While Facebook might be acquiring WhatsApp for a hefty $16 billion, it looks like the messaging application company might not be too good with encrypting its messages. With over 450 million active users, this becomes quite the user base for government spies, hackers, and more.
WhatsApp's use of secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption is meant to support version 2 of the protocol, which is capable of being hacked into, and monitored by a third-party. The messages being flown back and forth between WhatsApp users can even be manipulated. WhatsApp has failed to use a technique known as certificate pinning, which is designed to block attacks using forged certificates to bypass Web encryption.
Pinning allows an app to work only when communicating with a server using a specific certificate, and because this certificate is hardwired into the app, it will simply reject connections with any other attempts of a false certificate. Security consultancy firm Praetorian, has chimed in, with Paul Jauregui writing: "This is the kind of stuff the NSA would love. It basically allows them-or an attacker-to man-in-the-middle the connection and then downgrade the encryption so they can break it and sniff the traffic. These security issues put WhatsApp user information and communications at risk".
Mobile video editing company muvee recently announced its muvee Action Studio app for Google Android users looking to edit GoPro videos.
The app allows users to enjoy Fast Mode, Automatic Mode, and Pro Mode editing settings to quickly and easily edit videos from their mobile device. Fast Mode edits videos without decoding them, allowing users to trim and splice videos together; Automatic Mode has a unique setting that allows the app to cut videos to music tracks; and Pro Mode allows shots to be refocused, reframed, with a wider selection of editing tools available.
"I was snowboarding in Lake Tahoe with my GoPro and wanted to quickly put some highlight clips together to music and post on YouTube," said Terence Swee, muvee founder and CEO, in a press statement. "I did not want to bring a PC along with all the other equipment I was already lugging. I then realized that there must be a ton of GoPro users who are out mountain biking, diving, surfing or kayaking... in places where you don't want to bring a PC. But we always have our phones with us. I thought: 'I should be able to edit my GoPro videos on my phone immediately!' Now we can."
The now Facebook-owned WhatsApp has just come back online after a four-hour outage, with the company taking to Twitter of all places to confirm that the outage was indeed happening.
The messaging company posted on Twitter that the service was back online, where it said: "WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime...". It is all back up and running now, with "server issues" being blamed on the four-hour downtime of the messaging service.
VideoLAN crew worked on Windows 8, RT and phone app version of VLC player with the help of Kickstarter fundraiser. After a year's time, the group's hardwork paid off as its player has finally received approval, and soon will be listed in Windows app Store.
The VLC player will be released for Windows 8, 8.1 and RT. After the release, the company will be starting to work on the windows mobile version of the app. The BETA version had several audio issues, along with other development issues for the Windows OS.
While the Angry Bird craze has mostly come to an end, Rovio is still partnering with big name brands to use its game as a marketing platform. Today the company announced that Angry Birds Rio has been updated to version 2.0 for both Android and iOS to celebrate the upcoming premier of Rio 2, the sequel to Rio, a animated movie from Blue Sky Studios.
With the original Angry Birds Rio seeing millions of downloads, Rovio and Blue Sky Studios teamed up again to create some hype for the April 11th debut of the Rio 2 movie. Unfortunately with the game not as popular as before, I really do not see it gaining as much traction as it did the first time around. I spent many hours playing Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars, but I never could get into Angry Birds Rio. I will most likely download it tonight and spend a few minutes trying it out before bed though.
Don't you just hate it when you are out somewhere and you want to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, but you need the login details and all that? It can get annoying when you need your e-mail or Facebook fix.
Well, it looks like the folks over at Google might have a fix for that, in the form of a new app that would "automatically authenticate and connect to its free hotspots inside Starbucks stores or wherever they are available". Google has started this already, moving itself into Starbucks franchises across the United States, replacing AT&T as the official Wi-Fi partner.
Still, logging into a Google hotspot still requires authentication. This new app that Google is working on, would retain your Google account information, logging you in automatically as soon as your phone is near the hotspot. We might not see the app released, ever, but it would be nice of Google to maybe bake this into the next release of Android.
The tech world is still shocked this morning at yesterday's news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion, and now new details have emerged that suggest that Facebook was not the only one looking to buy the worlds largest instant messaging service. A new report from Fortune says that WhatsApp turned down an offer of $10 billion from Google when the offer did not include a seat on Google's board of directors.
The report also says that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zukerberg, made the $16 billion offer to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on the 9th of February and the pair finalized the deal just five days later. The deal was reportedly sealed on Valentines day, when Koum arrived at the Zuckerberg home and interrupted a dinner between Mark and his wife. After finalizing things over chocolate covered strawberries, Koum walked away with a seat on Facebook's board and a few billion dollars richer.
WhatsApp is the largest messaging service in the world and today the biggest social network in the world took notice. Today Facebook filed a document with the SEC that confirms the massive acquisition which was valued at $16 billion in cash and stock. Facebook says that WhatsApp will remain independent from Facebook and its competing messenger app, and the acquisition is part of Facebook's ongoing plan to connect the world with each other.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, "WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."
