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  1. Microsoft app lets you pair your Android phone with Windows To bridge the age-old gap between Android and Windows, Microsoft now has an app called Your Phone, aimed at connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to your Windows 10 computer. — dpa When it comes to sending files between devices, there are any number of ways you can share what's on your phone. Things are a bit trickier when you want to access your phone from Windows, however. To bridge the age-old gap between Android and Windows, Microsoft now has an app called Your Phone, aimed at connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to your Windows 10 computer. It allows you to do things such as transferring photos and videos between devices or typing text messages on your computer. To do so, you need to have the appropriate app installed on your smartphone, namely "Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows." Depending on the smartphone model, other features are available, such as being able to mirror smartphone apps on your computer's screen and use them using the keyboard, mouse or touchscreen on your computer. You can also make and receive phone calls on your PC. A prerequisite is that you have a Windows 10 PC running the Windows 10 May 2019 update. While direct smartphone-to-PC connections via cable are less popular and somewhat more cumbersome, they remain a reliable alternative in many cases and are often faster at transferring large files. – dpa Source
  2. The official Facebook app for Windows 10 is not the best-supported app in the world, and it therefore comes as no surprise that Facebook is planning to kill the app. Facebook has been sending a message to active users of the Windows 10 app informing them of their intention to discontinue the app. What is somewhat surprising is how soon the app is leaving the platform, and that there is no indication Facebook is planning to replace it. Their personalized email reads: Since you use Facebook for Windows desktop app, we wanted to make sure you’re aware this app will stop working on Friday, February 28, 2020. You can still access all of your friends and favorite Facebook features by logging in through your browser at www.facebook.com. For the best experience, make sure you’re using the most current version of our supported browsers including the new Microsoft Edge. You can still access Messenger through the Facebook website or by logging in through your browser at www.messenger.com. If you prefer a desktop app for your conversations, try the new Messenger for Windows which you can download now in the Microsoft Store. Thank you for using Facebook for Windows desktop app, The Facebook Team Facebook recently replaced their old Messenger UWP app with a new Electron app, but it seems when it comes to the full Facebook app the company decided it would make more sense to simply direct users to their website. Source
  3. A sale might keep the app alive Wunderlist founder Christian Reber has offered to buy back the popular task management app from Microsoft to avoid it being shut down. “Still sad Microsoft wants to shut down Wunderlist, even though people still love and use it,” says Reber on Twitter. “I’m serious Satya Nadella and Marcus Ash, please let me buy it back. Keep the team and focus on Microsoft To-Do, and no one will be angry for not shutting down Wunderlist.” Microsoft first acquired Wunderlist back in 2015, for a rumored price of between $100 million and $200 million. The software giant has since launched its own Microsoft To-Do app, and it’s clear the Wunderlist acquisition has been complicated. Wunderlist’s API runs on Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft decided to rewrite everything rather than attempt to port it directly over to Azure. While Wunderlist is still functional, Microsoft has said it plans to shut down the app once all of its features are available in Microsoft To-Do. It’s not clear exactly when that will take place, but Reber is keen to avoid it happening at all. He has confirmed it’s a “serious offer,” but there’s no sign Microsoft is even willing to entertain the offer. Source
  4. It’s trivial to update firmware on Linux these days thanks to the LVFS, the fwupd tool, and integration within the GNOME Software app (aka Ubuntu Software on Ubuntu). But there are times when a user either needs to or wants to find out more about the firmware that their devices are running on. They might, for instance, have encountered issues and want to perform more advanced tasks, like downgrading firmware version. Today, to do that, to check firmware versions and gauge other details about connected hardware, users get directed to the command line (indeed, this is where I had to go when trying to update the firmware of my 8BitDo controller). But, thanks to a new project, that won’t be the case for much longer… New Firmware Update App for Linux Red Hat’s Richard Hughes reports on a new effort to construct a new GUI “Firmware Updater” tool for Linux desktops, one that runs independently of the GNOME Software tool and can do more things. Dell, the computer company, approached Hughes with the idea of him mentoring an intern who’d work on a “power user” GTK app for managing firmware. “The idea being,” Hughes writes, “that someone like Dell support could ask the user to run a little application and then read back firmware versions or downgrade to an older firmware version rather than getting them to use the command line.” The result of that effort is the (perhaps not entirely well named) Firmware Updater tool. The app aims to make it easier for users to see which connected hardware can be updated using the LVFS; get a list of firmware releases; read change logs and caveats; and of course actually upgrade and downgrade firmware too. The app is still a work in progress with the team behind it still “working out what kind of UX we want from a power user tool”. It’s designed in such a way that it could become a distinct panel in the GNOME Settings/Control Centre rather than a standalone binary, Finished or not, as the screenshot in this post shows the tool is already in a good state. Hughes adds that as soon as Firmware Updater is ready for release it’ll be up on Flathub “for the world to install.” Source
