Samsung Hosting a Meeting to Standardize 5G Standards

We’ve all heard about 3G and 4G, the standards that define the technology that has helped shape mobile communications and mobile phones for the last generation. Samsung looks to get ahead with the next generation by hosting a meeting in hopes of standardizing standards for the next generation, 5G.

Hosting the 3GPP RAN (3rd Generation Partnership Project – Radio Access Network) group, Samsung Electronics hopes that the meeting taking place in Busan, Korea, will help encourage companies to “discuss ways to support the effective integration of new services such as IoT (Internet of Things) into 5G, and measures to ensure the compatibility of 5G technologies”.

5G is not a new technology, having been in development by Samsung since 2011, but with more and more companies looking to have the first standards ready for June 2018, we could soon see a network that could see speeds of 1.2 Gbps for moving vehicles and 7.5 gigabytes for anyone who stands still for a minute.

With companies looking at rolling out the technology for 2020, the meeting hopes to cover everything from energy and cost efficiency to security and availability, all key factors in releasing a successful piece of technology that people not only accept and pick up but support years down the road.

Fitbit Used to Save Someone’s Life

People these days like using technology for a wide range of abilities, from playing a game to tracking your morning run. Using technology to track your activities has become a big thing, with smart watches and sports wristbands alike offering the ability to track and monitor your actions, a feature that may have just allowed the Fitbit to save someone’s life.

When he was submitted to the emergency ward of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical center in Camden, doctors were alarmed to discover the 42-year old had an irregular and fast heartbeat. These properties are often those which can trigger a stroke, and could have been chronic or caused by a seizure, if it was chronic, the traditional treatment for the fast heartbeat would have triggered a stroke.

Back in the hospital, the staff noticed the man was wearing nothing other than a Fitbit, a device designed to help track people’s health. In this case, it was the heartbeat monitor that helped inform the doctors that the issue wasn’t chronic, allowing the staff to treat the condition safely knowing that the treatment wouldn’t cause a stroke.

While Fitbits and alternative technologies are often used by doctors to help keep track and monitor long-term health conditions, this is the first time we’ve seen the technology directly used to save someone’s life.

Microsoft Patents A Smart Ring

Microsoft is known for working on cutting edge technology, with the technology used in the Kinect becoming a dream piece that was quickly built and mirrored in other gadgets and systems. The next piece of technology they want you using? How about something to go with your smart phone, a smart ring.

Back in November and December, Microsoft patented the designs for a smart ring, a device that would look and feel like a ring but would give you control of your devices as if it was a mouse. The smart ring would detect your fingers movements, acting almost as if you were using a touchscreen in thin air, and thought the use of a small laser, could even detect the position and movement of the finger. Felt like clicking a table and opening your family photos? Look no further!

With both the fingers movement and pose being tracked the input device could be used for anything from a smartphone to a desktop PC, with the complete control of your system (and sorry for saying this) at your fingertips.

The device is patented as working with several other components, from tablets, TV’s, Kinect’s and even smart glasses and smart watches. You’ve got the display in your glasses so why not touch it in thin air?

Are you excited by this concept? I am, imagine being able to control your computer at work like Iron Man with a flick of the wrist, this would also avoid the large motion and input detecting systems that many AR (augmented reality) headsets are having to mount to give you the full Iron Man experience.

Visual Studio Will Now Include Xamarin

Microsoft recently brought out Xamarin, software based on letting people create programs using C# and .NET operating systems which can then be ported to both iOS and Android. This meant that using the Microsoft based languages you could develop software for a variety of phones. It’s now been revealed that if you are interested in using the software, all you will need is Visual Studio.

With this announcement you can enjoy Xamarin for free as part of Visual studio, and not just any Visual studio but every single version of the development software. With Visual studio offering a free community edition you could soon find the development tools available as part of the free suite of tools, with no restrictions either.

