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23 hours ago

Article inside Apple Update Disables Phones Repaired by Non-Apple Technicians

4 people viewing this

| By kkkid - 23 hours ago

‘Error 53’ fury mounts as Apple software update threatens to kill your iPhone 6
It’s the message that spells doom and will render your handset worthless if it’s been repaired by a third party. But there’s no warning and no fix

Friday 5 February 2016 06.59 GMT Last modified on Saturday 6 February 2016 14.11 GMT
http://www.theguardian.co .. MP=fb_guiphone



Happy days? The first customer of Apple’s iPhone 6 … but users have since reported problems with the mysterious ‘error 53’ message.
Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Miles Brignall


Thousands of iPhone 6 users claim they have been left holding almost worthless phones because Apple’s latest operating system permanently disables the handset if it detects that a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician.

Relatively few people outside the tech world are aware of the so-called “error 53” problem, but if it happens to you you’ll know about it. And according to one specialist journalist, it “will kill your iPhone”.


Apple says iPhone 'Error 53' is to protect customers' security
Read more
The issue appears to affect handsets where the home button, which has touch ID fingerprint recognition built-in, has been repaired by a “non-official” company or individual. It has also reportedly affected customers whose phone has been damaged but who have been able to carry on using it without the need for a repair.

But the problem only comes to light when the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software, iOS 9, is installed. Indeed, the phone may have been working perfectly for weeks or months since a repair or being damaged.

After installation a growing number of people have watched in horror as their phone, which may well have cost them £500-plus, is rendered useless. Any photos or other data held on the handset is lost – and irretrievable.

Tech experts claim Apple knows all about the problem but has done nothing to warn users that their phone will be “bricked” (ie, rendered as technologically useful as a brick) if they install the iOS upgrade.

Freelance photographer and self-confessed Apple addict Antonio Olmos says this happened to his phone a few weeks ago after he upgraded his software. Olmos had previously had his handset repaired while on an assignment for the Guardian in Macedonia. “I was in the Balkans covering the refugee crisis in September when I dropped my phone. Because I desperately needed it for work I got it fixed at a local shop, as there are no Apple stores in Macedonia. They repaired the screen and home button, and it worked perfectly.”

He says he thought no more about it, until he was sent the standard notification by Apple inviting him to install the latest software. He accepted the upgrade, but within seconds the phone was displaying “error 53” and was, in effect, dead.

When Olmos, who says he has spent thousands of pounds on Apple products over the years, took it to an Apple store in London, staff told him there was nothing they could do, and that his phone was now junk. He had to pay £270 for a replacement and is furious.

How can a company deliberately make its own product useless with an upgrade, and not warn customers about it?

Antonio Olmos
“The whole thing is extraordinary. How can a company deliberately make their own products useless with an upgrade and not warn their own customers about it? Outside of the big industrialised nations, Apple stores are few and far between, and damaged phones can only be brought back to life by small third-party repairers.

“I am not even sure these third-party outfits even know this is a potential problem,” he says.

Olmos is far from the only one affected. If you Google “iPhone 6” and “error 53” you will find no shortage of people reporting that they have been left with a phone that now only functions as a very expensive paperweight.

Posting a message on an Apple Support Communities forum on 31 December, “Arjunthebuster” is typical. He/she says they bought their iPhone 6 in January 2015 in Dubai, and dropped it the following month causing a small amount of damage.

They carried on using the phone, but when they tried to install iOS 9 in November “error 53” popped up. “The error hasn’t occurred because I broke my phone (it was working fine for 10 months). I lost all my data because of this error. I don’t want Apple to fix my screen or anything! I just want them to fix the ‘error 53’ so I can use my phone, but they won’t!”

Could Apple’s move, which appears to be designed to squeeze out independent repairers, contravene competition rules? Car manufacturers, for example, are not allowed to insist that buyers only get their car serviced by them.

Apple charges £236 for a repair to the home button on an iPhone 6 in the UK, while an independent repairer would demand a fraction of that.

California-based tech expert Kyle Wiens, who runs the iFixit website, says this is a major issue. “The ‘error 53’ page on our website has had more than 183,000 hits, suggesting this is a big problem for Apple users,” he told Guardian Money. “The problem occurs if the repairer changes the home button or the cable. Following the software upgrade the phone in effect checks to make sure it is still using the original components, and if it isn’t, it simply locks out the phone. There is no warning, and there’s no way that I know of to bring it back to life.”

He says it is unclear whether this is a deliberate move to force anyone who drops their phone to use Apple for a repair. “All along, Apple’s view is that it does not want third parties carrying out repairs to its products, and this looks like an obvious extension of that,” he says. “What it should do is allow its customers to recalibrate their phone after a repair. Only when there is a huge outcry about this problem will it do something.”

