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8
Oct

Polar M600 review: Top-notch smartwatch and fitness tracker fusion


The explosion of smartwatches and fitness trackers has thrown up some real gems and thrown down some real turds, leaving us all to step carefully when choosing a new device. Polar is an established name in fitness devices, one of the oldest, perhaps, when dealing with heart rate monitoring.

A widening portfolio from Polar has seen the birth of more lifestyle devices in the A family and stepping up in functions across the M (sport) and V (pro) devices, with a gradual increase in wider connectivity across the brand’s offerings.

The M600 is a rethinking, adopting a proper smartwatch platform and offering those fitness tracker functions the company is known for combined with a lot more on the watch side than you’d normally get. The result is one of the most considered sports devices we’ve seen and certainly one of the best Android Wear devices to date.

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Polar M600 review: Design and build

The Polar M600 mates the body module with a rubber strap and, like the TomTom Spark, the body slots into the strap meaning the two sections can be easily separated when you want to clean them.

The design looks a lot like previous Polar watches, although it’s pretty thick, meaning you need enough wrist for it to sit on. If you’re of the thin forearm variety you might think it’s too big, but we found it sat well on an average male arm. The chunkiness gives it some substance and it looks good, both from a sports point of view and as a smartwatch.

Compared to other Android Wear devices, Polar’s watch-making experience is apparent, as this is much nicer than something like the Moto 360 Sport and looks better and wears better than that previous attempt. As with other Polar devices the screen is square fitting Polar’s family design.

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On to the more serious stuff. There’s proper waterproofing with an IPX8 rating so it supports swimming, the screen is protected with Gorilla Glass to avoid scratches and the metal detailing that frames the display left and right gives a premium look. There’s the choice of black or white, although we’d like to see a choice of strap colours to give the design wider appeal.

The rubber strap is easy to adjust and uses a conventional two pronged buckle, with two bands to stop the spare strap catching on things. Most importantly, the M600 is comfortable to wear and sweat through, and weighing 65g, it’s not too heavy either.

Polar M600 review: Sports features first

Designed as a sports watch first, there are two buttons. The first button to the left side is the standard Android Wear button, letting you go home, wake the display or long press to access the menu.

The second button on the front takes you straight to the sports side, opening the Polar app. This is very much sports territory and we really like that Polar hasn’t been distracted by Android Wear: it’s taken the platform and owned it, rather than skipping around Google’s fancy smartwatch features.

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The hardware tells a similar story. With an optical heart rate sensor onboard and its own GPS you’re ready to run out the door and leave your smartphone at home. There is no compass or barometer, however, so direction and elevation is based on GPS. There’s also support for accessories, so if you have an H7 Polar chest strap, you’ll get the option of using that, which might be the preferred option for cyclists.

One of the skills that Polar does adopt from Android Wear is the support for Bluetooth headphones and local storage for your music, meaning you can take your music with you on the run, again without your phone. TomTom Spark 3 offers this, as does Apple Watch 2, and it’s a feature that is sure to be popular.

The great thing is that this full feature set, supported by this hardware, makes for a great fitness device, before you even touch the smartwatch side of things. 

Polar M600 review: Hardware specs and display

The Polar M600 is powered by a MediaTek chipset with 512MB RAM and a standard 4GB of storage. The battery is 500mAh which is pretty good for this type of device and explains the thickness.

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There’s a 1.3-inch display on the front with a 240 x 240 pixel resolution. This isn’t the largest or sharpest Android Wear watch display, but as we said, the screen fits and we found it a good size for reading on the move. It supports always on functions, dimming in normal wear and brightening up when you move the watch to look at.

As an LCD this is a backlit full colour display so it’s illuminated, rather than using the lower power displays that some other sports watches offer. It looks great, which adds to the appeal, but does draw more heavily on the battery than the mono TomTom or Garmin displays, for example. It does have an ambient light sensor, however, so adjusts to the lighting conditions around you.

