Category: Mobile

Blackberry licenses tech to China

BlackberryTroubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has done a deal with China’s TCL Communication to make and sell BlackBerry-branded mobile devices globally.

It is the outfit’s first licensing deal since it decided to become a software company.

TCL, which also makes Alcatel-branded mobile devices, will be coupled with BlackBerry’s security software and service suite, Blackberry said.

BlackBerry is betting its future on the more profitable business of making software and managing mobile devices after largely giving up on smartphones.

BlackBerry said in September that would outsource the development of its smartphones, and a month later launched its last mobile device – the Android-based DTEK60, which was made under an agreement with TCL.

The new agreement gives TCL, the fourth-largest handset maker in North America, the right to make and sell BlackBerry-branded smartphones in all countries except India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, some of BlackBerry’s biggest handset markets.

BlackBerry in September signed a deal giving Indonesia’s BB Merah Putih the rights to make and sell new devices in that country, its largest handset market.

 

UK’s 4G coverage worse than Albania, Panama, Peru and Romania

Taquile2009D4_largeBritain’s 4G mobile phone coverage is worse than that in Albania, Panama, Peru and Romania, with users able to connect in barely half the time.

The National Infrastructure Commission said the UK was being held back by poor mobile phone connectivity, as it called for an end to “digital deserts” in places that should have adequate signals such as rail routes, roads and city centres.

Countries including the US and Japan already have data volumes four to five higher than the UK, the report found.

The commission said the government must now ensure that the next generation of 5G spectrum face the same problems

In a list of recommendations, it argued there should be a new dedicated cabinet minister in charge of the UK’s digital future, ensuring mobile connectivity is competitive with the rest of the world.

It called for ministers and Ofcom, the media regulator, to work together to ensure a set of standards known as a universal service obligation no later than 2025.

Grant Shapps, the former Tory chairman who now leads the British Infrastructure Group of MPs, called the report a wakeup call for the government, as he accused it of being too willing to listen to the excuses of mobile phone operators about poor signal.

“This confirms what we have been saying for a long time. Over the years, ministers have been far too easy on the glib promises given by the telecoms providers and I think that has been combined with ineffective and weak regulation from Ofcom,” Shapps said.

 

All in all the Note 7 is going to be another brick in the wall

another_brick_in_the_wall_by_rafdogThose who insist on hanging onto the Samsung Note 7s despite the warnings that they will catch fire will wake up to find their phones bricked soon.

Samsung announced that it will be issuing a software update to US Note 7s that will prevent the phone from charging or working as mobile devices.

The move comes a little over a month after Samsung capped charging on US Note 7s at 60 percent, and two months after Samsung fully recalled the phone because of explosions.

Samsung has done its best to get the phones back and offered customers financial incentives to exchange their phones and has issued updates in various countries that have made the phones less useful.

But there are still people that have decided to keep their melting phones.

Samsung said the software update will be released starting on 19 December and will be distributed within 30 days.

This software update will prevent US Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices. “Together with our carrier partners, we will be notifying consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the programme and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.”

iPhone 6 battery fault is coming in the air tonight – oh lord.

tumblr_mv4z33OR101qdqzl4o1_500Fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple has come up with another of its legendary stupid reasons for its products to fail.

Before it has covered up its poor designs by claiming that users were “holding their phones wrong” but the latest excuse really must take the cake – it is blaming the air.

Those who paid a lot of cash for an iPhone 6 found that it was starting to switch itself off a year later – coincidently just before Apple launched its iPhone 7. The batteries could cause the phones to shutdown without warning, an issue that Apple now says was caused by overexposure to “controlled ambient air”.

Apple probably means they sat out in the open in some warehouse for longer than they should have. Even if this were the case you would think that the design genii at Apple could handle the Air, after all there is rather a lot of air out there.

