New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center

2018.01.29 02

A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called “Project eelo,” in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer.

The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.

Apple has become too expensive, too boring and is “going crazy with its products,” he said, while Google has “become too big” and is capturing too much information about what we do.

“They want to know us as much as possible to sell advertising,” Duval wrote in a post introducing eelo’s Kickstarter campaign, which has more than doubled its goal with 14 days remaining.

“Information is currency, and people are going to want more control over who has information on their behaviors and habits on a mobile device,” said Ryan Spanier, director of research at Kudelski Security.

“Eelo is focused on maintaining privacy,” he told LinuxInsider, “preventing tracking and monetization of your actions without your consent.”

New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center

Google Plasters Its Name on a New Hardware Collection

2016-10-10-02

Google on Tuesday unveiled a new smartphone and home hub that squarely aim at products from market leaders Apple and Amazon.

The company’s new branded smartphone, called “Pixel,” marks a departure from past efforts. Up to now, Google’s Nexus phones were made by a variety of manufacturers that sold them under their brands.

The Pixel has a 2,770 mAh battery, while the Pixel XL’s is 3,450 mAh. Both batteries have a quick-charge feature that gives the phone seven hours of runtime on a 15-minute charge.

Pixel users who want to dabble in virtual reality will be able to do so with another new product introduced at the Google event. Daydream is a fabric headset that allows Pixel to be used as a VR screen. It will sell for $79 starting in November.

Google also rolled out a competitor to Amazon’s Echo home hub. Called “Google Home,” the unit is voice-controlled and can play music, communicate with other devices in the home, provide anticipated information, and assist in everyday tasks like creating shopping lists, making dinner reservations and buying concert tickets.

“The search on Echo is no way near as effective as plugging into Google search,” he told TechNewsWorld. “When it comes to search, there is really no one better than Google at it.”

Google Plasters Its Name on a New Hardware Collection

Google Drive Search Just Got a Lot Smarter

2016-09-21-12

Google Drive is making finding your documents a lot easier and faster by unleashing the full power of the Google search engine. You can now search the way you talk, get spelling corrected, and more.

Drive’s update, starting to roll out today, includes Google Search’s Natural Language Processing, which lets you search with natural phrasing. For example, you can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” instead of trying to remember what you named it. You can also narrow down results with phrases like “show me presentations from [person],” so you can quickly find everything they’ve shared with you. Drive also has an autocorrect feature now that suggests search terms that you may have misspelled. Other features of the update include a way to split documents into multiple columns in Docs, and Drive will now save an original copy of any file you convert and edit in Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

Google Drive Search Just Got a Lot Smarter

A Screenshot Tour of Allo, Google’s New Smart Messaging App

2016-09-21-10

Google just launched Allo, a new smart messaging app that comes with stickers, emoji, and a powerful assistant who can answer all your questions. Let’s take a look at its biggest features, and see if it’s worth moving all your conversations over to it.

A Screenshot Tour of Allo, Google’s New Smart Messaging App

New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff

2016-09-21-09

Apple is making a bid to attract gaming fans to the more powerful graphics and processing power embedded in its new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 products.

The iPhone 7, which became available on Friday, features the new A10 Fusion chip — the most powerful ever in a smartphone, according to the company. The CPU fuses two high-performance cores that run twice as fast as the iPhone 6 with much more efficient use of battery power. The phone’s improved graphics performance makes it suitable for more intensive gaming.

In a surprise appearance at the Apple event, Nintendo Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto (pictured above), the legendary game designer behind the Donkey Kong and Super Mario franchises, introduced Super Mario Run — the first mobile version of the iconic game, which will make its debut on iPhone 7.

“We want as many people as possible all around the world to be able to enjoy playing as Mario,” he told the audience through a translator.

Smartphone makers often use mobile games as a way to showcase the latest advances in hardware and performance capabilities, noted Jack Kent, director of operators and mobile media at IHS Markit. However, the jury is still out on how much gaming apps influence new sales.

“A more common hardware feature that drives new smartphone purchases is the camera — which Apple devoted a lot of attention to at its launch event,” Kent told TechNewsWorld.

