Why it matters to you
Cloudbleed is a far-reaching security issue affecting countless sites and services across the internet, and if there’s even a chance that your user data is out in the wild, now is the time to take action.
Last week, we found out about Cloudbleed, a major leak of user data affecting sites and services that use infrastructure provided by Cloudflare. It’s still too early to determine the scale of the problem — but it’s an ideal time to respond if you’re looking to avoid the fallout.
Cloudbleed refers to a memory leak that caused user data from apps and websites that use Cloudflare’s services to be splashed across the internet, and is being compared to the Heartbleed bug that reared its head in 2014. Unfortunately, it’s thought that some of the data leaked as a result of Cloudbleed may have been cached by search engines, meaning that malicious entities could have intercepted it, according to a report from Gizmodo.
More: ‘Cloudbleed’ bug may have leaked your personal data all over the internet
Cloudflare has such an enormous list of clients that it’s difficult to list every single site and service that could be affected — although an effort to do just that is in progress on GitHub. Here’s a list of some of more commonly used domains that could have had user data leaked (although there’s no confirmation that they’ve been compromised as of yet):
The above is by no means a definitive list, as millions of domains could potentially be at risk. However, it should demonstrate the variety of services that could be affected.
To check whether any sites or apps you use are at risk, you can scour the full list on GitHub, or use the Does it use Cloudflare? web tool. However, most internet users are likely to hold an account on at least one affected site, so password refreshes are recommended for all.
Changing out every password you are currently using may seem extreme, but the stakes are high. If your user data has been leaked, and you use the same password for multiple sites, it might be possible for a stranger to gain access to all kinds of services on your behalf.
More: What is the Heartbleed OpenSSL Bug, and how can you protect your PC?
As such, it’s well worth doing a sweep now, and changing up your passwords to ensure that you’re kept safe. The inconvenience of spending a hour or two completing the task is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
This might also be a good time to improve your online security across the board. If you’re not already using a password manager and two-factor authentication to keep your accounts safe, there’s no better time to implement these services.
Above all else, vigilance is key. This is an evolving situation, since the problem was only made public a matter of days ago, and there are so many domains that could be affected. Keep a close eye on important accounts, and if you notice anything suspicious, make sure to follow up.
Why it matters to you
If you’re in the market for an unlimited data plan for your family, T-Mobile’s already compelling offering just became even more enticing.
T-Mobile’s latest promotion may not be as tasty as the free pizzas the Un-carrier has been handing out to its customers, but it will be even friendlier on your wallet. Customers in good standing with at least two lines of service are eligible for another line for free starting March 1, the company announced Monday.
The offer applies to those on the new T-Mobile One plan as well as Simple Choice customers, although, as of January, new users can no longer sign up for Simple Choice. The One plan guarantees unlimited data — with the typical footnote of throttling past a 28 GB threshold — at $70 per month for the first line, $50 for the second, and $20 for each additional line thereafter. T-Mobile was already running a promotion under which customers could receive two lines for $100, after agreeing to auto pay. Coupled with the free extra line, that means one could open three lines for the same $100, as opposed to the normal price of $140.
More: The Best Unlimited Data Plan: Verizon vs. T-Mobile vs. AT&T vs. Sprint
For that deal, however, you need to be a One customer. Up until T-Mobile improved the plan last month, that came with a few unique caveats.
In its initial incarnation last fall, One reduced the quality of all streaming video to 480p, and restricted data tethering to pedestrian 3G speed. Customers could avoid these restrictions with the One Plus plan, but that came at an extra $25 per line, per month. When Verizon revived its own form of unlimited data several weeks ago, T-Mobile did away with the shortcomings to stay competitive.
One customers now receive 10 GB of LTE tethering each month, and video streaming is handled at whatever resolution is specified by the content provider. The plan also comes with international data and calling in 140 countries around the world and T-Mobile Tuesdays deals, good for the aforementioned free pizza, among such other things as movie tickets.
