Samsung satellite crashes in family's yard

Nancy Mumby-Welke lives in rural Saginaw County, MI; yesterday morning she was about to let her horses out when she discovered the crashed, humming remains of a Samsung satellite on her property. Read the rest

There's a galaxy-sized security hole in Samsung's S10 smartphone

Let me break it to you as gently as possible: If you dot your tapping swiping and scrolling on a Samsung Galaxy S10, your handset's security is currently a joke. According to TechCrunch, an S10 user in the UK has reported that her handset's screen lock can easily be cleared by any old fingerprint you'd care to smoosh against the smartphone's display.

From TechCrunch:

The flaw was discovered after placing a $3.50 screen protector on the device, confirming earlier reports that adding one could introduce an air gap that interfered with the ultrasonic scanner. The company noted the issue in a statement, telling the press that it was, “aware of the case of S10’s malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch.”

...Samsung has warned against the use of screen protectors previously, but the ability to fool the product with a cheap off the shelf mobile accessory clearly presents a major and unexpected security concern for Galaxy users.

A four buck piece of plastic can defeat the security on a $1,000 handset. What's not to love?

The fix that Samsung's quickly cooking up for this issue is no doubt keeping their software engineers busier than a cat trying to bury a turd in a marble floor. Until that fix drops, Android provides a number of other methods for keeping your digital goods locked away from the world. If'n you don't want your data hanging out for the world to peruse, you'd do well to switch over to using an alpha numeric code or pattern lock to keep your data safe. Read the rest

The latest Right to Repair battle: fake, corporate co-option of Right to Repair measures

The Right to Repair movement is gaining so much ground that the corporations whose profits it threatens are making tiny, symbolic concessions in the hopes of diffusing the energy behind it. Read the rest

Samsung phone owners are upset because they can't delete the Facebook app

Samsung's sleazy deals with Facebook mean that owners of Samsung phones are not able to uninstall the Facebook apps that come pre-installed with their devices. Read the rest

I'm an Android loving iPhone user

Hardware reviews are a big part of how I put bread on the table. In order to do my job properly, I’ve got to be something of a platform agnostic.

While I do most of my writing using Apple devices, I also have to consider other platforms in my coverage: software that works well on a laptop running Windows 10 may be a dog’s breakfast on a MacBook once it’s been ported.

A bluetooth speaker that sound great when paired with my iPhone 7 Plus, for example, might sound like hot garbage when linked to another audio source. So I invest in other hardware that may not be used as part of my day-to-day life, but which I still need to think about when doing my job.

About six months ago, I came to the conclusion that maybe hauling the hardware out when it came time to test something and then throwing it back in a box when I’m done with it wasn’t enough: to really understand whether, say a pair of headphones that comes with an app to control their EQ or noise cancellation, without seeing how it fits into my day-to-day life using a given platform. So, I upped the amount of time that I spend working in Windows 10, I now read books on both Kobo and Amazon e-readers and, in a real shift in how I live my lift, I’ve spent more than half a year using Android-powered smartphones as my daily drivers. In the time since I last used an Android device as my go-to, things have improved so much, I was taken aback. Read the rest

Your Samsung smartphone is sharing photos without your permission

Do you own a Samsung smartphone? Do you take photos with said phone? Congratulations, there’s an excellent chance that your handset is randomly firing off those pictures you’ve snapped to folks on your contact list without your permission.

According to The Verge, the images are being pushed out by Samsung’s cleverly named default messaging app, Samsung Messages. If the fact that your phone might be sending out all of the images its got in storage for the world to see isn’t enough of a shit and giggle for you, try this one on for size: Samsung Messages reportedly doesn’t even bother to tell you that the operation has been completed. Unless the person who received the photos lets you know that it happened, you’ll be completely in the dark about the fact that the photos were uploaded.

From The Verge:

Some users are speculating that this issue has to do with the push of RCS messaging updates, including T-Mobile, which is the carrier for at least one of the affected phones. T-Mobile just issued its RCS update this week, starting with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The messaging standard is supposed to make texting look more like chatting in a modern messaging app, complete with read receipts and typing indicators. When reached for comment, a T-Mobile spokesperson told The Verge to “check in with Samsung on this, it’s not a T-Mobile issue.”

