Watch TV for free with these 10 Android apps; Five tips and tricks for finding, sharing, and organizing your Google Drive on Android; M.2 SSD roundup: Tiny drives deliver huge performance; 9 Ways to Make Your Old iPhone Work Faster and Last Longer; Troubleshooting and repairing Windows 10 problems; Before and After iOS 9: What’s Different? How to switch from iPhone to Android and keep all your stuff; Apple seduces Android users with switch-to-iOS app; Overtime Is A Social Network For The Sports Obsessed; Facebook’s Signal is a news-finding tool for journalists; Amazon is selling a six-pack of tablets; Sneaky malware allows online poker players to peek at your cards; Apple AirDrop flaw leaves users vulnerable to exploit; Pinterest now has 100 million monthly users; Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2; Xbox 360 gets big update with 2GB cloud storage and other new features; Star Wars Battlefront beta open to all; Why the Ad-Blocking War Could Hurt All of Us; Tech Firms Support Bill Expanding Privacy Rights To Non-U.S. Citizens.
Watch TV for free with these 10 Android apps – Thinking of tossing your cable box or ditching your satellite dish? If so, good news: many of your favorite shows are (probably) available for free on your Android phone or tablet. All you need are the right apps. We’ve rounded up 10 free TV apps that offer at least some of their full episodes without verifying a cable or satellite subscription, or requiring any other sort of payment beyond sitting through a few advertisements. Indeed, some of the best apps on our list serve up all their episodes for free, no pay-TV login required. Ready to sit back and start streaming? Let’s get started.
Troubleshooting and repairing Windows 10 problems – Windows 10 has been in wide release for only a few months so far, and as with any version 1.0 release some early adopters are experiencing issues. Here’s Ed Bott’s guide to some time-tested troubleshooting tools and techniques.
Five tips and tricks for finding, sharing, and organizing your Google Drive on Android – Much of what you can go with Drive on your computer, you can also do on Android. Here’s a guide to where all the new and important tools are.
Amazon Trade-In: Fair value for your iPhone or scam? – I mailed in a mint condition iPhone 6 for Amazon credit only to see the value degraded by the online retail giant. And it’s happened more than once and with increasing frequency.
9 Ways to Make Your Old iPhone Work Faster and Last Longer – Do you know the list price of the new iPhone 6s, which is available for pre-order now and officially goes on sale next Thursday? No, it’s not the $199 or $299 you paid when you signed up for your old phone. It’s $649, just for the cheapest 16GB model. If you chafe at the thought of being mugged every two years, which is probably the “new phone day” pace free upgrades have gotten you used to, here are a few things you can do to keep your old phone alive longer—and save you big money in the long run.
Before and After iOS 9: What’s Different? – At a glance, Apple’s latest mobile OS, iOS 9, looks pretty similar to last year’s iOS 8—both still mostly resemble the visually overhauled iOS 7. But Apple loves small tweaks as much as big reinventions. So here are some side-by-side image comparisons of the new OS and its predecessor that show off what has changed.
Home Screen – The two home screens are virtually identical, but take a look at iOS 9’s new built-in apps like Wallet and News (right). These apps replace iOS 8’s Passbook and Newsstand, respectively (left).
Apple iOS 9 Users Quick to Block Ads – A day after Apple released iOS 9, which supports ad-blocking extensions on Safari, apps like Peace, Purify Blocker, and Crystal are shooting up the App Store charts. The $2.99 app Peace, which promises to “dramatically speed up web browsing by blocking most ads and privacy-invading trackers on web pages,” is now the No. 1 paid iPhone and iPad app, pushing Mojang’s ultra-popular Minecraft: Pocket Edition to the runner-up slot.
How to switch from iPhone to Android and keep all your stuff – So you’ve grown tired of Apple’s walled garden of apps and the iron grip it maintains over the iOS platform. Well, the freedom of Android welcomes you with open arms, but don’t forget to bring your data along for the ride! Apple doesn’t make it particularly easy to move your data from iOS to Android—it’s more interested in moving people in the other direction. Still, with just a few tools and some patience, you can be up and running on Android without missing a beat.
