Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked with ease

Samsung did not learn from the mistake of Apple. Result: The fingerprint scanner in its flagship phone Galaxy S5 is as insecure and poorly implemented as the one in iPhone 5S, which debuted last year. A German security firm, SRLabs that hacked the fingerprint scanner in iPhone 5S last year by spoofing fingerprint, has showed that the same method can be used to bypass the fingerprint authentication in Galaxy S5.


SRLabs posted a video showing that a Galaxy S5 using fingerprint authentication can be easily broken using a mould that has fingerprint impression of the phone user. The firm said that creating the mould doesn’t require much effort.

“Despite being one of the flagship features of Galaxy S5, Samsung’s implementation of fingerprint authentication leaves much to be desired,” the firm said. “Perhaps most concerning is that Samsung does not seem to have learned from what others have done poorly.”

SRLabs says that the implementation of fingerprint scanner in Galaxy S5 is even more shoddy than what was found in iPhone 5S. Apple requires a password after every reboot before users can unlock their iPhone 5S with fingerprint scanner. It also requires a password after a certain number of failed attempts with fingerprint scanner.

But in the case of Galaxy S5, users can make any number of attempts to unlock the device with fingerprint scanner. Also, a reboot doesn’t lock the fingerprint scanning feature.

In its video, SRLabs highlights that using the Galaxy S5 fingerprint hack, an attacker can enter the Paypal app on the phone and steal money with ease.

In its post about the fingerprint scanner in iPhone 5S, SRLabs wrote that the technology had long way to go before it could be considered safe. “Users leave copies of their fingerprints everywhere; including on the devices they protect. Fingerprints are not fit for secure local user authentication as long as spoofs (fake fingers) can be produced from these pervasive copies,” said the firm.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/mobiles/Galaxy-S5-fingerprint-scanner-hacked-with-ease/articleshow/33805220.cms?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral

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Apple Has Siri, And Microsoft Is About To Get Cortana

Microsoft has been in a state of “shut up and ship” with Windows Phone for more than a year now. While the company has released a few minor updates to Windows Phone 8, its feature set hasn’t changed significantly from when Microsoft first introduced the mobile OS in October 2012. The software giant refuses to discuss or acknowledge an upcoming update, Windows Phone 8.1, but a recent software development kit leak has highlighted the huge number of feature changes that will arrive in the coming months and put Windows Phone more on par with iOS and Android. One of the main feature additions is Cortana, a personal digital assistant named after Microsoft’s Halo game series.

Cortana first emerged after a Microsoft employee lost a phone running Windows Phone 8.1 last year. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Windows Phone work have revealed to The Verge that Cortana will replace the built-in Bing search feature, which is currently launched through a dedicated hardware key, and acts as a digital assistant with a mix of Siri and Google Now functionality. We’re told that Cortana will take the form of a circular animated icon with the hue of your selected Windows Phone accent color, and will have a personality not dissimilar from Apple’s Siri. Cortana will animate when it’s speaking or thinking, and bounce around or frown with “emotion” depending on the queries involved. Cortana will be backed by data from services like Bing, Foursquare, and others to give it some of the contextual power of Google Now.

Central to Microsoft’s vision for Cortana is a Notebook feature that will allow Windows Phone users to control exactly what information is shared with the digital assistant. Notebook will allow the Cortana digital assistant to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information. We’re told it’s designed as a privacy feature to ensure Cortana doesn’t freely access information without a level of user control. While Cortana will learn things about users, it won’t store them in the Notebook without asking you, and any information that’s stored can be edited or deleted. Cortana will then use this information to provide answers to search queries by voice or text, and provide suggestions, alerts, and reminders. Cortana could greet you by name and ask if you need help or answer questions, much like Siri.

Through search queries and just general phone usage, Cortana will learn more about a user and offer to store personal data like home and work locations and general interests in its Notebook. Cortana will also react to messages or emails that contain phrases like “let’s meet tomorrow at 8PM” and ask if you’d like to set up reminders or calendar entries. Cortana can also provide guidance on weather, stocks, directions, appointments, and music that’s contextual based on location and other data. As Cortana is a digital assistant, it will also be able to manage a do-not-disturb feature, similar to iOS, that’s designed to mute notifications. An “inner circle” of contacts will allow Cortana to manage notifications and phone calls during “quiet hours” when notifications are muted.