Polar M600 review: Battery life and charging

The 500mAh battery will give you about 2 days of use when connected to an Android device, including exercise time. You might be able to push it to a little more in casual wear. We’ve not tested the Polar M600 with an iPhone, but reports suggest this drops to about a day with Apple’s phone. In reality, the Android Wear experience is much enhanced when paired with an Android phone and at least you have the option, unlike the Apple Watch.

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Two days is good for Android Wear devices, but it does mean regular charging compared to many other sports watches which will often give you perhaps 5 active days or more – but without really offering any smart functions.

That’s the trade-off here: the Polar M600 doesn’t have great endurance in sporting terms, but it offers a whole lot more in terms of functionality, meaning it does a lot more than just tell you the time when you’re walking around. 

Charging is via the magnetic connection point on the rear and over the past weeks that we’ve been using the M600, we’ve typically opted to charge every other day without it running flat. The charger neatly attaches to the rear of the watch without needing to clip anything on or fiddle around.

Polar M600 review: Setup and connections

To get the M600 up and running you need two things: the Android Wear app and the Polar Flow app on your phone. The first handles the connection to your phone, the second syncs with your Polar account and syncs the data from your watch.

Using Android Wear on an Android smartphone makes for a fast and easy connection as the devices are designed for seamless cooperation. Once you’re connected, you can use the Android Wear app to control many of the smartwatch functions, like deciding what notifications you want from your M600 and so on.

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The Android Wear app will also then sync your apps, so anything you have on your device that’s compatible with Wear will then move over – like Spotify, Play Music, Citymapper and even other fitness apps if you want to use them. 

The Polar Flow app then handles everything else. This is where you’ll view your stats and be able to get a good look at your activities you record using the M600. We like the Polar Flow app. It’s very much a lifestyle app on your phone, firstly delivering a report on your daily activities, but it lets you dive into your runs, check out your heart rate and pace from an activity as well as your route and other essential details. 

Taking things further, the Polar Flow app has a calendar in it too where you can schedule workouts, meaning you can tap the watch and dive into the workout that you’ve planned. If you’re training against a plan, it means you’ve got the information on your wrist, ready to get going. You can setup intervals, distance or time targets. You can also sync Polar training results and targets into your Google Calendar if you want and share the data with a couple of other services – Strava and Training Peaks.

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Information is synced from the app to the web version of Polar Flow which includes a few more options and has more in-depth information. However, you don’t have to use the browser at all during setup: you can connect the Polar M600 to your phone and do everything there, without having to use a PC.

There are a couple of bespoke Polar watch faces that will show you daily activity, so you can see where you are with your target at a glance, which help boost the fitness tracker side of the M600.

Polar M600 review: 24/7 activity monitoring

Before we get to actual sports tracking, the M600 wants to monitor what you’re doing all the time. We mentioned that the Polar Flow has a lifestyle approach and this is has, breaking down your day into sleep, resting, sitting, low, medium or high activity.

With this in mind, you’re presented with your progress through your day on the watch face. One of the elements of this is steps, which we feel is a little too enthusiastic about awarding you a “step”. It’s a hard thing to measure, as when we measured physical steps, the results seemed accurate enough, but in an average day in the office, we seemed to accrue many more steps through other movements.

Compared to Fitbit tracking, for example, it’s a lot easier to hit your step target with the M600, suggesting that it’s a lot more sensitive to movement than it perhaps should be. Steps isn’t really an absolute measure, however, so if it’s steps you’re interested in, this probably isn’t the device for you.

If you’re inactive for too long you’ll get inactivity alerts and these aren’t just reminders to move, they get logged in Polar Flow, so you’ll feel the enduring shame. If that’s not a motivator, we don’t know what is.

One of the nice aspects of Polar Flow is that it reports on your day, week and month assessing your activity and telling you what difference that has made to your life.

Polar M600 review: Running and sports functions

Press that button on the front and the Polar app opens on the M600. There are two sections, one to check your daily activity in more detail and the second to start recording a sport.

Polar gives you freedom to choose your sport profiles to suit the activities. For many this will be running, cycling or swimming, but there’s a full range of sports to choose from, like badminton, dance, football or plain old walking, for example. That’s great, because you don’t have to compromise on categorising your activity. Want to record your dog walking? No problem. Want to record your Friday rowing session? No problem.

