Thursday, 10 January 2019

Android Version of Chrome could be leaking your information

Android Version of Chrome could be leaking your information
Android is the most used software system around the world with over 2 billion users worldwide. The immensely popular, Android comes with a number of pre downloaded apps that users can get their hands on after switching on their phones. But now as news of a flaw in the software causes many users to start losing faith in Android, here’s all we know of the problem so far….

The problem has to do with the Android version of Chrome which is the most used browser on Android. Security experts associated with the problem have said that they have found a shock issue relating to the Android version of Chrome.

More on the issue associated with the Android Version of Chrome: 


Experts up at the Nightwatch cybersecurity have said that there is a shock issue with the Android version of Chrome. This issue could potentially lead to the popular browser leaking a phone’s information. Information such as the firmware model of the phone, security patch level and hardware model are all susceptible to the leak.

The Android version Chrome is not the only Google app that comes with such problems. Security experts have also commented on WebView and other Chrome Tabs on Android that too discloses the phones private information.

Any other Android apps running on Chrome to render web content will also be susceptible to the flaw.

What this Flaw on the Android Version of Chrome means for you? 


With the Android version of Chrome be susceptible to leaks, it means that no Android device is really safe. But what all this translates for you is that the information so obtained through the flaw can be used to track users and also fingerprint devices.

Besides this users phones vulnerabilities can also be determined and then used to get further information form the phone. This is not even the main part of the issue here. Experts say that the flaw pertaining to the Android version of Chrome was discovered back in 2015.

What Google did About it? 


As experts submitted the initial report pertaining to the bug back in 2015, Google gave a partial fix only in October 2018 for version 70. The fix is supposed to hide the firmware information and retain the hardware model identifier.

All versions of the app seem to be affected and users are encouraged to update to the latest version.
As for WebView users, this fix is not applicable and app developers should manually override the user agent configuration in their respective apps.

 

Fake apps on the Google Play Store: 


Recently fake apps were discovered on the Google Play Store. These apps have reportedly been downloaded tens and thousands of times. These apps were found on the Google Play Store and hid themselves as PDF readers, scanners and converters.

The apps themselves seem to be genuine but don’t offer the functionality that they were intended for. These apps are meant to increase the download count for other related apps and also to improve their ratings.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Essential Guide to Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3
The Google Pixel 3 has a lot to offer but are you using it to its full potential? Maybe not? Then here are a few tips and tricks that are sure to improve your Pixel 3 experience. Not only that, you will be able to get more done in a short amount of time with these new tricks.

But before looking at what the Pixel 3 really has in store for you, you need to first ensure that your phone is trick- ready. By that I mean that you need to enable developer mode to get the most out of these tricks. You can do this by going to settings and then scrolling right to the bottom of the screen and tapping “about phone”. From there, go on to tap rapidly the “build number” to enable developer mode.

Accessing Notification Shade on the Pixel 3: 


This may not be a new feature on the Pixel 3 but has to be definitely enabled for you to quick access all your notifications from any screen.

You can enable this feature by going into the settings app and enabling it. Once done you’ll have to swipe down twice, while on any screen, to access all your notifications.

Get rid of the Notch on Pixel 3: 


There are ways to get rid of the notch which can be an eye sore for some. The notch on the Pixel is not really worth it as it does not do much and has no tech packed into it. But point to note, no matter what method you adopt you won’t be able to get the display portion on either side of the notch to work.

Besides going into settings and disabling the notch you can even download the Nacho Notch app from the app store to disable it.

Quick Launch Camera: 


You can get to the camera app by simply double clicking the sleep/wake button, when your Pixel 3 is awake or locked. This also allows you save space on your home screen by not needing to have the camera app there. Again you can enable this feature from the settings app by going into system and then gestures.

Another one in the Camera App: 


This feature allows you to switch between front facing and rear cameras by a simple gesture. To enable it all you have to do is go to System in the settings app and then to gestures and enable “Flip camera”.

Getting Daily Wallpapers on the Pixel 3: 


You can get daily wallpapers on Google Pixel 3. Android offers a lot of options when it comes to wallpapers, even more than what Apple do. You can get wall papers from third party launchers too. It is also possible to get wallpapers on the Google launcher as well, but with maybe a few more steps.

Enabling Dark Mode on Google Pixel 3: 


It took the people up at Google a while to get the new Dark mode to our phones, but in the end they came through. So now, in order to protect your eyes from the whiteness of the menu, especially during night, you can enable dark mode by again going into settings.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Great Expectations from the biggest Tech Show, CES 2019

The biggest Tech show, CES 2019 is around the corner. Every techie is waiting with great anticipation for announcements from the tech giants with regard to wearables, smartphones laptops, TVs, cars and much more.

About CES 2019


CES 2019 will run from Jan 8, 2019 through Jan 11, 2019 at Las Vegas. This show has come a long way since its inception in 1967 and is organized by the Consumer Technology Association, that includes 2,000 consumer tech companies in the US. The CES 2019 is not open to the public, but only to bloggers, journalists and electronics trade.

The main venue is the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Centre (LVCC). Along with Westgate Las Vegas and Renaissance Las Vegas, this area is referred to as Tech East. At this location, most of the big names have their stalls. At the Tech West, there are the hi-fi and audio stalls set up. The Tech South is where the VR, AR and gaming stalls are present.

