Headlines

3 years ago

Google shows solidarity for gay Olympians with latest Doodle

Much respect for Friday's Google Doodle. You can find the Doodle at the top of Google Now as well. The Sochi Olympics officially open Friday in Russia.

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3 years ago

NBC News and the bullshit 'ZOMG Sochi Olympics Android hack' story

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Your Android smartphone only installs malware if you're being dumb (or do it on purpose) — not automatically, and not just because you're in Russia.

This is just ridiculous, even for American "news" television. A report from NBC News was exposed — and rightfully so — by Errata Security (via Techmeme) for being so misleading that, frankly, we almost don't know where to begin.

The short version: NBC News says you'll be hacked the moment you try to connect in Russia. And it tries to show that with two examples: New laptops, fresh out of the box, and an Android smartphone — which we'll focus on here. 

In the piece, NBC's Richard Engel sits down with "top American security expert" Kyle Wilhoit — he works for Trend Micro, actually — and we see an Android smartphone downloading and installing malware. Oops. Hacked. Only, not really.

As Errata properly points out (and Wilhoit explains on Twitter as well, actually), this is all about visiting malicious sites, and not about actually being in Russia.

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: About that price tag on the Samsung PRO tablets

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Is $850 for a Wifi tablet too much?

We knew Samsung's PRO tablets would be expensive. Some folks were predicting upwards of $1,000 (we haven't seen the 64GB LTE version of the Note Pro yet) and everyone was expecting a big jump over the "normal" Tabs and Note line from Samsung.

Now we know the price for the Wifi versions. Ranging from $850 for a 64GB Note Pro 12.2 to $400 for the Tab Pro 8.4, the prices are markedly higher than anything we've seen from Samsung before. In fact, the general consensus was that high prices killed HTC's tablet ambitions as well as LG's for a long while.

We have no idea, and only know that something is only worth what people will pay for it. What say you? Let your voice be heard in the poll. You'll find it in the sidebar to the right, or after the break if you're mobile. Make your choice and tell everyone why you feel that way.

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3 years ago

Boost Mobile offering $35 unlimited plan for 6 months when you buy an LTE device

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Save $120 over the default plan in your first 6 months

Boost Mobile is well-known for offering mobile phone service on the cheap, and starting today you can get it even cheaper if you buy a new LTE device. From now until March 31st, if you head to Boost Mobile and purchase one of their new LTE devices and activate it, you'll be set up to pay just $35 per month for unlimited talk, text and data (first 2.5GB at full speed) for the first six months of your service.

After the six months are up you'll only move up to $50 for the same service, which is still a great deal in its own right. Boost's unlimited plan usually comes in at $55 per month, with incentives for staying with the carrier that can bring down the price even more from there over time. But front-loading the discount like this is a great deal if you've been considering Boost.

Boost operates on the Sprint network, and has a handful of LTE devices to choose from, including the Boost MAX, Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Optimus F, Boost Warp 4G, HTC One SV, Boost Force and iPhone 5s (if that's your sort of thing). You can check out the details of the deal at the source link below.

More: Boost Mobile

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3 years ago

Facebook Lookback videos versus Google+ Year-in-Review

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So who did it better? Google Year-in-Review, or Facebook Lookback?

Facebook is lousy with Lookback videos this week. To celebrate its 10th birthday, the social network put together (without asking, to the dismay of some) a retrospective of your life on Facebook from the moment you joined. 

It starts by reminding you what year you joined. (For me, that was March 2007.) Then your first moments on Faceook. Your most liked posts. And then, about a minute later, it closes with (what else) a thumbs up.

Google, for its part, in December did a sort of Google+ Year-in-Review, pulling together photos and video that you'd uploaded. You might not have shared them, but if they're in the system (and this is a reminder of how much gets sucked in through auto-backup), chances are you'll see something from the year gone by that you'd forgotten all about.

So which did a better job? Facebook Lookback? Or Google's Year-in-Review? We'll take a look, using my videos as examples.

(If you want to creep on other folks' public Lookback videos, you can do so with this link.)

