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9
Nov

OnePlus X – the first 48 hours


Earlier this year OnePlus unveiled the follow-up to its wildly received OnePlus One, aptly named the OnePlus 2. While the OnePlus 2 has arguably failed to live up to its “flagship killer” status, OnePlus still has another ace up its sleeve, recently unveiling a second, even more affordable alternative from OnePlus.

it remains unseen whether or not OnePlus’s latest handset will prove to be more successful than the OnePlus 2, though its pricing and aesthetics certainly are great steps in the right direct. We’ll have a full review of the handset in the not too distant future, b ut in the meantime here is a quick look and unboxing of the OnePlus X!

Unboxing

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As far as the unboxing is concerned, it has been a rather conventional affair, but OnePlus does offer a few useful extras with the device. Included in the box is the wall charger and the flat, red, microUSB cable that has been a signature of OnePlus smartphones, and of course, microUSB means that the OnePlus X doesn’t sport the latest USB Type-C port, unlike its flagship counterpart. Also useful is the availability of a light weight plastic case that will allow for a little bit of protection against any accidental bumps or drops. Apart from that, the usual documentation is also to be found here.

The first 48 hours

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When holding the phone for the first time, the first thing you will notice is how premium this device feels, beyond what its price point would suggest. A metal chassis holds together two glass panels, and is a design language that will certainly remind you of the Sony Xperia flagships. There are some differentiating factors here however, such as the micro cuts seen in the metal sides, which also happens to help with the handling.

Of course, handling isn’t much of a concern with the OnePlus X, given its relatively compact size, courtesy of a 5-inch display, allowing for comfortable one-handed use. Granted, there isn’t a shortage of smartphones that fall in this size range, but the general trend in 2015 has been leaning towards the larger side of things, and as such, it is certainly refreshing to see OnePlus, with there second offering of the year, stick to the smaller size category.

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If you are familiar with Oxygen OS, you will know that you have the option to choose between on-screen navigation keys or capacitive keys, and that feature returns with the OnePlus X. However, it is worth mentioning that, given the relatively thin bottom chin of the device, the capacitive keys do fall quite close to the bottom edge of the front, and it does seem like you have to reach really far down to get to these buttons. There has been no issues as far as their response is concerned, but the positioning will certainly take some getting used to.

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The OnePlus X comes with a 5-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 441 ppi. The advantages of an AMOLED construction are seen right off the bat, with Dark Mode being the default selection in Oxygen OS, which should contribute to the battery life, given that not all the pixels are being used when in this mode.

Under the hood is a very familiar processing package, with the OnePlus X coming with the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. This processing package was the 2014 flagship standard, and was also found with the OnePlus One, save for the additional gig of RAM, and remains very capable. OnePlus decided to go with this older processing package instead of current mid-range standard in the Snapdragon 617, since they found the Snapdragon 801 to still perform better than the former in their testing. Everything has been smooth so far in terms of performance, but we will of course, be running the device through its paces in the upcoming full review.

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Not a lot of hardware features from the OnePlus 2 make their way over to the OnePlus X, with the latter not coming with a fingerprint scanner, and OnePlus has also decided to not adopt the latest USB Type-C standard with this device. Even with the more traditional microUSB port, in my testing, it seems like there are no fast charging capabilities to be had here, which is quite disappointing. Like the OnePlus 2, there is no NFC here either.

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One feature that is retained however is the Alert Slider, on the left side of the phone, that lets you select between All, Priority, and None, for notification management, without needing to turn on the phone. One useful addition with the OnePlus X that isn’t even available with other OnePlus releases is expandable storage, which is certainly going to be necessary, since the only in-built storage option is 16 GB. While the OnePlus X comes with dual SIM capabilities, the second SIM slot also functions as a microSD card slot, so users will have to make the choice between dual SIMs and expandable storage by up to an additional 128 GB.

