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Tag: Gear Gadgets (Page 1 of 200)

Stealthy Google Play apps recorded calls and stole e-mails and texts

Enlarge (credit: portal gda)

Google has expelled 20 Android apps from its Play marketplace after finding they contained code for monitoring and extracting users' e-mail, text messages, locations, voice calls, and other sensitive data.

The apps, which made their way onto about 100 phones, exploited known vulnerabilities to "root" devices running older versions of Android. Root status allowed the apps to bypass security protections built into the mobile operating system. As a result, the apps were capable of surreptitiously accessing sensitive data stored, sent, or received by at least a dozen other apps, including Gmail, Hangouts, LinkedIn, and Messenger. The now-ejected apps also collected messages sent and received by Whatsapp, Telegram, and Viber, which all encrypt data in an attempt to make it harder for attackers to intercept messages while in transit.

The apps also contained functions allowing for:

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Apple discontinues iPod Nano and Shuffle, updates iPod Touch models

(credit: Chris Foresman)

You'll see no mention of the iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle on Apple's website anymore. Today, the company removed the two media players from its website, and reports suggest the company is discontinuing both devices. A report from Business Insider includes a statement from an Apple spokesperson citing the "simplifying" of the iPod lineup.

"Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod Touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano," reads the statement from an Apple spokesperson.

Some of the most affordable products in Apple's lineup, the iPod nano started at $149 and the iPod shuffle started at $49. Both devices have been sitting on the back burner for a while: Apple hasn't introduced a meaningful update to either device since 2012, only adding new colors options for both in 2015.

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LG disappointed by sales of flagship smartphone

Enlarge / The LG G6.

Another year, another proclamation from LG that its flagship smartphone isn't selling as well as expected. Last year it was the LG G5, when the company blamed a bad quarter on "weak sales of [the] G5." The year before that, it was the LG G4, which had sales that "fell short of expectations." This year it's the LG G6—in its latest earnings report, LG blamed the "challenging" quarter on “weaker than expected premium smartphone sales and increase in component costs.”

A a whole, LG is doing fine, with the company reporting that "Three of the company’s four main business units reported higher revenues than a year ago." Home Appliances, Home Entertainment, and Vehicle components are the three seeing improvements, while the mobile division is lagging behind.

LG's strategy with the G6 never made a ton of sense, seeming like it was only aiming for "second place" behind Samsung. LG launched the G6 in 2017 but used Qualcomm's old 2016 SoC, the Snapdragon 821. At the launch event for the G6, LG said it shipped last year's SoC in this year's phone in a bid to get to market faster than the Snapdragon 835 devices. By the time LG finally got around to launching the G6 in the US, though, it was already one week after the Galaxy S8 launch event. If LG had planned to beat Samsung and other Snapdragon 835 devices to market, that lead seemed to have evaporated at some point. The G6 technically had a three-week head start on the S8, but by the time the G6 was available the S8 launch event already happened, the phone was unveiled, and Samsung was already taking preorders.

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AMD Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200: True quad-core CPUs for just $130 and $110

Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200, AMD's budget-focused quad-core CPUs, launch today for $130 and $110 respectively. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, but don't expect much change from £120 and £100 respectively.

Like the rest of the Ryzen line-up, Ryzen 3 offers more cores compared to a similarly priced Intel chip. The Ryzen 3 1200—which features four cores, four threads, a base clock of 3.1GHz and a boost clock of 3.4GHz—is priced below Intel's Core i3-7100, a dual-core chip with hyperthreading. The Ryzen 3 1300X—which is also a 4C/4T chip with a base clock of 3.5GHz and a boost clock of 3.7GHz—is cheaper than the 2C/4T Intel Core i3-7300. Both sport a TDP of 65W.

While the Intel chips offer higher out-of-the-box clock speeds along with better IPC performance, Ryzen 3 should perform better in multithreaded tasks. AMD's own Cinebench results put Ryzen 3 ahead of Core i3 by as much as 29 percent. AMD claims Ryzen 3 will match Core i3 in 1080p gaming performance too, thanks to its two extra physical cores.

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iPhone-maker Foxconn to build flat-screen display factory in Wisconsin

Enlarge / The OLED-toting Google Pixel (left) next to the iPhone 7 Plus' LCD panel. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Foxconn, one of the electronics manufacturers that makes Apple's iPhones, revealed plans today to build a factory in Wisconsin to produce flat-screen displays. Foxconn's total investment in the Wisconsin factory amounts to $10 billion, more than the original $7 billion that Foxconn had been talking about investing in US manufacturing since Donald Trump took office as President. The factory will create at least 3,000 jobs and upwards of 13,000 jobs, as well as up to 22,000 induced jobs in other parts of Wisconsin. President Trump praised the deal at the press event, claiming it was a win for anyone who "believes in the label 'Made in the USA.'"

The factory will be located in southeastern Wisconsin in House Speaker Paul Ryan's congressional district. However, it will not come for free. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said at the event that Foxconn will receive an incentive package $3 billion over the next few years, including state, local, and federal incentives.

Foxconn will build flat-screen LCD display panels at the new factory under the Sharp brand, which the company bought in 2016 for $1.5 billion. At the press event, Gou and Governor Walker emphasized LCD display manufacturing for the automotive, healthcare, and other industries, rather than OLED display manufacturing.

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