Items tagged with SMS

Google began rolling out its new SMS text messaging protocol earlier with month, with features powered RCS by (Rich Communication Services). This is intended to deliver a richer messaging experience. And it does, though the rollout is not going without a hitch. Unfortunately, telecoms are doing a poor job implementing the RCS standard, leaving Android users vulnerable to security threats. To be clear, this is not a failure on Google's part. Security Research Labs (SRLabs) has only found issues in how telecoms are rolling RCS out, rather than the protocol itself. Part of the problem is that part of the standard is undefined. Companies can therefore deploy it in their own ways, and that is where... Read more...
Security researchers at ESET have discovered an active ransomware campaign targeting Android users, thus ending a two-year decline in this form of malware in Google's mobile ecosystem. And unlike past ransomware campaigns, this one employs "some unusual tricks" to attract victims, and then spreads to contacts through text messaging. ESET is calling this ransomware strain Android/Filecoder.C (just Filecoder from here on out). It is primarily distributed by way of malicious posts on Reddit and the XDA Developers forum, the latter of which is a popular hangout for Android developers and enthusiasts. These posts lure victims by promising salacious material, such as porn-related content and sex simulators,... Read more...
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) is generally regarded as a superior way of securing an account than using a password alone, but even adding that extra layer of security comes with its own unique risks. This was highlighted in a recent security breach in which tens of millions of SMS text messages were exposed. Some of those text messages contained 2FA codes. All of those text messages sat on a server belonging to Voxox, a communications firm located in San Diego, California. Voxox is wholesaler of SMS, voice, VOIP, and cloud communication services for small businesses. One of the things it does is convert 2FA codes into text messages, which are then routed through cell towers and ultimately... Read more...
If you use an Android smartphone, you are probably familiar with the Android Messages application (since it is the default messaging application used on many devices). There are other Android messaging applications out there in use on some devices. One of the things that Google is doing with Android Messages is to rollout support for Rich Communication Services or RCS.  The cool thing about RCS is that it could replace traditional SMS messaging with a text messaging system that is more flexible with phonebook polling for service discovery, and it would open the door to be able to send messages from multiple devices. Android Messages 2.9 has hints in its code that indicate... Read more...
Nearly a billion text messages are sent every hour, and that does not take into account app-to-app messaging. Overall, some 8 trillion (yes, TRILLION!) texts are sent each year, which again does not include app-to-app messages. For better or worse, texting has become a part of everyday life, and it all started 25 years ago on December 3, 1992, when a programmer named Neil Papworth wrote "merry Christmas" on a computer and sent it to a mobile phone belonging to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. Papworth's text message is the considered the first SMS ever. Looking back, it's pretty interesting that Papworth spelled out "Christmas" rather than shortening it to "Xmas," a fact he is quick to point... Read more...
Have you ever noticed that when a service becomes almost incomprehensibly large, it can begin to care less and less about what people think about it? Some might feel that way about Facebook, a company that time and time again has forced changes on its users that haven't been very well received. A major example of this in recent years has been with the forced transition to Facebook Messenger, something that caused thousands of users to give the app a 1-star rating for. Simply put, people were not happy. As that move happened a couple of years ago, we don't hear too much about the hate anymore, much like we don't hear much about the angst held towards Google for shutting down Reader. It could be... Read more...
The mobile industry has lost a giant. His name is Matti Makkonen, and though that might not be a name you're familiar with, you probably use a technology that he helped pioneer -- text messaging. Known as the father of SMS, Makkonen passed away at the age of 63 from an unspecified illness. Sad indeed, though his legacy lives on.Though he's known as the father of SMS, Makkonen was quick to point out that he alone wasn't responsible for text messaging. There were other engineers involved, and he gives special credit to Nokia for helping to make texting so popular."The real launch of the service, as I see it, was when Nokia introduced the first phone that enabled easy write of messages (Nokia 2010... Read more...