  5. Earlier today I was preparing to write a guide about installing software on Ubuntu and wanted to collect some screenshots. Since I'm not currently running Ubuntu, I decided to download an ISO and fire it up in a virtual machine. From day 1 of my Linux journey I've always used VirtualBox, but for whatever reason I decided to try a different app: GNOME Boxes. As robust as VirtualBox is, I immediately noticed that GNOME Boxes had a simpler and more intuitive interface that's well suited for the "average" user that I am. So I pointed it at the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ISO and was treated to a nice surprise. GNOME Boxes makes testing a new Linux distro super simple Not only did GNOME Boxes automatically detect that the ISO contained Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, it offered me an Express Install option (provided I had a working internet connection). The app automatically pulled my username into the account field, and asked that I do nothing more than enter a password to proceed. And that was truly all that it required, unless I needed to customize the amount of RAM and disk space allocated to the VM. After hitting the Continue button, GNOME Boxes ran an unattended installation. It pulled regional and language settings from my host machine, handled the partitioning dialogue, and everything else. The installation screens zoomed by, components and updates were downloaded, and within less than 5 minutes I had a perfectly working Ubuntu 18.04 to play with. Express install option for GNOME Boxes This is made possible thanks to Fabiano Fidêncio, who has authored unattended installation scripts for Debian, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE and Microsoft Windows (7, 8 and 10). Specifically which versions of the Linux distros that support the feature seems to be unpredictable, but I tried several that just worked. At any rate, this amounted to a huge time-saving feature for me, and I'm willing to bet you'll find it useful too. Especially if you've been curious about other, more "mainstream" Linux distros. I'm highlighting this feature because there seems to be very little documentation surrounding it, and it would rock to have additional automation scripts for distributions like Pop!_OS and Linux Mint. The app also supports VNC and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), and the developers are working on making features like this more discoverable in version 3.34. Check for GNOME Boxes in your distribution's software center, and it's also available to download on FlatHub. Source
  6. steven36

    Google calendar app down globally

    Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google Calendar app users were unable to access their schedules on Tuesday as the app faced technical issues globally. "We are aware of the issues and working on a fix," Google replied here, in response to a tweet. Earlier in the day, DownDetector.com, which monitors outages, showed a number of users saw the “Not Found” “Error 404” message when they tried to access the app. Other apps appeared to be unaffected by the outage. Source
  7. The app called scrcpy was released in version 1.9 this week with features that make it the most advanced (yet simple) Android phone mirroring app in the world. This app allows the mirroring of any Android smartphone* using USB (or TCP/IP, wirelessly) and requires no rooting or specialized knowledge. This app works on GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS, and it’s free to download and use. Users will need to enable ADB debugging on their Android device in order for this process to work. That’s relatively easy to make happen – as follows: Go to settings – About Phone – and tap your BUILD number seven times. Go back one screen and find Developer Options, and note that this section may be on a different list in Settings depending on the smartphone you’re using. In Developer Options, find USB debugging, and enable USB debugging. THE NAME: What’s the name of the app all about? It’s meant to be an unpronounceable word AND a mash-up. The word scrcpy is short for screen copy. The app allows you to use your phone on the desktop of your computer, transfer files, and have a single-machine experience in general. This is rather helpful for people that need to use their phone during the day at the same time as they use their desktop computer – especially if they find themselves jumping back and forth between machines all day long. One massive collection of options are available with the latest version of the app, including the latest and greatest: The ability to turn your phone’s screen off whilst in use on your desktop. To view a whole bunch of other options, head over to the Github entry and explore. It’ll be easiest to use this system if you’ve used a command prompt before – but it is not absolutely necessary to get started. *To be fair (*to be fair, to be fair*), this app does need your Android phone to have Android 5.0 or higher – but of all the phones still active in the world with Android at this moment, the vast majority are running 5.0 at the VERY least. Source
  8. A N G E L

    App Builder 2019.32

    Complete suite to create HTML5 and hybrid mobile applications. Visual designer App Builder provide us with dozens of visual and non visual controls we can simply drop it in the application's designer. Timers, HTTP Clients, Text Inputs, Push Buttons and many more controls ready to use. Based in actions You no need to know Javascript to create applications. App Builder scripting is based in visual assisted actions that we can use to do whatever we wanted. Hundreds of actions are available out of the box. Fully extensible App Builder's applications can be extended in many ways. We can use Javascript in addition to the action's based script. We can develop and use third party App Builder's Javascript plugins and also Apache Cordova™ plugins. Direct Download Link: Site: http://sd.afree.ir Sharecode: /A/App.Builder.2019.32.afree.ir.rar if need password:afree.ir
  9. An electron version of Windows 95 Windows 95 is the operating system that’s now used as a yardstick for what’s possible on modern devices and platforms. We’ve seen Microsoft’s popular OS appear on the Apple Watch, an Android Wear smartwatch, and even the Xbox One. Today, someone has gone a step further and made Windows 95 into an app that you can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Slack developer Felix Rieseberg is responsible for this glorious app, allowing nostalgia lovers to play around with Windows 95 in an electron app. Rieseberg has published the source code and app installers for this project on Github, and apps like Wordpad, phone dialer, MS Paint, and Minesweeper all run like you’d expect. Sadly, Internet Explorer isn’t fully functional as it simply refuses to load pages. The app its only 129MB in size and you can download it over at Github for both macOS and Windows. Once it’s running it surprisingly only takes up around 200MB of RAM, even when running all of the old Windows 95 system utilities, apps, and games. If you run into any issues with the app you can always reset the Windows 95 instance inside the app and start over again. Enjoy this quirky trip down memory lane. Source
