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THE Commonwealth Bank will take its first step in merging the world of mobile phone and newspaper advertising today when it launches one of the world’s first interactive augmented reality campaigns.
The ad, which runs in News Limited’s free commuter paper MX in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne this afternoon, will allow iPhone owners to download an application that will turn a full-page Commonwealth Bank ad into a fully interactive 3D world on their phones.
And the bank plans to make this the first of a number of press ads using the application to draw consumers in and educate them about its online and mobile phone services.
The campaign, which also ran in News Limited’s Sunday newspapers (sister publications to The Australian), is aimed at driving awareness of how the bank’s award-winning real estate application works.
Consumers who see the ad will be prompted to download a free 3D application from iTunes.
Once running, pointing the camera of the phone at the ad will reveal an entire neighbourhood, complete with moving people and cars and businesses, which can be explored by moving the phone and pressing interactive buttons on the phone screen.
Paul Kouppas, chief technology officer at digital agency Explore Engage, said that the company had developed the app in a similar manner to developing a video game.
“It is obviously a fine balance between entertainment and business,” he said. “But we wanted to make sure that it was simple to use.”
Last week, the bank’s real estate application, which allows people to look at the sales history of a property, view inside homes for sale and get estimates on the value of a home using GPS co-ordinates and the internet, won the “best of show prize” at
the Australian Interactive
Media and Internet Association awards.
The bank hopes that while many apps are used once and then discarded, the 3D app will become a foundation for future interactive press ads to demonstrate its products.
“We are constantly looking for ways to better engage with our customers and ensure they have a positive experience with our brand,” general manager of consumer marketing Mark Murray said.
“The augmented reality press advertisement is a fun and interactive way to communicate the benefits of the app to the customer, and this is something we’ll be looking to do more of in the future.”
Google is reportedly planning to test a mobile payment system based on NFC (near field communication) technology in shops in New York and San Francisco within the next four months.
People familiar with Google’s plans have told Bloomberg that Google will be installing thousands of NFC enabled cash register systems at partner locations. The new technology would work like the Oyster card system used on London Transport, except cutomers would place a mobile device on the reader instead.
The special cash registers have been built by VeriFone Systems and have been designed to accept mobile payments from mobile phones that are equipped with NFC chips. Google is hoping to a get a head start in the mobile payment market by bringing its own payment services to the market before any one else.
Google’s service will compete with an upcoming mobile payment system being developed in a partnership between Ebay’s PayPal and ISIS. The system is backed by wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless with the payments being handled by Discover Financial Services. The service will be trialled this year.
Google’s NFC service, or any other mobile payments service for that matter, will be counting on mobile phone and smartphone makers to include NFC technology on their devices.
Samsung’s new Nexus S smartphone is one of the few devices that comes with this technology but Nokia and Research in Motion have both confirmed that they will launching NFC enabled devices soon.
By Daniela Altimari on March 14, 2011 11:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (33)
The legislature’s Judiciary Committee is looking at strengthening the penalties for driving while using a mobile phone or electronic device, especially for repeat offenders.
The committee will hold a public hearing Friday on two bills designed to add teeth to a 2005 law banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. It’s the second time in two years that lawmakers have sought to tighten the rules on cell phone use while driving. Last year, legislators passed a bill eliminating a one-time forgiveness policy for violators, provided they agreed to buy a hands-free device. Former Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the measure into law.
One of the bills under consideration this year calls for an immediate, 24-hour suspension of the motor vehicle operator’s license of anyone issued a summons for two or more incidents of driving while talking, texting, or checking an email.
It would also sharply raise the fines for repeat offenders: Instead of $150 for the second violation and $200 for third and subsequent ones, the new penalty would be not more than $500 or three months in prison or both, for the second and subsequent offenses.
Another bill also under consideration would empower police officers to seize the phone or electronic device that was used by the driver and impound it for 48 hours.
The Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a public hearing on both measures on Friday at 10 a.m.
A MAN, 30, of Budgewoi, is believed to be the first person charged in NSW with dangerous driving occasioning death as a result of using his mobile phone.
Jason Noel Rippard was driving on the Pacific Highway at Crangan Bay on December 9 when he allegedly left the road after 6am and hit cyclist Graham Denton, 52, of Caves Beach.
The impact threw the cyclist several metres on to the road, killing him instantly.
Mr Rippard allegedly failed a roadside breath test and was taken to The Entrance police station for a breath analysis.
He was later charged with dangerous driving causing death, low range drink-driving and being unlicensed.
In Wyong Local Court on Wednesday Mr Rippard’s solicitor Kevin Pearce said that “if there was ever an example of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving this is it”.
