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4 years ago

Verizon customer database hacked; 300,000 entries leaked online [UPDATE Verizon's response]


Update 2: Verizon has responded, and they disagree with many key points in the story here. Following is their full response:

The ZDNet story is inaccurate. This incident was reported to the authorities when we first learned of it months ago and an investigation was launched. Many of the details surrounding this incident are incorrect and exaggerated. No Verizon systems were breached, no root access was gained, and this incident impacted a fraction of the number of individuals being reported.

We take any and all attempts to violate consumer and customer privacy and security very seriously, so we notified individuals who could potentially have been impacted and took immediate steps to safeguard their information and privacy. Verizon has also notified law enforcement of this recent report as a follow-up to the original case.

This sounds pretty positive, and kudos to Verizon for reaching out on the Saturday before Christmas. The original text still follows for reference. 

Update: ZD Net has updated their original story, and it appears that the records are for FIOS customers and not wireless customers. We'll leave this in place so that the FIOS customers among you have a heads up

According to ZDNet, a hacker has gained access to over 3 million records from a Verizon Wireless customer database. The information includes names, addresses, serial numbers, and passwords. The hacker gained access to the server on July 12, and claims to have contacted Verizon, but since the have reportedly ignored his report, he has pasted 300,000 of the records online. Supposedly these database is broken up into regions, and the leaked region is in and around Pennsylvania. The records are stored in plain text, and the hacker "might leak the rest later".

If you're a Verizon customer, now would be a good time to change your account password. We're not going to go into the details or link to the pastebin of account data. We hate delivering this sort of news, but we know you need to be informed. We hope Verizon is quick to address the issue, and look forward to hearing their side of things. 

Source: ZD Net

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4 years ago

Android and augmented reality make this model TARDIS bigger on the inside


Chances are, you know a Doctor Who fan. Greg Kumparak, formerly of Tech Crunch is also a (pretty big) Doctor Who fan, and decided to get a little crafty and build his own TARDIS. As explained in the video above, a TARDIS is a vehicle to drive you through space and time, that just happens to look like a 1960s era British police call box. Greg's looks pretty authentic after a nice paint job.

But here's the thing about a TARDIS. They are bigger on the inside. While that is easy enough to accomplish with the magic of television, it took a different kind of magic to make it happen in the real world. That's where Android comes in. Using augmented reality, Greg can open the TARDIS door and point his Nexus camera at a freaky black and white pattern. Thanks to the Qualcomm augmented reality framework, Greg built an app to interpret that pattern, and display the interior of his TARDIS as it should be on his screen. Very cool.

This just might be the best use of augmented reality ever. Be sure to watch the video, and hit the source link to read a little about how it was constructed.

Source: GK's blog

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4 years ago

HTC One VX unboxing and video walkthrough


Behold, the HTC One VX on AT&T. More than a One V, less than a One X, and dancing right around the noble One S without giving it as much as a mention in its already convoluted name. We've gone hands-on with the One VX a couple times since it was announced in early October, and it's now available for purchase, having missed its original launch date by a few weeks.

More: Full HTC One VX specs

So what, exactly, is the One VX? In a single sentence, it borrows bits and pieces from the entire HTC One line for a mid-range smartphone that as of now is exclusive to AT&T.

Physically speaking, it's a tad smaller than the One X, but less of a curvy box and more of a sleek and sexy One S. The back is done in the same white polycarbonate shell as AT&T's original One X. (Remember that the One X+ moved to a soft-touch coating.) And the One S is more svelte than the One VX, about 2 mm slimmer, with different curves, and it's a tad shorter and narrower, too. The One VX its between the One S and One X in screen size, too, at 4.5 inches. And while it only has a 540x960 qHD resolution, the move to Super LCD 2 from AMOLED makes a noticeable difference.

Our full review is on the way. For now, hit the break for our HTC One VX unboxing and video walkthrough.

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4 years ago

Last chance: Win a 32GB Nexus 7 3G and a $25 gift card


Here it is, folks. The fifth day in our five-day Nexus 7 and Google Play Gift Card giveaway, courtesy of the fine folks at Google. We've already had four days of entries, and this here's your last chance. As a reminder, you'll be entering to win a free 32GB Nexus 7 3G (that's the one with optional GSM cellular service), plus a $25 Google Play Gift Card to get you started with apps, movies, movies or books.

To enter, hit up this thread in our forums for instructions. Good luck, and we'll announce the winners Monday morning.

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4 years ago

The week in international Android news - Dec. 22, 2012


As things wind down for the holidays, and the torrent of international Android news temporarily slows to a trickle, there's just enough time for one last weekly round-up. And despite the incoming festivities, there's been plenty of interesting pre-Christmas news.

The week started with news of a serious security vulnerability in certain Samsung phones, which could allow a rogue app to take complete control of affected handsets. The was exploit discovered in kernel code for phones running Samsung's Exynos CPU, meaning it affects devices like the international Galaxy S3 and S2, as well as all Galaxy Note 2 models. It's a bg deal, and Samsung has acknowledged its existence, saying it's working to deliver a fix "as quickly as possible."

