The US knows that it’s not enough to protect its own networks against cyberattacks — its allies have to be safe, too. Appropriately, it’s agreeing to shield Japan from digital assaults against its military and critical systems. The move gives the island nation a big security boost (its online defense unit has a mere 90 people) and hopefully reduces the chances that less-than-sympathetic neighbors China and North Korea will compromise a strategically vital country. While it’s doubtful that the pact will deter many hacking attempts, it could make any local cyberwarfare campaigns that much tougher.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko]
Filed under: Internet
Owners of the LG G Watch R who are willing to do some hacking work on the device now have an option available to enable the WiFi chip on the device. User Tasssadar on the XDA site figured out how to get the needed drivers off an LG Watch Urbane, with the help of intersectRaven, in order to make this possible.
The files needed to make everything work have been put together as a flashable ZIP for G Watch R owners who are willing to give it a go. Currently the solution has only been tested on devices running the 5.1.1 Android update. Users will also need TWRP installed as a custom recovery and an unlocked bootloader.
Tasssadar does note that this solution breaks over-the-air updates, so owners will have to be prepared to restore to a stock image when the next Android update rolls out if they want to get it OTA. In addition, although most people think LG did not enable WiFi on the G Watch R as a way to push buyers to the Watch Urbane, there is a possibility that some actual hardware issue exists and this could cause permanent hardware damage.
If you have a G Watch R and want to give this a try, just hit the source link below for links to the ZIP file and some kernels that will be needed.
Come comment on this article: WiFi from LG Watch Urbane hacked onto LG G Watch R
Apple is in talks to sign Toronto-born rapper Drake, hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams and electronic music DJ David Guetta as guest DJs for a revamped iTunes Radio, according to the New York Post. The report also claims that Apple continues to negotiate with record labels for Apple Music and wants to offer a three-month free trial period for the $10-a-month streaming music service.
Apple Music will reportedly combine the best features of Pandora, Spotify and YouTube into one service, including streaming music and video, artist pages, a YouTube-style sharing section called Apple Connect and a refreshed version of iTunes Radio. Apple also wanted to offer lyrics as part of the service, but does not want to pay extra to record labels to offer the feature.
Apple is expected to announce its new streaming music service on June 8 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, building upon the assets it acquired through its Beats Music purchase last year. The company will reportedly push customers to sign up for Apple Music by offering SoundCloud-like sharing, exclusive content and the aforementioned three-month free trial period.
Notorious leaker @LlabTooFeR took to his Twitter account today to share a couple of screenshots from an upcoming software update for the One M9, which is scheduled to start rolling out as early as next week.
This upgrade carries version number 1.40 and appears to be primarily aimed at improving the many battery issues that users have been complaining about recently — so now they’re handset should finally last more than a day on a single charge.
That’s all we know for the time being, but be sure to check back for more information as we’ll let you know the instant HTC starts pushing out the over-the-air update.
Come comment on this article: @LlabTooFeR leaks upcoming battery update for the One M9
If you want to buy a Model S in Texas, you’re going to have to jump through some hoops for at least the next couple of years. Bills that would let Tesla sell cars directly to customers aren’t going to get a vote before the state’s legislative session wraps up on June 1st, leaving the electric vehicle maker high and dry until the next session kicks off in 2017. This doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of luck if you want Tesla-made transportation in Austin (see above for proof), but you can’t simply pick one up.
The setback isn’t completely surprising given how fiercely dealership lobby groups fight to protect their business model, but Texas poses some additional challenges. A lot of the state’s political clout rests in rural areas, where dealerships are more vital to the community in terms of both jobs and sponsorships. Representatives are more likely to support these local businesses than a California company trying to up-end the dealership model, even if it would help both competition and the environment.
[Image credit: the author, Flickr]
Filed under: Transportation
Android fans, it was an amazingly busy week in the Googleverse. At its annual developer conference, Google introduced Android M, which brings few visual changes, but many much needed improvements and refinements, including doze mode, better volume controls, Android Pay, app state back up, and Google Now on Tap. It wasn’t just M; Photos is now an independent app; Project Brillo was announced as Google’s new IoT operating system; updates were announced for Inbox, Google Maps, and the Play Store; and Google ATAP blew our minds with its new projects – Jaquard, Soli, and Abacus. In other news Lenovo showed off some crazy concepts; Sony introduced the Xperia Z3+; the Galaxy S6 Iron Man edition launched; and Microsoft unveiled Cortana for Android.
