Major CIA overhaul ramps up focus on cyber operations
The CIA is working on a major reorganization, and it’s said to be one the largest in the agency’s 67-year history. A big piece of the overhaul is a larger focus on operations in cyberspace, leveraging the latest technology in its intelligence gathering workflow. CIA chief John Brennan is setting up a Directorate of Digital Innovation to lead the charge, keeping track of and implementing advances on the cyber front, including advanced communications tech. As Reuters reports, the National Security Agency is typically on the edge of innovation inside the US government, but the CIA hopes an internal shuffle with help it keep up with the “pace of change.” The new directorate will join the four other major departments that focus on Science and Technology, Support, Analysis and Operations.
[Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Zombie Highway 2 steers its way into the Google Play Store
The first Zombie Highway game has been a long-time favorite here at Android Authority, even making its way to a number of our Best Apps lists. And now, the much-anticipated zombie survival game, Zombie Highway 2, just come to the Google Play Store this last week. It uses many of the same mechanics as the first Zombie Highway game, and features improved graphics and sound effects, new cars and weapons, and even the addition of nitro.
Even though the game has received a big overhaul, the aim of the game hasn’t changed one bit. You and your passenger, armed with boatloads of weapons, need to survive as long as you can. So what exactly does ZH2 offer over the first game?
- Completely overhauled, intense gameplay featuring NITRO!
- 6 redesigned cars
- 17 -upgradable- weapons, 100% redesigned. 4 completely new super-weapons!
- 10 Zombie types, 4 all new!
- 58 challenging objectives!
- The Daily Challenge! A unique challenge every day!
- A new, randomly generated road with multiple, super-detailed environments every game.
- Your friends appear on your highway near their best score!
Just like the original game, Zombie Highway 2 features a few in-app purchases. However, the developer explains that everything in the game can be unlocked with a reasonable amount of effort, so you won’t be at a huge disadvantage if you opt out of them. Also, this game just launched, so there are a few release day bugs to watch out for. Even so, they likely won’t interrupt the gameplay at all. If you’re interested in picking up this new game, head to the Google Play Store link below.
We now know why the most recent HTC One is referred to as the M9
The HTC One was unveiled a couple of years ago, and at that time, the “M” naming scheme was birthed. HTC has released the One M7, One M8, and the soon to be One M9. I often wondered what the Mx designation meant, and today we know thanks to HTC Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon.
If you remember, before the original One M7 was announced, it was rumored to exist under a codename of M7. Eventually when they announced the phone, that M7 name stuck with it. We don’t know where the “M” part of the equation came from, but we do know what the numbers represent.
The One M7 represented the 7th flagship phone since HTC embarked on their own brand, so that is why a “7” was placed after the “M”. I think you guys are smart enough to understand that the One M8 and One M9 are the 8th and 9th flagship phones respectively.
The complete list is as follows….
9. HTC One M9
8. HTC One M8
7. HTC One M7
6. HTC One X
5. HTC Sensation
4. HTC EVO 4G
3. HTC Hero
2. HTC Dream
1. HTC Touch
And that’s the reason why the latest HTC One is called the M9.
source: @urbanstrata (1) (2) (3)
Come comment on this article: We now know why the most recent HTC One is referred to as the M9
Anker Aluminum Portable Bluetooth Speaker review
Anker’s take on portable Bluetooth speakers is one of luxury and affordability. While this is a combination that few attempt and still fewer accomplish, Anker shows that fortune really does favor the bold.
The aluminum shell of Anker’s Aluminum speaker is one of its top selling points, if not the top. One of my first thoughts when I first took the speaker out of its box was how magnificent it looked. How it gave the impression that it had been carved from a single slab of aluminum. Anker made some really great design choices and they tried hard to keep the device as slim and minimal as possible by only adding the necessary ports into strategic locations.
