Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo March 02, 2013

This week was Mobile World Congress (MWC) week in Barcelona, Spain - where huge numbers of attendees saw huge numbers of mobile things, among them a large number of rather large new big screen smartphones. We're certainly not fans of the monsters, though clearly, a lot of people beg to differ with our dislike of them. To help you decide what side of the fence you might fall on – and to get a real look at what Samsung's new Galaxy 8.0 "smartphone" looks like – we've assembled a review of the major MWC smartphone announcements that were made. Our MWC Smartphone Roundup delivers the highlights.

Early in the week, we heard a lot of noise on the Yahoo front, with Marissa Mayer pulling an interesting switch on the modern day workforce model - demanding that Yahoo's relatively few remote workers return to the company to work from the offices. It remains to be seen how the affected Yahoos will respond. Yahoo's official HR memo is pretty much a summation of what many believe are the biggest problems related to telecommuting and mobile workforces. The statement describes how speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home, and how unexpected wild events like hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings have led to some of the best decisions and insights that the company could have had.

The move is likely to disrupt the work-life balance these remote users have established. Interestingly, Mayer herself had a custom nursery built right next to her own office - a mighty fine perk indeed! That should help her own work-life balance stay balanced. Meanwhile, Accenture has delivered a detailed new study that asks, among a lartge number of work-balance related issues, the question: Are you a high tech workaholic? The Accenture survey says...

In part, Mayer believes that being in the office encourages face to face conversations that lead to ideas and thinking that can't happen from working outside of the office. Another form of human communication that is just as important is voice related. "Working the phones" isn't a phrase that just came out of the blue and phone conversations certainly add the human touch. But now we may finally be at the true inflection point where e-mail and other electronic communications finally trumps face-to-face communication.With SMS, instant message, e-mail and social media platforms, there is less of a need for users to communicate over phone, or even face-to-face. Just how often do those Yahoos interact in person at the office anyway?

It's more or less common knowledge these days that Android is not exactly the most secure of operating systems, mobile or otherwise. But now Internet security company Commtouch is claiming that there is a mad explosion of Android malware taking place, pointing out that Q4 2012 brought with it a huge rise in Android malware and Web threats specifically targeting mobile users. The report - Commtouch's February 2013 Internet Threats Trend Report - highlights that Android malware levels increased more than five times between September and December 2012. Commtouch researchers also discovered a non-trivial increase in email-based malware during the same Q4 2012 period. Perhaps it's time to return to face to face communications!

Of course, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, it is no surprise that international IT security company, Secunia, has delivered the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) this week, a free computer security solution designed to identify mobile vulnerabilities and identify programs that are in need of security updates. Specifically, Secunia also looks to protects Android users from that fast growing malware.

If you happen to be a BlackBerry user and are chortling over how all those poor Android users should switch to your secure BlackBerry platform, think again. This week BlackBerry's security has been labeled suspect by none other than its own Canadian government!Canada's Public Safety Canada homeland security department claims that BlackBerry messenger messages sent through BlackBerry pin number-based communications is not secure.

Finally this week, we've had two very interesting developments of another kind altogether. First, there is a lot of excitement in the tech sector overSpaceTop, a 3-D Desktop demonstrated by a rather young inventor.MIT graduate student Jinha Lee was an intern at Microsoft's Applied Science group, where he worked on developing a 3-D desktop. Now it is becoming a reality.

The other development worth noting is that the digital currency known as Bitcoins has now set a new  Bitcoins currency exchange record. As of Friday midday ET, the Bitcoin price was $35.31701, according to the MT Gox exchange. The earlier record Bitcoin price was $31.9099, which was set on June 9, 2011. Bitcoins were at $31.94 on February 27 before breaking $32. What are Bitcoins you ask? You will need to read the article to find out.

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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