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Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones Posts - Page 4

North Korean's exposed to the world through smuggled media devices

Some North Korean residents have been reportedly using Chinese media players worth $50 to watch smuggled information about the outside world in the form of TV, news and movies. Named 'notels' or 'notetels,' these devices contain USB and SD card support alongside live radio and TV capabilities.

 

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To keep the device running, you can charge them through the help of a car battery which is explained by Gizmodo as helpful due to North Korea's unreliable electricity infrastructure.

 

With 18,000 units smuggled across the border by a single man and North Korean defector named Lee Seok-young, he told Reuters in an interview about the importance of these products and how the end-users are getting around authorities questioning their practice: "To avoid getting caught, people load a North Korean DVD while watching South Korean dramas on a USB stick, which can be pulled out. They then tell the authorities, who feel the heat from the notel to check whether or not it has been recently used, that they were watching North Korean films."

Continue reading 'North Korean's exposed to the world through smuggled media devices' (full post)

Hotels embracing RFID finding plenty of upside to tracking technology

Hotels are finding a number of different uses for radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, with a specific note of inventory and mobile check-in solutions. Implementing RFID solutions is becoming more cost-affordable, and there is great upside if it is done well, hardware supporters believe.

 

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"That is going to be a revolution in the future," said Steve Waldron, CIO of the Grange Hotels based in London, in a statement published by Skift. "Basically everything that has value and enhances guest experience will have an RFID chip in it for housekeeping to instantly room check to a tablet - bathrobes, duvets, blankets and so on."

 

RFIDs are extremely valuable in warehouses, stores, and other locations that need to keep accurate tracking of inventory. Hotels are able to instantly track supplies that can be used in guest rooms, along with food items in restaurants.

Calling all shredders, the jamstik+ is a wireless guitar for iOS

Designed to work with your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, the jamstik+ is clearly labeled as a "Kickstarter staff pick" and has already over-doubled their $50,000 goal with 41 days still left to donate.

 

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Connecting to your device though BluetoothSmart, this device pairs up with the jamTutor app in order to teach you a load of different guitar lessons or used with jamMix to create a sound of your own. The jamstik+ will sense the positioning of your fingers and helps to produce instant feedback to help with learning (or shredding).

 

An investment of $229 will see you receive a jamstik+ in black with a Custom Soft Case - listed as $120 less than the retail pricing.

 

We are being sent the older model, the jamstik, to test and review for you all. Stay tuned for more information!

Continue reading 'Calling all shredders, the jamstik+ is a wireless guitar for iOS' (full post)

Apple's new iPhone rumored to feature next-gen camera technology

Apple tends to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the camera sensor found in its iPhone, and while the iPhone 6 Plus might only feature an 8-megapixel rear-facing snapper, it's a damn good one.

 

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Well, the new iPhone could have an even better sensor thanks to a patent that was granted to the company from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The new patent is for a three-sensor, prism-based camera design that teased it as a "digital camera with light splitter" where an individual sensor would be capable of collecting red, green, and blue wavelengths.

 

This new sensor would be more expensive for Apple to bake into its next-gen iPhone, and it would also take up more space within the handset, something Apple is not going to be happy with. We should hear more about the new iPhone in the next couple of months.

Apple Pay security called out after spike in fraud-related issues

The launch of Apple Pay late last year helped give the mobile payments effort a strong boost, with Apple promoting its service as extremely easy to use. However, six percent of purchases are reportedly made using stolen credit cards, which is a whopping 60 percent higher than regular credit cards.

 

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Apple hoped for simplicity with Apple Pay, but security researchers believe Apple should require users to prove their identities when signing up. There is a fine line between providing a safe and secure service over one that is difficult to use - and Apple must now try to find that balance, in an effort to fight fraud.

 

"The issuers were probably so eager to be involved that they kind of forgot best practices and sidestepped some procedures they normally would've had [in order] to accept Apple Pay," said Michelle Evans, senior analyst for consumer finance at the Euromonitor market research firm, in a statement published by the Washington Post.

Tech companies aiming products, services at toddlers and children

Companies want to cater to babies and toddlers, hoping they grow up to adopt technology from an extremely young age. Of specific interest, tech companies want to utilize toddlers' interest in smartphones and tablets, opening the door to new sales and advertising opportunities.

 

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YouTube launched YouTube Kids earlier in the year, but critics are worried that the ad-supported service is designed to "exploit" younger Internet users. Google said only "family-friendly" advertisements will be shown to viewers, and all content is screened so violent and offensive content isn't viewed.

 

"Kids are a huge market," said Paul Kurnit, CEO of the KidShop consulting firm, in a statement published by the San Jose Mercury News. "They are the digital natives - they take to digital devices like fish to water."

Continue reading 'Tech companies aiming products, services at toddlers and children' (full post)

BlackBerry must focus on software and enterprise security

BlackBerry is fighting for survival, and it doesn't appear smartphones and tablets are necessarily in its future. Instead, the company is focusing more on enterprise security and software designed for mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

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The Canadian company wants to cater to enterprise users in the cloud market, with CEO John Chen expecting upwards of $500 million in software during the 2016 fiscal year. Looking ahead, BlackBerry will still focus on developing software and creating partnerships with established mobile hardware and software manufacturers.

 

The former smartphone king hasn't fully thrown in the towel on smartphones and tablets, but is taking a more refined approach. The BlackBerry SecuTablet is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 paired with BlackBerry enterprise security software - an effort that is a collaboration between BlackBerry, Samsung, and IBM.

Microsoft wants its products available on Android devices

Microsoft has strengthened its partnership with Samsung and other mobile manufacturers utilizing Google Android on smartphones and tablets.

 

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This will allow Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, OneNote and OneDrive to be available on certain Samsung Android tablets - and the software company has at least 10 other manufacturers that will begin installing Microsoft software for Android.

 

"Our partnership with Samsung is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft's productivity services to everyone, on every device, so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want," said Peggy Johnson, EVP of business development for Microsoft, in a statement published by the AFP.

Continue reading 'Microsoft wants its products available on Android devices' (full post)

Samsung will have foldable smartphones next year, LG to follow in 2017

While Samsung has been experimenting with its Galaxy Edge and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones, the foldable smartphone era is nearly upon us.

 

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Samsung's R&D section has been hard at work playing with foldable display technology, but it looks like we are getting closer to this entering the consumer space. An official for Samsung Display has said: "The industry believes that the commercialization of foldable smartphones will be possible in 2016". We should expect Samsung to unveil a foldable smartphone sometime in 2016.

 

LG is also planning to reach into the foldable smartphone market, and while it might be a year later than Samsung, 2017 isn't too far away now. LG still has its flagship G4 smartphone set to arrive in the coming months, and after the great sales of its G3 smartphone - 59.6 million units shipped - LG is positioning itself well.

Mobile payments designed to generate interest for tech companies

Apple, Facebook, Samsung, Google, and more tech companies want to cater to consumers interested in making mobile wireless payments - even if that means they won't end up generating large revenue directly from mobile pay.

 

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Traditional credit cards, banks and other processing companies take a small percentage, typically up to three percent per transaction, and rely on a large volume of daily transactions. Tech companies, however, want to get mobile users to become loyal to their respective services - though Apple Pay offers a fraction of each processed sale to banks.

 

"I've been surprised it's taken this long," said James Wester, research director at IDC, in a statement published by TIME. "Now consumers are seeing the mobile device as part of their financial lives. We've reached the point where paying with your phone is completely normal, or normal to enough people."

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