Galaxy S5 More Durable than iPhone 5S, But ...

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, April 19, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Galaxy S5 iPhone 5S
A new study revealed that Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone is more durable than last year's model and other leading Android phones, but the iPhone 5s still outperformed all of them in part because of its smaller size, a new study finds.

According to SquareTrade, a provider of extended protection plans, the S5 scored well given its water resistance and a sturdy back panel made of plastic. The iPhone 5s won points for being just 4 inches diagonally, compared with about 5 inches for the Android phones, which makes the iPhone easier to grip and thus less likely to slip out of one's hands.

Nonetheless, all the smartphones tested had a medium risk of breakage, and differences between the various phones weren't major.

SquareTrade evaluated the phones based on such criteria as size, weight, grip and the quality of the front and back panels. The company measured how far the phones slide when pushed across a table on their backs and how well they withstand drops from 4 feet and being dunked in water for 10 seconds. Robots were used to ensure consistency.

SquareTrade provided several media outlets with the results ahead of their announcement last 14 April 2014.

The results showed the S5 scored a 6 on a 10-point durability scale, with 10 having the highest risk. The new HTC One phone scored a 6.5, while Google's Nexus 5 had a 7. The iPhone 5s was at 5.5.

None of those phones is as durable as last year's Moto X from Motorola. It had a 4.5 rating, thanks to a rounded back molded to the shape of a user's hand, making it easier to grip. Last year's HTC One model also had a 4.5.

Last year's Samsung Galaxy S4, meanwhile, had a score of 7.

The S5, the new HTC One, the Nexus and the iPhone all had strong front panels, despite being made of mostly glass. SquareTrade considered both the materials used and design factors such as button placement to gauge how likely a user would drop the phone while using it. The back panels on the One and the iPhone were moderate, while those on the S5 and the Nexus performed well.

The S5 and the One were the hardest to grip, while the One and the Nexus had poor marks for water resistance — the phones still worked, but had no sound. Both the S5 and the iPhone survived the dunk test, even though only the S5 is officially marketed as water resistant — for up to 30 minutes.

Only the Nexus 5 passed the slide test, but it was the only of the four to fail the drop test.

The Nexus slid 1.7 feet when pushed by a robot, compared with 2.5 feet or more for the others. The more a phone slides, the greater its chance of falling off the edge of a table. After getting dropped, the Nexus was shattered, while the others had only superficial damage.

SquareTrade said the S5's performance on the drop test was noteworthy, because the S4 had done poorly.

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Galaxy S5 Lacks the "WOW" Factor

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, April 18, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Samsung Galaxy S5
Much was expected from the latest version of Samsung's flagship Galaxy smartphone series when it went on sale worldwide. The Galaxy S5 has a lot riding on it to steer the South Korean firm's profit-making machine back on track as growth in smartphone sales slows, with mature markets like North America and Europe near saturation.

After the electronics giant announced that it was facing a second consecutive quarter of profit decline, Galaxy S5 was supposed to prop those numbers up and allow Samsung to float high and in equal footing with their competitor, Apple.

Initial reviews of the S5 were promising, hailing the unit as one of the best high-end smartphones on the market. The problem is that the high praises were accompanied a general consensus that it lacks the "wow" factor to differentiate it from its predecessors and competitors.

"It can swim, but it won't make any waves," was the verdict of the Wall Street Journal, referring to one innovation in the S5's waterproof covering.

Samsung's mobile unit has been the driving force behind the record profits of recent years, and it needs the S5 to perform well as a retort to the doom-mongers who say the company lacks a clear strategy to flourish in an increasingly competitive, saturated market.

Samsung made more than 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the world last year, nearly twice the share of its arch-rival Apple. Despite this accomplished record, the company estimated that its first quarter operating profit will only be US$ 7.96 billion, marking a second straight year-on-year decline.

Will Samsung be able to recover soon? It looks like they may be able to turn everything around if everything just falls into place. The first strategy was to attract existing Galaxy clients by offering the S5 at a much lower price than the previous S4 model.

Research firm IDC estimated the average selling price of smartphones will fall to US$ 265 globally by 2017 from US$ 337 in 2013 and US$ 387 in 2012.

Samsung is believed to have reduced its marketing spending on the S5 to allow more allocation for its legal bills as years-long patent battles against Apple continue.

