Latest Entries »

Android for all and the new Nexus 5

android repair abbotsford - android screen repairs abbotsford Just in time for Halloween, we have two new treats for Android fans. First, we’re excited to unwrap our latest platform release, KitKat, which delivers a smarter, more immersive Android experience to even more people. And second, we’re introducing Nexus 5—a new Nexus phone developed with LG.

The first thing you’ll notice about KitKat is we’ve made the experience much more engaging: the book you’re reading, the game you’re playing, or the movie you’re watching—now all of these take center stage with the new immersive mode, which automatically hides everything except what you really want to see.

 

Bringing more Google smarts to Android
Behind the polish on the screen is the power under the hood. Take the Phone app, which for most people hasn’t really changed since the days of flip phones. Now, we’re making calling easier than ever, by helping you search across your contacts, nearby places, or even Google Apps accounts (like your company’s directory), directly from within the app. And with the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same place, alongside your other conversations and video calls, so you’ll never miss a message no matter how your friends send it. This is just a small taste of KitKat—learn more on our site.

Google has always focused on helping users get immediate access to the information they need, and we want to bring this same convenience and power to users on Android. With the new Nexus 5 launcher, Google smarts are deeply integrated into the phone you carry around with you, so getting to the information you need is simple, easy and fast. Swipe once from the home screen to get Google Now literally at your fingertips. Put Google to work for you by saying “OK, Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song you want to hear. And in the coming weeks, we’re enhancing Now with important new card types that bring you information about contextual topics that interest you such as updates from a favorite website or blog.

Reaching the next 1 billion users
Building a platform that makes mobile phones accessible for everyone has always been at the heart of Android. Until now, some lower-end Android phones couldn’t benefit from more recent Android releases due to memory constraints. With KitKat, we’ve slimmed down Android’s memory footprint by doing things like removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that you use all the time. We did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. RAM (or memory) is one of the most expensive parts of a phone, and now Android can run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of the world, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users.

Introducing Nexus 5
Along with our sweet naming tradition, we also introduce a new device with each platform release to showcase the latest Android innovations. For KitKat, we partnered with LG to develop Nexus 5 — the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever made. Its design is simple and refined to showcase the 5” Full HD display. Nexus 5 also keeps you connected at blazing speeds with 4G/LTE and ultra fast wifi. The advanced new lens on Nexus 5 captures more light for brighter night and sharper action shots. And with optical image stabilization, you no longer have to worry about shaky hands and blurry pictures. A new HDR+ mode automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos and combines them to give you the best possible single shot. Learn more on our site.

 

 

Nexus 5 is available today, unlocked and without a contract, on Google Play in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea (and coming soon to India), starting at $349. Just in the time for the holidays, Nexus 5 will be available soon at the following retailers: Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack.

Android 4.4, KitKat, which comes on Nexus 5, will also soon be available on Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

Source: Google’s Official Blog

BBM Finally Launches on iPhone and Android

404524-bbmIt has taken much longer than many industry watchers predicted, but Blackberry has finally gotten around to releasing a BBM app for iPhone and Android. The company has had a tough time of it lately, but maybe software is the way to keep the lights on. The app is now live in the App Store and Google Play, but there a waiting list.

BBM leaked on Android a few weeks back when the company was preparing for launch. The influx of new users caused server issues for Blackberry and delayed the launch. This is the reason for the waiting list, which most users will be subjected to. Anyone who signed up ahead of time for the service on the BBM website can log right in, but otherwise you’ll have to provide an email address and wait it out.

When you do get access, you’ll make a Blackberry ID and add your personal information. If you’ve used BBM on a Blackberry in the past, your contacts will populate immediately. If not, you’ll have to invite people. This process is different (and a bit counterintuitive) for first time users. BBM makes contact lists more secure, so you have to send the invite based on PIN, NFC pairing, or sending an email. You only get the contact added when the other party accepts the invitation.