In the wake of Flappy Bird being pulled from the mobile app scene, both Google and Apple have now began to deny entry to any app with the word Flappy in its title from being uploaded to their respective app marketplaces. Both companies made the decision to ban further apps from being uploaded if they had "Flappy" in the title due to the sheer number of clones popping up, many of which featured ad baiting, or even malware.
Unfortunately, many of the apps that made it into the mix before the ban was enacted will be allowed to stay, so it is up to users to report any apps that do not feature a legit game. Apple's has additional reason for banning the "Flappy" clones as well, saying that it has a strict policy against clone apps that "leverage" the success of a popular app. It's been a little more than a week since Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, pulled the app because it was proving to be too addictive to its users, and with more clones popping up every day, I feel that Apple and Google made the right move here.
Purchasing and downloading e-books can evolve from periodic book enjoyment to costly activity, though the changing industry has churned out new unlimited e-book services.
The Scribd e-book service with 100,000+ book titles is $8.99 per month that can be read - and some purchased - though don't expect to see any recent best sellers available. The Oyster e-book service is $9.95 per month and has a simple UI, though doesn't allow users to add or remove items from the reading list without Wi-Fi connection.
The current book industry has struggled in the traditional format, with Borders shuttering years ago, and Barnes & Noble fighting for survival. U.S. book store sales have dropped 22 percent over the past five years, and it seems like it will be difficult to stop the continued bleeding in the future. If consumers don't want an e-book version of a new title, simply buying online from a service such as Amazon provides cheaper prices and fast delivery times.
Image sharing websites such as Flickr, Imgur, and Photobucket have all grown in popularity over the last year as camera's on mobile devices get better with every revision, but popular photo sharing service 500px has up until now, refused to allow mobile images to be uploaded to its servers. This ban on mobile images is mainly because the website takes pride in offering high-quality images, something many smartphones still lack.
That all changes today! This morning, 500px announced that it has updated its iOS app and now allows the uploading of images from iPhone and iPad devices. The company says that users should not worry about an influx of low-quality images, and instead should remember the way 500px thrives based on its community. The company says that the new upload feature only allows quick uploading of images taken from a stand-alone camera via an SD to iPhone and iPad adapter. This means that images taken with the iPhone and iPad can not be uploaded directly from the app, thus keeping low-quality images out of the system.
No word was given on when this feature may be released on Android, but with the recent influx of Dual USB Drives for PC and Mobile popping up, I am sure it wont take long before the Android version of the app gets updated. As an ex-professional photographer, and someone who still shoots professionally on the side, I feel this is a good choice for 500px. Opening the service up to allow images from mobile devices themselves would simply inundate the system with very few good photos, and would flood it mediocre to poor images.
The Verge is reporting from unnamed sources that Microsoft is "seriously considering" adding support for Android apps to its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems.
Tom Warren, reporting with The Verge, says that the move could see Microsoft position itself better in the market with Android apps, as a "Band-Aid" for its Windows Phone apps, or lack thereof. We've seen this before, with BlackBerry providing compatibility for Android apps on BlackBerry 10 devices.
The one stopping block for Android apps on Windows would be the lack of Google Play Services, so we won't see the same APIs as an "official" Google Android device. We are seeing more and more love for Windows + Android love, but would this be enough?
This morning we are getting some insight into why one of the most popular apps in recent months was abruptly pulled from the market despite it earning its creator more than $50,000 per day. In an interview with Forbes, Flappy Bird creator Dong Ngueyen, said that he made the decision to pull the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play because it has became addictive for so many players.
"Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," said Nguyen. "But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it's best to take down Flappy Bird. It's gone forever." He went on to say that he could not sleep due to the pressure and the stress that the games success was causing him, and that even though it is gone, the game has given him new found confidence. Unfortunately the decision to pull the game has given profiteers new confidence as well with several knock offs popping up as well as iPhone 5S models with Flappy Bird installed popping up on eBay for tens of thousands of dollars.
While Flappy Bird may be gone from the App Store, its still available on thousands of iPhones around the world. With Flappy Birds quick rise in popularity combined with its abrupt end, there is no doubt that there are those who are willing to pay handsomely for a copy of the game they never got to download.
After the game was pulled from both marketplaces yesterday, iPhone's began popping up on eBay with the game installed. Surprisingly many of these phones quickly sold for anywhere between $400 to upwards of $2000, but the biggest surprise came when one phone quickly climbed to $10,000 and continued to rise from there. At the time of this writing, the price is sitting at $99,000 with 74 bids in total and over six days left on its auction clock.
I have bid on some crazy stupid stuff on eBay before, but spending $100,000 on an iPhone to be able to play a simple game that amounts to noting more than a rip-off of a rip-off takes the cake. In my town, $100k will buy you a fairly new 1500 square foot home, with enough left over for an economy-class car. On a side note, if anyone is looking for a slightly used HTC One with Flappy Bird installed, I know where one might be for sale for a cool $98,000.
