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hAPPily Ever After?

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

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One click. One date. One night. With a complete stranger. Welcome to the world of online dating.

In the past ten years the idea of online dating has gone from a pastime to a cultural norm, with one in four adults trying out sites and their extension into phone application form.

Online dating is now commonly seen as a part of social interaction due to its renewal in application form.

Only dating sites are used by more than 20 million people, but the both physical and psychological danger are left to users to understand and protect themselves against.

Twenty-seven year old Primary school teacher and online dater Nicole Williams felt the responsibility of safety was her own shoulders.

“The idea of safety was definitely up to me,” She said.

“There have been times when I have had to say no lifts home and even sharing taxis”.

Fellow online dater Bella Heatley imitated these remarks.

“I’ll go overseas and couch surf (but) I wouldn’t meet an online date at my home or theirs, definitely in a public place,” She said.

While this phenomenon is dominating the online world there has been very little research into the reality of its effects.

When Appsolute approached psychologist Dr. Mark Symmons about the effects of virtual dating the response was in the negative.

“My research isn’t specifically in that area” Dr. Symmons said

His sentiments ringing true when researching implications of this online phenomenon resources are scarce.

RSVP is the number one dating site online host to more than 1.6 million users in Australia alone. Financially online dating services have seen a growth of $642 million in the past 2 years.

To online daters the answer for its rise in popularity is clear.

“I had returned from living overseas where the dating scene was a completely different world,” Heatley said.

With education and work now taking precedent people are getting involved in relationships later in life, which would explain the switch to looking for love online.

“I’d just moved inter-state and didn’t know anyone, hadn’t been to any restaurants. I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet new people” Williams said.

Due to its user friendly nature online dating is now on peoples mobile phones, easily accessible huge in range.

With the new iphone App ‘mobimeet’ online users will be able to create profiles that include a GPS tracker to show

While there have been no research done on its dangers, the implications to online App daters of such information is obvious.

“I have done it before but that is insane. At least if it’s simply on my phone I can check it, close it and put it away. I’m in control,” Said Williams

“I know how easy it is for people to infiltrate your life without knowing exactly where you are.”

After having an online date stalk her for weeks, Williams’ knowledge of the darker side of online and App dating can be like.  (Click to enlarge)

*Name has been changed for privacy purposes

This begs the question of internet safety and what is being done to prevent these applications entering the market.

While the government offers a broad range of cyber safety for primary school and teenaged students the only form of protection offered to adults is that against fraud and identity theft.

Even with these threats users looking for love see it as a small price to pay.

“The only chance they have is at work or friends of friends at parties.  If you are not into going out and getting hammered, then there are limited options,” Said Heatley.

“If some people want to go out of their way to put their location onto the web and admit to staying in alone, then they need to take responsibility for whatever happens” Said Williams.

Online Dating Statistics

Words by Emily D’Alterio

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Can the iPad launch journalism back into profits?

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Just as the printing press established modern journalism for centuries, the iPad could provide a similar spark to help reinvent the production of news.

The journalism industry is coming to a crossroads.  Newspapers are quickly on the way out and producers of news are trying to find the next best medium to present their content whilst making a profit.

No news outlets have had success with subscription based access to their online newspapers, which has led to media CEOs looking elsewhere for a more lucrative way of selling their content.

Apple’s new gadget, the iPad, has the potential to be the saviour for the news providers by offering a simple way to get consumers to pay for news delivered in the most sophisticated way.

The iPad can be considered as a desktop that can download programs (apps) to their home screen that can be opened by a simple touch of the icon.  Consumers make a one-off payment to buy the app from Apple’s app store which gives them complete access to the app’s content.

Newspaper readership is falling fast and the journalism industry needs a medium that can stem the flow of plummeting profits.  With the exception of the ABC there are no other news providers that have designed an app for any mobile or tablet device in Australia.

“Absolutely yes, as less people are buying newspapers”, technology editor for Channel Nine’s Today Show Charlie Brown said when asked if the journalism industry should be further exploring the use of apps to produce their news.

At the moment he does not see apps as a profitable medium for news, but this could change as the technology develops.

Apple had sold one million of their high tech tablets within one month of its release proving the iPad an overnight success.  More than this, the general applications (apps) needed to wok the iPad have made in excess of $3 mill already which is a clear indication that the public is prepared to pay for apps should they prove their worth.

“The iPad is like a big RSS reader with extra stuff, I can’t wait to get one”, said Peter, 28, who was placing an order for a unit at the Apple Store in Doncaster Shopping Centre.

The transition of hard copy journalism to the multimedia era will have some initial problems and will most likely change the way it is done altogether.

