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New App Will Tackle Insurance Fraud Claims

Insurance firms are increasingly using technology to verify authentic videos and photos in the fight against insurance fraud.

With insurance claims now asking for user-submitted images means that the potential for fraud is increasing.

Also, with hundreds of apps that allow users to manipulate videos and photos means they can edit the appearance of the image and also its time, date and location.

Now Truepic, a start-up, says it has developed the technology which can instantly verify and authenticate images and the firm is now working with insurance firms in a bid to tackle fraudulent claims.

Essentially, the new system will work via the insurance firm’s own app by using Truepic’s SDK camera which will verify that any video or image has not been edited.

New app enables crime reporting

Smartphone users in the French city of Nice can use a mobile phone app to report a crime.

So far, 2,000 people have signed up to try out the service for them to record and report a crime to the police – and they can do it in a matter of seconds.

The app enables video streaming and geo-locating so police officers can see exactly where someone reporting a crime is and what’s happening around them.

The police support the app and say it will help them to become more efficient when processing calls from the public.

A spokesman for Nice’s Municipal Police said: “We manage 75,000 calls a year and the app will help us manage the numbers we get at our surveillance centre. The difficulty for us is to work out the caller’s location so we can send a team to them.”

Google bans violent app

After a mother warned Google about a violent app that threatens children with a knife, the tech giant immediately banned it.

The Monster Machines and Blaze apps were free on Google Play Store but they made sinister threats to children including a threat to stab them with a knife.

The apps are based on a popular children’s cartoon series but appear not to have any official links.

The mother’s warning follows a growing trend of parent highlighting the need to monitor children’s use of apps after some, including one featuring the popular character Peppa Pig, were found to be violent.

The parents are using YouTube to show the apps being played by young children so viewers can see how violent some apps can be.

Students targeted by laundry app

Students are being targeted by a laundry app that will enable their dirty washing to be picked up, cleaned and then dropped off.

Aimed primarily at London-based university students the app also has secure lockers where students can leave their laundry and pick it up afterwards.

The app, Laundry Check, has been created by a firm that uses industrial cleaning facilities and they will deliver and pick up clothes using hybrid vehicles.

In other mobile phone app news …

The UK government is helping to fund the world’s first mobile app which will identify innovative ways to help people with a disability in a poor country to get a job.

A WhatsApp update will enable some Android phone users to switch off group chat notifications but enable alerts for single messages, among several updates. The phones need to use Google’s latest Android operating system for the updates to function.

Commuters fed up with the state of public transport can now use GrumpNow to complain. The developer says it has already been downloaded several hundred times since being launched in late 2017. The data is then compiled to log the travellers’ issues.

Google under fire for refusing to block fake apps

Google has been criticised for refusing to block fake apps in its store that claim to protect users against the WannaCry ransomware virus.

Researchers from McAfee say the apps do not work as advertised and will instead bombard the phone with adverts.

For those interested in the apps to protect their phone will be wasting their time since WannaCry exploited a flaw in the Microsoft operating system.

In addition, McAfee says the apps might contain malware that could steal user’s bank details though this was not found on the malware they tested.

Now industry watchers say that Google should do more to screen apps and days after McAfee reported the malware to Google, the apps were still available for downloading.

Google says it has now taken action.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security has announced the vulnerability of a flaw in the networking software Samba which could leave thousands of computers open to a similar WannaCry attack.

While hackers are not exploiting the vulnerability, the Department is urging administrators and users to apply a security patch.

T-Mobile unveils its ‘Digits’ program

T-Mobile customers in the US will be able to use their phone number across multiple devices by installing an app to do so.

The phone network says it will create a seamless integration so customers can access their service from a variety of devices rather than just a mobile phone.

The phone number is free to customers though they can pay for extra packages including in-flight Wi-Fi. The app is available for devices including tablets and wearables as well as laptops.

The move is similar to that from the tech giants and sees the phone number being separated from the phone in the same way Google Voice and AppleID do.

One reason for the move is that T-Mobile says that 30 million people in the US, particularly business owners, own two phones and two plans and they are effectively wasting $10 billion every year.

In other Miratrix news …

Parents in one US city can download a new app that will help them find free nutritious meals for their children in Minneapolis. The app is being created by charity aimed at helping children enjoy a healthy start to life.

A new app launched by a start-up technology firm in Leeds will help users find budget friendly mobile phone contracts. The app, yboo, has been launched after research revealed that the average UK phone user is overpaying by nearly £160 every year on their mobile phone bill.

Police in Hertfordshire have unveiled a new app to help people report crimes as well as receiving news and accessing a live web chat facility with staff.

A judge has ruled that British paedophiles can be banned from using the Snapchat app because it deletes images. The landmark case follows an appeal from a convicted sex offender who was prevented from using a device capable of not retaining its Internet history.

The popularity of the Chinese chat app, WeChat, is rocketing in popularity with one in three of the app’s 890 million active users spending four hours a day on it.

Microsoft has unveiled a new app for Android and iOS called Mixer Create which enables users to broadcast live streams of their activities to their Mixer audience. Users will, in future, also be able to livestream their mobile phone games.

A new app from what3words is offering to make Google Maps obsolete by offering more accuracy. Instead of using postcodes, the app uses a system that reduces mistakes by using 40,000 words and an algorithm to break the world down into 57 trillion squares covering 3 square metres.