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19
May

Innit’s connected kitchen made me some delicious ribs


We’ve heard tell of connected kitchens since the days of the 1969 Honeywell Kitchen Computer, but unfortunately we’re not quite living in the age of the Jetsons just yet. Still, recent smart home innovations such as WiFi-connected ovens and fridges with integrated cameras are helping us make that dream a reality. The missing piece: how to make all those appliances talk to each other. Innit is a startup that aims to tackle exactly that problem. We took a tour of their test kitchen last week to see how the tech works. And, you know, let it cook us a rack of ribs.

Innit envisions itself as the brand behind the brands that make smart appliances for your kitchen. “We’ll be the ingredient brand,” says CEO Kevin Brown, with other companies adding its technology into their gear. That means, for instance, that you could see Whirlpool ovens and Samsung fridges, all connected with Innit’s smart cooking tech.

In other words, then, the company wants to be the platform that helps you throughout the entire cooking process — starting from the food you have in your fridge, helping you to prepare it and then finally cooking it in a way that delivers perfect results every time. That’s a tall order, especially considering all the variables involved, including the size and shape of different foods and the fact that not everyone knows how to cook. But thanks to some machine learning smarts and a variety of high-tech sensors, Innit believes its system is up to the task.

It all starts with food storage. Using cameras and sensors, Innit is able to show you exactly what you have in your fridge, with the help of a companion app. From there, you can select specific items on the fridge shelves to get more information about them. In a demo, Brown tapped on a picture of a carton of milk, and the app immediately called up its nutritional value as well as its expiration date. Basically, it’s facial recognition, but for food.

Alongside that information you’ll also find a list of related recipes, so you can start planning your dinner while you’re in the office. Need some carrots? Running low on chicken stock? Innit would be smart enough to let you know what’s missing so you can pick them up on your way home. It can even figure out what leftovers you have in the fridge, to see if you can add them to whatever recipe you’re concocting.

From there, it’s on to food prep. Innit’s test kitchen has an area set up where cameras are able to instantly recognize the food you have on a cutting board, thus bringing up any relevant recipes. We placed carrots on the board, for instance, and it immediately gave us all the recipes it knows that contain carrots. Then we added bell peppers, and it narrowed down the search results to only include recipes that have both carrots and peppers. You can also narrow down recipes by category — say, if you want just poultry or meat dishes. Aside from the cameras, Innit also positioned a large touchscreen display above the counter. Once you find the recipe you like, you can tap it to see step-by-step directions on how to make it. If you’re confused about a particular step — how to truss a chicken, for example — Innit even provides handy video tutorials from sources such as The New York Times.

Because Innit wants to connect every single appliance in your home, you can even start cooking right as you’re looking at the recipe. So if it instructs you to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you can simply select the appropriate button and it’ll send that instruction to your WiFi-enabled oven via the connected cloud. And when you do put the prepped chicken into the oven, it’ll know exactly how long to cook it for. This is especially true if the oven is equipped with sensors that can detect just how large a chicken is, for example, and is able to calibrate the thermodynamics so that the white meat is done right at the same time as the dark meat.

The company’s test kitchen did have several such smart ovens, but they’re only prototypes. “We just invented this hardware to train our cloud and develop techniques,” says Brown. “We don’t actually want to bend sheet metal.” The idea here is that Innit would bring these ideas and concepts to a manufacturer like Samsung or GE, and they’d be able to incorporate those sensors into their own line of connected appliances. In other words, the smart ovens in the lab won’t actually be available for sale.

We tried our hand at “cooking” one of these smart recipes, which looked like a basic rack of ribs. The rack was dressed in oil, salt and pepper, per the instructions. Then we placed it in one of the aforementioned smart ovens, and simply pressed a button. I didn’t have to set the temperature or a timer at all. It went into cook mode immediately, only prompting us to flip the ribs over after about 15 minutes. Forty or so minutes later, the ribs were done. They were delicious.

