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Why you should be wary of charging your phone in an airport

<p dir="ltr">While charging stations at airports can often be life-savings before boarding a flight, it turns out these handy outlets can be leaving you vulnerable. </p> <p dir="ltr">Many people have fought over a spot to charge up your devices at the last minute before embarking on a holiday, but next time you leave home with your phone or laptop needing some more juice, think again. </p> <p dir="ltr">Emily Stallings, co-founder of tech retailer <em><a href="https://www.getcasely.com/">Casely</a></em>, says that by plugging your phone into a power outlet at a public USB charging station, you're at risk of data breaches and malware infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If a device gets infected, it could end up leaking sensitive information or even stop working properly," she told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/charging-phone-at-the-airport-danger-expert/57d141df-33ba-4a50-89e5-26f6f2a0c18d">9Travel</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These public USB ports have often been compromised by cybercriminals, who then use these unsecured ports to steal sensitive information transmitted between devices.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From personal emails to financial data, the information intercepted through these compromised ports could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other serious consequences," explains Stallings.</p> <p dir="ltr">The best way to get around this threat, without letting your phone run out of battery, is to pack a portable charging device in your carry-on bag every time you travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">With your own cord and power bank, it's far less likely that any sneaky hackers will be able to access your device's data.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stallings says you can also enable security features such as USB Restricted Mode on your device, for those moments when you're desperate for a charger and have to rely on public ports. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This adds an extra layer of protection against potential data breaches and malware infections when charging from public USB ports."</p> <p dir="ltr">"By activating USB Restricted Mode or similar security features, you restrict data transfer over USB connections, effectively preventing unauthorised access to your device's data while charging in public spaces."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Tips

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Telstra giving free phones to elderly and remote

<p>With the 3G network set to shut down completely on August 31, Telstra announced that it will be giving 12,000 mobile phones away for free in a bid to help the most vulnerable customers switch to 4G. </p> <p>Starting from Tuesday, the telecommunications company will be issuing complimentary phones to customers who are elderly, live rurally or are facing difficult situations. </p> <p>These include those facing financial issues, recovering from natural disasters, or those who have a life-threatening medical condition and therefore rely on a working phone. </p> <p>Telstra have also identified those who live regionally or are over 80 years old and may require extra transition support, as they may have difficulty accessing a physical store to make the switch. </p> <p>Those who are flagged as eligible will be contacted by the telco company, and they are encouraging customers who receive the message to follow the instructions given to make the switch. </p> <p>Major Brendan Nottle from The Salvation Army has praised this initiative for helping the "most vulnerable members of our community."</p> <p>“Connection is one of the most important things to maintain in our society, whether it is with friends and family or with housing and support services,” he said.</p> <p>“Ensuring that every Australian, from any background or level of income, can take part in our modern digital society is crucial.</p> <p>“A phone can be a gateway to social inclusion, community connection and support, and with the upcoming closure of 3G networks in Australia it is important for us to reach out and ensure that this can continue for everyone.”</p> <p>Customers who are yet to upgrade are also told to make the switch sooner than later. </p> <p>Other devices that will be affected by the shutdown include certain smart watches, tablets, medical alarms, EFTPOS terminals and security monitors.</p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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REVIEW: Portable laptop monitor

<p>In an era where mobility is paramount, the evolution of technology continues to shape the way we work, play and even travel. Among the many innovations out there aimed at enhancing our digital nomadic lifestyle, the Mobile Pixels DUEX range of portable laptop monitors stands out as a true game-changer.</p> <p>Gone are the days of being tethered to a single screen. With Mobile Pixels' DUEX Series, you can extend your workspace effortlessly, transforming your laptop into a dual-screen powerhouse anywhere, any time. It's such an easy way to seamlessly blend convenience with functionality, redefining the possibilities of productivity while you travel. </p> <p>Travelling for work is one thing, but as often as not it's all about embracing new experiences and enjoying moments of leisure. With a DUEX, your entertainment options are no longer confined to a small laptop screen; you can immerse yourself in your favourite movies, play games, or catch up on the latest episodes of your favourite TV shows in stunning clarity and detail. The vivid display and immersive audio of the DUEX screens also ensure that every moment of downtime is a delight.</p> <p>Designed with the modern traveller in mind, a DUEX laptop screen strikes the perfect balance between portability and functionality. Its sleek, lightweight design makes it the ideal companion for any journey, fitting seamlessly into your backpack or carry-on luggage. It unfolds effortlessly, instantly expanding your workspace wherever you go. Whether you're working from a bustling cafe, a tranquil park or a cramped airplane seat, a DUEX portable laptop screen adapts to your environment with ease.</p> <p>So whether you're a digital nomad, a frequent traveller, or simply seeking to optimise your productivity, the Mobile Pixels DUEX range of portable laptop monitors are a must-have companion for the modern adventurer. Embrace the freedom to work, play and explore on your own terms, wherever your journey may take you.</p> <p>The range comes in the DUEX Lite, Plus or Max varieties. The DUEX Lite is the most affordable option, weighing in at under 600g and boasting a 12.5” screen for $499. The DUEX Plus has a 13.3” screen and retails for $549. The DUEX Max is the premium option with a 14” screen, retailing for $599. All versions are available in Grey and Navy, and can be found at <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, Amazon, Mwave and Rosman Computers.</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">For more information, check out the full <a href="https://www.mobilepixels.com.au/duex" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mobile Pixels DUEX range here</a>.</span></p> <p><em>Image: Mobile Pixels</em>   </p>

Travel Tips

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Millions of phones at risk of being cut off from calling triple-0

<p>Over a million Aussies may be unable to contact triple-0 as two major telcos cut their 3G networks. </p> <p>Telstra's network will be closed on June 30 this year followed by Optus, which will shut their 3G network in September.</p> <p>While most late model phones are now serviced by either 4G or 5G networks, there are many devices that still rely on 3G. </p> <p>Approximately 113,000 Telstra customers have not upgraded their 3G handsets, while Optus have not disclosed a figure.</p> <p>The greater concerns lie for older 4G-enabled handsets that may not be able to call triple-0 once the 3G networks are switched off, because of the way those phones are configured.</p> <p>In March, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland was informed that 740,000 Australians were in that category.  </p> <p>A month later, that figure was revised to over a million. </p> <p>"I welcome the industry’s first report to government but am concerned around their disclosure of around one million potentially impacted consumers,” the minister said. </p> <p>“I am considering the detail provided and next steps, and the government will have more to say about the 3G switchover soon.”</p> <p>She also said that they were open to delaying the switchover  "if warranted in the public interest”.</p> <p>“Options exist under law for the government to consider proposals to delay the planned switchover, subject to consultation and procedural processes,” she said.</p> <p>Telstra has informed customers about what to do if they are affected, and how they could check. </p> <p>“If your mobile device doesn’t have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, even if it uses 4G data, it will not be able to make voice calls on our network after 30 June 2024,” they informed their customers. </p> <p>“Not all VoLTE enabled devices support emergency VoLTE calling, meaning they will not be able to make an emergency call to triple-0 once 3G closes." </p> <p>“Without taking the recommended action you won’t be able to connect to a network after 30 June 2024,” they warned. </p> <p>Customers who are worried that they might be impacted, are encouraged to text 3 to the number 3498, so that the telco can inform the customer on their connection status.</p> <p>Optus have also encouraged customers to contact them if they think they may be affected. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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"Stuff youse": Pensioner who's never owned a phone fights mobile detection camera fine

