from The Symbian Freak

Small, battery-powered gadgets make powerful computing portable but unfortunately, there's still a continual need to recharge the batteries of phones and other gadgets by hooking them up to a tangle of wires.

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 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.

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'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.


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