Commentary: A darts player says his hand was speared with glass after his Apple device blew up, according to a report.

He swiped right. And then boom.

That's the story told by Brit Lee Hayes of his unfortunate encounter with his iPhone 7.

He told the Sun that he'd only had it for three days and was answering a call when it allegedly just blew up on him.

"It was on the bench in the kitchen and I heard it ringing. As soon as I touched the screen to answer it the phone just exploded," he reportedly said.

His description of a loud bang and a sizzling noise is consistent with many reports of phones spontaneously combusting.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hayes, 42, of Southport, England, reportedly told the Sun that he had many small shards of glass embedded in his hand and that the phone had left burn marks on the kitchen bench where it had been sitting.

Hayes is a semi-professional darts player who calls himself "The Scorpion." He told the Sun his injuries have prevented him from competing and he's thinking of suing Apple.

It's appears that Hayes, himself, has been involved in legal issues before. As the Southport OTS News reported, a Lee "The Scorpion" Hayes was convicted last year of perverting the course of justice. Hayes didn't respond to two requests for comment.

 

When phones explode, blame often lies with the batteries -- as was the case with Samsung's now infamous Galaxy Note 7. In that case, one customer sued Samsung because he alleged that the phone exploded in his pants.

It doesn't seem to matter which brand it might be or even the age of the phone. Phones are electronic devices and they can go wrong.

Hayes told the Sun he considers himself relatively lucky.

"It was a nasty injury -- my hand was bleeding quite heavily -- but it could have been so much worse. I could have lost my hand," he said.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about "women in tech."

Source : This article was published cnet.com By Chris Matyszczyk

Categorized in Others

THE NSA, IT seems, isn’t the only American spy agency hacking the world. Judging by a new, nearly 9,000-page trove of secrets from WikiLeaks, the CIA has developed its own surprisingly wide array of intrusion tools, too.

On Tuesday morning, WikiLeaks released what it’s calling Vault 7, an unprecedented collection of internal CIA files—what appear to be a kind of web-based Wiki—that catalog the agency’s apparent hacking techniques. And while the hoards of security researchers poring through the documents have yet to find any actual code among its spilled secrets, it details surprising capabilities, from dozens of exploits targeting Android and iOS to advanced PC-compromise techniques and detailed attempts to hack Samsung smart TVs, turning them into silent listening devices.

“It certainly seems that in the CIA toolkit there were more zero-day exploits than we’d estimated,” says Jason Healey, a director at the Atlantic Council think tank, who has focused on tracking how many of those “zero-days”—undisclosed, unpatched hacking techniques—the US government has stockpiled. Healey says that he had previously estimated American government agencies might have held onto less than a hundred of those secret exploits. “It looks like CIA might have that number just by itself.”

Mobile Targets

The leak hints at hacking capabilities that range from routers and desktop operating systems to internet-of-things devices, including one passing reference to research on hacking cars. But it seems to most thoroughly detail the CIA’s work to penetrate smartphones: One chart describes more than 25 Android hacking techniques, while another shows 14 iOS attacks.

Given the CIA’s counterterrorism work—and the ability of a phone exploit to keep tabs on a target’s location—that focus on mobile makes sense, Healey says. “If you’re going to be trying to figure where Bin Laden is, mobile phones are going to be more important.”

The smartphone exploits listed, it’s important to note, are largely old. Researchers date the leak to sometime between late 2015 and early 2016, suggesting that many of the hacking techniques that may have once been zero days are now likely patched. The leak makes no mention of iOS 10, for instance. Google and Apple have yet to weigh in on the leak and whether it points to vulnerabilities that still persist in their mobile operating systems. Android security researcher John Sawyer says he has combed the Android attacks for new vulnerabilities and found “nothing that’s scary.”

He also notes, though, that the leak still hints at CIA hacking tools that have no doubt continued to evolve in the years since. “I’m quite sure they have far newer capabilities than what’s listed,” Sawyer says.

Targeting Android, for instance, the leak references eight remote-access exploits—meaning they require no physical contact with the device—including two that target Samsung Galaxy and Nexus phones and Samsung Tab tablets. Those attacks would offer hackers an initial foothold on target devices: In three cases, the exploit descriptions reference browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Samsung’s own mobile browser, suggesting that they could be launched from maliciously crafted or infected web pages. Another 15 tools are marked “priv,” suggesting they’re “privilege escalation” attacks that expand a hacker’s access from that initial foothold to gain deeper access, in many cases the “root” privileges that suggest total control of the device. That means access to any onboard files but also the microphone, camera, and more.