<p>A pensioner from New South Wales has disputed a fine he was issued for using his phone while driving, despite never owning a phone. </p> <p>Frank Singh, 77, was captured on a mobile phone detection camera while driving on the Pacific Motorway last September, and was issued a fine for $362. </p> <p>Mr Singh has refused to pay the fine, claiming that he was holding his wallet when the image was captured. </p> <p>He also claims to have never owned a mobile phone or a computer in his life, wondering how the camera made such a mistake. </p> <p>The senior man decided to appeal and take Revenue NSW to court, despite the risk of paying thousands in legal fees if he lost the case.</p> <p>"Looks like I'm guilty on it, but I'm not," he told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>"I thought, what the bloody hell is this all about, I don't own a mobile phone. I've never used a mobile phone. What a load of s***."</p> <p>When questioned what the item could be, he said, "I think it could be my wallet."</p> <p>While Mr Singh admitted he can't specifically remember what he was doing at the time, he believes he was possibly placing his wallet on the passenger seat after paying for fuel. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the review of the fine was rejected and Frank was ordered to pay the $362, but he has not given up. </p> <p>"Then I thought stuff youse, I'm not guilty, I don't own a bloody phone," he said.</p> <p>While preparing to appeal the fine once more, Revenue NSW revoked the fine after issuing a letter to Mr Singh saying he would not be required in court following an investigation by the government body. </p> <p>"We have decided to cancel the fine," the letter read. </p> <p>"You little bloody beauty, how good's that," Mr Singh said on hearing the news, before planning to celebrate the win with a beer at his local pub. </p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair </em></p>

Legal

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8 places you should never keep your phone

<p><strong>In your pocket</strong></p> <p>Keeping your phone in your pocket seems logical, but you could be doing more harm than good. According to Dr Lilly Friedman, this is actually the worst place to store your phone. “When phones are on, connected to a wireless network, and placed in a pocket, the radiation is two to seven times higher than if it were placed in a purse or holster,” she says.</p> <p>There is a correlation between radiation from a mobile phone and tumour growth, she adds. Plus, radiation can change the structure of DNA and affect male fertility, according to Dr Friedman. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer also found that mobile phone radiation is additionally carcinogenic to humans. Merely sitting on your phone could cause health issues such as sciatica or back problems.</p> <p><strong>In your bra</strong></p> <p>Some research and case studies show that keeping your phone in your bra could be linked to breast cancer due to the radiations and vibrations from the phone. That said, there is not enough evidence to establish a definite relationship between the two. Still, keeping your phone in your bra, especially a sports bra, is a bad idea due to the skin-irritating bacteria it could harbour, Muscle &amp; Fitness reports.</p> <p><strong>In your bed or under your pillow</strong></p> <p>Sleeping with your phone is a bad idea for a few reasons. First, keeping your phone under your pillow could build up heat and present a potential fire hazard, especially if your phone is charging or has a defect. It’s also known that the LED light from phone screens can disrupt melatonin production and circadian rhythms, hurting your sleep quality, according to the National Sleep Foundation.</p> <p>And, of course, there’s also radiation to consider. The amounts of radio frequency radiation mobile phones give off are the same ones emitted from microwaves. There is also concern about the safety of mobile phone use with respect to cancer and brain tumours, per the American Cancer Society.</p> <p><strong>Plugged in</strong></p> <p>Keeping your phone plugged in when it has a full battery causes damage to the battery itself, according to pcmag.com. It’s not that your phone ‘overloads’ with power, but heat build-ups from stacking things on top of your phone or keeping it under your pillow, making your phone hotter and damaging your battery.</p> <p><strong>Close to your face</strong></p> <p>Keeping your phone close to your face means bacteria transfers to and from your phone, making your skin and phone dirtier. This combination leads to more acne, skin irritation and even wrinkles, according to Allure. Try using ear pods instead to keep the surface of your phone at a distance from your face.</p> <p><strong>In your glovebox</strong></p> <p>Extreme temperatures are the worst conditions for your phone. So keeping your device in your car’s glovebox during the extremely hot or cold months of the year could lead to problems. According to Time, excess heat can cause everything from data loss or corruption to battery leakage. The cold weather presents just as many issues for your device. In cold temperatures, many smartphones shut off, have display problems, shortened battery life and in rare cases screen shattering.</p> <p><strong>On your beach towel </strong></p> <p>Notice a theme here? The extreme sun and heat at the beach is a recipe for phone disaster. Protect your device after you finish taking beautiful beach pictures. Hot and sunny conditions could, again, cause your phone to overheat – and getting sand in your phone won’t help either.</p> <p><strong>Anywhere in the bathroom</strong></p> <p>Although phones could arguably be the new newspaper, it’s not a good idea to take yours into the bathroom. Even if you keep your device on a counter or away from the toilet, anything within a metre of a flushing toilet could mean bacteria or viruses in the air end up on your phone, according to a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.</p> <p>“The detection of bacteria and viruses falling out onto surfaces in bathrooms after flushing indicated that they remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom,” wrote the study authors.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/8-places-you-should-never-keep-your-phone" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Technology

