Tag Archive: Android


Navdy: Feels Like Driving In The Future

 

 

 

Published on Aug 5, 2014

” Pre-order Navdy here at: http://navdy.com

  Navdy announced on 8/5 a breakthrough Head­Up Display (HUD) aftermarket car console that allows drivers to access their smartphone’s apps while keeping their eyes on the road. Navdy combines a high quality projection display with voice and gesture controls to create a safer, highly intuitive driving experience. Combining advanced display technology with touch­less controls means drivers no longer need to fumble around with their phone to navigate, communicate or control their music.

Navdy is the world’s first in­ car platform that offers:

1. Breakthrough display technology: Projects a bright transparent image directly within your field of vision that appears to float six feet in front of your windshield, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road while simultaneously seeing navigation instructions or incoming phone calls. The device comes with advanced dimming and stabilization controls, to optimize usability in any driving conditions.

2. Car­tailored Interface: When your smartphone apps appear on Navdy they are purposely simplified to show you only what you need, when you need it, and minimize distractions. Your navigation will not disappear when a call comes in; Navdy will display both notifications and navigation at the same time in a split screen. Visual elements such as image complexity, placement, or font size, are consistent across apps to make the user experience pleasant and predictable.

3. Voice and gesture controls: You’ll never need to look away from the road to use Navdy. Your app’s simplified Navdy menus can be navigated with intuitive hand gestures. Voice recognition captures more complex commands and text message responses. Navdy’s noise cancellation and wide angle gesture sensors are specifically designed to create an optical driving experience.

4. Works in any car: The device mounts on a flexible footer that fits on practically any car dashboard, and is powered by plugging in to the onboard computer (OBD II port), available in all cars produced since 1996. This makes the only required cord less intrusive, while providing car status information to the Navdy processor.

5. With all the Apps you need: Navdy works with popular navigation apps like Google Maps to display turn­by­turn directions; it controls your music apps like Spotify, Pandora, or Google Music; it reads or displays notifications from text messages or social media apps, fully controlled by its Parental Control settings; and it displays car alerts such as true­ speed, miles ­to ­empty, or battery­ voltage from its access to the car’s computer.

6. Portable and compatible: Navdy works with iPhone (iOS 7+) and Android (4.3+) smartphones, and can move easily to another car or another smartphone. Once a Navdy has been paired over bluetooth for the first time, it can share data with your phone over wifi. Navdy does not require it’s own data subscription service. Initial device dashboard placement takes 60­90 seconds. Slightly longer if you read instructions.

Availability & Pricing:

  Navdy is available for pre­order for 30 days at the introductory price of $299, at 40% discount from its projected retail price of $499. Early adopters can get a 10% refund of $30 for each friend they refer to buy the product ­with 10 referrals, your Navdy is free! Navdy is running a 30­ day pre­order campaign on navdy.com to gauge consumer demand and collect feedback from early adopters. Backers will have early access to the Navdy device so that they can provide feedback and help guide the app development process as the company ramps up to a wider release. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Pays $2.5bn For Minecraft Maker Mojang

 

 

 

 

” Microsoft has bought Mojang, the Swedish firm behind the popular video game Minecraft, for $2.5bn (£1.5bn).

  The title, which has sold over 54 million copies, allows players to build structures with retro Lego-style blocks, as well as explore a large map and battle others.

  The deal was announced by Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

  Mojang, whose three founders will leave the company, assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.

  Some analysts have speculated the deal is designed to attract more users to Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices.

  The acquisition comes a year after Microsoft bought the Finnish mobile phone firm Nokia.

  Minecraft creator Markus Persson has been critical of Microsoft

  Minecraft is one of the top-selling apps on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, further boosting sales. “

 

Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphone Add-Ons Offer Thermal Imaging

 

 

 

 

” Thermal imaging, a long-costly technology that lets soldiers see in the dark and firefighters see through smoke, is rapidly moving toward the mainstream with phone add-ons that cost hundreds of dollars rather than thousands.

