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Apr 17, 2014 - 10:20 AM - by dgstorm

It's hard to disseminate all the info running rampant across the internet regarding the Heartbleed SSL vulnerability which has been the big media talk over the past week and a half. We mostly stayed away from the story to avoid spreading any "fear-mongering."

Still, that doesn't mean we don't want to offer some useful intel for you guys. We've been holding out so we could wait until much of the initial hype died down and something useful came along. The above infographic is precisely that. The cybersecurity experts at LWG Consulting have put together a handy infographic which gives details on which major websites/web-services we should change our passwords on ASAP. It also shows some websites that we can breathe easier about.

It's possible that this infographic isn't 100% exhaustive, but it should be a great starting reference. Many of the companies who own these websites are currently scrambling to fix the vulnerability. Some of them have already fixed the vulnerability, but the problem has been there for years, so it is best to change your password regardless.

Source: LWG
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Apr 16, 2014 - 3:47 PM - by dgstorm

We have a second great story to share with you guys today. Just this morning we featured an article of Android humor regarding a unique Craigslist add we found. A clever fellow was trying to trade his prosthetic "old leg" for an Android tablet. Beyond the humor we found in his post and the humor we added with our feature, we decided to explore this further.

Here at HQ, we felt inspired to go beyond just writing a funny story about the unusual posting. We felt compassion regarding the gentleman's plight of needing an Android tablet for his "drawing" projects, but not being able to afford it. We didn't just think of it as a charity case though, because we found his proposal to trade his old prosthetic leg for an Android tablet clever and amusing. It just so happened that we actually had an extra Nexus 7 Android tablet on hand that wasn't being used much. On top of that, we even had a spare stylus in a drawer. We thought that if anyone deserves our compassion, it would be a person with a great sense of humor too.

Because of this confluence of coincidences, we decided to follow this "rabbit hole" as far as it could go, and made contact with the "seller" through his Craigslist ad. In the end, we got to meet a kindly and enthusiastic fellow named "Alan," who was very grateful to meet us and trade his "old leg" for the Nexus 7 Android tablet. Ultimately, we traded the Nexus 7 tablet (with all necessary cords and power adapters), a stylus, and $100 in cash so Alan could download some great artistic apps from the Google Play Store.

We aren't sharing this to be exploitive, nor to "sound our own horns." We simply were happy to experience this heart-warming event and wanted to share it with you guys. The Android community is far more amazing and diverse than we realize sometimes, and it's enjoyable when the universe reminds us of that.

In the thread below we included a few pics that Alan asked us to take with him so that we could share in his joy!
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Apr 16, 2014 - 9:40 AM - by dgstorm

Brace yourself! Here's a shank of Android humor for the day. Frequently in life we hear people blurt out the phrase, "I would give an arm and a leg for..."

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not something you expect to be literal, but sometimes the stuff you find on the internet just stretches belief. Case in point... we found a post on Craigslist in which the member wants to trade his prosthetic leg for an Android tablet! Yes... really.

In one segment of his listing, the brave man shares that he can't afford even a used Android tablet, so he needs the support of a generous soul willing to trade their Android tablet for his old leg.

Here's a quote from his post,

I'd like to trade an old, thoroughly used prothetic leg with flex foot attached for a functional Android tablet or Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD. You could turn it into a piece of art if you liked...or whatever other strange purposes you might have for a prosthetic leg. I won't judge, I just want the thing gone and I recently had it pointed out to me that you can draw with those little tablets and I wouldn't need to drag a bag full of pencils around with me when I go to the doctor and stuff if I had one. Being of limited means (about all I've got is an old leg) I can't afford to buy one, not even a used one. So....a leg for an Android. Maybe you want to start building an android......
To be clear, we are not poking fun at the person who left this Craigslist ad. This article is meant to be "tongue in cheek." We admire his obvious sense of humor about the situation which is propped up in his Craigslist column. Also, we fully respect his desire to "get a leg up" on technology, especially since it's a piece of technology that is near and dear to our hearts. We definitely support him, and wish him luck in this portion of his quest for an Android tablet!
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Apr 15, 2014 - 9:41 AM - by dgstorm

If you are one of the few out there who like the idea of the Google Glass wearable eyewear, and are looking forward to dropping $1,500 bucks to try them out, then today is your lucky day. For today only Google will be allowing anyone in the United States the opportunity to join the current Google Glass Explorer program and purchase the test product for $1,500 USD.

