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Surface Book 2 suffering from performance throttling, charging issues, and heavy ghosting

Surface Book 2 suffers from performance throttling, charging abnormalities, and slower response times

Though a visual delight, the new Surface Book isn't doing anything to buck the trend of notorious hardware headaches that has become the norm across the Surface lineup.
Yet another Android exploit. (Source: Pixabay)

New Android security flaw allows screen recording without direct user permission

A security research firm has revealed an Android exploit which allows a rogue application to record all on-screen activity without the user's permission. This has been fixed in Android 8, but users on older versions are still vulnerable. Fortunately, the exploit works in a way which causes Android to create a notification in the status bar.
Smartwatches targetted at children, like the VTech Kidizoom, are now banned in Germany. (Image: VTech)

Germany bans smartwatches marketed at children

Children's smartwatches have been found to have glaring security holes, some of which can present a serious threat to the safety of the children that wear them. These security issues, along with privacy concerns, have led German officials to ban the sale of children's smartwatches.
The mask that turned Face ID into Farce ID (Source: Bkav Corp on YouTube)

Face ID tricked using a mask

A Vietnamese security firm managed to trick Apple's Face ID into unlocking the new iPhone X with the help of a custom mask that was created for a cost of around US$150. Perfecting the whole process took them about a week.
Saygus V Squared crowdfunded Android smartphone (Source: FCC)

Saygus V Squared surfaces online once again

Back in August, the Saygus team revealed that the long-awaited V Squared flagship had finally reached the FCC. It took "just" a few months to get the agency's certifications, but at least now we know that this phone is not vaporware and should launch soon.
Image: Apple

IDC analytics point to 3-year decline in tablet sales

Marking the twelfth straight quarter of year-over-year decline, the third quarter of 2017 saw the tablet market slump 5.4%. Despite a bump in sales growth from 4 of the top 5 tablet retailers, the market as a whole continues its downward trend with no end in sight.
Pixel 2 XL, ask more of your phone. (Source: Google)

Google replacing Pixel 2 XLs sent to customers without Android installed

Continuing the trend of the Pixel 2 XL, a small number of users have complained on Reddit and the Ars Technica forums about receiving devices which are completely missing the operating system. Google reports that they have fixed this going forwards, and they are sending replacement devices for those affected.
Assassin's Creed Origins has DRM software protecting the DRM software that's protecting the game. (Source: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Origins is another example of DRM gone wrong

Publishers need to protect their game from piracy, and gamers should pay for the games we play. But there is a problem when the method of DRM implementation degrades the experience of those who obtained the game legitimately.
The Samsung J7 smartphone. (Source: Samsung)

Samsung J7 catches fire in an Indian flight causing a mid-air scare

A Samsung J7 smartphone caught fire on a Jet Airways flight bound to Indore from New Delhi causing mid-air panic. The flight staff were unable to extinguish the fire and had to drop the phone in a tray of water to put off the flames.
Macbook Pro: Does Apple have a problem with defective keyboards due to dust getting stuck?

Macbook Pro: Does Apple have a problem with defective keyboards due to dust getting stuck?

Since 2015, Apple has one by one changed the keyboards on its Mac-products to the new Butterfly-design, a precess accompanied with much interest but also criticism. The new design helped Apple in their pursuit for thinner and thinner products, but now it seems that the new design has a reliability problem: Some users experience problems with dust and dirt ge...
The wolf in sheep's clothing which snuck into thousands of unsuspecting digital pens. (Source: SwiftOnSecurity)

A fake Adblock Plus extension has infected about 37,000 Google Chrome users

Posing as the world's most popular ad-blocking software, a fraudulent extension made it onto the Chrome Web Store and tricked tens of thousands of victims into installing what turned out to be a very annoying piece of adware.
A more fitting name if this trend of fails continues. (Source: CHEIL India)

OnePlus is collecting user data without permission, and you should be scared

OnePlus has dropped the ball yet again, with a user discovering a data siphon that sends his private phone information and logs to a remote OnePlus server.
Yahoo? Help! (Source: Yahoo)

All 3 billion Yahoo user accounts were involved in the 2013 data breach

If you held a Yahoo account in 2013, then you were almost certainly involved in the data breach. At 3 billion user accounts affected, this announcement sets the record for the largest known data breach.
Source: Atari

The Ataribox is an under-powered Linux PC priced to compete with the PS4 and Xbox One

In a newsletter sent out today, Atari gave some more information about the upcoming Ataribox. The console will be running a version of Linux, and users will have full access to the underlying operating system. No word on games yet, but apparently, the console won't be powerful enough to play AAA titles.
No indication from Showtime whether the script was placed by them, or if their websites were hacked. (Source: Showtime)

CBS-owned 'Showtime' joins The Pirate Bay and rogue chrome extensions in using your CPU to mine cryptocurrency

CoinHive's cryptomining JavaScript has been found embedded in the site code of two of Showtime's websites, causing increases CPU usage. The script has now been removed, but silence from Showtime leaves the question open on whether they had placed the code there, or if their websites were hacked.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.

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