Happy New Year from everyone at MCOM!
The New Year has seen some big changes for the team at MCOM!
One of our UK Directors and CEO is now the proud father of a lovely wee boy – the very first MCOM baby! Everyone at MCOM wish him and his partner the very best of luck with their new bundle of joy!
And one of our Australian Directors is counting down the weeks until her wedding – another first for the MCOM team!
But that’s not all we’ve been up to! New services are in the pipe line along with new ventures and partnerships! With many more 'FIRSTS' still to come!
2014 is going to be a big year for MCOM – watch this space!!
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New research shows texting and walking can affect a person’s balance opening them up to being struck by motor vehicles.
The study published in the scientific journal PLOS One, mentions while the dangers of texting whilst driving has received considerable interest it is only recently that safety risks associated with texting whilst walking to be acknowledged.
Scientists from the University of Queensland have released new research that shows texting whilst walking modified the body’s movement. Compared with normal walking, when the participants were texting they walked more slowly, deviated more from a straight line and moved their neck less.
The study showed, in a virtual pedestrian environment, people who texted while crossing the road were more likely to be distracted and experience more hits by motor vehicles.
With a sharp increase to the number of pedestrians injured while talking or texting on a mobile phone, along with these findings, some towns in the United States have placed a ban on texting while walking!
We’re all guilty of it, but do we really need to put a ban on it? Surely we aren’t that distracted…are we? READ MORE /
Mobile devices are paving the way forward, and the restaurant trade it the latest industry to benefit from it.
Recent studies have shown just how many mobile users are using their mobiles to search for their dining options.
The study, by xAd and Telmetrics, shows that 78% of mobile restaurant searches results in a booking or purchase!
Here are a few more interesting finds:
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- More than half of smartphone searches are on-the-go (31% outside or in the car).
- Almost 80% of restaurant searches lead to a purchase; 1 out of 3 users purchase within the hour.
- Half of restaurant searches include looking for contact information.
- Location proximity is a key purchase influence; users expect to be within 5 miles and 23% of smartphone users expect the location to be within walking distance.
- 64% of tablet search activity and 54% of smartphone search activity is for reviews.
- And finally the most important elements to aid the restaurant decision: Good online reviews, close business location and optimized mobile site.
Apple’s new fingerprint based security system on Apple’s latest iPhone may not be as safe as you might think. A German hacking group has managed to bypass the security with a household printer and glue!
German hacking group, the Chaos Computer Club said they managed to trick the biometric sensor in the 5S simply by creating an artificial copy of a genuine fingerprint.
The group took a high-resolution photograph of a fingerprint left on a glass surface, printed it onto a transparent sheet and smeared the pattern with wood glue. Once the glue set, it was peeled off and placed on another finger to mimic the genuine print.
Apparently it was pretty easy for the group to do. In an interview with The Associated Press, Dirk Engling said, “We used this method 10 years ago and didn't have to change much for the iPhone. The hardest bit was getting hold of one of those new iPhones because they are chronically sold out.”
The Chaos Computer Club, who have a long history of finding security flaws in soft- and hardware, videoed the whole thing so independent experts could verify it.
A senior security researcher at Kaspersky Labs, David Emm, said the group’s claims exposed the flipside of biometric security systems. “If my passcode becomes compromised, I can simply replace it with a new one hopefully one that's more secure. But I can't change my fingerprint it's part of what I am and so I'm stuck with it," Emm said.
Engling suggested that Apple could have made its fingerprint system more secure, but that this may have caused problems for users if they didn’t swipe their finger across the miniature scanner properly and ended up locked out of the device after repeated failed attempts. READ MORE /
These guys have come up with what can only be described as the way of the future. A phone made of blocks! Each block is detachable and connects to the base, which connects everything together. Two small screws lock everything in place, and electrical signals are transferred through the pins.
Why would you want a phone like this? "Every day we throw away millions of electronic devices, because they get old and become worn out. But usually it's only one of the components that cause the problem. The rest of the device works fine but is needlessly thrown away. This makes electronic waste one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. And your phone is one of the biggest causes.”
The phoneblok can be completely customised to suit you and your needs, no matter what they are. What’s more, next time your phone gets a little slow, you can just upgrade that block without having to buy a complete new phone! If you wanted to upgrade any of the features, you can! Just replace that block.
‘Phonebloks is built on an open platform by companies working together to create the best phone in the world’ so you can still support your favourite brands or even develop your own blocks!
