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22
Jun

How to set up Android Messages for web


Who’s ready to start texting from their computer?

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After years and years of patiently waiting, Google finally launched a way for users to natively send and receive text messages from their computer. This functionality is being rolled out as part of Android Messages, and once everything’s set up, you can stay in touch with friends and family without having to constantly pick up your phone.

However, how exactly does that setup process work?

That’s exactly what we’re here to figure out, so without further ado, here’s how to set up Android Messages for web!

Open Android Messages.
Tap the Try It button on the pop-up at the bottom of your screen (or tap the three dots at the top right and then Messages for web).
Go to https://messages.android.com on your computer

Tap Scan QR Code on your phone to scan the code shown on your computer

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After scanning your code, you’ll ready to start using Android Messages for web!

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Before you dive too deep, however, there are a couple things we recommend checking out.

For starters, the Settings page on the Android Messages website has a lot of helpful tools. Here you’ll find toggles to enable or disable notifications, message previews, and whether or not you want Android Messages to keep you signed on to that computer.

Heck, there’s even a dark mode that you can turn on!

After playing around with the settings for a bit, there’s one more thing on your phone you’ll want to configure.

By default, Messages for web shows a persistent notification on your phone whenever you’re connected to a computer. This can quickly become an unwanted eyesore, but thankfully, Google makes it easy to shut this off.

Open Android Messages and tap the three dots at the top right.
Tap Messages for web.
Tap the three dots again.
Tap Notifications.

Tap Show persistent notification to disable it.

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With that knowledge under your belt, you’re ready to start using Android Messages for web like a pro!

Need further assistance or just want to chat? Head on over to the comments down below.

Download: Android Messages (free)

22
Jun

Where to buy the Moto E5 series in the U.S. and Canada


Your ultimate guide for buying the Moto E5 in North America.

Motorola first introduced its Moto E series in 2013 as an even cheaper alternative to the already affordable Moto G line. Moto E phones aren’t the most powerful or flashy around, but Motorola’s used this product line year after year to offer quality phones at wickedly low prices.

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This year’s Moto E5 series is no different, with Motorola offering three different options in the forms of the Moto E5, E5 Play, and E5 Plus. The regular E5 isn’t being sold anywhere in North America, but there are plenty of carriers offering the E5 Play and E5 Plus throughout the United States and Canada.

United States

Boost Mobile

If you rely on Sprint’s network but want to get cheaper monthly rates, Boost is the way to go. Motorola says that Boost is carrying both the Moto E5 Play and Moto E5 Plus.

The E5 Play has a regular price of $99.99, but right now Boost is selling it for just $79.99.

Pricing details for the E5 Plus have yet to be announced, but that information should be made available soon.

See at Boost Mobile

Cricket Wireless

Alternatively, Cricket Wireless is one of the go-to pre-paid carriers in the States if you prefer AT&T’s network without the company’s high monthly rates.

Similar to Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless is selling the E5 Plus and E5 Play. However, Cricket’s altering the naming so that the E5 Plus is the E5 Supra and the E5 Play is the E5 Cruise. Despite the different names, these are still the same versions of the phones everyone else has.

The Moto E5 Cruise/Play is available now and costs $99.99 for customers adding a line or upgrading an existing one. If you want the E5 Supra, you’ll need to pay $179.99.

See at Cricket Wireless

Sprint

Pre-paid networks are great for some customers, but for others, traditional post-paid plans still reign supreme.

Sprint is the only U.S. carrier selling the Moto E5 series through post-paid options, and it’s got both the E5 Plus and E5 Play. The Play isn’t available quite yet, but the Plus is on sale for $288 outright or $0 down and then $12/month for 18-months on a Sprint Flex lease.

See at Sprint

Verizon

Verizon’s own pre-paid service has seen some solid upgrades over the past few months, and it’s definitely one of your best bets for getting Verizon service with affordable month-to-month rates.

Unlike all of the carriers we’ve talked about so far, Verizon is only selling the Moto E5 Play. The phone costs $69.99 and comes with 16GB of expandable storage.

If you’re searching for the E5 Plus, you won’t find it here.

See at Verizon

Virgin Mobile

Similar to Verizon, Virgin Mobile will only sell the Moto E5 Play on its network.