“What will be hard to sustain is the top end of journalism, the high cost investigative journalism that people will be unlikely to pay for to cover its cost”, says the new professor of Journalism at UTS, Dr. Alan Knight.

However, Dr. Knight does the iPad can bring some new and exciting elements to journalism.

“The niche type markets that can be created on the internet will be good for journalism.

You get newspaper layout, looking at the front page of paper with audio and video – this should be good for news.  Readership patterns are changing rapidly … newspapers are already gone to people under the age of thirty so they are the audience to target”, he says.

The biggest problem with charging users for news online (app) is that many people are prepared to use sites such as Google News to get content for free.

“It’s only going to work for quality publications such as the Wall Street Journal, BBC and The Times etc as they’re a global brand, delivering global news to a global market”, says Charlie Brown.

The iPad and its apps are a sample of how news will be presented in the near future.  They will not save journalism but provide a sketching pad for news producers who wish to make substantial profits from online and mobile news when the public is ready to consume it.

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What’s in an App?

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Since their conception in 2008 mobile phone applications have dominated the tech market, changing the way society functions. 

Monash University media and communications professor Gil-So Han said(Gil-So Han Interview) of the technological phenomenon,    

“When technological devices come to exist, peoples thinking, people’s lives, the quality of lives are always influenced and affected by material devices”

Created initially by private companies and distributed through various arenas via the internet, the mobile application or ‘App’ as they are more commonly known, are now available on all forms of personal technology units, making them accessible anywhere internet connection is available.

Due to this accessibility and popularity, App’s can be created from personal computers and distributed as shown below.

This has lead to wide popularity, with more than 3 billion applications downloaded.

The Apple app store houses approximately 134,000 applications from over 28,000 creators bringing in an enormous annual revenue generation of $250 million.                                                                 

In a press release from Apple, Steve Jobs was quoted,

“Three billion applications downloaded in 18 months – this is nothing like we’ve ever seen before”

The sheer enormity of the App phenomenon has lead to speculation over its effects on society.

Prof. Han said,

“Future generations will have to deal with how to negotiate with the force of technology, the autonomy of individuals.

As there is no precedent, other than public opinion, the monitoring of applications and their counterparts is almost impossible, leading to skepticism about their influence over a young generation of users.

“Majority would say they are helping, lead to believe they help, for the sake of public good, common good, but there is an unanswered question. Why those applications are coming on board, why they are so strongly imposed” Said Prof. Han

When asked about society’s reliance on such technologies, PhD in computing science, IT professor John Hurst (Prof. John Hurst Interview)  said,

“We are reliant; it is true – but “too” reliant? I don’t think so. Otherwise you would have to say that we are “too reliant upon the wheel – and all technology thereafter”

Whether for entertainment, business, politics, advertising or lifestyle benefits there is no denying the App’s growing importance to society, whether we will see a negative or positive outcome to this new era of media technology.

words by Emily D’Alterio

Want to be apart of App Research? Take this Application survey www.surveymonkey.com/s/MRMR727

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App theft costs millions … but who cares?

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Apple empire is flourishing at a phenomenal rate – but like all technology innovators have discovered, piracy is an issue.  The computer sleuths that started the free sharing of music online, have conquered Apple’s security and done the same with their apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.

iPhone ‘crackers’ have found a method of modifying the DRM code (security settings) of an app so it can then be downloaded free and added to a iPhone/iPod.  Once the device has been adjusted and stripped of Apple’s security restrictions (a process called ‘jailbreaking’) broken apps can be easily downloaded from websites like http://thepiratebay.org/ and transferred instantly.

Even well known websites like YouTube have countless video editorials giving a step-by-step guide to jailbreaking.

Hacking your own iPhone is not illegal.  However, it is an offence to post broken apps that are copyrighted to the internet – but this is rarely policed.  Since the opening of the App Store in July 2008 the rumoured loss due to piracy is approximately $450-500m, although this has been denied by Apple.

A marketing manager at Apple made it clear that the company is not overly concerned about the current level of piracy and there are no plans to counter app pirates.  The word piracy does not even appear on the Apple site, official forums, related sites etc.  The franchise may be losing some money by ignoring this issue altogether but it would be a loss hardly felt by an empire reporting a net quarterly profit to December 2009 of $3.38 billion.

Brett is an owner of a jailbroken iPhone and, perhaps typical of all pirates, thinks:

“I have bought the phone so I should be able to do what I want with it.  Downloading cracked apps is just like any file sharing on the net – heaps of people do it… no-one cares if you do it.”

The music industry has made a move against piracy with the introduction of Guvera.com.   This website cleverly uses advertisers, rather than the public, to pay for downloaded music.

