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South Korea's KT creates plug-in laptop for mobile phones

South Korean telecom company KT has unveiled a mobile phone attachment called the Spider Laptop. Although it looks like a conventional laptop with an 11-inch screen and QWERTY keyboard, the accessory has no central processing unit or stand-alone operating system because it’s designed to extend the features of a smartphone.

The first version of the Spider Laptop was developed in partnership with Samsung and can connect to a Samsung Galaxy SIII with a single cable. In the future the Spider Laptop is expected to be compatible with a variety of smartphones.

It has a high-capacity 8000mA battery, giving it up to 4 hours use, and weighs 950g. Pricing is 297,000 South Korean won (£165) for the initial metal-clad version via KT’s www.olleh.com website, with lower-priced versions planned.

Park Yoon-Young, Senior Vice President of the KT technology development department, said “Unlike conventional products that can be connected to specific terminal provided by specific manufacturer, Spider Laptop can be connected to various smart phones and laptops and consequently it will be the very first step for hardware eco-system led by the telecommunication company. The launch of products comes in various designs with full features will benefit customers who wants to make more smart use of IT devices.”

Motorola’s Atrix introduced many people to the idea of a laptop-style dock for smartphones last year, although the ‘lapdock’ keyboard and screen accessory was only compatible with Motorola products.

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Opinion Articles

Mobile & Contactless Payments

James Rosewell offers his opinion on the current state of mobile and contactless payments.

The banking and mobile industries have big plans for Near Field Communication (NFC) as the mobile payment mechanism of the future. Barclaycard has been leading the way from the credit card sector forming a partnership with Orange, having previously worked with O2, and running a catchy TV advert prompting contactless cards using VISA’s paywave system.

However the reality of NFC payments appears a lot further away. The Point of Sale (POS) technology appears to be badly deployed by some of the first-phase retailers mainly made up of low-value high-volume businesses like coffee shops, fast food outlets and newsagents.

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Insecure Mobile Browsers

James Rosewell writes: I note with interest Barclays mobile on-line banking home page extolling the safety of mobile banking whilst claiming it’s as secure as their non-mobile equivalent. This is on the same page that recommends customers use Opera Mini to access Barclays mobile on-line banking.

Yet following the link to the operamini.com web site and looking at the help section we can read Opera’s answer to the question “Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and — for example — paypal.com or my bank?” and the answer is “No. If you need full end-to-end encryption, you should use a full Web browser such as Opera Mobile.”

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