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All this considered, this is about par for cyber information control in most parts of the world. (Source: The Verge)

Your private data isn't so private after all, Wechat confirms

It's been a good week for privacy intrusions, with GO Keyboard being reported to siphon user data. This time out, it's the Wechat app on all the headlines, as the app's new privacy policy sheds light on how public, private user data actually is.
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) facing charging bug after Nougat update (Source: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) with Nougat plagued by charging bug

More Galaxy A3 (2016) users who upgraded their handsets to Android 7.0 have been complaining that they cannot load the battery more than 87 percent. Even worse, it looks like none of the usual bug-fixing methods works.
Image: Twitter user Nick Sweeting

Equi-fail: Equifax directs customers affected by hack to fake phishing website

In another major misstep for Equifax, an employee of the credit services company responded to customer tweets with a link to a fake phishing website. The site, which was styled to look like the official Equifax site dedicated to the hack, was a fake used to demonstrate how easily malicious parties could further exploit Equifax's customers.
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SafeBrowse's 4.4 start rating is starting to drop. (Source: Chrome Webstore)

A Chrome extension now takes your CPU cycles to mine cryptocurrency for the developer

Following on from The Pirate Bay's 24-hour trial of using a cryptomining script to generate revenue rather than using advertising, we now have a Chrome extension which is trying the same thing. Unfortunately for the developer, their implementation of the script causes high CPU usage for the entire time that Chrome is open and the extension performs a non-ess...
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Image: Motorola

Motorola flips again, promises Android O for Moto G4

People complained, and Motorola listened. In a statement issued today, Motorola has promised to make good on its marketing and update the Moto G4 Plus to Android Oreo. Unfortunately, there is currently no time frame on when the update will be issued.
Image: Equifax

Equifax security breach blamed on known web vulnerability in Apache Struts

One week after announcing a major data breach affecting over 143 million consumers, Equifax is pointing blame at a security vulnerability in the Apache Struts web framework. However, the vulnerability was publicly announced in March and a patch was available months before the attack.
Swelling batteries in the XPS 15 9550 have caused displacement of trackpads rendering them useless. (Source: User Crashnorun on the Dell Support Forum)

PSA | Dell offers to replace swelling XPS 15 9550 batteries for free, even if out-of-warranty

There were problems with batches of 84Wh batteries in the XPS 15 9550 that led to the battery bulging and pushing against the trackpad. Once the swelling was bad enough, it not only hindered the trackpad function but also posed a safety hazard. Users are now reporting that Dell is now finally accepting out-of-warranty battery replacements for the XPS 15 9550...
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Android 8 'Oreo' logo. (Source: Google)

Android 8 'Oreo' bug can cause large amounts of mobile data use

A bug in Android 8 'Oreo' is causing the operating system to ignore any connected WiFi networks and default to using mobile data.
Equifax announces major security breach affecting 143 million customers in the U.S.

Equifax announces major security breach affecting 143 million customers in the U.S.

Equifax announced today that the personal information of over 143 million American consumers was compromised in late July. Items such as birth dates, social security numbers, and even drivers licenses were stolen by hackers, in addition to over 200,000 credit card numbers.
Does that budget smartphone actually use both cameras on the back? (Image: Mrwhosetheboss, YouTube)

Dual-camera dupe: some smartphones with dual-camera setups only have one camera enabled

A few videos recently posted to YouTube took a closer look at the Doogee Mix and found that the dual-camera setup actually uses one camera and some software tricks to simulate effects that would otherwise require two camera modules. The problem seems to be rampant among cheap Chinese smartphones.
Lenovo has been fined US$3.5 million and had restrictions placed on pre-installed software on their systems in the United States. (Source: Geralt/Pixabay)

Lenovo fined US$3.5 million for pre-installing adware on some laptops in 2015

The saga about some Lenovo laptops coming pre-installed with adware in 2015 has now come to an end with the results of their court case being announced a few hours ago. Lenovo must pay a fine of US$3.5 million and has had some restrictions placed on how they handle pre-installed software in the United States.
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Promotional material showing the cancelled Microsoft Surface Mini. (Source: Twitter | @evleaks)

More pictures plus official specs for the ill-fated Surface Mini, well, surface

The Microsoft Surface Mini never saw the light of day, but a pair of leaked images have, and they show the device from a trio of angles, as well as its specs in detail.
Image: Essential

