Smurfs vs phones: GCHQ's smartphone malware can take pics, listen in even when phone is off


In a new episode of the BBC's Panorama, Edward Snowden describes the secret mobile phone malware developed by GCHQ and the NSA, which has the power to listen in through your phone's mic and follow you around, even when your phone is switched off. Read the rest

New $50 Kindle Fire won't recognize sideloaded ebooks on SD cards


The Kindle Fire comes with a SDXC card slot that outclasses every other tablet in its price range, accommodating storage cards that can hold as much as 128GB of media -- but it won't read ebooks from the slot. Read the rest

Execspeak singularity: the spectacular bullshit of Blackberry's CEO


It takes a top-notch MBA and years of training to be able to improvise and enunciate statements like this 2010 gem: "I'm going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We've taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It's a causal difference, not just nuance." Read the rest

Cyber-arms dealer offers $1M for weaponizable Iphone bugs


Zerodium, a new firm started by the founder of notorious French arms dealers Vupen, have put out the $1M bounty for unpublished vulnerabilities in the Iphone; they plan on keeping these vulns a secret so that they can be turned into cyberweapons and sold to repressive governments who want to use them to spy on their citizens using their own phone cameras, mics, and keyboards. Read the rest

Carabiners with built-in USB cables

The Nomadclip draws tons of praise from its users; Nomad also make lots of little charge-cable gizmos like straps that open into cables and cable/keychains. Our house is like Game of Thrones for working USB cables as we steal one another's precious wires. (via Canopy) Read the rest

Mobile phone use may worsen depression


PUMP, or Problematic Use of Mobile Phone, happens when users turn to their phones instead of in-person contact to alleviate depression, according to a new study in Computers in Human Behavior. Read the rest

Charge your phone while pedaling your bike


When I was young, I had a clunky, inefficient dynamo attached to my bike that powered the headlight when I pedaled. The Siva Atom works the same way but it converts your pedaling into power to charge USB devices and the removable 1650mAh battery pack. Read the rest

If phones were designed to please their owners, rather than corporations

Your smartphone was designed to deliver as much value as possible to its manufacturer, carrier and OS vendor, leaving behind the smallest amount of value possible while still making it a product that you'd be willing to pay for and use. Read the rest

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who launched Wii, dies of cancer at 55

Nintendo Co's President and Chief Executive Satoru Iwata. REUTERS/Toru Hanai, 2014
In a business where execs often lose touch with their audience, with development, & with the spirit of play, Iwata kept close to all these.

Texas Instruments graphic calclulator boots Android

It's only Android 1.6, but still, that's impressive! Naturally, the sourcefiles are on Github. Read the rest

A 1,000-year-long-song for your phone

Paul writes, "Pogues founder Jem Finer created Longplayer in the late 1990's, a one-thousand-year-long piece of transcendent music which started playing at the stroke of midnight as the year 2000 started. It's finally available as an app, so you can hear it whenever you want and contemplate what it will take to keep the song playing for the remaining 985 years it has to run." Read the rest

Amazon Fire Phone for $179, includes one year of Prime

It's unlocked and it includes a year of Prime, which costs $99 a year.

The snitch in your pocket: making sense of Stingrays

If you've been struggling to make sense of the stories about Stingrays (super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments) (previously) this week's Note to Self podcast does the best job I've yet seen (heard) of explaining them. Read the rest

Pizza box becomes a phone-powered projector

Ogilvy & Mather HK's Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box converts into a low-powered projector for your phone. Read the rest

Trends in Chinese mobile UIs

Last December, Dan Grover summarized the unique mobile app UI conventions he'd spotted since moving to China the summer before to work for Wechat, a Chinese mobile messaging app that also incorporates a wallet, Evernote-style functionality, a games platform, a people-finder, a song-matching service, and, of course, an email client. Read the rest

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