Sunday, 8 April 2012

Security issues in new technologies

I have attended a lot of events/talks in the last month where people talked about Augmented Reality, Proximity Marketing, QR codes, etc. but nobody seems to talk about security. Its being taken for granted. For example MAC's have been said to be Virus proof and they probably are but other Apps may be infectable and in this case its the Java that has allowed a MAC botnet about 0.6 Million strong.

Some years back proximity marketing via Bluetooth was a big thing and we were lucky to be involved with couple of projects making it possible but then the Bluetooth virus came to light and people stopped leaving their Bluetooth on in public places. Doesnt look like Bluetooth based proximity marketing has gone very far since those days.

QR codes is a simple way to for advertisers redirect the end users to their websites but then recently I read that a rogue QR code can be used to redirect the end users to a site that can be used to hack their phones. The main thing pointed out is that 99% of the time QR codes are read by mobile phones and 99% of these phones are either iPhones or Android's, which can help narrow down the exploits.

There is a good chance that when there is mass adoption of these new technologies, Security is going to be a big issue. Not sure if enough is being done. If there are any pointers on security issues please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Project Glass: One day... By Google


I seem to like the Corning ones more that I blogged here.

** New Edits 05/04/12 09:40 **
From CNET:

Google's augmented reality glasses are real! Dubbed Project Glass, the long-rumoured lenses that show you heads-up information about the world around you have been confirmed by the company.
At the moment, Google's announcement is limited to a Google+ page
Here is a parody on above video from Tom Scott:

Monday, 2 April 2012

What is nano-SIM card

BBC reported that there is some dispute between Apple and Nokia/Rim for the next generation of SIM cards, 'nano-SIM'. You can read more about that here.

While looking for how the nano-SIM is different from other SIM cards I came across an interesting presentation from G&D. The above picture summarises the different types of SIM cards in use. The following is an extract from their whitepaper:


When the GSM network first appeared, mobile devices resembled bricks or even briefcases, and SIM cards were the size of credit cards. The subsequent miniaturization of the phones led to the standardization of smaller SIMs, the Plug-in SIM, and later the Mini-UICC also known as 3rd form factor (3FF). With the introduction of Apple’s iPad, the 3FF, or the Micro-SIM as it was then called, established itself widely in the market.

Nevertheless, the trend towards miniaturization of the SIM card is still not over. The latest form factor which is currently in discussion at ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is the 4th form factor (4FF) or Nano-SIM. Measuring 12.3 x 8.8 mm, the Nano-SIM is about 30 percent smaller than the Micro-SIM. Even the thickness (0.7 mm) of the card has been reduced by about 15 percent – a tremendous technical challenge.

The Nano-SIM offers device manufacturers the crucial advantage of freeing up extra space for other mobile phone Nano-SIM The smallest SIM form factor on the market components such as additional memory or larger batteries. Popular smart phones in particular have to strike a balance between the need for components that are more powerful but bulkier and a slim design. The reduced volume of the 4FF gives manufacturers the opportunity to produce devices that are thinner and more appealing.


In case you were wandering the differences that are causing the disagreements, here are the differences between the formats:



Saturday, 31 March 2012

Joyn = SMS v2.0?


'Joyn' is the brand name for the RCS services that have been around in the name for a long while. Yesterday someone sent this link for the Fierce Wireless article that had the link to the above Vodafone video.

In theory this sounds great but in practice it may be a bit difficult for operators to sell. One of the selling point for this service is that it is going to be part of the standards so independent of the platform. Android and iOS are the two most popular platforms and more and more users are adopting them. The OTT apps are now available on both these platforms, meaning that it will have mass market adoption. If some other platforms have to succeed then they have to make these most popular apps available on their platform or they will not survive. Microsoft has been rumoured to have paid Rovio to develop the first Angry Birds for the WP platform and they may have to do the same again since the new Angry Birds space is not available on the Windows mobile platform.

In any case, Joyn may be good and it can provide enhanced services but I have a feeling that it may be a bit too little and too late to succeed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Platinum Band: Sub 1GHz Frequency Band


Was listening to the Softbank webcast earlier about why they are so happy on receiving the 900MHz spectrum. The extract from slidepack summarises the advantages on this 'Platinum Band'

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday, 26 March 2012

3GPP LTE Evolved Packet System & Application to Femtos

A video of the actual presentation is embedded below. Its quite long (94 minutes)



The presentation is available to download in PDF format from here.