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3 years ago

Purported HTC 'M8' homescreen surfaces with a refined look

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Familiar colors and icons with on-screen buttons and a dash of transparency

With a successor to the HTC One on the horizon, we may be looking at our first leak of the purported HTC M8's software. While we only have a single homescreen look to go off of, the first thing that strikes us are the on-screen navigation buttons, giving us a pretty good idea that HTC has scrapped the two-button capacitive setup.

Beyond that, this really looks like a refined version of Sense, with lots of transparency and color dominating the look of the screen. Icons look basically unchanged from the current crop in Sense 5.5, but as we know this could all change. But if this really does turn out to be the new version of Sense on the HTC M8, we can say we wouldn't be upset.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One KitKat update already hitting phones

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Apparently 'shortly' was more like 'immediately' for this update

Coming just hours after HTC announced that the KitKat update for Verizon HTC Ones was on the way "shortly," folks have already started seeing the update notification on their phones. The whopping 617MB update brings the HTC One up to Android 4.4 with Sense 5.5, which brings a nice set of tweaks and improvements.

After the update you'll notice small visual changes to the way BlinkFeed works, as well as redesigns in the settings, Gallery, Music app and lockscreen. You'll also receive the improvements in KitKat, including Immersive Mode and other behind-the-scenes features. There are also a few Verizon device-specific changes here, including improvements to low light photography and power management.

If you weren't already hitting "check now" in the settings on your Verizon HTC One, you really should now.

Source: Verizon; Thanks, iLLusive!

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3 years ago

'Find Friends on BBM' can now match your contact list to people using the service

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See which of your friends are already using BBM and quickly send a PIN invite

BBM is introducing a new feature today that makes it easier to find your friends on the service. Just like you'll often find on social networking and messaging apps, BBM can now look through your phone's contact listings to see which of those people are already using BBM but aren't yet able to chat with you.

You'll then have the option to selectively — or completely — send out PIN invitations to those friends and get the conversation going on BBM. Naturally, if one of your friends isn't using BBM you have a quick way to send them an email or SMS invite to download the app as well.

It's a simple setting that's usually part of the setup process on similar messaging apps, and one that can definitely help adoption of BBM if you realize that more of your friends are on it.

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3 years ago

New UberConference integration lets you call in to Hangouts from a phone

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Sometimes you need to be a part of a Hangout, and all you have is a phone line

Video and phone conference service UberConference has just released a new Hangouts app that lets anyone call into a hangout from any phone. Hangouts have naturally been limited to just devices that could run the Hangouts applications or use a full web browser, but now with this new tool anyone can dial into a Hangout as if they were dialing a normal conference call. Simply open up the UberConference app in your ongoing Hangout, and folks can call in — you can host up to 100 people on phones at a time, and record everything as you normally would.

This announcement makes a whole lot of sense in conjunction with the new Chromebox for meetings platform, which touted UberConference as one of the providers that brings non-Hangouts devices into conference calls. While this functionality may not be all that useful for the general consumer, enterprises will love the ability to have people call in over a regular phone line in a pinch.

Source: UberConference (PRNewswire)

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3 years ago

HP introduces its first Chromebox, available in Spring

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A colorful little box with both home and enterprise aspirations

Falling right in line with the announcement of a new ASUS Chromebox and the Chromebox for meetings initiative, HP has just announced its first Chromebox hardware. While it won't be up for sale until "later this Spring" and is short on details, we do have pictures and a good description of what HP plans to offer with its first Chrome OS desktop.

Targeted at both home and business users, the HP Chromebox follows pretty much the same form factor as its fellow compatriots, basically being a small, squared-off blob with ports all around it. We see at least a pair of USB ports around front and a handful on the back, and HP says that it will pack a fourth generation Core i7 processor (same as the new ASUS Chromebox).

The Chromebox will come in four different colors — borrowed from its Chromebook line — and is also wall-mountable with standard VESA mounts, which is interesting for business and home theater applications. The big item in question here is the price — it'll have to be pretty low to make folks consider it outside of an enterprise environment.