Andy Rubin issues apology for Essential customer privacy debacle

After a massive privacy foul-up, Essential's Andy Rubin has issued a formal apology to customers that had their personal information emailed to other customers. Essential will provide affected individuals with a one-year subscription to LifeLock and, possibly, a free Essential Phone.
NY Mayor Bill de Blasio with NYPD deputy commissioner for IT, Jessica Tisch. (Source: NY Post)

NYPD contemplating on replacing 36,000 odd Windows Phones with iPhones

In the continuing habitual setback for Microsoft in its mobile endeavors, the NYPD will soon be scrapping its 36,000 odd smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 for iPhones. The department is taking the decision in the wake of Microsoft halting updates for the ill-fated mobile OS.
Latest XPS 13 9360 1.0.7 BIOS update purportedly bricking systems

Latest XPS 13 9360 1.0.7 BIOS update purportedly bricking systems

In what could be another potential PR headache for Dell, the latest 1.0.7 BIOS update for the XPS 13 may be accidentally rolling back systems. It's recommended that XPS 13 owners do not install this latest update until Dell either reuploads a replacement or directly addresses users' complaints.
Hacking your phone through the touchscreen? Yes, it can be done. (Image: Shattered Trust)

New research paper demonstrates smartphone security hole in replacement hardware

A research team has successfully compromised a smartphone by injecting malicious code into the drivers for the touchscreen. The code allows full access to the device, including the ability to alter files, use the phone's camera, download malicious apps, and grant root access without unlocking the bootloader.
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Nokia 8 Android flagship will not reach the US market via official channels

Nokia 8 to skip China and the US

While the Nokia 8 is an interesting flagship that would surely gain quite a few fans in China and the US, HMD Global has revealed that this handset will not arrive in these two markets.
Google Nexus 6 Android handset gets 7.1.1 Nougat once again

Nexus 6 gets Android 7.1.1 for the second time

After releasing this update back in January and then rolling back to Android 7.0 due to various bugs, Google finally upgrades the firmware of the Nexus 6 to Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Recall issued for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 batteries

Recall issued for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 batteries

Replacement batteries shipped as part of AT&T's Insurance program have now been recalled due to concerns about the batteries overheating and creating a fire hazard. Samsung has placed blame squarely on FedEx Supply Chain.
Saygus V Squared Android phone might finally launch in 2017

Saygus V Squared hits FCC

After countless delays, the crowdfunded Saygus V Squared handset was labeled by everyone as vaporware, but this might have been wrong. The phone has apparently cleared the FCC and might finally reach the market.
MIUI is compromising device security according to eScan. (Source: Xiaomi)

MIUI security flaws allow uninstallation of security apps and easy copying of data

eScan, a software security company, has reported on a number of vulnerabilities in Xiaomi's MIUI. The two principal ones allow the uninstallation of security apps and the transferring of phone data without prompting for the user password. Xiaomi disputes the findings of the report, claiming that using a PIN, password, pattern, or fingerprint will avoid these...
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The Surface Pro has faces issues with power management, throttling, backlight bleed, and even noise.

Microsoft defends Surface family after Consumer Reports labels Surface products "unreliable"

Microsoft executive Panos Panay has attempted to defend the reliability of Microsoft's Surface family of products following Consumer Reports's failure to recommend the Surface products based on surveyed high rates of failure.
25 percent of Surface Pro owners will experience reliability issues, claims Consumer Reports

25 percent of Surface Pro owners will experience reliability issues, claims Consumer Reports

Meanwhile, Apple is sitting happily at first place for having the most reliable laptops and tablets.
A PlayStation 4 controller utilising DualShock 4 vibration technology. (Source: Sony)

Immersion CEO claims Sony's DualShock technology lags behind Microsoft and Nintendo

The President and CEO of Immersion Corporation, a company which develops game controller vibration features, is claiming that Sony's DualShock is using 90's technology, putting it well behind the competition. Immersion currently licenses their technology to Microsoft and Nintendo.
Oppo R11 smartphone gets Android 7.1.1-based update that removes the status bar notifications

ColorOS update leaves Oppo R11 without status bar notifications

While the Marshmallow-based ColorOS 3.0.0i firmware for the Oppo R9s and R9s Plus shows notifications in the status bar, the Nougat-based ColorOS 3.1 update for the R11 comes without this popular feature.
The HP Elite X3 is currently the highest-end smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile. (Image source: HP)