Check out their website and if you think this is the way of future and want to add your voice to get this started, you can lend your social reach to the cause. http://phoneblocks.com/
“On the 29th of October we send out the blast. All at the same time. Spreading all your voices, to show the world, there is a need for a phone worth keeping. The more people involved, the bigger the impact” READ MORE /
As rumoured, Apple has released its two latest iPhones, the 5S and 5C. The 5C is the first ‘low cost’ iPhone to be released and is at the opposite end of the scale to the 5S. While both phones will come in a bevy of colours, the 5c is made of plastic while the 5S aims to be “the gold standard of smartphones” with fingerprint reading technology.
Both phones will be available on September 20, during an event at its Cupertino, California headquarters. The move comes as rival phones from Samsung and other manufacturers are challenging Apple’s hold on the smartphone market.
The iPhone 5C; the lower cost of the two priced at $US99 for 16GB and $199 for 32GB, will be available in five colours; green, blue, yellow, pink and white. It has a 4 inch Retina display and is powered by Apple’s A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up. The phone is expected to help Apple boost sales in China and other areas where don’t have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in the US and Europe.
The 5S, is “the most forward-looking phone we have ever created,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and space grey, and will run a new chip; the A7 – that is up to twice as fast as the A6. The camera, called iSight, has received some big upgrades, including automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has larger pixels, and a two-tone flash feature that is designed not to clash with colours in the room or a person’s skin colour. It also comes with auto image stabilisation, which helps avoid blurry pictures and a slow motion camera for video.
At a price of $US199 for 16GB, $US299 for 32GB and $US399 for 64GB; the biggest feature the 5S has going for it is the “Touch ID”, which reads fingerprints at a detailed level. Schiller said it is “fun and easy” to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can touch the home button to unlock the phone. Apple has said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
Both models will be on sale on September 20 in the US, Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and UK. Apple said this is the first time that a new phone has been available right away in China a sign of the growing importance of that market to the company. People will be able to order the 5C in advance on September 13.
Apple also said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download on September 18.Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple, said that "downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all new device." The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Apple also says it expects to ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month. Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts that iOS 7 will become the most popular mobile operating system in the world. READ MORE /
A South African music festival is delivering beer to the crowd via a drone. The Oppikoppi festival uses app and GPS technology to accurately drop plastic cups full of beer to the festival-goers. Drinkers place an order for beer through a smartphone app which then triggers the drone to drop the alcohol from 15m above the crowd. Carel Hoffmann, director of the festival, explained how the app works. "The delivery guys have a calibrated delivery drone. They send it to the GPS position and drop it with a parachute." The drone has been nicknamed Manna in a nod to the Old Testament story of bread falling from the sky to feed Israelites travelling through the desert. READ MORE /
"It's an almost Biblical thing that beer is dropping from the sky," Hoffmann commented. "Every time it drops a parachute, a crowd of 5000 cheers."
(Source: Digital Spy)
Apple is expected to launch a new version of its iPhone on 10 September 2013. A special event will be held to unveil the device which is believed to be called the iPhone 5S.
After acquiring Authentec in 2012 it is believed the new flagship iPhone could include fingerprint sensor technology, as well as camera and processor improvements. There have previously been reports of an iPhone with a bigger screen.
It is also reported that Apple may unveil a new low cost smartphone, called the iPhone 5C. This lower cost device is rumoured to feature plastic casing available in a range of colours.
‘There has been speculation about a low cost version of the iPhone circulating for some time. A report by China Labour Watch into the working practices of Apple suppliers in July said at contract supplier Pegatron has been working on ‘’a scaled-back, less expensive version of the iPhone’’. ‘
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s meeting with the head of China Mobile also raised prospects of an iPhone supporting the world’s biggest operator’s 3 G TD-SDMA network.
While discussing Apple’s Q2 results last month, Cook said the company is ‘’laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014’’
In June Apple announced the next-generation iPhone operating system iOS 7 which includes significant redesign of the iPhone’s menu and icons, this is already in beta testing with developers.
With growing competition from Samsung and lower-cost Android devices, Apples has seen its global market share drop. Consumers, investors (reportedly some board members) have been pressing for the company to innovate more rapidly. READ MORE /
Are you Media mesher? Do you sit in front of the TV and use your mobile device to talk online about the show you’re watching? Then you’re a media mesher and you’re not the only one! Regulator, Ofcom has found that over half of the UK now watches TV while using a mobile or tablet. It claims that 53% regularly multi-task with other media while watching TV, likely due to an increase in smartphone and tablet ownership. While most of us talk or text about the TV we’re watching, research shows 11% are using social media to discuss shows as they air. If you watched the 2013 Wimbledon Men’s tennis final, you may have been one of the 2.6 million tweeters who post related to the match, 80% of them came from mobile devices. And even though we have access to television content online, 91% still choose the traditional living room set – at least once a week! That’s up 3% since 2008!
