Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Apple: Bent iPhones Must Pass Visual Inspection to Be Replaced

Apple: Bent iPhones Must Pass Visual Inspection to Be Replaced
In the wake of #Bendgate — the so-called controversy that the iPhone 6 Plus may bend in your pocket — it's possible that Apple will replace your warped device, if it's under warranty.
That's also if it passes a visual inspection by an in-store Apple Genius, The Next Web reports. Chatting with an Apple support representative, a reporter asked if, during normal use, a bent iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus would qualify for replacement under warranty.
The representative responded by iMessage: "That is 100% up to the Genius you speak with at the store. There is a test called a Visual Mechanical Inspection that the device will have to pass. If it is within the guidelines, they will be able to cover it. If not, the replacement would be a paid one."
Keep in mind that Apple released a statement on Thursday purporting that just nine customers have contacted the company about their bent iPhone 6 models, calling it an "extremely rare" occurrence. So it's unclear how stringent replacement guidelines may be.
Apple has fielded a string of tough publicity in recent days, receiving backlash for the disastrous iOS 8.0.1 update that caused numerous problems for iPhone users for which the company publicly apologized.
Posted by : Gizmeon

iPhone 6 Now Available in More Than 20 Countries

iPhone 6 Now Available in More Than 20 Countries
Apple has expanded sales of the iPhone 6 and its larger twin sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus, to more than 20 additional countries on Friday.
The iPhone 6 is now available in these countries:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
Apple told Mashable stores are seeing record queues in these countries. The new iPhone's initial launch last week drew massive crowds to Apple stores where the phone was available.
It's been a hectic time for Apple, coming off a record-breaking opening weekend — when sales topped 10 million phones — and a duo of controversies: #Bendgate and the botched launch of iOS 8's first software update.
Apple first launched the iPhone 6 in eight countries and hopes that number will grow to 115 countries by the end of the year.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Say Goodbye to the Original Yahoo Directory

Say Goodbye to the Original Yahoo Directory
Yahoo has announced it will finally, officially shut down the Yahoo Directory on December 31, 2014.
No, we didn't know the Yahoo Directory was still a thing either. For those of you not familiar with the world before Google, the Yahoo Directory is the product that made Yahoo a big deal in the first place. In the early days of the web, it was also one of the most important search and discovery engines.
The Yahoo Directory (which ironically, seems to be down because of the wave of interest surrounding the product) was a human-edited directory of websites, organized into various tiers. If you wanted to look for sites about video games, you would go to the Yahoo Directory, click on "Computers and Internet," then "Games", then "Video Games."
This all seems quaint now — but in the early days of the web, this personally-curated process was a big deal. It stood out among the randomness of early, inferior crawler-based search engines. Getting your website into the directory was equally huge.
In fact, until 2002, the Directory was still front-and-center on Yahoo's homepage. Crawler-based search eventually overtook it — with a lot of help from Google's algorithm — but there was something magical about the curation and discoverability baked into the Yahoo Directory.
Now, nearly 20 years after went live with the Yahoo Directory as the centerpiece of its web portal, this last vestige of old Yahoo is going away.
It may make sense for Yahoo to shutter Yahoo Directory — but the way it was done, in a brief mention on a blog post buried on a Friday afternoon, seems unbecoming of a product that helped shape what is now a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Over at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan does a tremendous job giving Yahoo Directory the tribute that Yahoo itself should have provided. Sullivan also offers historical context for the importance of the directory — which as he aptly says, was "once the Internet's most important search engine."
As someone who built her first website in 1996, and was ecstatic when that website entered the Yahoo Directory, this news is more than a little bittersweet.
So while you're surfing the web, or discovering links on Twitter or Facebook this weekend, pour one out for the Yahoo Directory.
Posted by : Gizmeon

BlackBerry Wants to Launch One Unconventional Product Every Year

BlackBerry Wants to Launch One Unconventional Product Every Year
BlackBerry might not be one of the cool kids among smartphones anymore, but it apparently doesn't mind being quirky and is willing to take some risks along the way.
The company wants to release at least one unconventional device every year and already has one in the works, a BlackBerry executive told Reuters.
“When it comes to design and being a little bit disruptive, we want that ‘wow’ factor,” said Ron Louks, the president of BlackBerry's Devices division. "Not all of the products will have it, but we definitely have opportunities."
He added that BlackBerry is working on a device that is easier to use with just one hand.
After fading into the background of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has already turned up the weird in the form of the Passport, which was designed to be the exact size of — that's right — a passport. It has a 4.5-inch-wide screen.
With its square shape and physical keyboard, many seemed perplexed by the new mobile device. In a review, Mashable called the Passport a "very strange phone, and an unwieldy one at that."
Despite the iffy reception, BlackBerry considered the Passport a success, heralding its sale of 200,000 units over about a week.
Compare that to Apple's 10 million iPhone 6 sales in one weekend, and it seems unimpressive. But being the David to Apple's Goliath might afford BlackBerry more room to experiment (as well as some opportunities to poke fun at the iPhone 6).
It's certainly a way to get people talking.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Apple Updates OS X to Protect Against Shellshock