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4 years ago

Light Flow updated to support 62 more apps, multiple calendars


Light Flow, a popular app to control notification LED's and sounds, has added support for a whole host of new apps today. In total, 62 new apps can now have their notification sound, vibration and LED flashing controlled including some notable apps like Falcon Pro. The app now also supports Ice Cream Sandwich users with multiple calendars, as well as the ability to swipe away calendar notifications to clear the LED flashing. As is usually the case, several different bugs have been squashed in this update -- from black screen and color issues on the Nexus 4 to translations for Turkish and Arabic.

You can get a list of all 62 apps added, as well as the complete list of all apps supported, at the source link below. If you haven't given Light Flow a look, it's well worth your $2.49 to buy it. There's also a free version with limited app support if you just want to give it a test drive.

More: Light Flow Changelog

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4 years ago

Times Square Official Ball app updated to ring in 2013


The official Times Square Ball app has just been updated to help you count down to 2013. Not everyone has a chance to be in Times Square for the new year, but at least with this app everyone can (assuming device compatibility) get part of the experience. It's not the smoothest or flashiest thing ever, but the app serves its purpose. You get a nice countdown to the new year, a livestream viewer of Times Square (you can watch the 2012 party currently) and you can even upload a photo to be shown on the big screen if you're lucky.

Sound interesting? You can grab a download for free at the Play Store link above. It probably doesn't do you much good over 10 days out from the party, but you'll have it installed and ready to go for New Years Eve. 

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4 years ago

Adding a great video experience to Android apps just got easier with the new Youtube Android Player API


Google has finally released the Youtube Player API for Android that they previewed at Google I/O 2012, making it easy for developers to integrate a proper video experience into their apps. The API will allow developers to embed and play any Youtube video natively, without sending users off to the Youtube app or browser. The official list of benefits:

  • High-quality video playback supported on Android 2.2 (Froyo) or newer
  • Easy integration with your Android application (no WebView required)
  • Fullscreen and orientation change support
  • Closed captions display
  • Support for YouTube ads
  • Programmatic access, similar to existing Player APIs, to most aspects of the YouTube video playback experience
  • Integration with the Android YouTube app using a standard set of YouTube Intents

Google has been working with a few partners, so we already have a few apps using the new API. They include Flipboard, Buzzfeed, 9x9.tv, SoundTracking, and Fitness Flow (pictured above).

If you're a developer, you'll want to read the documentation and code examples -- find all that info at the source link. If you're an end user, you're job is easier (but just as important). Support these developers who use the right tools and deliver amazing Android apps. Hit the break for a Google Developers Live recording all about the new API.

Source: Youtube blog

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4 years ago

Initial hands on and first impressions of the Kobo Arc


Back in late August, we received an invite to a press event being held during the IFA 2012 show in Berlin. Nothing out of the ordinary there, after all, press events are the bread and butter of such shows. This one was a little different though, it came from Kobo, better known for their e-readers and their e-book store. Kobo has ventured into the Android world before, with the less than impressive Vox. Despite gaining Google certification during its life, the Vox was a little limp as an Android tablet. 

What Kobo had to show us this time though was something quite different. The Arc was immediately noticable as a huge leap forward from the Vox. A 7-inch device, with a 1280x800 resolution display, front facing stereo speakers, Android 4.0 and the full Google suite of applications this time straight out of the box. Underneath, a 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP 4470 processor, 1GB of RAM and 16, 32 or a whopping 64GB of storage. Click on past the break for some first impressions and hands on with the device.

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4 years ago

The 2012 Android Central Awards will run until Monday, Dec. 24


We're running the 2012 Android Central Awards through the weekend, making sure everyone has a chance to vote for their favorites. We spend the year talking about the devices and apps we love, but this is your chance to tell us what you love. It's an easy to take survey, complete with a write-in slot for each category in case we overlooked something.

We're keeping things open until Monday, then we're going to close it up and tally the votes. We'll go through them all and let you know what devices and apps you, the great AC community, thinks are the best of 2012. Hit the link below from your computer or phone and let us know what you think!

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4 years ago

Amazon streaming video app now available for LG Google TV sets


The Amazon Instant Video app is now available for another Google TV device, as it's now in Google Play if you're using an LG Google TV set. Users can download the app and install right from their TV, and enjoy full HD content from Amazon.

Previously, to access Amazon's streaming video service you had to use the built in Chrome browser, which was less than an ideal experience. The release of the App for the LG sets means better searching and better frame rates that using the browser. You can download the app at the link above.

Still no signs of an Amazon VoD app for Android tablets yet, and that's a bit puzzling. Maybe they want to hold it back as an exclusive for the Kindle line, or they have concerns over Android openness, much like we saw from Netflix last year.