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How risky is it to give card details over the phone and how do I reduce the chance of fraud?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-haskell-dowland-382903">Paul Haskell-Dowland</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ismini-vasileiou-1031778">Ismini Vasileiou</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/de-montfort-university-1254">De Montfort University</a></em></p> <p>Paying for things digitally is so common, most of us think nothing of swiping or tapping our card, or using mobile payments. While doing so is second nature, we may be more reluctant to provide card details over the phone.</p> <p>Merchants are allowed to ask us for credit card details over the phone – this is perfectly legal. But there are minimum standards they must comply with and safeguards to protect consumer data.</p> <p>So is giving your card details over the phone any more risky than other transactions and how can you minimise the risks?</p> <h2>How is my card data protected?</h2> <p>For a merchant to process card transactions, they are expected to comply with the <a href="https://docs-prv.pcisecuritystandards.org/PCI%20DSS/Standard/PCI-DSS-v4_0.pdf">Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard</a>. This is a set of security requirements designed to protect cardholder data and the trillions of dollars of transactions each year.</p> <p>Compliance involves various security measures (such as encryption and access controls) together with strong governance and regular security assessments.</p> <p>If the information stored by the merchant is accessed by an unauthorised party, encryption ensures it is not readable. That means stealing the data would not let the criminals use the card details. Meanwhile, access controls ensure only authorised individuals have access to cardholder data.</p> <p>Though all companies processing cards are expected to meet the compliance standards, only those processing large volumes are subject to mandatory regular audits. Should a subsequent data leak or misuse occur that can be attributed to a compliance failure, a <a href="https://www.csoonline.com/article/569591/pci-dss-explained-requirements-fines-and-steps-to-compliance.html">company can be penalised</a> at levels that can escalate into millions of dollars.</p> <p>These requirements apply to all card transactions, whether in person, online or over the phone. Phone transactions are likely to involve a human collecting the card details and either entering them into computer systems, or processing the payment through paper forms. The payment card Security Standards Council has <a href="https://docs-prv.pcisecuritystandards.org/Guidance%20Document/Telephone-Based%20Payments/Protecting_Telephone_Based_Payment_Card_Data_v3-0_nov_2018.pdf">detailed guides for best practice</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>A policy should be in place to ensure that payment card data is protected against unauthorised viewing, copying, or scanning, in particular on desks.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although these measures can help to protect your card data, there are still risks in case the details are misplaced or the person on the phone aren’t who they say they are.</p> <h2>Basic tips for safe credit card use over the phone</h2> <p>If you provide card details over the phone, there are steps you can take to minimise the chance you’ll become the victim of fraud, or get your details leaked.</p> <p><strong>1. Verify the caller</strong></p> <p>If you didn’t initiate the call, hang up and call the company directly using details you’ve verified yourself. Scammers will often masquerade as a well-known company (for example, an online retailer or a courier) and convince you a payment failed or payment is needed to release a delivery.</p> <p>Before you provide any information, confirm the caller is legitimate and the purpose of the call is genuine.</p> <p><strong>2. Be sceptical</strong></p> <p>If you are being offered a deal that’s too good to be true, have concerns about the person you’re dealing with, or just feel something is not quite right, hang up. You can always call them back later if the caller turns out to be legitimate.</p> <p><strong>3. Use secure payment methods</strong></p> <p>If you’ve previously paid the company with other (more secure) methods, ask to use that same method.</p> <p><strong>4. Keep records</strong></p> <p>Make sure you record details of the company, the representative you are speaking to and the amount being charged. You should also ask for an order or transaction reference. Don’t forget to ask for the receipt to be sent to you.</p> <p>Check the transaction against your card matches the receipt – use your banking app, don’t wait for the statement to come through.</p> <h2>Virtual credit cards</h2> <p>In addition to the safeguards mentioned above, a <a href="https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/virtual-credit-card-numbers-guide/">virtual credit card</a> can help reduce the risk of card fraud.</p> <p>You probably already have a form of virtual card if you’ve added a credit card to your phone for mobile payments. Depending on the financial institution, you can create a new credit card number linked to your physical card.</p> <p>Some banks extend this functionality to allow you to generate unique card numbers and/or CVV numbers (the three digits at the back of your card). With this approach you can easily separate transactions and cancel a virtual card/number if you have any concerns.</p> <h2>What to do if you think your card details have been compromised or stolen?</h2> <p>It’s important not to panic, but quick action is essential:</p> <ul> <li> <p>call your bank and get the card blocked so you won’t lose any more money. Depending on your situation, you can also block/cancel the card through your banking app or website</p> </li> <li> <p>report the issue to the police or other relevant body</p> </li> <li> <p>monitor your account(s) for any unusual transactions</p> </li> <li> <p>explore card settings in your banking app or website – many providers allow you to limit transactions based on value, restrict transaction types or enable alerts</p> </li> <li> <p>you may want to consider registering for <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-credit-report-is-a-key-part-of-your-privacy-heres-how-to-find-and-check-it-116999">credit monitoring services</a> and to enable fraud alerts.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>So, should I give my card details over the phone?</h2> <p>If you want to minimise risk, it’s best to avoid giving card details over the phone if you can. Providing your card details via a website still has risks, but at least it removes the human element.</p> <p>The best solution currently available is to use virtual cards – if anything goes wrong you can cancel just that unique card identity, rather than your entire card.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/216833/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-haskell-dowland-382903">Paul Haskell-Dowland</a>, Professor of Cyber Security Practice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ismini-vasileiou-1031778">Ismini Vasileiou</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/de-montfort-university-1254">De Montfort University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from </em><a style="font-style: italic;" href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a><em> under a Creative Commons license. Read the </em><a style="font-style: italic;" href="https://theconversation.com/how-risky-is-it-to-give-card-details-over-the-phone-and-how-do-i-reduce-the-chance-of-fraud-216833">original article</a><em>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why you need to stop charging your phone overnight

<p><strong>You charge your phone all night </strong></p> <p>Waking up to a fully charged phone may seem like a great way to start the day, but leaving your device plugged in overnight is a bad idea. When a phone has reached 100 per cent charge, it will continue to get trickle charges to keep it topped up at 100 percent.</p> <p>These extra charges keep the battery working non-stop. In fact, it’s better not to fully charge lithium-ion batteries because high voltage stresses the battery and wears it out over time, according to technology company Cadex.</p> <p><strong>You use vibrations for notifications</strong></p> <p>Your phone, like any other tool or device, ages and loses effectiveness the more you use it, says David Steele, the Director of Business Development for EverydayPhone. So little extras, like vibrating notifications, are habits that make your phone’s job harder. </p> <p>“The issue with these habits essentially boils down to having your phone constantly running at full capacity when it’s unnecessary,” Steele says. “Just like us, a phone needs a break to avoid burning out.”</p> <p><strong>You keep apps open that you're not using</strong></p> <p>Unused apps can eat up the battery life of smartphones, according to Andrew Moore-Crispin, the Director of Content at Ting Mobile. “If you open an app once and never use it again, the app might still run in the background,” he says.</p> <p>Swiping out of apps you aren’t using or no longer need is an easy solution. Moore-Crispin says doing so extends the battery life of your phone while also freeing up valuable storage space, too.</p> <p><strong>You allow unnecessary permissions</strong></p> <p>Ride-sharing apps need your location to pick you up, but other apps might not need this permission. Moore-Crispin suggests you be picky about which apps you grant such permissions to and take away permissions you deem unnecessary.</p> <p><strong>You have one of these apps</strong></p> <p>The apps that drain your battery the most are Snapchat, Google Maps, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook, according to AdWeek. The Guardian found that uninstalling the Facebook mobile app from Android phones saves people up to 20 percent of their battery life.</p> <p>If you also get rid of the FB Messenger app, other app load times could speed up by 15 per cent, per the Guardian. The reason Facebook particularly kills battery life is because it keeps running in the background – even when you’re not using it, Business Insider reports.</p> <p><strong>Your screen is always extremely bright </strong></p> <p>Gone are the days of tiny phone screens, but before you give the thumbs up emoji, understand how the bigger screens of today can be a phone battery’s worst enemy, according to Moore-Crispin. Make sure you turn on adaptive brightness in the display menu.</p> <p>This change means your phone will automatically adjust the screen brightness to match your environment. As a bonus, set the brightness level to the lowest possible and lower your screen’s timeout, which is what determines how long it stays lit before fading when it goes idle.</p> <p><strong>You keep your phone out at the beach</strong></p> <p>Extreme heat or extreme cold temperatures and other weather conditions can shorten the life of your phone. According to Time, excess heat can cause everything from data loss or corruption to battery leakage. Cold weather presents just as many issues. In cold temperatures, some smartphones shut off, have display problems, or run out of battery; in rare cases screens may shatter.</p> <p><strong>You keep your phone in your bed or under your pillow </strong></p> <p>Tucking your phone under your pillow when you sleep is another way to shorten its life, thanks to heat build-up.</p> <p><strong>You don't keep your software up to date</strong></p> <p>utting off device updates does more harm than good for your phone. iPhone and Android makers push updates to make your user experience better and so that your phone functions properly. These updates come with extra benefits, too. In fact, if your device has a weak battery or other issues, these software updates could remedy them, Popular Science reports. Make sure to keep up with app-specific updates as well.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tipsscience-technology/why-you-need-to-stop-charging-your-phone-overnight" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Technology

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“Turn your phone off”: The simple reason behind Albanese’s warning