The exhibition covers around 2.7 million square feet with eleven venues and 24 different categories of products.

The CES 2019 will attract around 180,000 people who will represent 155 countries. There may be almost 6,500 media personnel and 4,500 companies participating at the exhibition. Most of the big names in the tech industry will showcase their products with the exclusion of Apple.

All the reports regarding what will be launched and other announcements will be on Jan 6, 2019 and Jan 7, 2019. On these two days there will be press conferences and presentations.

Great expectations from CES 2019


Artificial Intelligence: 


There are going to be devices that are voice-controlled. We will see Google Home embedded in TVs, lightbulbs and other devices and smart speakers that run Alexa.

According to I.P. Park, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics, will showcase their company’s vision for AI. AI will be used for complex systems whereby the devices become smart and will know exactly what you want. We can expect smart tech in everything which will include AI powered security cameras, memory chips, televisions, golf gear, etc.

Self-driving cars:

At last year’s event, around two dozen companies showcased self-driving vehicles. Cars that are driven by AI programs that make decisions and also come with solid-state Lidar sensors, 5G chips. Cars are getting smarter and greener besides being autonomous.

5G Networks: 


Most of the brands will be going all out to bring 5G networks with faster speeds and next-gen technology that connects everything like cars and computers to smart homes.

Foldables: 


At the CES 2019, there will be foldables like the giant TV screen, smartphones, laptops and tablets. At the CES 2018 there were 8K televisions that were launched. At the CES 2019, one can expect OLED sets, 80-inch 8K TVs and also Alexa and Google Assistant embedded into the TV.

Tech for the Ladies: 


There will definitely be more tech products for the ladies to bridge the gender gap. We can look forward to skin-care devices controlled by smartphones and beauty apps powered by AI.

From 3rd-gen Ryzen processors to wireless charging and cameras with new image sensor and a longer zoom range will be showcased at CES 2019. In terms of processors, we could see the 10-core processor too at the event and Nvidia will reveal its GeForce RTX Mobility graphics cards at the CES 2019.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Terahertz Laser for Sensing and Imaging Outperforms Its Predecessors

Terahertz Laser
Terahertz Laser is a high powered laser developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology for chemical sensing and imaging. The Terahertz laser designed by the researchers of MIT, has three goals which includes high constant power, tight beam pattern and broad electric frequency tuning.

Terahertz Laser to be used by NASA on its 2021 mission to study our Galaxy’s origin


NASA has chosen the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission to study more about our galaxy’s origin. With the help of a high altitude, balloon based telescope carrying photonic wire lasers, they will detect emission of gases like oxygen, nitrogen and carbon from the interstellar medium, which is the material between the galaxy’s star systems.

The Terahertz laser could also be used for skin and breast cancer imaging, detection of drugs and explosives and many other applications.

The design of the Terahertz Laser


The design of the Terahertz laser is unique which uses pairs of efficient wire lasers and sync their oscillations. On combining the output of the pairs there will be a single, high power beam with minimum beam divergence, which is the angle the beam moves away from its focus over distance. The individual paired lasers can be fine-tuned to obtain improvements in resolution and fidelity in measurements. All these give rise to less noise and higher resolution in order to achieve more cost effective and reliable chemical detection and medical imaging.

In the past, people have made a laser with high beam quality or with high continuous wave power or have done frequency tuning in lasers. But all the designs have one of the factors lacking. Ali Khalatpour, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, who is also the author on the paper describing the Terahertz laser in Nature Photonics says that this is the first time where all three metrics are present in the chip-based Terahertz laser.

NASA has chosen the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission


NASA will be using the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission to detect gas emissions from the interstellar medium. By procuring data over a few months, they will get insight into the birth of the star and evolution. They will get more knowledge of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxies which are close by.

NASA selected a new semiconductor based terahertz laser which is suitable for spectroscopic measurement of oxygen concentrations in terahertz radiation. It is a band of electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and visible light.

Achieving three metrics in chip-based terahertz lasers


Researchers had developed new types of quantum cascade lasers known as photonic wire lasers. These were bidirectional and hence less powerful. This issue was sorted out by placing mirrors within the laser’s body. Since the terahertz radiation is too long, and the terahertz laser is small, it was difficult to fix it within the laser so much so most of the light travels outside the laser’s body. In the laser that NASA selected they developed a design to control how the electromagnetic wave travels along the laser and emit in one direction. They were able to obtain high efficiency and beam quality, but it did not allow for frequency tuning.

To overcome this, the researchers applied the concept of pi-bonding to the lasers, enabling close connections between the wire lasers. This coupling allowed phase locking of two or more wire lasers.
To obtain frequency tuning, they used tiny knobs to alter the current of each wire laser, which changes the refractive index. This change in refractive index together with coupled lasers, gives rise to a continuous frequency shift to the pair’s center frequency.

The researchers are building a system with a high dynamic range of more than 110 decibels which can be used for many applications including skin cancer imaging. Since skin cancer cells absorb terahertz waves more strongly than healthy cells, the terahertz lasers will be able to detect them.



With terahertz lasers having the three performance metrics, they can improve imaging capabilities and can be used in other applications.