  10. Spanish soccer league "La Liga" is using its official Android app to create an army of millions of piracy spies. The app can access microphone and location data to scan for restaurants, bars, and other establishments that broadcast their matches without a license. "Protect your team," La Liga notes, while encouraging users to enable the functionality. Even though sports streaming services are widely available in most countries, people are not always willing to pay for them. This applies to individuals, who turn to pirate sites or other unauthorized channels, but also to businesses such as bars and restaurants. The latter group is seen as a thorn in the side by many rightsholders. This includes the Spanish soccer league “La Liga,” which broadcasts some of the most viewed matches in the world. In an effort to curb this type of piracy, “La Liga” has recently started to use modern technology, and its users, to its advantage. In an unprecedented move, the soccer league has turned its official Android app into a piracy spying machine. The app in question, which has been installed by millions of users, will use the microphone and GPS readings of the devices its installed on to report possible instances of streaming piracy. With consent from the user, the app will analyze the audio in its surroundings to check if one of La Liga’s matches is being played. It then pairs that with GPS data to see if that location is an authorized broadcaster. “Protect your team,” users read when they are prompted to enable this type of data collection. Protect your team (photo: Jorge Morell Ramos) The unusual functionality is detailed in the privacy policy which mentions tackling piracy as one of the main purposes. “The purposes for which this functionality will be used are: (i) to develop statistical patterns on soccer consumption and (ii) to detect fraudulent operations of the retransmissions of LaLiga football matches (piracy).” The microphone will only be activated when La Liga is broadcasting its football matches, the policy further clarifies. The spying tool was spotted by Eldiario.es, which reached out to “La Liga” for additional information. The Spanish soccer league informed the publication that “nobody accesses the audio fragments captured by the microphone” as the audio “automatically becomes a signal, a binary code.” This happens only in Spain and “without storing any recording or content.” The organization states that it has to resort to these kinds of measures since piracy is resulting in losses of up to 150 million euros. It doesn’t mention how the data will be used, but establishments who broadcast their matches without consent, are warned. Users who’ve enabled the functionality but no longer want to operate as piracy spies can go into the settings of their phone to disable audio and location sharing. Source
  11. Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde likes to innovate to improve people's lives, but with his latest project, he wants to save them too. Currently under development by members of the former Flattr team, the app is a digital version of traditional early warning siren-based systems that alert the public to fire, floods, gas leaks, or even war. Of all the early founders of The Pirate Bay, it is Peter Sunde who has remained most obviously in the public eye. Now distanced from the site, Sunde has styled himself as a public speaker and entrepreneur. Earlier this year the Swede (who is of both Norwegian and Finnish ancestry) sold his second most famous project Flattr to the parent company of Adblock Plus. Now, however, he has another digital baby to nurture, and this one is quite interesting. Like many countries, Sweden operates a public early warning system. Popularly known as ‘Hesa Fredrik’, it consists of extremely loud outdoor sirens accompanied by radio and television messages. The sirens can be activated in specific areas of the country wherever the problems exist. Fire, floods, gas leaks, threats to the water system, terrorist attacks or even war could trigger the alarm. Just recently the ‘Hesa Fredrik’ alarm was sounded in Sweden, yet there was no planned test and no emergency. The public didn’t know that though and as people struggled to find information, authority websites crashed under the strain. The earliest news report indicating that it was a false alarm appeared behind a news site’s paywall. The national police site published no information. The false alarm Video: Falskt alarm Hesa Fredrik VMA stockholm 2017-07-09 kl:22 Although Sunde heard the sirens, it was an earlier incident that motivated him to find a better solution. Speaking with Swedish site Breakit, Sunde says he got the idea during the Västmanland wildfire, which burned for six weeks straight in 2014 and became the largest fire in Sweden for 40 years. “I got the idea during Västmanland fire. It took several days before text messages were sent to everyone in the area but by then it was already out of control. I thought that was so very bad when it is so easy to build something better,” Sunde said. Sunde’s solution is the Hesa Fredrika app, which is currently under development by himself and several former members of the Flattr team. “The goal is for everyone to download the app and then forget about it,” Sunde says. When one thinks about the problem Sunde is trying to solve (i.e. the lack of decent and timely information in a crisis) today’s mobile phones provide the perfect solution. Not only do most people have one (or are near someone who does), they provide the perfect platform to deliver immediately deliver emergency services advice to people in a precise location. “It is not enough for a small text to appear in the corner of the screen. I want to build something that makes the phone vibrate and sound so that you notice it properly,” Sunde told Breakit. But while such an app could genuinely save lives in the event of a frankly rare event, Sunde has bigger ideas for the software that could extend its usefulness significantly. Users will also be invited to add information about themselves, such as their doctor’s name or if they are a blood donor. The app user could then be messaged if there was an urgent need for a particular match. But while the app will be rolled out soon, it won’t be rushed. “Since it is extremely important to the quality of the messages, we want as many partnerships as possible before we launch something,” Sunde says, adding that in true Pirate Bay style, it will be completely free for everyone. “So it will remain forever,” he says. “My philosophy is such that I do not want people to pay for things that can save their lives.” TorrentFreak
