According to a recent research paper, Google's two-factor Titan Security Keys are vulnerable to an attack, ultimately resulting in key duplication or cloning. That comes courtesy of a so-called side-channel vulnerability in the chip powering the 2FA key itself, and it requires login credentials, physical access, full disassembly of the key, hours of work, estimated thousands of dollars resources and equipment to reverse-engineer its cryptographic key, and which would be foiled by U2F standards over the long-term anyway. In short: There's not much for most of our readers to worry about. Read More
We all had a good laugh when Samsung announced its partnership with the knockoff "Supreme Italia" brand earlier this month. Interestingly, it seems like Samsung is making botching its partners' brands and logos somewhat of a trend. In a blog post announcing the expansion of its HDR10+ ecosystem, Samsung prominently features fellow news publication Ars Technica's logo alongside big names like Qualcomm, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, and more. Read More
Virtual reality is the tech topic du jour, with nearly every major hardware and software company (or one of their partners) looking into it in some capacity. Time will tell if this is just a fad or something that will truly change the way we interact with technology, but Google is hedging its bets. In addition to the growing Cardboard VR platform, a few user-facing changes in the second developer preview of Android N point to more robust support for virtual reality in the future. Read More
Carrier bloatware apps are quite an issue in the US, where many smartphones ship with almost as much useless junk as they do genuinely necessary applications. This junk is lovingly called "crapware," "bloatware," or "shit" interchangeably by those in the smartphone community. Because it is. This disdain largely stems from the fact that many bloatware apps can't be fully uninstalled, only disabled (some can't even manage to do that).
In Android 5.0, Google is hoping to give everyone another option: don't be so awful about it. In Lollipop, carriers can have a list of applications downloaded to a device automatically on first boot through the Play Store, meaning those apps are installed on the data partition, not the system one. Read More
At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent. Regardless of how exact these numbers are, the difference suggests good things.
For the process, Ars used a single device, flashed to 4.4.4, signed in, updated apps, charged up, and ran the test (which keeps the screen on and automatically loads a webpage over Wi-Fi every 15 seconds until the battery dies). Read More