Google: Encryption Standard on Next Android


Craig Timberg, The Washington Post:

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device’s password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

How about pictures, videos, and communication stored at Google?





“I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee”






iPhone 6 Plus: Camera Review by Austin Mann


iPhone_6_Plus_Camera_Review_Austin_Mann

A thousand words…





iOS 8: iPhone 4s


Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times:

What are the costs of upgrading? Performance. Ars Technica installed iOS 8 on the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, and in both cases it found that apps opened up slightly more slowly under the new OS. It took about 2 seconds instead of 1 to open up Safari on a 4S running iOS 8 rather than 7.

The iPhone 4s was released in October, 2011. That is four years ago, which for a high-tech device such as a smartphone is a very long time. That the latest mobile operating system from Apple works on something that old is remarkable.

Yesterday I updated my iPhone 4s to iOS 8, and yes there is a negative impact to performance. Not surprising. But what is surprising is that my iPhone 4s is more than usable. Even though my iPhone 4s runs a little slower iOS 8 is worth the update, especially because of improved security.





Technics R1 Series


Technics_Reference_Class_R1_Series





Samsung Galaxy Alpha & Hornettek Vader


The Samsung Galaxy Alpha reminds me of the Hornettek Vader aluminum metal case I reviewed a while back. The corners…





Moto X (2nd Gen, 2014): Review by AnandTech


Joshua Ho, AnandTech:

While AMOLED has traditionally struggled with luminance in situations such as the web browser and light-themed applications, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S5 LTE-A Broadband have shown that it’s possible to achieve levels of brightness approaching some of the brightest RGB-stripe LCDs. As the brightness of the Lumia 930 is about equal to the new Moto X, I suspect we’re looking at the Galaxy S4/Note 3 generation of panels.

The Moto X (2nd Gen, 2014) posted a max brightness of 242 nits on SpectraCal CalMAN 5. Quite low.

Contrast is still incredible, but I can still see the purple smearing effect that comes from unlit to lit pixels.

Not good.

We see that the display is just a bit too red, and that most of the luminance is coming from red and green.

Display lifetime and battery life were more important than color accuracy.

There’s really not much that the Moto X can accurately display in sRGB as just by pushing the gamut too far, even if there wasn’t saturation compression for some colors, the large gamut will cause distortion of all colors within the gamut triangle.

Terrible.





Amazon Kindle Voyage: Review by The Verge


Dieter Bohn, The Verge:

The Voyage is thinner, lighter, and ever-so-slightly smaller than the Paperwhite, but the big deal is the screen. Amazon has increased the resolution so that it reaches 300 pixels per inch, which makes text incredibly sharp and readable. I ratcheted the text size all the way down to the lowest setting and found it to still be crisp and sharp enough to read. At a more reasonable font setting, it’s the best reading experience I’ve seen on an electronic device.

Avid readers, this is your e-reader.





Tim Cook: Thoughts on Privacy


Tim Cook:

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

A one-two punch at Google and Facebook.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Never is a long time, but sounds good. Just to be clear: “less than 0.00385% of customers had data disclosed due to government information requests.” This is from Apple. Assuming what Tim Cook said is true, it is technically true. No backdoors. No access to servers. But Apple has worked with government agencies to disclose customer data. Apple also received national security-related requests, less than 250 in the first six months of 2014.

On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.

So make sure to establish a passcode. The only way Apple can disclose customer data to government requests is via iCloud.





Amazon Kindle Voyage


Amazon: The Kindle Voyage sports a 16-level grayscale 6-inch display with a resolution of 300 ppi. Here are the main features Amazon is touting:

If you are an avid reader, there is no better display to read on than E Ink. With a backlight that lights up the text (and not your face), page turning that keeps your fingers where they are, and a 300-ppi display the Kindle Voyage seems to be the best e-reader money can buy. Priced at US$199 for the WiFi only version with Special Offers (ads).





   



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