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For outdoor sports you have GPS tracking, so there are different profiles for pool and open water swimming for example, which we really like and you only have to have the sports on your watch that you actually need. Don’t want “other outdoor”? You can remove it. Head into the Polar Flow website and you get to customise your sports profiles further, changing the information you see on your watch, which it really clever.

Once you’ve selected your activity, the watch sensors fire up, looking for GPS and turning on the optical heart rate sensor on the rear. You can start the activity immediately, or wait for those things sensors to lock on, but again, with time being precious, it’s sometimes good to get going without having to wait.

We’ve found the GPS to lock on quickly, however, so there’s never really been too much of a delay in getting started. 

During your sport, you’re presented with a number of screens with relevant information, based on the activity you’re doing. For running you get a main screen that’s similar to Polar’s other devices, like the V800. The M600 has the advantage of colour, so as you move through different heart rate zones, the colour of the HR readout will change too, for at-a-glance information. There’s also clear indiction of pace and distance when running.

Swimming isn’t as well served as it could be, with pool swimming lacking the option to detect lengths automatically like the Apple Watch 2 does. That leaves you with heart rate tracking and time, which is good enough. We also found that the flow of the water was able to swipe through screens, so we’d often stop a set in the pool with something different on the display.

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With Android Wear automatically dimming the display, Polar has added the option to have the display always on. This means you can glance and see the stats without having to touch and avoids the problem of not being able to view the screen without an over exaggerated gesture. That will eat more battery, but if you’re busting a gut trying to beat your 10k PB run, you won’t care, you’ll just need to keep an easy eye on your pace.

If there was one thing we’d want to boost the watch’s sporting credentials, it’s another button. We’d love a start/stop button, rather than having to use the display, but that’s a minor thing. There’s also no automatic detection for your activities, but sitting closer to a serious running watch we think that’s fine: it will differentiate between activity levels in the daily tracking anyway, so there’s no harm in selecting the sport you’re doing for detailed tracking.

One of the great things is that the Polar Flow website provides a lot more information than you’ll find on other platforms. It will give you an overview of your running progress, it will estimate how much fatigue you might be carrying over from earlier workouts as a guide to whether you’re over or under training. You can also sign-up to training programmes, meaning there’s a lot on offer, beyond your actual running stats.

Polar M600 review: GPS and heart rate performance

There’s a wide degree of variation in performance with the latest crop of sports gadgets, something that’s seen widespread reporting about accuracy. The Polar M600 performs well in tracking via GPS, with some really accurate route tracking and good distance recording.

Polar has put six LEDs in the optical heart rate sensor on the back of the M600, aiming to ensure it’s as accurate as it can be. Naturally, using the optional chest strap will give better results, but wrist measurement is all about convenience. The M600 performs fairly well, but we have seen some inconsistent HR results at times.

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We’ve seen a fairly slow start at times, with the first 10 minutes or so seeing a slow build-up of heart rate, not quite reflecting the real rate increase. We’ve also had some runs where the watch would occasionally show a blank result, as though it wasn’t recording, but it was. On checking the results afterwards, there’s no sign of drop-out. 

To verify what was happening, we tested it against a Garmin Forerunner 610 with chest strap. The Garmin was faster to respond to rate changes, more accurately reflecting the build-up of heart rate at the start of the run, as well as responding faster to some sprint sections we threw in. However, at the end of the run, both showed an average of 152bpm and both showed the same distance covered and same average pace.

So, although there are some anomalies with the results, that overall doesn’t have a huge impact on the bigger picture of runs when using the Polar M600. Outside of running we’ve found it to deliver some good results and we’re impressed it manages to offer a consistent result when swimming, for example. 

Polar M600 review: A full Android Wear experience

That’s where most sports devices would reach the limit of their functionality, but sitting on the Android Wear platform, the Polar M600 offers a whole lot more.

