Score a Pebble Time for $149.99 ($50 discount)

pebble time review aa (9 of 17)

There’s plenty of smartwatches out there; some are fancy, some are flashy and some will do everything you can think of, but most also share a common caveat – their battery will run out in no time. This is why I am a huge fan of Pebble‘s wearables. Thanks to their simpler operation and resourceful e-ink displays, these bad boys can come close to a full week of usage on a single charge!

The newer Pebble Time even has a color e-paper panel that makes things a little more fun without sacrificing on battery, but it doesn’t come too cheap at $199.99. If you have been hoping to get a deal on it, be sure to take advantage of today’s. In fact, this may be the best deal we have seen on the Pebble Time!

Also read:

pebble time review aa (7 of 17)

Both Amazon and the official Pebble site are now selling the Time for $50 off, making the final price a very convenient $149.99. This specific gadget managed to get a 9/10 score in our review, so you best be sure it is worth your… time. In fact, we found very little to complain about. Our main gripes are the thicker bezel and the lack of attractive replacement bands.

We are not sure when a similar deal will show up, so if you have been looking for a smartwatch with formidable battery life, you best take advantage of this offer. We also don’t know if this price cut is temporal or not, but I would assume it is. Who’s signing up?

Buy the Pebble Time from Amazon
Buy Pebble Time from the official website

 

Blackberry Priv’s Bootloader is Not Unlockable

BlackBerry Details How They Secure Android with the PRIV

A recent Android Central interview with BlackBerry’s President of Devices brings us a ton of insight into the company’s decisions regarding the Priv. According to BlackBerry, the move to Android was necessary to address the “app gap” plaguing the BlackBerry ecosystem. Regarding security, BlackBerry promises frequent and speedy security updates but reveals that the device’s bootloader cannot be unlocked. Knowing Android developers, it’s only a matter of time until this statement is tested!

Snag a brand new Nexus Player for only $38, but supply is limited [DEALS]

nexus-player-hero

If you hurry, you can pick up a brand new Android TV-powered Nexus Player for only $39.99 on Groupon ($38 with coupon code: VISA5). That’s a pretty steep discount considering it’s normally priced at $100 on the Google Store. Here’s what you’ll be getting:

Nexus Player specs

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system (OS)
  • Remote control with voice search
  • 1.8GHz quad-core processor
  • Intel Atom Imagination PowerVR Series 6 graphics 2D/3D engine
  • 1GB RAM system memory
  • 8GB onboard storage
  • WiFi 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • HDMI with 1080p full-HD output (1920×1080 x 60Hz
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Google Cast supported operating systems: Android 2.3 and higher, iOS 7 and higher, Windows 7 and higher, Mac OS 10.7 and higher,
  • Chrome OS v38 and higher
  • Requirements: HDTV with HDMI input, HDMI cable, Internet connectivity (WiFi only)

The Nexus Player could make a great gift if you were stumped on what you’ll be buying a loved one this holiday season. Groupon says they only have a limited quantity and with over 910 already claimed — you’d best make haste. Link provided below.

[Groupon]

Lookout Discovers Trojanized Adware that Secretly Acquires Root Access

lookout

Publicly available root exploits are a godsend to consumers whose devices are locked. Exploits such as Towelroot easily enabled any user running on Android version KitKat and below to acquire root access with the click of a button. However, these methods are considered “exploits” for a reason.

If an application like Towelroot can exploit your device’s firmware to enable root access, what’s preventing a malicious third-party application obtaining root access by tricking you? After all, thanks to these exploits an application doesn’t have to ask the user to grant it root if it can simply enable it on its own.

OEMs constantly update their supported devices to stamp out these exploits, but often there are simply too many devices to maintain. In addition, new exploits are discovered  on a regular basis (some of which we may not even be aware of!) leading to a never ending battle between hackers looking to target people’s personal and financial details and OEMs looking to protect their customers. It’s an OEMs worst nightmare to see hackers target their customers, and there’s little they can do if those hackers go after the customers that aren’t upgrading their devices or aren’t sticking to first party application stores.

Trojanized Adware

Mobile security firm Lookout has just confirmed these fears in a blog-post that unveils the widespread use of trojanized adware to automatically gain root access upon user installation. The security researchers discovered over 20,000 applications that include a form of trojanized adware, some of which masquerade as popular apps like CandyCrush, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. These infected applications are often ripped straight from the Google Play Store and repackaged with the adware to target unsuspecting users in third-party app stores. Unlike most annoying adware attacks that can be quelled by uninstalling the responsible app, these trojans utilize root access to install themselves as system apps, preventing their uninstallation using normal means.

Lookout’s research led it to discover three interconnected families of adware – Shuanet, Kemoge, and Shedun. Though it’s hard to say whether or not these three adware groups are directly related, it’s clear that there was at least some collaboration involved given that these adware share much of their code as well as utilizing most of the same publicly available root exploits. Lookout discovered that these adware affect users in a wide variety of areas, which is unsurprising given the large number of third-party application repositories that are out there. However, the company did not indicate whether or not any of they made their way onto the Google Play Store. That’s not to say it’s not possible though, as Lookout itself previously discovered.

What to Expect

If you’re using a current generation device and have kept your device up-to-date (whether officially or unofficially), you’re unlikely to currently be at risk to any of these exploits — especially if you are an educated user. However, as new exploits are discovered this may not hold true. The best that you can do is to only install applications from trusted sources and developers whenever possible (and no, an antivirus program such as Lookout will not be able to do much for you here). If you do fall victim to an attack by a trojanized adware, your only options to get rid of it manually is to remove the app yourself using root access or to flash the stock firmware from the manufacturer, overwriting the system partition.

This problem affects more than just the user – it has a ripple effect on the entire ecosystem. Users with compromised devices may pose a security threat to their places of employment if a malicious actor can access enterprise apps. Developers of popular apps will suffer a hit in their reputation if they get blamed for adware they had no part in spreading. OEMs will suffer from users swearing off their latest devices due to having a poor user experience for reasons they do not understand. We hope that discoveries such as this will make OEMs take security more seriously for ALL of their devices, not just their flagship ones.

 

Expedia just bought an Airbnb competitor for $3.9 billion

Expedia, the parent company to some of the world’s largest travel sites, is buying short-term rental site HomeAway for $3.9 billion, a move that further solidifies its spot at the center of online travel. The deal, announced today and agreed upon by both companies’ boards, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Expedia paid $38.31 for each share of the Austin, Texas-based HomeAway, marking the largest-ever acquisition for the travel site. HomeAway investors responded favorably to the news, sending its shares up $6.88, or roughly 22 percent, in after-hours trading. “We have long had our eyes on the fast-growing $100 billion alternative accommodations space and have been building on our partnership with HomeAway, a global…

Continue reading…