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Mobile Industry News

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Your Phone Does Your Homework?

It was only a matter of time.

OCR technology has been around for a very long time in Internet terms. As digital camera technology has improved, and progress on new kinds of camera software has accelerated, the convergence of these two capabilities has now produced a phone that can read. More specifically, it has produced a phone that can turn arbitrary text and equations into data, so my college friends like Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez will be able to do everything on their phones…literally.

Of course, once that occurs, it is possible to perform the calculations represented by those equations using software in the phone. The result is a phone that can literally do your math homework.

While some might complain this is the end of math, students have been using mechanical or electronic tools to perform rote calculation for millennia. The difference here is a phone that can convert paper equations into data technically doesn’t even require a mechanism.

An OCR phone with appropriate software could make a spectacularly useful teaching tool, and subjects are not just limited to math equations. Think of the possibility of using any word in any book as the equivalent of a QR code! Students wouldn’t just be carrying a fancy calculator around with them. They would be carrying the annotations for every written word as well.

Technology blogs are already predicting an invention like PhotoMath will be the end of academic mathematics as we know it. That remains to be seen. If it is, it would probably be a good idea if someone invented a companion app that restores its academic value.

Mobile phones and the technology they are built on weren’t invented by students who did their math homework with an app.

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Marysville School Shooter Gathered Victims Through Text Message

Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooter Jaylen Fryberg told the five victims to meet him at a lunch table through text message before he killed two victims and critically injured three more, according to Snohomish County Sherriff Ty Trenary. After opening fire at the lunch table, Fryberg fatally turned the gun on himself. One student, fourteen-year-old Zoe Galasso, died at the scene. Another student, fourteen-year-old Gina Soriano, died Sunday night at Providence Regional Medical Center. Three other victims, all students, are alive but in critical condition from gunshot injuries.

Authorities say the investigation could take months as they sort through phone and social media records to decipher the events leading up to the shooting. According to police, the gun used by Fryberg was legally registered to a family member, though how he got ahold of it is unclear. The investigation is still ongoing to determine Fryberg’s motive. Before the shooting, he was a well-liked and popular student. His actions shocked his classmates and entire community.

One of the more disturbing ways that technology, and dependence on smart phones is changing people’s lives.  Something Christian Broda is continuously wary of on his Twitter.

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Major Retailers Might Kill Apple Pay Before It Can Get Started

Apple Pay was one of the coolest things that Apple announced during their last major press event. However, the idea might be killed before it’s able to gain proper traction. Apparently, major retailers like CVS, Rite Aid, and even Walmart might be refusing to adopt NFC payments which is what Apple Pay requires.

The service is unique enough, as it enables users to pay for everything, just using their phones. You simply place your finger on the fingerprint sensor, and wave your phone in front of the credit card reader…and boom, instant transaction completion.

Why these major stores would care how you go about paying them I’ll never understand. But this could be a major blow to new technology that was really looking promising. Imagine a world where you didn’t even need a wallet, because your FreedomPop phone can even be used to pay for items at the grocery store.

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Phone Hackers Stealing Billions From Dialing Numbers

An old money making scam has been resurrected in the digital age that is costing companies billions of dollars collectively per year. These days phone lines can be run over the internet because it allows for clearer connections during phone calls. Like anything else on the internet, these phone lines are vulnerable to hackers.

Hackers break into these phone systems and dial multiple phones to premium call lines that the hacker has rented. Typically this happens over the weekend when no one is around to notice these outgoing calls. The call lines can charge an average of $1 per minute to be connected. A certain percentage of that money is kicked back to whoever is renting out the line, in this case the hacker. These lines have “legitimate” purposes such as over the phone psychics or phone sex lines, which is why they exist. But they can be rented out to anyone.

The unfortunate problem is that these phone attacks are targeting smaller business and charging them over $100,000 in one go. Big corporations have anti-fraud protection with the telephone services they use. This will detect most of the fraudulent calls before they rack up too much and disconnect them. Smaller companies use cheaper phone providers like FreedomPop who don’t offer the same fraud protection, so they are vulnerable to the scam.

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4 Paid Apps That Are Free For Now

Another week, another slew of great apps that are now free for a limited time. Snap these up now guys, before you end up kicking yourself for missing them. I know there are a couple that Marnie Bennett will be looking to download.

-Cycloramic

Awesome tech allows this to take some pretty amazing panoramic photos. You can take the photos more quickly, but also you can take hands free panoramic images. By placing the phone on a flat, level surface, utilizing the phones vibrate function, Cycloramic can take a panoramic image totally hands free.

-Sol Weather

Provides the most up to date weather information, and what the forecast looks like for the rest of your day, and week. Allowing you to better plan activities, or make sure you take an umbrella with you to work that day.

-Recents

Aggregates news from all of your social apps into one easy to sift through feed. Allowing you to get all of the news that matters to you, in a much more streamlined fashion. That way you don’t have to check Twitter, Facebook, and Google + just to get some information.

-Scanner Pro

The perfect scanner app for saving documents, business cards, and everything in between. This is perfect for people that want to be able to keep written, or physical documents with them on their phone. Especially ideal for carrying old information, birth certificates, and even works of art.

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North Carolina Police Have Been Violating Your Cell Phone Privacy For Years

Worried about the NSA tapping your phone? Don’t worry, looks like the local North Carolina PD has already been on the case. A local police department has been privately gathering data collected from cell phones in the area, utilizing military grade surveillance equipment.

The technology is only supposed to be used for monitoring criminal suspects, but the local PD have been using it to monitor all citizens in the surrounding area. The Charlotte-Mecklenberg police department has been utilizing faux cell phone towers, that are capable of collecting all of the data stored on cell phones, laptops, and other electronics within range.

That police department also serves more than one million residents, so their reach is disturbingly far. According to the report published in the Observer, the surveillance system has been in use for more than 8 years, and has been targeting private citizens that have never committed a crime.

But local legal courts support the invasion of privacy. Saying that it’s a necessary tool when when trying to investigate crimes.

…So, what they’re telling us is your FreedomPop browsing history is subject to police scrutiny, even if you’re a private citizen that’s never committed a crime in your life.

Right to privacy is a thing of the past.