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The OnePlus X comes with a 13 MP primary camera and an 8 MP front-facing shooter, which we will be testing more thoroughly in the upcoming comprehensive review. As far as the camera application is concerned, it is very similar to what is found with the OnePlus 2, allowing you to change modes by swiping on the viewfinder. The issue here is that while swiping between the modes in the landscape orientation, when you get to Panorama, the viewfinder changes to the portrait orientation, which does take some getting used to. It’s not too much of a big deal though, and it helps that the Panorama mode is at the bottom of the list.

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On the software side of things, you once again get the Oxygen OS, with the OnePlus X retaining all the software capabilities from the OnePlus 2, such as double tap to wake, selecting between capacitive or on-screen navigation keys, and Shelf. As mentioned, Dark Mode is enabled by default, and that is a really good choice to have on the AMOLED screen. Ultimately, you get a really stock-like Android experience here, with all of the expected elements from Android Lollipop.

So, there you have it for this quick look at the OnePlus X! The best part about the OnePlus X has to be its price point of $250. Granted, OnePlus’ infamous invitation system returns here, but OnePlus has said that it will last for only a month or so, and it should get much easier to get your hands on the device after that. This affordable price will get you a phone that, so far, seems to be quite premium in its look and feel, and manages to provide some features that even other flagship smartphones haven’t been able to offer, like expandable storage.

Opinions on the battery life and camera quality are something that we will reserve for the upcoming review, but thus far, we do like what we see with the OnePlus X.

9
Nov

Here’s why some pictures taken on the Nexus 5X are upside-down


LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-33

If you happen to be the new owner of a Nexus 5X, you may have noticed that some of the photos you take with certain third-party camera applications are being displayed upside-down. What causes this problem? Is it a software or hardware issue? According to a Google employee, it’s a little of both.

In response to a Nexus 5X user’s post on Reddit, the tech lead for Android’s camera framework, Eino-Ville Talvala, explained that image sensors can be mounted in Android devices two different ways – landscape or portrait. In the 5X’s case, it’s image sensor was installed in the landscape orientation so that all of the wires properly fit inside. Consequently, Google needed to tweak the camera software in Android 6.0 Marshmallow to ensure users’ photos wouldn’t display upside-down. As it turns out, many third-party camera app developers have yet to update to Google’s latest camera2 API that handles the rotation automatically for developers, which is why some photos are being displayed the wrong way.

Google says it tried to work out a way to adjust the default so apps wouldn’t have to deal with this problem, but unfortunately that would result in many broken apps throughout the Google Play Store. This is also the reason many third-party apps showed upside-down images with the Nexus 6’s front-facing camera.

If you do see applications that show upside-down camera previews on the Nexus 5X, Google says you should send them an email making them aware of the problem. Google is also reaching out to devs who have yet to update to move as quickly as possible.

Nexus 5X in video

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9
Nov

Google offering three free movies for Chromebook owners


Chromebook-Pixel-1

Just two days ago, we reported that Google was once again giving out free Google Play credits to owners of Android TV or Chromecast devices. Now Google is continuing to reward owners of their products by offering three free movies to anyone who owns a Chromebook.

What movies are available?

The list is limited but eclectic. It should have something to offer for most tastes. The list likely varies, but if you’re a U.S. user who owns a Chromebook, you’ll probably get your pick of three of the following:

  • Charlotte’s Web (2006)
  • Clueless
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Flashdance
  • Footloose
  • Forrest Gump
  • Mean Girls
  • Mission Impossible
  • Mission Impossible II
  • Mission Impossible III
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  • The Last Airbender
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Okay, what’s the catch?

My grandfather used to say that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I learned very quickly that free lunches are all over the place, they just tend to be congealed, lukewarm spaghetti with dry sheetcake on the side. What he should have said was there’s no such thing as a really really awesome free lunch.

In keeping with this credo, these movies are only available in standard definition. Back in 2004 this probably wouldn’t have been an issue, but HD quality is pretty much the “standard” these days. Also, the promotional page claims that this offer is only good for Chromebooks purchased between November 8th and January 16th. However, some people have reported that they’ve been able to redeem their movies on much older Chromebooks. So yeah, the list is limited and the quality is mid-tier, but it’s hard to complain about party favors. Better to accept a freebie with open palms than to gripe about the shortcomings of something you don’t pay a dime for.