Apple Updates OS X to Protect Against Shellshock
Apple has issued an update for the Shellshock Bash vulnerability for OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks.
The update, which is available directly from Apple and not delivered through the Mac App Store, patches the version of Bash included in OS X. Lion users can download the update here, Mountain Lion users, here.
Shellshock became public last week and although its main target is web servers, the inclusion of Bash in OS X gave plenty of Mac users a reason to feel uncomfortable. Apple released a statement saying that although the vast majority of Mac users would not be affected by the vulnerability, it would be issuing a patch for "experienced UNIX users."
According to Apple's security release notes for this patch, it protects against the first two common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) associated with Shellshock. Six CVEs related to Shellshock have cropped up in the last few days.
If you use your Mac for a web server — even as a localhost — we'd recommend installing this update. Please note that at this time, Apple hasn't released an update for the OS X Yosemite beta. We imagine that the update will probably be rolled into the next Yosemite beta version, which is expected for release on Tuesday.
Posted by : Gizmeon

This Smartwatch Tells You When You're Spending Too Much Money

This Smartwatch Tells You When You're Spending Too Much Money
Smartwatches are known for not only telling time, but tracking your daily activities — steps taken, calories burned, hours slept. Now, a new device called the Cash smartwatch monitors another thing you might not always think about: your budget. It tells you when to cool it with the latte spending or hold off on buying new shoes for the fall.
The $139 gadget — which will be available online for purchase or via HSN, starting next week — comes from financialista Nicole Lapin, a former correspondent for networks such as MSNBC and Today, and was one of the youngest CNN and CNBC anchors to have her own show. She's known for making finances approachable, and using easy-to-understand language for budget tips. Although the Cash smartwatch is aimed toward young women from ages 18 to 34, the model also comes with various strap options for men.
The Cash smartwatch doesn't want to be the Apple Watch, and it's not smart in the traditional category way (it doesn't let you check email or take phone calls).
Its main focus is to get you thinking about how you're impulse buying, without needing to use boring spreadsheets. Every time you make a purchase, you tap the price into the interface and place it into a category (e.g. clothes, food and so on). On the back end, you'll set up your monthly allowance, and Lapin recommends how much free spending money you're allowed during that period.
When you go over-budget or are nearing that line, you'll know right away on the smartwatch's home screen. You can see what you're spending in each category via a green line (how much you have left for the month), too; and the more you spend, a red line grows.
While there's no shortage of budgeting apps on the market, what sets the watch and its corresponding app apart is style and tone. Instead of drab financial terms, Lapin breaks it down in a way everyone can get. When you start spending too much, you'll get a message like "Take the damn bus." Encouraging feedback is in the same spirit: "Hell yeah, who's a budgeting superstar?"
The design of the watch itself is also fashionable — one of the biggest complaints about smartwatches in general is that they're often large and the bands are made out of cheap material. They typically aren't something you'd want to put on for a fancy dinner.
But the Cash smartwatch is beautiful. It comes with three band options (a crocodile-style white, black silicone and a patterned silver), so you can dress it up or down. It also features a stylus, if that's your thing. And unlike Fitbit or Jawbone, where it's obvious you're tracking your movement, the Cash is inconspicuous.
No one will ever know you're using it to watch your dollars.
The watch face itself is a bit heavy, mostly because it holds all the tech. The web app brings together a bigger picture of your spending, but Cash also works autonomously. For those who want an app or online program without the watch, you can access Lapin's tips and platform directly.
"When I graduated college and while I was growing up, I was too scared to talk about money," Lapin said. "It wasn't until I started working in TV that I had to teach myself everything about finance quickly. Learning about it is intimidating, but I wanted to be the Rosetta Stone for that — you don't have to know any of the jargon in order to budget and save."
Posted by : Gizmeon

Report: Samsung May Launch Galaxy Note 4 Early After Success of iPhone 6

Report: Samsung May Launch Galaxy Note 4 Early After Success of iPhone 6
The massive response to Apple's bigger iPhone 6 models has inspired Samsung to push up the launch of the new Galaxy Note 4 phablet, according to a news report.
A Samsung employee said the "positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices prompted us to launch the Note 4 earlier than previously scheduled," according to The Korea Times
Apple set a new record for opening sales with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, doling out some 10 million units in the first 72 hours of retail, the company said. In a statement, Tim Cook said Apple "could have sold many more" with a greater supply.
The Galaxy Note 4 was originally slated for release in October, but its Korean launch is planned to be pushed up to Sept. 26 in response to the Apple sales surge, The Korea Times reported. No word on how this would impact the U.S. market, but the Note 4 is available for preorder in the states, with shipping penned to begin Oct. 14.
Samsung is known for its larger-display phablets, a fact it recently used to poke fun at Apple in an ad mocking the heftier-than-usual iPhone 6 Plus.
If bigger is better, the Note 4 — with a display of 5.7 inches — edges out the iPhone 6 Plus' 5.5.
On top of that, the Note 4 has a Quad HD resolution and a fast-charging battery, the company says. It also runs on KitKat, Android's latest operating system, and a 2.7GHz quad-core processor.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Adobe Photoshop Is Coming to Chromebooks

