When Google purchased Motorola, it was losing money hand over fist. Google saw potential in the brand and began the process of rebuilding the integrity of Motorola. First, it discontinued the Motorola ‘dumb’ line. The use of more intuitive software and less gimmicks has been a hit since the release of the Moto X.
Lenovo has been making big waves in the smartphone market, but to this point has kept its sights off of the United States. With this aquisition, you can bet that they will begin to shift their focus when it comes to their lines of smartphones. When you look at the purchase price you will see that Google is taking a giant bath on this deal. They are selling to Lenovo for $2.91 billion only 2 years after purchasing the company for $12.5 billion. That is a huge loss.
While Lenovo is purchasing the company, it’s more of a partnership. Google will still retain the vast majority of patents including “current patent applications and invention disclosures.” This will be an ongoing relationship with Google.
You can bet that all eyes will be on the next line of Motorolas that roll out with Lenovo driving the ship. Lenovo will use it’s current brand of smartphone in the markets where they are already doing very well and bring the Motorola brand to the United States. In markets like China, they may market both.
This deal will also free up Google from conflicts with other partners such as Samsung along with shedding a losing handset business. In the long run this will actually increase profit margins for the search giant.
Android has continued to increase marketshare and with the new releases of Jellybean and KitKat the platform has become a favorite for consumers and developers alike. Along with the popularity, Android has now become the target of even more attacks using virus and malware applications. The most recent has been dubbed Trojan.Droidpak. It tries to install mobile banking malware. The thing about it is that it tries to install it via Windows.
“We’ve seen Android malware that attempts to infect Windows systems before,” Symantec researcher Flora Liu said in a blog post. “Android.Claco, for instance, downloads a malicious PE [portable executable] file along with an autorun.inf file and places them in the root directory of the SD card. When the compromised mobile device is connected to a computer in USB mode, and if the AutoRun feature is enabled on the computer, Windows will automatically execute the malicious PE file.” – Source Blog
Windows malware drops a DLL file that is malicious on the computer, then registers it as a system service. The from a remote server it downloads the configuration file and this is where the malicious APK which is called AV-cdk.apk.
The installation is repeated over and over to insure that the device does end up infected. Successful infection requires that USB debugging mode be enabled. The APK actually looks for certain online banking apps on the device and then prompts the user to delete and install the malicious version.
It has been recommended that users disable USB debugging mode unless it is absolutely necessary to what they are currently working on. It’s also recommended that users install a trusted security application as well.
Happy birthday to Apple’s Macintosh computer. Back in 1984, the Macintosh was released. While it definitely wasn’t the machine that we currently recognize from the Apple brand. It was the beginning. It was an all-in-one version of the “Lisa” personal computer system. The “Lisa” was the first computer with a graphic interface and was the most popular computer of its time.
The Macintosh portable was the first official “laptop” as it was battery powered and was actually used to send emails from space. It was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the early 90s, but never gained popularity among consumers. The 500 series was the first real and portable “laptop” from the company and was quite a hit. It was the first to include built in ethernet and stereo sound.
The Power Mac 4400 was the introduction of a real “powerhouse” computer. Many in the graphics industry will remember this as it was the industry standard for those who were designers and early web developers. Soon after were the release of the early G3 processors that separated the computers from the general PC on the market.
From all of these machines was the birth of the computers we see today. From the colored All-In-One iMacs and clamshell laptop computers to the full metal housing of the current MacBook Pro. It all started here. So, a big happy birthday to the Apple Macintosh!
It has now been released that the NSA has planted bugging hardware and software into 100,000 computers worldwide, not the 50,000 originally claimed. Offline or “air-gapped” computers can now be tracked and surveillance can be gathered according to leaker Edward Snowden.
Tiny radio receivers are planted inside the computer before it is shipped or during a covert operation called “a black bag job.” The devices look just like a normal USB port and infiltrate/exfiltrate data to an NSA relay station (about the size of a suitcase) up to eight miles from the location of the receiver.
“Air-gapping” a computer (unplugging it from any internet network connection) was thought to be a safe way for people to utilize their computers with no worry of someone monitoring their activity. But, the NSA uses radio waves, which can access computers when they are completely offline. No longer is disconnecting a computer from the internet a foolproof way to keep the agency from gathering surveillance.
Code named “Quantum”, the NSA has used this technology ot spy on Chinese hackers, Russian military, South American drug cartels, Middle East interests, and even the European Union. “Quantam” was even used in recent cyber attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities. This would be the first documented report of the NSA participating in cyber attacks. This attack crippled Iranian centrifuges causing them to spin out of control. This is not the first time that details of the “Quantam” project have been exposed.
A leaked powerpoint slide showed that receivers had been inserted into 50,000 computers worldwide and that report has now been increased to 100,000. Jacob Applebaum, known security researcher also mentioned the “Quantam” receivers in the hacking conference Chaos Communication Congress.
Have you ever been trying to tell someone an issue that you’re having on your computer that you can’t explain? Maybe you’ve had a persistent issue that you can’t figure out only to call in a co-worker to show them only to have the issue resolve itself just in time for them not to see it. Then of course it returns the moment they leave your office. This is just part of the computer world. Most people working, and living for that matter, in today’s world use a computer during their daily life.
We all come across issues, struggles, or would just like ways to increase our productivity a bit. Here are a few screenshot (and screencast) tools that might just help you.
