The permissions screen that pops up during the installation of an Android app has become the new EULA. Very few people bother to read through what is on screen before clicking through and going ahead with the installation -- you could be signing your life away for all you know!
Apps will let you know if they make use of your location, have access to your contacts, could send messages on your behalf and numerous other things. But in the case of Brightest Flashlight Free it turned out that the app was not only sharing users' location and device ID information with third party advertisers, but it was doing so secretly.
One of the most useful things about the internet is its ability to bring people together to trade and exchange. Think eBay, Play and Amazon Marketplace. But all of these are aimed at people with physical products to sell. London-based Hirejungle has come up with a platform that lets businesses and individuals hire out their goods or services.
Peer-to-peer rental, or the sharing economy, is big business according to The Economist. Whether you want to hire a car, rent a room for the night or find someone to carry out a home improvement job, technology makes it much easier to find what you need.
It is very easy to become reliant on Google -- it is the first port of call for many people looking to check everything from currency exchange rates, cinema listings, restaurant reviews and news. This is certainly the case on desktop computers, but it also rings true for Android devices. You’ve probably built up a little memory muscle yourself. When you want to know more about a movie, do you fire up the IMDB app you installed, or do you instead launch Chrome and perform a regular web search?
Google is only too aware that you probably do the latter, but the search giant is keen to push users into making use of apps. This means not only the apps that they have installed, but also those they are yet to discover. Starting now, Google is rolling out an update to searching that means that in addition to regular search results, you'll also be provided with links to related apps when appropriate.
It seems like we’re forever posting stories about the decline of the PC, and here’s another one. This time, IDC is delivering the bad news, and make no mistake, it is bad news. Catastrophic news in fact, because IDC says worldwide PC shipments are experiencing the "most severe yearly contraction on record".
Shipments were expected to fall by 9.7 percent in 2013, but IDC has revised that estimate to a worse 10.1 percent. Next year the outlook isn't expected to be quite as bad, but things are still going to be very bleak, even in emerging markets, the traditional primary growth area for the PC.
According to a new survey by broadcaster PBS KIDS more than half of parents (54 percent) plan on buying technology gifts for their offspring this Christmas. That figure rises to 59 percent for younger, more tech savvy parents.
Top of the shopping list are tablets, featuring in 28 percent of parental intentions, with games consoles on only 18 percent. Combine tablet and smartphone purchasing intentions and 36 percent of parents will be buying.
In an interview with Poynter back at the beginning of November, BuzzFeed book editor Isaac Fitzgerald said that the site will not include negative reviews. "Why waste breath talking smack about something? You see it in so many old media-type places, the scathing takedown rip. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all". Is this the right attitude to adopt? I won't even pretend that this is a rhetorical question. It is absolutely the wrong attitude, and any publication that adopts it does both itself and its readers a disservice.
Of course, Fitzgerald was talking specifically about book reviews, but the danger is that other publications follow suit. His justification for this line of thinking is that people understand that authors "have worked incredibly hard, and they respect that. The overwhelming online books community is a positive place". But this is hardly a reason to avoid negative reviews. The fact that someone has worked hard on something in no way means that it is automatically worthy of praise.
More than half of Black Friday sales were conducted online this Thanksgiving according to figures collected by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). A 10 percentage point increase means that a massive 55 percent of people who shopped for technology products on Black Friday did so online, and both online and offline, consumer electronic devices accounted for more than a third of sales. Shopping started as early as Thanksgiving Day itself with more than 39 million shoppers hitting the stores. But how many of these purchases represent good value for money?
Some 35 percent of all sales this weekend were taken up by tech devices. Of this number, tablets accounted for 29 percent of purchases, which is hardly surprising when you take into account that the likes of Microsoft are dramatically reducing the price of Surface tablets -- there are a number other outlets that have followed suit with this particular tablet as well as numerous others. In the first two days of the holiday weekend sales, 24 percent of tech sales were taken up by headphones, 21 percent by game hardware, 19 percent by smartphones and 17 percent by laptops.
We're all used to getting touchy-feely with our phones and tablets, but it's only in the past few months that touchscreen laptops have really gained any ground. A report by NPD DisplaySearch states that by the end of 2013, touchscreen devices will account for 11 percent of all notebook shipments -- that's around 19.8 million notebooks with touchscreens -- and there has been a steady increase in market share since the beginning of the year.
Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch explains that "Premium pricing and a lack of compelling uses for touch screens on notebooks continue to hinder adoption", but goes on to say that "as touch interfaces become increasingly common across all mobile devices, it is just a matter of time before the technology also becomes more prevalent in notebooks".
When you’re short of ideas for presents, the easiest thing to do is to pop a check or some cash in a card -- it may not demonstrate the most thought, but at least it shows you haven't forgotten. More recently, cash and checks have been replaced with gift cards for the likes of Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. There are also prepaid cards from well-known financial institutions such as Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or Discover. These are great in theory, but they cannot be used in every web store.
PayPal found that a quarter of people had experienced problems trying to make online purchases with this type of prepaid gift card and -- just in time for the holiday season -- has come up with a solution.
Plex hits the big screen with the first official release of its media browsing and playback tool. Plex Home Theater 1.0 is the client-side version of Plex’s media suite for Windows and Mac users, and has been 11 months in the making, during which time 15 separate builds were released exclusively to PlexPass subscribers.
Plex Home Theater replaces Plex Media Center, and gives users access to media stored on a computer running Plex Media Server, both over their local network and -- via the MyPlex web service -- wider internet.
Using a peripheral to interact with your computer is so passé. Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners have the Kinect to dance in front of, and PlayStation gamers have a camera that can be used in much the same way. PC users can turn to the likes of Leap Motion if they like the idea of eschewing traditional forms of control, and an increasing number of smartphones can recognize eye and hand movements. Now it looks as though Apple is joining the party by buying 3D motion detection specialists PrimeSense.
This may not be a firm that sounds all that familiar, but you're almost certainly aware of the Israeli company's work -- Kinect for the Xbox. Yep, you read that correctly. Apple is buying the firm behind one of the most interesting and innovative features of Microsoft's game console. While no details of the purchase have been revealed, and no mention made of any money that may have swapped hands, PrimeSense has confirmed that the purchase is going ahead.
December 1998. I started my Internet career at one of the first European e-commerce websites. At the time, we used to call it New Information and Communication Technologies. In 2013, 15 years later, some of these technologies are still seen as "New". But while in some countries seniors are stigmatized just when their experience is at its fullest, we refuse to see technologies age and be fully integrated. Ironic isn’t?!
Fear of technologies that are difficult to master is understandable, but why reject them all? Why not fully embrace them and establish the boundaries of what is understandable and useful as well as personal privacy limitations? These same technologies allow us to voice our opinions directly to those who created them and to provide collaborative feedback so they may be continually improved upon in order to enhance and remain relevant to our daily lives.
Bitcoin is rarely out of the news these days. There have been stories about Bitcoin thefts, its use by cybercriminals, the first Bitcoin ATM, and most recently the virtual currency’s value soared to over $900 after the FBI told a US Senate committee hearing that it offers "legitimate financial services".
If you’re a bitcoin miner or collector, and are wondering what to do with your stockpiled virtual currency, you’ll soon be able to add "buy a trip into space" to the list of possibilities.
It's been a big day for Microsoft. The Xbox One hit store shelves and took over the daily tech news, overshadowing all competition, including that of it's own Nokia devices arm. While reviews, unboxing videos and a few tales of hard drive woes have highlighted the news, there were other announcements surrounding the console launch.
One such piece of news came from an unexpected source. Logitech, known for its cases, keyboards and mice, is also in possession of all-in-one remote company Harmony. The darling of the home theater crowd, or at least those who don't wish to pay for Crestron, has thrown its support behind the new gaming console.
Take a look at your wallet. How many debit cards, credit cards and loyalty cards do you have? If it's anything like mine it is probably bursting at the seams with an inch or more of plastic cards. Reach the checkout in a store and you may well have ended up red-faced as you rummage for the right payment and loyalty card. With Coin, all of this could come to an end. The idea of a catch-all replacement that combines multiple cards into one is not new, but thus far solutions have taken the form of mobile apps. Coin is different -- this is a real card that acts as many.
Coins have a tendency to weigh down your pockets, but this Coin is a single lightweight unit. The card features an integrated display which you can use to view the last four digits of a stored card along with the expiration data and CVV so you, and the person you hand the card to, knows which of your stored cards you are using. You may well have used a mobile app that replaces loyalty cards, and Coin is taking this idea to the next level.