Inside AA HQ
It probably won’t be a surprise that we spent this preparing for Google I/O, and from Thursday, in a mad dash to bring you all the news coming out of Google’s announcement-packed conference.
We’re all pretty excited to try out Android M, and most of the team is already rocking the M developer preview on various devices. Google only touched on a fraction of the changes and new features in Android M, and we’ve been busy perusing the developer previews to spot all the new stuff. To keep up with everything, check out our Diving into M series, where we take a closer look at the smaller new features in Android M.
Google I/O is over, but the tech world is still revving at full speed. This week, Darcy attended Lenovo’s TechWorld conference and over the next days he will be reporting from Taipei, where Computex is about to start. Computex has always been Asus’ stomping ground, and this year is no different. We expect to see the Zenwatch 2 and some updated tablets come next week.
In celebration of Google I/O, we’re giving away a Nexus 9! Get your ticket for our weekly giveaway from here.
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Roundup: Interested in a budget device? Check out our top Android recommendations for under $200
- Tech talk: Gary Sims weighs in on the issue of multi-core usage of Android apps
- Feature: Ever wondered what it’s like inside a smartphone factory? Wonder no more
- Tech talk: Native or HTML5: Obaro gives you the pros and cons
- Video: These are the top features of Android M
- Video: Joe Hindy gives his hands-on impressions of Android M
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
Microsoft loves Android
- Microsoft announces Cortana app for Android
- Microsoft to push its cross-platform apps with Windows 10 phone companion
- Microsoft partners with LG, Sony and 18 other OEMs to bring Office apps to more Android tablets
Xperia Z3+ is here
- Sony launches Xperia Z3+: same as Japan’s Xperia Z4, almost the same as Xperia Z3
- Sony explains why the Z4 was rebranded to the Xperia Z3+
Galaxy S6 Iron Man edition has landed
- The Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man edition has landed, check out the unboxing video
- (Update: $35,600!) Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man Edition going for a truly intergalactic price
Android M: everything to know
- Google officially announces Android M, preview coming today!
- Google is bringing granular app permissions control to Android M
- Android M introduces doze mode and USB Type C support
- Chrome Custom Tabs lets you use Chrome as your app browser
- Android M supports fingerprint authentication for use with new Android Pay system and other apps
- Android M will bring Google Now on Tap
- Android M Developer Preview images are live!
- Android M to feature automatic app data backup
- Google plans regular updates to Android M preview, the first coming in a month
More Google I/O news
- Google I/O keynote roundup: all the announcements in one place
- Missed something at Google I/O 2015? Re-watch the full keynote here!
- Project Brillo is Google’s new Internet of Things OS
- No invite required for Inbox by Gmail anymore, new features added
- Google Photos officially unveiled at Google I/O 2015
- Fully-featured offline features coming to Google Maps
- Autoplay, queuing, second screen and multiplayer gaming comes to the Chromecast
Google ATAP epic projects
- Google ATAP aims to bring touch-sensitive clothing to the mainstream with Project Jacquard
- Project Vault is a security system on a microSD card
- Google ATAP’s Project Soli will make interacting with wearables a breeze
- Project Ara put together on stage, shown off as fully working
- Lenovo VR Goggles announced, takes on Samsung and Oculus
- Lenovo announces Lenovo Cast streaming device
- Lenovo shows off dual-screen Magic View concept smartwatch
- Lenovo unveils concept smartphone with laser projector
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Apparently, after all these years, Spotify still doesn’t really get me. I’ve used the service since 2010. Technically I was a subscriber since before it hit US shores. And yet, Spotify clearly has no idea what kind of music I like. I say this because I recently traded in my carefully curated running playlist for Spotify’s dynamically generated ones and, not to spoil the rest of the story, it really failed. But let’s start at the beginning.