Source: HP; (2)

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3 years ago

Google intros 'Chromebox for meetings' hardware and service offering

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A simpler and less expensive solution for video conferencing 

Google is making another step towards the enterprise today with its announcement of "Chromebox for meetings," an integrated and simple solution for getting businesses into video conferencing. At launch, Chromebox for meetings is simply a pre-configured set of hardware that all works together, along with support and a simple interface for Google Apps and Hangouts.

The hardware consists of a standard-issue ASUS Chromebox, a 1080p webcam (what looks to be from Logitech), a wireless speakerphone / microphone combo and a wireless remote. You'll need to provide a display, but choosing what size you need on your own is probably for the best. Chromebox for meetings is being positioned as a cheaper alternative to clunky video conferencing systems — $999 gets you the hardware setup, along with a year of 24/7 management and support (a $250 value).

Once you purchase and set things up, you'll simply be able to start a video call with the push of a button on your remote. Colleagues with Chromeboxes can join instantly, and those with traditional video conference systems can call in to your Hangout with a tool from Vidyo or even dial in on the phone with UberConference.

Being an enterprise product you'll have to contact a sales representative directly for the opportunity to buy one of these new setups, but Google says that both CDW and SYNNEX are helping with distribution. Although ASUS is the first Chromebox maker to be on board with the new program, HP and Dell are expected to join the party later this year.

Source: Google Chrome Blog; Google

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One getting KitKat update 'shortly'

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Andorid 4.4 + Sense 5.5 update receives technical approval, OTA expected soon

Mo Versi, HTC's Executive Director of Product Management, sends word that the Verizon HTC One should start receiving its Android 4.4 KitKat and HTC Sense 5.5 update "shortly." In a tweet, Versi reveals that the update has passed technical approval, the final hurdle before over-the-air updates can begin being pushed out.

Verizon's HTC One should be the second U.S. carrier variant to get KitKat after Sprint launched the update late last week. Elsewhere, the update is live in Canada and Europe, as well as U.S. Developer Editions.

So, Verizon HTC One owners, now's the time to start checking for updates!

Source: @moversi

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3 years ago

HTC One, one year on

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It might not seem so long, but it’s been almost a full year since we first met the HTC One at announcement events in London and New York in February 2013. It went on to be one of the most significant Android phones of the year, and for most of 2013 it was our top Android smartphone pick.

3 years ago

Moto G expected to arrive on US Cellular Feb. 10

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Will only be available without a contract, but pricing isn't yet known

The Moto G has already proven to be a powerful and affordable smartphone option, and now it's headed to another carrier in the U.S. Building on its unlocked availability from the Play Store and Motorola itself, U.S. Cellular will join the ranks of Verizon (albeit its prepaid section) in offering the Moto G directly.

U.S. Cellular will only offer the Moto G at full price without a contract (as you'd expect), but we don't yet know what that price will be. Unlocked models are up in the U.S. for $179, but a Verizon-specific version sells for just $99 — we could see the U.S. Cellular version come in closer to the latter. We do, however, know that this particular model will be shipping with KitKat on board.

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3 years ago

Dayframe 2.0 refreshes UI, adds Chromecast support

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Streaming, other features require $2.99 'prime' upgrade

A quick heads up that Dayframe — which quickly became one of our favorite image viewers last year, showcasing photos from the likes of Faceook, Flickr, Dropbox, Google+, Instagram, 500px, Twitter and others — got a pretty major refresh today. 

In addition to the new user interface, you also get improved organization in the library, better playlists, easier shorcuts — and the all-important Chromecast integration. Some features are (and have been) part of Dayframe "Prime," which has now become a $2.99 in-app purchase. You'll also need the updated Google Play Services, so keep an eye out for that. (It'll be version 4.2.x.)

The short, short version: A great photo viewing app gets even better. Give it a shot.

For those who previously had purchased Prime: Dayframe says all you need to do is drop them an e-mail, and they'll whitelist your account.

For a look at the Chromecast integration, peep the video after the break:

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