The carrier notes that the free line can be used for any purpose, be it another smartphone or tablet, smartwatch, or hot spot. T-Mobile says the promotion is only running for a limited time, but customers can keep the free line as long as they remain on an eligible plan and in good standing with the company.
Why it matters to you
Think selfie sticks are so last year? Xiaomi disagrees and has just released the Mi Selfie Stick Tripod.
Did you think the era of the selfie stick had come and gone? Well think again. Chinese company Xiaomi is here to prove that our narcissism doesn’t have an expiration date, and that selfie sticks are still relevant in 2017. Meet the Mi Selfie Stick Tripod, a selfie stick that fulfills all your self-photography needs.
Launching just ahead of Mobile World Congress, the Mi Selfie Stick Tripod doubles as a tripod and a selfie stick, which means that you can not only take pictures of yourself that are up close and personal, but you can also set your smartphone at a distance, and take wonderfully staged shots (because not all of us have the luxury of traveling with a photographer).
More: Xiaomi Mi 6 news and rumors
The detachable Bluetooth remote control will allow you to take photos from a distance, so you don’t have to worry about beating the timer. After all, no one wants to look winded in a glamour shot. The Tripod comes in white and black variants, folds into a portable stick so that it can follow you on just about any adventure, and weighs in at no more than 155 grams.
The Selfie Stick works alongside Apple and Android devices alike — you’ll just need to have a phone running Android 4.3 or later or iOS 5.0 or later. The Tripod’s mount is capable of rotating 360 degrees, and is compatible with phones of a width between 56mm and 89mm, which means it’ll fit even the largest of gargantuan mobile devices. Made of an aluminum alloy, this selfie stick is dependable for outdoor use, Xiaomi claims. Unfortunately, it’s only available in China for the time being,
In any case, the Xiaomi Selfie Stick Tripod has just launched in China for now, and is available on Mi.com for about $13. So if you’re planning a trip to Asia, this may be one travel accessory you need to pick up along the way.
Why it matters to you
Competition is good, and Jolla is desperately trying to chip away at Android’s marketshare with Sailfish OS. A collaboration with Sony should help in that regard.
Mobile operating systems other than Android and iOS exist — they may not have much of a market share, but they certainly are doing whatever they can to stay afloat. Jolla’s Sailfish OS is one such system. The Finnish company, which once filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then canceled it, is finally expected to make a profit this year.
Jolla operates Sailfish OS, an “independent” mobile OS that’s often marketed as an alternative to Android. Sony’s Open Devices Program is now bringing the Xperia X into the lineup of Sailfish OS smartphones. The Xperia X is a device the company launched last year, and it’s available for purchase running Android. Eventually when the software is finalized, you’ll be able to purchase not just the Xperia X but a range of Xperia devices with Sailfish OS, rather than Android.
More: Russia certifies Jolla’s Sailfish OS for government, corporate use
This offering is expected to initially be released to Jolla’s customers and community members by the end of the second quarter of this year, likely toward the end of June.
Jolla has also forged partnerships with a Chinese consortium and Russia — two countries that have had weak relationships with Google.
Jolla has now unveiled a new smartphone for the Russian enterprise market, the Inoi, and it’s a device that’s certified by Russian authorities. It has a heavy emphasis on security, and it’s completely “Google=free.” Most of Jolla’s devices can access a third-party app store to download Android apps, but Russia doesn’t want anything Google-related, if possible.
More: DT Daily MWC Day Zero: Phones from LG, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, and even Blackberry
The phone was made by Open Mobile Platform, a Russian venture that aims to put these Sailfish-powered handsets in state-run corporations and government agencies.
The China consortium similarly has granted Jolla the opportunity to build a Sailfish OS-based independent operating system for the country. This OS wouldn’t just be aimed at smartphones, but would extend to TVs, the IoT industry, smartwatches, and the automotive industry.
