Google says Turkey is intercepting web traffic to spy on users

Turkey’s decision to block access to popular websites has prompted many citizens to evade the ban using Google’s domain name service. Now Google reports that most Turkish internet service providers are masquerading as Google DNS, presumably to spy on users. The move comes a week after reports emerged that Turkey had begun blocking access to Google DNS. “We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted,” Google said in a blog post.

A DNS routes the domain name you type into your browser to the IP address of that site. In the early days of Turkey’s crackdown on social media, Turkish citizens were able to restore their access to Twitter and…

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Smart skin patch knows when you need your meds

A lot can go wrong when doctors prescribe drugs to patients. For one thing, there’s always a chance that someone might forget to take their pill or refill their prescription. And then there’s also the risk of unmonitored side-effects, drug addiction, and overdose. So pharmaceutical companies have been trying for some time now to come up with wearable drug-delivery systems that can dispense a continuous flow of therapeutics, without having to rely on the patient to physically take the drug.

There’s a problem with that approach, however, because these systems don’t monitor a patient’s vitals. This means they can’t be responsive. So when a patient needs to take a stronger dose or when they actually feel pretty good, they still receive the…

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A 3D-printed house is being built right now in Amsterdam

Architects in Amsterdam have begun construction on what they’re calling the first full-sized 3D-printed house. Using what’s essentially a large-scale version of a desktop 3D printer, Dus Architects is building what will eventually be a 13-room Dutch canal house made of interlocking plastic parts. The project was announced earlier this year — part proof of concept, part art project. After about three weeks of work, The Guardian reports, one three-meter-high corner segment has been produced. The interior and facade are printed as part of the same brick, and spaces are left for wiring and pipes; for now, the walls are later filled with concrete for insulation and reinforcement. The entire process of printing and assembling the house is…

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Google said to be testing smart thermostats to save home energy use

Google may be taking another crack at tracking home energy use. According to The Information, the tech giant is currently testing web-connected thermostats that let users view home energy activity, and make adjustments. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Google attempted something similar a few years ago called PowerMeter, a web dashboard that tracked an entire home’s energy use. The program was killed off in mid-2011, with Google citing difficulties scaling it up. However the original mission statement for the effort, and what Google reiterated when killing off PowerMeter, was that people could trim energy use by 15 percent if they could see what was happening.

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Microsoft designs smart bra to combat emotional eating

Microsoft researchers have developed a bra-mounted sensor system that measures boob sweat and heart activity in order to detect emotional triggers for overeating.

The research is based on the idea that people eat not just when they are hungry but also for a host of emotional and habitual reasons. The goal was to provide a system that could intervene before the person turns to food for emotional support.

Microsoft researchers teamed up with colleagues from the University of Rochester and the University of Southampton to develop a range of interventions that go a step further than activity trackers such as FitBit and Nike’s Fuelband. In their paper, the researchers mention other systems that have been developed that include heart rate monitors, earpieces to track chewing and swallowing, and augmented reality glasses to capture the food consumed.

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Google announces data export feature for Gmail, Google Calendar data

Mail and Calendar will be the first services to offer data export, but the implication is that other services could follow.
Google

Gmail and Google Calendar users interested in obtaining a copy of all of their messages and appointments will soon have a much easier way to do so: Google today introduced the ability to download data from those services from your account settings page. Google Calendar users will be able to download their data starting today, while Gmail support “will be rolled out over the next month.”

The data is exported in standard, widely supported formats—MBOX for e-mail and iCalendar for your appointments. Most e-mail clients and services can read these files, making it easier to switch from Gmail and Google Calendar to a competing service or even an e-mail server you run yourself (for the privacy-minded among you). You can download individual e-mail labels or calendars or opt to download everything at once. Your data will remain stored on Google’s servers unless you delete it or close your account, however.

You could grab your data from Gmail and Google Calendar before, but this new feature greatly simplifies the process. Previous data export options (as outlined on Google’s Data Liberation Front page) were multi-step processes that required a little more expertise and effort on the part of the user, but the new solution boils it down to just a couple of buttons. The wording of the announcement implies that other Google services (including Google+, YouTube, and Google Drive) will also be getting data export capabilities at some future date—we’ve contacted Google to clarify and will update if we receive a response.

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Hate your friends’ Facebook posts? Now you can unfollow them

Facebook has bowed to the concept of the “follow” in a change that started rolling out to profile pages Monday. It is now possible to remain friends with a person but to “unfollow” their updates, such that they no longer appear in one’s timeline.

Functionally, the unfollow button does not appear to do anything differently from what used to be unchecking the setting “show in news feed” on someone’s profile. Facebook also used to offer a “hide all posts from [friend]” link when a user hid a single post from that person within their news feed. Now hiding and un-showing appear to be transforming into “unfollowing,” for friends as well as pages that users have liked.

Facebook told TechCrunch that it hopes this option will encourage users to “curate their news feeds.” Curation has become a bit of a problem for Facebook of late. The company has tried to stem the flow by automating and regulating the popularity and level of interaction that posts must have to appear on a user’s home page, to the occasional rage of brands.