  12. Try this workaround if you're frozen out Accounting software developer Sage has warned that the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition may break your Sage 50 installation. In an advisory circulated to customers on Tuesday, Sage says the latest version of Microsoft's operating system can create a conflict that leaves people unable to access their Sage accounts. Essentially, users who have updated to the latest version of Windows 10 are knocked back with weird password errors when trying to log into Sage 50, a financial management package aimed at small businesses. The problem, it seems, is due to an issue between Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and .NET 3.5 in which operating system updates end up disabling the framework. This preventing the accounting software from working properly. UK-based Sage has offered a workaround to the issue that involves re-activating .NET 3.5: And if that doesn't work, maybe try hitting it? Microsoft and Sage are reportedly working on a fix for the issue. Article source
  13. Fake website : http://шһатѕарр.com/?colors Actual site it redirects to : http://blackwhats.site/ Archive.is link : http://archive.is/9gK5Y Screenshots when you visit the website in smartphone : http://imgur.com/a/UsKue User gets the message saying whatsapp is now available with different colors " I love the new colors for whatsapp http://шһатѕарр.com/?colors " When you click the fake whatsapp.com url in mobile, the user is made to share the link to multiple groups for human verification. once your done sharing you are made to install adware apps, after you have installed the adware the website says the whatsapp color is available only in whatsapp web and makes you install an extention. Fake whatsapp extention : https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/blackwhats/apkecfhccjhdmicfliebkdekbkoioiaj these fake sites and spam messages are always circulating in whatsapp. Source Fake WhatsApp.com URL gets users to install adware Next time someone links you to whatsapp.com, make sure you take a second look. There’s some adware currently circulating around the web by tricking users to visit a ‘шһатѕарр.com’ domain instead. Yes, those are different URLs – the fake URL uses characters from the Cyrillic alphabet. As spotted by redditor u/yuexist, the site promises to let you install WhatsApp in different colors – I mean, everyone likes color options, right? If you visit the link, you’re asked to share the site with your friends for ‘verification.’ Your friends then receive a message saying “I love the new colors for whatsapp’ along with the fake URL. Once you’ve ‘verified’ yourself, you’re then told that WhatsApp’s colors can only be accessed on a desktop, and are asked to install an extension from the real Chrome Web Store called BlackWhats (still, click at your own risk). All this should send about 27,531 red flags to anyone remotely tech savvy, but there are plenty of WhatsApp users who don’t spend their time on tech blogs and might fall for it – the fake URL is certainly convincing enough at first glance. The extension itself has over 16,000 users and a 4 star rating from 55 ratings, though there are only 3 text reviews – it’s hard to tell if these ratings are somehow fake. We’ve reached out to Google to alert them about the adware. And as always, make sure to double check URLs on any unexpected links you may receive. Update: Google has removed this extension from the Chrome Web Store. Good riddance. Article source
  14. There’s a very clever phishing scam going around at the moment – originally thought to be targeting journalists given the sheer number of them mentioning it on their Twitter feeds, it’s also been slinging its way across unrelated mailboxes – from orgs to schools/campuses. This doesn’t mean it didn’t begin with a popped journo mailbox and spread its way out from there or that someone didn’t intentionally send it to a number of journalists of course – but either way, this one has gone viral and not in a “look at the cute cat pic” fashion. Here’s how it happens The potential victim receives an email claiming to be from a Mailnator account, which they dispute is related to their service. The email reads as follows: Title: [Contact] has shared a document on Google Docs with you Body: [Contact] has invited you to view the following document Hitting the Google-styled “Open in Docs” button takes the clicker to a genuine Google sign-in page, which is sure to wrong-foot many people: Where this all goes wrong is on the next page, which is where the victim actually gives the app permission to access the account via OAuth. Somehow, nobody at Google thought of preventing people from calling their apps “Google Docs”. Google Docs would like to Read, send, delete and manage your email Manage your contacts After “Allow” is hit, the spam is then sent on to contacts. While 2FA would normally save you from a phishing attempt, in this case, the victim is willingly giving permission to the app so 2FA won’t help – the only solution is to see which apps have been granted permission and revoke. Here are some of the domains being used for this (all offline at the time of writing, but there may be others): Google is aware of the situation and is currently working on it. Meanwhile, Cloudflare leapt into action very quickly. We’ll update the post with more information as it comes in. Article source Other source: Google shuts down massive Google Docs phishing scam
  15. So here's news of a neat weather app for Android that shows you the current weather and forecast in your location. It looks nice, works really well, and the $2 price is reduce to zero for the next 4 days. Just go to your Play Store and search for Weather Live. Or go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apalon.weatherlive on your PC and you should be able to install it to your phone from there. Source
  16. Sony’s flagships are getting a new exclusive feature – Live on YouTube app. It lets them live stream video on YouTube. So far Sony’s flagships had the unique Social Live feature, which let them livestream video to their Facebook walls, but this time it’s YouTube we are talking about. The exclusive app should be available for the Sony Xperia Z2, Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact, though note that it’s not available in Germany and in countries where YouTube isn’t available. To use Live on YouTube you’ll need to turn on the live streaming feature for your account. Then you’ll be able to stream both public videos and private ones (so you don’t have to worry about strangers looking in on your birthday party). This feature is unique to the app, as not even the official YouTube app has it (yet?). Sony is pushing hard to establish such unique services for its gadgets so it can stand out against the competition and affirm its media-centric character. Download Link http://d-h.st/4ph Source