For your money you will receive...

Continue Reading @: For Today Only Anyone in the US Can Purchase a Google Glass
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Apr 10, 2014 - 2:54 PM - by dgstorm

Leave it up to the folks at Google to take Android to the next level for reliability and security. Google just announced their plans to extend their security services beyond Google Play and create a system for real-time continuous malware monitoring for Android. They will be evolving their "verify apps" service to take on the worthy task of finding and eliminating malware before you ever have to worry about it. Here's a quote from the Google blog with more of the details,

Think about the ways your home is kept secure. You rely on structural security features—secure locks, a rock-hard foundation, strong windows and doors. You might also have an alarm or video camera to give you an extra layer of security, with a support team behind those tools making them more powerful, all but invisible until the moment you need them.

We have a similar approach to how we deliver security improvements in Android. As part of Android’s foundation, we built safeguards like application sandboxing, which confines apps, minimizing their ability to damage other parts of your phone. But just like your home, Google offers a built-in “service layer” (kind of like the phone equivalent of that alarm service for your home) to most every Android phone and tablet that’s constantly being strengthened, and it’s included for free. We’re adding to that service layer, further fortifying your Android phone or tablet.

Verify apps: now protecting you continually
Building on Verify apps, which already protects people when they’re installing apps outside of Google Play at the time of installation, we’re rolling out a new enhancement which will now continually check devices to make sure that all apps are behaving in a safe manner, even after installation. In the last year, the foundation of this service—Verify apps—has been used more than 4 billion times to check apps at the time of install. This enhancement will take that protection even further, using Android’s powerful app scanning system developed by the Android security and Safe Browsing teams.

Because potentially harmful applications are very rare, most people will never see a warning or any other indication that they have this additional layer of protection. But we do expect a small number of people to see warnings (which look similar to the existing Verify apps warnings) as a result of this new capability. The good news is that very few people have ever encountered this; in fact, we’ve found that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.

Even though the risk is miniscule, we’re committed to making sure that the best available security protections are available to all Android users. This includes service-based protections such as Verify apps, as well as security features within the platform itself.
Source: ... [Read More]
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Apr 10, 2014 - 11:00 AM - by dgstorm

It looks like within the next year Apple's iPad may be unseated as the top dog in tablet marketshare globally. Of course, it's their chief rival, Samsung, who is closing the gap. According to the latest reports, Samsung’s global tablet market share rose to 23% in the first quarter of this year. This is within spitting distance of the 30% total global marketshare for the Apple iPad.

Just last year alone, Samsung shipped...

Continue Reading @: Samsung Closing the Gap on Apple's Tablet Marketshare
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Apr 08, 2014 - 11:40 AM - by dgstorm

For some reason, Google has delayed the registration process for their Google I/O 2014. It was originally going to begin today, but instead it will now run from April 15th through April 18th. Here's a quote with the report from the Google Developers Google+ page:

Update on Google I/O Registration Window -- opening next week:

We're still working to make the registration process even easier for you, and it will now be open four days starting next week (opening next Tuesday and closing Friday). After the registration window closes, applicants will randomly be selected and we'll send ticket purchase confirmation emails shortly thereafter
It looks like they are still organizing to make the process even easier. Sound off and let us know if you plan on attending this year.
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Apr 08, 2014 - 10:18 AM - by dgstorm

HP just launched their Slate 8 Pro Business Tablet with Android KitKat. Just as the name implies, it is meant to cater to a different customer than the consumer level Slate 8 Pro. It has some very powerful specs, but the 1GB of RAM seems a bit lacking.