With the original releases of Xamarin featuring a restriction on the free version of the software, limiting just how large the software you created could be before requiring a paid license. Enterprise-orientated features of Xamarin will be restricted to Visual Studio Enterprise subscription users.

If you were looking at using it for OS X or iOS development you’ll need to have access to an OS X machine. In another step for Microsoft, the Xamarin SDK will be made open source and released on Github for all to see and use, including the Xamarin Forms library for creating quick and easy user interfaces.

Windows Phone Is Now ‘On Hold’

Microsoft has been keen on promoting their “one platform for all premise”. This meant that no matter what device you were using, be it your computer, a tablet or a phone, you would experience the same system. The concept of Windows Phone has recently been put in doubt, with major projects such as the porting of Android Apps to the platform being stopped and sales constantly decreasing. It would seem now that Windows Phones won’t be making any big steps anytime soon as the system is declared all but ‘on hold’.

Microsoft held their Build keynote on Wednesday, explaining all their big steps and their phones didn’t even get a mention. The reason it would seem is that, according to Windows chief Terry Myerson, it’s just not the right time for the “4-inch screen”. In his explanation, Myerson goes to say that “there will be a time for it to be our focus” and saying that while it is “a part of the family” the phones are not “the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year”.

With the news that not all Lumia phones would be receiving the update to Windows 10 as previously promised among the collection of “updates not delivered” for Windows phones, it’s hard not to see the signs that the mobile OS will change from its new on hold status to something you’ll see anytime soon.

Are you a Windows Mobile user? Were you thinking of getting a Windows Mobile at any time? Having previously used one, I enjoyed it until the lack of support and apps meant that the experience was all but as thrilling as first advertised. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below about what Microsoft needs to do to make their mobiles as catchy as their PC’s and laptops.

FBI Reveals Reason for Asking Apple to Unlock Their iPhones

In the recent case of Apple vs the FBI, the FBI requested Apple’s assistance in unlocking an iPhone, a request that caused legal worries and issues for a number of technology companies. We may finally know the reason for why the FBI pushing so hard on Apple to unlock their iPhones.

In an email, it was revealed that the reason Apple needed to help the FBI was a little more personal than some might expect. The email reveals that James Comey, Director of the FBI , likes iPhones and is actually quite a big fan of Apple altogether, or, at least, was until he forgot his passcode.

After forgetting his passcode, Comey tried to recover access to his device by resetting the passcode and once that failed, by using his password to attempt to gain access. When all this failed, Comey had no option but to reach out for help to gain access to his phone.

With Apple refusing to unlock his iPhone the FBI were forced to use alternative means to gain access to the device, which turns out to be as simple as removing the battery and forcing a hard reset. Apple has since revealed that it fixed the problem in subsequent versions of the iPhone, but in a generation of secure devices being able to reset passwords by forcing a hard reset worrying, simply turning it off and back on again seems a little low-tech solution to a problem.

For more information you can read the full email here.

Google Fiber Home Phone Service Announced

It had already been revealed in a leak of the trial program, but now Google has publicly announced Fiber Phone, the home phone addition to the existing Google Fiber high-speed internet and television package. This comes as part of a move by Google to offer a single package of broadband, TV and landline in a single package, as despite the increasing move towards mobile phones, many still consider a landline important and according to Google Fiber’s product manager, John Shriver-Blake, they are planning to bring the landline into the future.

Fiber Phone costs $10 per month, which will include unlimited local and nationwide calling and rates identical to the existing Google Voice service for international calls. Fiber Phone also takes cloud-stored phone numbers from Voice, with users able to take either an existing phone number with them to Fiber Phone or pick a new one and have it available wherever they are. “You can use it on almost any phone, tablet or laptop. It can ring your landline when you’re home, or your mobile device when you’re on-the-go,” said Shriver-Blake. And if you can’t take a call, the service will transcribe your voicemail messages into text and send them to you via text or email, so you won’t have to rely on calling up voicemail.