See at Virgin Mobile

Xfinity Mobile

Xfinity is one of the newest brands to enter the wireless space, and just like Verizon and Virgin, is only selling the cheaper Moto E5 Play. Xfinity Mobile uses Verizon’s towers for its service and is a pretty compelling deal for folks that already get their internet and TV through the Xfinity.

If you’re interested in getting the E5 Play through Xfinity, it’ll set you back either $119.99 upfront or $5/month for 24 months with 0% APR.

See at Xfinity Mobile

Canada

Moving over to our friends in the Great White North, you’ll only find the Moto E5 Play in these neck of the woods.

The Moto E5 and E5 Plus won’t be coming to the country at all, and while that’s a bummer, the E5 Play is available at a variety of carriers in the area.

According to Motorola, you’ll be able to pick up the E5 Play at Bell Canada, Chatr Mobile, Fido, Lucky Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, and Virgin Mobile through pre-paid plans. Additionally, Videotron will sell the phone post-paid and Freedom Mobile will offer the option of getting the E5 Play pre or post-paid.

Moto E5, E5 Plus and E5 Play: Everything you need to know!

Updated June 22, 2018: Added the Moto E5 Supra from Cricket Wireless to the list.

22
Jun

Turner Classic Movies Launches ‘Watch TCM’ tvOS App With Thousands of Classic Films on Demand


Alongside a major version 3.0 update that rolled out to its iOS app [Direct Link] earlier this week, Turner Classic Movies has also expanded support for its “Watch TCM” app to tvOS devices. Now the app can be downloaded to the fourth-generation Apple TV and fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, with thousands of classic films available on demand.

You’ll need to have TCM already on your current cable or satellite TV package, and then once you sync the app to your log-in information you’ll get access to its content. This includes two live streams for the east and west coast feed of Turner Classic Movies in addition to the on-demand movies.

Turner Classic Movies presents WATCH TCM, a “TV Everywhere” service that lets you enjoy unlimited access to the best of TCM, at no additional cost with your TV subscription. Not your ordinary “TV Everywhere” service, WATCH TCM is a content rich and in-depth movie companion that lets you experience the richly textured world of classic movies that only Turner Classic Movies can bring you.

The company says this back catalog includes “nearly every title playing on TCM,” including introductions by special hosts like Ben Mankiewicz. Both live and on-demand movies are presented uncut, commercial free, and in their original aspect ratios.

The app also features articles, cast and crew information, photo galleries, short films, film collections (“Birthday Tributes”, “31 Days of Oscar”, “Silent Sunday Nights”, etc.) and more. All of the films can be added to your Watchlist so you can keep an organized list of what you want to watch next, but the app doesn’t appear to integrate with Apple’s TV app as of yet.

Watch TCM differs from Turner Classic Movies’ film streaming service “FilmStruck” since it connects to your pre-existing cable subscription. FilmStruck is a standalone subscription service that starts at $6.99/month and raises to $8.25/month ($99 billed annually) and includes most of TCM’s classic films as well as the Criterion Collection. The app first debuted on the fourth-generation Apple TV in late 2016.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
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22
Jun

Apple Maps Vehicles Begin Collecting Street-Level Data in Japan


Apple Maps vehicles equipped with LiDAR sensors have begun collecting street-level data in Japan for the first time this month.

Apple will be surveying the Tokyo and Urayasu areas between June and October of this year, according to a new Apple Maps vehicles page created specifically for Japan, first spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

Japan is the 11th country where the vehicles are collecting data since the initiative began in 2015, alongside Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To date, Apple has periodically updated a list of locations where the vehicles will be collecting data on its U.S. website, including other countries, but Japan now has its own localized page, perhaps to satisfy local laws.

The verbiage on the page has suggested that Apple could be working on a feature similar to Google’s Street View for Apple Maps:

Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.

We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.

In 2015, Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to launch a 3D street view feature, based on a combination of its existing Flyover mode with street-level data. He also said the data would help Apple shift to an in-house mapping database by 2018, reducing its reliance on third-party sources like TomTom.

By the sound of it, Apple’s mapping data could be used for advanced augmented reality applications, as part of a future update to ARKit.

Early speculation suggested the vehicles could be the basis of an Apple Car, but those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has shifted towards testing self-driving software with Lexus 450h SUVs near its headquarters in California.

