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John C. Tanner RSS
September 12, 2014

For my money, the biggest story from Apple this week wasn’t the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch or even Apple Pay – it was the new U2 album Songs Of Innocence dropping in every iCloud account on the planet.

Okay, I’m kidding. It's probably Apple Pay. But that ground has been covered well enough by Mr Tony Poulos that I’m going to let that one sit for now.

The reason I’m interested in the U2 iCloud angle is because the reaction to it is providing a lot of useful real-time information for cloud service providers everywhere who might be considering a business model that involves...

September 04, 2014

Mobile is often touted as a tool for socioeconomic development in developing markets, especially outside of the urban centers. Even something as simple as SMS can be a valuable tool for farmers seeking information on market prices, weather forecasts, etc.

There’s one key barrier: illiteracy. SMS-based services aren’t much help if you can’t read them, even if phones support the local language (which they sometimes don’t). And while literacy rates are overall going up, 774 million adults worldwide (approximately 12% of the global population) are still functionally illiterate,...

August 21, 2014

ITEM: NTT DoCoMo and Huawei Technologies say they have successfully demonstrated that it’s possible to deploy LTE over the unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum band.

DoCoMo Beijing Communications Laboratories and Huawei have been experimenting with so-called Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) – a technology that allows cellcos to use unlicensed spectrum bands for additional LTE capacity – since February this year. On Thursday, DoCoMo announced that indoor tests have showed that LAA can work in the 5 GHz band, “leading to cell capacity of approximately 1.6 times greater than that of IEEE 802.11n...

August 19, 2014

ITEM: This week marks the 20th anniversary of the smartphone.

Which may surprise those of you who thought the iPhone was the first smartphone. Or possibly the Amtek T700 (remember ultra-mobile PCs?). Or possibly one of Nokia’s N Series phones (or, as Nokia described them at the time, “mobile personal computers”).

No. As far as London's Science Museum is concerned, it’s the IBM Simon Personal Communicator.

The Simon first appeared as a prototype in 1992, but didn’t become commercially available until August 16, 1994. If few people here in Asia-Pac remember it, that’s...

August 01, 2014

ITEM: Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s “Internet dialtone” is now online in Zambia via a new app released by Internet.org for subscribers of Bharti subsidiary Airtel.

The Internet.org app – which is designed for both smartphones and feature phones with web browsers – is essentially a portal that provides free access to a number of web services. Naturally that includes Facebook and Facebook Messenger (as well as Airtel’s mobile site), but it also includes Google Search, Wikipedia, AccuWeather, and sites for information ranging from health and hygiene (via UNICEF) and jobs to...

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