The Daily Dot website features an article by tech writer Mike Wehner headlined “Error 53 will kill your iPhone and no one knows what it is”. He relates how his own iPhone 6 Plus was left “effectively dead to the world”.

Only when there is a huge outcry about this problem will Apple do something

Kyle Wiens
Meanwhile, an article by tech writer Reuben Esparza, published in November by iCracked, a phone repair service, states: “When pressed for more information about the error, few, if any Apple employees could offer an explanation. There was no part they would replace, no software fix, and no way to access the phone’s memory. The fix was a new iPhone.” It continues: “Though still largely a mystery to most, we now know that error 53 is the result of a hardware failure somewhere within the home button assembly.”

A spokeswoman for Apple told Money (get ready for a jargon overload): “We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.”

She adds: “When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorised repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an ‘error 53’ being displayed … If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.”

 
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2 days ago

Bluegreen Mobile Pink (T-Mobile) $45 Unlimited Talk, Text, 10gb LTE

3 people viewing this

| By Duntaz - 2 days ago

if you give a fu*k


https://bluegreenmobile.c .. uct/pink-10gb/

https://bluegreenmobile.com/networks/
they also have a blue plan(at&t) and red plan (verizon I believe)

 
Read 35 comments





2 days ago

Image inside node electric outlet

4 people viewing this

| By eazy253 - 2 days ago


 
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3 days ago

Image inside Simpson's quote search engine

2 people viewing this

| By voltron - 3 days ago


 
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3 days ago

Image inside Alleged image of the next HTC Flagship

4 people viewing this

| By KingP1n - 3 days ago

Quote:


HTC is preparing its most advanced smartphone ever, VentureBeat has learned, keen on recapturing lost market share after stumbling with successive annual flagships that underwhelmed the marketplace. Details of the upcoming handset, codenamed Perfume and widely believed to be sold at retail as the One M10, were shared by a person who was granted hands-on time with a prototype.

Powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and skinned with HTC’s Sense 8.0 UI, the 5.1-inch Perfume was tipped as the company’s first global release to offer a 1440 x 2560 QHD display — which looked to be of the AMOLED variety, according to the person who saw it. Additionally, it will also be HTC’s first widely distributed flagship device to offer a fingerprint scanner, embedded in a Samsung Galaxy-like home button.

Internally, the phone was said to run Qualcomm’s latest top-of-the-line silicon, the Snapdragon 820 system-on-a-chip with Adreno 530 graphics. In terms of memory, VentureBeat was told that it had 4GB of RAM and 23GB of free internal storage (supplemented by a microSD slot) — which implies 32GB total, minus operating system and other preloaded software.

Externally, the device’s appearance may still be subject to change, according to the person who used it. Therefore they were unwilling to comment in depth about its aesthetics.

Imaging is perhaps the one area in which reviewers have traditionally been the most critical of HTC’s best efforts each year. After experimenting with a so-called four UltraPixel resolution camera in 2014’s One M8 and swinging back to a more traditional 20-megapixel sensor in its One M9 successor, HTC has apparently decided to give its homegrown technology another shot.

Perfume features a rear-facing camera with 12-UltraPixel resolution and laser-assisted autofocus. Both the front-facing (whose sensor resolution was not specified) and rear-facing lenses offer optical image stabilization.

One important omission, sure to disappoint regular HTC customers, is the absence of a branded Boomsound audio experience. Other than the lack of front-facing stereo speakers, though, no details were shared on the quality of sound offered.

HTC will not be showing Perfume at next month’s Mobile World Congress, to the best of the source’s knowledge, instead opting for a bespoke launch at a later date. Neither pricing details nor a concrete release schedule are currently known — although the person who spent time with the phone seemed very enthusiastic about its likely market reception.

 
Read 32 comments





3 days ago

Biggest L Of 2016: SwiftKey Co-Founder Sold His Shares For A Bicycle Before $250M Buyout

2 people viewing this

| By Jago - 3 days ago

Quote:


When Microsoft bought start-up SwiftKey for £173m ($250m), it made its creators overnight millionaires – something Chris Hill-Scott would have shared too had he not decided to cash in his stake in the company. For a bicycle.

In 2008, Hill-Scott joined Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock in setting up the company that would go on to create SwiftKey but he soon found the long hours and lack of salary too hard to handle. He decided to sell his shares to his fellow founders for the princely exchange of a bicycle. A decision that might sting today.

