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Stanford researchers are trying to act like the NSA in order to learn about the NSA. Researchers Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler created MetaPhone, an Android app which collects a phone’s metadata and compares it to basic information on Facebook. After learning that the NSA collects phone metadata from Verizon such as calling and texting logs, the researchers wanted to test how revealing this metadata is. “Some defenders of the NSA’s bulk collection programs have taken the position that metadata is not revealing,” Jonathan Mayer told MIT Technology Review. “We want to provide empirical evidence on the issue.… Our hypothesis is that phone metadata is packed with meaning.” MetaPhone, which is free to download from the Google Play store, acts similarly to the
2012 was a bad year for HTC, 2013 has been even worse and 2014 may be the worst yet. Focus Taiwan points us to a recent research note from Morgan Stanley that projects HTC’s smartphone shipments will fall by an additional 33% year-over-year in 2014 largely because the company can’t keep up with Apple and Samsung in the over-saturated high-end market and because it doesn’t have a strong strategy for selling devices in the low-end market. This comes as particularly unwelcome news for HTC, which reported a quarterly loss of $100 million in Q3 2013 and has been seeing its employees jump ship by allegedly stealing its trade secrets and selling them to a municipal government in China. If things
Samsung’s marketing Death Star can’t buy it the kind of hype that Apple’s iPhone generates with every new release… although it is coming close. A new study from eBay Deals has found that the iPhone 5 on the whole generated more social media buzz than the Galaxy S4 did this year, although Samsung’s newest flagship phone certainly did come on strong as Apple’s biggest contender among smartphone fans this year. In looking at data for Google Images searches for smartphones, eBay Deals discovered that the iPhone 5 only slightly beat out the Galaxy S4 for daily searches after the hype of the phones’ initial launch periods died down. No other smartphones that eBay Deals looked at came close to matching the iPhone 5
Google is joining in on the Black Friday festivities by announcing its Google Play store Cyber Weekend Deals on Friday. Android users can find great deals on music, books, TV, movies, and apps. Some of the best deals on the Google Play store include Kanye West’s Yeezus for $1.99, and each Lord of the Rings movie for $1.99. In addition, is offering a $25 Google Play store credit for anyone who buys a Nexus 7, which is unfortunately itself not on sale. Google did not specify how long this particular deal will last, only saying that it is “for a limited time.” Google’s Nexus 7 deal is similar to Apple’s Black Friday offer of Apple gift cards instead of discounts with the
Samsung announced earlier this month that the Tizen Association had gained 36 powerful friends in the tech industry, but its latest partner might be the most valuable addition yet. According to a report at ZDNet Korea, Samsung’s Chief Secretary Wonsuk Lee revealed that the company will be working closely with Mozilla to foster a relationship between Tizen OS and Firefox OS. Speaking at an HTML5 conference, Lee said that both Tizen and Firefox support HTML5 development, so any apps created for one OS could be made available on the other. Although Samsung has still yet to announce a date for the first Tizen phone, Lee did say that Tizen should launch in the first half of 2014.
BlackBerry’s handset sales have been an absolute horror show this year but the company may get an unexpected boost going forward thanks to an unlikely source. Writing over at FirstPost, Ivor Soans notes that many governments around the world are still hopping mad about revelations on the National Security Agency’s vast data collection practices and thus may take a second look at BlackBerry devices and services as their only truly secure option that American spies can’t hack into. “And as most Chief Information Officers will attest, on the mobility front, BlackBerry is the Gold Standard when it comes to security,” writes Soans. “According to a blog post by George Kesarios, as a result of the NSA revelations, the Apple iPhone
Hidden code in the latest Android app provides new information as to what to expect from YouTube's music streaming service, including its name. Thanks to the code-uncovering excellence of Android Police, we have more information on what to expect from YouTube's music streaming service. Code contained within the latest version of the YouTube for Android app hints that the service will be called Music Pass and, as suggested by Billboard, will support offline playback -- i.e., it will buffer tracks and cache them on a device so no internet connection is required. And, like the dedicated music players on Android devices, YouTube's streaming service will work in the background, meaning that users will be able to listen to music while running other apps.
Rockstar Games on Tuesday announced that its popular “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” console game will be available on mobile devices this December. The game will work on select iOS 7, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone devices, although the developer has not revealed launch dates or prices for either of these platforms yet. According to the developer, the mobile version of the game has been upgraded, featuring “newly remastered graphics including dynamic and detailed shadows, grater draw distance, an enriched color palette,” and enhanced character and car models. Rockstar Games has also announced that the iOS 7 version of the game will launch with full support for mobile gaming controllers. The original “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” game was