Up front you have the speaker grills, which as you can see from the image above, give the speaker a silvery, distinct look. On top you are greeted with the menu button, with the volume buttons on either side. The power switch has made its home on the right side of the speaker, while the aux jack, microSD card slot, and charging port are on the left. It all blends together to give the Anker Aluminum speaker its luxurious look.
Now for the true purpose of the Anker Aluminum speaker, playing your favorite songs. After I hooked it up to my M8, I went through my usual morning playlist to see how the speaker fared. I am going to start off by saying that I was surprised. Surprised in the fact that a speaker that looks fantastic could also sound fantastic. My music came out clear and rich, which made my morning routine with Shakira another great experience.
8-Hour Battery Life
The Anker’s Aluminum speaker has a battery life of 8 hours but from personal testing I found that to be more like a solid 7, give or take thirty minutes. 7 hours is still a very long time considering that you will most likely not be listening to music for 7 hours straight, and if you are you can still always hook it up to a charger to keep your tunes going.
MicroSD Card Support
This is something that I was actually somewhat surprised to see. A microSD card slot built right into the speaker itself. Pleasantly surprised though, as I immediately took out the SD card from my phone to see if I could make the speaker play my music without me having to make any type of adjusted to the card. As it turned out, I didn’t. The speaker registered my music straight away and I was able to play my music without having to have my phone at all. While the purpose of buying a Bluetooth speaker is usually so that you hook it up to a Bluetooth device, I can see this being a handy feature for those days when your phones battery dies out and you still need to jam out to relive the days stress.
The Anker Aluminum speaker provides fantastic sound, great portability, and an overall premium experience. If you are in the market for a new speaker that sounds and looks good at the same time, then look no further than the Anker Aluminum speaker. To get more information and to purchase one, you can head over to Anker’s website or to Amazon.
The post Anker Aluminum Portable Bluetooth Speaker review appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Sprint prepaid brands get $99 Moto E (2015)
Sprint on Friday announced the Moto E (2015) is being offered across its prepaid brands for a mere $99 without contract. Available immediately, the phone is offered at Boost Mobile in white while Sprint Prepaid (Best Buy and Radio Shack) is selling the black model. Looking ahead to next week, Virgin Mobile will carry the Moto E (2015) in black through the Virgin Mobile Data Done Right plans at Walmart.
The post Sprint prepaid brands get $99 Moto E (2015) appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Grab the Samsung Galaxy S6 wallpapers and apps
We don’t have to wait for the Samsung Galaxy S6 to launch since the wallpapers and apps that will be bundled with the flagship device have just surfaced online.
Courtesy of XDA Developers, you can now grab the app APK’s and sideload them, as well as enjoy the official Galaxy S6 2560 x 1440 wallpapers.
Source: XDA Forums
The post Grab the Samsung Galaxy S6 wallpapers and apps appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Apple Watch Takes Two Hours to Charge, Only Delivers Notifications While on the Wrist
Apple Watch will take approximately two hours to fully charge and deliver all-day battery life with normal on-and-off usage, according to TechCrunch. Those estimates corroborate a previous report that also claimed the Apple Watch will deliver all-day battery life and support up to five hours of heavy usage per charge.
The report also claims that the Apple Watch will only deliver notifications while worn on the wrist. The smartwatch will not ping you for notifications without being in contact with skin so that the device is not disruptive at unnecessary times. Apple Watch will also stop delivering notifications when the battery reaches 10% or lower in an effort to conserve the remaining power.
“Here’s a tidbit you might not know — in order to receive notifications from apps, the Watch must be on your wrist and locked. They require contact with your skin. There will be no in-app dropdown notifications or constant pinging while it’s off your wrist. Push notifications also cease when the battery reaches 10 percent. Those decisions speak to the care with which Apple is handling notifications.”
Apple continues to tweak Digital Crown on the Apple Watch, giving the button a “weightier, higher-end feel.” Pressing and holding down the Digital Crown activates Siri, which the report claims works well and can be used for labeling, directions and commands using a paired iPhone. The goal of the Apple Watch, the report describes, is to return some of your attention away from your smartphone by allowing you to communicate from your wrist on the go.
