Category Archives for "Network World Wireless"

Yahoo courts developers at its first mobile conference

Mobile users have become a vital part of Yahoo’s recovery effort, and on Thursday it tried to woo developers with new tools to help them build better apps using its services.The company held its first-ever mobile developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday, where it unveiled tools that help developers collect data about their apps and make money from them using Yahoo advertising services.Many of the tools come courtesy of Flurry, a mobile analytics and advertising company Yahoo acquired last year. Flurry now has more than 200,000 developers using it’s tools, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said Thursday. Yahoo hopes to get even more developers on board by giving them new ways to see how their apps are performing and by baking Yahoo advertising options directly into Flurry.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Startup makes LibreOffice, OpenOffice available for Firefox smartphones

A startup that uses the cloud to bring desktop applications to mobile devices has expanded its offerings for Mozilla’s Firefox OS.LibreOffice and OpenOffice are now available to people with smartphones running Firefox OS. The office suites can be found in Mozilla’s Marketplace app store along with other programs offered by rollApp, a venture capital-backed company based in Palo Alto, Calif.With the addition of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, rollApp has made 18 applications available for Firefox OS users.RollApp hosts copies of software on its servers and allows people to access the applications via browsers.The software hosted by rollApp cover a range of applications including computer-aided design, worker productivity and software development. The 130 apps offered also include games. However, don’t expect to find any popular proprietary programs like Microsoft Office. For now, all of rollApp’s software-as-a-service offerings are for free and open source applications.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

NSA, UK’s GCHQ reportedly hacked encryption of SIM card maker

U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies have reportedly hacked into the computer network of giant SIM card maker Gemalto and taken smartphone encryption keys potentially used by customers of hundreds of mobile phone carriers worldwide.The Gemalto hack, by the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), allowed the two spy agencies to monitor a large portion of the world’s mobile phone voice and data traffic, according to a story in The Intercept.The hack was detailed in a 2010 GCHQ document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the story said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Nokia, Korea Telecom plan to demo 4G for machines, cars

A slower but more frugal version of LTE that has been customized for the Internet of Things will be demoed at Mobile World Congress next month.LTE was developed to provide high-speed transmission for smartphones and tablets, and has been a success in that regard. But with the growing popularity of connected wearables, smart meters and vehicles, the telecom industry has had to rethink LTE specifications to make it a better fit for related applications.At Mobile World Congress, Nokia and KT (Korea Telecom) will demonstrate a prototype of a customized version, which has been dubbed LTE-M. The alterations include changes to increase battery life and decrease the cost of devices that use it. The latter is in part achieved by decreasing bandwidth, which means less expensive components can be used.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: An LTE over Wi-Fi spectrum grab is coming

Unlicensed spectrum would be the logical place to expand traffic if, as mobile networks are finding, their licensed spectrum is running out.Why not shift over to unlicensed spectrum? It's unlicensed, after all, so anyone can use it. Who would object?Well, the answer to that question may be a bunch of Wi-Fi users, like you and me, if it doesn't work as promised and stomps on existing use, such as Wi-Fi.Wi-Fi at 5 GHzThe new piggy-backing technology uses the same Wi-Fi band that mobile device users are beginning to take advantage of in the home and workplace. That is 5 GHz—the free-to-use band you'll find in newer routers and mobile devices, like tablets and recent phones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Uber increases funding round by $1B to meet investor demand

The prospect of government oversight and steady stream of security issues facing Uber haven’t scared investors from the ride-hailing company, which will expand its latest round of venture funding by US$1 billion.In December, Uber initially raised $1.2 billion during a funding round. At that time, Uber estimated there was room for an additional $600 million in investments.Investor interest, though, proved greater. To meet the demand, Uber will expand that round and issue approximately 30 million additional shares valued at $33.31, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Delaware secretary of state. Uber is based in San Francisco and incorporated in Delaware.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Vendors lay groundwork for 5G with greener and faster mobile networks