The iOS vulnerabilities offer more piecemeal components of a hacker tool. While one exploit offers a remote compromise of a target iPhone, the WikiLeaks documents describe the others as techniques to defeat individual layers of the iPhone’s defense. That includes the sandbox that limits applications’ access to the operating system and the security feature that randomizes where a program runs in memory to make it harder to corrupt adjacent software.

“Definitely with these exploits chained together [the CIA] could take full control of an iPhone,” says Marcello Salvati, a researcher and penetration tester at security firm Coalfire. “This is the first public evidence that’s the case.”

The leak sheds some limited light on the CIA’s sources of those exploits, too. While some of the attacks are attributed to public releases by iOS researchers, and the Chinese hacker Pangu, who has developed techniques to jailbreak the iPhone to allow the installation of unauthorized apps, others are attributed to partner agencies or contractors under codenames. The remote iOS exploit is listed as “Purchased by NSA” and “Shared with CIA.” The CIA apparently purchased two other iOS tools from a contractor listed as “Baitshop,” while the Android tools are attributed to sellers codenamed Fangtooth and Anglerfish.

In a tweet, NSA leaker Edward Snowden pointed to those references as “the first public evidence [the US government] is paying to keep US software unsafe.”

Internet of Spies

While the leak doesn’t detail the CIA’s attack techniques for desktop software like Windows and MacOS as explicitly, it does reference a “framework” for Windows attacks that seems to act as a kind of easy interface for hacking desktop machines, with “libraries” of vulnerabilities that attackers can swap in and out. It lists attacks that bypass and even exploit a long list of antivirus software to gain access to target desktop machines. And for MacOS, the document references an attack on computers’ BIOS, the software that boots before the rest of the operating system. Compromising that can lead to a particularly dangerous and deep-rooted malware infection.

“This is something we already know that can be done, but we haven’t seen it in the wild,” says Alfredo Ortega, a researcher for security firm Avast. “And by a government, no less.”

The most surprising and detailed hack described in the CIA leak, however, targets neither smartphones nor PCs, but televisions. A program called Weeping Angel details work in 2014 to turn Samsung’s smart TVs into stealthy listening devices. The research notes include references to a “Fake Off” mode that disables the television’s LEDs to make it look convincingly powered down while still capturing audio. Under a “to-do” list of potential future work, it lists capturing video, too, as well as using the television’s Wi-Fi capability in that Fake Off mode, potentially to transmit captured eavesdropping files to a remote hacker.

A tool called TinyShell appears to allow the CIA hackers full remote control of an infected television, including the ability to run code and offload files, says Matt Suiche, a security researcher and founder of the UAE-based security firm Comae Technologies. “I would assume that, by now, they would definitely have exploits for Samsung TVs,” Suiche says. “This shows that they’re interested. If you’re doing the research, you’re going to find vulnerabilities.” Samsung did not respond to WIRED’s request for comment.

The fact that the CIA mixes this sort of digital espionage with its more traditional human intelligence shouldn’t come as a surprise, says the Atlantic Council’s Healey. But he says the sheer volume of the CIA’s hacking capabilities described in the WikiLeaks release took him aback nonetheless. And that volume calls into question supposed limitations on the US government’s use of zero-day exploits, like the so-called Vulnerabilities Equities Process—a White House initiative created under President Obama to ensure that security vulnerabilities found by US agencies were disclosed and patched, where possible.

If Vault 7 is any indication, that initiative has taken a back seat to assembling a formidable array of hacking tools. “If the CIA has this many,” Healey says, “we would expect the NSA to have several times more.”

This article was  published in wired.com by ANDY GREENBERG

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are finally here, boasting perhaps the best specs we’ve seen in a flagship phone yet. But they’re not the only flagship phones around — some pretty excellent devices have launched in the past six months or so. Like, for example, the Google Pixel XL.

But how do the two “plus”-size phones compare when it comes to overall power and performance? We pit the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus against the Google Pixel XL to find out.

Specs

 

Google Pixel XL

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Size 154.7 × 75.7 × 8.5 mm (6.09 × 2.98 × 0.33 inches) 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches)
Weight 5.93oz 6.1oz
Screen 5.5-inch AMOLED 6.2-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1,440 × 2,560 pixels (534 ppi) 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (529 ppi)
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage 32GB/128GB 64GB
MicroSD Card Slot No Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
RAM 4GB 4GB
Connectivity GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera 12.3MP Rear / 8MP Front 12MP Rear with OIS / 8MP Front
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth 4.2 5.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant No IP68
Wireless charging No Yes, PMA and Qi-compliant
Battery 3,450mAh 3,500mAh
Ports USB Type-C, Headphone USB Type-C, Headphone
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color options Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Silver, Black, Orchid Grey, Blue (International), Gold (International)
Price $649 Starts at $840
Availability UnlockedVerizon Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-MobileUnlocked
DT Review 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to specs, it’s truly a case of newer is better. For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has the latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, while the Google Pixel XL has the Snapdragon 821. The Snapdragon 821 was certainly a good chip for its time, and still is relatively powerful, but not against the newer Snapdragon 835.