If you spot an Apple Maps vehicle in a location yet to be listed on Apple’s website, be sure to let us know at tips@macrumors.com.

Tags: Japan, Apple Maps vehicles
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22
Jun

TSMC Ramps Up Production of 7nm Chips Ahead of 2018 iPhones, Invests $25 Billion to Move to 5nm by 2020


Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has begun commercial production of chips manufactured using its advanced 7-nanometer process (via DigiTimes). One of the major customers for chips built with the technology will be Apple and the A12 processor, which is expected to be found in all three upcoming 2018 iPhones.

The announcement comes from newly appointed TSMC CEO C.C. Wei, who spoke during the company’s technology symposium in Taiwan yesterday in hopes of dismissing recent speculation that TSMC’s 7nm production was facing a “slower-than-expected” yield rate. Wei didn’t provide specific orders and customers for the 7nm chip output, but indicated the ramp up will boost TSMC’s overall production capacity from 10.5 million wafers in 2017 to 12 million in 2018.

Renderings of the 2018 iPhones
The chips built using the 7nm process technology are destined for AI, GPU, cryptocurrency, and 5G applications — totaling 50 chip designs by the end of 2018. For iPhones, the new 7nm process will pave the way for the type of performance improvements customers expect in new iPhones every year.

Orders for Apple’s custom A12 processor for use in the upcoming iPhones will play a major driver of TSMC’s 7nm chip production growth in 2018, according to market sources. The foundry has secured 7nm chip orders from about 20 customers including AMD, Bitmain, Nvidia and Qualcomm. The majority of the orders will be carried out in the first half of 2019, the sources said.

At the technology symposium, Wei also said that TSMC is scheduled to move a new 5nm node technology to mass production towards the end of 2019 or early 2020, with plans to invest $25 billion into the technology.

In January, DigiTimes reported that Apple selected TSMC to remain the exclusive supplier of the upcoming A12 processor for its 2018 iPhones, following rumors from last summer that Samsung could be returning to iPhone chip production this year. TSMC is the exclusive supplier of the A11 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, as well as the sole supplier of the A10 Fusion processor in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

According to a DigiTimes report last year, TSMC’s integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging technology — which the supplier uses in its 7nm FinFET chip fabrication — is largely superior to any progress made by Samsung in the same field, which eventually led to Apple’s decision to stick with one supplier for all of its processors again this year.

Apple’s decision to keep TSMC as the sole A-series chip manufacturer in 2018 will mark the third year in a row that the supplier created iPhone chips alone, following the A10 in 2016 and the A11 Bionic in 2017. The last time Apple dual sourced chips was in 2015, when both Samsung and TSMC supplied the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which frustrated some users when TSMC’s technology was discovered to boast slightly better battery life.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhonesTag: TSMC
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22
Jun

Nanoleaf’s New Dodecahedron-Shaped Remote Gives You Access to 12 HomeKit Scenes


Nanoleaf’s new 12-sided light-up remote joins its existing Nanoleaf Light Panels and Nanoleaf Rhythm, adding a whole slew of smartphone-free physical control options for your HomeKit setup in one easy-to-use accessory.

The Nanoleaf Remote is bigger than button and remote devices from other companies, but it offers access to many more scenes and as you’ll see in my review, it’s a great value if you already own a Nanoleaf setup and want a simple iPhone-free control method that anyone in the household can use.

For people unfamiliar with Nanoleaf, the company makes the Nanoleaf Light Panels, a HomeKit-enabled set of flat, triangle-shaped lights that connect together in a range of different user-designed configurations, providing both light and art. The Light Panels have LEDs inside and can be set to display dozens of different colors and patterns, which make up different light recipes.

I’ve had a Nanoleaf setup for more than a year, and it continues to be one of my favorite HomeKit products. The Remote is specifically designed for users who already have Nanoleaf Light Panels.

Design

Nanoleaf’s Remote has a design that’s not quite like any other HomeKit-enabled remote-style device on the market, with dodecahedron shape where each side activates a different scene.

The remote, which is a little bigger than palm sized, is made from a white plastic that admittedly feels a bit cheap, but it doesn’t look bad sitting on a desk.