  17. The 86th Academy Awards will be streamed live this Sunday to those using the Watch ABC app. But ABC will only offer the entire program to those who are subscribers to certain cable-TV networks in specific markets. Those cable networks taking part in the live stream include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. The locations where the live stream will be available include Los Angeles; San Francisco; Fresno, Calif.; Houston; Chicago; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Philadelphia and New York. Samsung Galaxy will be sponsoring once again, the "Oscars Backstage" which is open to all Watch ABC users whether or not they are subscribers to the participating cable networks mentioned above. There will be three channels with 15 cameras that include the "thank-you cam," winners’ walk and the press room. Video highlights and the "Oscars Backstage" clips will be available 5 to 10 minutes after they air live. Verified users will have "on demand" access to the entire telecast for three days after the live show. ABC has also decided to take down its dedicated Oscars app, which first launched in 2011 to stream backstage and red carpet action. As we said, those with the Watch ABC app will be able to view those activities free. ABC will start its telecast of the Academy Awards Sunday, March 2nd at 7pm EST. The Watch ABC app is available at Oscar.com, ABC.com, and WatchABC.com. It is also available via iOS and Android apps found at the App Store and Google Play Store respectively. Besides the Oscars, those with authenticated access to Watch ABC will be able to view the Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars special, which will be streamed live this Sunday after local news on the East Coast and at 10pm PST in the West. Source
  18. By Caleb Garling on February 6, 2014 They keep disappearing. In 2012 it was BitPak. Last November it was Coinbase. Earlier this month it was CoinJar. And on Wednesday it was Blockchain. Apple has been eliminating apps in its App Store that process or deal with the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin. Cupertino allows plenty of other payment apps like PayPal, Venmo and a variety of banking apps, so the exception for those dealing in bitcoin has raised questions why Apple has been zeroing in on the controversial currency. The US Justice Department has said virtual currencies aren’t illegal. In typical style, Apple did not return a request for comment. But there are two main theories here: the first is that Cupertino wants to eliminate nascent competition for its own payment platform. Apple executives have recently had discussions with outside companies over payments for physical goods and services on its devices, according Wall Street Journal sources. The company has filed for a patent for something resembling iMoney. The other theory is that Apple doesn’t want to deal with a technology with such a murky legal and regulatory future. When it eliminated Coinbase Apple said it needed to “comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users,” an echo of its App Store review guidelines. But after its banishing, Blockchain fell into the crush-the-competition camp. “Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances other than the growing popularity of the independent and competitive payment system, Apple has eradicated their payment competition on iOS,” wrote CEO Nicolas Cary after quoting Apple’s famous ode to the crazy ones and the misfits. “We need [bitcoin users] to take a stand against Apple, make noise, complain, and show Apple that there will be consequences to their actions.” Some obliged. A string of videos appeared on YouTube of bitcoin enthusiasts smashing their iPhones. One guy even used a high-powered rifle (see below). A Reddit user had promised them a replacement Nexus 5, which runs Google’s Android and allows bitcoin apps, if they went through with the protest. (It’s not clear if the promise was made good.) But Cary’s cry was a noticeable departure from the previous bitcoin apps that had been nixed, which have (publicly) fallen in the second camp or opted for silence. To put it mildly, bitcoin’s place in the future of finances is unclear. The government has said bitcoin has benefits and is not illegal, but hasn’t taken much action otherwise. But major markets like India and China have expressed greater concerns over bitcoin, and Apple’s terms and service do note that an app must be legal whereever it’s offered. Bitcoin has hit the spotlight over the past year for the right and wrong reasons. It was the only currency accepted on Silk Road, a digital underground marketplace mostly of illegal goods like drugs and stolen goods. But at the same time large corporations like Overstock.com have started accepting bitcoin — though immediately flips it to the more stable dollar. Bitcoin’s exchange rate has been, again putting it mildly, volatile. Messaging app Gliph allowed users to attach bitcoins to messages until Apple stepped in and told them to remove the capability. “There wasn’t any negotiation other than them saying what was going to be allowed or not allowed,” says CEO Rob Banagale. (Here’s a copy of Gliph’s appeal letter.) Yet despite the one-way negotiation, Banagale doesn’t buy the idea that Apple is trying to squash nascent payment competition or hurt the growth of bitcoin. Apple’s lawyers have been getting plenty of work these days. The company is fighting a huge intellectual property suit against Samsung. The Justice Department has been pursing Cupertino for collusion on pricing its e-books. The government is starting to take a harder look at offshore tax havens used by big tech companies. So with the murky regulatory future of bitcoin, he speculates the company just wants to nip a problem in the bud. When CoinJar was nixed, the company said much of the same. In the grand scheme of Apple’s app ecosystem, Blockchain’s 120,000 users and a handful of petition signers are a rounding errors. “I think the primary reason is the company has bigger fish to fry,” Banagale says. But he is a full-throated supporter of bitcoin as part of the future of payments. “It’s a little strange to have Apple be on what feels like the wrong side.” San Francisco’s Coinbase, which provides the software to manage bitcoins, has recently integrated with financial management software Mint, processes payments for Overstock and has taken over $30 million in investments from Andreessen Horowitz and others. While the future value of bitcoin is highly debatable, this is no fly-by-night operation. The company declined comment. You can find other bitcoin apps in the App Store, but the only ones I could find monitored exchange rate — they didn’t actually trade the currency, a notable difference. Google’s Play Store, the equivalent of the App Store on Android phones, has versions of Coinbase and Blockchain. Though the company has never been known for a long attention span, a recent story in Forbes indicated Google is showing signs that it will embrace the cryptocurrency. Though speculation is hot on Apple’s opaque motives, it is clear Bitcoin is not going anywhere. Here’s the dude destroying his iPhone with a rifle http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/02/06/apple-bitcoin