Little did Hill-Scott know the company's AI predictive text technology would eventually work its way on to over 300 million smartphones and tablets and be one of the UK's biggest start-ups, fetching a substantial acquisition fee from Microsoft that saw Reynolds and Medlock reportedly pocket £25m each.

According to the Times, Hill-Scott left on good terms back in 2008 and went on to design websites for the government but it is understood he "did not receive a penny" from the sale. Ironically, the software is designed to pre-empt what the user is going to type next; if only Hill-Scott could have shared this same premonition.

"When SwiftKey was founded there were three founding members, Chris was a friend of Jon's from school and Ben was a friend from his university in Cambridge. Two months after forming the company Chris decided to leave; Jon and Ben bought his shares," a SwiftKey spokesperson said.

Records show Hill-Scott was listed as the director of SwiftKey's parent company, TouchType, in August 2008 and then left his post by October of the same year.

Foresight is a wonderful thing but you can understand from Hill-Scott's point of view why he would make that decision to find regular income as any start-up is a gamble. With the boom in start-up companies, we imagine this will not be the last time we hear of such a story.

SwiftKey: Ex-founder misses share in £174 million app after cashing in stake for bicycle

 
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3 days ago

Lifetime Subscription from SlickVPN for $40 (or $38 w 5%off)

2 people viewing this

| By Duntaz - 3 days ago

If you give a fu*k



https://shop.sitepoint.co .. -plan-lifetime
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and they don't log activity

 
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4 days ago

Image inside US 4G LTE speeds VS rest of the world.... :mjcry:

3 people viewing this

| By deejaiatl3 - 4 days ago


Im kinda shocked that some of these 3rd world countries have faster 4G speeds than we do.

Link to full article below.
http://bgr.com/2016/02/04 .. n-global-2016/

 
Read 22 comments





4 days ago

Video inside Futuristic wearable chair exoskeleton allows you to sit while standing

3 people viewing this

| By mr_underground - 4 days ago




What are legs good for? They’re good for sitting!


If you work a job where you’re standing all day, you’ll know how much strain you can put on your feet, hips, and joints. Depending on the line of work, you may have the opportunity to sit down and give your legs a break throughout the day, but if you’re, say, a medical surgeon, you don’t always get that option.

But what if you had a chair with you at all times? What if you could sit without actually sitting? It sounds absurd, but the archelis “wearable chair” allows for just that.

Planned and produced by Japanese company Nitto under the supervision of Chiba University’s Frontier Medical Engineering Center, archelis simply straps onto your legs, allowing the “chair” to move along with you. By bending your knees and putting your weight on the upper sections of the unit, archelis supports your body in the same way as if you were sitting, taking the strain off your tired legs and feet.

The device is ergonomically designed using a combination of tough metal and carbon to be both durable yet is light enough to allow for comfort and ease of movement. For surgeons who need to stay standing and focused for hours on end, this could be the welcomed relief they need.

Archelis is still in development and does not yet have a set price or release date, but any updates on production will be announced on the website. While the unit was designed with medical staff in mind, we can definitely see this being used in a number of different applications, such as allowing people who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time a little respite. Personally, I’d love to have one of these for my long morning commute on crowded trains!

http://en.rocketnews24.co .. ideo%E3%80%91/

 
Read 19 comments





5 days ago

lettuce pray: Microsoft bought out Swiftkey

2 people viewing this

| By st21 - 5 days ago

Quote:

In what may be bad news for Android users who are fans of one of the world’s most popular virtual keyboards, Microsoft is acquiring SwiftKey to the tune of $250 million. It seems that Microsoft wants to use the keyboard, which has been installed on over 300 million devices, as well as SwiftKey’s artificial intelligence research to bolster their slipping foothold in both the mobile market and the burgeoning AI field.

While many people think of SwiftKey solely as a predictive keyboard, if a sometimes unsettlingly prescient one, the company also has quite a bit invested in adaptive learning and AI algorithms that allow human behavior to be accurately predicted. Stephen Hawking’s current language assistance program, after all, was designed by SwiftKey, and the company is developing tools to help other communicatively disabled people engage in the world around them via their Symbols app.

The 150-employee company is based out of London, and its co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock both can expect to make over $30 million individually from Microsoft’s buyout. Acquisition of AI frontrunners is something of an arms race in Silicon Valley right now. Google seems to be leading the way with their far-reaching DeepMind research (a company they acquired in 2014), but apple isn’t far behind with VocalIQ, an AI software set with natural applications for Siri.

Acquiring SwiftKey accomplishes two objectives for Microsoft. Recently, the Windows creator has been buying up mobile tech left and right in an attempt to push their way back into a game that has become overwhelmingly Android/iOS dominant. Meanwhile, although they have been pursuing AI in smaller avenues, Microsoft hasn’t had any big-hitter that could attempt to rival DeepMind.