The service won’t be rolling out to all Fiber-supported locations immediately, with it planned to be slowly made available to all customers in Fiber cities. Getting Fiber Phone will involve signing up with Google and going through a “simple installation process”, including a Fiber Phone Box that works with existing home phones. How quickly this rollout will happen is unclear, but those interested in the service can sign up for the latest updates here and be ready for when it is available in their location.

T-Mobile Could Launch Data Only Plans This Month

T-Mobile is known for their data options, with their video on demand service, named Binge, offering people the chance to watch as much Netflix and video streaming sites as they could wish for (if the service has agreed to partner up on as one of Binge supporters). This was until it was revealed that the service was, in fact, throttling other video sites that weren’t on the Binge service. Now it would seem that they want to give you just the data in a new data only plans.

TmoNews managed to obtain a document that seems to reveal the option for Simple Choice Data Only plans, offering people the choice of mobile options without having to pay for the minutes , instead opting to use VoIP (voice over IP) systems like Skype.

The listed release date for the data only bundles is the 30th March, offering the service to GSM devices only (although as a standard this should cover most phones). In addition to the data you receive all of the bundles will also include unlimited texting, giving you the ability to lose the minutes that are rarely used for even more YouTube and Facebook time.

With more and more people using systems like Skype to communicate instead of traditional phone networks, could we see data only plans become an option across the board for mobile providers?

Samsung’s Smart Windshield Should Be More Than A Concept

In this day and age, we are integrating technology into everything, but one thing that seems to just get smarter and smarter is traveling. From automated shuttles to car charging roads, it seems clear that people want smart technology in their cars. The problem being is that a lot of people are being ignored, such as those that ride bikes. This is where the Smart Windshield by Samsung hopes to help bikers catch up a little.

The Smart windshield is just a concept at this moment in time, but with the technology already there and a market prime for the picking we don’t see why interest in this product isn’t higher than it should be to turn it into a real product.

While other ideas for “smart” bike technology have resulted in heads-up displays (HUDs) being placed within the Helmet, Samsung is looking to put it on the bike. Using a small projector that displays a minimal view of what’s needed, the display is projected onto a small sheet of plastic at the front of the bike. The end result is a screen that can tell you the time, give you the next step in your directions or even alert you who’s phoning and texting you so you can pull over and take the message. With an app and wifi system used to communicate between your phone and the bike, it follows a setup that’s available in most GPS systems and even some cars directly.

Do you ride a bike? Would you use this and if so would you be willing to buy certain screens or are helmets betters places to these kinds of displays? Personally, if a phone pops up in front of my face every time someone called me, I might get distracted and freak out a little, so anything you can opt in to looking at seems like a good idea to me.

New Bill Being Proposed in California to Combat Burner Phones

Technology and the law are constantly racing, with each one taking steps to catch up with the other. From the arguments Apple and the FBI are having regarding privacy and encryption to something as simple as Segways being illegal in public, technology is creating new gadgets and systems and the law is creating laws to either change or catch up with the issue. An issue that has long plagued law and the courts is burner phones, but a new bill in California could change that.

Burner phones follow a simple concept, you pay for them and the credit you need to use them. Once they are finished with, you can either dispose or top up the phone. Due to the throwaway nature, they are used by people with stuff to hide, with it recently being revealed that the terrorists who attacked Paris used burner phones not encryption to avoid detection.

The new bill, dubbed the “Closing the Pre-Paid Mobile Device Security Gap Act Of 2016″ would require anyone who sells prepaid devices to register and record the identity of those who purchased the phone. The specifics are the customer would be required to provide a credit card, social security number or driving license number, the same requirements people are required to provide for mobile contracts.

Rep. Jackie Speier of California is the one proposing the bill and states that the ” bill would close one of the most significant gaps in our ability to track and prevent acts of terror, drug trafficking, and modern-day slavery”.

Underwear Designed To Protect Your “Crown Jewels” from Phone Radiation?

