Google (mostly YouTube) accounts for a quarter of all North American internet traffic

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According to new data from analytics firm Deepfield (via Wired), Google services now account for an incredible 25% of traffic on all internet providers in North America. Not only is that significantly more than Netflix, it’s a huge increase from the approximately 6 percent Google held just three years ago. As noted in the report, Google now measures in at more than Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter combined, but mostly due to YouTube: Read more

Samsung schedules first developer conference for Oct. 27-29 in San Francisco

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Samsung has just announced that it will be hosting its first developer conference later this year in San Francisco. While we assume that the event would include typical developer sessions for Samsung’s Android/TouchWiz devices, it looks like we’ll also be getting a look at the latest from across the company’s other product lines as well. Samsung isn’t saying much, but it is teasing “what’s next” for developers, hinting that we’ll be seeing at least some new developments with its SDK and developer tools.

The event is scheduled to take place at Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco from October 27-29. Registration isn’t yet open, and no specific details on what we’ll be seeing at the event, but you can sign up on Samsung’s website now to get notified when more information becomes available.

Two-minute SIM card hack could leave 25 percent of phones vulnerable to spying

Image: joyenjoys.com

Image: joyenjoys.com

UpdateCNN reported on 1st August that five major carriers have pushed out a patch to block the vulnerability.

A two-minute SIM card hack could enable a hacker to listen to your phone calls, send text messages from your phone number and make mobile payments from your account. The vulnerability, discovered by a German security researcher, is present in an estimated 750 million SIM cards – around one in four of all SIM cards.

Give me any phone number and there is some chance I will, a few minutes later, be able to remotely control this SIM card and even make a copy of it …  Read more

Google gears up for public Glass launch with investment in chipmaker Himax

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In another sign that Google is gearing up for the public launch of Google Glass, Reuters reports that the company has taken a stake in Taiwanese chipmaker Himax, a specialist in display driver chips with particular expertise in controllers for LCOS micro-displays used in head-mounted displays.

Google Inc will take a 6.3 percent stake in the unit of Taiwanese chipmaker Himax Technologies Inc that develops display technology for devices such as Google Glass, Himax said.

The investment will help fund the production of liquid crystal on silicon chips and modules used in head-mounted devices such as Google Glass, head-up displays and pico-projectors, Himax said in a statement …  Read more

HTC does US reorg, starts ‘emerging devices’ division

So HTC isn’t doing too well in the lucrative high end US smartphone market (or anywhere really). What to do? Reorganize!

If I were running the show, I’d move everyone in the Sense division into a new division called “Keeping the latest stock Android updates on all of our phones” and start up a new division called, “Make sure all of the carriers subsidize our Google Play devices so that customers can afford them”

Sadly, I’m not in charge and HTC CEO Peter Chou has appointed Jason Mackenzie to head US operations

“Effective immediately, in addition to his current duties in supporting me with global corporate strategy, [President of Global Sales] Jason Mackenzie will lead HTC America,” HTC’s chief executive, Peter Chou, told employees in an internal email Sunday. “[President of North America] Mike Woodward will lead Emerging Devices, a newly established business unit that will focus on innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies.”

Mackenzie seems like a fine fellow, but it’s clear that it’s HTC’s strategy, not its org chart, that’s in need of a rework. Whoever is in the “Let’s make Facebook Phones” mindset needs to be shown the door.

What has to be incredibly frustrating to HTC is that while they were off making stupid gimmick Facebook phones and pissing off Google (after pioneering the G1 and Nexus One), Samsung swooped in and stole HTC’s early lead in Android devices by simply making things that people want and marketing them aggressively.

Giving people different bosses isn’t going to change that and its hard to imagine HTC’s fortunes getting any better (even though they make the best Android handset on the market). Read more

Why wait until Google’s announcement? Best Buy has the new 1080P Nexus 7 on Tuesday

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+Fabio Santos is ahead of the game when it comes to weekly circulars. According to the G+ user, Best Buy’s weekly circular features this week’s big hardware announcement from Google, the new Nexus 7 tablet. The specs (1920×1200 display) and price seem right in line with what we’re hearing, but available Tuesday before Google has a chance to announce it on Wednesday? That seems a bit premature. As pointed out by  Android Central, this could be next week’s circular, putting the Best Buy release date at  June 30th.