No word yet on how this will affect the SwiftKey keyboard – which is not available on Windows phones – on Android and iOS. Neither Microsoft nor SwiftKey have elected to comment on this matter as of yet. Hopefully our beloved keyboard will not meet the same fate as Sunrise, a calendar app that was gripped, stripped, and digested whole by Microsoft like a bacterium in the grip of mighty amoeba last year, only to be assimilated entirely into Outlook.
fu*k this man

 
Read 8 comments





5 days ago

HTC Completes The 3Peat, Has Three Consecutive Quarters In The Red

3 people viewing this

| By Jago - 5 days ago

Quote:


HTC’s (financial) struggle is real. The Taiwanese tech firm endured another rough quarter of business after it posted a NT$3.4 billion ($101 million) net loss for Q4 2015. Total revenue came in at NT$25.7 billion ($766 million), which is up nearly 20 percent quarter-on-quarter but down a massive 46 percent year-on-year.

The phone maker booked a slender NT$0.47 billion (then $14.7 million) profit one year ago in Q4 2014, but this time around it is a third successive quarterly loss following on from a NT$4.5 billion ($139 million) loss in Q3 2015, when it stopped forecasting its own sales, and a NT$8.0 billion (US$252 million) loss in Q2.

In a brief press announcement, HTC made some unspecific positive noises about its newer products. Its Desire line saw “good momentum” and the HTC One A9 was “well received” in Asia, the U.S. and Europe, we’re told. On a call with analysts, Chialin Chang, CFO and President of Global Sales, was more frank, admitting that sales of HTC’s flagship HTC One M9 “fell short of expectation” in 2015.

“You will find [that] the product portfolio is streamlined and matched with the right cost of doing business,” Chang said when asked what HTC plans to do differently this year.

In a bid to find that “right cost”, HTC implemented a series of restructuring initiatives in the latter part of 2015, which included laying off 15 percent of staff, and some costs related to that are still being felt. Chang said that one further quarter of expenditure from restructuring will happen, so improved financial results aren’t expected until HTC’s Q2 2016, the company CFO added.

HTC is putting a lot of emphasis on virtual reality (including its upcoming Vive product) and the Internet of things. Chang voiced his optimistic that efforts in VR and wearables — where it is working with Under Armour, and just launched its first product — “will be able to contribute to the bottom line in a meaningful way.” Aside from being ambiguous, it’s tough to know how VR will play out in the consumer space — and in terms of sales — but it is so nascent and unlike other products on the market. What is clear, however, is that 2015 was a disaster for HTC, and the company can’t afford a repeat this year.

HTC Cards $101M Loss In Q4 2015, Its Third Successive Quarter In The Red | TechCrunch

 
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5 days ago

Image inside Google Engineer makes a Smart Bathroom Mirror.

4 people viewing this

| By bosslife11 - 5 days ago

Thought this was something pretty cool.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Y.G. (Post 37749544)
Here are the pictures

















So dope. I plan on starting this project very soon. I've seen a couple other iterations that I've been looking into.



My Bathroom Mirror Is Smarter Than Yours
When I couldn’t buy a smart mirror and made one instead
Sometime late last year I realized that I wanted my ordinary bathroom mirror to be more like the future we were promised in the movies.
There doesn’t seem to be anyone selling the product I was looking for. The individual parts, however, were fairly easy to get. A number of people have done similar custom builds recently, but I had something different in mind.
So I ordered myself a two-way mirror, a display panel and controller board, plus a bunch of components and arts & crafts supplies. In reality there was quite a bit of experimentation and some dead ends before I got to this set of parts, but let’s have a look at the finished — yet by no means final—result:

https://d262ilb51hltx0.cl .. PBVNN5zWA.jpeg

https://d262ilb51hltx0.cl .. DmSrGBNpQ.jpeg

https://d262ilb51hltx0.cl .. A5Pf70S_A.jpeg


Behind the mirror doing all the work

https://d262ilb51hltx0.cl .. t06hrW3Aw.jpeg



Full Article: https://medium.com/@maxbr .. 1ba#.byvwjvl4e

 
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5 days ago

RINGPLUS $0/mo. for 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 1,000 MB of 4G LTE data

4 people viewing this

| By Duntaz - 5 days ago

for those who happen to give a fu*k

RINGPLUS Legends 4 Promotions: Limited Editions 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 1,000 MB of 4G LTE data. + Free Porting + Loaner Phone

https://promos.ringplus.net/

Deal is LIVE!! https://ringplus.net/ to sign up now.

