Archive for the ‘PHONE PROBLEMS’ Category

MURDOCH & THE PHONE HACKING SAGA

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Murdoch link

to phone hacking

fallout deepens

Paola Totaro

January 25, 2011

David Cameron ... friendly dinners.
David Cameron … friendly dinners. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: The political fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal has intensified amid claims of a Scotland Yard cover-up and friendly dinners between Downing Street and the Murdoch family.

Despite the resignation of Andy Coulson as Downing Street’s director of communications, the links between the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Rupert Murdoch’s empire have once again been thrown into the spotlight just days before the media tycoon is due to fly to London.

The Independent revealed that James Murdoch, son of Rupert and chairman of News Corporation in Europe and Asia, was a guest at a private dinner with Mr Cameron just days after the Prime Minister stripped the Liberal Democrat business secretary, Vince Cable, of responsibility for the crucial decision on whether News Corp should be allowed to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not already own.

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Rupert Murdoch ... his son James reportedly had dinner with David Cameron.
Rupert Murdoch … his son James reportedly had dinner with David Cameron. Photo: Reuters

The dinner was held at the home of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, in Churchill, Oxfordshire, and both Mr Cameron and his wife, Samantha, were present.

The highly controversial decision on the takeover was handed to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, after Mr Cable was secretly taped telling undercover reporters that he had ”declared war” on Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Coulson’s resignation at the weekend has also renewed interest in police handling of the original investigation into the hacking affair, with claims of a cover-up and calls that the new investigation, announced a few weeks ago by the Crown Prosecution Service, be handed to a different police force or to the Inspectorate of Constabulary.

The Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, criticised the police, saying they had dismissed his calls for a full inquiry, and the former prime minister Gordon Brown has asked police if his phones had been affected when he was chancellor.

A parliamentary inquiry into the row begins to gather evidence this week, but the deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, has demanded a fresh inquiry.

Mr Coulson quit as editor of Mr Murdoch’s News of the World in 2007 after the paper’s royal reporter admitted hacking royal phones.

Although Mr Coulson insisted he had no knowledge of the practice, the scandal has riveted London and been the focus of continuing inquiries by Murdoch media rivals, including The Guardian and The Independent.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

SUPER TOUGH SMARTPHONE GLASS COVERS RELEASED BY ASAHI GLASS MAKERS OF JAPAN

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Asahi Glass unveils

super-strong

smartphone cover

January 21, 2011 – 9:33AM
A reporter tries to scratch the surface of a Dragontrail glass developed by Asahi Glass with a key.A reporter tries to scratch the surface of a Dragontrail glass developed by Asahi Glass with a key. Photo: AP

Gorilla glass, meet Dragontrail.

Asahi Glass, Japan’s largest glass maker, this week released a super-tough, scratch resistant cover for gadgets that it says is several times stronger than conventional glass.

Called “Dragontrail”, the product represents Asahi’s intensified ambitions to grab a chunk of the surging global market for smartphones and tablets. All those devices need a durable sheath to protect what’s inside from the bumps, nicks and falls that inevitably come with usage

The biggest player in the market now is Corning, which makes the much-heralded “Gorilla” glass.

Gorilla, a similarly ultra-strong glass, is used by more than 20 major brands in 200 million-plus mobile phones and mobile devices, according to the New York-based company. It’s in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets, as well as Motorola’s Droid phone and LG’s X300 notebook.

It’s been rumored to be used by Apple, but neither company has confirmed the much-discussed mystery. Corning says not all customers want to be identified.

Gorilla has been a huge success for Corning since it picked up its first customer in 2008. It generated $US80 million in revenue in 2009, and soaring demand could boost sales to $US1 billion this year as the glass begins to migrate to high-end TVs.

So how does Dragontrail stack up against the Gorilla? Asahi Glass executives weren’t saying, declining to make any direct comparisons with competitors.