What’s your pick?

If you’ve got a Chromebook, new or old, you might as well check out the promotion and see if you can snag a few of these movies. What are your top three from this list? I’d probably have to go for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Forrest Gump, and Mean Girls.

What? Don’t judge me. Mean Girls is a well-written movie. Be sure to let us know what you pick in the comments below. 

9
Nov

Report claims HTC cooking up new One X9 flagship


Many may think that HTC is down for the count, but the company has expressed that it’s not stopping. We can’t forget that the yearly cycle will soon refresh, and Spring will come calling for the One M10.

Interestingly enough, that is not the leak we received today. Instead, HTC is allegedly cooking up a new line under the “One” monikor – the One X9.

htc-one-x9

And this guy apparently has all the bells and whistles, unlike the mid-end stature of the newly released One A9. But before you get too excited, I would hold your horses until we get more info. On the promo pic, the X9 shares a close resemblance to HTC’s Butterfly line of phones, which have limited market availability.

The leak fortunately tips some specs to go with that promo shot:

  • Display: 5″ QHD
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or MediaTek Helio X20
  • Memory: 4GB of RAM
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB on-board
  • Cameras: 23MP rear and 4MP (Ultrapixel) front
  • Battery: 3,500mAh

BoomSound is said to make a return, which is apparent on the promo pic by the top and bottom speaker grills. We’re not quite sure what “Packed with city smarts” means. Maybe some location-based software tricks? And the promo pic looks like it shows the return of capacitive buttons.

Anyhow, all this information suggests a beastly phone, worthy of a 2016 flagship. If you’re intrigued, hopefully you’re on board with HTC’s new iphone-y design language. No word on date or market availability yet.

Source: NoWhereElse

The post Report claims HTC cooking up new One X9 flagship appeared first on AndroidGuys.

9
Nov

InFocus M810T review: Last year’s flagship features for a low price


InFocus_M810T_TA (29)

It wasn’t that long ago when many of us would have turned our noses up at an Android smartphone that wasn’t produced by Samsung, LG, or HTC. It just wasn’t done, because who knew what sort of viruses and malware were present on those other phones and how long they would actually last? Thanks to phones such as the Honor 6, Redmi Note and the Nexus 6P, Chinese hardware manufacturers have gained credibility in recent times. With that in mind, we are reviewing the InFocus M810T. This phone features some impressive hardware in a stylish metal and glass design.

InFocus_M810T_TA (5)

On paper, the InFocus M810T would appear to be quite the bargain at $159. I’ve used it as my daily driver for the last month or so on the EE network in the UK and have generally been impressed with the device. There is one issue that wasn’t quite so pleasing, but I’ll have more details about that later.

Design

InFocus_M810T_TA (41)

Design-wise, the M810T has glass panels front and rear featuring Gorilla Glass 3 protection and the frame is made out of a light aluminum alloy that has a matte finish. With dimensions of 153.7 x 76.2 x 6.99mm, the M810T comes in a little longer and wider than LG’s G4 thanks to those capacitive buttons, but it is a lot thinner. Weighing in at 158g, the M810T is barely heavier than the LG G4.

The 3.5mm audio jack and micro-USB charging port are both on the bottom of the device, with plenty of space between them for cables to reach without getting in each others way. The notification LED is just below the capacitive Menu button.

Like any phone that carries a glass rear panel, more care has to be exerted when placing it on a surface. The level of grip offered is decent. At no point have I worried that it would slip out of my hands (unlike the old LG G2), but the rear panel is a fingerprint magnet. You’ll spend a fair amount of time wiping it clean and will probably resort to a cover at some point down the line.