Fill out the form below for your first chance to win a BlackBerry Mercury
A few weeks ago Daniel Bader wrote many kind words here on Android Central letting you know that CrackBerry Kevin was coming out of retirement to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry and to cover the hell out of the BlackBerry “Mercury” launch.
Fast forward through a crazy few weeks of editorials, youtube videos, tweets, instagram photos and even an onstage appearance at BlackBerry’s press event and it feels to me like CBK never left. It’s been a helluva fun month!
More exciting than CBK having tech blogging fun again is that the newly-christened BlackBerry KEYone has shaped up to be helluva good phone. Having used one now for a few days now, I think it’s a phone that BlackBerry users past and present will absolutely love, and many who have never touch a keyboard before may even find themselves developing a crush on if they give it a try. The hardware build quality and design is top notch. The physical keyboard is fantastic to type on (having a fingerprint sensor in the spacebar is brilliant), the battery life is amazing, having the same camera sensor as the Google Pixel means it takes fantastic photos, and despite having a keyboard there all the time the screen size itself as you use the device is BIG (prior to the KEYone I was using the Pixel XL, DTEK60 and iPhone 7 as daily drivers). This finally is the no compromise BlackBerry I have been waiting on for YEARS. Running on Android, I finally have the app ecosystem I need and it’s also giving me the features of BlackBerry I’ve always loved.
Enter to Win an IOU for a BlackBerry KEYone from CrackBerry Kevin
Clearly, I’m gushing all over for my new BlackBerry KEYone. And I know there a LOT of former BlackBerry users here on Android Central who used to be highly active on CrackBerry (I’m glad when you left you found your way over to the best Android site and community in the universe!). In the spirit of our CrackBerry 10 year anniversary, the return of CBK and the fact that I’m legit in love with a BlackBerry again, I want to give a KEYone away to an Android Central reader.
To enter, you just need to fill out the form below! We’ll run this giveaway through to the end of March and I’ll announce the winner here on Android Central on April 1st. Open worldwide! As soon as the KEYone becomes available for purchase I’ll buy and one send it to you myself.
Android Central Username
How many years have you been a BlackBerry user?
What BlackBerry or Android Phone are you using now?
Rebuilding the BlackBerry Community Bottom Up!
With a giveaway of this nature, we typically make it really easy to enter – just asking for you to leave a simple comment to enter. This time around I am asking for more, for a reason. I want to be able to get to better know and communicate with all of the biggest BlackBerry and Android fans in the world. First Example – I want to know what city you live in. If I’m visiting, I want to be able to send out an email to all the fans living there – you never know, maybe we can make an impromptu meet up happen to talk tech. Second Example – Occupation. So we can better plan our content, I’d love to get a better sense of everybody’s background in this community: are we students, IT admins, entrepreneurs, business professionals, teachers or ??? If you’re on social, I’d love to know your handles so we can follow you there too. The data will not be shared, and only your name and email address is mandatory to enter, but knowing more about you will help reforge a stronger BlackBerry community!
Enter now. Good luck!! And if you ever want to swing by CrackBerry.com for a visit, don’t be shy. The team over here at Android Central is CRUSHING it on all the coverage, but nobody will get mad if you spend some time hanging out on both Android Central and CrackBerry 🙂
Related CrackBerry Kevin Videos
This has crossed into ‘ridiculous’ territory — but we now have a better idea of why.
Another year, another Sony phone launching in the U.S. without a fingerprint sensor — despite the exact same model packing the biometric authentication process everywhere else in the world. With the announcement of the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs, Sony once again has a couple of enticing phones. And even though it seems to have made good strides in terms of cameras and a few other pain points, this one issue still plagues it. For whatever reason, Sony cannot bring a phone to the U.S. with a functioning fingerprint sensor.
The question of why this is the case has been a constant bugbear for us as we speak with Sony representatives time after time, and at MWC 2017 we got perhaps the most candid explanation of what’s going on.