Of course, the technology is still in a prototype stage and there’s no telling how well it would work in a real-life kitchen. Right now, the only recipes Innit has in its library are sourced from Bon Appetit, Good Housekeeping and Epicurious. Those are great, but as someone who likes to experiment with recipes from a dozen different sources, I find the list limiting. It’s also definitely targeted at those who are willing to invest in the latest connected appliances; your decade-old stove probably won’t be Innit compatible. There’s also not yet a way for you to incorporate your own smart gadgets into the Innit system. So if you already have a WiFi-connected sous vide cooker, for example, you’re on your own.

Still, it’s early days yet. Innit is still collecting data and gathering information to train its platform and has been busy pitching its idea to the big kitchen manufacturers. It isn’t ready to announce any partners right now, but Innit tells us that consumer trials are set to begin later this year, with the first compatible products to become available sometime in 2017.

If this all sounds intriguing to you and you happen to live in New York City, you can actually check out a demonstration of the technology for yourself. Innit will be doing a demo of its connected kitchen later today at a new location of Pirch, the luxury home retailer, in Manhattan’s SoHo district.

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19
May

Google’s Android-powered VR platform supports Unreal games


Yesterday during Google’s annual I/O keynote, the company made a point of mentioning that Electronic Arts and Ubisoft — two of the biggest third-party game studios — were working on projects for Google’s new virtual reality platform, Daydream. Now the company is ready to announce another: Epic Games. The latest version of the company’s powerful and ubiquitous game-design toolset, Unreal Engine 4, is coming to Google’s next-gen mobile VR system. For developers it ensures easy porting of existing apps to Daydream with little extra work required. For consumers, it means higher-quality mobile VR experiences, and maybe more of them too.

The plugin is a joint effort between Epic, Google and Hardsuit Labs, according to Epic’s VR and augmented reality technical director Nick Whiting. To show off the progress the Unreal team has made so far, Epic has created an app currently dubbed Dungeon that takes full advantage of what is perhaps Daydream’s most important feature: its motion-sensing, Wiimote-like controller.

“We’re making Dungeon a tech demo like we did with Showdown and Bullet Train to kind of feel out the platform, figure out how far we can push the visuals and kind of experiment using the motion controller,” Whiting says. At its most basic level, Dungeon is a fantasy role-playing game where you’re casting fireballs at spiders with a wand, drinking various potions and eating apples bite-by-bite to regain health. As the working title suggests, this all takes place in the bowels of a medieval castle.

Whiting adds that Daydream’s input device is the first three-degrees-of-freedom (up and down, left and right, forward and backward) controller Epic has encountered, so Dungeon acts as a way to establish a set of standards for the nascent platform — much like Showdown did for head tracking on early Oculus Rift prototypes, and Bullet Train did for the Oculus Touch controllers.

“We’re figuring out the best practices and ways to fool your brain into thinking you’ve got a full arm [in virtual reality] even though it’s not positionally tracking,” he says. The relatively simple remote is a stark contrast to something like the the Oculus Touch controllers or HTC Vive’s input devices, which offer full 3D input recognition and more buttons.

It has to be simpler, though, considering those other controllers work with hardware that’s considerably more powerful than the smartphone in your pocket. But, thanks to the previous work Epic has put into Unreal Engine 4 with other motion controllers, things are progressing quickly. In fact, Dungeon is the result of just one developer, environmental artist Shane Caudle, working on the project with pre-made assets pulled from the Unreal online marketplace. Based on the video embedded above, it already looks impressive.

What’s more, starting today, applications developed in Unreal Engine 4 will join the some 50 million mobile VR apps currently on Google Cardboard. “If you enable this plugin and deploy your app, and it’s not [running] on a Daydream qualified device,” Whiting says, “it’ll fall back to basically Cardboard-level support.”

That’s pretty important considering that the number of Cardboard-ready devices is still going to outnumber Daydream-certified ones for quite some time. “A lot of people developed applications [in Unreal Engine 4] and wanted to deploy on Cardboard,” Whiting says. “This opens up the door to that.”

The free Unreal Engine 4 plugin is available to download now from GitHub.

