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Photos of Google Nexus 7 Successor Leaked (0)

Google has announced its press event for next week with Head of Android Sundar Pichai at the hosting helm, but it stopped short on what the company would unveil. Some say it will be the Google Nexus 7 successor, but others say, "Pics or it didn't happen." And so, one blog did just that. Android Central published photos and video of what they claim is the Google Nexus 7 successor. The images, which were slightly altered to protect the identity of their source, show a tablet with Nexus branded at the back just below the spec sticker. We cannot tell whether the so-called Google Nexus 7 successor at the photo is a prototype or the final product, as well as whether the specifications listed are accurate. But what is very obvious is that the tablet is said to be manufactured by Asus, just like the original Nexus 7. Android Central also claims that the device they have at hand has two cameras (a 5-megapixel Chicony camera at the back; a 1.2-megapixel LITEONMOBILE shooter at the front), Android 4.3, a Qualcomm APQ8064 motherboard, a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 4GB of DDR3L RAM, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro-USB port, and a pair of stereo speakers. Judging by the photos, the tablet on display, just like the original Nexus 7, seems to be a tad chubbier than the iPad mini. Source: CNET Read More

Google Glass Security Flaw by QR Codes Spotted (0)

Mobile security firm Lookout has announced that it has spotted a very critical Google Glass security flaw. The firm's principal security analyst Marc Rogers has told PC Mag's SecurityWatch they have discovered a vulnerability in how Google Glass processes QR codes. Because Google's wearable computer has limited user interface, the Glass' camera can automatically process any QR code it spots. "On the face of it, it's a really exciting development," Rogers said. "But the issue is the moment Glass sees a command code it recognizes, it executes it." This Google Glass security flaw may provide an opportunity for spammers and hackers to develop a malware that can be downloaded and installed after automatically scanning a QR code. To make sure their hunch is correct, Lookout created QR codes containing malicious software and they learned that Google Glass can be forced to perform actions even without the user's knowledge. Lookout first tried a malicious QR code that would initiate a so-called "Glass-cast," wherein Google Glass would share to a paired Bluetooth device whatever appears on the Glass' screen, without the user knowing it. Although this Google Glass security flaw screams "voyeurism" all over, it does have its limitations. For one, the attacker would have to be near enough to receive the Glass-cast transmission through Bluetooth, but before that he would have to pair their Bluetooth device to the user's Google Glass and that would require physical access. However, Rogers points out that since Google Glass has no lockscreen, pairing the devices would be easy as the attacker would just tap the Glass to confirm. The more troubling vulnerability is what Lookout did with its second malicious QR code, which forced Google Glass to connect to a designated WiFi network right after scanning the code. "Without realizing it, your Glass is connected to his access point and he can see your (web) traffic," Rogers said, adding that the attacker could exploit this web vulnerability, which could cause the wearable computer to be hacked. Lookout has already reported the Google Glass security flaw to Google and a patch has been released within two weeks to fix the loopholes. Source: SecurityWatch Image source: Joe Seer, Featureflash / Read More

Favorite Brands List: Apple & Google Out; Amazon In (0)

We are halfway through 2013 and market research firm YouGove BrandIndex has released its semi-annual report on the top 10 best-perceive brands in the United States. Much to everyone's surprise, a number of popular brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Google are out on the favorite brands list. The company behind the iconic iPhone has been out of the top 10 list since the second half of 2012, while Google held on to 10th place that same time. This is despite Apple's generally satisfied customers and Google's lead in mobile and web search markets. YouTube, which is owned by Google is on the current favorite brands list at no. 8. Meanwhile, Amazon is able to snag two spots on the list: one for the online retail service at no.2, the other for its Kindle brand of e-book readers and tablets at no. 9. YouGov BrandIndex conducts consumer perception studies on a daily basis, interviewing 5,000 people across the US from Monday to Friday, resulting in over 1.2 million interviews annually. The brands were measured using the firm's so-called "Buzz" score, wherein respondents answer to this question: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" The resulting scores range from -100 to 100, wherein negative feedback subtracts the positive. For instance, a score of zero means that a particular brand received an equal amount of positive and negative perception. Automaker Ford leads the recent favorite brands list. Also on the list are the History Channel, Lowe's, Walgreens, V8, and Subway. Source: Business Insider Australia Read More

Google Working on Android Game Console and Smartwatch (0)