When the remote arrives, it comes in two halves, with one empty side and a one side that houses the batteries, an LED light, and the mechanism that provides a slight vibration whenever a new scene is activated. Two AA batteries (included in the package) fit into the battery compartment to provide power.


Once the batteries have been inserted, the two halves of the remote snap together. I wasn’t quite able to get a perfect, seamless fit between the two halves, but that could be operator error.


I’m not sure how long the batteries are meant to last, but after about two weeks of use, the battery level is down to 85 percent. I suspect the batteries will need to be swapped out every few months, which is similar to other battery-powered HomeKit devices I own.

Setup

Setting up the Remote took less than 30 seconds using the Nanoleaf app, and it was as simple as the setup for any other HomeKit product. Under the Remote section of the app, there’s an “Add Accessory” option, which requires the HomeKit code on the inside of the Nanoleaf Remote to be scanned. Once that’s complete, the Remote is added to a HomeKit setup and scenes can be set either in the Nanoleaf app or the Home app.


On iOS devices, the Nanoleaf Light Panels and the Nanoleaf Remote work over HomeKit, and a HomeKit setup is required. You can also pair the Remote to the Nanoleaf Rhythm, however, which is required to enable full functionality, such as brightness controls. Sans a Nanoleaf Rhythm, which connects to the Light Panels to allow them to respond to sound, adjusting brightness does not work.


Pairing the Remote to both a HomeKit setup and to the Nanoleaf Rhythm will result in some error warnings in the Nanoleaf app. These error warnings exist because the dual pairing creates a disconnect between changes made to the programmed scenes in HomeKit and in the Nanoleaf app.

For example, if you set a “Good Night” scene to one of the sides in the Home app and then set a different scene to the same side in the Nanoleaf app, it won’t sync and one will overrule the other. This wasn’t a problem in daily use because I stuck to making changes only in the Home app, but I did find it confusing. Nanoleaf says improvements will be made to the app and the website to better explain this conflict to Remote users.

Despite these ominous error messages, everything is working well more or less as long as I adjust scenes in just one app, but it’s definitely a confusing setup and I have run into conflicts.
According to Nanoleaf, you will need a Home Hub to use the Remote on iOS devices, which means you’ll need to have a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad connected to HomeKit.

Usage and App

Activating a scene with the Nanoleaf Remote is done by lifting it up, turning it to one of the sides of the dodecahedron, and then setting it back down. A couple of seconds after you place it down, it will vibrate, light up, and the scene on the side that’s facing up will activate.


Each side of the remote lights up with a unique color when it’s activated and there’s also a number for each side in one corner, so it’s easy to tell one side from another. You’ll need to memorize which number does what, but it only takes a couple of days to learn your scenes unless you’re changing them frequently.

I love the light built into the remote, and I wish that I could set it to be on all the time, but that would probably kill the battery too fast. As it is, it’s white most of the time with the colors only displayed when you rotate it.


The Nanoleaf Remote accurately recognized each side of the dodecahedron and I didn’t have problems accidentally activating scenes I didn’t mean to. A scene will activate based on which side is up when you stop rotating, so keep that in mind. It takes a second or two between when the remote is rotated and when a scene activates.


In addition to rotating the remote to different sides to activate HomeKit scenes, if you pair it to a Nanoleaf Rhythm, you can twist it clockwise or counterclockwise to change the brightness of the Nanoleaf Light Panels. A clockwise turn makes the Light Panels brighter, while a counterclockwise turn makes them dimmer.

Controlling brightness this way was convenient and worked well, but it was easiest to do turning the Nanoleaf Remote while it was on a desk or other flat surface rather than while in my hand.


Within the Home app (or the Nanoleaf app) a HomeKit scene (or multiple HomeKit scenes) can be assigned to each side of the Remote. While other buttons like this have different gestures listed, Nanoleaf’s are all single press because the scenes are activated through rotations rather than different presses.

If you have a HomeKit-connected Nanoleaf setup already, you know that all Nanoleaf light recipes you install are also HomeKit scenes by default, so you all of your favorite Nanoleaf patterns are available in the Home app right alongside scenes you’ve created for other HomeKit products.


If you prefer to use the Nanoleaf app to assign scenes to the Remote, the interface is almost identical. If connected to HomeKit, it lists all of your pre-existing HomeKit scenes, and you can choose one from there.

