Displaying items by tag: Android

News_manstealingdataOk this one goes in the books for being really foolish of Google. Remember how we told you that cutting corners in the coding of Google Wallet allowed a crafty hacker to read the binary data and get your PIN? Well today there is even worse news about the mobile payment application. The new flaw is almost a basic flaw in the OS as well as an application flaw. What’s worse is that this is so simple it does not even count as a hack… and you do not have to have a rooted phone to pull this off.

Published in News

windows-phone-7Microsoft is once again betting on a losing horse. After failed attempted to form HDCP (High-Definition Content Protection) into every aspect of the Desktop with Windows Vista and failing to motivate people to buy the OS they are now pushing a UI that has failed to capture the markets imagination. The funny thing is that they are admitting to this and still cannot see what they are doing. As we have told you before, Microsoft tends to ignore what the public actually wants and seems to make business decisions based on what they think “should” work.

Published in Editorials

_MG_7135CES 2012 - Las Vegas Nevada; nVidia had their big press conference for CES 2012 and as has been the trend for the last three years it is all about Tegra. This time we had a look at Tegra 3; As most of you know Tegra 3 is nVidia’s Quad/Quint Core SoC and is hitting the market in the form of Asus’ Transformer Prime Tablet. This new SoC (System on Chip) has been seen as the major competitor for Apple’s A6 SoC (although some still feel that the A6 has better and more elegant caching instructions).

Published in Shows and Events

SWITCH_Hands2_LoversInMorningI'd like to think I've got a couple of average teens, but I'm told the mere fact that they're growing up with an uber geek (not myself, but thanks) means they're not average when it comes to technology desires. Regardless, what follows is a quick run-down of their favorites.

Published in Editorials

Tansformer_and_Dock02One of the issues in the modern consumer electronics market is of course competition, but it is not the biggest issue. No, believe it or not the biggest issue in the world of consumer electronics is the throw-away mentality for most consumers. Back in the 1950s this problem was visited on the car industry. The automobile makers (in the US) were pushing people to replace their car every two years (yea that is true). This caused many cars to become quickly outdated (in many cases long before their time was really up). By the mid to late 60s the trend had changed because people did not have the money for this and the banks were starting to tighten up on their lending practices. The automotive industry had to change tactics and started pushing longer last vehicles (with better trade in and resale values).

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 08 December 2011 22:15

Google Launches Currents "News Stand" app

dct-feedGoogle is working overtime to catch up to and pass other companies in the social networking and tablet market. While there is no doubt that Google+ has quite a ways to go, in the mobile OS department Google is doing considerably better especially once Android 4.0 hits the market.  Still there are Apps that are only available on the iPhone and iPad that keep some Apple fans tethered to the iPad. I know there are Apps and games that I really miss from when I had both an iPhone and an iPad

Published in News
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 07:20

Microsoft could be making Office for the iPad

ms-office-logoThere is a rumor (according to CNET) that says Microsoft might release a version of their popular Office Suite for the iPad. Before you start slamming Microsoft or make the comment that Apple’s iWork suite is better/ just as good, let’s take a quick look at why Microsoft would even entertain this idea.

Published in Leaks and Rumors

ICS-40Well, well, well; it appears that Google’s Face Unlock feature in their upcoming Android 4.0 OS has been shown to be insecure. If you are surprised by this news then you are one of the few. The feature, just like many other “facial recognition” applications is built on an imperfect method for identification. But let’s not get too far into the story before we give away the plot.

Google showed off the new Face Unlock as one of the major features of Ice Cream Sandwich at the launch event. It was interesting because at the time they showed how particular it could be to facial expressions. Not that much later the question was raised about the possibility of fooling this with a digital image or a photograph. Given the commentary from Google on this feature I would have thought that someone might have replied that it was possible, but unlikely. Apparently that was not the case. After the question was tweeted, SonyaCincau decided to test this out.

According to a YouTube video the blogger went to a show where the Galaxy Nexus was on display and after setting up the Face Unlock using his own face he then proceeded to unlock the phone with a picture of himself taken on another phone.  Now, the problem with this video is that we never see the original setup of the Face Unlock. All we see is the phone being unlocked using an image shown on the screen of another phone. This has led many to believe that the Galaxy Nexus was setup with the picture on the phone in the first place. I am not here to debate that; it still raises concerns about the actual feature even if the phone was used to setup the original lock.