So just how powerful is the Snapdragon 835? Well, we don’t know exactly just yet, but early benchmark results suggest the device is at least 15 percent more powerful than its predecessor.

Of course, the processor isn’t the only thing to note in the specs department. It’s expected that we’ll start seeing more phones with 6GB of RAM over the next year or so, but for now Samsung has stuck safely with 4GB, putting it on par with the Google Pixel XL when it comes to RAM.

Next up is storage. The Google Pixel XL offers either 32GB or 128GB of storage, while the Galaxy S8 Plus only comes in 64GB — so while the base model of the Galaxy S8 Plus has more than the base model of the Pixel XL, the Pixel XL has more options. Of course, then there’s the microSD card slot in the Galaxy S8 Plus, which lets you expand your storage by up to 256GB.

The Galaxy S8 has a better processor and the ability to expand on storage, so it’s the winner in the performance department.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Design

Both the Google Pixel XL and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus are relatively stylish phones, and both feature some unique design choices by Google and Samsung respectively. The Google Pixel XL, for example, has a half glass back, which was somewhat criticized when the Pixel was first launched. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, on the other hand, features a full glass back, helping it look very sleek and stylish.

The S8 Plus on the front, though, looks very much like a Samsung device that has evolved. Ultra-slim bezels coupled with the familiar Edge display make for a gorgeous smartphone that has an 83 percent screen-to-body ratio. The Pixel XL, on the other hand, is quite the opposite with glaringly large bezels that only seem to take up a lot of room for no reason.

On the right of the Google Pixel XL, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker, while the bottom sports the USB-C port and the top the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, you’ll find a dedicated Bixby button below the volume rocker on the left of the phone, while the power button sits alone on the right. The bottom features a USB Type-C charging port and, thankfully, a headphone jack.

The dimensions of the phone are interesting. While the display on the 6.2-inch S8 Plus is much bigger than that the 5.5-inch Google Pixel XL, the phone is only a tad taller — that’s thanks to the much smaller bezels on the Galaxy S8 Plus. On top of that, the phone is phone is slightly less wide, and a little thinner, but not by much.

Design is largely subjective, but this one’s a no-brainer — the S8 Plus takes the cake.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The two phones aren’t too different in the display department as they both feature AMOLED screens. While the Google Pixel XL has a pretty decent 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 × 2,560, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus offers a massive 6.2-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,960 — so you get a slightly higher resolution to accommodate for the larger panel, but the Pixel XL packs slightly more pixels per inch.

The Google Pixel XL features a pretty standard display, but the Galaxy S8 Plus utilizes the famed “Edge” panel on the sides of the device, which offers some more functionality. The S8 Plus is also premium HDR compliant, so you can be sure to see accurate colors, deep blacks, and an overall vibrant display.

Because of the higher resolution, classy curves, and HDR-ready display, the Galaxy S8 Plus is the winner.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Battery life and charging

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The battery is obviously an area that Samsung will want to be careful about — especially considering the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. The Galaxy S8 Plus offers a battery with a capacity of 3,500mAh, which isn’t slightly larger than the 3,450mAh battery on the Google Pixel XL.

That doesn’t mean that the Galaxy S8 Plus will last longer on a single charge — in fact, it probably won’t. The display is the single biggest user of battery life, and considering the fact that the Galaxy S8 Plus’ display is larger and has a higher resolution means there’s a chance the S8 Plus could take up a lot more battery.

Thankfully, Samsung’s S8 Plus supports wireless charging, offering users more options in how they want to charge their phone. That helps it win this contest.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Camera, software, durability, and more

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were highly praised for their camera, and rightly so — the camera is an increasingly important part of the smartphone.

When it comes to raw specs, the Google Pixel XL offers a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera with a f/2.0 aperture and electronic image stabilization. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus carries over the same camera as the Galaxy S7 — a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with a f/1.7 aperture.

The front-facing camera on both devices are packed with 8-megapixels, and they’ll likely offer similar quality shots. The specs on the two phones are ultimately pretty similar, but in our camera tests the Google Pixel outperformed the Galaxy S7, so we’ll have to crown it the winner here.

