mpol writes "In the past, WhatsApp has been criticized over their insecure use of XMPP. Recently, new versions of their app have incorporated encryption. It seems the trouble isn't over yet for WhatsApp and its users. Sam Granger writes on his blog that WhatsApp is using IMEI numbers as passwords. This is at least the case with the Android app, but other platforms are probably using similar methods. Since someone's IMEI number is easily readable, this isn't really secret information that should be used for authentication."
An anonymous reader writes "Lost amid the announcements for Amazon's new tablets and e-readers was the news that their latest Kindle Fire tablets would include advertisements. So-called 'Special Offers' would place ads on the devices' lock screens in a similar fashion to the lowest price Kindle e-readers. However, on the e-readers, you had the option to 'buy out' the ads by simply paying the difference in price between the cheaper device and the regular version. But Amazon has no confirmed there is no way to opt out of the ads on the new Kindle Fire tablets." Update: 09/09 03:02 GMT by S : Reader Aoreias sends words that Amazon has now changed its mind. A spokesman announced that users will have the ability to opt-out for a fee of $15.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on a decision from a district judge in Illinois, who ruled that sniffing traffic on an unencrypted Wi-Fi network is not wiretapping. In the ruling, the judge points out an exception in the Wiretap Act which allows people to 'intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public.' He concludes that 'the communications sent on an unencrypted Wi-Fi network are readily available to the general public.' Orin Kerr disagrees with the ruling, saying that the intent of the person setting up the network is important: 'No one suggests that unsecured wireless networks are set up with the goal that everyone on the network would be free to read the private communications of others.'"
First time accepted submitter brocket66 writes with this excerpt from BGR: "Three major revisions of Google's Android operating system have launched since the company released Android 2.3 more than 21 months ago in December 2010, but Gingerbread is still the most widely used version of Android by a wide margin. A study conducted early this year by graphic designer Chris Sauve projected that based on Android adoption trends up to that point, Android 2.3 Gingerbread would be the dominant version of Android in 2012 despite the fact that Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich had already been released. Now, as the fourth quarter of 2012 approaches, data from Google's Android version distribution tracker confirms once again that those projections were accurate."
itwbennett writes "Hoping to avoid a sales ban in the Netherlands, Samsung has said that Android's multitouch software doesn't work as well as Apple's. Samsung lawyer Bas Berghuis van Woortman said that while Apple's technology is a 'very nice invention,' the Android system is harder for developers to use. Arguing the bizarre counterpoint, Apple's lawyer Theo Blomme told judge Peter Blok, that the Android multitouch isn't inferior and does so infringe on Apple's patent: 'They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,' said Blomme."
mikejuk writes "Developers worried about the changes that might be waiting for them in the new Windows Phone 8 API are going to have to wait even longer to find out. Microsoft has just announced that the SDK will be available soon, but only to the developers it approves. If you already have a published app, then you can apply to be part of the program. The announcement says, 'But I do want to set your expectations that program access will be limited.' The public SDK will be made available 'later this year,' which is behind the timetable that developers were led to expect. As you can imagine, the developer community, judging by the comment stream, is less than happy. What makes this whole development even stranger is that the announcement was made on the day Nokia previewed a range of WP8 devices. The Nokia launch got most of the publicity, so perhaps the idea was that a little negative news wouldn't be noticed. The real question is: why the limited availability?"
pigrabbitbear writes "Now that Apple is putting the finishing touches on the most anticipated smartphone in history, Chinese students are again being pressed into service on the factory line inside the largest single internship program in the world. This according to two separate stories in the Chinese press. A report today in the Shanghai Daily says that hundreds of students in the city of Huai'an were forced to help fulfill iPhone 5 orders starting last Thursday. Classes in town had allegedly been interrupted as a result, since the two-month long internships would fulfill the students' need to 'experience working conditions.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Amazon used a Sept. 6 event in California to debut a range of products, including a front-lit [not back-lit, as originally reported] Kindle e-reader with a higher-resolution screen, an updated Kindle Fire, and the new Kindle Fire HD in two screen sizes. First, Bezos showed off a new version of the Kindle e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, complete with a front-lit, higher-resolution screen (221 pixels-per-inch and 25 percent more contrast, according to Amazon). The device weighs 7.5 ounces and is 9.1mm thin; battery life is rated at eight weeks, and the screen brightness is adjustable. He then showed off the updated Kindle Fire, before moving to the Kindle Fire HD, which features a choice of 7-inch or 8.9-inch screens, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, two antennas for better Wi-Fi pickup, and a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor (which Bezos claimed could out-perform the Tegra 3). The Kindle Fire HD's 7-inch version will retail for $199 and ship Sept. 14, while the 8.9-inch version will cost $299 and ship Nov. 20. An 8.9-inch, 4G LTE-enabled version with 32GB storage will be available starting Nov. 20 for $499, paired with a $49.99-a-year data plan."