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BlackBerry tells customers that it’s not dead—yet

No longer known for its hardware.

Things must be getting grim in Waterloo. BlackBerry has taken the unusual step of e-mailing its “valued enterprise customers and partners” an open letter to tell them that “reports of our death are greatly exaggerated” and that its mobile device management platform has a long future ahead of it. The company is alive and well, the letter says, so could people please stop listening to BlackBerry’s competitors and switching away from BES?

After its past flirtations with the consumer space, BlackBerry wants to position itself as a company that’s “going back to [its] heritage and roots” as an enterprise firm. The letter hits all the buzzwords and bullet points you’d expect of a company promoting its enterprise cred: BlackBerry is the solution trusted by governments and global organizations; it’s the vendor that has Department of Defense certification; it’s a trusted name when it comes to securing your devices.

In the letter, BlackBerry CEO John Chen also seeks to distance BlackBerry from new entrants into the mobile device management/enterprise mobility management sector, writing that his company has “substantial cash” and is not some “VC-backed” startup that’s desperately seeking money each year.

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Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update available unofficially via OmniROM

Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat via OmniROM

A first unofficial Android 4.4 KitKat ROM for the Galaxy Note 2 has hit the web, via OmniROM and it’s available for download.

Support for various handset versions is available including the GT-N7100, the GT-N7105, the AT&T Galaxy Note 2 and the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 models.

The Galaxy Note 2 is yet to receive its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update – although word on the street is that the update is available in Samsung’s own service centers – and it looks like an unofficial ROM is already ready to take the phone to the latest Android OS version.

Instructions on how to get the Android 4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy Note 2 can be found on the xda-developers Forum (see Source link below), although we’ll remind you that we don’t encourage you to install unofficial ROMs on your handsets and tablets and that you’re going to be the only person responsible for whatever happens with your devices during these procedures.

We’ll also note that we’re not surprised to see unofficial Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs for various devices hit the web, especially considering that various custom ROM developers including AOSP, CyanogenMod, OmniROM and Paranoid Android are currently working on their respective KitKat updates.

Meanwhile, the Nexus 5 remains the only handset to run KitKat officially.

Thanks, Parth!

An iPhone user’s guide to experimenting with a Nexus 5

There’s no reason we can’t make these two get along.
Andrew Cunningham

If you’re an iPhone user who wants to find out what that whole Android thing is about, there’s really no better way to get your feet wet than to buy a Nexus phone. The hardware is never perfect, but Google and its partners will typically sell you a fair-to-good smartphone off-contract for about half the price you’d normally pay for one. It’s a fine value proposition if you’ve already used your carrier subsidy to buy a shiny new iPhone 5S.

As someone who has spent a lot of time jumping between an iPhone 4S and Nexus 4 (and now, an iPhone 5S and Nexus 5) as a daily driver, I have a few tips to pass on to people who are interested in Android but aren’t quite ready to make a permanent move, or for the people who want to stay familiar with both operating systems because their jobs demand it, or for the true tech omnivores who just like to use a little bit of everything.

Making the jump

It’s possible to use the Nexus phones without cellular connectivity, just using them around the house on Wi-Fi or tethering them to your iPhone when you’re out and about. To simplify things and cut down on the number of items to carry around, though, I usually just pop my SIM card out of my iPhone and into the Nexus. If you’ve never done this before, it’s not a difficult process. You’ll need some equipment depending on what kind of iPhone you’re using.

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BlackBerry Trying to Negotiate for a $1 Billion Tax Refund

BlackBerry is working on building up its cash stockpiles to smooth this transition of strategy. Bloomberg is reporting that the company is said to be asking for a larger refund from the Canadian government and asking the government to speed up the process. Last month they stated that they expected a $500 million rebate in the first half of fiscal 2015 and now they are supposedly aiming for a $1 billion refund by the end of the year.

via Berry Review

Microsoft’s serious about Surface: could build 5M tablets by year’s end

Microsoft plans to produce three to five million Surface tablets in the fourth quarter.

Rivaling production numbers for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets and Google’s Nexus 7, Microsoft’s numbers are encouraging evidence that the company is taking the Surface launch very seriously. After all. the last thing Microsoft wants is to leave consumer demand unfulfilled.

Read more here.

 

Source: Venture Beat

Guild Wars 2 comes to Mac with beta client release

The Guild Wars series is expanding outside of the Windows platform for the first time with today’s release of an official Guild Wars 2 beta client for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion.

Those who purchased the Windows version of the game now have free access to the beta Mac client through their account management page. The Mac client connects to the same servers as the PC version, and has all the same features as its PC cousin, with all future updates hitting both versions simultaneously, ArenaNet said. The client is still a beta product, however, and ArenaNet asks players to “understand that your overall experience will be better when we release the final version,” which will be available at retail and for download after sufficient beta testing.

 

Source: Ars Technica