Although the initial Cortana digital assistant that will ship in Windows Phone 8.1 will have a lot of capabilities, Microsoft will need to extend it to third-party apps and its Windows and Xbox devices to improve its functionality in the future. The real test of Cortana will be how well it works with voice commands and its ability to understand natural phrases and questions. Microsoft’s recent voice work with Xbox One is impressive, but it also requires that you follow a strict pattern of commands for it to work successfully. Microsoft will have to ensure Cortana is at least as good as Siri for the company to position this as a full personal digital assistant.

Source: http://malaysiandigest.com/technology/489213-apple-has-siri-and-microsoft-is-about-to-get-cortana.html

Sony to stop making PCs, cut 5,000 jobs

Sony, under pressure to shore up profitability in its electronics business, unveiled a restructuring plan on Thursday that will cut 5,000 jobs and trim 100 billion yen ($988 million) a year from fixed costs, while splitting off its loss-making PC and TV units.


The PC division, as widely expected, will be sold to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, which will set up a separate company to take over the operations. Sony will initially hold a 5% stake in that company.

Sony also said it will split its TV division off into a separate company by July 2014. The flagship TV division has lost $7.5 billion over the last 10 years.

The job cuts, which will include its TV and PC divisions, are to be implemented by March 2015, while the cost savings are to kick in by the following 2015-16 financial year.

The pullout comes as Japan’s electronics firms look for daylight beyond the shadow of industry giants like Apple and Samsung Electronics. Exiting the Vaio PC business Sony, founded 17 years ago, will mark the first time CEO Kazuo Hirai pulls a major consumer product line.

Still unclear is when Sony can catch up with local peers Panasonic and Sharp on the restructuring track. The pair have swallowed charges, sold off or cured many loss-making businesses, and bounced back to strong profits.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/hardware/Sony-to-stop-making-PCs-cut-5000-jobs/articleshow/29941752.cms

iWatch to include sleep technology

Apple’s rumoured iWatch is increasingly looking like it will be a 24/7 wearable after it was reported that the company had hired a sleep tracking specialist.

Former Philips Research senior scientist Roy J.E.M. Raymann is claimed to have been recruited by Apple, according to 9to5Mac. Raymann has been involved in sleep monitoring for many years.

The iWatch’s launch date is expected to be sometime in 2014.

Raymann is the latest non-core focus expert to join the company. Apple has previously hired experts from the fashion and sports industry.

According to the website, Raymann’s research has focused on researching and developing wearable and miniaturised sensors.

Apple has refused to comment on Raymann’s reported hiring. However, his background in sleep and wearables research suggests that he will almost certainly be working on Apple’s much rumoured iWatch.

Focus on health

Recent reports have suggested that the iWatch will have a strong focus on health.

iOS 8 is said to include a health and fitness app called Healthbook.

Healthbook is said to be a pre-installed app that will be able to track things like the number of steps taken by a user, calories burned, weight gained or lost, blood pressure, hydration, and glucose level.

The report notes that Healthbook will work with the upcoming iWatch.

Power

Other reports have claimed that Apple has been testing alternative methods of charging as a way of combating the short battery life typically seen in many smartwatches on the market.

The charging methods mooted are wireless charging, kinetic and solar.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/iwatch-to-include-sleep-technology

iPhone 6 to come with interchangeable lenses

The iPhone 6 could come with interchangeable lenses, if the latest rumour turns out to be true.

According to Chinese website IT168, the new iPhone will come a ten megapixel sensor, a wider f1.8 aperture and interchangeable “resin” lenses. It was quoting supply chain sources in Taiwan.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 later this year.

The lenses are reportedly created using a new resin called ARTON. According to sources, Japanese company JSR will be providing the lenses based on the new resin.

Resin-ating with the market

JSR’s own marketing material claims that the lenses offer superior “optical characteristics” and “dimension stability” that are “best suited for optical applications.”

While the concept of Apple launching a phone with interchangeable lenses might seem far fetched, there is some evidence that suggest it may do just that.

Apple was recently granted two patents for interchangeable lenses for the iPhone. However it is too early to know if the technology described in the patents will make it into the next generation of iPhone.

Previous rumours have suggested that the iPhone 6 could come with a Lytro style camera. How that would fit in with the latest rumours is unclear.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/iphone-6-to-come-with-interchangeable-lenses

Apple, the biggest loser in the Google-Motorola-Lenovo deal

Things are about to get tougher for Apple.

Google late Wednesday made an unexpected announcement that it’s selling Motorola Mobility to Chinese PC giant Lenovo for $2.91 billion, or less than a quarter of what it paid for the handset vendor just a couple of years ago. During the years Google owned it, Motorola lost money and market share, and the relationship caused tension between Google and the other Android vendors, particularly Samsung. It also led those other phone makers to develop their own software and services, rather than push those from Google. That amplified Android’s fragmentation in the market.