The matter has been adjourned until April 13. Bail was continued.
In 2006 Marcus Johnstone, of Victoria, became the second person in the state to be charged with culpable and negligent driving for being distracted by a mobile phone.
Johnstone, who was 22 at the time of the 2004 accident, was deleting a text message when his car hit a power pole and killed two teenage girls.
Scottish police forces are stepping up attempts to catch motorists using their mobile phone while driving.
A day of action campaign, in conjunction with The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos), began just after midnight and will continue throughout the day.
Increased patrols will be on the look-out for motorists breaking the law and will be active in enforcing legislation in order to “ensure that the message gets through to motorists”.
One of the forces taking part, Strathclyde Police, caught 118 motorists using mobile phones during last year’s day of action on June 21.
Chief Inspector Stewart Carle, area commander of Strathclyde Police’s road policing department, said: “Statistics from last year show that motorists continue to disregard the law despite increased publicity alerting the public to the dangers and consequences of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
“You are four times more likely to crash if you use your phone whilst driving, whether using hand-held or hands-free.
“Using a mobile phone whilst driving has been found to be just as dangerous as drink-driving.
“I urge drivers not to compromise their own safety or the safety of other road users by being distracted by their phone – let the answering service take the call whilst full attention is given to the road ahead.”
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2011, All Rights Reserved.
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A year ago, Matt Kush would lug around two thick binders of church music to find the right piece.
Now, the music and worship director at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township just sets an iPad on his piano stand and reads off the screen using an app — a software program for mobile phones and devices.
“I love it,” said Kush, 26, of Rochester. “It’s so much easier to use,” and it contains his entire music library.
From reciting Catholic prayers to reading the Torah to finding halal restaurants, religious folks are increasingly using apps to connect with God.
This month, Zondervan, a Christian publisher in Grand Rapids, is offering 1 million free downloads of a popular Bible translation. Also this month, a company released a Catholic confessions app, touching off a debate about the intersection of technology and religion.
Some worry that too many gadgets and programs can substitute for real connection with people and with God. But many religious leaders and worshipers are increasingly attracted to the hundreds of religious apps available.
Apps have religious following
In Farmington Hills, a rabbi plans to use an app to find kosher food for his family on an upcoming trip to Disney World.
In Warren, a devout woman reads Catholic prayers and texts daily through the iBreviary app.
And in Dearborn, a Muslim man uses apps to alert him when it is time to pray.
Across the region, religious metro Detroiters are turning to apps on their mobile devices to deepen their faith. Some caution against relying too much on such technology, concerned that it weakens one’s ties to the real world and his or her religion. But many people say apps are convenient tools that make it easier to understand and connect with God. They see the apps as a way to evangelize their faith with attention-grabbing gadgets that draw in the curious.
“It can attract someone who otherwise would not have looked,” said Rev. John Riccardo, a tech-savvy Catholic priest who is pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth. He uses several of the 10 religious apps on his Apple iPhone daily. “It’s a way for the Holy Spirit to grab a person and draw them closer to God.”
Using mobile phones ‘does not increase the risk of cancer’
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 12:57 AM on 23rd February 2011
No risk: Scientists found no change on the rate of brain cancer – despite 70million phones being in use in the UK
Using a mobile phone does not increase the risk of getting brain cancer, claim British scientists.
There has been virtually no change in rates of the disease – despite around 70 million mobile phones being used in the UK.
A study by scientists at the University of Manchester looked at data from the Office of National Statistics on rates of newly diagnosed brain cancers in England between 1998 and 2007.
It found no statistically significant change in the incidence of brain cancers in men or women during the nine-year period.
The study, published in the journal Bioelectromagnetics, suggests radio frequency exposure from mobile phone use has not led to a ‘noticeable increase’ in the risk of developing brain cancers.
Lead researcher Dr Frank de Vocht, an expert in occupational and environmental health in the University of Manchester’s School of Community-Based Medicine, said it was ‘unlikely we are at the forefront of a cancer epidemic’.
He said ‘Mobile phone use in the United Kingdom and other countries has risen steeply since the early 1990s when the first digital mobile phones were introduced.
‘There is an ongoing controversy about whether radio frequency exposure from mobile phones increases the risk of brain cancer.
‘Our findings indicate that a causal link between mobile phone use and cancer is unlikely because there is no evidence of any significant increase in the disease since their introduction and rapid proliferation.’
The study says there is no ‘plausible biological mechanism’ for radio waves to directly damage genes, resulting in cells becoming cancerous.
If they are related to cancer, they are more likely to promote growth in an existing brain tumour.