I got up nice and early Sunday morning, left my house and began the slow slog up hill past Silver Lake Park. When I started to hit my stride I pulled out my iPhone and found the new Running option in sidebar of the updated Spotify app. The first stop on my journey was the running specific Hip Hop and R&B playlist. A pleasant female voice instructed me to start running and let me know that it was using the phone’s sensors to detect my pace. Then, as promised, it spat out songs perfectly matched to the tempo of my run.
The first batch of tracks got me up the steep slope, but almost none of the artists were recognizable to me. And honestly, most were not particularly good; there was a reason I had never heard most of these songs before. The final nail in the playlist’s coffin was Immortal Technique’s The Cause of Death. Whether you’re a fan of his or not, I think we can all agree that listening to the Harlem-based MC rap about how 9/11 was an inside job doesn’t make for an enjoyable run.
The trouble is that, while Spotify supposedly takes my taste into account when building these playlists, you’d never know it. Neither the Upbeat Run or Mood Booster Run playlists fared any better. And, after suffering through Bleachers and Demi Lovato’s Unbroken, I gave up. It seems that the combination of Spotify’s beat matching algorithm and its human curators just couldn’t make me happy.
There was one other place I might find running nirvana, however. Spotify has a selection of running specific original tracks. These aren’t collections of songs, they’re long pieces of instrumental music designed specifically for you to listen to and zone out while you keep those legs moving. There are six pieces to choose from: The Chase, Blissed Out, Lock the Flow, Seasons, Epic and Burn. Honestly, those first five aren’t great. In fact they sound like they were pulled from a library of nondescript royalty-free music. But, like the playlist options, if you’re just looking for something to help you keep pace, they do the job.
Burn is different. It’s created by Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto, and it’s pretty much perfection. I’m not normally a huge fan of Tiësto; he’s the sort of artist that plays best in a club when you’re pumped full of ecstasy… or so I thought. Burn, once it locks into your rhythm, ebbs and flows with the right amount of energy to keep you running for about 45 minutes, uninterrupted. In that way, it’s not unlike LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33. But where that song is about simply locking into a groove, Burn is constantly building and shifting to keep you moving and engaged. It feels like it constantly wants you to go faster. When it finally reaches a crescendo, however, it backs off to let you enjoy that runner’s zen for a bit before pushing you again with filtered drum buildups. It’s cheap shot after cheap shot, but it works beautifully for a nice long run.
Spotify definitely has some work to do with its running feature. I never want to hear Demi Lovato again, and songs about government conspiracies aren’t really motivating me to push myself. That being said, the technology part works quite well. I do wish that the running originals and playlists would sample your pace multiple times over the course of a run, rather than stick to a steady pace (I can’t help but start to slow down around mile five). But the songs selected rarely failed to lock to my tempo. If the company can get more expertly crafted originals like Tiësto’s Burn, it will have something truly special on its hands. For now, I’ll be putting my running playlist on the shelf and sticking to Spotify, exclusively because of that track.
Filed under: Software
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
California is giving away free solar panels to its poorest residents. Between now and 2016, the state will donate 1,600 free photovoltaic systems — and each array will save a household $22,800 in energy costs over 30 years. Meanwhile in Southern California, director James Cameron gifted his wife a field of solar sunflowers to power her sustainable school. In other energy news, Tesla‘s battery-producing Gigafactory is starting to take shape in Nevada — and this week we took a first look at the gigantic building thanks to an aerial drone.
Speaking of Tesla, the automaker has had a tough time opening stories in some states — so it’s taking its show on the road with a new pop-up store! The compact shop packs into a special shipping container that can be transported on a flatbed truck. Self-driving cars are popping up everywhere lately — and Audi’s latest autonomous vehicle is a stunner. At CES Asia, the automaker unveiled a souped-up self-driving R8 with killer looks and an all-electric powertrain. Even Uber is getting in on the action — this past week, the company’s autonomous driving test vehicle was spotted in Pittsburgh, so fleets of self-driving taxis may be right around the corner. And one Volvo owner experienced the chilling pitfalls of self-driving technology as his vehicle crashed into a crowd of people because he didn’t pay for a feature that brakes for humans. Green vehicles also set several records this week — a poop-powered bus broke a world speed record in the UK, and a Canadian inventor set the record for the world’s farthest hoverboard flight.