Technology has a way of scaring people, from the original fears that the TV would create a horde of mindless zombies to the argument that video games promote violence. One of the oldest fears though is with wireless technology, something that is relatively modern in the world, and the effect that it may have on our bodies given how recent its mainstream usage has become. Don’t worry though because a company has come up with some nifty underwear to help protect you from your mobile phone radiation.

Kronjuwelen (translated as “crown jewels”) is the German startup responsible for the underwear in question, a set of clothing designed specifically to protect men’s nether regions from the effects of mobile phones radiations.

The underwear itself is lined with “protective silver threads”, designed to absorb 70 percent of WiFi signals and 98% from your mobile phone. With four different sizes (but sadly only one colour) the underwear comes in at $32. The four co-founders state that they don’t want to “live with these potential risks anymore”, with the disclaimer that they are “neither radiologists, physicists, nor cancer researchers, and we cannot finally determine the risks of mobile phone radiation.”

Better safe than sorry, especially when your future family may be involved seems to be the policy behind these boxers and I’m certain that others will feel the same way. With some studies showing abnormalities in sperm counts following on from exposure to wireless signals (please note there is no scientific consensus on if wireless signals do in fact affect sperm concentrations), some people will sleep better knowing that their future is safe with a silver lining.

Netflix Admits It’s Been Throttling Video for Mobile Streamers for Years

People have always been wary of companies when it comes to mobile data, with rumours T-Mobile was throttling connections for videos that weren’t signed up for their binge service. This seems to be common practise though with Netflix coming out and admitting that it’s been throttling connections for years.

Mobile data is a big topic these days, with more and more people using their phones to connect and browse the web while on the go. These matters only get bigger when people begin watching movies or streaming shows on the morning commute to work.

With companies like Netflix accounting for 35% of internet traffic, you can’t help but feel like they have a responsibility to help people out avoid the large charges that companies place on data use. Netflix admits that it has been throttling streams at 600 Kbps for mobile services, that is unless you are with Sprint and T-Mobile who Netflix state “historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies”.

AT&T weren’t overly happy, releasing the following statement:

“We’re outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs.”

To be fair to the company, Netflix is looking at becoming more data efficient, including the re-encoding of re-encoding of its entire media library entire media library in order to help shave off those extra Kbps that will cost you. If you think this is something new, the company stated that it has been doing this for more than 5 years in order to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps”.

No matter what you think of the company, no one seems to have noticed it before (can’t have been that big a deal could it?) and they were doing it for the right reasons so I don’t see how Netflix has done anything wrong other than not inform people before regarding the process.

HTC May Make Google Nexus Phones for Next Three Years

With Android N making waves in the news cycle, it’s no surprise that some talk inevitably strays towards Google Nexus phones. So far, we are halfway into the lifecycle for the Nexus 5X and 6P but talk is out about the next generation of Nexus phones. According to the latest rumours, HTC may play a major role in future Nexus’s, with the Taiwanese firm set to produce phones for Google for the next three years. This supports earlier reports that LG will not be producing a Nexus phone this year.

HTC and Google have a long history together, with the Nexus One and Nexus 9 both being partnerships. It makes a lot of sense for Google to settle on a single firm to produce a number of Nexus phones as it simplifies development and support as well as providing some sense of design consistency. So far, only Samsung has had back to back Google Nexus phones and along with LG, the only two to have more than one Nexus phone.

The deal also makes sense for HTC and Google as the device firm has been struggling in the hyper-competitive smartphone market. A Nexus device would give HTC a good boost in sales, marketing and revenue it so desperately needs to maintain their business. This makes sense because if HTC is desperate, they may be more willing to comply with Google’s increasingly strict Nexus guidelines. Hopefully, the new HTC Nexus phones will be as sleek as HTC’s own upcoming flagship and won’t have the giant screen Google seems to love.

