NTT Docomo on Monday announced its Japan Welcome SIM TM series will introduce Plan 0 to allow overseas visitors in Japan to access the Internet for free via the Docomo mobile network, from Tuesday. The free service will initially be available in Hokkaido and Niigata prefectures, after which other areas will be added sequentially.

The cards, aptly named Prepaid SIM for Japan, can be purchased along with smartphones, mobile routers and smartphone accessories at the vending machines, the Tokyo-based telecommunications firm said.

The airport will have two such machines, for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, with only credit cards accepted for added ease.

NTT Communications said the SIM cards are priced at ¥3,450 for one week and ¥4,950 for two weeks. Both types offer a maximum download speed of 150 megabytes per second and 50 Mbps as an upload speed. If the data amount exceeds 100 MB a day, the network speed will slow down.

The problem in a predominantly pre-paid phone connection market like India is that caller identities are often a mystery. So people end up taking a lot of unwanted calls and spam. That’s why an app like TrueCaller, developed in Sweden, is more popular in India than in the West.

Now there’s a new app called Holaa!, just launched today, which claims to help smartphone users manage their calls better. It’s a product of Nimbuzz, which shifted its base from the Netherlands to India in 2012 to serve a growing Indian user base for voice over IP (VoIP), messaging, and mobile advertising services.

Of particular concern are newer Android gadgets, specifically those running Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" or later. That version of the Google OS introduced a feature called Preferred Network Offload (PNO), which has a habit of broadcasting the names of the last 15 Wi-Fi networks a device has joined, even when the screen is off.

The idea is to conserve battery by allowing a phone to connect to known Wi-Fi networks even while in sleep mode, since Wi-Fi uses less power than the mobile data radio. The problem, the EFF says, is that your wireless network history can give a worryingly accurate and thorough picture of your movements.

App.js is a lightweight JavaScript UI library for creating mobile webapps that behave like native apps, sacrificing neither performance nor polish.

The NSA doesn't just have the technical capabilities to collect location-based data in bulk. A 24-page NSA white paper shows that the agency has a powerful suite of algorithms, or data sorting tools, that allow it to learn a great deal about how people live their lives.

The cell radio is one of the biggest battery drains on a phone. Every time you send data, no matter how small, the radio is powered on for up for 20-30 seconds. Every decision you make should be based on minimizing the number of times the radio powers up. Battery life can be dramatically improved by changing the way your apps handle data transfers. Users want their data now, the trick is balancing user experience with transferring data and minimizing power usage. A balance is achieved by apps carefully bundling all repeating and intermittent transfers together and then aggressively prefetching the intermittent transfers.

Forty-four per cent of those questioned said they didn't believe the phone would interfere with the plane's instruments, but — perhaps more worryingly — 27 per cent said they couldn't cope without a switched-on phone and nine per cent said they couldn't turn off their phone as being uncontactable was unacceptable (we're assuming they weren't the brightest in the sample). § There's much debate about whether phones really can interfere with instrumentation, with the general feeling that the risk isn't worth taking and that as they generally won't work anyway it's not a big deal to ask flyers to turn them off. Some planes do have in-cabin coverage, but that only gets switched on above 10km to avoid interfering with ground networks.

The Bluebox Security research team – Bluebox Labs – recently discovered a vulnerability in Android’s security model that allows a hacker to modify APK code without breaking an application’s cryptographic signature, to turn any legitimate application into a malicious Trojan, completely unnoticed by the app store, the phone, or the end user. The implications are huge! This vulnerability, around at least since the release of Android 1.6 (codename: “Donut” ), could affect any Android phone released in the last 4 years – or nearly 900 million devices– and depending on the type of application, a hacker can exploit the vulnerability for anything from data theft to creation of a mobile botnet.

We study fifteen months of human mobility data for one and a half million individuals and find that human mobility traces are highly unique. In fact, in a dataset where the location of an individual is specified hourly, and with a spatial resolution equal to that given by the carrier's antennas, four spatio-temporal points are enough to uniquely identify 95% of the individuals. We coarsen the data spatially and temporally to find a formula for the uniqueness of human mobility traces given their resolution and the available outside information. This formula shows that the uniqueness of mobility traces decays approximately as the 1/10 power of their resolution. Hence, even coarse datasets provide little anonymity. These findings represent fundamental constraints to an individual's privacy and have important implications for the design of frameworks and institutions dedicated to protect the privacy of individuals.

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