The two have locked horns in patent suits in several nations involving design and technologies on their smartphones and tablet computers.

A fresh patent trial opened in the United States a few days ago, with Apple vowing to prove that Samsung flagrantly copied iPhone features and should pay more than US$ 2 billion in damages.

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"Heartbleed Bug" Exposes Password Vulnerability

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Heartbleed Bug
By this time, almost everyone must have heard something about the Heartbleed Bug. It is a serious vulnerability in the encryption technology, OpenSSL cryptographic software library, to malicious attack and compromise passwords and personal data.

OpenSSL is an open-source software package that allows web users to protect the privacy of information they transmit over the internet. For instance, when you visit a secure website such as Gmail.com, you'll see a 'lock sign' next to the URL, indicating that your communications with the site are encrypted.

Once a weakness has been exposed, it allows easy stealing of the protected information by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. OpenSSL has had this flaw for about 2 years.

In short, the Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

Who are and will be affected?

There are no official figures released, but some conservative release stated that out of the 10,000 websites tested so far, 627 were found to vulnerable to the bug. Yahoo sites (including email and Tumblr) were vulnerable, as was the popular dating site OkCupid.

A more realistic estimate, though, pegged the number of vulnerable servers to around 600,000. Worse, the malicious “bot” software may have been attacking servers with the vulnerability for some time — in at least one case, traces of the attack have been found in audit logs dating back to last November 2013. Attacks based on the exploit could date back even further.

The researchers who discovered the flaw notified the OpenSSL team and other key stakeholders several days ago. That allowed OpenSSL to announce a fixed version of the software at the same time the vulnerability was announced to the public. To address the problem, websites need to change their encryption keys and ensure they're running the latest version of OpenSSL.

Who can exploit the Heartbleed Bug?

Software to exploit the vulnerability is widely available online, and while the software isn't as user-friendly as an iPad app, anyone with basic programming skills can figure out how to use it.

It is obvious that right now the bug is likely to be most valuable to intelligence agencies, which have the infrastructure and resources to intercept user traffic on a mass scale. The US National Security Agency (NSA), for instance, has secret agreements with American telecommunications providers to tap into the Internet backbone. Users might have thought that the SSL encryption on websites such as Gmail and Facebook protected them from this kind of snooping, but the Heartbleed bug could easily allow the NSA to obtain the private keys needed to unscramble these private communications.

Is there anything that you can do?

Unfortunately, there's nothing users can do to protect themselves if they visit a vulnerable website. The administrators of vulnerable websites will need to upgrade their software before users will be protected.

However, once an affected website has fixed the problem on their end, users can protect themselves by changing their passwords. It is not advisable to change passwords at this time because attackers still have the means to intercept new attempts.

What can be done for now is just to search the list of vulnerable sites online and see if your email provider is one of those mentioned. Keep in mind that many of the sites that were vulnerable yesterday have since fixed their security problem. Check your inbox — if a site you use has been made safe again, it may have emailed you to let you know.

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More Responsive than iPhone 5S?

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, April 14, 2014 | | 0 comments »

HTC One M8
What is one of the most common features of smartphones that consumers would like to see improved? Many will debate on this topic for days, but most will definitely agree that the device’s touch response should be on the top three list.

Historically, Apple’s iPhone line has had a big advantage over most Android phones in this area, and it's one of several main reasons iPhones often feel more responsive and fluid than many Android devices. However, if reports are indeed true, there could be a changing of the guard soon.

A French website, lesnumeriques.fr, said that the new rose among the thorns is HTC One (M8). The test performed by the site clocked the response time for the HTC One (M8)’s screen at a remarkable 46 milliseconds.

Barring any claims that the test is rigged and results falsified, this makes the M8 the fastest tested mass-market smartphone on the planet by a healthy margin. It also makes the touch response on HTC’s new flagship phone nearly 40 percent faster than the iPhone 5s, which was found to have an average touch response time of 75 milliseconds.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact were also found to have faster touch response times than Apple’s iPhone 5s in recent tests.

The new HTC One (M8) is one of the most sleek and powerful smartphones to date, and was hailed by many as the best Android phone the world has ever seen so far. Whether or not that will translate into a much-needed sales boost in sales, however, remains to be seen.