  Flir Systems Inc., FLIR +0.26% one of the best-known manufacturers in the field, in July introduced a $349 iPhone accessory that allows the smartphone’s display to show glowing heat signatures of people, animals, lights and other objects. Its Flir One looks a bit like a standard protective case for a smartphone. The camera-equipped black sleeve wraps around an iPhone 5 or 5s, allowing a user to point at objects while viewing images on its display.

   Meanwhile, a group of industry veterans at a startup called Seek Thermal this fall plan to begin selling an add-on camera for smartphones for about $100 less. Rather than a sleeve, the company plans to sell a small thermal-camera module that plugs into the bottom of a smartphone. In a recent demonstration, a prototype Seek Thermal camera generated color thermal images that can be contrasted with conventional images using a split-screen feature.”

 

 

The interested reader can find reviews of the Flir One here and here

 

 

 

WSJ has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fueled Presents: 40 Years Of Cellphone

 

 

” Starting with the DynaTAC in 1974 and ending with a side-by-side comparison between the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy Note, Fueled’s designers and animators crafted the 40-year history of the mobile cell phone. For some it will be a walk down memory lane, for others a history lesson.

  Fueled’s Design Team describes the short video as Art Deco, a style characterized by its bold geometric shapes and rich colours. It’s a very eclectic style, deriving taste from a broad range of sources — some representing the machine age. You’ll notice the snappy animation style reflects the lightning fast transformation and evolution of cellphones.

  While the film may have ended with the first model of an iPhone, Fueled decided to dig into the evolution of Apple’s iPhone and compare it to top Android phones. It’s remarkable how little the iPhone’s aesthetic has changed in contrast to Android models, which are becoming larger and changing constantly.

  What will the next 40 years look like? Fueled’s Founder Rameet Chawla says, “While I don’t know exactly when, it’s only a matter of time before the cellphone will be completely obsolete.”

  If you recognize the voice in the script, you’ll know it’s from an old advertisement from 1980s for DynaTAC. At the time, no one knew how big mobile would become and that this one man’s prophecy would come true.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Build A More Secure Internet

 

 

 

 

” Can we ever trust the Internet again?

  In the wake of the disclosures about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, considerable attention has been focused on the agency’s collaboration with companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google, which according to leaked documents appear to have programmed “back door” encryption weaknesses into popular consumer products and services like Hotmail, iPhones and Android phones.

  But while such vulnerabilities are worrisome, equally important — and because of their technical nature, far less widely understood — are the weaknesses that the N.S.A. seems to have built into the very infrastructure of the Internet. The agency’s “upstream collection” capabilities, programs with names like Fairview and Blarney, monitor Internet traffic as it passes through the guts of the system: the cables and routers and switches.

  The concern is that even if consumer software companies like Microsoft and telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon stop cooperating with the N.S.A., your online security will remain compromised as long as the agency can still take advantage of weaknesses in the Internet itself.

  Fortunately, there is something we can do: encourage the development of an “open hardware” movement — an extension of the open-source movement that has led to software products like the Mozilla browser and the Linux operating system.

  The open-source movement champions an approach to product development in which there is universal access to a blueprint, as well as universal ability to modify and redistribute the blueprint. Wikipedia is perhaps the best-known example of a product inspired by the movement. Open-source advocates typically emphasize two kinds of freedom that their products afford: they are available free of charge, and they can be used and manipulated free of restrictions.

  But there is a third kind of freedom inherent in open-source systems: the freedom to audit. With open-source software, independent security experts can scrutinize the code for vulnerabilities — whether accidentally or intentionally introduced. The more auditing by the programming masses, the better the security. As the open-source software advocate Eric S. Raymond has put it, “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

 

 

Source: Mercatus.org

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Privacy Tools in Android 4.3+

 

 

 

” To date, there has been no way to run apps on Android with real and reliable privacy controls. Android version 4.3 and higher take a huge step in the right direction, letting users install apps while denying some of the apps’ attempts to collect the user’s data.