Winner: Google Pixel XL

Software

While both of the two phones feature the latest and greatest Android Nougat version, software is a pretty big point of difference for the Google Pixel XL. The Pixel series replaces the Nexus program as offering Android as Google intended it — so you won’t find any bloatware other than pre-installed Google apps. Pixel owners will also get timely security and version updates as soon as Google rolls them out — it’s why the Pixel XL is on Nougat 7.1. The S8 Plus will likely stay on Android 7.0 Nougat for quite some time.

The Galaxy S8 Plus has Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, which looks far better and isn’t quite the performance hog we remember on prior devices. The S8 Plus also offers Samsung’s all new personal assistant Bixby, which even has a dedicated button on the side of the phone. Bixby can recognize objects via the camera app, can perform touch actions via voice, offers personalized information based on time and location, and allows you to set reminders. What’s great is if Bixby isn’t for you, you can still access Google Assistant by pressing and holding the home button, like on the Pixel XL.

On top of that, the Galaxy S8 Plus features software like Samsung Pay, which is available at far more locations than Google’s Android Pay on the Pixel XL.

Still, while Samsung may offer a few more features in its software over Google, we think the importance of getting timely Android version and security updates are pretty important. We’ll have to go with the Pixel XL based on Samsung’s track record.

Winner: Google Pixel XL

Durability

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Smartphones should last for at least a few years these days, and a part of that means being able to withstand a least a drop or two. Unfortunately, the heavy use of glass on both of these phones limits that. For starters, the Google Pixel features a half glass back, so it would be easy to crack it if you dropped it. That’s magnified on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, however. The device not only features the curved edge, but it also has a glass back — so dropping it could be disastrous.

The Google Pixel XL isn’t waterproof, and that’s where Samsung gains the upper hand. Like the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 Plus has an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, meaning it’ll be able to withstand up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes.

We’d recommend a case for both these phones, but the Galaxy S8 Plus wins this round. At least Samsung offers some protection over water.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Extra features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the devices have plenty on offer, but the S8 Plus has a few features that don’t seem to fall into any other category. For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus lets you connect your phone to an external monitor through the DeX dock, after which you can use the device like a desktop computer. The dock basically puts the phone in Android freeform mode, and optimized apps can be resized. It’s really a pretty cool feature, and we’re hoping to see more Android phones adopt this functionality.

There’s also iris scanning and facial recognition technology, which you can use to unlock your phone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Price and availability

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel XL started shipping towards the end of 2016, and you can buy it through Verizon or through the Google Play Store. The device starts at $770, which isn’t cheap — and if you want to get the higher storage option you’ll be looking at a total cost of $869. Sadly, Google has been having inventory problems and it’s extremely difficult to find the smartphone in stock. Estimated shipping times are often more than a month.

Samsung hardly has inventory issues as it’s better equipped to make smartphones in huge quantities. The Galaxy S8 Plus hit shelves on April 21.

  Google Pixel XL Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
AT&T N/A $850 or $28.34 per month for 30 months
Sprint N/A $850 or $35.42 per month for 24 months
T-Mobile N/A $850 or $30 per month for 24 months with a $130 down payment
Verizon $770 or $32.08 per month for 24 months $840 or $35 per month for 24 months

That’s a lot more expensive, but you are getting double the storage of the base Google Pixel XL, and a much-improved processor. We have to hand it to Samsung due to Google’s poor stock issues.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

There’s really no question here — the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is a better phone. It’s more powerful, has a better display, and has cool features like desktop mode with the DeX dock. That’s not to say that the Google Pixel XL isn’t a good phone — it’s actually an excellent one, but newer is generally better in the tech world, and it’s no different here.

Source : Digital Trends By Christian de Looper

Categorized in Others

Google discovers an Israel made Android App which can snoop on your phone calls, text messages and spy on you

Google has recently revealed that it has unearthed a new spyware that can track information of calls, messages and internet history as well as spy on people through their smartphones’ camera and microphone – making it possibly the most dangerous smartphone malware ever made.

Made by an Israeli Company

Researchers on the security front at Google and Lookout have come across the spyware that has the ability to spy on users by hacking their smartphones’ camera and microphone, as well as track calls, messages, internet history and more – christened Chrysaor. The spyware appears to have some link to Pegasus – a program that was known to be targeting iPhone users back in 2016. Pegasus was developed by an Israeli firm NSO Group technologies.