Adobe Photoshop Is Coming to Chromebooks
Google just made Chromebooks an even more appealing option to schools and students.
The company announced plans to partner with Adobe to offer a special cloud-based version of Photoshop to students and teachers who use Chromebooks in their classrooms.
The program, Project Photoshop Streaming, is still in beta and will be available to select Creative Cloud subscribers to start. Both companies promise the "streaming version" of Photoshop will have most of the same functionality of the desktop version of the image-editing software, but will be entirely cloud-based. The streaming version of Photoshop will also be accessible from within the Chrome browser on Windows devices.
This streaming version of Photoshop is designed to run straight from the cloud to your Chromebook," Google wrote in a blog post. "It’s always up-to-date and fully integrated with Google Drive, so there’s no need to download and re-upload files—just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud."
Chromebooks — Google's small, low-cost, laptops that run Chrome OS — have been increasingly in demand in schools due to their inexpensiveness and reliance on Google's cloud-based offerings like Drive, which require little maintenance and upkeep from school IT departments.
The program will initially only be available to a limited number of Adobe Education members with existing Creative Cloud subscriptions in North America. Qualified students or educators can apply on behalf of themselves of their institution on Adobe's website.
Google has recently been stepping up its efforts at increasing the variety of apps available for Chromebooks, which is a frequent area of criticism for the platform. The company revealed the first wave of Chromebook-compatible Android apps earlier this year, which included two educational apps (Duolingo and Sight Words.) The move — first announced during Google I/O — is part of Google's broader effort to create a more unified experience between Android and Chrome OS.
Posted by : Gizmeon

What Microsoft Needs to Accomplish With Its 'Windows 9' Event

What Microsoft Needs to Accomplish With Its 'Windows 9' Event
The world might get its first official taste of Windows 9 on Tuesday, at least if the rumors are true. Microsoft has scheduled an event in San Francisco to talk about "what's next for Windows and the Enterprise." The timing lines up with rumors about when Microsoft will supposedly be ready to start talking about the next major upgrade to Windows.
There's lots of speculation about the name of the release. "Windows 9" has just been a convenient and obvious placeholder. It's known that "Threshold" is the codename, and this is backed up by an early website leak the Verge spotted over the weekend.
But there's a chance the name could just be "Windows" — which might be somewhat confusing, but would be in keeping with CEO Satya Nadella's vision of "One Windows" going forward. After all, Windows Phone recently dropped the "Phone" part of its name, and Windows RT (the version that runs on the Surface and some other tablets) has been on the chopping block for a while.
It's fun to wonder about names — and make fun of them when they're stupid — but in this case it's the last thing Microsoft should be worrying about. Whether Microsoft calls it "Windows 9" or "Ralph," the next version of Windows needs to be a hit with its enterprise customers, which is what this event will really be all about.
Microsoft needs business
We'll probably get a very early look at Windows 9 on Tuesday, but the focus of the discussion will be about what large enterprise deployments can get out it. Those cool virtual desktops and the revamped Start Menu — the International Business Times has a leaked preview — might make an appearance, but mainly in the context of what businesses can do with them.
As Microsoft no doubt intends, that's some dry pickings, especially compared to the pomp and circumstance that accompanied the Windows 8 launch.
With Windows 8, Microsoft veered heavily toward the consumer market, and soon seemed hell-bent on out-Appleing Apple. The original unveiling of the Surface tablet had all the trappings of an Apple event: secrecy, spectacle and sexiness.
That unveiling, though, also caught Microsoft's manufacturing partners flat-footed, with all of them wary that the company would now be competing directly with them. On top of that, there was virtually no communication about Windows RT, the version of Windows running on the Surface, leaving PC makers and enterprise customers unsure of what to do with it.
For Windows 8/8.1 proper, though, enterprise knew just what to do: Ignore it. Even putting aside the typical skittishness enterprise customers have about new releases, Windows 8 was all about putting tablets and the consumer market first, and it took a long time for Microsoft to make it usable for a traditional workstation.
In fairness, subsequent Windows upgrades have addressed many key enterprise concerns. Since the Windows 8.1 update, mouse-and-keyboard Windows machines have become a lot more usable. With Internet Explorer 11, in particular, Microsoft addressed a big enterprise pain point for customers who previously needed to keep old machines around to run custom web software. IE11 can now run many of those custom apps within the new browser.
More show, less tell
But that clearly wasn't enough for enterprise customers, and now Microsoft is extending a large olive branch toward them. Whatever is actually shown on Tuesday (given the small-scale nature of the event, it likely won't be the formal "here it is, world!" Windows 9 unveiling), the message will be clear: The next Windows will be designed to win back the enterprise.
And frankly, it needs to — now more than ever. Although the enterprise has hardly abandoned Windows, Microsoft has good reason to worry. Apple and IBM announced a significant partnership to provide mobile technology to enterprise customers, and the ever-growing threat from Google has been getting some help from the likes of Samsung. Even BlackBerry is still throwing respectable punches in the mobile enterprise market.
With its touch-friendly interface, Windows 8 was supposed to help Microsoft capture more of the mobile market, but it hasn't gotten the job done — Windows is only running on 2.5% of the world's smartphones, according to IDC.
With the mobile enterprise world still to be won, Microsoft knows it can't count on indefinite enterprise support. Surely, Microsoft's enterprise footprint includes much more than Windows, but it's the centerpiece as well as the public-facing brand. It's the software most enterprise workers use day-to-day, and those workers have been stuck in 2009 with Windows 7 (or worse, 2001 with Windows XP), while encountering the cloud-first world Nadella keeps talking about on their iPhones.
The next Windows needs to involve enterprise from the start, and that's exactly what this event is all about. So it doesn't really matter if the name is Windows 9, Windows Threshold, UberWindows or even just Windows. Whatever Microsoft chooses, for its enterprise customers, just call it a do-over.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Samsung Says It's Developing Wi-Fi That's Five Times Faster

