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3 years ago

Software recording data & keystrokes on millions of smartphones. Windows Phone exempt?

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If you haven't been following the Carrier IQ saga, let us try to re-cap it for you. Going back to October, it was reported that software on HTC Android phones was recording data and as Android Central lightly put it, "storing it sloppily". Information that was collected included phone numbers, geolocation and account names. It doesn't identify you per se with your name, but rather your device ID. Still, people rightly raised a storm. Turns out that software had a name: Carrier IQ.

Fast forward to last week when Trevor Eckhart -- aka TrevE -- wrote in detail what Carrier IQ was actually doing on the phone. The company Carrier IQ did not like this, made some legal threats against him, prompting the Electronic Frontier Foundation to step in. Carrier IQ (or just CIQ) quickly backed down and things looked to be at a stand off. CIQ then put out a press-release stating that their software

  • Does not record your keystrokes.
  • Does not provide tracking tools.
  • Does not inspect or report on the content of your communications, such as the content of emails and SMSs.
  • Does not provide real-time data reporting to any customer.
  • Finally, we do not sell Carrier IQ data to third parties.

Now, Eckhart has just published a second video (after the break) in response to CIQ's press release which seemingly contradicts just about all of the above. In the 17 minute long video (it gets good at about 8 minutes), Eckhart goes through and in real-time shows how keystrokes are recorded including phones numbers dialed, HTTPS data is sent unencrypted, text message data is accessed and of course that you really don't know that this app is running. All of this is performed on a stock Sprint EVO 3D and EVO 4G. What makes all of this troubling is the fact that (a) you aren't told about it (b) can't uninstall the software. You need to root the phone and load on a new, custom OS to get rid of it...

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3 years ago

Tip: Microsoft releases emoji cheat-sheet for you texting nerds

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By now, if you have ever sent a text message on Windows Phone, you would have noticed that a simple :-) gets turned into a full on smiley face on the phone. It's not groundbreaking but shows that Microsoft is paying attention to detail and it certainly enhances the experience.

Every once in awhile we get a "tip" on someone finding a new "emoji" (we still call 'em emoticons) while texting. Well, Microsoft has thrown together a whole sheet of the most commonly used ones. Yes, there are even more to be found, which is crazy.

While these are super awesome, we're hard pressed to imagine we're going to memorize them, let alone be able to bang 'em out quickly in a text message from memory. But we like a challenge! (Side note: we have conjured up "vampire bat" on occasion, which was...odd).

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Palladium Power looks to give you direction with Compasses

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Ever since Mango came out and devs have had access to the compass API, we've seen a ton of compass apps hit the Marketplace. While many are good (including this augmented reality one) none have really wowed us. We mean, it's a compass app, how do you 'wow' someone with that?

Palladium Power, the folks behind the awesome game ORB (paid and free) have managed to make a really snazzy new compass app that features light/dark themes and a slew of design choices including digital. What's makes this app really great looking is both the smoothness of the calculations and the design--it's like art merged with a compass. Consider us impressed.

No word on pricing but availability will be in "early December". We expect to have more on this shortly, so stay tuned, especially if you're lost. In the meantime, give ORB a spin to get an idea of their graphic abilities. The pay version with trial is here and the free, ad-supported option can be found here in the Marketplace.

Source: Palladium Power (Facebook); Thanks, muvolt, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Vodafone AU approves HTC Internet Sharing update, roll-out soon

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Good news for those on Vodafone in Australia: the carrier has approved the HTC update that will enable WiFi internet sharing on the 7 Trophy, this just weeks after announcing that they were testing it:

Windows Phone 7.10.7720.68

Maintenance Release MCR1 (Internet Sharing Update)

Vodafone has granted technical approval of a new maintenance release. Roll-out will begin soon; keep an eye on our blog for further details.

This is excellent news as HTC certainly seems committed to their customers in getting this update to as many devices and carriers as possible. We'll keep an eye out for when it goes live.

Source: Vodafone Blog; Thanks, Gary H., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

KeyboardP developing wireless media player voice control

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KeyboardP, a Windows Phone enthusiast and developer, has been busy creating an awesome system where Windows users can control a media player (Zune in this case) by voice commands. By simply saying the artist and song title into a microphone, the developed software will initialise playback through Zune. Commands are also available including pause, play, next, etc. Check out the above video to see it in action.

We don't stop here however, as KeyboardP wanted a solution to being possibly out the room where the computer and/or microphone is located. Introducing PhoneZune, a Windows Phone app that will connect to your PC over WiFi and will act as a wireless microphone. Should you be in the kitchen while your music is playing for example, this will come in handy instead of rushing to the PC to choose a track. If that wasn't enough, you can also browse YouTube for music videos. Here's a quick list of the features:

  • Launch a song with your voice using any microphone (standard, webcam, Kinect, etc.)
  • Control the media player (Zune) with voice commands (play, pause, next, etc.)
  • You can use your Windows Phone to launch the song with PhoneZune.
  • Voice control YouTube to find music videos.

No word yet on when we will be seeing the software and app being made available, and this is merely a proof of concept.

Source: KeyboardP, via: 1800PocketPC

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3 years ago

Windows Phone demo for other platforms to try

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Microsoft has set up a demo for iPhone and Android owners to hit up on their mobile web browsers. This demo will allow the visitor to witness what Windows Phone has to offer. The above screenshots were taken on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and as you can see the demo looks as it should on a mobile browser, taking up the screen and showcasing the Metro UI. There are also visual guides that show where to swipe and tap.

Windows Phone isn't supported (along with Safari on the Mac), which is no surprise as those who already own a handset shouldn't need to run through a demo. Check out the demo at the source link below.

Source: Microsoft WP Demo, thanks for everyone who tipped us, and to Richard for the pics!

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3 years ago

Livescape - Mango App Spotlight

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Livescape - Mango App Spotlight

With New Year's fast approaching we're sure there will be plenty of resolutions on weight loss and living healthier. New Year's resolution or not, there's a feature rich app over at the Windows Phone Marketplace designed to help track your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Livescape, previously known as Life Tracker, is an activity and nutrition journal for your Windows Phone.

Livescape features GPS tracking that will help track and log activities such as walking or hiking. Additional features of Livescape include:

  • Keep a log of your daily activities.
  • Consumption tracking to monitor what you eat/drink.
  • Calculate the number of calories burned during exercise.
  • Track your weight, calorie intake.
  • Calculate Body Fat, Lean Mass, and Fat Mass based on waist, hip and neck measurements.
  • BMI and BMR Calculation. Track ailments such as allergies, headaches, fevers, flu, etc.
  • Fertility calculator.
  • Monitor your Nutrition Facts from day to day.
  • Import Nutrition Facts using your phone's camera with the help of OCR.
  • Review your trends using any of the built in graphing features, synchronize with Microsoft® HealthVault®.

Livescape is a mango app so you'll have Live Tile and Notification support. The app also supports multiple profiles so more than one person can track their health habits and activities.  The application is well laid out and through out the app there are on screen tips that appear to help you get familiar with features. If you're looking for a way to track your activities, monitor your diet and keep tabs on your general health, Livescape is worth looking into.

There is a 14-day trial version available for Livescape and the full version is currently running at the discounted price of $2.99. The discounted price will run through the end of the week and the price will return to it's regular $4.99 mark. You can find Livescape here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

SkyDrive upgraded adding a handful of features

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SkyDrive, the Windows Live file hosting/sharing service, is set to receive a fairly major upgrade today, which will introduce a number of requested features. It's now much easier to manage office documents and other files on an account thanks to the ability to set permissions or share individual files within a folder. Not only that, but the team have now made it possible for files to be shared to social networks and for private links to be generated that can be shared with select personnel.

Multiple selections can be made to move, download or delete more than one folder. Folders can be created (and renamed) inline without having to click in multiple locations. Uploading to SkyDrive has also been improved by taking advantage of the HTML5 File API and now users can simply drag files and photos into the web browser window and onto the file listing. A upload overlay will then be display at the bottom right hand corner of the screen allowing the user to continue using the service.

 

As well as the above, support has been added for PDF and RAW file types, the photo slide show has been improved, and signing into SkyDrive is now more efficient (up to 50% faster). Check out more information on the SkyDrive blog (link below) with more screenshots. Unfortunately, still no more word on a Windows Phone app or more integration with the OS.

Source: Windows Live Blog

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 to hit the US in early 2012

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We've witnessed the power of Nokia's marketing efforts with the Finnish manufacturer tripling expenditure, and hosting a huge night in London, where Deadmau5 blew a number of speakers and the Millbank Tower was transformed into a massive presentation. We know that Nokia is set to move into the U.S., and their push will need to be strong to have any hope in capturing market share.

BGR now reports they have trusted sources that confirm recent Lumia 900 rumours. According to their report, the 900 will be Nokia's flagship device, which will aid the manufacturer in their U.S. campaign. The handset is set to sport a 1.4GHz processor, 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, an 8MP camera, will share the same identity as the 800, and will ship with Windows Phone "Tango". We'll have to wait and see what happens at CES.

Source: BGR, thanks to everyone for the tips!

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3 years ago

Verizon FiOS coming to XBox 360 and special bundle

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We told you back in September that Microsoft was working with content providers to bring television and movies to XBox 360.  Verizon, one of said providers, has announced that a FiOS TV app will be coming to XBox 360 next month, which will allow subscribers to watch their FiOS channels directly through their XBox.  The app will feature an initial lineup of 26 channels, with more to come later, and will also be integrated with Kinect, so users can surf using voice and gesture commands.

If that weren't cool enough, Verizon is sweetening the deal by offering a $89.99/month bundle to new subscribers, which includes FiOS TV, 35/35Mbps internet, and voice service.  Subscribers will also get a 12-month XBox Live membership and HALO: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition.  Verizon is taking orders for this contract-free bundle from now until January 21.  Current FiOS customers can call now to sign up.

