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App Pick #198
App Pick - PhotoDirector

Playing Music Hijacks New Cars

As nifty as all the technology is in new cars, there comes a point when there really is too much dependance on technology and software. For example, a modern car uses an operating system based on Usenix Enigma - and recently it was discovered that playing a song laced with malicious code in the media player cause the OS to fall prey to a hacker. It's that simple. Play a song, get malware in your car. That sucks. The problem is that these cars are so segmented that things are patchworked together and that is leaving a lot of room for error. It needs to be fixed.

As an example, Savage revealed that his team had been able to get full control of a vehicle by encoding computer instructions into a song. If the carefully crafted .WMA track was played from a CD, the attacker could get full control – the smuggled code would exploit weaknesses in the playback software to commandeer operations.

Source: TheRegister

Elephone W2 Smartwatch is Available for Pre-Order

Smartwatches are often pretty clunky, pretty bulky and don't have as much to offer as they all try to. The reality is that a phone is pretty handy, and many people just want notifications on their watch - but want something pretty as well. The Elephone W2 watch answers the call and looks fantastic for a smartwatch. Figure in that it's waterproof to 30 meters has a decent battery and is compatible with iOS and Android.

The Elephone W2 has been listed on the company’s website for a while now, and its pricing has been revealed as well, but you can now actually pre-order it from GearBest if you’d like. The Elephone W2 smartwatch can be pre-ordered from GearBest for $79.99, which is actually the official price Elephone released a while back.

Source: AndroidHeadlines

Pokemon Superbowl Commercial Surfaces

Pokemon has been around for 20 years and they are trying to get back in the big business. They have just released their Super Bowl commercial. It's a bit anti-climactic, but still, if you're a fan you'll be pretty excited.


Galaxy S7 Specs, Release Date & More

The rumor mill is in full swing as Mobile World Congress is just wrapping up and we've seen some new details about the upcoming Galaxy S7 from Samsung. The S7 will share many of the same design elements as the S6 but will have some updated specs to go along with the new internal hardware. Samsung is going to be using their version of 3D Touch, which I'm sure will be the target of more lawsuits from Apple. Powered by a Snapdragon 820, this could be the phone to get in 2016.

As for the camera, Samsung has already given us a glimpse at the sensor likely to feature on the Galaxy S7. The firm showed off its new Britecell camera technology at a conference in South Korea, claiming that the slimline sensor packs more, smaller pixels for sharper and brighter images. As 9to5Mac reported, this is thanks to the way the sensor ditches green pixels in favour of white ones. 

Source: TheInquirer

Volvo Promises "Deathproof" Cars by 2020

Volvo has been working hard on making their cars safer and figure that by 2020 it will be near impossible to be killed or seriously injured in one of their cars or SUVs. While this sounds pretty amazing, the truth is that Volvo isn't the first and obviously if you are trying to kill yourself, you probably still can. This is pretty cool though and I'm not sure if  this was inspired by Stalone and Secure Foam or not.

Volvo, still based in Sweden but now owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (GELYY), wants to make this the case for its entire vehicle line up throughout the world. The automaker already tracks how many people die in its vehicles in order to monitor safety. That way, engineers can tell how much safer their vehicles become each time they roll out a new crash-prevention technology.

Source: CNN

Snowboarding in NYC

In New York, snowboarding in the city makes headlines and viral videos. In Canada, we call that Wednesday. Still, it'd be pretty fun to board around some icon sights and places.


Nintendo Finally to Get on the Smartphone Bandwagon

It's been almost 6 months since we've seen a new technology that allows you to play games on your smartphone. Actually it's been closer to 10 years and finally - FINALLY, Nintendo sees some benefit of putting their games on this platform. The install base of smartphones is huge, so why not sell the software and make a killing off of it instead of trying (in vain, often) to sell people hardware they don't want. I like this idea and am looking forward to some great titles on my Android.

In order to hit this target, Nintendo is going to begin releasing smartphone games featuring its most popular characters this year. The only app that has been confirmed so far is a social app by the name of Miitomo, but presumably Kimishima wants to launch at least one app featuring Mario, Link or another classic Nintendo character before the end of 2016.

Source: BGR

Intel Sets up to Release 10nm CPUs

Intel has been running away with the CPU market for the last few years and while smaller manufacturing processes can help, they aren't the total answer. With that in mind though, it's pretty amazing that Intel has mapped up three different series of CPUs based off a not-yet-released 10nm process. The first chips aren't supposed to land until 2017, but that means they are probably current making wafers already. It will be interesting to see how they hold up as this small of a process really has one major downside - heat. They will be more efficient, but with such a small die - it will be harder to keep things cool.

The third generation would be called Tigerlake and thus is indicative of a second tock in the tick-tick model. This year we will see Kaby lake based on 14nm, this is also an extra tock in the sequence. The tock basically means that Intel is not using a new production node with a smaller fabbed architecture yet sticks to the fabrication process.

Source: Guru3D

Microsoft Sold 99 Xbox One's in Japan Last Week

The Xbox One is a solid console, and while Sony's PS4 is still winning overall sales globally, the Xbox One is doing okay overall. It's not doing well in Japan though. In Japan, the 3DS is still the top-selling console, followed by the PS4, PSVita and the Wii U. It seems that Japan is very loyal to their own product lines. Even the PS3 outsold the Xbox One almost 20:1.

According to those figures, during the week of January 11 to 17, Microsoft sold just 99 Xbox Ones in Japan, while Sony sold a staggering 25,592 of its PlayStation 4 consoles in its home market. During the previous week, ending January 10, the Xbox One managed 293 sales, while over 36,000 PS4s were sold.

Console Sales in Japan

Source: Neowin

Ads on SmartTVs

I don't think many people really enjoy ads and now those annoying ads are popping up on SmartTV's from Samsung once again. Now that TVs are all internet connected all of the time, advertisers are willing to pay to get their products advertised in your living room. Hopefully the backlash is big enough that other TV makers get the hint that people don't want more ads on a product they purchased. Vice has the story.

Now, pop-up ads on Samsung and other smart TVs have been discovered before. But the weird thing here is that the TV can seemingly recognize any input you play through it, and add ads on top. What’s more, the ads may be targeted based on content recognition, a sort of built-in Shazam for ads.

McMillan was watching the movie through an Amazon Fire set top box, and as an experiment, tried playing it from his computer connected to the TV through an HDMI cable. In both cases the Army ad appeared at the one-minute mark, leading McMillan to deduce that the ad was being served by Samsung, and that the internet-connected TV was using content recognition to show ads on top of any video coming in through the TV’s input.

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