Windows may be moving to a unified mobile/desktop OS

According to rumors, Microsoft may soon be killing of development of Windows 10 Mobile in favor of pursuing a unified operating system that more closely ties development and features of the desktop version of Windows to a retooled iteration for smartphones.
BLU's tweet announcing their product are back online. (Source: Twitter)

BLU phones back on Amazon following privacy fears

After privacy concerns caused Amazon to delist some phones by budget smartphone manufacturer BLU, the products are once again available through the online retailer. Although BLU has denied allegations of any wrongdoing, privacy issues with budget Android phones may remain a concern.
The recent driver update has stopped Windows Hello from activating facial recognition. (Source: Own)

UPDATE | Newest driver update makes the Surface Pro 4 blind

The latest driver update from Microsoft has stopped Windows Hello from activating the IR camera needed for facial recognition on some Surface Pro 4's. However, the problem with the screen vibration bug might also have been fixed.
This is the second time this year that a broadcom WiFi chip has caused security issues. (Source: Business Insider)

Broadcomm WiFi can be hacked on iPhone and several modern Android phones

A Black Hat researcher has found a vulnerability with Broadcom wireless chips used in various phones including iPhone, Nexus, and Galaxy S phones. This bug allows a hacker to overflow the memory in the wireless chip and execute code in the device memory. Apple and Google have patched the flaw, but will third party manufacturers push the update to their devic...
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Ryzen is great — so why are most AMD notebooks embarrassingly bad?

Ryzen is great — so why are most AMD notebooks embarrassingly bad?

With Ryzen, AMD has come back to the desktop market as a major competitor to Intel. But what is going on with the state of AMD-based notebooks? Generally made with absolute bottom-rung components such as 1366 x 768 TN panels and slow storage and RAM, it's clear that AMD needs to get Raven Ridge (Ryzen) into laptops as soon as possible — as well as encourage OEMs to put in a little more effort.
Apple is not the only company forced to either cooperate with the Chinese government or face losing access to the market, but they are the largest. (Source: Shutterstock)

Apple pulls VPNs from Chinese App Store

Apple has pulled a number of censorship-defeating tools from their App Store in China, citing Chinese law. The move to accommodate the Chinese government deprives many in the country of access to information.
Lightweight, elegant, and performant, at least according to Huawei's marketing. The latter is debatable.

Huawei MateBook X exhibits massive throttling

Is it acceptable to refer to a notebook that loses up to 37 % of its initial performance after a few minutes of high load already as performant? We are faced with this conundrum once again with the latest Huawei MateBook X with its innovative MEPCM cooling system. A short excerpt from our extensive review focusing on persistent load.
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Liron Damir, the head of UX, has left Essential. (Image source: LinkedIn)

Lead designer of the Essential phone leaves the company

The head of UX for Essential, Liron Damir, has left the startup to work at Google in the Google Home division. This marks the third departure of a key employee at Essential in as many months.
Image source: Fairphone

Fairphone will stop software and hardware support for its first device

The Fairphone, which was meant to be an easily repairable, long lasting smartphone, will no longer be supported. Fairphone, the company behind the device, will no longer sell replacement parts and has halted software development.
Chinese security forces in Xinjiang are reportedly checking residents for whether or not they have installed the spying app. Failure to have the app installed can lead to up to 10 days detention. (Source: Twitter/即时中国大陆映像)

Some Chinese residents forced to install government spyware on phones

The Chinese government has made the installation of surveillance software on phones mandatory in the north-western city of Urumqi. Urumqi is the capital of Xin Jiang province, which is home to most of China's Turkic Uighur minority.
The iPhone 7 uses an Intel modem for AT&T and T-Mobile variants, while the rest use a Qualcomm part. (Source: Extreme Tech)

Intel paints Qualcomm as anti-competitive bully in public statement to ITC

Intel has weighed in on the Qualcomm vs. Apple suit with a public statement in response to a request for comment by the ITC. In the statement, Intel alleges that Qualcomm is a bully, using the court system to crush competition. Intel claims that the move is orchestrated mainly to replace an Intel modem in the iPhone with a Qualcomm one. Intel has itself face...
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Users found that using a proxy could triple their bandwidth on the affected sites. (Source: ArsTechnica)

Verizon allegedly throttling Netflix and Youtube

Verizon "unlimited" subscribers have complained about YouTube and Netflix being throttled to 10Mbps, resulting in decreased video quality in some situations. Verizon later admitted to testing"optimizations", but denied that they had throttled the connection.
Soon OnePlus 5 owners will be able to dial these three numbers without worrying if their phone will reboot. (Source: Own)