Apple isn’t replacing those batteries just yet, but the company says that an iOS update “available next week” will add “additional diagnostic capability” that will allow Apple to better track down and diagnose the causes of these shutdowns. Yep it it is offering an air detector, we think even Apple could write software which could do that.

It “may potentially help Apple improve the algorithms used to manage battery performance and shutdown,” as well. Those improvements will be included in future iOS updates.

In the meantime don’t breathe on your iPhone 6, it is a delicate flower and does not like it.

Tame Apple Press tries to hawk the failed iWatch

dell boy The Tame Apple Press is flat out trying to flog the iWatch this Christmas, even though no one has been interested in the lame duck product all year.

Apple’s favourite new agency Reuters, once famous for printing credible stories, has run an advert as a news story where Apple’s Tim Cook making the extraordinary claim that the iWatch is going to be a sell out this Christmas.

He claimed, without a shred of proof, that sales of the Apple Watch to consumers set a record during the first week of holiday shopping, and the current quarter is on track to be the best for the product. Cook said the gadget’s sell-through reached a new high.

However, that all flies in the face of an IDC report that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. Given that the Tame Apple press claimed that the gizmo would sell 40 million of them in the first year, the iWatch has been a total failure.  And yet Reuters seems to be spinning this failure as “a glimpse of the gadget’s performance during the holiday quarter”.

“Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook claimed.

Reuters admitted that Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget because that would have shown how bogus the whole story was.

Apple drones on

orvillecopter-bart-jansen-cat-droneThe fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple is considering drones as a possible money spinner to help it improve its rather disappointing maps product.

Apple is putting together a team of robotics and data-collection experts who will use drones, and “new indoor navigation features”. The big idea is to try catch up with Google, the long-time leader in the mapping field.

The drones can capture and update Apple Maps at a far quicker rate than Apple’s collection of GPS data-collecting minivans, which began appearing in the United States in early 2015. That is, of course, if they are not bought down by US citizens demonstrating their right to arm bears to protect their property. [Are you sure you have got that right? Ed]

Apple wants to bring in a new feature which will let users view the insides of buildings, thanks to its Indoor.io and WifiSLAM acquisitions, and overall improvements will be made to navigation within the app.

Apple wants to fly drones around to do things like examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction, the person said. The data collected would be sent to Apple teams that rapidly update the Maps app to provide fresh information to users, the person added.

Apple already filed for an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to be able to fly drones for commercial purposes, and was granted approval to “operate an unmanned aircraft system to conduct data collection, photography, and videography”.

Under current rules, Apple’s drone fleet would be restricted from flying over people and buildings, would be designated to operate only in daytime, and could only be flown by licensed pilots.

Talktalk hit by hack

_86340980_talkmoreA hacker managed to bring down “a small number of customer routers” belonging to Britain’s Talktalk Telecom’s broadband.

Talktalk said that it was hit with the Mirai worm which is a malware which in October cut off access to some of the world’s best known websites, including Twitter and Spotify.

The phone outfit said that it was teaming up with several other ISPs in the UK and abroad, to try and tackle the worm.

It added that it had already made several changes to its own operations to prevent the worm’s return.

A cyberattack affecting some types of routers hit around 100,000 of Britain’s Post Office broadband customers on Sunday, the Post Office said in a statement on Thursday.

The company added: “Although this did result in service problems… no personal data or devices have been compromised. We have identified the source of the problem and implemented a resolution.”

On Tuesday, the German government and commercial security experts said hundreds of thousands of Deutsche Telekom AG customers suffered internet outages because of a worldwide attempt to hijack routing devices.

Microsoft shareholders give Nadella a Chinese burn

nadellaMicrosoft shareholders are getting rather rattled that Vole does not appear to be paying enough attention to its mobile phones.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was grilled by shareholders over the matter of Windows phones.

Microsoft shareholder Dana Vance, owner of a Windows Phone and a Microsoft Band, was furious that he received an email about the Microsoft Pix app but was surprised to learn that it was available for iPhone and Android but not Windows Phone.