Instead, the company says Dragontrail matches the best products currently available and describes Dragontrail as a “superior substitute to conventional cover material”. It is multiple times stronger than soda-lime glass commonly used in windows, resists scratches and has a “beautiful, pristine” finish.

A brief test by The Associated Press resulted in the glass showing virtually no damage after being scratched hard for several seconds with a key.

Asahi Glass hopes Dragontrail will generate global revenue of at least 30 billion yen ($366 million) and about 30 per cent market share next year.

The product is already in some devices, but the company said it could not reveal details about customers or when it signed its first deal.

President and chief executive Kazuhiko Ishimura called the new glass a “very important global strategic product”.

“We aim for Dragontrail to serve as one of the foundations for growth for the Asahi Glass Group,” he said at a news conference.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


VODAFONE HAS PROBLEMS WITH CLASS ACTION ON DOWNTIME

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Vodafone class action grows to 15,000

Vodafone chief executive Nigel Dews is working at damage control on gathering consumer anger at poor customer service and patchy coverage

Vodafone coverage

disrupted

in Queensland floods

PUBLISHED : 12 Jan 2011 12:03:19 | UPDATED: 7 hours 25 minutes agoVodafone is the worst-affected mobile carrier so far after its exchange in Coorparoo, south-east Brisbane, was flooded, disrupting services in the city’s central business district and surrounding suburbs yesterday.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

WORLDWIDE GLOOM FOR APPLE IPHONE

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Apple iPhone

alarm woes

continue worldwide

January 4, 2011 – 6:23AM
Photo of Samantha Hanna holding her iPhone after it was discovered that the alarm section of it stopped working in the new year.Photo of Samantha Hanna holding her iPhone after it was discovered that the alarm section of it stopped working in the new year. Photo: LUIS ENRIQUE

Some iPhone users across the globe complained of malfunctioning alarms on the first working day of 2011, even after Apple reassured users that its phones’ built-in clocks would work from January 3.

Bloggers, as well as Facebook and Twitter users, complained they missed flights or were late to arrive at work as the alarm built into Apple’s iPhone failed to go off for a third straight day for some users.

“Come on Apple, I thought the iPhone alarm bug was supposed to ‘correct itself’ by this morning?” tweeted Julie Morgan, a public relations executive in Portland, Oregon, on the social networking site. In an interview, she added, “Luckily, my internal alarm clock went off”.

Same type of messages were sent by iPhone users in Britain, the Netherlands and other European countries.

The snafu occurred even as Apple shares touched another all-time high of $US330.20, giving the company a market capitalisation of more than $US300 billion.

Kyle Wiens, who runs the popular Apple repair site iFixit, said the alarm glitch is likely due to a bug in the date code of the iOS software, which powers the iPhone. “It turns out the date code is not very stable,” he said.

“With iOS Apple is completely reinventing the wheel, and a bug in something so basic shows that Apple is having to do a lot of foundational work over again, that they’re really going back and rewriting a lot of stuff from scratch,” Wiens said.

The problem was not limited to the iPhone, with some owners of other Apple products, such as iPod music players, also complaining of a similar problem with their alarms.

“Apple certainly needs to fix it as soon as possible, but I doubt this will impact sales or reflect negatively on Apple itself,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment, but earlier said that it was aware of the problem with nonrecurring alarms and that the iPhone’s alarm would begin functioning normally again on January 3.

Some users said their alarms worked properly on January 3.

“This is not a major issue for Apple, but it is sad that they have the same error on vital dates,” said John Strand, founder and chief of Danish telecoms consultant Strand Consult.

The iPhone alarm system failed to recognise changes in daylight savings time in 2010, causing some users to sleep in an hour longer, according to media reports.

The last time Apple was embroiled in publicity problems was in July last year after the launch of the iPhone 4, when reports about bad reception snowballed and forced the company to call a news conference to address the issue, dubbed “antennagate”.

This had no visible impact on Apple’s sales as the company sold more than 14 million iPhones in the quarter ending last September, more than ever before. It is now the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Nokia.