While both reports this afternoon have provided a closer look at the Apple Watch, there are still several question marks surrounding the wrist-worn device. That will change in less than three days, when Apple provides more details about the Apple Watch at its highly-anticipated “Spring Forward” media event in San Francisco. The keynote begins on Monday at 10 AM Pacific and MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event.
Banks respond to fraud with improved verification for Apple Pay
Reports of thieves using stolen payment info with Apple Pay surfaced earlier this week, and banks are already stepping up security measures. In fact, the culprits used the software to employ credit card details stolen during Target’s massive breach in 2013. The Wall Street Journal reports that those financial institutions are making customers take extra steps to verify that cards being entered into Cupertino’s mobile payment platform really belong to them. Tools like one-time authorization codes, a call to customer service and security questions are being used to confirm identities for those who want to pay with an iPhone. What’s more, some banks will require you to authorize Apple Pay by signing into your online banking. If you’ll recall, Apple Pay itself remains locked down, and the fraudsters were able to take advantage of banks’ rather lazy identity checks. Of course, even with the added checks, you’ll want to keep a close eye on things to ensure someone hasn’t swiped your card number.
Filed under: Software, Mobile, Apple
Source: Wall Street Journal
MWC 2015: What announcements impressed you the most?
MWC 2015 is over, and what a week it has been! If you haven’t had the opportunity to check everything out, be sure to hit out up MWC 2015 coverage page. Also, check out the nine devices we deemed worthy of our Android Authority “Top Picks” award. As for the Friday Debate, this week we ask: what do you think of the One M9 and Galaxy S6 (and Edge)? Any other announcements from MWC 2015 that had you impressed?
Generally we showcase at least a few responses from our forum community, but considering there are a number of responses, we instead invite you to check out the forum’s page for yourself. With that out of the way, let’s jump in and let some of the AA team members share their thoughts on MWC 2015.
Let me try to keep this short today. MWC was pretty exciting, the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are pretty slick. I especially like the looks of the Edge, but really, who doesn’t? While you guys all place your opinions on the above two devices, I have my eye on two different devices, strangely enough, both come out of Sony.
Now, we just handed a death warrant to Sony on our Friday Debate Podcast not too long ago. At least my general approach was that Sony is a great device manufacturer, and one of the top electronics vendors around the globe, but maybe, just maybe, they are a little over-hyped and in need of a bit of an overhaul of their phone program. I had talked about their need for a better selection of low-to-mid range devices, and I feel like they’ve got something to that end with the Xperia M4 Aqua.
I am not suggesting that the Xperia M4 Aqua is the phone for you, or me, but I really think it will have an impact on Sony’s Android phone success moving forward. Allow me to call this the Xperia __ Compact that is actually affordable, but I guess that is still to be seen as well. Saving the best for last, this should be no surprise, I think Sony has all but knocked it out of the park with the 10-inch Xperia Z4 Tablet. That is a device I want in my inventory. I don’t even care if it brings Sony any profits, it’s just a good looking tablet.
Not to change the subject, but the Xperia Z4 Tablet still has its faults. I mean, why are manufacturers still creating tablets with 16GB of internal storage? Don’t they know we want to install apps on these things? On the flip side, thank you Sony for downgrading the camera. I like photography, and I can handle people snapping pics with their phones, but tablet photography is still a little unsavory to me. This is not important now, sorry.
Let me sum up with one quick thought: I am in the market for a new phone right now, I went into MWC 2015 (and this flagship season) expecting to find several devices that I would have to decide between. MWC is over, and my comparisons chart is empty – so far, HTC and Samsung have both failed to sell me on their latest and greatest.