A new generation of mobile network equipment comes with lofty promises of better coverage and performance for subscribers, by making it easier for operators to add more capacity and support for new radio technologies.Mobile operators are facing a number of challenges, starting with building networks that won’t get overwhelmed by traffic growth mainly driven by video. The most straightforward way of doing this is adding more spectrum—or lanes, if you will—to their networks. It isn’t a coincidence that the recent AWS (Advanced Wireless Service) spectrum auction in the U.S. was a blockbuster and that operators want to use Wi-Fi frequencies for LTE.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Sprint and T-Mobile defend unlocking policies

Sprint and T-Mobile separately defended their smartphone and tablet unlocking policies on Wednesday following criticism from independent researcher Sina Khanifar.Sprint in a short statement said that as of Feb. 11, it had "implemented all six of the principles contained in the CTIA [Consumer Code] unlocking agreement, and we appreciate the FCC's recognition that the country's major providers have met their commitment."The FCC last week applauded carriers for meeting voluntary unlocking principals by the Feb. 11 deadline.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Salesforce brings more analytics power to mobile business users

Analytics is not a domain everyone’s brain can adapt to easily. Combining statistics, data visualization, operations research, programming savvy and more, the field has relied largely on specialists to make its data-focused interpretations useful in the practical sphere.That, however, is slowly changing. Along with the rise of Big Data, efforts are increasingly emerging to put the power of analytics in the hands of business managers, often using the tools for mobile devices that are popular today.A case in point is’s Wave Analytics Cloud, which the company updated Thursday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

NTT to roll out indoor navigation using smartphone sensors

Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo wants to go beyond GPS with a more granular smartphone navigation system for complex indoor spaces.DoCoMo has partnered with mapping company Zenrin DataCom to develop the navigation system that makes use of sensors in smartphones. It’s designed to help users find their way through Japan’s dense indoor spaces such as subway complexes or underground malls where GPS signals may not reach.Japan has some of the busiest and largest rail hubs in the world, with multiple floors, overlapping rail lines and subterranean shopping arcades. The new platform uses smartphone motion sensors to track direction when a user walks around. The data is plotted against preloaded maps from Zenrin, which supplies mapping apps for all DoCoMo mobile phones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Japan’s curious love for old-school flip-phones continues

Outmoded technology dies hard in futuristic Japan.Telegrams remain popular, the fax machine industry is alive and well and now shipments of feature phones are on the rise.For the first time in seven years, shipments of old-school flip phones increased in 2014 while those of smartphones fell. While it may be a statistical anomaly, Japan’s flip phones are highly evolved devices with unique features that keep them popular.Feature phones notched a 5.7 percent gain last year to 10.5 million units, compared to a 5.3 percent drop in smartphone shipments to 27.7 million, according to MM Research Institute (MMRI), which noted that Apple retains a dominant smartphone share of about 60 percent. The MMRI study followed feature phones, which in Japan consist mainly of flip phones,To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Mobile networks limber up for the Internet of Things

Changes starting to take place behind the scenes in mobile networks may eventually pay dividends to anyone with a smartphone, a connected refrigerator or an IT department.Carriers have done things pretty much the same way for years, with cellular base stations at the edge of their networks feeding into a series of specialized appliances at central facilities. Now they’re virtualizing those networks in several ways, seeking the same rewards that enterprises have reaped by virtualizing data centers: efficiency and flexibility. The trend will be in full swing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.It’s good news for mobile users that they may not hear much about. A more efficient network leaves more free capacity for the video or application you want to run, and a more flexible carrier could quickly launch services in the future that you don’t even know you’ll need yet. The new architectures may even change how some businesses pay for mobile services.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Long-awaited Blackphone tablet may emerge at MWC

Paranoid tablet users, rejoice. The first units of the secure Blackphone tablet will be demonstrated at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona early next month.The tablet will be the second product from SGP Technologies, which makes the privacy-centric Blackphone smartphone. A pre-release version of the tablet will be shown at the booth of Graphite Software, which has written a special interface for the device to run sensitive applications.SGP is planning a press conference at MWC where it will probably announce the tablet. A Blackphone spokesman declined to share details on the tablet launch or the press conference. However, a Graphite Software executive said the tablet would be announced at MWC and would be on display at Blackphone’s booth as well as Graphite’s.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Former GM CEO warns Apple not to get into the car business