  Android was built from scratch to have quite a sophisticated and strongly enforced system of per-app permissions. But many of the privacy-sensitive permissions are poorly delineated and confusing.1 And the way the OS and Google’s Play Store worked, users could not install an app but say “no” to that app’s demand that it be able to read their address book, track their location, or grab their phone number or IMEI.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millions Of Android Users ‘Deceived’ By Flashlight App That Shares Location With Advertisers

 

 

 

” An Android developer has agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a free flashlight app that has been “deceiving” users. Brightest Flashlight Free, available in the Google Play store, has been downloaded over 50 million times, but a complaint from the FTC reveals that the seemingly innocent app transmits “precise location” data to third-party advertisers alongside a unique device identifier. The FTC says an option to prevent the location-sharing “deceived consumers,” as the data was automatically shared before users could disable it.”

 

 

 

    Brightest Flashlight should be pilloried for this sneaky method of doing business but the real story is the hypocrisy of a government agency (FTC) that pretends to defend our rights to privacy while other agencies (NSA) render that effort fruitless . As much as we detest the fact that the flashlight app helps track people , the fact that the NSA tracks EVERYONE who has a cell phone whether it is powered up or not makes the FTC’s efforts nothing more than a steaming pile of bull***t .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APP TURNS SMARTPHONE INTO PERSONAL PANIC BUTTON,ALERT SYSTEM

 

 

” A “panic button” smartphone app that can alert friends and family if you are in trouble or feel threatened has been released, its British developers say.

PanicMe, created by developer DataMe in consultation with local police forces, allows a user to set up a personalized response network of friends and family to be contacted when a panic alert is activated, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

A traffic light system offers three panic options — green, amber or red — depending on the seriousness of the event, and as many as 30 numbers in the phone’s contact list can be selected for each panic option.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google’s “Ingress” Opens To All Android Users December 14th

 

 

 

” We, at Niantic Labs at Google, are really excited to let you know that our biggest milestone since the introduction of Ingress is just around the corner: On December 14, 2013, when our worldwide 9-week, 39-city global player event called Operation #13MAGNUS concludes, Ingress will exit Beta. So today, we have several important announcements to share:   

First off, we are dropping the invitation code requirement so that we can welcome all Android players into our Beta. We look forward to welcoming new Agents into the global Ingress community. Beginning now, you can join the worldwide action by downloading Ingress on Google Play at http://goo.gl/KIshWr 

Niantic Labs would also like to thank Agents around the world who have supported us during the beta, so today we are also announcing a special one-time badge: The Founder Medal .  All Agents that reach Level 5 by December 14, 2013 will qualify for a special achievement for their early support of the Ingress experience.   

Additionally, we are excited to announce The Ingress Elite Vchallenge. From Monday, November 4 through the culmination of Operation #13MAGNUS on Saturday, December 14, all Ingress Agents will be eligible to participate in this challenge to identify the five (5) most elite Agents from around the world. Measured by a wide set of Ingress performance stats and a creative social media submission, the winning Ingress Agents will be flown to California for Top Secret Ingress briefings in February 2014 and a special interview with+Susanna Moyer  from The Ingress Report at http://www.youtube.com/ingress . Details on the Ingress Elite V challenge can be found at http://goo.gl/Cxfo1b ”

 

 

 

    Along with the shift from the Beta experimental stage to the open market Google is offering some additional treats and challenges for those lucky enough to be playing the Beta version of the game during the lead-up to going public . Below is a brief synopsis of what Ingress is all about … for the uninitiated , such as ourselves …

 

 

“Ingress is a game of exploration and discovery in the real world, as well as a way to join in with an amazing global community of Ingress Agents,” said +John Hanke , VP in charge of Google’s Niantic Labs. “Our journey over the past year has taken us to live events in more than 80 cities around the world, more than one million downloads of the Ingress app, and more than one million Portals discovered and submitted by Ingress Agents. Two ebooks, a comic book series, and a weekly YouTube show, ‘The Ingress Report’ paint a rich picture of the Ingress world. And Agents have made it their own with more than 2,000 Ingress user communities created on global social networks and countless designs for shirts, badges, jewelry and other objects. More than a dozen Agents have gone so far as to tattoo the Ingress logos on their bodies! A huge thank you to all of the amazing people that have been part of the Ingress journey so far. You have helped make Ingress what it is and have inspired us with so many amazing stories about meeting one another and finding new ways to explore and interact with our world. We can’t wait to see how players continue to make Ingress and the real world a more fun and inspiring place.”