  19. By Quentyn Kennemer Feb 12th 2014 It’d probably be an understatement to suggest Microsoft is having trouble getting more developers to fill their apps store with the goods users are looking for. Unfortunately they seem to have found themselves in a classic “chicken or egg scenario” — users won’t come to the platform unless there are apps, but developers won’t develop apps if there are no users. There’s no shame in that problem, as Android suffered it very early on (though obviously quickly eradicated that with being the fastest growing mobile operating system of all time). Unfortunately for Microsoft, gaining market share to attract more developers is easier said than done. If recent rumors are to be believed, they could be getting ready to do something about it. The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is seriously considering developing an Android runtime for Windows Phone and perhaps other Windows-based platforms (including RT and the full Windows experience). This would allow developers to port their apps over to Windows Phone with little to no effort. Would it be the first signs of a doomed platform? History repeating itself? It’s something our friends in Waterloo have already done for Blackberry 10, giving developers an easy and pain-free way to port Android apps (it literally only takes a couple of lines of code and 5 minutes to compile). In the same breath, it’s worth reminding ourselves that little move didn’t give Blackberry the boisterous app store they needed to attract more users to their slowly dying platform. As a result, Blackberry was almost sold off to vulturous investors (but not before some rich knights in very shiny armor managed to scare them off). There’s reason to believe that a move like this is actually counterproductive to the strategies of competing platforms. Their idea is that giving developers an easy way to port existing apps will give them the variety they need to dangle a prettier carrot in the face of potential customers. The problem comes in two areas: •It gives developers absolutely zero incentive to create native Windows Phone apps. If they can make an app for the biggest mobile platform in the world and port it over to one of the youngest and smallest, they’ll likely go that route — especially if they’re small time or independent. That isn’t good for building your own identity and brand. •Others have already tried… and failed. Why do you want to make the same mistake? Yes, more apps bring users to your platform, but it’s not going to make a difference if they can get those apps on more popular devices that are bound to be better fits for their needs. And although I’ve never been one to equate the quality of an app store to how many apps there are, the average consumer is going to hear that typical “a million apps!” line from a carrier rep who’s just trying to get them to walk away with a two-year contract, and unfortunately for Windows, they’ll likely be impressed by it. Developers, Developers, Manufacturers We’ve seen this happen with Blackberry. We’ve seen this happen with Palm. It’s a chicken and egg scenario where the platform needs apps to lure consumers, but developers don’t want to develop for a platform without consumers (and therefore viable revenue). But the case with Windows Phone is different. iOS is the only successful competitor able to sustain itself with a closed ecosystem, making both their hardware and their software. WebOS folded despite having a beautiful OS because they couldn’t pump out phones quick enough and they were the only ones making WebOS phones. Blackberry added Android support for much of the same reason and you know how that’s turned out. Microsoft, though, relies on manufacturing partners to produce Windows Phones. If Microsoft allows Android Apps it displays a lack of confidence in their own OS and ecosystem. And if Microsoft is creating Windows Phones with Android support, and creating Android Phones with newly acquired Nokia, why should manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, or Huawei have any confidence in developing phones? Losing developers is one thing and losing manufacturers is another. By inviting Android Apps into their ecosystem, Microsoft will lose both. If Nokia can become the next Apple of Windows Phones that might work, but let’s not fool ourselves. Are the “Windows” closing for Microsoft? The Windows Phone platform isn’t bad at all, but it sounds like they could be coming to a point where they’re forced to face a certain harsh reality — there just might not be room for three major platforms in the smartphone space. Android’s already giving iOS a tough time, and any other sliver of market share outside of the pieces those two share is too insignificant to care about. Soon enough, they’re going to realize that they will either have to foster enough innovation to get consumers to pay attention, or concede defeat and come to grips with the truth — that they’re simply not fit for this tough fight. Of course, there’s a chance these rumors could be a big pile of bologna so it’s wise to make sure we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Still, you have to wonder if this could be considered the first of many “spaghetti sticking to walls” ideas before an eventual white towel is thrown into the ring. Edgar from ChromeSpot, Joe from WinSource and Phandroid’s very own Chris all had a nice little chat about it on Hangouts earlier today, so be sure to catch that little discussion above if you missed it. After that, meet us in the comments section and let us know what you think! http://phandroid.com/2014/02/12/windows-phone-android-apps