Reuters

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


SOPHISTICATED MOBILE PHONE VIRUS ATTACKS ANDROID PHONES IN CHINA

Friday, December 31st, 2010

‘Most sophisticated

mobile virus’

starts spreading on

Android smartphones

December 31, 2010 – 10:00AM
The Google Nexus One smartphone, seen here at its launch in Washington in January, uses the company's Android software.
Targeted … Google Android phones. Photo: AFP

A very powerful virus targeting smartphones in China using Google’s Android operating system may represent the most sophisticated bug to target mobile devices to date, security researchers stated.

Anti-virus firm Lookout Mobile Security estimates that the number of phones that have been infected by the virus, dubbed Geinimi, could be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.

Researchers said that the virus has yet to wreak havoc, though, and that they were unsure what its authors were seeking to accomplish. 

“It is not clear to us what the purpose of it is,” said Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer for Lookout. “It could be anything from a malicious advertising network to an attempt to create a botnet.”

A botnet is an army of enslaved computers that its controllers can compromise for identity theft, use to launch attacks to shut down websites or turn into spam email servers.

Still, the emergence of the Geinimi virus underlines concerns that hackers are shifting from focusing on attacking PCs to targeting mobile devices as sales of the powerful handheld computers take off and users increasingly put sensitive data in their pockets.

Phones become contaminated with Geinimi when users download software applications that have been repackaged to include the virus, according to researchers from Lookout and Symantec Corp.

Tainted programs include versions of the video games Monkey Jump 2, President vs. Aliens, City Defense and Baseball Superstars 2010,Lookout said.

Lookout researchers said that so far they have only found the tainted software at third-party apps stores targeting the Chinese market. Legitimate versions of the applications in the official Android market appear to be safe, they said.

Compromised phones call back to a remote computer for instructions on what to do at five-minute intervals. Then they transmit information on the device’s location, its hardware ID and SIM card back to the remote computer.

To date the remote computers have been collecting data but have not issued any other orders to the infected phones, Mahaffey said.

Liam Murchu, a research manager with anti-virus software maker Symantec, said that infected devices could be ordered to make calls, send text messages and download other malicious software onto the phones.

Reuters

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


IPHONE GET CRACKED GLASS FRONTS, A PROBLEM FOR APPLE….

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

No jokes or paper

crowns in

iPhone’s Christmas

crackers

Marika Dobbin

December 28, 2010

India Thomas with her father's iPhone 4.India Thomas with her father’s broken iPhone 4. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

TWO new iPhones were accidentally broken in the Thomas household in just two days recently. Worth nearly $900 each, it was a financial blow the family of five did not need before Christmas.

But new research shows the Thomases are not alone, with the latest model iPhones much more prone to cracked screens and accidental damage than their predecessors.

Released in Australia in July, the iPhone 4’s glass front and back are 82 per cent more likely to crack than the single screen of the iPhone 3, according to research by SquareTrade Warranties.

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The company analysed its warranty claims for more than 20,000 iPhone 4s and found that owners also reported 68 per cent more accidental damage than for iPhone 3s.

About 15.5 per cent of iPhone 4 owners had an accident within months of buying their phone.

”The iPhone 4 appears to be significantly more likely to break than previous versions. The aluminosilicate glass seems to crack at least as often as the old glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break,” the company said.

Apple gave away free rubber bumper sleeves not long after releasing the iPhone 4 because of reception problems when it was gripped in a certain way.

Repair shops also reported within days of the launch that the phone smashed too easily. Dropped iPhones are not covered by Apple under warranty.

Steve Thomas, a Melbourne builder, said his touchscreen shattered when his daughter India, 6, dropped it on the road while taking photos. His wife Eve found hers had somehow cracked in her handbag the next day.

”I dropped my old iPhone heaps of times and that never happened,” Mr Thomas said.

Apple has not followed other big handset manufacturers in extending warranties from one to two years in cases of 24-month phone contracts. It charges extra for an extended warranty.

Apple Australia could not be reached for comment.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha