Showing posts from 2013

LG Lifeband Touch pictured, though plans unknown

The prolific leaker @evleaks posted an image of the device on Twitter on Tuesday without any further details.

LG Lifeband Touch.
- @evleaks (@evleaks) December 31, 2013
Avid leaker @evleaks is at it again. And this time, the Twitter user has turned an eye to LG.
@evleaks on Tuesday posted an image of what it claims is the LG Lifeband Touch. The tweet didn't include any more information on the Lifeband Touch, but it appears to be a wearable fitness tracker users can place around their wrists. There's also a green circle at the top of the device, which may justify the use of the 'touch' branding.
LG has been rumored to be working on wearable technology for months. So far, however, the company has denied such products are in the works. Based on @evleak's strong track record, however, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the Lifeband Touch makes an appearance at CES next week.
CNET has contacted LG for comment. We will update this story when we have…

Mobile apps showdown: the best of 2013

The year 2013 saw many such cool apps flooding the market. After going through several of them, we have listed 10 refreshing ones that will add zing to your life.
Back in Touch for iOS/Keep in Touch - for AndroidIf you have a tough time keeping track of all the phone calls you have to make to your loved ones because of your hectic work schedule, these apps are just what you need.

Back in Touch and Keep in Touch apps do exactly as their names suggest: help you stay in touch. The apps enable their users to set call reminders, frequency and follow-up.
It's an excellent way to stay connected to old friends and keep all the promises you made to call them back.
Duolingo: Learn Languages FreeIf you're looking for an easy way to learn new languages but don't have the time or the patience to lug heavy books around, this app is just the thing. And the best deal is that its 100% free!

Duolingo helps you learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English through an interactive …

10 most popular new year's resolutions (with apps to help achieve them)

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 1:26 AM

Below are Americans' most common New Year's goals, according to a Harris poll-and apps that can help you reach them.
1. Lose weightNutrino: Enter your current and target weights and food preferences and this app builds a personalized menu to bring you closer to your goal. (Free; iOS; Android coming soon)
2. Improveyour financesBudget Boss: Create a budget quickly and effortlessly-then watch your predicted savings grow with easy-to-read graphs. ($0.99; iOS)
3. ExerciseHuman: Commit to moving at least 30 minutes every day with this simple app, which uses location tracking to measure your activity and notifies you when you're done. (Free; iOS)
4. Get a new jobJob Search: Find open positions near you and submit applications from your phone. (Free; iOS, Android)
5. Eat healthierFooducate: Scan grocery barcodes and get a nutrition grade from A to D with this award-winning app. (Free; iOS, Android).
6. Manage stress betterTake a Break!: Relax …

Mobile Threat Monday: A Look Back

Mobile Threat Monday is such a SecurityWatch institution that it's hard to realize it only began last spring. At first we called it 'Dangerous Android Apps,' and it appeared on Friday, not Monday. We realized, though, that mobile threats aren't limited to Android, so in June we opened it up to all kinds of mobile threats. Altogether we've posted over 30 Mobile Threat Monday columns covering over 60 distinct threats.
Thanks to Our Contributors This column simply wouldn't exist without the contributions of researchers from around the world. We've posted warnings based on alerts from Symantec, McAfee, Lookout, and Kaspersky, among others. However, three major contributors have powered the vast majority of our posts.
Appthority and Bitdefender are definitely the top two. Between the two of them, they've given us more than half of the threats we've reported. F-Secure is another big contributor. Three quarters of submissions come from these, the top three. …

NSA can turn your iPhone into a spy, says privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum

'Even worse than your worst nightmares': Jacob Applebaum. Photo: AFP
The NSA can plant malicious software on Apple's iPhone, turning one of the world's most popular smartphones into a pocket-sized spy, according to a leading security expert.
Privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum gave the public an unusually explicit peek into the intelligence world's toolbox at a hacking conference in Germany, pulling back the curtain on the US National Security Agency's (NSA) arsenal of high-tech spy gear.

Back door: The NSA can turn the iPhone into an eavesdropping device, a security expert says. Photo: Reuters
The independent journalist and security expert said on Monday that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computers, even if they weren't online.
Appelbaum told hundreds of computer and technology experts gathered at Hamburg's Chaos Communications Conference that his revelations about the NSA&…

Microsoft OneNote App Updated With Shortcuts, Sharing Integration, A Widget ...