France to Punish Companies for Refusing to Decrypt Devices

France has been keen on getting ahead of technology when it comes to their laws. From their environmental stances of requiring solar panels on their roofs to making sure that large companies like Facebook protect people’s data sufficiently. In light of recent security concerns though they have moved to punish companies for refusing to decrypt devices.

France recently looked into banning the anonymous network Tor and blocking Wifi during special situations. The latest step in security was to accept an amendment to a bill that would make companies like Apple, who are activly fighting the FBI on modifying their software to break into an iPhone, either pay a fine or face five years in jail if they refused  to hand over encrypted data.

While this is only the bills first reading, if the amendment went ahead companies may feel uneasy doing business in France for fear of either giving out personal information or face a fine. It should be noted though that while Amendment 90 is being considered, it could be worse with amendment 221 going so far as to increase the fine by over 5 times and requesting “all relevant” information, that means more than just the message they are looking for.

Amendment 51 went so far as to state that companies who refused to help authorities would be considered “accomplices to terrorism”, a far stretch from the truth by any imagination. With public support seeming to increase for Apple’s case in the US and companies and figures alike coming out in support of them, accepting such a controversial bill couldn’t help the French government when trying to enlist technology companies help.

Apple and FBI Go Before Congress In Privacy Talks

Apple vs the FBI has been and looks to be, one of the biggest legal debates of 2016 with large groups like Microsoft even speaking out in defence of the iPhone developer in their bid to stop what they call a “dangerous precedent” from being set. The discussion has gone to a higher power with both parties now presenting their discussions to Congress.

Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, started with an opening point that has been used in every discussion since. Forcing Apple to unlock, or create software that lets the government bypass security, would do nothing but set a troubling precedent for the entire tech industry. In his opening remarks, Sewell said, “building that software tool would not affect just one iPhone. It would weaken the security for all of them”.

The big surprise came when FBI director James Comey agreed in part with this statement. “Sure, potentially. Any decision of a course about a matter is potentially useful to other courts”, these comments come just days after it was revealed that a New York judge had ruled that same act could not force Apple to unlock an iPhone.

The big surprise is that this response from Corney is different to those given previously by the FBI, who have claimed it was never about a precedent and they just wanted this one phone unlocked.

The conversations are just starting and soon governments and companies alike could be looking at new ways of handling encryption, either together or in hopes of protecting people from the other party.

Hexoskin Smart Shirt Monitors Your Health

As a race, we seem drawn to making things smarter, from self-driving cars to watches designed to interact with our mobile phones. One thing that everything from smart watches to phones includes on an all too regular basis is health apps, tracking everything from your steps for the day and calories burned to your heartbeat and temperature. Hexoskin is known for their smart clothing, with you now being able to go so far as buying a smart shirt.

Hexoskin offers everything from men and women’s tank tops to long sleeve shirts, all with the added bonus of being made from lightweight, stretchy and breathable materials. With each top containing a small zipped pocket for you to connect up the battery to the shirt, the tops look all but identical to the same thing you would already wear when you hit the gym. With 14 hours of monitoring from a single charge, and 150 hours of standby you could easily get a few days of heavy exercise before having to plug in the battery pack. With sensors to monitor heart rates and your breathing rate, you may find out something useful when you start using the Hexoskin top, but at $399 for a single shirt, battery pack, Bluetooth sensors and a charging cable

With 14 hours of monitoring from a single charge, and 150 hours of standby you could easily get a few days of heavy exercise before having to plug in the battery pack. With sensors to monitor heart rates and your breathing rate, you may find out something useful when you start using the Hexoskin top, but at $399 for a single shirt, battery pack, Bluetooth sensors and a charging cable, it probably isn’t something you’ll be filling your wardrobe with.

With companies looking for more and more ways to help us do everything from exercising to taking out the rubbish, it comes as no surprise that the sensors could help you find out something quite useful during your exercises, sadly though the price will probably put off more people than it will attract.