Getting back to our point about the Face Unlock feature being incapable of being truly secure let me explain why. First of all the camera on the front of the phone is a 2D low resolution camera. It’s black point and white points are not what you would call top notch. This means that it is not capable of compositing shadows correctly or efficiently. In order to do true facial recognition you have to do something called facial mapping. This means that you calculate the depth of the facial contours using shadows (unless you are using stereographic 3D). As the camera is not capable of accurately capturing this in the first place there is no way that the software can accurately calculate the true facial contours. So all you have to do is provide a close enough image to fool the system. For those that will comment about the demonstration of this feature before take a look at the differences in the two faces used. They are very different with different outlines and even basic contours; in other words the demo was stacked to ensure that it worked properly (as most demos are).

So what do we have here? We have a system that cannot really be more than an entertaining way to “lock” your phone controlled by a technology that has a very limited capacity to even get the original image captured properly. We have some misleading comments about this feature on the part of Google and now a viral video showing it failing on a demo phone. To be honest with you, I would never put my trust in something like this in the first place. The technology just isn’t there in the phone or the OS. However, I do think that Google needs to be a little more honest about this and admit that while this can be fun to use, it is not a security feature by any means.

Source Huffington Post

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Published in News
Monday, 07 November 2011 19:04

Microsoft Hires Gavin Kim away from Samsung

WindowsPhoneWell color me impressed! After talking about all of the things that Microsoft has done wrong with Windows Phone I am finally seeing them do something right. It seems they have convinced Samsung’s Vice President of consumer and enterprise services, Gavin Kim, to leave the mobile device giant and come over to the Microsoft fold.  

According to Kim he feels that Microsoft has the talent and the tools (meaning the right OS) to push forward and become a favored choice for consumers saying ““Each time a consumer goes to buy a smartphone from a carrier or retail store, Windows Phone has to be on their short list”. Kim also said that he feels that the team he will be joining has a considerable amount of talent and is looking forward to not lonely leading them but learning from them. In fact he likened joining any team to dating, indicating that if the compatibility is not there then things are not going to work.

We hope that this new couple does have a bright future ahead, but we think that their relationship will be a tad stormy. Gavin Kim is a smart choice for Microsoft as Kim has had his hand in more than a few successes from Samsung. The problem is that Windows Phone does not have the right infrastructure or a large customer base. This will make gaining consumer acceptance difficult to say the least. Unless Kim comes in and manages to shake things up (which we really are hoping) Window Phone will still fail to impress the average consumer in the face of the iPhone or the Flagship Android products.

The next 6-10 months will be interesting to watch for the mobile market. Android 4.0 will launch, iOS 5.0.x will hit (hopefully with some fixes) and Microsoft might actually have someone leading their mobile market that actually “gets” the market.

Source BGR.Com
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Published in News
Sunday, 06 November 2011 09:21

Microsoft Launches Bing App for Android and iOS

bingSome interesting news on the mobile front this morning; after browsing around the net and looking for something interesting we stumbled across an article on Information Week that was as interesting in it market implications as it is puzzling. The article was an announcement of sorts explaining that the Bing app was now available for iOS and Android, but would not be released for Windows Phone just yet.

Now the thing about this that is puzzling is the need for a “Bing App”. Most people by now will be using a browser that allows you to choose your search engine. If you are looking for Bing then you can select it there and get your fill of Bing on that front. Even Apple’s mobile Safari has Bing as an option now.  We have checked and most modern phones will let you change the web search engine from Google (or whoever) to Bing, so on this front the app seems pretty pointless.

On the other hand if Microsoft is trying to replace the default “phone” search engine they are going to have a rough time. We grabbed the Bing App for Android 2.3 (on our EVO 3D) and it would not replace the default Google search feature that pops up when you press the search icon. It also was not able to replace any of the in-app search functions so we are not sure how this App fits in (unless it is just for those die-hard Bing users).

The final thought is that this might help extend the Bing search into the mobile market and in turn bring people over into the Microsoft fold. However, this is very unlikely as a search engine is not going to change your mind about a mobile phone. So what is up with Microsoft sending out the Bing Search App to Android and iOS? We honestly do not know what they are thinking and are making a guess that someone feels it will help them in the long run (obviously or they would not have done it).

As a final thought, you might hear that Microsoft releasing this for Android and iOS shows no confidence in their own Windows Phone Platform. This is simply not an accurate statement; you see Bing is the default phone search and web search on Windows Phone already. Why make an App when it is already there. Like we said, this one is both interesting and odd.

Oh, and one last thing… if you have an Android tablet and were thinking about grabbing this, well you might be a little surprised to find out that it is not available to non-3G Android devices. We attempted on two Android tablets and received the same warning. “This item is not available on your carrier”… Not exactly the way to extend your reach in the mobile market now is it…


Source Information Week

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Published in News
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