19
May

Chime Banking Now Supports Apple Pay


Chime Banking, a smartphone-based banking company, announced today that it now supports Apple Pay in the U.S. for both in-store and in-app payments.

Chime Visa debit cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping the “Add Credit or Debit Card” option in the Wallet app on iOS 8.1 or later on compatible iPhones.

Chime Banking is an app that provides over 75,000 customers with FDIC-insured spending and savings accounts that are managed entirely from a smartphone.

The benefits of creating a Chime Banking account include no minimum or monthly fees, no overdrafts, personalized rewards, savings mechanisms, two-factor authentication, and no-fee ATM access at over 24,000 MoneyPass locations.

Chime Banking has no physical locations, so direct deposits and bills can be set up or paid using your Chime card number, by providing your routing and account number to the payee, or by mailing a check from the app.

Chime Banking is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and Apple Watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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19
May

OWC’s Entire SSD Lineup for Mac Now Supports Boot Camp


OWC announced today that it has released new software drivers that expand Boot Camp support to its entire SSD lineup.

The “Dual Boot Enablers” are available as free downloads on OWC’s website for multiple previously unsupported SSDs, including the OWC Aura SSD for Mid-2013 and later MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro models, OWC Aura SSD for the 2013 or newer Mac Pro, and the Mercury Accelsior S and Mercury Accelsior E2.

Boot Camp enables Mac users to partition their SSDs or hard drives and install Windows directly on the machine, allowing for OS X and Windows to be run side by side. It differs from virtualization software like Parallels and VMware Fusion, which allow Windows to run within OS X itself as essentially a desktop app.

OWC’s Dual Boot Enabler can be installed on Macs running OS X 10.6.8 or later.

Tags: Boot Camp, OWC
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19
May

These new Google products work with your iPhone, too – CNET


It’s hard to care about Google I/O when you own an iPhone.

But it turns out that more than one new product announced at the conference supports iOS. A handful of Google’s new apps and products will work with your iPhone when they come out later this year.

Here’s the rundown of what new Google apps and products will — and won’t — work with your iPhone.

What will work?

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Duo

You’re an iPhone owner, so you know what Facetime is — and that’s basically Duo. Duo is a standalone video-chatting app that you’ll be able to download for iOS later this year.

Why would you want it if you have Facetime? For one, you’ll be able to video-chat with anyone who has the app (not just iOS users). Google also promised that, even if your connection is spotty, the call won’t drop. (I’m looking at you, Skype.)

But the biggest difference is a creepy little feature called Knock Knock. When someone calls you with Duo, you’ll be able to see their video feed even before you answer the call. If Knock Knock is designed to make me less likely to ignore my parents’ calls, it’ll work. You win, Google.

Allo

If Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and OK Google had a baby, Allo would be it. The messaging app will be available for iOS, so you can send disappearing messages while booking dinner reservations with your friends, no matter what device they’re on.

The app does a lot, so if I end up downloading it, it’s likely something I’d use instead of — not in addition to — Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Now all I have to do is get my friends on board.

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Android Wear

Android Wear — Google’s operating system for smartwatches — got a huge upgrade. Watches running the new software will be able to function without being connected to a phone. And it’ll work for Android watches paired with an iPhone, too.

That means you can do things like play music, make calls, track your fitness, and send messages when you leave your phone behind. It works by having the watch connect to Wi-Fi independently and downloading apps to the watch itself, instead of relying on your phone’s connection.

The Apple Watch has seen some success, but there are a few things that are hard to get past — the lack of design options (where’s my round Apple Watch?), the cluttered interface, and its lagginess. Android Wear’s better support for iOS is very much welcome.

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Google Home

If you’ve ever used OK, Google, you know how fast and helpful the personal assistant is. Today Google announced it’s building that assistant into a hub called Google Home, and if you have an iPhone, you’ll likely be able to enjoy most of its features, too.

Since Google’s voice assistant — Google Now — already works with iPhone, commands like playing music and controlling smart-home devices should work no matter what device you have.