InFocus_M810T_TA (9)

There is one facet of the M810T’s design that I found a little odd; both the power and volume buttons are on the left-hand side of the phone. It takes some getting used to, to say the least. Perhaps if I was left-handed I might appreciate it more. Much like LG’s fixation with placing the controls on the rear of the phone, having the controls on the left-hand side of the device is something you get used to after a couple of days. One positive is that it’s more difficult to accidentally press the power button. On the downside, I found the volume controls were a little rough to the touch and felt they could have benefited from some extra machining or refinement. Finally, the SIM card and MicroSD card trays are, you guessed it, on the right-hand side of the phone and require a SIM tool to access them.

InFocus_M810T_TA (8)
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Hardware

The M810T features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS display with and Gorilla Glass protection, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, Adreno 330, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for up to 64GB, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, a 2600mAh battery (non-removable), WiFi a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz), NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Bands

4G: FDD-LTE B1/3 TD-LTE B41
3G: WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz CDMA EVDO 800
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 CDMA 800

Performance

InFocus_M810T_TA (21)

The 5.5-inch display uses IPS technology that provides great viewing angles as well as vibrant colors, something I noticed straight away after using the Galaxy Note 4 with its Super AMOLED display and its over-saturated colors.  While the M810T’s panel is only Full HD resolution (1920×1080), it’s better than what you would expect to find on a device in this price range. Perhaps just as importantly, battery life also benefits from this choice of resolution. The display also features something called a Bluelight Filter that aims to reduce the level of blue light emitted from the display in order to minimize eye strain. While I can’t say that I noticed a difference, others might. InFocus didn’t compromise when it came to the choice of display, nor the processor for that matter.

It wasn’t much of a surprise to find that the InFocus M810T was pretty slick to use, that venerable but still powerful Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, combined with 2GB of RAM is a winning combination. While benchmarks don’t tell the whole story, the M810T achieved an impressive 43878 on the Antutu app.  Even with the InLife UI laid on top of the Android OS, the experience was snappy. And dare I say it, the M810T lagged less than my personal device, the Galaxy Note 4.

Games ran as smoothly as you would expect on a device powered by the Snapdragon 801 chip. Something worth mentioning though is that while playing games such as Plants vs Zombies 2 and the graphics intensive Asphalt 8: Airborne, the rear of the phone became a tad warm. While it was never unbearably hot, it wasn’t exactly comfortable either after a session of around 20 mins of gaming. Something to bear in mind before putting the phone back in your trouser pocket after a gaming session.

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Battery

The M810T made it through a normal day with about 20% to spare, I’m talking from 8 in the morning til around midnight, with most of the usage falling between 8 am and 7 pm. While everyone has different habits when it comes to using their phones, I mostly used the phone for instant messaging, browsing, emails, snapping around 5-10 pictures, watching the occasional YouTube video, and perhaps 10-15 minutes of gaming here and there. The M810T also features a Power Saver function, which helps eek out the battery life a little more by reducing processor performance, display brightness, and connectivity options.

Software

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The M810T runs Android 5.0.2 with the InLife overlay covering it. As you can see, the overlay takes more than a little inspiration from iOS, from the appearance of the icons to how the icons are actually laid out. There isn’t an app drawer present. Instead, much like an iPhone, the app icons are spread out all through the home screens in no particular order. It’s something you’ll either love or hate. I found it extremely frustrating, but thankfully it is easily rectified by installing a custom launcher if that’s your preference.

Instead of on-screen buttons, navigation is taken care of by the three capacitive buttons, consisting of Menu, Home, and Back. For some, the capacitive buttons will annoy them to no end. And for others that are perhaps used to Samsung devices, it really isn’t a big deal. It depends on personal preference and what you can live with.

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There are a couple of nice touches in the pre-installed apps, with the gallery app, in particular, gaining my affection. By keeping the folders at the bottom of the screen and allowing you to scroll through the images above, it was a doddle to change folders.

The list of pre-installed apps also includes App Traffic Control, Audio Effects, Backup Tool, Beauty Cam, Browser, Cloud Agent, Device Finder, Power Detective, InFocus Support, Weather ForeCast, MeituPic, Mobile Assistant, Gallery, Video Player, WeChat, WPS Office, and Music. Thankfully, most of these can be disabled in Settings.