Source: +Google TV 

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4 years ago

Motorola said to be working on the 'X Phone' to bring the ultimate Android eXperience


Motorola's handset division is rumored to be hard at work building not just the next big thing for the smartphone market, but Google's "X Phone," according to a post earlier this week in the Android Central forums. That post has grown some legs with a story today from the Wall Street Journal. The "X Phone," undoubtedly a code name (but that'd be a kick-ass retail name) is rumored to encompass everything from a bendable screen for durability to a ceramic unibody (though that might possibly be along the lines of that micro-arc oxidation treatment we've seen on the likes of the HTC One S), it is to be the phone to change the way we interact with our smartphones.

This might not be a Motorola Nexus, but something new and different. Running stock Android at its core, there will be a set of applications and a UI that is modular and runs on top of the OS -- meaning no extra time for updates, according to our tipster. These features are said to be things like new voice commands and gestures, and the "ultimate" camera software plus -- get this -- buttons on the back of the phone -- one for the camera, plus volume buttons.

Google and Motorola can freely play and innovate here, without having to modify the stock Android build underneath. This is huge, as current OEM layers are deeply built into the Android system and are not stand alone. This causes plenty of delay when it comes to software updates. 

From our rumored devices forum:

Apparently this phone is called the "X Phone" or something along those lines and has buttons on the back of the phone. He said that a camera button is in the middle of the phone with volume up and down buttons on both sides of it all on the back face of the phone. He said it is supposed to be more ergonomic while holding the phone.

He also talked a lot about the phone having a ton of new voice command features and swiping gestures to accomplish tasks. He said the idea of this phone is to completely change the way we ergonomically have to interact with our phones. I.e. that it would take less than two seconds from the phone being in the pocket to using the camera. These features would be built on top of android as a stand alone proprietary suite app so that moto can be dedicated to updating to all new google updates in 3 months or less.

The hardware is said to be no slouch either, with "every premium piece of technology that Moto has" being used. We can expect a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM minimum, a huge battery, and Motorola's legendary cellular radios. 

While this is still just a rumor, it makes sense for Google to use Motorola to finally take the reigns of Android and release a consumer oriented device that fills their vision of what that device should be. We see and hear about the benefits of controlling both the hardware and the software from Apple and Microsoft, and we think Google can do it better. If things turn out as rumored, expect a big push in mid-2013, and the device we've all dreamed about to follow soon after. Google I/O might be pretty interesting this year.

Source: Android Central forums. More: WSJ

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4 years ago

T-Mobile puts most phones on sale with Value Plans until Dec. 31


T-Mobile is rolling a promotion until the end of the year that is dropping prices on most of its phones to $0 on contract. For the next 10 days, you can get your hands on most of T-Mobile's high-end offerings, such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) and HTC One S, as well as everything in the mid- and low-end range. The Galaxy Note 2 and Nexus 4 are the notable omissions from this deal. This promotion also only applies to T-Mobile's "Value Plans," which separate the cost of phones and plans, that will require monthly installments (usually $20/mo for about 20 months) to pay off the rest of the handset. They end up being a better deal over the life of a 2-year contract, and even more so when you can skip the $200-$300 down payment to start the plan.

Considering that T-Mobile is moving completely to Value Plans starting in 2013, this will be a good push to get new customers onboard with the idea at the end of 2012. If you (or a family member) are interested in any of these handsets, it may be a better time than any to go pick one up before 2013. Check out a full list of devices on sale at the source link below.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Google not-so-subtly reveals Nexus 10 dock in holiday video


That "Happy Holidays from Android" video was adorable, wasn't it? Well if you weren't taken back by the Android meeting up with all of his bugdroid friends for a holiday get-together, you may have noticed a Nexus 10 being put in a dock on a desk. Alongside a Nexus 4 and a couple of Nexus 7's, the biggest Nexus was dropped right into this dock you see above to show off a Photo Sphere.

The Nexus 7 dock has come up for pre-order through 3rd party retailers in the last couple days. Your guess is as good as ours when the Nexus 10 dock could make an official retail appearance.

Grab another look at the video after the break. The Nexus 10 fun starts around 1:00 in, and you can see it again at 1:14.

Thanks, rfmike!

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4 years ago

First look: Pitfall for Android


Now that we've got our initial excitement out of the way, let's take a slightly deeper look at Pitfall for Android. What we've got is a rebooted version of the classic 1980s video game, one of the original side-scrollers we grew up with on the Atari 2600. Things have changed a little.

The game starts out with a cool look at the original, which then zooms out to Pitfall Harry viewing the classic on a tablet of his own. Only, it's time to run. Damned volcanoes.

The game itself is simple -- very simple. If you've played Temple Run, you've got the gist of Pitfall. Jump over things. Slide under them. Turn left and right, whip enemies, collect silver treasure. Try to run as far as you can. (Hint: Get to a checkpoint as soon as you can.) It's a nice little time-waster, but that's about all.

It's a free game, so that means in-app purchases, which can help speed you on your way. Or you can take your time, play the game, and eventually buy new power-ups and outfits. (Yes. New outfits.)

We've got a little hands-on video after the break. Enjoy!

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