mikejuk writes "Evi, a new rival to Siri, Apple's voice-driven personal assistant, has made its debut on both the iPhone and Android. And people are so keen to that Evi's servers are overloaded — so be prepared for a wait for answers." The app costs 99 cents for iOS users, but it's free on Android.
New submitter Cinnamon Whirl writes "As a chemist, I work in a both lab and office enviroments, and need access to data in both, without causing undue clutter in either. My company has recently purchased two Win7 tablets for trial usage with electronic lab notebooks, propietry software, SAP, email etc. These are also useful for sharing in meetings, etc. As part of this project, I have been wondering whether we can use these tablets to detect other devices by proximity. Examples could include finding the nearest printer or monitor or, perhaps trickier, could two roaming devices find each other? Although lab technology is rarely cutting edge, I can see a day when all our sensors and probes will broadcast data (wireless thermocouples are already available), and positioning information will become much more important. What technologies exist to do this? How accurate can the detection be?"
Hugh Pickens writes "Kate Murphy writes that as cellphones have gotten smarter, they have become less like phones and more like computers, and that with more than a million phones worldwide already hacked, technology experts expect breached, infiltrated or otherwise compromised cellphones to be the scourge of 2012. Cellphones are often loaded with even more personal information than PCs, so an undefended or carelessly operated phone can result in a breathtaking invasion of individual privacy as well as the potential for data corruption and outright theft. But there are a few common sense ways to protect yourself: Avoid free, unofficial versions of popular apps that often have malware hidden in the code, avoid using Wi-Fi in a Starbucks or airport which leaves you open to hackers, and be wary of apps that want permission to make phone calls, connect to the Internet or reveal your identity and location."
Despite (and probably partly because of) its much-touted role as a communications link in the Arab Spring protest movements of the last year, Twitter announced a few days ago that it could be (which I take to mean "will be, and probably are") selectively blocking tweets based on local governments' requests. This AP story (as carried by stuff.co.nz) gives an overview of the negative reaction this move has drawn; unsurprisingly, there's talk of a boycott. The EFF has what seems to be a fair look at the reality of Twitter take-downs, noting that for various reasons they remove certain content already, but not as much as some parties would like; VentureBeat looks at the thousands of take-down notices the company received last year. If you use Twitter, does the recently announced region-specific blocking change what you'll use it for?
mpol writes "KDE's Plasma Active introduced last Saturday its own 7" tablet. According to Aaron J. Seigo, 'It's the first tablet computer that comes with Plasma Active pre-installed.' The Spark, with its 7" screen, is built around a Cortex A9 with a Mali-400-gpu, 512MB RAM and an SD-card slot. It will have a 800x480 screen resolution and will cost around 200 Euro. It is actually a rebrand of the Zenithink ZT-180 C71, which comes with Android by default. On a personal note, Aaron J. Seigo will no longer be sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks to work on Qt and KDE. He will, however, stay involved with KDE and Free Software, he says."
PolygamousRanchKid writes with this excerpt from a CNN story:"Tween girls who spend much of their waking hours switching frantically between YouTube, Facebook, television and text messaging are more likely to develop social problems, says a Stanford University study published in a scientific journal on Wednesday. Young girls who spend the most time multitasking between various digital devices, communicating online or watching video are the least likely to develop normal social tendencies, according to the survey of 3,461 American girls aged 8 to 12 who volunteered responses. The study only included girls who responded to a survey in Discovery Girls magazine, but results should apply to boys, too, Clifford Nass, a Stanford professor of communications who worked on the study, said in a phone interview. Boys' emotional development is more difficult to analyze because male social development varies widely and over a longer time period, he said."
adeelarshad82 writes "As reported yesterday lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C., will be the first in the nation to have access to a 'Super Wi-Fi' network. However, the only issue is that Super Wi-Fi isn't really Wi-Fi: Mobile analyst Sascha Segan explains the difference and also gets into why it's incorrectly being dubbed as Super Wi-Fi."
coondoggie writes "Encryption keys on smartphones can be stolen via a technique using radio waves, says one of the world's foremost crypto experts, Paul Kocher, whose firm Cryptography Research will demonstrate the hacking stunt with several types of smartphones at the upcoming RSA Conference in San Francisco next month."
Frankie70 writes "'Siri's dirty little secret is that she's a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1.' A study by Arieso shows that users of the iPhone 4S demand three times as much data as iPhone 3G users and twice as much as iPhone 4 users, who were identified as the most demanding in a 2010 study. 'In all, Arieso says that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S "appears to unleash data consumption behaviors that have no precedent."'"
An anonymous reader writes "In the quarterly earnings call following the defeat of his attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was quick to lash out at the FCC, claiming that because his company was unable to acquire more spectrum to handle the explosion of mobile data users, AT&T would be forced to raise prices and take additional action against the highest data users. PCMag looked into the other side of the story, finding that 'The FCC spokesman ... pointed out that the FCC has approved more than 150 commercial mobile transaction applications in the past year and more than 300 in the past two years, "facts [that] were completely ignored in the [AT&T] conference call," he said.'"
New submitter DeanCubed writes "In a Nintendo investor meeting, CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed a new Nintendo Network for the company's 3DS and upcoming Wii U game systems. This includes multiple user accounts per console (not tied to hardware, a first for Nintendo) and digitally distributed retail software releases for their online store. Iwata also noted that the Wii U's tablet controller will feature NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality, allowing the ability to use figurines and cards to input visual data to the console. They are hoping to use this to make micro-transactions for paid DLC easier."
alphadogg writes "Lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C., will be the first in the nation to have access to a 'Super Wi-Fi' network. Officials from New Hanover County, N.C., announced Thursday that they had become the first in the United States to deploy a mobile data network on so-called 'white spaces' spectrum that the FCC first authorized for unlicensed use in 2008."
judgecorp writes "British mobile operator O2 says it has stopped sharing users phone numbers with all websites, and says the breach was an accident. Yesterday, users found that the operator was automatically passing their mobile numbers to any site they visited, while using O2's mobile network,"
FrankPoole writes "Indie iPhone game developer Nimblebit is accusing social games giant Zynga of ripping off its popular mobile title Tiny Tower. Nimblebit's Ian Marsh got word out about the similarities between Dream Heights and Tiny Tower with an image that's still making the Twitter rounds. The image is made up of screenshots showing how Dream Heights' interface and gameplay mechanics appear strikingly similar to Tiny Tower's."