You get a full range of alerts and notifications and if you have an Android smartphone, this really is a first class offering, especially compared to the arrangement on some other sports devices. It’s something that’s offered by other Polar watches and some Garmin devices, but here you’re supported by the Android community for your functionality, not just Polar.

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We’ve mentioned apps and one of the aspects that the M600 gets from Android Wear is Bluetooth headphone and music support. You can connect any Bluetooth headphones you like, but music support is limited to Google’s Play Music service and you have to download and sync that from your phone, which is a bit of a faff so it’s worth only syncing music for running, but we love not having to carry that vintage iPod on the run. 

Expanding out into other Android Wear highlights, you have Google Maps for navigation while you’re connected to your phone, support for Ok Google voice controls, so you can speak replies to messages and so on. Then you have all the fun stuff, like being able to pause your Spotify music from your watch, controlling Netflix over your Chromecast, or getting Citymapper directions right on your wrist. 

Although Android Wear has a bad rep from lacklustre early devices, the Polar M600 isn’t one of them. This is a sports watch that benefits from a huge range of extra functions enabled by Android Wear, resulting in something fun and functional. In many ways, the Polar M600 is currently without compare.

Verdict

The Polar M600 is a fusion of smartwatch and sports device. It takes Android’s platform and laces in sports and fitness tracking functions, but maintains a balance that some devices don’t manage. It succeeds in being both where others have failed. It feels like a proper Polar sports watch, boosted by the best of Android Wear.

For an Android smartphone user, this is a device that’s worth serious consideration. If you’ve been put off by Android Wear so far, this is how to do Android Wear right. It’s not about bland presentation, it’s about underpinning something more exciting. In this case, it’s a fully-featured activity watch, especially good for running, that barely feels like Android Wear at all.

The Polar M600 is currently rather unique. It’s not only an effective sports partner, it’s a great smartwatch too.

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8
Oct

Sony’s RX100 V camera makes a strong first impression


With the introduction of its RX100 series in 2012, Sony raised the bar for point-and-shoot cameras. As such, it’s no surprise that the latest model can do things like capture JPEG and RAW photos at a mind-boggling 24 frames per second. The RX100 V is all about speed, driven by a 20.1-megapixel 1-inch sensor and an autofocus system that, according to Sony, meets and exceeds the requirements of any professional photographer. That may be a marketing hyperbole, but I did shoot with the RX100 V last night and the results are impressive. Especially for a camera that fits in my pocket.

I’ll hold off on making any final judgements until Sony sends a review unit to Engadget HQ. But, for now, I can tell you that the RX100 V’s burst shooting mode is as good as it seems on paper. And you can’t help but crack a smile when you listen to that shutter fire shot after shot in quick succession. The sample images we have here were taken at a studio in New York City, which Sony decked with different performers for members of the media to use as subjects.

We’ll have more on the RX100 V soon. Stay tuned.

To view our sample images in full resolution, click here.

8
Oct

Recommended Reading: Behind the scenes of Google’s Pixel phones


Behind the Pixel:
Google’s First Real
Threat to Apple’s iPhone

Mark Gurman,
Bloomberg

Before Google’s Pixel event had even started on Tuesday, Bloomberg already posted a behind-the-scenes article on how the phones were made. There’s some solid perspective to complement all of the news and analysis you’ve likely already read, so this is certainly worth as you settle in for a relaxing weekend.

Not Another Fembot
Kate Knibbs, The Ringer

HBO’s new series Westworld does more than just rehash the same ol’ female AI or fembot tropes we typically see in movies and television. And doing so made the characters much more interesting.

The Human Remembering Machine
Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

Scientists have developed a new mathematical model to better understand how human memory works. Their findings could have wide-reaching implications for how computer systems store information.

Making a Big Budget Video Game Is Riskier and Harder Than Ever. So Why Do It?
Emanuel Maiberg, Motherboard

Gears of War 4 debuts next week and while the reviews are in, Motherboard offers some perspective on why pricey games are such a risk and what it takes to make one.

Not OK, Google
Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Google’s new Pixel phones, WiFi routers and Home hub will give the company more access to your life than ever before. Google Assistant seems handy enough on paper, but what are the trade-offs in terms of privacy?

