmed that they will also be offering the Apple iPad under subsidized contracts. T-Mobile and Orange UK have been the first to make the announcement regarding the touch screen tablet from the Cupertino based company. The announcement from the virtual network operator is going to be a major source of happiness for those hoping to get great 3G deals for the web browsing tablet.

BlackBerry’s Playbook touch screen tablet is reportedly going to be price a lot cheaper than its two biggest competitors: the iPad and the Galaxy Tab. Reports state that the 8 GB version of the QNX tablet is going to have a 189.84 GBP price tag while the 32 GB version will be priced at 380.32 GBP.

Samsung has confirmed that not only are they working on the next Nexus branded handset (the Nexus S), but they are also going to release a new non-Galaxy Android phone, the Stealth V. This new handset will be featuring high end specs and media streaming capabilities.

Lastly, new rumors about the PSP phone have popped out announcing that the device might get an official unveiling this December 9. However, due to the lack of credibility from the source of the leak makes us all doubt that the news is believable.

Why Patent Wars Happen

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

It has been said before, but we will say it again: war never changes. It may take different forms, but there is always an aggressor and there will always be a defender, the only thing that varies is the point. But as for cause, that remains the same –budget and profit.

Apple is one of the most often spotted in the court mobile phone companies (though the Cupertino based company is actually so much more than just phones). It may be due to Steve Jobs completely abrasive personality of the heavy reliance of Apple on its legal department. Everyone else gets to spend pretty much an equal amount of court time as almost all manufacturers have to deal with patent infringement lawsuits and more.

But the real point of the patent wars is that everyone wants to stop the sales of their competition.

A recent lawsuit case could potentially prevent the sales of the Apple iPhone from the United States and other regions in the world. Such a drastic move could severely hamper Apple’s position in the industry. While that is unlikely to happen (Apple’s legal team would certainly fight against that), it is easy to see what many of the cases are directing towards: preventing competition from selling devices.

Of course, there is also another side to patent wars: smaller tech companies cashing in on stale patents. This is pretty much what you can call technology squatting. Small tech companies would file and own patents for whimsical, yet practical technologies. These patents would never see production –at least on a large scale and eventually, companies would be able to make these innovations on their own.

The success of any product that makes use of such technologies would then bring in a lawsuit. Considering how large the smart phone industry is, a payout of a few pence per phone still translates to hundreds of thousands –even millions in payoff.

Now Available: Optimus One, Tradesman and C6-01

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Three new phones are now out on store shelves today, and users have a pretty good selection of handsets to choose from: the Nokia C6-01 brings in a mid range Symbian^3 smart phone –perfect for those who like to be different. An Android smart phone with all the right trimmings with LG’s Optimus One and lastly, the perfect handset for people whose lifestyles are far too active for regular mobile phones to survive: the JCB Toughphone Tradesman.

It may be low end on the hardware spectrum, but the JCB Tradesman is hardly your ordinary phone either. Hikers, outdoorsmen, and even emergency field operatives rarely have time to post content on Twitter or watch the latest video uploaded by friends on Facebook, and this is why the Tradesman does not support those. Instead, it focuses on a few simple things: namely surviving the torture that would otherwise kill all other fragile touch screen smart phones.

The Tradesman is able to withstand extreme forces, temperatures and even water submersion –by actually floating. The device will survive and function when completely submerged, but the ideal thing is that it actually floats when there is enough water. This is perfect for those who spend lots of time around large pools of water.

LG’s Optimus One has just hit the stores and from the looks of it, this mini-Android smart phone is a great match for those who want a no-nonsense Android smart phone experience. The only thing missing from this handset would be a small slide out or flip out keyboard, but overall, it is a highly recommended Android phone.

Last on the list is Nokia’s C6-01 handset. The device is packing a powerful 8 mega pixel camera and will support HD playback and recording as well. Aside from having a very impressive camera, the phone also packs an AMOLED touch screen display.