Here's a breakdown,
  • 8 inch, 1600 x 1200 pixel display with a 4:3 aspect ratio
  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • A microSD card slot
  • A micro HDMI port
  • A micro USB cable
  • 8MP rear camera and 720p front-facing camera
  • 21Whr battery which HP says is good for up to 11.5 hours of run time.
  • 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for Miracast wireless display streaming
  • NFC
  • Measures 8.7″ x 5.6″ x 0.4″
  • Weighs about 1 pound
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

At $349 bucks, this is a decent value, considering the power of the Tegra 4. That's only $20 bucks more than the $330 price of the consumer version. Still... we can't help wondering where this fits in the market. New tablets which will outclass this are just on the horizon for later this year.

What do you think of HP's Business tablet?

Source: HP Business
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Apr 07, 2014 - 4:19 PM - by dgstorm

Although it sounds like something out of Shadowrun novel, there is some new tech on the horizon which could make our worries about smart-device battery drain a thing of the past. An Israeli company named StoreDot just showed off a high-tech new prototype battery charger at Microsoft's Think Next event. This new battery charger utilizes Nanodots technology, which is essentially some of the newest nano-tech available.

Nanodots are bio-organic nanocrystals with superior energy storage capabilities, although commercial applications for them could eventually be seen in data storage, flexible displays, and imaging sensors. In this particular application...

Continue Reading @: Prototype Nano-Tech Charger Can Fully Recharge Your Cell Battery in Under a Minute
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Apr 07, 2014 - 10:59 AM - by dgstorm

It looks like Qualcomm is just never satisfied with impressing mobile tech geeks. They continue to push the envelope, even when we are already blown away by the amazing tech they show off. Their latest creations scheduled to debut next year are the Snapdragon 808 and 810. Here's a quick spec breakdown of these powerhouse chipsets,

Snapdragon 808 MSM8992: (The 808 differs from the 810 primarily with a different core arrangement and slightly slower GPU and memory interface.)

  • CPU: 2 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (hexa-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
  • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
  • GPU: Adreno 418
  • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-933
  • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
  • eMMC interface: 5.0
  • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
  • Camera ISP: 12-bit dual-ISP
  • H.256 encode/decode: no/yes

Snapdragon 810 MSM8994: (The 810 is the higher-end of the two chipsets, and is designed to follow-up the Snapdragon 805, which is coming later this summer.)

  • CPU: 4 Cortex A57 cores + 4 Cortex A53 cores (octo-core, big.LITTLE arrangement)
  • ISA: 32-bit/64-bit ARM v8-A, 20nm
  • GPU: Adreno 430
  • Memory bandwidth: 64-bit LPDDR4-1600
  • LTE: Cat 6/7 LTE, built-in
  • eMMC interface: 5.0
  • Wi-Fi: no (requires separate Wi-Fi module)
  • Camera ISP: 14-bit dual-ISP
  • H.256 encode/decode: yes/yes

It looks like Qualcomm is now starting to make excellent use of the big.LITTLE architecture, which makes their stuff a bit more similar to Samsung's Exynos. Regardless of how things are evolving in the mobile tech world, Qualcomm seems to be on the leading edge. Can Samsung and NVIDIA (or any of the other chip OEMs) really compete with Qualcomm's lead?

Source: Anandtech
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Apr 04, 2014 - 12:43 PM - by dgstorm

Very soon the first Snapdragon 805 equipped device will be available, but it won't be for the average consumer. Qualcomm will soon release their next developer tablet so that the engineers of the world will have their first crack at the silicon.