Apple seduces Android users with switch-to-iOS app – Move to iOS assists current Android users — those with smartphones or tablets — who switch to an iOS-driven iPhone or iPad by transferring some of the data on the Android device to a new iOS handheld. The app transfers contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, browser bookmarks, email accounts and calendars, according to the Google Play Store description. Other content, such as apps available on both platforms, are placed in a wish list within iTunes.
Aimed at Android switchers, Apple’s ‘Move to iOS’ app transfers some of their data and content to an iPhone or iPad.
M.2 SSD roundup: Tiny drives deliver huge performance – The marriage of PCIe and the SSD has resulted in uber-fast storage for your PC. We compare small-slot AHCI, NVMe, and SATA models. Even if you’re using a desktop, one of these tiny wonders can increase your storage transfer speeds by a factor of four.
Overtime Is A Social Network For The Sports Obsessed – Overtime, a social network for sports fans created by the team behind viral game studio OMGPOP, is launching today to provide a better outlet for fans to create, share and debate all things sports. Amidst a sports media world dominated by network TV, Overtime wants to give all fans the ability to create and consume their favorite sports content in the form of 10-second videos and GIFs. All content is organized by topic into feeds, which can be as broad as “#fails” or as specific as “#usopen.” Using Overtime’s slow motion video highlight tool, you can edit your own videos to create SportsCenter-like highlights of any play.
Microsoft to Shut Down Zune Services (Yes, Zune!) – Remember the Zune? It’s apparently still a thing because Microsoft this week issued a support note warning that it plans to retire Zune services on Nov. 15. First of all, way to stay committed all these years, Zune users. But in less than a month, you’ll no longer be able to stream or download fresh content to your device from the Zune music service. Rest assured that if you’re still using an old-school Zune player, it will work and any MP3 content you own will remain on your device. You’ll also still be able to transfer music to and from your Zune player.
Facebook’s Signal is a news-finding tool for journalists – For many journalists, Twitter remains the go-to source for following along with breaking news and major events in the world in real time. If there’s a major story, you can usually count on tweets being embedded inside the text. But Facebook desperately wants some of that spotlight, and today the company is rolling out a new product that aims to give Instagram and Facebook itself more of a presence in news articles you read every day. It’s called Signal, and Facebook describes it as “a free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram, across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and more — all in one place.”
Amazon Tempts Parents With A $100 Tablet For Kids – How can any company compete with iPad when it comes to being the preferred tablet for children, thanks to the App Store’s large selection of educational apps and age-appropriate games? Amazon’s strategy, to date, has to make a more affordable tablet for the young ones, complete with kid-friendly software pre-installed, while also eliminating parents’ concerns over hardware damage. And today, along with a slew of new, lower-cost Fire tablets and an upgraded Fire TV, the company also announced an upgraded version of its Fire Kids Edition tablet that now sells for under $100 and comes with an updated kid-proof case.
Amazon is selling a six-pack of tablets and it’s not sure why – Amazon doesn’t know how cheap tablets will be used, but it’s going to throw them out there first and let everyone else come up with the answers later. Turning Android slates into practically a disposable commodity, the online retail behemoth is demonstrating its contentedness with wafer-thin margins by offering a “buy five, get one free” deal on the new Amazon Fire.
Seven years of malware linked to Russian state-backed cyber espionage – For the past seven years, a cyber-espionage group operating out of Russia—and apparently at the behest of the Russian government—has conducted a series of malware campaigns targeting governments, political think tanks, and other organizations. In a report issued today, researchers at F-Secure provided an in-depth look at an organization labelled by them as “the Dukes,” which has been active since at least 2008 and has evolved into a methodical developer of “zero-day” attacks, pulling together their own research with the published work of other security firms to provide a more detailed picture of the people behind a long-running family of malware.