Cell Phone Service (Not VOIP) on Sprint's Network for Free w/ a one-time $20 Top Up fee to get started. you get 1k minutes/1k data/1k text EVERY month. Then for the next month they give you 1k again in ALL buckets. No rollover from month to month.

Optional $10/mo for 2GB Un-throttled LTE add-on or $10/mo for a 3GB untrottled LTE plan.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 12 Noon Pacific

https://discourse.ringplu .. vailable/10405

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$0/mo. for 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 1,000 MB of 4G LTE data.

A $20 Top Up is required to cover overages. If, and only if, the Top-Up balance reaches $0, another $20 auto Top Up will be automatically charged to your credit card on file.

This plan is open only to new subscriptions or current Members who activate new lines.

*Bob Feller Data Add On
$9.99 for 2GB of 4G LTE data.

All port-ins to RingPlus during this Promotion will be Free. Eligible phones include all Sprint Network compatible phones, and eligible non-Sprint Network compatible phones from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Devices (and their MVNOs) RingPlus can activate most inactive Sprint postpaid phones as well as the unlocked iPhone 6s, 6s+, 6, 6+, or Nexus 5, 5X, 6 or 6P from T-Mobile, Verizon, or ATT; and the Verizon iPhone 5s or 5c.

The plan in this Promotion can be accessed by getting a loaner phone, by Bringing Your Own Device at ringplus.net, or by buying a phone or a SIM card during the Promo time at https://store.ringplus.net/ (If you purchase a SIM during the promo, we will reserve your place as long as you activate within 14 days after receiving your SIM card.)

Honor system Social Linkage *During sign up for these plans, we kindly ask that you link your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account to post about our service.

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If you exceed your free monthly allotment, this Top Up balance will fund any overage fees. If/when your existing Top Up balance reaches zero, another automatic $20 Top Up fee is charged to your payment method on file and applied to your account.
If you remain within your free monthly allotment, no additional charges are applied and your account remains funded w/ your last Top Up amount

 
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5 days ago

Video inside Microsoft shows how NFL fans could use HoloLens in the future

4 people viewing this

| By Iceberg - 5 days ago


 
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6 days ago

Google Wants Total Control Of Future Nexus Phones After 6P & 5X Sales Flop

2 people viewing this

| By Jago - 6 days ago

Quote:


A rather lengthy report on The Information was published this morning about the state of Google's Nexus program, and if I had to put it in one word, the state of Nexus seems to be "fluctuating." While there's a lot to chew through here, there are a few talking points worth pulling out specifically to digest and analyze, so let's dive in.

  • Google will take more control over Nexus device development and branding in the future. Maybe.

What does this actually mean? It really is impossible to know. The Information carefully clads these statements in a lot of "ifs," "mays," and "coulds." Google clearly already does nearly all of the aesthetic design on Nexus devices and likely many major feature or hardware decisions - neither the Nexus 5X nor the 6P look anything like LG or Huawei currently produce. But LG and Huawei likely still play critical roles in terms of hardware design on these devices in areas like PCB layout, antennas, testing, and specific construction techniques.

TI says this could end up manifesting as Google treating Nexus device makers more like simple OEMs fulfilling a manufacturing contract, as opposed to partners in development, sales, and distribution. Google would design the device, submit it to the manufacturer for implementation and production, and that manufacturer may not even have their brand featured anywhere on the end product, or in the marketing of said product.

If Google wants to totally take over the entire design process, that's a major leap, and one that would likely take several generations of devices to fully realize. This part of the rumor, frankly, is the ripest for speculation - and thus the juiciest for discussion - but The Information provides precious little in the way of concrete detail other than to say Google wants a more Google-y Nexus program. It's still unclear if manufacturers will go for this, or even if Google will choose to move in this direction, depending on whether or not it's realistic, or worth the substantial investment to make it happen. It's not even clear what "it" is. But Nexus fans are bound to love to hear this news, because if there's anything it seems we want more of, it's more Google on our Nexus phones. So this could end up being good. Or it could end up being nothing - we don't know.

More interesting to me were the less asterisked statements that The Information provided about the Nexus program in its current state. Here are a few select bullet points that stuck out:

  • HTC is still in talks to build the next Nexus phone(s).

The story doesn't really go beyond that, but it does support rumors that have been circulating.

  • Google takes a 15% cut of the sales price of Nexus phones it sells, but it hasn't always done this, and on some past devices has taken no cut at all. (Wondering why the 6, 5X, and 6P are pricey? Maybe that's it.)