<p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a clear warning to the public, advising them to "turn their phones off" as a safety measure to avoid potential dangers.</p> <p>Albanese delivered this cautionary message last week while announcing the appointment of Australia's first national cybersecurity coordinator, Air Commander Darren Goldie of the Royal Australian Air Force.</p> <p>Goldie was quick to echo the Prime Minister's sentiments, emphasising the importance of mobilising both the private sector and consumers in the fight against cyber threats.</p> <p>"We all bear responsibility in this matter. Simple actions, such as turning off your phone every night for five minutes, can make a significant difference.</p> <p>"I encourage everyone watching to adopt this practice once every 24 hours, perhaps while engaging in daily routines like brushing your teeth," stated Albanese during the press conference.</p> <p>While rebooting your device on a daily basis may seem like a basic precaution, it can greatly enhance your protection against cybercriminals. Often, various applications and processes continue running in the background of your phone or computer, even when you're not actively using them.</p> <p>If unauthorised individuals gain access to these apps and processes, they can monitor your activities and collect your data, including financial information and identification documents, and even hijack your webcam or phone camera.</p> <p>By rebooting your phone, you force the closure of all background applications and processes, effectively evicting anyone attempting to track your virtual movements.</p> <p>Priyadarsi Nanda, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Technology Sydney, supported Albanese's advice, emphasising the importance of periodically turning off one's phone.</p> <p>"Considering how extensively we use smartphones in our daily lives, there have been cases where individuals haven't turned off their phones for an entire year," Dr. Nanda told <em>The Guardian</em>.</p> <p>"If there is a malicious process running, switching off the phone breaks the chain. While it may only provide protection while the phone is off, it undoubtedly frustrates potential hackers. Although not foolproof, rebooting can make it more challenging for hackers to compromise your device."</p> <p>It is crucial to note that this measure does not safeguard against all forms of cybercrime. If your password has been stolen or you are being repeatedly and strategically targeted, for example, a simple reboot is unlikely to deter the most persistent hackers.</p> <p><em>Image: Wikimedia / Australian Government</em></p>

Technology

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Why can’t I use my phone or take photos on the airport tarmac? Is it against the law?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Mobile phones are not allowed to be used while on a plane because they can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation instruments and <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-the-real-reason-to-turn-on-aeroplane-mode-when-you-fly-188585">cause various safety and social issues</a>.</p> <p>As soon as the plane lands, we’re permitted to turn off flight mode, but at some airports we can’t get much of a signal. That’s because airports are known as mobile signal “<a href="https://thepointsguy.com/news/slow-connection-airport-tarmacs/">dead zones</a>” due to a lack of mobile towers – they can’t be placed at the airport itself due to height restrictions.</p> <p>Any nearby mobile towers would be located away from the airport’s runway systems to avoid interfering with the aeroplane’s flight path, especially take-off and landing direction. Most airports put up indoor repeater antennas within the airport terminal; these help increase the mobile signal strength coming from the nearest mobile tower somewhere near the airport.</p> <p>But you won’t be allowed to make calls while walking away from the plane, anyway.</p> <h2>Why can’t I use my phone on the tarmac?</h2> <p>As we are taxiing in, the <a href="https://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-experience/onboard/communication.html">cabin crew</a> remind us not to smoke outside of designated areas at the terminal and not to use our mobile phones until we are inside the terminal building.</p> <p>If you exit the plane down the rear stairs, why aren’t you allowed to use your phone once away from the aeroplane, if you can get a signal? Surely it won’t affect navigation.</p> <p>The answer is manifold, and regulations aren’t the same across the world.</p> <p>In Australia, a <a href="https://www.casa.gov.au/operations-safety-and-travel/travel-and-passengers/onboard-safety-and-behaviour/using-your-electronic-devices-flights">government regulation</a> prohibits the use of mobile phones on the tarmac – the aeroplane movement and parking area of the airport.</p> <p>You won’t be fined if you whip your phone out while walking to the terminal, but the airline may admonish you for not following the rules. However, if you decide to (<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/woman-arrested-after-running-onto-tarmac-at-melbourne-airport-20151125-gl7bkq.html">run around on the tarmac</a>, you could get arrested by federal police.</p> <p>The airport tarmac is very busy not just with aircraft, but also baggage carts, catering trucks, aeroplane waste removal trucks, and fuel trucks. Getting passengers off the tarmac and into the terminal building quickly and safely is a priority for the staff.</p> <p>If you are distracted while walking to the terminal building because you’re talking on your phone, it can be <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/25/alabama-airport-worker-killed-jet-engine-safety-warnings">highly dangerous and even deadly</a> if you end up too close to an operating plane. An operating jet engine is extremely hot and has a strong exhaust. Additionally, the front of the engine has a low-pressure area called an <a href="https://www.ukfrs.com/guidance/search/aircraft-systems-and-construction">ingestion zone</a> that can suck in a person. Ground staff are trained to stay at least ten metres away from this area. However, this information is not shared with the passengers.</p> <h2>A myth about fuel</h2> <p>You may have heard that mobile phones are a fire hazard near fuel, and aeroplanes are, of course, refuelled on the tarmac.</p> <p>However, the chances of fuel catching fire during this process are extremely low, because the refuelling truck is <a href="https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/safe-aircraft-refuelling/">bonded and “grounded” to the plane</a>: the operator attaches a wire to the aircraft to move built-up static electricity to the ground to prevent any chance of a spark.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>There have been stories in the press about mobile phones sparking <a href="https://www.verizon.com/about/news/vzw/2014/12/fact-or-fiction-using-a-cell-phone-at-the-gas-station-can-cause-a-fire">fires at petrol stations in Indonesia and Australia</a>, but these turned out to be inaccurate. There is <a href="https://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/AboutTheCodes/30A/FI%20-%20NFPA%2030A-2015%20Para%208.3.1%20-%20Attachments%2014-19.2017-04-04.pdf">no evidence a phone can spark a fire at a fuel pump</a>, despite the warning labels you might see.</p> <p>Either way, the chances of a mobile phone causing this on the tarmac with a refuelling truck that is grounded to the aeroplane are extremely low, not least because the passenger permitted areas and refuelling areas are completely separated.</p> <h2>Why are we told not to take photos on the tarmac?</h2> <p>This rule varies from airport to airport depending on their <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/can-i-film-and-take-photos-security-checkpoint">security processes</a>.</p> <p>Such restrictions are carryovers from the changes to airport security following the <a href="https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/jlecono50&amp;i=739">September 11 2001 terrorist attacks</a>. The now federalised security teams, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in the United States and the Department of Home Affairs in Australia, change their processes frequently to prevent having any identifiable patterns that could be used to create a security breach.</p> <p>The increased security measures also mean new technologies were introduced; airport security sections do not want photos taken of how they operate.</p> <p>The airport security process is a major choke point in the flow of passenger movement due to the screening process. If a passenger is perceived to be slowing the process down by taking photos or talking on their phone, they will be reminded to turn off their device and/or stop taking photos of security personnel and equipment.</p> <p>If you refuse to follow the rules of the screening process, you will be <a href="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening">denied entry</a> into the airport terminal gate area and miss your flight. Can you also get arrested for using your phone? Depends on the airport and country. I, for one, do not want to find out.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/207926/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-cant-i-use-my-phone-or-take-photos-on-the-airport-tarmac-is-it-against-the-law-207926">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Ben Roberts-Smith’s furious phone call to fellow soldier