While the Remote is meant to control the Nanoleaf Light Panels, it can also control all of your other HomeKit products. You can use any scene with the Remote, including Nanoleaf color scenes, rhythm scenes, and multi-device HomeKit scenes.


For example, I have side 11 of the Nanoleaf Remote set to turn down all of the Hue lights in my office after work in a scene I call “Relax,” while side 12 is set to a “Good Night” scene that turns off all of the lights in the house and activates a night light.

Bottom Line

I’ve had trouble with some of the button and remote-style HomeKit products refusing to connect to my HomeKit setup after a period of time, but that hasn’t been an issue with the Nanoleaf Remote.

In the few weeks that I’ve been testing it, the Nanoleaf Remote has been responsive every time and while I was skeptical of its ability to determine which side was activated, it works well. When I turn it, it reliably detects the correct side and activates the corresponding scene.

A lot of HomeKit control options use a single button with multiple gestures, but the Nanoleaf Remote is simpler. There’s no need to press, double press, or triple press — I just turn the remote to the right side.

With the ability to activate 12+ scenes (you can set multiple scenes to a single side) the Nanoleaf Remote offers more options than other products on the market, and at $50, it’s competitively priced. Scenes can include just the Light Panels or you can incorporate other HomeKit products, which is useful for people with a range of HomeKit accessories. My only complaint is that there are some error messages you’ll encounter in the Nanoleaf app, which definitely needs some serious improvement.

It takes a few days to memorize the 12 sides, but I found it surprisingly easy to keep track of what’s what with a little bit of use. If you have the Nanoleaf Smart Panels and want quick access to different lighting scenes and a way to control your other HomeKit products without an iPhone, the Nanoleaf Remote is worth the purchase price and beats out other remote control options on the market, even with the app quirks.

How to Buy

The Nanoleaf Remote can be purchased from the Nanoleaf website for $49.99, and it’s also available in Apple retail stores and the Apple online store starting today.

Note: Nanoleaf provided MacRumors with a Nanoleaf Remote for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Tags: HomeKit, Nanoleaf
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22
Jun

SpaceX wins confidence-boosting Falcon Heavy contract with U.S. Air Force


SpaceX has secured its first major national security contract for its Falcon Heavy rocket, seeing off competing bids from rivals that are believed to have included United Launch Alliance.

The contract for the deployment of a U.S. Air Force satellite is a big vote of confidence in SpaceX’s newest and most powerful rocket, which has so far launched only once.

The Air Force will pay SpaceX $130 million to put its classified Space Command-52 satellite into orbit, with the mission expected to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2020.

An Air Force statement said the the contract with SpaceX provides the government with “a total launch solution for this mission, which includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations.”

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell thanked the Air Force for certifying the Falcon Heavy and awarding it “this critically important mission,” adding, “SpaceX is pleased to continue offering the American taxpayer the most cost-effective, reliable launch services for vital national security space missions.”

What about the Falcon 9?

Although SpaceX’s tried and tested Falcon 9 rocket has been enjoying a successful run of missions — putting various satellites into orbit and launching cargo to the International Space Station — it’s unable to handle the weight of the hefty Space Command-52 satellite, prompting the Air Force to call upon the services of the more robust Falcon Heavy.

After its successful debut launch in February 2018, the Falcon Heavy become the world’s most powerful rocket in operation. Only the Saturn V rocket, which last flew in 1973, was more powerful.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy comprises three Falcon 9 boosters whose total of 27 Merlin engines give it more than 5 million pounds of thrust at launch.

The Heavy is able to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 pounds), a mass that SpaceX notes on its website is “greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel.” This is more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, with missions achievable at one-third the cost, the company says.

Lower costs are possible partly because the Heavy’s first-stage boosters are capable of being landed, recovered, and reused.

Falcon Heavy’s next scheduled launch — its second to date — is Air Force’s Space Test Program Flight 2 scheduled for October, an experimental mission that will see the Heavy carry 25 small satellites into space.

It will also perform a satellite launch for a Saudi Arabian company toward the end of the year.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Prepare for liftoff: Here’s a list of upcoming important SpaceX rocket launches
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  • SpaceX in the clear over ‘Zuma’ spy satellite disaster, report suggests



22
Jun

A country is shutting off its entire internet to stop exam cheats


Algeria flipped the switch on its internet connection this week in a bid to stop high school students cheating in exams.