Here's the full breakdown of specs for the device:

  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Qualcomm’s unreleased Snapdragon 805 processor - quad-core CPU clocked at 2.7 GHz with Adreno 420 GPU
  • Hexagon QDSP6 V5A (600MHz) DSP chip - for inerpreting sensor data
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of internal storage
  • 2560 x 1440 10-inch Display
  • 13 megapixel rear camera - with 4K video capabilities - and included front facing 3D infrared gesture camera
  • 2 megapixel front camera
  • 802.11ac WiFi radios, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC
  • A microSD card slot
  • HDMI port
  • USB port
  • Its microphones can record sound from an ultrasound stylus
  • Fingerprint scanner on the back
  • 3,400 mAh battery - small because the device is meant to be used on a desk dock

The device will be available for sale in a limited fashion from the manufacturer, Intrinsyc. It will sell for an understandable $800, and will ship later this month.

Source: TalkAndroid
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Apr 04, 2014 - 12:35 PM - by dgstorm

Samsung has been working with the Sungkyunkwan University to develop graphene technology for future flexible devices, and they recently made a breakthrough in the manufacturing process. This breakthrough is likely to bring the super-material to market much sooner than predicted. This new breakthrough is a new manufacturing method, designed to produce large, thin sheets of graphene. While it is true that methods for that already exist, what is unique about this one is that Samsung's process does not reduce the mechanical properties of the nanomaterial, which has been a problem of other manufacturing techniques.

If you haven't heard of graphene, it's a nanomaterial which is likely to completely disrupt and alter the future of the entire electronics industry. Here's a quote which explains why graphene is so revolutionary...

Continue Reading @: Samsung Breakthrough Could Commercialize Graphene Sooner Than Expected
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Apr 01, 2014 - 4:39 PM - by dgstorm

The PC tech titan Lenovo who just worked out a deal to purchase Motorola from Google is already amping up their Android presence. They officially announced four new Android tablets. These are the A7-30, A7-50, A8 and A10 (the first number corresponds to the display size). They will be available in limited international markets later this quarter, and only these prices were revealed: A7-50 = £99.99, A8-50 is £139.99, A10-70 is £169.99

Here's the full presser for more info,

Lenovo Announces New A-Series Android Tablets Series includes new functionality and various configurations, tailored for distinct customer segments

A7-30 delivers an exceptional audio experience with Dolby®-enhanced dual-front speakers in an ultra-portable form factor
A7-50's 7-inch, wide-view HD display reveals sharper text and web pages for the optimal reading and viewing experience
A8 comes in a range of bold color options to suit different personalities and styles, while providing total entertainment on the go
A10 provides an amazing video watching experience, without staying at home, with a superb 10.1" wide HD display and smooth video playback all day long
PC+ leader Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announces a line-up of new A-series Android tablets, offering configurations and screen sizes to match consumer needs for both ultra-portable tablets and multimedia performers. The portfolio, which also boasts quad-core computing power for a responsive, smooth tablet experience, will be available starting in the second quarter 2014.

The new range starts with the A7-30 seven-inch devices, designed for optimal music or multimedia enjoyment through exceptional Dolby®-enhanced dual-front speakers while still packing a performance punch. The A7-50 is the affordable on-the-go reading companion with a 7-inch, wide-view HD display for sharper text and web pages, while the larger screen A8 is the mobile “home entertainment” center that comes in a variety of bold colors to suit different personalities and lifestyles. Rounding up the new A-series is the A10, which is equipped with a superb 10.1" wide HD display and Dolby® enhanced dual front speakers for an amazing movie watching experience on the move.

A7-30, Pocket Studio with Dolby®: The Lenovo TAB A7-30 delivers an audio experience normally reserved for more expensive tablets in a seven-inch device. Armed with exceptional Dolby®-enhanced dual-front speakers, it is an ultra-portable tablet that music lovers will want to take everywhere. The brilliant 7-inch display and powerful quad-core processor make it a versatile performer for everything you do on the go, while SIM card support means it can be used to stay connected constantly with friends and family.
A7-50, Crystal Clear Multimedia Reader: The Lenovo TAB A7-50 is the ultra-portable on-the-go reading companion for those on a budget. The 7-inch, wide-view HD display reveals sharper text and web pages. Powered by a quad-core processor and equipped with a 2MP
... [Read More]
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