<p>A livid Ben Roberts-Smith has berated a fellow soldier he believed had been speaking to the media about war allegations, demanding he “stick to the f**king code”, newly released audio has revealed.</p> <p>Nine’s 60 Minutes played a recording of the exchange between Roberts-Smith and a fellow SAS member known as “Soldier M” in 2018 amid a media frenzy.</p> <p>Soldier M is a relative of Australia’s most wealthy individual, billionaire Gina Rineheart, and prior to the phone call, Roberts-Smith had sent him a threatening legal letter, with the mining magnate CC’d in.</p> <p>“Yeah, it’s RS, mate,” Mr Roberts-Smith says in the audio.</p> <p>“Because I know you’ve talked s**t about me, right? I know that.</p> <p>“I’ve got no ill will towards anyone that has no ill will towards me, it’s real simple. So you know, like, I’m 100 per cent, I stick to the f**king code, mate, 100 per cent, and I have. So all the s**t that’s going on, I’m still probably the only c**t that hasn’t f**king spoken.</p> <p>“I don’t trust you, mate, I haven’t been able to trust you for a long time. You say we’re mates. We used to be actually, but for some f**king reason I’ve just become the centre of all evil for you and the group of people …</p> <p>“You’ve got a young child, I’ve got a f**king family, I want to move on, I’m so sick of f**king army, the unit and all the bulls**t. Just remember I was minding my own business, just trying to do my job, and I get attacked by all these f**king journalists. I haven’t spoken a word about it to anyone in the unit.”</p> <p>On June 1 Roberts-smith lost his lengthy defamation trial against Nine newspapers’ The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.</p> <p>Following the verdict, The Australian War Memorial has faced calls to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/australian-war-memorial-urged-to-remove-ben-roberts-smith-s-uniform-from-display" target="_blank" rel="noopener">remove the decorated soldier’s uniform</a> from its display.</p> <p>The 22-week trial saw 32 current and former SAS members provide evidence.</p> <p>One of the 32, known as “Person Y”, who has never spoken to the media, appeared anonymously on 60 Minutes on June 4.</p> <p>“You don’t win insurgencies on body counts, yet here is a guy who thinks he’s going to win the war by killing as many people as possible,” he told the program.</p> <p>“We are not above the law, we are not above the rules of engagement, but I think for him he felt he was above all that, that the rules don’t apply. Many people are having a hard time reconciling the fact that someone they thought was a national hero is in fact the complete opposite, proven to be a bully, a liar and a murderer.</p> <p>“It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for a country that’s believed the lies for so long.</p> <p>“I think they thought they were above the law, that they were not going to be caught, that it was a free-for-all.</p> <p>“I think I could say on behalf of every guy who took the witness stand that none of us wanted to be there, that’s just not who we are.”</p> <p>One day after the verdict was reached, Seven CEO James Warburton revealed Roberts-Smith had resigned from the network.</p> <p>“We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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How to avoid mobile phone bill horror stories when travelling

<p>"I'm sorry, calls to this number are not allowed, please try again later". This. Again. At 1am standing outside what I thought was our Galway Airbnb, but instead was a popular alley for Irish revellers to relieve themselves. Brilliant.</p> <p>After begging a convenience store manager, borrowing a phone and stealing some local wi-fi, we made it to bed before 3am (one-star rating for the Airbnb host, naturally). Such was the power of the phone company when you're on holiday, I still got pinged far-too-high amounts for calls and data used to attempt a check-in at the Irish abode.</p> <p>A reader recently contacted me wanting to avoid such a conundrum by asking for the best SIM cards available in Europe. Thankfully, EU law has recently shielded travellers from harsh cross-border roaming charges by ruling that providers cannot charge excessively for access to rival networks in fellow EU nations.</p> <p>You'll see the kiosks hawking pre-paid SIM packages at many major airports. If you want the dependability a SIM provides, assess your needs and shop around. </p> <p>Better yet, get to know your smartphone better and use the whole range of mobile apps that will soon make international call and text roaming redundant. Organising hotels, taxis, tours, dinner reservations as well as calling home and making your friends and colleagues jealous with holiday snaps can all be done with a wi-fi connections, which are readily available and far cheaper (if not free).</p> <p><strong>Avoid phone bill shock when you're away</strong></p> <ul> <li>Contact your mobile phone company rep about your destination and length of stay to see what add-ons and spending caps may be best.</li> <li>Only purchase local SIMs if you're in the country more than a week, have an unplanned itinerary or will have no free wi-fi at your accommodation.</li> <li>If you're on a per-day bundle, choose a few days to be on-the-grid and turn off your mobile data on other days.</li> <li>Go wi-fi only, in North American, Asian and European cities it's readily available.</li> <li>Embrace apps like Uber, Gett, WhatsApp, OpenTable and TripAdvisor to book taxis, call home and book restaurants and tours using hotel wi-fi and thus limiting calls.</li> </ul> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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6 amazing things you didn’t know your phone could do

<p>Nobody ever bought a shiny brand new smartphone and then studiously read the manual! Maybe it’s just us but unfortunately it means we’ve missed out on the secret but amazing things your smartphone can do. You don't even need to download any apps to do these nifty tricks. Here are some of our favourite ones that we’re sure will impress next time you need them.</p> <p><strong>Taking a screenshot</strong></p> <p>A great trick if you want to share a hilarious text, picture or Facebook post with friends or family.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> – SImultaneously press (but not hold) the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button (top right of phone). You should hear a shutter click as well as see a white flash. The screenshot will be located on your Camera Roll in photos.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> - Hold down the Power button and Volume -down button at the same time for a couple of seconds. Or hold down power button and home icon at the same time. If this doesn’t work, you can hold down the power button until the option to take a screen shot appears.</p> <p><strong>Taking multiple photos at once</strong></p> <p>A life-saver if you are taking pictures of wriggling kids or people who blink exactly when you take the picture (there’s always someone in the group isn’t there?). This little trick lets you take multiple pictures with a single click.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> – In the camera app, rather than tapping capture button to take photos, hold it down. Your camera will automatically take multiple picture (around 10 pictures a second) until you release the button.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> - In the camera app, tap the gear icon and turn on “Burst Shot” settings. Return to your camera app and hold onto the capture button. Or go to camera, select mode, auto and click on burst shots.</p> <p><strong>Change text size</strong></p> <p>If the tiny text on the smartphone is giving you a headache, there’s an easily solution. You can change the settings so all text on your phone is large.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> - Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on “Larger Text.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> - Go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision and tap font size and set it to Large.</p> <p><strong>Read to you</strong></p> <p>It really seems like technology can do anything, including programming your smartphone to read to you.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> - Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on “Speak Selection.” You can even customise the voice that speaks to you choosing from a wide range of accent including Australian. To get your phone to speak to you, highlight text (double-tapping or tapping and holding on to it) and then tap Speak button in the pop-up menu.</p> <p><strong>Turn off music automatically</strong></p> <p>If you are one to listen to music or audiobooks as you drift off to sleep, you can use a timer to turn it off so it doesn’t drain your battery life.  </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> - Go to the Clock app and tap on "Timer," then "When Timer Ends." From here, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen and select "Stop Playing."</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> - Open the music player and go to Settings. Look for "Music auto off" and set it to however long you want the music to play.</p> <p><strong>Search text messages</strong></p> <p>Searching for messages is handy if you are looking for a specific text containing details like addresses, emails or dates.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> – When you open your Message app, scroll up and a search bar should pop up at the top of all your messages. Type in the phrase you are looking for.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> – Open the Message app and then tap on the Menu. A few options will appear and click search. </p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Technology

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Tips for safe mobile banking

