Disruptive TV streaming service Hulu is preparing to launch in Australia with sources close to the project flagging it might launch with or without the support of the commercial free-to-air TV networks.

Hulu, which offers free ad-supported on-demand streaming of TV shows and movies, has been a runaway hit in the US, where it garners hundreds of millions of streams a month on desktop computers and internet-connected TVs.

For the first time ever, smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone are outselling personal computers, according to a report by research group IDC that was released this week.

Worldwide, consumer electronics makers shipped 100.9 million smart phones in the last three months of 2010, an 87 per cent jump from a year earlier. PC shipments were weaker than expected, edging up just 3 per cent to 92.1 million.

Mobile phone security threats rose sharply last year as a proliferation of internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets provided new opportunities for cybercriminals, security software maker McAfee said.

In its fourth-quarter threat report, released this week, McAfee said the number of pieces of new mobile phone malware it found in 2010 rose 46 per cent over 2009’s level.

Australians are consuming so much video and internet on their smartphones that mobile data usage is forecast to grow 32-fold from 2010 to 2015, according to the world’s largest provider of network equipment, Cisco Systems.

But as people look to use their smartphones for everything they could do on a PC, it remains to be seen whether the telcos’ networks will hold up. Two-thirds of the increase in usage is expected to come from mobile video.

Two Chinese men successfully drive a 1-series with a Nokia smartphone.

In an age where car manufacturers are producing apps for phones that allow drivers to monitor the car’s vital systems and even switch on the air-conditioning before they hop in, this new app could be seen as one for the “why did they bother” column.

Microsoft said this week it sold more than 2 million units of its new Windows Phone 7 software to handset makers last quarter, as it looks to counter Apple’s iPhone and the rise of Google’s Android system.

The world’s largest software maker, which launched its new phone software in October, licenses the technology to handset makers such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and HTC.

Apple said last week 16.2 million iPhones were sold in the last quarter.

Microsoft is set to report quarterly earnings later this week.


Apple plans to introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, said Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.

The services are based on “Near-Field Communication”, a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to four inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.

iPad Subscriptions

IF YOU seek Cleo’s advice on how to ”think your way to the perfect life”, you can now do so on your iPad as well as in this month’s print edition.

But despite its publisher, the ACP Magazines division of the Nine Entertainment Co, releasing an application selling iPad editions of 16 magazines, you cannot subscribe to any of them.

News Corporation is pushing back the launch of the world’s first iPad-only newspaper.

The company declined to comment on why. But a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorisation to disclose details, said on Friday News Corp and iPad maker Apple Inc have decided to delay the launch while they work on the technology involved in providing subscriptions.

A powerful virus targeting smartphones in China running Google’s Android operating system may represent the most sophisticated bug to target mobile devices to date, security researchers said.

Anti-virus firm Lookout Mobile Security estimates that the number of phones that have been infected by the virus, dubbed Geinimi, ranges from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.