The drastic measure follows similar action taken by the education ministry in 2016 when it asked service providers to block access to social media sites after exam paper leaks began appearing on them. But those measures proved ineffective, prompting the ministry to go the whole way this year by shutting down the entire internet during exams.

The blackouts started on Wednesday as the first of the year’s high school exams took place. Internet services are being taken offline for several hours around each exam, with the practice set to continue until the final tests take place on Monday.

Showing just how serious it’s taking the issue of exam cheats, the government has also insisted on installing metal detectors at the entrance to exam centers to prevent students from taking in mobile phones, tablets, and other connected gadgets.

And in a bid to deter any leaks taking place at the locations where the exam papers are printed, phone jammers and security cameras have also been set up, the Guardian reported.

Algerie Telecom said that internet services had been cut “in compliance with instructions from the government, aimed at ensuring the high school diploma tests run smoothly.”

Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit told Algerian newspaper Annahar that although the government wasn’t particularly comfortable with having to take such drastic action, “we should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak.”

This isn’t the first time technology has been used to tackle exam cheats. In 2015, for example, the Chinese city of Luoyan flew drones high above exam centers to help single out cheats. The authorities had earlier discovered some students using tiny cameras in spectacles to transmit questions to outside contacts, with the answers then transmitted back to the student via an earpiece. The drones were equipped with gear to detect radio signals, with the precise location of any cheats beamed directly to an exam proctor’s tablet.

As for turning off the internet for special events, Bali recently pulled the plug on mobile internet services for a sacred holiday. The Indonesian island’s first-ever such blackout, which lasted one day, was designed to help people take some time for self-reflection, an important characteristic of the holiday.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Get smart: The best educational apps for iPhone and Android
  • 8 things kids born in 2018 will never experience, thanks to technology
  • Latest IDC report shows decrease in global tablet shipments in 2018
  • Apple removes apps with CallKit framework from the app store in China
  • Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Smart Rubik’s Cubes, diving drones, robot artists



22
Jun

Improving security means killing the password, but that battle has just begun


(in)Secure is a weekly column that dives into the rapidly escalating topic of cybersecurity.

Passwords are often cited as the biggest problem with modern digital security. They’re supposed to be complicated, unique, and ever changing, and yet few follow through with those tenets of strong password protections. That leads to reuse attacks or brute force hacks, which is why many security researchers are pushing to eliminate passwords altogether. Yet not everyone believes the security issue of our time is passwords. For some, it’s how those passwords are stored.

Want to stop hackers? Don’t give them something to hack

George Avetisov, the CEO of Hypr, believes the biggest problem facing modern digital security is password centralization. He points out that a secure password is pointless if it can be stolen when a company that maintains login information is hacked. Instead, Hypr wants to store login credentials – whatever they are – on the end user’s device.

When your bank gets hacked, you don’t lose your house keys because they’re in your pocket.

“When you authenticate through Hypr, your credentials are authenticated on your device locally and they are used to send a token to the bank, which is then approved,” he explained.

That, he says, makes companies far less attractive to hackers, as they can’t gain information on all users at the same time. It also clears up the problem of password reuse, since hackers can’t take stolen credentials and use them to breach another service.

“The analogy I like to think of is that when your bank gets hacked, you don’t lose your house keys because they’re in your pocket,” Avetisov told Digital Trends. “The only way for someone to steal them is to physically remove them from your pocket. That’s what decentralization is. It turns your password, your credentials, into something more like your house keys and less like your current password.”

While Avetisov is bullish about the future of security through decentralization, he doesn’t believe the average consumer will ever learn to take password security seriously. That’s why it’s important for companies to do something about preventing password reuse by removing the ability to attack everyone at the same time. That doesn’t solve reuse itself but ensures reuse attacks can’t be perpetrated on a mass scale.

A world beyond passwords means a world of convenience

Companies like TruSona, on the other hand, would rather focus on moving people beyond passwords entirely. That seems like a viable goal: The public likes the idea of logging into sites and services without passwords. In a recent research report TruSona published, 70 percent of participants opted to use a password-free login system with multi-factor authentication. That group enjoyed a 99 percent login success rate during the study, while those who used passwords saw a success rate of just 56 percent – often requiring reminders to help them login.