Apple AirDrop flaw leaves users vulnerable to exploit – Australian security researcher Mark Dowd from Azimuth Security has demonstrated the existence of a serious issue impacting the AirDrop service which could leave users vulnerable to attack. Speaking to Forbes, Dowd said the attack can take place when a hacker is in range of an AirDrop user. Once exploited, an attacker is able to issue a malware payload via a directory traversal attack — entering the device’s core operating system — before remotely altering configuration files to ensure the exploit still works even if an incoming AirDrop file is rejected by a user.
Kardashian Website Security Issue Exposes Names, Emails Of Over Half A Million Subscribers, Payment Info Safe – Alongside the launch of the Kardashian and Jenner mobile apps, which are now dominating the App Store after seeing hundreds of thousands of downloads apiece in their first days on the market, the celeb sisters also released new websites designed to help them better connect with their fans while offering a more personal look inside their lives. However, one enterprising young developer dug around those websites and immediately found an issue. Due to a misconfiguration, he was able to access the full names and email addresses of over 600,000 users who signed up for Kylie Jenner’s website as well as pull similar user data from the other websites. In addition, the developer said he had the ability to create and destroy users, photos, videos and more, though we understand he didn’t actually take those actions.
New IBM Tool Wants To Bring Shadow IT Under Control – This morning IBM introduced a new tool called IBM Cloud Security Enforcer, whose purpose as you might guess is helping IT to root out unauthorized cloud apps inside organizations. The use of cloud apps outside of IT’s purview has sometimes called Shadow IT because the cloud enables users to provision their own tools. This tends to make IT admins a bit crazy, knowing that people are using apps that they know nothing about. The thinking behind the new tool is that sensitive data could be leaking through these rogue cloud applications, and that the Powers that Be in the enterprise need to get a grip on this, find the ones that people like and block the ones that are the worst security offenders.
Chinese telcos impose harsh rules to push real-name SIM registration – Telecommunication firms in China have unveiled stringent rules regarding unregistered phone numbers to support the country’s crack down on phone scams and harassing text messages.
Sneaky malware allows online poker players to peek at your cards – Online poker malware lets players cheat by getting a peek at cards held by opponents whose machines have been infected. The Trojan, called Win32/Spy.Odlanor, is typically downloaded by victims because it is disguised as installers or resources such as poker databases and poker calculators, according to the ESET WeLiveSecurity blog. “In other cases, it was loaded onto the victim’s system through various poker-related programs … such as Tournament Shark, Poker Calculator Pro, Smart Buddy, Poker Office, and others,” the blog says. Once installed it grabs screenshots of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker clients, letting the attackers see what cards the victim holds. In order to carry out the scam, the cheaters have to find and join the table at which the infected machine is playing.
Report: New hack lets an attacker bypass password-locked Android home screens – You can protect yourself with a PIN or pattern, but it’s another example of why all manufacturers need to get on board with monthly updates.
Amazon names Shopify its preferred Webstore alternative – Amazon is now advising Webstore merchants to migrate their stores to Shopify, the companies announced Thursday. The e-commerce giant first confirmed in March that it would begin shutting down its Webstore e-commerce platform in July, but only now has Amazon provided a direct integration funnel to another platform. As part of the migration, Shopify merchants will also be able to add Amazon’s payment technology to their sites, such as Login and Pay with Amazon, as well as Fulfillment by Amazon. Both companies are also working on a new sales channel that will allow Shopify merchants to list products simultaneously on Shopify and through Selling on Amazon.
Intel Invests $67M Into 8 Chinese Companies, Including Segway Owner Ninebot – Fresh off a $60 million deal with Shanghai-based drone maker Yuneec, Intel is continuing to ramp up its investment in Chinese tech startups after the U.S. firm revealed it has pumped $67 million into eight companies in the country. Each deal isn’t broken out into specific investment size, but Intel said the companies it has backed span a range of verticals, including internet-of-things, smart devices, transportation and big data. There are very obvious synergies with the Intel mothership with each one, as you’d expect. The full list includes:
Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux – Sitting down? Nothing in your mouth? Microsoft has developed its own Linux distribution. And Azure runs it to do networking. Redmond’s revealed that it’s built something called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), describing it as “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux” and “our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches.” Kamala Subramanian, Redmond’s principal architect for Azure Networking, writes that: “At Microsoft, we believe there are many excellent switch hardware platforms available on the market, with healthy competition between many vendors driving innovation, speed increases, and cost reductions.”
Apple just bought Apple Maps its crystal ball – Apple has quietly snapped up a mapping analytics company, as it strengthens the challenge Apple Maps presents to arch rival Google Maps. The latest acquisition is Mapsense, sources tell Re/code, a San Francisco startup which promises cloud-based visualizations and analytics of geo-data.
Pinterest now has 100 million monthly users – Pinterest has crossed a pretty big line: 100 million monthly users. The site announced its milestone this morning, marking the first time that Pinterest has put a number on the size of its user base. While Pinterest seems to see the full 100 million as active users, it also says that only 70 percent of them pin something each month or click through on an item to learn more about it — which is to say that 30 percent of Pinterest’s users are more passive. Still, it’s a big figure. For comparison, Twitter currently counts 316 million monthly active users. Snapchat hit 100 million this time a year ago, and is now believed to have doubled that.
Games and Entertainment:
Metal Gear Online: Konami reveals all with detailed gameplay demo – Konami has published an in-depth gameplay video that reveals key details about Metal Gear Online, the multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The 11-minute video, published below, discusses the three different player classes; the scout, the enforcer, and the infiltrator. It also talks through mission types, strategies, and player abilities. Meanwhile, Konami has confirmed that servers for MGO are set to go live on October 6.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 — new character classes demo’d – Still playing Plants vs Zombies? In Garden Warfare 2, some things about the franchise have been tossed around and restructured. At this point the game is a fairly robust 3D FPS far removed from the original 2D games, but the storyline itself has changed, too, with zombies battling against plants rather than the other way around. Today the company announced that the game will include six new character classes, which were shown off in a demo video.
Try (and fail) to land the Space X Falcon 9 with this video game – It really is crazy-hard to land the Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform without completely screwing it up.
The gorgeous follow-up to Braid is coming out in January – The long-awaited follow-up to Braid finally has a release date. Developer Jonathan Blow has revealed that his next game, a puzzle / exploration title called The Witness, will be hitting the PS4 and PC on January 26th. The news was announced via a slick new trailer, which shows off the game’s beautiful world — and it looks quite a bit better than when we checked out the game at E3 last year. The Witness has players exploring a huge, abandoned island, solving puzzles to uncover just what’s going on. Think of it like a modern, open take on Myst. It’s a big departure from the more traditional, side-scrolling Braid, and it’s been in the works for some time — it was first announced way back in 2009.
Pico Cassette is the game cartridge of the mobile age – A tiny device that plugs into your smartphone’s headphone socket may be the next big thing in tiny gaming. What the company called Pico Cassette wants to do is regain some of the joy and fervor that came with buying and loading games in your own home with physical cartridges, doing so here with a device that replicates the look and the feel with a unique accessory. Just don’t say the word “Nintendo,” or your dreams may never come true.
Star Wars Battlefront beta open to all – Publisher Electronic Arts is pledging to provide enough server capacity so that anyone who wants to play the Star Wars Battlefront beta will be able to do so. Mathew Everett, a Battlefront community manager, confirmed on EA’s Star Wars blog that the beta would remain open once it is deployed. He also offered new details about what gameplay modes will be available, but was not able to offer more insight into a release date. He said the beta “will consist of both our offline and online modes, including co-op and split-screen co-op, and it will take place on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and via Origin for PC.”
