Rethinking privacy with a mobile device

By Emilio Castellanos

We are entering times where mobile geolocation will change our concept of privacy. Whether we embrace it or become afraid of it and how it is regulated greatly depends on how we choose to use it or abuse it.

Privacy has become more elusive since the internet era. Personal information posted online on social sites along with information collected through webcam services, street cameras, records stored by financial companies, etc., is all susceptible to be intercepted by 3rd parties.

However privacy issues become even more critical when we consider the mobile device: it contains a chip which constantly broadcasts your whereabouts. This locator has been monitored by government agencies since 2005 (FCC's E911) and is now standard on all new mobile phone models. Some devices will emit a signal even while turned off.

Tablets bring hope to print publications

Tablets are illuminating the troubled path of the print publishing business by promising to create new ways of monetizing the publication's digital efforts.

Magazines the likes of Sports Illustrated and Wired have been looking to the iPad and other similar devices to help them re-capture their subscriber base and re-generate their business through new revenue streams. This move would allow them to once again become the "middleman" between the advertiser and the consumer through the production of multimedia content.

The possibilities of the tablet delivering profitability certainly exist but we do not know how long it will take for readers to adopt the new platform en masse or if they will be willing to pay for delivery of this multimedia content. How subscriptions and tablets are marketed will define these questions. There is a definite "coolness" factor involved and if the right price is set for each publication issue, adoption can be as fast as technology companies roll-out new devices.

The Google Buzz is in the mobile

Google Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos and more, and start conversations about the things you find interesting. You can use Buzz from your computer through your Google Gmail account, but the true strength of Buzz lies on your Smartphone. Buzz just hit the streets and we need to see how it is embraced and understand its implications. So far so good. The combination of location-based services and friends dialogue is interesting.

In fact Google's search technology adapts quite well to the mobile application both in relevance of recommendations and location-based services. Be ready to rethink your approach to privacy with the mobile interface and be careful to select "no location" before you post with your mobile phone if you do not want to reveal your whereabouts. Eventually you might feel tempted to do so, but we still live in a private society so reluctance to being open about location will exist.

Here's what you can do with Google Buzz for mobile:

- Post from your mobile phone and tag your location.
- Read what people are buzzing about near you.
- Follow your friends on the go.

Target stores are now accepting mobile payments

Target's mobile efforts have reached a new high as the retailer takes the first step towards rolling out seamless mobile payments through 2D barscanning and tracking technology.

Target’s point-of-sale scanners make Target the first major retailer with the ability to scan mobile barcodes in all of its retail locations.

To take advantage of this new technology, shoppers need to currently purchase a physical Target giftcard either online or at the store and save its code information onto a secure account on Target's mobile site. Then, at the point of sale, mobile users retrieve appropriate barcodes to scan at checkout.

It is still necessary for shoppers to buy the physical giftcard either at the store or online but Target is already looking into providing seamless mobile payments to "reload" the value of the giftcard electronically which would completely eliminate the need to carry your wallet when visiting a Target store.

iPad might bridge the gap between TV, online and print

The much anticipated Apple Tablet, the iPad has been unveiled. It is almost certain that tablets will cause the obsolescence of netbook computers. In the future, they take the place of laptops; but at this time and because of their size, it is not clear if they will bring down smartphones. The iPad and other tablets will more than likely bridge the gap between printed media --magazines, books and newspapers--, online, voice and video, and television content programming. We are living in exciting times. Just add 3D to the mix for an out of this world experience.

The iPad is certainly portable and it will feel great to send email, browse the net, and watch HDTV anywhere, even while walking. iPad provides the same operating system as the iPhone and is powered by the new Apple A4 chip which provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with claims of long battery life of up to 10 hours. It includes 12 apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store.

4G LTE is almost here as Cox begins voice and video trials

Cox, who will launch an ambitious wireless service in March, is the latest operator to dip its toe into Long Term Evolution (LTE), the last step toward the 4th generation (4G) of radio technologies designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile networks. Verizon Wireless this year plans to launch 25-30 commercial LTE markets, covering 100 million POPs. Additionally, MetroPCS will launch its LTE network this year, while AT&T Mobility will be conducting LTE trials with wider deployments expected in 2011.

4G LTE would open the door for consumers to use their portable devices to participate in live video conferences or access bandwidth-intensive applications similar to the ones they have come to expect from other business-grade IP services. LTE would also deliver bandwidth for a full on-the-go HD web experience whether through tablet PC's or mobile phones.

More about Cox: - Bundle:
NVIDIA Tegra-powered Ultra tablet:
Definition of Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Android's market share up more than 200% in 3 months

In Google’s (GOOG) Android mobile operating system was first introduced more than a year ago, and hardly made a ripple in the smart phone market – until now.

ChangeWave’s December 9-14 survey of 4,068 consumers shows the Android operating system roiling the smart phone market, with Motorola’s new Droid smart phone the biggest and most immediate beneficiary.

Among respondents who currently own a smart phone, 4% say they’re using Google’s Android operating system – a 3-pt jump since our survey in September.

But more importantly, 21% of those planning to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days say they’d prefer to have the Android OS on their new phone – a monstrous 15-pt jump in just three months.

Read the full article by y Paul Carton and Jean Crumrine @
Read commentary by Chuong Nguyen:


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