Samsung says Galaxy S III is safe from USSD exploit and is conducting an internal review for other phones

Yesterday we told you about a major security vulnerability with Samsung phones like the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Beam, and Galaxy Ace. This vulnerability could cause your phone to conduct a factory reset from visiting a website containing malicious code. Samsung just confirmed that the Galaxy S III should be removed from this list, well at least ones running the latest software.

“We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update. We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.”

So make sure your GSIII is up to date. As for owners of the other phones, Samsung said they are “currently in the process of conducting an internal review.” I’m sure Samsung will get updates to all phones affected so stay tuned.

source: androidcentral

Swedish retailer ousts Xperia V release at December 3rd

Thus far, Sony has been giving vague answers as to when the Sony Xperia V would launch. While Q4 was the general answer given, it looks like something more specific has surfaced as the Swedish retailer has recently put the phone up for pre-order with a 3rd December 2012 release date. At current exchange rates, you can expect it to cost £404, €508 and $656.  If you’ve forgotten what this device offers, here’s a rundown of its specs:

  • 4.3” HD Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 for razor sharp clarity
  • 13 MP fast capture camera with full HD video recording.
  • Latest generation 1.5GHz dual core processor for improved battery life, fast performance and ultra sharp graphics
  • LTE for the fastest data download speeds (in markets where technology is available)
  • Easy connectivity with One-touch ‘One-touch’ enabled by NFC
  • Clear audio+ for the highest level of sound quality
  • PlayStation™ Certified
  • Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Will be upgraded to Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) following launch. Detailed timing to follow
  • Highest levels of dust and water resistance in a smartphone (IP55/57+) ensure protection from the effects of immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • MHL connectivity for viewing content on a big screen without the need for a charger
  • Available in Black, Pink and White colours

Would this be a device our European readers would consider pre-ordering?

source: Xperiablog

Google’s Sergey Brin thinks self-driving cars for the average person will be available in 5 years

It’s no secret that Google and their engineers love to push the envelope and make things that seem improbable happen. One of Google’s smartest minds, Sergey Brin, stated that we should all expect self-driving cars within the next 5 years. He envisions this to be much safer and adds, “Forty thousand Americans and 1 million people worldwide are killed in automobile accidents every year.” In theory, this certainly seems like a great idea and would be more efficient on paper considering it eliminates a lot of the human element into driving that causes most of these accidents.

At first I though this would be an impossible feat to achieve in the next 5 years, but Brin added that Google and their engineers have already been working  on such a thing.

The Google cars use on-board cameras, lasers, radar and other sensor equipment to monitor road conditions and operate themselves. Proponents say the use of computers and other equipment will make them safer than having humans drive, since people sometimes make errors, lose concentration, fall asleep or drive drunk.

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Google makes Jelly Bean factory images available for Verizon Galaxy Nexus

Developers or others who enjoy flashing their phones have a nice new option available if they have a Verizon Galaxy Nexus smartphone. After starting the process of rolling out a Jelly Bean update to Verizon users earlier this week, the factory images are now available on the Google Developers site for download. Listed as version JRO03O, the file can be used to restore a Galaxy Nexus to factory state. Even if you are not inclined to flash your Galaxy Nexus for fun, you can always keep a copy of the image as a fail-safe in case something really bad happens with your phone.

source: Google Developers

Developer interest in Android on the decline

In yet another sign that the apocalypse is upon us, a recent poll from Appcelerators reveals data that may make Android owners shake their head in confusion. While Android currently maintains a 25% margin in activated devices compared to Apple, iOS is still the clear favorite among 5,500 developers polled. Moreover, the Android platform took a dive in the latest polls compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, this is the fourth such decline since June ’11. However, before we jump to too many conclusions, it’s duly noted that all platforms declined at almost the exact same rate with one exception – Windows 8. Windows 8 was the lone increase in developer interest. Now, if all of those developers jumped ship from all other platforms and onto Windows 8 then there would definitely be more of an incline on the Windows 8 side. So what gives? Why the consistent drop almost across the board in developer interest, and more importantly regarding our beloved Android devices? Let us know what you think.

source:  TechCrunch

Motorola Atrix 2 to get Ice Cream Sandwich, soak test already underway

Following a disappointing weekend for Motorola customers, the company has initiated a soak test for last year’s Atrix 2. Initially believed to be a minor Gingerbread update, the new firmware is actually Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Interestingly enough, Motorola’s official software update landing page still lists the handset as “further plans coming soon.”

Participants of Motorola’s feedback program have begun receiving invitations to take part in a preliminary test of the smartphone’s new software. The message reads:

Thanks for signing up for the Atrix 2 software test. Our apologies for the delay in starting this test! The software will begin to be pushed out later this afternoon; however, it may take several hours for all targeted devices to receive the update.

We’re eager to hear your feedback. Please share your experience on the private community provided, and via the survey I will send out after you’ve had some time to work with the software.

Regardless, it’s great to see Motorola actually make an effort to rectify its mistakes. Now let’s just hope other devices (like the Atrix 4G) get some update love.

Source: Android Central

Unlocked Sony Xperia acro S now available to purchase in the US

Sony’s recently announced Xperia acro S is now available to purchase unlocked in the United States. As we saw back at IFA 2012, the Xperia acro S–which apparently isn’t considered a proper noun–is a solid piece of hardware with some pretty impressive specs. For $599.99, users will get a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. Also included is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 12.1-megapixel rear shooter and a nano waterproof coating.

For that price, though, buying an unlocked handset doesn’t make sense for the general consumer. Keep in mind that for just $350, or about half the price of the acro S, you can pick up a Galaxy Nexus, which is guaranteed to receive better support and runs stock Jelly Bean. However, if you’re the type of individual who could be considered a Sony fanboy, you’ll be excited to learn that you can pick up the Xperia acro S today in your choice of either black or white. Also, be sure to catch the official introductory video after the break.

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ASUS Transformer Prime receives Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in Sweden

ASUS has officially announced the impending rollout of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Transformer Prime owners in Sweden. Users should begin seeing an OTA update sometime today. As always, if the update doesn’t automatically show up, you can head into settings -> about device -> software update to pull the firmware directly from ASUS’ servers.

The company is also insistent to remind everybody that along with the update, users will lose official Adobe flash support and Wifi-Direct. Because of this, ASUS isn’t forcing Prime owners to accept or install the update. While there haven’t been any further announcements made pertaining to rollouts in other countries, users can take this news as a good sign. In fact, rumors suggest that if the update goes smoothly, other markets could expect to see Android 4.1 as early as October.

Source: ASUS (Facebook)

New vulnerability found in Samsung devices, TouchWiz to blame

Today a rather catastrophic exploit was found in Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. The new hack allows websites to run a USSD code commanding the device to wipe itself back to factory state, and possibly even damage the SIM card. This means that just by simply visiting a infected website could remove all your pictures, contacts, apps and most importantly: your high score on Temple Run.

Luckily this piece of malicious code will only interface with the TouchWiz interface, so if you’re running CyanogenMod or any other custom ROMs, you’re most likely safe. The current list of affected device include the aforementioned Galaxy S III, the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy S Advance.

Source: SmartDroid