BBM was the originator of the modern read receipt, and while that’s been replicated in both iMessage and Hangouts, BBM still does it pretty well. You can also do group chats, share pictures, and send files. It basically does all the stuff the first-part messaging clients do, but it’s running through Blackberry’s servers. If you’re worried about security, this should be on your radar.

The app is available for iPhone and Android phones. There isn’t any tablet support at this time.

Source: PC Magazine

Ryan Says: About FREAKING time!  Buh Bye WhatsApp!

Anyone Can Bypass Your iOS 7 Lockscreen to See (and Share!) Your Photos

Got fancy new iOS 7 on that iPhone of yours? Beware. There’s a super simple bug that can let anyone blow right by your lockscreen and look through your pictures, and even share them.

The process was discovered by Jose Rodriguez, and even though it has quite a few steps, it’s super easy to master. Here’s how it works:

  • Swipe up on the locked phone to get to the control panel
  • Open the stopwatch app
  • Go over to alarm clock
  • Hold the power button until you get the “Power down” prompt
  • Hit the cancel button and immediately hit the home button twice, holding it down just a little longer on the second press. Like, buh-baah. It takes a try or two to get the hang of.

Then, bam, you’re in the target’s multitasking menu and can start goofing around. If you go to the camera app, you’ll be treated to unrestricted access to the Photo Stream, and can share the pictures from there with email, Twitter, and more. It’s pretty scary. This isn’t the first time a bug like this has showed up in iOS either. Hopefully it’s the last.

We were able to replicate the bug on an iPhone 4s and an iPhone 5, and Jose. We can’t tell for sure if it works on the iPhone 5S or 5C yet, but there’s little reason to think it wouldn’t.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment, and there’s no doubt they’ll be issuing a fix in the near future. But in the meantime, just be aware that your photos aren’t safe from prying eyes. The prying eyes of an up-to-date nerd, at least.

Update: You can fight this by turning off the Control Center access on the lockscreen. Just go to Settings, Control Center, and set Lockscreen Access to off. But man, lockscreen Control Center is awesome and it’s on by default. So maybe just don’t leave your phone with creeps?

Ryan says: I’ve been able to get into iPhone’s for a LONG time now.. when is Apple fixing these holes?

‘Critical’ security warning for BlackBerry Z10

A vulnerability in the BlackBerry Protect software built into Z10 smart phones could allow hackers to gain access to the passwords of some devices, according to a security advisory issued by BlackBerry

By taking advantage of “weak permissions” malicious applications will be able to:

  • Gain the device password if a remote password reset command had been issued through the BlackBerry Web site
  • Intercept and prevent the phone from acting on BlackBerry Protect commands, such as remote wipe
BlackBerry said the issue is with the BlackBerry Protect software and not the Z10’s operating system.

“The most severe potential impact of this vulnerability requires a BlackBerry Z10 smart phone user to install a specially crafted malicious app, enable BlackBerry Protect and reset the device password through BlackBerry Protect,” the advisory said.

With the device password and physical access to the phone, an attacker can:

• Access the functionality of the smartphone (including the BlackBerry Hub, apps, data, and the phone) by unlocking the smartphone.
• Unlock the work perimeter on a BlackBerry Z10 smartphone that has BlackBerry Balance technology enabled if the work perimeter password is the same as the device password.
• Access the smartphone over a USB tether with either BlackBerry Link or the computer’s file viewer, allowing access to the smartphone’s personal files, contacts, PIM data, and so on. The attacker could also access work perimeter content on BlackBerry Balance smartphones if the work perimeter is unlocked and access over a USB tether is allowed by a policy that the IT administrator sets.
• Enable development mode after accessing the smartphone over a USB tether, allowing remote access as a low privilege development user.
• Change the current device password, allowing the attacker to deny access to the legitimate user of the smartphone.
• Access any other local and enterprise services for which the legitimate user has used the same password as the smartphone’s password.

An attacker can also gain Wi-Fi access to the phone if the owner enables Wi-Fi storage access on the Z10 and sets a storage access password that is the same as the device password.