<p>As we increasingly turn to our mobile devices for online transactions, it’s crucial to keep security in mind. We’ve all misplaced our mobile phone at some stage and the last thing you want is for some random stranger to get direct access to your bank accounts and other personal details.</p> <p><strong>1. Use a strong password –</strong> This goes without saying.While it might not be as critical with your library pass, someone who cracks or guesses your online banking password can drain your account dry. If you memorise just one strong password, make it your online banking password.</p> <p><strong>2. Never store passwords on your smartphone –</strong> Many people still try to hide passwords or PIN numbers within the body of text or phone numbers. However, despite how cleverly you may think you've concealed them, criminals know what to look for and where. It's always best to commit these security details to memory and not record them anywhere. This includes not ticking "save password" on website and applications that offer to remember your login details. Also make sure you limit other personal information. Criminals are interested in more than just your internet banking details. Any kind of personal information can be used to steal your identity, which criminals can then use to apply for credit cards, personal loans, even mortgages.</p> <p><strong>3. Use a password manager –</strong> Okay, in the real world you probably have more than one online financial account. Rather than strain your brain memorising hard-to-crack passwords for each of them, look at enlisting the help of a password manager. There are plenty of apps available and the best ones not only store your passwords securely but also help you work through your collection of passwords and replace weak ones and duplicates.</p> <p><strong>4. Activate smartphone security settings and password protection –</strong> All smartphones have built-in security features such as auto-locking and password protection. While it may seem like a bit of an inconvenience at times, these physical security measures are your first line of defense in keeping your smartphone and your personal details safe. You can also install smartphone security software as well as remote data wiping software if you lose your phone or it gets stolen.</p> <p><strong>5. Connect through your data plan –</strong> If you're banking online on a mobile device, you have a degree of in-built protection available when you turn off wi-fi tethering and bluetooth and connect using your mobile data plan. It's a lot harder for criminals to sniff your mobile data stream than to snag passwords from network traffic. If you’re on wi-fi only use reputable hot spots that are password protected. If you connect to a shared wi-fi hotspot you are completely dependent on the security of the host network.</p> <p><strong>6. Don't be tempted to jailbreak your smartphone –</strong> If you crack the manufacturer's security on your smartphone, you not only make your warranty invalid but you make it much more vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals.</p> <p><strong>7. Clear your phone when you replace it –</strong> If you sell or discard your smartphone, it's crucial you delete all personal information first. This includes SMS messages, emails, photographs, contact details and internet links. </p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"I am not a monster": Disturbing reason police have seized phone of woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann

<p>Polish woman Julia Faustyna who went viral over <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/woman-shares-evidence-that-she-is-madeleine-mccann" target="_blank" rel="noopener">claims she could be Madeleine McCann </a>has had her phone seized by US police over claims it contains explicit images of children.</p> <p>The phone was given to authorities by a former spokesperson for Faustyna and psychic private investigator Fia Johansson.</p> <p>The phone was reportedly left with Johansson when she brought Faustyna, 21, to the US for <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/julia-faustyna-takes-dna-test-to-prove-wild-identity-claims" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DNA and family ancestry test results</a> over her claiming to be the missing toddler.</p> <p>The results confirmed that Faustyna was “absolutely, 100 per cent from Poland".</p> <p>Johansson handed the phone over to police during a search and seizure as part of an investigation, but the reason behind what prompted the pursuit remains unknown, according to the <em>New York Post</em>.</p> <p>Wroclaw police in Poland were contacted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and were informed that they were in possession of a phone thought to belong to Faustyna, according to a <em>RadarOnline.com</em> report.</p> <p>“Our investigation is taking a deep look into it and we’re going to let them do their investigative duties and then from that point let the judicial system take over – if it needs to,” department spokesman Sergeant Mike Woodroof said.</p> <p>Johansson reportedly added, “I’m told an investigator from the Sheriff’s Department is personally taking the device to Poland to make sure it doesn’t get lost or misplaced.”</p> <p>She also shared an image of a denied release of case information form from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on social media, including a statement regarding the investigation.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrJh_DVvl3i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrJh_DVvl3i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Dr. Fia Johansson (@persianmedium)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“There will be no comment or discussion at this time or moving forward concerning the active ongoing investigation with Orange County Sheriff’s Department and special public affairs division due to protocol and the sensitivity and nature of the intelligence that has been gathered and rendered,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s an active investigation and DA will not comment out of concern for the safety of the victims.”</p> <p>After Faustyna received her DNA test results and appeared on Dr Phil, Johannson revealed she travelled back to Poland to live with her father.</p> <p>The DNA results prompted <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/madeleine-mccann-s-parents-speak-out-after-dna-test-results" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Madeleine McCann’s parents to break their silence</a> after months of emotional turmoil.</p> <p>Faustyna now denies all the allegations against her to reporters.</p> <p>“I didn’t have child pornography on my phone. I am not a paedo and I never tried to encourage any teenagers to do anything illegal and bad and disgusting,” she told <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>“Just think carefully, if someone is a paedo, I believe this person would never go by himself to a police station or this person would never talk about what I was talking in public to the whole world because it would be very dangerous for this person.</p> <p>“It is not logical ... I am saying the truth and I will make my name clean because I am not a monster.”</p> <p>She told <em>The Sun</em> she had purchased the phone from an unknown person, saying that if there were explicit images on her phone they were put there by someone else.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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Screwed over: how Apple and others are making it impossible to get a cheap and easy phone repair

