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No chat for you: TechCrunch reports Facebook is getting rid of messaging in the main Facebook app for iPhone and Android and will force users to download the separate “Messenger” app if they want to chat. This is nothing new to European users who were the guinea pigs for the requirement back in April. Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message like before, for now. Facebook believes the move will make both the Facebook and Messenger apps better.
Gamers rejoice: The Next Web reports EA announced a new subscription service for the Xbox One today. For $5 a month or $30 a year, members of EA Access can play older titles from the EA vault and get free access to new titles up to 5 days before release. After the release, you’ll still have to buy the game, but you get a 10% discount on all EA titles and DLC in the Xbox store. Plus, if you played early and buy the game any progress you made carries over. Selected users are participating in a beta, but EA promises to take everyone’s money soon.
More of everything! For everyone! Is this good news or bad news for those hopeful of new MacBook pros this autumn? The Next Web reports Apple has done a minor refresh of the MacBook Pros with retina displays. The 13-inch starter model comes with a 2.6 GHz Core i5 processor and 8GB of memory. The entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro now starts with a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip and 16GB of memory.
Speak into the microphone, please: ZDNet reports BlackBerry said Tuesday it will acquire German mobile security company Secusmart. The two companies have partnered since 2009. Secusmart makes popular anti-eavesdropping product. Or at least its become popular with Chancellor Merkel. The Secusmart Security Card contains the NXP SmartMX P5CT072 crypto-controller with a PKI coprocessor for authentication as well as a high-speed coprocessor that encrypts voice and data communication using 128 bit AES. All of that integrated into the micro-SD card.
Smells like a bubble … : Does the app boom smell like it’s ending? Bear with me. In 1999, what’s big Websites Along came DigiScents which made a device called iSmell, I KID YOU NOT, that would allow web pages to emit odor. Within two years, dot-coms were bust. In 2005, AJAX, XML Web 2.0 was all the reage. Everyone’s Rubies were starting to ride Rails. And researchers from the University of Huelva developed XML Smell, a protocol of XML that could transmit smells. Within two years smartphones had wiped Web 2.0 out of our minds. Today with the app universe going strong, Vapor Communications is promoting an Indiegogo campaign for the iPhone. A device to let people send and receive scented messages. Woe betide its funding and the decline of the appiverse.
Earnings: TechCrunch reports Twitter reported revenue of $312 Million and earnings per share of two copper pennies. The street expected Twitter to lose the one pennie it did have on revenue of only 283.07 million Twitter allegedly said “TAKE THAT STREET WHAT DO YOU KNOW!” although that is unconfirmed. Twitter reported that it has 271 million monthly active users, up from its 255 million tally in the first quarter of 2014. That’s up 24%, year-over-year. Twitter’s monthly mobile user count was also up, to 211 million, a gain of 29%.
News From You
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Ars Technica report that researchers at Bluebox Security have discovered a hack that allows any malicious app to masquerade as an app with special privileges. The vulnerability has existed since Android 2.1 in early 2010. Apps like Google Wallet and Adobe Flash are allowed to act with other apps in ways the Android sandbox usually prevents. While Android checks the apps ID it does not verify the validity of cryptographic certificates that accompany it. Cleverly made forgeries can therefore get the same special access to private information and device settings. Bluebox calls the vulnerability “Fake ID”. Google has been informed of the vulnerability and say they’ve issued a patch. Bluebox CTO Jeff Forristal will present more details on the vulnerability at Black Hat next week.
metalfreak posted the PC World article noting the announcement over the weekend that Quantum Mechanix and Spark Plug Games will have the original cast of Firefly do the voicework for their upcoming Firefly game. Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, and Ron Glass have already recorded their bits. Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, and Summer Glau will be in the studio soon. The game will come to iOS, Android, PC and Mac in Spring 2015.
spsheridan pointed us to a Wired UK article that researchers from the University of Michigan and New York University have been simulating wet information storage techniques which uses clusters of nanoparticles suspended in liquid. Working a bit like a rubik’s cube, clusters of particles can reconfigure to represent different storage states. A 12-particle cluster can have almost 8 million states. That means a teaspoon of the stuff could store a Terabyte! All you have to do is use your scanning tunnelling microscope to read the data!
Pick of the Day: ProClip via Kevin Klecker
Kevin Klecker has our pick of the day! My commute averages about an hour each way, and it would be much more torturous if I didn’t have The Daily Tech News Show to keep me informed and entertained. I always want my podcasts, music, and Waze at my fingertips, I never knew where to keep my phone until I stumbled onto ProClip.
ProClip offers vehicle mounting solutions for all of your tech and gadgetry. ProClip is a 2-piece solution. It consists of a custom base that is engineered to fit your specific vehicle (You can choose one of several mounting locations. This is paired with either a universal/adjustable mount or custom mount which is engineered for your device (phones, tablets, 2 way radios, GPS units, etc). They have mounts to fit a large variety of device (iPhones, iPads, Galaxy series, heck….even my Windows Phone 8 Device). Most have the option to include a hardwired charger, or a cigarette lighter adapters to automatically charge your device while docked. They are fairly easy to install (usually lock into vents or molding), and have always seemed sturdy. Since the system is 2 pieces, it is easy to replace the base if you get a new vehicle – or the mount if you get a new device. My wife and I will be customers for life!