Author Archives: JC Torres


Faxploit turns archaic technology into a security risk

Faxploit turns archaic technology into a security risk

The combined might of email, scanners, and computers should have made the venerable fax machine obsolete right? Millennials might laugh at it and presume it went the way of the floppy disk but it might shock them to know that more 300 million fax numbers still exist. That may not mean that all of those are in use but it at suggests that some may be active and may even be connected to some network, be it local or the Internet. And that is one gaping security hole waiting for some enterprising hacker to get through.

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BlackBerry KEY2 LE leak shows a Somewhat Blue color option

BlackBerry KEY2 LE leak shows a Somewhat Blue color option

BlackBerry has always been a name associated with business-smart mobile devices. That is also why you’re unlikely to find a BlackBerry phone in anything but somber hues, like black, silver, or gray. There were some red editions, true, and those were pretty radical as far as BlackBerry is concerned. The upcoming KEY2 LE, a.k.a. KEY2 Lite, will supposedly mix things up a bit and this latest batch of leaked photos show just how much, or how little, it will show off its colors.

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Huawei Honor 8X confirms a new notch trend

Huawei Honor 8X confirms a new notch trend

The notch has become an inescapable fact of smartphone life this year but some manufacturers just refuse to live in Apple’s shadow. There’s a certain irony in how Chinese manufacturers often accused of always aping the iPhone’s designs are the very ones trying to differentiate themselves from the crowd. But not everyone wants or can afford elevating cameras and some seem to have a found another path forward. That is exemplified by the “V” style notch on the OPPO R17, OPPO F9, and, soon, the Honor 8X.

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Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Smartphones are built for the Internet. Almost every functionality and every app seem to be designed with the presumption of an Internet connection always available. Naturally, installing and updating apps also require that. Internet access, however, isn’t available everywhere all the time. And in some cases, it can even be expensive. Google Play used to be indiscriminate about Internet connections. Either you had one or you didn’t, end of story. Fortunately, now it will be more forgiving, allowing users to choose not to download or update apps unless they’re on Wi-Fi.

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Android 9 Pie Go Edition uses less space out of the box

Android 9 Pie Go Edition uses less space out of the box

Android Go, the special configuration designed for entry-level smartphones, started life last year under the Android 8.1 Oreo release. With Android 9 Pie now out of the oven, it’s only fitting that it, too, should get a Go. But Google isn’t simply bumping up the numbers just have a Pie Go. It is also announcing the results of an even better diet program that makes Android 9 Pie Go even better for devices with as little as 8 GB of storage, maybe even less.

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Intel discrete graphics card still coming in 2020

Intel discrete graphics card still coming in 2020

Chip maker giant Intel has seen its kingdom slowly shrinking from the combined onslaught of ARM on the mobile side and AMD’s resurrection on the PC side. While it still has some things to boast about over its long-time rival, the one thing can’t claim is having a superior graphics solution the way AMD has ATI. At SIGGRAPH, Intel is reminding PC makers and users that it won’t be the status quo for too long. It also inadvertently reminded them that it’s not the first time Intel tried to come up with a discrete GPU of its own.

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iOS 12 developer beta 8 is here to take beta 7’s place

iOS 12 developer beta 8 is here to take beta 7’s place

This close to the final launch, you’d think iOS 12’s beta would have very little in the way of big changes, especially those that tend to break things. But such are the risks of beta version software, be it Beta 1 or Beta 7, as iOS developers found out the hard way this week. Apple immediately pulled out Beta 7 after numerous complaints but has now brought it back as Beta 8. But, no, it doesn’t bring back Group FaceTime.

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Snapdragon 850 for Windows 10 on ARM is already in trouble

Snapdragon 850 for Windows 10 on ARM is already in trouble

While the idea definitely had lots of appeal, Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM, specifically on Snapdragon, fell flat on its face during its first generation. It was largely attributed to performance problems which was, in turn, attributed to the not-so-recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 used in that first batch. Back in June, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 850 that would fix that mistake. Benchmark sightings, however, aren’t exactly encouraging.

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Wear OS gets a mandatory quality review process on Google Play Store

Wear OS gets a mandatory quality review process on Google Play Store

Google is making a bit of noise about something that users may have presumed has actually been the case even when Wear OS by Google was known by a different name: Android Wear. The Android maker is now giving smartwatch app developers a heads up to tell them that starting next month, all new Wear OS apps are required to undergo a review process before being listed on the Google Play Store. This is to ensure the quality of apps that should really be a primary concern in the first place.

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Android Pie update OEM checklist: who’s in and who’s not

Android Pie update OEM checklist: who’s in and who’s not

It’s that time of year again. New Android version, new guessing and then waiting game for which phones will get the update and, just as importantly, when. Things have gotten better over the years, in no small part thanks to high-profile security scares and Apple gloating, but it’s far from being ideal. Ideally, that would be when lists like this will be superfluous. But until that glorious day, here are some of the smartphone makers who have gone public about their love for Pie and those that have been unsurprisingly yet annoyingly silent for the past weeks.

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Android Pie makes call recording impossible without root

Android Pie makes call recording impossible without root

Google giveth and Google taketh away. New software versions are often expected to bring in new features and remove bugs but it isn’t unheard of for things to happen the other way around. There are some cases that features presumed to be there forever are suddenly yanked out without as much a warning. That definitely feels like the case with the sudden inability of non-root call recording apps to work in Android 9 Pie. That said, it probably shouldn’t come as surprise despite being an unfortunate “regression”.

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OPPO F9 brings the tiniest notch to the masses

OPPO F9 brings the tiniest notch to the masses

Some manufacturers have wholeheartedly embraced the notch. Others, like Samsung, continue to ignore it. Still others have tried to come up with different ways to compromise. Like Vivo before it, OPPO played with an elevating mechanism in the Find X to mixed results, only to return to a notch. But this is no Apple notch in the OPPO F9. It is a notch that is barely there but might, ironically, irk notch haters even more.

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