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An unexpected quirk is that even though the M810T is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, there isn’t a button allocated to accessing recent apps. Long-pressing the Home button takes you to Google Search, as you would expect while holding the Menu button gives you the option of selecting Add, Task Manager, Preferences, Edit, and Settings. Accessing running apps is instead done the old way by selecting the Task Manager and tapping the appropriate terminate button.

The fly in the ointment

Infocus M810T_Malware

This is where a generally positive review goes off the rails a little. I’ve mentioned the bloatware that was present on the device, and here I have to take issues with the review device I was sent. The device received was brand new and yet it was already rooted. The KingRoot app was pre-installed, and according to the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware app, there were three instances of malware present. Despite the anti-malware app deleting the perpetrators, the phone was still subject to ads appearing at any time, while browsing and even when the just looking at the home screen. After some search, I found fresh firmware (which incidentally upgraded the M810T from KitKat to Lollipop) and installed it, which was a very simple process of downloading the firmware, copying it over to the phone, booting to stock recovery and selecting the Install Update.zip option. Since then, the phone has behaved as it should and passed every malware and anti-virus app I’ve thrown at it.

Camera

The 13MP camera here is not going to compete head-to-head with the LG G4 or Galaxy Note 5, but it is a worthy performer when you consider the price bracket that the M810T is in and that it uses a Sony Exmor R sensor. With features such as HDR, Blink Detection, Watermark, Object Erase, Motion Photo, Cinemagraph, Panorama and Dynamic Lighting, the camera app isn’t short on options. The camera app also allows you to adjust your appearance in photos. So if you have a picture taken with the M810T, you can make your facial features appear smaller, smoother, darker, or lighter via the app. Unlike 2015 flagships that feature near-instant HDR pictures, when making use of the HDR function on the M810T, you will experience a few seconds worth of processing time. Be mindful of this if you are wanting to take multiple pictures in a short amount of time.

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Closing

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Malware issues aside, I found the InFocus M810T to be quite capable and more than worth its $159 price tag. I know I keep mentioning the price, but the M810T is a worthy contender when considering buying a new phone on a budget with flagship like features (even if it’s 2014 flagship features). As with any budget device, it’s up to the consumer to determine which features they are willing to compromise on. But at $159, the M810T won’t disappoint, especially if you install a third-party launcher (and so long as the malware issue has been taken care of).

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Come comment on this article: InFocus M810T review: Last year’s flagship features for a low price

9
Nov

Eddy Cue, Tim Cook and Adobe Discuss iPad Pro Ahead of November 11 Launch


Following today’s announcement that iPad Pro online orders begin November 11, with in-store availability later this week, CNNMoney and The Independent have published interviews with Apple executives Eddy Cue and Tim Cook respectively about the new 12.9-inch tablet.

Cue described the iPad Pro as great for consuming content, such as emails, news and websites, and spoke in general terms about how Apple pushes itself to “create tools that let people solve incredible problems.” He also praised the tablet’s new four-speaker design that delivers stereo sound.

“One of the things with the iPad Pro that’s amazing is the sound — it’s got four speakers on it,” said Cue. “And so the first time — even myself as we were developing it — I got my hands on it and I heard it, it changed the way I thought of the product even. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it was going to make that you have stereo sound coming out of a device like this.”

Cook also said the iPad Pro delivers a “first-class audio experience,” and called the tablet a capable “laptop replacement” when used with a Smart Keyboard. The chief executive further emphasized that the Apple Pencil is not a stylus, but rather a sketching tool that complements the iPad Pro’s traditional multi-touch input.

Smart-Keyboard-Apple-Pencil“Well, we didn’t really do a stylus, we did a Pencil. The traditional stylus is fat, it has really bad latency so you’re sketching here and it’s filling the line in somewhere behind. You can’t sketch with something like that, you need something that mimics the look and feel of the pencil itself or you’re not going to replace it. We’re not trying to replace finger touch, we’re complementing it with the Pencil.”

