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4 years ago

O2 UK network security blunder exposes customers' phone numbers to websites

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Update: O2 says that as of 1400 GMT today it has fixed, the problem, and that "technical changes" as part of "routine maintenance" were to blame for the issue, which affected customers from Jan. 10 until today. The network's full statement is available on its official blog.

Original story: If you're browsing the web on your phone or tablet on O2 UK, then the network could be exposing your phone number to every website you visit. O2 customer Lewis Peckover recently discovered that when you're browsing over 3G on O2, your handset's phone number is often included in the HTTP headers sent to each website you visit, in plain text.

HTTP headers are information exchanged between your browser and the web server before a page is loaded. In theory, the way O2 includes your phone number -- alongside more mundane information like your IP address, browser and OS -- means that any website you visit could easily find out your number. It's worth pointing out that the header used by O2 to send phone numbers -- "x-up-calling-line-id" -- isn't one that's routinely logged by web servers. However, just a couple of lines of code would allow a malicious server to find your phone number just by having you visit a website over 3G.

Lewis Peckover has set up a site to allow O2 customers to see whether they're affected. We've tried this with an O2 SIM in our Galaxy Nexus, and sure enough, there our phone number was in the list of "headers received". If you're on O2, make sure you've got Wifi disabled on your device, then click here and see if you spot your phone number among the HTTP headers. For what it's worth, early reports indicate that not all O2 customers are affected, though a large proportion apparently are.

This isn't an Android-specific problem, however due to the fact that it's a network-level issue, it'll affect Android phones just the same as any other device that's browsing over O2's data network. For this reason, just about anything that connects via HTTP over O2's network could potentially access this information. For its part, O2 says it's "investigating" the issue, and while this is a big deal for O2 customers, the fact that this is a network-level problem should mean that a fix will be relatively quick and easy to deploy.

More: Lew.io; via: ThinkBroadband

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4 years ago

Contest: Win one of five Androidified TPU cases for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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OK, OK. We couldn't wait any longer. We picked up five of these "Androidified" TPU Skin Cases from Cruzerlite -- and these are for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- just to give away to you fine, upstanding readers of Android Central. Not a fine, upstanding reader of Android Central? Well, you should be. Just saying.

Anyhoo. What you see here is your basic TPU skin case, meaning it feels like a cross between rubber and plastic and fits snugly around your phone. This one's got some nice ribbing along the edges, to help with grip, and there are cutouts for all of the buttons and ports, as well as the secondary microphone. (That's important.) It fits our GSM Galaxy Nexus just fine, as well as Verizon's LTE version.

And we're giving away five of them. In fact, we're giving away the five you see here. How to enter? Just hit the link below for all the deets. Good luck!

Enter to win an "Androidified" TPU skin case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus!

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4 years ago

Google is streamlining privacy policies, changes effective Mar. 1

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Google has announced that it is in the process of streamlining its privacy policy, combining more than 60 current documents for various products into one easy to read version, with less of the "legal gloop" and complicated language.  Starting March 1, users will no longer have a different privacy statement for the various Google offerings.  This makes sense to us, especially if the promises of a document that's easy to read and understand hold true.  It likely makes sense for regulators as well, as Google has been under the microscope about it's practices and privacy concerns.

Google's also saying this will lead to a simpler and more immersive user experience, where information from the suite of Google services can be combined to provide more relevant information while using Google branded products.  In the video above, they give the example of how it can improve search results.  Of course, it will also help target the right advertisements to each of us at the same time.

Google also wants to make it clear that they are not changing the basic elements of their privacy policies.  They still won't sell your personal information, and they don't share it without your express permission "except in very limited circumstances like a valid court order."   On the other hand, data about you can now be used across all services where it wasn't (couldn't?) before.  This isn't neccessarily "evil," but it opens things up for a bit deeper discussion and review.  In the end, Google is still going to be Google, and it sounds like the company's really only trying to simplify things for end users like us -- and at the same time making it easier for its own products to use what access you've already granted them. 

Source: Google

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4 years ago

ICS Music Player, Favorite ICS feature [From the Forums]

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We're rocking and rolling through this week thus and there was plenty of news happening today. Miss out on something? Jump on back a page and get yourself caught up and don't forget to jump on into the Android Central forums as well. Whether your looking for help or looking to offer some help -- the Android Central forums is where it's at.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Kinect meets Android, a new input method is born

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Imagine a small projector attached to your Android device, and you can use your hand and touch the projected image to navigate the UI through a Kinect attached to a PC.  There's no need to just imagine it any longer, as the Android Kinect Projector Interface project is doing it now.  The developers have built a system where a projector is attached to a Galaxy Nexus, and a Kinect attached to a PC running Simple-Kinect-Touch 2.0 communicates motion to control the running system.  Using a custom AOSP ROM and TUIO for Android "touches" on the projected screen work just like touches on the physical screen would.  Badass tech indeed.  

Of course this is all unofficial and really beta alpha for now, but the idea is solid and the video shows us that it's feasible.  Maybe it's something we will see on the shelves one day.