The researchers said they would expect an increase in the number of diagnosed cases of brain cancer to appear within five to 10 years of the introduction of mobile phones and for this to continue as mobile use became more widespread.
The time period studied, between 1998 and 2007, would relate to exposure from 1990 to 2002 when mobile phone use in the UK increased from zero to 65 per cent of households.
The team, which included researchers from the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and Drexel University, Philadelphia, found a small increase in the incidence of cancers in the temporal lobe of 0.6 cases per 100,000 people or 31 extra cases per year in a population of 52 million.
Brain cancers of the parietal lobe, cerebrum and cerebellum in men actually fell slightly between 1998 and 2007.
‘Our research suggests that the increased and widespread use of mobile phones, which in some studies was associated to increased brain cancer risk, has not led to a noticeable increase in the incidence of brain cancer in England between 1998 and 2007′ said Dr de Vocht.
‘It is very unlikely that we are at the forefront of a brain cancer epidemic related to mobile phones, as some have suggested, although we did observe a small increased rate of brain cancers in the temporal lobe.
‘However, to put this into perspective, if this specific rise in tumour incidence was caused by mobile phone use, it would contribute to less than one additional case per 100,000 population in a decade.
‘We cannot exclude the possibility that there are people who are susceptible to radio-frequency exposure or that some rare brain cancers are associated with it but we interpret our data as not indicating a pressing need to implement public health measures to reduce radio-frequency exposure from mobile phones.’
These compound security threats are designed to extract money from mobile users, with a secondary effect of damaging the reputation of mobile networks, the report found.
“2010 is the point at which the mobile threat has taken a step change in terms of the level of complexity and severity for cellular operators….We are seeing the emergence of what we term the ‘compound threat’, which takes advantage of multiple execution paths within an operator’s network”, Gareth Maclachlan, chief operating officer of AdaptiveMobile, told Infosecurity.
According to report, which is based on analysis of AdaptiveMobile customer’s network traffic, one of the most dangerous compound threats to emerge to date involves monitoring mobile users’ access to banking sites and harvesting log-in details through a combination of routes. The method uses existing PC malware that has been redesigned to record or forward conversations on smartphones.
One version of this malware is Zeus Mitmo, which combines a Zeus infection of the PC with a infection on the mobile phone installed through a bogus SMS, supposedly from the bank.
There are also 411-type spam attacks that are on the rise globally where users receive an SMS prompting a reply in response. In the most coordinated of such attacks, users also receive a matching email from criminals further validating the scam, the report explained.
Maclachlan explained that the SMS attacks have become much easier as the availability of unlimited messaging for mobile users has expanded. “It becomes very cheap to run these sorts of attacks.”
Another compound threat noted in the report is a device that sends email spam over mobile networks. The spam results in mobile devices becoming infected with malware and impacts the reputation of the mobile operator’s network.
Yet another mobile threat seeks to trick the subscriber into dialing a premium rate number. This threat uses malware, SMS and voice calling to make money from the attacks.
“What this means for cellular operators is that it is important for them to focus on putting trust into their network, recognizing that if subscribers don’t trust the charges that are made against their bills or the applications they are downloading, mobile operators are going to become no more than a bit pipe….Whereas, if they take advantage of their relationship with the subscriber, they have an opportunity to act as a guarantor within the mobile network, so that subscribers know that the sites they are accessing and the applications they are downloading are legitimate and that they are protected from exploitation of their privacy or credit”, Maclachlan said.
Mobile operators can turn the mobile security threats into a revenue source by serving as a network guarantor, he added.
Palmer Township employees prohibited from using cell phones while driving Published: Monday, February 07, 2011, 8:56 PM Updated: Monday, February 07, 2011, 9:44 PM By Colin McEvoy | The Express-Times
Follow Share Email Print Express-Times File Photo | DAN CLERICOA Palmer Township public works vehicle in December 2010. Under a new township policy, employees will not be permitted to use cell phones while driving equipment like this.Palmer Township employees will no longer be permitted to use mobile phones while operating township vehicles.
In a 4-0 vote tonight, supervisors approved a policy that will prohibit employees from using cell phones or wireless devices for voice, text or e-mail communication while driving during the course of their job.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory,” said township Manager Bob Anckaitis. “We probably should have passed this policy five years ago.”
The policy was brought forward by township police Chief Bruce Fretz, who said the township’s safety committee had been discussing it for about a year.
Fretz said the measure is meant to combat distracted driving, which he said is often the source of vehicular problems in the township.
“You can tell when you’re driving behind somebody on their phone just from the way they are driving,” he said. “It’s a major problem in our area.”
