David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

13
Mar
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If you've been watching your tech news feed regularly over the past day or so, you've probably come across at least one story making the rounds about a "backdoor" vulnerability in some newer Samsung phones. The original report, published by the Free Software Foundation and written by Paul Kocialkowski, a developer of Replicant, does all but directly accuse Samsung of planting a method of securing remote access to users' devices. A quick read over of the piece makes it rather obvious that the author has a rather significant bone to pick with any and all proprietary software:

Provided that the modem runs proprietary software and can be remotely controlled, that backdoor provides remote access to the phone's data, even in the case where the modem is isolated and cannot access the storage directly.

13
Mar
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Google has announced that, effective immediately, pricing for storage on its Drive cloud service has been lowered - a lot. Check out the graphic for a quick breakdown of the new cost structure, which is aggressively lower than pretty much any competing service.

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The big drop is definitely at the 1TB level, which went from $50 a month to only $10 - a decrease of 80%! 100Gb is down to $2, 60% less than the old $5 a month.

12
Mar
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Everyone's favorite eatery index, Yelp, released a significant update to its Android app today (now version 5.5), finally replacing the increasingly stale search filters UI with something a bit more modern. In the process, Yelp also added a whole bunch of new search filters to fine-tune your quest for the best sandwich in town.

The new app boasts filters for Hot & New, Offering a deal, take-out, good for kids, good for groups, takes reservations, takes credit cards, wheelchair access, full bar or beer & wine only, outdoor seating, happy hour, TV, and free or paid Wi-Fi.

11
Mar
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Update: It's come to our attention that, according to the LinkedIn profiles of two of GreenThrottle's founders, the company was almost definitely bought by Google last November, when GreenThrottle announced its impending shutdown. Both Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend list Google as their sole employer since November of 2013:

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This almost definitely means the company was purchased last November, not more recently. Granted, there was still very little news coming out of Green Throttle at that time, so who knows what kind of situation they were facing when Google swooped in, though I can only guess it probably ended up being a good deal for Google more than it did GT.

08
Mar
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The Galaxy S5 is but a short month away from release, and at this point, it seems like we know most of what makes it special at this point - both from the hardware and software ends of the spectrum. There are still some things we'd like to know - what the wireless charging situation is, for example - but there is otherwise plentiful information out there on the web about Samsung's latest and greatest Galaxy.

07
Mar
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Samsung Milk is probably the most straightforward music streaming app I've ever used - and that's exactly the kind of response Samsung is looking to get from it.

Wacky name aside, Milk is an interesting, well-designed app that is set up to get you listening to music as fast as possible. No ads, the absolute minimum amount of loading time, and a music selection interface that you'll never struggle to locate.

06
Mar
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A small update was released to Google Play Music yesterday (the changelog just posted today), adding a brand-new feature to the service's radio function. You can now start radio stations based on playlists, as opposed to artists or songs. This will certainly be a welcome feature if you've already got a library of playlists set up, though if you don't utilize them there's probably not much of a reason to start.

05
Mar
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Malware is a problem for Android, but that problem almost exclusively exists outside the confines of the safety of the Play Store. Like any platform where the sharing of pirated, cracked software occurs, if you're downloading something you didn't rightly pay for, there's a risk it might be carrying a little something "extra" you hadn't counted on being included. For the most part, this is how Android malware spreads - but what do malware distributors do once they've got a device infected?

05
Mar
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The official Motorola Migrate app received a notable update today, adding a few new features to Moto's smartphone transfer tool that should ease the pain of getting a new handset.

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In particular, the new version allows more granular control over which content you want to transfer to the new handset, instead of just sending everything over wholesale, at least for Android-to-Android migration. You can toggle contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, and call logs as part of the new version's migration process.

05
Mar
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Samsung just took a load of code and dumped it on the company's open source repository this afternoon, a la the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 in both Wi-Fi and LTE trims. There are a total of 5 kernel source files here, 2 for North American Wi-Fi variants (SM-T320_NA), 2 for global Wi-Fi variants (SM-T320), and one for the global LTE variant (SM-T325).

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This follows the release of kernel source code for both the Tab Pro 10.1 and Note Pro 12.2 a month ago.

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