Posts Tagged ‘new technology’

Tap and Pay: new card technology

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Don’t have cash, don’t want to sign or use your pin? Just tap your card in front of the new reader, and you are off.  Mastercard and Visa have been rolling out  the “tap and pay” machines for transactions under $100 AUD.

Banks are quick to roll out the machines, with Commonwealth Bank expecting to have 20,000 introduced in stores by the end of the year. NAB expects to have 25,000 out by mid 2011.

Not all cards have the technology yet, but those that do have the logo clearly displayed on the card.

What about privacy and theft concerns? Commonwealth Bank says the $100 limit is too small to attract fraudsters, who are interested in large, big ticket purchases.  The Banking Ombudsman notes that the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct covers transactions using tap and pay, so customers can be compensated for fraud providing the other conditions under the code of conduct are met.

The full article from Sydney Morning Herald is available here.

Are arcade games teaching children to be gamblers?

Monday, July 5th, 2010

A complaint from anti-gaming establishments is that clubs which install arcade games are encouraging children to be gamblers at an early stage, thereby ‘grooming’ them to be problem gamblers as adults.

Independent senator Nick Xenaphon is encouraging the federal government to take action on this point, as there is no legislation handling it in the meantime.  Mr Xenaphon believes that while parents play the pokies inside a club, the kids are getting the same ‘training’ on arcade games not far away.

The Productivity Commission appears to be in agreement with Mr Xenaphon, in its report on gambling which states that “minors should not…be exposed to gambling areas within venues”.  Unfortunately, the report did not continue on to make further recommendations about fixing this problem.

To read the full article, click here.

iPhone problems symptomatic of new cellphone technology

Monday, September 1st, 2008

With the recent launch of the iPhone 3G, a phone that allows people to access the internet at reasonable speeds, from their cellphone, they have been able to deliver the latest technology to the masses.

Avid Apple users appreciate the amount of technology available in the device, there really is a lot of features and functionality.

Novice techo’s benefit from the ease of use of the device, and the merging of different technologies to create a very useful device in a beautiful package.

Regrettably, this device suffers from the same problems symptomatic of any new cellphone technology. The manufacturers have spent so much time on ensuring the device is quick to market, they have failed to offer a device that has a useful lifespan or works to the user’s satisfaction.

Apparently, the battery life can be as low as 5 hours with normal use. Meaning the iPhone 3G needs to be recharged during the middle of the day. Technologies such as GPS no doubt suck up a lot of battery life, meaning a very handy device now becomes somewhat useless to the business traveller who needs to stop their routine to recharge their cellphone, thus hindering their business activities.

Other issues with pushing to be quick to market are that there are a lot of returns and a lot of faults. The web is littered with complaints from users who have this problem or that, with the hardware or software. The Apple service, a tool that allows the customer to store all their information in one place, and distribute that information to various devices, has been plagued with problems from the start. They didn’t have the time to get it right and so now they are playing catch up.

I always think it’s better to get the second one of something, at the minimum. This gives them a chance to fix a large number of the problems with the first one, and you are not subjected completely to being Guinea Pig.

I have seen the massive errors with these “computer cellphones” in my first purchase, the Palm Treo 750. It could be such a useful device, yet it is so useless. In fact, to the point I now need to upgrade the phone to the latest version of the software – this in itself is a user-unfriendly task. Upgrading deletes everything from the device! You need to backup everything first, then try to piece together your cellphone contents again with substandard and clumsy methods.

Clearly not much thought went into what happens when people buy this phone and things start to go wrong. Upgrading is such a major operation it has put me off completely for the meantime. And to lose all the data on the phone in the process? Someone needs to put the marketing person in touch with the programming team.

My Palm Treo 750 has just got a new habit too. Instead of ringing when someone calls, it now beeps after they have hung up. It no longer rings when they are calling. Nor does it vibrate if it’s on that mode. It doesn’t tell me anyone is calling until after they have hung up, at which point it tells me I missed their call.

Again, this all ties back to being the first to market. I can have my product out there first, and selling, or I can have it at the back of the pack, and working well perhaps. But with the advent of new technology, and consequent demand for this, it has no doubt become increasingly difficult for cellphone manufacturers to provide a high level of quality, when the time to market is slowing closing down around them.