Google and Lookout announced their discoveries last week. The app is not available on the Google Play store. Yet, it has been detected on 36 devices – mainly in the country of Israel followed by Georgia, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya & others. NSO Group Technologies has been accused of developing Smartphone hacking software and selling them to spy agencies all across the world – as they did with Pegasus.

“To install Chrysaor, we believe an attacker coaxed specifically targeted individuals to download the malicious software onto their device,” said Google.
“Once Chrysaor is installed, a remote operator is able to surveil the victim’s activities on the device and within the vicinity, leveraging microphone, camera, data collection, and logging and tracking application activities on communication apps such as phone and SMS.”

Reason it has stayed hidden

Chrysaor has also been found to have a self-destruct mode.  “If it feels like it’s going to be found, it removes itself,” said Lookout mobile security researcher Michael Flossman. This can explain why the researchers took so long to detect the malware. This could also mean that the spyware has been around for much longer than Pegasus and could’ve infected many more than the 36 devices currently known. Lookout and Google have acknowledged that though the samples are from 2014, there was evidence the spyware was still working on some victim Android phones when discovered in the last few months.

Though the probability that your smartphone might be infected with such malware is very small, it is still recommended to stay cautious. Do not install software from sources you don’t know about & always update your phone with the latest security patches.

Source : techworm.net

Categorized in Search Engine

Research from Newcastle University in the U.K. has shown how malicious websites can use the motion sensors in mobile phones to uncover PINs and other information. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

New research reveals hackers can use sensor technology to gather all kinds of data

A new study has revealed just how easy it is for hackers to use the sensors in mobile devices to crack four-digit PINs and to access a wide variety of other information about users.

Cyber-security experts from Newcastle University in the U.K. found that once a mobile user visits a website, code embedded on the page could then use the phone's motion and orientation sensors to correctly guess the users' PIN. This worked on the first attempt 75 per cent of the time, and by the third try 94 per cent of the time.

The study, published in the International Journal of Information Security this week, also found that most people have little idea of what the sensors in our phones can do and the security vulnerabilities they pose.

The researchers identified 25 different sensors that are now standard on most phones. Yet websites and apps only ask for permission to use a small fraction of these — GPS and camera, for example.

Downside of fitness tracking

"A lot of these sensors came to help people have a better experience when they work with these devices, and they bring a lot of advantages to our lives," said Maryan Mehrnezhad, a research fellow in Newcastle's school of computing science and lead author of the paper.

track fitnessThe sensors that enable popular fitness-tracking apps contribute to security risks. (Getty Images)

Examples of these include the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors that enable the fitness-tracking apps so popular with cellphone users.

Yet the sensor technology is well ahead of any regulatory restrictions pertaining to our privacy, said Mehrnezhad in an interview with CBC News.

She and her colleagues mimicked what's known as a "side channel attack" on Android mobile phones using a website embedded with JavaScript code.

The results show that the attack site could learn details such as the timing of phone calls, whether the user is working, sitting or running, as well as any touch activity, including PINs, she said.

Underestimating risk

The second part of the study evaluated people's understanding of these risks.

Interviews with around 100 mobile users found that most people are not aware of the sensors on their mobile devices, said Mehrnezhad, and that there is "significant disparity" between the actual risk and perceived risk of having a compromised PIN.

In fact, as the sensors were being developed, even the phone manufacturers didn't have a clear understanding of the risks associated with them, said Urs Hengartner, an associate professor in computer science at the University of Waterloo.

"Everybody thought that accelerometer data and gyroscope data is not sensitive, so there's no need to ask for permission. Now research shows that it is an issue," said Hengartner in an interview with CBC News.

"These are security researchers that figured this out, and so nobody else seems to have known, not the browser vendors, not the operating system vendors and definitely not the general public."

Solving the problem is "a big research challenge," he said, in part because users may not understand the implications of what they're being asked by an app or website and may simply default to saying yes.

Decision fatigue

Research has shown that when people get tired of being asked for permission, they default to saying yes so they can access the website they want to visit or use the app they need, said Hengartner. 

Some browsers have begun asking for permissions for things like location data, but there is no uniform standard for doing so, he said.

As study author Mehrnezhad notes, tech companies also don't want to sacrifice the convenience and functionality we've come to expect of our mobile devices.

"It's a battle between security and privacy on one hand and usability issues on the other hand," she said — and it's only going to get more important.

"Sensors are going to be everywhere. The problem will get more serious when smart kitchens, smart homes and smart cities are connected via the internet of things," she said.

Preventive measures

It sounds obvious, but the first step users should take to protect themselves is to choose more complex passcodes. Previous research has found that 27 per cent of all possible four-digit PINs belong to a set of 20 that include dead-easy combinations such as "1111" or "1234," said Mehrnezhad.

