Techzone 360 Week in Review


This past Thursday, a sort of new player in town, Clinkle (quite the name, Clinkle), which has its eye on revolutionizing the mobile payments industry - or at least hoping to turn it into a much less somnambulant market - announced that it has received a $25 million round of seed venture capital to help it launch a new technology to easily enable mobile payments from smartphones. Quite a collection of upper echelon VCs are participating. The only question is whether or not technology - new or otherwise - is what the mobile payments market needs to succeed.

Just a few short weeks ago Google announced it had acquired independent mapping player Waze for $1.3 billion. Having followed the trials and tribulations of Apple and Facebook with Waze, we figured that the Google buy would finally put a rest to the whole thing and Waze would get back to its quiet and quaint, yet enormously successful, work of delivering real time traffic alerts and traffic workarounds with Google stepping in to provide new resources to help Waze and Google Maps make our lives easier. Quite honestly we had not considered there would be any antitrust issues (Hah - that was too good to be true – maybe). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to step in and at least take a look at the deal. We wish the FTC would find something better to do.

Well, at least the FTC is trying to keep itself busy. This week it also announced that it is significantly tightening up rules to ensure that search engines make it crystal clear what a user is getting back in hand from search results - whether the results are bona fide free organic search results or if the user is in fact getting something at the top of the list that some company paid to make sure the user would find there. OK, we admit this is very useful. Assuming of course the rules are in fact enforced and enforced in meaningful ways.

Did you know that over 50 percent of Chinese mobile users spend more than six hours a day on the mobile Web? We confess we didn't. Even more amazing to us is that 22 percent of Americans do as well. We can't quite fathom all that time hanging out on the Web through a mobile device, but the numbers - as gathered up in a new mobile Web industry report by Netbiscuits don't lie. What this means is that the mobile Web is shaping up to become a truly disruptive force - and one that businesses need to be prepared to deliver amazing user experiences across.

Of course, while more and more users are collectively mustering their mobile Web presence, the ever present providers of malware are beginning to expand their efforts to take over smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices - especially if those devices happen to be Android devices. More and more of these malware agents are beginning to actually "commercialize" their malware efforts. What the heck does that mean? A new report from Juniper suggests that it means malware could move from simply being a headache to literally taking major dollars out of your pockets. The report, issued by the Juniper Mobile Threat Center, is a must read.

Making the Juniper report findings even more of an urgent read is another mobile security report, this one sponsored by Impermium, which makes it quite clear that even now our attitudes towards security are not where they need to be. In an attempt to learn more about American’s limited adoption of two-factor authentication, levels of worry related to account compromise, and preferences for sites to offer less disruptive forms of protection, Impermium - an Internet security firm, had Harris Interactive conduct a study in June. The results are out, and they show that we all need to become better educated on the security front and better armed.

Enough, though, with dire warnings. Here's a little bonus to start the weekend off with if you happen to be an iPhone user. If you are anything at all like most of us, you now use your iPhone camera to take most of your photos and videos. In the end most of those photos and videos aren't much to write home about. What if you could add a little zing to them by way of a real 3D viewing experience?

If we've got your attention here, then you will want to know about Poppy, a Kickstarter funded project that provides an add-on piece of hardware to the iPhone that uses a clever collection of mirrors to let your videos literally "pop" off the page with a realistic 3D appearance. You can also capture 3D images as a result of the new gadget. In all honesty, it reminds us entirely of those ancient 3D viewers we all played with as kids (if you are old enough to remember them). Essentially Poppy works the same way. But it's cool none the less.

Have a great weekend.

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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