Latest News

The Heartbleed bug hit-list: how to best update all your passwords

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As news broke this Monday of the Heartbleed bug, citizens of the Internet have been scrambling to discover just how many of their favourite sites and services may have been compromised. If you haven’t yet heard, the Heartbleed bug is a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library which allows for the exposure of sensitive account information like passwords and credit card numbers. OpenSSL is used by the vast majority of websites on the Internet, which means that a large number of the apps currently sitting on your smartphone were compromised as well.

A quick rundown of the affected site list at Mashable is pretty damning: Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Dropbox to name a few. While it won’t do anything to protect against previously lost data, as the vulnerability has been around for nearly two years, your best bet is to change the password for any web service affected. However, as password manager service LastPass notes, changing your password before these sites update their SSL certificates won’t help.

To that end, they’ve created a handy tool for checking the status of each affected web site. Check it out here.

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Amazon acquiring popular digital comics platform comiXology

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Amazon has announced its acquisition of digital comics and graphics novel platform, comiXology, for an undisclosed sum.

The platform, which supports Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and Windows tablets, sells digital content from 75 publishers, including Marvel and DC Comics, and has proven to be very popular with comics veterans and novices alike.

It’s unclear whether Amazon will change the company’s business model in any way — it currently sells titles a la carte and by subscription — or how it will integrate comiXology into the company’s own Kindle publishing business, but co-founder and CEO, David Steinberger, said, “Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

SourceAmazon
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Android will now constantly scan your phone for misbehaving apps

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Last year, Google built a “Verify Apps” feature into Android that scans apps for m alware upon installation.

While that process, which has been used 4 billion times according to the company, has successfully prevented infection from countless malicious apps, it doesn’t go far enough; code can be remotely changed after installation, making it relatively easy for m alware vendors to counteract Google’s defences. (more…)

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Newsblur activates Android beta program, offers Immersive Mode and better performance

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One of the best RSS services across the web got a boost on Android this week it began offering a beta program.

Newsblur, which rose to prominence after the death of Google Reader, has been steadily adding support for iOS and Android on top of its feature-filled web interface, and the backend continues to be one of the fastest around. While the iOS app is coded by the service’s creator, Samuel Clay, the Android version is developed by another team, and has fallen behind in terms of features. (more…)

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Google releases developer guidelines for Project Ara’s modular parts

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With each passing bit of information Google releases ahead of its Ara Developers Conference next week, we get more and more excited by the possibilities of a modular smartphone. Yesterday, Google released a Module Developers Kit to provide manufacturers the necessary information to start building the modular parts that will comprise Project Ara’s ecosystem.

Ara MDK v0.10 is obviously in an unfinished state, but has been released ahead of the conference to solicit feedback. For now, the MDK comprises reference guidelines for all possible Ara phone sizes and module arrangements, as well as key specifications for common modules like cameras, and processors. Because Project Ara phones will run Android, little is mentioned about Ara apps, except that they won’t significantly differ from their traditional smartphone counterparts.

Those looking to attend the Ara Developers Conference should hurry, as registration ends today. Those that can’t wait should take a look at the extended Project Ara technology demo given during the LAUNCH conference, which contained additional information on the marketplace Google is hoping to build to help developers sell their modules.

SourceGoogle

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Bell celebrating the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch tomorrow by giving away Raptors tickets

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 is officially launching tomorrow and Bell has quickly put together a draw that might bring people into the store. We can’t foresee a lineup, but those Raptors fans out there you might want to waltz down the Toronto Eaton Centre Bell Store (upper level) at 10:00am for a chance to win Raptors tickets, including a playoff game at the ACC. Bell noted on Facebook that they’ll be handing out a total of 5 pairs of tickets.

Bell and Rogers partnered up late 2011 to take a 75% stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), who owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC sports teams. Majority of the involvement has surfaced in the form of branding their wireless products plus streaming content to mobile devices.

Source: Facebook

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Rogers offering a Samsung Gear 2 Neo for $50 with every Galaxy S5 purchase

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Rogers is pushing its exclusive Samsung Gear 2 Neo on upcoming Galaxy S5 customers by offering to bundle the smartwatch for $50 with purchases of the upcoming smartphone.

The deal is pretty easy: buy a Galaxy S5 on a 2-year Share Everything plan and be eligible to purchase a black Gear 2 Neo, usually $219.99, for $49.99.

The Gear 2 Neo is the same as the Gear 2, but lacks a camera. If that’s not a deterrent, the only other thing to note is that the offer ends on June 12th, or when supplies run out. And if you cancel the plan within 15 days, the smartwatch must be returned in good condition or your account will be charged for the full price (an extra $170). Got it? Good.

The Galaxy S5 is coming out tomorrow, and we’ll have our review up shortly.

Source: Rogers
(Thanks Howard, Dimitri!)

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Deezer goes free for mobile users, adds Flow personalized radio

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Deezer, the French-based streaming music service that launched in Canada last year, has expanded its mobile reach by allowing users on Android and iOS to listen to an unlimited amount of music for free. Echoing the ad-based listening model that debuted last year on the web, Deezer believes it can effectively turn these users into paid subscribers by adding value to their experience.

“A majority of our listening is happening on mobile,” Justin Erdman, Managing Director of Deezer Canada, tells me. “We’ve had a growth factor of four since June 2013,” he says, hinting at the paid base in this country is approaching a million users. (more…)

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IDC Canada survey says ‘smartphones are increasingly affecting the way Canadians shop’

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Canadians are finding new ways to find lower prices by “showrooming.” The official definition of showrooming “is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it, but then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item.”

A new report by IDC Canada was released and surveyed a small number of Canadians — 582 smartphone users between March 17th and March 23rd — that states “smartphones are increasingly affecting the way Canadians shop.” This has been a trend over the past couple years and the specific stats revealed:

  • 73% have called, texted or IM’ed someone to make sure they are buying the right thing.
  • 66% have taken a picture of an item and sent it to someone.
  • 61% have used their smartphone to find a store location or hours of operation.
  • 54% have typed a shopping list into the smartphone and checked it.
  • 46% have compared prices with another retailer while in a store.
  • 35% have found information on an item instead of asking a store employee.
  • 28% have scanned a QR code in a store.

IDC notes that people are downloading shopping apps to help them with their purchase decisions, but doesn’t mention the name of the apps. 69% of Canadian smartphone owners have downloaded at least one shopping app, with 34% having downloaded 3 or more shopping apps.

IDC’s Leslie Hand said “The mobile phone has become an essential component of the shopping experience. Collecting and sharing information to improve the efficiency and the ‘fun’ of shopping is just the tip of the iceberg. Consumers will soon be able to tailor their own level of interaction with retailers that accounts for what they are shopping for in context.”

From a Canadian carrier retail perspective, Rogers is leading the charge as they recently announced plans to jump deeper into the retail arena with the M2M Mobile Shopper program. This is an opt-in customer initiative that aims to ‘breathe new life into the Canadian retail experience’ by giving store owners/operators insight into buying habits, the ability to send mobile offers while shopping in-store, and the option to accept payments via their smartphone.

Shopping habits are certainly changing.

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