"I know people hate it because it's not convenient," she said, but it's also critical to change your passwords regularly.

In addition, keep your operating systems up to date, only download apps from trusted sources like Google Play or the App Store, delete apps you're not using, and close both apps and browser tabs when you're done using them, she said.

Source :  cbc.ca

Categorized in Science & Tech

iPhone 8 rumors abound at this time of year, but we still have no idea what the main features of iOS 11 will be. We’ve heard about augmented reality support, 3D photography, and face recognition unlocks, but that’s only scratching the surface. A few weeks ago, Apple confirmed that it acquired a popular iPhone app called Workflow that lets users automate several actions on the iPhone. At the timeI speculatedthat the Workflow team, who’s going to continue working for Apple, might help Apple embed automation features right inside iOS 11. It turns out, however, that Apple has already been contemplating with such feature for some time. The only question is, will the iPhone 8 be the device to offer users advanced automation feature unlike anything seen on an iPhone so far?

A recent patent discovery seems to indicate that Apple has been studying iPhone automation at least since early 2014, even though it failed to implement it at iOS level. Awarded to Appleon Tuesday, patent number 9,619,756 describesMethods and systems for managing and automating user customization of a device based on observed user

behavior.

Apple is essentially looking to use the iPhone as a tool that would be able to detect everything a user does with the help of various sensors, and then suggest automated actions based on repetitive day-to-day tasks and events.

Image Source:Apple via USPTO

These automation tasks would help both the user, while also ensuring the iPhone operates more efficiently. After all, it’d be more efficient for the iPhone to suggest some actions than for the user to have to perform the same tasks with some regularity.

Apple argues that “people are used to some regular routine in parts of their life,” which is why we could use automation.

“[People] wake up and go to sleep around a regular time. People go to work at a specific location during a specific time frame, as well as perform some other predictable routine activities such as watching a television show during a particular time slot in the week,” Apple says.

“There can be changes in life, so that a person might change to a different routine. But usually a person follows some constant routine for a period of time. After that period of time, which can be a number of days or perhaps even a number of years, the person might adapt a new routine and then follow that routine for a new period of time.”

The iPhone could observe and learn about a user’s behavior repetitive operations by analyzing data it collects for a period of time. The phone could then suggest the activation of several automation processes.

Image Source:Apple via USPTO

Apple offers a simple example of an automation suggestion. The iPhone could observe that a user turns the phone’s ringer off every day while at work during 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Background software could collect statistical that could then be turned into an automation suggestion. At that point, the phone could offer the user a prompt for a new automation setting. The user can choose to customize it and then enable it.

The data the iPhone would collect can vary depending on the specific actions of the user. In this instance, factors like time of day, location, and call history, can be used to analyze and trigger the automation. Apple explains that the iPhone might monitor several aspects.

“For example, if the trigger ‘battery level’ is low, then the action can be to turn off the WiFi connection, or some other battery saving operations. As another example, the triggers of ‘motion detector’ and ‘GPS’ can be used to detect that a user is in a car commuting, then the action can be to turn on the Bluetooth connection to an on-car speaker to listen to music or to an on-car device for hands-free calling,” Apple explains.

Image Source:Apple via USPTO

Even repetitive calendar items can be turned into triggers for certain automated actions.

Furthermore, these automatons could be ported to other Apple devices, the patent explains, via simple iCloud synchronization. In fact, the software would also be able to tell users apart and load the appropriate automation features on a device operated by multiple users. The Mac is one such device, one where Apple already has an automation engine in place, which it recently said it’s not about to kill, as some people feared.

Currently, you could argue that Apple already has automation features on the iPhone, including Do-Not-Disturb and Night-Mode. But these are part of the phone’s Settings app, and there’s nothing smart about them, at least not in the manner suggested by this patent.

With that in mind, let’s not forget that Apple now owns a treasure trove of Workflow interactions that allow various iOS apps to automatically talk to one another. Integrating such automation features at the iOS level would offer iPhone buyers a very useful tool for managing daily habits.

The patent,available at this link, also suggests that Apple’s committed to improving artificial intelligence and machine learning. The software needed to provide such automation feature would need to study the user’s behavior and learn his or her preferences. And probably Apple will do all that on the device itself, to protect the user’s privacy.

Will such automation features be part of iOS 11? All the pieces seem to be in place for Apple to roll out such a feature. The company purchased Workflow, and the next-gen iPhones will have even more efficient internal components, which should make background monitoring activities like the ones implied by this patent a lot more efficient. That said, there’s nothing to confirm Apple will include automation in iOS 11 at this time.