Microsoft Outlook has the same problems. Already he was cross that Vole had put the Band on the back burner. It seems that Microsoft has given up on consumer devices.

As part of his response, Nadella said Microsoft’s Windows camera and mail apps will include the same features as in Microsoft’s apps for other platforms.

“When we control things silicon-up, that’s how we will integrate those experiences. We will “build devices that are unique and differentiated with our software capability on top of it — whether it’s Surface or Surface Studio or HoloLens or the phone — and also make our software applications available on Android and iOS and other platforms. That’s what I think is needed for Microsoft to help you as a user get the most out of our innovation.”

Another shareholder said that he uses his Windows Phone “18 hours a day” and yet Vole is stepping away from mobile. “Can you calm me down … and tell me what your vision is for mobile?”

Nadella fudged: “We think about mobility broadly. In other words, we think about the mobility of the human being across all the devices, not just the mobility of a single device.”

However he did say that Vole was not stepping away or back from its focus on mobile devices.

“What we are going to do is focus that effort on places where we have differentiation. If you take Windows Phone, where we are differentiated on Windows Phone is on manageability. It’s security, it’s Continuum capability — that is, the ability to have a phone that can act like a PC. So we’re going to double-down on those points of differentiation.”

He cited the HP Elite x3 device as an example of a Windows 10 phone that follows this strategy.

“We will keep looking at different forms and different functions that we can bring to mobile devices, while also supporting our software across a variety of devices. So that’s the approach you will see us take. We are not stepping away from supporting our Windows Phone users. But at the same time we are recognizing that there are other platforms in mobile that have higher share, and we want to make sure that our software is available to them.”

Apple finally releases cure for touch disease

poison-appleThe fruity tax-dodging cargo cult also known as Apple has finally released a cure for “a problem” in iPhone 6s which forced users to upgrade to the new iPhone 7.

Just before Apple released its iPhone 7, iPhone‘s started to get a mysterious illness which bricked them.  Apple refused to acknowledge that the fault existed, presumably because it meant that people were simply upgrading to the new phone rather than requiring it to be fixed.

All that changed this week when the Chinese government started to complain about the fault and was threatening a recall. Suddenly Apple admitted the fault and offered to fix it.

Of course, the problem is still nothing to do with Apple. Jobs Mob claims that some iPhone 6s exhibit Multi-Touch issues after “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface,” causing damage to the device. Under its repair program, Apple will fix affected iPhone 6 Plus devices for a service price of $149.

Of course, if users don’t want to stump up $149 there is always the chance to upgrade to a nice, but identical iPhone 7. We are not sure if that move will satisfy the Chinese and personally we hope not.

iFixit thinks that the problem is caused due to the wonders of Apple’s design. For some reason Jobs’ Mob has started soldering the touch screen controller to the phone’s logic board making repairs difficult.

Third-party repair outlets speculated that the issue could be linked to the same structural design flaw that caused the major “Bendgate” controversy. Of course Apple denies that there ever was a structural flaw.

Three was hacked

maxresdefaultOne of Blighty’s biggest mobile phone companies, Three, has been hacked and its customer upgrade database may have been nicked.

The cyber security breach could put the private information of two thirds of Three’s nine million customers at risk.

A spokesthree said that the upgrade system does not include any customer payment, card information or bank account information.

However, the company said that is not the only bad thing that has been happening to the outfit. For the last month, it has been hit by a wave of attempted handset fraud.

“To date, we have confirmed approximately 400 high-value handsets have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through the upgrade activity,” Carter said.

“This has been visible through higher levels of burglaries of retail stores and attempts to unlawfully intercept upgrade devices.”

At least the hackers appear have been identified. Three men have been arrested in connection with the breach at Three, the BBC said this morning.

The National Crime Agency arrested a man from Kent and two men from Manchester on Wednesday, the Beeb said. All three have been bailed pending further enquiries