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Microsoft may not have been listening to the rumbling of discontent over some of the new “features” coming with Xbox One, but Sony certainly has.

Sony unveiled the new PS4 console at this week’s E3 gamers conference in Los Angeles, and it undercuts Redmond Xbox One by $100, has faster graphics, won’t require an internet connection for gaming, or make users jump through tortuous DRM hoops. CEO Jack Tretton took care to put the boot into Microsoft as he unveiled the platform.

“We are focused on delivering what gamers want most without imposing restrictions or devaluing their PlayStation purchase. PlayStation 4 won’t impose any new restrictions on the use of used games. That’s a good thing,” he said, with a broad grin at the thunderous response from the E3 crowd.

“When people buy a PS4 disc they have the rights to use that game,” he said, “they can trade in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever. PlayStation 4 games don’t need to be connected online to play or for any type of authentication. And it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours.”

Judging from El Reg‘s forums, Microsoft’s decision to require the Xbox One to check in online every day, the strict DRM controls the console can impose, and the restrictions on game resale are going to prove unpopular. Sony might have been expected to use the opportunity to follow suit, but instead is actively fighting against such a move, and actively mocking Microsoft’s policy.

 

 

The PS4 will go on sales later this year, in time for the holiday season, with a $399 price tag. There’s the usual surcharge for the Europeans, who get stung for €399 ($529.79), and the British get their hardware for £349 ($543.99).

There is, however, a slight catch. The Xbox One comes with the heartbeat-sensing Kinect camera system bundled in. If you want your Sony console to track your every move, and possibly one day check if you’re watching, then it’ll set you back $59 (or €49 and £44). Extra wireless controllers for the PS4 cost $59, €59, or £54 depending on locale.

The hardware itself is very similar to the Xbox One. Sony has gone for a rhomboid form-factor for the systems, but it carries a similar spec to its rival with USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, a Blu-Ray player, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. At the PS4’s heart there’s a customized eight-core AMD Jaguar processor and a 1.84 TFLOPS Radeon GPU that’s more powerful than its Redmond rival.

Gamers are also going to have to pay to play online. You already have to with Microsoft, and at launch Sony will require online players to pay for a PlayStation Plus membership for $50, which will also work on a PS3 and PlayStation Vita.

In a tweet during the presentation, however, Sony confirmed that a Plus account isn’t needed to access other media on the device, so if you want to use the console to watch Netflix you won’t need an online account. The same is not true with the Xbox One.

As for the games themselves, Microsoft does appear have the upper hand for the mass consumer market, with early access to the new Call of Duty and a revamped Halo out next year. In response, Sony has 30 titles under development, 20 of which will be released within a year, and independent producers will add up to 100 more.

Tretton’s presentation made it clear how Sony is going to play the console wars. Microsoft wants the Xbox to be the single unit that can perform all of the entertainment and (Skype) communications functions in the living room – provided the internet’s up. Sony is fine focusing just on the games and being one device among many.

It’s now up to buyers to decide which strategy will prove the most popular.

Source: The Register

 

Researchers describe hacking iOS devices with malicious charger

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology will be demonstrating a proof-of-concept method of hacking an iPhone using a malicious USB charger. Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang, Chengyu Song announced the demonstration for Black Hat USA 2013, an annual conference for hackers and security researchers that begins on July 27th in Las Vegas.

The short version is the three researchers found a way to use USB protocols to bypass some of Apple’s security features in iOS that prevent unauthorized software from being installed on your iOS device. The three built a charger based on a BeagleBoard (see below)—a US$125 computer-on-a-circuit-board—that was able to successfully insert malware onto an iPhone plugged into it.

Worse, they can do so in under a minute.

“Despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system (OS) software,” the researchers wrote on their BlackHat presentation description. “All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction.”

In the demonstration, they said will discuss Apple’s existing security mechanisms that protect against “arbitrary software installation,” which in layman’s terms essentially means malware. They will then describe how standard USB capabilities can be, “leveraged to bypass these defense mechanisms.” To finish it off, they will demonstrate how this same process can be used to then hide the resulting malware from the user the same way Apple hides its own built in software.

