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Whoops: There is an iPhone 5s Fingerprint Hack

September 12, 2013

Biometric technology is amazing because when it is working perfectly it really is one of the best ways to ensure an individual's identity is verified. I can't guess your fingerprint for example. Sure, I can try to mimic it like you have seen in the movies but generally this isn't very practical.

An easier way to hack your fingerprint however is shown below - Redditor iZeeHunter posted the image Wednesday, along with the caption: "The new iPhone 5S provides unmatched security with its new Fingerprint lock, which makes your personal data even harder to reach!"



Whether this photo hurts Apple or not remains to be seen but a way around such a "hack" is to use multifactor authentication such as finger and voice or finger and password. Of course this would add increased levels of complexity - something Apple tried to reduce in the first place.





GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

Why Apple Should not Produce Low-Cost Phones

August 19, 2013

Speculation and rumor will tell you that next month Apple is set to introduce a low-cost phone. Some will argue this makes sense since Apple is competing in a field with other companies such as Samsung and HTC which produce devices across many price points. The question worth asking however is whether this strategy is logical in the long-run. After all, aren’t mobile devices the natural evolution of PCs and laptops and hasn’t Apple learned that to be successful in those markets, you want to stay as far away as you can from being seen as a low-cost, commodity electronics producer?

Jobs Movie Inaccurate Say Steve Wozniak and John Sculley

August 16, 2013

By now everyone knows there is a movie called Jobs which celebrates the life of Steve Jobs and tries to recreate the events which surround the tech legend’s life. Of course whenever such an ambitious project is undertaken, the challenge you have is getting agreement on what happened and just as importantly trying to get everyone involved in the happenings to work collaboratively.

It is apparent this movie faced some challenges in both regards. For example, Ashton Kutcher who plays a pretty convincing Steve Jobs complained recently that Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak aka “The Woz” is being paid by another company to support a different Steve Jobs film.

Steve Wozniak

The Apple Board is Complaining About Apple's Lack of Innovation

August 9, 2013

Apple, We Need a Larger iPhone as I have asked for since 2010



It’s getting to be laughable – the phone choices in the Android camp are literally becoming infinite from Samsung alone – let alone when you throw in Google, HTC and others. Apple popularized the mouse, the GUI, fonts, desktop publishing and so many things yet they eventually got killed in the late eighties and nineties because of the competition and their lack of correct response to it.

In other words the price/performance curve got so out of whack that when PCs became commoditized and Apple lost its software ecosystem advantage, it didn’t make financial sense to buy an Apple product.

In 2010 I predicted this would happen to Apple in the smartphone market when I saw the gloriously huge Motorola Droid X. At the time I said the following (bold added for emphasis):

And this gets us to the headline of this entry...

Verykool RS90 Vortex Smartphone Review

August 8, 2013

A Solid and Rugged Smartphone Value with an unusual name





How often do you get to take a piece of expensive electronics and treat it like it’s a bowling ball? The answer for me is not that often but that is exactly what I found myself doing with the InfoSonics verykool RS90 Vortex Smartphone. From the moment I received it, I have pummeled it, drowned it, bowled with it and literally dropped it on every surface I could find.

Comverse ONE Helps CSPs Monetize Digital Services

August 7, 2013


In March I detailed how Comverse Share is helping carriers integrate the best of social networking with their carrier offerings allowing a CSP to communicate with customers in an environment where they are spending more of their time. The integration of social into the typical service provider business model means carriers can use information from these networks to provide their customers offers on specific products and services. For example a sports fan could get an offer on a package which offers football video streaming.

In the above interview I spoke with Alice Bartram and last week I followed up with her and Mike Huffman in their Mass based headquarters to report on the latest offerings coming from her company.

Axis Communications Uses APIs and Low-Light Tech to Differentiate

August 5, 2013

One constant in business has been the ecosystem can be more important than the product. As an example, if a person is considering attending a conference, they typically look at the speakers and exhibitors to see if there is a fit before booking their trip. In other cases they will look to see who else is attending before they decide to pull the trigger. Over the last few decades a number of tech companies did their best to attract developers to their platforms to build their ecosystems.

Chromecast Dongle Helps Google Take Down Apple

July 26, 2013

A low-cost atom bomb from Google aimed at the living room

If you have been following Google’s moves lately you see the company seems to have a laser focus on being a leader in a number of areas from autonomous cars to balloon-powered WiFi. Its important to point out there seems to be intense focus on competing with Apple with the introduction of solid products which are priced far lower than what Cupertino has to offer.

In the past five years, Google has launched an app store, an OS for mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and cloud-powered laptops. Now the company has unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle allowing streaming from mobile device to any television.



In short it takes on Apple TV to some degree and costs one-third as much.

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