Category Archives: Phones & Gadgets

Apple’s Group FaceTime service will remain offline until next week after privacy bug

Category : Apple , Phones & Gadgets , Tech

Apple’s Group FaceTime service will remain offline until next week — longer than it had previously promised — as it fixes a privacy bug.
The security flaw allowed callers to eavesdrop on iPhone and iPad owners.
AFP or licensors Apple disabled its Group FaceTime service after a customer reported a security flaw[/caption]
This was deeply embarrassing for the iPhone maker, which touts privacy as one of its biggest differentiators.
Apple was notified of the problem by customer Michele Thompson more than a week before the story broke in the press, at which point the company disabled the feature.
At that time, Apple said a software update would address the issue before the end of this week — a deadline it has now pushed back.
“We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week,” Apple said in a statement yesterday.

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“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.”
Apple apologised to users and acknowledged it needs to improve the way it handles reports of security problems by customers.

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Bad Android battery life? You should DELETE these 22 ‘criminal’ apps right now

ANDROID phone owners are being warned over 22 dodgy apps that drain your battery life – and could land you with a big phone bill.
The “clickfraud” apps pretend to be normal apps on the Google Play Store, but secretly perform criminal actions out of sight.
The dodgy apps appeared to have perfectly normal functionality, but were actually “criminal”, researchers saySophos
Experts at security firm Sophos found 22 such apps, which had been collectively downloaded more than 22million times.
This includes one illicit flashlight app that had racked up 1million downloads – before being yanked from Google’s Play Store.
The apps create invisible ads and trick advertisers into thinking you’ve clicked the, to make money.
Sometimes the ads will even pretend you’re clicking from an Apple device, in hopes of making more money.
One dodgy flashlight app had more than a million downloadsSophos
The ads never actually appear for the user – which means they’re not annoyed by them
Instead, the ads appear in a hidden browser window.
The malware then simulates a user interacting with the ad, tricking it into thinking the interaction was legitimate.
This means the people running the dodgy apps make more money.
It’s also bad news for users, as researchers explain: “From the user’s perspective, these apps drain their phone’s battery and may cause data overages as the apps are constantly running and communicating with servers in the background.”
The apps contained fraudulent code that tricked advertisers into handing over cashSophos
But for normal users without technical knowledge, it would be very hard to spot something was amiss.
Warning signs would be increased data usage and fast-draining battery life – but pinning those to the dodgy apps would be hard.
This creates another big problem: user reviews.
Many of the apps had barely any negative comments, because users don’t know anything is amiss. This means more people are likely to download the apps in future.
Reviews for the apps were positive, because users didn’t know what was happening behind the scenesSophos

Dodgy apps REVEALED

These are the apps you should uninstall right now…

Sparkle FlashLight – com.sparkle.flashlight
Snake Attack – com.mobilebt.snakefight
Math Solver – com.mobilebt.mathsolver
ShapeSorter – com.mobilebt.shapesorter
Tak A Trip – com.takatrip.android
Magnifeye – com.magnifeye.android
Join Up – com.pesrepi.joinup
Zombie Killer – com.pesrepi.zombiekiller
Space Rocket – com.pesrepi.spacerocket
Neon Pong – com.pesrepi.neonpong
Just Flashlight – app.mobile.justflashlight
Table Soccer – com.mobile.tablesoccer
Cliff Diver – com.mobile.cliffdiver
Box Stack – com.mobile.boxstack
Jelly Slice – net.kanmobi.jellyslice
AK Blackjack – com.maragona.akblackjack
Color Tiles – com.maragona.colortiles
Animal Match – com.beacon.animalmatch
Roulette Mania – com.beacon.roulettemania
HexaFall – com.atry.hexafall
HexaBlocks – com.atry.hexablocks
PairZap – com.atry.pairzap

“The only effects a user might notice is that the apps would use a significantly greater amount of data, at all times, and consume the phone’s battery power at a more rapid rate that the phone would otherwise require,” researchers explained.
“Because consumers would not be able to correlate these effects to the apps themselves, their Play Market reviews for these apps showed few negative comments.”
Google removed the dodgy apps from the Play Store on the week of November 25.
But the apps can still operate if you’ve already got them installed, so we recommend deleting them now.

