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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 years ago

Verizon confirms Droid RAZR MAXX launch date and price

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$299.99 on-contract, coming this Thursday, Jan. 26

The word out of CES was that the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX would be hitting store shelves on Jan. 26 for $299.99, and today we have the official confirmation of this from Verizon. As usual, that $299.99 price tag comes with a two-year service agreement, and puts the RAZR MAXX in line with Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, as well as the 32GB original RAZR.

Check out our hands-on coverage from CES for more on the Droid RAZR MAXX, which packs a massive 3300 mAh battery. And be sure to let us know in the comments if you'll be picking one of these up on Thursday.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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2 years ago

MIT and Google open-source App Inventor code, public release of MIT's version on track for April

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You guys probably know this by now, but I was a fan of App Inventor.  Watching my wife use it to create her own application just sucked me in, and I loved the whole idea of a way for anyone to make an Android app.  When we heard that Google was shutting it down, I was sad, but the news that MIT was going to pick up the pieces and run with it lifted my spirits again.  Recent news makes me even happier -- MIT and Google have released the full source-code for the service, and folks at MIT's Center for Mobile Learning have said that the public release of the re-vamped service is on track for an April release:

So far (knock on wood) our development effort is on track for releasing the MIT Public App Inventor Service in the first quarter of this year. While unexpected issues can always arise, we're guardedly optimistic that people who plan to run App Inventor courses or workshops can anticipate being able to use the MIT service by mid-April.

With the release of the source and the JAR files you have the choice of running your own local copy, or jumping in and using MIT's version once it goes live.  See the links below for more information, and remember us if you give it a try and come up with your own app -- we'd love to check it out!

Source: MIT's App Inventor Developer's blog

App Inventor source code

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2 years ago

Sony unveils new CMOS sensors for smartphones

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Sony's Exmor R image sensors have been a stand-out feature for many of the past year's Sony Ericsson phone cameras. Moving forward, the electronics giant looks set to introduce even more impressive capabilities in future devices, with today's announcement of new image sensors for smartphones.

Today Sony took the wraps off new CMOS image sensors for smartphones with white pixels in addition to the usual red, green and blue detectors. The new tech is designed to improve low-light performance, something which Sony, as well as rivals like HTC, have been focusing on in their high-end smartphones over the past year. Sony also says that this new "RGBW coding" allows them to introduce HDR video capabilities in its smartphone cameras, meaning more detail is captured in very light and very dark areas in the same shot.

Samples of the new sensors are due to ship from March, meaning it'll probably be later in the year before we'll see them in products you can actually buy. Sony's new Xperia S and Xperia Ion, which are due in March and Q2 respectively, feature earlier model Exmor R sensors at 12MP.

Source: Sony

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2 years ago

Dolphin Browser releases Skitch and Evernote add-ons

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The folks at Dolphin Browser, one of the most popular third party browsers for Android devices, have unveiled two new add-ons today -- Skitch and Evernote.  Both integrate seamlessly with the Dolphin Browser app, and look to be simple and elegant.  We love simple, especially when paired with elegant.  Using them is easy enough -- when you come across a page you'd like to share you just tap the icon in the Dolphin Browser sidebar (Skitch is a big pink heart, and Evernote is the elephant profile we all know and love) to send it to the correct app.  You can either grab the screen and annotate before you share it with Skitch, or clip a block of text to send to Evernote.  If you don't have the app itself installed, Dolphin will direct you to download it and get signed up.

The developers at Dolphin promise us a whole slew of great add-ons in 2012, and they're off to a great start with these two.  When something looks and runs well, and is useful, we're all for it.  Keep up the good work fellows!  We've got links to the Market for both add-ons below, check 'em out.

Source: Dolphin Browser

Download the Evernote add-on

Download the Skitch add-on

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2 years ago

ICS-based MIUI 4 ROM available for Galaxy S II

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Two months after the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code dropped, we're starting to see more exotic custom ROMs appearing for popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II. One such ROM comes from XDA's adyscorpius, and brings MIUI 4.0 and Ice Cream Sandwich to the Galaxy S II. MIUI 4.0 Fresh includes most of the features that you'll need to use this thing as your daily driver, if you're into the look and feel of MIUI.

The current version 2.1 features full 8MP camera support, as well as external SD support, so you shouldn't need to sacrifice any of your device's basic functionality in order to enjoy the unique ICS/MIUI combo. For download links and a full feature list, check the source link.

Source: XDA

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2 years ago

Google Music updated in Android Market, fixes bugs in shuffling songs and multiple accounts

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Google Music has been updated to version 4.1.512, bringing fixes to shuffle mode and fixes for folks using multiple Google accounts.  The update looks to be across the board for all devices running Android 2.2 or higher, so be sure to check and see if your copy is up-to-date.  We love Google Music around here, and on devices without removable storage it's a life saver.  Hit the break for the download link if you haven't given it a try yet.

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