Archive for Jul 31, 2013

NSA director gives PRISM primer in tense Black Hat keynote

NSA director gives PRISM primer in tense Black Hat keynote

Only a handful of National Security Agency staff have the power to run checks on the US phone records list, NSA director Keith Alexander claimed today at the Black Hat keynote, facing an at-times vocal crowd at the annual security conference. Attempting to challenge widespread assumptions that the NSA has carte-blanche by the courts to monitor, phone-tap, and generally carry out intrusive surveillance against anybody they wish, General Alexander said he had first hand experience of how reluctant to grant approval the courts could actually be, describing the process as "wire brushings".

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Google Glass reaching out to film students in newest Creative Collective bid

Google Glass reaching out to film students in newest Creative Collective bid

It's time for Google to expand their reach with Project Glass again, this time through their Glass Creative Collective program aimed at the more artistic citizens of planet Earth. Google's reach includes the The American Film Institute, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, and University of Southern California.

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Omate TrueSmart smartwatch bringing dual-core Android with a camera

Omate TrueSmart smartwatch bringing dual-core Android with a camera

While the current pre-production iteration of the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch might not be the most flashy wearable to appear this year, the proposition made by the company for a full-powered Android smart device is certainly enticing. This device works with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a dual-core processor as well as Bluetooth, meaning you'll not only be able to connect to your smartphone (or Google Glass, why not), you'll be able to run Android apps galore.

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Google Now “hyper-local” cards in testing

Google Now “hyper-local” cards in testing

Google is experimenting with a "hyper-local news card" for Google Now that flags up location-specific information, such as nearby store promotions, social activities, or breaking news. The new card, currently in internal testing as Google works on the overall "Explore" experience, was confirmed by VP of search and assist at the company, Johanna Wright. Speaking to Quartz, Wright described the new info pane as "very, very targeted to you and your interests."

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iPad mini reboot appears in iOS 7 code with key details

iPad mini reboot appears in iOS 7 code with key details

The first remix of the iPad mini that'll be hitting the market later this year has appeared in the software developer kit sent to developers for the newest iteration of iOS 7. This device has appeared in three iterations; one with basic Wi-fi, the other two matching the carrier editions already out in the USA. This device is tipped to be carrying an updated processor tied to the same display it's already using today, 9 to 5 Mac spots among the code.

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Facebook Embedded Posts spread public posts socially

Facebook Embedded Posts spread public posts socially

Facebook has launched Embedded Posts, allowing public posts on the social network to be included elsewhere online, just as Twitter, Vine, and Instagram already offer. The new feature, which is currently limited to a select number of company pages, along with individual and "Pages" posts, but will eventually be opened up to any publicly-shared company post, supports hashtags, "read more" splits and the ability to Like the source page directly from the embed.

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Verizon HTC One release date moved to August 15th

Verizon HTC One release date moved to August 15th

Though we'd seen this machine in a leaked roadmap pinning it for the first of August of this year, the Verizon HTC One has appeared bumped to the middle of the month instead. What we're assuming here is that the move has a lot to do with the oncoming push for the Motorola Moto X. There's also the Motorola lineup of DROID devices coming to the carrier, each of them set for release inside August as well.

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SkyDrive brand change set amid potential legal battle

SkyDrive brand change set amid potential legal battle

Microsoft has decided to skip a battle they'd have had to fight if they'd continued down the road with their cloud storage service SkyDrive amid a call to action by British Sky Broadcasting. That company, also known as BSkyB, planned legal means of ending Microsoft's use of the "SkyDrive" brand name due to conflicts with their own similar naming structure. Initial judgement on the matter saw BSkyB winning out in the England and Whales High Court.

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Google Glass faces driver-distraction ban in UK over safety fears

Google Glass faces driver-distraction ban in UK over safety fears

Google Glass is likely to face a ban for in-car use in the UK, with government regulators supposedly concerned that the wearable will be too distracting to drivers. The decision, still yet to be made official, could put use of Glass - which offers a driver navigation mode, among other features - in the same "careless driving" category as using a cellphone while behind the wheel, Stuff reports.

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LG Optimus F3 arriving at T-Mobile with 4G LTE

LG Optimus F3 arriving at T-Mobile with 4G LTE

This Summer T-Mobile will be kicking out its smallest - and least expensive - Android-powered 4G LTE smartphone with the LG Optimus F3. This device will be appearing with the same specifications as it has on other carriers both inside the USA and internationally, save some T-Mobile app additions and some simple T-Mobile branding on the smartphone's back. This device will be offered in black, and black alone.

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NEC dumps smartphone business (but will keep making tablets)

NEC dumps smartphone business (but will keep making tablets)

NEC has pulled out of the smartphone business, conceding that it has been left behind in the highly-competitive segment, and announcing an immediate cessation of development, manufacturing, and sales of the devices. The Japanese company will continue to make dumbphones, however, along with tablets, but "handset shipments are following a downward trend and it is difficult to foresee improved performance in the future" in its smartphone business, NEC concedes.

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