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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edges Out iPhone 6 Plus: Reviewers
October 15, 2014
The first reviews are out on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, unveiled last month in Berlin, and they're generally positive. "The best big-screen phone you can buy right now," screams one headline. "A phablet that can teach Apple a few things," says another. "The best Android phablet rules with a pen," declares a third. "I'm not sure where the good story is on this," said tech analyst Jeff Orr.
Lollipop Could Make Android Stickier
October 15, 2014
Google on Wednesday unwrapped Android 5.0 Lollipop, officially replacing the "Android L" code name by which the latest version of its mobile platform previously had been known. "Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android, with over 5,000 new APIs for developers," wrote Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president for Android, Chrome & Apps, in a blog post.
The Power of Linux (Almost) Everywhere
September 26, 2014
Linux -- the free open source operating system for enterprise, small business and home computing use -- is not used everywhere yet. However, its user base crosses nearly every industry. It's in consumer products like TVs and computer networking gear. Linux drives services that users do not even know run Linux. Think in terms of servers, Big Data farms and cloud storage facilities.
Dan Allen and Sarah White: Documentation Dearth Dooms Open Source Projects
September 24, 2014
One of the essential draws to open source software should be superior product documentation. Well-written user guidelines are a key strategy that software developers should use to increase an open source project's growth and user adoption. All too often, programmers finish their last line of code and shove the open source software out the door. Documentation is often an afterthought, if that.
Android L Will Keep Your Secrets Safer
September 19, 2014
Hard on the heels of increased security measures in Apple's newly released iOS 8, Google this week confirmed that encryption will be turned on by default in the next release of Android. Android has offered encryption for more than three years, and keys are not stored off the device, so they can't be shared with law enforcement, Google said. In Android L, encryption will be enabled by default.
Red Hat Slurps Up FeedHenry
September 19, 2014
Red Hat has inked a deal to acquire FeedHenry as part of a stepped-up initiative to support mobile application development. "Given the sheer number of mobile phones out there and the sheer adoption in the market at large of mobile technologies, our customers and prospects and target customer base are moving more and more toward mobile," said Mike Piech, Red Hat's general manager for middleware.
The Importance of Openness to the Internet of Things
September 10, 2014
Consumers today are in an awkward position. Personal privacy is being wiped out by the Internet. At the same time, new technologies that interconnect our devices, homes and offices are offering stupendous advantages. Welcome to the new Internet of Things' open world. "Openness" means something different depending on whether you're basking in the convenience or contributing to a vendor's cash flow.
Gadget Ogling: Curves and Edges, Toasty Toes, Smart Charger and Dumb Wearables
September 05, 2014
Welcome to the latest installment of Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, a weekly look at just-announced personal tech items. There's plenty on the menu this time around: Samsung's latest smartphone and tablet salvo; two pieces of smart, on-the-go tech; some curved home entertainment options; and wearable devices from an unlikely source. Tthese are not reviews -- my ratings reflect my interest.
Samsung, LG Unveil Smartwatches With Sex Appeal
August 28, 2014
Samsung and LG both announced brand-new smartwatches on Wednesday in the run-up to next week's IFA 2014 consumer electronics trade show in Berlin. Featuring a sleek, curved Super AMOLED display along with 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, the Samsung Gear S runs Tizen and allows users to make and receive phone calls. It has customizable screen options and changeable straps.
Open Source Software: Sailing Into Friendlier Seas
August 26, 2014
Open source software is now a force drawing enterprises and developers like a magnet. The factors pulling adopters into the open source fold are changing, though. Also changing are the attitudes of software developers and corporate leaders about the viability and adaptability of open source. Open source software is increasingly important within the corporation.
Torvalds Says Yes to the Desktop
August 25, 2014
It was just a few short weeks ago that we here in the Linux blogosphere were rehashing the open source world's documentation dilemma -- one of those perennial topics bloggers love to resurrect whenever there appears to be a lull in the conversation. At the time, alert readers may recall, Linux Girl compared the topic to the ongoing "Year of Linux on the Desktop" debate -- another favorite.
OS Flaw Leaves Android Wide Open for App Hack Attacks
August 22, 2014
A flaw in Android's GUI framework let university researchers hack into applications with up to 92 percent success. They tested apps from Gmail, H&R Block, Newegg, WebMD, Chase Bank, Hotels.com and Amazon. "Changes in the shared memory side channel allow an attacker to infer if there is an activity transition going on in the foreground," said researcher Zhiyun Qian, an assistant professor at UCR.