Source : brg.com

Categorized in Others

If you’re waiting to buy a foldable Samsung phone this year, you might need to hold onto your wallet for a little while longer. Samsung Display’s principal engineer, Kim Tae-woong, says the company is currently focused on bezel-free displays. “Because the bezel-free display currently sells well, we still have enough time to develop foldable display,” said Tae-woong at a Display TechSalon event recently. Samsung now believes it will commercialize foldable phones in 2019, despite initially planning to unveil them as early as 2015 or 2016.

Bloomberg reported last year that Samsung was planning to release two phones with bendable displays in 2017, but it’s clear Samsung is still working on perfecting the technology, while reaping the rewards of its bezel-less investments. Samsung initially showed off a bezel-less OLED phone prototype in 2013, before unveiling the Galaxy Note Edge a year later. Samsung hasn’t unveiled a fully flexible phone concept yet, but we’ve seen patents and some display technology demonstrations from rivals. Analysts now believe Samsung will likely unveil a foldable phone once demand for its bezel-less displays slows down. 

Source : msn.com

Categorized in Others

The South Korean Giant has taken another stride and has released its Internet browser application for mobiles on the Google Play Store. This is the first time that a browser from Samsung is made available for smartphones from other brands. According to the company, the Internet browser app will work on all the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus Phones which run on Android 5.0 Lollipop or more but it isn’t available for all the countries yet.

The application is still in beta version, but it includes many new features like the support for 360 videos which will allow its user to enjoy 360-degree videos without using the Gear VR headset. Samsung also announced that those whose who install Samsung’s browser would receive the newest features that are added by the developers. Moreover, there is a picture-in-picture mode along with Amazon Shopping Assistant which will be letting its users compare prices on Amazon for different products.

Other features like web payments and DuckDuckGo search engine support is also included for better use of the services. There is also the inclusion of Content Blockers which allows 3rd party apps to provide filters for Content blocking and let its users browse clutter free without unnecessary content. There is also a Video assistant that lets the user switch between various video viewing modes, and the Pop-up player allows its user browse even while watching a video.

The browser also provides high-level security as the user’s needs to verify their identity before they get access to the browser. The user can either use a fingerprint sensor or a password, and there is also secret mode provided for the users. We are not sure when Samsung will be rolling out this app across the globe, but it is expected to happen soon. 

Source : phoneradar.com

Categorized in Others

It’s quite easy to do a Google search on Android. Maybe too easy.

The deep tie-in is an important feature, and one of the reasons Android is the superior choice for those who rely so much on Google services. Yet, sometimes picking out just how to do a Google search is like choosing from among 12 shades of blue shirts you have hanging in the closet.

There’s the persistent Google search bar that lives on your home screen. The Omnibox in Google Chrome, voice searches and contextual tools from the Google Assistant, the Google app, and an always-present search button in Gboard. We get that Google wants to be helpful and all, but sometimes it feels like that overeager know-it-all you remember from fourth grade.

Not to worry! Each of these different search methods have their own particular strenth. If you learn the nuances, your Android use will be even more powerful. It can be done, and here are some tips that show you how.

OK, Google

Voice and artificial intelligence have been the most noteworthy innovations in how Google search works on Android. Now, most phones running Nougat and Marshmallow have or should soon receive the Google Assistant. Not only are you able to issue edicts and ask questions to Google from your phone, but you also usually get more contextual answers and control over smart devices.

From the Google app and Google Home you get a pretty exhaustive rundown of sample questions you can ask.

google assistant pixelGreenbot

The Google Assistant is ready to answer just about any question you have.

What I’ve learned over time with my Pixel is that the best searches to use here are ones that you’d consider a natural language query. Questions like, “Who won the World Series last year?” or “How long do I barbecue sausage?” are among the wide range of things you can ask.

For personal organization, try asking, “When is my next appointment?” if you keep all your key events of the day in Google Calendar. 

voice searchGreenbot

Ask a question, and you’ll often get an answer.

If you haven’t done so yet, you need to tell Google to listen to voice queries whenever you announce, “OK, Google.”  Go to Google > Settings > Voice. Touch “OK Google detection” and then flip on “Say ‘OK Google any time’ so that your phone will listen you.

You can also select a “Trusted Voice,” which in theory means that only you will be able to start a voice search. You’ll be asked to speak the phrase, “OK Google” a few times, but I’ve yet to see it make a major difference in differentiating between who is speaking.