Google Cardboard Can Now Be Brought In the Google Store

Google cardboard is a simple, low-tech, virtual reality system. The concept is simple, why buy technology you already have? By using your smartphone, you don’t have to go out and buy expensive hardware a second time around, meaning that the only thing left to do was keep the phone near to your eyes. Google cardboard does just that and now you can even get it through the Google store.

In a unique twist, Google has so far only sold the Cardboard through third parties, meaning that in order to grab the device (does it even count as a device if it’s just cardboard?) you had to find someone else online selling it. This has now changed with Google launching an entire VR section on their website, including the Cardboard for a low price. Costing only $15 for a single unit, or if you wanted to double up it would only cost you $25. At this moment in time, the Cardboard has sold out meaning that you may have to wait a little before enjoying the benefits of low-cost virtual reality.

With virtual reality and even augmented reality solutions being released this year, experiencing the world of VR before you pay out hundreds of pounds may be a good idea. So far the Cardboard has made a large impact, with Doctors even using it to save lives. What do you think? Is it worth buying to mount a phone to your head or is it the start of your journey with VR technology?

Contactless Payment Use Surged In 2015

Remember the days when you handed over coins and pieces of paper to buy everything from sweets to a new car. These days it’s all done via virtual currencies like bitcoins and small pieces of plastic that we keep in our wallets, or even our phones. You will soon be able to pay for your taxi without even handing over a single coin, so is it any surprise that the UK saw a boom in contactless payments in 2015?

According to UK Cards Associated, the UK conducted over one billion transactions using contactless technologies, with the total amount spent using this method totaling more than the past seven years combined!

With one in 13 payments being made using contactless, and the limit being increased to £30 from £20 per contactless payment it comes as no surprise that this technologies use has boomed since its adoption a few years ago. With contactless transactions totaling over £7.75 billion, you may see more and more people choosing to use this technology with Apple being one of many companies adding it to their phones.

Do you have contactless payment on your card or phone? If so do you prefer using it or are you one for the good old-fashioned cash and coin?

Baidu Apps Leak Sensitive Information Online

People love their apps, from playing a quick game to doing your shopping while on the move or at work we all have them. Apps are designed to make your life easier, but sometimes things come along that make them more complicated. Apps are just like every other piece of software and with them come security risks, with companies like VTech finding out how bad a hack can be for their reputation and customers. Net giant Baidu has recently found this out as well as  security researchers claim that Baidu Apps leak sensitive information online.

The research conducted by security experts, Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto state that millions of people could have been affected by everything from their search terms and visited sites to the unique ID numbers of their devices online. The risk comes from a software development kit that people can use to make apps for Android phones and even programs for your windows PC’s. Citizen Lab reported their findings to Baidu back in November and report that some of the bugs have been fixed, with poor encryption still putting people’s data at risk.

With digital security being a big issue these days and large companies being found short on both their knowledge in the area and their responses to threats, Baidu have at least started to fix the problems and Citizen Lab have proven that with a little help we can get somewhere closer to being able to protect our information.

F.lux Coming To Android

There are certain pieces of software you just feel like you need. From using an email client like Outlook, or Office tools like Microsoft Office, there are some things you just have to install when you get a new PC. When it comes to the Office the same can be said, we’ve even written an article regarding the go-to software for remote team collaboration. One of the items on that list was F.lux, a piece of software that I have on a memory stick ready to install on any PC I own at a moments notice, it would seem that PC aren’t the only one to benefit though as it looks like the popular tool is coming to Android soon.

F.lux is simple in its premise. As you use a computer late into the night, the light in your house tends to get dimmer and you are left staring at a screen with no backing light up to the moment when you collapse in bed. F.lux runs in the background of your computer, adjusting your screen colours so that when you come to look away from your screen before sleep you are in “sleep mode”, where your brain is better suited to let you rest and sleep.