The three researchers named their malicious charger “Mactans.”

The BeagleBoard it is based on is an off-the-shelf circuit board that can be used to create all manner of tiny computing devices running Angstrom (Open Embedded), Debian, Ubuntu, and Gentoo. There are other BeagleBoard products as well, including a slightly larger model with a 1GHz Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 processors that can run Android.

The point the researchers are making is that their method can be accomplished with readily available technology.

“While Mactans was built with limited amount of time and a small budget,” they wrote, “we also briefly consider what more motivated, well-funded adversaries could accomplish.”

The researchers will offer methods for protecting yourself against such an attack—we’ll throw out that you should probably be choosy about using a charger whose provenance you can’t verify—and what Apple can do to make this attack, “substantially more difficult to pull off.”

Source: UPI

Canada’s new wireless rules are great, but let’s not kid ourselves

The CRTC, determined to reform Canada’s usurious wireless phone cartel, has just issued a strict new “Code of Conduct.”

Effective this December, three-year phone contracts will be available, but unenforceable. If you’re stuck in one of these abusive long-term relationships, you’ll be able to sever it at the two-year mark without penalty.

You know those bill-shocker stories about customers getting hit with thousands of dollars in data overage fees after letting their kids watch YouTube on their iPhones while vacationing in Cuba? Roaming data overage will now be limited to $100 a month, domestic to $50.

You’ll be able to have your subsidized phone unlocked after 90 days, you’ll have a right to a simpler contract and you’ll be able to negotiate changes to that contract.

Hooray, right?

Yes and no. The CRTC’s new pro-consumer stance is, without question, a good thing. But our big three carriers (Bell, Rogers and Telus) still control 95 per cent of the mobile market. Canadians are not going to start using less mobile anytime soon, regardless of the terms we’re offered. In fact, a wireless industry lobby group just sponsored a major study which (they claim) proves that Canadians are actually willing to pay more than we already do for our smart phones. Industry lobbiests are already using the report to suggest that Canadian consumers are getting a bargain. I say charging $50 for an umbrella during a thunderstorm isn’t a good deal just because people would still buy them at $60.

The point is, if the big three can’t maintain their globally-envied RPUs (revenue per user) under the old rules, they’ll find other ways to keep profits up while colouring within the lines of the new ones.

What will that mean? You can expect monthly fees to climb, and new “bonus” add-ons to be fabricated  marketed. We already see carriers offering 4G speed-upgrades — for a fee. I predict that any new speed capacity will be chopped into separate products at separate price points, in a move akin to offering regular, premium and super-premium gasoline. That’s off the top of my head. If there are other ways to sneak new costs into our bills, wireless companies will find them.

The missing ingredient in Canadian wireless is not a tough regulator, but tough competition, backed by unrestrained foreign investment. However, even if Ottawa steps in to untangle the red tape and make this possible, our international reputation may be too tarnished. After the recent experiences of Mobilicity and Wind, who felt “left to the dogs” by Canada’s government once they were wooed in, the Canadian market may be a no-go zone for international mobile firms.

All around the world, smart phones are getting cheaper, wireless speeds are getting faster and people are doing more and more new things with their mobile devices. It’s happening here too. Just less so.

Ryan:  Having worked for the big 3 (Rogers, TELUS & Bell) I can speak on behalf of most Canadians by stating that this is a positive step in the right direction.  Now they just need to adjust the price fixing problems / incorrect roaming bills.  Why not just shut off service to phones when a certain point is reached? Why are we as Canadians still paying for Call Display / Voicemail?  

Source: Maclean’s

BitTorrent’s Secure Dropbox Alternative Goes Public

BitTorrent Inc. has opened up its Sync app to the public today. The new application is free of charge and allows people to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. Complete control over the storage location of the files and the absence of limits is what sets BitTorrent’s solution apart from traditional cloud based synchronization services.

