Opinion Articles

This week at The Fonecast: 16th April 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

We started this week with a story that grabbed plenty of attention. It was a report from Billmonitor.com that claimed we in the UK were wasting almost £5 billion every year by choosing the wrong mobile tariffs. Although I remained a little cynical about some of the detail, there's no doubt that many consumers could be better off if they switched tariff - or even network.

Author: The Fonecast
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Catherine Zeta-Jones and the security of touchscreen passwords

Mark Bridge writes:

I knew I’d seen it before. Towards the end of last week I read about a study from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania that said it was pretty easy to identify passwords from smudges on touchscreen mobile phones.

Author: The Fonecast
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Why Facebook is a friend of anonymity

Mark Bridge writes:

Mention 'anonymity' to anyone these days and it's pretty likely they'll start talking about Facebook. Maybe Google Street View, maybe RF chips in passports... but probably Facebook.

This 'over sharing' of personal information is a far cry from the situation a few years ago. Once, no-one on the internet really admitted who they were. That New Yorker cartoon - "Nobody knows you're a dog" - wasn't far off the truth. You couldn't tell a dungeonmaster from a librarian when they were online.

Author: The Fonecast
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Mobile payments: solutions get dumber while cards get smarter?

Mark Bridge writes:

Last week I spotted a couple of mobile-related news stories that involved payment company MasterCard. One came from CPI Card Group, which had introduced a “next-generation, MasterCard-approved payment tag” (a.k.a. 'sticker') that enabled “any mobile device to be used to make payments anywhere using the worldwide contactless MasterCard PayPass standard” (by sticking it on the back).

Author: The Fonecast
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Hotel doors open with mobile phones... but it's not like WarGames

Mark Bridge writes:

I loved the film WarGames. I saw it in the cinema when it came out… and developed a minor crush on Ally Sheedy as a result. If you don’t remember the film – or haven’t seen it – the plot centres on a young computer hacker who almost starts World War III while playing an illicit online game of Global Thermonuclear War with a military computer.

Author: The Fonecast
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