Jing is a great peice of screenshot software that can make your life much easier, especially if you utilize support platforms. When submitting an issue to a support team, typing a 5000 word essay to explain an issue you’re having. In this case, a picture is really worth a thousand words. You can easily take some screenshots of issues you’re experiencing, then just submit those in your email to actually show someone what’s happening. I like Jing because you actually install it on your computer so you can take screenshots (or make a screencast) of anything on your computer. Not just online.
Pixlr Grabber is a very popular online browser application that is used for making screenshots. The thing about Pixlr Grabber is that it integrates a full online graphics editor. We’re talking really good interface and usability. For those of you who are familiar with Adobe Photoshop, you’ll love this. Many of the same commands and features all built right into the browser. There is one thing that isn’t so great about it. If you use it for online editorial and writing, it doesn’t take screenshots of youtube videos. It will act like it does, but when it opens the editor, the YouTube video is just a black box.
Fireshot is great for taking screenshots of anything in your browser. Videos and stills alike. It’s super easy to pull a still image from a YouTube video. It also has great annotation features that allow you to create step tutorials and support requests. Fireshot has a very simple interface, but is very useful.
These are just a few of my favorite screenshot/screencast tools. I can attest to the fact that they have made my life so much easier in many different aspects.
There isn’t much out there more frustrating than whipping out your cell phone only to have it take forever or crash during use. Over time a phone builds up bloat that can make it sluggish, unresponsive or even cause crashes. It makes you long for the day that you took it out of the box and it was super snappy and quick.
Just like most PCs, smartphones have periodic updates and are constantly downloading and installing new applications. The thing about smartphones is that many of us try out hundreds of apps, many of which we never delete once we stop using them frequently. This can not only take up much of the storage on the device, but also can cause performance issues as many of these apps are actually built to run in the background. Apps that aren’t updated promptly can also cause issues as they tend to fix performance issues in later “dot” releases of the app.
No matter what the reason for your sluggish phone, it makes no difference. You want a way to get your speedy phone back. Here are 4 tips how you can do that.
#1. Get Rid Of Not Needed Apps
This is bigger than a storage issue. When you have old apps that you don’t (or in some cases never) use, they are still making permission-based polling, syncing, and checking.
Open your phone settings by tapping the gear icon and go to the apps menu
Tap the downloaded tab and scroll through the list of installed apps to find apps that you have installed since you bought the device
Tap the app label on any app that you haven’t used in more than 5 months. Then press clear cache, then clear data, then disable or uninstall the app. (this will differ depending on the options offered) Remember to be thorough so you don’t end up having to troubleshoot problem apps one at a time.
Then test your changes by restarting the phone and see if you notice any performance increases. The most prominent ways to tell it has improved is by boot speed and screen scroll smoothing.
#2. Make Space On The Device
Open the apps menu again
Sort by file size
Scroll through the first few most intensive apps and click the clear app cache within the label. This will free memory. Now retest.
Now open the storage menu item.
View internal storage graphical bar. If it’s full, install Storage Analyser (available in the Google Play Store) and run it. It will identify the largest files on your device and allow you to delete them. Many times if finds fantom files that have no current purpose.
#3. Update Current Apps Through The Google Play Store
Launch the Google Play Store.
Tap the menu icon at the top left.
View “My Apps” tab.
Update any apps that have updates available.
#4. Reset The Device To Factory Settings
Navigate to Settings
Scroll to backup and reset
Tap the reset to factory settings button
You will have to confirm and keep in mind that this will format the internal memory. So, if you have documents, photos, and music stored on your internal memory it’s recommended that you back-up your device to a free cloud server like DropBox.
Let the device go through the reset process and reboot. This will be similar to when you bought the device.
Once it has rebooted, make sure to go to settings > About this phone > updates. Check for any updates to the Android Kernel to ensure it is running on the most recent version of the core OS.
These are a few tips that just might put the pep back into your smartphone. Keep in mind that over time, even the most cutting edge and top of the line smartphones will begin to exhibit sluggish behavior. But, keeping a lean list of necessary apps will ensure that you keep the “bloat” from becoming a problem.
What it shows is something amazing though. I’m willing to bet that almost everyone reading this post has at least one (if not multiple) flat screen HD TVs in their home. When they hit the market they were top of the line and when paired with an HD signal offer amazingly crisp and lifelike video quality.
The evolution of HDTVs has been overwhelming. It all started at 720p and plasma display. Then the release of the 1080p and LCD display came out and everyone had to have one. After that, upgrades in the refresh rate increased from the base 60hz to 120hz and now many come with 240hz refresh rates which make watching sports and action movies an amazing experience.
Then was the birth of the smart TV which allow for internet access directly through your TV. Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube are just a few of the many apps that smart TVs come with that allow you to utilize online networks for browsing and video streaming. Many also have apps that sync with your smartphone that allow you to mirror your phone or tablet directly on your TV. Samsung’s Allshare functionality is one of the more popular of these.
Now, they are stepping it up even more with the release of Ultra HD. or 4K displays. 4K displays have a 4096 x 2160 which is insane. In the video below you’ll see just how lifelike the video display is when people are tricked into thinking they are at a job interview when in reality, it is a prank which showcases the stunning quality of Ultra HD displays. Yes, it’s ok to laugh.