I can’t tell you how many times a TV commercial for the Pixel or Google Home has set off the search. Despite that occasional annoyance, you’ll find the Google Assistant is a great tool to have.

About that Google bar

There’s an ever-present Google search tool at the top of your phone. It’s a big G on the Pixel or a traditional search box on other Android devices. It does a lot more than search the web, and it’s better suited than other search methods on Android for a few particular uses.

This is where I tend to turn to first if I’m just unlocking my phone and not using another app. The search query could be anything, and I find you’ll get the result faster if you use less conversational, more "search term based" language. Be direct and you’ll find the information quickly.

It’s especially a fast way to get sports information, often doing so much quicker than opening ESPN or another league-specific sports app.

google search bar sportsGreenbot

The Google search bar finds apps, scores, and of course taps into the giant’s massive database of information.

This search feature also will dig inside of your apps. This means it’ll pull up text conversations, app names, emails, and other information. The content is saved on device, so it’s not part of the massive data-mining operation Google has on you with other services.

google apps searchGreenbot

Find content from inside your apps with the Google app.

This means it performs more like Apple’s Spotlight on iOS. However, developers have to do some work on their end to enable this magic. To find out which apps are eligible, or to opt one out, go to Google > Settings > In-apps.

in apps searchGreenbot

Select which apps you want Google to dig through during your next search query.

Don’t forget about Chrome

By now you know that Chrome has Google searched baked right into the Omnibox. I find that Chrome is the best place for search in a couple of circumstances. 

First, if you’re already in Chrome it’s faster to just touch the Omnibox or open a new tab and start your query. If reading is on your mind, you’ll be able to jump right to a frequently-accessed app or scroll down to get a list of article suggestions, much like Google Now.

chrome searchGreenbot

Chrome is all about the web, giving you links to the sites you regularly visit and providing a similar layout to search on the desktop.

I also tend to go with Chrome if I know that my result is likely to be something that I’ll be taken into reading for awhile, such as a Wikipedia page a publication I visit often. Also, it means I can access this Chrome page on another device thanks to the syncing feature.

A smart screen scanner

Google’s screen context search tool (formerly called Google Now on Tap) has steadily improved over time to be a very useful feature. The Google app will “read” the contents of your screen and then suggest what it deems are relevant actions and searches.

To try this, touch and hold the home button and then swipe up to reveal what Google has come up with.

inkedgoogle screen searchGreenbot

Use Google’s screen search to find out more details or create a calendar entry from a conversation.

For me, it’s most useful when chatting about making plans and I want to find out more about the venue or quickly add the event to my calendar. This is one of those machine learning features that continues to get better over time so try it out under a lot of different circumstances to see what works best for you.

A search smart keyboard

But wait, there’s more. Yes, if you use Google’s Gboard, there’s a dedicated search button right at the top of the keys.

So, when should you use this other search opportunity? Perhaps if you need to know something right away that’s relevant to your conversation and you don’t want to switch apps.

gboardGreenbot

Gboard is useful, even though it seems like it’s duplication of service.

The search bar is handy, but it’s awfully close to overkill. Gboard' search came first to the iPhone, presumably as a way to get Google search more readily available on iOS. With so many system-level choices to search Google on Android, you may not need it that much. It can give you the weather quickly, however, and it does a killer job finding GIFs.

So there you have it. You’ll go less batty with Google search if you know exactly where and when to use it. Play around and see what’s best for you. And if you’re not sure, well, you have plenty of ways to Google it.

Author : Derek Walter

Source : greenbot.com

Categorized in Search Engine

 If you never really got over missing out on Hogwarts, then Google has the next best thing - as long as you're using an Android phone.You can now turn your phone into a wand, using spells from the Harry Potter series to control your device.Engage the Google voice assistant, either by saying "OK Google" or pressing the microphone icon in the search bar, and certain Latin spells such as "Lumos" or "Silencio" will activate certain functions of the phone.

"Lumos", the command used to add a light onto wands in the wizarding world, will turn your phone's flashlight on, while "Nox" will do the opposite.Meanwhile, you can use "Silencio" - a silencing charm in the series - to turn your phone to silent.The new features are part of a tie-up with the new Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Additionally, Google is also adding locations from the film to Google Street View. By searching in Google Maps for"fantastic beasts", you'll be able to view 1926 New York and select four US indoor locations from the film to explore.It isn't the first movie tie-up that Google has done, although the spells are by far the coolest feature. In the run up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, the company introduced a Jedi lightsaber game as well as skinning many of Google's services with Star Wars icons.
Author : Telegraph Reporters
Categorized in Search Engine
Page 2 of 4

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Newsletter Subscription

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now