Google hasn’t yet detailed its iPhone compatibility plans, but it’s likely that phone-dependent commands — like sending text messages and making calls — will work only with Android. That is, unless you’re using Allo or Duo.

What won’t work?

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Daydream, Google’s VR platform

If you want to use Google’s new VR experience, Daydream, you’ll need an Android phone. And not just any Android phone — you’ll need a device specifically designed to work with Daydream, since Google requires hardware manufacturers to build their phones around certain specifications.

Until Daydream supports iPhone (or the other way around), Cardboard will still be your BFF.

googlegifassistant.gifgooglegifassistant.gif

Google Assistant

Add Google to the growing list of chatbot makers. Google Assistant is a tool that lets you have a back-and-forth conversation with a virtual assistant, so you can do more than just ask questions. But according to a Google spokesperson, Google hasn’t yet detailed its plans for how it’ll work on iOS.

In the meantime, Google Now and OK, Google voice search will still work on iOS (in the Google Search app) and aren’t going to be replaced by Google Assistant just yet.

19
May

6 rules to save money on air conditioning this summer – CNET


tado-cooling-box-app-room.jpg

Programmable thermostats turn on your AC for you.


Tado

Running the air conditioning can make an electricity bill skyrocket, but the alternative isn’t very pretty, either. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can help your air conditioner run better and save you money as the summer months progress.

1. Quit cooling the neighborhood

If your home isn’t brand new, the cold air inside it is probably seeping out into the neighborhood through worn door and window seals, a poorly insulated attic and other sneaky cracks.

To see how well your home is holding in the cold, sign up for a home energy audit with your utility provider or a local contractor. A certified home energy rater or auditor will check your home for leaks and recommend the best way to make your home more energy efficient.

Don’t want to spring for an audit? Do a mini-audit yourself. Stand outside your home and run your hand along windows and doors. Can you feel the cold air escaping? If you do, caulk around leaky windows and add insulation around doors.

2. Make sure your thermostat is on the right wall

Thermostat placement can play a big part in how well your air conditioner works. If you put it on a wall right next to a hot window, for instance, your air conditioner will kick on much more often than it needs to because it will think the room is hotter than it actually is. Here’s how to pick the perfect wall for your thermostat.

3. Close the blinds

A window letting in the hot sun won’t just heat up your thermostat, it’ll heat you up too. During the warmest part of the day, close your window blinds. Closing the blinds keeps out the sun. It can also help insulate your windows, which stops the cold air from escaping.

4. Use a fan

Sometimes you don’t need to amp up the thermostat to feel cooler. According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), using a ceiling fan can make a room feel 10 degrees cooler and uses 10 percent of the energy of a central air conditioner.

If you want to get high-tech, you can install smart ceiling fans that connect to an app. You can schedule the times when these fans turn on and off, and you can control their speed without standing on your tiptoes.

5. Leave the AC running

Ways to keep cool this summer
  • How to keep your car cool on hot days
  • DIY: Install a cooling fan in your media cabinet
  • These smart thermostats steal the heating and cooling spotlight

Many people think that shutting off the air conditioner when you leave the house saves money. This is a myth. NRDC senior energy policy advocate Lauren Urbanek says that the most inexpensive way to use your air conditioner is to turn the thermostat up, not off, when you leave the house.

Air conditioning systems operate most efficiently at full speed during longer periods of time. So kicking it on a lower temperature when you get home will save you more money than the AC cycling on and off while you’re away.

A programmable thermostat can make it super easy to keep your AC at the right temperature. You can program the unit to work at higher temperatures while you’re at work and cool down right before you get home.

6. Setting low is a no-go

Always set your thermostat to the highest temperature you can stand to save the most money. Even a little change in the temperature can save you big bucks.

You can save 10 percent a year on your cooling bills by setting your thermostat just 10 to 15 degrees higher for eight hours each day, according to the Nebraska Energy Office. The US Department of Energy recommends aiming for an indoor temperature of 78 degrees F when you’re at home.