Imagine that without any misguided action or behavior of your own your iOS device were to crash, simply as the result of receiving a text string via your iPhone or iPad's Messages app. Next, imagine that after this "What the heck!??!!" event (and device reboot, of course) you subsequently could not even open the Messages program.  Imagine no longer. A new bug has been revealed in Apple's Messages app that will crash your device and render Messages mostly unusable upon receipt of a text containing a unique text string comprised of various symbols and Arabic characters. And the bug isn't confined to receipt from other iOS devices either, displaying the same behavior... Read more...
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple must face a U.S. federal lawsuit related to iMessage and its interception of SMS text messages when users switch from an iPhone handset to a phone on another platform, such as Google's Android operating system. In such cases, if the user didn't disable iMessage before making the switch, text messages would never reach their new phone. The plaintiff, Adrienne Moore, is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages, Reuters reports. In the suit, Moore claims that by intercepting her text messages, iMessage and Apple ultimately interfered with her contract with Verizon Wireless for wireless service after switching earlier... Read more...
Teaming up with rappers in the audio headset market is fast becoming the newest fad in the tech industry. To wit, Apple recently joined forces with Dr. Dre by purchasing Beats Music for $3 billion, and now Intel is collaborating with rapper 50 Cent and his SMS Audio company to jointly release a set of earphones with Intel's health monitoring technology baked in. Intel's engineering and design teams have been working with SMS Audio for the past seven months to build the SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones. The Santa Clara chip maker designed the layout and circuitry, took charge of the system integration, and wrote the firmware that powers the features, such as being able to draw power from a... Read more...
Here's what isn't surprising: Facebook is trying to take over where the conventional text message left off. Here's what is surprising: that is has taken this long to get to this point. The tried-and-true phone number is a hangover technology from many generations ago, and it's actually quite unfortunate that it's still around. With so many communication efforts moving to IP-based technology, the phone number still refuses to allow us to talk via voice or text while overseas without paying outrageous roaming rates. Thankfully, savvy tech companies are discovering workarounds. Google Hangouts began to enable chats using just one's phone number in a recent app update, and now it appears that Facebook... Read more...
Up and comers don't like to hear it, but experience often times beats youth. Ask the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, in which the average age was just over 32 years old (ancient in the basketball world) or 2008 Boston Celtics, which had half a dozen players over the age of 30 on the roster, including two 38-year-olds. Both teams won the championship against younger foes during their respective years, but we're not hear to talk sports. In the tech world, WhatsApp is proving it has what it takes to compete with a relatively recent rash of rivals. WhatsApp is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging app for mobile devices (sixth most popular paid app on the iPhone). It's been around for nearly four... Read more...
It's hard to understate the global importance of Wikipedia. While many traditional university professors still won't allow the crowdsourced site to be listed as a source, only a fool would deny the site's impact on educating the world in areas they may have otherwise never stumbled upon. Particularly in developing nations, Wikipedia is an easy, ad-free, stripped-down knowledge base, with pages that are simple to load and easy to read on even the most antiquated of devices and over the most awful of connections. Granted, not everything is perfectly accurate, but the vast majority of Wikipedia pages are vetted and updated by legions of editors around the globe that do so simply to provide a service... Read more...
Facebook announced that it’s updated its Facebook Messenger for Android app to allow users to create a Messenger account without actually joining Facebook. Instead, you can sign up for the service with merely your name and cell phone number. Over the next few weeks, the new Messenger accounts will be rolling out, and according to CNET, the first markets to get it include India, Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela, and South Africa. The feature will at some point be available on other mobile platforms such as iOS, as well. Facebookers can already send text messages to contacts via the standalone Facebook Messenger app, but this somewhat subtle move indicates an important shift in how Facebook... Read more...
FEMA and the National Weather Service are looking out for you. How so? They're joining up to launch the Wireless Emergency Alert System, which is described as a free SMS system that will text users connected to cell towers in areas that are being nailed with storms or other disasters. The idea here is to broadcast them to all devices within range. It's engineered to cover around 97% of the nation, but it's just now being rolled out across operators. Both Sprint and Verizon (the two largest CDMA carriers in the States) are both primed and ready, but there's no word yet on some of the smaller, regional carriers nor AT&T / T-Mobile USA. It's worth noting that not all phones will work; those... Read more...