Source: Recursive Penguin via Phandroid.

More: TUIO for Android; TUIO 2.0 Protocol Specifications

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4 years ago

Shadowgun: The Leftover update hitting this week, free for owners of Shadowgun

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Shadowgun fans rejoice; once iOS exclusive add-on pack "The Leftover" will be hitting the Android Market this week. Best of all, current Shadowgun players will recieve it as a free of charge update. 

It features four new levels, and a storyline that follows on directly after the events of the original game. These are just two among many other new features, so fans will be well catered for while waiting for the next Shadowgun title. 

No exact date has been provided, but an administrator on the official Madfinger Games forums dropped the news that "The Leftover" will be landing this week. 

via Droid Gamers

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4 years ago

Transformer Prime bootloader unlock tool coming in Feb. says ASUS

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The ASUS Transformer Prime is the first quad-core tablet, and users were a bit up in arms when it was discovered that the bootloader was locked.  ASUS responded with an official statement that a tool to unlock the bootloader was in development, and today their official Twitter account told everyone that it would be coming in February:

Of course, you'll be voiding your warranty and all that good stuff if you choose to use it, but for most folks looking to root and hack at their device that's not a big issue. 

With just a few days left in January, we should be seeing something soonish.  Hang tight, and enjoy a few games while you're waiting.  I hear the Prime does them really, really well.

Source: @ASUS.  Thanks, Lyon21!

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4 years ago

Evernote for Android - Now with auto-titles, improved layout, save and continue

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Evernote is in the process of rolling out the latest iteration of their popular Android app. Today's update will push Evernote into v3.5, and it brings along plenty of changes as well. So what's new? We'll tell you as it was told to us:

  • Auto titles - There are times when you need to remember something on the go — a fast snapshot or a quick voice memo. Evernote is great for that. The problem was, how to find those notes later? In this update, we’ve come up with a great solution: auto-titles for untitled notes. Now, Evernote will create a title based on the content of the note and time that the note was created, making it much easier to find it later.
  • Improved image layout in notes - We’ve also made some improvements to how snapshots appear inside your notes. There is now padding around images, so if a note contains several images, they show up nicely spaced and easier to view. As always, if you tap on an image, you can view it in full-screen view. A long tap lets you annotate it in Skitch.
  • Save anytime - If you compose lengthy notes on your phone or tablet, then you’ll like our new Save feature. Tap the Save button in the note and a version will be saved to your device’s memory. No need to exit the note. When you’re finished, tap Done and the note will Sync.

Those are some pretty nice changes and personally, I'm glad to see the auto titles option added. I have countless notes in Evernote already named "Untitled" but better late then never to have implemented it. Also, remember -- Evernote integrates amazingly well with Skitch so be sure to grab that as well if you haven't already.

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4 years ago

DroidDoodle - Samsunged!

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That's gotta sting at least a little, right? OK, maybe not.

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4 years ago

Android A to Z: What is a launcher?

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What is an Android launcher? Probably the most powerful feature of Android is its ability to be customized. And that starts with what's typically called the "launcher." The launcher usually is considered to be the homescreens and app drawer, and they come in all sorts of flavors and designs.

When you hear people talk about "stock" Android, this usually is what they're referring to -- homescreens and app drawer unchanged from what Google includes in the open-sourced code. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. From there, you can download any number of third-party "launchers," which will change the look and functionality of the homescreens and the app drawer. Home screens can have different animations. Or different docks at the bottom. Or a specific number of home screens. App drawers can have more scrolling or sorting options. The possibilities might not be endless, but they're certainly numerous.

Google has included a lot of improvements in the Ice Cream Sandwich launcher, but third-party apps absolutely are not yet obsolete.) Some of the more popular third-party launchers include:

There is no shortage of third-party launchers. But they're not the only ones. Smartphone manufacturers all have their own launchers, too. HTC has its Sense UI, its own homescreen and its own app drawer, all nicknamed "Rosie." Motorola has long has its "Blur" user interface. Samsung has "TouchWiz." Don't like any of them? You can install a third-party launcher on top of the default user interface. And with as powerful as today's phones are, you can do so without any real degradation in performance.

Previously on Android A to Z: What is a kernel?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

 

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4 years ago

Review: Klipsch S4A earbuds and companion Android app

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Klipsch S4As sound great, don't break the bank and have an Android app for tweaking settings

One of the first things you should do -- nay, the first thing you should do -- when buying just about any new smartphone is to ditch the cheap earbuds that come with it. We've been testing the Klipsch S4A earbuds for a couple weeks now -- as well as the Android companion app that serves along side them.

Let's not beat around the bush here: These are some excellent $99 earbuds. For me, that's the sweet spot for pricing. Any more than that, and I'm going to be worried about losing them. Any less, and I won't think I've spent enough for quality. (That can be a red herring, I know. But that's what my brain thinks, and so I'm going with it.)