Microsoft isn't really known for designing great apps for Android, but whoever is in charge of the OneNote app is going above and beyond. The UI has been cleaned up dramatically recently and the newest update includes some solid feature additions. This could be - dare I say it - a good Microsoft app on Android.

Here's the full changelog from Redmond:

The sharing referred to in the changelog is actually integration with Android sharing intents. So in any app that has the native sharing menu, you can add content directly to OneNote. Whatever you have in OneNote will be easier to access now with home screen shortcuts to any individual note or notebook. There's also a widget for quickly adding notes. Users of Samsung devices will be happy to see full support for Multi Window Mode in this update too.
If you're deeply into the Microsoft ecosystem at home or work, OneNote seems like a solid note taking option.

New malware roosting place: Inside your SD Card?

A pair of security researchers have figured out how to subvert tiny controller chips in flash-memory storage devices, an approach that could expose people's private data.

(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)
Security researchers have found a way to hack SD Cards, the most common form of flash-memory cards used to store data mobile phones and digital cameras, and run software that intercepts data.
Andrew 'bunnie' Huang and Sean 'xobs' Cross disclosed the approach Sunday in a blog post and talk at the Chaos Computer Congress (30C3). With the attack, a person could run malicious software on the memory card itself. That's because the cards have tiny built-in computers called microcontrollers that are used to oversee the details of data storage.
The result is a 'perfect setup for a man-in-the middle attack,' Huang said in a video of the talk. The current approach to flash-memory storage has 'invited someone to go sit in between our data, and we jus…

Netflix knocks off a buck for standard

Singletons catch a break, with new plans for 1 screen viewers
Video streaming service Netflix had cut its monthly subscription fee by a dollar for those only watching on a single screen, if they're also content with standard definition content.
The new Single User plan comes in at $6.99 a month, compared with the $7.99 a month the company is asking simultaneous viewing on two screens and HD content, where available.
The lower price point, which is currently only available to new subscribers, offers a reward for those users consuming less bandwidth and hence costing Netflix less money.
'This is just because we want to test it out among a group,' a Netflix customer service rep told AdWeek. '[We] will definitely offer it on a wider basis.'
Bandwidth hogs
Just last month the on demand giant attempted to combat the rampant password sharing by introducing a family plan on which four screens could be used simultaneously for $11.99 a month.
The company recently surpassed 40 milli…

Video: Google chairman Eric Schmidt shares his predictions for 2014

Mobile, mobile and more mobile. Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt might not have a buzzy catchphrase for it like 'post PC era,' but he is certainly on board with late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs's line of thinking: the future is mobile, and the future is now. 'Everyone is going to have a smartphone,' Schmidt said during a segment for Bloomberg TV in which he shared some predictions for the technology space in 2014. 'The fact that so many people are connected to what is essentially a super-computer means a whole new generation of applications around entertainment, education, social life... those kinds of things.'
'The trend has been that 'mobile was winning,' ' Schmidt continued. 'It's now won.' He added that smartphones and tablets are already outselling traditional PCs.
The Google exec also said that the biggest disruption we already can be sure about will be the emergence of more sophisticated machine intelligence, whi…

Mobile App Growth Is Now In DECLINE

For those of you who believe the mobile economy is still in gold rush/bubble territory - an industry whose greatest growth years are in front of it - think again.
Flurry, one of the larger mobile ad companies, measured device activations and app download traffic over Christmas and discovered that Christmas Day - which usually gets a huge spike in activation and download activity - is increasingly becoming just like any other day in AppLand. Because we all have mobile devices already, the Christmas spike for new apps and new devices is getting smaller and smaller
Here's what that spike on Christmas Day looks like when indexed, where a score of 1 equals a regular December day:

Note that for the first time, app downloads on Christmas Day were less than twice what they are on a regular day.
Flurry measured activity across 400,000 apps globally:
The slowing growth rates and smaller Christmas Day app download spike signal market maturation. Many consumers in Western Europe and English-speaki…

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C Pre Orders In China Are Underwhelming Thus Far

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C Pre Orders In China Are Underwhelming Thus Far
By Tyler McCarthy | Dec 30, 2013 04:29 PM EST