OnePlus 5 OTA update for the emergency call bug expected soon

OnePlus has been in contact with the original user who reported the 911 reboot bug, and they have successfully tested a bug fix that has stopped the phone from rebooting when dialing emergency services. It is expected that they will release an OTA update in the near future.
Yesterday's memes are now today's news. (Source: Know Your Meme)

Facebook to allow paywalled articles later this year

Facebook is reportedly working on a paywall system to access shared articles.
A comparison between the Surface Pro 4 and a faulty Surface Pro 2017 showing the excessive backlight bleed on the latter. (Source: Surface Guy)

Complaints growing regarding excessive backlight bleed on Surface Pro 2017

Microsoft uses their line of Surface devices to help set an example for OEMs; however, their quality control appears to have slipped a bit as over 200 users have claimed on the Microsoft forums that their devices are showing excessive backlight bleed.
The Galaxy Note 7 has been estimated to have cost Samsung between US$5 and 10 billion. The Note FE and recycling initiative will help ameliorate that. (Source: Samsung)

Samsung will recycle remining Galaxy Note 7 devices, recovering 157 tons of precious metals

In addition to releasing limited numbers of refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices as the "Galaxy Note FE", the Korea tech giant has reported it will be recycling remaining Note 7 stock to recover up to 157 tons of precious metals.
Source: Essential

Another key executive leaves Essential

Brian Wallace, former director of marketing for Essential, has left the startup. His departure follows that of Andy Fouché, former head of communications, last month. These departures will only add to Essential's recent problems.
The OnePlus 5 has had a bug-filled launch. (Source: OnePlus)

Some users report OnePlus 5 crashes when dialing 911

There is new concern shown by OnePlus 5 owners as allegations appear on reddit of phones rebooting when dialing 911. The cause of the bug is currently unknown, however OnePlus is in contact with those experiencing the issue to try and solve the problem as soon as possible.
Surface Pro 2017 plagued by hibernation bug, Microsoft working on it

Microsoft Surface Pro has a hibernation-related bug

The successor of the Surface Pro 4 is now facing a new bug, this time involving random entries in hibernation mode. Fortunately, it seems that Microsoft has already identified the issue and a fix should arrive soon.
Image source: Vertu

Vertu, the luxury smartphone maker, is shutting down its manufacturing arm

The uber-expensive smartphone brand has had to shutter its manufacturing business, leading to the loss of 200 jobs. The brand is now over $160 million in debt and may soon begin bankruptcy proceedings. Vertu phones may soon be a thing of the past.
Image source: Samsung

Bixby button remapping is once again available for the Galaxy S8

In what is amounting to a game of Android developer chess, an XDA contributor has updated the bxActions app, allowing users to circumvent the recent Bixby button remapping block pushed out by Samsung to Sprint and T-Mobile Galaxy S8 devices. When will Samsung strike back?
Spurred by AMD's Ryzen, Intel released a plethora of new CPUs at Computex 2017. (Source: Intel)

Are six cores better than four for gaming?

Techspot pits the i7-7700K against the slightly more expensive hexa-core i7-7800X, and the results are conclusive: the 7800X might give you more cores, but it's less (game) performance for more money.
The Intel Pentium G4560 may be impossible to find on store shelves later this year. (Source: Intel)

Intel may limit or discontinue the Pentium G4560

Intel may be artificially reducing stock of the Pentium G4560 due to the CPU's cannibalization of sales of the Core i3 line, which is double the MSRP of the Pentium while only offering a small bump in performance. Expect prices for the G4560 to continue rising.
The Essential Phone was pre-orderable for US$699 in May and should have shipped in June. (Source: Essential)

Andy Rubin's Essential Phone hits delays, trouble

Android brainchild Andy Rubin's Essential Phone should have shipped in June, but that date is over 10 days past. In the midst of the delay, CNBC's Todd Haselton has reported that Essential's head of PR has apparently left the company.
The backup power system consists of a 100 MW Li-ion Powerpack from Tesla, coupled with Neoen's Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. (Source: Tesla)

Elon Musk and South Australian authorities team up to develop the biggest Li-ion backup battery

The grid-scale renewable energy backup system will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes and will become the highest power battery system in the world by a factor of 3, according to Elon Musk.

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Redaktion, 2013-05- 8 (Update: 2013-09-27)