There's iMessage for iOS and Mac users, and there's BBM for BlackBerry users. What about Android, you say? Well, for those users, there's MightyText. The company actually began as Texty, and has been in a Chrome beta state for the past few months. Now, however, they're launching to the world, and including support for pretty much all major browsers. Here's how it works: you install the MightyText app on your Android 2.2+ phone, and then you visit the company's website to install the plug-in for your browser. Once you sync the two up, you can then use any web browser to send and receive text messages, through your Android phone number. So, in a way, it's an easy way to reply and create text messages... Read more...
By early next year, the nation will have a new way to call for help--via text message. Verizon Wireless announced that it’s working on a service to provide SMS-to-911 capabilities, which it says will be operational in early 2013. Simply put, the emergency service will allow anyone to send an SMS message to a 911 call center, also known as a public-service answering point (PSAP) via Verizon’s existing CDMA network. This week, the company announced that it has selected a vendor partner in the endeavor: Annapolis, Maryland-based TeleCommunication Systems Inc. The FCC and other federal and state agencies are on board the project, as well. "TeleCommunication Systems has worked closely... Read more...
Whoa, wait a second -- text messaging is on the decline? Well, not entirely, but it's certainly not shooting through the roof from a global perspective any longer. Once thought to be the number one killer of voice minutes, texting seems to be on the decline in a few locales around the world. According to M.G.I. Research, there was a "significant drop" on texts on Christmas Eve in Finland. Reportedly, mobile user son Sonera sent 8.5 million texts on Christmas Eve this year, compared to 10.9 million last year. Hong Kong? They saw a huge decrease -- nearly 14% year-over-year. Even Down Under, Aussies sent 9% fewer texts than in 2010 on the holiday. Why? Well, there are a few guesses. Mostly, it's... Read more...
Do you remember what you were doing 19 years ago today? Odds are high you didn't own a mobile phone, though you may have been rocking a beeper (yes kids, beepers used to be cool). But believe it or not, the very first SMS text message was sent off nearly two decades ago, much to the bane of linguists who twitch every time they see a shorthand message make a mockery of the English (or any other) language. The very first text message was actually grammatically sound (mostly). It read, "Merry Christmas," and other than the lack of a punctuation mark, there isn't much for linguists to complain about. Today it's just as likely to be written as, "omg m3rry xma5!" In any event, the world's first text... Read more...
Recently, the launch of the Child ID app proved that the U.S. government wasn't scared of tapping into modern-day, consumer-friendly tech to provide a service to the American people. Now, the FCC is pushing for 911 texting.  The Federal Communications Commission is envisioning a project called Next Generation 911; in addition to just sending standard SMS, it will also allow 911 teams to receive photo and video messages in order to better prepare and respond. "It’s hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can’t send a text message to 911 in an emergency," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "The shift to NG911 can’t... Read more...
Apple's App Store seems to be exploding with new content, and this week it's gaining yet another notable mention: CloudTalk. As both the cloud and IM become hot topics of conversation, the two are combining in a new social messaging app for iPhone and Android, claiming to "bring voice back" to social interactions. The new version of the CloudTalk app includes rich social and multi-media capabilities and a more intuitive user interface, all built around the idea that people need to be able to use their voice to communicate. Users can use the app to add photos and videos to your messages when words just aren’t enough, group message and engage in more social conversations by threads or groups.... Read more...
A pirated version of an Android app is actually a Trojan that "shames" someone who installs it by sending an SMS message to all his contacts telling them of his piracy. The original app is called Walk and Text, and costs $2.10 in the Android Market. The app uses the camera on the back of a smartphone to show a user a visual of his upcoming surroundings, which will supposedly prevent the user from running into the street or across a set of train tracks. [Of course, since many tend to look down as they text, it's also possible they will see only the ground, unless they retrain themselves to hold the phone perpendicular to the ground as they walk. For us, that seems really hard to do.] The pirated... Read more...
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