ars technica

The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5961716/the-nexus-4-does-have-lte-its-just-not-switched-on

The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It’s Just Not Switched OnFollowing that iFixit teardown of the Nexus 4, it looks like LG and Google did kit out their new flagship with LTE after all—at least, there’s a Qualcomm multi-band LTE chip in there—it’s just not active. But why whack in a 4G chip and not bother to use it?

There are a couple of theories. The first is network restriction: perhaps one or more mobile carriers have called dibs on an LTE-equipped version to be “released” at a later date. Another theory, as suggested by Ars Technica is that LG’s just left the chip in there as a throw over from the Optimus G, on which the Nexus 4 is based, to reduce manufacturing streams. That’s possible, but why put a chip in there that costs you extra cash if you weren’t going to use it?

On the bright side, perhaps now we’ll have a reason for people to actually root stock Android. Maybe, just maybe, someone will be able to activate that dormant LTE chip and gift the Nexus 4 with 4G. That really would make Google’s flagship absolutely killer. [iFixit via Ars Technica]


The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE, It’s Just Not Switched OnOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Monday, November 19th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5920983/how-winamp-disappeared-into-obscurity

How Winamp Disappeared Into ObscurityThis year marks the 15th birthday of Winamp. During that time it went from being a must-have piece of software to languishing in complete obscurity. But where did it all go wrong?

Ars Technica has a wonderful feature which explores exactly that question. From the piece:

Prior to Winamp, there wasn’t much available beyond Windows Media Player or RealPlayer. But none of those players could, in the mid-1990s, do something as basic as playlists, much less visualizations and custom skins, nor were they as tightly and efficiently programmed as Winamp. Even today, the Mac version of the Winamp installer is only 4.2MB; by comparison, the iTunes Mac installer comes in at a whopping 170MB.

The Windows Advanced Multimedia Products (WinAMP) player was released to the world on April 21, 1997. The next year, when its parent company Nullsoft formally incorporated, Winamp became $10 shareware. But no one pays for shareware, right? Wrong.

“Nothing ever was broken [if you didn't pay], there was no feature that was unlocked,” Rob Lord told Ars. “In that year before we were acquired, we were bringing in $100,000 a month from $10 checks-paper checks in the mail!”

In fact, Winamp proved to be a huge success, and in many ways was the piece of software that naturalized the use of MP3s, by making it easy to rip, store and manage them, all from one piece of software. So successful was it, in fact, that eventually AOL acquired the company in June 1999 for somewhere in the region of $80-$100 million.

What followed, however, isn’t a pretty story. Through horrendous mismanagement, AOL throttled the creativity of the Winamp team:

“There’s no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition,” Rob Lord, the first general manager of Winamp, and its first-ever hire, told Ars.

Justin Frankel, Winamp’s primary developer, seems to concur in an interview he gave to BetaNews. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) “I’m always hoping that they will come around and realize that they’re killing [Winamp] and find a better way, but AOL always seems too bogged down with all of their internal politics to get anything done,” he said.

Later, of course, came iTunes, at a time when Winamp was already beginning to struggle, to further compound the problem. Over time, Winamp’s success dwindled, and its development staff left. Nowadays, Winamp still exists—it just has an incredibly small, stagnated user base.

Of course, the story is complex, and can’t be done justice here with simply a few quotes, so you should head over to Ars Technica and take a read for yourself. [Ars Technica]

Image by uzi978 under Creative Commons license

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Exploit uses firewalls to hijack smartphones, turns friends into foes

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/22/exploit-uses-firewalls-to-hijack-smartphones/

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Normally, firewalls at cellular carriers are your best friends, screening out malware before it ever touches your phone. University of Michigan computer science researchers have found that those first lines of defense could be your enemy through a new exploit. As long as a small piece of malware sits on a device, that handset can infer TCP data packet sequence numbers coming from the firewall and hijack a phone’s internet traffic with phishing sites, fake messages or other rogue code. The trick works on at least 48 carriers that use firewalls from Check Point, Cisco, Juniper and other networking heavy hitters — AT&T being one of those providers. Carriers can turn the sequences off, although there are consequences to that as well. The only surefire solution is to either run antivirus apps if you’re on a mobile OS like Android or else to run a platform that doesn’t allow running unsigned apps at all, like iOS or Windows Phone. Whether or not the exploit is a serious threat is still far from certain, but we’ll get a better sense of the risk on May 22nd, when Z. Morley Mao and Zhiyun Qian step up to the podium at an IEEE security symposium and deliver their findings.

Exploit uses firewalls to hijack smartphones, turns friends into foes originally appeared on Engadget on T! ue, 22 M ay 2012 03:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Ars Technica  |  sourceUniversity of Michigan (PDF)  | Email this | Comments

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

CSIRO snatches $220m windfall in WiFi patent dispute with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/02/csiro-snatches-220m-windfall-in-wifi-patent-dispute/

Australia's CSRIO snatches $220m windfall in WiFi patent dispute with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization keeps bowling ‘em over – in the courtroom, anyway — with its hardy WiFi patent. The government-funded research group has chalked up another $220 million win after AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Acer, Lenovo and Sony each agreed to establish licenses with the litigious group. CSIRO now holds agreements with 23 companies and has pocketed more than $430 million from its courtroom activities. Australian Senator Chris Evans estimates that 90 percent of the industry is now paying licensing fees for the technology, but with the patent set to expire next year, we’d be mighty paranoid to be among that final ten percent. You’ll find the full PR, chock-full of Aussie pride, after the break.

Continue reading CSIRO snatches $220m windfall in WiFi patent dispute with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon

CSIRO snatches $220m windfall in WiFi patent dispute with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 02 Apr 2012 22:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

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