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    1. #1
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

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      Arrow New cell uses pitched at wireless show


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      New cell uses pitched at wireless show

      By MATT MOORE,
      AP Business Writer
      Thu Feb 15, 3:08 PM ET

      From a cell phone with just six buttons to one that lets users dictate text messages and another that delivers the results of a breathalyzer test, mobile handset makers put their most eye-catching gadgets on display at this week's wireless industry conference.

      Dozens of new handsets were unveiled at the 3GSM wireless conference, many sporting radical new designs and capabilities.

      The main theme of this year's show, attended by more than 60,000 people, was the integration of programs such as instant messaging, blogs and mapping to blur the line between the computers and phones.

      But some offerings targeted simpler needs.

      Spain's Imaginarium showed off a small cell phone with just six buttons, all of them in bright green, red, blue and orange. The "Mo1" is aimed at children. There's no numerical keypad because all calls are restricted to the phone numbers a parent has programmed in. Plus, it can't be used for text messages other than to receive them from preapproved contacts or send a simple note to a parent, or guardian, telling them where the child and the phone are.

      U.S.-based Nuance Communications Inc. displayed mobile applications of its speech recognition technology, Dragon's Naturally Speaking, where users can press a single button and use voice commands to get news, sports and other information. Another feature lets a person dictate an SMS and send it on its way. A person also can request directions from a navigation program or tell the phone's MP3 player what song to play.

      "With more than 2.5 billion cell phones in use, and about 5 percent using speech recognition, we see an enormous untapped market," said the company's president, Steve Chambers.

      One of the more unusual devices came from Japan's NTT DoCoMo. Simply put, it is a phone that delivers the results of a breathalyzer test along with real-time video of a driver.

      The actual breathalyzer is not made by the Japanese wireless provider, but it links up to a handset that sends video of the person taking the test to a bus or taxi company's office to ensure there's no drunk driving.

      For those tired of simple alphanumeric input for messaging, an Israeli company, Zlango, has offered up an entirely new language based on icons.

      "It's made up of more than 200 icons that each means a word or concept," explained Raz Tsafrir of the company, which is currently offering the application in the Caribbean, Poland and Israel.

      The user decides what to say by picking among the various icons. The software, which the company says can run on most any mobile phone, comes with a form of Rosetta stone to help translate the note for the recipient, who can then reply in Zlango as well.

      Many of the industry's top companies showed off ways to integrate familiar Web-based applications with a cell phone, including the MySpace social networking site, the Flickr photo service and Google Maps.

      "There are lots of possibilities for mobility now," said Lars Vestergaard of the research firm IDC, noting Nokia Corp.'s development of built-in satellite navigation capabilities in its new 6110 handset.

      The Finnish company's application uses the GPS positioning capability in the phone to grab coordinates, then pulls down real-time, turn-by-turn navigation from the cellular network. It's expected to retail for about $300 in Europe starting in June. Other navigation devices were plentiful, with familiar brands like TomTom and Garmin showing off new devices as well.

      Some handset makers were combining the elements of an entire laptop in a handheld.

      HTC showed off the X7500, a flip-style phone with a 5-inch color screen that runs on Windows Mobile. It comes standard with TomTom's Navigator 6, a 3-megapixel camera, an 8-gigabyte hard drive and 128 megabytes of RAM, as well as connections to plug it into a computer monitor or television. While its keyboard is manageable for touch-typing, it has a USB port to plug in a larger one for easier use.

      Priced at about 1,100 euros, or nearly $1,500, it's for those who take their mobility seriously.

      ___

      On the Net:

      http://www.nokia.com

      http://www.zlango.com

      http://www.imaginarium.es

      http://www.nuance.com

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070215/...7E3DAwaJ1k24cA

      Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


    2. #2
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

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      Arrow New Credit Cards May Leak Personal Information


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      New Credit Cards May Leak Personal Information

      Erik Larkin,
      PC World
      Fri Feb 16, 4:00 AM ET

      You may be carrying a new type of credit card that can transmit your personal information to anyone who gets close to you with a scanner.

      The new cards--millions of which have been issued over the past year--use RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, technology. RFID allows scanners to use radio signals at varying distances to read information stored on a computer chip.

      According to a study from academic and business researchers at the University of Massachusetts, RSA, and Innealta, many of the cards will transmit your name, credit card number, and expiration date (but not the three-digit security code) in the clear to anyone nearby with a scanner. One of the researchers, Kevin Fu of the University of Massachusetts, provided an electronic copy of the report's just-finished final version to PC World. The draft version is available online.
      Millions of Cards in Use

      RFID is widely used to track shipments and store inventory--and now it's in credit cards, allowing customers to swipe the cards past readers in McDonald's restaurants, CVS pharmacies, and elsewhere, making for quick and easy transactions. Visa says more than 6 million "contactless" cards exist worldwide, and their number is growing rapidly.

      In an e-mail, Fu wrote that "in our collection of approximately 20 cards, the vast majority revealed CC name, CC number, and expiration" when the researchers scanned with a commercial RFID reader that they modified to work with the credit cards. According to the FAQ on the study, the sample cards "spanned all three major U.S. payment associations and several major issuing banks."

      According to a Visa spokesperson, the company's contactless card network uses an encrypted security code to verify a transaction. That should protect against certain types of fraud--but again, it doesn't protect against someone pulling the name and number.

      However, second-generation Visa Contactless cards no longer send the name, says Brian Tripplett, the company's senior vice president of emerging product development. The new cards still send their numbers, but those would be difficult to use without the card holder's name. With the first generation of cards, Visa suggested that banks not issue cards that transmit the name; with new cards, that's required.

      Tripplett also says that Visa's technology has a shorter read range and communicates differently than does the standard RFID used for inventory management, for example. Mastercard didn't respond in time for this story.
      Is Your Card RFID-Equipped?

      How do you tell if your card has one of these chips? Some cards have visible microchips, according to the study's FAQ, but others don't. Tripplett says that Visa Contactless cards have a symbol: four vertical wave-like bands on the front or the back.

      But to know for sure, and to know whether you have a first- or second-generation Visa card, you need to call your bank and ask. You should be able to request a card without the technology, or at least one that doesn't transmit your name.

      Also, you can block RFID signals with a "Faraday cage," which uses a metal mesh or casing. A quick online search turned up some wallets and wallet inserts that incorporate the cages.
      Other Risk Reductions

      Even for the first-generation cards that do send the name, some other mitigating factors exist. First, while the researchers used a commercially available RFID reader, they made modifications to it that take "technical skills and know-how," Fu wrote. Also, the reader must be close: The card specs say only a couple of inches, but Fu says some research papers put the max range at about 6 inches.

      And most important, phishing, keyloggers, and other kinds of online ID theft are far too successful right now for criminals to put in the effort required for this type of fraud. So the risk probably isn't significant--for now.

      Major risk or not, however, there's no way I'd want my credit card to transmit its information without any encryption. Adding yet another opportunity for ID theft where there doesn't need to be any, whether the threat is large or small, simply makes no sense.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/2007...DoU3O1pA1k24cA

      Copyright © 2007 PC World Communications, Inc.
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


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