F.lux does this by altering information from your GPU, slowly removing blue from your screen, ultimately creating a more red “sunset” kinda appearance on your screen. I have been using f.lux for years now and can safely say that you don’t really notice the difference, except when you want to go to bed.

The problem is that we use so many devices these days, the creators behind f.lux have realised this and currently, if you head over to the forums, you can sign up to the beta program for the app on your phone. Say goodbye to the late nights because you’ve watched that “one more episode” on your phone before wanting to go to bed. Sadly though you will need a rooted device to take part in the beta, so maybe the app isn’t ready for everyone just yet.

Preview Build Stops Windows 10 Mobile Charging

There are always risk with upgrading your software, even more so with software that is still in a testing phase. We’ve all been through the pain of updating your computer and having it stop working, now it would seem that some users of the latest build for Windows 10 Mobile are experiencing the same thing.

Despite the single known issue, some users have been reporting that the Lumia 550 has a whole other problem. The error is that it doesn’t pick up when it’s charging, meaning your battery can only go one way, down.

Neowin reports that in their own testing they were not only left unable to charge their phone but it was also no longer recognised when it was plugged into a PC, meaning the default response of using Windows Device Recovery Tool’s was impossible.

There is a major problem with this, if you want to update your phone you require at least 50% battery, so once you fall beneath that not only can you not charge your phone but when a fix comes out, you won’t be able to update and get it.

While there are always problems with the “fast ring”, as Microsoft calls their initial group of testers for new builders, this problem will possibly cause some people to lose their phones altogether, a rather serious problem.

Multiple Motorola Devices Will Not Be Upgraded to Lollipop

These days we are being told that we need to install or swap out software and hardware all the time to keep it up to date. With everything from Windows Updates recommending a whole new operating system to a “security update” locking up your iPhones. When I decided to try out Windows Mobile (when it was first released) I liked the OS, except that it didn’t support anything. To my surprise (or not as the case was) they decided that my handset would be one of the ones that wouldn’t get the Windows 8 Mobile upgrade, leaving my phone outdated and out supported. It would seem that Motorola made the same decision with the Droid Ultra, Maxx and Mini editions regarding the latest Lollipop update.

On their forums Motorola posted the following:

“We apologise that we will not be upgrading DROID Ultra/Mini/Maxx to Android Lollipop, as we had hoped. We know how important software upgrades are to our customers, and we’re very sorry that we are unable to provide the upgrade.”

In an attempt to bring back any customers upset by this those with the Ultra/Mini or Maxx handsets can upgraded to the DROID Turbo 2 for $524 or the DROID Maxx 2 for $334.

The worst part about all of this is that the upgrade was promised and now instead of delivering on that promise they want you to pay for a new handset. No doubt this is going to upset anyone with one of the mentioned headsets, are you one of those people and if so how do you feel about this?

MazerBOT Targets Android Phones – Unless They’re In Russia

Malware, or malicious software, includes everything from your pop-up ads to opening doors for full-scale hacks to companies. Taking a trip the malware museum shows you how software like Dridex can not only threaten banking systems but also your everyday smartphone. The latest malware on the Net is called MazarBOT and has a unique feature, it won’t install itself if you are in Russia.

MazarBOT has been seen advertised on certain forums for a few months now but was never actually seen in use, until now. MazarBOT is a nasty piece of software that takes control of your android phone, with a specific focus on people who use their phone for online banking. Peter Kurse, IT security expert and founder of CSIS Security Group, did a deep investigation into the problem discovering more about this malware.

By sending a “swarm” of SMS’s to random phone numbers to Denmark, the software has started to spread by sending a message with a link to the android package file, the contents of which are none other than MazarBOT. Able to intercept text messages, including those with two-factor authentication codes, MazarBOT is a nasty piece of work, sending your phone’s location to a number (starting with Iran’s country code) upon successful installation.

Upon detecting that the phone is in Russia though the malware will stop installing, this is initially thought to be in order to avoid drawing the wrath from Russia’s security services.