Just on the heels of the recent Ouya launch, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Android video game console may be in for some serious competition as Google is developing its own Android game console. As if that's not enough, the report also claims the company is working on an Android-based smartwatch as well. The publication, citing the usual "people familiar with the matter," claims that Google is actually in a rush to develop its own smartwatch ahead of Apple in case the iPhone company develops similar devices. Google declined to comment about the report. Ouya, one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, has been available online and at selected retailers since earlier this week. The cube-shaped Android game console costs $99, while users can download close to 200 independently-developed games for at least $2 each. The introduction of cheaper Android game console like Ouya among others is certainly shaking up the home console battle, especially as Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have unveiled their respective next-gen consoles. Nintendo drew first blood when it launched the Wii U last November, but its sales performance is not as impressive as its predecessor, the Wii. Microsoft and Sony will launch the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively, before this year ends. Source: Wall Street Journal, via USA Today Read More

Google Glass Study Shows High Awareness, Low Willingness (0)

While the tech media have been all agog over Google Glass, it seems like the general public has its reservations about the upcoming wearable gadget. Recent studies show that while people are highly aware about Google Glass, they have reservations about wearing one. The Medill School of Journalism in Northwestern University conducted a research about the public's perception of Google Glass. In an interview with 1,210 mobile device owners with ages between 49 and 59, more than half of them said they had heard about the wearable computing device. Awareness and willingness to purchase and try on the device are high among men. Two-thirds of the respondents said they would or might be willing to utilize the wearable device in special cases such as traveling. Among those who expressed little or no interest in trying on Google Glass, the most-cited reasons include the potential for distraction and the perceived steep cost (the developer version of Glass costs $1,500 a pair, although that may not be the suggested retail price). About 25 percent of respondents who said they would not use the device cited personal privacy issues. Other respondents said they are anxious about looking goofy or silly when donning Google Glass. Meanwhile, one-third of the respondents said they would not pay a single cent for Google Glass. For those who are willing to shell out some dough, two in five participates said they would pay up to $100, while about one in five would cough up to $200. Google Glass will likely to cost more than that. In another survey among smartphone owners conducted by Bite Interactive last May, only one in 10 Americans would be willing to wear Google Glass on a regular basis. Those who do not want to wear them cite "awkward aesthetic" and "seemed irritating" among its reasons. Source: Medill School of Journalism, via Mashable Read More

Google Glass to Reject Facial Recognition Apps (0)

Google Glass has yet to become available to the general public, but many people have been concerned about how this wearable gadget would ensure that the privacy of non-users is not violated. One possible scenario is how Google Glass would utilize facial recognition technology to snoop upon personal details of the people surrounding the user. Google has finally lifted its veil of silence regarding the usage of facial recognition technology. In a post on Google+ just recently, the company said it will not approve any app that features facial recognition functions, at least for now. The online juggernaut added that they "won't add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place." Google also stressed that this is not an entirely new policy, as seen at how Steve Lee, Google Glass' direcor of product management, has said the same sentiment two weeks ago. The difference between today and two weeks ago, however, is that Google has specifically referred to third-party apps in its Google+ post. Not allowing apps that feature facial recognition is an addition to Google's list of restrictions on apps for Google Glass. Other sources have added that Google will also reject apps from turning off the Glass' display when taking a photo, in order for people to spot whether the user is taking a photo of them, as well as apps that contain "hate speech, gambling, and explicit material." However, it may not discourage some people from hacking into the Glass, which Google has encouraged, and develop procedures and mechanisms that both the company and the people surrounding the Google Glass user would frown upon. Source: Google Glass on Google+, via The Verge Read More

HTC One Google Edition Coming June 26 (0)

Sundar Pichai, Google's Senior Vice President for Android, Chrome, and Apps, has announced that his company will be rolling out the HTC One Google Edition beginning June 26th. The upcoming mobile phone, which will run in stock Android, will be sold for $599 on the Google Play Store. The announcement comes after Google revealed the availability details of Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android, which will also be available at the Play Store beginning June 26 for $649. The HTC One Google Edition will feature a stock version of Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and updates to the OS will be sent at the same time along with Nexus devices and the Play version of Galaxy S4. The smartphone will also sport 32GB of internal storage and GSM cellular network standards, along with every other bells and whistles expected from HTC One, including the one-ultrapixel camera that works very well in extremely low-light situations. HTC One has been well-received by critics since its unveiling, and coming up with a stock Android version instead of the grid-like, Windows Phone copycat would surely be a hit among those who expect a lot from mid-range smartphones. The HTC One Google Edition will only be available in the United States during its retail debut, with no word on whether this handset will cross borders and oceans in the coming months. Source: TechCrunch Read More