8
Oct

Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi System review – CNET


The Good The Orbi Wi-Fi system conveniently delivers large Wi-Fi coverage without compromising speed. The system doesn’t require an account with Netgear to work.

The Bad The system is expensive, and there’s no mobile app for its setup process.

The Bottom Line The high cost aside, the Orbi System is a sure and easy way to cover a relatively large home with high-speed Wi-Fi coverage.

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The Orbi Wi-Fi system comes with a router (left) and an add-on satellite unit.

Dong Ngo/CNET

The Netgear Orbi is the second Wi-Fi system I’ve worked with and, at a glance, it seems similar to the first, the Eero.

At the very least, the Orbi also has multiple hardware units and it’s expensive as well, costing $400 for a set of two and an additional unit will cost another $250. But while both solutions can quickly blanket your home with Wi-Fi, the Orbi has the advantage of much better speed.

Dedicated extension band

With the Eero, each unit in the system is identical. Netgear went in a slightly different direction however. The Orbi includes two similar-looking devices, each with a different role. Unit one is the Orbi router. It has one WAN (to connect to the internet) and three LAN (where your computers connect to your local network) ports. This is your router of the group and functions mostly like any other, as it’s able to stand on its own as your main router.

The second unit is the Orbi add-on satellite. This unit works as the wireless extender of the Orbi router and can also host up to four wired devices via its four LAN ports. It can only work with the Orbi router, and each Orbi router can handle up to three of these add-on units.

What makes the Orbi different from other Wi-Fi systems is that the add-on wireless extender connects to the main router using a dedicated Wi-Fi band.

Other Wi-Fi extenders (including the Eero) use the same bands as the routers they’re extending to receive and rebroadcast Wi-Fi signals — resulting in a 50 percent signal loss each time the signal is wirelessly extended. The Orbi system, on the other hand, uses a separate quad-stream 5Ghz band — with a top speed of 1.7Gbps — to connect the main router and the satellite unit. This band can’t be managed by end-users and is totally separate from the other two bands the system uses to connect to wireless clients.

So what does this mean? It means that as long as you use just a single extender with the router, you won’t experience any signal loss, since the router and extender are connected via their own dedicated band. The additional client bands — 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz — of the router are used solely to connect your devices to the network and (by extension) the internet.

In a typical home, the service line (cable, DSL etc.) almost always enters the property at a corner. That’s where you’ll want to place the Orbi router, then put the satellite in the middle of your home, which should net you a signal everywhere. In my trial, for a 3,000 square-foot home, the Orbi system — one router and one add-on extender unit — was able to cover every corner.

Setup and configuration

Setting up the Orbi system is fairly easy. First you connect the main Orbi router to an internet source like a broadband modem and turn it on. After that, place the add-on satellite unit at a distance from the main router, then turn it on and you’re done. The two are preconfigured to work together, and the satellite will automatically replicate the Wi-Fi settings of the main router. The only tricky part is finding the right distance to place the add-on unit. Place it too far and there’s not much signal to extend; too close, and you won’t get the optimal Wi-Fi coverage, possibly missing some parts of your house.

8
Oct

ICYMI: Get your makeup done in minutes


ICYMI: Get your makeup done in minutes
Today on In Case You Missed It: Panasonic is channeling a wonderful Jetson’s future by first using a mirror to determine your skin’s flaws, then printing out foundation and concealer within minutes, that can be smoothed onto the skin. It is a prototype system so far, which they just displayed at a Japanese tech show. Also at CEATEC, Honda unveiled its concept micro-commuter car that is 3D printed and can be customized depending on the owners’ needs, like requiring a hatchback or lower doors than standard models.

We’re also quite impressed with the Carnegie Mellon robot that has only one moving part, video of it in-action is here.

There are a number of interesting tech stories from this week but the biggest need to know is the Yahoo user data story. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

8
Oct

The Google Pixel is IP53 certified — here’s what that means


pixel-pixel-xl-11.jpg?itok=k_ZntF2r

Phones don’t make good dive buddies. But it’s important to know what those certification numbers mean.