What will Apple do to solve their piracy problem, if anything at all?

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Killers Apps are Saving Lives – by Jayne Duff

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Just when we thought the iPhone couldn’t get any better, many will be amazed to discover a new series of applications that quite literally have the capability to save lives.

To some, the iPhone may be just another pointless and overrated piece of technology, however to the Haiti earthquake survivor Dan Woolley, the iPhone is the reason he is alive today.

After being caught under the rubble of the horrific earthquake, Woolley used the medical application Pocket First Aid and CPR to diagnose and treat injuries to his foot and head, by following step-by-step instructions to prevent himself from going into shock.

Woolley said his phone “was like a high-tech version of a Swiss Army Knife that enabled [him] to treat [his] own injuries, track time, stay awake and stay alive.”

The following link shows CNN’s coverage of Dan Woolley’s story of survival:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/24/haiti.survivor.phone.app/index.html?eref=rss_latest&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+Most+Recent%29&utm_content=Google+International

However, the revolutionary life-saving applications go further than instructing basic first aid. Applications such as Panic Control can assist in the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders.

Danielle Selby, a 19-year-old girl diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, claims the step-by-step application would be quite helpful during a state of anxiety. By offering guidance, comfort, and lifestyle tips, the program can help lessen the symptoms of a panic attack.

“Overall, I think it would be a great application to use in the event of a panic attack,” she says. “Personally it would help to relax me and convince me everything will be okay.”

Click the follow link to view the ‘Panic Control’ App Demonstration or Interview Transcript with Danielle Selby. Select to ‘save’ the files first before viewing them.

General Practioner Dr. Richard Duff praises Apple’s useful applications such as ‘MedCalc’, complimenting its practicality and convenience in a medical sense.

“The program consists of a number of medical formulas and calculations,” he explains. “Most of the formulas are quite useful.”

Click the following link to view the Interview Transcript with Dr. Richard Duff.

Boasting a range of formulas from anesthesiology to pediatrics, the MedCalc application is, in reality, the new trend within hospitals around the world.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/profiles/mt-sinai/?sr=hotnews.rss

The hype surrounding Apple’s iPhone and its expansive range of life-saving applications seems to be ultimately justifiable.

It seems that as long as Apple thrives within the telecommunications market, the iPhone applications will continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and even survival of many users.

Words by Jayne Duff

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This is AppSolute

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

AppSolute is designed as a website to allow users an in depth look into the newly evolving world of mobile phone application tools. It will shed light on this new and somewhat unknown realm of media, explain its popularity, give an insight into what goes into making mobile phone applications, or the more commonly known ‘apps’, and many other aspects of their growing importance to society as well as showing their more quirky side. Media and culture is ever changing, and through an insight into the App it is possible to grasp the zeitgeist of our modern era.

As there is now an app for almost every use making them wildly popular, it is only natural that in order to tap into a greater range of voters, political parties have jumped on the proverbial ‘app bandwagon’. Joshua Papanikolaou offers an insight into this new political trend that could potentially see a change in the way society selects and elects leaders. He was also explore the darker side to apps, investigating the illicit world of illegal and unlicensed applications, and how these criminals seem to be getting away with scamming consumers and ripping off legitimate APP stores.

Jayne Duff will take a look at the more taboo side of mobile applications, exploring controversial apps that seem to be able to be sold and distributed due to lack of legal precedence. She will also reveal the importance that apps are having on ordinary people’s lives, from CPR training to real life stories of survival due to an iPhone application.

Online dating has attracted millions of users, so it is only natural that dating applications would dominate that APP stores. Emily D’Alterio will attempt to shed light on the legitimacy of such applications, as well as a hands on detailed exploration of such apps. She will also explain the basics about APP technology, where they came from, and how they are expected to change our modern world.

AppSolute will broaden your mind through a whole range of media outlets to the new and evolutionary world of apps.

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  • Joshua Papanikolaou


    Josh, a second year journalism student at Monash University will report on app piracy and the issue of 'jailbreaking'. He will also give some insight into the impact of apps within politics.

  • Emily D’Alterio


    Emily D'Alterio is also a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    She will investigate the essence of an APP, what goes into them, what makes them so unique and quirky, and where this global phenomenon is headed in the future.
    She will also take a look into the world of Dating applications, using a real life case study to discover if its hAPPily ever after, or simply a giant scam.

  • Jayne Duff


    Jayne Duff joins Joshua and Emily as a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    Through her articles you will discover growing necessity for iphone Apps as she takes us through "Killer Apps that Save Lives".
    She'll also focus on the controversial side of apps, exposing the more outrageous and often offensive applications in an unprecedented environment.

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