Samsung Says It's Developing Wi-Fi That's Five Times Faster

Samsung said it is developing Wi-Fi that is five times faster than the maximum possible speed of what's available today.
Samsung is building 60GHz Wi-Fi technology, which would speed up data transmissions to 4.6 gigabits per second — the equivalent of 575MB per second. That would be a five-fold improvement from today's maximum of 866 megabits per second, or 108MB per second, the company said Monday in a press release.
In other words, a 1GB file wouldn't even take three seconds to transfer from device to device.
Samsung said it plans to commercialize the technology as early as next year. It said the faster Wi-Fi would be particularly useful when applied to smart home and Internet of Things devices.
Samsung said 60GHz Wi-Fi had been merely theoretical until now because such signals had trouble penetrating walls.
But now developers are making it a reality, according to the company, by building new antennas and new methods to optimize communications devices.
“Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60 GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology, and looks forward to commercializing this breakthrough technology,” said Kim Chang Yong, head of Samsung's research-and-development center, in the announcement.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Skype Launches Standalone App for Disappearing Video Messages

Skype Launches Standalone App for Disappearing Video Messages

Skype is capitalizing on the increasing popularity of photo and video-centric messaging apps with a new standalone app for disappearing video messages.
The Skype Qik app is ideal for short, impromptu video conversations between friends. While the company says the app is meant to run alongside Skype, it's a standalone smartphone app that doesn't require a Skype account to use.
"Skype started with desktop, it was really our heritage but we've seen users adapting and shifting to more mobile scenarios," said Dan Chastney, principal program manager lead at Skype. "We really wanted to find a way of helping users stay connected in between their Skype calls."
To get started with the app, users only need to verify their phone number, which creates their account. They can then start one on one or group chats — which can potentially have hundreds of participants — by recording short videos and sending them to friends or groups of friends.
Videos, which can be up to 42 seconds long — a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — are automatically deleted from message threads after two weeks. But users can also go back and delete their own videos before they expire and the videos will also be removed from the other participants' conversations.
On the iOS and Android app, you can also pre-record 5-second videos called Qik Fliks to function as quick canned responses to messages. Though Qik is also launching on Windows Phone, Qik Fliks will be added in a later update, Chastney said.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Google Warns of Design Vulnerability in SSL 3.0

Google Warns of Design Vulnerability in SSL 3.0

Google on Tuesday announced that it has discovered a "vulnerability in the design of SSL version 3.0"
The vulnerability, which Google announced on its security blog and detailed in a security advisory [PDF link], "allows the plaintext of secure connections to be calculated by a network attacker."
Google's Bodo Möller discovered the issue, along with Googlers Thai Duong and Krzysztof Kotowicz.
This isn't the first time SSL — the security protocol that the Internet uses for encryption and security — has had issues. Earlier this year, a years-old bug in OpenSSL known as Heartbleed was publicly revealed.
This particular bug effects SSL version 3.0, which Google notes is nearly 15 years old. It has been replaced by TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2, but the discovery is still a concern because most modern TLS implementations are still backward compatible with Open SSL 3.0
Most web browsers still support SSL 3.0 and can even drop-down to support the old protocol if something else isn't working or if use of the protocol is triggered by a network attacker.
Google says that disabling SSL 3.0 support is enough to mitigate the issue, but that could cause compatibility issues. Therefore, the company has announced support for TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV, which will prevent SSL 3.0 from being used when a client attempts to retry a failed connection.
Google says that Chrome has supported TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV since February and that it is testing changes Tuesday that will disable fallback to SSL 3.0. In the coming months, Google hopes to remove support for SSL 3.0 from all of its products.
Silver lining
Although the problem Google has discovered looks severe, the good news is that it can be mitigated by upgrading to a newer version of a web browser. In the case of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, the rolling, automatic-updating nature of the browser means that users can get fixes quickly.
We expect Mozilla (Firefox), Microsoft (Internet Explorer) and Apple (Safari) to issue updates to its browsers to support the TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV and to follow Google's lead in dropping support for SSL 3.0.
For websites that may break if SSL 3.0 support is dropped, the onus will be on those site maintainers to update their code to modern standards immediately.
This story is still developing
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Google, Facebook and Twitter: How to erase a deceased user’s digital afterlife on social media

Google, Facebook and Twitter: How to erase a deceased user’s digital afterlife on social media
Sure, you have a lot to do today — laundry, bills, dinner — but it’s never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other sites have different policies on dealing with dead users. Some states are also considering laws that would automatically give loved ones access to, though not control of, their dead relative’s digital accounts, unless otherwise specified.
Unless you take action, you might not like the outcome: Would you want to give your spouse automatic access to your email correspondences? Should parents automatically be able to browse through a deceased child’s online dating profile?
Now that you’re mulling your eventual demise, here’s a look at how some of the biggest Internet companies deal with deceased users’ accounts and what you can do to control your information.
The company behind Gmail and Google Plus has a tool that lets you decide what happens with your account after you die or become inactive online for another reason, such as moving to a deserted island off the grid with no Internet access. The tool is called “inactive account manager.”
You can choose to have your data deleted after three, six or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can choose someone, such as a parent or a spouse, to receive the data. The tool covers not just email but also other Google services such as Google Plus, YouTube and Blogger.
Before deleting data, Google will send a warning to a secondary email address or a phone number if you have provided one. This, of course, won’t help if you’re dead. But you can also have that warning go to a loved one.
Google’s inactive account manager
The world’s largest online social network doesn’t give relatives access to dead people’s accounts. Instead, loved ones can request for your account to be “memorialized” if you die. This means no one will be able to log in or modify any settings, such as adding or removing friends or deleting content. In addition, Facebook won’t show the account in its “people you may know” section for suggesting friends and won’t send birthday reminders.
Privacy settings from when you were alive will carry over, and those can’t be changed. So if friends were able to post to your account’s Timeline, they’ll still be able to do so. The Timeline posts will be viewable by the same people who were able to see those posts before. Friends will also be able to send private messages, as long as they were able to before, even though no one will see them.
Facebook’s page on deleting or memorializing accounts
Twitter will deactivate your account if contacted by a family member or a person authorized to act on behalf of your estate. For this, the person will need a death certificate. Because many people don’t use their real names on Twitter, the company will also want a “brief description of the details that evidence this account belongs to the deceased,” its policy states.
After 30 days, a deactivated Twitter account is permanently deleted.
To respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter says it may also remove images of deceased individuals that circulate on the site. The policy applies only in limited circumstances and was implemented recently, after some users sent altered images of Robin Williams to his daughter Zelda after the actor committed suicide in August.
The policy was also used to remove gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley. The company’s CEO Dick Costolo said last month, in reference to the Foley images, that Twitter “is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery.”
Twitter contact page for family members of the dead
Posted by : Gizmeon

