Meh

meh It seemed so simple. So mindless. And yet, creating this has, for me, been a journey. A journey from the Poke to the Like, as I was saying only the other day to my co-founder, Roi. But today, I can reveal to you the new app I’m working on and am poised to leave TechCrunch for: Meh. Yes, Meh may leave you scratching your head. Or scratching something. But Meh is about sending other users… Read More

Skout Launches Fuse, An Ephemeral Messaging App That Makes Group Chats Explode

fuse-app Call it engagement hacking. But mobile developer teams from the one that built Facebook Slingshot to that guy behind the app ‘Yo’ app are tinkering with unconventional ways of making people interact. With ephemerality and anonymity, it’s getting weirder. Maybe a little more conceptual. Maybe a little nonsensical. It’s hard to predict what will make people stick, or… Read More

Apple’s Smartwatch Said To Debut In October With A 2.5-Inch Screen And Wireless Charging

iWatch Concept by Todd Hamilton Apple will reportedly launch its smartwatch as early as October, after kicking off production in July, according to a new report from Reuters. The smartwatch will have a 2.5-inch screen, according to the news organization’s sources, which will arch up from the band and be “slightly rectangular,” and it’ll feature touchscreen controls and wireless charging. Read More

BlackBerry In Talks With Drake For BlackBerry Classic Launch Promotion

BqggbBBCMAEaTGB.jpg-large BlackBerry pre-announced (the announce before the real announce) a new phone today called the BlackBerry Passport that looks crazy. But they’re apparently enlisting some serious talent to help push their upcoming BlackBerry Classic, the other new smartphone the company is bringing to market later this year, with a November projected launch date: Drake is in talks with the company to… Read More

Microsoft Updates The Surface Pro 3 Ahead Of Its Release Tomorrow

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 4.57.43 PM Tomorrow is launch day in Canada and the U.S. for the Surface Pro 3, and to make sure the device has as smooth a launch as possible, Microsoft has released a set of updates for the tablet-hybrid. The updates include a slurry of performance boosts, as well as a fix for a power button issue that was annoying some. If you have a review device, the code should be live for you now. Otherwise, you… Read More

The Bay Lights, The LED Art Project Backed By Big Tech Names, Kicks Off $1.2M Crowdfunding Campaign

bay lights sample Just over a year ago, a large scale art project called The Bay Lights turned the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Bay Area structure that’s historically been the plainer sister to the famed Golden Gate Bridge, into a glittering destination in its own right. But as iconic as the Bay Lights have quickly become, it turns out that they’re not set to be here to stay. The original erection… Read More

California’s cell-phone kill switch is a solution that’s worse than the problem


As the California legislature moves to mandate “kill switches” that will allow owners of stolen phones to shut them down, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sounds an important alarm: if it’s possible for someone to remotely switch off your phone such that you can’t switch it back on again, even if you’re physically in possession of it, that facility could be abused in lots of ways. This is a classic War on General Purpose Computation moment: the only way to make a kill-switch work is to design phones that treat their possessors as less trustworthy than a remote party sending instructions over the Internet, and as soon as the device that knows all your secrets and watches and listens to your most private moments is designed to do things that the person holding it can’t override, the results won’t be pretty.

There are other models for mitigating the harm from stolen phones. For example, the Cyanogen remote wipe asks the first user of the phone to initialize a password. When it is online, the device checks in with a service to see whether anyone using that password has signed a “erase yourself” command. When that happens, the phone deletes all the user-data. A thief can still wipe and sell the phone, but the user’s data is safe.

Obviously, this isn’t the same thing as stolen phones going dead and never working again, and won’t have the same impact on theft. But the alternative is a system that allows any bad guy who can impersonate, bribe or order a cop to activate the kill-switch to do all kinds of terrible things to you, from deactivating the phones of people recording police misconduct to stalking or stealing the identities of mobile phone owners, with near-undetectable and unstoppable stealth.

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Apple’s Activation Lock Brings Down iPhone Theft In Major Cities

nypd Apple’s introduction of iOS 7 Activation Lock has actually led to a decrease in iPhone-related theft in New York, London, and San Francisco, according to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“The introduction of kill switches has clearly had an effect on the conduct of smartphone thieves,” said Schneiderman in an interview with the New York Times. “If these can be… Read More

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