Speaking with Don Mesa, who is Head of Marketing, North America for Sony Mobile U.S., we started to get a more concrete picture of what’s going on here. When asked about the exclusion of fingerprint authentication on the Xperia XZ Premium specifically, Mesa explained, “There are a lot of external and internal factors that contribute to us making a conscious decision not to include [fingerprint].”
For now, in order for Sony to sell phones in the U.S. it cannot include fingerprint sensors.
The “external” portion of that statement is the interesting part, and something that wasn’t previously disclosed. For the past couple of years, Sony’s stance on not including fingerprint sensors in the U.S. was that it didn’t see demand for them and there was a business decision made to not include the feature. This external factor, it seems, is something to do with deals it has made (or terminated) in the U.S. specifically. When asked further about those factors Mesa continued, “[…] that was very much about us consciously deciding that we want to continue our business here [in the U.S.], and [that’s] one of the conditions for us to be able to do business.”
So here’s the meat of the issue: based on some deal previously made relating specifically to the U.S., in order for Sony to sell phones in the country it cannot ship them with functioning fingerprint sensors. Taking the lesser of two evils, Sony chose to continue to sell phones with the fingerprint sensor disabled instead of give up on the U.S. entirely — and this seems to be the case still, as Sony has continued to sell a wide range of unlocked phones here. So despite this bizarre limitation against using fingerprint sensors, Sony still sees the U.S. as an important market and wants to keep selling its top-end devices here.
When pressed for specifics, Mesa acknowledged the rub with U.S. carriers in Sony’s transition from selling carrier-backed phones to going entirely unlocked, eventually leading to this fingerprint situation in some way. Events like the launched-then-canceled Xperia Z4V and various one-off carrier devices that never sold well seem to point to Sony having troubles dealing with the U.S. operators. It wouldn’t be surprising if a deal (or deals) gone bad led to some fingerprint exclusivity problems as a penalty of such a fallout. Of course the real rub here is the specifics of such deals are not — and may never be — disclosed.
So what can we take away from this? Well, the first part is that Sony confirms it is indeed consciously shipping its phones to the U.S. with fingerprint sensors … and that at the same time it is explicitly disabling them in software. Sony Mobile U.S. is, for the first time, also confirming that without these outside factors influencing these decisions, it would prefer to be shipping phones in the U.S. with fingerprint sensors enabled. That in no way completely lets Sony off the hook here, though — it takes two to tango, and Sony itself was obviously involved in whatever mechanism led to this odd limitation surrounding fingerprint sensors. Someone signed off on this, and it’s been a constant thorn in the side of the company since.
And no matter the mechanism of how this all came to be, it isn’t much solace for those of us in the U.S. who are big fans of Sony design and hardware but will continue to refuse to buy its phones until they have such a basic feature. U.S. customers deserve a fingerprint sensor just as much as anyone else in the world buying a Sony phone. And Sony itself seems to think this is a short-term limitation that, when lifted, will comfortably be put in the rear-view mirror as it continues to sell unlocked phones in the country.
5G is going to be a really big deal, eventually.
It’s a lot of fun to get excited about what comes next, sometimes. When we think about a phone launching, the wait is usually days or weeks. When we think about an entirely new technology for wireless communication, the wait is considerably longer.
Qualcomm demonstrated that with its new X50 5G modem family, built to handle anything and everything on 5G networks as soon as they exist in 2019.
It’s looking more and more like the mistakes from the early days of 4G LTE are being left in the past
There’s a lot about 5G to get excited about when we can finally use it. This is a network promising Gigabit LTE speeds and more convenient mechanisms for the Internet of Things. It’s faster, will use less power, and is expected to have significantly reduced latency. Naturally, Qualcomm wants manufacturers to know it has the modems needed to make this new network function smoothly. The X50 5G modems are expected to be a big part of the first 5G wave, just like the company has done with most other mobile networks in the past.