The policy makes exceptions for police radios that are hard-wired into the motor, as well as hands-free devices with single touch activation that do not require drivers to constantly touch or hold the device.
But beyond that, the policy will be enforced even for employees who often use cell phones as part of their jobs, including public works employees, road department workers, police officers and firefighters.
“They will have to pull over to the side of the road,” Anckaitis said.
Supervisor Chairman David Colver stressed that the policy only applies to township employees, not all residents.
It is only applicable when the employee is operating a township vehicle, not during their time outside of work, he said.
Some Pennsylvania cities, including Bethlehem and Allentown, have enacted cell phone bans for all motorists. Easton City Council considered a citywide ban, but authorities there expressed concerns it would not be enforceable.
Fretz said a cell phone ban for township residents has not been considered and would be even harder to enforce in a municipality like Palmer Township than it would for cities like Easton or Bethlehem.
“Something like that really has to be done at the state level,” he said. “And it’s something the state should take a serious look at.”
The new township policy does not include specific disciplinary measures if a township employee is in violation.
Anckaitis said it will be handled on a case by case basis.
“I’m not saying it’s not going to happen,” he said to the supervisors. “You’re going to call me and say, ‘Hey, I saw so-and-so on their phone,’ and when it happens we’ll take care of it.”
The policy also includes exceptions for emergency 911 calls, as well as any calls made from an idling car in a parking lane or space outside the regular movement of traffic.
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Home > Cell Phone News > Using Your Phone to Participate in Movies Using Your Phone to Participate in Movies
By Kat Asharya | Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:01 pm
Top News “Triple-Screen” Phone Challenges Conventional Design Waitress Sues for Threatening Facebook Comments What’s Stronger Than Gorilla Glass? “Dragon” Glass T-Mobile Considers Selling Towers T-Mobile Fights Distracted Driving More News > U.K.-based art collective Blast Theory, which designed the location-based app for the movie, “A Machine to See With,” said players register online and enter their mobile phone number to receive directions to a designated street corner. When they arrive, their phones will ring, giving them messages that lead them — as protagonists — through the city and into a heist, where they must deal with a bank robbery and its aftermath.
Along the way, they must deal with other players, watch out for traps and make ethical decisions that help determine the course of the experience.
“The work mixes thriller cliches with the reality of the urban environment and explores the tyranny of choice and the financial crisis,” the company said in a statement. “A Machine to See With” will run throughout the course of the festival, slated for January 20 through 30 and taking place in Park City, Utah.
Blast Theory’s work is part of a larger “New Frontiers” program at Sundance, which spotlights cutting-edge intersection of film and mobile technologies to create art and entertainment. New Frontiers also features “Pandemic 1.0,” another entertainment experience that blends film and smartphones to immerse players in a story about a mysterious virus that begins to affect the adults in a small rural town in a quest for survival.
“As filmmaking rapidly evolves through the creative marriage of technology and storytelling, New Frontiers opens a window into the future,” said Robert Redford, founder and president of the Sundance Institute, which organizes the film festval. “It’s a thrill for me to provide these unique artists with a new platform, a departure from their traditional art venues, and to watch Festival audiences challenge their preconceived notions about visual expression.”
Explorations of technology and cinematic entertainment have emerged as a priority for film festivals as technologies like geolocation services and multimedia smartphones rise in usage, expanding the possibilities of entertainment.
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“Triple-Screen” Phone Challenges Conventional Design Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:35 pm
An innovative “triple-screen” clamshell design is challenging the notions of how a smartphone should look and act, taking handsets beyond the traditional rectangular design.
Waitress Sues for Threatening Facebook Comments Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:24 pm
A former waitress in Pittsburgh is suing a past employer for allegedly making derogatory comments about her on Facebook.
What’s Stronger Than Gorilla Glass? “Dragon” Glass Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:04 pm
Asahi, Japan’s largest glass maker, today unveiled a new ultra-tough, scratch-resistant glass cover for mobile devices, in a bid to steal market share from competitors as sales of smartphones and tablets rocket.
More Children Playing “Angry Birds” Than Learning to Tie Shoes Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:43 pm
Two out of ten two-to-five-year-olds can play with a smartphone, while only one in ten can tie his or her shoelaces without help, according to a recent survey, raising concern children may be losing out on real-life practical skills in favor of a techno-driven skillset.
Unplugging to Reconnect With Families Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:11 am
Therapists have begun prescribing “tech cleansing,” or a complete disconnect from gadgets and the Internet, to build family bonding, as more people discover that too much time spent in a virtual world can be isolating and distracting.
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