 

 

    Even after putting together this post we must admit that we are still mostly in the dark as to the whole concept of Ingress , but if nothing else , it is a game that will finally get people’s butts up off the couch and out into the world . We supposed that that is benefit enough for a start .

 

 

 

 

 

Where To Shoot

iPhone Screenshot 2

 

 

” Search for shooting ranges near you, view video shooting tips and find other resources for shooters. Managed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Where To Shoot is the web’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the U.S. and Canada. This app brings that directory into the palm of your hand. A great resource for all gun owners, hunters and shooters. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Security Concerns Abound Over Unofficial Android iMessage App That Uses Chinese Servers To Process Data

 

 

” An unauthorised app that lets Android users chat on Apple’s closed iMessage network is causing a big stir. It’s had viral downloads in the tens of thousands amid claims that it could be spreading malware; but the Chinese developer who developed the app tells us everything is cool.

[TechCrunch has opted not to include a link to the app page because of the security concerns]

It’s the latest security scare for Google’s popular mobile operating system, whose Play store in 2012 accounted for 79% of all smartphone malware – meanwhile Apple’s highly protected iOS App Store consisted of just .7% malicious apps.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YouTube Will Let Users Watch Videos Offline In Its App

 

 

 

” YouTube is adding a feature to its mobile app in November that will let users add videos to their handsets to watch for a short period, even when they are unable to get an Internet connection.

Exactly how long the “short period” will be is not clear yet, but YouTube hints that it could be as long as your journey to work in the morning, saying: “Your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARNING!!!! If You Take Photos With Your Smart Phone You Need To See This

 

App Lets Phone Owners Participate In Scientific Projects

 

 

” Android smartphone owners can be citizen scientists and participate in important scientific research every time they charge their phones, U.S. researchers say.

A new phone app created at the University of California, Berkeley, will allow users to donate a phone’s idle computing power to crunch numbers for projects that could lead to breakthroughs ranging from novel medical therapies to the discovery of new stars, a university release said Tuesday.

The app was created by a Berkeley project called Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, known for its computer software that supports more than 50 volunteer computing projects around the world.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Android App Tracks Gun Owner’s Addresses, Displays Info to All Users

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” There’s a new app in the Android Marketplace, and it may be exposing the fact that you’re a gun owner to the entire world.

  Yep, the app’s entire purpose is to document and map the personal addresses of people who own guns. The “irresponsible” part of that is completely at the discretion of the person making the posting.

  The maker of the app understands there are concerns in regards to the app, and they have opened up a phone line to take feedback from the general population. That number is (225) 267-7346.”

9 Top Tech Myths Debunked

 

 

Jailbreaking and Rooting are Illegal

” Smartphone owners can jailbreak their iOS devices and root their Android phones to get around the restrictions of manufacturers and carriers. But is this ominous-sounding practice legal? The word itself—jailbreaking—makes it sound like the process is illegal. In actuality, it’s more complicated: The technique both is and isn’t illegal under U.S. copyright law. Last fall, when the Library of Congress updated the rules for 2013 through late 2015, it decided that you can legally jailbreak your smartphone (though you’ll void your Apple warranty) but not necessarily your tablet, because, the Library says, “tablets” is an ill-defined category. What is definitely not legal is unlocking your phone. The Library’s ruling prohibits tinkering with your device so it works on different cellular networks without your wireless carrier’s permission, which is subject to as much as $2500 in fines, or even jail time. 