This is interesting, because both the Nexus 5X and 6P have been subject to multiple sales on the Google Store lately. Both are currently $50 off. For the 32GB 6P, that's a 10% cut, and for the 16GB 5X, that's a hair under 15% (or 12.5% for the 32GB), suggesting Google is basically "eating" any profits it might make on the 5X, and almost any it might make on the 6P. Perhaps Google was a tad overconfident in how these devices would sell at their initial retail price points? The Information's... information... would seem to support such a theory.

  • The "most recent" Nexus phones (5X, 6P, possibly 6?) have not met their "optimistic" internal sales goals at Google.

This is direct evidence confirming the above suspicions: Google isn't moving 5Xs and 6Ps at the rate it hoped to. That's probably a driving force behind the desire to exert more "control" over the larger Nexus program, though it's not clear how that would inherently help device sales without a massive marketing push to support such an effort.

  • The Nexus 5 (2013) was the best-selling Nexus phone of all time.

No surprise there, really. The Nexus 5 was sold in more places than the Nexus 4, had LTE, and the benefit of being the second "cheap" Nexus phone. The Nexus 5 still outranks the Nexus 6 on Android Police by traffic over two years after it debuted.

  • A person who works/worked for a Nexus device partner claims Google "micromanages" the development process down to minutiae "like screws."

Can you imagine someone at Google getting picky over screws? I can imagine someone at Google getting picky over screws.

  • That the 5X and 6P aren't being sold by any US carriers is a point of "significant consternation" for people involved with the Nexus program.

The Nexus 6 was sold on AT&T and that venture resulted in a device that receives delayed updates due to certification procedures and, for a time, was even forked off the main Nexus 6 build tree because of it. Google likely has no desire to repeat this scenario, and I'm betting horns were locked over issues such as support of carrier-specific features like VoLTE and "network enhancements" that almost always serve to slow down OS updates, necessitate lengthy certifications, and create problems on devices.

  • Google has "pushed back" against requests by carriers to enable LTE carrier aggregation on Nexus phones.

This one is interesting, as I have no idea why exactly Google would be inherently against carrier aggregation. Perhaps it necessitates yet another layer of carrier certification and testing on devices? I can only speculate here.

If you're a subscriber, you can read The Information's full article at the source link below.

Source: The Information

Report: Nexus Program May Push For Greater Control Of Hardware, Nexus 5X And 6P Not Meeting Sales Goals

 
Read 46 comments





6 days ago

Microsoft Starts automatically Pushing Windows 10 to all Windows 7 and 8.1 Users

4 people viewing this

| By toonice12 - 6 days ago



As warned last year, Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 upgrades onto its user's PCs much harder by re-categorizing Windows 10 as a "Recommended Update" in Windows Update, instead of an "optional update."

Microsoft launched Windows 10 earlier last year and offered the free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 and 8.1 users. While the company has been successful in getting Windows 10 onto more than 200 Million devices, Microsoft wants to go a lot more aggressive this year.

So, If you have enabled Automatic Windows Update on your Window 7, 8 or 8.1 to install critical updates, like Security Patches, you should watch your steps because…

...From Monday, Windows Update will start upgrading your PC to the newest Windows 10 as a recommended update, Microsoft confirmed.

This means Windows 10 upgrade process will download and start on hundreds of millions of devices automatically.

The move is, of course, the part of Microsoft's goal to get Windows 10 running on 1 Billion devices within 2-3 years of its actual release.

Market Share of Windows 10 is on the rise. It has already grabbed a market share of 11.85% as of January 2016, increasing from 9.96% in December. But, Windows 7 is still running on over 50% of all PCs in the world, so targeting even half of its user base would bring Microsoft very near to its goal.

"As we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "We updated the update experience today to help our clients, who previously reserved their upgrade, schedule a time for their upgrade to take place."

This means if the 'Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important update' option in Windows Update section is enabled on your PC, the Windows 10 update will not only be downloaded but also, the installation will be started automatically.

You are also required to stay alert because even if you have adopted manual updates you may still end up downloading Windows 10 anyway. As Windows Update is automatically pre-selecting the option for you, without your need to click on the box to get it.

However, the company says that you won't be forced to upgrade the creepy OS as there will still be a prompt window that will require you to click through and confirm the Windows 10 upgrade after the files have silently been downloaded and unpacked in the background.

Even if the Windows 10 upgrade is accidentally completed, there is still a way to opt out of it. Microsoft is offering a 31 day grace period in which you will be able to revert to your old installation after trying Windows 10 and deciding you not like the operating system.

Though we know this revert will also be an aggressive push by Microsoft.



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6 days ago

Image inside Wikileak's Julian Assange Could Be Set Free On Friday by United Nation

2 people viewing this

| By toonice12 - 6 days ago



The decision of the United Nations investigation into the Julian Assange case is set to be revealed and could order the release of Wikileaks founder on February 5.