19
May

Vodafone customers can charge Google Play apps to their bills, with 90% off


Vodafone has made it more simple for its customers to purchase apps and content from Google Play, with its Charge to Bill service.

Android device owners can pay for items on Google Play by charging them to their monthly bill. What’s more, to celebrate the new service, Vodafone is offering 90 per cent discounts on a number of apps and games on the Google Play store.

Just type “VodafoneApps” on your Android device in the redeem menu on the specific store page.

Vodafone customers on monthly price plans and those who pay as they go can purchase items on Google Play with Charge to Bill. The latter will pay through any prepaid credit on their account.

READ: Your Vodafone mobile now works in 40 countries for free

Those who want to pay through their bills just need to choose the “Vodafone Charge to Bill” option on the Google Play checkout. You will need to register for the service first.

“We are delighted that our Charge to Bill service now includes Google Play Store, which joins a range of leading content providers such as Spotify Premium, Sky Sports Mobile TV, Sony Playstation and Facebook as well as Vodafone’s own breaking news and sport alert services,” said David James, head of commercial marketing at the network.

19
May

Roberts Radio S2 review: Singling out Sonos?


The Roberts Radio S2 – which is part of a whole new series of R-Line multi-room speakers – is one of the first products from everyone’s favourite DAB radio maker. Alongside Pure Digital, anyway.

At £279 the S2 is a good deal more affordable than the Sonos Play 5 – the original multi-room company, which is now fighting harder than ever against the stacks of competitors – even though the Roberts can push out a similar volume of bass and raw power.

There are a few things that could be improved in a second-wave model, but as a first attempt the S2 is a good attempt – and one that’s not scarily priced like some.

Roberts Radio S2 review: Design

That more accessible price ensures the Roberts Radio S2 is only nicely made, rather than a brick of pure luxury, though. The top plate looks like metal but is plastic, and the design is merely practical, rather than a ready-made lounge centrepiece.

Pocket-lint

A painted metal grille snakes around the sides of the Roberts Radio S2, the metal-effect plastic top and bottom end caps holding the thing together. It’s a grown-up looking box, even if the R-line series logo looks a bit like it was nicked from a Honda Civic Type R.

This sort of design is going to get you good value: low on flash, but still well-presented.

Like most units of this size, the S2 is not a portable speaker. It needs to be plugged-in the whole time. The size and weight would make it a portability no-go anyway. You’d pay £50 in excess luggage fees just to squeeze it onto your EasyJet flight.

Roberts Radio S2 review: Software and features

This is not tightly locked-in speaker. Roberts may be trying to make its own multi-room empire, but it’s a less intense one than Sonos’s. First, there’s Bluetooth streaming as well as Wi-Fi. You can also plug-in wired sources using the 3.5mm socket on the back. This is great news if you want to use the S2 to make your TV sound better.

The Roberts Radio S2 also uses an off-the-shelf wireless infrastructure rather than a bespoke one. It’s called Undok, and is used by companies trying out the multi-room market. Goodmans uses it in its surprisingly effective Heritage radios, for example.

Pocket-lint

Unlike with Sonos, with Undok you can setup a multi-brand multi-room system. Sonos isn’t going to start using it, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to buy a whole set of speakers from one brand?

The Undok software isn’t flashy, but makes setting-up the S2 a doddle. Such setups are rarely pain-free, but this one is. And if your home Wi-Fi is rubbish, you can use the Ethernet port on the back instead.

While the Undok app can be used to play any music stored over your local network, the main service we’ve been using is Spotify Connect. The Undok app has a light touch, just sending you to the Spotify app to pick your tunes.

Roberts Radio S2 review: Sound quality

The Roberts Radio S2 takes a very hands-on approach to fiddling with the sound too. There’s a switch on the back that flicks the unit between “normal” and “wide” sound, and playing just either the left or right channels.

Pocket-lint

And so to the crux: how does it sound? The S2 isn’t quite the runaway success the Sonos Play: 5 is, but it goes very loud and easily has the power to fill a mid-size lounge with party-level tunes. Much of this is down to the giant bass driver in the middle, which is matched with a passive radiator on the back to let the S2 push around even more air.