Qualcomm’s biggest bragging point with the X50 is going to be great for early adopters, because it’s all about backwards compatibility. These chips will support simultaneous connectivity across 4G and 5G networks, and allows for 2G/3G access as well. The first devices to use these modems will work flawlessly on existing networks, but are expected to shine when you’re in places that have 5G once that network is publicly available.
There’s no doubt 2019 is far away in smartphone years, and it’s likely most people won’t have 5G in their area until well into 2020, but it’s nice knowing Qualcomm is prioritizing existing network access. It’s looking more and more like the mistakes from the early days of 4G LTE are being left in the past, which will be great news in a couple of years.
Read all about the games coming to Daydream VR, Play Store games available for pre-registration, and game-making tools available for mobile game developers.
This week is going to be a good one for Android users. You’re not only getting a preview of some of the new flagship smartphones coming out this year, but Google’s making some gaming-related announcements, too. To kick off its developer day at GDC 2017, the company’s launched a bevy of new features, including Firebase development tools for game developers and a new Play Store suggestion algorithm. Google is also opening up pre-registration for some upcoming games and it teased two new titles coming soon to Daydream VR.
Firebase for Unity and C++
Firebase, the app development and analytics tool that Google announced at its developers conference last spring, is now available for Unity and C++ developers. The suite offers features like cloud messaging for targeted notifications, crash reporting, and remote config, which helps developers test apps at scale and will come especially handy when testing graphic intensive games. If you want to know more, you can check the official Firebase page for games.
Better discovery in the Play Store
Google’s new limited-time sale UI
Ever feel flustered when you can’t find something worth downloading in the Play Store? Google’s hoping to help ease that conundrum with a variety of tweaks to the algorithm that populates its app marketplace. The Play Store has been tuned so that it now prefers to showcase games and apps that have had longer user engagement rather than a massive number of downloads. It’s also way for Google to reward those developers who keep their users coming back for more.
Next up, Play Store developers now have access to a new feature that helps with running price promotions. It lets people know if your app is on sale so that there’s no misconception about how much the app really costs.
Lastly, the Play Store will soon feature editorial pages that highlight new game titles and franchises of note. The idea is to help introduce you to worthy new games through personal discovery, rather than have you rely on an algorithm. “It’s like when you go into a retail store and there are different departments,” explained Jamil Moledina, Games Strategic Lead for Google Play, in a telephone call prior to Google’s keynote at GDC. “Hand-curating gives the taste-making aspect to the Play Store.” These pages are expected to go live this spring.
New titles coming to Daydream VR
There will be two new Daydream VR titles from two prominent indie games publishing houses coming soon to the Play Store. They include Virtual Rabbids by Ubisoft and Beartopia by Spryfox — the same team behind the eternally popular match-three game, Triple Town. Both come with the promise of engaging content, particularly Beartopia, which is about a family of bears emigrating to a new town.
“It’s important to us that the experiences really bring you back repeatedly.”
“I think a lot of VR was introduced with a lot of novelty duration to it,” said Moledina, when asked if the upcoming Daydream VR titles would pass the engagement test. “This is something we’re working very hard to move away from. Part of our portfolio approach is to find games that have broad acceptability, broad appeal, and high engagement. VR needs to be a part of the engagement story, as well, because otherwise it just becomes something that collects dust in the closet.”
He added, “It’s important to us that the experiences really bring you back repeatedly to see what’s going on.”
In the non-VR realm, you will soon be able to pre-register for three new high fidelity games from Google Play, including Transformers: Forged to Fight, Battle Breakers, and Injustice 2. You can pre-order either of these three titles here.
For more on Google’s Developer Day at GDC 2017, you can visit the official landing page to peep in on the keynote or read up on the sessions.
The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are coming to Canada, but not the U.S. Here’s why.