WIn5t0n writes "Even though AT&T has now promoted itself to the 'Largest 4G Network' (HSPA+), it is still lagging far behind in advancing its LTE Coverage. AT&T's largest competitor, Verizon, has turned up the heat on the company now that it claims to cover 75 percent of US population with LTE, while AT&T's network only fully covers a few cities. However, AT&T has recognized consumer unrest and has planned to expand its 4G LTE coverage into '48 new markets' by the end of the year. With the iPhone 5 (rumored to have LTE capabilities) likely to be in consumers hands by the end of this month, AT&T is now feeling the pressure to make sure its customers can take full advantage of their new phones on a faster network. The company's full rollout of 4G LTE coverage is not scheduled to be complete until at least 2013."
hypnosec writes "During Nokia's press event for the launch of its flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone — the Lumia 920 — the Finnish company made available some promotional materials wherein there was a video showcasing PureView's main feature: optical image stabilization (OIS) but, it turns out these ads were faked following which Nokia has issued an official apology. In the video was 'a reflection that revealed the footage wasn't shot on a Lumia 920, but a regular camera inside a white van.' If we go to 0:27 of the video, a reflection of a white van keeping pace with the girl is seen whereby a person is holding a DSLR camera. Fast forward to 0:48 of the video and you will clearly see the shadow of a DSLR hooked to the swing. In its apology through a blog post Nokia confirms that the video 'was not shot with a Lumia 920.'"
sl4shd0rk writes "According to sources, Apple hasn't offered any specs to developers for the new '9-pin Connector' to be used on the next version of the iPhone. Apple has also said it may use 'licensing agreements and threats of lawsuits' to prevent third-party adapters from hitting the market through at least 2012. There have been suggestions that this tactic is to allow Apple time to leverage competition and reap in revenues of $100 million for every 10 million Dock Connector Adapters it sells for $10. It remains unclear whether Apple will allow third-party developers to release competing alternatives after 2012."
nk497 writes "Nokia unveiled its flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset today, but it doesn't feature an SD card slot. There's a reason why: Nokia's designers didn't want to 'defile' the design. 'We started with the premise that we wanted an uncompromised physical form,' executive vice president Kevin Shields, said. 'To put an SD card slot in it would have defiled it.' He said most people don't use the storage in their phone, although the Nokia Lumia 820, which has only 8GB of storage, does include a micro-SD card slot behind its removable cover, which Shields claims doesn't compromise the design."
An anonymous reader writes "CNet reports that Google was awarded a patent yesterday for logging into a computing device using face recognition (8,261,090). 'In order for the technology to work, Google's patent requires a camera that can identify a person's face. If that face matches a "predetermined identity," then the person is logged into the respective device. If multiple people want to access a computer, the next person would get in front of the camera, and the device's software would automatically transition to the new user's profile. ... Interestingly, Apple last year filed for a patent related to facial recognition similar to what Google is describing in its own service. That technology would recognize a person's face and use that as the authentication needed to access user profiles or other important information.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Nokia CEO Stephen Elop first took to the stage at Center548 on New York City's West Side, where Microsoft had first unveiled Windows Phone 7 in late 2010, to claim that Nokia was becoming a 'more nimble competitor' thanks to several strategic decisions under his tenure, including the choice of Windows Phone as the company's primary smartphone platform. ... In terms of [the 920's hardware]: the battery is 2000 mAh; the processor is a dual-core Snapdragon S4, which was apparently selected for its energy efficiency; and the aforementioned wireless charging, based on the 'Qi' wireless charging standard. ... Despite the enthusiasm displayed onstage for Windows Phone 8, the new smartphone platform poses something of a conundrum for Nokia. The company invested heavily in Windows Phone 7, all but abandoning its homegrown operating systems — including Symbian, once a dominant player in the mobile arena — in favor of Microsoft’s platform. But those Windows Phone 7 smartphones won't upgrade to Windows Phone 8 software, and nor will they run Windows Phone 8 apps."
Hugh Pickens writes "In the past, carriers like Sprint have placed restrictions on their Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) to prevent them from competing directly against the carriers. The MVNOs were forced to sell budget service and budget technology. But Businessweek reports that the Galaxy S III has began shipping to customers of MVNO Ting, officially making Ting the first carrier to offer an LTE service without owning an LTE network. 'All the market trends we're talking about today are allowing us to be competitive at the high end,' says Elliot Noss, CEO of Ting, adding that Sprint has stripped off the last remaining obstacles to MVNOs competing with it on equal terms. Virtual carriers are experimenting with new pricing models, such as Ting's metered voice and data plans, that run counter to the way big operators have always sold their services. So far, only a minority of customers finds these new types of models appealing, but it's a growing minority, says Noss. MVNOs all but died out in the last decade, victim to their own over-segmentation of the market and the only survivors were the ones who kept their focus on the budget prepaid segment like TracFone. But nine months ago, AT&T and T-Mobile started selling data and voice airtime by the bucket, which gives MVNOs much more flexibility in pricing. Even more significantly, carriers started working directly with MVNOs to craft unique plans in exchange for a percentage of the plans' revenues. In the meantime, prepaid operators such as Leap Wireless are already selling the iPhone, and it's only a matter of time before the economics are right for Sprint to lift its iPhone restriction as well. 'I'll put it this way: I would be disappointed if we didn't have the iPhone by next summer,' says Noss. 'That kind of holdback of iconic devices is beginning to make less and less [business] sense.'"