As is the norm for a radiator-based system, there is a point in sub-bass territory which the S2 just gives up, lacking a driver large enough to create the right frequencies at the right amplitude without firing a speaker cone across your living room. However, this applies to most speakers of this style, and in person the impression you get is of a little-compromise, powerful speaker with plenty of bass.

When you set the S2 to “normal” sound, the bass is dominant. Mids and treble struggle to pull focus next to the shade-throwing bass, making the sound a bit confused and messy in the lower registers. Kick drums can resonate above vocals, which just doesn’t sound good.

Flick the mode over to “wide” and the S2 gets a serious injection of treble and upper-mids, radically increasing the clarity of the sound, with just a slight knock-on effect to the tonality of the mids. Listen carefully as you can hear that extra definition does result in a slightly harder edge to the mid-range.

The treble has a smudge of zing over what’s natural also. It doesn’t make the sound hard but does have a digital-sounding edge to it. Roberts Radio may be able to improve this with DSP updates, and hopefully it will as we’ve found it quite distracting in parts of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work.

Pocket-lint

With wide mode engaged, the Roberts Radio S2 becomes a fun, detailed and generally much better-balanced sounding speaker. It has plenty of energy and the sound, appears to extend out of the sides of the unit even though all the drivers are placed on either the front or the rear.

Wide modes fixes the S2’s sound issues, in other words. If you want a lounge-ready wireless speaker for under £300, you could do a lot worse.

Verdict

The Roberts Radio S2 is one of the better mid-price, mid-size, multi-room speakers. It comfortably takes on the Ministry of Sound Audio L Plus, sounds bigger than the Sonos Play 1, and is an awful lot cheaper than the Sonos Play: 5.

It’s not a perfect speaker, however, and if we had the cash just sitting around we’d still opt for the Sonos Play: 5. But use the right mode and this Roberts delivers bags of audio that will easily fill most people’s lounges.

19
May

When is Android 7.0 N coming to my phone?


Every year a major update to Android is released. This year’s update is currently known as Android N, although it will eventually get a dessert-inspired name. We don’t currently know what Android N’s final name will be, but Google is letting Joe Public get involved in Android N’s naming by submitting suggestions via Android.com/n.

It’s early days for Android N and this feature will be continually updated over the next year as we learn more information on what devices will be updated when. If you want to know what will come with the update, you can read our Android N preview with everything you need to know.

Android 7.0 N: Release date

Following the pattern of previous updates, we’d expect to see the final build of Android N early October 2016, and Google has been consistent in suggesting an Autumn or Fall release date for Android N.

Android N has been a bit different to previous versions, however, because Google released a dev beta on 9 March, with subsequent updates on 13 April and 18 May. These have been made available to Nexus devices via a simple beta programme, so many people will have had the chance to experience Android N long in advance of a final release.

With the 18 May release, Dave Burke, VP of engineering on Android, said that this release was now stable enough to use daily, so for some Nexus owners, Android N is out there and available.

Android 7.0 N update: Nexus devices

Android 6.0 Marshmallow started rolling out to older Nexus devices as soon as the final build was announced, which as we mentioned was early October 2015.

It is likely to be the same for Android N in 2016 so those with a Nexus device can not only be certain they will get the 7.0 update, but that they will get it first. If you fancy trying the beta software (accepting it isn’t final), then take a look out our feature on how to get Android N right now.

Android 7.0 N update: BlackBerry

BlackBerry is all about Android now with Priv already available and new devices rumoured for release in 2016. The BlackBerry Priv launched on Android Lollipop but it is only just being updated to Marshmallow meaning users have been waiting six months.

With a bit of luck BlackBerry will speed things up for Android N but early 2017 is probably more likely than the end of 2016.

Android 7.0 N update: HTC

HTC operates a 90-day promise for software updates and the company also says your device will be updated for two years following its release.

