Stories by Nick Spence

Intego warns Mac users of OSX/OpinionSpy Spyware threat

Mac software security specialists Intego has warned Mac users of a potential new threat. Intego claims to have discovered a spyware application that is installed by a number of freely distributed Mac applications and screen savers found online, without specifying the details.

London to get full wi-fi coverage by 2012 Olympics

London mayor Boris Johnson has promised that "every lampost and every bus stop will one day very soon, and before the 2012 Olympics, be wi-fi enabled". Speaking at a Google Zeitgeist event held in Hertfordshire recently, Johnson added that London could soon be the technology capital of the world. "Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the internet, was born in London, so we claim paternity of the internet," the Mayor said. "London is the home of technological innovation. We in City Hall are doing our best to keep up, and one of our most important projects is called wi-fi London."

Apple sued over alleged patent infringement

US based media company MonkeyMedia is to sue Apple over alleged patent infringement. In a a case filed last week in the Western District of Texas in Austin, MonkeyMedia claims Apple is violating three of its "seamless contraction" patents — 938, '052 and '730 — including certain Apple document summarisation, RSS readers and video player user interfaces. Software produced by Apple and highlighted by the complaint for infringement include Safari, DVD Player and Front Row.

Apple patent points to keyless car, cashless iPhone app

The next generation of Apple's iPhone could allow users to lock and open cars according to a new patent filed by the company.
Dubbed iKey by Mac enthusiast sites, users would need only to enter a key code via the iPhone to open car doors. Cars would need to be fitted with electronic pads reports claim, and the same technology, known as Near Field Communication, could be used to secure properties.
The Apple patent, filed with the US Patent Office reveals the following: "The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area."
Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney told UK newspaper The Telegraph over the weekend the patent has far reaching consequences for Apple.
"If true, it's a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card." "You'd be able to pay for buses and trains, as well as your morning coffee and groceries in a jiffy, just by laying your iPhone on a special pad, and the price is electronically deducted from your account.
"The trouble is that the technology hasn't gone completely mainstream. If Apple were to adopt the technology, they would likely set the standard, and that would drive widespread adoption as everyone scrambles to make their systems iPhone-friendly."

Apple rejects iPhone app that measures radiation levels

Apple has reportedly rejected an iPhone application that promises to minimise your exposure to mobile phone radiation.
Israeli company Tawkon invested a year and a half developing the application it hoped to sell on the iTunes App Store for between US$5-$10.
On Friday, The Washington Post quoted Tawkon co-founder Gil Friedlander after TechCrunch first reported the story: "Our message is moderate, we don't claim to try to stop users from using their phones. We just say to do so responsibly."
In rejecting the application, Friedlander was told by Apple the information about radiation levels provided by the application may be confusing for users despite an excellent interface.
"They are very clear about the fact that they make content decisions about what they want to post or not."
The Washington Post reports an Apple spokesman declined to comment about the issue.
According to the company, Tawkon's RRI patent pending technology alerts the user when radiation levels cross a predefined threshold and provides simple, non-intrusive suggestions to reduce exposure to radiation. The application leverages various smart-phones capabilities including the built-in Bluetooth, motion and proximity sensors, GPS and compass to determine the results.
The technology collects and analyses your phone's dynamic SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) levels, network coverage, location, environmental conditions and phone usage at any given moment to help determine those results.

Apple VP responds to App Store rejection rage

Steven Frank, Mac developer and co-founder of software company Panic, has become the second high profile industry observer to receive feedback from Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in less than a week.

Apple iPhone 4G patent surfaces?

Three new Apple patents applications unearthed this week suggest a range of new features that may be included in the next generation iPhone.

YouTube rising in UK

According to research from online measurer Hitwise, YouTube is set replace the BBC as most visited general entertainment site for British web surfers, if current trends continue.