One spec you won’t find on the sheet for the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL is their IP53 certification. Google has confirmed that like the HTC 10 that they resemble, both Pixel phones are indeed tested and rated with an ingress protection score. Let’s have a look at what that really means.

Your new Pixel won’t be waterproof. Not even a little bit.

IP certification is all the rage recently. Not too long ago you had to look for a clumsy phone in a thick outer shell to gain any type of protection from the elements, but now many phones come with some level of dust and/or water protection rating. Some, like the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 7 take things a bit further and make a serious attempt to keep the environment out. We’ve compiled a full breakdown of exactly what all those letters and numbers mean so you’ll have a better understanding the next time a tech giant starts throwing them at you.

Rugged phone ratings: Everything you need to know

For now, let’s focus on that magic number 53 that was assigned to the Pixel and Pixel XL.

IP ratings are divided into two categories — dust and dirt protection is identified by the first number, and it can range from zero to six — with zero as no protection and six as completely dust-proof even under pressure. The second number is the liquid protection rating, and it’s not quite as straightforward with it’s zero to nine-K rating system. For example, six is always better than seven or eight, but sometimes seven is better than eight or vice versa. Liquid ingress protection is one of those things you need to look up unless you have to memorize it for some crazy reason. It’s also important to have the testing standards from the manufacturer handy for some of the results where parameters can vary.

  • The first number, five, means that “dust must not enter in enough quantity to affect the normal operation.” The amount of dust that can get inside the phone isn’t defined, but we’re assured enough to make things stop working normally isn’t going to happen.
  • The second number, three, means the Pixels are “Protected against spraying water when tilted up to a 60-degree angle from its normal position.” Normal velocity (not under any type of external pressure) can rain down on the phone while it’s flat and the phone can be tilted like it was in use in your hand and still not be damaged.

The worst part about dust or dirt getting inside your Pixel phone is that you have a dusty dirty phone that you’ll probably never get clean. Any parts that can’t withstand being coated in solid particles (household dust can contain decaying hair, human skin, and burnt pieces of meteorites) are inaccessible to those particles or are self-cleaning. I don’t want to think about using a dusty phone, but it’s nice to know that I could be stranded at the beach with no beverages and my phone wouldn’t die.

The IP in IP certification stands for Ingress Protection — keeping things out of your phone.

Your Pixel or Pixel is not waterproof. Being splashed or sprayed with water not under pressure and not when the phone is vertical is not even close to being able to withstand being dunked in the pool or dropped in the toilet. This is great if you’re caught out in the rain or if you spill water (that’s important — these IP ratings are for water only) at dinner, but nothing more extreme.

In any case, we don’t recommend you bury any phone in the backyard to test its dirt protection or even take your phone to the pool for some underwater shots no matter what IP rating it has received. Quite often phones fail real-world tests of these ratings, and the numbers mostly are a sort of insurance policy that would get a replacement if there was damage. For every story you read about someone taking their phone diving or livestreaming water polo, you’ll find one where the phone was damaged and had to be replaced. Replacing your phone is never fun.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands-on preview
  • In pictures: Google Pixel and Pixel XL
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Verizon is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the Google Pixels
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

Google Store
Verizon

8
Oct

Reuters: Yahoo email scanning done with a Linux kernel module


In the ever evolving saga of Yahoo’s email servers and who could peek into them, the latest nugget comes from a Reuters report that the scanning program operated at a deeper level than mail filters for porn or spam. Citing three former employees, it now says the scanning was done via a module attached to the Linux kernel itself. While the more technically-minded wondered why this method would’ve been employed at all, others like Senator Ron Wyden called for the government to release the FISA order apparently ordering the surveillance.

Under USA Freedom Act government must make any FISC opinions with novel interpretations public. My stmt: https://t.co/0Bq0EecOOP

— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) October 7, 2016

In a statement, Wyden commented that “The USA Freedom Act requires the executive branch to declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions that involve novel interpretations of laws or the Constitution and I certainly expect the Executive Branch to follow this law.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation is similarly interested in the order, again pointing to the USA Freedom Act passed in June 2015 as the reason we should know why this scanning happened.