Apple puts up an official page to help Android users move to iPhone

Apple puts up an official page to help Android users move to iPhone
After launching larger iPhone 6 modelsto win back Android users who prefer larger screens, Apple has put up a support page to help them migrate from Android to iPhone. The page named “Move content from your Android phone to iPhone” shows six categories – ‘Mail, Contacts, and Calendars’, Photos and videos, Music, Books and PDFs, and Documents’ and Apps.
The page further lists out a step-by-step method of transferring content from Android using third-party apps or iTunes on Mac or PC. It has listed steps showing how to move email accounts on Android to iPhone’s Mail app. It also talks about third-party apps such as Copy My Data and PhotoSync that will help transfer contacts and photos effortlessly.
It also lists out instructions on how Android users can transfer photos, videos, books, and music from Android devices to iPhones using iTunes on a Mac or PC. Besides, the document also shows how one can transfer documents to iCloud and then access it via Apple’s office suite – Pages, Numbers and Keynotes.
“The iOS apps for Numbers, Pages, and Keynote support several file types, including Microsoft Office documents. You can import documents from your Android phone and then edit them on your iPhone. Then you can use iCloud to keep those documents up to date across your devices,” Apple explains.
Talking about apps, the page says, “You’ll probably find the apps you’re already using on the App Store. Go to the App Store, search for the apps you have now, and install them. Then sign in with your user name and password.”
Apple launched two new bigger and better iPhone 6 models last week. Both devices have received rave reviews, so far from tech critics. In fact, the devices bagged a record 4 million pre-orders within 24 hours. Find out what tech critics are saying about the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the gigantic 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus phablet version.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Sony forecasts $2 billion loss following poor smartphone sales

Sony forecasts $2 billion loss following poor smartphone sales
Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.
Citing intense competition, especially from Chinese rivals, Sony said Wednesday it anticipates a net loss of 230 billion yen ($2.15 billion) for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2015. Its previous forecast was for a 50 billion yen ($466 million) net loss.
For the first time since going public in 1958, the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate canceled dividend payments for the half- and full-year.
“This is the very first time we ever eliminated a dividend,” said Sony’s president Kazuo Hirai. “For more than 50 years we always paid a dividend. The entire management takes this very seriously.”
The company plans to cut staff in its mobile communications business by about 15 percent, or roughly 1,000 people, Hirai said. Details of that plan are to be announced later.
Sony has been trying to reshape its business after years of red ink and has repeatedly promised turnarounds without delivering.
It said the bigger loss for the current fiscal year stems from a lower valuation of its mobile phone business due to weaker than expected sales. The company is recording an “impairment charge” of 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) in the July-September quarter.
The charge is purely an adjustment to the company’s balance sheet, involving no cash, but it reflects that the mobile business is far less valuable and will generate lower profits than previously thought.
The smartphone business has proven particularly tough for Sony. Apple and Samsung dominate at the top end while Chinese and other Asian manufacturers are hogging the market for cheaper phones that are most likely to appeal in fast-growing developing countries.
Hirai said Sony had not managed to stay ahead of sea changes in the industry.
“The Chinese smartphone manufacturers have made great strides and are expanding outside their own market, and this has caused a shift in the pricing,” he said. “Meanwhile, Apple and other manufacturers are launching strong, innovative products. The changes are very rapid and dramatic.”
Hirai said Sony expects a loss in its mobile business this year, but would return to profit by cutting costs and focusing on higher end devices. It is also positioning itself for future growth in smartphones and mobile technology. “We have to be in the competitive landscape in the next stage and be ready for that evolution,” he said.
Sony intends to leverage its vast archive of music and movies, network services and technology to compete. “By combining these assets well we can come up with uniquely Sony products,” he said. Looking ahead, Sony plans to concentrate on its “premium lineup” of smartphones and reduce the number of mid-range models that have proven less popular than expected, Hirai said.
Sony plans three Xperia Z3 smartphone and tablet models, with its signature waterproof capabilities, for this fall. For the first time, one of the phones will be available in the U.S., through T-Mobile, at about the same time as the rest of the world, rather than months later.
It also plans a new SmartBand fitness device that will include a small display to show the status of various activities. Its SmartWatch 3 will have GPS capabilities built in, allowing for more accurate tracking of outdoor fitness activities.
The profit warning followed a surprise eightfold jump in Sony’s April-June quarterly profit thanks to gains from selling buildings and its stake in a video-game maker.
Sony left its full-year sales forecast unchanged at 7.8 trillion yen ($72.8 billion). The company reported a 128.4 billion yen loss in the fiscal year that ended March 31.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Major AOSP browser flaw could compromise nearly half of all Android devices

