FutureFive NZ - The Techday Weekender - Aug 11th 2012

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The Techday Weekender - Aug 11th 2012

Seven days in this industry can feel like an eternity with the ever-changing landscape of technology evolving on a daily basis.

Yet one alarming constant remains.

Reports published earlier this week in the Norton CyberCrime 2011 report shows cyber crime to hold a bigger global market value than marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined, with a global bill reaching US$388bn.

The shocking total nearly amounts to the combined worldwide value of drugs trafficking, estimated at $411bn and shows the worrying statistics of a crime affecting 14 victims every second.

Whether this be down to lack of internet security, failure to take the correct precautions or simply an innocent ignorance - users are sitting ducks when it comes to their personal data and require a strong wake-up call.

Which can also be said for Google, as the internet search engine battled privacy laws and record fines over allegedly tracking web users through Apple's Safari browser.

Although Google has not admitted to the accusations from the US Federal Trade Commission, an acceptance of a record-breaking $22.5m penalty indicates the internet company may have breached the agreement signed in October 2011.

The revelations came days before Google Australia was told to destroy unsecured Wi-Fi network data from users Down Under after obtaining personal information through Street Car Vehicles.

This type of lax attitude to privacy is not only damaging to the users affected, but the general attitude towards tighter internet controls across the board, as these actions help foster an environment of acceptance and conformity to such illegal activity.

It starts from the top and until the big players in the industry fully recognise the importance of adhering to privacy guidelines, will users follow suit.

Staying Down Under and 2Degrees reached the one million customer mark earlier this week, increasing their rivalry with Telecom and Vodafone after three years in the market.

The mobile network now commands over 21% of the Kiwi mobile industry and helps keep phone prices competitive and low through challenging the mobile hierarchy.

There shall also be healthy competition in Auckland during the next two years, with IBM set to create as many as 400 jobs with the opening of its first New Zealand delivery centre.

Partnering the Unitec Institute of Technology, the centre will open in February 2013, employing full-time and part-time professionals including students during their studies.

The news represents a major boost on the Kiwi job front, the same day Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett addressed the country calling for a second submarine cable in the wake of Pacific Fibre's closure.

Following the cancellation of its Fibre Optic connection to the rest of the world, Bartlett believes a new cable is needed to keep New Zealand competitive globally.

And global competition is certainly one of the week's key phrases as Android continues its dominance in the smartphone market, outselling Apple's iPhone by four to one in new figures released today.

The results confirms Samsung as the leading smartphone maker, helping Google further extend its dominance in the market, with over 50.2m smartphones sold during the quarter, compared to Apple's 26 million iPhones.

Given the smartphone case appears a two horse race for supremacy, rumours of Apple's plans for a historical product launch within the next few months has gathered momentum after the company suppliers reported record-breaking monthly sales in July.

The report suggests Apple is set to release a host of new products during the second-half of the year, believing this will include the sixth-generation iPhone and an iPad mini.

Seven days has past with the mobile industry taking the spotlight through increased competition in some areas, yet unshakable dominance in others. But regardless of 2Degrees and Samsung enjoying a good week, and Apple losing the battle but aiming to win the smartphone war - the ugly issues of privacy once again rise to the surface.

Failure to protect yourself online is not only irresponsible but incredibly dangerous. If CyberCrime is as big as the drugs trade then it should be taken as seriously, because after all there is no point addressing these issues after you fall victim.

Have a great weekend.

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