  20. By Alex Colon 10 hours ago A recent report suggests that Microsoft is considering bring Android apps to Windows Phone. But isn’t it too soon to admit defeat? Microsoft is seriously considering the idea to bring Android apps to Windows Phone, according to a report from The Verge. It wouldn’t happen until Windows 9 is complete some time next year (at the earliest), but this would be a tremendous shift for Microsoft. And while it might prove positive for consumers in the short-term, it could ultimately spell trouble for Windows Phone as a viable platform in the future. It seems like a good idea I get why Microsoft would want to do this. Compared to the million-plus apps available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play, Windows Phone only recently crossed the 200,000 mark. And even as the OS continues to gain momentum, this doesn’t look like a trend that’s likely to end any time soon. The recent hit Flappy Bird, for instance, appeared on both iOS and Android, but there was no Windows Phone equivalent – and Flappy Bird is about as simple as app development gets. But it’s not just the number of apps that matter. It’s the fact that many developers aren’t even considering writing for Windows Phone alongside iOS and Android. And without enough developers, Windows Phone will never truly emerge as a “must-have” platform. Microsoft is catching up, but it isn’t happening fast enough. Big name apps like Instagram and Mint are only just starting to appear, and even then, some of these apps lack major features you’ll find in their iOS and Android counterparts. Bringing Android apps to Windows Phone would give users hundreds of thousands of additional choices, along with the feeling they don’t need to wait for months to see a popular new app, or settle for leftovers. But it probably isn’t On the other hand, Microsoft has a new CEO, Windows Phone 8.1 is on the horizon and the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s device business is nearly complete. If anything, now is the time for the company to once again bet on Windows Phone and give it another shot. After all, it’s not like adding Android worked for BlackBerry. BlackBerry 10 has the ability to run Android apps. And it’s fairly simple to download and install the Amazon Appstore, which is home to thousands of Android apps that BlackBerry 10 is not. But this is clearly not helping to move additional BB10 devices off of store shelves. Then again, it sounds like Microsoft would support Android apps in a more official capacity than BlackBerry does, perhaps through a third-party enabler. But this also presents a problem. If a developer can easily sell their Android app on Windows Phone, what point would there be in creating an optimized version, designed to take full advantage of the platform? At best, this could result in a number of poorly scaled apps that fail to utilize Windows Phone. At worst, it means developers could stop creating apps for Windows Phone completely. On top of this, Nokia is expected to introduce an Android-powered device at Mobile World Congress later this month. These phones are intended to be low-cost introductory smartphones – training wheels before a user moves up to a higher-end Windows Phone handset. They likely won’t support the Google Play app store, but will still have access to Android apps through stores from Microsoft and Nokia. With a foot in both worlds, Microsoft should further entice developers to simultaneously develop apps for both platforms. That way, if and when a user leaves their Android device behind, the same app will be available for them on Windows Phone. Simply allowing Android apps on Windows Phone would seem to be a premature admission of defeat, before the company even put up a real right. http://gigaom.com/2014/02/12/could-android-apps-save-windows-phone
  21. By John Callaham 10 minutes ago A recent job listing on Microsoft's Careers web site reveals that the company is moving forward with a new Reading application that it claims will be "groundbreaking". The listing seems to show that Microsoft wants to enter into a market that's been dominated in the past by Apple's iBooks and Amazon's Kindle storefronts. The job listing for "Software Development Engineer - Devices & Studios - Music, Video and Reading", states : The Music, Video, and Reading team has been brought together in Devices & Studios (DnS) as THE Microsoft team laser-focused to deliver the next generation of media content experiences across devices powered by the services and magic of Xbox LIVE. However, the job itself will specifically offer the software engineer a way to help devolep what the listing states will be a "groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics." This won't be the first time Microsoft has entered the ebooks and magazines business. It collaborated extensively with Barnes and Noble on the development of the Windows 8 Nook app, and even invested $300 million in 2012 in a proposed plan with the bookseller to spin off the Nook division. That effort, however, never materialized and Barnes and Noble have been reporting massive losses with their Nook division. Rumors in 2013 that Microsoft might swoop in to acquire all of the Nook parts of Barnes and Noble have proven to be erroneous. http://www.neowin.net/news/microsofts-job-page-reveals-plans-for-groundbreaking-reading-app
  22. By Spulatov February 1st, 2014 Dear Microsoft, I really like your Windows Phone platform, and use Nokia Lumia 820. I am generally happy with performance and functionality. Your Windows Phone store has several exclusive apps with very interesting ideas like Foundbite and Bill Reminder. BUT, your store has a lot of junk which makes new and unexperienced users to buy and run fake applications. I reported several times applications which is just fake, disappointing, or PAID apps which is just a links to a web browser. Let me show you what I will get if I will enter just a Facebook. I will get tons of Facebook apps, and only one of this apps s official other are junk. Let me show screenshots of one, The Facebook PRO which costs $2.49, and as you can see its just a browser wrapper. There is one more problem which makes me really mad at you dear Microsoft, and it is FAKE apps. THE CHROME browser, 3 Firefox browsers Please Microsoft, remove fake and useless apps. PS. I reported all this apps several times to Microsoft, but no action is taken. #windows-phone http://oneslash.postach.io/microsoft-please-clean-your-store-from-junk
