Tuesday, July 01, 2014

T-Mobile brings the LG G3 to the US on July 16th for $599 up front

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/30/lg-g3-reaches-t-mobile-july-16th/


Americans, your wait for LG's G3 is (nearly) over. T-Mobile has become the first big US carrier to take pre-orders for the 2K-capable Android smartphone, and now expects the device to hit retail shops on July 16th. Be prepared to fork over a lot of cash if you want that pixel-packed display as soon as possible, though. The G3 will cost $599 if you buy it outright, and it doesn't currently qualify for an easier-to-swallow installment plan. Other stateside carriers haven't revealed their plans to carry LG's brawny handset, but we'd expect matching announcements from at least the larger networks before long.

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Source: T-Mobile (1), (2)


Spying malware leaves countries' energy grids open to attack

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/30/dragonfly-spy-malware/

Nuclear power plant at night

Cyberwarfare campaigns against Western energy grids aren't just the stuff of action movies these days -- they're very, very real. Symantec has discovered a likely state-sponsored hacking group, nicknamed Dragonfly, that has been using phishing sites and trojans to compromise energy suppliers in the US and several other countries. Unlike targeted, destruction-focused malware like Stuxnet, this appears to be a broader spying effort bent on collecting information about national infrastructure. However, it still creates a back door that leaves companies vulnerable to full-fledged attacks if they don't spot the intrusions; it wouldn't take much to create real problems.

Symantec hasn't tracked down those behind Dragonfly, but it has plenty of evidence that they're professionals. Most of the attacks occur on weekdays between 9AM and 6PM Eastern European time, and they're primarily hitting Western European targets. They "think strategically," too. They first focused on aviation and defense agencies around 2011, and switched to power-related companies in early 2013; also, the suppliers under attack are smaller and less secure than the energy providers they're serving. If there's any consolation, it's that companies can shut down individual attacks, and that Symantec has already let affected companies and security response centers know what's happening. Let's just hope that the revelations get firms to tighten their security before there's some major damage.

[Image credit: Bjorn Kindler/Getty]

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Via: Ars Technica

Source: Symantec


GE promises smart light bulbs without the usual steep prices

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/01/ge-link/

GE Link smart light bulb

Many smartphone-controlled light bulbs cost a pretty penny, even if you're not interested in mood-setting colors or other elaborate tricks. How are you supposed to afford enough bulbs to illuminate your entire abode? That's where GE's new Link bulbs could save the day. While you'll need a hub ($30 by itself) to get everything connected, the LED-based white lights cost just $15 to $25 each -- in contrast, Philips' upcoming Lux models are $40 a pop. There's also a kit that includes two 60W-equivalent bulbs and a hub for $50, or half as much as you'd pay for an equivalent Lux bundle.

Before you start planning your home's new ambiance, understand that you're paying less because you get a bit less... so long as you're only concerned with lighting, anyway. While the necessary Wink mobile app gives you full control over brightness and scheduling, you don't get luxuries like Philips' electricity-free control switch or LG's light-based phone alerts. Link might be a better deal if you don't want those extras, though, and the Wink support could save you from buying additional hubs (or using additional apps) to steer other household gadgets. No matter what, you'll have to be patient if you want to try GE's approach for yourself. Although Home Depot is taking pre-orders today, the Link bulbs don't ship until the fall -- that's a long time to wait just to save some money.

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Via: The Verge

Source: GE Reports, Home Depot


Samsung's new consumer SSDs shoot to the top of the benchmark league

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/01/samsung-850-pro-v-nand-ssd-review-roundup/

Samsung 850 Pro SSD

For the last year or so, Samsung has been touting a "paradigm shift" in the way it constructs flash memory: from a horizontal to a vertical arrangement of cells, or what it calls 3D V-NAND. Now, judging from reviews of the first V-NAND consumer SSDs, the 850 Pro range, it looks like this shift has resulted in a geniune and unequivocal boost to performance. Compared to synthetic and real-world scores from rival drives, made by the likes of Intel and Crucial, Sammy's 850 Pro "led the pack almost across the board," according to HotHardware.

Then again, Tom's Hardware noted that Samsung is now pushing the limits of the SATA interface, such that other products are "within a stone's throw" of the the 850 Pro's scores (at least until a PCI Express version comes around). What's more, all the reviews listed below highlighted the fact that the new line-up comes at a significant premium, even when you factor in Samsung's nice 10-year warranty. The 128GB drive costs $130, while the maxed-out 1TB option costs $730, equating to a cost per gigabyte that is almost twice as high as other recent drives that lack the cutting-edge NAND (such as Crucial's MX100). Actual street pricing, meanwhile, will only be established over the course of this month, as the 850 Pro starts to become widely available.

Reviews of the Samsung 850 Pro SSD:

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Barclays brings Pingit phone number payments to Windows Phone

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/01/barclays-pingit-windows-phone-app/

Windows Phone users often have to resign themselves to getting apps months, if not years after their iOS- and Android-toting counterparts. That's especially the case for Barclays' Pingit app, which after more than two years has finally made its way to Microsoft's mobile platform. If you're not familiar, Pingit allows users to send money using only a recipient's phone number regardless of who either bank with. Banking customers have been able to check their balance and pay bills using Barclays' mobile banking app, but with new initiatives like Paym aiming to streamline mobile payments, Pingit could enjoy great momentum as a result. Despite being late to the party, Barclays' new app is still likely to enjoy some early-mover advantage, as only a handful of other banks have dedicated Windows Phone apps.

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Via: V3

Source: Barclays Pingit (Windows Phone Store)