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Smartphones

Report: NSA Collected Nearly 200M Texts a Day

textdrive304The National Security Agency (NSA) vacuumed up nearly 200 million text messages around the world, according to a new report in the Guardian. The program, Dishfire, used the text messages to dig further into personal details, such as travel plans, location, credit card information and the individual’s contact list.

The most damning bits of the report, though, say the government collected “pretty much everything it can,” including phone metadata from the “untargeted and unwarranted.” In other words, from an average person who isn’t suspected of doing anything wrong. Read more

Starbucks Admits its Payment App Stored Unencrypted Usernames and Passwords

starbucks powermatApp security, and security in general have been a major focus for most developers and retailers, especially since the security hack of Neiman Marcus and Target during the holiday season. Now, the latest, is the negligent storage of usernames and passwords of Starbuck’s payment app, which was reported to be simply accessible by plugging a smartphone into a computer.

The security flaw was first reported by Computer World, on January 15, 2014, which prompted Starbucks to issue the following statement the next day:  Read more

From the Makers of the Walkman: Xperia E1 Smartphone

Sony has released a new smartphone in its Xperia line, the Android-based Xperia E1, and this one is all about the music. The “music-focused” mid-tier phone demonstrates Sony’s “audio heritage” with a louder and clearer listening experience, the company said.

Features like a 100Db speaker and “shake-to-shuffle” controls aim to appeal to music aficionados. More music features, such as playlists, are accessible via the Walkman app. The phone comes loaded with a 30-day free pass to Sony’s Entertainment Network music streaming service. The phone also connects via Bluetooth, so fans can sync their music experience across devices. Read more

TEO: A Smart Bluetooth Padlock Controllable by Phone

Kickstarter’s latest smart lock project is a simple one that lets you control the locking mechanism with your smartphone rather than your keys. It’s perfect for people who are more likely to lose their keys before your smartphone. Like other smart lock technology, this is a battery powered bluetooth device that lets you share and control access to storage spaces or rental cabins.
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Sexting Teenager Charged for Distributing Child Pornography in Canada

558px-Pic-sextingA Canadian teenager has been convicted of child pornography after sharing and distributing nude photos with malicious intent.

The teenager was 16 at the time when she shared nude photos of another girl, which she obtained through her boyfriend, the victim’s ex-boyfriend. In addition to sharing explicit photos, the girl was also charged with “uttering threats” – she threatened to kill the victim if she came to her town and also threatened to murder her unborn child.

The teen’s defense attorney states that they will appeal the conviction, based on the fact that adults can send explicit photos of one another without legal consequences, Further, he claims that child pornography laws were made to protect children not punish them. In this case, the law is doing both. 

Breaking Up with Your Job & Flying Robots: Our Ten Best Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are the most popular AppNewser headlines of the week.

They include an app to find a new job while breaking up with your old one, some great stats from crowd funding platform, Kickstarter, and a surprising rivalry between real life Siri, and make believe Scarlette Johansson, Her. We’re also sharing abonus video of some Drones getting groovy in a synchronized dancing routine (above).

Click here to sign up for AppNewser’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place. Click here to see our list:

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Shocking 15% of UK Women Would Like Proposals Through Their Devices

Statistics and surveys often give numbers that are hard to fathom. Like, 15% of 7,000. That’s the percentage of female respondents in a UK survey who said they would prefer for their potential mate to propose through their tech device. Of those who said they were willing to get digital proposals, 40% wanted it through a social media site and 35% would like it over the phone, and 17% prefers a text message.

Obviously 100% of me disagrees.

howshouldsomebodypropose Read more

AT&T’s New Sponsored Data Shifts Burden of Data Charges From Users to Content Providers

at&t mobile dataAT&T is offering a new Sponsored Data program to lure companies into paying for your data coverage, but who will actually participate? According to AT&T’s tweet, there’s been a few pilot participants, but the coming year may be very interesting for free-to-browse websites and apps.

With the new Sponsored Data service, data charges resulting from eligible uses will be billed directly to the sponsoring company; the customer simply enjoys their content via AT&T’s wireless data network.  Customers will see the service offered as AT&T Sponsored Data, and the usage will appear on their monthly invoice as Sponsored Data.  Sponsored Data will be delivered at the same speed and performance as any non-Sponsored Data content.

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The Best Screen Cover to Protect Your New Mobile Devices

New toys around the holidays can be fun, but if you’re having too much fun, it’s easy to forget to protect them. This is a friendly reminder to invest in our favorite screen covers from Amzer. It won’t turn your smartphone or tablet into an indestructible brick, but it’s well-priced and makes everyday dropping less painful for your phone.
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AT&T Offering Up to $450 to Customers Who Switch From T-Mobile

ATTMobile carrier AT&T is worried about T-mobile enough to incentivize new customers for switching. The latest promotion from AT&T will give any customer $200 bill credit towards their account and an additional $250 value for a trading in a phone. So if you don’t get a new phone through AT&T, you’ll only get the $200 coupon.

Late last year, T-Mobile was rumored to be considering the same tactic, so perhaps this is a preemptive move from AT&T.

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