Leaked Moto 360 Specs Impress, Price Point Iffy
August 20, 2014
Specs of the forthcoming Moto 360 smartwatch from Motorola appeared briefly on a Best Buy Web page, sparking increased chatter about the device. Concerns about price -- the watch was listed at $250 -- tempered the usual gasps of delight from geeks. Amazon lists a Samsung Galaxy Gear for $150, a Gear Live for $180, a Gear 2 Neo for $200, a Pebble Steel for $230, and an LG G Black Titan for $233.
The Connected Car, Part 3: No Shortcuts to Security
August 19, 2014
The connected car is becoming a reality, but the gadget-filled roadways it travels will be paved with several options for in-car technologies. These choices pose challenges for carmakers. Whichever technology wins the race, one of the biggest concerns for OEMs is their electronic security. The Linux Foundation wants an open source platform in the pole position.
Galaxy Alpha: Samsung Puts Pedal to Metal
August 13, 2014
Samsung has unveiled its long-awaited Galaxy Alpha smartphone featuring a metal frame and a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display. "We have taken a new approach to smartphone design with the Galaxy Alpha, focusing on sophisticated design techniques and compact construction, while building upon the Galaxy experience," said Samsung spokesperson Ashley Gregory.
The Connected Car, Part 2: Wired For Wireless - It's All Business
August 12, 2014
The connected car is a battlefield among technology purveyors fighting to get their hardware plugged into the vehicle's network bus. Open source technology is becoming a key contender. OEMs are sorting through a garage full of options from versions of embedded Linux to the Automotive Grade Linux distro and the Android car platform. The connected car concept is picking up speed.
The Connected Car, Part 1: The Future Starts Now - Will Linux Drive It?
August 05, 2014
The Age of the Connected Car is dawning. The Linux Foundation is positioning an open source Linux OS to take the front seat in steering carmakers to adopting Automotive Grade Linux, or AGL, as the engine driving all in-car electronics. Today's automobile has from 60 to 100 sensors to control everything from climate to airbags and dozens of vehicle components.
Samsung Z Delay Prompts Tizzy Over Tizen
July 30, 2014
Samsung has delayed the launch of its Samsung Z smartphone running the Tizen OS, which was scheduled for Q3 release in Russia. The move, just short of two months after the Samsung Z's launch at the Tizen Developers Conference, sparked a death watch for the device. However, Samsung said it needed to further enhance the Tizen ecosystem. Samsung has had several setbacks with the Tizen smartphone.
Android's Fake ID Could Put Millions in Jeopardy
July 30, 2014
An Android vulnerability that exists in every version from v2.1 Eclair to v. 4.3 Jelly Bean could expose millions of users, Bluebox Security has warned. The flaw lets attackers fake the certificates of specially privileged parties, such as Adobe and Google Wallet, and serve them up with malware that bypasses detection by Android. Attackers then can take over every app running on an Android device.
Global Tablet Sales Go From Surge to Shuffle
July 25, 2014
Tablet sales will show dramatically slower growth this year, according to IDC's Q2 worldwide quarterly tablet tracker. Worldwide tablet sales grew 11 percent year over year in Q2, with shipments totaling 49.3 million units. While sales will continue to grow, they will do so more slowly than in 2013, when they grew by 51.6 percent, according to IDC.
Nokia X, We Hardly Knew Ye
July 21, 2014
"I told you so" is a refrain that's oft-heard here in the Linux blogosphere, and more often than not it refers to some fleeting Microsoft tie with FOSS that subsequently goes wrong. The latest example? It's a doozy. Redmond not only is laying off many, many thousands -- most of them in its ill-fated Nokia unit -- but also abandoning its short-lived support of Android through the Nokia X line.
Android Sets iPhone Cloning Factory in Motion
July 16, 2014
Chinese company Wico has cloned the yet-to-be-released iPhone 6, if a pair of videos can be believed. "The similarities are eerily close," said IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas, to the extent that the casual observer "may just simply accept this as an iPhone." There are slight differences on the sides, such as the volume and power buttons and the headphone jacks, as well as the chassis overall.
Sprint Launches the Swiss Army Knife of Mobile Hotspots
July 14, 2014
Sprint last week unveiled a mobile hotspot designed to satisfy all the wireless needs of a consumer in one 4.7 x 4.7-inch device. Sprint LivePro is a multifunctional device that acts as both a mobile hotspot and a mini projector. Users connect via Sprint's 4G LTE Spark network -- the company's enhanced LTE service that launched last October -- or through its WiFi network.
Amazon Risks Customer Loyalty in Fight Over Kids' In-App Purchases
July 11, 2014
Amazon's reputation for stellar customer service could become tarnished if its current flap with the FTC gets out of hand. The FTC is suing Amazon for permitting children to make millions of dollars in unauthorized purchases through its Appstore. Similar accusations have been circulating for years. Other companies, including Apple, have been targeted, said Strategic Vision CEO David Johnson.

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