14-year-old beats iPhone app competition & Georgia Tech turns an iPhone into an iSpy

Some of you may have seen my tweet about having been working on a bit of technical stuff for Sunday’s Mark Twain Prize event with Will Ferrell.  I do plan on writing a blog post about that, but at the moment I’m in between working shifts and I don’t have a lot of down time before I have to hit the road again, so I’ll blog about some stuff I read in the news first.

Two of the four articles I thought were worth blogging about were both iPhone-related, so I thought I’d write about them first and lump them in one post, since neither of them are intense articles.  They just seem more like food-for-thought articles to me.

One article is about a 14-year-old kid who’s surpassed the competition in the app store by creating a free gaming app more popular than Angry Birds.  The other is about research from Georgia Tech that discovered an iPhone 4 is capable of hearing your keystrokes and interpreting what you’ve typed out on your laptop computers.

Game Written by a 14-Year-Old Passes Angry Birds as Top Free iPhone App

Technology is always developing, and in addition to that, people are getting smarter too, especially the younger generation.  I think that it’s great that this teenage boy was able to create something so successful at such an early age.  It takes courage to do something like that, I think.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this kid garnered any anti-fans or mean critics for his accomplishment, but I think what he did was great, especially for his age.  I couldn’t help but feel a little envious too that I wasn’t as bold at that age, but on the brighter side of things, there’s always time.

Georgia Tech teaches your iPhone to spy on you

This other article didn’t surprise me too much.  I’m sure there’s plenty of things an iPhone (and many other technology mediums) that are capable of invading privacy just like this.  I just think we are left in the dark about most of it.  This article got me to thinking about a loosely related issue though.  Is it better for the truth like this to come out in the open as soon as it’s discovered?  Or is it better to wait until the situation actually catches fire and becomes a concern?

As a public relations student, and as someone currently taking a course in crisis communication, I can’t help but chew on this topic a little bit.  We are being taught in my course that it is always best to be honest and open about all crisis.  (Of course we all know this doesn’t happen all the time.)  On the one hand, I can see this being effective–people are more likely to trust and remain loyal if you haven’t lied.  At the same time though, I wonder if revealing capabilities like this actually puts us in more of a risky situation than if no one says anything?  On a slightly off-handish note, it’s kind of like how I feel about the television shows and movies these days that are so openly sexual (because everyone does it, so why be ashamed to express it?) or violently graphic television shows like CSI.  And don’t get me wrong, I love me some CSI and I don’t live so far underground that I am under the impression no one would have sex if we just didn’t talk about it, but I just wonder if by doing it in such a “loud” fashion, we’re actually encouraging more risky behaviors from those watching that otherwise wouldn’t have if they didn’t feel pressured/influenced by the things they watch or hear?

I suppose studies on something like this have already been done before, like people being influenced by violent video games, but anyone willing to share any thoughts?

(I was also going to write on two more articles, but at the moment it seems I have run out of time for now.  Until next time, then!)

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