Xbox 360 gets big update with 2GB cloud storage and other new features – These days most of Microsoft’s gaming focus is on the Xbox One, but today the company proved that it hasn’t forgotten about that console’s predecessor. The Xbox 360 has received a pretty big update that adds a host of new features, led by a bump to 2GB of cloud storage for your game saves. Previously the 360 offered 512MB of cloud space, but now gamers are getting a lot more room for those occasions when they switch between consoles or visit a friend. The added storage is particularly useful since Microsoft is preparing to add backwards compatibility to its Xbox One.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Why the Ad-Blocking War Could Hurt All of Us – The Washington Post is now reportedly restricting content for users who block their ads, forcing them to sign up for a newsletter or subscribe to the site instead. Underpinning this is software that can detect whether a user is using an ad blocker from companies such as Sourcepoint. In addition, Apple and Google are now locked in a battle over iOS9’s ability to shut down mobile ads. If this continues, users could eventually find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They will either have to accept extremely annoying ads (which can also sometimes be harmful to computers), clutter up their email box with newsletters, or have to pay for content that was formerly free.
NASA’s newest Pluto photos are breathtaking – Pluto photos continue to be shipped from New Horizon’s flyby completed earlier this year, and today’s are just fantastic. What you’re about to see is a set of photo captured just 15 minutes after the craft’s closest approach to Pluto, centering in on the plains informally known as Sputnik Planum (right) and the informally named Norgay Montes mountains on the left near the Hillary Montes near the skyline in the upper left. This first photo was captured at a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) from Pluto, and the photo shows a scene approximately 780 miles (1,250 kilometers) wide.
Supermoon Eclipse: How and When to see it – A few days back when mentioned that after 33 years we are about to witness another supermoon eclipse. Astronomers professional and amateur alike are looking forward to this rare event and if you want to check it out for yourself, here is when and how you can check it out.
The Web-Tracking Tipping Point – We are witnessing a watershed moment on the Internet — with Apple’s content-blocker announcement, the way we see and understand our users on the web is going to profoundly shift. It doesn’t seem like a very big deal. Adblockers have existed on desktop browsers for years, and products like Google Analytics have still become the industry standard for measuring and monitoring websites. But this is all about to change — individual products and categories will be massively disrupted by a simple technical shift in mobile Safari, and organizations with a web presence will have to adapt or risk being put at a competitive disadvantage.
7 PCs Turned Into Furniture You Might Actually Want – With the sheer abundance and toxicity of electronic waste posing a serious problem for industrialized nations today, some skilled individuals have taken electronic waste recycling to a whole new level, creating one-of-a-kind or limited-run handcrafted furniture out of computer parts. The resulting pieces often serve as functional artworks that honor their original constituent parts. Other times, they astound as weird novelties or conversation pieces. With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven of these interesting computer-fueled instances of electronic upcycling.
Bitcoin an official commodity: US trade commission – Digital currencies have been granted the status of an official commodity by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which said that bitcoin operators must immediately ensure that their companies are legally registered under the applicable trading laws and regulations. The decision, published on Thursday, means transactions made in cryptocurrencies must now comply with CFTC regulations as well as the governing legislation, the Commodity Exchange Act. Under Section 4c of the Act and Part 32 of the regulations, bitcoin operators in the US must now be registered as a Swap Execution Facility or a Designated Contract Market.
Cargo Node folding bicycle is a modern day pack horse – City living means cars, despite all of their upsides, can be more of a burden than a blessing. Parking is expensive; free parking is hard to come by. Gas is expensive. Maintenance is expensive. Traffic is usually terrible. For this reason, many use bicycles and skateboards when possible, but those also, obviously, have their own downsides. Xtracycle and Tern have addressed the biggest issues — lack of cargo capacity — with their new Cargo Node folding cargo bicycle.
Something to think about:
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
– Ernest Hemingway
VeraCrypt – VeraCrypt picks up from where TrueCrypt left and it adds enhanced security to the algorithms used for system and partitions encryption making it immune to new developments in brute-force attacks.
VeraCrypt also solves many vulnerabilities and security issues found in TrueCrypt. It can load TrueCrypt volume and it offers the possibility to convert TrueCrypt containers and non-system partitions to VeraCrypt format.