My own views on the Galaxy S6 and One M9 have already been reflected by most observers, I think. Samsung did pretty much everything that it needed to do to renew (most people’s) faith in the Galaxy S series: the best specs in the business, streamlining its software, and coming up with a stunning looking design and build quality.
HTC, on the other hand, seems reminiscent of where Samsung was with the Galaxy S5 last year. Minor upgrades to a good handset that has many appealing features, but I can’t say that the One M9 is very exciting.
Now, will I replace my G3 with either one? Probably not. However, as far as market appeal goes, I think Samsung has done a better job at picking out a segment that might actually work for it. The Galaxy S6 is ultra-high end and will have a price to match, but it’s probably worth the money for all the bells and whistles. How much better is the M9 than handsets like the G3, Z3, OPO or M8? Well it’s faster, but in my eyes that doesn’t justify an extra $200. In other words, the Galaxy S6 now stands out against the crowd, while the M9 feels perilously close to disappearing into the sea of more affordable flagships.
As for MWC on a whole, I can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like the look of in one way or another. This year’s event is a testament to just how refined the mobile market has become, and our industry looks to be at the forefront of awesome VR and game streaming technologies too. I hope the rest of the year is as interesting.
When the question got asked, I did something I’d never done before and took to the Twitters to ask what people thought. Of course, I went with the “One M9 vs Galaxy S6/S6 Edge” angle because those are the two devices that stole the show. I received roughly 150 tweets in response total and you know what? It’s a wash. The people can’t decide what they want and they offer up myriad reasons for wanting the one that they want.
Me on the other hand, I think the best-in-show at MWC was HTC. The M9 may not have broken any innovation records, but it’s still going to be a top 3 phone of 2015 just like its predecessors were in their respective years. It was a surprisingly bold move to stick with 1080p in a world quickly reaching for QHD and I think when the battery life tests come out, we’ll see the difference there. Then there’s the octa-core, 64-bit chip. Sure the camera sucks, but so do practically all Nexus phones and people still call the Nexus 5 one of “the best smartphones of all time”. The Valve partnership in VR was a shell shocker that almost no one saw coming. I think they announced a wearable but I was busy hyperventilating about all of their other news.
The thing is that Samsung is not far behind. The S6 Edge is one of the more awesome looking phones that have come out in the last few years. 128GB of storage is a positive trend that I hope continues with other smartphones. Samsung had the wow factor and I would totally buy the S6 Edge, but I don’t feel comfortable on a QHD screen with today’s battery tech.
Overall, it seemed like a good show. To be perfectly honest I’m still catching up on everything that went on but I agree 100% with Feisty on the Z4 Tablet. 16GB of storage?! Lol, nope.
And so, after weeks upon weeks of build up, MWC has finished and we are asked to make sense of an event that was, at best, a prescribed scenario: all the cards were laid out seemingly weeks before, and Samsung in particular was able to showcase the panacea for its financial malady.
Samsung: I’m not sure why, but the S6 and S6 Edge really didn’t excite me. Perhaps they are just too small (I’m a phablet lover sadly) or else the Galaxy S6 Edge is just too “stoopid” without the Note Edge SDK involved. I mean, Samsung spent how much time trying to sell us on the curved display’s unique usability features and now it has basically scrapped them all? It seems like the only reason the S6 Edge exists is to charge a premium price for dibs on extra-ergonomic handling.
The the lack of SD card support and the removable battery…I never complained about plastic before and thus am not one of the “never satisfied” crowd. On the other hand, I loved the Galaxy Alpha and don’t understand why the same approach couldn’t have been used here.
I really wanted to see tablets (heck, Samsung had already sold the world no less than FOUR by this point last year) but admittedly the market for them is nowhere near as large as the phones these days.
HTC: WTF. Seriously. If you haven’t already read my more objective thoughts on the matter, please feel free to by clicking here. To give a decidedly less objective reply: what a letdown. I can not believe this company has the gall to rehash the same design for the third time in the last year. Maybe if the M8 Windows Phone Edition hadn’t released last fall and sought to resell the same product with a different OS, I would be more lenient.