Overall, Google’s purchase of Motorola turned out much better for iPhone maker Apple than for Google. That’s now going to change.

Google, sans Motorola, can go back to focusing on what it does best — making a really great operating system and apps. It can mend its relationship with Android leader Samsung and the other vendors. And it can concentrate on unifying and streamlining the Android experience, rather than worry about bolstering its own hardware operations. All of those factors mean that Apple may not be able to win over customers as easily as it has in the past.

“Getting rid of Motorola helps Google, and anything that Google can do to create a more cohesive user experience across vendors is competitive to Apple,” Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said.

But Google isn’t all Apple should be worried about. Up to this point, only Samsung has posed a real threat to Apple in smartphones. A combined Lenovo and Motorola, however, has the potential to take a large chunk of the market. It won’t be easy or quick, but Lenovo has a strong track record for dominating markets it enters. Less than a decade after buying IBM’s PC operations, Lenovo became the world’s biggest PC maker.

Already, Lenovo is one of the fastest-growing smartphone makers in China, a market that’s also getting a lot of attention from Apple. Last year, Lenovo was the second largest smartphone vendor in mainland China by volume, up from eighth place in 2011, according to Strategy Analytics. That boosted its position in the global market in 2013 to fifth place behind Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and LG.

At the same time Lenovo’s market share has risen in China, Apple’s has fallen. In 2011, Apple was the third largest smartphone vendor in the country. By last year, it had dropped to sixth place, according to Strategy Analytics.

“Apple’s lack of presence in the lower end of the smartphone market has cost it sizable volumes in China in recent years,” said Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics.

Apple, predictably, has offered no public reaction to the Lenovo-Motorola news. We’ve contacted the company for comment and will update the report when we have more information.

The iPhone maker doesn’t have device pricing that touches the lower end of the market. So far, it hasn’t needed or wanted to, but that will need to change if it doesn’t want to be relegated to niche status. Already, the low end of the smartphone market is growing much faster than the high end. Strategy Analytics expects Apple’s deal with China Mobile to boost it to fifth place in the Chinese market this year, but that’s nowhere near the position of Samsung or Lenovo.

And Apple’s less expensive, more colorful iPhone 5C has failed to catch on with users. Apple positioned the device as more of a mainstream product, but it’s still too pricey for developing countries. And it turns out that most people are buying the higher-end iPhone 5S that includes a fingerprint sensor, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged during the company’s earnings conference call earlier this week.

Apple won’t just face Lenovo in China. The company also will use Motorola to break into the US market. Lenovo gains not only a well-known brand with Motorola but also closer relationships with US carriers and retailers. The company wants to become the world’s biggest seller of smart devices — which includes PCs, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs — and it won’t be able to do that without addressing the US market.

Lenovo won’t become Apple’s biggest threat overnight. It will take awhile for the Chinese company to figure out its strategy with Motorola, and Lenovo also will have to invest heavily to get Motorola back on its feet. In the meantime, Apple and Samsung won’t be slowing down in their efforts to dominate the market. But a few years down the line, it may be Samsung and Lenovo jockeying for the top mobile spot, not Samsung and Apple.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57618083-94/apple-the-biggest-loser-in-the-google-motorola-lenovo-deal/?ttag=fbwl

 

Wink functionality added to Google Glass

According to Google, winking to take a picture is faster than pressing the existing camera button or the voice action. The feature will also work when theGoogle Glass’ display is turned off.

Google has said that it expected the feature to become one of the most useful on the device. In a blog post announcing the feature, the company said it can see a number of potential uses for the function in the future.

Imagine a day where you’re riding in the back of a cab and you just wink at the meter to pay”, Google said.

“You wink at a pair of shoes in a shop and your size is shipped to your door. You wink at a cookbook recipe and the instructions appear right in front of you – hands-free, no mess, no fuss”.

Wearable technology is seen as a major growth area in the next 12 months. Analysts have predicted the market could grow by as many as ten times compared to sales of devices this year.

The general sale of Google Glass and the arrival of Apple’s rumoured iWatch are expected to be major contributors to the surge in demand.

Another report from Juniper Research predicts it will grow in value from $1.4 billion (£86 million) this year to $19 billion (£11.9 billion) by 2018. Analysts at bank Credit Suisse have predicted the figure could be as high as $50 billion (£30.5 billion) by the same point.