Cook believes the iPad Pro’s target market will consist of a lot of PC users, customers without Apple products and existing iPad users looking to upgrade to a “very different” device. The tablet also has value for creative companies like Touchpress, the makers of several interactive musical apps for Apple devices.

Where the iPad Pro is concerned, Alex Johnston, Chief Marketing Officer, told me: “For a business like Touchpress with the kind of content we like to produce, we value the more beautiful screen, the better audio. We re-imagine familiar music or text in a way to give you fresh perspectives on it. So having more screen real estate allows us to do that a lot.

“The thing that struck me the most,” Johnston went on, “is that it completely transformed the iPad experience when you use the Pencil or the Keyboard with it. It’s not just that I want it because it’s the best iPad, it’s that the tools that go with it allow me to do things that my finger won’t allow me to do.”

Adobe has also shared a video where visual designers, illustrators, educators and other creative professionals offer positive first impressions of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, with a focus on Creative Cloud apps including Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch and Photoshop Fix.

iPad Pro pricing starts at $799 for the entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model. A 128GB Wi-Fi only model is available for $949, and a 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model is available for $1,079. The 12.9-inch tablet is available in the three signature iPad colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Adobe, Adobe Creative Cloud
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Pro (Don’t Buy)

Discuss this article in our forums

9
Nov

The President finally has a Facebook page


The President's Facebook page

For all of the White House’s efforts to join the internet era, it’s been awfully slow at giving the President a Facebook presence. It’s not dragging its heels any longer, though: President Obama (and presumably, any future President) now has an official Facebook page. Besides giving the political leader a chance to explain agendas, it’ll help you share your thoughts and chat with other concerned residents. The move was virtually necessary when over a billion people use Facebook every day, but it’s hard to knock something that puts you in closer contact with your government. Let’s just hope that the President has someone keeping a close eye on the comments — if you think the politically-charged discussions in your own Facebook feed can get bad, you can imagine what it’d be like for a head of state.

Source: POTUS (Facebook)

9
Nov

TAG Heuer’s Connected smartwatch looks like an actual watch


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TAG Heuer unveiled its first smartwatch called Connected at an event today. The 155-year-old luxury watch company turned to its classic Carrera for inspiration. But for the innards of the watch, it tapped into Google for its Android Wear software and leaned on Intel for its sensors and processing. To make room for the computing capabilities, they went with a large sized watch — 46.2mm across and 12.8mm thick — that’s currently available only for men. The watchmaker announced that a women’s version is in the making, but for now the men’s only watch is available at 20 stores across the country for $1,500. Slideshow-340090

9
Nov

Comcast resets customer passwords after account info hits Dark Web


A View Of The Comcast Center

If you received a correspondence from Comcast that your password was being reset, there’s a good chance your customer information was for sale on a Dark Web marketplace. A list of 590,000 accounts were made available to anyone willing to pony up some cash for email and password information. The price for 100,000 accounts was $300 while the entire list would set someone back about $1,000. The rub is that only 200,000 of the accounts were actually active. Those have already been reset by Comcast. While the information is no longer valid, this is a good reminder that you should not use the same password on multiple accounts. If a customer used the same password for their Comcast account that they use for their email account, it’s extremely simple for someone to take over any services associated with that email via a password reset.

Via: The Hill

Source: CSO

9
Nov

Google’s VR for students comes to more cities and countries


View-Master VR viewer kits for schools

Google’s virtual reality education efforts may have only just begun this fall, but they’re about to grow in a big, big way. The search giant is expanding its Expeditions Pioneer Program to schools in 12 US cities (including Las Vegas, New Orleans and Portland) as well as three in Canada, Denmark and Singapore. Each school will get a kit with everything it needs to take students on VR field trips, including ASUS smartphones as well as either Google Cardboard or View-Master’s device. The project is still far from ubiquitous, but it’s big enough to make us a little jealous — where were these kinds of virtual adventures when we were kids?

Source: Google for Education

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