Game developers likely will have a wait-and-see attitude about writing new apps for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch, said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming at IDC.

“It’s always a chicken-or-egg issue for third-party developers. The new tech is sexy, and you want to take advantage of the available enhancements,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but the installed base starts off so small that you’d blow a hole in your foot — or at least your P&L statement — if you developed a game that ran on the latest iPhone or Apple Watch.

New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff

5 genius ways to repurpose your old iPhone

2016-09-21-03

If you’re swooning over the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch your old iPhone. It’s been your trusty companion — you can’t just toss it out with yesterday’s leftover lunch.

It’s also bad for the environment, our wallets, and our junk drawers.

Here are five easy DIY transformations to turn your old smartphone into something awesome.

  1. A truly universal remote
  2. Cool new alarm clock
  3. Make it an action cam
  4. Keep an eye on the place
  5. A dedicated digital camera

5 genius ways to repurpose your old iPhone

Google fixes two serious Android security flaws

2016-09-21-02

Google’s mobile security team has definitely been busy cleaning house this week. The company has released an Android update that closes two security holes that could pose a major threat if intruders found a way to exploit them. The first was only designed for “research purposes” and would only have been malicious if modified, Google tells Ars Technica, but it wouldn’t have been hard to detect or weaponize.

The other flaw behaved similarly to the well-known Stagefright exploit, letting an attacker send an altered JPEG image through Gmail or Google Talk to hijack your phone. The issue, as SentinelOne researcher Tim Strazzere explains to Threatpost, is that it’s both easy to find and capitalize on this vulnerability.

There’s more. Security company Check Point also revealed that Google Play had been hosting apps containing two forms of malware (CallJam and DressCode). CallJam both steered phones to websites that made bogus ad revenue and, if you granted permission, would call paid phone numbers. DressCode would also visit shady ad sources, but it could also compromise local networks. Google has since removed the offending apps, but the infection rate may have been high when users downloaded the software hundreds of thousands (or in a few cases, millions) of times.

Google fixes two serious Android security flaws

Everything Apple Announced Today At Their iPhone 7 Event That Actually Matters

2016-09-10-03

Today, Apple hit the stage to announce the new iPhone 7, which features a fancy new camera and a water resistant enclosure. They also made a bunch of other announcements, from a new Apple Watch to the death of the headphone jack. If you didn’t feel like wasting hours watching their press conference, here’s everything you need to know.

  • The iPhone 7 Is Water Resistant, Finally Ups to the Base Storage, and Ships on September 16
  • Apple Wants to Kill the Headphone Jack
  • The iPhone’s Camera Gets a 12 Megapixel Upgrade, Includes Image Stabilization, and a Wider Color Gamut
  • Apple AirPods Are $160 Wireless Headphones You Will Absolutely Lose, or Have to Charge Regularly
  • iOS 10 Launches Tuesday, September 13
  • The Apple Watch Series 2 Launches September 16, Adds GPS, Is Water Resistant Up to 50 Meters
  • iWork Gets Real-Time Collaboration
  • There’s a Mario Game Coming to iPhone This Fall

Everything Apple Announced Today At Their iPhone 7 Event That Actually Matters

Miyamoto on why Mario is finally coming to smartphones

2016-09-09-08

Miyamoto said that the iPhone version of Mario’s latest gaming adventure, called Super Mario Run, has been a year in the making. The delay in bringing the jumping character – originally called Jumpman – to a smartphone was “because up until recently we found that mobile devices weren’t best suited to gaming. But that’s changing.”

VR not quite the right fit for Mario

Asked if he was bringing Mario to the newest gaming platform, virtual reality, Miyamoto said that VR wasn’t quite the right fit.

“I would agree that adapting Mario to new platforms is a key to keeping him relevant,” he said. “But we want families to play together, and virtual reality (which requires players to be closed off from the real world) doesn’t really fit well there. We also like people playing for a long time, and it’s hard to do that in VR.”

Miyamoto on why Mario is finally coming to smartphones