However, devices like Google Glass have prompted fears from privacy campaigners. Several restaurants have banned the device and there have been instances of people being fined for using the device while driving.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/wink-functionality-added-to-google-glass

Samsung to introduce smartphone-like wristwatch in September

Samsung Electronics Co. will introduce a wristwatch-like device named the Galaxy Gear next month that can make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Galaxy Gear will be powered by Google Inc.’s Android operating system and go on sale this year to beat a potentially competing product from Apple Inc., the people said. The device will be unveiled 4 September, two days before the IFA consumer electronics show begins in Berlin, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private.
Asia’s biggest technology company is racing other electronics makers, including Sony Corp., to create a new industry of wearable devices as the market for top-end handsets nears saturation. The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales this year, and the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of smartphones, tablets and TVs.
The Galaxy Gear being released next month won’t have a flexible display, though the company is continuing to work on developing a bendable screen, one person said. It will be unveiled the same day as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, a combination smartphone and tablet computer.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/D4MqUJaWIOdBfXN1NMcunI/Samsung-to-introduce-smartphonelike-wristwatch-in-September.html

US government overturns ban on iPhones, iPads

The Obama administration has overturned a US trade panel’s ban on the sale of some older iPhones and iPads, reversing a ruling that had favored Samsung Electronics over Apple in their long-running patent battles.

The US International Trade Commission in June banned the import or sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T, saying the devices infringed a patent owned by the South Korean electronics giant.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman vetoed the ban, saying his decision was in part based on its “effect on competitive conditions in the US economy and the effect on US consumers.” He said Samsung could continue to pursue its case through the courts.

Samsung said it was “disappointed” at the lifting of the ban. “The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license,” it said in a statement.

Apple welcomed the news and applauded the administration “for standing up for innovation.” It added, “Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.”

The Apple products targeted by the ITC ban are more than a year old, though some models such as the iPhone 4 remain solid sellers. Apple sells more than 100 million iPhones annually, but it does not break down sales by models.

Apple and Samsung have been waging a global patent war since 2010, filing multiple lawsuits against each other over the design and functionality of their devices.

This ITC ban is specific to a Samsung patent on technology that allows devices to transmit multiple services simultaneously and correctly through 3G wireless technology.

Such patents are called “standard essential patents” and they cover technology that must be used to comply with standards set by industry organizations.

The Obama administration has been pressing for most infringements of standard essential patents to be punished by monetary fines instead of sales injunctions.

Froman on Saturday said the ITC should thoroughly examine the public interest ramifications of its rulings in disputes over standard essential patents.

Designed to be a trade panel, the ITC has become a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it acts relatively quickly and can order import bans, which are more difficult to get from district courts.

While the ITC was created to ensure that US companies can compete fairly against imports, a number of foreign companies with US manufacturing plants have filed patent complaints with the agency. Samsung has a plant in Austin, Texas.

ITC cases can be appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and from there to the Supreme Court.

Apple has a parallel complaint filed against Samsung at the ITC, accusing the South Korean company of copying the iPhone and iPad. An ITC judge in that case found that Samsung had violated four out of six patents listed in the complaint. A final decision is due in August.

Samsung makes phones that run on Google’s Android operating software, the market leader. Apple has also sued other Android phone makers including HTC for patent infringement.

The case at the International Trade Commission was No. 337-794.\

Source:

Apple confirms developer site hack, stolen data can’t be ruled out

Apple Inc’s main website for developers remains shut after intruders tried to steal sensitive information last week, forcing the iPhone maker to overhaul its database and server software to prevent future breaches.

The intrusion last Thursday marked a rare cyber attack on the US company’s network and comes at a time when third-party developers are testing their apps on Apple’s iOS 7 – a smartphone and tablet platform to be launched in the fall.

Apple’s developer site also houses sensitive financial information, which is encrypted.

Apple said on Sunday that no customer information had been compromised, but was unable to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and email addresses may have been accessed.

An Apple spokesman said the website that was breached was not associated with any customer information.

It remained unclear how much, if any, data was compromised or who the attackers were. Apple would not comment on their identity.

“Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed. However, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed,” Apple told developers on its website.

“To prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we’re completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database,” Apple said in a statement, adding that the developer website will be up and running soon.

The company also told developers that their membership, if set to expire, has been extended and all third-party apps will remain on Apple’s app store for the duration.

Sourcehttp://www.firstpost.com/tech/apple-confirms-developer-site-hack-stolen-data-cant-be-ruled-out-974849.html