BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — What if you could swipe your credit card and then — moments later — have the transaction details appear on your phone. Better still, what if all of your payments could be organized in a beautiful app, an app which could actually make managing your money fun. This service now exists for your iPhone, and it’s called Boku.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Scalado, most recently seen removing people from photos like a cold-war-era dictatorship, today showed me some of its other fancy photo-processing apps. Scattered across Android, Windows Phone and Symbian, but mostly Android, there is an embarrassment of cleverness in fast photo processing.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — If you’re looking for cans on the high-end, you can always count on Sennheiser. Their latest headphones, though, are particular nice. Don’t expect just warmed over tech: their new MM 450-X and 55-X Bluetooth headphones can pipe in some of the clearest tunes you’ll hear without a wire.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Speck, the prolific and (very friendly) gadget case maker, had something very special on show at the Mobile World Congress Mobile Focus even last night: An iPad 3 case, which you see above, now liberated and comfortable in the Cult of Mac Barcelona HQ. But all is not as it seems. It turns out the case isn’t quite as mysterious as you might think.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — As ever, NTT DoCoMo has some weird new tech to show off at the Mobile World Congress. This year, it’s a cellphone battery that charges fully in just ten minutes. and if you’re really in a hurry, you can get enough juice to last a couple of hours in just a minute.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Prowling the showfloor for scoops on the second day of Mobile World Congress, we happened to stop by the Windows Phone 7 booth, where we discovered that just hours before, an original first-generation iPhone beat a top-of-the-line Windows Phone in one of Microsoft’s very own challenges. Oh, delicious hubris!
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Last night I was treated to a security demonstration. Cryptography Research director Pankaj Rohatgi pointed a cheap, standard TV antenna at an iPod Touch several feet away, running standard RSA encryption operations.
On the screen of his oscilloscope was a sound-wave generated by his custom software showing distinct troughs at semi-regular intervals. These troughs, and their accompanying flattish peaks, represented the ones and zeroes of the private keys used in every secure communication we make today, sucked right from the iPod. With no further cracking required, all of your private operations can be read as if in plain text.
How is this done? From the electronic noise generated by every microchip as it goes about its processing duties.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — There’s a curious flipside to Microsoft’s iron-grip on the minimum specs for Windows 7 phones: They’re pretty much all alike. This is clearly to Microsoft’s advantage — who cares what brand is on the box as longs as it runs Windows? But it makes it hard to write much about new handsets unless they have great style (Nokia) or, say, a fancy camera. And so there is almost nothing to say about the ZTE Orbit.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Although Cupertino currently uses their own custom-baked ARM chips inside the iPhone and iPad, Intel’s gunning for their business. Caught with their pants down in the mobile market, Intel thinks they have finally gotten their silicon caught up to ARM when it comes to power management.
Their new mobile platform is called Medfield, and while it’s only for Android now, you should take Intel’s entry into the mobile market seriously: this could very well be the first-generation of the chip that won’t just power future iPhones and iPads, but run OS X on them as well. We got a hands-on.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Samsung seems to be obsessed with adding easy-to-break, easy-to-lose accessories to its “phones” and tablets. The two Notes come with tiny, disappearing styluses, and this monstrosity — the five-inch Wi-Fi-only Galaxy S — has an antenna. Yes, heft this slab in your palm and you’ll be whisked back to the early 1990s, when phones were the size of bricks, and you pulled the antenna out to make and receive calls.