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Entries in smartphone (20)

Friday
Jul052013

Android's 'Master Key' Discovered

Bad news for us Android users: Bluebox Labs, a computer security research team, just found a massive vulnerability in Android's security model that, in theory, allows hackers to take control of a phone, listen in on conversations, access data, turn apps into malicious Trojans and send junk messages. Amazingly, what's being called the “master key” is present on any Android phone released in the last four years, which amounts to 900 million devices.

According to the Bluebox blog, “while the risk to the individual and the enterprise is great, this risk is compounded when you consider applications developed by the device manufacturers (e.g. HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG) or third-parties that work in cooperation with the device manufacturer.”

Installation of a Trojan application from the device manufacturer can grant the application full access to Android system and all applications (and their data) currently installed. The application then not only has the ability to read arbitrary application data on the device (email, SMS messages, documents, etc.), retrieve all stored account & service passwords, it can essentially take over the normal functioning of the phone and control any function thereof (make arbitrary phone calls, send arbitrary SMS messages, turn on the camera, and record calls). Finally, and most unsettling, is the potential for a hacker to take advantage of the always-on, always-connected, and always-moving (therefore hard-to-detect) nature of these “zombie” mobile devices to create a botnet.

According to BBC News, Google said it currently had no comment to make on BlueBox's discovery.

For more details on Bluebox's findings, read the blog post here.

Thursday
Jun132013

Today in 'Why?' News: Send a Scent With Your Text!

Some people invent new things just because they can. Take for example Scentee: an app from ChatPerf that lets your smartphone emit odors. Yep -- we're about to be bombarded by strangers' phone smells, on top of their cologne.

The app uses a small accessory that you plug into your iPhone or iPad, giving you access to more than 500 different smells, ranging from the delicious (bacon) to the disgusting (durian). It's like augmented reality for your nose; we wouldn't be surprised if certain iPad games start incorporating sense-based "experiences" like this.

The Scentee app will be available in August, and its hardware accessory will retail for $30. Happy smelling!

Thursday
Mar282013

LG Working to Resurrect its 'Smart Watch' Line

The augmented reality accessory race is heating up even more.

Now, LG Electronics has announced that it is working on its own smart watch device as well as wearable AR glasses.

The Korean Times recently reported that LG's smart wrist-watch is meant to compliment its smartphones and eventually tablets, putting all the functionality right at your fingertips, no matter where you are.

“It is one major part of many currently non-commercialized products under development by LG Electronics. The company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation maybe. LG Electronics believe that it is not lacking in technology compared to its competitors, especially Samsung Electronics, and have maintained a consistent standard to keep innovation alive,” a source familiar with ongoing proceedings at LG Electronics told the news-paper.

The company previously debuted the LG GD910 Touch Watch, which has Internet capability and can tell time, make voice and video calls, send email and SMS messages and play music. The product fizzled out, due to its high price and minimal functionality. However, the next generation smart watch promises to take care of both of those problems.

Smart watches seem the next logical step in the whole evolution. What do you think: Would you wear a smart watch to supplement your phone's functionality?

The augmented reality accessory race is heating up even more.

Now, LG Electronics has announced that it is working on its own smart watch device as well as wearable AR glasses.

The Korea Times recently reported that LG's smart wrist-watch is mean to its smartphones and eventually tablets.

“It is one major part of many currently non-commercialized products under development by LG Electronics. The company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation maybe. LG Electronics believe that it is not lacking in technology compared to its competitors, especially Samsung Electronics, and have maintained a consistent standard to keep innovation alive,” a source familiar with ongoing proceedings at LG Electronics told the news-paper.

The company previously debuted the LG GD910 Touch Watch, which has Internet capability and can tell time, make voice and video calls, send email and SMS messages and play music. The product fizzled out, due to its high price and minimal functionality. However, the next generation smart watch promises to take care of both of those problems.

Monday
Jan072013

Create Your Own App!

An awesome new app called Yapp enables users to create their very own apps, for pretty much anything. And the best part? Most of the functions are totally free.

Users have taken advantage of Yapp to create apps for a crazy range of uses, including wedding planning, fantasy sports leagues, school events and reunions, conferences and birthdays. Simply follow the Yapp Editor's instructions, and your app could be ready in as little as 10 minutes. Then, your own users are free to download the app and start making use of it.

This type of open platform app has such exciting potential. Who knows what types of apps the general public will begin developing?

Friday
Nov092012

Pepper Spray iPhone Case Provides Personal Security

Your smartphone gives you restaurant and movie reviews, directions at the touch of a button and social media access, 24 hours a day. Now, it also helps keep you safe from would-be attackers.

The Spraytect Pepper Spray Phone Case is a new personal protection device that combines a smartphone case with a detachable pepper spray cartridge. It has a quick three-step firing process that is designed to protect the user from accidentally spraying himself in the face.

Spraytect is just one of the more recent personal protection devices and apps on the market. There's also Coyote Case, which broadcasts emergency messages to a pre-determined contact list; MYFLARE, which makes use of all your phone's capabilities - including text, audio, video, email and GPS - while calling 9-1-1; LiveForce, which provides real-time alarm response from a monitoring center; and so many more.

I think these are a great idea, but does anyone actually use them?