<p>If Apple and other tech companies have their way, it will only become harder to have our phones and other devices repaired by third-party businesses.</p> <p>Smartphones and many other tech devices are increasingly being designed in ways that make it challenging to repair or replace individual components.</p> <p>This might involve soldering the processor and flash memory to the motherboard, gluing components together unnecessarily, or using non-standard <a href="https://www.ifixit.com/News/14279/apples-diabolical-plan-to-screw-your-iphone">pentalobe screws</a> which make replacements problematic.</p> <p>Many submissions to an Australian “right to repair” <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/repair/submissions#initial">inquiry</a> have called on tech manufacturers to provide a fair and competitive market for repairs, and produce products that are easily repairable. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/repair/issues/repair-issues.pdf">right to repair</a> refers to consumers’ ability to have their products repaired at a competitive price. This includes being able to choose a repairer, rather than being forced by default to use the device manufacturer’s services. </p> <p>But it seems Apple doesn’t want its customers to fix their <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/evmeya/apple-iphone-right-to-repair-california">iPhones</a>or <a href="https://www.inputmag.com/culture/apples-repair-policies-are-utterly-shameful-and-shouldnt-be-allowed-e-waste-recycling-macbooks-t2">Macbooks</a> themselves. The company has <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/nz85y7/apple-is-lobbying-against-your-right-to-repair-iphones-new-york-state-records-confirm">lobbied against</a> the right to repair in the United States and has <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/11/18/936268845/apple-agrees-to-pay-113-million-to-settle-batterygate-case-over-iphone-slowdowns">been accused of deliberately slowing down</a> iPhones with older batteries.</p> <p><a href="https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2019/10/16/tech-giants-fight-digital-right-to-repair-bills">Opposition</a> against the right to repair from tech companies is to be expected. Cornering consumers into using their service centres increases their revenue and extends their market domination.</p> <p>In its defence, Apple has said <a href="https://time.com/4828099/farmers-and-apple-fight-over-the-toolbox/">third-party repairers</a> could use lower quality parts and also make devices vulnerable to hackers. </p> <p>It also defended its <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2019/08/14/apple-defends-iphone-unauthorized-battery-warning-as-a-safety-feature/">battery warning indication</a> as a “safety” feature, wherein it started to alert users if their phone’s replacement battery hadn’t come from a certified Apple repairer. </p> <p>In the US, Apple’s <a href="https://support.apple.com/irp-program">independent repair provider program</a> grants certain providers access to the parts and resources needed to fix its devices. Independent repair shops in <a href="https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/07/apple-expands-iphone-repair-services-to-hundreds-of-new-locations-across-the-us/">32 countries</a> can now apply, but the scheme has yet to extend outside the US.</p> <h2>Impact on users</h2> <p>With the iPhone 12 — the latest iPhone offering — Apple has <a href="https://www.ifixit.com/News/45921/is-this-the-end-of-the-repairable-iphone">made it even harder</a> for third-party repairers to fix the device, thereby increasing users’ reliance on its own services. </p> <p>Apple has hiked its <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/iphone/repair/service/screen-replacement">repair charges</a> for iPhone 12 by more than 40%, compared with the iPhone 11. It is <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/iphone/repair/service/screen-replacement">charging</a> more than A$359 to fix an iPhone 12 screen outside of warranty and A$109 to replace the battery. </p> <p>Historically, third-party repairers have been a cheaper option. But using a third-party repairer for an iPhone 12 could render some phone features, such as the camera, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/30/21542242/apple-iphone-12-third-party-repairs-ifixit-camera-module-replacement">almost inoperable</a>.</p> <p>According to reports, fixing the iPhone 12’s camera requires <a href="https://9to5mac.com/2020/10/30/iphone-12-camera-repair/">Apple’s proprietary</a> system configuration app, available only to the company’s own authorised technicians. </p> <p>It’s not just Apple, either. <a href="https://www.techradar.com/au/news/samsungs-galaxy-s20-ultra-is-unsurprisingly-difficult-to-repair">Samsung’s</a> flagship phones are also quite tricky for third-party repairers to fix.</p> <h2>Impact on environment</h2> <p>When certain parts for repairs aren’t available, manufacturers will produce new phones instead, consuming <a href="https://www.envirotech-online.com/news/environmental-laboratory/7/breaking-news/how-do-smartphones-affect-the-environment/48339">more energy and resources</a>. In fact, manufacturing one smartphone <a href="https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/science/article/pii/S095965261733233X">consumes</a> as much energy as using it for ten years.</p> <p>As smartphones become harder to repair, electronic waste will grow. Apple and Samsung both cited environmental benefits when they announced they would no longer ship <a href="https://theconversation.com/apples-iphone-12-comes-without-a-charger-a-smart-waste-reduction-move-or-clever-cash-grab-148189">chargers</a> with their phones. </p> <p>Yet, they’ve turned a blind eye to the environmental damage that would arise from completely cornering the repair market.</p> <p>The average Australian home has <a href="https://thinktv.com.au/facts-and-stats/australian-homes-are-experiencing-a-screen-explosion/">6.7 devices</a>, including televisions, personal computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. With diminishing opportunities for repair, the environmental burden from disposing of these devices will increase.</p> <h2>What is being done?</h2> <p>Phone giants make it tough for third-party repairers to do their job in a variety of ways. This includes constantly changing designs, adding hurdles to the repair process, and restricting access to parts, diagnostic software and repair documentation. </p> <p>Meanwhile, consumers are left with broken phones and huge repair bills — and repairers are left with less business.</p> <p>The fight to remove barriers to repair is gaining momentum outside Australia, too, in countries including <a href="https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/when-will-canadians-have-right-repair">Canada</a>, the <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/right-to-repair-means-spare-parts-for-household-appliances-mr5gmkjxr">United Kingdom</a> and the <a href="https://www.repair.org/legislation">United States</a>. Legislative reforms have been introduced in the <a href="https://repair.eu/news/european-parliament-calls-for-ambitious-right-to-repair/">European Union</a> and <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/93wy8v/newly-passed-right-to-repair-law-will-fundamentally-change-tesla-repair">Massachusetts</a>.</p> <p>France has introduced a <a href="https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/indice-reparabilite">Repairability Index</a> requiring electrical and electronic equipment companies to inform consumers about their products’ repairability on a scale of one to ten. </p> <p>This takes into account the ease of repairability, availability and price of spare parts and availability of technical repair documents.</p> <h2>The path moving forward</h2> <p>Until the push for right to repair legislative reform gathers pace globally, consumers will have little choice but to pay up to big companies to access their authorised repair services. </p> <p>If they don’t, they may risk losing their warranty, ending up with a non-functional device and even <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e449c8c3ef68d752f3e70dc/t/5ea8a6d93b485d0feb9b5d6b/1588111098207/Report_RightToRepair_HanleyKellowayVaheesan-1.pdf">infringing</a> upon the manufacturers’ software copyrights.</p> <p>Ideally, phone companies (and others) would assist users with the repair process by providing replacement parts, repair documentation and diagnostic tools to third-party repairers. </p> <p>This would also help <a href="https://www.apple.com/au/newsroom/2020/07/apple-commits-to-be-100-percent-carbon-neutral-for-its-supply-chain-and-products-by-2030/">Apple</a> and <a href="https://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/sustainability/environment/">Samsung</a> reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their environmental goals.</p> <p>Although the way things are going, it’s unlikely tech companies will be able to escape their self-inflicted repair obligations. In the past, Apple CEO Jeff Williams has <a href="https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/08/apple-offers-customers-even-more-options-for-safe-reliable-repairs/">said, "</a>we believe the safest and most reliable repair is one handled by a trained technician using genuine parts that have been properly engineered and rigorously tested."</p> <p>But with only so much workforce available even to Apple, sharing the load with smaller repairers will help. </p> <p>And for consumers’ benefit, the right to repair legislation must be taken seriously, with consistent repairability scores developed across the globe.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/screwed-over-how-apple-and-others-are-making-it-impossible-to-get-a-cheap-and-easy-phone-repair-156871" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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What the “father of the cell phone” wants you to know

<p dir="ltr">The inventor of the mobile phone has shared his candid opinion about the obsession with smart devices. </p> <p dir="ltr">Martin Cooper, an American engineer dubbed the “father of the cell phone”, invented the very first mobile phone 50 years ago in 1973. </p> <p dir="ltr">Back then, the weighty block of wires and circuits were only used to make calls, a far cry from having the world at your fingertips with smartphones today. </p> <p dir="ltr">Cooper believes that despite all the good that can come from modern technology, the world has become a little obsessed with smart devices. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I am devastated when I see somebody crossing the street and looking at their cell phone. They are out of their minds,” the 94-year-old told AFP from his office in Del Mar, California.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But after a few people get run over by cars, they’ll figure it out,” he joked.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Cooper also indulges in the latest gadgets, as he wears an Apple Watch and uses a top-end iPhone, flicking intuitively between his email, photos, YouTube and the controls for his hearing aid.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite keeping up with all the latest apps, updates and upgrades, he confessed that sometimes it can all seem a little overwhelming. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I will never, ever understand how to use the cell phone the way my grandchildren and great grandchildren do,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Each generation is going to be smarter … they will learn how to use the cell phone more effectively,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Humans sooner or later figure it out.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Are our phones really designed to slow down over time? Experts look at the evidence