Legal questions aside, is jailbreaking worth the trouble? Nearly 7 million iOS users who cracked their devices using the latest jailbreak since it became available in February say yes. And as for the riskiness of jailbreaking an iPad, just consider: Despite the law, absolutely no one has (yet) been prosecuted or fined.”

Read the other 8 here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New App Lets You Track Government Spending On Your Phone

 

 

” Adam Andrezejewski, who ran as the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois in 2010, believes passionately that American taxpayers should know how government spends their money.  Andrewzejewski and a team of designers have now realized that dream by creating Open the Books, a free app that creates a searchable database allowing America’s shareholders (i.e., taxpayers) to see how the federal government is spending their money. The app works on both Apple and Droid platforms. If you don’t have a smart phone, the same information can be viewed at http://www.openthebooks.com. All you need to do to find out about local spending is to enter your zip code.

In a Wall Street Journal article alerting Americans to this oversight program, Andrewzejewski details just three of the unpleasant surprises about federal spending he was able to find using Open the Books:

• The brother of a former state director of agriculture under former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has received nine federally guaranteed loans totaling $1.67 million since 2006. He has also received hundreds of thousands in direct payments and subsidies from the federal government, all based on his ownership of a single hog farm in Teutopolis, Ill.”

 

 

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Review: 5 More Ways To Maximize Battery Power

 

 

 

 

” The Samsung Galaxy S4 has proved to be immensely popular, as about 10 million of the smartphones have been sold worldwide since its release about a month ago. However, many new Galaxy S4 owners have faced various issues with their handsets, with one of them being significant battery drain.

nitial reports on problems with the Samsung Galaxy S4 included complaints about the smartphone’s massive 2,600 mAh lithium-ion battery: Some users described the batteries as getting drained overnight, with charges of less than 50 percent remaining by morning.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army Practices Poor Data Hygiene on Its New Smartphones, Tablets

 

 

 

” The Army absolutely loves its new Android, iOS and Windows smartphones and tablets. Just not enough to properly secure the sensitive data it stores on them.

A spot check of mobile devices used by the Army at its West Point military academic and its corps of engineers shows inconsistent and outright poor data security. The Pentagon inspector general has found that the smartphones and tablets the Army buys at local electronics stores often aren’t configured to protect sensitive data, leaving it to individual users to safeguard their data. (.pdf)

“If devices remain unsecure,” writes assistant inspector general Alice F. Carey, “malicious activities could disrupt Army networks and compromise sensitive [Defense Department] information.” ”

 

 

 

Meet The Groundbreaking New Encryption App Set To Revolutionize Privacy And Freak Out The Feds.

” For the past few months, some of the world’s leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention. Today, they’ve decided it’s time to tell all.

Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments’ feathers with a “surveillance-proof” smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. Now, the company is pushing things even further—with a groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button. (For now, it’s just being released for iPhones and iPads, though Android versions should come soon.) That means photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it—sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds.

“This has never been done before,” boasts Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s CEO. “It’s going to revolutionize the ease of privacy and security.”

Just in time for the revolution … truly secure comms

HT/Instapundit

Want To Know Who Stole Your Phone?

 

 

 

” Want to know who’s been snooping in or has stolen your phone? A new feature has been integrated into an app for Android that snaps the prying individual’s photo and sends it to you via email.
A new feature in an app will alert the owner of a smartphone as to who stole, or is trying to snoop, in their device. According to Digital Trends, Lookout Security & Antivirus has made a recent update to its app.

Called the Lock Cam, it works in conjunction with Android devices and uses a device’s front-facing camera to snap a picture of anyone trying to break into a smartphone or tablet.

If the thief, or nosy person, tries to crack the device’s password, three strikes and they are out. After three unsuccessful tries to unlock the gadget, a photo is snapped and the image immediately emailed to the gadget’s owner. Other information sent in the message includes the GPS location of where the smartphone is currently located. “