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  • Geebo 9:02 am on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , smart phones,   

    Netflix to stop working on certain Android devices 

    Netflix to stop working on certain Android devices

    Video streaming service Netflix is available on just about every modern electronic device known to man. It’s available on laptops, Blu-ray players, video game consoles, smart phones and tablets. Nowadays, you might even be able to stream Netflix on a 1985 Betamax that you found at a thrift store. Netflix recently announced they will no longer support a certain select group of Android devices, and those would be devices that have been rooted by their owners.

    Rooting an Android phone means that you can perform a small hack on the phone in order to be able to have more control over the apps on your phone. Most Android phones come with pre-loaded bloatware that can’t be removed from the device by normal means. When you have an Android phone where storage space is at a premium, sometimes you have to root a phone in order to make space for crucial apps that you may need in your everyday life. This is usually due to the phone manufacturers loading their phones with proprietary apps that many users don’t need or use.

    While not coming right out and saying it, Netflix is giving the impression they’re blocking these devices in order to fight piracy. While that’s well within their right, it feels like their trying to kill flies with a shotgun. The number of people who root their Android devices are a minuscule amount compared to the number of Android users and the majority of them are only rooting their phones and tablets out of convenience, not for piracy.

    By taking this step, Netflix is risking a minor backlash from rooted Android users, but in the long run, Netflix’s numbers are so large they can afford to alienate a number of niche Android users.

     
  • Geebo 11:17 am on March 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , smart phones   

    Samsung to start reselling the explosive Note 7 

    Samsung to start reselling the explosive Note 7

    You remember the Smasung Galaxy Note 7 don’t you? It was the infamous phone that you couldn’t take aboard any US flight since a fault in the phone’s design would cause some of the phones’ batteries to overheat and burst into flames. Millions of the devices were recalled due to safety risks. Now Samsung says that they have fixed the problem and plan on selling refurbished Note 7s.

    The reason they’re doing this is because it would be an ecological nightmare just to dispose of the phones outright. Instead, Samsung is looking for locales where the government will allow them to see the now supposedly safe devices. Due to the bad press that the phones have gotten, don’t expect those locales to be anywhere in the US or Europe. Reports say that the intended markets for these phones will be Vietnam and India.

    If a refurbished version of the Note 7 were to be re-released in the US would you trust it enough to buy one, or has the press been so bad that the phone would be doomed to fail no matter how much Samsung guarantees it’s safe?

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: charging, smart phones, usb   

    Be wary of public charging stations 

    Be wary of public charging stations

    A lot of us have been there. In the midst of traveling we find ourselves with almost no charge on our phones but we’re nowhere near our destination. Maybe you have a layover or your waiting for a connecting train and you find a public USB charger. You plug your phone in, charge up, then you’re on way without a second thought about it. Well, according to security experts you may want to take that second thought.

    Since most USB cables were not only designed to transfer power but data as well there is a chance that the USB port you just plugged into in public may have just hijacked your phone. This kind of attack can range from stealing your information to seeing everything that you view on your phone.

    That’s not to say there aren’t defenses against these kind of attacks. For example many airports and train stations have battery packs you can rent to charge your phone. You can also buy a USB cable that only transfers power. However, most experts suggest buying a spare battery or battery pack for your phone in advance in order to not run out of juice in the first place.

    Or we could just not be on our devices for every minute of our travels. You’ll never know what you’re missing if we’re all nose down in our screens.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on February 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: back ups, locked out, smart phones   

    What to do when locked out of your phone 

    What to do when locked out of your phone

    Do you have a PIN code or pattern passcode on your smart phone? That’s great. That means you practice good phone security. But what happens if your forget your pin or passcode? Can you get back into your phone? The short answer is no, the long answer is noooooooooooooooooo.

    That doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope. According to Popular Mechanics there are a few things you can do to retrieve some of your data. For example, if you use an SD card on your phone, some of your info may be saved on the card, or if you back up to the cloud regularly you’ll still be ok. However, the bottom line is that more than likely you’ll have to wipe your phone and start over.