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What Are Apple and Android Offering to Tablet Users?

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, April 11, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Apple vs Android
Are you in the market for a tablet? Do you know what you want between Apple and Android? Both have plus and minuses, so you better choose what fits your needs.

Here are some reasons why you may want to choose one over the other. It is not a comprehensive comparative analysis, but, hopefully, it will give readers an idea on what iPad Air or iPad Mini with Retina Display is offering over their Android counterparts and vice versa.

  1. Best Apps
    In terms of practical and in-demand apps, Apple App Store is still the best platform of choice for many developers, although Android is catching up. Some of the latest and greatest apps are already in the market even before Android was made available, such as the new Monument Valley, a graphically enhanced puzzler.
  2. Pleasing to the Eye
    Users who prefer clean, uncluttered home screens and if they don’t like fussing over with their app and folder groupings, then they should definitely choose iPad over Android tablets. Those who prefer Apple products are also one in saying that widgets and customized user interfaces just muddy the waters. Apple icons have a uniform design and the screens look neat and well organized.
  3. Price Difference
    Since it is more universal in nature, Android tablets will require users to spend less given the same specs as their Apple versions. For instance, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet fared nearly as well in several gadget review ratings as Apple’s iPad Mini with Retina Display, but the price difference is almost US$ 170.00. The same thing can be said about the larger Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which costs US$ 120.00 less than the iPad Air.
  4. OS Efficiency
    Those who are using Android gadgets will agree that their OS version is just all over the place and that some apps just stop working when using older OS versions. With Apple products, users will always get the best value because latest apps will always work with the newest tables and whenever users upgrade their hardware with the latest Apple update.
  5. OS Flexibility
    If Apple OS gives user efficiency, Android OS gives them more flexibility. Android OS gives tablet manufacturers a chance to put their own user interfaces on top. On the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, for instance, Samsung has added its new Magazine Home, which lets users choose which of their favorite feeds show up on their home screen.

    In addition, on any Android tablet, the user has a greater maneuverability to customize their home screens compared to what an iPad can offer. Users can also place apps in folders on the iPad, but they can’t arrange apps or folders in groups on the same screen, as they can on Android tablets. Users can also add active widgets, such as for weather or traffic, to the home screens on an Android tablet. Moreover, Android offers more flexibility when it comes to how one organizes photos.
  6. Versatile Hardware
    Unlike any iPad version, many Android tablet models include USB ports and memory-card slots. This feature makes it easier to move files back and forth from one device to another, and also lets the user add some extra memory. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to share files on an iPad, including grabbing items from the cloud, but there’s no way to add memory to an iPad. In addition, many Android tablets also now include or are compatible with a stylus.

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Apple Says Samsung is Lying

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, April 10, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iPhone Galaxy
A sharp rebuke was delivered by Apple after it accused Samsung of misleading the jury during the course of the recent trial on patent dispute settlement. According to Apple, Samsung’s claim that three of the five patents under dispute were not being currently used by Apple was baseless, and not justified by facts and figures.

Moreover, Apple supported its accusation by claiming that it was making good usage of the three aforesaid patents and asked the U.S. District judge, Lucy Koh who is overseeing the trial, to provide it with an opportunity to show the same to Samsung.

The trial pitting the two tech giants commenced last 31 Mar 2014 in San Jose, CA. The jury comprised 10 people, none of them related to the technology or software space.

The trial began with Apple accusing Samsung of violating five of its mobile software patents including the swipe to unlock feature for logging into the iPhone and iPad. It claimed damages to the extent of US$ 2 billion for the same. Apple claimed that 10 Samsung products including Galaxy S3 have violated these five patents.

Samsung retaliated by claiming that Apple’s accusations were false and intended to reduce competition in the industry. Samsung went on to say that Apple's primary intention was to target Google's Android OS which happens to be the operating system for all Samsung mobile phones.

Moreover, Samsung also made fresh accusations against Apple claiming that nine of its products including the likes of iPhone 5 had infringed two of Samsung’s patents and claimed damages to the extent of US$ 7 million for the same.

This trial is the second clash between the two tech giants within a span of two years. Previously, in 2012, Apple emerged victorious in a trial where it accused Samsung of violating its copyrights and received damages amounting to US$ 1 billion for the same.

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