Philips V800 Flip Phone Is in the Pipeline

Remember when the flip mobile phone design was all the rage? For some of you, this may seem an impossibility owing to the now ubiquitous smartphone look. Well, it looks as if Dutch Electronics Company Philips is set to release a new product by the name of the V800 flip phone to consumers.

Below is a summary of the key features along with a selection of images to convey this product.

  • The Phone Weighs 206g
  • The casing size is 8x60x19.1mm
  • It utilizes a Quad-core 1.5GHz processor
  • The Phone has two identical screens and a IPS LCD touch screen with a resolution of 1280×720
  • It is equipped with 13 Mega Pixel rear camera and 5 Mega Pixel front camera
  • The Phone runs on Android 5.1 system.

Below are images of this phone, as you can see, it looks noteworthy, the colours are atmospheric dark gray for the outer casing while the keyboard has a gold colour design which gives the phone a more luxurious feel.

There is no word as yet as to the pricing or release date, but it could be on the horizon when you consider it has passed through the TENAA (China’s wireless regulator). The phone may also have a limited appeal when you consider the flip phone design is now predominately sold within the Far Eastern market.

Image courtesy of wikimedia

Meem – The Charging Cable That Will Backup Your Phone for You

So honest answers only, when was the last time you backed up your computer? We are recommended to do this every week but so many of us leave it until we’ve already lost our computer to some nasty malware or power surge. If we do that to our computers with all our pictures and documents on, what do we do with our phones? Do you ever back up your phone? Meem, a company in the UK, is looking to help you do just that.

One of the reasons we often ignore backing up is because we don’t think we have the time, we are simply too busy or in a rush. Ways to speed this up are to back up while you are doing something else, downloading updates? time to back up. With a phone this is more difficult because we rarely leave the devices alone, constantly checking for messages or emails.

The one time we do leave our phones alone is when they are charging, normally overnight. The Meem cable comes with internal storage that copies your phone contacts and photos every time you use it to charge your device, this means that you just simply charge it like you would at the moment and have an instant backup from your phone.

Kelly Sumner, chief executive of the company behind the device, said that while many phones use the cloud to back up your devices, some don’t trust online service and you are limited by the requirement for an internet connection.

Have you backed up your phone recently? How about any other device you use every day? I think this cable will help a lot of people with their devices, giving you security and safe knowledge that your data is there if anything happens to your phone.

BT Internet and Phone Suffers Nationwide Outage

BT’s phone and internet services have crashed across the UK over the last hour. Down Detector, a website that tracks internet failures, has been inundated with reports that BT customers all over the country – from London to Birmingham, Manchester to Glasgow – have experienced outages. The faults peaked at around 15:00 (3pm GMT), with 18,399 reports. Many BT websites and services are also down.

BT’s customer care Twitter account claims that the issue is being dealt with, saying, “Sorry if you’re experiencing network problems. Engineers are on site now. We will keep you updated.”

https://twitter.com/BTCare/status/694547101854896128

“It is true that we are down at the moment,” a BT spokesperson later told Sky News. “We are aware of the problems and are working on them as fast as we can.”

Judging by the inevitable Twitter meltdown, the issues began just after 14:00 (2pm GMT), with BT customers complaining:

https://twitter.com/MikePattinson/status/694535277033984001

https://twitter.com/richypie/status/694535485486698496

The incident is the largest network failure the UK has ever experienced. There is no indication as to what has caused the issue yet, nor hor long it will take to repair.

Reports from users suggest that BT’s customer service has started turning people away while the outage continues. BT customer Jason Mills wrote on Down Detector: “DY2 [Dudley postcode] down but my big problem was when i spoke to BT, not sure where this foreign call centre was but after being informed of an issue and being told to ring back in a few hours before i had chance to speak they hung up. Totally shocked and dissapointed in there actions towards paying customers and will be changing asap!”