This enhanced security adds some delay only to the opening of encrypted partitions without any performance impact to the application use phase. This is acceptable to the legitimate owner but it makes it much more harder for an attacker to gain access to the encrypted data.
NirLauncher – NirLauncher is a package of more than 180 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.
NirLauncher can be used from USB flash drive without need of any installation.
NirLauncher and all the utilities in the package are completely freeware, without any Spyware/Adware/Malware. This package doesn’t contain any 3-party software, toolbars, Web browser plugins, or other unwanted surprises. It will not install any software on your system and it will not change your Web browser homepage or other settings on your system.
NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more…
For every utility in the package, you can easily run it, view the help file, or jump to the Web page of the utility.
When using it from USB flash drive, the configuration of every utility is saved into .cfg file on the flash drive.
On x64 systems, NirLauncher automatically run the x64 version of the utility, when there is a separated x64 version.
NirLauncher also allows to add more software packages in additional to the main NirSoft package.
NirLauncher allows you generate plugin files for BartPE (Launcher -> Generate BartPE Plugin Files), so you can easily use the utilities of NirSoft from a bootable live windows CD.
In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:
Tech Firms Support Bill Expanding Privacy Rights To Non-U.S. Citizens – American tech firms are lining up behind a House bill that would allow non-U.S. citizens to seek records U.S. agencies have collected and pursue legal action when such records are disclosed.
The proposed legislation, known as the Judicial Redress Act, would extend the same rights Americans enjoy under the Privacy Act of 1974 to foreign citizens in select allied nations, primarily in the European Union. The law gives American citizens and permanent residents an avenue to seek their records, correct mistakes in those files and seek redress if an agency misuses their personal information.
The tech community’s support of bill marks the sector’s latest effort to rebuild trust abroad in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, which revealed many companies were turning over customers’ communications to the U.S. government.
“That degradation of trust has translated into significant negative commercial consequences for U.S. firms, with global consumers choosing technology solutions from other providers,” wrote a group of tech industry groups, including BSA Software Alliance and the Consumer Electronics Association. “Additionally, the revelations have led a number of foreign governments to consider proposals that would impede the borderless nature of the internet – the very characteristic that has permitted the Internet to thrive.”
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook have all voiced support for the legislation. Under the terms of the bill, only citizens’ countries who extend similar rights to Americans to seek legal redress for privacy violations will be eligible.
Encryption puts terrorists beyond the reach of law, says MI5 chief – The use of encryption and secure messaging apps is making it harder for intelligence agencies to track terrorists, the head of MI5 has said.
The director general of the UK security service Andrew Parker warned that new laws are needed to give police and intelligence agencies access to encrypted communications and that tech companies themselves should be more willing to hand over messages that could help catch criminals.
In an interview with the BBC, Parker said: “We all live our lives with our smartphones in our pockets, the terrorists do the same and they are using secure apps and internet communication to try to broadcast their message and to incite and direct terrorism.”
While there has been increasing concern about the mass collection of data by intelligence agencies, Parker said that if MI5 is “to find and stop the people that mean us harm” then it needs to be able to “navigate the internet to find terrorist communication, we need to be able to use datasets so we can join the dots to be able to find and stop the terrorists who mean us harm before they are able to bring plots to fruition.”
SCREW YOU, FEDS! Dozen or more US libraries line up to run Tor exit nodes – A dozen libraries across the US have asked for details on how to host Tor exit nodes following a decision by the small town of Lebanon, New Hampshire, to forego police warnings.
Following a decision by the library’s board of trustees earlier this week to put the exit node back online, the founder of the Library Freedom Project, Alison Macrina, said that she had heard from a number of other libraries interested in hosting tor nodes.
“Between libraries and community leaders around the country, we’ve heard from probably about a dozen who are interested in joining this,” she told Motherboard.
One of those people was present at the board meeting, having driven two hours to attend. As a library trustee at nearby Reading, she revealed that it was going to have its own meeting on the issue next month.