It has already confirmed via Twitter that Android N will be coming to the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and the HTC One M9. There was no mention of the One M8 or when the N update will arrive but if it sticks to that promise, expect Android N on HTC by the end of January 2017.

Android 7.0 N update: Huawei

Huawei began offering Android Marshmallow devices from November 2015 when it launched its Mate 8 with the software pre-loaded. This might therefore mean the company will do the same this year, launching the Mate 9 with Android N before the end of the year.

In terms of updates, it might be a couple more months before older devices see the N update but Huawei is a little quicker than others.

Android 7.0 N update: Honor

Sub-brand of Huawei, Honor, launched the Honor 7 Enhanced Edition in December 2015, offering Android Marshmallow from the box.

The Honor 5X and the standard model of the Honor 7 then both received the Marshmallow update a couple of months later around March so early 2017 for Android N is a safer bet than end of 2016.

Android 7.0 N update: LG

LG was one of the first manufacturers to deliver the Marshmallow update, with G4 users in Poland getting it from mid-October 2015. The main push for Europe then came in November 2015, continuing to March 2016 when the G3 received the Marshmallow update.

With this in mind, chances are LG G5 owners will see an Android N update within a couple of months of the final build release, perhaps before 2016 is out. Users with older handsets like the LG G4 may have to wait a few more months but early 2017 is plausible based on this year’s update schedule.

Android 7.0 N update: Motorola

Motorola devices receive Android updates a lot faster than some other devices thanks to the minimal additions Motorola puts over the top of the raw Android software.

The Android Marshmallow update schedule for Moto started in December 2015 so we would expect similar for the newest Moto handsets when it comes to Android N. Aside from Nexus devices, Motorola handsets are likely to be some of the first to receive the 7.0 update.

Android 7.0 N update: OnePlus

OnePlus hasn’t been the fastest at updating its devices to Marshmallow. In fact, at the time of writing, the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X were all still waiting for the update.

Based on this, we wouldn’t expect Android N to hit the OnePlus 2 or rumoured OnePlus 3 until later in 2017 than other devices. They will be some of the last to receive Marshmallow but perhaps that won’t the the case for Android N.

Android 7.0 N update: Samsung

Samsung phased a roll-out for the Marshmallow update, with some devices receiving it in South Korea at the end of January 2016. Other regions and devices had to wait a little longer with updates still being pushed in March 2016.

The company was rolling out updates for Lollipop 31 days after its release though so hopefully Android N will be a little quicker than Marshmallow has been. Regions and networks play a role too so it isn’t just down to Samsung to get things ready for the next update.

Android 7.0 N update: Sony Xperia

Sony started rolling out Marshmallow updates from the beginning of March 2016 but there are still a couple of devices waiting for the update, even if they are the older ones.

We’d expect a similar timeline for the Android N update so don’t expect to see Android 7.0 on your Sony device until a few months into 2017.

19
May

Millions of LinkedIn passwords stolen in 2012 surface online


You’ve probably already forgotten that LinkedIn was hacked back in 2012, but you could still be affected by that four-year-old security breach. According to Motherboard, someone going by the name “Peace” is selling (if he hasn’t sold them yet) 117 million LinkedIn username and password combos on a dark web marketplace for 5 Bitcoins or around $2,300. When the attack was first discovered, only 6.5 million users’ details were leaked — this dump reveals that the breach was much, much bigger. In fact, a hacked data search engine told Motherboard that the database Peace listed contains 167 million accounts. It’s just that only 117 million have both usernames and passwords.

Just like the 6.5 million passwords leaked in 2012, the ones in this batch are unsalted SHA-1 hashes. That means they’re easier to crack, because they lack “salt” or the random data attached to encrypted passwords that make them harder to decode. LinkedIn has confirmed in a blog post — where it also encouraged people to enable two-step verification — that the combinations being sold were part of the data stolen four years ago. The company has started invalidating passwords created before 2012, so you might receive a note to change yours if you’ve been a user for quite some time.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: LinkedIn, Motherboard

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