Until carriers and Samsung get this nightmare sorted out, the best way to keep your handset from sharing your photos with the world is to revoke Samsun Messenger’s access rights to your smartphone’s photos folder. Read the rest

Apple and Samsung finally settle 7-year patent dispute over claims of 'slavishly' copied iPhone design

• It's about patents for smartphones & tablets • The legal battle began in 2011 • In May, jury said Samsung owed Apple $539M • Today, they settled. Read the rest

Samsung and Foxconn to back cable-free phone tech by Tony Fadell of iPod and Nest fame

Tony Fadell is best known "one of the fathers of the iPod" at Apple, and as the former CEO of Nest. We've agreed to forget that he led the Google Glass division for a while, too. Today, news broke that the serial inventor and investor is now working with companies including Samsung Electronics and Foxconn's parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry, to develop new technology that would allow mobile phone devices to “transfer large amounts of data without using wires or WiFi connections.” Read the rest

Samsung's created a new IoT OS, and it's a dumpster fire

Tizen is Samsung's long-touted OS to replace Android and Israeli security researcher Amihai Neiderman just delivered a talk on it at Kapersky Lab's Security Analyst Summit where he revealed 40 new 0-day flaws in the OS, and showed that he could trivially send malicious code updates to any Tizen device, from TVs to phones, thanks to amateurish mistakes of the sort not seen in real production environments for decades. Read the rest

Hereditary Samsung chieftain arrested for bribing disgraced president's "Shamanic" cult leader

Lee Jae-yong is nominally "vice-chairman" of Samsung, but his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, is considered to be a mere figurehead, with Lee Jae-yong as the true boss of the company. Read the rest

You can install ransomware on a Samsung Galaxy by sending it an SMS

Researchers from Context Security have identified a vulnerability in Samsung Galaxy phones: by embedding commands in the obsolete, 17-year-old WAP proptocol in an SMS message, attackers can put them into endless reboot loops, or encrypt their storage and charge the phone's owners for a decryption key. Read the rest

Samsung recalls 2.8 million washing machines in US over injuries and reports of "exploding during normal use"

As the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding phone fiasco continues, Samsung Electronics announced yet another product recall on Friday. The South Korean technology firm will recall roughly 2.8 million top-loading washing machines sold in the U.S. after multiple reports of injuries caused by defective design. Read the rest

Samsung recalls "exploding" washing machines

Samsung has recalled 2.8 million washing machines after users reported "impact injuries" including a broken jaw. Read the rest

Samsung abuses copyright to censor satirical exploding phone Grand Theft Auto mod

Samsung's got problems: its Galaxy Note devices are bursting into flames, and have been banned from the skies. Read the rest

Samsung issuing copyright claims to remove videos mocking its exploding phones

YouTube users who post videos mocking Samsung's recently-recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone report they get removed because of copyright claims by Samsung.

The claims center on a popular add-on to the game Grand Theft Auto V, which lets players fool around with the hot handsets and use them as as grenades.

This is not how copyright works, the BBC says, and is likely to only focus more attention on Samsung's failings and YouTube's own shortcomings when it comes to copyright enforcement.

Samsung has not yet responded to repeated BBC requests for comment. Critics have warned that trying to remove gamers' videos will only draw more attention to them.

One US gamer - known as DoctorGTA - said restrictions had been put on his YouTube account as a result of Samsung's complaint.

"It's going to take three months to get the strike removed from my channel... I got my live stream taken away," he said in a video.

"If I submit a counter-notification to say 'sue me', I wonder what they will do. Will they sue me, the kid that has cancer and just makes money off YouTube playing a video game?"

The Note 7's propensity to burst into flames ultimately resulted in the handset being withdrawn from production and recalled from store shelves. The Federal Aviation Administration banned them from the skies, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.

Here's a video still live. (Warning: moronic)

Read the rest

Galaxy Note 7 now banned from air travel

Withdrawn by Samsung and recalled from store shelves, the explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 is now forbidden in the skies. The Federal Aviation Administration has officially banned it, via an emergency prohibition order, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.

The order restricts passengers from carrying the phone "on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo," and says that anyone who inadvertently brings one on a plane must power it down immediately. Carriers are also required to "deny boarding to a passenger in possession" of the phone.

Passengers who bring a Note 7 onto a plane are "subject to civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation for each day they are found to be in violation (49 U.S.C. 5123)," and could be prosecuted, which could "result in fines under title 18, imprisonment of up to ten years, or both (49 U.S.C. 5124)."

It is already a cult object, ready to take its place among the more dangerous inhabitants of our descendants' wunderkammers.

Read the rest

Samsung gives up on exploding cellphone, withdraws Galaxy Note 7 for good

The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is to withdraw the Galaxy Note 7 cellphone for good. Subject to recurring reports of fires, even after replacement, the dodgy smartphone's burned through users' pockets to threaten the Korean brand itself.

The New York Times describes it as a "a humbling about-face."

The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.

But Samsung has struggled to address reports that the Galaxy Note 7 could overheat and catch fire because of a manufacturing flaw. Last month, the company said it would recall 2.5 million phones to fix the problem. But in recent days, Galaxy Note 7 users emerged with reports that some devices that had supposedly been repaired were overheating, smoking and even bursting into flames. And on Monday, Samsung asked Note 7 customers to power off the phones while it worked on the problem.

Previously: Southwest plane evacuated after Samsung Note 7 catches fire. It was a recall replacement. Read the rest

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