    One thing you can’t do is call your carrier to unlock your phone. Due to privacy concerns the only person who has your pin or passcode is you. Your phone carrier does not have a magic button at their offices that they can push to magically unlock your phone, not even if you talk to a manager.

    The best practice to avoid data loss after being locked out of your phone is to make regular backups of your data because once you’re locked out you’ll have to restore your phone to factory settings.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , smart phones,   

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices 

    Keeping your kids safe on their new devices

    With Christmas fast approaching many children will be receiving new devices this year, whether they’re tablets or smart phones. With these new toys come new responsibilities, not only for the children but for parents as well. In the age we live in you can’t just hand your children one of these devices and send them on their merry way and expect no problems. Unfortunately, in our society not only are there the predators that we’re all concerned about but there are financial predators as well who want to take advantage of your kids disguised as apps and data caps.

    Many games for children on these devices have what they call ‘in app purchases’ which means that the players of the game can buy in-game items with real world money. Not only that, but many of these games use data from your cellular providers data plan and can either run up quite the data bill or burn through your allotted data rather quickly.

    To help you and your children avoid these pitfalls we’ve found two good resources on how to protect your children and your wallet while using these new devices. iOS devices, which are the ones made by Apple, are relatively simple to enable safety and financial restrictions. Android devices on the other hand, the ones made by companies like Samsung and various other manufacturers, are a little more difficult to restrict, but can be done.

    Just look at setting up your child’s new device as the modern equivalent of having to assemble the toys that our parents did on Christmas Eve for years, except now not only are you keeping your children engaged but you’re keeping them safe as well.

     
  • Geebo 12:01 pm on December 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: smart phones, unlocked phones   

    Should you buy an unlocked phone? 

    Should you buy an unlocked phone?

    Up until a few years ago it was actually illegal to unlock a cell phone in the US. Back then unlocking a phone meant to make it so that the phone could be used on multiple carriers. Now you can buy an unlocked phone straight from the carrier, but should you? Well, that depends on your lifestyle.

    One of the pros of an unlocked phone is that you can switch carriers almost at will depending on what kind of deals the carriers are offering, and since you own your own phone you don’t have to worry about contracts. They’re also great of you travel overseas because you can buy local coverage in almost whatever country you may be visiting. A big con of owning an unlocked phone is that they can be incredibly expensive. A top of the line phone, like an iPhone, or Samsung Galaxy, can run you close to $1,000 or more depending on what features you want. Unfortunately, not a lot of people have a cool grand just lying around to buy a high-end phone.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t more affordable alternatives. A number of carriers have plans where there is no contract and the plans are all prepaid. The phones are more or less unlocked and are much less expensive than the top of the line phones and a lot of the phones work just as well. You may also be able to find a refurbished top of the line phone that’s being sold at a discount by one of these carriers.

    So if you can afford an unlocked phone, definitely get one, but most people can get buy with just their carrier’s subsidized phone.

     
  • Geebo 12:00 pm on November 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , smart phones   

    Can Samsung bounce back with a ‘flip’ phone? 

    Can Samsung bounce back with a 'flip' phone?

    If you’ve flown anywhere in the US lately, you’ve probably heard the warning that it’s illegal to fly with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. In case you haven’t heard, the Galaxy Note 7 has had some minor issues with occasionally bursting into flames at the most inopportune times. Even though that there have been recalls of the phone and apologies from Samsung it’s been a PR nightmare for the South Korean phone company.

    A lot of people in the financial and tech worlds have been saying that it’s going to take a long time for Samsung to get back to where it was as a leader in the smart phone industry. It may not take them too long with the development of a new flip phone. They don’t mean your old early 2000s flip phone that was so satisfying to close to hang up on someone, but a new foldable smart phone.

    According to reports Samsung will be releasing a phone next year that’s not only foldable but has a hinge on the back that possibly can be slid up and down the length of the phone making it foldable just about anywhere on the phone. What remains to be seen is whether or not a foldable phone is something the public will want or just another cell phone gimmick that will fail to catch on?

     
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