Recently Apple and China Mobile, the world's most popular and largest mobile service provider, cut a deal to offer the iPhone through China Mobile's service. Now, initial pre-orders for Apple iPhones are in and the results are surprisingly underwhelming.
According to Investor's Business Daily, early reports show that China Mobile iPhone orders are lagging compared to what other carriers experienced when they began selling the flagship smartphone from Apple.
'We think China Mobile's pre-orders for Apple's iPhone 5S/5C reached about 100K (with contract) in the first two days since pre-orders started, compared with 120K pre-orders from China Unicom (CHU) and 150K pre-orders from China Telecom (CHA) back in September,' wrote Wedge Partners analyst Jun Zhang. 'Unlocked iPhone 5S pre-orders added another 150K in the first day, c…

Apple iPhone 6 Rumors: New Phablet Dubbed iPhone 6 Air [VIDEO]

First Posted: Dec 30, 2013 03:06 PM EST

Apple fanatics can't get enough of the iPhone. Bloggers everywhere are already predicting what Apple has in store for the iPhone 6, which many are now calling the iPhone 6 Air.
Rumors claim that the next iPhone will feature a bigger screen but will still be thin and manageable, making it a 'phablet,' or a tablet and phone combination. Lately, however, bloggers say that the smartphone will be so thin that it will be called the iPhone 6 Air.
Bloggers' predictions of the iPhone 6 Air's screen range from AppAdvice's 4.5-inch antiglare display to the more popular rumor of a 5-inch screen.
Some have developed design concepts for the iPhone 6 Air based off of Apple rumors. Fuse Chicken predicts that in order to achieve maximum screen size, the iPhone 6 will lose its home button and replace it with a touchscreen feature. says that the iPhone 6's touchscreen home button will also have the ability to adjust the phone'…

Americans Paying More For Worse Internet

Despite higher prices for customers the United States only ranks 35th when it comes to bandwidth capacity.
Despite the fact that a lot of people still just it use it to check Facebook and watch naked people doing naked things, the internet has also been a useful tool for the growth and development of economic, social and educational opportunity around the world. No one would blame you, in turn, for expecting the United States, an economic superpower and the birth place of the internet itself, to have the best broadband service in the world. That being the case, it's been revealed that not only are U.S. broadband services lagging behind other countries, but that American citizens are actually paying more money for slower speeds.
The World Economic Forum when comparing bandwidth capacity, ranked the U.S. 35th out of 148. Other studies have also placed the United States at being in anywhere from 14th to 31st place when it comes to average connection speeds. In other words, while we'…

Fitbit's latest iOS update turns the iPhone 5S into a fitness tracker

Fitbit has updated its iOS app with a new feature called MobileTrack, which promises 'basic' activity tracking on iPhone 5S even if you don't currently own a Fitbit device. MobileTrack likely taps into Apple's M7 motion coprocessor - exclusive to the iPhone 5S (and new iPads) - which keeps track of a user's movements and allows easy retrieval of that data without sacrificing battery life. For Fitbit, direct on-device tracking serves as a powerful counter punch to other iOS fitness apps that require no extra hardware.
It's also an enticing way to bring new customers into the Fitbit ecosystem; users can sample Fitbit's app before spending money on a dedicated tracker. Nike has adopted a similar strategy with the launch of Nike+ Move for iOS. The app offers an easy way to get started with Nike's fitness platform - even if you're reluctant to spend $150 on a FuelBand. In both cases, the hope is that users will eventually buy into the more advanced hardwa…

Archos Begins Teasing New Products for CES – Including an Activity Tracker ...