Ofcom’s Director of Research, James Thickett said, "Our research shows that increasingly families are gathering in the living room to watch TV just as they were in the 1950s – but now delivered on bigger, wider and more sophisticated sets.
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"Unlike the 1950s family, however, they are also doing their own thing. They are tweeting about a TV show, surfing the net or watching different content altogether on a tablet.
"Just a few years ago, we would be talking about last night's TV at work or at school. Now, we're having those conversations live while watching TV – using social media, text and instant messaging."
According to a new study the true cost of cyber-crime and espionage to business has been over exaggerated for years.
They study, by the Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), sponsored by McAfee was to quantify the economic impact of cyber-crime after years of guess work.
CSIS had the help of economists, intellectual property experts and security researches to build an economic model and methodology, which revealed global losses, are lower than thought.
This puts the cost in context of global GDP, pointing out that it represents only 0.4% to 1.4%, compared with losses due to drug trafficking, which represent 5% of global GDP.
The authors pointed out the problem with relying on methods such as surveys, as companies that reveal their cyber losses often cannot estimate what has been taken. Intellectual property losses are difficult to quantify.
Mike Fey, Executive Vice-President and Chief of Technology Officer at McAfee, said “We believe the CSIS report is the first to use actual economic modelling to build out the figures for the losses attributable to malicious cyber activity”. He went on to say, “Other estimates have been bandied about for years, but no one has put any rigor behind the effort. As policy – makers, business leaders and others struggle to get their arms around why cyber security matters; they need solid information on which to base their actions”. READ MORE /
The lack of apps on the Windows Phone is stopping the platform from competing with iOS and Android, a senior Nokia executive has said.
In an interview with International Business Times, Bryan Biniak, VP and general manager of app development at Nokia, said ‘’while there are no major gaps in the app catalogue, there are select applications that need to be there”, if users are going to be persuaded to switch to Windows Phone.
A record Number; 7.4million, of Nokia Lumia handsets running Windows Phone where sold in the second quarter or 2013, but many of the big apps remain absent from the Microsoft platform.
Windows Phone Store currently has a relatively meagre 165,000 apps, compared to Google Play and Apples App Store.
Biniak said. “It’s not just about the hardware; it’s about the tools that are on the hardware. You can’t sell a phone without the apps, you just can’t. With the frequent release of new Windows Phone devices means that if an app people care about isn’t available on Windows Phone, “that’s a missed opportunity for a sale”. He added that people will not switch to a mobile operating system if it lacks an app that they use in their everyday life. READ MORE /
Nokia has announced their latest device, Lumia 625. With a 4.7 inch display, this will be their largest-screened Windows Phone.
The 4.7 inch screen is still smaller than most Smartphones, but puts Nokia in a better position to compete against large- screen devices from rivals such as Samsung and Sony. However the 800x480 pixel, 201 pixel-per-inch resolution is a major let down.
Specs for the Lumia 625 are also pretty average, with a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 512MB of Ram and a 5MP main camera. The Lumia 625 is described as ‘’an accessibly priced 4G smart phone’’.
The Lumia 625 will be available in a range of colours including orange, yellow, bright green, white and black, with an ‘’array of changeable shells enabling easy personalisation’’. Estimated retail price of €220 it is due for release in China, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America in Q3. READ MORE /
As of the 1st of July new European Union mobile roaming regulations came into place, lowering the price caps for data downloads by 36%.
Since 2007 the regulator has achieved overall retail price reductions across calls, SMS, and data of more than 80%. Eventually customers will be able to choose an operator other than their home service provider to deliver roaming capabilities.
As of 1st July the new caps are; €0.45 per 1MB plus VAT for mobile data; €0.24 per minute plus VAT for making calls; €0.07 per minute plus VAT to receive a call; and €0.08 plus VAT to send an SMS message. Providers are free to offer cheaper rates. READ MORE /
Aucklanders have the use of a great new taxi app. For the first time in New Zealand there is now an app not only allowing you to order a cab, but also what you pay! READ MORE /
Sony Mobile has launched the Xperia Z Ultra, with a 6.4 inch display which makes it the largest (to date) “phablet”. The Android 4.2 device is the first to feature Qualcomm’s snapdragon 800 chip with a 2.2GHz quad core CPU and 4G LTE support and HD voice. It’s also waterproof and dust resistant and includes pen support but doesn’t need a dedicated stylus. Sony claims it is ‘the world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone’. READ MORE /