Mobile devices are a brave new frontier for cyber thieves, and the BBC reports malware creators are cashing in. Citing surveys by Lookout mobile security, the BBC states that sneaky cash-snatching apps have increased from 29 to 62 percent of all smartphone malware. Users acquire the thieving bugs when they ride into your phone on the backs of seemingly innocent apps:
What if your boyfriend was really sweet and helpful and you could shrink him into a tiny cyborg that lives inside your phone? Regardless of what Honey I Shrunk the Kids taught you, we don’t have the technology to do that–yet. But luckily there are Happiness Engines, little bots made by a startup in San Francisco that help make using your smartphone a little bit easier.
Tap It To Me
Now that big fancy Starbucks has its Square-enabled mobile payments system, you didn’t think Dunkin Donuts was going to allow itself to be one-upped like some sort of country cousin, did you? Certainly not!
GigaOm reports that today, the Massachusetts-based purveyor of superior coffee and slightly stale baked goods is launching its very own mobile payments app, for those of you looking to download something new to the fifth screen of your smartphone.. How it works:
HBO still refuses to cooperate with Netflix, much less offer up Game of Thrones for streaming. [Reuters]
Apple misses quarterly earnings; world continues spinning, somehow. [Washington Post]
AT&T, however, is raking in the dough as a majority of its wireless customers are now smartphone users. [Wall Street Journal]
There are an awful lot of rules for volunteers considering blogging about the Olympics. [Wired.co.uk]
And then there’s the possibility of hackers disrupting the games. [Reuters]
This strategy memo from Buzzfeed is curiously lacking in the use of memes and/or cat pics. [Chris Dixon]
Twitter is cooking up a way of calling up old tweets. If only we actually composed tweets for the ages… [New York Times]
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
If you’re reading this on your phone, maybe you should put the phone down and spend some time with your family/girlfriend/dog. Kidding! Keep reading Betabeat, please.
However, the New York Times reports that an increasing number of Silicon Valley execs are starting to wonder whether maybe they should be telling you to step away from the Internet every once in a while. After getting us all well and truly hooked, they’re now pondering whether maybe the implications of constant connection aren’t as wholly utopian as they expected.
You don’t say.
FreedomBox cofounder and Columbia law professor Eben Moglen is widely recognized for his controversial ideas about the Internet and privacy, so it was unsurprising when we learned that he’s not really that into Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that he thinks your cell phone is out to kill you? Or maim, at the very least.
Mr. Moglen certainly believes that smartphones are more foe than friend. This is because, according to Forbes, smartphones still don’t have the first rule of robotics encoded into their technological makeup. That rule, written by scifi writer Isaac Asimov, is, “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
XX in Tech
Just because wisdom is conventional doesn’t mean it’s right, and just because dudes 18 to 25 are considered the prized tech demographic doesn’t mean it’s true. The Atlantic dug up a recent talk by Intel researcher Genevieve Bell, and it turns out that women are pretty much the customers you want to have on lock. And people wonder why Pinterest has a great big Scrooge McDuck-style cache of venture capital cash.
Ms. Bell has shared several interesting nuggets, including that women in Western countries use the Internet 17 percent more per month; they spend more time talking on their mobile phones (hold your stereotyped jokes, please); and they’re the biggest users of every social networking site that’s not LinkedIn. Also, “Women are the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices–readers, healthcare devices, GPS.”
No Internet For You
Oh the times, oh the customs! The data junkies at the Pew Research Council are back with another Internet & American Life dispatch, and it looks like you all are pretty enthusiastic about Twitter. Your country cousins? Not so much.
According to a phone survey conducted in February
, 19 percent of urbanites use Twitter, compared to 14 percent of suburbanites and a mere 8 percent of those dwelling in rural areas. If we might introduce a little anecdotal evidence, those numbers are no surprise to this Betabeat reporter, who just spent a weekend in a patch of rural Georgia with neither cell phone service nor reliable high-speed Internet. It’s peaceful until you’re on deadline. New York City just thinks
its connectivity problems are bad–try working on a temperamental satellite linkup.
It’s a pretty hackneyed tech cliche to wonder about whether “someone’s mom” will adopt a service. Seems like these days it’s not just tired–its underlying premise is fundamentally flawed. Nielson has just released a whole bunch of stats regarding American mothers and their digital doings, and it turns out moms are pretty into technology. Which you probably already knew if you’ve visited Facebook any time in the last two years.
Kids These Days
The New York Times dove into the hyper connected world of 20 something with smartphones this weekend, returning with some shocking revelations about the behavior of this new cyber culture. A few findings:
People are always texting one another on their phones, even when they are out to dinner.
Checking in to venues. Passive aggressively emailing friends who are checking in when you are stuck at work.
To maintain an information edge, the digital youth keeps a device handy at all times. Spencer Lazar, founder of Spontaneously, sleeps with his smartphone, iPad and laptop in the bed.