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Archive for the ‘mobile phones’ category

Nov 21, 2019

Google really wants you to hack the Pixel’s Titan M security chip

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, mobile phones

Google has increased the maximum prize for its Android bug bounty program to $1 million for anyone who can compromise the Titan M security chip found in its Pixel phones. The top prize is for a “full chain remote code execution exploit with persistence” of the dedicated security chip. On top of that, there’s an additional 50 percent bonus if a security researcher is able to find an exploit on specific developer preview versions of Android, resulting in a potential prize of $1.5 million. The new rewards take effect starting today.

Introduced with 2018’s Pixel 3, Google’s Titan M security chip cordons off your smartphone’s most sensitive data from its main processor to protect against certain attacks. Google says the chip offers “on-device protection for login credentials, disk encryption, app data, and the integrity of the operating system.” Since its introduction, the chip has also been integrated with Android’s security key functionality where it’s used to store a person’s FIDO credentials. Suffice it to say, the integrity of the Titan M is an important element for the security of recent Pixel devices.

Nov 19, 2019

Google Confirms Android Camera Security Threat: ‘Hundreds Of Millions’ Of Users Affected

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, security

Vulnerabilities in the Google Camera app left hackers able to take photos, and silently record audio and video, even when the phone was locked.

Nov 18, 2019

Chrome, Safari, Edge, Office 365 Hacked During Chinese Contest—But iPhone 11 Attack Fails

Posted by in category: mobile phones

A Chinese contest has pitched the country’s greatest hackers against the world’s leading technologies—and sent a message to the West.

Nov 14, 2019

Google’s new voice recorder app transcribes in real time, even when offline

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI

At Google’s hardware event this morning, the company introduced a new voice recorder app for Android devices, which will tap into advances in real-time speech processing, speech recognition and AI to automatically transcribe recordings in real time as the person is speaking. The improvements will allow users to take better advantage of the phone’s voice recording functionality, as it will be able to turn the recordings into text even when there’s no internet connectivity.

This presents a new competitor to others in voice transcriptions that are leveraging similar AI advances, like Otter.ai, Reason8, Trint and others, for example.

As Google explained, all the recorder functionality happens directly on the device — meaning you can use the phone while in airplane mode and still have accurate recordings.

Nov 14, 2019

Magnets sustainably separate mixtures of rare earth metals

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, economics, mobile phones

A new study describes a novel approach for purifying rare earth metals, crucial components of technology that require environmentally-damaging mining procedures. By relying on the metal’s magnetic fields during the crystallization process, researchers were able to efficiently and selectively separate mixtures of rare earth metals.

Seventy-five of the ’s 118 elements are carried in the pockets and purses of more than 100 million U.S. iPhone users every day. Some of these elements are abundant, like silicon in computer chips or aluminum for cases, but certain metals that are required for crisp displays and clear sounds are difficult to obtain. Seventeen elements known as are crucial components of many technologies but are not found in concentrated deposits, and, because they are more dispersed, require toxic and environmentally-damaging procedures to extract.

With the goal of developing better ways to recycle these metals, new research from the lab of Eric Schelter describes a new approach for separating mixtures of rare earth metals with the help of a . The approach, published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, saw a doubling in separation performance and is a starting point towards a cleaner and more circular rare earth metals economy.

Nov 11, 2019

How Long Before Sodium Batteries Are Worth Their Salt?

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, mobile phones, transportation

Circa 2017


Today, lithium is the active ingredient in batteries that power smart phones, laptops, and cars. But because of the price of lithium, researchers have been looking for another, more abundant element that could replace it. Several start-ups and established companies have tackled the idea of developing rechargeable batteries in which the active ingredient is sodium, lithium’s neighbor on the periodic table.

Besides its availability, sodium has several other important properties—not the least of which is its resistance to catching on fire. What’s more, “It was a good candidate because it could store a similar amount of energy as compared to lithium,” remembers Minah Lee, who does research on sodium batteries at Stanford University.

Continue reading “How Long Before Sodium Batteries Are Worth Their Salt?” »

Nov 7, 2019

Newly Discovered Android Malware Can Survive A Factory Reset

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones

Malware on our smartphones isn’t new, and while there are ways to remove them, in some instances where it is particularly severe, the only way to deal with malware would be to factory reset your phone back to the way it was when it was new. Unfortunately, it seems that there is a new Android malware making its rounds that makes it impossible to remove, even with a factory reset.

Dubbed xHelper, this malware isn’t so much about stealing your phone’s information or sensitive details, but rather, it is designed to continuously serve up popup ads, in which presumably that is how its creators are making money off it. There is one particularly dangerous feature of the malware, which according to ZDNet, would see the malware download and install apps on your behalf.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, as we said, the malware cannot be uninstalled or removed even if you factory reset your phone. According to security companies like Symantec and Malwarebytes, they believe that the reason why this app is so persistent is because of a system app that might have been compromised.

Nov 5, 2019

Apple’s Radical New iPhone Suddenly Takes Shape

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Apple’s biggest iPhone redesign in years has suddenly taken shape…

Nov 5, 2019

Scientists Have Made a Blueprint For a Quantum Battery That Never Loses Charge

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, quantum physics

A team of scientists from the universities of Alberta and Toronto have laid out the blueprints for a “quantum battery” that never loses its charge.

To be clear, this battery doesn’t exist yet — but if they figure out how to build it, it could be a revolutionary breakthrough in energy storage.

“The batteries that we are more familiar with — like the lithium-ion battery that powers your smartphone — rely on classical electrochemical principles, whereas quantum batteries rely solely on quantum mechanics,” University of Alberta chemist Gabriel Hanna said in a statement.

Nov 4, 2019

How we Benefit from Getting our Genomes Sequenced

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, food, genetics, habitats, health, internet, mobile phones

When the first smartphones arrived, few people understood how they would change our reality. Today, our internet-connected mobile device maps our travel, manages our finances, delivers our dinner, and connects us to every corner of human knowledge. In less than a generation, it has become almost an extension of our central nervous system — so indispensable that we can’t imagine leaving home without it to guide us.

We are about to embark on another journey even more important to every individual and to human society. We are entering the age of genomics, an amazing future that will dramatically improve the health outcomes of people across the planet. Soon, we won’t be able to imagine a time when we left home without knowledge of our genome to guide us.

Continue reading “How we Benefit from Getting our Genomes Sequenced” »

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