The earbuds fit my ears easily enough, snug, but not too snug thank to the oval rubber tips, and they're pretty comfortable over long periods. They're also surprisingly good at passive noise isolation. I really didn't expect them do be able to drown out the new Lamb of God blaring from my desk speakers, but the S4As managed it, and with a surprising amount of bass, too.  The tips are replaceable, too (for a mere $13.99 each) and come in four sizes. 

The S4As also serve as a microphone for hands-free(ish) calls. The mic is about six inches down the left-ear cable, and that's also where you'll find the push button, which really is what the S4As are all about. While they work fine out of the box, there's also a companion Android application that adds a great deal of funcationality for that button. You've got the usual single-press options -- play/pause, mute/answer, that sort of thing. Double clicking by default takes you to the next track. Triple click takes you back. A long press controls the volume. And most of these actions are customizable. 

The app itself is a no-brainer to use. Klipsch did a really nice job of designing it so that it's as simple as can be. Just plug in, check your settings, and go. One thing we will recommend you do before purchasing, though, is to check the app listing the Android Market, as there are a few smartphones that have had compatibility issues. But Klipsch says it's working on this.

We've got more pictures and screen shots after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon announces 4x4 Galaxy Nexus contest - Win yourself a Galaxy Nexus

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Verizon has announced their new 4x4 Galaxy Nexus contest and you'll want to make sure you get in on the action if you haven't already. The contest will be running for the next four days and in order to win, you'll have to meet Verizons expectations for entry. The short version:

  • Follow @VerizonWireless on Twitter
  • Every day for the next 4 days, an entry timeframe will be announced that runs from 10AM ET through 11:59PM ET.
  • Each day you'll be given a different task for your Tweets. All of which must include, #GalaxyNexus4x4.
  • You can have up to 10 entries, provided you complete the tasks.

Winners will be chosen on by January 31 and contacted via Twitter DM. Your odds of winning will depend on the amount of entries of course but if you don't play -- you won't win that's for sure. You can hit the source link for the full contest details and rules.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Samsung defends against Apple design infringement claim in Netherlands

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Samsung is having a rough go against Apple in Germany, but that’s apparently not setting a precedent for the rest of Europe. The Court of the Hague, in the Netherlands, has denied an appeal from Apple to place an injunction on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales on grounds of design patent infringement. The Dutch ruling took into account two out of six potential pieces of prior art, though they may take more into consideration later on. Apple has already been shot down once for this case in the Dutch lower courts, and having the appeal denied as well means this case is pretty cut and dry.

It's great to see Samsung is successfully defending their products against what is now amounting to a legal pissing match. Even Australia, which had initially placed a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1, eventually relented. Can we really expect any injunction against any device to stick just because it kinda-sorta looks like a competitor in its class? Unless they're coming close to copying the name too, I don't see any consumer confusion arising from physical similarities. 

You can find the full Dutch court ruling, ripe for Google Translating, over here

Source: FOSS Patents via iMore

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4 years ago

Lookout launches Mobile Threat Tracker, visually represents malware around the globe

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Lookout has released a neat new application this morning -- Mobile Threat Tracker.  What it does is tell you where and when users running Lookout have came across malware in their mobile devices. How it does it is the cool part -- the results are updated hourly, and when you start the app you get an animated timeline where individual malware "hits" are represented as tiny shafts of light zooming to the reported location on a globe.  If you've ever played a global thermo-nuclear war simulation on an old PC, it looks pretty much like that -- which means it's cool as heck.

Interesting visuals aside, the app answers some questions many of us have about Lookout and mobile security in general.  At a glance you can see how many mobile threats there really are and where they are concentrated.  The information button shows you the top three current threats, and tapping on their entries tells you a bit about what they are doing and why Lookout marks them as malware.  

If you're a security researcher, or anyone who has to keep track of mobile security issues, or just curious, head past the break where we've got some screenshots and a download link.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus case review: Qmadix Snap-On Cover with Holster

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You don't always want to have to choose between an easy snap-on cover and all-over protection for your phone. Sometimes it's more convenient to have the option to switch things up as and when you need, and that's one of the main strengths of Qmadix's snap-on cover with holster for the Galaxy Nexus.

 

Firstly, you've got a basic snap-on cover that's finished in soft-touch plastic, with a grooved pattern on the back for easy gripping. This can then slide into the holster component, which is equipped with a rotatable clip for attaching the entire package to clothes, pockets or bags. The inside of the holster faces the screen, and is so it's lined with a soft material to avoid scratches. And the cover, holster and phone all lock together securely, meaning you shouldn't need to worry about working its way free or falling out of the case while you're out and about.

The case's best feature by far is its ability to clip onto clothing, and offer multiple levels of protection based on what you're doing. If your phone is in your pocket, simply use the snap-on cover alone. If you need to clip it onto a belt or throw it in a bag without risking screen damage, just attach the holster and you're good to go.

The Qmadix Snap-on Cover with Holster is designed for both the international GSM Galaxy Nexus, as well as the Verizon LTE version, so whichever model you have, the case will fit snugly.

We've got more pictures for you after the jump.

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