"BREAKING: UN set to announce decision on #Assange's release on Friday,"BREAKING: UN set to announce decision on #Assange's release on Friday," Wikileaks has tweeted.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over 3 years, after being granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government of the South American country.

Assange has been residing in the embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition:

1. First to Sweden where he is facing sexual assault allegations, which he has always denied.

2. Ultimately to the United States where he could face cyber espionage charges for publishing classified US military and diplomat documents via his website Wikileaks.

The leak of publishing secret documents has amounted to the largest information leak in United States history. The US also launched a criminal case against Assange following the leak.

However, Assange filed a complaint against Sweden and the United Kingdom in September 2014 that has been considered by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The decision on the case will be published on Friday, and if the group concludes that Assange is being illegally detained, the UN is expected to call on the UK and Sweden to release him.



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6 days ago

Samsung Releases New Browser That's Faster Than Chrome, Adds Support For Ad-Blocking & VR

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 6 days ago

Quote:


Samsung has begun to roll out the latest version of the Android-powered Samsung web browser found in the latest Galaxy smartphones and phablets. It should become available within the coming weeks, and it represents Samsung’s desire to create a browser built around compatibility, functionality, and ease of use.

When you pick up your Galaxy smartphone, the web browser you use should be the most capable, the most well-featured, and easiest to use. Unfortunately most people will mentally switch over to Chrome, and not give the built-in Samsung Browser a second look. The South Korean company wants to change that attitude with the imminent release of version 4 of its Android-Based browser.


Even though there are countless apps that can pull down information from the internet, offer news and content, or guide you through social networks, the web browser remains a key part of the smartphone. I’ve said many times that the idea of shipping one smartphone with two applications that perform the same function is not a great user experience. The delight of the web is that users can choose which browser experience suits them best, but the unbalanced nature of Android presents Chrome as the easy default.

Users wants Google’s Android services on their smartphone, and that means manufacturers have little choice to go down a route with two web browser (and two email clients, and two calendars, and two cameras, and two photo galleries, and so on). If they want access to Google’s services, then Google’s software is going to be included in the handset. Why would a manufacturer not want to deliver the best experience to its users? That means compromise, and that means shipping with two web browsers to offer a visible choice.

So Samsung’s competition is already present in the handset, and that’s not going to change. It means there needs to be a greater focus on ensuring that Galaxy users do not ‘default to Chrome’ when they pick up a new Galaxy smartphone or tablet. That means making the Samsung Browser an attractive choice for everyone, and getting the word out to as many people as possible.

It’s also why Samsung reached out to let me experience one of the later builds of the browser ahead of its public release.


The new update naturally polishes the code, and integrates with the extra sensors in the handsets (such as the biometric and positioning sensors). It also increases the accuracy of the rendering as you would expect. Three areas have been singled out for an extensive work-out: privacy, developers, and virtual reality.

Privacy is becoming a bigger concern for mobile users and Samsung offers two approaches to privacy. Samsung has followed a similar path to other browsers in offering hooks for AdBlocking plugins to work with the browser. Samsung does not offer its own plugin, just the facilities to allow one to run. That should ensure the Samsung Browser will have the same blocking technologies as other browsers, removing one potential point of differentiation for users.

The Samsung Browser also has its own privacy mode that allows private browsing. This ensures no data, cookies, passwords, or history of a browsing session is stored in the handset.

Samsung is working closely with web standards to ensure a highly compatible and capable browser that will be seen as the best of breed by developers. It outscores Chrome and the other current mobile browsers on the HTML5 compatible tests from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It has a full implementation of the Service Worker API which allows for a better experience with web apps when in poor or intermittent connectivity (as well as providing access to the back-end of an operating system for tools such as background sync and push notifications).

Not every mobile browser offers this (Apple’s Safari browser on the iPhone is a notable exception), but this is the future-proofing the Samsung Browser team needs to promote. This best in breed browser is ready for the future.

And the future for many includes virtual reality. Samsung is working on its own solution (Gear VR) which will shortly be able to use version 4.0 of the Samsung Browser to offer not only an immersive internet experience for the users, but also seamless connectivity and sharing of user’s information. Samsung will have multiple platforms but effectively just one browser serving them all.

Samsung is not going to win the browser war in the Galaxy handsets overnight. The idea of Chrome as ‘the’ web browser of Android is deeply entrenched in the minds of many. It’s given a prominent position in the user interface by Google’s design, and for those switching to a different Android handset it offers a comforting familiarity.