We told you it was happening, but now it has happened: Flappy Bird is no longer available through Google and Apple's respective online stores, just days after the game's developer said he'd pull the game.
If you have Flappy Bird installed on your device, you can still play it, but you won't be able to enjoy updates to the game, or download it onto another device unfortunately. Hopefully this hasn't made you too mad, but the hoopla surrounding this little game sure has set the Internet on fire.
Apple has laid down its final judgement on Bitcoins, and things are not looking good for iOS users who dabble in the crypto-currency. Today Apple removed the final Bitcoin wallet app from the App Store. The app was named Blockchain which was not the largest to get removed,but Apple axed it without warning.
This caused a major uproar with iOS users who was using Blockchain as their Bitcoin wallet. The uproar has been so great that one Reddit user, u/round-peg, posted an offer to give a new Nexus 5 to the first five people who smashed their iPhones in rage over the Blockchain app being removed from the app store. As you would expect, smashed iPhone images soon began showing up. Blockchain says that Apple banned Bitcoin wallet apps because they felt that the crypto-currency threatened their own payment system, causing Apple to do what it does best, restrict its users. "The only thing that has changed is that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system," said Blockchain.
Last month we saw Square Enix launch Final Fantasy VI onto the Android platform, and were promised that the game would arrive on iOS soon. Today that day has come. Final Fantasy VI was released to the Apple App Store for download on iPhone and iPad. The game is sure to be met with great fanfare as the Final Fantasy series has a following unlike no other dating all the way back to the original NES system.
Final Fantasy VI on iOS and Android is part of a recent string of re-releases from the series onto mobile platforms. While some have not done well as others, FFVI should do quite well as it is considered one of the better games of the series. Unfortunately, at $15.99 the game does cost more than many are willing to spend on a game where many of its competitors are either free or cost less than a dollar. If you would like to check the game out, head over to the App Store and Google Play links below.
An app for Google's wearable Glass device, NameTag, is capable of taking pictures of strangers' faces, scanning online databases, and coming back with a match.
Information on that person is then displayed in front of you on your Glass unit, in a very discrete manner. With Glass, you could scan someones face without them knowing, but it isn't just for creeps. It is useful for meetings and social gatherings, where you might not know someone - Glass can take care of it for you, snapping a photo and searching online databases (Facebook and the like). It will then display the information on that person, such as their name, position, company they work for, and so on.
Privacy concerns are there, but there are also cameras on virtually every corner, too.
SwiftKey is my default keyboard choice on Android, but with Apple not accepting third-party keyboards on iOS, it makes it hard to enjoy SwiftKey's incredible work on Apple's mobile OS, until now.
SwiftKey has been sneaky, releasing SwiftKey Note onto iOS, a note-taking app that is available for free from the App Store. SwiftKey Note is integrated with Evernote, with SwiftKey's predictive keyboard magic sprinkled on top. The application will predict words as you type them, as well as providing three alternative words in a bar above the keyboard.
The app will continuously learn your typing habits, so that it can make you type your notes much faster. One of the bigger features missing from SwiftKey Note is Flow, but this might all change in the near future - we hope.
Facebook is making lots of news today following its fourth quarter financial statement that was released yesterday. During his call to investors, Mark Zuckerberg, said that the social network will be taking its popular Graph Search feature to the mobile realm "pretty soon."
Graph search is one of my favorite features added to Facebook in 2013, and in fact, I use it several times a day to locate information on friends, industry leaders, and even trends in the technology world. Graph Search has been open to the public for just over a year now, and its move to mobile has been slow, and rightfully slow. Zuckerberg said that indexing more than a trillion connections and status updates is quite complex and takes time to get right.
"Pretty soon, I think, you should expect us to roll out the mobile version of this,"(speaking about Graph Search on mobile) said Zuckerberg. "I think that that's going to be an important step, because most of the usage of Facebook overall is on mobile, so we expect that that's where engagement will really start to come from on Graph Search over time."
Facebook has just launched a new iPhone app called Paper, a new standalone app for the social network that is more like a news reading app than purely a social network. Paper uses the traditional Facebook News Feed, but recreates it in a more immersive, full-sized experience.
The new app does away with nearly all of usual buttons, and UI styles for a much cleaner, bigger status update, photos, and news stories. If you tilt your iPhone, Facebook will adjust themselves, something the team calls the "Ken turns" effect. UI elements simply face away, with news stories displayed in a much different manner. Facebook has pumped over nine months into the new iPhone exclusive app, which is also locked to the US market for now. No one outside of the US market will have access to it, for now.
Paper brings forth a new venture for Facebook, where the main screen now displays completely different content. It will feel more like Flipboard infused with Facebook, made for the iPhone. A new compose screen is bought into play, where you can view the exact end product before making it live. Facebook says: "it's a publishing tool, a way of publishing great content, and a way of viewing great content".