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This isn’t the first time dodgy Android apps have been revealed.
In November, The Sun reported on dangerous apps that could steal your bank info and send fake texts.
And that same month, we shed light on 35 fake security apps in the Google Play Store.
Did you have any of these apps installed? Let us know in the comments!

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Why some people are always top on your Instagram Story views – and there’s a good reason

Category : Phones & Gadgets , Tech

IF the same people keep popping up at the top of your Instagram Story views there may be a good reason why.
While a theory exists that it may have to do with who stalks you the most there are actually several factors at play.
Your Instagram story feed is ordered, in part, by your Facebook activityAlamy
The people who appear at the top of your watched list has nothing to do with who watched it first, The Metro reports.
In fact there are a few different factors involved when it comes to how the social media site displays the views.
One of those is who you interact with the most through likes, page views, and story views.
The algorithm also looks at people you message and comment on.
As Instagram is owned by Facebook your interactions there are also looked at.
Julian Gutman, product lead at Instagram Home told The Verge: “The people that show up on that list are not the people that stalk you the most – it is actually based on your activity and the people that you are closest to.”
Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, just two years after the photo-sharing app launchedGetty Images – Getty

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The Sun Online revealed last month that the tracks the amount of time you spend looking at people’s posts – to help rank your photo feed better.
When Instagram first launched in 2010, photos and videos would appear in the order that they were posted.
Then in July 2016, Instagram changed this for an algorithm-based system that ranked posts based on how much you were likely to enjoy them – taking them out of time order.

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Sony Xperia XZ3 is on sale TODAY – and it’s got a big advantage over Apple’s new iPhone XS

Category : Phones & Gadgets , Sony , Tech

SONY’S latest smartphone is now available to buy in the UK – and it’s seriously tempting.
The Sony Xperia XZ3’s big advantage is its £699 price tag, which means it’s far less costly than Apple’s new £999 to £1,449 iPhone XS.
The Sony Xperia XZ3 has a stunning 6-inch OLED displaySony
Sony announced the new Xperia XZ3 towards the end of August, at Berlin’s annual IFA tech show.
The Sun was impressed with the phone – in our first impressions review, we wrote: “Sony continues to impress with its hardware.
“This phone has bleeding edge specs that are hard to beat. It’s got an incredible screen, a top-end processor, and oodles of storage.”
The handset finally went on sale in the UK on Friday, October 5, and is available to buy from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Sky Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and more.
Sony’s new phone has a stereo speaker system that creates a “surround sound” effectSony
Its most impressive feature is a large 6-inch screen with an impressive QHD+ display resolution.
The stunning OLED panel can playing HDR, or High Dynamic Range, content.
You can find HDR movies and TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Video, serving up improved contrast (brighter whites and darker blacks) and a wider range of colours.
The phone also has an impressive “surround sound” effect speaker system, a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and a 19-megapixel camera on the back.
That’s not bad given that the phone only costs £699 – cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S9 (£749), Galaxy Note 9 (£849), and iPhone XR (£749) and iPhone XS (£999).
You can actually get it even cheaper than the R.R.P if you choose the right deal.
For instance, there’s a Mobiles.co.uk offer with Vodafone that gets you the handset for a total bill of £687.

Sony Xperia XZ3 on Vodafone for £23 per month (£135 upfront) – buy now

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That’s based on paying a £135 upfront fee, followed by £23 per month payments for two years.
But you get 4GB of monthly data allowance plus unlimited calls and texts, which makes it a very tempting deal.
After all, if you bought the handset outright at£699, you’d still need to fork out for a SIM.
What do you think of Sony’s new Xperia XZ3? Let us know in the comments!

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