Major AOSP browser flaw could compromise nearly half of all Android devices
A new security bug in the Android Browser could have massive implications on Android users. Though the bug was reported last month by researcher Rafay Baloch, it has come to the fore only now.
In a blogpost, Security Street Rapid7 calls the bug a ‘privacy disaster.’ It is capable of allowing a hacker to “load” javascript into any arbitrary frame or window. The blog explains, “What this means is, any arbitrary website (say, one controlled by a spammer or a spy) can peek into the contents of any other web page. Imagine you went to an attackers site while you had your webmail open in another window — the attacker could scrape your e-mail data and see what your browser sees. Worse, he could snag a copy of your session cookie and hijack your session completely, and read and write webmail on your behalf.”
With a large number of users relying on the browser, the widespread is quite likely. It must be noted that the attack is possible only on the stock AOSP browser which is the legacy browser used by many OEMs, despite Chrome being available. All new Google devices such as the Nexus series, Android One range and even some Motorola phones use Chrome as the only browser out of the box. A report by ArsTechnica points out,”As our monthly look at Web browser usage shows, Android Browser has a little more real-world usage than Chrome for Android, with something like 40-50 percent of Android users using the flawed browser. The Android Browser is likely to be embedded in third-party products, too, and some Android users have even installed it on their Android 4.4 phones because for one reason or another they prefer it to Chrome.”
Since it is a stock Android app, one cannot really uninstall it, unless you have sideloaded it like Ars Technica says above. However, Sophos Security points out that one can choose check the disable option. In its blogpost, the security firm states, “Stop using Browser if you have it installed. You’ll know you have it by going  to Settings/Apps/All and looking for its tell-tale icon. You almost certainly can’t uninstall it, because it’s usually part of the operating system build itself, meaning it doesn’t show up under  Settings/Apps/Downloaded. But if you tap on the Browser option from the All apps page, you should see a Disable button instead of Uninstall.”
If you have a rooted device, uninstalling the Browser is possible, and is highly recommended. For now, if you cannot root your phone, it’s best to not use the browser at all, and go with a third-party alternative. Wondering which one to pick? Why not have a look at our extensive comparison of the major Android browsers.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Meet India’s cheapest smartphone to run Android KitKat: Jivi JSP20 launched for Rs 1,999

Meet India’s cheapest smartphone to run Android KitKat: Jivi JSP20 launched for Rs 1,999
Feature phone maker Jivi today launched its first smartphone, which is “extremely affordable”, for Rs 1,999, aimed at the masses. The Indian company which expects to sell about 2 lakh units of the device, claims this is the cheapest Android-based smartphone available in the country. “The intent was clear. We want to make available a good quality smartphone at an extremely affordable price, we are doing this on very thin margins,” Jivi Mobiles CEO Pankaj Anand told PTI.
He added that the firm will bring newer devices in the coming weeks powered by the latest Android KitKat operating system. Earlier this week, another homegrown firm Intex had launched an Android KitKat powered smartphone for Rs 2,699 with Flipkart, which it claimed was the cheapest in the country.
The dual SIM JSP20, which will sold exclusively through ecommerce firm, features 3.5-inch screen, 1 GHz processor and Android Gingerbread OS. It also sports 128MB RAM, 256MB memory (expandable up to 32GB), 2MP camera and 1350 mAh battery.
“This is an entry-level device for those looking to upgrade. This is in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative,” he said.
Asked how the company intends to reach users, who may not have access to Internet to purchase online, Anand said the firm will conduct on ground activities to help them. “We will have people on ground, across colleges and other places to help people purchase the phone. Also, we will launch newer devices offline as well, this is just the beginning,” he added.
The Indian smartphone market is witnessing intense competition, especially in the affordable category. Touted as the fastest growing smartphone market globally, over 44 million smartphones were sold in the country last year, buoyed by affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn. According to research firm IDC, 18.42 million smartphones were shipped in India in Q2 2014 with Samsung as the leader with a 29 per cent market share, Micromax (18 per cent), Karbonn (8 per cent) and LAVA (6 per cent).
Posted by : Gizmeon

