Man questioned by Homeland Security for wearing prescription Glass in a movie theater

A visitor is testing the new Google Glasses at the international fair for digital economy 'NEXT Berlin 2013' in Berlin, Germany, 24 April 2013.  NEXT Berlin 2013 is an international trade for which serves as a platform of digital innovations from the worl

While there have been cases of Google Glass wearers being told they must remove them to enter anywhere from bars to workplaces, and even one ticketed by police for wearing them while driving, you wouldn’t generally expect wearing them on a night out to lead to being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security. But that’s exactly what happened to one man, who wore a pair of prescription Glass to a movie theatre, in an email to The Gadgeteer.

About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops …  Read more

Google launches “Video Quality Report” to test ISP performance based on YouTube playback

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Google today announced a new project designed to test the quality and connection speeds of internet service providers. The service, known as Google’s Video Quality Report, will be available in Canada  first, though it should expand to more countries as time progresses.

To perform the test, Google uses data related to how well the ISP can handle playing back a high definition YouTube video. The ISPs are graded based on the performance of other providers in a given area. If the ISP is able to load 90% of 720p YouTube videos, then it will be branded as “YouTube HD Verified” for the area and be at the top of the verification scale.

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Moto X with wood finish now available in Teak, Walnut, and Ebony

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Last week, Motorola finally announced the highly-anticpated wood-finsihed backs for its Moto X. The company announced Walnut, Ebony, And Teak finishes for the device, in addition to the Bamboo option that has been available since December. Today, the three new finishes are finally available on Motorola’s Moto Maker website for an additional $25. The options are applied like any other Moto Maker customizations, with the only difference being the $25 fee (via Droid Life).

Customizing your Moto X with wood finishing does not appear to affect the shipping times, with people who placed their order today receiving an arrival estimate of this Friday, January 24th.

The Moto X with Ebony, Teak, and Walnut finish is available now on Moto Maker, coming in at $425 for 16GB and $450 for 32GB.

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Google offering 25% off select Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 accessories

From 9to5toys.com

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For a limited time only, Google is offering 25% off of select Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 accessories on the Play Store. Unfortunately not every accessory qualifies for the deal, but many of the most popular ones do. The Nexus 7 sleeve, case, and folio are all available for 25% percent off, while the Nexus 5 bumper and QuickCover qualify for the offer.

Of course, even with the 25% discount, all of these accessories are still considerably more expensive than they should be. You can find much better cases and folios, for both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, a lot cheaper on Amazon. If you want official, Google/LG made products, however, than this deal is certainly nothing to complain about.

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Apple SVP Phil Schiller shares report showing Android had 99% of mobile malware last year

Like he has done before, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller has taken to his Twitter account to share a new report highlighting a much higher amount of security threats on Android compared to iOS. Schiller linked to Cisco’s 2014 annual security report covering mobile malware trends over the last year, which happens to highlight a rise in malware on Android as one of its key takeaways:

Ninety-nine percent of all mobile malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. Android users also have the highest encounter rate (71 percent) with all forms of web-delivered malware.

That 71% encounter rate for web-delivered malware on Android compares to just 14 percent for iPhone users, according to the report. The report’s finding that 99 percent of all mobile malware last year targeted Android marks an increase for Android when comparing to the last report Schiller shared. In March of last year, Schiller shared a report from security firm F-Secure that estimated Android had around 79% of all mobile malware for 2012 compared to just 0.7 percent for iOS. Read more

Sony’s Xperia Z1 successor to offer 4K recording, slo-mo and more

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It wasn’t so long ago that buying a camera capable of 4K video recording would set you back well into five figures; today, you can do it on a smartphone. Acer got there first with the Liquid S2, followed by Samsung with the Galaxy Note III. If leaked software obtained by ExperiaBlog is indeed intended for the Xperia D6503 Sirius – codename for Sony’s successor to the Xperia Z1 – Sony will soon be joining the list.

A screengrab of the camera app shows a 4K video button whose description reads ‘Record video in 4K ultra high definition.’ Other camera features shown are slow-motion video (rather strangely labelled ‘Timeshift video’), background defocus (emulating the shallow depth of field of a large-sensor DSLR) and various add-on effects …  Read more

LG Flex pre-orders start January 24th for AT&T customers, hitting 20 European countries next month

Image to scale

We’ve previously reported AT&T picking up the LG Flex, a massive phone with a curved display and tough reviews, and today the carrier officially announced plans for pre-order sales.

Starting Friday, January 24th, AT&T customers will be able to pre-order the LG Flex with its 6″ curved display for $299 with a two-year contract.

“We’re proud to offer the LG G Flex, our first smartphone with a curved screen, in the U.S. and add the device to the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president – Devices, AT&T. “We offer smartphones and devices to fit every lifestyle. There’s nothing quite like the LG G Flex to enhance viewing video and images. The unique design is great when using your thumbs to type a message and at the same time, delivers a great experience for video enthusiasts. Combined with AT&T’s premium network, the nation’s most reliable wireless service, you have an unbeatable combination of features and value.”

AT&T also says customers can purchase the device using its EDGE program: “Customers also have the option of paying $26.74 per month with AT&T Next 18 or  $34.75 per month with AT&T Next 12.” The hardware is quite different from other handset offerings with a power/volume toggle on the backside just under the camera in addition to the ability to “tap” the display on and off.

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Any data gathered by Google-owned Nest devices will be “transparent and opt-in,” says Tony Fadell

Photo: websummit.net

Photo: websummit.net

Nest CEO Tony Fadell has responded to data privacy concerns expressed after the company was acquired by Google, stating that there have not yet been any changes to the data collected by the smart thermostat and smoke detector, and that any future changes would be both transparent and opt-in.

At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them.

If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it …  Read more

Leaked screenshot suggests Google Now lookalike for improved TouchWiz UI on Samsung S5

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We’re not fans of manufacturer overlays, preferring our Android experience undiluted, but a leaked screenshot suggests that a revamped version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user-interface may actually be both attractive and useful.

Leaked by usually reliable source @evleaks, the screenshot shows live updates covering everything from flight delays to delivery notifications. It’s not known whether Samsung is grabbing the data from Google Now, and merely overlaying its own user-interface, or creating its own data feeds …  Read more

Moto X wood backplate upgrade drops to $25, arrives in Walnut, Teak & Ebony on Jan. 21 (Update: $75 refunds)

MotoX-Wood-Teak-Ebony-Walnut

After months of teasing natural wood backplates for the Moto X, last month Motorola finally introduced a Bamboo option available through its Moto Maker customization tool. Today the company announced that it will soon be introducing three other wood finishes including Walnut, Teak, and Ebony.  Read more