  23. Detailed by the Wall Street Journal, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is transitioning to a keyless entry system at two locations in the United States. Rolling out first at Aloft Hotel locations in New York City and Silicon Valley, guests of the hotel can download a mobile application to their smartphone before arriving. Rather than visiting the front desk to check into their room, the guest simply checks-in through the app and can go directly to their hotel room for the night. At the door, the guest pulls up a virtual key on the smartphone and unlocks the door by either tapping or turning the phone in a twist motion near the handle. Utilizing low power Bluetooth technology, the smartphone communicates with a sensor mounted to the door and unlocks the room. According to the developer of the application, the application should work with smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher as well as the iPhone 4S and higher. Since the locks are battery powered, it doesn’t matter if the power is out at the hotel. Guests will still be able to access their rooms without requiring a physical card key. Regarding battery life within the door units, the hotel staff will receive alerts when battery power is running low, thus allowing easy replacement. When asked about the technology upgrade to the Aloft hotels, Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen said “We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel. It may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.” Assuming the pilot program is successful at the two Aloft locations, Starwood management plans to upgrade door locks at all 123 Aloft and W hotels locations by the end of 2015. Prior to this point, Starwood created a system in which loyalty members would receive a key card prior to checking into the hotel. Basically, the card would be activated once the guest arrived at the hotel and the card could be reused when returning to another Aloft location. Alternatively, hotel chains like Marriot and InterContinental have rolled out a mobile check-in process for loyalty members, but still require guests to interact with someone at a desk prior to checking into their room. Interestingly, the owner of the Holiday Inn chain tried out a pilot program that provided self-service kiosks for checking into hotel rooms, but guests ignored the kiosks and went to the front desk instead. According to Holiday Inn management, guests at those hotels wanted to speak to someone at the front desk in order to request specific features for the room. However, it would be relatively simple to program those choices into the kiosk software and offer upgrades for a nominal fee. When leaving the hotel, it’s likely that guests will simply be able to check out utilizing the same mobile application provided by Starwood. Hypothetically, the app could also allow guests to review all room charges during the stay as well as take advantage of hotel features like room service. Source
  24. By Dante D'Orazio on January 25, 2014 05:02 pm The US Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against the people allegedly behind two popular Android piracy websites, Snappzmarket and Appbucket. Both sites offered large catalogs of free app downloads, giving pirates a way to avoid paying for premium apps on Google Play. The two sites were seized by the government in 2012, and four men have now been charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. It's the first time that the Justice Department has moved to prosecute individuals for illegally distributing mobile apps. FBI special agent Ricky Maxwell, who was involved in the investigation into the two sites, said in a statement that "The federal charges presented in this case illustrates the problems facing technology based companies in particular." He added that the case "highlights the FBI and US government response to those engaged in such wholesale criminal activity involving the piracy of copyrighted products." Defendants face a maximum prison sentence of five years Kody Peterson, a 22-year-old from Clermont, Florida was allegedly behind Snappzmarket, according to court documents. The Justice Department says that he and other conspirators cracked Android apps to remove their anti-piracy protections and obtained other pre-cracked apps that were all added to the website's catalog for free download. Between May 2011 and August 2012 the site is said to have facilitated 1 million illegal downloads worth a total of $1.7 million. According to the documents, investigators have access to chat logs between Peterson and his conspirators, and in at least one conversation they allegedly agree to plans to ignore copyright takedown requests under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Piracy has plagued mobile app markets for years, and Android has had particularly high rates of illegal app downloads. For some apps, estimates put the piracy rate as high as 60 percent. http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/25/5345182/justice-department-files-charges-against-android-app-pirates
  25. Posted 8 hours ago by Frederic Lardinois Microsoft is giving its Office Web Apps a new look today, it seems. While the company hasn’t done all that much to promote its Office Web Apps lately, they are pretty capable online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that are free for anyone to use. Today, the company is giving all of these apps a user interface overhaul that brings an even flatter design, some new features and easier navigation. While Microsoft hasn’t officially announced these changes, the company has confirmed to us that it did indeed launch these updates earlier today. “We did introduce some Office Web App updates earlier today,” a Microsoft said. “As we’ve said in the past, we’ll continue to bring the Office features that you value most to the Web and this is just one example of that.” The most notable change – or at least the first one I spotted – is a new navigation for the OneNote note-taking app. It now uses two columns on the left to help you navigate between the different sections of your notebooks. Previously, that was a bit of a hassle. Microsoft has also changed the design of the top menu across all the apps and cleaned up the design of the Ribbon menu across the board. The occasional semi-skeuomorphic icon remains in the Ribbon, but for the most part, the Office Web Apps have now gone completely flat. As part of the update, Microsoft has also changed the header UI to include a switcher that offers access to other online Microsoft experiences. One other change I noticed was that the Word and Excel apps now features a “Tell me what you want to do” search bar that lets you search across all of the app’s tools and invoke actions, such as bolding text or find and replace right from the search results. It uses type-ahead, so it generally just takes a few keystrokes to find the function you need. Microsoft says this tool will soon arrive in the PowerPoint web app, too. Microsoft tells me that it also now allows users to add “polish to reports and papers with new footnotes & endnotes.” Overall, the new design makes the Office Web Apps feel a bit more like the recently updated Outlook.com, which also features a similarly flat menu bar. For comparison, here is what the old user interface looked like: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/22/microsoft-gives-its-office-web-apps-a-new-flatter-look
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