Amazon’s budget Kindle e-reader launched in India for Rs 5,999

Amazon’s budget Kindle e-reader launched in India for Rs 5,999
Amazon has introduced the all-new Kindle e-reader with a 6-inch touchscreen display in India for Rs 5,999. Pre-orders for the new device begin today via and it will start shipping on October 9.
Some key features of the new Kindle include a Vocabulary builder that automatically adds words to the dictionary and lets you quiz yourself with flash cards, Whispersync to save and synchronize the last page read, weeks of battery life and Smart Lookup. The new Kindle also tells you how much time you will require to read a particular book and there’s an educational feature called Kindle FreeTime that helps parents encourage kids to spend more time reading with selected books and achievement badges.
Amazon claims that the new Kindle is light and ultra-portable, and comes equipped with a process that increases its speed by 20 percent. The budget price and features indicate that Amazon aims to lure first-time users with this device. However, expect some features to be missing in this device. For example, the it has a lower resolution screen compared to the original Kindle Paperwhite that sells for Rs 10,999.
“Readers who haven’t yet experienced an e-reader will be surprised by how easy it is to read on, with no glare even in bright sunlight, and weeks of battery life. Readers who have never tried eBooks will love enhanced reading features like instant dictionary look-up and adjustable font sizes,” it states in the press release.
“Our new Kindle is small and light, with weeks of battery life, a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and a touch interface,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The new Kindle includes all the features readers love—Whispersync, built-in dictionary and new exclusive features like Vocabulary builder, Kindle Freetime and Goodreads integration. It’s never been a better time to be a reader.”
Kindle arrives pre-registered so you can start reading immediately, negating the need for any setup. Needless to say, it gives access to millions of books including bestsellers such as Kindle Singles, and more. Indian users can also expect features like Word Wise and Enhanced Search to be introduced as part of a free, over-the-air software update over the next couple of weeks.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Datawind to launch Rs 2,000 low-cost phone with free lifetime Internet

Datawind to launch Rs 2,000 low-cost phone with free lifetime Internet
With an aim to double its volumes, low-cost mobile devices maker Datawind on Thursday said it will launch a Rs 2,000 smartphone before Diwali that will come bundled with free Internet for life.
The company said the device will be based on Android operating system and have a 3.5 inch size.
Datawind currently has three smartphones and 5 tablets under its portfolio and is selling 40,000-50,000 devices every month.
“We are looking forward to launch our Rs 2,000 smartphone and few other devices before Diwali and intent is to double our sales by the end of this calender year,” Datawind Executive Vice President Rupinder Singh said.
He added the company is in talks with three mobile operators for the lifetime free Internet offer but refused to divulge more details as the deal is yet to be finalised.
Asked about manufacturing in the country, Singh said the company has aggressive plans but did not mention any timeline for implementation.
Datawind had won the contract to supply 1 lakh units of Aakash tablets priced at $49.98 apiece in 2011, translated into a price of Rs 2,276 at that time.
The project was then handled by IIT Jodhpur which provided the specifications for the product. It, however, ran into controversy following IIT Jodhpur rejecting the devices manufactured by Datawind.
The project was then shifted under IIT Bombay and Datawind was asked to supply better version of the product, Aakash 2.
Singh said the company had in May last year shipped all the tablets to the government.
The Aakash project was former minister Kapil Sibal’s brainchild. The idea was to provide low-cost computing device at subsidised rate to students to enable them access Internet for educational purposes.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a recent press conference said Aakash project needs better specifications.
Asked if Datawind would be interested if the government comes out with a tender for Aakash, Singh said,”Absolutely we will be interested in that. Just a couple of months before the elections, a tender was opened for Aakash 4 by DGS&D and we emerged as the lowest bidder.”
Posted by : Gizmeon

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Seagate Launches World's First 8TB Hard Drive

Seagate Launches World's First 8TB Hard Drive
The first 8TB hard drives in existence were sent out to early-bird buyers today, data storage company Seagate confirmed. The drives have the largest storage space of any single hard-disk drive on the market.
The need for a more efficient hard drive corresponds with the rising amount of data being created, shared and stored. The goal of the 8TB drive is to provide these necessities while also keeping consumer costs low.
"As our world becomes more mobile, the number of devices we use to create and consume data is driving an explosive growth in unstructured data. This places increased pressure on cloud builders to look for innovative ways to build cost-effective, high capacity storage for both private and cloud-based data centers," Seagate's Vice President of Marketing Scott Horn said in a statement.
Seagate has been upgrading its hard drives gradually over the years using a technology known as shingled magnetic recording. This technique pushes drive tracks closer together, maximizing the amount of space available on a drive.
The drive is currently in a trial period and is only being delivered to a select few, but it will be able to be available to the masses over the next few months.
Posted by : Gizmeon

The Top 10 Reasons Apple Rejects Apps From the App Store

The Top 10 Reasons Apple Rejects Apps From the App Store
For many developers, the most stressful part of launching a new app is waiting for Apple's approval. This critical final step can delay an otherwise precisely timed release or present other last-minute hurdles for developers who have already spent weeks or months on development.
Though Apple already has a detailed set of guidelines for developers, the company explained common issues with App Store submissions in a new post on its site for developers.
The company revealed the top 10 reasons apps get rejected from the App Store during the final week of August. While some issues, such as crashes and bugs, are obvious, others are less glaring and may come as a surprise to developers.
The biggest culprit, according to Apple, was not providing enough information, which accounted for 14% of total rejections. Providing the necessary details for testing such as demo account information and current contact information is essential, as Apple explains:
Enter all of the details needed to review your app in the App Review Information section of iTunes Connect ... If features require an environment that is hard to replicate or require specific hardware, be prepared to provide a demo video or the hardware.
Other top reasons included too many bugs and crashes (8%), failure to "comply with Developer Program License Agreement" (6%), and the design's failure to meet Apple's user interface requirements (6%).
Apps must also have relevant names and not be intentionally misleading or confusing to users.
Apps with names, descriptions, or screenshots not relevant to the app content and functionality will be rejected (5%)
Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other apps will be rejected (5%)
App names in iTunes Connect and as displayed on a device should be similar, so as not to cause confusion (4%)
Submissions that are unfinished or test versions of a final product are also rejected. Apps that contain placeholder text accounted for 4% of rejections while submissions labeled as "beta," "demo," "trial" or "test" accounted for 2% of dismissals.
42% of all rejections were due to "other reasons." Apple did not elaborate on what the other reasons were, but simply said each "other" reason was responsible for less than 2% of total rejections each.
It's likely not a coincidence that Apple chose to share this information with developers at this point, as the company prepares to release the next version of iOS, in the coming weeks. iOS 8, which incorporates a new programming language, the Apple-made Swift, and allows developers more flexibility than ever, is expected to be the operating system's biggest overhaul yet. The company has also sent out invites for an iPhone event on Sept. 9.
Posted by : Gizmeon

