FBI inadvertently admits to using Carrier IQ data

Were you thinking that all the hoopla about Carrier IQ was just overblown paranoia? Think again. A Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI led to the FBI inadvertantly admitting that it has, in some way, accessed the keylogging spyware. The request was (cleverly) worded in a way that even a denial of documents […]

Verizon thought to be planning Netflix acquisition

Ever since YouTube started getting really popular, consumers have been enjoying streaming video, and network providers have been complaining about how much bandwidth such services use. Some have even gone so far as to demand any company offering streaming media pay for use of a network. So far such demands have fallen on deaf ears, […]

BBC launches iPhone iPlayer app in the UK, adds 3G streaming to its mobile site

While international viewers have had around a week to play with the new dedicated iPhone app, the Beeb has finally launched its iPlayer in its native UK. Replacing the browser-based player of old, it now allows you to stream both radio and TV shows through a 3G connection. The new app also adds HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) which allows itself to tweak the stream quality depending on your signal strength and hopefully allowing you to catch up on Top Gear uninterrupted. Like its overseas version, the new iOS app also throws in AirPlay streaming to Apple TV. Android and Symbian fans shouldn’t feel too overlooked; The BBC are promising to enable 3G to all compatible devices through its mobile web version very soon, with a dedicated 3G-friendly Android app being primed for the new year.

[Thanks Michael]

BBC launches iPhone iPlayer app in the UK, adds 3G streaming to its mobile site originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Dec 2011 07:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung claims record 300 million mobile sales this year

Add together ten million Galaxy S IIs, a dollop of Galaxy Nexii, a gargantuan gathering of Galaxy Notes and a healthy serving of Badas, and what do you get? 300 million handset sales so far in 2011, that’s what. And Samsung claims that makes this the best year in its mobile-making history, surpassing 2010 by a whopping 20 million. Of course, more sales doesn’t necessarily translate into greater revenue — Nokia is still the world’s largest manufacturer by volume and is a case in point. Nevertheless, we’ll know more when Samsung reveals its Q4 earnings next month.

Samsung claims record 300 million mobile sales this year originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 07:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Relax And Chat on the Pillow Phone

Japanese mobile company Willcom have launched a new winter campaign that allows users to put their heads down and really relax while they have a conversation, on a pillow phone.


The network provider is giving away the “dare to demo pillow” (meaning “with anyone”) headsets free to those who sign up to their services throughout the month of December. The pillows come in a range of colors and allow users to rest their heads while chatting by plugging their handsets in. The star shaped pillows have built in microphones and speakers and users can also play back music on them as well as chat.


Unlike other mobile providers, Willcom deals solely with less popular PHS phones and recently also released a phone accessory that is a mobile phone. The marketing efforts come in a bid to lure customers back to the company as users have rapidly declined over the years instead turning to smartphones or other mobile providers. In fact marketing efforts involving the cute and fluffy aren’t new ground to Willcom either, check out our article from way back in 2008 when the same company released a fully functional stuffed Teddy Bear Phone that was even featured in the Good Design Awards….cuddly before their time?!

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Google GoMo thinks your site isn’t mobile enough, wants you to change

Do mobile sites matter? Google thinks they do. In fact, the company has introduced GoMo, a “Google Initiative” aimed at bringing you over to its side. The site contains information driving this point home, resources to help you go mobile and an emulator to let you know how your site looks on mobile devices, so you can either GoMo or go home.

Google GoMo thinks your site isn’t mobile enough, wants you to change originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 11:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pantech adds 3D gestures to Vega LTE smartphone

Blogs were abuzz last week with news of an Apple patent that could open the door to 3D gesture control in future iPads. As exciting as that may sound, Korean manufacturer Pantech is already set to bring their version of the technology to market, in their upcoming Vega LTE smartphone. As you can see in […]

Ask.com’s “Click to Speak” Put to the Test

This article was written on January 04, 2008 by CyberNet.

Ask.com has just added a new and free voice activated directions service to their Mobile site so that users are able to speak their location and then speak their desired destination and receive directions on their mobile phone.  When I first read about it, it seemed like it was Ask.com’s response to GOOG-411, except they were trying to take it a bit further. I decided to put the service ,which is called “Click to Speak” to the test to see if it was something worth using.

The first thing I did on my mobile phone was go to http://m.ask.com. Then I saw the following options:

ask voice

I selected #2 – Directions with voice entry, and then it asked if I wanted to place a call. Placing the call connects you to their service at which point you’re asked to speak your location.  It’ll repeat it back and ask if it’s correct, and which point you say yes or no and then it will move on to your destination.  You can enter in an address or an intersection, it accepts both. While I was entering in my destinations, I noticed that it had a hard time with extra words for a street name like “Avenue” or “Road.” It would ask me to repeat the names of the streets, but without the extras. Once it had my starting and ending points, I was informed that I would be receiving a text message soon.  The call ended, and sure enough, a text message came with my directions.

