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Friday, October 31, 2014

How Google tricks itself to protect Chrome user privacy - CNET

It's a sticky issue for software developers: how do you gather data about your product's users without invading their privacy?
One solution, as embodied in a new Google open-source project called Rappor, is to have the software send data that you know is wrong.
That approach may seem counterintuitive, given how much effort data gatherers usually devote to screening out bad data. The key to Google's approach, though, is a trick called randomized response that still lets the truth shine through, according a blog post Thursday by Ăšlfar Erlingsson, a manager in Google's security research division.
How Google tricks itself to protect Chrome user privacy - CNET

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hands on with Google's Nexus 9: This Lollipop tastes like an iPad

"You can taste the iPad influence in Google’s Nexus 9 tablet. Laying eyes on it for the first time, you’d be forgiven for thinking Apple made it. The slim bezel and the 4:3 aspect ratio screen are very iPad, but the display is slightly smaller — 8.9 inches to Apple’s 9.7.

At 15 ounces (425 grams), the Nexus 9 just as light as the iPad Air 2. The metallic rim adds the iPad feel, but I noted one important difference: It's easier to hold the Nexus 9 in one hand. I was able to grasp it more or less comfortably with my fingertips on one side and my thumb on the other, but I'm 6'4" (with what I suspect are normal-sized hands for that height) so your mileage may vary here."

LG G Watch R review - CNET

LG G Watch R review - CNET

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


"WASHINGTON -- The White House computer network has been hit by what appears to be a sustained cyberattack, administration sources told HuffPost.

The White House -- or the Executive Office of the President (EOP) -- regularly gets hit with hapless cyberattacks from all corners of the web, but the one revealed Tuesday, said people familiar with the situation, has been much more significant in duration and strength, putting the system on the fritz for nearly two weeks, if not longer.

A White House official confirmed on Tuesday that the White House had "identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network." Network outages are not uncommon in the White House, but they typically last no more than a few hours. For the system to be damaged for days on end indicates an attack of significant strength.

"Certainly a variety of actors find our networks attractive targets and seek access to sensitive government information. We are still assessing the activity of concern, and we are not in a position to provide any additional details at this time," the White House official said in a statement.

The network outages have been a defense mechanism, White House staff were told in an internal note obtained by HuffPost. "Our computers and systems have not been damaged, though some elements of the unclassified network have been affected. The temporary outages and loss of connectivity that users have been experiencing is solely the result of measures we have taken to defend our networks," the email reads.

White House press pool reports sent by email Tuesday night were "significantly delayed," according to pool reporter Steven T. Dennis of CQ Roll Call. "Some people are getting pool reports significantly before other people," Dennis reported. He said later that the pool report delays "appear to now be resolved."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Amazon’s Kindle Voyage e-reader is the king of its niche | Ars Technica

Most of the time, I’m not sorry that all my dedicated, single-use devices are dead and gone. If you’re carrying a modern smartphone around, why would you miss your Discman, or your portable DVD player, or your dumbphone, or your tape recorder, or your point-and-shoot camera, or your PalmPilot? Not only can one device replace all of them, but that one device is usually better at all of that stuff than most dedicated devices ever were.
Yet there’s something pure about hardware that’s only designed to do one thing, at least when it’s designed well. A gadget that only wants to do a couple of things can tailor itself better to those specific uses while ignoring everything else. Maybe you could get better battery life out of your camera if it didn’t need to be a portable game console and full-featured computer all wrapped up into one....

The Kindle Voyage is the Chromebook Pixel of e-readers. It’s undeniably great hardware, the best in its class and far superior to its older, cheaper cousins. Its screen is good; its backlight works exactly as advertised. It’s just that it’s almost twice as expensive as pretty good hardware that does most of the same stuff. It’s for True Believers for whom price is an afterthought rather than a deciding factor.
If that describes you, you’ll really like the Voyage. It’s attractive and understated, and it retains and improves upon all of the good stuff from other Kindles. It’s just that a dedicated e-reader at this price is the king of a very small hill.
Review: Amazon’s Kindle Voyage e-reader is the king of its niche | Ars Technica

Amazon Kindle Voyage review - CNET

Amazon Kindle Voyage review - CNET