FBI director continues push against Apple & Google on smartphone encryption (Video)

James Comey FBI Director

FBI Director James Comey isn’t backing down from his position that Apple and Google are wrong to encrypt customer smartphone data preventing law enforcement agencies the possibility of access if requested. After last month sharing that the FBI was in talks with the two companies to discuss concerns with marketing devices as being inaccessible to third-parties including the government, the FBI Director spoke with CBS News in an interview where he continued to make the case against such encryption… Read more

iPhone-connected ‘Ambi Climate’ makes your existing air conditioner smart

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We’ve already seen a few companies working to turn our current household appliances– everything from thermostats to crockpots– into smart devices controllable with our smartphones. The latest is a new crowd funding project looking to raise funds for a device that will make any window air conditioner an iPhone-connected device with temperature and other predictive climate control features. Read more

Pioneer finally brings CarPlay equipment to mass market, Spotify app update adds CarPlay support

Pioneer, CarPlay

The CarPlay situation has been murky. Since being announced in the spring, most manufacturers have been quiet on when CarPlay equipment will actually be available to purchase. Pioneer is the first company to deliver on its promise, adding CarPlay as an update to its aftermarket dashboard panels (unless you count Ferrari’s integration into its high-end Ferrari California T).

Existing Pioneer device owners may not need to purchase any extras, as the CarPlay update is free for supported devices. Aforementioned units include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and the AVH-4000NEX with prices ranging from $700 to $1400.

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Sprint offering free double data to family and business accounts through October 31st

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Today, Sprint announced a new promotion that gives its customers “double the data” offered by AT&T and Verizon for the same price. The carrier’s 32GB, 40GB and 60GB Family Share Pack plans will change to 60GB, 80GB and 120GB at no additional charge. Similar to AT&T’s newest promotion, Sprint’s deal also comes to an end on October 31st.

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US attorney general latest gov’t official to challenge Apple on smartphone encryption

US Attorney General Eric Holder

United States Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced plans to resign earlier this week pending confirmation of a successor, has criticized Apple and Google for encrypting smartphone data beyond law enforcement official access, Reuters reports.

“It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,” Holder said in a speech before the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online.

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Seek Thermal turns your iPhone into a thermographic camera

Seek Thermal

There’s no shortage of camera accessories for the iPhone these days with interchangeable mount lenses and countless apps for mastering smartphone photography, and now you can buy Seek Thermal’s smartphone attachment to transform your iPhone into an actual thermographic camera. Seek Thermal is a thermal camera with a true thermal sensor that connects to your iPhone through the Lightning connection with a chalcogenide lens and vanadium oxide microbolometer. What does all of that mean? Your iPhone can detect heat and energy through darkness and physical surfaces, and not with fake filters or trickery. Read more

Intel-owned Basis announces new iOS-compatible ‘Peak’ smart watch

 

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Basis, a company backed by Intel, has announced a new smart watch compatible with iOS devices that places a focus on health and fitness applications. The device is capable of keeping track of several health-related data points, such as steps, calories, heart rate, prespiration, the temperature of your skin, and in-depth information about your sleep habits.

The Peak doesn’t yet support basic smart watch features like email and text notifications, but Basis says those functions will come in a future software update.

The company says that the device will be available by the holidays, meaning it will beat Apple’s own market entry to shelves. Pricing? $199 in either black or white finishes, which means it comes in under the Apple wearable. You can see photos and the full press release for the Peak below:

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AT&T now offering double data on 15 GB and higher Mobile Share Value plans through October 31st

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Today AT&T launched a new limited-time offer to new and existing subscribers featuring double data on Mobile Share Value plans 15 GB and up. The offer is good through October 31st, at which point the data buckets will revert to their regular sizes. Subscribers who sign up for the a new line on these plans before October 31st will be able to keep their double data for as long as they want it, even after the offer has expired.

At the new prices, a 30 GB shared data bucket will cost $130 per month, where the same amount of data would normally run for $225, coming out to a total savings of $95 per moth. While the usual offers only go up to 50 GB, there are now three larger buckets at 60, 80, or 100 GB, with most costing only a fraction of the price of the regular $50.

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FBI director says officials have been in talks with Apple, Google over device encryption policies

tim cook death stare

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey expressed his concern today over Apple and Google’s decision to encrypt information stored on smartphones, the Huffington Post reports, adding that FBI officials are pushing both companies to change their policies in order to allow law enforcement officials to access data in certain instances.

“I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law,” Comey told reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”

In the case of the iPhone maker, Apple CEO Tim Cook used the company’s privacy stance as a major marketing point on a number of occasions over the past month. Read more

Consumer Reports devising authoritative test for iPhone 6 bending issues

Consumer Reports LG G Flex

Not sure what to believe about recent claims that the iPhone 6 Plus has a malleability issue? Consumer Reports says it is in the process of undergoing authoritative testing to find its own answer to the question of whether or not the larger iPhone has a bending problem.

According to their post, Consumer Report will critically test the new iPhones against other popular smartphones using their “sophisticated machinery” which can apply up to 1,000 pounds of force previously used to test the LG G Flex and determine whether or not the iPhone 6 models are more likely to bend than other phones. Read more

New LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wants team to ditch iPads

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Steve Ballmer may have retired as Microsoft’s CEO back in February and resigned from the company’s board last month, but rest assured that the raging businessman is still loyal to the Redmond-based software giant. For those of you who aren’t sports fans, Ballmer recently purchased the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and one of his first acts as the team’s new owner is to have the organization cutdown its use of Apple products.

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