Who knows though. One line of thinking concludes that there was absolutely no way any company could compete with the hype and money Samsung was going to throw at MWC, let alone tiny little HTC. This goes double because Korea Inc. announced not one, but two flagships. Even were they both to have been flops, the media would still have been all over them with videos, editorials, and comparisons. In a very real sense, MWC 2015 – as far as phones go- was all about Samsung; it was all about the Galaxy. So perhaps we will see a real HTC flagship this summer.
The “me too” VR device though? Wow…
LG: Why it is LG decided to announce a “super premium” flagship when its “normal” flagship hasn’t even been announced is beyond me. Talk about shooting yourself in the proverbial foot. I suspect this mystery device that LG hinted at will be a dual edged G4. The company certainly had a prototype at CES in January and now is as good a time as any to release it, perhaps all the more so in that Samsung won best of show with the S6 Edge.
Now it’s your turn
This is obviously a pretty big subject and so listing out every device in a poll would probably prove to be a futile experience. Instead, for this Friday Debate poll we ask, which impressed you more: the Galaxy S6 (and/or Edge) or the HTE One M9? Once you finish the poll, be sure to hit the comments below and let us know what your favorite announcements were during MWC.
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How to keep your Mac safe for your kids
How to keep your kids safe while on the Mac with Parental Controls in OS X Yosemite
Keeping your kids safe while using the computer is paramount in many parents’ minds. Fortunately Apple gives you the resources you need to keep your Mac safe for little ones. So today I’m going to give you some tips on the parental control features that are available to you in OS X Yosemite.
Parental Controls are designed to work in conjunction with individual user accounts on the host Mac. If you haven’t already created a user account for your child, you can do so here.
Just remember that the Parental Controls feature requires administrator access, so make sure you’ve logged in from an account with administrator access before attempting any changes. If your child has their own computer, you can manage parental controls remotely by checking a box at the main Parental Controls screen.
Once you’ve highlighted a user account you’d like to restrict, Parental Controls will reveal five tabs: Apps, Web, People, Time Limits and Other. Each one is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll dig in to each to see what they do.
The Apps tab enables you to limit access only to specific applications, widgets and utilities installed on the Mac. If you want your son or daughter to only access email and the web, for example, you can specify Mail and Safari, for example, excluding them from everything else. You can also use a Simple Finder interface if they’re a new user and you don’t want them to get confused.
The Web tab enables you to put limits on where on the web your kids can go. The default setting tries to limit access to adult web sites automatically, but if you find sites that you don’t like, you can add them using the Customize… button. Apple has a list of pre-approved kid-friendly sites which you can add to, if you’d like — just click the + button at the bottom.
Worried about stranger danger? You can restrict your child’s access to specific contacts in both Mail and Messages in the People tab. You can act as the gatekeeper for communications with new people by automatically pinging your email address if the child attempts to exchange email with someone who isn’t approved, too. Apple gives you limits on Game Center connections too.
Time Limits lets you set specific limits on the amount of time your child is able to use the computer during weekdays and weekends. What’s more, you can specify bedtimes on school nights and weekends so your kids won’t stay up late playing games or chatting with friends.
The Other tab gives you access to a few other features you can use to customize your kids’ Mac access. Worried that they might use the built-in camera to take selfies? Disable it. Hide profanity in the Dictionary app if you’re worried about them seeing dirty words. Don’t want your kids to change printers or burn CDs or DVDs? It’s all right here.
Finally, near the bottom of the window is the Logs… button. Use this to track the activity of your child — the Mac keeps track of websites visited and blocked, applications used and messages sent. You can specify the duration of the report, and clear the logs at will.
That’s an overview of Yosemite’s Parental Controls feature. If you still have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments or ask them in our ask a question forum, no registration required. You can also check out some of the links below for even more tips, tricks, help, and info on OS X Yosemite.