Problems with the service

While the entire process of entering in an address was fairly simple and easy to use, the directions it gave me weren’t the best. For my example trip, I entered that my starting location was the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street in Chicago, Illinois and that I was headed to the intersection of Lincolnway and Duff in Ames, Iowa.  Their estimated time that it would take me to drive this was over 8 hours which I knew wasn’t quite right as I’ve done this drive before.  Then I went to Google and entered the same instructions, and the route they provided said it would take me about 5 hours and 40 minutes which is what I would expect it to take. It appears as though the route that Ask.com calculates for you is chosen based upon miles. The shortest route wins, even if it will take quite a bit longer.

Would I use this service again? Well, to be honest, probably not.  While it’s nice and could perhaps work for shorter distances, the directions it provides for long distances just tacks on too much time.

Copyright © 2011 CyberNetNews.com

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Japan Mobile Marketing Round-Up Part 8

mixi launches counter-offensive

In the last round-up we brought you some immediate data from survey research on Japanese corporate use of social media, rapidly on the increase in Japan. Some of it takes a highly Japanese form (virtually hosted J-pop concerts) and some of it is via imported platforms finally starting to see growth (Facebook).

mixi has long been the key local rival to Facebook and it is fighting to maintain its grip on the demographic. At the end of August it started offering a new “mixi Page” feature, allowing users to customize the design of their own free space within the site. Differing to regular individual mixi user pages, you do not have to be logged in to view a mixi Page, nor do you even have to be a member of mixi. In other words, it is meant to take the mixi aesthetic and community out of mixi itself, opening up the platform to non members.


The examples for how to use the “mixi Page” feature include making it a homepage for a shop, or a portal to communicate with fans of a celebrity, or for groups of friends. It is available via a computer, regular mobile phone or the dedicated smartphone browser, Mixi Touch.

Inside the page users can send messages similar to a tweet, as well as offer feedback and responses in a similar way to Facebook’s “like”. To be honest looking at the new service, it is obvious that the service is simply a copy of the Facebook Page feature.

The new service was quickly embraced and in early September there were already over 80,000 Pages. A savvy move has been to offer PC analytics tracking for account-holders, including stats on page views, unique users, followers, comments and “likes”. There is also a ranking of Pages: The current most popular by far is the Page for Kana Nishino, a singer.


Mixi have certainly upped the ante in the face of the American challenge, they even changed their logo! But they are going to have to pull out all the stops, it seems: Some data even puts Twitter and Facebook significantly ahead of mixi now.

DeNA expands into South America

While gaming sites Mobage and Gree may seem distinctly Japanese in many ways, the companies behind them are hoping to try their luck overseas.

However, rather than push into the American market DeNA (the makers of Mobage) at least have their eye on the growing South American market. They just bought Atakama Labs, a Chilean game developer, and who had previously been responsible for making global versions of Mobage games. DeNA is hoping to expand their development team to 1,000 (Japan plus international) in the near future.

iPhones go wider, Keitai get smaller

There was much hype surrounding the news that KDDI have now started to offer iPhones to its customers at last. Early estimates of iPhone4S pre-sales put it neck-and-neck with Softbank.


What may have gone under the radar is the new Strap Phone WX03A from Willcom, a funky miniature phone on sale from December. Advertised as the same size as a box of mints (e.g. a pack of Frisk) and weighs a mere 33g (1.2 oz), with a 1-inch display. Its makers have called it the world’s smallest and lightest phone.

Don’t expect many functions or special features except for infrared connectivity. The idea is that it connects like a strap to other phones and/or to a earphone/microphone piece (sold separately). Japanese consumers are already accustomed to carrying around more than one mobile device (e.g. a regular phone and a smartphone), so it’s not as unimaginable or unmarketable as it sounds.

This is the latest in a series of blogs based on newsletters provided by our local research partner, INterRIDe Inc.

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Mobile Miscellany: week of October 24, 2011

This week was packed with news on the mobile front, so it was easy to miss a few stories here and there. Here’s some of the other stuff that happened in the wide world of wireless for the week of October 24, 2011:

  • Fan of white phones? Here ya go: the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Curve 9360 and Torch 9810 can be pre-ordered on Phones4U. If white doesn’t do it for you, the Curve 9300 will be available in pink. [Stuff]
  • HTC has announced its partnership with Dropbox, which means you can get 5GB of available storage on any of the company’s Android devices. [Twitter]
  • A few customers on Verizon’s family plans have noticed a peculiar addition to the company’s #DATA service; when the text showing the data usage arrives, it now mentions “shared,” which may be an indication that Big Red’s on its way to offering shared data plans in the near future. [Droid-Life]
  • Rumors have flown for some time about LG’s attempt at reviving the Prada series by introducing the K2 (aka the P940), and now we’re finally starting to see images of the Android device leak out. Apparently, it’ll be less than 9mm thin, offer an 8MP camera, 1.3MP front-facing cam, 21Mbps HSPA+ and have a 4.3-inch display with 1,000 nits of brightness. [PhoneArena via UnwiredView]
  • Research in Motion announced BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365, which extends Microsoft Exchange Online to the BlackBerry lineup. It’s geared toward midsized businesses and enterprises. Head to the source for the details. [Microsoft-News]

Mobile Miscellany: week of October 24, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 09:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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