Before heading out into the sun, you need to check out this latest article. It turns out that 80 percent of popular sunscreens don’t protect your skin — and they may actually be harmful to your health. We rounded up 34 of the worst offenders — so check your sunscreen and avoid these brands at all costs. In other health and technology news, researchers have developed a new bionic lens could give you perfect vision for the rest of your life. The developer of the painless implant claims that it will allow patients to see three times better than 20/20.
Filed under: Misc
In 2013, a pair of private investigators in the Bay Area embarked on a fairly run-of-the-mill case surrounding poached employees. But according to a federal indictment unsealed in February, their tactics sounded less like a California noir and something more like sci-fi: To spy on the clients’ adversaries, prosecutors say, they hired a pair of hackers.
Nathan Moser and Peter Siragusa were working on behalf of Internet marketing company ViSalus to investigate a competitor, which ViSalus had sued for poaching some of its former employees. Next, the government alleges, Moser and Siragusa-a retired, 29-year veteran of the San Francisco police department-recruited two hackers to break into the email and Skype accounts of the competing firm. To cover their tracks, they communicated by leaving messages in the draft folder of the Gmail account “krowten.a.lortnoc”-“control a network” in reverse, according to the indictment.
A posting by a person searching for exploits and using the email address of accused hacker Sumit Gupta.
Federal prosecutors did not specify how the defendants found their hackers, but an email address apparently belonging to one of the hackers, Sumit Gupta of Jabalpur, India, was also used last year on the freelancer message board WorkingBase by someone seeking software that could compromise computers running Windows and Microsoft Office. The poster, who was offering $250 to $750, wrote, “Code should be FUD,” meaning fully undetectable, “and fully working. Looking a cheap cost.”
Clients span from executives hoping to gain an edge over their competitors to spurned lovers hoping to spy on their exes.
The California case sheds light on a burgeoning cybercrime market, where freelance hackers, both on public forums and in black markets, cater to everyone from cheating students and jealous boyfriends to law firms and executives, according to Jeffrey Carr, president of Seattle-based security firm Taia Global. He calls the industry “espionage as a service.”
While it is difficult to verify the legitimacy or the quality of the hacker postings on a half-dozen online exchanges that Fast Company examined, some sites boast eBay-like feedback mechanisms that let users vouch for reliable sellers and warn each other of scams. Carr describes a range of expertise, from amateur teenagers wielding off-the-shelf spyware who may charge up to $300 for a single operation, to sophisticated industrial espionage services that make tens of thousands of dollars or more smuggling intellectual property across international lines. “The threat landscape is very complex,” he says. “A hacker group will sell to whoever wants to pay.”
At Hackers List, for instance, hackers bid on projects in a manner similar to other contract-work marketplaces like Elance. Those in the market for hackers can post jobs for free, or pay extra to have their listings displayed more prominently. Hackers generally pay a $3 fee to bid on projects, and users are also charged for sending messages. The site provides an escrow mechanism to ensure vendors get paid only when the hacking’s done.
While Hackers List says it’s intended only for “legal and ethical use” like recovering lost passwords, it boasts about a dozen job listings a day, in some cases to anyone capable of hacking into private websites, social media accounts, and online games.
Filed under: Misc
This update comes after an external review of Uber’s privacy program, prompted by a series of issues and PR catastrophes involving customer privacy. If you recall, some Uber employees used the “God View” tracker embedded in the app to spy on the whereabouts of a Buzzfeed reporter and a high-profile venture capitalist last year. All its corporate employees (but not its drivers) reportedly had access to God View and could monitor a user’s activities. Let’s not forget the time an exec made a remark about hiring a team to dig up personal dirt on journalists that criticize the service, as well.
The new Privacy Statement will take effect on July 15th, so expect to see the app asking you for permission to switch on real-time tracking and to access your address book by then. If you’re not exactly fond of these changes, don’t worry: the company told TechCrunch that the app will work just fine even if you choose not to switch them on.
Filed under: Misc