To celebrate the lunch of their new service, Verizon is partnering with gaming network Machinima to sponsor the Gamers’ Choice Award, to be announced at Machinima’s Inside Gaming Awards on Dec. 9. You can vote for your game of the year through Facebook or Twitter.  Your vote also enters you a chance to win a grand prize of two years of Verizon FiOS triple-play service, a multi-room DVR, a Microsoft Kinect and 40,000 Microsoft points.  There are also daily 4,000 MS point prizes until December 8.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 12: 2011 Mobile Gift Guide

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3 years ago

Rainbow Rapture receives massive Mango update, ringtones and wallpaper

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Rainbow Rapture (free and paid) just received a huge Mango update today and boy is it impressive. Sure, we love the game as much as the thousands of others (4.5 stars out of 926 reviews) but guess what? The developer evidently loves us by giving us some awesome new features in both versions:

  • Fast app switching
  • Improved frame-rate (60FPS)
  • Live Tile
  • Added level 12 & 13
  • Fixed leaderboard crash bug

And the paid version gets even more with three ringtones (music from the game) and two custom wallpapers. Do you know how cool it is to have that theme song as your ringtone? We're totally thrilled with this update and at 60FPS, this game looks spetacular and plays even more smoothly.

Bravo to Kindling for putting out such a rewarding update. Pick up the paid version ($1.49) here in the Marketplace or the free, ad-supported version here.

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3 years ago

Official Nokia-Deadmau5 event now available in HD

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We mentioned just a few hours ago that Nokia would be bringing the video of  Deadmau5 event from yesterday to the masses and they delivered. Heck, it's more than just the live stream too as it's been edited with details of the event, new shots and new angles to really bring a new feel to it. (We bet some editors were up all night cranking this thing out).

Best part you can even watch it in 1080P if your computer can handle it. So enjoy and congrats to Nokia to making some history.

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3 years ago

Video Diary - App Preview

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Video Diary - App Preview

Video Diary is a video diary app that's heading to the Windows Phone Marketplace that we've been able to get a sneak peak of. The application is well laid out and segregates your video diary recordings from your People Hub (for privacy).

The main page of Video Diary has tile buttons to create a new video entry, access the app's help section, upload videos to your Dropbox account, access the settings, rate the app and view contact information for the developer.  The second page of the app is your diary entry list. After you record a video, it is dated, time stamped and added to the list. To view a entry, just tap on it.

The settings are singular in that you have the ability to turn on/off a reminder feature to help you remember when to record your thoughts.  Video Diary does have Live Tile support to remind you the reminder is set.  Beyond that, Video Diary's interface is simple and straight forward.

To record an entry, just tap on the New Tile and your Windows Phone camera is launched. You have button controls to start/stop the recording. After you record a video, it is dated, time stamped and added to the list. To view a entry, just tap on it.  Dropbox integration is just as simple. Tap on the Dropbox Tile and then tap on the listed video to upload.

All in all, Video Diary looks good.  I like the simple lay out, straight forward interface, and the reminder feature is a nice touch.  The only downside to Video Diary is that it doesn't support the front facing camera on second generation Windows Phones. Hopefully this will be a feature of future updates.

Look for Video Diary in the Marketplace within the next week or so. It is expected to be a free, ad-supported app and once we have the Windows Phone Marketplace link, we'll update the post.

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3 years ago

Nokia to disappear in 2012?

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Nokia to disappear in 2012?

Remember about a little over a year ago it was predicted that T-Mobile would disappear? Well the same group that predicted TMo's fate is now predicting that Nokia could close its doors in 2012.

24/7 Wall Street is predicting Nokia, along with other notables as Sony Ericsson, Sears, Saab and Kellogg's Corn Pops could disappear in 2012. Quoting from their reasoning behind predicting the demise of Nokia the articles states,

"Nokia is dead. Shareholders are just waiting for an undertaker. The world’s largest handset company has one asset: Nokia sold 25% of the global total of 428 million units sold in the first quarter. Its problem is that in the industry, the company is viewed as a falling knife."

24/7 does recognize that Nokia is in the process of changing over to "Microsoft Window mobile OS" but doesn't see that as helping because "Window mobile" has a tiny share of the market. The most likely scenario is that Nokia will be purchased potentially by HTC, Samsung or LG Electronics. The possibility of Microsoft buying Nokia is also mentioned.

We're not sure how much stock to put into these predictions of fate. In 2011 the list of companies predicted to fail included Blockbuster, Zales, RadioShack, Reader's Digest, and Thrift Auto Rental. Last I checked, along with T-Mobile, all of these companies are still around. We see Nokia as a strong contender in the smartphone market and that their partnership with Microsoft and Windows Phone will be a positive for the company.

I guess only time will tell which prediction is right.

source: 24/7 Wall Street Thanks goes out to the Doctor for tipping us on this!

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