Although a multi-factor authentication system is more secure, Trusona believes the choice is often one of convenience, which could be the key to moving to a more secure, password-free future.

“The most successful authentication systems lead with user experience, but as a means for better security.”

“There’s a very real desire to get rid of passwords,” TruSona chief design officer Kevin Goldman told Digital Trends. “While some of that is rooted in anxiety around the security of information online, it’s mostly because of password rage. Consumers default to convenience, and when things aren’t easy to use, they find a workaround. It’s why most reuse passwords and why personal security practices are so sloppy.”

While convenience might be the key to moving consumers beyond passwords, that goes hand in hand with improving the security of the authentication system, too.

“The most successful authentication systems lead with user experience, but as a means for better security,” TruSona CEO Ori Eisen said. “The most widely adopted authentication system [of the future] will be the one that’s easiest to use.”

Although Eisen told us he’s not as sold on the idea of decentralized login credentials aas Hypr’s Avetisov, they both agree smartphones will hold the key to future improvements in our digital security. Where Avetisov believes smartphones should hold login credentials – acting as a form of multi-factor authentication as well as killing centralized password databases – Eisen believes they can be used for a mixture of login possibilities. Whether it’s in taking a picture of yourself holding photo ID, as TruSona uses in some of its more intense fraud prevention strategies, or through biometrics.

The password is dead, but it’s collateral damage

Both men see passwords as a dying technology. While Avetisov sees potential in strong passwords, he and Eisen are both keenly aware of how unpopular password logins are becoming. “The mainstream adoption of biometrics is effectively killing passwords as a primary authenticator and as a user experience,” Avetisov said.

George Avetisov, CEO of Hypr George Avetisov

Eisen echoed his sentiments, claiming that the death of the password as the primary form of authentication wasn’t “a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” Whether for convenience sake or to further improve our own personal security, the influence of passwords is likely to wane significantly in the years to come. While Eisen wants to accelerate that, Avetisov sees it as a byproduct of authentication evolution.

“Our goal is not to kill the password,” Avetisov said. “It is to kill the problem caused by passwords.”

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22
Jun

Take a look at what could be the future of Samsung’s Galaxy phones


Could this patent from Samsung give us a glimpse of a future Galaxy phone? It’s certainly possible, and if so, then it doesn’t look like the company is about the embrace the screen notch, as the front of this mystery device is taken up by almost the entire display. The patent, which was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June 19, shows an unnamed mobile device with a futuristic design; but not just because it has a big screen on the front — It looks like it has a second screen on the back too.

The rear view of the device has a space reserved for something that’s most likely a screen, but could also be something else as the patent doesn’t specify, set where we’d expect to find a fingerprint sensor and the camera array. Instead, the camera is set above this area. Because the front of the device is dominated by the main screen, does this mean it won’t have a fingerprint sensor at all, and rely on face identification? Perhaps, or there’s also the chance Samsung will put a fingerprint sensor in a rear display?

In-display fingerprint sensors

We’ve got a good idea Samsung is working on in-display fingerprint sensors, and there’s no rule saying they have to be hidden under the screen on the front. Arguably, it’s more natural to use a rear fingerprint sensor than one on the front anyway. A rear screen could also be used for additional information, including notifications and alerts that are easily viewed when the phone is face down on a surface. The patent doesn’t go into any detail about functionality, or even if the space is actually for a screen, so this is speculation on our part.

Should the patent ever become a real phone, it would have the largest screen-to-body ratio we’ve seen from Samsung yet, based on the size of the bezels surrounding it. The top of the phone still has an area free for the speaker and what could be a selfie camera. Along the bottom of the phone are two speakers and a charging port. This is shaped like a USB Type-C connector. The charger and the use of a traditional speaker and front camera suggests the patent covers a phone that could potentially be made in the near future.

Could this be the Galaxy Note 10, or a future Galaxy S phone? It may be neither, and there’s no guarantee that patents filed by any company are evidence of a device intended for sale. However, elements of the device may make it onto future phones, and they’re often an indication of current design concepts being discussed. With phones like the Oppo Find X and the Vivo Nex being released today, the patented phone’s design isn’t all that unrealistic.

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