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and Mega are just a few examples of the many file-storage and backup services that are available today.

All these services rely on external cloud based hosting to back up and store files. This means that you have to trust these companies with your personal and confidential files, and that your storage space is limited.

For those people who want to be in control of their own data there haven’t been many alternatives, but BitTorrent Sync has the potential to trigger a small revolution on this front.

BitTorrent Sync’s functionality is comparable to services such as Dropbox and Skydrive, except for the fact that there’s no cloud involved. Users sync the files between their own computers and no third-party has access to it.

Besides increased security, BitTorrent sync transfers also tend to go a lot faster than competing cloud services. Another advantage is that there are no storage or transfer limits, so users can sync as many files as they want, for free.

Earlier this year BitTorrent started a closed Alpha test with a limited number of users, and today Sync is being released to the public for the first time.

“We’re really excited about opening up this Alpha. The feedback has been universally positive. Those in the closed Alpha have already synced more than 200TB since we started the program,” BitTorrent announces.

Over the past weeks many improvements have been made to the Sync application, prompted by user feedback. Among other things it is now possible to allow one-way synchronization and to exclude files or directories from being shared.

While Sync uses BitTorrent technology, people’s files are not accessible to outsiders. Only those who have the unique private key can access the shared folder.

“All the traffic is encrypted using a private key derived from the shared secret. Your files can be viewed and received only by the people with whom you share your private secret,” BitTorrent explains.

To increase security, the latest Sync version also has the option to let the secret key expire after a day so new devices can’t be added, even if outsiders have the private key.

BitTorrent stresses that Sync is still in Alpha development but tests carried out by TorrentFreak confirm that it works very well. It is an ideal tool for people who want to share large amounts of data between computers without going through third-party services.

The application is also surprisingly easy to configure. There’s no need to create an account and it only takes a few clicks to get going.

The Sync application is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and has the ability run on NAS devices through a web-interface. Readers who are interested in giving it a spin can head over to BitTorrent labs, where the Sync app can be downloaded.

Download BitTorrent Sync for Windows here.
Download BitTorrent Sync for Mac 10.6 or newer here.

Source: TorrentFreak

Most of you know about our PC repair services, but did you know we fix/repair/unlock cellphones & tablets? Did you also know that we offer the lowest prices in the Fraser Valley and will price match and BEAT any competitor price? Now you do.

We repair all Smartphones / iPhones for :

* Broken LCD Screens & Touch Screen Replacement
* Water and other Liquid Damage Repair / Corrosion Clean Up
* Phone Data Recovery – Photos, Music, Text Messages
* No Power / Phone does not turn on
* Charging Problems / Charging Controller / Charging Port Replacement
* Battery Replacement (200+ Batteries in stock)
* Staticky, Crackling Speakers & Microphones
* Home Button / Power Lock Button Replacement
* Malfunctioning button, Trackball, Trackpad and Keypad
* Malfunctioning SIM card readers / NO SIM Reading Fix
* Software problems, upgrades and reflashing (All Models)
* Language change
* JTAG Service (Android Phones)
* Unknown Baseband, IMEI missing
* Password Protected / Disabled Phones / Pattern Lock Reset (Samsung)
* Jailbreaking — iPhone, AppleTV 1 & 2 + FREE TV & MOVIES + FREE APPS
* Rooting — Most Android Models — Custom Rom Reflashing Available

We unlock ALL Smartphones For :

* iPhone 2G/3G/3GS (Most iOS Versions)
* iPhone 4/4S – Factory unlock Fido/Rogers/Telus/Koodo/AT&T/Bell
* iPhone 5 – Factory unlock Telus/Koodo/AT&T/Rogers/Fido
* iPhone 4S/5 unlocking for iOS 5.x, 6.1.3 and below!
* BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, HTC
* Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Huawei, Alcatel and other Overseas Models.

– iPhone Factory unlock for USA, UK, Brazil, Australia, France, Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Romania, Japan, etc.

