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In The News 09-05-14

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by | Filed Under: In The News

California Makes Smartphone Kill Switch Mandatory

The state of California has a new law that makes a kill switch for smartphones sold in that state mandatory. That means if you report your phone stolen, it can be remotely shut down and wiped of data.

That also means that police will have the ability to shut down your smartphone. In many cases, it would require a court order, but they will also be able to do it in what they deem to be an emergency. Users will have the option to disable the kill switch.

Some manufacturers already have kill switches, but this new law means more phones will be getting them. California has a large population of cell phone users and companies are not going to risk losing that market or spend the effort to manufacture phones just for California.

Amazon Pays $1 Billion For Twitch

Amazon has just opened its wallet to offer $1 billion dollars for the video game streaming site Twitch. Twitch is a site that allows you to watch livestreams of other people play video games. If you aren’t a gamer, that might sound a little boring, but people who don’t play golf don’t understand why anyone would want to watch it, either.

Since more than 45 million gamers visit the site every on a monthly basis, it’s not a surprise that Amazon is interested to mining that large consumer base.

Companies Focus On Getting Tablet Gamers To Pay For Apps

Tablet Gaming is on track to rake in more $13 billion dollars in the next five years. According to research by Juniper, more people will turn away from PCs and consoles to the convenience of tablets. That means the market will triple in the coming years.

The company also thinks that PC and console game developers will take a page from mobile games and offer the games for free initially but include paid content. Right now only 6% of mobile games actually cost to purchase.

The report says there will be an increased focus on getting players to actually spend money in these games. While console and PC gamers are used to paying for games, sometimes spending close to $100, casual mobile gamers expect everything for free. So getting them to pay up could be quite a challenge.

 ~ Cynthia

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2 Responses to “In The News 09-05-14”

  1. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    I find your answers quite interesting and comprehensive. I appreciate that.

    Thank you for information on the ‘Kill Switch’ in Smart Phones. However, I’m concerned that a malware can use that switch to lock the phone and delete the data too.

    Is that possible?

    • cynthia says:

      It’s always a concern that any function on an operating system could be compromised by malware. And no doubt, criminals will find ways to use the feature meant to stop them.

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