<p>It’s usually around this time of year you hear people complain about their phones slowing down. Apple and Google release new versions of their operating systems (OS) and suddenly there’s a slew of people <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51413724">claiming their old devices have started to lag</a> – conveniently just before Christmas. </p> <p>But do manufacturers really slow down our phones on purpose to nudge us towards shiny new ones, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/11/18/936268845/apple-agrees-to-pay-113-million-to-settle-batterygate-case-over-iphone-slowdowns">as has been claimed</a>? </p> <p>The answer to this, as usual, is complicated. Let’s take a look at the evidence.</p> <h2>The ol’ operating system shuffle</h2> <p>Every year, usually around <a href="https://infonewt.com/apple-release-patterns">May and June</a>, tech companies announce their new OS updates. The main news surrounding the releases is often <a href="https://www.macstories.net/stories/ios-and-ipados-15-the-macstories-overview/">new system features</a>such as <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT204380">Facetime</a> enhancements, improvements to <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/7/22522993/apple-siri-on-device-speech-recognition-no-internet-wwdc">voice assistants</a>, or a <a href="https://www.wired.com/2013/06/ios7-redesign/">fancier system design</a>.</p> <p>But did you know these features are optimised for the new hardware traditionally released during the summer, and the chips that come with it? </p> <p>As such, system updates have to be programmed to work towards two goals. The first is to support the new hardware and chip, which deliver the newest features. </p> <p>The second is to continue to work with existing hardware that won’t support the new features. And this means coding the OS so it’s not reliant on the new features having to work.</p> <p>This challenge exists for desktop OSs as well, as evidenced by the recent removal of old systems <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/29/22555371/microsoft-windows-11-cpu-support-hardware-requirements-tpm-response">from the Windows 11 compatibility list</a>. Microsoft decided coding around new features was an insurmountable challenge in some instances. </p> <h2>Hardships with hardware</h2> <p>So your old smartphone won’t support new features – fair enough. But why does it feel like the new OS update is making existing features slower? To understand this, you need to first understand some of the mechanics of chip design.</p> <p>Apple used to use other manufacturers’ chips for its devices, but for the past few years has made its own custom silicon. This is referred to as a “<a href="https://anysilicon.com/what-is-a-system-on-chip-soc/">system on a chip (SoC)</a>, as the entire system exists on a single chip designed and manufactured by Apple.</p> <p>But even if manufacturers design their own chips, it can be hard to predict what consumers will want in the future, and thus which upgrades will come with future iterations of a device. </p> <p>Manufacturers have to write OS updates to suit the latest hardware, so consumers who purchase it can take advantage of the latest features. In doing so, they must work around the fact that older hardware doesn’t have the same capacity. </p> <p>These workarounds mean older devices will run more slowly with the new OS installed, even for tasks the system had done for years. The latest OS is not written to make your old device slower, but because it’s written for the latest device, it can’t help but run more slowly on old hardware. </p> <p>Examples of this abound in the industry, <a href="https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/09/ios-14-on-the-iphone-6s-and-se-performance-is-fine-other-stuff-is-not/">with many articles written</a> about a newly released OS version running slow on older devices until the manufacturer optimises it (if they ever do).</p> <p>You might be wondering: if a new OS will slow down old phones, why install the update at all? </p> <p>Well, it’s because people don’t like being told to stick with old features. Apple <a href="https://9to5mac.com/2021/06/07/apple-will-let-users-stay-on-ios-14-and-receive-security-updates-even-after-ios-15-is-released/">recently allowed</a> users of its latest devices to keep the old system, but this is unusual. There is usually a <a href="https://www.popsci.com/update-every-gadget/">push for users to install new OS versions</a>.</p> <h2>It’s all business</h2> <p>The truth is device manufacturers are in the business to make money. And this means being able to sell new devices. </p> <p>While there is often an <a href="https://theconversation.com/upgrade-rage-why-you-may-have-to-buy-a-new-device-whether-you-want-to-or-not-153105">implied expectation</a> from consumers that manufacturers will commit to maintaining old products, at the same time they need to write updates that will work for their latest hardware. </p> <p>Meanwhile, tech companies aren’t doing enough to educate users on how to adjust their settings to get the best out of their phones, or <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/remove-bloatware-phone/">how to manage software bloat</a> which might contribute to a phone slowing down. </p> <p>Compounding this are other factors such as network connection issues, like when the 3G mobile network was stopped.</p> <h2>Burden of proof</h2> <p>There’s something else to consider, too. If an OS update was designed to intentionally slow down a phone over time, this would be very difficult to prove. </p> <p>The system codes are "closed source”, so experts can’t look into them. The best we can do is run timers on different processes and see if they are slowing down over time.</p> <p>But even if they are, is it because of a system update that can’t be supported by old hardware, or is it malicious conduct from the manufacturer? Could the code be written to force the device to sleep for half a second, every ten seconds, with a sleep command? </p> <p>It’s hard to say for sure, although our personal opinion is this is highly unlikely.</p> <h2>Choose not to play</h2> <p>Ultimately, the issue comes down to how device manufacturers sell their products. </p> <p>The best option for their bottom line is to deliver OS updates and features that work with the latest hardware, even if this leaves old devices behind. The evidence suggests manufacturers are not intentionally slowing phones down, but are prioritising the latest release so you’ll buy it. </p> <p>In the meantime, if your slow device is getting you down, the best option is to resist the urge to upgrade. You might get prompts directing you to install the latest OS version (and the frequency of these will depend on the company) but you can ignore them. </p> <p>There may be auto-updates which you can’t avoid, but in most cases these are for security purposes and don’t include major changes or new features. It’s only once these security updates stop coming that you should upgrade.</p> <p>Until then, a phone running on its original OS should, in theory, run well for a long time.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-our-phones-really-designed-to-slow-down-over-time-experts-look-at-the-evidence-170962" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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What to do if you lose your phone

<p>Our smartphones are increasingly becoming a central part of our lives. We use our phones for much more than making calls – we store valuable photos and information on them, surf the web and do online banking and shopping. Plus, they are expensive pieces of technology so losing them can be a complete nightmare. What do you do? Don’t panic and follow our guide.</p> <p><strong>Change passwords</strong></p> <p>Change the passwords to all your online accounts (e.g. email, Facebook, banking) immediately. This means any of your personal or financial information won’t be accessible to anyone who has picked up (or stole) your phone. It also reduces the chance of identity theft.  Make sure you do keep a close eye on your accounts just in case anything suspect occurs.</p> <p><strong>Call and text your phone</strong></p> <p>Use a friend’s phone or landline to call your phone. If it’s nearby you might hear your phone ringing. If not, some honest stranger might pick it up and answer it. If your phone is ringing out, send a text message to your phone letting whoever picks it up know it’s lost. Include a contact number so they can reach you.</p> <p><strong>Tracking it down</strong></p> <p>You must enable the settings on your phone or pre-install these apps for the following to work. If you haven’t done it already, we highly recommend it as it could mean the difference between finding your phone and not!</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">iPhones</span> - A “Find my iPhone” feature is available for iPhones. Log on to it on another device and it uses the GPS on your phone to track it down on a map. You can even force your phone to play sounds to help you track it down. Turning on “Lost Mode” is also an option that lets you remotely lock your device or wipe all your phone data. You can also install the GadgetTrak app which takes photos of whoever has your phone and emails it back to you</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Androids</span> – “Where’s My Droid” is similar to “Find my iPhone” allowing you to text your phone a code word which turns on its GPS and emails the coordinates back to you. Apps like Lookout and Cereberus do similar things letting you remotely lock and wipe your phone. </p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Windows</span> – Visit the “My Phone” section of Windows Phone website. It will let you ring, lock, erase or show your phone on a map.</p> <p><strong>Tell your phone company</strong></p> <p>If it is becoming likely your phone is unfortunately lost for good, let your mobile phone company know. This is crucial because you are still liable for any calls that are made on your phone until you tell them it’s missing.</p> <p><strong>Report it</strong></p> <p>Report the incident to the police. They might request the serial number of your device so keep it handy. You might also be in luck – someone may have handed it in! If you have insurance, most companies often want a police report. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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