Archos isn't usually at CES, but this year they appear to be making the trip to Las Vegas. Archos has just given us a teaser as to what to expect in Las Vegas next week. Archos has a new range of connected devices they will be showing off. That includes a few health trackers and smartwatches that will be at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.
This new array of 'Smart Home' hardware includes a miniature camera, motion ball, weather tag, smart plug and movement tag, all of which will probably be purchased individually for a personalized setup. They will all be controlled with the Archos Smart Home app for iOS and Android, or a new 7-inch Smart Home tablet, which looks like a simple white slate running Android.
Archos does say that they will be unveiling their weather station during CES, which will be able to measure the surrounding temperature, C02 Levels, humidity, environmental noise and atmospheric pressure. The device will also need to be paired with a separate app fo…

LG's webOS smart TV said to retain card

Following a report from earlier this month that claimed that LG will finally show off its webOS-powered television at CES 2014 next month, some additional details of LG's plans have made their way online. A source speaking to The Wall Street Journal says that LG's webOS TV will feature the same card-based user interface that webOS has been known for since its inception. Interestingly, the tipster went on to claim that LG could end up developing webOS and using it with its other electronics, including smartphones.
It's been quite a while since we've seen any new webOS products, so it's kind of exciting to hear that LG will be taking the wraps off of its webOS-powered TV next month. That's especially now that we've gotten word that LG's flavor of webOS will retain the card-based navigation system that is one of the platform's trademark features.
Perhaps even more intriguing than LG's webOS TV, though, is the possibility that the Life's Good crew…

Apple, Samsung resume negotiations over patent royalties

Global electronics heavyweights Apple and Samsung are said to have renewed efforts to peacefully resolve their years-long legal battle over Samsung's infringement on Apple patents before the parties head back to court next year.

The talks do not yet include Apple CEO Tim Cook or Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun but are progressing, according to the Korea Times. Apple reportedly wants more than $30 per device from Samsung, while the Korean conglomerate prefers a patent cross-licensing agreement that would grant access to Apple's deep portfolio of design and technical patents.
After Apple's landmark victory in a case that resulted in damage awards of nearly $900 million, the two companies are set to meet in U.S. Federal Court again in March, and presiding Judge Lucy Koh has urged both sides to come to an agreement before that trial begins. Samsung believes Apple's current request is 'too much,' according to the paper, but Apple is said to be flexible in its dema…

Top 10 Big Data Stories Of 2013

Big data equals big opportunity -- and a surplus of hype. Catch up on the big data articles that interested readers most in 2013.

(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Big data ruled as one of the most popular tech topics of 2013, drawing reader interest along many different angles of coverage. Whether focused on careers and education, emerging platforms and technologies, or real-world use cases from healthcare to celebrity social networking, our big data coverage during the last year drew millions of page views.
For a look back at what you may have missed, here's our list of the top-ten big data headlines of 2013.
1. Big Data Analytics Master's Degrees: 20 Top Programs. Our detailed guide to well-known and emerging masters programs specifically targeting the big data analytics talent gap.
2. 7 Big Data Solutions Try To Reshape Healthcare. From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, leading institutions and technology provider…

Why Google Glass is the most personal tech you'll never own

commentary With tablets and televisions safely in the 'shared tech' category, the still unsettling Google Glass extends the nature of 'personal tech' to a whole new level.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive)
I'll start with an admission: my adventure with Google Glass began with simply sheer, unremarkable curiosity.
On a cold fall Sunday morning in New York's Lower West Side, I walked into the world-famous Chelsea Market and made a beeline for an easy-to-miss elevator up to the eighth floor. I was there to collect about $1,600 worth of gadgetry that I knew may never make the light of day in its current incarnation.
For the past few weeks, I have bridged man and machine with Google's latest creation. This wearable technology isn't new, and it isn't exactly original in its design or concept: we've seen it in science fiction for years. But the burgeoning sensation of 'what's next' led me to dig deep into my wallet to own something in this b…

7 Mistakes Microsoft Made In 2013

This was a pretty good year for Microsoft with some big customer wins. But these seven missteps were just dumb.

Hey, Nobody's Perfect If you're looking in Microsoft's rear mirror, you could describe what you see in a whole bunch of ways. One adjective you probably won't use for the company's 2013 is 'quiet.'
It was a busy year even by Microsoft's standards. From Windows 8.1 to Xbox One to the Nokia device business acquisition to Office 365's continued growth to Steve Ballmer's (somewhat) surprising retirement announcement -- not to mention that whole NSA spying thing -- it seemed each week brought a new wave of headlines out of Redmond.
There was good news. Office 365 had some big customer wins and seemed to solidify the future of the Office franchise. Xbox One appears to be a hit. The Azure cloud is expanding globally. The Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro are sold out, and even if there's some inventory management magic behind the demand, it still …