Hands On With the Selfie-Obsessed Nokia Lumia 730

Hands On With the Selfie-Obsessed Nokia Lumia 730
BERLIN — Microsoft's Nokia is serious about selfies. The company just launched two new affordable Lumia devices — the Lumia 735 and the Lumia 730 (the 3G dual-SIM model) — which, Nokia claims, take the best selfies around.
They do that with the help of a wide-angle front camera, which makes it easier to squeeze more people into the shot. Microsoft's Chris Weber actually tried to re-enact Ellen DeGeneres' famous selfie at a company event here in Berlin, showing that the Lumia wouldn't cut off Jared Leto's face from the shop. It worked, though we'd have to try the camera a bit more to see if that wide-angle camera is really perfect for every type of shot.
The new Lumias also come preloaded with the new Selfie app, which has several nifty features. These include an option to take the selfie with the rear camera, and a bunch of photo enhancement filters which can make you look thinner and your eyes and teeth nicer. From what we've seen at Nokia's presentation, it works quite well, at least in daylight shots.
The Selfie app is available to all Lumia phones in Microsoft's Windows Phone Store starting today. It's worth pointing out that
the app enables selfie-taking even on Lumias that don't have the front camera — a nice added value for those who own a Nokia Lumia 530, for examples.
As for the rest of the specs on the new Lumias, they both have a 4.7-inch HD display, a 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss optics, and a 2,220mAh battery. The body is a polycarbonate shell, similar to the one on other affordable Lumias. And just like with those other models, it feels solid in the hand, though you're immediately aware that you're not exactly holding a flagship phone.
The dual-SIM Nokia Lumia 730 will cost 199 euros, while the LTE Lumia 735 will cost 219 euros. Both devices will be available globally this month; the U.S. pricing has not been announced.
Posted by : Gizmeon

4K Isn't Top of the Line Anymore: LG Has an 8K TV

4K Isn't Top of the Line Anymore: LG Has an 8K TV
BERLIN — If you're saving up for a 4K TV, some bad news: it won't have the sharpest picture around.
That's because LG brought a 98-inch 8K LCD television to the IFA tech conference here — and it's 16 times the resolution of full HD, according to the company.
To no surprise, the picture is incredibly sharp. But compared with all the 4K TVs, we can't tell that much of a difference.
No details on specifications, pricing or release date are available. But the
8K format is generally regarded as 7,680 x 4,320 for more than 33 million pixels in professional environments.
Unlike many of the TVs shown at IFA, LG's 8K is not curved, and it has a 120Hz LCD instead of an OLED panel. (We still want one, though.)
The company also brought a 105-inch, curved 5K (5,120 x 2,160 pixels) TV set to IFA, which we already saw at CES in Las Vegas.
Samsung also has a nameless 98-inch 8K TV on display at its enormous IFA booth.
Posted by : Gizmeon

That Whirring Fan You Hear When Firing Up Your Laptop May Finally Shut Up

That Whirring Fan You Hear When Firing Up Your Laptop May Finally Shut Up
Over the past few years, laptop have gotten much thinner and lighter — but not much quieter. Whether you have an ultra-thin design or something bulkier, the whirring fan has been a computer owner's constant companion, turning on whenever you start to tax the processor even a little bit outside its comfort zone.
Intel is attacking this problem head-on with its Core M processor, which allows PC and tablet manufacturers to build products with laptop performance in a thin and fanless form factor.
The photo above shows the motherboard for a MacBook Air underneath a motherboard with the same performance, but built around a Core M chip. Not only will the new chips let laptops and tablets get even thinner, but they'll have twice the performance, Intel says. Reps from the company showed Mashable a 12-inch prototype Windows tablet thinner than an iPad Air, but with twice the performance, they added.
The Core M bridges the gap between the company's line of Atom processors, which are used in mobile devices, and the main Core line — the high-power chips that you'd find in laptops and some tablets. Previously, Intel provided lower-power Core chips for ultra-thin designs; Core M replaces that line.
Core M can run faster without getting too hot, thanks to Intel's 14-nanometer chip technology (Moore's Law hasn't quit just yet). Whereas the previous low-power Core chips ran at 11.5 watts, Core M runs at 4.5 — a significant decrease, and without any reduction in performance.
Intel says the Core M is targeted at the "high end" of the tablet market as well as Ultrabooks. Many manufacturers have already unveiled products built around Core M at IFA, including the Asus Zenbook UX305, the HP Envy x2 and the new Lenovo ThinkPad Helix. Intel says more than 20 Core M-based products are in the works, many to be unveiled in the coming months and early next year.
While some PCs and tablets with power demands will always require a fan (the Microsoft Surface Pro, which prioritizes productivity above all else, will likely stick with a full Core chip), the Core M can take over a significant part of the market. And that whirring fan you hear whenever you fire up multiple dynamic browser tabs may finally start to shut up.
Posted by : Gizmeon