When Huawei announced the P10 and P10 Plus at Mobile World Congress this week, we assumed, like many other members of the tech press in Barcelona, that the launch would be focused on Europe. And it was — for a while. But now we know that in addition to Europe and the UK, Huawei plans to bring its new flagships to Canada in the coming weeks.
Specifically, the P10 will be launched on Rogers, Bell, Fido and Videotron, while the larger and better-equipped P10 Plus will be a Rogers exclusive. Prices and availability aren’t yet available, but based on the phones’ European prices of €649 and €749 respectively, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them broach $700 and $800 or higher.
So why are the phones launching on Canadian carriers but still shut out of the U.S.? In an interview with MobileSyrup, the company’s vice-president of corporate affairs, Scott Bradley, said that Huawei had been pushing for a move into Canada’s high-end market for several years — it’s sold mid-range devices for a while, including the recent Nova series — after finding tremendous success with the Nexus 6P.
He said that the Nexus 6P was incredibly popular at Canadian carriers, and improved Huawei’s brand recognition amongst regular Canadians. The Chinese company also invests a lot of money into research and development within the country, so there is a positive brand sentiment overall.
In contrast, Huawei doesn’t sell any phones through U.S. carrier channels, and only recently introduced its first high-end devices in the Honor 8 and Mate 9. One impediment to getting those devices into the market was Enhanced 911 certification, which is required by both the FCC and Canada’s regulator, the CRTC. It took until mid-2016 for Huawei’s homegrown Kirin chips to be certified for E911, which is why Huawei kept its high-end phones out of the U.S. for so long.
Unfortunately, despite the Mate 9 selling well through unlocked channels, disappointing sales of the Honor 8 likely precluded Huawei from pushing forward with a go-to-market strategy for the P10 series, despite its significant improvements. Without carrier support, a mid-sized phone in the $650-700 range would easily be overshadowed by the Samsung Galaxy or LG G flagship of the day, and Huawei currently feels more comfortable competing in the less crowded phablet space — one where the Mate 9 fits nicely, especially in the absence of a Galaxy Note.
What’s nice about the P10 and P10 Plus launching in Canada is that they will be optimized for North American carriers, making importing the devices a more tantalizing prospect than the equivalent Asian or European SKU, which wouldn’t have the right bands.
Would you import a P10 or P10 Plus into the U.S. from Canada? Let us know in the comments!
Huawei Mate 9
- Huawei Mate 9 review
- Huawei Mate 9 specs
- Where to buy the Mate 9 in the U.S.
- Porsche Design Mate 9 unboxing
- All Huawei Mate 9 news
- Join the discussion in the forums
Last month, AT&T revealed how it might structure its deal to acquire Time Warner without having to go through FCC review. The communications giant noted that it “anticipated that Time Warner will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses … after the closing of the transaction.” That means that the FCC wouldn’t need to review the transaction, and today FCC commissioner Ajit Pai confirmed that his agency would indeed not likely look at AT&T’s purchase.
“That is the regulatory hook for FCC review,” Pai said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “My understanding is that the deal won’t be presented to the commission.” The WSJ notes that this would leave the Justice Department as the only governmental agency reviewing the potential deal. Time Warner has said that it has “dozens” of FCC licenses, but the company believes those won’t need to be transferred to AT&T as part of the merger, thus keeping the FCC out of the deal.
When reached for comment, an FCC spokesperson said the agency had no additional information to share beyond confirming Pai’s comments to the WSJ.
The fact that the FCC likely won’t review the transaction doesn’t mean that the merger will necessarily go through — there’s a lot of opposition to it from consumer advocacy groups, and President Donald Trump has said he opposes the deal on multiple occasions. The president hasn’t commented on it since taking office, however. As AT&T’s failed purchase of T-Mobile showed us, there’s a lot that can go wrong in these mega-mergers, but AT&T still expects the deal to close this year.
Source: The Wall Street Journal