With all of the varying news reports claiming that Apple has plans to develop its own car, there has been a lot of debate regarding the wisdom behind such a strategy. While some Apple enthusiasts might understandably welcome an Apple-inspired car, there is certainly no shortage of arguments to make against Apple entering an entirely new industry.Falling in the latter category, former GM CEO Dan Akerson recently sat down for an interview with Bloomberg where he advised Apple that it has no idea what it's getting itself into.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple Watch launch projected to be 7 times more successful than Android Wear

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Apple placed its first Apple Watch orders with its manufacturing partner Quanta for 5 to 6 million watches. That's extremely bullish for Apple because only 720,000 Android Wear watches shipped in 2014 from such companies as Motorola, Samsung, and LG, while Pebble shipped 1 million smartwatches, according to market watcher Canalys. Apple's rosy forecast for its premium-priced watch appears aggressive when one considers that Canalys reported a total 4.6 million smart wearable bands shipped in 2014.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

6 ways ‘shadow IT’ can actually help IT

In most IT departments, the very words "shadow IT" conjure visions of out-of-control users merrily spreading sensitive data on insecure services and unapproved devices, risking huge losses and costing IT personnel lost sleep. From the CIO to the help desk, IT folks typically make their disdain clear to any user who will listen.But most users aren't listening. They're too busy riding the wave of slick cloud-based apps and services and powerful consumer-oriented devices to do their work faster, easier, and cheaper than they can with the outmoded enterprise offerings available through official channels. They see shadow IT as essential to achieving maximum productivity.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Light network via air hits 224 Gbps

How about this for an idea: run broadband to the home via wires and then spurt the last few meters via airwaves.Neat idea, right? You get the benefits of bulk speed through wire and the portability of a consumer device through airwaves.And, if you think you've heard the idea before, you're not mistaken. It's called wired Internet service coupled with Wi-Fi. Been there, done that.Still, it's a good idea.Well, here's a novel twist on that theme — run broadband via fiber to the home and then send the last couple of yards via airwaves. But, in this case, don't translate to Wi-Fi for the last few yards. Use the light you've already got in the fiber and just extend it outwards from the wire to the devices.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Why Apple isn’t likely to compete with Tesla

With nearly $200 billion in cash on its balance sheet, Apple can do almost anything – including buying Tesla at a relatively affordable market cap of just $25 billion. But the swashbuckling Elon Musk's electric vehicle and reusable SpaceX rocket depend on technological breakthroughs and big capital investments over long periods before seeing a payback. That just isn't how Apple rolls.The abbreviation for research and development at Apple should be r&D (small r, big D) because the company keeps the riskier research small and invests big in development. The battery breakthroughs needed for mainstream electric vehicles are still on the horizon, and Apple doesn't have the cultural disposition to put its battery patents in the public domain to stimulate innovation as Tesla did. Nor does Apple have the stomach to make big investments to achieve speculative economies of scale needed for a mass-produced electric vehicle like Telsa has in its battery Gigafactory. No one at Apple has ever said anything like JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder of Tesla Motors, has said:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Researcher faults unlocking policies from Sprint and T-Mobile

Sprint and T-Mobile don't fully comply with a series of voluntary smartphone and tablet unlocking policies, even though both companies were praised last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for doing so, according to an independent analysis performed by a former developer of unlocking software."Sprint and T-Mobile aren't delivering on half the commitments they made to the FCC," said Sina Khanifar, a Web developer who conducted the analysis on his own by comparing carrier unlocking policies with a voluntary Code the carriers committed to follow.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

First look: Windows 10 preview for smartphones is off to a slow start

Last Thursday, Microsoft released its long-anticipated Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones. This first public release of Windows 10 for smartphones improves on many Windows Phone 8.1 features, but it offers few compelling new capabilities. Also, while Win10 TP for smartphones is supposed to run universal-style apps (the latest incarnation of what have been called Metro, Modern, and Windows Store apps), there's still little congruence between the new universal smartphone apps and their big-screen universal namesakes.Note that Microsoft limited the beta bits to Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730, and 830 smartphones. The advanced Windows Phone fan base, which has been migrating to the Lumia 930 (Icon), 1000, 1300, and 1500 series, got snubbed. Microsoft explained that it didn't bring this first beta to the 930 or the 1520 because of conflicts with "a feature that will be coming soon called partition stitching."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here