News Articles

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 17th July 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

Much like the mainstream media, this week’s news summary begins with ‘voicemail hacking’. In our podcast feature on Friday we spoke to industry crime-fighter Jack Wraith about the security of voice messages. He explained how remote voicemail access was now much more secure than it was ten years ago, which is good news for everyone (except dodgy investigators).

But that wasn’t the only security scare in the last few days. The Hacker's Choice explained how a modified Vodafone Sure Signal femtocell could be used to intercept calls made by Vodafone customers within 50 metres of the rogue device. It’s a loophole that Vodafone has now closed, which – again – is likely to be a disappointment to the criminally inclined.

It’s also been a busy week in app-land. Apple’s lawyers have told independent application store GetJar to stop using the term ‘app store’; a move that’s seen GetJar respond with the online equivalent of thumbing its nose. PayPal has said it’s preparing a peer-to-peer NFC solution that’ll let people pay money to friends by touching two phones against each other. Electronic Arts has announced an agreement to acquire PopCap Games, the company behind Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled. Handmark is turning its social apps business and mobile ad services group into a new company. And Google is giving the Android Market a facelift.

Manufacturing has had a mixed week, with Sony Ericsson reporting quarterly results that weren’t as good as originally expected, while an up-beat ZTE has revealed plans for selling own-brand devices in the UK. In addition, HTC created a new global sales and marketing role for Jason Mackenzie, who’s currently president of HTC North America and Latin America.

Finally, to innovation. O2 UK launched a new location-based offers scheme called Priority Moments; potentially a threat to Groupon and to Orange Wednesdays. And Jawbone – a company best-known for its range of stylish noise-reducing Bluetooth headsets – announced mobile-connected jewellery that'll keep an eye on your health. Let’s hope no-one works out how to hack the data it collects... or we could have a new tabloid scandal on our hands!


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