US Lawmakers Question Google Glass’ Privacy Issues (0)

Eight American lawmakers have formally demanded Google to address various privacy concerns about Google Glass, the company's new wearable device. The letter, addressed to Google CEO Larry Page, is authored by Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), chairman of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. The document has outlined eight questions that Google should answer on or before June 14. "We are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American," the letter states. "Because Google Glass has not yet been released and we are uncertain of Google's plans to incorporate privacy protections into the device, there are still a number of unanswered questions." Other questions listed in the letter includes how Google would collect and store data from Google Glass; how the company would ensure the device does not unintentionally collect private data; how Google would protect the privacy of people who are not using the Glass when they are with people who are using it; and whether Google Glass would have facial recognition technology. Google Glass has yet to be available in the market, but a handful of users had a chance to wear an early version of the device provided they shell out as much as $1,500. The device, worn like a pair of eyeglasses, is connected to the Internet and allows people to perform tasks such as taking photos, record and watch video clips, send text messages, and post to social media sites. The company has already raised privacy concerns on some issues, such as unwanted recording. Google claims that when the device is recording, its light is always on and that the wearer should be staring at the subject. Meanwhile, a representative of Google has addressed the question of facial recognition in a statement. "We've consistently said that we won't add new face recognition features to our services unless we have strong privacy protections in place," says Steve Lee, director of product management for Google Glass. Lee has also addressed other concerns in the letter during Google's recent I/O Conference, saying that his company has followed all its privacy and data collection policies with Glass. He adds that social cues are also built into the device to help prevent certain privacy violations, such as users having to press a button or speak to the device to take photos or record videos. In a separate statement, Google spokesperson Chris Dale states, "We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues." Source: House of Representatives, via New York Times Read More

Google Wallet Introduces Money Transfers via Gmail (0)

You know Google has anything else than its soon-to-be-released, expensive, likely-to-be-banned-in-some-states glasses the company tries to shove into us, right? Good, because the company has made three major announcements at its Google I/O developer conference that involve Google Wallet. One of which is allowing users to send and receive money from Google Wallet through email. This new feature comes as Google aims to make the Google Wallet experience more usable to more people, since there are still places where NFC cannot be used and not every smartphone has that capability. As for Google's two other announcements, the company has issued application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can use to access Google Wallet to streamline online shopping experience, as well as give users the ability to include any loyalty card in their Google Wallet account. Google hopes that developers can find ways to make purchases within Android apps and on the web more convenient for consumers, such as not having to re-enter payment information every single time. The software giant has also created APIs that developers can use to allow retailers to add quick access to loyalty cards and programs. But the email payment functionality is arguable the most interesting of the lot, as Google makes digital payments as easy as attaching a photo or document in an email. Although this function will currently available on Gmail's desktop version, its users can send money to those who do not have a Gmail account. It is free to send money if the user's bank account is linked to their Google Wallet prepaid account. Meanwhile, service fees apply for sending money using a Google Wallet-linked credit card or debit card. To start sending and receiving money, users should first set up a Google Wallet account. To send money via Gmail, users have to hover over the paperclip icon and wait for various attachment options to appear. They then click the "$" icon to attach money to their email, enter the amount they wish to send, and press Send. Sending money through phone would require users to go to Google Wallet's mobile site ( Note that this email money transfer currently only accepts money sent from within the United States, and is only available for Gmail users in the U.S. over the age of 18. Google has also developed a system that deals with security issues when sending money through email. The Google Wallet Purchase Protection Plan covers users 100 percent against eligible unauthorized payments. The company assures Google Wallet users that no actual account information is transferred through email. Source: CNET Read More

Google Play Rains on Facebook Home’s Parade (0)

Back in the day, Android users had it easy when they can have their apps updated, even beta updates, without having to go through Google Play Store. This included Facebook Home as the social networking suite exploited the said loophole, pushing beta updates to a limited amount of users directly from Home itself. But Google has abruptly changed all that with a revision on its Play Store's terms and conditions. Google's app market now requires all Android users to update all downloaded apps through the Play Store itself. The revised terms and conditions, under the Dangerous Products section, states: "An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism." It is also under this section where Google Play prohibits the transmission of "viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data." While the revision may be seen as Google's way to prevent Facebook from bypassing the Play Store, it is more of a mechanism to prevent malicious apps to utilize this loophole. It is just so happened that Facebook got caught in this loophole closure. Android has been criticized for being vulnerable to malware and other security vulnerabilities. Source: Google Play, via TechCrunch Read More

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