Press image for next-generation Nexus 7 leaks, shows rear facing camera

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Notorious Twitter leaker @evleaks has just posted a press image of the next generation Nexus 7. The past week has been filled with leaks and information regarding the device, with the first clear shots of the device coming on the heels of Google announcing an event for July 24th.

The press image shows the rear facing camera, which reportedly is 5MP, as well as what appears to be stereo speakers. While it looks very similar to the original model, the device’s back has a different, non-texturized design to it.

As far as specs go, we currently expect the Nexus 7 2 to feature a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and a 7-inch display with a 1980 x 1200 resolution, as originally reported by KGI analyst Mingchi KuoRead more

Cydia developer Saurik exploits and fixes Android’s Master Key vulnerability with ‘Impactor’

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The severity of the Master Key vunerability (bug #8219321) Bluebox Security discovered has been disputed and folks often are willing to look past theoretical vulnerabilities until a widespread zero day goes public. The original claims were that 99% of Android devices were vulnerable but that has since come down with patches and Google updates. Still, with manufacturers and carriers unable to see the long term value in quick (or any) updates to their phones, a huge amount of Android users are out there, unpatched.

(Bluebox has a scanner in the Play store to determine if your Android device is still vulnerable) 

Enter Saurik, the developer/hacker/violinist responsible for the Cydia Jailbreak repository for iOS and Substrate for Android, who this morning, posted  an exploit and a fix (as well as a wonderfully-detailed bug #8219321 writeup) for Android devices that are unpatched. In true jailbreak fashion, the exploit runs from a Mac or PC and in a few steps gives your su/Root access to the infected phone/tablet. While it isn’t as plug and play easy as recent iOS jailbreaks, it is easy enough for anyone who wants to root their unpatched phone to do in a few minutes.

No vulnerability exploit would be worth its salt if there also wasn’t a fix attached and this is no different. Folks who just want a fix that their carrier/manufacterer won’t supply can also use this to make sure they aren’t vulnerable.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will report back if we hear anything.

Review: Google Play Edition HTC One is the best of both worlds

There’s no denying it – the HTC One is one of the nicest pieces of Android hardware on the market. When we reviewed it back in April, we called it “a standout, breathtaking Android phone” and boasted about its above-average build quality and crystal clear display. For me, however, there has always been one thing keeping the HTC One from being my go-to recommendation for the best Android smartphone out there – HTC Sense. This is why I couldn’t be any more pleased that Google has decided to release a “Google Play Edition” of the HTC One running stock Android, giving us more hardware options for pure Android devices on top of its Nexus line that ships alongside major new releases.

HTC Sense, the company’s Android UX overlay it uses to help make its phones unique, unfortunately adds an extra layer that affects the overall performance of the hardware considerably. HTC isn’t the only one. We noticed major performance improvements in our full review of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition running stock Android instead of Samsung’s clunky TouchWiz UX.

For these reasons, I’ve been toting LG’s Nexus 4, which up until recently was the only out-of-the-box, stock Android smartphone available on top of above-average hardware. While there’s no mistaking the HTC One’s superior hardware, because of Sense, it continued to take a back seat to my Nexus 4. With Google’s recent introduction of new stock Android devices under the “Google Play Edition” moniker, the HTC One finally has the opportunity to win me over. Read more

More Moto X specs leak, include 4.5-inch display, dual-core processor

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Rumors surrounding the Moto X Phone have been coming in at a crazy rate over the past few months, with information regarding design, customization, and more leaking. We’ve known for a while that the device is not meant to be high-end in terms of specs, and new information obtained by The Verge confirms that.

According to a “tipster who has used a CDMA variant of the phone,” it will feature a 1.7GHz Snapdragon MSM8960T processor, which is basically the same as a Snapdragon 600, but dual-core instead of quad-core. The device will also feature 2GB of RAM and a screen “in the vicinity” of 4.5-inches. Things get a tad questionable when it comes to the battery life, however, with The Verge’s source originally claiming that it had a measly 1500mAh battery, but later saying that figure might not be accurate, as it was reported by a software tool. Read more