Storm's comin'

It's been something of a quiet week for Android, but not so for me. This is my first hurricane as a Central Florida resident, and it's remarkable how much more important your phone becomes when you're documenting your property, your possessions, and your insurance policies, as well as constantly checked radar and projected storm tracks, checking off your supply list, and making sure you have everything triple backed up. I'm not the only one prepping, by any means; even Walt Disney World has been pulling down tarps and wrapping up banners readying for the strong winds and torrential rain that's coming.

Like waiting for a hurricane, waiting for a product launch or a tech conference — like IFA later this week —involves preparing and overpreparing for something that could be great or could just be a massive disappointment. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst, since you don't know all the variables. There's a fair bit coming at the conference this year and I guarantee you there will be at least one announcement to surprise you, and I'm looking forward to hearing all the news and new toys from our team on the ground at IFA.

Verizon is offering the Pixel 4a for just $10/mo on new Unlimited lines

It'll be a wonderful distraction from the hurricane on my doorstep.

Lenovo C340-11

We're getting another crop of Chromebooks at IFA — I can't wait to get my hands on a Lenovo Chromebook C340 to see if it lives up to the reputation set by its predecessor — and of course there will be a wave of new Windows laptops and desktops being covered by our colleagues over at Windows Central. There should be a little bit of everything in Berlin, from smart homes to phones and beyond, and we'll be covering it all, so stay tuned.

In other news this week, Jerry is 100% right (as he usually is) that the iPhone-hacking sites that Google discovered should be concerning to any smartphone user, whether you use Android or Apple. Silent vulnerabilities like these that sit open for years should alarm all of us, and that post made my skin crawl just a little bit.

And that even the CEO of Twitter can fall victim to a SIM hacking serves as a reminder of how vulnerable SMS is, for two-factor authentication and for web service integrations alike. It's too much to hope that this sparks a serious debate about moving more services from SMS to app-based 2FA (or better yet physical keys), but its a reminder that it can happen to anyone and everyone.

Stay safe out there, my friends, whether you're facing hurricanes or hackers this week.