As always, we DO NOT charge for repairs that cannot be performed.

180 Warranty on ALL parts & Labour – We ONLY use OEM Factory Parts.

Call the shop if you need a price quote, make sure to ask for Ryan.

Russian BadNews bug found in Android app store

Security researchers have identified 32 separate apps on Google Play that harboured a bug called BadNews.

On infected phones, BadNews stole cash by racking up charges from sending premium rate text messages.

The malicious program lay dormant on many handsets for weeks to escape detection, said security firm Lookout which uncovered BadNews.

The malware targeted Android owners in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in eastern Europe.

The exact numbers of victims was hard to calculate, said Lookout, adding that figures from Google Play suggest that between two and nine million copies of apps booby trapped with BadNews were downloaded from the store.

In a blogpost, Lookout said that a wide variety of apps were harbouring the BadNews malware. It found the programme lurking inside recipe generators, wallpaper apps, games and pornographic programmes.

The 32 apps were available through four separate developer accounts on Play. Google has now suspended those accounts and removed all the affected apps from its online store. No official comment from Google has yet been released.

Lookout said BadNews concealed its true identity by initially acting as an “innocent, if somewhat aggressive, advertising network”. In this guise it sent users news and information about other infected apps, and prompted people to install other programmes.

BadNews adopted this approach to avoid detection systems that look for suspicious behaviour and stop dodgy apps being installed, said Lookout.

This masquerade ended when apps seeded with BadNews got a prompt from one of three command and control servers, then it started pushing out and installing a more malicious programme called AlphaSMS. This steals credit by sending text messages to premium rate numbers.

Users were tricked into installing AlphaSMS as it was labelled as an essential update for either Skype or Russian social network Vkontakte.

Security firm Lookout said BadNews was included in many popular apps by innocent developers as it outwardly looked like a useful way to monetise their creations. It urged app makers to be more wary of such “third party tools” which they may include in their code.

Half of the 32 apps seeded with BadNews are Russian and the version of AlphaSMS it installed is tuned to use premium rate numbers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

Source: BBC News

Apple finally fixes App Store flaw by turning on encryption

Apple has finally fixed a security flaw in its application store that for years has allowed attackers to steal passwords and install unwanted or extremely expensive applications.

The flaw arose because Apple neglected to use encryption when an iPhone or other mobile device tries to connect to the App Store, meaning an attacker can hijack the connection. In addition to a security flaw, the unencrypted connections also created a privacy vulnerability because the complete list of applications installed on the device are disclosed over Wi-Fi.

It also allows the installation of apps, including extremely expensive ones that top out at $999.99, without the user’s consent, which can create serious consequences because Apple doesn’t give refunds. To do this, an attacker needs to be on the same private or public Wi-Fi network, including, for example, a coffeeshop, hotel, or airport network.

Security researcher Elie Bursztein discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Apple last July. Apple fixed the problem in a recent update that said “content is now served over HTTPS by default.” Apple also thanked Bernhard Brehm of Recurity Labs and Rahul Iyer of Bejoi.

Bursztein, who works at Google, in Mountain View, Calif., but emphasized this was work done at home in his spare time, published a personal blog post today that described details about the App Store vulnerability and included videos of how an attacker was able to steal passwords or install unwanted apps.

Publicizing this flaw, Bursztein said, highlighted how necessary encrypted HTTPS connections were. “Many companies don’t realize that HTTPS is important for mobile apps,” he said. But if they rely on Web connections or Webviews, he added, they are vulnerable to attacks: “Providing a concrete example seems a good way to attract developer attention to the issue.”

As a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, Bursztein published research that included demonstrating flaws in Captchas and the Web interfaces of embedded devices. At the Defcon conference in Las Vegas two years ago, he demonstrated how to bypass Windows’ built-in encryption that Web browsers, instant messaging clients, and other programs used to store user passwords.

Bursztein’s blog post comes a day after Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, took a security-related swipe at Google on Twitter by pointing to a report on the rise of Android malware.

 

Source: CNET