The EFF specifically pointed out House member John Conyers’ statement that the bill “required public disclosure of all significant opinions of the FISA court.” It says hat hasn’t happened because the Department of Justice has refused to comply and has not started the process of declassifying opinions that happened prior to the act passing into law.

So far we haven’t seen any comments from the government agencies (DoJ, FBI/NSA), but this story — as well as details of Yahoo’s other breaches and the $1 billion price cut Verizon is reportedly asking for — will not go away anytime soon.

Source: Reuters

8
Oct

Facebook Launches Standalone Calendar-Based ‘Events’ App


Facebook yesterday announced the launch of a standalone iOS app that lets users of the social network directly access its “Events” features, which the company says have more than 100 million daily users.

Today we’re announcing Events from Facebook, a new app we designed for event seekers who are passionate about keeping up with nearby events and finding things to do with their friends. Whether you’re looking for something to attend this weekend or just wondering what’s happening in your area, Events will help get you there.

The app offers a feed of events that are created or followed by users’ Facebook friends, including any updates to events that users have confirmed they’re going to, as well as those promoted by any commercial pages they follow.

Events can be searched based on time, location, and interest, and upcoming events can be browsed via an interactive map. To keep track of events, the app also offers a calendar view, to which existing Google and iCloud calendars can be added, so it’s easier for users to make plans.

Facebook events is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the U.S. App Store, but availability in other regional stores remains patchy as of Saturday. [Direct Link]

Tag: Facebook
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8
Oct

Android Wear Smartwatch Owners Reporting Pairing Issues With iPhone 7


Several popular Android Wear devices like the Moto 360 and Fossil Q remain incompatible with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, according to a report by The Verge.

Owners of the Android smartwatches have been able to use the devices with the iPhone 5 or later since Google added support for iOS back in August of last year.

However, as evidenced by a raft of complaints in an Android Wear discussion thread, the Moto 360 (2015), Moto 360 Sport, Tag Heuer Connected, Asus Zenwatch 2, and Fossil Q Founder are all unable to properly pair with the iPhone 7, with many users’ watches hanging during the setup process.

Apple recently fixed some compatibility issues between Android Wear devices and iOS 10 with the release of iOS 10.0.2, but the reported problems with specific models of watch appear to remain. Google says it is aware of a “serious pairing issue” and is investigating a fix.

The Android Wear iSO app supports Google’s Voice search and enables iPhone lock screen notifications to be mirrored on the watch faces. It also lets owners of the devices make use of services like Google Now and Google Fit, as well as the watches’ Weather and Translate features. In addition, the app includes a handful of ‘curated’ watch faces for users to choose from.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: Android Wear
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8
Oct

Donald Trump’s video apology goes out over Facebook, Twitter


Hours after the Washington Post published a video of Donald Trump in 2005 stating, among other things, that “And when you’re a star, they let you do it…You can do anything. Grab them by the p—y,” the candidate issued a video response that went out over social media. Despite Trump’s reputation as a heavy Twitter user (in 2012 he tweeted “I love Twitter…. it’s like owning your own newspaper— without the losses.”) it was published first on Facebook and then later on Twitter.

Just another example of how different this election has been from any before, those platforms allow the campaign to reach followers en masse — more than 11 million on Facebook and 12 million on Twitter — without having to worry about annoyances like anchors or journalists asking questions. Even with a debate coming up Sunday night, there was no need to face questions tonight about women who report being assaulted by Trump in specifically the manner described; instead, the candidate focused on the husband of his opponent.

As social media giveth, it also taketh away, and discussion of the #TrumpTape has been spirited on all platforms. A number of prominent Republican politicians tweeted that the videotaped comments were “indefensible” and “despicable” with a few going so far as to withdraw endorsements for Trump or push for him to withdraw from the campaign. Senator Mike Lee of Utah responded with a Facebook Live broadcast from his own home — we’re sure a Periscope or two will be right behind.

Source: Donald Trump (Facebook)

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