I’ve used usaip.eu in the past and found the service to be very good. I was also able to obtain a UK IP for BBC iPlayer.
Compile no more my friends, for binary packages are here! Yesterday (March 28, 2011) the Asterisk development team opened the doors on a new package repository for users of Debian and Ubuntu, two of the most popular Linux distributions. Those repos complement the existing RedHat Enterprise Linux / CentOS Linux repositories that Digium has maintained for the past several years. As of now you can quickly and easily install and maintain Asterisk using apt (Ubuntu/Debian) or yum (RHEL/CentOS) package management utilities.
Despite the need for a private element, there is a growing consensus that there is a government role in creating and fostering entrepreneurship.
Despite having a significant operation in Ireland, we are probably one of the last countries in Europe where Facebook Places has gone live. But finally it has and despite my irritation at its tardy arrival, first impressions of the location app are that it is slick.
Facebook Places, which debuted in the usual way to large countries like the US and UK first, back in August, on iPhones, and in September on BlackBerry devices, is effectively Facebook’s rival to Foursquare, there’s no getting away from that one.
Essentially it allows you to ‘check in’ to tell your friends where you are, whether you’re at home in your gaff, in the office or in a restaurant or a bar, wherever.
You could say it is a Foursquare clone, but then again if you think about everything Facebook hopes to achieve in the years ahead, location is the lynchpin of its entire strategy.
Not long after Places was launched, in October, Facebook launched ‘Deals’, which allows users to be rewarded discounts and coupons if they check in from a restaurant, bar or coffee shop.
Few realise just how important mobility and location are going to be to commerce in the years ahead. I detect a pincer movement of sorts in terms of how events are unfolding – on the one flank you have Google and Apple preparing next-generation operating systems for devices that will come withnear field communication (NFC) chips to allow debit and credit purchases via your mobile phone. This flank appears quite orderly and is marching in step, slowly but steadily.
But over on the opposite flank a more rowdy horde of opportunists from Facebook to Foursquare, Amazon and eBay, not to mention Groupon, Yelp and LivingSocial are all trying to bound ahead and be your social wallet. Yep, get your deals and discounts, buy your goods based on where you are. Thrift commerce is unfolding rapidly as a segment.
One unexpected forager so far has to be Tesco, whose mobile app on the iPhone allows you to walk the aisles, scan barcodes of goods on the store’s shelf and proceed to the virtual checkout on your device and get the goods delivered to the home. You, in the meantime, can saunter off and have a coffee no longer encumbered with shopping bags.
eBay has said the introducing of barcode-scanning technology on mobile devices has enabled it to be a contender for fashion goods on the High Street. In 2010, eBay generated US$2bn in global sales through mobile devices alone – up by more than 200pc on 2009.
So back to Facebook and Places – Facebook has the opportunity to be the social glue in the future shopping experience. You can tell people where you are, what you’ve bought, they can ‘Like’ this, suddenly communicating this information to other like-minded souls who may saunter down and pursue a similar deal. This is advertising gold to retailers who are already in some countries reaping the benefits of the Groupon phenomena, in some cases receiving more business than they can handle.
I would be surprised if Facebook doesn’t come up with a barcode app of some description so friends can compare deals and find better deals down the street. That should be the beauty of location, right?
First impressions of Facebook Places
Well, for months I would play with the Facebook app on my iPhone and occasionally just check if the Places button teasingly placed there would actually work. “Sorry, this service is not currently available in your country yet” or some message to that effect would pop up.
From my Facebook news stream a few people I know who are clearly more in the know than me had that darn purple map marker logo popping as they hopped from place to place while I self-consciously checked in from Foursquare. This actually matters, what will I do with my Foursquare community now? Well, that depends on how useful I find Places in the days ahead.
First impressions: I don’t think Facebook is taking any chances with its privacy on this one. When you ‘check in’ you are reminded that this will appear to all your friends and offer you the opportunity to manage your settings.
What I like about Facebook Places is that it is slick and easy to use and feels lighter to use than Foursquare. Unlike Foursquare however, there is no badge system so you can be the mayor of a venue, for example, or create a swarm effect. I suspect Facebook is leaving it up to its app developer community to come up with social games that will no doubt herald in advertising and e-commerce opportunities based on location.
I was impressed with just how many of my Facebook ‘friends’ had started using the new app to ‘check in’ – 21 so far.
All in all, I see potential. It’s a smooth app to use and I will forgive Facebook for this late showing because I think over time it was worth the wait.
Facebook app developer Betapond described the delay of the app arriving in Ireland as a bit of ‘jiggery pokery’ and has posted a useful blog on the impact of Facebook Places for businesses.
Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson smartphones are among those running the two Symbian operating systems vulnerable to attack according to NetQin.
By Mathew J. Schwartz, InformationWeek
July 6, 2010
New viruses targeting Symbian smartphones have surfaced, according to NetQin, which develops security software for mobile devices.
Two Symbian operating systems are vulnerable: S60 platform 3rd Edition, aka Symbian OS 9.1, as well as S60 5th edition, aka Symbian OS 9.4. The operating systems run a number of smartphones from such manufacturers as Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
Dubbed ShadowSrv.A, FC.Downsis.A, BIT.N and MapPlug.A, the viruses come hidden in games designed for Symbian smartphones. Once the games are run, the virus executes, giving the virus writer full control over the devices, said NetQin. In other words, the smartphone becomes part of a botnet, and can be used to launch further attacks on other devices.
In addition, according to NetQin, “these viruses will either send messages to all the contacts of the address book directly, or send messages to … random phone numbers by connecting to the server.” The messages sent by the virus contain URLs, purportedly to such content as World Cup video on demand or popular television shows, but which really link to websites hosting the virus. To cover its tracks, the virus deletes any messages it sends from a user’s outbox and SMS log.
NetQin estimates that 100,000 mobile phones worldwide are vulnerable to the virus.
Smartphones being infected by viruses isn’t a new threat, and malware aimed at smartphones continues to mature. For example, in late 2009, researchers, discovered the iKee botnet, which targeted jailbroken iPhones, backed by command-and-control functionality to press these iPhones into the service of a botnet.
Even so, stumbling into a virus by downloading a mobile application is a relatively new threat. “The explosion of mobile applications has made smartphones an enticing target for virus authors,” said Lin Yu, CEO of NetQin, in a statement.
Driven by financial incentives, “many security threats that were once only spread on PCs, such as botnets, are now moving to mobile devices,” he said.
These financial incentives may include making phones spend money on services controlled by attackers. For example, last month, Donato Ferrante at Sophos wrote a blog dissecting a different piece of Symbian malware, Troj/SymbSms-A, which spreads via an SIS archive file. Its purpose appears to be to send messages to a premium-rate Russian phone number until the infected smartphone runs out of credit.