Nevertheless Samsung has stepped up to the challenge of building a better browser. No doubt the Samsung Browser, its focus on standards, and its ability to be a much more personal experience will be pushed heavily when the Galaxy S7 family is revealed later this year. When that happens, a few more people will give it more of a chance, and the South Korean company will be looking for more of them to stay with its browser as the days and weeks go by.

That’s the point when advocacy and personal recommendations kicks in, and the biggest hurdle of all (‘default to Chrome’) beings to crumble. The significant engineering prowess on show in the latest version of the Samsung Browser will not lift it all the way up the league table, but it’s a critical foundation for Samsung to build on.

Two key questions need to be answered. Firstly, will the web developer community take the browser to heart and leverage its new capabilities? And secondly, will Samsung be able to convincingly tell the story of the browser and turn the current negative perception around into a positive experience that helps sell the handset to the consumer?

Samsung Challenges Google As New Android Browser Beats Chrome - Forbes

 
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6 days ago

The Samsung Gear 360, A 360 VR Camera, Will Be Unveiled At Galaxy Unpacked 2016

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 6 days ago

Quote:


Only a few weeks ago, the first hints pointing to a new 360 degree camera named Gear 360 surfaced. Now, with only a few weeks until Samsung’s next big Unpacked event, we can exclusively confirm the Gear 360 VR camera is real, and coming soon.

The Gear 360, likely an offshoot of Samsung’s Project Beyond, is a compact spherical camera capable of capturing 360 degree imagery using two 180 degree fisheye lenses. It can pair with a phone via Bluetooth, through the Gear 360 Connect application. The device might work with recent Galaxy flagship devices, though for now we can only confirm Galaxy S7 compatibility.


The Gear 360 (SM-C200) has its own battery, so it does not need to be connected to an external power source. Also, the device packs an unknown amount of onboard storage.

Software-wise, the package includes the Gear 360 Gallery, and a seperate remote viewfinder application. In the latter we find all the usual camera features: HDR, exposure control, white balance and ISO settings, a Liveview option, and the ability to switch between recording a 360 (dual lens) or 180 degree (single lens) front or rear view. Other view types include a mode called VR view, dual view, panoramic view, and time lapse and looping video. Maximum resolution seems to be 3840 x 1920 pixels when shooting in dual lens mode, or 1920 x 1920 pixels in single lens mode.

It is possible to watch the Gear 360′s video feed live on a connected phone, though we can not confirm the possibility to stream video to other devices. Whether streaming directly to a phone that is docked in a Gear VR is possible remains unconfirmed for now.

With the Gear 360 Samsung is once more expanding its presence in the fast-growing VR market. The Gear VR headset brought virtual reality content to a large audience at a very attractive price point. The Gear 360 could seriously lower the threshold for VR content creation, to the point where ordinary users can capture their holiday experiences as a full 360 degree immersive VR experience. Of course, how low that threshold will be, depends entirely on the pricing of the device. Unfortunately, no information regarding the Gear 360′s price is available to us at this moment.

We do, however, expect the camera to make its debut back to back with the Galaxy S7 on February 21. And considering the quantity of information already available about the new flagship phones, we would not be surprised to see the Gear 360 take centre stage, rather than play the role of modest sidekick. After all, Samsung is explicitly hinting at VR in its brand new Unpacked teaser video.

Exclusive: Gear 360 virtual reality camera is real, to accompany the Galaxy S7 - SamMobile

 
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6 days ago

iStans Lost: Google Is Now The Most Valuable Company On Earth

4 people viewing this

| By Jago - 6 days ago

Quote:


Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is now bigger than Apple—and every other publicly traded company on Earth.

Alphabet’s just-reported earnings sent the search giant’s shares surging in after-hours trading. With Alphabet’s Class A shares trading at more than $810 each after the close, the company’s market value appears to be somewhere in the general ballpark of $560 billion, that’s more than enough to overtake Apple’s nearly $535 billion market value, according to FactSet.



The two companies have been nearing this moment for months, after long stretch where Apple’s value towered over that of Google.



Alphabet has seen its fortunes rise on the back of massive growth in its core advertising business, even as it continually draws attention for its projects in everything from self-driving cars to artificial intelligence. It reported as Alphabet, and not Google, for the first time ever today, part of a restructuring that started in August of last year.

Apple, on the other hand, has seen its fortunes reverse, as the handset market matures in developed markets and the emerging markets that Apple was looking to for growth are facing economic headwinds. Sure, it has a pretty cool music service, plans for electric cars and some wireless chargers in the works. But that hasn’t been enough to keep alive the investor enthusiasm that propelled it past Exxon Mobil to become the world’s largest company back in 2011.

Google has officially dethroned Apple as the world’s most valuable company - Quartz

 
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