Category Archives: News Tech

NSA can listen in on encrypted phone calls

Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters
The latest documents from the National Security Agency leaked by Edward Snowden show that government spies are capable of listening in on mobile phone calls that use a common form of encryption, according to a Washington Post report. But if you’re vulnerable, blame your carrier — this code has been cracked for years.
The Post on Friday published confidential government documents provided by Snowden that show that the NSA can “process” cellular phone calls on GSM networks, even if they are encrypted. GSM, which stands for Global System for Mobile communications, is the world’s most widely used cellphone technology — though several large networks, notably Verizon and Sprint, rely on an older network technology called CDMA.
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Nexus 7 Now Available In 32GB Model In The US, UK And Japan For $269

nexus7_white

Google has just released a white version of the Nexus 7 tablet, in white and packing 32GB of storage, available now for $269 on the Google Play Devices store, so long as you’re in the U.S., U.K. or Japan. There’s no LTE version and no 16GB model, unlike with the black Nexus 7, but if you’re looking for a color match tablet for your white Nexus 5 you’re now in luck. Read the rest of this entry

Apple Stores switch on iBeacon phone sniff spy system

iBeacon on iPhone

Apple has switched on its controversial iBeacon snooping system across 254 US stores.
The fruity firm’s iSpy network allows Apple to watch fanbois as they walk around an Apple store and then send them various messages depending on where they are in the shop.

This might come in handy when visiting an Apple store, for instance, which is offering the latest iStuff. Glance in its direction or wander past and your iPhone will suddenly spring to life, filled with messages about products you haven’t bought yet.
Apple’s iBeacon transmitters use Bluetooth to work out customers’ location, because GPS doesn’t work as well indoors. This functionality was quietly snuck into iOS 7.

Read the rest of this entry

Eric Schmidt posts a cheeky ‘Christmas present’ to Apple iPhone customers

 Apple iPhone customers
What is up with this post? Is there some concern by Schmidt that Apple users might not trust an ordinary Google marketing manager or engineer to write up this procedure? Or perhaps this task was too much for the Google marketing communications department, which could have “placed” a piece of “advertorial” on some blog that potential customers might find with a search engine such as, say, Google?
But those sources might not generate enough trust for Apple users. Hey, if you can trust anything in the Android world, you’ve gotta be able to trust Eric Schmidt, right? Not the ordinary Chairman but the Executive Chairman. (Could this is one of his new duties?)

Microsoft Up Encryption After NSA Spying Reports

NSA spying
If true, NSA spying could “seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications,” Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, said in a blog post. “In light of these allegations, we’ve decided to take immediate and coordinated action.”
Smith pledged to “pursue a comprehensive engineering effort to strengthen the encryption of customer data across our networks and services.” That includes major communications, productivity, and developer services such as Outlook.com, Office 365, SkyDrive, and Windows Azure.

Google could launch ‘Nexus TV’ Android set-top next year, says report

Google could launch ‘Nexus TV’ Android
Google isn’t giving up its living room ambitions. The company is said to be working on a “Nexus TV” device that will run Android, stream video from services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, and play a selection of video games. The rumor comes from The Information‘s Amir Efrati, who cites an anonymous Google employee. The device is said to be ready for launch as soon as the first half of next year, according to the report.

Why is Microsoft scared of Chromebooks?

Microsoft scared of Chromebooks
It’s pretty much a brick,” says Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison as he rejects a Samsung Chromebook brought in by an actor playing a customer. Microsoft really doesn’t want you buying this thing.
But why? Just how big of a threat are Chromebooks, Google’s oft-ridiculed web-only laptops, to Microsoft’s core business?
In many ways, 2013 has been the year of the Chromebook for Google. From Acer’s $199 C720-2848 to HP’s $279 Chromebook 11, Mountain View has attracted traditional Windows PC makers to build a variety of low-cost laptops in time for the holidays. While Microsoft had largely ignored the threat since the first Chromebook launched some two years ago, it’s been on the attack in recent weeks as part of its ongoing “Scroogled” campaign. Following the Pawn Stars bit, the company has recruited its own “Ben the PC Guy” to hit the streets for comparisons between Windows 8 and a Chromebook.